Happy Harry Potter 2017 Kick Off Giveaway

It's time once again for my most favorite two weeks of the year: my Happy Harry Potter series! This is the time where I convince my wizard loving friends to get geeky and create brand new Harry Potter tutorials, party ideas, book lists, recipes and more.

Harry Potter gift ideas. Great Christmas and birthday presents for Harry Potter fans

We have an amazing line up this year but before we get to all the new DIY Harry Potter ideas I've got a fabulous giveaway for you. This is full of must have gift ideas for Harry Potter fans of all ages! To enter scroll to the bottom of this post and remember to check in every day since we'll have new ways to enter added through the next two weeks! We're starting off with a $50 Amazon Gift card because well there's so much amazing HP stuff out there these days that I want you to be able to pick! Whether you are waiting for the Illustrated Prisoner of Azkaban, or maybe you want your very own Harry Potter bathing suit, or just a Potter trivia to play while on the go there is something fun for everyone. Harry Potter swag fun Make Love Not Horcruxes bag and Hogwarts House necklaces Next I'm giving away one of my Make Love Not Horcruxes Totes and a Hogwarts Tie Necklace. For the necklace you can pick which Hogwarts House you want and I'll make sure to make one in the colors that corresponds to your house!

cratejoy fandom subscription boxes make amazingly thoughtful presents

On Wednesday I'll be sharing one of my favorite gift ideas for Harry Potter fans: fandom subscription boxes! Because what is better than a monthly surprise on your doorstep. Whether it's book related or full on Harry Potter focused CrateJoy subscription boxes have LOADS of fun option that would delight Potter fans. I'll be unboxing a bunch of them live on my Facebook page and picking some of the contents to send to the giveaway winner!

alohomora harry potter printable

I firmly believe every Harry Potter fan needs some nod towards the magic in their homes. What better way to do that than with some Wizarding art? Here are four amazing Harry Potter Printables to chose from and the lucky winner doesn't even have to choose how about that for fun.

The Unofficial Guide to Crafting the World of Harry Potter by jamie Harrington

Did you know there is a whole craft book just for Potterheads? Jamie Harrington's The Unofficial Guide to Crafting the World of Harry Potter is fun and perfect for tweens to do on their own or pick a craft as a family and bond over crafty magical love. This is one of my favorite gifts for new Potter lovers because it's so fun, not sized and kind of unique!

Hogwarts School Quilt for Harry Potter Fans

And last and definitely the most awesome, the winner will receive a Harry Potter quilt from our vary own Polly. You have probably drooled over her quilt for years, I know I have. She is generously giving away one of her amazing Hogwarts Houses quilts! SO gorgeous. Too bad I can't enter I'm gonna be crazy jealous of the winner that's for sure! And if you are a quilter be sure to check out her amazing quilt patterns.

unique must have gifts harry potter fans

Enter to win this amazing prize pack by using the widget below or click here if the widget isn't loading. Make sure to check back as new ways to enter will be added throughout the series! a Rafflecopter giveaway This year's Happy Harry Potter giveaway winner will give a fun package including:  

Do I Need an Interactive Harry Potter Wand?

When I didn't think they could make the Wizarding World of Harry Potter any better they go and completely blow my mind with the extension and interactive Harry Potter wands!

great tips on wizarding world of harry potter wands

You know how we've ALL practiced Wingardiun Leviosa? Well picture that but you actually see the the feather floating into the air after you swish and flick. But really you can see it in my video below! Universal Orlando was seriously my happy place before but guys the interactive wands are a game changer.

great resource on wands and universal vactions

Are the Wands at Universal Worth It?

But you might be wondering, are the wands actually worth the cost? And to that I say a resounding YES. Last year when I went to Universal Studios Orlando with my family we all got wands. And I brought mine back with me this year. There was just something magical about having our own wizarding right hands. But it's not just a wonderful souvenir of a great vacation, we were immediate able to USE the wands to magnify our fun. Do the wand ceremony in Olivander's it's WAY fun and really cute.
 

What Do the Wands Do?

You see all around the Wizarding World both in Hogesmede and in Diagon Alley there are medallions on the floor. These let  you know that it is a spot to cast a charm. Engraved on the medallions are the incantation to use as well as directions for how to move your wand. The exact position and speed can take some practice but once you get it you can watch your spell change things. Also there are some secret ones that you can find (ask the staff if you need clues of where to look). For Harry Potter fans young and old it's worth while to carve out a chunk of the day to go to each spot and casts the spells. It's super fun. One of the best things about the Wizarding World is the 360 degree angles of awesomeness. EVERYWHERE you look, in every direction, your immersed in the magic. And when you add the wands to the mix you all of a sudden become an active participant.

