The Perfect Nursery for under $1000

When expecting a new baby, a perfect nursery is almost always on the top of the To-Do List. We painted our nursery, bought furniture, and decorated without breaking the bank. I believe my baby deserves the highest quality items, but sometimes, my bank account won’t allow me to spend as much as I want. I shopped around for awesome products that fit my $1000 budget. Here’s my list!

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Crib – $110

We went with a 4-1 crib by Delta Children Heartland. We chose white, which is elegant and was easy to mis-match other furniture pieces to.

This crib can be a crib, a day bed, a toddler bed, and a full sized bed. For 4 bed options, we could not be happier with the price. It is easy to assemble and very sturdy!

Mattress – $110

We wanted a really high quality mattress that could be used for several years, so we went with the Simmons Brand. We bought the BeautySleep 2 stage crib mattress.

This included a firm side for the infant stage and a plush side for toddlers. We compared this to a $40, lower grade mattress, and the Beauty Sleep held up much better. Cheap mattresses are likely to dip in the middle after little use, and most of them do not have the two stages, which we love. We ended up giving away the $40 mattress after only a few months of having it!

I topped the mattress with the American Baby Company mattress pad cover, and I am using 100% cotton sheets from Burt’s Bees. I love soft sheets, so I wanted my baby to experience the same luxury!

Dresser – $99

We were so lucky to find this South Shore dresser on sale! This dresser has tons of space for baby, and we ended up using the top of the dresser as a changing table. This has saved us more space and hundreds of dollars. To customize the dresser more, you can buy different drawer pulls.

Rocker – $300

Our main colors are gray with accents throughout the room, so we wanted a gray rocking chair to mach. My husband was excited to find a rocking chair that reclined and swiveled, too! We ended up going with the Baby Relax Swivel Gliding Recliner. We love this rocker so much, too! It swivels in circle, which is really nice for reaching different items during feedings or naps.

Baby Swing/Bouncer – $122

Once again, we are bundling items to save space! We love our Swing/Bouncer combo by Graco! There are cheaper options by Graco, but we preferred a swing that is higher off the ground, since we have cats.

Changing Pads and Accessories – $50

I prefer the contoured changing pad by Summer Infant. This pad reduced the likelihood of baby falling onto the floor, and the pad itself attaches to your changing table or dresser to prevent slippage. I also ordered waterproof changing pad covers through Summer Infant, and I topped it off with a decorative changing pad cover through Burt’s Bees. These two things are optional, and many people prefer to go without them.

I hope you found my items helpful when building your own perfect nursery! Good luck and happy parenting!

First Time Mom Products I’m Glad I Splurged On

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Body Pillow

I did not spend big money on a pregnancy-specific pillow. Instead, I bought a long, rectangular pregnancy pillow with a pillow case. I love that I can wash my pillow case with my sheets. This type of pillow saved my so much money! I bought this body pillow by BioPedic and a Jersey Knit pillow case to fit. This pillow case gets softer with each wash.

A long body pillow is great for supporting your growing belly, and it has really helped me with sciatic pain. I tuck the pillow between my legs and sleep soundly.

At-Home Doppler

I use my At-Home Doppler religiously. These dopplers are safe to use every day, and I have found the heartbeat with ease since the 10th week of pregnancy. Without this doppler, I would be living in fear of loss. This has given me so much peace and joy. You can get a Summer Infant At-Home Doppler here.

KT Tape

I use KT Tape to tape up my big belly. It relieves a lot of the pressure off my back. I prefer this to a pregnancy band because it’s not as hot. My pregnancy is during summer, so I like to stay as cool as possible! This tape does not peel off in the shower, so I wear it for days at a time. It never gets smelly either.

Bonus: Baby Moon

Though I did not technically buy a baby moon, I am incredibly happy we went on one! This was our last vacation before the baby will arrive, and it has been so worth it. I enjoyed some quality time with my husband away from the stress of home and work, and I wish I could do it again! While we did not spent tons of money, we really enjoyed getting out of town. If you can, you should do something fun with your special someone! You will not regret it, and you really deserve a treat.

