What’s In My Diaper Bag (& Packing For Labour & Delivery)

Why, hello there! This is actually an old blog post that I was meaning to put up months ago. A few people had been asking me about packing for the hospital/delivery, what to bring and what I keep in Levi’s diaper bag, and I never got around to posting it on my blog because Levi surprised us with his early arrival! I figured I could make a few changes and still post it today, and maybe even help someone out in the process (keep in mind that Levi was born in the Winter, so some items may not apply to your situation).

I’m currently 35 weeks going on 36, and since our first little one is due at the beginning of December, I’m really feeling the nesting!” — that’s because Levi came the following week, and I never got around to finishing this post! He was born at 36 weeks November 13th!

Keep reading to see the rest of this post pre-baby:

“With Christmas already being such a busy holiday, combined with not knowing how I’ll be feeling after labour, and adjusting to our baby and his routine, I’ve been trying my hardest to get organized! Lists have been made, items have been purchased, nursery is 95% complete, and my mind is swirling with to-do lists.” — I imagine this is how a lot of pregnant mothers feel as their due date approaches!

I like to be organized, and find lists work well to help sort out my thoughts. I’ve been sorting through lately is packing and prepping the baby’s hospital bag and my bag. Now before I share with the world what’s in my bag, might I remind you that there’s going to be girly stuff in there. There’s bras and maxi pads – so be warned! 😀 I also may be more high maintenance than some of you, so you may choose to exclude certain items!

Ok, so I scoured Pinterest for others packing lists, as this is our first! I really tend to be an overpacker and I like to be prepared for “what if” situations as best as I can!

So, keeping that in mind, let’s get started:

– Slippers (not pictured) for walking the halls. They have a rubber sole on them for easy cleaning. These are mine. Love ’em.

– Coins for vending machines (also not pictured). In case Matt or I should want snacks or drinks on a whim.

– Snacks (have yet to be purchased). Likely going to run to Dollarama and Bulk Barn to grab some dried fruit, chocolate bars, granola and gum and drinks. Mmm…maybe some goldfish crackers. 🙂

– Nursing bras (I have 2)

– Nursing tank (1)

Breast pads (I got free samples of both Aveda and Johnson’s.)

Nipple cream (This brand comes highly recommended.)

– Travel sized bottles of shampoo and conditioner

Dry shampoo (this is a ‘just in case’!)

Razor (this is IF I feel up to shaving – hah! But, seriously, how handy? Lather, shave and lotion in one step!) 😉

Bodywash (LOVE this stuff. I get the lavender vanilla scent because it’s SO relaxing smelling.)

Lotion (as stated above – the scent is nice and calming, and I firmly believe in treating yourself! You’re going to be giving birth!!)

– Hand sanitizer

– Kleenex pack

Face wash and makeup remover – Love this stuff because it’s a 3 in 1 eye makeup remover, cleansing milk and toner.

– Toothbrush and toothbrush holder

– Deoderant (I purchased a travel sized one at the dollarstore.)

– Underwear  (5 pack – I intentionally bought cheap undies so I wouldn’t ruin my own stuff. You need to hold up those maxi pads listed below! 😉 I was happy these actually have cute patterns and colours! I intentionally purchased ones that are high-cut in case of an emergency C-section. Then they still can be worn over the incision.)

Maxi pads (I was told these offer the best protection and are the closest thing to wearing depends. Which sucks, but it’s necessary after delivering!)

Wet wipes (flushable. Toilet paper might just not cut it. You never know…)

– Headband (to wear during labour.)

– Hair elastics and bobby pins (for those fly aways.)

– Comb (My hair is wavy and shoulder length, so I’ll likely be letting it air dry or putting it up.)

– Small cosmetic bag (containing Q-tips, compact mirror, Chapstick, mascara and blush. I look like a pale ghost in the Winter, and there’s bound to be pictures taken!)

– Fleecy socks  (I’m having a December baby! Plus, they’re cozy for when I don’t want to have to wear my slippers. I usually feel chilly in hospitals, and I always have cold hands and feet.)