Can't make it to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter right now. No worries tour it through pictures while you get excited for when you can really be there!

I've said it before but the attention to detail is incredible and each of the magical displays show different fun scenes and peeks into the world so many of us have brought into our hearts through the books and movies. If you have not had the honor of visiting the Wizarding World at Universal Orlando I'm telling you it's worth saving up for. 100% guys make it happen. For a bit of eye candy you can see my photo tour of the Wizarding World and if you want a video tour check out my videos I took while walking through Diagon Alley and Hogsmede on my most recent trip. It really is amazing.

all about wands at the wizarding world of harry potter

Which Wand Should You Get?

Now you might be curious about some muggle facts about the wands. The wands are stunning and there are a variety of styles and sizes. You can buy the wands styled after those that your favorite characters carried. I think my favorite character wands is Luna's SOOOO pretty. In addition to charter wands there are generic ones. Generic in the sense that they aren't styled or attached to a witch or wizard from the stories. I opted for one of those. I just felt like it was more MY WAND that way. But they are all special in their own ways. While we all know that the wand choses the wizard and all you might want to consider the size of your want when you purchase it. Remember you'll be carrying them around the park when you're not using them and if you're like me you'll want to lug the protective box it comes with just "in case". I picked out a wand I loved but it happened to be one of the longer ones and it was definitely trickier to fit into the lockers with the rest of my stuff when I was going on the roller coasters. A few times I had to get two lockers. On this last trip I was gifted with one of the smaller wands and that was so much easier to carry around and stash when I was ready to ride. Just something to keep in mind.

must read guide to interactive wands at universal

I would encourage you as you are planning for your trip to the Wizarding World make sure to work into your budget buying the wands even if your whole family shares one it will make the magic even more real and memorable. There's just something so fun about casting the charms yourself and working together as a family to see what the different spells do.

cabana bay beach resort

I feel like the most blessed girl ever to have been hosted on this last trip. It was the best mix of work and pleasure. We spent the first half of the days talking shop while working at the gorgeous retro Cabana Bay Beach Resort which made me feel like I was transported straight into the Jetsons cartoon world.  As a perk for staying in a park hotel we got park passes with early admission. It was so awesome to have such a comfy place to come back and crash at after our jammed packed afternoon and evenings in the park and at City Walk. I think I'll have to write a whole post about this place because it was so cute and I can't wait to go back!

Squatty Potty Unicorn gold

I brought home my very first Squatty Potty which I didn't even know I needed (but now we can't imagine living without!) as well as unicorn gold which I'll be giving to all the men for Father's Day. The stuff is seriously magic. Every time we use a public bathroom now Teddy tells me I should buy a bottle for them and just leave it there hahahaha. We got to drive around in style thanks to the folks at Kia. And my oh my was that a snazzy ride! And of course I am so grateful to have gone with such an amazing bunch of blogger friends who thankfully loved Harry Potter as much as I did and never rushed me through the magic.

Best resource for all things Harry Potter! Party ideas, tutorials, printables, sewing projects, recipes, book lists, shirts and so much more

Want More Harry Potter? Check out ALL my Harry Potter crafts, recipes, book lists, and more. I literally have hundreds!

These all look so good. THings to remember to try on vacation at universal studios and the wizarding world of harry potter

Need to know what to eat on your next trip? I've got you covered, my foodie family ate so much yumminess when we visited  Universal Orlando and I took tons of pictures and shared the lowdown of the best places to eat at Universal Orlando!

Graduation Gifts and Block Party!

Graduation season is on the way again! After YEARS and YEARS of effort, it's so fun to celebrate the achievement of graduates, big and small. I've gathered up these ideas to help savor the moment by putting a little of ourselves and our craftiness into the moment.

DIY-Graduation

Graduation Cupcakes

Free Printable Graduation Card

Book Cushions

May the Odds Keychain

Happy Day Art

Free Printable Graduation Card

Treat Bag Toppers

Graduation Subway Art

Pretzel Pops

Photo Wheel

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12 St. Patrick’s Day Recipes and Block Party

Welcome to this week's linky party! I've already started gathering ideas for a fun family meal on March 17 - and these St. Patrick's Day recipes are colorful, delicious and will cover breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and beverages!
12 Delicious St. Patrick's Day Recipes
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16 Projects to Brighten Your Day and Block Party

Looking for something to brighten up things up or add a little pick-me-up to your day? Well here are a bunch of fun ideas. Fabulous crafting tutorials and recipes to brighten your day

I'm growing tired of the cold Winter over here in Salt Lake so I picked some great projects to brighten life up a bit!

