What’s in My Citi Babies Diaper Bag? | Day Trip to Central FL Zoo!

Hey guys!

I’m so excited to share this post with you!

Hubs has this entire week off to spend with us so, we’re kicking things off with a day trip to the Central Florida Zoo! It’s not far from us and being that this will be our first trip since re-instating our annual passes, I knew we’d need a pretty stocked backpack for a full day!

When our Citi Babies Explorer backpack came in last week, I couldn’t wait to pack it full for a day full of adventure! We’re always going with the boys so, I knew this backpack would be perfect for our active family!


Let’s get into our packing list:

  • Hats for each boy
  • Swim Suits
  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Drinks for the little boys
  • Water Bottle for us
  • Snack Cup with Trail Mix
  • Towels
  • Picnic Blanket
  • Wet Bag
  • Sunscreen
  • Baby Powder
  • Wallet
  • Keys
  • Changing Bag *Included


Honestly, I couldn’t believe anything more than 2 huge beach towels fit inside this backpack. I rolled each towel and pushed them to the bottom which left tons of room to continue stacking the rest of our necessities for the day!


I wasn’t exaggerating, look at the size of just one of those towels compared to the backpack’s size! You seriously wouldn’t think anything more that two of those would fit!


I’m a huge sucker for organization so, the fact that this backpack has 5 internal pockets, a zipper section, plus two exterior open pockets, and two exterior zipper pockets, quickly gave the Citi Babies Explorer and A+ in my book!


Check out that exterior front pocket! Each of the cup holders are insulated so, we filled the boys’ cups for the day before heading our and they stayed cold during our outing! We’re usually packing an additional lunch cooler to keep drinks cold so, the insulated cup pockets were a lifesaver!


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How to Have a Natural Labor + Delivery in the Hospital!

We’re about 9 months home with our new bubba and I haven’t quite had the will to put him down long enough to share his birth story but, now that he’s a daily napper and I have a few free hands for an hour each day, I want to give you all the tools to have a wonderful, natural birthing experience in the hospital like I did!

Being that this was my third pregnancy, my decision was already made when we were ready to start trying to get pregnant-I would go au’ natural again during labor and delivery and strive for the most undisturbed experience as possible. To make it easy, I’ve made a list of things that I truly feel were the best tools to have when planning for a natural birth in a hospital!



I don’t feel like I can stress this as hard as I probably need to through a simple blog post but, I promise you: It’s not enough to just think in you’re head, “hey, I’m just gonna try this all natural thing with ZERO practice or preparation” and magically make it work. Not going to cut it sister. Your mind and body have to study harder than it ever has in your life. Yes. Seriously, I just said study to give birth.

I don’t care if it’s just 15 minutes every day from today until you have your sweet new baby, make the time to:

  • Meditate
  • Stretch
  • Exercise
  • Get your Downward Dog on
  • Sleep
  • Belly dance (seriously!)
  • Watch birthing videos

Get your body moving, stretching, and grow your mind with meditation! Head HERE  and HERE to get my personal experience with prepping my mind and body and some pre-labor faves!



The next thing I encourage you to do is to include everyone from your birthing team in your plan. Ask your caregiver their opinion, let them know your hopes and desires, and remind them closer to your due date of your birthing plan.

When it comes to family and those who will be in the room with you, make sure to let them know that just because you are still having your baby at the hospital does not mean that you want to have a medicated birth. Your hopes are the opposite. You want the safety and security that comes with the hospital standard but, on your own terms!

*We gave C the choice to be in the room with us during labor and delivery and he was so excited to be able to make this decision for himself. We let him know beforehand what he may see, how I may sound, look, and feel, and what to expect when it came time to bring Lincoln into the world. We also gave him total access to leave with one of our parents during the intense stages of labor and pushing if he felt like it became too unsettling. As a proud mama I have to praise him because this little guy stuck it out the ENTIRE time! My soundtrack to Lincoln’s arrival was C’s little voice shouting, “He’s here! I see him, I see him!!” 

  • Partner
  • Parents
  • *Children
  • Grandparents
  • Doula




Remember, not every birth is the same just like not all pregnancies are the same. Even if it’s the same woman, the same man, the same doctor and L&D Team, no birth is ever the same! So, be open-minded when it comes to the tools available to you during labor and delivery.

   *Before my first natural birthing experience, I thought I would HAVE to get in the birthing tub at the hospital. When it came down to the day, I never did. BUT. When I was laboring with Linc, I was incredibly nauseous. By incredibly, I mean ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLY NAUSEOUS. When one of my L&D Nurses suggested that I hop in the tub to relieve the intensity of my contractions, I refused because I just didn’t want to switch positions. I didn’t end up needing it the first time so, why would I need it now? WRONG. She suggested it again, and again, and finally once she left the room and I had exhausted all of my other resources besides medication, I took her advice…Do you know what happened? I wished I had listed to her sooner and hopped in that tub LONG before I actually did!

     Although, the tub did relieve my contractions for the short time I was in, I ended up needing medication to subside the nausea and vomiting. THIS is where the Hospital part of this post comes in! Situations like these are exactly why you have a natural birth in a hospital and not at home. There are circumstances, small and big, that can arise during labor and birth. I know, I know, woman didn’t always used to have modern medicine ages ago and we used to birth babies in the woods but, we’re also farther off as a society now. I don’t have anything against home birth, I love it! If I didn’t have debilitating anxiety, I may have had a home birth myself BUT, for me, a natural birth in the hospital takes a few less notches off my stress buckle!