Popular Items I Will Not be Buying my Baby

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I was certain that I would be that first-time-mom that bought everything in sight, but as I continue on into my 2nd trimester, there seems to be a plethora of popular items I do not want my baby to have. Did you have these items for your baby? If so, did you love them or regret them?

Bassinet

My baby will not have a bassinet or a co-sleeper. In fact, the plan is that my baby will sleep in the crib from day one. Am I nuts?

Our house is on the small size, and I don’t want to clutter every room with unnecessary items that the baby will grow out of in no time. For this reason, the bassinet got the boot! If I had a large house, I would probably invest in a bassinet to keep the baby nearby.

If I change my mind, I will probably go with a co-sleeper, rather than a bassinet. I would choose this Baby Delight Co-Sleeper. I really like the adjustable sides and the foldable side, and it can alternate from a bassinet to a co-sleeper.

Diaper Genie

People love Diaper Genie’s, and at times, I wondered if I was making a mistake by avoiding this item. I still stand firm, though! Our baby will not have a Diaper Genie! I don’t like how expensive the replacement bags are, and I don’t see how different a Diaper Genie is from a trash can.

Though I have some experience with the Diaper Genie, I still choose to avoid it because the Genie usually ends up smelling anyway. I would rather save my money. What did you do about diapers?

We plan to buy an outside trash can for diapers only. We will immediately take out a stinky diaper, so we don’t have to have the smells in our house!

If I were going to buy a Diaper Genie, I would get this one. It is inexpensive and large.

Jumperoo

Our baby won’t have one of these, and this is because we don’t have much space. Though a Jumperoo seems like a lot of fun, we will be opting for a walker instead. What do you think? Did your baby love the Jumperoo?

We do want a door jumper, which will give our baby the exercise and fun of a Jumperoo, but the door jumper can be folded up!

Changing Table

We won’t be using a changing table! Are we crazy? Maybe. We plan on just changing the baby wherever we happen to be. I don’t like changing tables because they can’t really be used for anything else in the future.

Play Gym

Just like the Jumperoo, we will be avoiding the Play Gym to save space. Our baby will likely have tons of toys, so we don’t think he/she will miss out on too much with the Play Gym! Did your baby have a Play Gym?

Sound Machine

We will not be buying a sound machine. We do, however, already have an Echo Dot, which we will be using for it’s sound abilities! I would not recommend buying a specific sound machine, simply because it cannot be used for anything else in the future. If you are interested in a multi-use sound machine, you can get an Echo Dot here!

An Honest Review of Amazon’s Most Popular Linenspa Mattress

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Late last year, my husband and I were desperate to get a bigger bed. We jumped in and bought out first mattress in a box: Linenspa through Amazon.

I had done my research, and this bed had raving reviews. We gave it a shot, and for only $300! Here’s my honest review.

At first, I noticed this bed is on the firmer side. I prefer a plush bed, so we purchased a Lucid 4 inch mattress topper to go on the bed. Worth it. We love this mattress topper, and we have one on every bed in our house. I would recommend it every time.

I have a hard time with my back, so I was worried about buying an inexpensive mattress like Linenspa, but this mattress was pretty comfortable! It was an easy transition, and we loved using it!

Based on the reviews, I was concerned about a few things:

-Some reviewers claimed the bed came with bed bugs. We did not have this problem. Our bed was pristine, but we were careful to check before taking the bed inside.

– Some reviewers claimed this bed was too plush. We did not have this issue. My husband was pleased with the level of firmness.

– The mattress takes 24 hours to air up. This didn’t bother me. It was really crammed in that box!

All in all, we loved this Linenspa mattress, and for the price, we couldn’t beat it. We are still using it and nothing has changed 6 months later.

Morning Sickness Remedies that Actually Work

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This is my second pregnancy, so you could say I’m a pro at morning sickness… right? No. Morning sickness continues to kick my butt, and so few people really understand it.

