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The last several weeks at church, my Sunday School class has been discussing what the Bible says about contentment. It seemed to be a common theme that many of the ladies in class (self included) struggled with feeling content with their homes. So to put into practice what we’ve been discussing in class, I want to exercise my “spirit of gratitude” and make a list of the things I love about our home to focus on the positives, which there are many. Here we go…

1. One-level living. I absolutely love that everything is on one floor (especially the laundry room).
2. Cabinets and Storage. We have at least doubled our cabinet space that our house in town had.
3. DIY-ing. This house is a DIY-ers dream! I’ve painted almost every surface and get a lot of satisfaction in seeing such huge improvements.
4. Who puts carpet under a dining room table?! Although I hated it when we first moved here, I actually love it. It’s cozy to sit at the table. And you don’t see every little food crumb that gets dropped on the floor.
5. Masters. Matt and I have a true Master bedroom, which is much bigger than our old house. It has a vaulted ceiling, a walk-in closet, and our own private bathroom.
6. Room with a view. We have six large windows in our living room with a sweet view of the lake.
7. I wish I liked to cook. But even though I don’t, I love having a gas stove. And I love that the stove is in our island and faces towards the living area so I can cook and have a full view of whatever the kids are up to.
8. Is it smaller or bigger? I think the overall square footage in this house is less than our old one, but this house feels bigger. Our living area, kitchen, and dining area are probably twice what our house in town was.
9. More about carpet. I should mention that my in-laws had brand new carpet put in. And it’s a perfect, forgiving dark tan. Much better than the light beige we had before. Sure, kids. You can dump grape juice on the living room floor.
10. I’m the dishwasher. We don’t have a dishwasher. I hadn’t washed dishes by hand for years until we moved here. And I actually love it. I realize that I hate loading and unloading a dishwasher and that it’s much easier and quicker to just wash them by hand and put them away right away.

So I’ll leave it at that. Short and sweet. No need for pictures. And a great reminder to myself that our double-wide is a pretty nice set-up, and we are lucky to have it as our home.


My “Why We Get Fat” Review and Results

We’ve all heard about “the diet that changed my life” from other people.  It’s so cliche.  However, after reading Gary Taubes’ “Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It“, I have to say it: This is the diet that changed my life!  Or at least the way I think about why people get fat.

When my daughter reached the 8-month mark in January and I was still hanging on to 20 pounds extra baby weight, I jumped on the New Year bandwagon to lose weight.  My husband recommended I read Gary Taubes’ book, which he had heard about from an acquaintance who lost a great deal of weight after reading it. I did read it.  In less than 2 days.  And I haven’t turned back since!

Here is the jest of the book and the diet Gary recommends: eat low carb.  Now I know what you’re probably thinking!  “Those diets are dangerous…it’s just an Atkins diet..etc, etc”.

My advice to you is to read it anyways!  Borrow it from someone if you don’t want to buy it.  But find a way to read it.

After reading the book, my mind was blown away with the idea that eating carbohydrates (sugars) is what ultimately makes us fat.  It all comes down to insulin, the hormone that is released from the pancreas when we ingest sugar (whether it be in brown rice, fruit, or pie!).  Insulin has a huge effect on how our body uses energy and on our fat storage.  Basically by eliminated sugars from our diet, both simple and complex, our body greatly decreases insulin production and starts to burn fat for energy instead of carbs.

This just scratches the surface of what is in the book.  Just read it, and you’ll get why the way I eat will forever be different, and for the better!

So after reading the book, my husband and I started following the diet recommended in the Appendix of the book.  It is simple and to the point.  Basically any type of meat and non-starchy vegetable is allowed.  Any low carb dressings, oils, butters, etc are allowed.  As long as it’s low carb you can eat it.

My first weigh-in was January 3rd at 159.8 pounds.

The first week was awful.  I was fighting cravings for anything sweet, because I was pretty much a chocolate addict.  Day 3 I woke up feeling really shaky and weak.  This is normal however, because my body was in the process of switching form burning carbs for energy to burning fat.  So all-in-all it was a good sign.

