Monthly Archives: May 2019

A Post-Share from Lifehacker – Parenting Surprises

Around the Web Favorites

A friend of mine shared with me an interesting post from (one of my favorite blogs to read) that I thought it worth-while sharing with all of you: “10 Things I Wish I Had Known Before Becoming a Parent.’ The article addresses some of the many surprises of parenting that shock us as we enter the foreign world of parenting for the first time: surprises such as how unexpectedly difficult conception can be – all the way to the brutal, torturous sleep deprivation from hell that newborns put us through. It’s a worth-while read. I had a similar post back in January 10 Surprises After Baby Came, but I have to admit that the Lifehacker article is a much better read.
Here is a direct link to the post from  10 Things I Wish I Had Known Before Becoming a Parent.

Goat Cheese, Avocado and Crisp Prosciutto Crostini

Goat Cheese, Avocado 
and Crisp Prosciutto Crostini

Inspired by a recipe I found on Martha Stewart’s website – Crisped-Prosciutto and Avocado Crostini Recipe, I decided to give the recipe a whirl the other night.  This was my midnight snack – if you follow my blog, you will learn that I tend to cook a lot at midnight.  I made a few changes to the Martha Stewart ingredients, but followed the instructions that the Martha Stewart website recommended pretty much exactly.  This was SO good!  The crisped prosciutto adds a salty amazingness to the recipe.  Instead of manchego cheese, I recommend using goat cheese (goat cheese is found in the “fancy/gourmet cheese” section of the grocery store).  Goat cheese is my most favorite food item in the world.  


  • Sliced Prosciutto (find it by the fancy cheeses at the grocery store)
  • Olive oil
  • French Bread Baguette (aka: a loaf of french bread) – I made this recipe a few times, I don’t think the size of the baguette necessarily matters….but if I could make a recommendation, I would recommend using a small-sized baguette…French Bread is my favorite type of bread for baguettes.
  • Garlic – Instead of garlic cloves, I used garlic powder (simply because I was feeling lazy)
  • Avocados (ripe)
  • Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • Goat cheese


For the instructions, I followed the instructions, pretty much exactly, as the Martha Stewart website recommended (link: Crisped-Prosciutto and Avocado Crostini Recipe).  I ate this with a salad.  I was literally saying “Oh my god – yum yum yum” as I ate this – with food in my mouth.

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A Non-Ugly Toy Bin for Baby and Toddler Toys


Link: Threshold Global Trunk 

from Target

I love my child’s toys, I do, but the neon-pink and neon-green polka-dotted storage bins that we were using to store my daughter’s toys had to go if I wanted re-gain control of my living room.  This is my first attempt to restore the “Zen” to my living room since the birth of my child.  A friend of mine suggested a brilliant idea: get rid of the neon storage bins and use a storage trunk (for adults) for toys.  I was disappointed in myself that I had never thought of this idea.  

I found this storage trunk online from Target 

(Link: Threshold Global Trunk) and it’s amazing because

I am now one-step closer to having a zen-ful living room.  This trunk is large enough for a lot of toys and it’s actually stylish.  My little one just stands over the toy trunk and pulls out the toys of her choice.  My next big step will be to get her to put her toys away (baby steps).

The storage bin is $76.99 (if you use your Target debit card, you get an additional 5% off).

Goodbye to the Easter-colored toy bins that always found their way to my hallway closet whenever I wanted to impress a guest who was coming to our house (this was usually done a last-minute effort).  

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Here’s a Remedy That Has Helped My Baby With Teething

God bless the inventor of Hyland’s Teething Tablets.  I love Hyland’s Teething Tablets.  I have tried every teether out there.  I’ve tried Orajel (the q-tip version, the regular version, etc.), and that does not last but more than a few minutes.  I’ve tried those mesh things with frozen fruit in them, but those things are a pain in the a** to clean, and I’m not really a fan of them.  

Hyland’s Teething Tablets 

I bought these at Walgreens after stumbling through the baby section as I always do, and I figured I would experiment with some more random baby products.  It turns out this was no waste of money at all.

I was nervous to use these teething tablet things for the first time, but they are so small and promised to dissolve quickly so I wasn’t nervous about choking.  My one-year-old is getting her molars in and she has not been a happy camper.  Poor little girly grabs the inside of the back of her mouth all day long.  

Hyland’s Teething Tablets

I gave her three tablets of Hyland’s Teething Tablets and she experienced immediate gratification (as did my baby).  I thought I had gone deaf because suddenly my child was not longer inconsolably crying.  She went from a fussy, crying, uncomfortable baby, to a neutral, just somewhat needy baby.  There is a big difference between crying and just being needy.

I am adding these things to my “Must Haves” list.   I love them.

Want more must-have baby items?  View our constantly updating list of Must-Have Baby Gear.

Packing List for the Birth Center – When Baby Comes

What do you pack for yourself (and baby) when you go to the hospital or Birthing Center for labor and delivery? Here’s a sample packing list that will help you remember all of the important things!  

