10 Newborn Essentials We Needed After the Baby Arrived

20 August 2018
Before Anna was born, newborn essentials meant finding the most beautiful-yet-comfortable-welcome home outfit for our little baby.

It also meant countless hours of finding the safest-yet-affordable-yet-stylish baby gear.

While I'm happy to say all of our baby gear selections turned out to be great for us, I still had no idea what daily life was going to be like. Once we got home from the hospital and lived a week or two with our little baby, there were definitely a few key items we were scrambling to acquire after we brought the baby home.

10 Newborn Must-Haves We Needed After the Baby Arrived #newbornessentials #firsttimemom

If you're looking for a beautifully curated collection of perfectly matching items, this isn't the place to find them.  If you're looking for a post providing a million research-backed analysis on baby items, this isn't the place for that either. The following items were purchased out of exhaustion and desperation. These items are no-fuss and served us well in our need to problem solve on a whim.

Here's a list of 10 newborn essentials we bought after we brought Anna home

Disclaimer: Affiliate links appear in this post. I may receive a small commission if you choose to purchase one of the products mentioned through the link. Please note that this is at no extra cost to you. Thank you so much for supporting me!

1. Seventh Generation Diapers

We started out with Pampers Swaddlers for sensitive skin, but around 1 month, we noticed a heavy duty rash appear no matter how clean we kept her. By accident, we ended up with a huge supply of Seventh Generation diapers which we didn't like at first as the newborn size was huge on her, but they turned out to be the only diapers that didn't irritate her as we fought night and day to get the diaper rash to go away. These diapers were also the most affordable disposable option in terms of bleach-free, all natural materials.

2. Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment

To help ease the diaper rash, we use Aquaphor. No fuss ingredients and it keeps moisture at bay without drying her skin. One tub got us through 2 months and for at least one month, we were applying it at every diaper change.

12 Days in Italy: An Itinerary

21 May 2018
It was the end of twelve glorious days in Italy with my husband, and we were sitting outside a tiny cafe on one of the oldest highways in the world: the Appian way, eating croissants with the rest of our Walks of Italy tour group. A young couple was mid-way through their one-week blitz through the country, and I was dizzy from the sound of their itinerary.

"You're going to visit how many cities in six days?" I nearly choked on my cappuccino. I felt like we barely saw the country in two weeks of travel, so I couldn't comprehend how this couple was going to visit twice as many places in half the time.

View from the Boboli Gardens in Florence, Italy

I made eye contact with Matt and smiled. I knew he was thinking about that day in Positano he wanted us to do too much and how, after we left that beautiful town, he would have been just as content sitting on our hotel balcony the whole time, soaking in the beautiful Mediterranean view. There were definite moments during our 12 days in Italy where we wasted more time trying to figure out how to "see everything" than actually seeing everything.

But the key to travel is always less is more. This isn't your how-to-see-ALL-of-Italy-in-12-days guide. This also isn't the perfect guide to Italy either. We made a lot of mistakes, and some of those mistakes turned out to be our favorite memories from the trip. Here's how we explored Italy along with a few recommendations and highlights.

Our Newborn's 5 Favorite Baby Books

12 February 2018
I come from a family of book lovers and storytellers. My parents were always reading, and looking back, I find myself incredibly lucky to have witnessed them not only enjoy reading to me, but reading for fun on their own too.

My mother had shelves and trunks filled with books on nearly every subject from Colonial Williamsburg to Japanese cooking.  My father always had a book in the car and it would accompany him in waiting rooms or even to the movie theater right before they dim the lights for the previews.

Both of my grandmothers were filled with folk lore and rhymes, and aunts and uncles on both sides shared their favorite tales with me and my cousins. It was only natural that I chose to go to school for writing; after all, my love for a good story is in my bones.

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