If you’ve got little kids you’ll want to have a 72 hour emergency kit stored in a safe place in your home! 

On Tuesday I posted a tutorial on how I’m preparing for an earthquake. It was one of those projects that was on my list of things to do way too long. You can see the post here. I listed the essentials that I thought anyone would need in their earthquake kit.

Apparently I’m not the only one that has this on my to do list, as the response to the post was overwhelming. Lots of comments, questions and compliments. One of the biggest questions I received is ‘what are you packing for your baby?’

Good question.

In my original post, I listed the supplies that I believe everyone needs regardless of who’s in their family (think: flashlight, bottled water, batteries). But it definitely gets all of us thinking? What about our children, pets and/or elderly loved ones we’re caring for?

In addition to my main earthquake kit (which would really be appropriate for any natural disaster), I also created a kit specifically to the items that we need for Declan, our 5 month old son.

Why and how to create an 72 hour emergency kit for your baby. Whether earthquakes, fire, hurricanes or any other natural disaster, you'll want to be ready!

Changing Diapers 

Wipes // I grabbed a couple smaller packs.

Diapers // I opted to pack a size larger than Declan currently wears. In the unfortunate event that we need to use this emergency kit, I’d rather have a diaper too large (or just started to fit), than too small. I packed 20 diapers, as that’s about how many he goes through in 3 days.

Diaper Rash Cream // Keeping clean may not be as easy, given the situation, but diaper rash creams can provide temporary relief for prevenTing infection.

Trash Bag // For throwing away dirty diapers.


Bandana or Hankie // This may be used for spit up, but can also come in handy as a dust mask if needed.

First Aid Kit // I opted to purchase a full kit and adding a couple of additions including baby pain medicine, sunscreen, and small containers of hand sanitizer, shampoo and lotion.


Formula / Baby Food // Whether your little one is on solids or milk, make sure to have 3 days worth. I recommend pre-made food pouches instead of glass food containers, as those may break. Don’t forget the spoons too!

Bottled Water // If you’re formula feeding, make sure you have enough for 3 days worth of bottles.


Pacifiers/Teething Rings // Just think of how uncomfortable your baby gets at home on a regular day. Make sure you’ve got a couple key items to keep them comfortable during this time.

Toy // I purchased an extra of Declan’s favorite toy.

Blankets // I grabbed a couple lightweight blankets for layering as opposed to thicker ones, but keep in mind the climate of your area.

Extra Clothing // I packed a couple pairs of footed pajamas, onesies and pants that were all one size bigger than Declan is currently wearing. Seattle has pretty temperate weather, but winters can get cold, so I also packed a pair of mittens and a hat. I stored the clothes in a ziplock bag which can be used to keep the dirty clothes.


Baby Carrier // You’ll want something easy to transport your little one in. A carrier is my first choice as it allows for hands free to carry the rest of the supplies.


 It's important to have a 72 hour emergency kit in case a natural disaster occurs!

A Couple Emergency Kit Tips

You’ll notice that I didn’t list any type of crib or sleeper. These are large and I feel that the items listed above are more important. If needed, our son could sleep with us wherever we’re at.

I opted to pack clothing and diapers at least once size bigger than Declan is currently in. Although I plan to update my emergency kits regularly, I’d rather have these items too BIG than too small.

Make sure to check the expiration date on any food / formula that you pack. Ideally pack food with an expiration date as far in the future you can find.

I store Declan’s emergency kit along with my main earthquake kit for easy access.


Anything else you’d include?



This shop, Earthquake Kit, has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PoweredByRayovac #SureThing #CollectiveBias

When I look at my to-do list, I’ve got an assortment of projects to accomplish. Some small, like water the plants, and others large, such as paint the bathroom. One project that’s been lingering for too long is to create an earthquake kit with all the essentials that we would need in the event an earthquake hit. Living in the Pacific Northwest, we’ve been hearing a lot about earthquakes over the years. Whether in the news or talk with friends, I know we’re in an area that is susceptible to an earthquake someday.

I’ll be honest: SOMEDAY seems far away.

But the reality is preparing for a ‘someday’ is the most important item on my to-do list.

The first step was to create a list of what we may need in the event that an earthquake hits. The standard rule of thumb for natural disaster preparation is to acquire supplies to last at least 72 hours. Three days may not seem like a long period of time, but when a natural disaster hits, it’s significant. My words of wisdom are: don’t’ skip on your food/water supplies and make sure you have the right batteries to hold you over! We stocked our kit with RAYOVAC® HIGH ENERGY™ &  FUSION™ batteries, both known for their long-lasting power and stores for up to 10 years!! (5 years for 9v)

Here's how to put together your own earthquake kit!

Earthquake Kit Essentials

1 Water // Yes, this one is pretty obvious and it’s also the most important thing to have in your kit. A safe amount is one gallon of water per person per day for at least 72 hours for drinking and sanitation purposes.

2 Non-Perishable Canned Food // Stock up on nonperishable canned food to hold you (and your family) over for at least 72 hours. You’ll want to make sure the food is up to date and not yet expired. This may mean that you need to periodically check your earthquake kit cans for expiration dates. Make sure to also include a can opener and silverware.  I opted for a variety of foods, chunky soups, ravioli, and beans. Although not necessarily my favorite items, I knew these would keep us full.

