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?

BEST Toddler Gifts the Whole Family Will Love

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I have to admit I LOVE buying toddler gifts. The toys these days are so fun and cute. But at some point I think most parents look around and realize the kids have so much stuff they don't actually play with. So here is my list of the BEST Gifts for Toddlers that the whole family will love. I've got big ticket items to silly stocking stuffers. These are all gifts that can be enjoyed by older members of the family in some way in addition to the little ones. I think most of these (with supervision would be great for kids 18 months to 3 years). Lit Joy Crate kids book box subscription box. Great Toddler gift idea Lit Joy Crate Lit Joy Crate is a bookish subscription box company that ships a box with a book and some related goodies once a month. What's really cool about Lit Joy is that they have a box for even the little readers. Their Children's Book box has great picks for kids 3-7 years old that even younger toddlers will enjoy. These boxes will have whole family excited to burst them open each month. And what a fun and easy way to add great books to your family library. There are different subscription lengths and you can even buy one time boxes. Dress Up Gear Whether it's homemade or store bought a few dress up pieces are perfect for sparking the imagination of your little ones. I love the idea of gifting a whole dress up bin but if you already have some costumes or just don't want to invest that much now even a few inexpensive pieces can be loads of fun. Fairy wings can be found at the dollar store most times of year, if you time things right you can catch some awesome deals on swords and fake armor too. After Halloween even the grocery stores have costume pieces for great deals. Last year we bought a few hats and Teddy will still randomly put them on and dance. Get creative there are dress up ideas all around and they don't have to cost an arm and a leg. And if you want to make your own items I have LOADS of costume tutorials to get you started.

Awesome three sided art center for kids. Adjustable tri-side from Little Partners. Toddler gift guide

Tri-Side Art Center from Little Partners This three sided easel has a chalkboard, dry erase board and flannel board. It has adjustable heights, slots for art tools like paint and crayons and even has a roll of paper that can be refilled to paint and draw on. This thing is awesome for kids of all ages. Teddy who is 2.5 years old and his cousins (8 and 9) use this together all the time. Did you hear that? TOGETHER. If you have the space for this it's a great investment. The Tri-Side Learn and Play Art Center the type of piece that a whole room could be centered around. We also love our Little Partners Learning Tower too! You can get 10% off of orders at LittlePartners.com with the code RGR10. Water Beads Have you seen these cool squishy water beads that start off the size of sprinkles and then grow to marble sized gelatonous beads? They are super fun. Teddy loves to see the change in size and they are great for easy sensory play. They are really inexpensive and you get a bazillion of them since the beads are so tiny when they ship (can we say yay for something that takes up almost no space at all?). I've seen people fill kiddie pools with these which seems fun and terrifying all at once. We love to just watch them grow and feel them and sort colors and that kid of thing. Even the older cousins get a kick out of these. Chapstick I swear every toddler I've meet has been obsessed with chapstick. It doesn't matter if it's the stuff in the tube or those little EOS balls but there is something that draws them in about the stuff. As long as your little one isn't the type to try to take a bite out of it chapstick is an easy inexpensive gift that they will totally adore. And as an extra perk if the toddler has his or her own chapstick you're less likely to get that gross wet sensation when you go put your own on. Come on you know exactly what I'm talking about.

Great sorting toys and other gifts for toddlers. Kid gift guide.

Sorting and Counting Toys We have a few sorting and counting toys and while Teddy doesn't "get" every aspect yet he loves playing with them. One of our favorites that gets played with every single day is the Sorting Pie. Even the cousins love playing with this thing. I don't force Teddy to try and sort he just bakes with it but along the way he is learning colors and shapes and numbers. And every once in a while we put it away using the guide sheets counting or sorting. We also love these counting cookies and shape cookies. Let's Go Fish Game This will sound like a totally weird one because most toddlers do not have the coordination to operate the Let's Go Fishing game as it's intended but they still can have hours of fun with these cute fish that open and close their mouths. Teddy loves to try and catch the fish, sometimes with help and sometimes cheating haha. He also likes to put other items in the fish holes and watch them go up and down. He's even put a fake pizza on it and told us it was baking. I know crazy right you'd never think such a classic cheap-y toy would be the gateway to so much creativity but I'm telling you we've had a blast playing this with the cousins how it's meant to be played and then just letting the little guy do as he pleases! Musical Instruments Whether you have a whole percussion kit, just a few kazoos, or maracas, instruments can be lots of fun and they come at all different price points. It's fun to watch the little ones march and put on productions with various instruments. We have this really fun drum kit that comes with all kinds of bells, symbols and other percussion instruments as well as a thrift store keyboard. My nieces have a harmonica that Teddy loves to play with and we even have a few of those plastic kazoos. There are so many different instruments from toy level to actual starter instruments that can get your little musician going.