Rainbow Princess Dress | DIY Astronaut Boots | Dog Collar Slip Cover | Angry Birds Yard Game

Scrabble Coasters | Monster Quilt | Hard Lotion Bars | Five Rubber Ducky Games

Crochet Fox | Cinnamon Chip Biscotti | Summer Sausage Skewers | Bunt Pan Wreath

Rainbow Cauliflower Pizza

Raspberry Poke Cake | Hulk Cake Pops | Fabric Strip Rag QuiltRainbow Cauliflower Pizza

Rae Gun guest posting picture Marissa here from Rae Gun Ramblings. I hope your 2017 has been off to a great start. Here are a few of my favorite posts since last time I was host.

we love this and make it all the time so fast great for weeknight meals butter chicken indian curry recipe

This Pressure Cooker Butter Chicken Recipe is so good and easy we made it twice last week haha.

MUST Read books of 2016

Want to read more this year? See all the books I read and loved in 2016.

awesome lemony snicket necklace tutorials

The easiest way to bottle cap necklaces plus a bunch of awesome reading inspired quotes!

Now let’s see what YOU have been up to. Link up to the Block Party and be featured on all four blogs!

Bite Size Biggie | Rae Gun Ramblings | Keeping it Simple Crafts| Pieces By Polly

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Most Popular Sewing Tutorials and Easy Recipes

As each year comes to a close I love looking back to see what parenting tips, sewing tutorials and easy recipes resonated most over the last year.

These are tried and true the most popular and most pinned sewing tutorials, easy recipes and awesome mom hacks

Here are my top 10 recipes, crafts, book geek posts, and mom hacks that I shared in 2016. These were the posts that garnered the most visits and pins that I wrote in 2016.

This guacamole recipe is so good I've made it the last 3 weekends! Perfect party food or game day dip.

World's Best Guacamole Recipe I have actually been making this guacamole recipe for AGES. It's my friend Jana's fabulous recipe. It's full of freshness and delicious avocado flavor with one little trick that makes it really special!

Crazy huge collection of unique and original Harry Potter craft tutorials, recipes, book lists and more. So many magical projects.

50 Magical Harry Potter Projects I'm thrilled to see that this year's Happy Harry Potter series round up made the list. After all the annual series is my favorite two weeks of the whole blogging year since I convinces loads of friends to share tutorials, recipes, party ideas, book lists and any number of other awesome Harry Potter happiness. This year was filled with so many fantastic Harry Potter projects!

Just used this great sewing tutorial. Perfect for beginners or anyone wanting to sew reversible placemats FAST. Easy great home decor project. Will make more.

15 Minute Reversible Placements Tutorial This simple home decor tutorial is actually a project that my nieces (ages 7 and 8 at the time) did. It's THAT easy. I think the versitile-ness and speed of this project is really what made it a winner. That and the fact that it's totally functional, we use our placemats ALL THE TIME.

Such an interesting idea for bra fittings. Great for after breastfeeding and weight loss.

Secret Trick to Bra Shopping After Nursing (or really whenever) I am so happy I discovered this non-traditional bra shopping method. I really do love these bras and when you add in the complication of changing size after nursing and the crazy life of toddler-momhood I really don't plan on going back to traditional bra shopping ummm ever!

Yes! Why don't people tell you about this. Makes sewing so many things WAY easier. from Rae Gun Ramblings

Must Have Sewing Tool You Didn't Know You Needed I love this gadget so so much. I had no idea that this inexpensive sewing tool existed until just a few years ago. You'll see why I call it my magic wand. I seriously use it in almost all my sewing projects and it really makes for fast and easy work out of some of the most tedious and annoying sewing tasks!

These are spot on! Why didn't anyone tell me these things with my first baby? Helpful things to know as a first time mom (or dad).

10 More Things No One Tells First Time Moms and Dads My Tips that No One Tells First Time Moms post has been one of my most popular posts since I wrote it. I've been meaning to write a follow up for ages now and it seems like people like this one just as much. It's funny how there are these HUGE things people just forget to tell you when you head down the mommy (or daddy) road. No worries I wrote them down so I don't have to rely on my mom brain to remember ;)

I want to sew all of them. So many great sewing patterns for women. Great DIY fashion

Awesome Must Sew Patterns for Women I love a good sewing pattern and with m Sew Our Stash series it's fun to round up some great sources and inspiration. This post has 12  fabulous and flattering sewing patterns for women. I can't wait to finish making them all!

I do this all the time now. Easy way to make sizing flexible for growing kids, weight and weight fluctuating adults. I made some dresses before I was pregnant that I was able to wear through my pregnancy great idea for maternity sewing. Easy tutorial for inserting an elastic panel into any dress pattern.