3 Battery Powered Radio (with Batteries) // It’s hard to imagine life without instant access to the internet, television or phone. But chances are, if a natural disaster hits, your access will be limited. That’s why a battery powered radio is so important. You don’t know how long you’ll be away from electricity or the ability to charge your phones, so make sure you have a large supply of long lasting batteries, like RAYOVAC® FUSION™, which is recommended for high drain devices, like headphones, gaming accessories, remote control cars, drones/helicopters. (Guaranteed to provide long lasting power in high use devices*)

4 Lighting (with Batteries) // Flashlight was an obvious add to the list, but a battery-operated lantern is another great add. Plan to keep these running for up to 72 hours, so stock up on size appropriate batteries. I’m a fan of the RAYOVAC® HIGH ENERGY™ batteries. These long-lasting batteries are perfect for high use devices like flashlights and lanterns.

5 First-Aid Kit // Along with a standard first-aid supplies, I added dust masks, gloves and over-the-counter pain medication. 

6 Batteries // RAYOVAC is my go-to choice for all battery power needs. Not only are they guaranteed to provide long-lasting power in high use devices like flashlights, computer mouse and of course toys, RAYOVAC® batteries last up to 10 years in storage (5 years for 9v). Oh, AND they cost much less than their competitors. Fun fact: RAYOVAC® batteries {except 9V} are produced right here in America (in Fennimore, WI) and have been powering America since 1906.

7 Fire Extinguisher // We keep a fire extinguisher in the bathroom on each floor of our townhouse (3 floors). I moved the one from our main floor bath to our earthquake kit. Make sure to check the expiration date of your extinguisher. (Yep, these do expire.)

8 Tools // This is a tricky one as it’s impossible to predict exactly what you would need, if anything. But some safe bets include: rope, work gloves, matches, & work gloves. You’ll also want to include a wrench and pliers to turn off utilities.

9 Bedding // Since blankets and comforters can take up a lot of space, I chose to store our sleeping bags in our earthquake kit. Ours roll up nicely and can be used in temperatures of -30 degrees. (Yes, this city girl learned how to camp recently!)

10 Clothing // We packed one change of clothing per person. Since the climate in Seattle is pretty temperate, I opted for long one long sleeve shirt & pants, underwear and socks. I also added a pair of old tennis shoes that I was about to throw out and a rain jacket (we are in Seattle after all). The temperature in your area may fluctuate more between seasons so you may choose to include a couple more pieces. 

11 Hygienic Supplies // Now I’m not talking about makeup and toiletries, more like the bare essentials. Think: several rolls of toilet paper, hand sanitizer, paper towels and a couple garbage bags. 

12 Whistle // The whistle may be used as a call for help. The recommendation is to provide one whistle for each member of the family as you’re taking cover. Make sure you’re able to place it around your neck for easy access. 

13 Emergency cash // Depending on the severity of the earthquake, it may take some time for local grocery stores and retailers to operate back at full capacity. This could potentially mean that credit card machines are not operating. Having cash on hand may make any immediate purchases easier. 

14 Personal Documents // FEMA created an Emergency Financial First Aid Kit with lots of information of everything you should include. At minimum, it’s important to have access to key medical documents (insurance cards), identification (birth certificates, social security cards, etc.) and financial documents (insurance policies, banking documents).

Now that you’ve got the list of essentials, search your home for items you may already have. I was able to find everything we were missing in one trip to Walmart. You can find RAYOVAC® batteries in the Battery Quad located at the front of Walmart stores near checkout. They can also be found at the checkout aisle. Since we all love a good deal, here’s a couple coupons found in SmartSource and Ibotta. You’re welcome 🙂 .

While these are our essentials that I’m preparing, I realize there will be additional items to include that are unique to our family: supplies for our dog (Reagan) and our son (Declan), medications that we may be using at the time, etc. Make sure to customize your kit to accommodate your (and your family’s) needs.

Keep your earthquake kit in a safe location and make sure all family members are aware of where it's located!

Storing Your Earthquake Kit 

Keep your earthquake kit in one or two easy to carry containers, such as a camping backpack, storage box or waterproof bag. Make sure it’s easily accessible in a cool, dry place such as your basement, garage or closet. It’s also a good idea to have multiple kits, since you never know where you’ll be when an earthquake strikes.  We made one for our home and one for our car. Admittedly I wasn’t excited about storing additional items in my trunk, but in the event of an earthquake, roads could be damaged for days making it impossible to get home.

Earthquake Emergency Plan

Write down all the important phone numbers: family, friends, and neighbors, plus our work and school information. Include the number of your electric company so you can get updates.

Decide on a meeting place in your neighborhood in the event that your home isn’t safe to stay at.

Make sure everyone in the family knows where the earthquake kits are stored.

Use flashlights instead of candles to avoid a fire hazard.

Have a place to stay out-of-town if you need to leave your home (with a friend or relative).

Practice your plan!

I’m so glad we’ve got this project complete, but wishing I would have tackled it even sooner. Once we compiled our list of essentials, we simply found the items around the house and shopped for the remaining.

*Money Back Guarantee: Contact 1-800-891-6091 or www.RAYOVAC.com/MBG for more details. Restrictions apply.




These are the 10 things professional organizers really wish their clients knew!

The secrets of professional organizers!

The work of professional organizers may look like lots of pretty ‘after pictures’ after some ridiculous before photos. But to get to those pretty after photos, we see a lot of stuff. I mean a lot.  I get it. I’ll admit there’s spaces in my house I don’t want anyone to see. But there are some tried and true tips that really make a huge difference in keeping your home clean and organized. Here’s the biggest things that most professional organizers cringe when they see.

Secrets Professional Organizers Wish You Knew

1 Not respecting capacity limits

Yes, there should be a home for everything, but that home shouldn’t be cramped. My rule of thumb is that no container or basket is my house is more than 75% full. Not only does it make it easier to find what’s inside, it allows for a margin of error (aka – when you need to fill it just a little more). Hey, we’re not perfect 100% of the time 🙂 .