toddler-gift-guide-s

Passes to Fun Places We have a number of fun memberships to children's museums, the aquarium, and even the water park. We use ours ALL THE TIME. I've read a number of articles saying these kind of passes are a waste of money but I've found them to be totally the opposite. It's such a great deal and there's always something fun to do. Just make sure you will for sure go enough times to make the membership fee worth it. Make sure to check out deal sites since they often will have specials for passes or even seasonal events.

Awesome gifts for toddlers the whole family will love

Pez Dispenser If your kids are like my little guy they get plenty of candy and treats but there's something special about a pez dispenser that's all your own. I remember LOVING them as a kid and Teddy is no exception. He is thrilled when he gets to grab a candy from his Cinderella or Duck. It's the best little bribe ever ha. As long as you are the holder of the dispenser and the kiddos can't just go to town I think these make super fun gifts! Books, Books, and More Books And of course I couldn't do a Toddler gift guide without encouraging you to buy books. I honestly think for a kid who has all their basic needs met that books are possibly the best gift of all. And don't just give them books that they can do themselves, give them the gift of your time; the gift of your snuggles while reading; the gift of your focused attention. There are so many amazing books. I encourage you to find a couple new ones to add to your library and take time to read them together! It also might be fun to give them a gift card and then take them on an outing to pick out a book of their choice. Want some suggestions? Here are just a few board books for the little ones that I love.

Cranberry Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies and Little Partners Learning Tower Review

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I would eat these Cranberry Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies every day if you'd let me.

New favorite freezer cookie recipe. These chocolate chip oatmeal cranberry cookies recipe is delicious for snack dessert and even breakfast

In fact I'd like to make a case that theses totally count as a well rounded breakfast if you throw in a nice glass of milk! Teddy totally agrees. If you come to my house you'll probably be feed a vast array of imaginary and play food from my little chef. He seriously cooks ALL.THE.TIME. Little Partners learning tower review It was so fun having him "help" me make the cookies from his Little Partners Learning Tower. And by help obviously I mean mix up my ingredients and eat chocolate chips like they were going out of style. But really this guy loves to cook I have started letting him crack eggs by himself and he does great.

delicious breakfast cookies. Oatmeal chocolate chip cranberry cookie recipe

I do use fresh cranberries and I think they and I think they add a little something special to the recipe. In fact I usually buy a couple extra bags during the winter to throw in the freezer so I can whip up some of these yummy cookies when they are out of season. I wouldn't substitute dried cranberries. delicious cranberry oatmeal chocolate chip cookies recipe Ingredients
  • 1 C Earth Balance (you can substitute butter I prefer the texture with the earth balance)
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1 C brown sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 C flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3 C Slow Cook Oats
  • 1 1/2 C Chocolate Chips
  • 2 C Fresh Cranberries
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Love these. Cranberry chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. Great recipe

What to Do
  1. Add earth balance, sugar, brown sugar,  eggs, vanilla and cinnamon to the mixing bowl (I use my Kitchen aide). Mix until creamed.
  2. Add flour, baking powder, and salt. mix until incorporated.
  3. Stir in oats chocolate chips and cranberries until evenly distributed.
  4. Bake at 350 F about 10-14 minutes. When they are done parts will look a little toasted and parts will still look wet. Remove and allow to cool on the cookie sheet they will continue to cook there so don’t overcook them or else they’ll be really hard.
Makes about 4 dozen small cookies and the dough freezes great. I like to scoop the dough out and freezes it in individual balls to bake up later.

I always keep a bag of these in the freezer. Great homemade Cranberry Oatmeal Chocolate Chip recipe

For those of you curious about the Original Learning Tower, it's pretty amazing. Teddy calls it his castle and he LOVES playing in it. I mean it's perfect for having him cook with me since it makes him the perfect height for the counter but he seriously loves climbing in it and playing with it aside from that.

Great toddler kitchen helper.