P.J.’s 

– Outfits (Thinking loose, flowy, warm and cozy.) 😀

  • Sweatpants (elastic band – hello!)
  • Fleece lined leggings
  • Loose tee
  • Flannel button up
  • Long sleeved shirts
  • Open knit cardigan

Some of these items will be worn in the hospital, as well as my “coming home outfit”. Just keeping it comfy!

I have written down a list of items to grab (like my pjs, slippers, and comb)as I’ll still be wearing them/using them up until we leave for the hospital. I am also still on the fence a bit about grabbing a towel of ours for showering with, as hospital ones are usually quite small and have been washed 200 million times, and possibly flip flops for wearing into the shower.

Then I have a list written for Matt to pack as well, which includes our laptop and iPad /charger and our cell phone chargers. He can also fit the snack items in his duffle bag.

We’ve preregisted at the hospital, so I’ll have a copy of that with us, as well as our provincial health cards.

I’m glad I had all of this stuff with me, and 95% of it came in handy! 

Now, for what we have in baby’s bag:

  • Sleepers with beanies (2)
  • Onesie long sleeved (2)
  • Pants (2)
  • Take home outfit (it’s warm & fleecy!)
  • Receiving blankets (2 – good for swaddling and spit ups.)
  • Change pads (2)
  • Wipes and wipes case
  • Kleenex pack
  • Disposable diapers (for those lovely merconium poops.)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Soothers (2 different kinds in order to see which ones he prefers.)
  • First aid kit
  • Toothbrush (this is just for the future.)
  • Teether (again for in the future.)
  • Nursing cover
  • Wash cloths
  • Diaper rash cream
  • Baby powder
  • Baby oil
  • Shampoo
  • Bodywash
  • Book
  • Teddy bear (last two items are more for when he’s older too and won’t really be necessary right away for his arrival at the hospital.)

Car seat and car seat cover will be brought to the hospital and left in the vehicle. I will grab our nursing pillow on the way out the door as well. I also have a ziploc bag in there for dirty/wet clothes (should the need arise to use it).

I still need to get and will be adding:

  • Grooming kit (including nail clippers and comb)
  • Bottles (for the future.)
  • Toy wipes (good for cleaning teething toys, bottles and soothers.)

“I’ve been having a few episodes of Braxton Hicks, so having our bags packed has helped to reassure me that we could leave quickly and in an organized fashion should I go into labour early. “ — which ended up happening and I’m so glad I was packed and ready to go!

Now that Levi’s 8 months and eating solids, I’ve added a few things to his diaper bag so that I can always have certain items handy. For example, I never leave home without snacks as he is the type of boy to get hangry if his lunch is a little later than planned! 😀 I also have stuff for teething should we be out and his little gums are inflamed!

I also always have:

And now that we’re in the warm Summer months:

  • Sunscreen
  • Baseball hat
  • Swimsuit
  • Swim diaper (should an impromptu splash pad day trip should ever arise!) 😉

I hope this was helpful to some new mamas! What do you keep in your child’s diaper bag that you would never leave home without?

 

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Key Lime

Happy first day of Summer friends and followers! June 20th and what a beautiful first day of Summer it was. The sun was shining and I was just craaaaving a key lime treat! Seems to me that tangy sweet lime accompanies warm, Summer days well and so I decided to whip up somethin’ to embrace the change of seasons 😀 .

I love citrus flavours, but I’m admittedly not much of a pie person (cue the gasp!). But hubby loves ’em and I can dig a slice once in awhile. Now, I have never attempted to bake a lime pie before. But why not try? The recipe I found was super easy and I was able to successfully bake it while Levi was napping – which is definitely a plus. It took about 30 minutes, and it is SO addicting. You won’t be able to stop at just one slice ❤ .

Key Lime Pie

Confession time: So I did NOT use actual key limes. They are just waaay too small to be bothered with and too hard to find (gave up searching after 2 stores :P! ) So I used plain, ol’ limes and it really made no difference on the taste factor in my opinion.