Here’s the thing: YOU CAN DO IT! Whether you’re at home, a birthing center, a hospital, or yes, even in the middle of the woods! Your body, just like mine and every other woman’s body on this planet, was MADE to do this!

Before you go do your fifteen minutes of cat-cow, watch our birthing video and give it a like + subscribe! Then, head HERE and HERE for more tips on having a natural labor!


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Natural Birth Must Haves!

Is a natural birth your birth plan? You can TOTALLY do it mama! With this list of MUST HAVES for a natural birth from a mama who’s done it not once but, twice, I am confident that you can achieve a beautiful birthing process without meds like I did!

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  1. Essential Oils: Consult your midwife prior to using.*
    • Clary Sage Oil-Help induce labor naturally and enhance contractions once labor has started. Use topically with a carrier or in a diffuser. Not to be used prior to labor*
    • Peppermint-Help reduce nausea + headaches. Not to be used after birth, can reduce milk supply* 
    • Helichrysum-Supports elasticity of the perineal area. Mix it with a little carrier oil and apply to perineal or use in a compress.
    • Myrrh-Use with a carrier oil and rub it on the lower abdomen with clary sage oil to bring on contractions.
    • Lavender-Promotes relaxation and eases muscle tension.
  2. Cold Wash Cloths: These will be a God send when a contraction comes along and you’re beginning to sweat out of every pore on your body. Make sure your partner knows to keep them cold and ready for each contraction!
  3. Personal Fan: This is one that I didn’t have with my first or second birthing experiences but, it sure did make a difference with my third! Not only does it keep me cool where I want to be cool but, I placed mine in front of our essential oil diffuser to blow the steam right into my face. A big whiff of Clary Sage Oil diffusing and blowing from the fan would send me into a long, deep, really beneficial contraction! THIS ONE is my favorite!
  4. Birth Support: Make sure to have a really solid team behind you. If a nurse comes in offering medication, or something that doesn’t sound like part of your birth plan, you’ll need a backbone to do the talking for you, one who supports your plan. Make sure they know your practices and preferences before entering the hospital. Keep everyone updated on the research you’ve done and signals for your “breaking point” should you have one.
  5. Evening Primrose Oil: Consult your midwife prior to using. Recommended at 38 weeks or after through vaginal insertion or oral consumption.* This stuff is wondrous! Evening primrose oil helps the cervix to soften and thin out (efface). Studies suggest that due to linolenic acid found in EPO, it may trigger a prostaglandin response in the body to help shorten labor.
  6. Red Raspberry Leaf Tea: Not to be mistaken for raspberry tea.* Raspberry leaf tones the muscles of your uterus so they work more efficiently. Drink 2 or more cups a day starting at 36 weeks or after. Can also be used during labor for hydration.
  7. Yoga + Meditation: Whether you’re having a natural or medicated birth, yoga and meditation are great tools to have all the way through your pregnancy! Help your mind and body prepare for your baby by practicing meditation every evening in a luke warm bath and try 10-15 minutes of pregnancy yoga every morning to help ease aches and pains!
  8. These Apps:
  9. Dates: A study conducted in 2011 and published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found that the consumption of date fruit in the last 4 weeks before labour significantly reduced the need for induction and augmentation of labour, and produced a more favorable, but non-significant, delivery outcome. My favorite are the fresh dates from The Fresh Market! Start consuming 6 per day, every day starting at 36 weeks for best results.
  10. Affirmations: Birth affirmations are great when paired with meditation for removing stress and fear when another contraction comes along or to keep your body relaxed while pushing during the third stage. Along with affirmations, I like to envision my body acting as a rose or flower opening up for my baby to make his way out. This Pin Board rocks and has a ton of affirmations to choose from!
  11. Several Coping Options: Whether it’s a warm tub, birthing ball, Rebozo Shawl, pacifier for biting down, you name it-have it! Try practicing Belly Dancing for Labor, Hypnobirthing, and Breathing Techniques.


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Nest Like a Pregnant Pro! + FREE Home Organization Labels!

This post contains affiliate links which help me fund the free + fun posts on the blog and sometimes, Friday night pizza nights!

Thankfully, the nesting that typically comes over expecting mamas in their second trimester has finally graced my home after months of nausea and an overwhelming feeling of exhaustion! Since I’m now racing the clock to complete my list of “Things to Accomplish Before I Become a Milk-Producing Mombie,” I decided it was best that this time around I plan out each room and closet before tearing them apart and leaving a disaster in every square foot of our home at some point suddenly having to head out for the hospital!

I know how difficult it can be getting on and off the floor when you feel you’re at your fattest, most sluggish self. So, before you settle in on your bedroom floor and start dumping the dresser drawers and toy bins, scan over these 5 tips and take a deep breath. Or pin for later!

My goal this time around was to get rid of the most stuff as possible but, remember to keep the things we genuinely enjoy and need often. (Key word here: OFTEN.) My kids don’t need a ton of toys and yours don’t either. I promise. What’s the actual purpose of keeping that plastic elephant toy your kid never plays with? I know: For parents to find the coordinating balls under the sofa 24/7 covered in slime and cereal crumbs. #amiright?

If your kids don’t play with it, donate it.

