Thursday, December 1, 2016

25 Days of Thankmas

25 Days of Thankmas

So last night we were home, making dinner doing the normal week day shuffle when our door bell rang. Chase went to the door to see who it was and no one was there, but we had a gift bag on the door with this note 


Such a small and random thing, but it affected me profoundly. In this day and age, when most people don't even know their neighbors, I found it incredibly heart-warming to know that there are still people out there willing to take time out of their busy lives to do something with the express purpose of spreading a little joy and holiday spirit. It inspired me. This year we will be starting what I hope will become a new tradition for our family. I have concocted a list based on several lists I found on different web sites and blogs of little kindnesses and ways that we can spread some joy and holiday spirit. I invite you to join us and either use our list or make your own. What better time to show people we know and those that we don't some extra appreciation and love. 
                                                    Inspired and Festive AF,
                                                              Thornton Family


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Post-Pregnancy Faves

Aaahhh Post Pregnancy...I have been really excited to write this post for a couple reasons. One reason is that I just had my daughter (my first) 6 months ago, so this is all still really fresh in my mind. The other reason is that I feel as though I have a pretty good arsenal of post-pregnancy tools that I would love to share with other future/new moms out there. These "tools" are a result of polling friends who have recently gone through pregnancies (thank you girls!) and me reading and reading and researching and reading some more while I was pregnant. It's weird but it's like a hobby/relaxation method for me. For me, it was like, "Ok, we are gonna push a tiny body out of this body sometime in the near future, we better start reading everything under the sun that is pertinent, and well some stuff that isn't." :) Without further ado, here are my must have, save your butt, your lady parts, your money, time and sanity post prego faves. Printable List.

Ok, lets start with immediately post pregnancy, as in you're laying there looking at your minutes old, perfect little mini, and your body hasn't even had time to change the sheets and put the "vacancy" sign out yet (insert shocked face emoji) 
1) The Hoo Ha Trifecta (dermaplast, witch hazel pads and some kind of ice pack) Seriously, I just amazon-ed "post partum ice pack" so I could give you guys a link, and found Vagi-Kool.....whhhhaaaaaaa...I definitely did not have this, but it looks pretty cool (no pun intended) and judging by the reviews, pretty legit. Your hospital will probably provide you with all of these things, but if I were you, I would have a little stash at home, just in case you run out. You don't want to run out! All of these things will seriously help soothe your sore nether regions after the trauma that is childbirth. If you didn't suffer any "trauma" well then I hate you and leave this blog! Just kidding, I am hoping to join your elite club the next go-around. This post will show you how to assemble the "Undie Sundae." Click the link, I dare you not to :) Oh, and make sure you take a peri-bottle home with you, it will be your best friend. 

2) Next up is a pumping bra. This is assuming you have a breast pump. If you don't have one, you need one! If you ever want to sleep again, or leave the house, you need one! I was able to get the Medela Pump in Style Advanced through our insurance for free (score!) and I highly recommend it. Also, get some spare pump parts. I bought these from amazon and haven't had any issues with them. While you're at it, make sure you get a car converter and/or a battery pack for your pump as well, it will definitely come in handy. Back to the fave at hand, the pumping bra, I bought this one, and people, this thing is worth every penny, in fact it's worth its weight in gold, it is gold, rose gold, or whatever your favorite gold is! Seriously, I can't really describe how annoying it is to have to hold the breast pump parts to your body for 15 minutes. It sounds very diva-ish but it's true. Inevitably, the minute you start, you will have a hair in your eye, or your nose will itch, and then 15 minutes suddenly becomes the 15 minutes you experience at the DMV or tax collectors office, might as well be days!  Add to that, if you're like me, and you like to multi-task, like say blogging and pumping at the same time ;) You can do it with this bra! Get it, just trust me!

3) Nipple Butter: This one probably should have gone with the first items, but oh well I am feelin spunky. You can certainly use the lanolin you will get from the hospital, and I did for the first little while, but then I got turned on to this stuff, and to me it's superior to lanolin for a few reasons. If you don't know what lanolin is, read up, it's disgusting! Now don't get all pissy if you're team lanolin, it does work and it's sort of natural, but once I figured out exactly what it is, I was a tad skeeved so I did some reading and found the Earth Mama Angel baby nipple butter, and I really liked it. It smells like chocolate, is completely natural and is really really soothing to sore and sad nipples. It doesn't have to be wiped off which is huge, because if you're trying to heal your nipples, the last thing you're gonna feel like doing is wiping thick goo off of them before feeding your baby. Plus, Norah never had chapped lips when I used this stuff. 

