5 Books for Parents to Be

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My sister purchased several best sellers for me to read before Emilia makes her debut in July. I always end my day snuggled in bed with my doTERRA Petal diffuser blasting lavender engrossed in a book. Reading has always had a calming effect on me. These are currently on my nightstand:

I Heart My Little A-Holes: A bunch of holy-crap moments no one ever told you about parenting by Karen Alpert

I finished this book in 3 days and laughed out loud almost every single page. It made me realize how my life is going to completely change in a few months. Kids are true blessings – but I know that this parenting ride may not always present with smooth sails. The author has a comical way of giving us soon-to-be parents a glimpse into reality.

The Baby Owner’s Manual: Operating Instructions, Trouble-Shooting Tips, and Advice on First-Year Maintenance (Owner’s and Instruction Manual) by Louis Borgenicht M.D and Joe Borgenicht

Another light-hearted, non-threatening read that I finished over the course of a week. It covers the basics, but with some new information that has changed since my babysitting and nannying days. It calls doctors “service providers,” which always gives me a good chuckle. This owner’s manual also helped me with a few things on my baby registry.

So That’s What They’re For!: The Definitive Breastfeeding Guide 3rd edition by Janet Tamaro

Breastfeeding. This is my take on breastfeeding; fed is best. I am hoping that Emilia and I both enjoy and have an easy breastfeeding experience. If not, formula it will be. I was a formula kid. So was my sister, husband, and sister-in-law. We all turned out somewhat normal. Our moms didn’t even attempt breastfeeding. I, on the other hand, would like to give it a try. Of course, like any new mom, I’m nervous, so this book is a great way to educate me on everything relating to breastfeeding in an informative, direct, conversational way.

Your Baby’s First Year For Dummies by James Gaylord, MD and Michelle Hagen

I love for Dummies books. It breaks everything down so simply and reviews every topic within the baby’s first year. I like how it has pictures (I’m a visual learner) and pediatrician recommendations that really helped me to formulate a plan when Emilia arrives. The book is extensive, so the index is super helpful when I want to read a specific topic.

Show Dad How (Parenting Magazine): The Brand-New Dad’s Guide to Baby’s First Year by Shawn Bean

Jason claims he has never been much of a reader so when my sister surprised him with this Show Dad How book, I got really excited because this is a very simple picture book to learn how to do basic things, like change a diaper. It provides comedic relief, as we all know, raising children does take a village.

bake bread

Advertisements

My At-Home, Budget Friendly Spa Day

** This post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you click on the links and make a purchase, I will earn a small commission to help sustain this blog.**

I am writing this wearing a leopard robe. Coconut oil is swishing around in my mouth. 11 more minutes to go before I spit my toxins out into the garbage can. My face has a dark grey, charcoal mask on it. A nose strip is waiting for me on my bathroom sink. That fruity sugar scrub is going to exfoliate the winter dryness off my scaly body. A hair mask will hopefully tame my split ends and make my natural balayage tendrils extra soft and shiny. A lip scrub and conditioner will make my pucker extra plump and smooth. Today, is a day of at-home pampering.

I wish I could afford facials and massages, but those are luxuries, and do not fit into my budget. I will ask for them as a gift for special occasion like my birthday or Christmas. In the interim, when I have some extra time, I try to take care of myself at home. Here are some easy, but effective ways to make yourself feel good on a budget.

Water

I fill up a huge (wine) glass of ice water, and then add a few slices of lemon and/or cucumber. Drinking water helps maintain your metabolism, increases energy, decreases fatigue, and improves your complexion. I hydrate during my in-home pampering experience.

Meditation and/or Music

I turn off my cell phone and other electronic devices and really take the time to focus on me. I type “guided meditation” into a search engine, and play something that takes me to a calm headspace. Sometimes, of I want to zen out without a guided meditation, I will turn to Trevor Hall. If I’m not in the mood for calm, then I will turn on Amy Winehouse or Joss Stone. Set the atmosphere for your mood.

Robe & Scents

I absolutely love my fleecy leopard robe that I bought myself and my bridesmaids for my wedding. It is incredibly warm and comfortable, and I don’t have to worry about pulling anything over my head. (I don’t want to get my face mask on my clothing). I usually put a headband on as well, to keep my bangs out of my face. Then, I light a candle in my bathroom, so I can smell a relaxing scent as I perform my at-home pampering routine.

View my ipsy Glam Bag

I subscribe to the ipsy Glam Bag. Each month I receive a bag with 5 samples including facial cleansers, blushes, face masks, primers, moisturizers, eyeshadows, hair care items, and brushes. It has introduced me to so many different products and brands. On my at-home pampering days, I go through my ipsy Glam Bag and see if there is anything new I can implement (usually the hair/face masks, moisturizers, body lotions). The ipsy Glam Bag  costs $10/month, or you can sign-up for their yearly plan which is $110/year.

20170120_150717

The Full Package: Teeth, Face, Hair & Body

It sounds counterproductive, but you want to start with a clean canvas. Brush your teeth swish with mouthwash, and floss. Wash your face with a mild cleanser or exfoliant (I use what I have received in my ipsy Glam Bag), then I use a toner to make sure my face is stripped. I apply Giovanni D:tox System Purifying Facial Mask and scoop 1 tablespoon of Carrington coconut oil into my mouth. Oil pulling, when performed regularly, pulls toxins out of your blood and benefits your oral and overall health. I swish for 20 minutes, and then spit my toxins into a garbage can. I have oil pulled for 2 months straight and my teeth are noticeably whiter and it feels like there is a protective layer covering my enamel. After the 20 minutes are up, I hop in the shower, where I wash the face mask off, cleanse with a mild cleanser, and exfoliate my body with Yes To Coconut Polishing Body Scrub. I rub Sara Happ Vanilla Bean Lip Scrub on my lips to exfoliate dry skin. While I am shaving, I apply Marc Anthony True Coconut Oil & Shea Butter Deep Nourishing Conditioning Treatment. The mask needs 3-7 minutes to be effective. I wash it out, then shampoo and condition. Before I towel off, I slap a Biore Ultra Deep Cleansing Pore Strip on my nose and then slather lotion all over my body. After I remove the nose strip, apply a cream moisturizer to my face and a lip conditioner. Bam, new me.

Power the Temple: Food & Vitamins

On my at-home pampering days, I make a nice healthy green shake (water, spinach, banana, strawberries, blueberries) or salad. In healthcare, sometimes meals happen, and sometimes I can be found scarfing a Larabar on my way to see my next patient. When I am home, I try to savor each bite, really focusing on the taste and texture of what I am drinking or eating. After I have a full belly, I make sure to take my vitamins.

Open your Mind: Read

Read something, anything. We spend way too much time on our electronic devices. Pick up and hold something in your hands. I subscribe to a newspaper and ten magazines. Books sit patiently on my built-ins waiting for my attention. Find a comfortable spot to lounge, read, and relax. I try to spend at least 15 minutes each day reading something that inspires or motivates me. It is another gratifying, stress-relieving activity.

Feel Good, Be Good

When I spend time pampering myself, I feel better physically and emotionally. You don’t have to have a lot of money to feel good and clear your head. Even if you pick one or two things to do from my post, you will reap the benefits. If you need someone to tell you to make time in your schedule to treat yourself…

Stop what you’re doing and go take care of you.

Namaste.