Thursday, June 1, 2017

Project Baby: Hospital Bag

It's been well over a year since I have bothered to write anything. I keep thinking that I want to, and the deciding that I don't really care.

For those who somehow don't know, I am 38 weeks pregnant with my first baby! It's a boy, and Dave and I are completely over the moon excited! I am mostly making this list now so that I can update this later, and remember what I used versus what I didn't so I can eventually give good advice, and make sure that if we do end up having more kids, I don't over or underpack.

One of my very best friends works in the women and children's pool at the hospital we are planning on delivering at. She was the first person I called when I was thinking about packing my hospital bag so that I didn't end up packing my entire house. She suggested basics. Clothes for me. Clothes for the baby. Hygiene things (if I don't want to use what the hospital has) and that is basically it.

I am planning on a drug free delivery using hypnobirthing, and so I have a few more things that I am packing to make my labor as comfortable as possible for myself. (Which truly, isn't that much more.) I scoured lists on pinterest and youtube videos to see what was useful to have after birth that the hospital may or may not provide.  I have linked everything below, so that if you decide you like something, you too can purchase it.

So. Without further ado.

What is in my hospital bag?

Baby BE Mine Hospital Gown - I am a texture freak.  This gown is nice and soft, basically a giant t-shirt that has snaps for easy access breastfeeding, and snaps down the back if one were to decide to get an epidural. I can't handle the texture of the fabric on the new hospital gowns that intermountain is using (I work at the hospital, and dress patients in them just about every shift of my life.)

Pillows (My doula is having me bring 3 to help with positioning during labor.) I recommend getting your own COLORED pillowcases so your pillow doesn't end up getting lost in the sea of hospital pillows and linens. I got these.

Headphones - So I can tune out everything if I need to refocus during birth.

Black Soft Robe - I got everything in black with the exception of my hospital gown. Black is slimming, and also doesn't show all the fun stains that are bound to happen. I found this bad boy at target. SO. FREAKING. COMFY. Also, easy access for breastfeeding.

Black Pajamas - I got a button down top so that I could easily breastfeed in the hospital while still being covered-ish. These come with shorts, because I have heard you get HOT after you give birth.

Black Long PJ bottoms - But I also got long pants because my legs are easily chilled.

General Sized Nursing Bra - Good advice from a friend of mine...wait for a few weeks until your milk comes in before I start purchasing bras by cup size. I found this lovely comfortable number on Amazon.

Going Home Outfit for Momma - I just got some high waisted leggings and a loose cute black tee from target to wear home. Nothing fussy, but super comfortable.

Going Home Outfit for Little Dude - Dave picked out a darling onesie outfit at target. I am going to keep it a surprise for pictures. We are bringing it in newborn and 3 months, since our baby is measuring almost 9 pounds...2 weeks ago. Hahaha.

Non-Skid Socks - Some old ones that I already have. But they are warm and soft.

Flip Flops - If I decide to shower, and if I end up in the shower during labor.

Bamboo Breast Pads - The hospital we are delivering at provides disposable pads, but I have heard from many people that the soft fabric of the bamboo feels really good on sore nips.

Swaddles - Just bringing 1. For pictures.

Nursing Pillow - My friend told me it's nice to have it with you if you are planning on using it at home, so the lactation consultant and nurses can show you how to use it.

Hygiene and Make-up- I have hygiene supplies for showering (soap, shampoo conditioner) and supplies in case I don't care to shower (deod wipes, make up wipes) along with your standard toothbrush, hair brush, hair ties, etc. I am bringing some make up because whether or not I decide to use it, it's nice to have the option. We are having a photographer take pictures of our tiny family while we are still in the hospital, and I want to feel pretty. (Also, I want to feel pretty when I have visitors. Yes. I am vain. No, I don't care what you think.)

Camera - For obvious reasons.

I'm still deciding if I care to bring my flat iron. I doubt I will, as I am a top knot professional. haha.

Any suggestions? Anything I should add? I'm not ditching anything, overall I'm pretty happy with what I have with me.



Monday, February 1, 2016

Healthy Eating: Shredded Buffalo Chicken

Measuring body fat is a nice dose of reality. Mostly it just sucks, because I'm a lot further off track than I anticipated, but it's not worth getting bent out of shape about it. I'm working on creating healthy recipes to eat throughout this journey so I don't feel like I'm missing out on yummy food.

