Bottle-feeding can make life SO much easier with your new little baby! Here's the tips and tricks we learned along the way!

This post was sponsored by Philips Avent as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

When I was pregnant, I had all the questions that a new mom does: diapers, feeding, sleeping, everything. Honestly, I had barely held a baby prior to Declan. Looking back at the first month with Declan, one of the first things we mastered was bottle-feeding

Declan started bottle-feeding at a pretty early age (read: 2 ½ weeks), so we jumped right in to it. After some trial and error, we found little tricks and tips that made a huge difference in making bottle-feeding pretty easy and really efficient.

One of the questions I get from friends is how much work it really is to keep up with the cleaning, organizing and storing of the bottles. Um, hello have we met? While I barely knew how to change a diaper, let’s just say I rocked the bottle.

Joking aside, I spent a little time this past week thinking about what’s made our bottle-feeding process so easy. It really boiled down to these areas:

Bottle-feeding can make life SO much easier with your new little baby! Here's the tips and tricks we learned along the way!

Use high quality bottles

First things, first. Use high quality bottles. Friends told me stories about needing to test out multiple bottles before finding one their kiddos like.

Fortunately, we never experienced that. Maybe because Declan went straight to the bottle so quickly. Maybe, because we bought the right one from the beginning. Who knows? We’ve been using Philips Avent Anti-colic bottle with AirFree vent.

In these bottles, the nipple stays full of milk, not air, during feeding even when bottle is horizontal, so baby can drink from an upright position. While I didn’t totally appreciate this feature when picking out bottles while I was pregnant, I came to be super thankful for it when feeding Declan. It’s designed to help baby swallow less air which means baby is calm and comfortable during and after feedings (basically a win-win for everyone).

Bottle-feeding can make life SO much easier with your new little baby! Here's the tips and tricks we learned along the way!

Own enough bottles for an entire day

As a newborn, Declan was feeding about 8 times a day. You all know I’m more of a ‘less is more’ kind of gal, but I found having enough bottles to feed the kiddo for an entire day without having to clean them was worth it. From the time Declan was born we had 9 Philips Avent bottles. Which leads me to the next tip…

Get efficient with cleaning

One of the first challenges that crossed my mind about bottle-feeding was …. well ALL the bottles that we had to deal with. Our bottles went straight to the dishwasher. You can use a little basket to put the parts in, but we found that allocating one utensil holder got the parts clean.

With the Philips Avent Anti-colic bottle, the AirFree vent is one piece making it really easy to clean. This may not seem like a huge deal, but when cleaning 9 bottles a day, you’ll be happy to have fewer pieces! 

We typically run our dishwasher every day, so cleaning bottles was simply incorporated in to our daily routine.

Bottle-feeding can make life SO much easier with your new little baby! Here's the tips and tricks we learned along the way!

Prep bottles each morning

One of the BEST tips I received from a fellow mom was to make a days’ worth of bottles each morning. Then when it’s feeding time, I simply grabbed a bottle from the fridge. I found this to be SO much easier than mixing formula with a crying baby in hand. It didn’t dawn on me to do this until several of my mom friends mentioned it. #mindblown

Tracking

Since Declan was bottle-fed, Joe and my parents could also help with feedings (#amazing); but that meant there needed to be coordination of who was feeding when. Fortunately, there are so many apps that make tracking feedings so easy (we used BabyConnect).

Whatever app you choose to use, make sure it allows for multiple people to connect to the same account. That way, everyone (partners, babysitters, grandparents, etc) can enter feedings directly to the app.

Bottle-feeding can make life SO much easier with your new little baby! Here's the tips and tricks we learned along the way!

Diaper bag

Getting out of the house often was pretty important to me, especially since we had Declan in the spring and Seattle weather during that time is pretty amazing (winter on the other hand = rain). Looking back, I never really worried about forgetting a bottle when we left the house, as we always had a well-stocked diaper bag.

I included an extra bottle, formula and a small unopened bottled water. Yet the reality was when a baby is a newborn, you NEVER forget about feeding. No matter how you feed your baby, it’s always on your mind before you leave the house.

Bottle-feeding can make life SO much easier with your new little baby! Here's the tips and tricks we learned along the way!

Storage

You all know how I feel about clear counters (#lovethem) so having baby bottles sitting out all over our counters wasn’t going to happen in our house. We dedicated ONE small area of our kitchen counter for bottles.

Read: ONE.

We used a small drying rack that was place on the counter closest to the dishwasher. In my ideal world bottles would be placed in a cabinet out of sight, but realistically it was much easier to have these at arm’s reach on the drying rack (especially during the first few months when Declan was drinking up to 8-9 bottles a day).