Since I got past that, it’s been the easiest way of eating ever!  I can eat whenever I’m hungry, until I’m full.  There is no denying myself food when I’m hungry.  As long as I eat low-carb I can eat until I’m full whenever I feel hungry.  I also have not exercised.  Let me repeat I HAVE NOT EXERCISED!

Here are the results of my weekly weigh-ins thus far:

Jan 3:   159.8

Jan 9:    152.4  (-7.4 lbs)  (this is largely water weight which is typical the first week to lose)

Jan 16:  149.4  (-3 lbs)

Jan 23:  148.6  (-0.8 lbs)

Jan 30:  148.0  (-0.6 lbs)

Feb 6:    145.0   (-3 lbs)

Feb 13:  143.8   (-1.2 lbs)

Feb 20:  143.6  (-0.2 lbs)

OVERALL WEIGHT LOSS:  16.2 lbs in 7 weeks

In 7 weeks I am just about to my pre-pregnancy weight of 140.  I am going to keep eating this way indefinitely.  The health benefits (decreased risk of diabetes, obesity, heart disease, etc) are laid out in the book.  I am hoping to lose another 10 pounds and reach 130, which was the weight I was before having any babies at all!

I am sold on this lifestyle and I just want to shout it out to the entire world because I believe in it.

I will keep you updated on my progress!  Until then, read “Why We Get Fat“!




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A Free Personal Bra Fitting in Your Home!

Now that I’m almost done nursing my daughter, I am getting excited about being able to wear a “real” bra again.  No little clips on the straps.  No cups that flip down.  No need for breast pads.  Yay me!

The past few days I’ve been having fun looking at pretty bras online, and dreaming of the day I can soon wear something like that again!  But in doing so I discovered that not only am I probably not wearing the right bra size currently, I probably NEVER have worn the right bra size!

Go ahead and gasp all you want, but I have never in my entire life had a proper bra fitting.  I guess I’m one of those people that feels embarrassed about the idea of a stranger measuring me up.  But two kids later, I realize there is nothing to be embarrassed about, and I want a bra that is going to fit perfectly and make my post-baby boobies look nice again.  At least as nice as possible.

Before I had kids I thought I was a 34B.  My boobs were perky and small enough that really it didn’t matter a whole lot if my bra didn’t fit me the best.  After I had kids I “guess-timated” that since I’d gained weight, I’d probably gone up a band size and cup size.  So since then I’ve been wearing a 36C.  Sounds good, right?

I thought so, until I found this: An online bra sized calculator from the designer bra company Chantelle.

After typing my measurements in and the “symptoms” of my bra fit (spilling out of the top of the cups and the back strap riding  up), I found out that I am probably more like a 32DD or 34D.  Wow!

That can’t be right, can it?  So I decided to dig a little deeper and do some more research.  I found a few “bra expert” websites, but I found HerRoom.com to be very helpful with bra fitting advice and why I am really a 32DD instead of a 36C.  In fact, I learned that about 90% of women are walking around with a band size that is much too large and a cup size that is too small!  Read the bra fitting advice yourself!  Linda’s Online also is a great resource for bra fit troubleshooting.

So after discovering this, I finally realized one day I’m going to have to suck it up and get fitted by an actual person.  A lot of times the first place we thing of to go is Victoria’s Secret.  However, I am hesitant as I know a lot of people who have gone to get fitted there and the associate helping them had no idea what they’re doing.  Somehow I came across the boutique “Intimacy”, who’s owner Susan Nethero has been featured on Oprah and other shows and is called the “bra whisperer”.  Intimacy offers a free one-on-one consultation and even bra alterations.  It sounds wonderful!  Unfortunately, her closest shop is about 8 hours away from me in Chicago.