Elastic Back Panel Tutorial I have been doing this little elastic back panel trick to my dresses (and the dresses I make for the nieces) for years. It makes even garments made from woven (non-stretchy) fabric have some wiggle room plus it gives an extra level of comfort while allowing the same tailored fit. It's so easy I'm sure you'll love using this little trick instead of zippers and buttons.

So many great shirts for Harry Potter fans. Adult and baby shirts great for gifts.

11 Must Have Harry Potter Shirts I love a good geeky shirt and even more so if it's a geeky Harry Potter shirt. Here are some of my favorite Harry Potter tops for every member of the family. These are perfect for just your normal geeky fun or wearing to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

This is a keeper. Made it tonight and it's SO good. One pot zucchini noodle (zoodle) creamy pesto shrimp recipe. Fast so it's perfect for healthy light weekday dinners and tastes great.

20 Minute Creamy Shrimp and Pesto Zoodles And last but not least let's not forget to eat our veggies! My go to zoodle (zucchini noodles) recipe is a combo of crazy fast and easy and delicious. The creamy flavor is comfort food in a healthy package. I am NOT a health food eater so if I say it's tasty it is. If you haven't tried zoodles yet you should and this is a super yummy way to have them! What to See the Most Popular Posts from Past Years?

Top Gifts for Sewing Enthusiasts from Scissors to Cricut

sponsored-affiliate-disclosure Do you know someone loves to sew? I know sometimes when you don't share someone's hobby you don't know what exactly to get them as a gift. No worries, this sewing girl is happy help you pick the BEST gifts for Sewing Enthusiasts.

So many great gifts that sewing people will love. Great crafty gift guide.

The best part is that if our recipient already has some of these items they will welcome duplicates. As for the big ticket items, it's really easy for you to know if they already have one or not. I know sometimes that can be tricky when you want to surprise someone.

Awesome things to buy for sewing fans like this serger and more.

Embroidery Scissors I LOVE embroidery scissors I think they are so useful and they come in loads of different styles and designs. I'm a firm believer that a seamstress can never have too many embroidery scissors. These darling bunny scissors are my favorite for cute factor, I love these gold bird ones because they work so darn well and they just look fancy, and although they aren't technically embroidery scissors I have a warm place in my heart for nippers (they do the same job). These range in prices but they can be as inexpensive as just a few bucks so they make a fabulous stocking stuffer or gift for someone who just needs a little something (or maybe to add in with a gift card or bigger gift).

Cute easy girlfriend gift idea. Mason Jar pin cushion. Tutorial at Rae Gun Ramblings

Mason Jar Pin Cushion If you're feeling creative I have a tutorial for these cute Mason Jar Pin Cushions that my friends love. I actually got my first as a gift from a friend she gave it to me filled with all kinds of cute buttons! You can gift it empty or throw in a few tidbits and treats. All you need is a mason jar, fabric scrap, and some craft glue it's really a very simple project that will be very appreciated by your sewing friend.

Lots of unexpected gifts for sewing enthusiast like this Cricut Explore Air

Cricut Explore People don't normally think of Cricut cutting machines as sewing tools but I use my Cricut Explore Air 2 all the time in my sewing projects. Most people don't realize that you can actually cut fabric (in addition to paper, vinyl, leather and all kinds of other stuff) on the Cricut. It's great for making appliques and adding other embellishments to handmade items. I love that I can design my own images and upload them for free and then cut them out to put on my sewing projects. I can't even count the number of fun Geeky clothing I've made that I wouldn't have been able to find in stores. In addition to actually cutting fabric you can cut iron-on vinyl which is my favvvvvvvoooorite for sprucing up sewing projects. See below for more details on that. I feel like a Cricut is something that may not even be on the radar for many sewing girls so it would be a really fun surprise but make sure to send them my way and show them all my Cricut related sewing project so they don't thing you just got them a 'scrapbooking' tool. While it may open up tons of other crafting doors for them too (I don't really do paper crafting but I use mine for all kinds of stuff) you want them to know it's perfect for supplementing the hobby they already love!

How to make custom vinyl iron-ons - Rae Gun Ramblings #cricut #craft #diy

Iron-On Vinyl So like I said above, Iron-on vinyl (also called heat transfer vinyl) is seriously my favorite craft supply ever. You uses it with a cutting machine like the Cricut explore although I guess you technically can cut it out with an exacto knife and a really steady hand but that would be kind of labor intensive and frustrating (not to mention hand cramp inducing). You can see some of my favorite projects above where I've used Iron-On vinyl. What makes it great for a sew-er is that it basically gives you the ability to easily and quickly make your own fabric. You can use pre-made designs or even cut your own designs or text and place it anywhere on your fabric or sewing project to customize it to make the perfect fabric. If they already use iron-on vinyl a lot you might consider buying a heat press. I love mine, it's an investment but I use mine multiple times a week and it makes my projects go much faster and last longer. Want to learn more about this stuff you can learn how to use iron-on vinyl here.