I've had a serious addiction to all things buffalo flavored recently. Which is weird, because typically I hate anything spicy. This recipe is loaded with protein, low in fat and carbs, and is pretty tasty. This recipe is pretty high in sodium. Next time I will be an organic buffalo sauce that I found at Good Earth that has very little sodium, but it still very flavorful. 

I use organic chicken broth because I like the way it tastes, and it has significantly lower sodium than other varieties. I usually just buy whatever organic chicken broth is cheapest, but I find that my chicken is always much tastier when I use a broth to let it cook in. 

2 LBS chicken (or 4 breasts)
3 large organic carrots (They don't have to be organic. I just prefer the taste.)
2 large spears of organic celery (See above)
2 C organic chicken broth
1 C buffalo sauce (I used Frank's RedHot buffalo)
Put the chicken in the crockpot and cover with the cut up vegetables (i cut them into thirds)

Pour 2 cups of chicken broth over the top of the chicken and vegetables. Make sure the veggies and chicken are mostly submerged.

Cover and cook on high for 3 hours (Or low for 6-7)

Shred chicken

Add 1 C buffalo sauce, and mix until well combined

Enjoy! You just made the easiest buffalo chicken ever!!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Healthy Eating: Breakfast Smoothie 3.0

So, if you haven't figured it out already, I basically use the same base for all of my smoothies. Banana+greens+Yogurt and protein + whatever fruit I want/have in my freezer. This was a freezer concept. I had strawberries from last week, and some frozen peaches from a holiday sangria that Dave and I made. Peaches are fantastic! They are lower sugar (compared to other fruits) and peaches can help lower LDL (bad cholesterol). 
I was bummed out. I purchased 2 packages of lettuce, only to have one of them be spoiled. I was so freaking annoyed! So that's why there's only 1 cup of powergreens in this smoothie blend.

Strawberries, Nanas, Peaches, Greens

Bagged up!


1/2 cup frozen peach slices
1/3 banana
5 strawberries
1 packed cup Earthbound Farms powergreens
1 scoop whey vanilla protein powder
1 Dannon light n' fit greek strawberry yogurt

Throw in blender and blend until smooth.

PREP (6 servings)
3 cups frozen peach slices
2 banans
1 LB strawberries
1 package Earthbound Farms Powergreens
6 scoops whey vanilla protein powder
6 Dannon light n' fit greek strawberry yogurt

Separate ingredients in 6 single serves and place into baggies to freeze.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Healthy Eating: Breakfast Smoothie 2.0

Still on my smoothie kick! It's been really refreshing every morning at work to have something nutritious and tasty to start my day. (And I'm still getting in my protein shake, so huzzah) Here is my latest creation. It's so freaking delicious. It keeps me full for hours, which is especially nice when I have a busy day. In the future I think I will hesitate to use mangoes. They are crazy high carb/high sugar. Not that carbs are bad, but I don't want to skyrocket my blood sugar that much first thing in the morning.

I prep my smoothies into kits that I can freeze. That way in the morning all I have to do is grab and go! I documented my full kit prep, if you're just looking for the recipe feel free to skip ahead.

Mangoes were a yummy addition, but they are A LOT of work to get the fruit from. My friend Sariah taught me how to properly cut a mango a few years ago. Cut along each side of the pit, and score the fruit to get it out of the skins. (Mangoes are also PACKED with sugar, so it adds all of the carbs)

So I actually purchased 2 pounds of fresh strawberries because they were on sale. Sometimes frozen strawberries are really bitter, so I was happy to have some nice ripe strawberries to add to my smoothie.

I froze half of them via my lovely food saver. Probably one of the smartest purchases of my adult life.

I don't have much of an opinion when it comes to the organic vs. nonorganic options at the grocery store with the exception of lettuce. I have been purchasing the Earthbound Farms organic powergreens. (Which consist of chard, kale, and spinach). When you manipulate the lettuce that much, it releases all the nutrients that are packed into the plant. That being said, it can also release any toxins it may be holding. I don't want to hurt my gut with pesticides, so I usually get organic greens.

Finished product. I pack these little suckers into the freezer, and my morning is so much SMOOTHer. Haha!

I ultimately put the protein baggies in with the smoothie baggies. It just makes the grab and go a little more brainless. Haha.


1/2 mango
5 strawberries
1/3 banana
2 cups power greens
1 container Dannon Fit n' Light Greek Strawberry
1 scoop whey vanilla protein powder

Throw all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!