Then I found (what I think is) the next best thing!  FreshPair.com offers something called “At Home Bra Fitting”.  The more I read about it, the more I realized it was for people like me (who are a little too shy to be measured up in a store).  You set up a phone consultation with a bra fit expert in which they address your style, fit problems, and sizing.  After that the fit expert selects 10-20 bras based on the consultation and mails them free.  You don’t even have to pay for the bras.  You are then giveyn a week to try them on and decide which ones work.  Then you send the ones that don’t work back in a pre-paid package (return shipping is also free).  You are only charged for the bras you keep and are under no obligation to buy.  How awesome!  They offer a large variety of brands too, from less expensive ones like Maidenform to designer brands like Chantelle and Panache.

I hope to try this service out someday!  And if anyone has ever tried it or is thinking about it too, let me know how it goes!

And happy lingerie shopping!

(I was not paid or given any incentive to post about FreshPair’s At Home Bra Fitting)


With the near arrival of Baby #2, I decided it was time to get my nursing bra wardrobe in line.  The nursing bras I had bought at Target for Baby #1 were looking pretty tough, plus I never loved them in the first place.  I decided that it would be worth spending more money on a nursing bra that I loved.  After doing a lot of research, one brand continually surfaced as a favorite: Bravado.But since I am a sucker for a great deal, I spent an equal amount of time scouring the internet for the best deal on Bravado bras.  That’s when I came across Nurtured Family.  Nurtured Family is an online retailer offering everything from maternity and nursing clothing and supplies to diapering and baby gear.  It also has a brick-and-mortar store located in Houston. Let me note that Nurtured Family neither contacted me to do this review or compensated me in any way. I’m writing this all on my own to pass on my good find to you!

The first thing that caught my attention was the fact that their prices were lower than those on the Bravado website, and were equally as low or lower than Amazon.  On top of that, by signing up for the Nurtured Family newsletter, I received an extra 10% off of my order.  I was able to get the Bravado Original Nursing Bra, normally $35, for under $30 with this deal!  By far this was the best deal I could find online.  I also ordered a few Bravado Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bras with the 10% off coupon and secured another fabulous deal.  Even better is the bras were shipped for free!Nurtured Family offers a lowest price guarantee so you know you’ll get the best price you can find.  Returns are also easy and there is no cost to exchange a bra.

I won’t be buying nursing bras from anywhere else now that I’ve found Nurtured Family.  Their prices and newsletter deal can’t be beat.  Trust me, I’ve looked!  Go for it: Try Bravado nursing bras and Nurtured Family!


After a nearly disastrous grocery shopping trip with my 19 month old son, I knew I needed to do something different.  The problem?  He refused to sit in the shopping cart.  And, being 7 months pregnant at the time, I tried holding his hand and having him walk next to me through the store.  That didn’t work either.  He wanted to do what he wanted to do, and would collapse on the floor when I’d try redirecting him.  Being we were desperate for groceries, I packed him on my hip the rest of the shopping trip.  By the time I got home, I was completely exhausted.  Thus, my search for a toddler carrier began!

I am a review junkie, so I started by scouring Amazon for reviews on different carriers.  I originally thought about getting a woven wrap so I could use it for both the new baby and my son, but I wanted something quicker and with less of a learning curve, as well as something my husband would be willing to wear.  There are a lot of options out there for soft structured carriers, but I found most of them to be either really girly or awkward looking, both of which I know my husband would never wear.  Or myself for that matter!  Luckily, I came across Boba.  Not only did it have the look and style I was going for, but it got nearly perfect reviews from Amazon customers.There were many color options that I liked, which made the choice a hard one.  I wanted a color that would be neutral for a boy or girl, which really most of the color options would be perfect for.  After consulting my husband for his input, we decided to order the Boba in Mist.  The gray straps, I thought, were a little more “manly” than the chocolate brown, and the lighter color would hopefully make it cooler to wear in the summer.  But what I love is how the apple green accent adds a pop of color and is perfect for a boy or girl.

The Boba arrived in a nice boxed package which included a full-color booklet with wearing instructions.  The instructions were very easy to follow.