Keep Calm and Sew On Necklace

Sewing Necklace Maybe you don't even want to try and guess what they have in their crazy sewing room or maybe they sew professionally so they can write all their sewing related purchases off and you don't want to buy them "work stuff". But what about a fun sewing necklace. Did you even know such a thing existed? They do and the can be such a sweet gift that makes your sewing pal know that you really thought about the gift. I absolutely adore the ones from Charmed Collections like the Keep Calm and Sew On Necklace pictured above but you can find all kinds of fun ones on Etsy too! And if they aren't much into jewelry there is such a thing as a sewing shirt too which can be lots of fun :)

Awesome things to buy for sewing fans like this serger and more.

Serger For those who are sewing clothing a serger is a great addition to their sewing room. I LOVE my Juki MO644D I've actually personally purchased or helped purchase close to 10 of this model because I use them for work or friends want a machine themselves. I've never had problems with them and they sew like a dream. Be careful about getting the very low end ones or buying used from an individual. A serger that doesn't work right can be a nightmare. If you find a used one with a warranty like from a quilt shop I think you're safe but otherwise go with something that's more middle range. Again I can't recommend the Juki serger enough but I have friend that love their Babylock sergers too!

How to alter kids clothing. Easy tutorial for shortening and hemming sleeves for a professional finished look - Rae Gun Ramblings

Ginghers If you live with a seamstress than you probably know how protective we are about our scissors. Great sewing scissors are important. If your sew-er doesn't know the joys of cutting fabric with a good pair of Ginghers than this is the gift they need. They can be kind of pricey so make sure to plan ahead and hit up Joann with a coupon (they usually have one in their app if you don't get their mailer) or when they are on sale. And if they have a pair any ways they will be thrilled to have a back up. I have two of the dressmaker sizes and I've been considering getting a third. They really are wonderful scissors.
Sewing Box The Sewing Box by the Original Scrap Box is definitely a big ticket item BUT if your sewing loved one has all his or her stuff stashed on the kitchen table this might be for her. I LOVE my sewing box. It's this cabinet that closes up but you can store your machines in it and it opens up with lots of functional table space so that you can have a full sewing station tucked behind a few cupboard doors. I'm telling you it's AHmazing. I have a full craft room but it is right next to where my baby sleeps so I can't sew there at night. I have my sewing box in a different room on a different floor and I've actually started to prefer sewing at it even when I'm not trying to be quite. The thing is crazy cool!

10 Minute Gift Card Holder Tutorial-005s

Gift Cards I know people think gift cards are impersonal but when you love a hobby having "free" money to spend can be super fun. And as much as I love Joann and Hobby Lobby they always have coupons so if it were me I'd suggest giving a gift card to a smaller independent fabric store or quilt shop that carries designer fabrics. I know I personally love drooling over the material at those places but the higher price point has be buying very sparingly. If you're in Utah some of my favorites include The Cotton Shop (multiple locations), Quilts Etc. (in Sandy), and Harmony (in Provo). And if you're interested here's a super fast and easy gift card holder tutorial. This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

DIY Christmas Ornaments and Block Party

DIY Christmas Ornaments are one of my all time favorite things. I love inspecting a tree and seeing a variety of treasures that tell the story and history of a family. Great list of Christmas ornament tutorials. Tons of DIY christmas ornaments that would be great for kid activities too. Mini Collage Upcycled Lid Ornament | Popsicle Stick Ornament | Metal Marker Gift Tags (would be fun to hang these as ornaments) | Harry Potter Potions Ornament Bottle Brush Jar Ornaments | Beach Themed Ornament | Scroll Saw Ornament | Toddler Ornament Gemstone Ornament | Pearler Bead Ornaments | Christmas Star Ornament | Reindeer Ornament snowman ornament | Hole Punch Ornament | Wood Glitter Ornament | mason jar lid ornament  Rustic Wood Ornament | Scented Clay Ornament | Snow Globe Ornament | Glass Glitter Ornament Chalkboard Ornament | Foam Ornaments | Wine Cork Reindeer Ornament | Wine Cork Reindeer Ornament | Money Ornament One of my favorite parts about handmade Christmas ornaments is that everyone in the family can join in on the fun. Here are a collection of over 20 awesome DIY Christmas Ornament tutorials perfect for the whole family. Rae Gun guest posting picture Marissa from Rae Gun Ramblings here today as this week’s host. Here are a few of my favorite projects since I hosted last time! Great tutorials and sewing projects

