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What I Packed In My Hospital Bag For The Twins

When I was pregnant with Willow I vividly remember packing everything plus the kitchen sink in her hospital bag. I’m not even joking, I packed nail clippers for my newborn baby! Since this is my second time around I am packing smarter! I want to bring what I will really need for the boys and that’s it! One pearl I really took home from Willow’s birth is that hospitals provide more supplies than you think. I went on hospital tours before she was born and only asked questions regarding her birth. A good tip for new Moms is to ask what supplies your hospital provides for baby before you pack your hospital bag.

When I delivered Willow the hospital provided onesies, hats, diapers, pacifiers, hand sanitizer, burp cloths and receiving blankets. Here is what I am packing for the twins in my Paper Clip Diaper Bag:

  • Two premie onesies, just in case they are born with a lower birth weight. I’m hoping they are chunky and full of baby rolls so they can fit into those newborn hospital onesies.
  • Swaddles that velcro or zip. These are so easy to use compared to wrapping a your new baby in the hospital blanket.I have these on my registry!
  • Eco-friendly diapers. Like I said before the hospital will provide their own diapers, but they usually are to eco-friendly or organic. I love the Honest Company and Aden & Anais brands.
  • Water wipes. I found these after Willow was born and really love them. Made with 99.9% water, they are natural and easy on a newborn’s skin. Find themHERE
  • Going Home Outfit. This was my favorite part for Willow! I can’t wait to pick out the boys outfits!! I’m still on the look out for the perfect outfits for them.
  • Going Home Blanket for the car seats! Love these two blankets! See them HERE and HERE. 

Let me know what you pack in your hospital bag for baby!! I always love getting advice from you guys!

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Beauty Tips While Pregnant

There are so many do’s and don’ts once you find out you are pregnant. No more alcohol, sushi, deli meat and you have to limit your caffeine intake. Obvisouly these sudden exclusions deal with what we eat and drink, but did you know your skin care routine may need some adjusting as well. Your OB is your main resource for what you can and can’t use while pregnant. I had a long discussion with mine about what was safe to use while pregnant.

  • You know that amazing ingredient called Retinol, that is the anti-aging fountain of youth in most skin care products? Well, once with child you can no longer use this beauty product. However you can try Kojic or Glycolic acid and Vitamin C to brighten skin and cause cellular turnover.
  • Ask your doctor about salicylic acid during your pregnancy. Although the medication has been clinically found to be unsafe in the oral form for pregnant women, there isn’t much evidence to show how much the topical form would affect an unborn baby. None the less, many doctors advise women to steer clear of products containing salicylic acid.
  • Bye Bye Botox. I know some of my followers may not even use botox, but for those that do, it is now out of the question during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
  • Skin care treatments like lasers are also prohibited. Mostly due to the fact that there is no clinical data to prove what lasers would do to an unborn baby during pregnancy. Lasers use heat and energy to help break up the molecular bonds of targeted skin cells. So these are best to do after your baby has been born.

Now for the fun part, finding actual skin care products that you can use during your pregnancy! I found that with this pregnancy I really started to get bad acne, pregnancy plaques and melasma. Here are some products that I am currently using that have are very gentle, natural and help with all of my skin problems.

Tea Tree & Willow Clear Cleanser

Tea Tree & Willow Acne Clear Astringent 

Why I love 100% Pure products… they are made with 100% natural derivatives. They also make a great line of makeup as well, find it HERE. 

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Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding

I love this recipe since it’s a super healthy snack that packs a lot of nutrition in but is also SO EASY to make! Willow also loves it! Chia seed pudding is a great way to sneak fiber into a kid’s diet. Also, it’s surprisingly filling for a pregnant mama who needs to eat often! Plus, you can always add in granola or other fruit to make it a heartier meal for breakfast/lunch.