2 Keeping unwanted items

You know what items I’m talking about … the ‘what if someday my toaster breaks and I need a new one’ scenario. Just saying. There’s a common rule with clothing, if you haven’t worn it in 6 months, get rid of it. My rule for non clothing items: if you don’t use it in the last year, it needs to go (I’m accounting for seasonal items). And that’s pretty lenient. Oh and this includes gifts from relatives that you never use, the paintings that you’ll eventually get around to hanging on the wall, etc. If it’s been over a year, it’s out.

3 Holding on to something because it cost money

 Now one rebuttal I often hear when purging is “but it was SO expensive”.  I get it. I hate wasting money. Hate. An expensive dress that I only wore to one wedding 4 years ago. Extra suitcase sitting in storage that hasn’t been used in a decade. But let’s think of it a different way: how expensive it is to waste that storage/closet space with something you’re not using. That becomes a pretty expensive storage space.

Professional organizers spill all their secrets

4 Not putting things away

Ahhhhh. It’s like nails on a chalk board to me. Once you use something, put it in it’s home. Or at VERY minimum, have a junk drawer to get those items off the counter and tables. The better option is to simply put items away after you use them, but I’m giving you a little slack with the junk drawer. Your welcome.

5 Full refrigerator

I’m not talking about the inside. I’m talking about all those magnets, photos, art projects and mail that’s hanging all over the outside of the fridge. Get rid of it. No matter how clutter free the rest of the kitchen is, when the fridge is full of papers, the entire kitchen is a mess.

6 The messy entryway

First impressions are a real thing. And a messy entryway sets the tone for the rest of the house. Whether it’s baskets, hooks, cabinets, you name it. Find a way to get that clutter away. Remember, not everything needs to be stored at the entryway. Keep the essentials – coat, shoes, hat, key, sunglasses, bag. Move the rest to a more appropriate spot.

7 Entryway paper clutter

Speaking of the entry way, this seems to be the popular spot for paper clutter. Now I’m all for placing mail and paper documents near the entry way, but, there’s got to be a system. So next time when you grab the mail and need a place to stash it, it won’t have to go on the kitchen counter. It will go in the entry, via an organized process.

top pet peeves that professional organizers really want you to know!

8 First shopping then organizing

If I won the lottery, my first stop would be splurging at the Container Store. I’m a sucker for the latest organizing gadget as much as the next person. But and there’s a big BUT …. more organizing products don’t make a room more organized. Organizing makes a room more organized. Before rushing out to the store (or Amazon) to solve your clutter crisis, really evaluate your STUFF. So often, it’s more a matter of purging, grouping like items and finding a new place to store them that solves the problem. THEN if you do end up needing more baskets or bins, you’ll have a better grasp of what to purchase.

9 Not utilizing labels

So obviously I like labels. My master closet has almost a dozen of them. Joking aside, labels not only help you keep your system working, it’s hugely beneficial to others in your family that may not be as excited about organization as you are. Surprise surprise, Joe doesn’t share my enthusiasm for labeled baskets in our master closet. But he does know where things go.

10 Not finishing the laundry

We all have good intentions when we start the laundry, whether you’re the type who does laundry daily or has a weekly routine. But starting laundry and finishing laundry are very different things. Nothing screams ‘I’m disheveled and I can’t get my house organized’ like unfinished laundry.  Yep, it’s one of those unfortunate things that you don’t get credit for accomplishing (no one says wow your house looks so great and is free of half finished laundry), but everyone notices when it’s not finished. Finish your laundry. You’ll feel better.
These are the top 10 pet peevse that all professional organizers wish their clients knew! They're easy quick fixes that make a huge difference!


We all know those people. Those people who look perfectly put together. Those people who are never flustered. People who always arrive on time. Scratch that. Those people who are always early.

Yes, some people have more on their plate than others. Some people spend more time getting ready than others. And some people are just perfect. (We hate those people.) But for the majority, those that are always on time tend to follow these rules:

1 Google Maps

They LOVE Google maps, not only so that they know HOW to get to where they’re going, but so they know WHEN to leave. Google Maps will show traffic and public transportation delays, which becomes immensely helpful in determining WHEN to leave the house. But as great as Google Maps is, it’s far from perfect. In fact I don’t know anyone who can walk as fast as Google or any buses that show up on time like Google says they will. So plan accordingly and add at least 10-15 minutes to your Google Maps directions.

2 Entryway

They designate one place to leave their jacket, work bag, headphones, and any other items that are carried every day, whether at a command center or near the front door. Same goes with keys. There’s ONE spot that their keys live ALL THE TIME. They know that they will forget where they put them if it’s not in that same spot. Skip the morning drama and have these essentials right by the front door.

Top 10 ways to arrive on time to everything, including remembering where you put your keys!

3 Mornings

Speaking of morning, they skip the snooze. Yep, that’s right. The alarm goes off and they get up. Let me repeat, alarm goes off and they get up. That extra 5 minutes of not so great sleep isn’t worth starting the day off behind. Mornings are too important to snooze.

4 Scheduling

They’re not scheduled back to back to back because they know SOMETHING will run late and alter the entire day. Those people who always arrive on time likely also love to be productive and gets lots done throughout the day. Yet they know that one late meeting or traffic jam could toy with the entire day’s schedule. So they’re smart about their time. They never schedule events too close together. And if they’ve got extra time before meetings, they know how to fill it.

5 Downtime

They’re OK with downtime. Meaning that they know how to fill the time when they arrive early for a reservation or show up to a doctors appointment 15 minutes ahead of time. Not only do they know how to use that time, they use it productively. They’re updating a grocery list, they’re responding to emails on their phone, they’re cleaning out their purse.

6 Alarms

Alarms aren’t just for waking up. People who arrive on time often set alarms for important events during the day. They have an alarm letting them know when they need to leave a social gathering, when they need to call an Uber or when they need to start on a project.