Key Lime Recipe

So, if the mood strikes ya, try out this recipe! The crust is simple for being homemade, and I love the whipped topping. I’m sure if you were in a REAL hurry, you could just use a store bought pie crust and a can of whipping cream. The pie would still be delightful, no doubt! 🙂

Enjoy the rest of your week!

 

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Pumpkin Scones – Starbucks Copycat

PUMPKIN EVERYTHING! Ok, maybe not pumpkin everything, but I’ve been wanting to whip up pumpkin recipes left, right and center, in anticipation for the Fall season!

Pumpkin scones

This recipe is pretty easy, and it can save you loads of moolah if you’re one of the many who frequent your local Starbucks and wait in their long lineups for their undoubtedly tasty (but overpriced) treats! These Pumpkin Scones are irresistibly delicious with their fluffy and moist (due to the pumpkin) scone base and their not one – BUT TWO kinds of glazes! Once you mix up your batter (which doesn’t require a mixer), knead the dough and cut them into triangles you’re golden! Also, let it be known that you’re saving yourself 90 calories choosing to eat one of these homemade versions rather than picking one up at Starbucks!

Pumpkin Scones


Recipe adapted from Damn Delicious

Makes 8 Scones

Pumpkin Scones Recipe

I had fun making this “recipe card”, however there is one small typo. Just to reiterate, you’re **cutting each rectangle into TWO triangles, making 8 triangles.** This is the step before placing the scones onto the baking sheet.

Let it be known that the dough CAN be fairly tacky, so you can lightly flour your hands when kneading, and flour the knife/cutter before making into triangles.

**Also, if you’ve made my Pumpkin Pie Spice then 4 tsps. of THAT will substitute the ingredient additions of the ground cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger.**


Pumpkin sconePumpkin Scone pic

Let me know if you decide to try them! They’re too good to pass up 😉 . Happy Monday, all! 


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Pumpkin Pie Spice

Happy Sunday, friends and followers! It’s a B-E-A-Utiful sunny day here today. The temperature is cool and comfortable and I’m just sitting here enjoying a homemade pumpkin spice latte (more on THAT later 😉 ), listening to one of Elevation Worship’s albums. I hope today is your day of rest, too, and your time can be spent amongst your family and friends.

Last night as I was perusing through good ol’ Pinterest, I came across a recipe for a Pumpkin Spice recipe, and I wanted to share it with you. I made a few adjustments of my own, made a couple pumpkin spice lattes with it and believe me – tasty!

Why bother to pre-make a pumpkin spice mix? Well, for one thing it’s super simple, and if you love all things pumpkin (like me!) at this time of year then it’s handy to have ready-made! Secondly, it’s economical and good to know what’s going into your food. PLUS, this spice can go waaay beyond its namesake. Sure, you can make a delish pumpkin pie with it, but it can also be used in other baking recipes. It’s yummy in smoothies, on oatmeal, in lattes, mixed in whipped cream, in pancakes, on toast, and as a pumpkin seed or popcorn topping – among other things! I’ll post some recipes below to show more examples. So versatile. 😀

Pumpkin Pie Spice

I have a few spice jars on hand that I bought at my local dollar store awhile back, but there are other really cute ones around that you can purchase (Williams and Sonoma)! One day when I’m feeling particularly OCD and ambitious, I plan to make chalkboard labels for all of mine. Right now, I just have a taco seasoning and the pumpkin pie spice, and so far haven’t gotten confused yet by my laziness unlabelled jars (although that would be a pretty awful tasting latte if I were to get them mixed up!) 😉

ANYWAYS! Onto the recipe:


Pumpkin Pie Spice

Ingredients:

1/4 c. (4 Tbsp.) ground cinnamon

2 Tbsp. ground ginger

4 tsp. ground nutmeg

2 tsp. ground all-spice

2 tsp. ground cloves

Directions:

In a small bowl, whisk together ingredients until well-blended. Store in an air-tight jar.