I practiced putting my son in at home with the help of a mirror.  It felt a little awkward trying to slide him in on my back, but then again I was 7 months pregnant at the time.  With that said, it only took a minute to get him situated, the straps adjusted, and then he was securely, and comfortably, on my back.

But now the real test; wearing him in public!  We went to one of the first garage sales of the season, which is always a huge event in our small town as people are excited to say goodbye to winter.  I decided to bring the Boba along, but honestly didn’t think I’d need to use it.  In a last minute decision, I threw it on with my son, and boy am I glad I did!  A huge crowd was at the sale and it would have been literally impossible to weave through the people and items if he hadn’t had been on my back.  So my first Boba debut in public was definitely a success and I could see it was already a worthwhile investment.

The second time the Boba was used, my father-in-law wore it.  A group of us went to a train show, which was another extremely crowded venue.  My father-in-law insisted on wearing my son since I was now 8 months pregnant at the time.  I was a little reluctant since he has a bad back, but he had no complaints and wore it comfortably the entire time.  My son loved it too!

I am now 9 months pregnant and can still comfortably wear him on my back.  The straps are very comfortable on my shoulders and below my expanding belly and are easily adjustable.  I am 9 months pregnant in the following pictures.  We are not using the foot straps but it gives you an idea of the fit.

My son, who is now 21 months old and under 30 pounds, loves to be carried around in it.  He will see it sitting out, point and say “backpack” when he wants to go for a ride.  I really couldn’t be happier with it and I’m excited for all of the use it will get from my son and our new baby on the way.

Unfortunately, since I have been very pregnant since we’ve had our Boba, I haven’t been able to test the front carrying feature, but it’s definitely something I’ll be trying with our new baby.

Here are some of the key features of the Boba Carrier:

  • For infants/children 15-45 pounds
  • Removable sleeping hood
  • Adjustable foot straps for toddlers- (keeps their knees at an ergonomic 90 degree angle)
  • Padded, fully-adjustable straps
  • Daddy friendly color options

The Boba Carrier is very reasonably priced around $128.  I highly recommend the Boba to all of my friends and family, and to anyone in search of a soft structured carrier.  We couldn’t be happier with ours and it’s been a great purchase!

What do you think of the Boba Carrier?


At 36 weeks of pregnancy, I’m feeling the itch to pack my hospital bag.  Being this is my second time doing this, my bag is going to be a little bit different than last time based on what I learned.  A lot of lists I found on the internet the first time around had me packing everything-under-the-kitchen-sink, most of it which I never even touched.  So if you’re like me and just want the much-needed basics, follow my guide.

IntoBaby’s Basic Hospital Bag

  • Maternity/loose bottoms and top for going home
  • 2 Nursing bras- I recommend Bravado!  One for the hospital, one to wear home.
  • Nursing pads- You probably won’t need many since your milk won’t come in for a few days after the baby is born.
  • Sanitary pads- The hospital will provide them, but I feel more comfortable bringing a few of my own as well.
  • Socks and underwear– A couple pair of each will do.  The hospital provides disposible underwear, which I prefer to use so mine stay clean. 
  • Shoes- Preferably a pair that can double for walking the halls and going home to lighten the packing load.
  • Toiletries/cosmetics- Travel-sized shampoo, conditioner, deodorant and very basic make-up is all I bring.  Bring what is important to you.  I leave all my hair “appliances” at home.
  • Camera and charger
  • Cell Phone and charger
  • 1 Take-home outfit for baby

Very basic, right?  Well, I learned with the first baby that this was really all I ended up using.  No need to bring a fancy robe and slippers, or a change of clothes for each day you’re there.  I simply wore the hospital gowns they provided the entire time and used as much as the “freebies” they provided as possible.  Less for me to have to haul in, less to clean when I get home. 

If you’re curious what I brought the first time I packed for the hospital that we didn’t really use, read on.  You may find some of these things will work for you, even though I never used them myself.