If your husband doesn’t wear it, donate it.

If it has more stains than you can count, let it go.

If it’s the cause of unnecessary eye clutter, don’t even tell it “goodbye,” just get rid of it.

If you haven’t seen it but, also haven’t missed it in over a year, throw it out your front door immediately.

Because, you don’t need it. (…& if you haven’t needed it for this long, you sure as hell won’t need it when you have a baby attached to your hip at all times.)


When I started the nesting process last week, I decided that my biggest priority was our kitchen. It has the most unnecessary collected stuff of any room in our home and is least likely to get done after I have baby. From broken cookie cutters to plastic lids and containers that don’t fit each other, I knew there was a ton I could let go of pretty quickly here so I could move onto the next room!

I am totally in love with the bins we purchased to keep things organized! I did a ton of research on Pinterest and really stayed focused on the most efficient and realistic organizational tools for my family. Easy-to-remove lids, deep bins, and labels are what I feel fit our family best at this stage in life.


See my “Inside the Home” checklist here:


The list is pretty basic and can be used for most homes and nesting mamas! So, feel free to pin it for later or save the image to your phone!

To make sure things stay neat and tidy inside our home, I created adorable labels for my pantry and closets! Grab them for yours HERE!! (Use with a 2 inch circle punch and laminate for long-lasting results!)

Just like sympathy pains and nausea, my husband also get’s the nesting bug right alongside me! For that, I am thankful because I don’t have to complete this list myself since he’s always so determined get things done before I can even make him a list! But, if he did have one, this is what it would look like:

See my “Outside the Home” checklist here:

















10 Things No-one Tells You About That Are Essential in Your Hospital Bag, For a Better Post-Partum Stay!

This post contains affiliate links which help me fund the free + fun posts on the blog and sometimes, Friday night pizza nights!

We’ve all been there: stalking Pinterest for the best, most secretive must-haves for your hospital bag, only to find the same results each time you scroll down. You then turn to rely on friends, family,  or New-Mom Facebook groups for answers. Well, I’m here to save you from middle of the night Pinterest scrolling and sanctimommies of the Facebook world, with this single post! As a mom of 2 with a third arriving any day now, I’ve had my fair share of experience with hospital bag packing!

Congratulations mama + get ready for the best ride of your life!

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1. Pads but, not just any pads, THESE pads:

During the first 12-24 hours you’ll bleed ALOT, like more than I’m sure you’re actually picturing in your mind right now so, the adult diaper style pads the hospital supplies you with are great during that time but, afterwards when you’re not bleeding from what feels like your vagina to your butt, you might want something a little more comfortable. After two babies and a third just days away, I’ve had my fair share of pad trial and error and THESE are by far the best for medium to heavy bleeding!

2. Boy Short Underwear like these: MAMIA Women’s Seamless Stretch Boy Shorts Panties (Pack of 6)

If this is your first pregnancy, then you haven’t yet experienced the joy of mesh undies after birth. They’re great, really, if you don’t plan on moving from where you’re sitting at any time to feel a gush leak out one side. Boy shorts are AWESOME, they keep your pad in place, tightly confined to its appropriate and carefully adjusted area, and you won’t feel awkward when a nurse comes in while sitting in nothing but boy shorts and a nursing bra versus mesh undies and a pad sticking out on the side!

3. An actually COMFORTABLE nursing bra (or several). This one is my FAVE: A Pea in the Pod Full Coverage Nursing Sleep Bra

With my first, I didn’t know the absolute need for a nursing bra. Things changed when round two came. I promise you won’t regret investing in just a couple of comfortable, easy to manage nursing bras. The Pea in the Pod Nursing Sleep Bras are my personal favorite. They’re ultra soft, light weight, pull down easily, and don’t have weird clips or straps. They’re soft enough and without lining that you’ll have no worries cuddling your new babe while wearing it or sleeping in between feeding sessions.

4. A legit heating pad
You won’t regret this one. Your hospital probably has heating pads available, SOMETIMES, as long as there’s one not in use by other new moms. Even so, the heating pads they offer are okay but, ESPECIALLY if you’re on baby number 2 or after, you’ll likely want a heating pad that gets hot and stays hot. Of course not to be used when cuddling baby or feeding but, when they’re sleeping or away at the nursery, you’ll want some warm relief. The Sunbeam Heating Pad is top rated and for good reason. It’s already packed in my hospital bag and is off limits to anyone in our home until after baby is here and mama fully recovers.

5. House shoes. Not slippers, Not socks

Okay, I’m talking: easy to slide on, rubber bottoms, that your grandmother used to wear when she cleaned house or got ready in the morning. Socks, ewe unless they’re keeping your feet warm in the hospital bed. Slippers, just the same. Someone will likely come in and mop and clean your room once or twice during your stay but, if you decide to walk around the baby floor or down to get fresh air in the hospital courtyard. You’ll want the rubber bottoms.

6. Something to keep you occupied after baby arrives

There are only so many channels on the hospital’s cable network and only so many Law and Order SVU episodes you can watch before wanting to pull your hair out. Bring a book, magazines, cards, a board game for you and hubby, or something else you enjoy doing in a tiny, quiet space. *Also, snacks that can be eaten in between meals.

