Homemade Play Dough

Hey guys✨

Today we’re talkin’ PLAY DOUGH!!! Super easy, super soft, super edible, non toxic, cheap Play Dough!! This Play Dough is a staple for us, we play with Play Dough every day! It is great to keep the kids busy up at the table while I clean, get the baby down for a nap, take a quick shower, pretty much anything I need to do while keeping the kids busy & safe!

What you will need:

Regular flour

Salt

Cream of tartar

Vegetable/coconut oil

Water

Clear vanilla extract

Food coloring

YOU DO NOT NEED TO COOK THIS PLAY DOUGH

Directions:

1.) Grab a big mixing bowl

2.) Grab your measuring cups & table spoons

3.) Add 2 cups of flour to your mixing bowl

4.) Add 1/2 cup of salt to flour

5.) Add 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar

6.) Add 2 tablespoons of your choice oil

7.) Throw an few drops of vanilla in for scent (optional)

8.) Mix well!!

9.) Microwave 1.5 cups of water for 2 minutes

10.) Add the hot water to flour mixture slowly until you get the texture that you want!

11.) Add your choice of food coloring!

And you’re done! Keep in an air tight container for up to 6 months!!

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True Life- I Miss My Husband

An unexpected change that came with having children- I miss my husband, all the time-

My husband works, a laborious job- he works a lot, at least twelve hours a day. He works on the weekends sometimes- he has to travel occasionally. He does this for me, for our children- so we can maintain a healthy and stable lifestyle.

Our days consist of a few short phone calls, a bunch of “I love you” texts, a quick FaceTime, and a huge amount of picture texts courtesy of me and the boys. All of which I am entirely grateful for-

I miss him before he even leaves the house most mornings, while we are all still in bed. Then when he gets home he is smothered with love by our boys- if they aren’t already sleeping.. and if they are I am typically waiting for him on the sofa silently.

We used to lay up all night talking. Go on little cheesy dates, watch movies, go shopping, binge on sushi- we LOVE to eat. It was all so simple… so easy going- all we had to do was love each other.

Now, we spend all of our alone time typically sleeping because we are utterly exhausted, usually with a child between us.. or watching one of our favorite shows without the volume, so we don’t wake either of the boys up.. because truthfully, we are desperate to just sit in a comfortable silence together and eat warm food… You don’t think life will get this busy, and tiring when you have multiple small children. It’s something you don’t truly understand until you are in the midst of it.

Although I long for the days where we can lay in bed in the morning before all of our kids wake up and just talk for a minute before rushing for breakfast & work. Even though I am excited for the time we will have to go out to dinner without screaming toddlers. Whilst I am anxious for the day that we can go on date nights and spend time reminiscing on our beautiful life. I do not wish these current days away, I find the beauty in every single one of these days, even the hardest and the longest of them.

Our romance is no where near dead- I don’t think it could ever be dead between him and I. But, it is a different type of romance.. like saving the last cookie, keeping his dinner warm in the oven, matching his socks. He talks to me while I soak in the tub & lets me be the big spoon because he’s too heavy… he listens to me complain, and reassures me that I’m doing great.

Having children has definitely changed our relationship. We are different now. We have grown- and continue to grow everyday. We work as a team now, and try to be considerate and supportive all the time.

We take every second that we can get, just him and I- and we always remember that it won’t always be like this. We don’t dwell on the fact that we can’t get away often. We don’t typically have ‘alone time’. But, we don’t concentrate on those things.. instead we just love each other the best we can day in and day out- we love our boys with all our might, together.

Our days are busy and long. The nights seem short. But just like everything else in life, this too shall pass- and I know we will miss it like hell when it does. So for now we embrace it, complain about it, love it, and hate it. But most importantly love each other fiercely through it. Even though I do miss him, I would miss this hectiness even more if we didn’t have it ✨

The Motherhood Wear & Tear – You Are Not Alone.

The motherhood burn out… it is not spoken about enough. It is a hidden part of motherhood, a silenced sector of this life we’ve chosen to live.

It is real, it is hard, it is lonely, it is harsh, it is exhausting.