Lots of Gilmore Girls inspired Recipes and Crafts | Lots of Gilmore Girls inspired Recipes and Crafts | Lots of Gilmore Girls inspired Recipes and Crafts

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Secret Trick to Bra Shopping After Nursing

jockey-disclosure Among all the other things people forget to tell you when you have a baby is that buying bras gets even more tricky than it was. But today I'm going to share the best trick to bra shopping after nursing and I've got a special deal to share too! Such a great time saving idea for post nursing bra shopping since your size changes so often.

First let me say, that I've been settling with a poorly fitting bra for much of this last year. When I stopped nursing I was so excited to finally be back in a real bra. I got a few that fit great but even though I had waited for my boobs to adjust post nursing they changed again and let's face it bra shopping on your own (let alone with a toddler) is so not fun so it hasn't happened.

This looks so interesting. At home bra fitting system (would be great post breastfeeding or weight loss)

So when I discovered the RealFit® bra by Jockey, I was intrigued. It’s an at home bra fitting system, plus a great time-saving idea for post nursing bra shopping since your size changes so often (would be great post breastfeeding or weight loss). Last week I tried this at home- the Jockey RealFit® Kit and I'm hooked. The sizing fit kit includes a bunch of cups and a special measuring tape.The cups are way more varied than traditional bra sizes because one size definitely doesn't fit all! To find your perfect fit, you just lean over into the cups and stand up and see which cup fits you best. For me, one cup was clearly the correct one. See below for an exclusive code for $10 off for my readers!

Easy two step program for self fitting bras at home. I've got to try this.

Then you wrap the measuring tape around where your bra band is and wherever the color block overlaps that is your band size. I was kind of in the middle of the 34 when I measured so I ordered both the 34 and 36 since they do free returns and exchanges (even if you have worn or washed the bra).

Tips on finding the perfect bra size at home.

I was pleasantly surprised at how well the 4/36 bras fit me. I got two different styles with their patented comfort wire but they do have wire-free styles for those who prefer that. The RealFit® Kit costs $19.95 but then you get a $20 discount when you order a bra so it's pretty much free since you wouldn't really just get the fitting kit you know. Plus they are offering my readers $10 off the RealFit® Kit with the code RAEGUN10* so it's an even better deal. It feels silly to be as excited as I am about new bras but having ones that finally fit and not having to try on bras with an impatient 2 year-old in tow is kinda magical. Mom magical but still ;)

Real FIt Bras and fitting kit by Jockey review. This sounds so much better than traditional bra shopping

I really like the RealFit® bras by Jockey but what I'm really excited about is that now that I have the kit I can reuse it because after whining to my mom friends about my post-nursing bra situation they said their sizes changed a lot the first couple years after nursing. Fun right? Well I guess I don't have to feel like I can't lose weight having to deal with  an annoying bra fitting experience...because you know that's really what was the biggest thing stopping me from shedding those pounds ;)

Such an interesting idea for bra fittings. Great for after breastfeeding and weight loss.

Even though your size might change and time to go shopping is nonexistent after nursing, there's no need to settle for ill-fitting bras any longer. Find Your Perfect Size. Use promo code  RAEGUN10 to get $10* off the RealFit® Kit  on Jockey.com. (offer expires 11/30).

*Offer expires 11/30/16 at 11:59 p.m. PST. $10 off only on RealFit® Kit on Jockey.com with coupon code RAEGUN10. Coupon code single use only. Discount applied at checkout before tax and shipping. Not valid on RealFit bra by Jockey style nos. 6701-6703, 6705, 6707, sale items, previous purchases, Jockey Being Family® items or in-store. Selection varies; available on in-stock items only while supplies last. Cannot be combined with any other offers, discounts or promotions. No rain checks/cash redemption. Void where prohibited.

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Ten MORE Things No One Tells First Time Moms and Dads

owlet-disclosure

My very most popular post is my list of Tips and Tricks People Forget to Tell New Moms. So I'm super excited to bring you even more things I've learned the hard way that people should tell first time moms and dads!

These are spot on! Why didn't anyone tell me these things with my first baby? Helpful things to know as a first time mom (or dad).