7. Something to help you fall asleep…
Fast! Practice meditating, bring Lavender Essential Oil and your Diffuser, your favorite pillow, anything. You’ll need it. Once things become quiet and everyone leaves you alone with your new baby for the first time since he/she has made their arrival, the exhaustion and tiredness will quickly set in and so will baby’s next feeding time or diaper change. The adrenalin will settle and your body will soon start to remind itself that it needs rest after all the work you put in for however many hours. Your team of nurses will visit periodically to make sure you’re awake and feeding your baby when it’s time, they’ll help with diaper changes and charting urine and bowel movements if they’re due, and anything else you or baby may need. So, take the time to rest when baby allows.

8. A short, light-weight robe

Don’t get something that will drag on the floor. A nice, light weight, knee-length robe will do the trick! One like THIS ONE (which I own and love) will make feedings easier without making baby hot and visits from friends and family more comfortable. Not to mention, your hospital bed is only so big, there’s no room for all the extra fabric of a long, heavy, terry cloth or fleece robe!

9. Your own towel

Have you ever stayed in a hotel with exceptional service but, hop out of the shower to a towel that only wraps halfway around your body? Well, that’s what you’ll get if you don’t bring your own. You’ll thank me for this one after your first shower post baby.

10. DISPOSABLE Breast Pads

If you produce a pretty fair amount of milk or more, you’re sure to leak…A LOT. You’ll be feeding your baby often but, some mamas are extra gifted when it comes to producing milk and have quite a bit of leakage in between feedings. Try the reusable ones at home if you desire but, during your hospital stay, the disposables will be so much easier and more convenient!

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6 Ways to Stroll with Evenflo Pivot

A huge thank you to Evenflo for gifting this stroller to our growing family in exchange for an honest review. As always, all opinions and thoughts are 100% my own.

Florida, sweet Florida!

There aren’t many places that you can spend the first weekend of March in swim trunks and flip flops and for that reason, we’re so happy to raise our babies in this sweet Sunshine State! For us, March calls for open windows, fruit picking, diving into the questionable temperatures of the pool, and renewal of our annual passes to the Central Florida Zoo!

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Over the weekend, we hopped in the car and made the short trip to visit the zoo! I’ve been dying to test drive our new Evenflo Pivot Travel System since it’s arrival and knew the zoo and all it’s terrain would be the perfect spot (even though the cheerios on the tile and our super plush shag rug did offer substantial terrain on the night of our new stroller’s unboxing).

What I really loved about pushing the Pivot around all day is the “toddler seat recline to bassinet” action. (Side note: We have a luxury brand stroller that I had to have JUST for the bassinet and to tell you the truth, the whole seat removal and replace with a bassinet and vice versa, is a TOTAL pain.) With the Pivot, there’s a lever on the back of the seat which reclines it ALL.THE.WAY. down to a bassinet. I really just can’t get over how much of a time and energy saver that is. How do you get it back into seat mode? Pull that lever and lift up. Seriously, it’s that easy! There’s a buckle on the back side of the seat to give the seat shape and keep it stable. I’ve got to give it to Evenflo for making it so easy and affordable to leave the extra bulky bassinet behind and transform your stroller from sit to sleep mode in 2 easy steps, WITHOUT the hassle of unlocking, removing, and storing a bassinet!

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Not only does the seat transform into a bassinet but, it can be unlocked and reversed for a parent-facing stroll. This was perfect while we waited in the long line to renew our membership before entering the zoo! The belly bar is easily removable and has an awesome snack tray which occupied little K with carrots and cucumbers during our wait!

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Once we got into the zoo, we just flipped the seat around and he was content all the way until he needed to exercise his bitty legs when we entered the petting area!

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Going through two toddler stages, several strollers and wagons, tons of terrain and adventure, and the constant feeding of growing boys while on the move, I think it’s safe to say that we’re pretty experienced when it comes to knowing a good push to bad push in a stroller and the severe need for a well thought-out stroller basket.

Knowing that we’d be spending our entire day at the zoo, changing from play clothes to swim suits and back again, and snacking during our visit, the large and realistically functional basket on the Pivot, was a HUGE plus. It’s super easy to get in and out of, with a large enough space for two towels, a wet bag, lunch box, and more! I can’t thank Evenflo enough for creating this stroller with such an easy to access basket! TOTAL LIFE SAVER.

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Now, let’s talk about the push!

I’ve had my fair share of stiff wheels, blow outs, terrible turns, and squeaky strolls when it comes to strollers. Five years ago, being a first time mom, I was so excited to have an over the top, drop-in, majorly bulky travel system. BIG mistake, HUGE.

Going into our second baby with a toddler on the run, I REFUSED a travel system and instead told myself I’d be a baby-wearing feign. WRONG. (I mean, I love wearing but, I’m certainly not an 80% of the time baby-wearer. Heck, I’m not even a 30% of the time wearer.) Eventually, I caved and purchased a Sit and Stand…TERRIBLE. The idea was great but, the push was so difficult that we never used it.

Now onto my third baby, with TWO toddlers CONSTANTLY on the go and a storage unit full of mom knowledge acting as my brain, it’s easy to know what works and what doesn’t in only a matter of minutes (BEFORE purchasing and exiting the store to find you’ve made a huge mistake weeks later). Even my husband can appreciate a good stroller with an easy push and after our day trip, we both agreed that Evenflo has totally nailed it with the Pivot! Each of us had a chance to push through dirt and rocks, over boardwalk trails, water covered walkways, and mulch with ease!