Motherhood is beautiful, I think the most beautiful part of life, but my god will it push you to limits you never even knew existed. There are days where I am really convinced that I do not have one more ounce of patience left in my body. I physically cannot answer one more question.. the constant need for my attention is mentally and physically exhausting. It’s the need to be emotionally available for anything that any one in this home may need- the need to be physically available for any demand that anyone may have. It is the never ending list of chores, doctors appointments, other appointments, bills, opposing schedules- the tasks as a mother are truly endless.

The phrase ” it takes a village” is extremely fitting for raising children- but sometimes as a mother you are the village. There is not always family that is close by to help carry the load.. sometimes, most of the time- it is all on us. And it is draining.

Relentless- It is knowing that if you do not do it, it simply will not get done. It’s knowing that there are other people relying on you for food, clean clothes, entertainment, discipline, structure, love, nurturing – literally everything.

You are depleted- running on a broken up six hours of sleep because your toddler takes several naps at night instead of a full slumber. Then when your toddler falls back asleep early in the morning, an hour later your older child is ready to get up- and of course, they have a schedule and a list of chores that they are also dead set on achieving- and all you can do is list all of the cleaning that you haven’t been able to get done for weeks.. the seven loads of laundry scattered through out the house, the errands that need ran- the doctor appointment that simply cannot be rescheduled for the third time… and all this is running through your mind before you’ve even gotten a chance to brew your first cup of coffee.

If you’re anything like me, you haven’t been showered- you need a thorough hair wash and blow dry. The bags under your eyes aren’t even describable anymore- and you’ll typically have a few humans hanging off of your limbs for the next sixteen hours.. so the chances of a shower and a blow dry are not lookin real good, and not to mention the cleaning that needs to be done. Have you ever tried to mop a floor with two small children.. I literally mop for them to re-make their foot prints !

Then when my kids are finally busy for a good five minutes- I typically sit on the sofa in a few moments of suspicious silence and bask in the feelings of a tinge of loneliness, being severely touched out, and just being simply exhausted.

There will be a lot of days where you feel so run down, or burnt out- you feel like you need a few minutes to yourself to re-gather your thoughts.. There will be times where you truly don’t even know who you are anymore- you are just in mother mode, unconditionally loving your family- and forgetting about yourself. There will be days where you just don’t have the endless amount of patience that you usually do- that is okay! There will be days where you just want to throw in the towel- but you will not, because you are a mother and the endless love you have in your heart for your children is truly what gets you through every single day. The motherhood exhaustion is rough, but no matter what we will always put our children first and give them our all- that is motherhood magic, the true definition of selflessness.

This is a phase of motherhood & it can be hard as hell, with young children who are so demanding. But, It is just a passing part of life. When you are feeling these feels, just remember- this is time that is going to fly by, and you will never get it back. They’ll never rely on us like this again. So keep loving unconditionally- answer the last question, even if you feel like you are going to just burst if you do! This part of this journey is bitter-sweet, you just have to roll with the punches- and just know that you are doing perfectly- you are everything, even if you don’t feel like it! You will make it through the hardest days, with love and maybe some sort of grace.

We will look back on these days and think about how simple and sweet they were. We will forget about all the sleepless nights, the five thousand questions asked per hour, the continuous messes, and the time-outs!

Motherhood is hard, hard 👏🏼 as 👏🏼 hell 👏🏼 We are raising the future. We are teaching mini humans to love through life with kindness, manners, brains, courtesy and respect. We’re holding it down every day for our babes. We are doing the damn thing- even on the days when we are down and out.. the days that feel impossible, we still push through. We are amazing- in all of our motherhood glory.

Please know, if you read this and feel it- you are not alone ✨

Coming from the endlessly grateful, forever loving, exhausted, but seriously burnt out mama ✨

Some of The Motherhood Phrases That I Hate!