4) Nursing Bra: Ok so this post is all kinds of out of order, but it's my post and I'll be willy nilly if I want :) I bought a few of these nursing bra's and they are great! Comfy, convenient and if you buy a black one, you can try to call it sexy. Hey, I said you can try....

5) Stool Softener: Yea so this just got real, real gross. Until you've tried to go numero dos after delivering vaginally, you don't know what scary is. IT IS SCARY AND WEIRD. These bad boys just make sure it's not scary, weird and super painful. 

6) Comfy yoga pants: Your comfiest, lounge around the house pants. Buy like 3 more pair of these, you will live in them and your sore tush will thank you.

7) Nursing tanks: I lived in these things, they are comfortable, convenient and layerable for when your hormones are making you do the hot/cold Katy Perry thing.

 8) Breast Milk Test Strips: I bought a box of these and was glad I did. Not that I was out doing keg stands but a beer here and there is really nice when your whole body is sore and you're severely sleep deprived. Knowing you're not giving your baby milk with alcohol is nice too, I kid, it's a no brainer!

9) Pumping bag: This was a bit of a splurge for me, but if you're heading back to work and can swing it, I think it's a must have. This bag in particular can hold not only your pumping necessities, it can also hold other daily items you may need to transport to and from work.

10) Breast milk storage bags: This is an obvious but necessary item. It's the treasure chest for your liquid gold. Get lots of them.

11) Nightgowns: These ones from target are perfect because they are supportive and yet light and comfortable.

12) Waterproof Mattress Protector: Now this one I probably should have included in the 2nd and 3rd Trimester Faves because originally we got one in case my water broke while I was in bed, but I think this its also a post prego must have because when you come home from the hospital you will be bleeding..a lot..like Halloween murder scene kind of bleeding, and you don't want to ruin your mattress. It is also good for the baby accidents that can and will happen.

13) Body Pillow: I did include this one in my 2nd and 3rd trimster faves post, and it also applies to the post pregnancy sitch because you will be sore and your body is gonna feel weird, I don't know how to describe, but it just does, and a nice body pillow will help you get comfortable at night. Who am I kidding...you won't be sleeping.....it is nice to lean against when you're breast feeding though.

13) SAMS or Costco Membership: Where else can you go when you need diapers and wipes in the 24,000 pack? If you're cloth diapering, you will need the 24,000 gallon container of detergent so it's universally necessary.

Hopefully this list is helpful to you momma's out there, getting ready to join this crazy, scary, amazing club! I would love to hear of any other items that were "must-have" things for you. Happy Hump Day!
A.

Here is a handy printable list






Friday, June 3, 2016

Friday Stink Eye..That is all....

Sometimes you just gotta give friday the "Where have you been all week" stink eye....Norah does it reeeaalllly well :)

2nd & 3rd Trimester Faves

Hello and happy Friday all!

Well by now you have waited, celebrated, puked and now you're sailing into the "honeymoon" trimester, formally known as the second trimester. Here are my 2nd and 3rd trimester faves...

These are all repeats that I mentioned in the "pre-pregnancy and first trimester faves," so if you want more info check out those posts. 

Repeat Faves: Water (drink lots!) prenatal vitamins, probiotics, DHAlotion. Those are all pretty straight forward and I just kept up with that little routine throughout my whole pregnancy and even after. 

1) Let's talk clothes....Now this might just be me, but once I got past the "am I just extra bloated and chubby or am I pregnant"  phase and really started showing, my motto was the tighter the better! :) It's the one time in a woman's life when having a belly is celebrated so why not live it up? 

-H&M- I love their maternity clothes! Chase and I went on vacation to St. Augustine and stopped at an outlet on the way that happened to have an H&M, and to my ultimate shock, they actually carried some maternity clothes in the store rather than only on their website. I bought a few of these t-shirts and they were definite staples for me. Soft, light, comfy and affordable! I also bought a dress that looks pretty much exactly like this, it was just in a different print. Fit perfectly and again was just very comfortable which is the name of the game in these next months. 

-Old navy- So if you ask any close friends or family members they will tell you that I wore these leggings ALL. TIME. TIME. They are cheap, comfortable, they match everything and if you're like me and you're absolutely anti wearing pj's in public, you will feel like such a rebel, because lets face it, these might as well be pj's. Also, their tank tops and t-shirts are cheap and comfortable as well. 

-Pink Blush Maternity- I'm not gonna post the exact items I bought from here because I doubt they still have the same exact things, but I will say that I bought a semi-flowy kimono like this one, and got lots of compliments on it. Bonus, I still wear it all the time! Bottom line, they have good prices and cute clothes.

