Oh Joy

8 nursing essentials...28 Jan 2015

8 Nursing Essentials

Lately I'm living in a dreamy/messy world of breast milk and baby spit-up. After our post-baby Dressing the Bump video, I received more questions about nursing favorites so I wanted to share a short-list of some of my favorite nursing essentials...most of which I use every day...

1. Fast Food nursing bra by Boob / I wear a few different nursing bras, and this one combines the best of both worlds. It's soft and comfortable—yet actually cute—which is a nice little bonus when you're covered in spit-up and wearing the same clothes everyday in those early newborn days!

2. Nursing kimono by Milk Snob / When you need to cover up, I love that this piece has bottons to help cover up your babe. And, when you wear it, it doesn't look like a typical nursing cover. 

3. Milkies milk saver / When you're building up your supply in the first couple months of nursing, every drop of milk counts. While nursing on one side, this collects extra milk on the other side that would otherwise get wasted or leak through.

4. Lansinoh Nursing pads in Ban.do pouch / I've tried a bunch of different nursing pads (from washable to disposable), and these are my favorite because they never leak through. They're also easy to carry around and have extra on hand when you need them.

5. Nursing tee by Boob / These tees make it so easy to nurse both at home and in public. No more of that awkward pulling up your whole shirt to feed your babe.

6. Medela breast milk bags for pumping / For when you're pumping, these attach right to the pump and make it easy to pump and then store extra milk without taking up too much space in the fridge or freezer.

7. Honest x Piece & Co. nursing scarf / This piece doubles as a chic scarf and another way to keep covered up.

8. Baby Log app / There are tons of feeding/nursing apps out there that help you time your feedings, but this one is my favorite (I used it for Ruby, too) because it also includes sleep and diaper logs too. And it has a handy chart that lets you compare the days or weeks and how your baby's patterns change over time.

Also, this doesn't have to do with nursing, but as something that many new mama's experience (when you laugh or sneeze, if you know what I mean) these period panties are great for that post baby issue we sometimes experience!

What are some of your favorites that you love using?

P.S. Did you know you can usually get a free breast pump through your health insurance? And lactation supplies are now tax deductible?

{Photo by Casey Brodley, styling by Julia Wester for Oh Joy} 

valentine's day funfetti biscotti!27 Jan 2015

chocolate chip funfetti biscotti recipe

With Valentine's Day around the corner, we've baked up a couple sweet treats to make and give to your nearest and dearest. For something sweet (but not too sweet), biscotti is one of my favorite treats because they're like cookies that disguise themselves as a breakfast treat...or really, an all day treat. Here's our funfetti version!

Funfetti Biscotti
(Makes 15-18 pieces)

You'll need:
-3 cups flour
-1 tsp baking powder
-3/4 tsp salt
-1 cup vegetable oil
-1 cup sugar
-3 eggs
-1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
-1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles
-1/8 cup shredded coconut and 1/8 cup sliced almonds
(or if you want to go nut-free, you can use 1/4 cup chocolate chips instead)
-1/4 cup of candy melts in white and pink
-pink sugar sprinkles 

almond coconut funfetti biscotti recipe

Here's how: 

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a medium bowl mix all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, and salt) set aside. 

3. In a larger bowl, whisk together oil and sugar. Once fully blended together, whisk in the eggs one at a time and then add the vanilla. 

4. Slowly whisk in the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and then fold in the sprinkles and other additional toppings. 

5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay out the dough to form a long rectangle. 

6. Top with pink sugar sprinkles and a few pinches of sea salt and bake for 25 minutes.

7. Remove from oven and reduce heat to 250 degrees. Use a serrated knife to cut into 1 wide inch pieces and place them on their sides. Bake at 250 degrees for 25 more minutes. 

8. Follow the instructions for heating the candy melts. Once biscotti is cooled, dip ends into the candy melts. 

funfetti biscotti recipe

As a super easy way to package them up and give to friends, use permanent markers to draw fun shapes, words, or patterns on Ziploc bags!