Tip:  Make a list of “last minute items” to pack – these are usually the items that you use daily (your bathroom robe, pillows, camera, etc.); you may also want to add the baby items that you still need (car seat, a ‘going home outfit’ for baby, etc.) to this list.

Labor and Delivery Packing List:  What I Brought to Hospital Birthing Inn

For You:

  • Bring Your Own Pillow 

  • Comfy Slippers
    • The ACORN Women’s New Spa Slide Slipper are super comfortable.

  • Comfy shoes
    • If you go into labor during dinner and forget to pack your “comfy shoes,” then you may end up going home in pajama pants and high-heels.
    • Socks
      • Non-skid socks are nice for effortless bathroom trips and/or walks around the birthing unit
      • If you have sweaty feet, bring your best sweat-absorbing socks
      • Bring extras.
    • Comfortable underwear (aka, granny panties)
      • Bring extras. Things get messy.
    • Nightgown
      • If you are going to be breastfeeding, try to find a nightgown that opens up in the front – for ease access
    • Robe
      • …because your butt will show in the back of the hospital gown.  I would recommend a terry cloth material for your robe because you’ll be sweating a lot.  The Women’s Terry Cloth Bathrobe Robe (Ecovaganza); An Eco Friendly Gift of Luxury is really comfy.

    • Thermos for water 
      • No-spill thermoses are the best.  I am obsessed with the Contigo AUTOSEAL Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Tumbler.  It keeps your drinks cold/hot and best of all – it won’t spill in your purse.  I take mine with me everywhere.

    • Comfortable Going Home Outfit for yourself

    For Your Significant Other:

    • Snacks / Drinks for Your Significant Other
      • They get hungry too – don’t let your spouse’s hunger hinder his ability to support you during labor.  Bring snacks that you know he’ll eat (for Mr. Mia, it was beef jerky .. but I made him eat it in the other room because I wasn’t allowed to eat).
    • Toothpaste and Toothbrush for Your Spouse
    • Toiletries for Your Spouse (deodorant, contact lens supplies, etc.)
    • Change of Clothing for Your Spouse 
    • Pajamas for Your Spouse
      • Make sure that his PJs are the type of PJs that he would feel comfortable wearing in a hospital room that hospital nurses are constantly walking in and out of
    • Pillow and Blanket for your Spouse

    For Baby:

    • Baby’s Outfits
      • Newborn Size and 0-3 months size, depending on size of baby (for twins or early deliveries, you may need to bring preemie sized outfits).  See Top 12 Must-Have Newborn Clothing Items for more newborn clothing essentials.
    • Cute Baby Hat 
    • Cute Baby Bows/Headbands (for girls)
      • Check out for adorable baby headbands and bows.
    • Swaddle blanket(s)

      • The Summer Infant SwaddleMe Blankets were my favorite swaddle blankets because they use Velcro (the Velcro is key and makes swaddling a baby significantly easier).

    • Diaper Bag
    • Side-Snap Onesie Bodysuits
    • Car Seat 
      • Make sure you have it installed in your car – they won’t let you leave the hospital without this basic step!  We used a Chicco carseat and loved it.

    • See Top 25 Must-Have Newborn and Baby Items for more must-have baby gear


    • Camera
    • Charger for the Camera
    • Cell phone charger
    • A good music playlist for distraction
    • Books to read that don’t require concentration
      • Personally, reading was the last thing that I wanted to do, but I’ve heard some women say that reading, for them, was helpful during labor.
      • When I was pregnant, books that took my mind off of how uncomfortable I was:  Belly Laughs: The Naked Truth about Pregnancy and Childbirth and Baby Laughs: The Naked Truth About the First Year of Mommyhood (both written by Jenny McCarthy).
      • I also really liked the books The Girlfriends’ Guide to Surviving 1st year mother (Perigee) and The Girlfriends’ Guide to Pregnancy (both written by Vicki Iovine).

    • Pen and Paper 
      • Because what if you need to write stuff down?
    • Your birth plan (or an idea of what you want to happen)
      • If you have one…even though birth plans are usually worthless because you can’t really control too much of what happens during the process, and the nurses might laugh at you if you show them your “birth plan.”
    • Don’t forget a photo ID
    • Your Insurance Information
    • Your Check Book (for misc. orders)
    • Cash (for vending machines) and Credit Cards

    For Breastfeeding:

    • A book on nursing/breastfeeding
    • Nursing bra and nursing shirt
    • Snacks for you
    • Nipple cream
    • Nursing pads
    • Nursing pillow (e.g., the Boppy Pillow or the Leachco Cuddle-U Nursing Pillow)


    • Face Wash 
    • Shampoo and Conditioner (Travel Size)
    • Lip balm 
      • Nothing worse than chapped lips without chap-stick  and hospitals are dry
    • Loofah Shower Sponge (if you use one)
    • Sanitary Pads 
      • Find sanitary pads that are to your own liking (the hospital sanitary pads and huge and uncomfortable)
      • Make sure they are heavy duty
    • Contact Lens and Solution
    • Eye glasses (and case)
    • Make-Up 
      • (if you are so motivated)
    • Head bands and hair ties

    Did we forget something?  
    If so, leave a comment!