1.) You’ll bounce right back:

Okay.. this 👏🏼 statement 👏🏼 is👏🏼 not 👏🏼 okay👏🏼 as a women in today’s society you should know that there is some serious pressure to “bounce back”.. to look like you’ve never even been pregnant.. like you didn’t build a human being FROM SCRATCH in your uterus.. this phrase is bull crap. If you are talking to a pregnant woman do not insinuate that she will bounce back, do not reassure her that she will go back to “normal” in just a few weeks after birth. The honest truth is that you never go back to your old self once you enter the realm of motherhood… not physically mentally or emotionally- and instead of dwelling on that we should embrace it – Because it is beautiful, there is no growth like that of a new mother. Out with the old and in with the new mama style ~

Glow mamas, glow! Embrace your new being, let her grow and love her unconditionally- for this is the new you and she is perfect in all of her motherhood glory ✨

2.) Use cocoa butter so you don’t get stretch marks:

For starters, and this is important- coming from a young mother covered in stretch marks, who rolled in all types of oils and butters from day one of pregnancy- walked around lookin like a huge oily ball for 40 weeks straight. stretch marks are inevitable for some of us. Whatever the reason may be, some of us come out at the end covered in stretch marks. So, instead of offering your lovely advice about how you may have prevented yours, keep in mind that for a lot of us it is unpreventable, and it is truly a touchy & sensitive subject of conversation- because most of us have to re-learn to love these marks every single day. So please, for the love of god leave that piece of advice out of your “what to expect” conversation. Because although most of us with stretch marks don’t like them, they are NORMAL !!!

For all of my fellow stretch marked mamas, I hope you see the beauty in your marks every time you look in the mirror- they are nothing to be ashamed of. You do not need to hide them. Do not let society make you feel less beautiful because your skin isn’t unscathed. We are starting a new trend- real, raw, and beautiful .. the magic of motherhood 💖

3.) Sleep when your baby sleeps:

I laugh out loud every time I hear this… just forget about eating, showering, and all the other things that make you feel alive and human!

If I slept when my babies slept, I would’ve never had a shower, a meal, a quiet moment to reflect, a second to sit in the sun.. a minute alone with my husband… a silent cup of coffee, a moment to catch up on my favorite tv show- my point is a lot of the time when your baby is asleep is the only time you have to do things that still make you feel okay! And these things are so important when you are going through this transition. So instead of offering this advice, I just say you will be sleepless and exhausted, but it just lasts a short time. There will be days you feel hopeless because you haven’t slept, but you will get through it I promise- you are a mother, you are strong. Don’t wish the days away no matter how exhausted you are because your baby will never be a newborn again.

If sleeping when your baby sleeps works for you, then you are my hero.. share your secret with me because I can’t figure it out!!

Bask in your tiredness, cry, eat, bathe, camp out in bed, get some fresh air.. do what makes you feel good and pretty and healthy. The sleepless nights are temporary ✨

4.) Don’t run to your newborn baby every time they cry- you will spoil them:

Please- let’s lose the idea of spoiling a baby! You cannot spoil your newborn baby. They are crying because it is the only way they know how to communicate- when you answer their cries you are letting them know that they can trust you and rely on you for everything they need, which is how it should be for a newborn baby. You are their mother, their safety, their home! After all, they did just live inside of you for nine months. So, if you are tending to your newborn babies every cry, I am right there with you! Regardless of what a lot of people say – I will personally be spoiling my children with a lifetime of this type of “spoiling”

But to each their own ✨

5.) Do not bed share:

I will never understand why anyone feels okay with telling you how to parent your child. When I talk to mothers that live in other countries, they often explain that bed sharing is the norm! Bed sharing doesn’t work for everyone, but if you feel it is the best decision for you and your family- then that is okay! That is great! Bed share – and enjoy it, because it will not last forever! Soon your children will grow out of your bed and be comfortable in the privacy of their own bedroom.

6.) Letting your baby CIO is okay:

Just no… in all situations it’s a hard no. A big fat nope. A solid hell no!!!

7.) I did it, and my kids turned out fine:

One of my favorite parts of motherhood is the different forms of mothering! We are all different and so are our children.. what works for my children may not work for yours- that’s one of the beauties of being human, we are all very different. This is just awful advice- could you imagine the extreme guilt you would have if you advised another mom to try something that works for your child but goes terribly wrong for hers..

you can be a supportive friend, a loving & caring friend- you can share your experiences, but I think ultimately as mothers and as friends we should encourage each other to do what we feel is best for our own children.. even if what you would do isn’t necessarily what I would do with my own children. There is no set way to do this, there is no right or wrong- no guide book to follow. My style of mothering may not be the same as yours, but that’s okay.. we don’t have to agree! All we can do for all of our children the same way is to love them completely and unconditionally- and that is the magic of motherhood ✨

And for the love of god- stop sharing your unsolicited advice with mothers who don’t specifically ask.. it’s just not cool man. If it doesn’t affect your child directly it is none of your business ✨

Let’s Talk Breastfeeding

Hey Girlfriends ✨

I support all forms of feeding babies! Formula feeding , breastfeeding, wet nursing, donation, I do not judge- I admire all mamas for feeding their babies

As most of you guys know, I am very pro breastfeeding. I am passionate about it. I truly believe it is something worth fighting for! I want to start out by saying that breastfeeding is NOT easy, it is not just a natural event that happens after you have a baby.. for some of us it takes extreme effort, determination, and persistence.

