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how to: survive your 1st year of motherhood

January 28, 2019


that first year is something you will never forget. the good, the bad + the really fucking bad. the sleepless nights that turned into days .. that turned into weeks .. that sometimes, turned into months. the crying (you + the baby), the repetitive trips to the store exchanging everything you were so excited to register for, because the baby decided they hated it, and above all, the trial and error. 

when I first had Mila, none of my friends had yet ventured into motherhood. I had nobody to send pictures of rashes to, or someone to ask what bottle worked best for them. I slowly learned to trust my own "mommy instinct", and 5 years later .. here we are.



I know registering for baby items is a blast, but there are a few things you can't put on there. this is how you will survive your first year as a mother:


self care
__________

you want to smack me right? you want to tell me HOW AM I SUPPOSE TO TAKE CARE OF MYSELF WHEN I HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF THIS NEW HUMAN?

well, guess what? you can't pour from an empty cup.

in those first few weeks of baby bliss, this may be a very difficult task. self care might be something as small as finishing a cup of coffee while it's still hot (which I still can't do), or it may be a solo trip to food shop. everyone's idea of self care is different, so do what works for you. 

when Mila was 3 months old, my husband left for 6 months, so I understand physically not being able to "get away" without your kid(s), so maybe a simple face mask and netflix will do the trick. or maybe inviting a friend over after bedtime to just sit and chat with. whatever fills your cup, do it mama. and remember to do it without guilt.






your tribe
__________

this is crucial. after your enter motherhood, friendships change. some for the better and some for worse. some fall into your past and some will come over at 2am because they've been there before. allow these people into your life. accept the help, no matter where it comes from. allow new faces into your world and into your child's.

the internet can be a scary place, but for a new mom, it might be your gateway to some amazing ladies. join forums on Facebook, or even the new app Peanut, which is like Tinder for moms. find open play groups for kids the same ages as your own. I even found a "stroller workout" mommy group in my area a few years back! if you find that you are looking for a mama to talk to, go find her. if you feel like you need someone to bounce worries off of, I promise you, she is out there

and if you can't find what you are looking for, create it.





acceptance
__________

PART 1: accept your new role. understand that your world has changed. accept that some things are going to be really fucking hard, while other things might come very natural. accept that you will struggle at times, and accept that sometimes you will need help to make it to tomorrow. 

PART 2: accept that other moms will parent differently than you. some mothers will show their child 24/7 on social media, while you may not. some mothers might feed their kid lollipops and soda every single day, while you may not. you may read every label on a box, while other moms don't even know what red40 is. who cares.

when I first had Mila, things weren't like how they are today. you could post an article on Facebook + not be ridiculed for what you were sharing. today, if you post that you are for something, it automatically means you are against anything else that ISN'T what you practice, which is the furthest thing form the truth. my girlfriends + I all parent differently. and guess what? all our kids are healthy, perfect + happy.





date night
__________

this. so much this. I know this is hard, just like self-care, but man, you need this. whether you get a sitter, drive 30 minutes + get the most expensive thing on the menu (because you deserve it), or you order in + sit on the couch under a blanket with your man, do it. you might need to plan a month in advance (don't worry, we still do that), or you might make a phone call last minute + run out the door the second you put the kids down. make it a priority + do it.

*the same applies for girls nights





routine
__________

okay, this one (for me) was a must. I know a lot of mamas who survived with no routine/schedule, but for me, this was my way of ensuring the day ran smooth. I never expected to be a mom who fell into a routine, but my child was. 

after that newborn phase faded away, and I found myself able to understand the cues of my baby, I started to make a mental note of when she ate + slept. 

once she was sleeping in her room (about 3-4 months old), she'd wake around 7am. I would bring her in my bed for her morning bottle, we'd play, and then around 9am she would be ready for her 1st nap of the day. it was then that I could shower + get myself ready for the day. knowing how long she'd sleep for allowed me to be able to create my own morning routine.





slowly learning when she was tired or when she would be ready to eat, allowed me to prevent a scream fest while we ran errands.

the little things I picked up from her, truly made my days as smooth as possible.


forgiveness
__________

oh mama this one is huge. I know so many soon to be mamas who will write out exactly how they expect their motherhood journey to go. "interviewing" pediatricians (news flash: odds are you will change your doctor within the first year), researching the best stroller, downloading all the breastfeeding apps because of course they will breastfeed (*rolls eyes*), reading reviews on daycares when their baby hasn't even been born yet.