I love that it's designed totally with safety in mind. He can climb in and out all on his own and there is no way he's going to tip it over. I don't "let" him but he's totally tried hanging on it in all kinds of ways before and it's super sturdy actually it's sturdy enough for me to stand in if I wanted to. I looked at this tower last year before Christmas because like I said Teddy has always loved cooking and now I really wish I had it back then when he was even littler instead of the step stool which I always had to have a hand on him while trying to juggle my kitchen tasks.

Great idea for getting kids involved in the kitchen while staying safe

This is designed for little ones as young as 18 months old and the four sides make it great for containing the their busy bodies while giving them easy access. It's so nice to be able to actually cook when he's up at the counter "helping" me or just wanting to see (he always wants to see what I'm doing). I don't have to worry that he's going to slip off a step because he's not paying attention or tip it because he IS a wild one. Also it comes right flush with the counter so there's none of that nerve wracking reaching or spilling between a gap that happened when we used a step stool.

We love this learning tower. So much better and safer than a step stool for little cooks and bakers.We love this learning tower. So much better and safer than a step stool for little cooks and bakers.

Sometimes I even have it in my work room and tell him if he wants to be in there with me he has to stay on his "castle". Little Partners Learning tower review I do this especially when I have my heat press on, I'm trying to take pictures, or just want to sew without him trying to climb all over me. It works great because it's so spacious (actually big enough for two kids to stand on together) that he can sit up there with toys or get up and down on his own.

This toddler step stool looks awesome Little Partners learning tower review.

If you have been wanting one of these for a little helper in your life you can get 10% off of orders at LittlePartners.com with the code RGR10. We also have the Tri-Side Learn and Play Art Center and it's really fun too. I'll have to share about that a different day!

Thankful Grateful Blessed

It surprises me how even though I was super open about it, one of my biggest and longest struggles is so easily forgotten. I mean I get it. It was MY life not his or hers and they have plenty of things on their mind now. But even some of my closest friends who walked it and hugged me as I cried have said things like "oh yeah I forgot" when it's come up lately.

Great reminder not to forget the journey. Thankful shirt

Thankful.Grateful.Blessed. from Cents of Style

If you forgot or if you just weren't around back then I'm talking about getting/having Teddy my little boy. It was a journey. It started with a miscarriage and then years of living life in two week cycles of trying and being heartbroken that we weren't pregnant. It was lots of doctors visits. Being poked and prodded and what can only be described as being bone weary. If you've dealt with infertility you know what I mean. It is exhausting. I have NOT forgotten. Teddy Birth - Rae Gun Ramblings But we know how the story ends with a sassy little boy who gets assaulted with hundreds of kisses a day. Who still doesn't really sleep but who couldn't make me feel any more Thankful, Grateful, and Blessed. The hidden (or in my case 'forgotten') struggle is something that's been really on my mind lately. Whether it's infertility like in my case or some other struggle I've really been thinking about how we just don't know the whole story. I feel like with social media and memes and the endless judgey news stories it's become the norm to take for granted the different paths we've all traveled and where many of us have come from.

Thankful Grateful Blessed. Love this shirt

I see images of seemingly "perfect" family moments on Instagram or wherever and it's hard on those days that you're flailing to keep your head above water or those of you who were like me a few years ago just wanted a baby of my own not to compare and be jealous. And this is not one of those "people should show us the bad" posts because guys I LIKE TO SEE THE GOOD. I mean I don't mind honesty and a peek at the bad but I like to focus on what's going right and what we can celebrate because I believe even when things are the worst and the lowest there is always something to be thankful and grateful for.

Reminder to be grateful and that you don't always know someone's path.

So happy Teddy has his cousins!

I am in a phase of life that is every easy for me to FEEL Thankful and Grateful and Blessed. That hard journey is still very fresh on my mind. It's there every time someone asks if we're going to have another baby (which they do ALL.THE.TIME). It's there like a relative to PTSD telling me I don't think I could ever go through the "trying" again regardless of whether I could handle the lack of sleep starting all over with a newborn. I know this is totally rambly but I just hope when you see me share my happy moments with my little guy that you know that I KNOW how crazy blessed I am and I seriously appreciate it so much. Even when I'm whining about him endlessly trying to pick my moles or not sleeping, I love him so crazy much.

thankful-shirt-002 Appreciating the little things. Be thankful grateful and know you're blessed

And if you're not in a phase of life where you FEEL it all the time I hope you can reason it with your brain. I remember some nights laying down and having to reminding myself to be thankful for the family I did have, my nieces, a warm bed, a warm shower, that I made enough money that I could order soda with dinner or buy popcorn at the movies. That lots of people didn't have those things that I took for granted. That I didn't always have all of those things. That's part of what really drew me into this shirt from Cents of Style I feel like it really captured this niggling in the back of my head and heart. This crazy appreciation for where I have been and where I am now.