I have breastfed two babies. My first only for a short time due to lack of knowledge and postpartum depression. My second I breastfed for twenty-two months, the first year I had postpartum depression and six of those months I was pregnant with my third baby. Between nursing both boys I have learned so much, and have gained an immense amount of respect for this process.

I want to share with you guys some things I wish I would have known going into my breastfeeding journey!

first and foremost, I need for you guys to know that breastfeeding does not come ‘naturally’ for most of us. It takes a great deal of dedication to commit to an exclusively breastfeeding relationship. So, if you are in the beginning of your breastfeeding journey, just know that we have all been there.. and as awful as it might be right now it does get better and a hell of a lot easier. Keep calm, and feed on!

My second bit of advice I give often is, do not give up! Breastfeeding REALLY hurts when you first start ( not for everyone, but for a lot of us!) I know that for me breastfeeding was harder, and more painful than actually having my babies!

I know your nipples are cracked and bloody.. I know you are emotionally at your wits end.. I know you are dying for 10 minutes of alone time to shower or to eat.. I know it can feel lonely being the only one awake at night to nurse… but the odds are, if you are nursing your newborn right now, it is because it was something you truly wanted as a mother for your baby.. despite all the healthy and bonding benefits, you wanted to do it.. and for that reason, do not quit. Trust me when I tell you it does get better, and you will be happy that you pushed through.

And if you are pregnant, and have decided to breastfeed, just start to prepare yourself.. because the odds are that it is not going to happen like you think it will. You just have to roll with the punches, and just know that there is a solution for almost any problem you could run into! Breastfeeding takes a lot of patience, determination, and time. There will be days where you really think you can’t do it for one more second, and there will be days where you are so thankful that you stuck it out. But believe me when I tell you, it is so worth it. There is nothing in this world like the bond you build while nursing your baby. There is no feeling like the one you get when you look down at your perfect little nursing baby.

My third piece of advice & maybe my most important… I beg for you to take this advice and carry it with you! TRUST YOUR BODY! I know as a mother it is incredibly hard to trust your body to nourish your child. I know it is immensely hard to not be able to see how much your baby is actually eating. I know as a mother of a newborn the constant fussing and crying can make you honestly believe that your body is failing you and your baby! I know when your baby is constantly wanting to nurse or wanting to be latched to your breast your first thought is ” he is always hungry, I am not making enough milk” when in reality it is very normal for newborns to nurse pretty much all day and night. There are a whole bunch of reasons your baby wants to be latched all the time! Just have the expectation to spend most of your days and most of your nights breastfeeding for the first month or two, it is normal, it has nothing to do with not producing enough milk ( most of the time), it does not mean there is something wrong with you or your baby! ** side note, a great way to gage the amount of milk your baby is consuming is through their wet & dirty dipes, diaper counting is crucial for a breastfeeding mama needing to know if baby is getting enough milk** Babies don’t only nurse because they are hungry, actually a lot of the time they may not be hungry at all! The moral of this paragraph is to fight the natural urge you have to doubt your body. And trust the process, it takes time to build a milk supply, it doesn’t just happen in the first week for all of us! It took three whole weeks for my milk supply to fully come in and to semi-regulate. Remember- the more you latch your baby, the more breast milk your body will make.

Even as a first time mom, you have instincts. You know what is best for your baby! You know your baby better than any one else in the world. Trust yourself. Trust your body. And trust your baby. Every day is a learning experience- you can learn your way through this process! There is a solution to almost any problem you could encounter.