Pumpkin Pie Spice recipe Pumpkin Pie Spice DIY


Pumpkin-Pie-Spice-Coconut-Oil-Granola-4pumpkin-pie-spice-white-chocolate-caramel-popcorn4+text1Punpkin-Spice-Smoothie-6Pumpkin-Spice-Whip-Dip-Recipe-from-TheFrugalGirls_com_pumpkin-spice-trifle-recipe

Mmm! Pumpkin season is my favourite! ❤

**If you make this let me know what you try it on!**

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Jumbo Raspberry Chip Muffins

Let me just say this: there’s raspberries AND chocolate in these muffins, so I pretty much guarantee you’re going to love them!

I made these muffins for Matt to take with him to work (or that’s what he THINKS at least 😉 ) but I was feeling pretty good (getting my energy back!) and really wanted to bake. Plus I’ve been digging fruit so I decided to roll with it. So he took a few…and I got to keep some to enjoy as well, of course!

Ingredients:

– 3 c. all-purpose flour (careful not to over measure)

– 4 tsp. baking powder

– 1/2 tsp. salt

– 1 tsp. cinnamon

– 2 lg. eggs (at room temp)

– 1/2 c. granulated sugar

– 1/4 c. brown sugar (I used light)

– 1 c. milk (at room temp)

– 1/2 c. coconut oil, melted (you CAN use canola/vegetable oil)

– 1 tsp. vanilla extract

– 2/3 c. white chocolate chips (dark or semi sweet would be delightful, too!)

– 1 & 1/4 c. fresh raspberries*

Raspberry & Chocolate Chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425′. Brush muffin tray with oil/spray with non-stick spray. Set aside.

In a large bowl, gently whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Mix until all combined. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and both sugars until combined. Mix in milk, oil, and vanilla extract. Mixture will be a bit of a pale yellow. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix everything together by hand. Avoid over mixing which would result in tough, dry muffins.* Gently mix until all the flour is off the bottom of the bowl and no big pockets of flour remain. The batter will be extremely thick and lumpy. Fold in the chocolate chips, then very gently (to avoid them from leaking their colour), fold in the raspberries.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin, filling all the way to the top.* Sprinkle tops with extra sugar. Bake at 425′ for 5 minutes.* Keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce temperature to 375 and continue to bake for 14 minutes until tops are lightly golden. Insert a toothpick into the centre and it should come out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Muffins taste better the same day, but they will last for up to 5 days if stored at room temperature in an airtight container.

*Be sure to read below for details and rationale for baking temps, etc…*

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These muffins are so good!!! Super – moist and they come out extra tall if you fill the batter to the brim in your muffin tins. Baking them at a higher temp for the first 5 minutes (before lowering the oven temperature) lifts the muffin top up quickly and creates a tall crust.

They taste like your favourite bakery style muffins – you really should try them. Muffins from scratch are super easy, especially if you have a recipe to follow ;). These would be great with dark chocolate chips or semi as well. I actually wanted to use semi-sweet, however I didn’t have enough chipits left in the bag! Then I saw that I had a full bag of white chocolate chips and I actually did a bit of both (even though the recipe states “white chocolate”)! Be sure to use fresh raspberries as the frozen ones have too much juice – leakage.
Tart, sweet, and decadent all in one bite 😀 . Put away the cereal, don’t toast that bagel and you’ll thank me later! 😉

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A Sweet Visitor and An Even Sweeter Coffee Cake

My sister came up to visit us a couple weekends ago. It’s such a blessing to be staying in a place where we have room for guests to stay when they come to visit! My sister and I are super close, more so now than when we were younger. There are eight years in between us, and when you’re graduating elementary school, while your sister is starting elementary school, it’s hard to relate to one another. But as we’ve grown into adulthood, we developed a strong bond and she is my very best friend. We have more in common now, too, which makes spending time together even more enjoyable.