Love this Thanksgiving shirt. Such cute style idea and festive for the holiday.

If you are feeling the same or if you feel like you need a concrete reminder that even though you might not feel it right now that you know you are still blessed and have things to be grateful and thankful for it's a good day to shop at Cents of Style. Today for their Fashion Friday they are giving away one of these cute shirts for FREE with every order of $25 or more. I thought it would be fun to share what YOU are thankful for. I honestly would love you to leave a comment with your own story so I can read it.

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

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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.

5 Ways BUSY Moms Can Create the Good

create the good disclosure

'Doing good' doesn't have to be a 'some day' thing.

I love these ideas for doing good even when you don't have time to volunteer or do other traditional ways of serving!

If you're like me you might get down on yourself and wish you were volunteering, helping out, and doing service stuff more. But maybe like me you are in a a phase of life where that kind of formal do-gooding isn't feasible. And you know what, that's okay. While I would love to help refugees learn how to read, tutor under privileged kids, or volunteer in a gaggle of other ways, with two businesses and a very busy toddler I've come to accept that right now things will just look different for me. Today I'm sharing 5 easy ways that busy moms (or anyone) can Create the Good in their communities.

1. Make Kindness Kits to Keep In Your Car

Love this idea to make kindness car parks to hand out to homeless people

I have a big bag of stuff that I have cleared out of my closets and cupboards. They are perfectly good garments and food items but I just know I'm not going to wear them or eat them. I'm sure you can relate. At first I thought I'd throw them away but instead I decided to make packs to hand to people that I see asking for help. I know on my daily commute I see at least a few people holding signs and I personally go back and forth between being comfortable giving cash. Some ideas of things to include are gloves, scarves, granola bars, water, feminine hygiene products, chap stick, local fast food gift cards,or even  a pair of socks. If you're getting rid of purses or bags you can use those to hold your kits which can work as double duty. Some can be small and other can be large. I rolled a few snacks, a drink, and a gift card in a sock. A few other things I folded up into a pair of gloves. Again it doesn't have to take a ton or time or money. It can be stuff you have on hand or you can pick up supplies when you find a good deal.

2. Stock Up on Deals to Donate

Great idea to stock up on deals to donate when they go on sale

I'm a part of some deal facebook groups (this one is my favorite) just for normal shopping. They are great during Christmas for keeping an eye out for presents but throughout the year I love them for regular house hold items. Often times things like shampoo and socks will go on sale and while you're grabbing some for your family it's easy to buy a couple more to donate. To make things even better contact your local shelter or favorite help center to find out what their current needs are. Most will have a list of items that are most helpful. Then when you see a good deal online or while you're doing your own shopping you can pick up some extra for them too.

3. Buy a Homeless Person a Meal

5 easy ways to do good even for super busy moms

When I was in college, friends of mine would take homeless people out to dinner that we met. Now I don't feel comfortable doing that with a baby for a number of reasons. But what I have started doing is if I am at a place that sells food and see someone who is asking for help I'll pick up something to go. This is super easy when you're running into the super market. Just grab a few things from the deli section and a drink (don't forget any plastic utensils and napkins) and you're good to go.

4. Make a Quick Create the Good Video

I love these great ideas for busy moms to do good even when they can't do traditional volunteer type service

Do you have a favorite charity or organization that you love and wish you could do more for? Just pick up your camera and shoot a quick video talking about your dreams of helping others. Submit your video to the Create the Good Dream Builder Video Contest by 2/7/2016 and you might win a $2,500 donation to the charity of your choice. Your video should show your dream for helping others and which charity you would partner with to make that dream come true. There will be a public vote on 12 selected finalist videos and the winning video will get a $2,500 charity donation while three runner up videos will win a $500 donation to the non-profit cited in their video as the charity of their choice. Learn more at the Create the Good Facebook.