R E L A X

guess what? you want a natural birth? it might not happen. you get the best stroller + then you realize it's not practical for your daily adventures. you pick your pediatrician + then 2 months into actually seeing them, you're in the waiting room for 3 hours each visit. you planned to breastfeed, that's great. but the baby is tongue-tied + won't latch. 

I know it's the most exciting time in your life as a woman, trust me, I get it. but enjoy the present. once you have actually become a mother, you truly don't understand how in a split second, everything can change. you are no longer in control. that tiny little human you just grew, is now the CEO and President of all things YOU

forgive yourself for things not going how you planned. don't get caught up in the guilt that follows when something doesn't go your way. it's okay + you (and your baby) will survive. I promise.




__________

mama, I know your new life is crazy, amazing + everything in-between. I know you are tired (so fucking tired), hungry + are in desperate need of a shower. I know that once that baby turns a few months old, the texts from friends "checking in" will begin to fade. trust me, it's all okay. if you know a mother, know that she has gone through exactly what you are currently experiencing .. and she made it. know that she has new struggles as her kids have grown, and she is killing it. just like you.

it truly takes a village.

texts from santa

December 7, 2018


as the kids get older, it can sometimes be hard to keep them "believing". Mila is turning 5 soon, and it's great to have new traditions each year. so when texts from santa reached out to me, I knew I wanted to add this to our holiday traditions list. sure we have the elf on the shelf, and our ornaments that get rearranged daily, but finding something the girls could actually interact with and look forward to, was the perfect addition.






you can sign up HERE -- create an account for your child. include their name, age + even the name of your "elf" for an added personalization, and you'll get texts + pictures every day for the whole month of December. 

Mila has been so excited to see her custom texts directly from Santa himself + sometimes even Mrs. Claus! 


keeping the spirit of Christmas alive for our girls is one of the greatest things about the holidays, and texts from santa is the cutest addition. a perfect gift for any little believer in your life!


*this posts contains affiliate links. all opinions are my own.

holiday gift guide 2018

November 23, 2018


I wanted to keep this as informative + useful as possible. everything will be linked so you can use this as your 1-stop-stop holiday gift guide. I hope you guys enjoy!


her.
whether she is your significant other, sister, friend or mother, I think any of these ideas would be awesome gifts. 

ladies love to be pampered, so a gift card or monthly membership to a massage studio is always a big hit! if that's not in the budget, make her feel pampered at home. I am so into cute pajamas + cozy slippers. top it off with some self-care items, like face masks (and wine), total win!




want to know a little secret? self care subscriptions boxes are the shit. I have tried pretty much every one under the sun (as well as gifted them), and my all time favorite is birchbox. it's $10 a month for a box filled with sample size beauty products. I even did this as a bride-to-be gift, so she could try out some goodies before her big day. they also provide discounts if you love a product and want to buy the full size. they do 3,6 and 12 month subscriptions. 



know someone who loves jewelry? rocksbox is for you! if you follow me on instagram (@gniccccc), you'd know that I have partnered with them multiple times over the last few years. for $21/month, you get 3 exclusive pieces from all the top designers. "rent" the pieces for as long as you'd like, send the box back when you are ready for some new items, and if you love an item, the $21 goes directly towards any purchase!



does she love to read? depending on her style, books are always a great little item to make any gift seem a little more "personal". as a mom, we don't get much time to sit down and read, but sometimes it's the little push we need to take a minute for ourselves when everyone is in bed.




kids.
this is my favorite category. I am super into "open ended" toys, meaning, they can be used over and over again .. not played with for 8 seconds and then tossed out. I also think experiences are way better than any toy or gadget. when looking for a toy, these were my top picks!