I actually told my boss about my pregnancy today, mostly because I am constantly sick. His response? “Why don’t you just tell someone you’re going to be sick, and we’ll watch your students?” Unless you’ve been pregnant, you do not know the first thing about morning sickness. It is nothing like the stomach bug, which many people like to compare it to, and none of those stomach bug remedies will work for morning sickness.

A few people have suggested I only drink chicken broth until my nausea goes away. Bad idea. I’d starve to death or pass out from low blood sugar. Other suggested I stay home from work until it passes. Sometimes it doesn’t pass for the entire 9 months! So what really works?

Peppermint Oil

I have noticed the Peppermint essential oils really help with morning sickness. I rub a bit of the oil on my wrists each morning, and it has been a game changer! I also have an Oil Diffuser on my desk for when my sickness is especially rough.

Ditch Heavy Preservatives

I have cut down the number of preserved foods that I consume, simply because I can’t keep them down. Most prepackaged foods make me nauseous beyond all reason, like Luna bars. These delicious breakfast bars were a favorite, but now, I can’t stomach them. Instead, I eat cheddar cheese cubes and Wheat Thins.

Carbs and Fats

I had hoped so badly that I wouldn’t gain much weight this pregnancy, but I have found that the only major combat of morning sickness is to snack are Carbohydrates and fatty foods. A few of my go-to’s are peanut butter and saltine crackers and Wheat Thins with cheddar cheese. I’ve noticed, if I don’t snack every 2 hours, I will be puke-y in no time.

Stop Overeating

Guys, I throw up every darn time I overeat. It doesn’t take long, either. I will throw up right there in the parking lot of a restaurant! Instead of eating three large meals, try snacking every few hours. This has helped me enormously!

Don’t Get Too Hungry

This one is my least favorite. If I don’t eat as soon as my body gets hungry, I will upchuck everywhere. Even if my stomach is empty, I will be hurling bile. It hurts, a lot! So I try everything in my power to avoid being hungry too long. Eat breakfast religiously. Moms-To-Be don’t get to skip out on meals anymore.

Over the Counter Solutions

All of my previous solutions are fine and dandy, but sometimes, we need something stronger. Here are a few of my favorite Over the Counter solutions that can really kick your morning sickness out!

Pink Stork Morning Sickness Sweets – these are candies that help soothe your nauseous tummy! Another brand to try is Tummy Drops.

SeaBands for Morning Sickness – This is a band that exerts pressure on pressure points in your wrist. This band has been proven to help with even the worst spouts of morning sickness. It also helps with motion sickness!

Nausea and Tummy Aromatherapy Inhaler – this inhaler is similar to the Peppermint suggestion, but it comes in a small lip-balm sized tube that is great for on-the-go!

Nausea Probiotics – take these supplements every day to prevent nausea before it begins.

Nausea Tea – like the probiotics, this tea is meant to combat nausea before it really kicks in.

If none of these work, you can always as your OB to write you prescription strength nausea medicine!

How I Got Pregnant Quick

Around August of 2018, I found out I was pregnant for the first time! We considered ourselves fortunate to have a baby, but it wasn’t long that we found out we had had a miscarriage.

We struggled for several months with the loss of our baby, but in the past couple of months, we started trying again. These products helped me conceive in both pregnancies!

HerbTheory Female Fertility

I took HerbTheory’s Female Fertility tablets religiously, when trying to conceive. These supplements are meant to encourage conception through natural, Earth ingredients. I took two tablets each morning with breakfast, and I never experienced any side effects.

I am firmly convinced that this supplement helped me get pregnant as quickly as I did. We had tried for months before I tried this supplement, to no avail, but when I started taking these tablets regularly, we fell pregnant that month! This has happened twice now. I highly recommend this dietary supplement to anyone looking to get pregnant.

HerbTheory does make a male supplement, but we did not try it. If you have, I would love to hear about your experience!

You should consult your doctor before ever taking dietary supplements. Not all dietary supplements are safe, and this should never be used in place of Prenatal Vitamins.