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We wrapped up our long day filled with tons of snacking, playing in the sun, petting and visiting our favorite animals, and test driving our newest addition and I think it’s safe to say that every one came home a happy camper!

After a little thought, hubby and I have both decided to let go of our luxury stroller (with the bassinet) and replace it’s spot in the back of the mom mobile with our new Evenflo Pivot!

Want a full list of the 6 Ways to Stroll with the Evenflo Pivot? (Of course you do, that’s why you’re here!)

  • Front Facing Carseat Drop In
  • Rear Facing Carseat Drop In
  • Outward Facing Bassinet
  • Parent Facing Bassinet
  • Front Facing Seat
  • Parent Facing Seat

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Because each system comes with a SafeMax Infant Car Seat which features an Anti-rebound bar, we can’t wait to install it in our family car to bring baby #3 home!

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10 Things to Know Before You Attend MommyCon

1. Get your rest the night before. This includes EVERYONE attending with you-mom, baby, grandma, toddlers, husbands…definitely husbands. MommyCon is FULL of amazing speakers, exhibitors, and things to do and see. Making sure to have plenty of rest the night before will only make your day, and everyone else’s ten times easier!

2. Pack lightly and definitely pack snacks. Between all of the fabulous swag and awesome must haves that you may (probably) purchase from the MommyCon shop, your hands are sure to be full. My best advice here is to pack a small backpack, preferably one with insulation for cold snacks, and only MUST haves for your day!

3. Be prepared for LOADS of info. MommyCon is really fantastic when it comes to sending all of their moms home with knowledge. You may want to bring a pen and notepad in your lightly stuffed bag!

4. Bring the littles. This event is well known for the #crunchymamasunite club. It’s a total judgement free zone equipped with activity areas for toddlers, changing stations, and a free boobing experience. No one looks twice at a breastfeeding mama or a melting toddler. Its pretty…normal and super comfortable with extra hands galore!

5. SAVE SAVE SAVE! The MommyCon Shop has tons of goodies you’ll definitely want to bring home with you so, start saving now or be prepared to “borrow” from your little one’s piggy banks!

6. Consider bringing Mom “business” Cards. Looking to meet new moms in your area with similar interests or kids the same age as yours? MommyCon is literally THE PERFECT place. Make it easier on everyone and print of some quick info cards you can pass out to your new mom BFF. Just add your name, kids ages, city, and phone number! Juggling kids, a baby in a carrier, a backpack full of swag, and a package of bunny crackers while trying to pull out your phone to add a new mom friend into your contact list isn’t easy. Show them you really want to stay connected with this easy way to stay in touch! (Print some FREE HERE!!)

7. Research the VIP sessions. VIP sessions cost more than general admission tickets and can sell out but, can definitely be worth that little extra bit! Look into the VIP sessions at your MommyCon upon registering!

8. Try to pass on the stroller or stroller share with a friend. This event brings in TONS of mamas so, space can get a little too crammed for a stroller! If you absolutely need one, see if you and a friend can share one stroller rather than bringing two and if your babe doesn’t want to walk, you’re sure to need your hands so, consider wearing instead of pushing!

9. Join YOUR MommyCon group on Facebook! There’s one for every MommyCon city! Find yours HERE. The mamas in these groups are super helpful and make it easy to carpool, stroller share, and chat before the event!

10. DON’T STRESS! MommyCon creators and staff have got their mamas covered in more ways than you’d imagine! Moms are free to breastfeed without a cover as they need, changing areas are available, there are extra hands everywhere you turn, quiet spaces are accesible, and electrical outlets are typically at your service somewhere in the event space for plugging in! You’re covered everywhere you look so, come stress free and prepared to have a really great time!


Don’t forget to check your city’s dates and save on your ticket at ANY city with this special code from me to you!


The Prego Expo: Registry Event!

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Surprise! We’re planning for baby number 3!


To celebrate, hubby and I attended The Prego Expo‘s Baby Registry event at our local Babies R Us! Filled with tons of amazing information and products, The Prego Expo‘s Registry event was a one of a kind in-store event for expecting mamas!

The Prego Expo events were founded and created by two fabulous mamas wanting to bring the best products and knowledge to new and expecting moms!

The Prego Expo’s mission is to help Parents and Pregos plan one of life’s most beautiful miracles. Whether it’s finding the right pediatrician or perfect buggy, The Prego Expo wants to show you all your options. This journey is bumpy enough, let us help!

The Prego Expo is THE leading pregnancy, parenting, and baby expo. Our expo is filled with knowledgeable well known baby brands, NEW products, health experts and lots of goodies that will assist with all your pregnancy and baby needs.

The Prego Expo is designed to help expecting, and new parents plan for the arrival of their baby. For many, planning such an important life event can be overwhelming and quite confusing. The Prego Expo strives to help you along this journey. Under one-roof you will find everything to meet your pregnancy wants and your little one’s needs. And hey, baby planning doesn’t always have to be so serious. We will have contests, a fashion show, and a ton of giveaways!”


My favorite thing about this Prego Expo event, was that it was quite smaller than the huge, super awesome, annual Prego Expo in Orlando which made it really easy to connect and learn a bit more about products one on one, some product info even STRAIGHT from the mouths of their creators! I even handed my phone number out to my local Lilebaby rep hoping to do a playdate sometime soon because I just couldn’t get enough of her! Don’t get me wrong, I will totally be attending the big expo this coming spring since it’s a must too!