Britt & I image1

She spent the weekend here, and it was nice just to talk and visit. I haven’t seen her since the holidays, so it was nice to catch up. We went to the mall, watched a few movies, and went out for lunch a couple of times. Some much needed quality “girl time”. And of course, we HAD to find some time to bake in there. I think she likes to bake just as much as I do (or is she just being the agreeable younger sibling to her first born sister? 😉 ).

We decided to bake a coffee cake. Something sweet that would accompany our addiction favourite morning drink…you guessed it – COFFEE! We’re pretty big fans of any caffeinated bevy. A cinnamon streusel coffee cake. Streusel means “something strewn” in old German – easy to throw together! It’s topped with a sweet glaze, which is perfect for it. And has a delicious inner circle of cinnamon. Everyone needs a solid coffee cake recipe in their repertoire, so here ya go!


Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake:

Ingredients:

Streusel Topping and Center:

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

course salt

1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 1/2 cups pecans, coarsely chopped

For the Cake:

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/4 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

course salt

1 cup granulated sugar

2 lg. eggs

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup sour cream (I used plain greek yogurt)

For the Glaze:

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

2 tbsp. milk

Directions:

Make the streusel topping: Mix together flour, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cut in butter using a pastry cutter or rub in with your fingers until small to medium clumps form. Mix in 1/2 cup pecans. I put some plastic wrap on the top, and popped it in the fridge until I was ready to use it.

For the streusel center: Mix together remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1 cup pecans.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the cake: Butter a 9-inch tube pan. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt into a bowl.

Beat butter and granulated sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, then vanilla. Beat in flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with sour cream (or greek yogurt!), beginning and ending with flour. Continue to beat until well combined.

Spoon half the batter into pan. Sprinkle streusel center mixture evenly over batter. Top with remaining batter, and spread evenly using an spatula. Sprinkle streusel topping mixture evenly over batter.

Bake until cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 50 mins – 1 hr. Once a bit cool, remove from pan and transfer to a wire rack. Let cool completely.

Make the glaze: Once completely cooled, you can glaze it up! Mix together confectioners’ sugar and milk. Drizzle over cake, and let drip down sides. Let set for 5 minutes before serving.

** Best enjoyed with a hot cuppa java 😉 **

Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

Recipe adapted from Southern Food

{Check out my cinnamon scone recipe here!}

Carrot Cake Cookies

I usually bake at least one item/treat/baked good for Matt to be able to pack in his lunch. I rather like this domesticated diva business over these past several months 😉 . I usually see carrot cake cookie recipes iced with a cream cheese frosting. Well, that would be delicious, but I didn’t happen to have any cream cheese on hand. Did that stop me from making these?! Nooooo way! Mine were iced with a fresh, citrusy orange glaze instead – it was the perfect match for them! This a great, Spring-y recipe that results in soft, chewy cookies. Mmm! 😀 The perfect recipe if you’re looking to make cookies for Easter.

Carrot Cake Cookies


Carrot Cake Cookies:

Makes about 30 cookies

Ingredients:

Cookies:

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 egg

1 1/2 cups flour (I used all-purpose)

3/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1/2 tsp. b. soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup carrots, coarsely grated

1/2 cup raisins (optional)

1/2 cup walnuts (optional)

Orange Glaze:

1 cup confectioners (icing) sugar

1 tbsp. butter, melted

1 tbsp. juice of an orange

1/2 tsp. orange zest

Orange Frosting

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350*. In a large bowl, cream butter, brown sugar, and vanilla. Add egg and mix well. Add flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and salt and mix until completely combined. Fold in carrots (and raisins and walnuts, if using them). Place spoonfuls of dough on an ungreased baking sheets and bake for 9-12 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet and place on cooling rack. Ice cookies with orange glaze once they have cooled to room temperature.

Orange Glaze:

In a small bowl, whisk together icing sugar with butter and orange juice. Add more or less butter and icing sugar (depending on how thick you want it). Spread glaze over cookies and top with orange zest.

Cookies

Enjoy!

*Recipe inspired by From Cupboard to Cupboard*


Well, I hope you give these a go! They truly are delicious.

What are some of your favourite cookie recipes? Please share!