 Now that we got in such a rhythm that I’m now dreading transitioning to a sippy cup.

Bottle-feeding can make life SO much easier with your new little baby! Here's the tips and tricks we learned along the way!

 


Follow:
Share:

Keeping your work bag organized keeps your work TIME more organized as well. It’s a win-win in my book!

Keep your work bag organized, while storing all the essentials that you need throughout the day. Here's what we keep in our bag for the long work days!

While I work from home the majority of the time, several days a week I’m stationed at a coffee shop pounding away on my laptop. During the days I’m not at home, I try my best to utilize my time well. I’m much more efficient without tempting distractions (aka dishes that need to be done), so I value this work time! A big part of the success of my coffee shop work time is coming prepared with everything I need in my work bag to be as efficient as possible.

Here’s what I pack in my work bag

I’ve always been a big fan of pouches. You’ll find them in my suitcase, purse and work bag. In my work bag, I always keep at least two pouches.

Electronics Pouch

Keep your work bag organized, while storing all the essentials that you need throughout the day. Here's what we keep in our bag for the long work days!One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six | Seven

  1. Computer Charger | Since I have an older laptop with a dying battery, I always keep my computer charger nearby!
  2. External Hard Drive | Every week, I backup the documents on my computer to my external hard drive. I get nervous that my computer could crash and I would forever lose all my documents! Ahh!
  3. Phone Charger Cord | I like to have several of these on hand in our home as I’m notorious for my phone dying.
  4. Portable Charger | When there’s no outlet to plug my phone in to, this portable charger has been my lifesaver!
  5. Headphones | I get distracted easily, so popping in my headphones and listening to music while I work is really helpful.
  6. Portable Flash Drive | I always keep at least one of these in my bag to easily backup my work.
  7. Clips to secure the cords | I like to keep all my cords under control! Having clips to keep them from tangling keeps me sane 🙂

For my smaller, thinner cords, I love these cord clips:

Keep your work bag organized, while storing all the essentials that you need throughout the day. Here's what we keep in our bag for the long work days!

Sometimes the best solution is found around the house: thick rubber bands often do the trick!

Keep your work bag organized, while storing all the essentials that you need throughout the day. Here's what we keep in our bag for the long work days!

Blog Supplies Pouch

Keep your work bag organized, while storing all the essentials that you need throughout the day. Here's what we keep in our bag for the long work days!

One | Two | Three | Four | Five

 

  1. Business Card Holder | I not only keep my business cards, but also business contacts I’ve met through conferences and work trips.
  2. Mini Sticky Notes | Always in bright colors!
  3. Receipt Holder | I keep all my receipts in pouches so that I’m able to process my taxes easily. I’m in the process of writing a post detailing how I handle all my blog finances!
  4. Note Pad | I typically take notes digitally, but I ldo ike to keep a pad of paper nearby.
  5. Pens & Highlighters | My pens go missing all the time, so I like to carry several!

Keep your work bag organized, while storing all the essentials that you need throughout the day. Here's what we keep in our bag for the long work days!

If I don’t also have my purse with me, I’ll pack my wallet, sunglasses and a

Toiletry Pouch

Keep your work bag organized, while storing all the essentials that you need throughout the day. Here's what we keep in our bag for the long work days!

I like to keep mini versions of toiletry items that I use regularly. This includes items such as a small brush, lotion, chapstick, breath mints, nail file, mascara and a nail file.

Keep your work bag organized, while storing all the essentials that you need throughout the day. Here's what we keep in our bag for the long work days!

My laptop is by far the heaviest item in my bag. It’s an older cheaper laptop which automatically means it weighs more than any out on the market today. Because of this, I like to use a sturdy work bag. If you’re willing to spend the money, I’m a huge fan of Lo and Sons bags, but I’ve found a canvas LL Bean bag also checks all my requirements!

Lastly, I bring a couple folders. The first is my ‘business folder’ which is part of my system to track of net earnings (more on this in a future post). The second is a ‘notes’ folder that includes anything written down from conferences and work trips (I’m a huge note taker).

Love these tips? Pin it for Later! Keep your work bag organized, while storing all the essentials that you need throughout the day. Here's what we keep in our bag for the long work days!

Now I just need to grab a coffee and get to work 🙂 .

 


 

 


 

Follow:
Share:

These whole lemon ice cubes are an easy way to start the day off with a healthy drink! 

These whole lemon ice cubes are a perfect healthy start to the day!