Hospital Bag “Extras”- (That we never used)

  • Birth/Labor Plan: Just about everywhere I read said have at least 2 copies of your birth plan with you in your hospital bag.  We never used it.  We had already discussed with our doctor ahead of time plans for pain management, etc.
  • Breastfeeding pillow: We dragged the Boppy along, but didn’t need it.  The blankets and pillows on the bed did a great job during the middle of the night.
  • Breast Pump: My milk didn’t come in until a day or two after we got home from the hospital.
  • Robe and slippers:  As stated before, I opted to use the hospital gowns provided
  • Wash cloths:  We brought a few in case labor was long and hard and I needed a cool down.  The hospital had them, plus I never used them.
  • Pillow: Most sources I read said to bring your own pillow for comfort.  The hospital provided plenty of pillows so comfort was never an issue.  (Although my  husband definitely prefers to bring his own!)

With that said, light-packer or not, I am considering bringing my Nook Color (my Mother’s Day present!) which I can use to keep people updated on facebook, and read books and magazines if I need any entertainment. 

The important thing about packing your hospital bag is bring what you know will be important to you!  Each person has their own opinions as to what is essential or not, so pack as light or heavy as you need to meet your needs.  Just keep in mind that you’ll be leaving the hospital with a baby in a car seat, and probably numerous supplies given by the hospital, as well as any flowers and gifts you’ll receive.  That’s why I’m packing much lighter this time! 

It also is a good idea to have your bag packed by the time you’re full term to make sure it’s ready to go, and keep it in the car with you when you go places, or go to your doctor appointments.  You never know how fast labor will go, so it’s best to be ready! 

With that said, happy packing!

What did you pack in your  hospital bag?



Mother’s Day Gift Ideas for a New Mom

A word of advice for the men of the world:  Don’t forget about Mother’s Day!  Whether the lady in your life is expecting your first child or you’ve already got a quiver-full, it’s time to step up and do something to show you appreciate her.  And no, you don’t get a free pass if she says she doesn’t want anything for Mother’s Day.  She may mean it, but I can guarantee a woman will never turn down a gift, so go ahead and do something anyways.  It will only mean that much more to her, especially if it’s her first Mother’s Day as a mom.

If you’re not sure what to do for her on Mother’s Day, just read below to get some great ideas for every budget and personality:

On a tight budget?  No problem!  There are many things you can do for her that can actually mean so much more than just going and buying the most expensive item you can find.  Make her her favorite breakfast in the morning, or plan a picnic lunch for you to share outside together.  Go for a walk together, tell her she’s beautiful, hold her hand.  Get her a card from the baby.  Make it a relaxing and sentimental day.  Draw her a bath and give her a back massage.  The possibilities are endless!

For the green thumb:  Does she like to garden?  Scour the nurseries for her favorite flowers to add to her garden.  Or find some accesories to add to her garden: statues, bird baths, benches.  Be a part of planting the flowers and arranging the items.

For the practical mom:  Has she been wanting a new vacuum, dishwasher, or even a stroller for the baby?  Don’t think that a practical gift will be unappreciated.  In fact, as weird as it may sound, practical gifts can be some of the most exciting things a woman can receive.  So keep your ears open for what your lady has been wishing for.

For the pampered mom:  Maybe you consider her to be a little “high maintainance”?  These women will be easy to please by arranging some spa treatments.  A professional massage, pedicure, or hair treatment will be a very thoughtful and welcome gift, anytime!  A gift card to her favorite store is a great idea too.

Just remember, it’s not so much important to us ladies as to what you do, but more that you make an effort and do something.  The first Mother’s Day especially means a lot, since it is a new celebration.  Don’t be intimidated by it or overwhelmed, just do something from your heart and it will be just fine.  And remember, Father’s Day is just around the corner!

Any good ideas for celebrating a first Mother’s Day?


Write a Poem: Win a Moby Wrap!

Want to win a Moby Wrap?  The people at Moby Wrap are currently hosting a poetry contest, ending April 26th, giving you a chance to win the Moby of your choice!  I just entered, and I’ll be sharing my poem after the contest ends.  They are giving away 3 Mobys total, so get your creative juices flowing and join in on the fun!  Read more about the contest here.  Let me know if you enter.  And definitely let me know if you win!  Good luck!