EASY@Home Ovulation Tests

I love EASY@Home Ovulation Tests because they are so cheap, and they come in bulk. If you are trying for several months, this pack will be good for you. I never bought ovulation tests at retail stores, like Walmart, because they end up being as expensive as pregnancy tests. Since most women trying to conceive use ovulation tests daily, it is crucial to find an affordable brand.

Tip:
It took me forever to figure out how to use Ovulation tests. If you’re a pregnancy noob like me, I’ll break it down for you! As soon as you have your period, you start taking ovulation test daily with first morning pee. When the test line is as dark and the control line, you will ovulation within 24 hours.

You can get 100 ovulation tests for $17!

Pre-Pregnancy Pack

With my first pregnancy, we did not use the One A Day Pre-Pregnancy Pack, but with this pregnancy, we did. It might not make a huge difference in conception, but I felt like the additional vitamins from “Dad” helped with a good start. I would recommend this to anyone who is trying to conceive.

These are the Prenatal vitamins I take, as well. You can get the single pack here. These are more expensive than some brands, but these vitamins also have more important ingredients like, zinc, Folic Acid, Iron, Calcium, and Vitamin D.

If you do not use this supplement, it’s okay! Just make sure your supplement, contains all the necessary vitamins for a healthy pregnancy.

Tips:

Avoid Ibuprofen, Aleve, or any of NSAIDS when trying to conceive. NSAIDS can temporarily reduce fertility and cause miscarriage in early pregnancy.

Start your pregnancy diet now! No, don’t gorge yourself with ice cream and pickles, but instead, start eating and drinking vitamin rich foods. I started drinking a yogurt smoothie every morning when we were trying. This gave additional calcium that I would need during pregnancy. You also want to cut out alcohol and excessive caffeine. Eat more veggies, too!

Get medical issues sorted out before getting pregnant. I had a herniated disc when I got pregnant. Very few doctors will treat a pregnant woman, and this can make life very hard.

Good luck and happy conceiving!

Traveling with Airbnb

We use Airbnb for every trip, big and small, but I am astounded by how many people are afraid to try Airbnb! Here are a few tips to ensure you have an awesome trip with Airbnb!

Cost Effective

Airbnb is cost effective, no matter how you look at it. I rent entire houses and apartments for less than $100 a night. All of the houses I have ever stayed at through Airbnb have been nothing short of incredible. For example, my husband and I have booked a trip to Washington DC for 4 days, and an entire apartment with a kitchen, washing machine, and dryer will cost us $300. A hotel room with far fewer amenities was going to cost us $500.

Not only will you save money on your room, but you almost always have access to a full kitchen, saving you money on breakfast and occasional lunches. If you have picky children, this kitchen is a life saver. Most of the time, Airbnb hosts give guest snacks and breakfast foods, too!

Privacy

I love the privacy of an Airbnb. No one can hear you laughing late at night, and you don’t have to worry about having the TV up to loud. You can even have friends over without disrupting any other guests. That being said, be sure you are always respectful of the host’s house. Because you aren’t staying in a hotel, it is important to be extra courteous about household appliances and furniture.

Some people have had concerns, though, and I understand. One of the most common questions I get is, “what if someone is watching me while I shower?” To that, I respond, “then I feel sorry for them!” In all seriousness, anyone could be watching you anywhere you go, even in a hotel.

Cozier Experience

Airbnb’s really make any vacation feel extravagant. A real perk is how comfy the houses and apartments are. It feels like a home away from home, and for me, that makes all the difference.

Free Parking

Most Airbnb offer free parking when you book a house or room. If you’re traveling to a busy area, like New York, free parking is a delicacy. Some hotels don’t even offer free parking!

Rent a Room

If you don’t need an entire house, you can rent a single room. Though I have never done this, several of my teacher coworkers have rented rooms on their summer road trips. You can even opt to share a room with another person to get by for almost nothing! You can rent a room for only $30 a night and sometimes even less.

Great for Big Families

This is a REAL Airbnb Listing for $80 a night. Link below.