7 Plan

They plan EVERYTHING. I mean EVERYTHING. Calendars aren’t just for important events. Punctual people not only show up on time, but they plan out their days. This includes travel time, down time and those not so exciting activities (think laundry). They also know that just because something is planned doesn’t mean it can’t be changed. Flexibility is key when planning out their day. Adding activities to their calendar creates the best chance of accomplishing everything they want to do.

8 Time Suck

They’re not late for events because they don’t check their email or voicemail right before they leave. They also don’t check Facebook. Let’s repeat, they don’t check Facebook right before they’re supposed to go somewhere. Whatever your guilty pleasure, what we think will only take a minute or two often sucks you in for much longer. Don’t let yourself get sucked in. Especially right before you need go to somewhere.

9 End

People who arrive on time end their tasks on time. You can’t be on time for the next activity if you linger to long on the current one. They map out their day in advance, taking time to really think about how long each activity / event will take before adding it to the calendar. And if an event starts to run long, they find a way to wrap things up.

10 The Unknown

They fill up their gas tank when it reaches 1/4 tank. Yes, I’m serious. Yes, this is tip#10. But not just the gas tank. They always have a snack with them, they keep napkins in their car. Simply put, they prevent the unknown last minute delays the best they can.

Here's our list of the top 10 things that people do who arrive on time. Incorporate these easy solutions to be punctual and organized throughout the day.







I’m sharing my ultimate list of all the things I accomplished before I had my baby. It’s the list of what to do before you’re due!

The ULTIMATE list of everything you need to do before you're due! 100 things that you probaly never thought of before, but will be happy you did!

When I first found out I was pregnant, I was elated. Totally overjoyed. Then I got to work. Got to work figuring out what the heck I needed to do to prepare. I was looking for that huge laundry list. A laundry list of all the little things that I should get done before the baby is born. All the things, as a first time parent, I didn’t think of. Well, let me tell you folks …. that list didn’t exist. I looked and looked and looked. Yes, I found a couple ‘here’s 10 things you didn’t think to do before you’re due’ type lists. Which are awesome. Heck, I wrote one too.

But that huge master list didn’t exist. So I did what any crazy to do list obsessed person would do. I created my own.

A Couple Notes First

A. This list may seem a little nutty, I realize this. Most people don’t love to-do lists as much as I do. I really love them. Really. Some moms to be want to relax and kick back to enjoy their pregnancy. I. Don’t. Relax. Happiness to me equals a to do list.

B. You’ll notice that I break down some to-dos to very specific tasks. For example – plan birth announcements gets broken down to several steps including make list of everyone to send announcements to, obtain home addresses of everyone, research photographers online, select photographer, find announcements templates that I like on Minted.com, etc. I find that breaking down a project to the smallest task is the most effective way to ensure it gets accomplished. It also makes for a HUGE to do list.

C. Just because it’s on MY list doesn’t mean it needs to be on YOURS. We all have different things we want to accomplish before our baby is born. Think of this long list as inspiration and ideas to help you write your own list.

D. I organized this list based on rough categories, not by date. As you read through you’ll notice that some tasks are more appropriate to do when you first get pregnant, while others won’t happen until towards the end (installing car seat).


100 Things to Do Before You’re Due

Dog Owners

1 Stock up on dog food, bones and toys. Prevent yourself from running errands after the baby is born. Plus, your pup will appreciate having some extra toys to entertain them while you’re extra busy!

2 Figure out what you’ll do with your dog when you’re in the hospital. Can friends or family watch your pup? Or utilize an overnight doggy daycare?

3 Teach your pup to ‘drop it’ …. for all those times she grabs the baby toys!

4 If there’s any shots that your dog is due to have in the near future get those taken care of. Since we were planning to send our dog, Reagan, to daycare once in week, I also made sure that we were up to date on any shots that the daycare required.

5 Reagan used to sit in the backseat when in the car, but since we’ll have the car seat in the backseat, Reagan gets upgraded to the front seat. We did a couple practice drives so that she was used to sitting up front before Declan was born.

6 Play crying baby noise to get Reagan used to it. This task is about as fun as it sounds.

7 Decide which rooms, if any, will be off limits to your dog and start enforcing it.

8 Deep clean house to hopefully get rid of as much dog dander as possible.

9 As silly as this sounds, practice walking your dog pushing your stroller. Reagan was pretty overwhelmed by the stroller so I’m glad we got her used to it ahead of time.

10 Find a blanket that you’ll wrap your baby in after he’s born to show your dog to smell before introducing baby and dog. Add this blanket to your hospital bag.

11 Dogs can get a little upset once the baby comes home as they’re getting less attention than usual. Joe & I decided that we would periodically allow Reagan to sleep our bed if we’re taking a nap and that Joe would spend extra time with her when he was off on his paternity leave.

Top list of 100 things that you should do before you have your baby! What to do before you're due!

Hospital / Medical  

12 Sign up for birthing classes at your hospital.

13 Find an OB Dr.

14 Do a trial run driving to the hospital so that you know how to get there (and know the best route).

15 Decide on a pediatrician.

16 Fill out hospital paperwork ahead of time (so that you don’t have to fill it out when you’re in labor).

17 Put doctors phone numbers in your phone (OB, hospital #, pediatrician).

18 Make a list of everything you’ll need in your hospital bag. Ask your new mommy friends what they found helpful. For the record, the hair dryer and straightener that I insisted on bringing with me were never used 🙂 .

19 About a month before your due date, start packing your hospital bag. Better to be ready as you never know when the baby will arrive.