Thanks for stopping by, we hope you were able to read Sydney's article yesterday on making baby's bed safe for sleep. I'm teaming up with Owlet to share some safety (and otherwise helpful) tips for first time parents as well as a huge giveaway (scroll down for details). #ad #spon After that first post of things no one tells new moms I had lots of readers share the other things they wish someone had told them and  in my own daily life I kept finding myself thinking I should have put this on the list. So in no particular order here are More helpful tidbits I wish someone had told me as a new mom.

1. EVERYTHING is a Phase

I didn't get this when I wrote my first list. I was so stressed about sleep. I wasn't getting any of it and once we figured out night time sleep I was stressed that Teddy wasn't napping on his own. But since then I've realized that IT IS ALL A PHASE. Like really. They grow up so fast and the things we're tempted to agonize about will be over before long. Why was I so concerned about holding my baby for nap? My days of holding a baby (or kid now) who will let me hold him are numbered. When they are babies and toddlers things change so fast. You can stress about figuring stuff out and get things down but soon after you do, things will be completely different so honestly try not to stress that much.

Great list of helpful and strange things no one thinks to tell new moms and dads.

(not a sticker but this was about the age when I tried the "sticker fun")

2. Babies Eat Stickers

Did you know this? Umm yeah because they do. When Teddy was smaller I thought he'd have fun with stickers so I stuck a few on him only to find him trying to shove them into his mouth. I relayed this experience to my girlfriends thinking it was so silly and they said "oh yeah they do that". What!? That's like a thing? It would have been nice for someone to warn me. I was totally paying attention so Teddy wasn't in any real danger since I snatched them away before he got them in his mouth. But still that is kind of dangerous. I wish someone had mentioned it to me before.

3. Balloons are Really Dangerous for Babies

Speaking of trying to eat things. Let's talk about balloons. For the record I knew this one but I've been shocked at the number of people I've met who don't know that balloons are very dangerous to babies and toddlers or who tried to give my baby a balloon but not watch him with it or were about to let him try and chew on one. Not counting food, balloons are the most common cause of choking death in babies. The flimsy latex contours to the airway and blocks it off. Don't let babies have balloon unless you can give them 100% of your attention. And by all means do not let them put balloons (inflated or deflated whether waiting to be blown up or popped) in their mouths. Since most babies put everything in their mouths I vote to keep them completely away from their faces and in your own hands just to be on the safe side.

4. Try and Read All the Books While You're Pregnant

This relates to #1. Everything is a phase and it moves so fast. You go from one thing to another and you'd think you'd have time to research your parenting options and decide how you feel about different things but you guys it all happens so fast and if you're like most people you won't be getting much sleep so your brain isn't going to be working. I WISH that I had read a few parenting books on the big topics like sleep, and eating, and maybe a catch all first two years what to expect type of book while I was pregnant. Not that I think you can totally plan but I would have liked to know a few of the different approaches to the whole sleep thing and ideas to try BEFORE I was in the throws of extreme sleep deprivation. You think you'll have time since you'll be feeding them a lot but if you're like me you'll wish you had checked out some books sooner. I'd recommend taking a peek at things you think might come up through the first 2 years.

Owlet baby monitor and other tips and tricks people don't tell new moms

(photo courtesy of See Kate Sew)

5. You Don't Have to Be Paranoid of Sleep

I've already mentioned (and if you've been around here from a while you KNOW) we got terrible sleep while Teddy was a baby. Like until he was around 2. I'm a natural worrier and let me tell you nothing makes you worry more than the possibility that your baby is not safe. There are so many sad stories about babies dying in their sleep. Every year 3,500 babies while they are asleep, that's more than 10 times those that die in car accidents. I think almost all moms remember that first time their baby slept through the night mostly because we weren't asleep ourselves. We were all stressed that something might be wrong but not sure if we should check on the baby and risk waking him or her. I wish wish wish that I had an Owlet Baby Monitor when Teddy was an infant. I have a number of friends that have used it lately and I've been totally jealous. If you're not familiar with the device it is the only baby monitor that uses hospital technology—pulse oximetry—designed to alert you if your baby stops breathing. All that amazing technology is placed into a tiny, snuggly baby sock that the little one wears to bed. It's totally wireless and connects via bluetooth to a base station and Wi-Fi to any smartphone so you can view live vitals. I did not have many opportunities to sleep since my baby was a "bad sleeper". But even when he did actually sleep I was filled with anxiety that something would happen which made falling asleep (for the short periods that he was down) really hard. I think I would have slept so much better and easier if I had one of these to ease my worries!

6. Swim Diapers Don't Hold Pee

Is your mind blown because mine was! I must have just been lucky because I put Teddy in swim diapers on the way to the pool MANY times. But it wasn't until he totally soaked his outfit at the children's museum, when he was almost 2, that I realized that swim diapers don't hold in liquid. That is how they keep from getting heavy in the water. They are just meant to keep poop out of the pool. I guess it makes sense in retrospect but really why didn't someone tell me this!!!? So there I told you.