Here she is!


The Prego Expo Registry Event was perfectly planned from check-in to final announcements and giveaways! Upon checking in, each mama was greeted with fantastic swag from Florida Hospital, Kiinde, Preggie Pop Drops, Dr. Brown’s, Little Toader, MAM, Ubbi, and more! Everyone was served breakfast, cake samples, and yummy samples from some of our favorite kid-worthy natural food options!


Mamas attending the event were presented with a ticket for a free massage during their time in the store and had the chance to enter into TONS of AMAZING giveaways! With a scavenger hunt in hand, everyone also had the opportunity to gain EXTRA entires into the giveaways by adding certain items from the event to their registry!

Some moms even had FREE belly casts done from one of our local doulas!


Expecting mamas also had the chance to sit one on one with a registry specialist in the store before heading over to the Ubbi and Pearhead selfie station and mingling with each of the exhibitors!


Mamas were split up into separate times for a special, super informative Q&A in small groups with some of the baby specialists from Florida Hospital! We could ask questions about pregnancy, birth, labor, and more!


Once the time came for giveaway announcements, everyone headed to the back of the store! TONS of mamas went home with FANTASTIC gifts including carseats, strollers, gift sets, and more!


We walked away with the fabulous swag from the event, new mama friends, and ended up purchasing two Diono carseats since we now need the room for three across!

We had such a fantastic time and are SO thankful to the moms who pour their heart and soul into making this event so awesome for moms to be!

Don’t miss the chance to attend The Prego Expo in Orlando Feb 2017!

Follow The Prego Expo for details and announcements!

Grab an “I’M SO PREGO” tank HERE!

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Hypnobirthing: My Experience

I know what you’re thinking, “Really? Hypnotizing me to give birth without meds?! Pass.”

Before you press that little red X up there, let me share my story with you, and you might reconsider…

When I found out I was expecting my first, I was terrified. I wasn’t afraid of the morning sickness, or becoming a mother, or even concerned about how I could love anyone more than his father. I was extremely anxious about , drum roll please, pain medication and anesthesia. Being my first pregnancy and working in a hair salon, I heard tons of stories from other women: the good, the bad, and the down right ugly. Everyone had their opinions, but the one opinion everyone had in common, was to have an epidural. Of course I didn’t want to feel the “pain” of birthing a child, but I also didn’t want myself or my son to suffer from any side effects of the medication. Come delivery day I still hadn’t decided 100% on how I would manage the “pain”.

The time came and I was quickly admitted into Labor and Delivery. 15 minutes after my arrival to triage, I was greeted by a nurse who explained to me that the Anesthesiologist was on her way up to stick three other girls, if I want the Epidural, get it now. This gave me no time to prepare, and I was afraid that if I passed on it, it wouldn’t be available to me if I wanted it. So, I did it.

The needle itself wasn’t awful. I held my nurses hand, since they have the dad’s stand a few feet away in case they pass out. I took a deep breath in and felt a small twinge in my back and it was in. Within 10 minutes, my entire chest and throat were numb and I still had feeling in my legs and left side. They had me sit straight up at a 90 degree angle for almost 2 hours and it never “dripped” into my left side. Upon 7 cm I was fully laboring and feeling every bit of it. I was hooked up to machines, being pumped full of fluids, and looked like a balloon. I was extremely uncomfortable and was having a hard time managing every contraction. I am however, thankful that I did miss out on the “ring of fire” sensation because I had the epidural, but I did feel every bit of labor on my left side.

Fast forward 2 years…

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Because of my experience with the epidural, when I found out I was expecting my second Prince Charming, I immediately opted out of pain medication. I didn’t want to risk having the same experience, if not worse, with this delivery. After taking about 6 weeks to let it set in that I was having another baby, I decided it was time to figure out how I would birth this baby the old fashioned way: non medicated, fully aware, and feeling every bit of it.

I started researching everything I could online about natural birth. I found a TON of different techniques that worked for some but not for others. Once i talked it over with hubby and got an incredible amount of support and faith, I brought up the idea of natural birthing to one of my midwives. (I went to the same practice during my first pregnancy, and hands down would recommend a midwife, well, my midwives for SURE, to anyone expecting a child…That’s a whole post worth of info though so I’ll stop there. 🙂 ) She assured me that with the right mindset, I could do it but, to prepare myself for possibly giving in to medication and that it WAS OKAY if I did. Being that this was my second birth and he was showing himself to likely be a bit smaller than his big brother, I had hope that labor and the pushing process would be shorter and slightly easier to manage. After leaving my appointment and feeling more confident in my decision, I hit the internet hard. I read more than a handful of articles about paying for hypnobirthing classes, buying DVD’s, and paying for webinar type videos online. I just couldn’t talk myself into a $300 class, when I knew all the information I needed was right at my fingertips. I scoured YouTube and watched probably more than 100 videos on natural birth, “live” births, even birthing in the middle of the woods. Every video I watched gave me a boost and made me feel even more confident that I COULD do this. I also found these INCREDIBLE short yoga sessions for free by Katy Appleton. This woman is perfection when it comes to pregnancy yoga. I will post her link below. I started doing her yoga videos once a day, and later in my pregnancy, CRAVED it. There were days I’d hit up her channel 3 times in a day! This opened up such a spiritual side to me that I never knew I had. Which leads me to, my favorite part of the hypnobirthing process, meditation! Everything I read explained to me that hypnobirthing isn’t about being hypnotized with a pocket watch to get rid of your pain, it’s about getting in touch with your body and realizing that the pain sensation you’re having, isn’t actually pain, it’s pressure. It’s a feeling that a woman’s body is meant to feel and it’s completely normal. I devoted 2 hours a day or more, to studying, and I mean studying. I was so focused on finding every method and practicing each one so when my baby’s big debut came, I’d be ready. I was spending my days practicing meditative belly dancing, yoga, bath tub meditation, and listening to my free hypnobirthing app from the App Store (this app is a MUST, I will leave the info for it below this post).