20 Get some cute newborn outfits to put in your hospital bag for those first photos with your baby.

21 Decide if you’re going to donate your extra umbilical cord blood.

22 Decide if you want pain medication when in labor (epidural).

23 Make sure you have your spouse’s work phone number in case you go into labor during work hours. Yes, I’m embarrassed, I didn’t have Joe’s work phone number in my phone, only his cell phone.

24 Our health insurance open enrollment occurred one month before Declan was born. We spent some time determining which plan would be best for us after Declan was born (there were over 8 plans to choose from). Yes, once he’s born we could have researched the multiple plan options then, but I was happy we spent time figuring this out beforehand. Then when Declan was born, we just added him to that plan.

25 While we’re thinking about insurance, we made sure we knew HOW to add Declan to our insurance after he was born. This made it super easy to just log on to Joe’s account (we’re on his employer insurance) to add Declan.

26 Download an app that helps track your contractions. Wat easier than watching a clock and writing it down. Plus, these days isn’t there an app for everything?

27 Inquire about circumcision process. In Seattle I learned it’s common for the OB to perform the circumcision about a week or so after the baby is born.

28 Get tdap shots. Joe and I both got ours along with my parents, as they were going to be spending a lot of time with Declan. Tdap shots can make your arm sore for a couple days and it takes a couple weeks to kick in. My doctor recommended that everyone gets a tdap by the 32nd week of pregnancy.

29 Make a list of baby medicines that are good to have on hand (email friends, google). Nothing’s worse than driving to CVS in the middle of the night for a sick baby.

30 Medical bills can be confusing. Medical bills when you’re pregnant can be overwhelming. I kept a list of every doctor appointment (big or small) and documented what occurred during the apt (Ultrasound, flu shot, etc). That way when you receive a bill, you can cross check it with your list to ensure everything looks correct (hey, hospital billing make mistakes too).

31 Download movies on your tablet to watch at the hospital. We never ended up watching the TV in our hospital room because we had enough shoes on my iPad to keep us entertained before Declan arrived.

32 Our medical bills started coming in the mail quicker than most congratulatory cards. It’s wise to have a system to track and pay for the bills as they arrive. I simply created a Google doc listing all the appointments/hospital stays/procedures along with the date and a little detail about the appointment. Then as I received bills I cross referenced with my list and marked down the date that I paid the bill.

Non Baby Related 

33 Clean out the inside of our car.

34 Get a new family room rug (our current one has SO much dog hair that just won’t get out via vacuuming).

35 Get rid of our old coffee table. It was sitting in our family room taking up space and I knew it would drive me crazy. Remember you’re going to spending a lot of time in your house. Make sure you like the space 😀.

36 Clean out fridge and freezer.

37 Stock up on stables for the home (toilet paper, paper towels, dish detergent, etc).

38 Buy gifts for any upcoming holidays, birthdays, weddings and showers. One last thing you’ll want to deal with.

39 Keep your house clean. This is an ongoing task that I tried to do every day starting three weeks prior to my due date. My rational was that I didn’t want to come home after delivering a baby to a dirty house.

40 Do laundry before it starts piling up (for the same reasons as above).

41 Pay your bills and go through mail as it arrives (for the same reason as above).

42 When I first found out I was pregnant I started nesting. And by nesting I mean some serious purging of stuff I just don’t need anymore. And there’s over 100 things we didn’t need anymore.

43 I did another home purge session in my 3rd trimester after we had most of our baby items.

The largest list of tasks to accomplish before you have your baby!

Nursery / Baby Registry 

44 Research and buy crib. We bought this one because of the extra storage at the bottom.

45 Put the crib together. Set aside a couple hours. This is NOT a one person job.

46 Order breast pump. Mine took a while to ship so it’s best to get this ordered before the baby arrives. Most insurance will cover this.

47 Once we found out the gender, I decided on the nursery theme and put together a collage of ideas.

48 Wash all baby clothes and blankets with dye free detergent before organizing and hanging up.

49 Buy baptism outfit.

50 Buy fragrance and dye free detergent. There’s detergent marketed specifically for babies, but we bought generic fragrance and dye free bottle.

51 Decide the initial sleeping arrangement for you, your spouse and baby. It’s recommended that the baby sleeps in your room at the beginning (and it makes it a heck of a lot easier for night feedings).

52 Make sure baby bed is ready to sleep in, whether that’s a crib, pack & play, bassinet or co-sleeper. We used this pack & play which I can’t recommend enough. It has a bassinet attachment for the early months and is relatively small in size so it doesn’t take up too much space.

53 Clean all the baby toys you have (we were given lots from friends and bought some second hand).

54 Test out all baby toys to make sure they’re working with new batteries. Just a warning: there will be a time (many times) that you’ll wish the batteries ran out!

55 Install car seat. Joe is WAY better at this than I am. Make sure your car is parked on a flat surface before installing. The street we live in is on a hill so we had to drive to the grocery store to install ours. Learn from our mistake: watch a YouTube video on installing a car seat before you try yourself!

56 Get blackout blinds for the nursery. (Note, we never got this accomplished before the baby was born. Another rookie mistake. So we ended up buying these temporary ones that might not be so temporary 🙂 )

57 Make clothes hanger labels for baby clothes. Both totally unnecessary and necessary at the same time. (I bought these on Etsy)

58 Organize all baby clothes by size. Make sure newborn sizes are the most easily accessible.

59 Ask friends about their favorite baby items (stroller, monitor, carrier, etc) to go on your baby registry. I relied heavily on recommendations from friends.

60 Decide where to register (we chose Amazon and Target). Both give you free gifts for registering. I’m a sucker for free 😀.