5. Take Advantage of the Little Moments

Fabulous ideas for how busy moms can still do good in their community with very little time to give

Whether you are standing in line at the grocery store, pumping gas, or toting your toddler to the library for story time, take a moment to see if there is anything you can do to make the day a little better for someone else. It can be as simple as a genuine smile, letting a frazzled looking person ahead of you in line, or even holding the door open for a mom juggling a wild kid. I know sometimes just getting the groceries from the shopping cart to my trunk with my little guy can be a struggle and when people passing by offer to take the cart back to the caddy it is such a blessing to me even as little effort that that gesture takes. Do you have any other easy ways that busy moms can create the good? I'd love to hear your ideas in the comments.

Let’s connect! You can also find me hanging out here.

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11 Tips and Truths No One Tells New Moms

Yes! Totally agree. I wish I knew all of these when I was pregnant. Great tips for first time moms.

So you grilled all your mommy friends and read those what to expect books and those definitely hit on the key points of what it's like to have a baby but what about the other stuff? Over the last year and a half there have been a bunch of times that I've though "Why didn't anyone tell me that!?" UPDATE: After receiving such a great response (and more tips and tricks) I've written a follow up to this post read Part 2: MORE things people forget to tell new moms and dads next! So I thought I'd share for those of you expecting your first kid. If you knew a new mommy-to-be send her this post.

tricks for battling gas and infant tummy problems

1. Gas and Tummy Issues Are Real and There Are Things You Can Do When Teddy was new he would get these gas pains and crunch his little tummy. I knew he was uncomfortable and I even knew the problem but while bicycling his legs and placing a warm pack on him did help a little it wasn't until someone mentioned Little Remedies® Gas Drops and Gripe Water to me that we saw a change. We're really strict about what we give Teddy (and even more so when he was an infant but we got the green light from his doctor and saw the gas drops and gripe water give our little guy relief after just a few minutes). This statement has not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. But as our doctor put it if we saw a positive difference that's what mattered to us. So of course I thought they were magic so I started talking about them and tons of friends said stuff like "oh yeah we used those" and "gas drops were practically a part of our nightly ritual in our house". And I thought WHAT THE HECK people you could have told me this weeks ago when I came to you wondering how to help my baby. So there, do the the leg exercises, rub their tummies, give them a warm heat pack, be mindful of what you/they are eating but for goodness sakes try those gas drops. We had many months where gripe water was a part of Teddy's bedtime routine and I carried the gas drops in my purse for on the go. 2. Drink LOTS of Water Okay, okay, so I know they do tell new moms this but if you're like me you've heard "drink your water" all through your life. But really moms need water SOOOOO much more than the average person. Especially nursing moms, a well hydrated mom will have a way easier time nursing, I mean those little beasts are literally sucking us dry. Not just the nursing though, the water does wonders for energy level. If yours doesn't sleep like mind (he still doesn't) making sure to have enough water can really help with that zombie mommy feeling.

Baby tip and public changing tables

3. Check the Handicap Stall for Changing Tables Okay I know this one is really specific but no one told me! It was only after many sink-side and gasp floor (at least I had a changing pad) diaper changes that I realized that lots of public restrooms have changing tables in the handicap accessible stalls at the end since they are so much bigger.