-Macy's- I don't typically shop here, but I had a gift card and ended up finding maternity jeans that I loved, I believe they were these. Usually, they have pretty good deals going on, like buy one get one 50% off which is nice too. I never did end up buying any, but I heard nothing but good things about the Jessica Simpson brand jeans. 

-Rainbow flip flops- So not clothes per say, but I wore my good old rainbows more than any other shoe when I was pregnant and they never let me down. Always comfortable even when my feet would get swollen towards the end. Had to give them a proper shout out ;)

2) Mocktails! So when everyone is drinking their margarita's and cosmos (who actually drinks these??!) and you're just sitting there drinking your water like the good little prego you are, well it pretty much blows, so Chase came up with a mocktail for me and as stupid as it sounds, it did make me feel like I was having a nice refreshing little cocktail, sans alcohol. Here is the very complex and detailed recipe:

 1 super cute rocks glass like this
appx 8 oz ginger ale (i preferred top shelf, Vernors)
2-3 lime wedges squeezed and thrown in
1 oz imaginary vodka

There you have it! Mocktail bliss. It's all in the attitude and effort :)

3) Pre-natal Massage: My amazing in-laws bought me a gift card for a pre-natal massage, and it was UH-MOZ-ZING! Not much to say here other than if you can swing it, or you have really great in-laws, then definitely do it. Worth mentioning: you obviously can't lay on your stomach so that means you can't get the glorious back part of the massage.....unless......they have this! (or something like it) Luckily the spa I went to did and it was the most awkwardly terrific thing in the world, I still got to have all that good back action and got to lay on my stomach for the first time in months. Worth finding out if wherever you plan to go has one, trust me on this. 

4) Body pillow: Yea Yea I know whats the point of mentioning this one, when I am sure you've heard it all before...Pregnancy=body pillow! Haha but seriously it is something that you just need, just like that damned little boppy (another story for another day) Just stop being anti-mainstream and go buy a body pillow, you will be happy you did, and so will your sore and tired groin! ha! ps: If you're like me and you feel the need to literally nest, buy two!

5) Heating pad of some kind. My mom sews these awesome little rice bags that you microwave, and it was perfect for the days when work kicked my ass and I needed some TLC. 

6) This book. Read it and die laughing like I did. 

There you have it, my faves for the last leg of your pregnancy. If you haven't already checked out my "pre-pregnancy and first trimester faves," check them out, it's good stuff people! Next will be the post I am most looking forward to, which is the post-pregnancy faves. Lot's of good stuff to come with that one. 
Have a fantastic weekend! 
A. 












Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

First Trimester Faves



TGIT That's right, Thank God it's Tuesday (and not Monday) Got the weirdest feeling this morning, maybe it was just me, but it felt a tad crisp and chilly and I couldn't help but get that giddy feeling I experience when fall is here. Weird since it's May in Florida.....Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I have already started mentally planning Norah's 1st birthday which is in December. I'm crazy I know! Well anywho, on to the task at hand, which is "First Trimester Faves."


First Trimester Faves

1) Prenatal Vitamins: I already mentioned these in my "Pre-Pregnancy Faves," but if you didn't catch that post, I used these vitamins, and loved them. No nausea if you take them on an empty stomach because they are whole food. Worth mentioning too because they also have ingredients that are supposed to help with morning sickness. I was fortunate enough not to experience this, but I'm sure anyone who has can attest to the fact that anything that will help alleviate those symptoms is worth a shot. 

2) Prenatal DHA and Probiotics: I took these specifically (DHA / Probiotics) It does get pricey taking these two and the prenatal I mentioned above, but to me it was a priority, so I just tried to be frugal in other areas, like less expensive maternity clothes and used (washable) baby items. There are many benefits to taking DHA, the most important being healthy fetal brain development. This specific brand also adds vitamin D for bone and mood support, which I liked. Oh probiotics, I could get on a major soap box here and go on and on about how I feel like everyone should be taking these, but instead I will just tell you that since I have been faithfully taking them I honestly can't remember the last time I got sick (and I work in a medical clinic) and that it drastically helped my reflux. If you're interested in learning more about probiotics in general, this podcast is really what got me on the probiotic bandwagon. For pregnancy though, it's extremely important to have a healthy gut, because when your baby passes through the birth canal, he or she will acquire their gut bacteria from you. If you wanna dig deeper into that, this is a great article. If you read that last sentence, and you were thinking, "What about babies that are born via c-section?" Then you should definitely read this, it might seem strange at first but, to me it is such an amazing medical advancement. OK done and moving on!