Some reasons your baby will nurse even if they’re not hungry:

– comfort

– warmth

– skin to skin

– growth spurts, the first one happens within the first few days of being home. Then between 7-10 days.. then again between 14-21 days old, and again between 4-6 weeks old. It is very normal for your baby to constantly nurse during their growth spurts. Growth spurts can last anywhere from 2 days to 7 days!

– over stimulated

– sleepy

– teething

– sick

– because they love you

– because they want to

– because they smelled your breast milk

– because that’s just what breastfed babies do

– because they saw your boobs

– because they’re babies and breastfeeding is normal

Fourth, learning to breastfeed is just as hard for your newborn as it is for you! This process truly takes patience. This was my first lesson on patience as a mother. It takes time to prefect a nice deep latch( not for all of us, but for a lot of us). It takes time for your nipples to toughen up. It takes time for breastfeeding to become a naturally occurring daily event in our lives. Please, don’t feel discouraged in your first few weeks of breastfeeding if you are still sore, and unsure if things are going right. Like any good thing in life, this takes time and a lot of TLC. ** side note, if you are having problems with your nipples being unbearably sore for more than a few weeks it is important to have your baby assessed for lip or tongue ties. Knowing if there is a tie gives you the opportunity to fix the problem and proceed with your breastfeeding journey** During the first few weeks of nursing I highly suggest staying topless as much as possible, and I personally avoid putting any creams or oils on my nipples because keeping them dry helps the toughening up process go a bit quicker. If you get to the point where you are just in tears from the pain every time you latch, which happens but shouldn’t last longer than a few weeks, make sure you are switching breasts every feeding and you’re getting a deep latch. A shallow tight latch will kill your nipples, but it is fixable, it just takes a lot of practice and re-latching and possibly a lip or tongue tie revision.. if it is just so awful that you honestly cannot take the pain for one more second, you can try a nipple shield! The only problem with a nipple shield is that the habit can be hard to break for you & baby!

Fun fact: pumping to see how much your baby is eating is actually not effective or accurate. Your baby is way better at expressing your milk than the breast pump is! So, if you pump and only get a couple of drops, please do not feel discouraged- it is best to gage the amount of milk your baby is getting through the number of wet & dirty diapers your baby has per 24 hours.

Fifth, there will be people who do not agree with your decision to exclusively breastfeed your baby. Please, do not let them get to you. There is absolutely nothing wrong with choosing to solely breastfeed your baby! It is absolutely natural and nothing short of a miracle. Prepare yourself to breastfeed in public, most of the time it will be pleasant, but sometimes it will get uncomfortable.. and that is okay! Just keep swimming, and kill them with kindness. You can nurse at anytime, in any place – I’ve nursed at church, my own wedding, my friends weddings, restaurants, the pediatricians office, the grocery store, the park, the beach, family get togethers, you name it! It’s not always easy but it is always necessary if your baby needs it.

Sixth, prepare! Make sure you have a nursing pillow, they come in handy when you need to nurse but still want a free hand. Get a baby carrier, there will be days where you will not be able to get anything done because all your baby wants to do is nurse.. just strap baby on, pop a boob in his mouth and go! Invest in a few nursing bras, it’s just easier to get your boob out of especially if you are on the go! Stock your refrigerator with hydrating drinks- it is so crucial to stay hydrated especially to keep a good milk supply. Keep snacks stashed everywhere- nursing will increase your appetite!

Fun fact: if you have inverted nipples you can still breastfeed! You can simply use a manual or electric pump for a minute or two before you latch your baby if you are having problems! A nipple shield is not always necessary

Some reasons that have kept me breastfeeding even when I wanted to quit:

Breastfeeding has always helped to naturally break my babies fever- the temperature of your milk and your skin will regulate your babies temperature

Comforting- no matter what the circumstances were I knew I could nurse my baby and calm him

When you are getting sick or if you have been exposed to a germ, the antibody is passed through your breastmilk to your baby to help prevent baby from getting sick! I can’t tell you how many times my household was sick but my breastfed baby was not

It was easier to get sleep- we learned how to dream feed and we both got more sleep

Some things that I have learned over the last two years of nursing:

Skin to skin can increase milk supply

Frequent latching can increase milk supply

More medications are okay to take while nursing than we think- do your research

You can still nurse your baby even if they have allergies, it takes about 3 weeks for the allergen to get out of your breastmilk once it’s deleted from your diet

For example: my babe had a milk and soy allergy, I cut all dairy and soy out of my diet & within three weeks he was no longer gassy or constantly fussy

Breastfeeding is free!!