11 things no one thinks to tell first time moms

4. Lots of Babies Have Fussier Times We called 6-8pm Auntie time. Teddy was just way way crankier than any other time and the only thing that could kind of help was my sister coming over and taking a turn with him. Little Remedies® has an Advance Colic Relief that I wish I had it when Teddy was an infant because I totally would have given it a try. I don't think Teddy technically had colic but he definitely had a crying spell most days around the same time and it would have been nice to have something to try besides waiting it out and waiting for my sister to get off of work and come over. 5. You'll Need Food that You can Prep One Handed and Fast There was a time period that I lived off of my Lactation Chocolate Chip Cookies and Curry Puffs because they were so easy to make a big batch and then I could just grab them and eat with one hand. Before Teddy was around I never realized how long I took to decide what to eat. But making sure to eat was really really hard for me at first. I didn't have the time or energy or arms to prep stuff. I recommend before you babe arrives (or if baby is already here while someone else is on baby duty) to make a list of foods you like that are easy to prep and easy to eat. Note, hot soup is not easy to eat with a baby. 6. If You Are Nursing Don't Sleep on Your Tummy Sleeping on my tummy and taking a scalding hot bath were two of the things I looked forward to most about no longer being pregnant. Oh and that whole holding the baby, snuggling the baby thing. But really tummy sleeping and baths were right up there for me. But I had no idea that sleeping on your tummy can actually cause plugged ducts. That and too tight clothing. Crazy right? I shared all about my miserable plugged duct experience and tips and trips to avoid and live through it but I wish someone had told me before hand to ditch the tighter sleep shirt and to be careful about sleeping on my tummy. Hopefully you won't be prone to plugged ducts and can tummy sleep, but if you find yourself dealing with them you might want to check you sleeping position. 7. Your Body Will Feel Foreign After You Give Birth If you thought your body felt weird while growing a little human just wait until you kick him out. I remember just touching my belly skin and having it feel so foreign. Thankfully my tummy feels like mine now. And not go TMI-ish but toilet I swear going number two is totally different for me now. It's freaking weird but what can you do your body did some major crazy magic housing and growing a little person for nine months. Tricks for how to shop with infants and toddlers 8. Use Your Stroller Whether you're juggling a sleeping baby in an infant car seat or wild toddler I find shopping with my stroller to be SO much more successful than trying to use a shopping cart. For one the infant seat fits the stroller and the ride is more smooth. For toddlers those little "restraint" belts on shopping carts are like a silly joke. They can Houdini out of them in a snap. I've found that Teddy will last WAY WAY WAY longer in the stroller than in the shopping cart. The other day I saw a mom pushing her kid in the stroller and pulling a shopping cart at the same time (she said for the same reasons her kid just does so much better in the stroller). Thankfully I picked a stroller with a very large storage area. 9.  Nursing is Totally Learned and Often Hurts at First Nursing can down right HURT at first. Yes hurt. But if you're doing it right it will get better BUT it might take some time. Like not just the few days in the hospital and you might want to visit a lactation specialist a few times. Yes it is natural and for some people and some babies it can just click right away but for LOTS of us it was quite a while (like weeks) before it started to feel normal. If you have your heart set on nursing and it seems really rough at first you might just not have the hang of it, things might still need to kick in, or you might benefit from getting some outside help. 10. Lots of People Have to Supplement Formula in the Hospital and Still Nurse Exclusively After I was a wreck when they wanted to supplement formula in the hospital. I had imagined exclusively nursing my baby. It was really really important to me and I was extremely upset when they pretty much forced me to give Teddy formula. Granted after talking to my pediatrician after I left the hospital I still don't think it was NECESSARY and I wish the nurses had encouraged me to drink a ton of water (which they didn't) as well as try some other things, but I realize now that it wasn't that big of a deal and many people who are even hardcore nursing advocates have a little kick start with a tiny bit of formula. For me this was less than a week of very minimal supplementing. This might seem like a weird one but I was really upset and confused when the hospital staff threatened to release me WITHOUT my baby. Yes I think I had some crappy nurses and visiting doctors but I wish I had known that lots of people supplement before their milk comes in and then they are able to nurse exclusively afterwards. great tips and truths that no one tells moms to be. passing to my pregnant friends and first time moms. 11. It's Really Hard and You'll Feel Like a Failure But That's Okay Having kids is hard work. You have to be delusional not to know that but no one tells you that it's just not hard but super duper crazy hard some times. Like so hard you think there has to be something wrong with yourself because even those totally incompetent acquaintances of yours have been able to raise children and keep them alive. I believe it's a conspiracy since if we all had known it going in we wouldn't do it, or maybe people did say as much but we just thought they were being dramatic. But when sleep deprivation compounds with gas, and crying fits, and your own hunger it can be a struggle. But that's normal and just when you think you cannot possibly do it any longer your baby will do something magical like give you the sweetest gassy smile and you'll agree with those who have gone before you that it's totally worth it.

Going to share this with all my pregnant friends. I wish people told me these before I had my first baby.

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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).

I had such a great response to this post and I learned more things that I have added a sort of Part 2 post here with MORE things people forget to tell new moms and dads!

Best list of ideas and tricks to try when dealing with plugged ducts from breast feeding

My best tricks, tips, and things I learned (and wish I had know sooner) about surving breast feeding especially dealing with plugged ducts. Hands down the best oven fried chicken recipe. I make this for family dinner all the time and it turns out great.This recipe for Oven Fried Chicken is so good! It's on our regular weeknight rotation. Tastes like it's deep fried but just uses a tiny bit of butter in the over so way healthier and way less mess!