Maybe I am a complete oddity, but I have to admit, I am not very good at the being pregnant thing.  I really don’t find anything enjoyable about it; the constant morning sickness (for me it lasts the whole pregnancy), the weight gain, the stretch marks, the emotions, the kicks in the gut.  Being pregnant can be very disheartening at times when I look around and see all of my pregnant friends rockin’ the “pregnancy glow” and loving every minute of it.  And it often makes me wonder what is wrong with me that I don’t like being pregnant?

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I definitely agree that pregnancy is an amazing thing.  A miracle if you want to say.  I love the end result.  But I can’t say I love the journey to get there.  I definitely felt this way with my first pregnancy.  I was sick the entire pregnancy.  On top of that, I ended up with pre-eclampsia and was put on bedrest for a few weeks.  And, on top of that, the baby scared us by staying in the breech position until the last possible minute. 

I thought the fact that I didn’t really enjoy my first pregnancy was the fact that, well, it was my first.  Everything was new to me.  And all of the health concerns didn’t help either.  So I thought my second would be easier and more enjoyable.  Wrong.  I almost feel like this pregnancy is harder than my first.  Not only do I have the morning sickness issue again, but my stretch marks have multiplied at an amazing rate compared to the first.  The weight has gone on faster, and I feel like I’m huge.  My husband reminds me that I’m pregnant and it’s normal, but I don’t love how I feel.  I don’t feel pregnant, I feel fat! 

Now to continue with my ranting.  I don’t like how I can’t sleep through the night cause I have to go to bathroom and chug a glass of water every few hours.  I don’t like the painful feeling I get in my groin when my ligaments start stretching.  I don’t like how it’s hard to put my shoes on or shave my legs.  I even don’t really enjoy feeling the baby move.  Of course, I am glad my baby is healthy and moving, but it is more uncomfortable than enjoyable for me.

Maybe I’m being a pessimist, but I personally can’t find many things about being pregnant that are great.  And I am definitely happy for (and maybe even envious) of people who love it. 

But, maybe there is a small chance you are one of those outnumbered people, like me, who don’t really like it.  If this is your first baby, rest assured knowing that your pregnancy experience will not negatively affect your love for you baby.  You may not love being pregnant, but you will love you baby.  And if it’s your second or third, etc, you’re a seasoned vet and you know you just have to endure and the end result is so worth it!

So if you don’t like being pregnant, don’t feel alone!  And don’t be afraid to share it.  It doesn’t make you a horrible mother.  In fact, there may be more people who felt the same way as you than you would think.

Did/do you enjoy being pregnant?  P


I recently came across two unique websites, BabySteals.com and MamaBargains.com, both which sell deeply discounted baby items on a first-come-first serve basis.  Discounted items are at least 50% off of retail price, and go up to 80% off.  The concept is simple and very fun: a few baby items are posted on the site at one time, and once the items are sold out, they are gone forever.  At this point another discounted item will be posted in its place.   Most items go very quickly so you’ve got to be quick on the draw to get such a great deal.

Items offered on these sites vary greatly, from maternity items, nursery decorations, clothing, feeding items, toys, gear and the list goes on.  Featured brands include ERGO, BabyLegs, Ju-Ju-Be, and more.  It’s such an exciting way to shop because you never know what type of deal you’re going to stumble upon that day (or moment). 

My first purchase from these sites were from MamaBargains.com on their “Five-Dollar Friday”.  Apparently any random items they have left from earlier in the week get sold for $5 on Fridays just to get rid of it.  I got 2 pair of Baby Legs (normally $12 a piece) and 2 pair of Me-In-Mind shoes (retailing for $27/piece) all for $5 each.  Shipping is also very reasonable with a lot of shipping options. 

Make sure you check these sites out. You just might find a steal/bargain on that baby item you’ve been looking for.  And make sure you share this with your friends!