PREP PACKETS (6 servings)
3 mangoes
1 LB strawberries
2 bananas
2 containers of Earthbound Farms power greens
6 containers of Dannon Fit n' Light Greek Strawberry
6 scoops why vanilla protein powder

Same instructions as above. Separate into baggies and freeze. (Keep yogurt in fridge until intended use)

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Healthy Eating: Breakfast Smoothie 1.0

Happy New Year everyone! There's something so free and refreshing about starting the new year. I fell off the health bandwagon pretty hardcore over the holidays and literally gained 10 freaking pounds. WHAT! So a new year is bringing a new round of motivation to eat and feel healthy so I'm all in! I'll be using my blog as a place to stay motivated and accountable. If you have any suggestions or questions, please let me know!

My friend Chase got me totally addicted to Tropical Smoothie Cafe. They have lots of power green smoothies there but they run just over $5 a pop! Ouch! I am really enjoying the flavor and texture of smoothies, so I figured I would try to recreate my favorite smoothie from there- The Avocalada. And while my recipe isn't quite as creamy (they use a half a freakin' avocado!!) but it has way more protein (because you need that to start your morning.)

I intend on creating more smoothie recipes as I go along. This one works well for me right now. It has 2 servings of fruit, 2 servings of vegetables, 23 grams of protein, and a serving of healthy fats. I prep this a week at a time, it saves me so much time in the morning to just grab a baggie with my smoothie supplies right in it! I store mine in the freezer, which I would suggest, because it prevents you from needing ice.


1 Cup (packed) - power greens (mix of spinach, kale, and chard)
1/2 medium banana
1/2 C pinapple chunks (I got a bag of frozen pineapple)
1/8 Avocado
1 scoop Vanilla Whey Protein

Splash of coconut milk (will change calorie info)

Put all ingredients in blender with 1 cup water and 1 cup ice (add more if you like it runny like I do) and blend until smooth. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Fall Beauty Favorites

*Long post warning*

Happy Friday Eve! I meant to post a lot sooner following my project semi-colon post - but my computer decided to change it's password without informing me, so I was without computer access until today. So Hooray! I was able to troubleshoot my computer on my own and fix it!

Fall is one of my favorite times of the year for beauty. In the past month I've happened across a few game changing products that I feel like the world needs to know about!

TLDR: One-NYX Gel Eyeliner, Two-Wet n'Wild Wild Shine in Yo Soy, Three-Bed Head After Party, Four-Estee Lauder Cream Lipstick Electric, Five-E.L.F lipstain Crimson Crush, Six-Wet n' Wild Matte Lipstick Cinnamon Spice, Seven-Aveeno BB Cream Fair/Light, Eight-CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion

ONE: NYX Gel Eyeliner-I have been on and off of gel liner for years. On one hand, it stays all day long, on the other hand, it's a pain in the ass to get off. NYX has changed the game. This liner starts as a nice creamy liner, and goes on super easy, and dries into this incredible line that won't budge. The best part? It comes off with normal face wash! It's $10, and performs better than the MAC gel liner in my opinion (I was all about MAC gel liner for years). I use this product with the E.L.F. Professionals angled liner brush. Together, they make me believe in the beauty of the 60's all over again.

TWO: Wet n' Wild in Yo Soy (nude)-I wanted to preface by saying I hated this color when I first wore it. I thought it looked seriously lame on my skin. However, I couldn't get over how sleek and feminine it looked. So I wore it again. Now I'm completely hooked on nude polish. This formula is cheap, so you for sure need 2 coats. Also about 15 minutes to let it dry before you use your top coat. (Which is less than 1 episode of Scrubs!)  But for $1 (and change), you really can't beat it.

THREE: Bed head After Party- My sister-in-law Kelsey had used this product on my hair when I decided fringe bangs were a good idea (they're hit and miss for me.). I saw a small bottle on sale at Target a few weeks ago, and snagged that bad boy right up! I am a curly/wavy girl and my hair is also very short at the moment-which means my hair has frizz and tons of body. I put this in my hair mid blowdry, and after I'm done styling, and it gives me a gorgeous sleek finish! I'm addicted!

LIPS: Lips get their own dedicated section, as I've found so many amazing lip products recently!

FOUR: Estee Lauder Lipstick Electric- I love moody fall lipsticks! I'm really into the deep berry colors right now, and this one looks fantastic on my skin tone. It has a slight shimmer to it, and is a creamy formula that has the ability to stay on for hours. It feels wonderful on my lips. WINNING.