Random but helpful info about diapers people forget to tell new moms

(pool time with the cousins, he was SO small)

7. It's Easy to Mix Up Swim Diapers and Pull Ups

So this is a sillier one but really, why do swim diapers and pull ups have to look SO similar? Color and all. Let me tell you how you can tell the difference when you're in the water: the diaper will swell to about 10 times the size of normal, get heavy, and the absorbent beads can burst out of the diaper. I've been guilty of the mix up and been around to witness more than one other mom who managed to mix up the two diapers. If you pay attention when getting ready to swim you'll be fine but it's so easy just to go fast and mix them up.

8. You Might Want to Hold Off On Some Gifts

Especially if you receive a lot of newborn sized clothing you will probably be tempted to wash those puppies up and get them all cozy in a drawer but some babies are born too big for new born sizes. Maybe wash a few and wait to see just in case you want to return some of the itty bitty clothes. The same goes for toys and other gear. You might think you want it before baby is here but once you try it out it might not be your thing. Keep the packaging and gift receipts just in case.

I totally agree these are really helpful for new parents but for some reason no one things to tell first time moms and dads. Great list.

9. The One Month Mark Is Hard

Maybe it's not exactly one month for everyone but there will be a time near the beginning where you think oh my gosh we've had this baby for a while now and it's still SO HARD what is going on. It makes those very first newborn days seem like cake because in comparison they were. You'll have less help, if you had visitors or people coming in, or if you or your partner partner that had baby leave and have to start working again. You'll just feel like you ought to be able to "do more" or that things should be easier but they aren't yet. But you know what you're probably all sleep deprived and it's had all that time to compound. But I promise it will get better. I just want to warn you that there is this point for most of us where it feels like it should have gotten better by now and it hasn't. Don't be discouraged that is totally normal and it's still coming it WILL get better.

10. Decide What You Want Your Hospital Visits to Look Like

Things happen fast (even if they happen really slowly) and you are so tired after giving birth and the hormones and emotions are raging. I really regret not telling (or having my husband tell) people to get out of the room. I had been up ALL NIGHT birthing a child with a super long pushing periodd and people were around and I could not rest. I just wanted piece and to be able to try to sleep. But I felt rude and selfish not to mention totally awkward getting up in my open flap gown all bloody and groggy crossing the room in front of people to go to the bathroom. But you know what everyone else could see the baby later. They could peek in for a quick hello but they did not need to be there in those first hours. I wish I had thought through that stuff before I was there and set some ground rules. In addition to the sleep I needed time to try and figure out nursing WITHOUT AN AUDIENCE. Related to the hospital visitors I really regret not taking my photographer friend up on her offer to come do some birth photos. She didn't push because you know I had just given birth but I wish that I had decided before I went in that that was just one of the things we were going to do because in the moment I felt disgusting, exhausted, and the idea of being photographed sounded horrible but now I feel like I really missed out.

funny unsolicited advice meme for moms and 10 things people forget to tell first time moms

11. You Get to Determine the Type of Parent You Want to Be

If you're not already getting bombarded with unsolicited advice from family, friends, acquaintances, and random strangers be prepared. For some reason a pregnant woman or really anyone with an infant is like a magnet for the "experts" to "share" their "advice". Some might actually be helpful, some might be well meaning, but others will be rude, obnoxious, and flat out wrong. Just remember you are the one who gets to decide how you want to parent. Even if it's not the same way all your friends and family have chosen it doesn't matter. Go the way your gut and your own research leads. You can even question the doctors and honestly I encourage you to do that if anything feels wrong check things out do research and ask them to explain their reasoning. There are SO many ways to parent that helps you keep your children safe and grow into awesome adults don't feel bullied into one way from other people. And remember you can change your mind and try different things out as you learn and experience more. See what works for you, your family, and this particular baby. Even within the same family different things might work for different kids. And above all make sure you let yourself enjoy your little ones. Now how about an awesome giveaway!

owlet-giveaway

We will have 4 winners total with about $850 for the prizes! So there more chances to win. Enter with the rafflecopter widget below.
  • (1) Owlet Baby Monitor ($249.99)
  • (1) Kinsa Smart Ear Thermometer ($49.99)
  • (1) Evenflo SensorSafe Car seat ($149.00)
  • (1) Burley Solstice Jogger  ($399.99)
a Rafflecopter giveaway Be sure to stop by Alyssa's tomorrow for tips for keeping baby safe outdoors! And if you have any other tips for first time moms please share in the comments.