5 Important lessons from years of running a successful Etsy Shop - Rae Gun Ramblings

Curious about what it takes to build and run your own creative business? I've been Etsy-ing full time for the last 6 years and I share exactly what it took, tips, tricks, things to avoid.

Love all of these that I've tried. Can't wait to try all these quick easy recipes.

Most Popular EASY recipes of 2015. These have been pinned and shared like crazy and they are some of my personal go to's!

I originally wrote this post as a part of #MyLittleRemedies #CollectiveBias campaign but I do LOVEEEE those products and have before and since without ANY compensation recommended them. 

Let’s connect! You can also find me hanging out here.

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How to Survive Nursing and What to Do About Plugged Ducts

healthy mama disclosure

Best list of ideas and tricks to try when dealing with plugged ducts from breast feeding

So many people think that just because nursing a baby is natural that it should come naturally or that it should be easy. Thankfully for many moms this is absolutely true but for the rest of us nursing is hard work. Even after taking a breast feeding class and hearing all the advice and tips from mom friends I had a rough go at it. Once Teddy figured out how to actually do it, which in itself took a while, I had plugged ducts almost every other week for the first 6-9 months. I learned a lot about different things to try and do that helped me and I've been wanting to share my two cents on how to survive nursing and especially what to do about plugged ducts. If you know any new mamas you or anyone expecting a new baby soon pass this a long. People don't always like to talk about this stuff but it's great info to have on hand in the unfortunate case that you or your friends find themselves in these situations. Please note that I am NOT a professional. Please consult your health care provider when considering any medical issues or taking any medicines or supplements. These are just the things that worked for me and I hope that sharing my experiences will help others who find themselves in the same predicament.

Nursing tips and great ideas and tricks for dealing with and conquering plugged ducts while breast feeding

Drink Plenty of Water First things first. Make sure you're drinking a ton of water. Feeding a baby takes a lot of liquid and even in your likely sleep deprived state you need to make sure to stay hydrated. A friend gave me the tip to drink water the whole time the baby nursed and that helped me to remember. Lanolin (or Olive Oil) When you first start nursing your poor nipples might get cracked and dried and basically freak out at their new treatment. I was so grateful to have brought a tube of lanolin to the hospital with me. Once home I kept some in my purse and on my nightstand. Use it generously at first and eventually you won't need it. But there is no reason to endure unnecessary pain. If You Have Supply Issues Try Fenugreek or make Lactation Cookies I know not everyone has supply issues but I did. I think my boobs made JUST ENOUGH but really not anything more. I never had great success pumping but when I felt like I needed to boost my supply I found the herbal supplement fenugreek or a batch of these delicious lactation cookies really helped. The cookies by the way are totally fine for the whole family to eat. I actually had to hide them from my hubby because they were so yummy. Pay Attention to Your Body and Catch Plugged Ducts Early If you don't know what a plugged duct feels like it starts with feeling a small hard area in the breast. If it doesn't get unplugged it can get bigger and more of the breast can feel hard. I recommend the second you start feeling like there is a plug to drop every thing and tend to it like it's your full time job. After I had experienced a few plugged ducts I started to noticed that Teddy would be weird about nursing and then I'd pay attention to how my breast that he was nursing on felt like and I would realize that indeed it felt like there might be a plug. The sooner you catch it the better.

Great pregnant and nursing friendly pain killers and tips on dealing with plugged ducts

Take Something For the Pain Plugged ducts can be so painful. For the longest time I tried not to take anything but really it's a lot harder to take care of a baby and try to unplug the duct if you're distracted by pain. To be on the safe side you can take a vetted pain reliever like healthy mama® Shake That Ache which is an acetaminophen pain killer that is specifically formulated for pregnant and nursing moms. It's nice to have an option that you know is safe and that has been researched and tested for when you're pregnant and nursing. I found the healthy mama® stuff at Walmart right next to the prenatal vitamins. I love how there is this new category of products specifically designed for nursing and pregnant moms so we don't have to go on a scavenger hunt to find what we can actually take and use! Be Mindful About Sleeping Position and Pressure I could not sleep on my tummy (or really even my side) with out getting a plugged duct. It really sucked because I am a tummy sleeper. But I quickly learned that just that amount of weight was enough to cause a plugged duct. I also once got one after letting Teddy sleep on my chest one night where he was being particularly needy. Dangle Feed This will sound crazy but I'm telling you that if you are like me you'll try anything and this actually worked for me. The basic idea is to let gravity help so you want your nipples pointed down. What worked easiest for me was to get on my hands and knees put the baby under me with a pile of pillows for me to rest my head on (so I didn't have to balance like that with all the weight in my arms) and let the baby nurse like that. So many times this is what ended up really unplugging the duct. Usually after trying some of the other stuff first to loosen it up. Sometimes I was just too tired to fully dangle feed but if I put the baby next to me instead of on my lap leaned over more it had a similar effect.