61 Create your baby registry. We registered on Amazon and Target.

62 Closer to your due date and as more items on your registry get purchased, add some additional items that you’ll need when your little one gets a little older. If you don’t have enough items on your registry you’re just asking for people to buy you stuff that you may not need.

63 Purchase thank you cards. You’ll be getting a lot of gifts 😀.

64 Also buy postage stamps (for thank you cards and baby announcements).

65 Make a list of gifts you receive and who gave them to you. I made a Google doc and shared with Joe so we could both enter the information.

66 Using my google doc, I kept up to date on sending thank you cards by writing them weekly. I knew once the baby was born I would likely get behind writing thank yous.

67 Determine how many baby clothes you want to have of each size (newborn, 3 month, 6 month, etc). There’s no magic number. I think it’s good to get an idea of how much you want. I went a little nuts and created a spreadsheet to track how many pieces of clothing we were receiving at each size. #notnecessary

68 Sign up for Amazon Family. It’s free and you get discounted baby stuff.

69 Stock up on diapers. You’ll go through these way faster than you can imagine. We had a lot of size 1, but not as many newborn size as we heard that babies outgrow the newborn size quickly.

70 Stock up on other supplies for baby (wipes, diaper cream, baby shampoo, etc).

71 Instead of buying a sound machine I installed this app on my iPhone and iPad. We really didn’t end up needing to use sound that much for Declan to go to sleep so I was glad we didn’t end up buying a sound machine.

72 If you’re breastfeeding, make sure you’ve got the essentials: creams, breastfeeding bras, bra pads, etc. you won’t want to be running around to baby stores to pick these items up after the baby is born.

So many things to do before you're due!

Family / Visitors

73 With your spouse, decide when you want family to come visit. My parents were in town when Declan was born and Joe’s parents came a week later. We were SO grateful for the help and wished they could have stayed longer.  On the contrary some of our friends chose to wait a couple weeks or months before family visits.

74 If family will be coming shortly after your child is born, stock up on things your family members will like. Think groceries, toiletries, prepare guest room, clean the guest bathroom, etc. While your family is likely coming to help, it’s nice to have the essentials for them when they arrive.

75 If you’ll be baptizing your baby, decide who the god parents will be.

76 If family is going to be visiting with you for a while, consider asking them to get a tdap shot.

77 Work with your church to schedule baptism. Our church had a short class we needed to take ahead of time.

78 Find a fun way to tell your family that you’re pregnant. I took this opportunity to make a cute little DIY.

79 Make a list of friends and family to inform once the baby is born. I went as far as to prep an email and save as a draft with all the email addresses I wanted to send it to. Then all I needed to do was attach some photos and add Declan’s measurements and date before going hitting send.

80 Talk to your partner about when you’ll want visitors (local friends & family) after the baby is born, keeping in mind that your opinion may change drastically once the baby arrives, but it’s good to chat about it ahead of time. We ended up having a lot of our friends come visit shortly after Declan was born (mostly because we wanted some non baby adult conversation), but I’ve heard that many parents need a couple weeks to get adjusted.

Baby Announcements / Thank Yous / Photos 

81 Select a baby announcement design. I ordered this one from minted.com.

82 Ask local friends for photographer recommendations.

83 Book a photographer for newborn photos or see if your hospital has a photographer on site.

84 Find photo example ideas for your photographer. Pinterest is a great place to look for newborn photo inspiration.

85 Make a list of everyone that you want to send baby announcements to. Get a list from your spouse, your parents and your in-laws.

86 Obtain mailing addresses for everyone you want to send an announcement to.

87 If you’re thinking of taking monthly photos of your baby, come up with the photo ideas / theme. Again, Pinterest has some great inspiration.

the most detailed list of things to do before you're due!


88 Find an app to use to track baby feeding & sleeping (We use Baby Connect and love it. We chose not to track sleep, but we track feeding and diapers.)

89 Make a list of potential baby names. Both first and middle names. We waited until we knew the gender before Joe and I made our lists.

90 Decide in baby’s name!

91 Maybe a little silly, ok a lot silly, reserve an email address for your kiddo. Email addresses go quick. Especially gmail.

92 Sign up for a moms group to attend after your baby is born. If you can’t find one by doing a quick Google search, ask you OB for recommendations.

93 Determine how much time you and your spouse are taking off of work.

94 Make a list of child care options for when you go back to work. In Seattle, most daycares have huge waitlists so it’s best to start this process early.

95 Tour daycare options. You’ll want to tour any facility that you’re considering.

96 Finalize child care.

97 Make diaper changing stations around your home. We have a three story townhouse so to prevent having to run up and down the stairs we packed diaper changing supplies in baskets and placed one on each floor.

98 Two words: freezer meals. Now I don’t typically love frozen casseroles, but post baby is no time to become a gourmet chef.

99 Put extra baby supplies in your car just in case! Think diapers, outfit change, wipes, formula.

100 Make a list of things you need to do right after the baby is born. My list included: schedule first pediatrician apt, schedule circumcision, add Declan on to our insurance, confirm photo session. All of these items depended on WHEN Declan was actually born. It was nice to have a list handy since I really wasn’t thinking about all this stuff the day he was born!

and one more just because ….

101 I wanted to remember all the little things that Declan started to do – when he first started opening his eyes, sleeping through the night, rolling over, etc.  The easiest way for us to document these things was through a shared Google Doc. I denoted each week with the dates and then list interesting things that happened that week (ex. Week 8 June 24th).


And that’s it! Everything I did before our son was born. I’d love to hear what you did to prepare before you’re due! List any of your to-do’s in the comments!

The ULTIMATE list of everything you need to do before you're due! 100 things that you probaly never thought of before, but will be happy you did!







This morning I spent some time checking out all my favorite stores finding the best Labor Day deals on organization, storage and cleaning supplies.


I was disappointed at the lack of steals at some stores,  but pleasantly surprised with the Labor Day sales at others (Hello Ebay!). Along with the expected discount on great summer seasonal items, there were some good finds on baskets, trays and storage solutions.

After several hours of online shopping, I bring you my favorites! #yourewelcome #shoppedtillIdropped




Use code P20LABORDAY to get an additional 20% off $25 or more.
1. I’m a big fan of any kitchen bowls that have lids.
2. Yep, a really big fan.
3. One less excuse not to eat a salad.
4. I’m also big fan of vertical storage. Anything that maximizes the wall space is on the top of my list.


All shelving is 20% off!

5. For those of us without a ton of extra space for an office, wall desk units are a great option. This one is the prettiest I’ve seen, both opened and closed.

6. All CB2’s patio furniture covers are heavily marked down. You definitely don’t need to own CB2 furniture to use their covers. Just check the measurements of your furniture and make sure the cover is at least the same size (or bigger).


End of summer sale with huge discounts on all the typical ‘summery’ items.

7. If you’re in the market for a new vacuum, this is a steal!

8. I typically don’t think of Walmart as the location for sheds, but they’ve got great variety and lots are on sale now. We’re debating on getting one for the side of our townhouse. 

9. I like all my bins to match so I love this set of 4. It’s a great deal to store all your off season items – holiday decorations, clothes, etc. 


30% off home items, plus an extra 15% off with code LABORDAY. Plus free shipping on order $35 and over.

10. We use these 3 of these baskets for under the couch storage (aka baby toy storage). Long, wide, and short baskets make easy storage under the couch or bed.  

11. Instead of a shoe rack, we use this round basket with handles to drop our extra shoes at the front door. Returning shoes to our bedroom closet becomes so much easier with a basket with handles!12. And this one is just fun. And of course, on sale.

West Elm

Use the code ‘HUGESALE’ to get free shipping on your order. Discounts range from 15-30% off.

13. Just because summer’s over, doesn’t mean that this tablet speaker won’t come in handy!

14. Those of us with small entryways always benefit from utilizing vertical wall space. West Elm has quite a few contemporary options.


Up to 70% off of a HUGE slection. Sign up for their newsletter and get an additional 12% off.

15. These dry erase wall calendars come in sizes ranging from 16×12 to 40×30. Perfect way to keep track of all the family activities.

Container Store

Their big sale is 25% off all shelving, desks and Elfa going on for a while.

16. Hey, even hoses need to be organized

17. Prevent phone cords from breaking with Sugru Self-Setting Rubber.

Bed Bath and Beyond

Bonus: Free shipping over $29.

18. I’m always a fan of vertical storage.

19. Easy way to separate your dirty and clean laundry while traveling.

20. And last but not least ….. Appliance Cart, but really an ‘anything’ cart. I’m envisioning Craft Cart.

Happy shopping!






If you’ve ever wondered if smart home automation was worth it for your home, here’s everything you need to know!

You’ve probably heard the term Smart Home, but what does it mean and is your house a Smart Home?

We’ve been chatting on the blog a lot about technology and apps lately that make life easier. I’ll admit, sometimes technology can be more overwhelming than it’s worth. Other times it’s a lifesaver that we couldn’t imagine living without. I remember when the Iphone first came out. The idea of apps seemed totally unnecessary and completely confusing. Now a day doesn’t go by that I’m not using dozens of the apps on my phone.

Smart home automation is on the rise and for good reason. Not only does it streamline and simplify life, but it can even keep your home safe. Here’s everything you need to know:

What is Smart Home Automation?

A smart home lets you control your home using your smart phone, whether you are on vacation, at work, or just sitting in your bed. Implementing smart home technology for a rookie simply means adding more automation and scheduling than you previously had. Imagine lights scheduled to turn on when you’re out of town; a security system that notifies you if it detects movement when you’re out; and an air conditioning system that you can control over the Internet.

Yes, it might sound a little like The Jetsons, but didn’t we all secretly want to live in a home like that?

The Hive Welcome Home System has all the essentials to make your home a Smart Home:

  • Hive Hub – Hive Hub plugs into a broadband router to see and control the Hive ecosystem of products from a smartphone, tablet or laptop
  • Active Thermostat™ – A clever way to control heating and cooling, at home or from your smartphone
  • Active Light – Switch lights on and off, set schedules, and dim lights from a smartphone with Hive Active Light™ bulbs
  • Active Plug – Turn electrical appliances like an iron, radio or lamp on and off, from anywhere at anytime
  • Window or Door Sensors – Clever wireless sensors send alerts to a smartphone if windows or doors are opened or closed
  • Motion Sensor – Clever wireless sensor sends an alert to your smartphone if there’s movement in your home

Real Life Examples

Sounds neat, right? But when would I actually use it, you may wonder. I know; that was my first thought. While the uses are plentiful, here’s some examples of how I’ve been using my home automation: On a regular basis, I leave our home and worry that I left an appliance plugged in. Whether the iron, hair straightener or Christmas lights, it’s an awful feeling. ‘I think I turned it off. No that was yesterday. No, No, I’m pretty sure I turned it off. What’s the worst that would happen if I left the straightener on all day? Ugh. OK I need to turn around and drive home.’ Sound familiar? I use the Hive Active Plugs on these appliances. This allows me to confirm the appliances are turned off even AFTER leaving the house in the morning. And if I forgot, all I need to do is press a button on my phone to turn them off!

Before leaving for vacation, I make a list of tasks to prepare for the trip. Doing laundry and cleaning dishes before leaving allows us to come home to a clean house, which is always nice. I often ask a neighbor to grab any packages we receive at our door (hello, Amazon!) and I turn on several lamps throughout our home to make it appear that we’re home at night. By using the Hive Active Light to schedule lights to turn on (and off) throughout our home during vacation, it automatically gives the appearance that we’re home.

I also activate the Hive Motion Sensor which sends an alert to my phone if there’s movement in our home (aka if someone breaks in).

It’s no secret that Seattle gets a LOT of rain. The rainy season is long, but the temperatures are mild. It’s not uncommon for a spring or fall day to be warm enough to keep the windows open. While it’s typically not a huge deal for the windows to be open while it’s raining, I do like them shut when I leave the house.

Did I remember to shut the windows before I left the house to run errands? I can never remember.

Hive Window or Door Sensors lets me know if I have a door or window open. Now don’t judge, but I use this feature BEFORE I leave the home. Having a 3-story townhouse, the last thing I want to do as I’m about to leave the house is head all the way up to the third floor to make sure the windows are closed. I simple check the Hive app on my phone to see! #lazygirlhack


Now I’ll admit it. While I LOVE technology and any gadgets that make life easier, I’m typically awful at the setup of most electronics. Setting up our entire home with Smart House automation seemed more like a job for my husband, Joe. To my surprise, the Hive Welcome System was all set up in less than 30 minutes by …. ME! Super easy and very intuitive. Just grab your Welcome Box, router, computer & smart phone and follow the instructions online.

Once set up, it’s easy to customize based on your needs:

Sample of some of the customization and notification options available:

It’s easy to manage straight from your phone:

So is it worth it?

In a word …


In a couple more words ….

Energy efficiency

Money saving

Home security


If you’ve ever been interested in Smart Home Automation, Hive has you covered:

  • Easy, self-install approach (so easy, even I could do it!)
  • Low monthly subscription rates
  • Service features such as access to the Hive mobile app, on-demand customer service and ongoing warranty
  • Makes your daily life easier and a whole lot less stressful (never worry about whether you left your hair straightener on again!)
  • Unique features can double as a security system for your home!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Hive. The opinions and text are all mine.

Smart Home Automation 101 - Your one stop shop to learning everything about automating your home straight from your phone!








If you've got 5 minutes, you'll love this quick and easy solution to remove pilling from your favorite outfit. This smart DIY hack will save you big bucks!

Yes, this photo below is what a pair of my leggings used looked like. And I wore them. Alot. They’re maternity pants that were NOT cheap, but felt cheap after a couple wears. Pilling started almost immediately. But I continued to wear them … because well working from home every day, I’ve been known to wear a lot worse.

I told Joe, my husband, how frustrated I was that these expensive maternity pants were pilling after wearing them a handful of times and he laughed saying ‘I thought that was how they were supposed to look.’ #wardrobefail

If you've got 5 minutes, you'll love this quick and easy solution to remove pilling from your favorite outfit. This smart DIY hack will save you big bucks!

Happy to tell you that I was able to find a solution that didn’t involve throwing good money down the drain. Yes, it’s possible to remove pilling on your own! But as I’m nearing the end of my pregnancy, I’m kicking myself for wearing these overpriced pilled ridden pants for so long without fixing them sooner. Especially considering the fix took me all of 5 minutes. #liveandlearn


  • Cheap razor (the cheaper the better …. like this one)
  • Paper towel
  • Lint roller 
  • Your pilled clothing!

If you've got 5 minutes, you'll love this quick and easy solution to remove pilling from your favorite outfit. This smart DIY hack will save you big bucks!

Remove Pilling

The first thing I did was iron my pants. Although it’s not essential, I was a little nervous that shaving my pants would rip the fabric. Well, this ended up not being an issue at all, but I’m a ‘better safe than sorry’ type of gal.

Save your good razors for your legs. Seriously. Skip the fancy ones that have the moisture strips or soap bars on the side (it will actually cause more pilling than it will remove). A cheap no frills razor will be most effective. Just make sure it’s a sharp new one.

Pull the fabric taut with one hand and lightly shave one section at a time. This will prevent you from cutting through the garment.

If you've got 5 minutes, you'll love this quick and easy solution to remove pilling from your favorite outfit. This smart DIY hack will save you big bucks!

As the razor gets full (and it will quickly!), wipe it off with a paper towel. This mound of pilling was just the beginning!

If you've got 5 minutes, you'll love this quick and easy solution to remove pilling from your favorite outfit. This smart DIY hack will save you big bucks!

I found it easier to place my garmet on a hard surface whiling shaving it instead of carpet.

Now not all the pilling stuck onto the razor so I also rolled a lint roller over the paints to collect the remains.

If you've got 5 minutes, you'll love this quick and easy solution to remove pilling from your favorite outfit. This smart DIY hack will save you big bucks!

Depending on how much pilling there is, it make take you a quick minute or a little longer to get your garmet back to it’s original state. Do as I say and not as I do …. don’t wait too long to tackle this project after you see pilling on your clothes!

If you've got 5 minutes, you'll love this quick and easy solution to remove pilling from your favorite outfit. This smart DIY hack will save you big bucks!

Prevent Pilling

Even though this was a pretty simple little project, it’s always best to try to prevent pilling from starting in the first place:

  • Turn your garments inside out before washing and drying.
  • Liquid laundry detergent is more gentle on clothing, as is using the gentle cycle (duh)!
  • When possible, hang dry your clothes instead of using the dryer. The dryer is the big pilling culperate.
  • Make sure not to overload your washer. Cramming too many garmets in prevents the from moving around and causes damage to the surface.

May your expensive clothes continue to look EXPENSIVE and hopefully pilling never goes in style!

If you've got 5 minutes, you'll love this quick and easy solution to remove pilling from your favorite outfit. This smart DIY hack will save you big bucks!