A lot of Pediatricians are not up to date with new nursing information, a lot of pediatricians are not supportive of long term breastfeeding

Comfort nursing is very necessary, healthy, and normal!

The phrase ” don’t let your baby use you as a pacifier” is bull crap.. let your baby nurse.. comforting your baby when they need it builds a crucial foundation of trust and love. You CAN NOT spoil a baby. It is our job as mothers to love our babies unconditionally.

There are more uses for breastmilk- other than just feeding your baby! You can use breastmilk for milk bathes- great for eczema and dry skin. You can make lotion. You can use it for pink eye! And it is great for your newborns baby acne!

I have so much more that I want to jam pack into this post! As you can see I love breastfeeding, I love learning about it, and mostly I love encouraging and helping new moms get past the times where they feel like it is impossible. I am sure I will have a part two to this- or an updated version because there is just so much to share!

If you are a new mom nursing your brand new baby, or if you are expecting and planning on nursing- you have my support, and if you need a push you can reach out to me at anytime! Breastfeeding is not always easy, but it is worth it ✨

Remember, you are strong, and you can do this no matter how exhausted you feel! Just keep calm and feed on

Feel free to comment any advice I may have left out! You can reach out to me via Instagram at @alexandrabrea_

Packing My Hospital Bag- For the Third Time

Hey everyone ✨

This will be my third hospital birth and as the weeks go by I am slowly starting to get everything for our new baby together! One thing that I get asked a lot is what I put in my hospital bag, what are my necessities?

With my first son I over packed, you would’ve thought we were moving in, I practically brought my whole bed with me! And with my second, I was a little under packed, I relied on the hospital for a lot of stuff- which I highly recommend NOT doing.

So, this time I have started early enough to properly prepare. I haven’t over packed, and I haven’t under packed! This is my list of must haves for a hospital birth!

I use a nice sized Vera Bradley Travel Bag for my husband and I, and my diaper bag for our new baby- fully stocked with diapers and wipes for our travel home.

Let’s get started!!

Toiletries: I think your first shower after you have your baby should be done with all your familiar toiletries, so you feel comfortable and clean.

Your own face wash

Your face cream & body cream

Your own shampoo and conditioner

Your own body soap

Shower flip flops – I just grab a cheap pair from old navy

Toothbrush and toothpaste

A bag to put dirty clothes in

Clothing: I keep it super simple and comfortable!

A few small & light robes- they work best for me- I don’t like anything around my waist for a few weeks after having a baby- plus they are easy to nurse & do skin to skin in. They are comfortable to sleep & walk in and you can choose how tight you want to tie them.. they are also easy to use the bathroom in! I swear it’s the best way to go!

I also pack a few casual night gowns to wear while people are visiting

Flip flops to walk the hospital in!

A nursing cover- I typically do not use this because I inform everyone beforehand that I will openly be nursing, and if you aren’t comfortable with that then hold off on visiting for the next two years.

A nursing bra – I bring two or three!

Adult diapers- I honestly can’t stress this enough. I got this advice from my first midwife.. I didn’t bring them for my second birth, and used the mesh underwear with the huge pads that the hospital provides instead.. needless to say, I sent my husband to get the diapers because they are super absorbent, they don’t slip around and are very comfortable and dry!! I use these diapers until I start bleeding like I would on a normal period – about 4 weeks postpartum

A go home outfit- I use a loose dress & flip flops- mine is cotton and from old navy – it’s summer in South Florida, so we keep things light around here!

P.s. I get all my night gowns and robes from tjmaxx or Marshall’s, it is very affordable it’s all cute and comfortable. They also have pajamas that aren’t too pajamaish, which I really like!

Make up: this will be different for everyone, I bring my most basic things!

CHAPSTICK

A hair bag with a few hair ties, bobby-pins, & clips

A hair brush

concealer and mascara- just Incase we have company that I would want to put make up on for.. highly unlikely but a possibility!