Ingredients: 

2 cups   Homemade almond milk

1/2 cup   Chia seeds

2 tsp   Vanilla extract

Berries for toppings

Dash of Cinnamon

Directions: 

  1. Mix almond milk with chia seeds in a bowl and stir.
  2. Add in vanilla extra and stir.
  3. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in fridge to set (usually takes 2+ hours or better yet, leave it overnight)
  4. Serve and add your favorite berries and cinnamon to taste!

Easy, right?

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Get Longer, Thicker Hair With Luxy Hair Clip-In Extensions

I have always been drawn to the idea of extensions that give you thick, luxurious hair. The more I researched extensions I saw so many people complaining of hair breakage, and inhibited hair growth. Plus, I am honestly the worst at hair maintenance so you know I would probably end up bald with any tape-in, sewn-in or glued-in set. I found Luxy Hair clip-in extensions through my girlfriend and fellow blogger, Ravayna Coe. I like to call her the mermaid, beauty queen, unicorn of hair. I actually never knew her hair was clip-in style extensions! She had me sold when she said, “they are so easy, it takes me 5 minutes to clip them in each morning”.

So of course I had to get my own and try them! I have to tell you this is not sponsored, but just an amazing life-hack I wanted to share with you all! Here are reasons why I love these Luxy Hair clip-in extensions:

 

  • After having Ravayna show me how to clip them in, they are really so easy to use. Quick and easy!
  • They add instant volume and length!
  • NO damage! You can clip them in and out whenever you would like.
  • Luxy Hair is cheaper than most hair extensions with little, to no maintenance.
  • You an easily brush them out and wash them ever so often.
  • Once clipped in you can style them with any hair tool, just like you would normal hair.


I got the Dirty Blonde, ( 220g) seamless set. What I also like about the clip-in extensions is that they come with a tiny piece that allows you to try on the extension and ensure it is the match to your own hair. This way you can easily return them and try a new set if you need too!

Let me know if you have tried them. I have worn mine many times and feel like you really get your money’s worth without damaging your hair.

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How To Shop During Your Pregnancy

  1. Invest in at some staple pieces, like jeans and a black maternity dress. I have one pair of blue maternity jeans and one pair of black maternity jeans I purchased from Target. My other investment pieces were two black dresses. A tank top dress and a long sleeved dress that are comfortable for my growing belly. I like the following brands for black dresses. Some are maternity and some you can easily size up as long as they have the side ruching. These basic pieces are the foundation for the rest of my wardrobe and can easily be used when building looks.

Black Dresses:

Isabella Oliver

Michael Stars

ASOS

2. Make sure you’re comfortable in whatever you buy. Don’t fall into dressing to keep up with the latest trends. Comfort is key, and when you aren’t comfortable you won’t wear that piece more than once! Buy to be comfortable and to get your money’s worth!

3. Find the appropriate undergarments to grow with you during your pregnancy. This could also fit under being comfortable in what you are wearing. Buying maternity underwear and bras was a whole new level of happiness for me! Also look into Bellabands , this will help you continue to wear your favorite non-maternity jeans for much longer.

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Our Master Bedroom Makeover With Apt2b

AJ and I have been together for almost 8 years!! After we had dated for quite some time, and decided to move in together our home decor was a mash up of furniture from both of our past apartments. Needless to say it could use some updating and it was time to freshen up our Master bedroom. We were so excited to partner with Apt2b to give our favorite living space a much needed makeover. They have many modern and affordable pieces to choose from with a wide range of furniture and home decor perfect for your entire house!

Here is what our bedroom looked like before we started this little renovation. Our bed, side tables and tv stand were all a dark black-brown color. Our bed lacked dimension and texture in my opinion as well. I mean we didn’t even have a dresser, and I’m ashamed to admit we even put some clothes in our TV stand drawers. I mean we needed help!

With the help of Apt2b, we were able to collaborate on a whole new room! We chose a new bed, nightstands, bedside lamps, bench, rug, and dresser. I wanted to brighten up the room and make it super stylish, yet functional for our family.

BED /NIGHSTANDS / LAMPS / BENCH / RUG / DRESSER



I loved working with Apt2b so much, that I recently started remodeling my office with pieces from their line as well. I can’t wait to show you that space once it is finished!

