How to Plan a Date Night In

My sister and I were just talking about how easy it was pre-babies to go out with our husbands. While we both make date nights with our hubbies a family priority, it definitely was easier before our babies came along; there’s just more planning involved now, from hiring babysitters and getting in family time to making time for all other errands and finding the energy to leave the house.

Whether or not you have kids or are even married, dating your significant other is SO important at all stages of your relationship, and while getting dolled up and going out to a nice dinner or doing something fun and out of your normal routine is extremely fun, having a date night IN can be just as, if not more, fulfilling.

Check out my tips on how to plan a successful date night in, and let me know your perfect date night below. Related post: The Biggest Relationship Myth.

What I learned from my hair stylist about making friends

When you’re a kid, making friends is pretty easy. From school, sports, and your mom setting up play dates for you, friends were always just kind of there for me, falling in my lap, so I never even thought about how to make friends. They were always present. Those friends carry through to middle school, then you drop and gain some along the way to high school, but still, making new friends may have been somewhat intimidating when first learning the dynamics of a new school, but it was never a question or challenge.

So how does such a natural, often thoughtless, process become such a struggle as an adult? Whether you moved after college, are starting a new job, or are looking for those lifetime adult friends you always see on TV shows, you might have felt it’s not as easy to make meaningful connections after college. How do you break through the dull pleasantries of, ‘Can you believe it’s only Tuesday?;’ ‘Ugh, it’s so cold out;’ ‘Is it lunch time yet?’ and into actual life ‘stuff’ that you care about and matters?

My Hospital Bag Must-Haves

When it comes to packing your hospital bag for your baby’s birth, as a first-time mom, you might not know what to bring or as a seasoned mom you may not remember what you really need (or better yet, want).

Since both of my births were inductions, I was in the hospital 3 and 4 nights and always like to be over-prepared. You could definitely minimize your bag, but my advice is to pack a suitcase and bring everything you need…because, why not? Why not have options, be cozy, and have your comfort items that make you feel a little piece of home and normalcy over a sterile hospital stay?

I suggest bringing a suitcase so you can put mom, baby’s, and significant other’s belongings in one bag. When possible, I’ll share the exact items in my bag the second time around. Affiliate links included.

Foolproof Baby Registry

If you’re anything like I was registering for my first baby, the process that ideally is fun and precious and so special actually turns out to be an overwhelming sweaty disaster leaving you cranky and over the entire process. I’m also extremely indecisive, so shopping in-store is difficult for me.

How can you pick out of 50 bottle choices? How do you know which carrier is best for you? Can’t someone just decide for you??

Enter Gugu Guru to the rescue! This free, smart online registry system takes the stress out of registering and offers personalized suggestions for those of you who can’t make up your mind, like me. It takes just minutes to set up your free profile, and the system will show you pictures and ask you to pick which one best suits your style in order to tailor their unbiased recommendations to you. The quiz itself was even fun, a much different experience than my first in-store registering fiasco.

Second baby must-haves

You’ve already been through the whole parenting gig and think you have the whole thing figured out (okay, maybe not the whole thing, but at least 3/4 of it…or maybe 1/3 of it?), and now it’s time to expand your family. Hooray! Since you’re into the latest minimalism trend and you’ve been there before, you already have everything you could ever need for baby number two, right?

Mmm, maybe not.

While I’m also on board with keeping “stuff” to a minimum, there are definitely new items that either A. have come out since my first baby and B. need to be replenished and refreshed for a new little one. I’m lucky to be due with my second baby girl on my daughter’s second birthday, so I’ll already have all the right clothes in the correct seasons and sizes (score), so my list won’t include many new clothes, but yours might!

Buying in Bulk Before Baby’s Arrival

I’m due with my second baby girl on my daughter’s second birthday, and between working, having a difficult pregnancy, and moving into a new house, there’s a lot going on in my life at all times, to say the least.

If there’s one constant in my life, it’s my need and ability to plan – I’ve had my hospital bag packed for weeks, had my husband put the finishing touches on the girls’ room, and created four months’ worth of daily lesson plans for my maternity leave.

The final pieces of the puzzle will be to plan on having a cleaner come to the house while I’m at the hospital and to have our home stocked with the essentials, so when we come home with our newest little munchkin, we can focus on settling into our new family instead of having to run out to the store for this and that.

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