Hotel Rooms only allow for two queen beds. If you have more than 4 people to accommodate, you will need more space. Even if you pack everyone on the floor, your trip will be miserable. Airbnbs allow 8 or more guests for around the same price as a hotel room. Here is an example: A Florida house, 35 minutes from Disney, with 5 beds, and 2 bathrooms for $80 a night.

Go Anywhere with Airbnb

Airbnb is world-wide, so you can book a room anywhere!

Experiences

Airbnb has an “Experiences” resource that is incredible! Once you book your stay, the website will suggest things to do while on your trip. We have had some really fun times using the “Experiences” suggestions. We went on a haunted ghost tour for $30, and have the time of our lives! I highly recommend taking advantage of these tools.

Reviews

Reviews are a great way to see what you’re getting yourself into. If a house has poor reviews, or no reviews at all, do not stay there. I avoid homes without reviews the most.

Highly reviewed and experienced hosts get what a “Plus” status. If a host is considered a “Plus” host, they have been verified as a trustworthy host by Airbnb. All hosts must go through extensive verification before being accepted, but I prefer to stay with “Plus” hosts. They are not more expensive that regular hosts, either.

If you are interested in traveling through Airbnb, use my link to get $40 off your first trip of $75 or more.

Subscription Free Home Security Products

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Home Security Products help us feel safe in our homes, and I love having that additional security. I do not, however, love the price that comes along with security subscriptions. ADT can end up costing hundreds of dollars a month, and though the service is beyond compare, a lot of us just can’t afford that. Here are some alternatives that have proven just as effective!

Ring Video Doorbell

I’m paranoid, so I love this Ring Video Doorbell. You can see if someone is trying to ding-dong ditch you, and you can see if someone looks dangerous before you open the door. Of course, we have peepholes for this reason, but this doorbell saves videos in case of foul play.

Zmodo Wireless Camera

I love these Zmodo Wireless Cameras. They run off a wifi and do not require a subscription of any kind. We have these cameras posted all around our house. They have come in handy so many times. We get notifications every time there is movement on our property, and we switch off notifications when we are at home. These cameras are incredible for a small price.

Fortress Home Security System

The Fortress Home Security System is another item we use at our home. This home system does not require any type of subscription or commitment. It has a one time price and comes with tons of tools! Our system came with a home key pad, 3 keychain keys, 4 toggle keys, 8 door and window sensors, 4 motion sensors, an indoor alarm, and an outdoor alarm. This system will not call the police for you, but it will alert your neighbors of an emergency. Trust me, these alarms are loud!

Legit Baby Freebies

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As an expecting mother, I cannot get enough freebies. I look for them constantly! Here, I have compiled a list of legit baby freebies. This list will not require you to sign up for email newsletters, and none of these websites give off that “sketchy” feel. Those who have searched for freebies know what I’m talking about!

You will have to pay shipping for these items, but the shipping is not much compared to the product! Some of these freebies have been recruited from Moms&Crafters and Freebies For Baby.

Belly Button Band

Body Band

The Belly Band has two options: a Body Band for $40 (pictured above), or a Belly Band (pictured below). Both are meant to extend your pant-life throughout maternity.

The Body Band covers your belly and your unbuttoned pre-pregnancy pants. The Belly Band attaches to your pre-pregnancy pants. The Belly Band is adjustable, so it offers security for that “in-between” stage, where you aren’t big enough to wear maternity clothes, but you’re too bloated to wear your normal pants comfortably.

Use the code: FREEBIES4BABY for $39 off your order

Belly Band

Breast Pads

Here, you can get Breast Pads (4 for $7) in multiple patterns and a Breast Feeding Bracelet ($7). Breast Pads are essential for any breast feeding moms, and the bracelet can help you remember which breast you recently fed out of. As we know, new moms usually can’t remember much for a few weeks, so this bracelet is great and comfy. I have already stocked up on both!

Use the code: FREEBIES4BABY for $35 off your purchase.

Breast Feeding Bracelet
Breast Pads

3 Free Ruffle Buns

Ruffle Buns are cute diaper covers, and you can get 3 for free with this code: FREEBIES4BABY

Ruffle Buns

5 Free Baby Leggings

These baby leggings are great for winter weather! Use the code: PJBABY for $50 off your order. This website also sells bibs and gift sets!