3) Ginger Tea: As I said above, I was very very fortunate and didn't experience any "morning sickness," but things did get a little weird. I felt overly full after a lot of meals and digestion wise I just didn't feel my normal self during most of my first trimester. Ginger tea really helped sort of ease the weirdness for me. Not that is really matters, but this is the type of ginger tea that I like, it has the strongest flavor, which for some might very well be a deterrent. Luckily I already liked the taste of ginger pre-pregnancy, and during pregnancy, it became a weird craving, so it didn't feel so much like I was taking this as a remedy as it did a little cup of tangy, stomach-settling goodness. It works I promise. 

4) What to Expect App: Not much to say here other than if you wanna know type of fruit or vegetable your baby's size is comparable to, this is your jam. There are a lot of other cool features to this app, and even 5 months postpartum I find this app pretty useful. 

5) Water and more water: I like water, there it is, I just do. I know a lot of people who just don't, and that's fine, but it is soooooo important during and after pregnancy (and all the time really). I don't know if this was just something that happened to me, or if it's universal, but when I quit drinking soda (for the most part), I started craving water, so maybe if you're a soda drinker, try kicking it and seeing if your body starts wanting more water naturally? If not, then just get a big old water bottle, close your eyes, pretend you're in the Sahara and get drinking! Your body will thank you ;)

That's it for my 1st Trimester Faves, if you liked it, then keep an eye out for the next post, "My Second and Third Trimester Faves," which is coming soon. Click here if you missed my "Pre-Pregnancy Faves." Have a great week everyone!



Friday, May 20, 2016

My Pre-Pregnancy Faves

Happy Friday 
And on that note...


I was originally just going to make a master list of all the things I found extremely helpful/useful before, during and after pregnancy so that when/if Chase and I decide to make it a party of four, I can just dig it up and prepare for the craziness, but I figured why not share it so that maybe it will be of use to someone else.

Now, as we all know, if you are brave enough to google anything pregnancy related, you're going to get 1,000,000,000,000,365,657 results, that exact number. If you're brave enough to pinterest it, leave this blog now, we aren't from the same tribe. Just kidding, but with that in mind, I am going to do separate lists for the before, during and after, and I am really going to try and keep it to the items that were my absolute had to have favorites. So stay tuned to the blog for the other lists. 

Pre-Pregnancy Faves:

1) Prenatal Vitamins: This is a definite pre-pregnancy item, because if you're getting 400mcg of folic acid at least a month before you conceive and during your first trimester, you decrease the risk of neural tube (brain) defects by 50-70% I used these, and loved them! They are whole food, so you can take them on an empty stomach and it doesn't make you feel sick. I never got morning sickness, and I don't necessarily think it's because of this vitamin, but I am sure it didn't hurt.


2) Pregnancy Test Strips: I bought these Wondfo Pregnancy Test Strips on amazon, and I am really glad I did. If you're anything like me, once you begin trying to get pregnant, you will pee on anything that resembles a test, you will do it often and with fervor! Ha! Ladies we get crazy during this time, especially if it's the first time, so why spend tons of money on the schmancies (fancy digital preg tests) when you can buy 25 of these for $12? It's what they used in the ER when I worked at the hospital, so if it's good enough for them, it's good enough for me. They are very sensitive and accurate in my own experience. Once you get a positive one, then go buy yourself a schmancy so you can actually read the word "pregnant" or "yes" or "your life is over as you know it" (kidding on the last one) in black and white and have "the moment" with your significant other. Also if you buy these you will need these.

3) Lotion: I am a big fan of using lotion all the time, but especially now when your skin is about to be put through hell it is very important to keep it moisturized and supple (I hate both of these words) Once I knew I was pregnant I went out and bought the Burts Mama Bee Belly Butter, but for some reason it irritated the crap out of my skin, so I ended up buying this lotion, and using it religiously throughout my entire pregnancy. I got out of it with only some pretty minor stretch marks below my belly button. I think if you're gonna get them, you're gonna get them, but I am sure lotion can help control some of the damage.


4) Alcohol: Don't get your panties in a twist on this one. In general you should probably decrease the amount of alcohol you consume while trying to conceive, but if you enjoy a beer on Friday to close out a long week, then seriously savor that beer, or you like a little margarita action, drink it like it's your last, it could be, for a long time! 

5) This isn't a fave but it occurred to me while I was writing this. If you have issues with your thyroid, get them under control before you get pregnant if possible. I have hypothyroidism, and take medication for it, and my first OB visit, that's something they asked me about, fortunately I keep up with it, but apparently it's something that can affect your pregnancy if it's not under control. 

That's it for the pre-pregnancy faves, keep an eye out for my next post about "First Trimester Faves."