I was feeling so good and was excited to let my family in on my birth plan.

I was extremely excited to tell my family that I was going to try for a natural birth, but didn’t get the exact reaction I had planned by some. Everyone was fully supportive, but a few of my family members asked, “who are you trying to be a hero for?” , “they give medication so you don’t have to feel it, why do you want to feel the pain?” I understood where they were coming from but, I wasn’t trying to be a hero, I just wanted to do what I thought was best for my body and my baby. I honestly think that they didn’t feel confident in my decision or that I would actually follow through once the day came, which is totally understandable because I AM a big baby! Lol But, my mind was set, I was going to have this baby without medication. So, I kept on my routine and practiced my yoga and meditation everyday. I found the best time for my quick yoga sessions were in the morning upon waking, and in the evening before meditation. As for meditation, I got the most out of a session that lasted at least 45 minutes. That gave me enough time to breath, relax, and get to the point where I could let go of everything that day and just focus on my breathing and my baby. I loved meditating in the tub (at a warm, NOT HOT, temperature so you don’t hurt your baby***). It was so calming and peaceful with the lights off and a few candles lit. It was just me and my little boy. I also loved putting my meditation music on once I laid down for bed and letting it put me to sleep. I still do this and I promise it will give you your best sleep ever! The best advice I can give you on meditation, is to actually listen, I mean really listen, to the guide in your music the first few times. Once you listen to the words, you will eventually be able to kind of guide yourself and listen to meditation tracks without a speaker and it will help you understand how to get your body and mind into a trans-like state. My favorite visualization was to think about a floating ball at the end of your feet just floating above them, it can be any calming color of your choice (mine was purple and blue). Try to keep that floating ball in its place and focus on it just floating there. I know it probably doesn’t make sense reading it, but hearing it on a track was so uplifting and soothing and really helped me focus. My other favorite was to think about your body as if it’s a rose opening up. This visualization was great for labor, it really helped me focus on what my body was actually doing and why.

When I got to 34 weeks, I was hitting my studying even harder, doing yoga every single day a handful of times, and NEVER missed a night meditating in my tub or while laying in bed. I was getting nervous and afraid of not having the strength to do this. A part of me was even questioning if I did the right thing by not paying for the classes, but it was too late. I read a ton of great information about drinking red raspberry leaf tea late in your pregnancy to help open your cervix and also using clary sage oil in an infuser during labor. Once I got the “okay,” from my midwife, I was drinking 3 cups a day of red raspberry leaf tea. It wasn’t fruity, it just tastes like a non flavored hot tea. I have also heard that it’s beneficial for your cervix to take primrose oil but, I didn’t try it myself. I packed my hospital bag and included a small vile of clary sage oil and told my hubby to request a room with an essential oil infuser, a tub, and a birthing ball. I thought during my whole pregnancy that I would end up in the tub laboring like all the other women I saw on YouTube, so I was very demanding when it came to requesting a room with a tub. I also brought some battery operated candles, honey sticks, and red raspberry leaf tea bags.

At 4;15 AM on April 4, 2014, I leaned over, grabbed my phone, texted my dad to calmly shower, pack, and head over, and then woke up hubby to tell his mom that we’re ready to go. I got out of bed, used the potty, got dressed, even put on a little make up, made hubby a sandwhich, and walked out the door. Thinking back now, I am pretty sure we forgot something and had to turn around when we got up to the end of our street but, either way I made it to the hospital! We checked into triage and I had to sit with monitors for at least 25 minutes before they would give me a birthing room. This was probably the most difficult time for me honestly. I just wanted to sit on the potty lol and stand, and move but, with the band monitors I had to stay in a certain position so they would get a good reading. FINALLY, I gave them what they needed to send us to our room and once we got in, I had the lights shut off, my infuser full with clary sage oil, battery opperated candels glowing, and my meditation in my ear. A few times, I changed positions but, once I got into a spot I liked, I didn’t want to move from there. I also made my own hospital gowns for my stay which was a little more comfortable than the ones they give out and it smelled like my home instead of a thrift store. lol Believe it or not, I didn’t use a birthing ball or get into the tub but, I did have a few sips of my tea and loved not being hooked up to an IV and only needed monitoring every hour for fifteen minutes.