It’s been a goal of mine to drink more water for YEARS. Along with eat healthier, get more sleep, exercise regularly. Yeah, you get it. Yep, all the standard ‘New Years Resolution’ goals.

But drinking more water shouldn’t be THAT hard, right?

Well, for me it has been. Maybe because I drink too much coffee. Maybe it’s because I really don’t love the taste of water. I mean, it’s so plain.

All those restaurants offering lemon water are on to something. It just tastes better. Adding fruit to water lately has really helped me drink just a little bit more each day.

Except …. remembering to buy lemons each week, slice them and squeeze for each glass of water is a little too much work for this non-water drinking gal. Oh and then there’s the dirty dishes & utensils that it creates.

Lemons are loaded with vitamins and immune boosting benefits. While it’s definitely worth the work to drink a glass of lemon water each day, I knew there was an easier way to prep this.

Here’s what I do instead: Whole Lemon Ice Cubes

Buy LOTS of lemons during ONE trip to the grocery store.

Like I mentioned above, lemons have LOTS of health benefits. But would you believe the PEEL actually contains the most? Crazy, right? No, I’m not eating the peels, but I am going to drink them.

I chop up all the lemons I purchased, place them in a high speed blender  (adding a little water )and blend until the consistency is smooth.

Blend whole lemons to make lemon ice cubes!

I pour roughly 1/2 inch of juice in each cube of an ice tray.  Then place the tray on a flat surface in my freezer.

Each morning, I pour a large water bottle full of water and toss a lemon cube in!

If you like to drink warm water instead, simply heat up your water before adding the lemon cube to melt.

freezing lemons is a perfect way to make lemon ice cubes for daily drinking!

Start your day off right with a big glass of lemon water!

Love this tip? Don’t forget to Pin It for Later!Easy freezer whole lemon ice cubes are an easy way to start the morning healthy!

 

 

Follow:
Share:

I LOVE a good DIY project, except when it turns out like a #Pinterestfail. Here’s my tips to make your next home project a success! I love diy projects, especially those found on Pinterst!

I love surfing Pinterest and admiring all the amazing DIYs. Sometimes I even love doing some of the DIY projects I pin. But too often I find my projects turning in to a Pinterest fail. Not because my DIYing isn’t up to par, but more often because I didn’t have a great plan of attack before starting the project. Yes, the projects I find on Pinterest have amazing tutorials and are easy to follow.

But …. and a big BUT,  often projects need to be customized to you. Your house. Your style. Your supplies.

So instead of quickly jumping in blindly, I’ve learned to take time to evaluate how the project will work for ME, in my home, in my space.

DIY project tip: READ READ and READ again all the instructions!

Read the entire blog post

Hello Captain Obvious. But hear me out. Every blogger has a different writing style and format for their posts. Some list all of the supplies at the beginning, while others mention them throughout the post. Some explain the expected level of skill right away while others don’t spell it out, so reading the entire post is imperative.

Also I’m just going to say it …. is the project worth it? Is it too time consuming or difficult? And is it too expensive? Yes, sometimes it’s just cheaper to buy instead of DIY.

But assuming the project still makes sense, let’s move on.

Make a list of ALL the supplies

Sometimes bloggers list ALL the supplies needed at the BEGINNING of the post. Personally, I prefer this format. I want to know everything I’ll need for the project up front.

But here’s the catch: sometimes bloggers assume that their readers have certain basic supplies which they may not mention in the supplies section. That’s why I read the entire post making not of all supplies mentioned throughout the tutorial.

To ensure your diy project is a sucess, make sure to measure the space you're using BEFORE you buy any supplies!

Measure

This tip is applicable whether you’re coming a DIY project of ANY kind. Always, always, always take the time to measure. Then measure a second time. Nothing is more frustrating to me than thinking I’m ready to start a good DIY only to find that my supplies don’t fit the space.

I not only measure the space, but I always bring a measuring tape in my purse.

This allows me to measure the size of the item at the store. Sometimes items at the store won’t have the exact measurements listed on the tag.

Search before purchase

This is another no brainer, but I think it’s worth mentioning. Before running to the store, I always take inventory of what items we already have in our home. I hate buying something I already own. That’s how I ended up with 4 tape measures 😳.

Make your next diy project a sucess by following these important tips!

Purchase

Determine which store you’re going to shop at for supplies. I’ve made the mistake of assuming that my go to craft store would have everything I need. Sometimes it’s worth it to call the store ahead of time or search their website.

Space

Some DIYs can make a clean room look like a tornado came rushing through. Keep this in mind when deciding where to set up shop. I often use our office as my DIY space since I’m typically the only one that used this space.