A hair dryer & your every day hair spray, gel, or hair oil

Bedding: This is important for me to feel comfortable and relaxed

I bring my favorite pillow and a small cozy warm blanket

Electronics:

Phone charger – get a long one if possible so you can plug it in behind your hospital bed

A tablet or laptop to watch Netflix or play music on while you’re up nursing or alone in the room

Extras:

Snacks – a bag of pretzels, dried fruit and/or nuts, I pack a loaf of bread and some peanut butter too! I know I get starving through out the night after having a baby! And I hate hunting for a vending machine, or sending my husband to get something!

For my husband I pack a toothbrush a few pairs of boxers, a few pairs of socks, gym shorts and a few t-shirts. He has the freedom to run home if he needs, so just the basics!

For baby:

I know for us, our baby is naked most of the time because we are constantly doing skin to skin!

Clothing: I like to bring my own stuff because it is all pre-washed, soft, cotton & comfortable!

Three zip up footie pajamas- these are easy to get in and out of at night time for the nurses, and also to change diapers!

A few cotton onesies for the day time

Baby socks & a baby hat

Muslin swaddle blankets – I pack three

A take home outfit- I use a Burt’s Bees footie pajama & hat set

A nursing pillow/ boppy pillow

I think that is all! If I forgot anything please feel free to comment it below, or send it to me via Instagram at @alexandrabrea_

Thanks for stopping by 🌸

-Alex

Vegan Lentil Soup & Chai Smoothie – Recipe and Instructions ✨

Hey everyone 🌸

My grandmother makes a killer lentil soup. It is savory, hearty, & delicious. It hits the spot when you need a big bowl of something hot that’s filled with love! It is a very basic recipe, and with just a few alterations can be made into an absolutely immensely flavorful vegan dish. It is a whole meal in a bowl.

Last night was my very first time making this soup suitable for a vegan diet. I am still amazed with how delectable this batch of soup came out. And on the plus side, you will probably already have all of the ingredients you’ll need to make this soup!

If you decide to try my vegan lentil soup recipe, please tag me via Instagram at @alexandrabrea_ and credit my blog so I can see your creations and read all your feedback. I am super excited to see how your batch turns out, and if you love it as much as I do !!

So, let’s get started

First, the ingredients!

1/4 cup of oil- your choice- I used avocado oil

6 medium cloves of garlic -minced

3 tablespoons of fresh Italian parsley – chopped

2 medium carrots – diced small

The heart of the celery w/ the leaves + one big rib – diced small

1/4 of a Yellow onion – diced small

1/4 teaspoon of course sea salt – I added a little bit more

2 tablespoons of Vegetable base- better than bouillon’s is certified vegan, and absolutely delicious

4 cups of vegetable broth

3 cups of water

1 (14.5 ounce) can of organic diced tomatoes

8 ounces of brown lentils

3 big handfuls of chopped kale

Instructions:

Heat your 1/4 cup of oil in a 6 quart pot. Once the oil comes to a slow simmer – add your garlic, onion, celery, carrots, salt & vegetable base. Let vegetables sauté for about 20 minutes, or until browned and soft!

Once the vegetables are soft and browned- increase heat to medium-high and add your vegetable broth, water, diced tomatoes, & lentils. Bring this to a rolling boil

Taste for seasoning adjustments! I decided to sprinkle a little onion powder, garlic powder and fresh ground pepper in at this point! A little extra love ❤️

Once this comes to a boil- partially cover with a lid and reduce heat to low- let soup cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until lentils are nice and soft.

Once your lentils are soft, chop up your kale and toss it in- let it cook for another 5 minutes! I left my kale in larger pieces for bigger bites- super delicious !!

Chai Tea Smoothie !

This is my go-to morning smoothie. It is filling, sweet, a little caffeinated and just delightful! I have one of these smoothies every single day.

If you choose to give my chai tea smoothie recipe a try, please tag me on Instagram at @alexandrabrea_ & credit my blog so I can see your creations and read your feedback!

For a 24 ounce Chai Tea Smoothie you will need:

3 frozen bananas

1 cup of chai tea concentrate

1 cup of vanilla hemp milk

1 teaspoon of Maca Powder

1 tablespoonsof agave – give or take for your preference of sweetness!

Top with coconut, cocoa nibs, sunflower seeds,or cocoa.. or anything you choose ✨

Instructions:

Throw all ingredients into a blender, and blend until smooth. About 2 minutes!