When I reached 8 cm a nurse came in and asked if I wanted to be checked. I did of course because I was ready to see my baby but, after a cervix check, which is already a tad uncomfortable since my cervix is always high, things can start to move along quicker. Once she was finished, she put my belly bands on and checked on the baby. I remember looking over at her and asking, “does it get harder than this?’ She legit, chuckled and said to me, verbatim, “Honey, you’re done. If you were going to want medication, you would have asked already. You’re past the point that most people give in, you’re doing this and you’re doing amazing.” I started balling. Her words just gave me more encouragement and more satisfaction that I CAN do this, I am already doing this. I’m at the worst part and it’s not even that bad! Granted, it’s not all roses and buttercups but, I did my work, and I worked hard to get to this point so that I could make it this far without the medication. I also remember commenting to my MIL that I wish I had filmed this so, I could put it on You Tube. No joke. & I even looked over at my mom a few minutes later and said to her, Mom, I’m doing this. I have no medication. I”M DOING THIS!” She couldn’t believe it and replied to me that this was the most calm and collected she had EVER seen me in my life. Those of you who personally know me, know that I have a bouncy, puppy dog type personality. 🙂 For my mom to see me so calm and cool was just my mind taking over my body in this meditated state. I loved the music I chose, and had it in my ear the ENTIRE time until my baby was born. I replayed the same song over and over again for almost 5 hours and it kept me in a safe spot in my mind. I didn’t want to change songs mid labor and would squeeze hubby’s hand when I needed a restart on the song. Believe it or not, I was even calm enough to let him venture down stairs, grab some coffee, and even let him eat breakfast in my room while I was in labor. The smell? I didn’t even notice it. I was so involved in my meditation that I could care less.

I finally reached 9 cm, and very soon after, got to 10. My water had to be broken, as it was in my first but, no big deal. My midwife came in, checked that I was at 9, felt around for my water, and simply asked me, “It’s up to you. Do you want me to break it? Do you want to have your baby now or do you want to wait a little while?” I knew I was ready so, I replied, “No, I want to see my baby. I’m ready, let’s do it.” Not even 20 minutes later and I was pushing out my beautiful little man. The only sensation that I remember actually being “painful” was the burning in my legs from pushing and I DID feel that glorious ring of fire down below during my two last pushes getting his shoulders through, which led to two pretty loud screams but, otherwise I was pretty silent and “painless” throughout my laboring and delivery. As I said before, what most people feel as pain is really just pressure and if you put the practice and work into it, as long a things go smoothly for you and your baby to be safe and healthy, you can have a painless labor without medication. I know there are skeptics and those with their experiences and opinions but, this was one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life and if I was asked I would do it all  over again the same way.

Before having little Kenedy, I also planned to keep my placenta and encapsulate it. Basically, I found the number to someone who picks up, dehydrates, grinds, and encapsulates your placenta for you within 48 hours of your baby being born. The only thing you have to do is bring a small styrofoam cooler with you to the hospital and fill it with ice. Once you deliver, warn your *help* first, they will package it up for you and place it in a cooler until the person comes to pick it up. I had a terrible recovering 8 months with Colin as far as my body goes. I was always tired, hungry, nauseous, getting small cysts in my ovaries, I was just a mess. So, when I heard about this process and that it rejuvenates all of the lost nutrients in your body, I was game. I know this may seem a little taboo but, really, it’s just like taking any other vitamin but, probably better for you since it’s from your body. Did you know we’re one of the only mammals who don’t eat our placentas after birth? Crazy right? And in a lot of other cultures it’s just a normal thing, for a lot of mothers, their placenta is their first meal after giving birth. Okay, enough of my side track, back to my story….

So, right after they burst my water, baby had a bowel movement and my midwife informed me that I may not be able to keep my placenta but, baby is healthy and it was only a little. I was terrified. I did all this hard work and the only words I heard her say are: Meconium, bowel movement, baby, might not be able to…My immediate thought was, “OMG. No, I am not having a C section. I have worked so hard, I’m almost done. No.” I asked her out loud if I was going to have a Cesarean delivery because of the baby’s little accident but she laughed and told me absolutely not! You’re ready and the baby is still healthy. He just wants out! After about 20 minutes of pushing, baby was here and I remember grabbing for him and just saying, “my baby, my baby.” He immediately latched on and had no problem looking at the world around him with his uber huge eyes and bright smile. I couldn’t believe how alert he was and pulled his head up on his own within the first few minutes of being born. Everyone in the room was amazed by him and by my experience and couldn’t believe that I had this baby with no medication. Even the nurses were discussing it among other nurses who came in to weigh and check the baby. Unfortunately, our little KK was jaundice and had to have 28 hours of phototherapy which, led to tears every time he left my side. But, today he is my healthy little bundle of patience, kindness, and big brown eyes.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to read my story. I know it may have been a little jumbled, criss crossed, and long but, please, if you are considering a natural birth for your baby, feel free to contact me at any time. I am in no way an expert on hypnobirthing to birthing in general but, I am an expert at my personal story and I know what did and didn’t work for me. The best advice I can give you is to be open. Be open to change, ideas, techniques, and to others’ advice. There are so many things I practiced that I “KNEW” I would use during my laboring process but, when it came down to it, I only used less than a handful. Also, if you have a story or similar experience you would like to share, please leave it in the comment section below for other readers to see!

These videos below helped me SO much to keep my mind right through practice! Thanks to Tracey for all of her amazing words!

Also, follow her on instagram for amazing inspirational video clips! @hypnobirthingrocks

This one is a bit GRAPHIC so, watch at your own risk 🙂 But, I love that this video shows the placenta and the baby’s sac! It’s amazing!!