Baby Leggings

Free Carseat Canopy

I already indulged in this freebie! This canopy is high quality, soft, and otherwise wonderful. There are several fabric options, which will allow you to customize the canopy for optimal results. A carseat canopy is a must for new babies, so why not get it free?

Use the code: PJBABY for $50 off your purchase.

Car Seat Canopy

Nursing Pillow

I hear moms rave about these pillows, though I have not bought one yet. With the code PJBABY, you can get this 100% free!

Free Sling-Style Baby Carrier

This was one of the first things I bought when we found out we were expecting. I love this sling! It is durable, yet soft enough for a baby’s sensitive skin.

Use the code: PJBABY for $40 off.

Baby Carrier

Amazon Prime Goodie Box

I’ve already gotten my Prime Goodie Box, and it was cram packed with awesome things! I got a bottle, 2 onesies, a muslin swaddle wrap, diapers, full-sized wipes, lotion, shampoo, breast pads, and coupons!

You have to be a prime member to receive your box of goodies, but you can use a Prime Free Trial! Look for the link below to get your free trial. It is 100% free for 30 days, and you can cancel at any time!

To start your registry, go here!

DIY Dip Powder Nails

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Hello, all! This week, I’ll tell you about my experience with DIY Dip Powder Nails. If you checked out my earlier post of my weekly faves, you will have already saw this product. I love so many things about this DIY Dip Powder Kit, but this affection did not come without a learning curve.


I ended up “dipping” my nails twice, both with failures of their own. The first time I used the dip powder, I had prior acrylic nails on. This made the powder build up entirely too tall and hard to file down. The second time, I used acrylic tips, and did not glue the tips down all the way, leaving a gap between my natural nail and my “dip” nails.

It wasn’t until I practice on someone else was I truly able to achieve success. I hope you can learn from my mistakes!

Nail Prep


To prep your nails, you will need:
– an electric nail file or a course manual nail file
protein bond
nail tip extenders
nail glue
rubbing alcohol
cotton pads

Begin by gently filing your natural nails. If you have acrylic nails on, soak your nails in pure Acetone nail polish remover for 30-40 minutes, until you can painlessly remove nails.

Once your nails have been filed, wipe away the dust with a cotton pad soaked in rubbing alcohol and immediately apply protein bond.

If you would like to extend the length of your nails, apply the nail tip extenders by covering the tip with nail glue.


Once the tips are applied, gently sand around the edge of the artificial tip, to create a seamless look. Once again, clean your nails with a cotton pad and rubbing alcohol.

Dip Powder Kit

I found this Dip Powder Kit on Amazon, and I love it. The price of this kit is cheaper than it costs for me to go to the salon!

I got the french tip kit, but this brand also has an assortment of Color Kits.

To begin, I coated my nail in “Base 1,” this is a glue that bonds with the powder. I dipped my finger completely in pink powder. RepeatI repeated this one more time, dusting the excess off each finger after 1 minute. I then dipped the tip of my finger into the white powder to make a french tip. Though you can do this on your own, I liked to have this Dip Powder Tray to perfect the shape of my tip. I redipped my tip twice, following each dip with an additional dip into the pink powder. Don’t worry! This will not affect your french tip.

By this point, you nail is getting pretty thick. I took my electric nail file and thinned my nails down. You want to be careful not to take off the white tip.

Once my nails were shaped, I dipped them in the clear powder. I remanded gently, and buffed my nails with this Nail Buffer. I apply the “Applicator,” which hardens the Dip Nails. Let the “Applicator” dry completely before reapplying.

The last step is to apply the “Top” coat, twice. This feels more like a glue, so be careful not to touch anything that will leave dust or fuzz behind. I also like to top my nails with gel topcoat, but you can apply any glossy top coat for a glossy finish!

With this kit, you can fill in your nails as soon as they grow out, too! Oh, the money I’ll save!