Deadline

There’s the deadline I WANT to be able to accomplish the project by. Then there’s the timeframe that’s more realistic, the one that takes in to account my busy schedule, purchasing supplies that I don’t have, drying time (if it’s a painting project), etc.

As many of us know, DIY projects can take over your home if you’re not careful. Set a hard completion deadline before your first paint stroke.

 

I hope these tips are helpful for all your DIYers out there! I love a great DIY project, especially if I take the time to set myself up for success!

If these tips are helpful, don’t forget to Pin for Later

Here's how to make any Pinterest project a sucess with these DIY project tips!

 

 

Follow:
Share:

With all the excitement of having a baby, I never thought about ALL the laundry I would be doing. Oh, the laundry. Who could imagine someone so little causing so many loads of laundry. My girlfriends told me I’d be doing laundry every day after Declan was born, but I shrugged it off. Not me. I’m organized. I’m efficient. And I’m NOT doing laundry every day.

Well, let me tell you: this organized gal was quite humbled. It took me quite a to figure out how to keep baby clothes clean without doing laundry daily. Before you ask, yes, I likely have lots of baby clothes (thanks to my mom!). Baby clothes are a lot like underwear – the more you have the less often you need to do laundry. But I promise, the quantity of Declan’s clothes has nothing to do with our improved laundry process.

From blankets dragging on the floor, baby food all over their sleeves and the diaper changing pad …. well you know 😊, I’ve learned some tips to being efficient with our family laundry AND keep all the baby clothes clean.

The secrets every mom wants to know: how to keep baby clothes clean without having to do piles of laundry every day. We've got all the tips you need!

My favorite tips to keep baby clothes clean 

Pre-wash all your baby fabrics

Even before the baby gets home, it’s a good idea to wash all of your baby clothes. You never know what kind or dirt or germs might be lurking on clothes just brought home from the store.

Everyone’s laundry together

Tackling the family’s tough laundry loads can be challenging. It’s tempting to wash piece of laundry separately based upon the need: whites, colors, jeans, extra dirty clothes, baby clothes, etc. That’s how we used to do our laundry. Then little Declan arrived and there was no way I had time for that anymore. I was lucky if I was doing ANY laundry.

Instead of sorting and washing our laundry based on the clothing type, I put the majority of our clothing together in the same load with cold water. Hot water can shrink and fade my favorite clothing.

The secrets every mom wants to know: how to keep baby clothes clean without having to do piles of laundry every day. We've got all the tips you need!

 

Spot clean the little accidents

Baby messes happen. A lot. Whether it’s from food or diaper, it’s a good idea to keep a set of baby wipes within arm’s reach. We have a pack in every room of the house, in our car, AND the diaper bag. Spot clean accidents right away. If you can whisk off the soiled clothing into the washer right away, that’s even better (see below for next tip). If not, the wet wipe helps dilute any offending stain or smell until you can get to the wash.

Wait for a blow out

You know when you come up with a solution and you just think: “wow, I’m actually a genius”?? That’s how I feel about this tip. LIFE CHANGING. Since having Declan, I’ve changed my laundry schedule significantly. Well technically we don’t have a schedule. We wait. We wait for a diaper blowout. Gross, I know. But it’s going to happen once or twice a week.

Whether a diaper blow out or a little too much food on his shirt, that’s when I do laundry. Fortunately (or unfortunately, I’ll let you decide), this scenario happens often enough for the laundry to never pile up that high. I just hated doing laundry for a couple pieces of clothing.

Skip the fabric softener

Fabric softeners only mask odors and aren’t even recommended for use on most athleticwear and towels. Plus, fabric softeners don’t help get those dirty baby clothes clean, while detergent alone doesn’t kill all the bacteria.

 

The secrets every mom wants to know: how to keep baby clothes clean without having to do piles of laundry every day. We've got all the tips you need!

Clip outfits together

I’ll admit, it takes me a little while to remember which onesie goes with which pants and which jacket. Joe’s love of University of Alabama football prevents us from dressing Declan in the rival team colors of orange and blue baby outfits (which apparently are super popular color combos for boys). So instead we’ve got a lot of greens & blues.

It always takes me a couple minutes to remember which outfits go together. So now, when I put an outfit in the hamper, I connect the outfit together with a fastener (you could use any clip you have in the house) so that I don’t have to remember once the clothes are dry. It makes it easy to hang outfits together once they’re clean & dry.

What are the tips that you use to keep baby clothes clean?!?

Love these tips? Don’t forget to Pin It for Later

The best tips and tricks every mom needs to know to keep baby clothes clean!

 

 

Follow:
Share: