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).

Enjoy!

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 ūüôā .

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‚Äôs 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‚Äôt 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 ūüôā )

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!

Miscellaneous 

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 Рwhen 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!

 

 

 

 

 





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Here’s our easy and fun pregnancy announcement puzzles that we made to announce my pregnancy to our grandparents!

Step by step instructions for a creative pregnancy announcement puzzle. Easy and affordable, it's the perfect surprise for family or friends!

When I first found out that I was pregnant, I was so excited to tell Joe when he came home from work. Then once he knew … we waited. And waited. What was actually a really short amount of time before telling family and friends seemed a lot longer than it really was. But it was the perfect amount of time to come up with a creative pregnancy announcement to tell our family. ¬†(It was also a great time to come up with a list of all the things you want to get accomplished before the baby arrives. Here’s my list of the¬†100 things I did.) I used our wedding ring boxes to make announcements for our parents. ¬†So I wanted to change it up. A puzzle was a fun and interactive way to spread the good news!

Step by step instructions for a creative pregnancy announcement puzzle. Easy and affordable, it's the perfect surprise for family or friends!

Pregnancy Announcement Supplies

Instructions

At first my plan was to be ultra crafty using a blank puzzle and design the labeling myself. But after a little research I realized it was much easier (and not much more expensive) do purchase purchase a pre-made puzzle online. I used the website Print Studio. Since they didn’t have an off the shelf puzzle with exactly what I was looking for, I created a digital template to upload on to their site. They then printed the template on to the puzzle for me. The completed puzzle was shipped to me in about a week. This was MUCH easier than attempting to DIY this portion. Feel free to use my ‘We’re having a BABY!’ template bellow. Just right click on the image and save it to your computer.

Step by step instructions for a creative pregnancy announcement puzzle. Easy and affordable, it's the perfect surprise for family or friends!

I originally looked for a small all white box to store the puzzle, but found these binder clips on clearance at Target and realized the box was perfect for this project. I really like the clear top. Amazon also has some fun clear gift box options.

Step by step instructions for a creative pregnancy announcement puzzle. Easy and affordable, it's the perfect surprise for family or friends!

Step by step instructions for a creative pregnancy announcement puzzle. Easy and affordable, it's the perfect surprise for family or friends!

I printed a small note “We’re excited to tell you ….” on standard white card stock in 14 size font. Loving all things arts & crafts, I’ve racked up many paper cutout punches so I used one to make the note card. Adding a hole punch in the top left corner, I laced with ribbon and affixed onto the clear cover.

Step by step instructions for a creative pregnancy announcement puzzle. Easy and affordable, it's the perfect surprise for family or friends!

Super easy and fun way to share the good news!

 

 

 

 

 




 

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Over the next couple weeks, I’m going to step away from all the¬†typical organization posts to share some of the fun pregnancy and baby related things I’ve been learning along the way. On April 24th we welcomed our first, Declan, and it’s been quite the wild ride since! Decorating the nursery, organizing the overwhelming about of baby supplies that we apparently need (ahhh!) and a couple¬†fun DIY pregnancy announcements, like ¬†the one I’m sharing in this post.

 

Last summer when we found out I was pregnant, I knew I wanted to come up with a fun way to tell our parents that they were becoming grandparents for the first time. Not an over the top crazy announcement, but a fun little surprise for them. Since our parents live on the other side of the country from us, these small pregnancy anouncment boxes were¬†a perfect ‘mailable’ surprise! And true to my style, of course I wanted to DIY instead of buy.

DIY Pregnancy Announcement Supplies

  • small box (I actually used my engagement ring box!)
  • Two pieces of ribbon, one wider & one skinny
  • White cardstock
  • Tape
  • Super glue or crafting glue
  • Customizable Template

Instructions

Grab your two pieces of ribbon and measure by placing each around the box. Trim any extra, keeping an additional 1/2 inch loose ribbon.

Next, wrap the wider ribbon around the box, holding tight and secure with a little glue in the back. Repeat this step with the skinny ribbon on top.

I used this template¬†for my note. It’s editable so you can edit with your information.

The box I used (which was actually my engagement ring box) was 2 1/2 inches on each side, so I measured my note to inches wide (just a tiny bit smaller). This might take a little trial and error to seee what size you want the paper to be. The printable note has two sizes, but since it’s editable you can adjust to whatever works for you!

At the top and bottom of the paper, I made a half inch fold where I’ll tape the paper to the box. The top of the note is folded inwards and the bottom folded back (see phonto).¬†I then¬†folded the note accordian style with each fold the same size.

I then added tape to the the small folds on the top and bottom to secure to the lid & box. The top of the note was secured to the back of the lid and the bottom of the note was secured to the front of the box (see photos below).


I then gently folded and closed the lid of the box and mailed it off!

 

 

 

 

 




 

 

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This shop,How to Organize Baby Feeding Supplies, has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FirstsMadeEasy #ForBetterBeginnings #MomsFirsts #CollectiveBias

Here's the best tips and tricks to organize baby feeding supplies (bottles, sippy cups, plates, placemats, bibs, etc) in your home!

Being a rookie to parenting, but a long time organizer, I knew I wanted a system to store all the supplies & bottles that would soon take over our home with our little on on the way. A minimalist at heart, I started with the necessities: bottles, bibs, spoons, cups, plates.

We did stock up Playtex VentAire bottles, as these help reduce colic and reflux (two things that sound pretty miserable!) at Target. Scroll down for a great Target Cartwheel to save on Playtex bottles!

Kitchen space can be at a premium in our home, so finding room for the addition of baby products took some thought and planning.

4 Steps to Organize Baby Feeding Supplies

1. purge

Before I stored any baby items in the kitchen, I pulled out EVERY item in our cabinets. Yep, every single one. Not only was it a good opportunity to clean out the inside of the cabinets, looking at all the items we had sitting out on our counters helped me determine what to get rid of (those beer glasses from college perhaps?). Knowing that I had to find extra room in the cabinets allowed me look at our items with a more critical lense.

Once you’ve evaluated all your items, hold off on putting anything back in to the cabinets just yet (we’ll get to that in step 4).

Here's the best tips and tricks to organize baby feeding supplies (bottles, sippy cups, plates, placemats, bibs, etc) in your home!

2. group similar items

Next I compiled all the baby feeding supplies that will be stored in our kitchen. Similar to step 1, I like to take a look at everything that needs to go into the cabinet before jumping in to organizing solutions. I grouped like items together: bottles, bibs, sippy cups, plates, etc. While there may be a few exceptions, most like items will be stored together.

We’re using¬†Playtex Baby‚ĄĘ VentAire¬ģ. What I liked about these bottles is that they’re designed ro reduce colic. There’s a bottom vent on each bottle created to keep air at the back of the bottle and out of the baby’s stomach. The other neat thing about the VentAire¬ģ¬†collection is the ability to mix and match the bottles & nipples. That way we can figure out what works for us. Switch out one of the nipples, but still use the bottle. ¬†The minimalist in me really liked this¬†philosophy.

Here's the best tips and tricks to organize baby feeding supplies (bottles, sippy cups, plates, placemats, bibs, etc) in your home!

3. storage solutions

Once all the baby items are grouped together, I’m able to better determine what size storage containers will be needed. I used a combination of clear acrylic containers and pretty white plastic bins found at Target. The baby plates and silverware were placed with our normal kitchen items. I figured that if Joe & I are eating, likely so will our child. Plus, the plates could easily sit on top of our existing kitchen plates to take up less room.

Finding containers did take¬†a little trial and error since the container had to not only hold all the supplies, but also fit into our cabinets. One trick I’ve learned is to measure the space BEFORE heading out to purchase anything. So I measured various cabinet shelves and a couple of our drawers. I also brought a small tape measure with me to the store when I go shopping. Not all storage bins will have the measurements listed and I’ve learned the hard way that I’m not the best at estimating!

These white bins below worked for the majority of our supplies: bottles, placemats, sippy cups, & snack cups.

Here's the best tips and tricks to organize baby feeding supplies (bottles, sippy cups, plates, placemats, bibs, etc) in your home!

Affixing a label on each container helps keep everything more organized. Family, friends and nannies can easily find what they need to help out! as well. Plus it makes me happy to open a cabinet with well labeled containers (just look at my craft closet)!

4. store

This is the big step (and the most gratifying). With all of our regular kitchen items and baby feeding supplies spread out on our counters, I was ready to put them away (and anxious to get rid of the clutter). I started by focusing on returning my regular kitchen items where they originally were (or close to it). I did need to allocate shelf space for the new white plastic containers as well as one drawer.  When deciding where to put the baby feeding supplies, I thought about how often these would be used.

One of my favorite rules of organizing is to make sure the most commonly used items are the easiest to access.  

Here's the best tips and tricks to organize baby feeding supplies (bottles, sippy cups, plates, placemats, bibs, etc) in your home!

I opted to store the spoons and forks with our current silverware. Sometimes it made more sense to store like items together …. baby and ours. I opted for a similar set up for the plates. Our baby (toddler?) plates sat on top of our standard dish set.

Here's the best tips and tricks to organize baby feeding supplies (bottles, sippy cups, plates, placemats, bibs, etc) in your home!

Using a long clear acrylic container is an easy way to store full milk bottles or baggies in the fridge. Newest ones get placed in the back so that those that have been in the fridge longer get used up first (first in first out). I’ve gotten this recommendation from several friends stating¬†that it was a life safer to not have to look through a crowded fridge to find a bottle when needed!

Here's the best tips and tricks to organize baby feeding supplies (bottles, sippy cups, plates, placemats, bibs, etc) in your home!

To save room, bibs are stored in the inside of a cabinet door with a command hook. I selected the door of the cabinet that held the most baby items to that everything would be in one location.

Here's the best tips and tricks to organize baby feeding supplies (bottles, sippy cups, plates, placemats, bibs, etc) in your home!

Bottle cleaning supplies went in a drawer below our counters. Since some of these were a little bit bulkier, I found that it easier to store in a drawer as opposed to a cabinet.

Here's the best tips and tricks to organize baby feeding supplies (bottles, sippy cups, plates, placemats, bibs, etc) in your home!

How do you organize baby feeding supplies?

Here's the best tips and tricks to organize baby feeding supplies (bottles, sippy cups, plates, placemats, bibs, etc) in your home!




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Step by step instructions to decorate for your next baby shower! This easy to follow tutorial shows frugal, yet gorgeous ideas to wow all your guests!

This past fall I hosted my first baby shower. While I love planning parties, baby showers were brand new territory for me! Are they the same as bridal showers minus the fun cocktails? Do guests really want to play those baby games? And someone please describe all these baby presents to me!

Fortunately my good friend Emily was up for allowing this rookie to throw her a party. She also had an adorable nursery theme already picked out so I piggy backed on her ‘bless this nest’ nursery to use as her shower theme.

Tip #1: having a theme makes decorating SO much easier! 

Step by step instructions to decorate for your next baby shower! This easy to follow tutorial shows frugal, yet gorgeous ideas to wow all your guests!

Decorations can definitely rack up the costs of a shower. When the cuteness factor of an item goes up, apparently so can the price! Being frugal at heart, I was fine with doing a little bit more research in the name of saving money.

I don’t love the look of those plastic one use table clothes for fancier affairs. So instead I found pretty wrapping paper to roll out onto the table. A fun bonus is that colors & patterns are literally limitless AND much cheaper than purchasing a cotton table cloth that you may or may not use again.

Tip #2: Paper plates and plastic cups & utensils makes hosting SO much easier AND decorative! Lots of color options to choose from! 

Step by step instructions to decorate for your next baby shower! This easy to follow tutorial shows frugal, yet gorgeous ideas to wow all your guests!

Tip #3: Check out your local dollar store!

Unless you’re planning parties ALL the time, many of the themed party decorations you purchase might not be used again. For this reason, I always find a couple cheaper decorations to mix in with my go to staples that I use for lots of parties: vases & frames. I also throw in fresh flowers. While the flowers likely won’t last more than a week, they’re such a pretty touch and the guest of honor can take them with her after the event.

Tip #4: Spray paint is an easy way to transform items to fit your theme and color.

While I’m no expert in party planning or decorations, we had so much fun preparing this shower. And to my surprise it was so much easier than I thought! Here’s the scoop on what I purchased and how I decorated:

For the Table



Step by step instructions to decorate for your next baby shower! This easy to follow tutorial shows frugal, yet gorgeous ideas to wow all your guests!

Step by step instructions to decorate for your next baby shower! This easy to follow tutorial shows frugal, yet gorgeous ideas to wow all your guests!

Step by step instructions to decorate for your next baby shower! This easy to follow tutorial shows frugal, yet gorgeous ideas to wow all your guests!

Step by step instructions to decorate for your next baby shower! This easy to follow tutorial shows frugal, yet gorgeous ideas to wow all your guests!

Party Gifts

We made these fun little candy filled eggs as party favors for all the guests.


Step by step instructions to decorate for your next baby shower! This easy to follow tutorial shows frugal, yet gorgeous ideas to wow all your guests!

Step by step instructions to decorate for your next baby shower! This easy to follow tutorial shows frugal, yet gorgeous ideas to wow all your guests!

Step by step instructions to decorate for your next baby shower! This easy to follow tutorial shows frugal, yet gorgeous ideas to wow all your guests!

Keeping the decorations to the tables (dining room table and coffee tables) was just the right amount of pizzazz!

I hope this gives you a little inspiration for your next shower!

 

 

Step by step instructions to decorate for your next baby shower! This easy to follow tutorial shows frugal, yet gorgeous ideas to wow all your guests!

 

 

 

 

 




 

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No bake bird nest cookies for an adorable Bless this Nest baby shower, but would be great for Easter as well!

This past fall, I hosted my first baby shower for a good friend, which was a really fun process (not only because during the planning phase I found out that I was pregnant myself). While I’ve never really loved having parties for ME, I LOVE throwing them for others.

When preparing for the shower, a couple girlfriends asked when I‚Äôll post the details of the shower on the blog‚Ķ.. ummmm? Well I wasn‚Äôt planning on it J.¬† As I‚Äôve been blogging longer and longer, I get this question more often from friends: ‚Äúwhen‚Äôs that going on the blog?‚ÄĚ Eventually you‚Äôre going to get a post detailing how I do my laundry. Kidding. Maybe?

To be honest most of the projects I’m working on never make it to the blog, especially if it doesn’t relate to organizing.

But hosting this shower was so much fun and, to my surprise, relatively easy. So I decided to share my entire planning process in a blog as a series ‘Bless this Nest‘ ‚Ķ. One post for food, decorating, invitations and planning.

I’m excited to share the cute dessert I made for the Bless this Nest themed baby shower!

No bake bird nest cookies for an adorable Bless this Nest baby shower, but would be great for Easter as well!

No bake bird nest cookies for an adorable Bless this Nest baby shower, but would be great for Easter as well!

Bird’s Nest Desserts

Servings: 12 – 16

 

Ingredients / Supplies

6 ounces (1/2 bag) of semi-sweet chocolate chips

6 ounces (1/2 bag) of butterscotch chips

¬ĺ cup creamy peanut butter

10 ounces (roughly ¬ĺ ¬†of a large bag) of chow mein noodles

36 jelly beans

Cooking spray for the muffin tin

Large microwavable bowl

Muffin tin

Instructions

Microwave the butterscotch and chocolate ships until completely melted, but not boiling hot. I heated for 30 seconds at a time.

Then add the peanut butter and mix thoroughly

Pour in the chow main noodles, adding about ¬ľ at a time mixing carefully until the noodles are completely covered.

* If you want your dessert to be denser/richer add fewer chow main noodles. For a lighter dessert, add more noodles to the mixture. There’s really no wrong way to go. It’s all personal preference! (I made mine a little richer.)

No bake bird nest cookies for an adorable Bless this Nest baby shower, but would be great for Easter as well!

Apply cooking spray to the muffin tin liberally.

Scoop one large spoonful of the mixture into each muffin tin mold.

No bake bird nest cookies for an adorable Bless this Nest baby shower, but would be great for Easter as well!

Place the full muffin tin in the fridge for an hour or two.

To remove the desserts, press a fork or knife on the side of the mold to ‚Äėpop‚Äô the nest out.

No bake bird nest cookies for an adorable Bless this Nest baby shower, but would be great for Easter as well!

Add a couple jelly beans to the top.

No bake bird nest cookies for an adorable Bless this Nest baby shower, but would be great for Easter as well!

While not necessary, I kept the desserts in the fridge until I was ready to serve. Although it didn‚Äôt melt or change shape, these are pretty dense chocolatey treats so keeping at a cool temp until ready to eat is the SAFE route ūüôā !

 

 

 

 




 

No bake bird nest cookies for an adorable Bless this Nest baby shower, but would be great for Easter as well!

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I don’t know what it is about envelope liners, but that extra sheet of paper perfectly assembled in to the envelope always make an invitation look a little bit more special. At the same time, it seems like one of those things that appears so elegant in a magazine, but the DIY option could be a huge flop. So out of fear of ‘flopping’ I’ve avoided making these until now!

Supplies

 

Instructions

The first step is to select the envelope you’d like to use and pick a paper for the liner. I prefer to use wrapping paper for my liners, but most thin paper will work great. Just make sure to avoid thick cardstock.

There’s two ways to create the paper liner:

1 The easiest way is to use a pre-made template. The most popular paper liner template comes from Paper Source and includes a variety of size templates to fit most envelopes. (see photos below) Once you’ve selected the correct template size, use a scissor or x-acto knife to cut out the liner. If you use an X-Acto knife, make sure to place a cutting matt underneath the paper to prevent any damage to your table.

2 If you don’t have or want to purchase a template, you can use your own envelope as the template. To do so, open the envelope and lay it flat on the liner paper. Trace the entire envelope on the liner paper lightly with a pencil. After cutting out the template, you’ll need to trim it down a little so that it can slide into the opening of the envelope. I trimmed 3/8 inch from each side and 3/4 inch from the bottom.

Step by step guide to make your own envelope liners!

 

Once you have the paper liner cut out, insert the liner into your envelope. If it’s still a little big, simply trim down each side evenly.

When you’ve got the liner to the correct size, fold down your envelope flap with the liner inside creating a crease in the liner. Then place a couple pieces of double sided tape at the top and sides of the liner to secure inside the envelope.

Now that you’ve got a beautiful envelope liner, you just need something to go inside so …. keep scrolling down!



Baby Shower Invitation Template

Now that you’ve made some super easy envelope liners, here’s an even easier project – the invitations! A quick, simple and super cute Bless this Nest theme invitation. This past fall, I threw my first baby shower for a friend who was planning a bird themed nursery. Matching the shower theme to the nursery decor was a fun touch!

To use the template, simply¬†download it here¬†and edit the wording to match your shower details. You’ll want to print these invitations with thick card stock on a color printer. If you don’t have a color printer and/or thick card stock, Kinko’s can print these for you easily and very affordably!¬†¬†Each sheet includes 4 invitations.¬†Free Baby Shower Invitation template, Bless this Nest themed
Bless this Nest baby shower template and envelope liners

If you’d like to see the rest of the baby shower hosting, follow along in our Bless this Nest series for tips on food, decorating and planning!

 

 

 

 

 




 

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This post about my dream career was sponsored by AT-A-GLANCE as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

The best ways to prepare for your new baby!

When I ‘spilled the beans’ and told my girlfriends I was pregnant and due in April, they all assumed I had everything figured out. I heard lots of “oh I bet you’re so organized with everything”, “I’m sure you’ve already heard about x, y or z”, or “you’ve probably already done x a while ago”. Well, NO for the record I haven’t done any of those things yet and my head was officially spinning! Since this is my first pregnancy I had (read: STILL have) no clue what I’m doing or what I should be doing.

I decided early on that I wanted to make the most of my pregnancy time and get as much done as possible. And I’m not just talking about baby stuff. This includes non baby related projects that I want to get done around the house (arrr …. getting blinds for the home we’ve lived in for over 2 years). You know those projects that unfinished drive you crazy, but you just haven’t carved out time to complete yet. While I know I keep busy NOW, but I had NO idea what life was going to be like come April with a new baby boy joining the family. So no time like the present (or the next 9 months)…..

The best ways to prepare for your new baby!

How I Prepared for Our Baby!

Baby List

The very first thing I did was create a master list of everything that needed to be done before the baby arrives. Since I wasn’t really sure WHAT needed to be done, I spent the first month asking my friends lots of questions, reading books, and … well Googling. I complied over 100 things that needed to be accomplished before April. I know I know. That sounds CRAZY. While over 100 things to do does sound a bit nutty, I made the list extremely granular to help me take action on it.

For example, instead of just listing ‘baby announcements’ as a to-do item, I broke it down further – 1) make a list of everyone we want to send baby announcements to, 2) get addresses of everyone, 3) find a announcement design that I like. While breaking down an action item into smaller items adds a lot more to-dos, it also makes it much more ACTIONABLE.

If you need some help coming up with your list, check out my Top 10 Unique Things to Do Before You’re Due¬†to get the ideas flowing.

The best ways to prepare for your new baby!

Home Projects

I spent a good two hours walking through each inch of our townhouse one weekend writing down every project I would like to get done (if time were no object). In a way it was kind of a ‘dream list’. Once completed, I reduced down the list to the realistic projects that were important to complete. This ended up being about half the items on the list to get done before the baby arrived.

Calendar 

Now that the to-do lists were complete (or work in progress) I moved everything over to my calendar. I’m a pen and paper gal, especially when it comes to huge projects (did I just call having a baby that?? Well, you know what I mean, right?!). Incorporating my baby tasks in to my AT-A-GLANCE calendars made perfect sense. I simply denoting baby oriented events and tasks in a blue pen.

I took my baby list & home projects list and designated a specific month that I will commit to accomplishing each task. This alone made me feel SO much less stressed. Huge to-do lists are great and all, but then you’ve got to get the work done. Keep in mind that in the 3rd trimester you may be less mobile AND you have no control over your due date! My goal is to have everything accomplished 1 month prior to my due date. This leaves me a little wiggle room for last minute odds & ends in case the baby arrives early.

Here’s how I organize my calendars ….

The best ways to prepare for your new baby!

Weekly calendar

  • Tracking how far along I am by weeks
  • Details on doctors appointments, baby showers, & baby classes
  • Find available slots of time to complete items on my master to do list (making a calendar appointment helps me get the work done!)
  • List of questions to ask my doctor in the Notes section for the week of the appointment

Monthly calendar

  • Vacations
  • Doctor appointments & classes
  • Tracking how far along I am by weeks
  • Due date!
  • Family & friends visiting

Suggestions

In the back of my planner, I keep a list of baby product suggestions I receive from friends. Until a friend mentioned to me, I never heard of Boppy, FridaBaby, or Bumbo before!

The best ways to prepare for your new baby!

The best ways to prepare for your new baby!

Learn more about AT-A-GlANCE and all their gorgeous styles by following them on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest!

The best way to prepare for your first baby!

 

 

 

 




 

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