crazy tips that actually work for dealing with plugged ducts from nursing and breast feeding

Hot Packs Make yourself some 5 minute hot packs and apply heat to your affected area. Remember your ducts run under your armpit too not just in the normal breast area you think of. I tried to do this before I nursed so that when Teddy sucked it would flow better and hopefully pull the plug out. Use an Electric Toothbrush to Break Up the Plug This is my favorite trick. It's so ridiculously crazy though. Take an electric tooth brush and hold the back or the base to the plugged area. Move it around and let the vibrations break up the plug. You won't feel it when it breaking the plug up but the vibrations can break the plug into smaller pieces. So when you do this and combo it with breast feeding or pressing your breast in the shower it works great. DON'T USE THE BRISTLE SIDE. You might be desperate to feel like something is happening. All you'll get is a rug burn on your boob. Ask me how I know. But really when done propery this works. My favorite way to do this is start with the hot pack. After using that for 15 minutes then do the tooth brush then get into the tub and try and press the sucker out and then if it still isn't out dangle feed. Usually that order would do the trick for me. Hot Showers There is something about the hot moisture that helps. What you do is get in the shower run the hot water on the affected area. Some times I'd do a bath first to soak it and then pressing towards the nipple try to press the plug out. You want to press hard. It might be painful but it can really help. Sometimes it hurt so much I thought I was going to bruise myself. Do it over and over from different angles but always moving towards the nipple since you want to press the plug out. You might notice hardened white stuff start to come out before it unplugs. You can try and pull it out or keep pressing but hopefully you'll feel the wonderful release when the plug comes out and your milk can flow properly again.

Pregnancy and nursing approved energy drink. And other great tips for nursing with plugged ducts

Keep Your Energy Up Make sure to get as much sleep as you can. But when you have a nursing little one that isn't always easy. Plus if you have a plugged duct that longer you wait the worse it gets and the higher chances that it will turn into mastitis. So if you find yourself in zombie mode you might want to try healthy mama® Boost It Up which is an electrolyte filled supplement drink great for pregnant women and nursing moms. It's tested for safety and can give you the energy you need to fight the plugged duct. Try Lecithin Finally I found that taking lecithin every day really helped to stop my plugged ducts. What lecithin does is thin out the milk. Nothing noticeable but it makes it less viscous inside I guess. Once I added it to my daily routine my instances of plugs went way down. And then when I did have them they were minor and were easy to unplug quickly with the tricks I've shared above. Good luck. I really feel those of you who find yourself here in the middle of the night looking for some relief. I hope some of these tips work for you. And just know it will pass. Now when I first sense a plug coming on I start with the hot packs. I leave them on until they don't seem warm any more (15 to 20 minutes). Then I use the toothbrush vibrations to break up the duct (about 5-10 minutes). I next jump into the bath and try and press the duct free with hot water. If this doesn't work I dangle feed. For me I had to time things perfect since it really worked the best for me to do this order hot pack - tooth brush - shower - dangle feed. But sometimes I'd do hot pack - tooth brush - hot pack dangle feed. You'll have to find out what works for your body but in my experiences your baby is your biggest tool. Nurse as often as you can.

Breast feeding survival guid and how to treat plugged ducts caused by nursing

Did you deal with nursing troubles or plugged ducts? Do you have any other tips people can try? This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and healthy mama® , but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #gethealthymama  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

Let’s connect! You can also find me hanging out here.

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Indoor Summer Kid Activities

It's heating up where we are (in the west!) and we now have had 7 days of straight 100*+ weather.  It's too hot to go outside unless it's to the pool, so my kids need something to entertain them, so here are some fun ideas that you can do with your kids indoors.  Great ways to get their creative juices flowing and to keep them from being bored.
Indoor Summer Kid Activities. Boredom busters to beat the heat
It's me Kaysi, from Keeping it Simple.  I'm so excited to see what you've all been creating!  
 Now it's time to party! 
CLICK THROUGH to get to the link party

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