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    Around the Web Favorites – August 2013

    1.   40 Ways To Entertain Your Kids While Lying Down

    • posted an Article, 40 Ways To Entertain Your Kids While Lying Down, that I have personally found to be quite clever and informative, as it appeals to two of my favorite activities: my love for lying down on my sofa; and my love of playing and entertaining my little toddler.

    2.   Top 10 Parenting Hacks

    3.   Where’s My Cell Phone?

    • Do you lose your cell phone around your house?  Don’t have a land-line to call it and make it ring so that you can find it?  I use on a weekly basis, if not more frequently.

    4.   Blog Raffle (Giveaway) on Mommy Mia Monologues

    • ENTER HERE to put your name in to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card. 
    • Two winners!
    • Blog raffles ends on August 8, 2013.

    5.   Use Adhesive Hooks to Organize Pot Lids and Save Cabinet Space


    • On the post, Use Adhesive Hooks to Organize Pot Lids and Save Cabinet Space, from, the author suggests using 3M Adhesive Hooks (Damage Free) as a drill-free way to hang pot lids in your cabinets.  I love this idea for pot lids – at least as a temporary solution until I trust myself drilling holes in our kitchen cabinets.

    6.   Favorite Apps of My 2-Year-Old
    from the blog, Second Story Window

    • The blog, Second Story Window, the author posted, “Favorite Apps of My 2-Year-Old” – a list I plan to carefully review prior to my next flight with my toddler that’s coming up soon.  This looks like a great list (I skimmed over it and I know my toddler loves at least three of the apps she recommends, so I’ll definitely be using this list as a reference.

    7.   Surprise Kitty (Video)
    from Animal Planet, on YouTube
    • This video is an “oldie but goody,” and it’s still super cute.  

    Toddler Tessa’s First Library Story Time Meet Up – (Video)

    This is a video of our baby toddler, Tessa (14-months-old), enjoying her first “meet up” group at our local library for Story Time. I love that our library does this “Story Time” for the community (a librarian reads to the kids and puts on a show basically…it’s completely free of charge).  Tessa may be a little young compared to the other kids, but she is undoubtedly enjoying herself!

    My Kidney Stone Nightmare – What Do Single Mothers Do?

    Day 1:  

    The Middle of the Night – “Back Pain” – 4:00 AM

    Last week, I woke up in the middle of the night for some strange reason.  I sat up in bed and felt a stabbing pain in the lower part of the right side of my back.  I got up to use to bathroom, and I figured that I had slept on my back in a weird way and that my muscles were in a knot. 

    (Dun, dun, dunnnnn…..)

    12-Hours Later – “You have a kidney stone.” – 4:00 PM

    Then, 12-hours
    later, I found myself in the office of my OB/GYN – crying, and squirming, and I was delirious because of the pain.  I begged the receptionist to let me see a nurse or a PA or someone – anyoneI’m pretty sure the receptionist thought I was a crazy homeless person because, according to my sister, I had mascara running down my face and I was pacing around like a crazy person (I was in pain!)…and according to my sister, all of this topped with the over-sized fleece hoodie jacket that I was wearing made me appear to be a total homeless crackhead to the unsuspecting receptionist at my doctor’s office.  To my OB/GYN’s reception:  I am sorry if I scared you.  But I was oblivious to how ridiculous I looked and sounded.  The pain was felt like a mixture between a typical back pain but this pain somehow felt like it extended into my surrounding organs; the pain also felt like a urinary tract infection, which was why I chose to run to my OB/GYN’s office.  

    The P.A. graciously took me back, gave me some pain medication for my bladder, and she told me that I needed to go to the Emergency Room – she thought that I had kidney stones.  

    Yep.  I had a kidney stone.  

    Day 2:

    36-Hours Later – It Gets Worse – “You actually need surgery.” – 4:00 PM

    After 24-hours, the kidney stone wouldn’t “pass,” and I was back in the Emergency Room with a 103-degree fever.  They sent me to surgery to put a “stint” my urinary tract (to allow the kidney stone and the infection to drain or something), and I had to have the stint in for 4-days; and HOLY MOTHER OF GOD THAT IS SO UNCOMFORTABLE AND PAINFUL.  

    I am better now, but I have been absent from my blog for the past two-weeks for 3 reasons:
    • Kidney stones (and kidney stone infections) hurt like a &^%$ 
    • Pain medication makes me a useless blob

    Moral of the Story:  

    • Drink plenty of water.
    • Pray to God that you never have a kidney stone.

    A Major Question I Have:

    • What the hell do single moms do when they have a health crisis and need to go to the Emergency Room?  Who watches their kids?  Who helps them?