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The Skinny On Stretch Marks

Products I use:

Stretch marks. Some Mamas wear them proud, even tattooing them like a badge of honor and some Mamas want to act like they never happened. Even though your baby may not even be here yet, they are leaving their mark on your belly, and maybe even  your chest, hips, thighs or buttocks. When I was pregnancy with Willow, I got them on my chest in a nice purple color! Now, I know what you are thinking, will I get these lines of love and how do I prevent them???

Well here is the 411 on stretch marks… 50%-90% of women develop them during pregnancy. You are also more likely to get them if your mom, dad, or grandparents have them. So in terms of avoiding these linear beauties, genetics definitely trumps prevention. Now don’t go running to give your entire family a full body check just yet, there is some more information you need!

Stretch marks come from tiny tears to the underlying layers of tissue under your skin. There are many other factors besides genetics that determine if you or when you will get stretch marks. Such as weight gain during your pregnancy. Those that can maintain a steady weight gain throughout their 40 weeks have a less chance of developing stretch marks.

Age, this is my favorite factor in terms of stretch marks! It is the one time that it pays to be a little older! Studies show that women in their 30’s and 40’s actually have only a 30% chance of developing stretch marks, where as teens and women in their 20’s have a 90% risk. As a Mom in her 30’s this was music to my ears!

Finally, abdominal girth, and baby related factors like twin pregnancies and high birth weights may also contribute to those little linear lines. When babies begin to grow and your belly stretches to accommodate the little one it creates excessive tension on skin’s dermis.

Now that we know the factors and risks of developing stretch marks, let’s get on to the fun information…how can we prevent them???

Unfortunately, there is not much you can do to prevent your skin from stretching during your pregnancy, it is just a fact of life. However, there are some tips and tricks we can do to help our skin throughout our pregnancies.

  • Maintaining a healthy weight gain throughout your pregnancy is a great place to start in the prevention of stretch marks.
  • Hydrating your body will help your outer most layers of your skin maintain moisture. I cannot reach the deep underlying layers where stretch marks start, but it will help you feel less itchy as your body stretches to accommodate stretching. I have used Shea butter, coconut oil, and bio oil.
  • Nourishing and hydrating your body from the inside out is a must! I drink at least 4 Liters of water a day to help me stay hydrated. Also vitamins C, D, E, and zinc have been shown to help form collagen which can help prevent dermal tearing.

So you may say stretch marks are inevitable, but know that they do fade with time and can become less noticeable with each day. Let me know your experience with stretch marks and what you have found to help them!

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Intentions vs. Resolutions

We’ve all heard “new year, new me” before and though it’s nice to make new year resolutions, I’ve found it’s not the best way for me to enact positive change in my life. Resolutions can feel constricting and rarely last past January.

Intentions, on the other hand, have been a driving force for my happiness, fulfillment, and overall sense of well being. I came into 2018 armed with some new intentions that have provided me with focus and motivation for who I want to be and what I want to accomplish this year.

What’s the difference?

Resolutions attach us to a specific outcome so instead of being at peace with a new goal, we’re in fear of not completing it and the shame that may bring. Intentions free us from this pressure! You can put aside the challenge of a resolution. A new beginning shouldn’t be a challenge anyway!

Instead, intentions can help you invite these new positive things into your life. Intentions only ask us to be mindful, present, and aware of what we want. Setting intentions helps realign your energy and capacity.

How are intentions set?

Setting intentions for me involves starting my morning with a quiet moment of awareness where I consciously state to myself and the universe what I am inviting into my life. I try to remind myself of my intentions every chance I get so every possible action and moment is in the right direction.

Gratitude is also an important part of setting intentions. I conclude my day with a quiet moment to reflect on the ways my intentions helped manifest small positive change in my daily life.

This cycle of inviting and thanking has led to BIG positive changes over time and has never failed in uplifting me. It only takes quiet moments, awareness, and gratitude!

SO, what are my 2018 intentions?