FIVE: E.L.F Lipstain Crimson Crush-This fun little lip stain rings in at $2! I bought it as a pick me up after a crappy day, and it made me feel so much better. It's a deep delicious red that appears that it could go with just about any skintone. It takes a few minutes to completely dry, and still comes off a little bit. But it's $2. complaints.

SIX: Wet N Wild Megalast Cinnamon Spice- ERMERGERD. This is the most amazing color of red ever. It's an incredible matte formula that stays on for hours and hours! I'm pretty sure I got this for less than $2, and I think it stays and looks better than some of the high end expensive lipsticks I've used. The rich dark red is PERFECT for fall.

SEVEN: Aveeno BB Cream- I know, I know. I'm late to the BB cream game. I was skeptical that a tinted moisturizer could do so much, as I've always been a sunscreen and foundation kind of girl. All I can say is holy smokes! This stuff is amazing! It rings in a little more expensive than other BB creams ($15), but it gives my skin the softest feel, while providing sun protection, and makes my skin appear flawless! I only need to use a little foundation under my eyes and BAM! Perfect glowy skin.

EIGHT: Cera Ve Face Cream- My mom gave me some great skin care products that she's been using on her skin. Her skin has been looking absolutely amazing, so I was very excited to try them. She warned me they may be too harsh for my skin. I didn't want to listen. I've known I had sensitive skin, but I gave myself all of the zits and skin reactions after using 3 products with 3% A.H.A in them (alpha hydroxy acids).
After calling my mom in a complete panic, she suggested I find something gentle like Cera Ve to sooth my skin. Thanks Mom, you always know best.
This lotion has been a life saver for me. It leaves my skin so nice and moisturized, but it doesn't make me break out at all. Actually, it's been clearing up any little zits I have, and all the leftover skin irritation from my dabbles in A.H.A. I may use it every night for the rest of my life.

If you have any great products that you think I need to try, please let me know! Feel free to comment your favorite products below!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Project Semicolon.

Sorry I've been so MIA for the last month. Trying to get back in gear eating healthy and exercising has been really hard. I just haven't really been in the mood. I've had a lot of headaches recently, and dealing with the emotional stress that is gaining weight has really bummed me out. I know it seems counter-intuitive that weight gain is actually hindering my motivation, but it is. It's been really hard for me.

I recently got a semicolon tattoo, in support of the Semicolon Project, but also in support myself. Basically, the idea of getting a semicolon is that in the english language, a semicolon can be used in place of a period if there are 2 similar clauses in sentences that follow each other. In that same way, in life, you can choose to keep going with your story, even when life kicks your ribs so hard you can barely breathe.

I was proud of my tattoo the day I got it, and then started to feel embarrassed. There are certain parts of my emotional journey through life that are difficult for me to share with others, and my tattoo is on my wrist. That was until a small experience I had today that reminded me why I felt so adamant about getting it first place.

I was leaving Panda Express (see? That's how motivated I am right now. haha!) I saw a beautiful blonde in a Jeep. As she moved her arm to place it on the steering wheel, it was covered in self harm injuries. Her entire forearm. My stomach dropped, and I got in my car. I started to sob. I wished with my whole heart I could wrap my arms around her and tell her things really do get better. No matter how dark things seem right now.

It hit me so hard because I used to self harm. I know the desperation that is felt in that moment. I understand the sadness, anxiety, and regret that is the maddening self harm cycle. I still deal with the shame associated with my old scars. Hell, last summer I spent hundreds of dollars getting chemical peels on the scars to make them disappear, only to have the scar tissue get damaged and become noticeable again after I started climbing.

I wished everyday during that time that somehow I would know I would be okay in the end. I didn't really believe anyone understood what I was experiencing. I had incredible parents that loved me to the ends of the earth. I was a talented artist and musician. I just couldn't process my feelings. 
If I could meet little teenage Alex now, I would wrap my arms around her, and tell her things get so much sweeter.

Ultimately, that is why I got my semicolon tattoo. I have grown so much in just a few years. However, my journey will always be part of who I am, and how I got to where I am. I am proud of the strength that I have now. I'm grateful I understand how much I am loved. I have a beautiful family, husband, and life.

I love you all very much. If you are hurting yourself, please seek help. No one is judging your journey. You are so brave.