{Photos by Casey Brodley, styling by Julia Wester. Recipe inspired by and modified from this one by My Name is Yeh.} 

a monday night ritual...26 Jan 2015

Oh Joy / Monday Nights

Soon after before Ruby was born, we started a ritual of going out to dinner on Monday nights with two other couples/friends who have kids of the same age. I know it sounds odd to make Monday the night to go out (wouldn't Friday or Saturday make more sense as an end of week celebration?). It started as a way for us to try new food trucks in our neighborhood (ah, tiny Ruby in that photo!), and has since become a day for Ruby to see her friends regularly and a chance for us parents to vent over how tired we were or how good (or not good) our kids were being that week. And the last thing I want to do is make dinner on a Monday night (which is usually the busiest work day of the week for both me and Bob). 

Since then, every week for the last three years, we have a standing date at 5:30pm on Monday night. It's early enough that we can get the kids home for their 7:30pm bedtime. And on a Monday, you never have to worry about a reservation. Now that we all have two kids, we're like this giant table of twelve with six parents and six kids. It's sometimes insane trying to wrangle the kids, have our own adult conversations, and feed ourselves and the kids at the same time, but it's one of my favorite parts of my week. I enjoy a nice glass of wine with dinner and kick off the week with a simple celebration of family and friends.

Do you guys have a weekly ritual you look forward to?

{Photo by Bonnie Tsang}

happy friday + 3 months with coco...23 Jan 2015

Oh Joy / Monthly Baby Photo

Before having my second baby, I had serious doubts that I could love another baby as much as I loved my first. It sounds silly, I know, but I didn't think I had any more love to give. But then, Coco came into our lives with her happy and laid-back disposition, and I fell in love all over again. I seriously marvel every day at how much I love her.

Now at three months in, I feel like we're finally getting into a groove as a family of four. Ruby is no longer super jealous and loves her sister (most of the time), I'm no longer crying every day from lack of sleep and hormonal emotions. And, I no longer feel guilty for getting take-out or delivery because I just cannot make daily meals from scratch while wrangling two kids. We are finally figuring out how to just do this thing the best that we can.

Here's a look back at our last three months of Coco. Babies change so much in the first few months of life that it's fun to see how they start to look like the person they'll become...

Oh Joy / Monthly Baby Photo

I also shot some lying down photos this time around...

Oh Joy / Monthly Baby Photo

Some people like to do the same outfit and same background for their monthly baby photos, but I like to keep a couple things the same (the chair she's sitting on, the size of the number), but have her outfit and the background blanket change every month. She has too many cute outfits that she outgrows so fast that it's nice to get to remember them from these photos.

Oh Joy / Monthly Baby Photo with Big Sis

Big sister always makes a cameo. Ruby likes to pretend to take the monthly photos of Coco with her toy camera and then she can't help but get in there, too. 

And because I love seeing how everyone does their monthly photos, I've added a few of my favorites on my Oh Baby board right here for some inspiration!

{Mini pinata numbers by Katie K. Franklin. Coco's Outfits - 1 Month: Boden onesie, Thief & Bandit leggings, 2 Month: Rylee & Cru onesie, Little Hip Squeaks headband, Freshly Picked moccasins, Month 3: Little Hip Squeaks onesie, Thief & Bandit headband.}  

lessons learned / from my favorite makers...22 Jan 2015

Shop Small Makers

In the past few years, there’s been a huge resurgence in handmade goods and the appreciation for the people who make these one-of-a-kind goods. In partnership with American Express in support of the Shop Small® movement, here’s a look at a few of my favorite makers right now whose work I personally love wearing or having in my home.  Also, because I love hearing how small business owners evolve over time, I asked each of them one thing they have learned as a small business owner...

Continue reading " lessons learned / from my favorite makers... " »

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