  1. Good health
  2. Quality time with family

As you all may know by now, I’m pregnant with twins. Since twin pregnancies can be considered high risk and are more challenging to carry to due dates, I want to do everything in my power to help them stay put until April! Setting this intention of good health has helped me make healthier choices with excitement and happiness and not out of restriction. I’m also making my intention to soak up every moment we get as a family of three and preparing to do the same when we become a family of five!

What are your 2018 intentions? 

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A Busy Mom’s Extra Green Pesto Pasta

I know I’m not alone when I have that “UGH” moment after a long day at work when I’ve just arrived home and I’m about to let out a sigh of relief when I can finally put on my comfy clothes and let the stress of the day fade away BUT then I remember that I haven’t made a plan for dinner yet. The worst. Exacerbated by the hungry faces asking me what’s for dinner.

This is usually when my savvy mom skills kick into gear and I get creative with stuff that’s in the fridge, however, one of these instances has led to one of my favorite meals that’s perfect for when you’re busy with returning back to work after the holidays and still wanting to stay true to the cutting back on takeout and unhealthy foods resolution.

Cue: A Busy Mom’s Extra Green Pesto Pasta!

SO easy! So realistic after a busy day! With the help of some go-to grocery store items, this dish is ready in the amount of time it takes to boil some pasta.

Ingredients:

1 package of pasta (Willow loves bowtie but any work!)

1 jar of pesto sauce (my favorite is from Trader Joe’s)

1 handful of fresh cherry tomatoes (feel free to add in more! They’re extra sweet and juicy after being warmed from the pasta!)

1 bag of spring lettuce mix

3 tablespoons of salt (for boiling water)

Half a lemon

Parmesan cheese & favorite Italian spices to taste

Directions:

  1. Bring pot of water + 3 tablespoons of salt to a boil
  2. Throw in pasta & follow cooking instructions on bag
  3. In the meantime, cut cherry tomatoes in halves
  4. When pasta is al dente, strain and place back in the pot
  5. Add pesto and Italian spices to pot of pasta
  6. Add fresh cherry tomatoes and squeeze lemon juice on pasta
  7. Stir! (This is the hardest step ;))
  8. Serve on a bed of fresh spring mix lettuce and add parmesan if you’re inclined for some cheese
  9. Enjoy the happy faces and well fed family!
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Our Baby Moon To Big Bear

We were able to take a little vacation that I deemed our “baby moon” right before the holidays. With the twin pregnancy, I am considered “high risk” and basically got a travel ban after I was passed the 6 month mark. We had short notice when it came to planning, but I was able to throw two fun days together in Big Bear! It is the perfect destination for a family getaway.

Aj and I packed up the car with Willow and headed to the mountains. Big Bear is only two hours away from LA, but is exudes cabin life and makes you really feel like you escaped the busy activity of the city.  I found an easy cabin on Air Bnb that was within walking distance to the Village and was under $100 per night (score).  This way we were close to food, fun and some shopping. Aj and I loved our cabin so much, we would come home every night, collect kindling and make fires in the wood burning fire place. It is now on our vision board to get a cabin in Big Bear!

Shop The Look:

Now for the fun part, all the activities Big Bear has to offer! If you have kids I really recommend going to Alpine Slide for a day! It has different activities such as go carts, golf, snow tubing and even a bobsled slide… yes I said bobsled. The bobsled was the biggest hit with Willow! There is a ski lift that brings you to the top of the slide and don’t worry adults ride with the small children to the bottom! After the slide, we did several rounds of snow tubing until our baby was worn out! She fell right asleep on the way to our cabin!

The next day I planned a day at the Big Bear Equestrian Center complete with horses and a hayride. It is a beautiful ranch and the staff are beyond accommodating and sweet. We even took a hayride to the North Pole to meet Santa (they had real reindeer too). Willow’s mind was blown and it was entertaining for the entire family.

What are your travel plans for 2018?? I am looking forward to traveling as a party of five in 2018 as well! We have Italy on our list!