play sets are awesome. Lego recently came out with a Disney collaboration and I am totally grabbing one for Mila. something she can build over and over again, is a great way to help imaginative play. I also love these wooden name puzzles. great to help them learn their letters, and super personalized.



another awesome wooden set I came across, and already grabbed for the girls is brainblox. they are the perfect wooden blocks set, focusing on STEM learning. the girls totally loved playing with this!


staying on the Disney train, one of my favorite gifts we had ever gotten for Mila was a personalized princess book. Mila loves reading this over and over, especially since her own pictures are in the actual book. want to spoil them every month? Disney just came out with a princess subscription box. you can pick 1 year, 6 months or go month to month!

subscription boxes for kids are super popular this holiday season. one of my favorites is kiwico. another STEM based system, based on age groups, they will send you monthly activities personalized for your kid. no matter what they are into (science, art, math), there is a box for them! right now, it's $160 for a full year of boxes!

looking for a more "fashionable" gift? mac + mia is for you! create a profile for the child and they'll send you hand picked clothing and accessories! you are also assigned a personal stylist who you can communicate with whenever needed. discussing your style, practicality and budget. we used mac + mia multiple times, and always found unique pieces. if you want to purchase anything, you are given awesome discounts.

looking for a gift geared more towards the parents of the kid? YUMBLE is perfect! it's a meal subscription plan based completely around your kid! tons of awesome meals and snacks. perfect for back to school, busy sports schedules, and great for the working parent who gets home right at dinner time .. with no idea what to cook. I have used YUMBLE before and it was a true game changer.

want to cover some of the expenses of having a kid in sports? any parent would deeply appreciate a gift card for any local activity. gymnastics, dance, swim class and even cooking classes are a great way to help keep the kids busy, all while helping the parents out with some of the costs. 

if you're torn on an idea, try even an indoor "play" area. my friend once got a gift card to a local indoor trampoline park and they loved it! something you know the family will appreciate. perfect for the winter time and keeping the kids busy!

double bonus: be the one to take the child to the activity, awesome bonding time for you and the little babe.

looking for something they can use all year long? I came across this burlap indoor swing a while back, and plan to finally have Santa make the purchase. perfect for any bedroom or playroom! it does not come with mounting supplies, but they are available as an extra option.


him.
guys are literally the hardest to shop for, or it is just my husband? he is very particular about everything, so finding something he actually likes has always been tough. I normally opt for a gift card to some of his favorite shops, but sometimes, I get daring and actually wrap something up for him.

one thing I have learned, is that men love to do shit themselves. anything they can create, seems to always be a big hit. want to make your own hot sauces? done. want to drink whiskey all night? done. want to make your own beer? i got you covered.

who know they had subscription boxes for guys? want to know my favorites? sock fancy is perfect for any guy on your list. the perfect pop to any causal (or date night) outfit. 

know a fisherman? then lucky tackle box is for you! they offer awesome 3, 6 or 12 month memberships for crazy good prices! they also have 3 "box sizes", depending on budget and level of fishing.


home.
I would totally be lying if I said I didn't plan on buying any of these. because I am. sorry Santa. most of these I have, but I am crossing my fingers for a few extra this year. PLEASE SANTA!

you guys, the iRobot is so bad ass. at first I wasn't using it too often, but lately? it's almost daily. the app syncs to your phone so you can just press the ON button and BOOM. clean floors.

another smart device (which you can also sync to the iRobot), is the Amazon echo PLUS. completely upgrade with sound and features, this baby will practically babysit your kids for you. SOLD. they have tons of price options, so whatever fits you budget, you can grab one!

calling all mamas and coffee lovers. this ninja coffee bar is under $150 and literally is like having your own personal barista in your house. hot or iced specialities, top it off with some frothed milk and see ya later. I have been eyeing this one up for a while and can't wait to finally have it delivered. 

another awesome product for your house, is security cameras. we actually have one for Lucy's room and we are obsessed. the YI home camera systems sync up to your wi-fi so you can access them anytime. they will playback any motion recorded and also allow you to talk directly into the camera. you can buy them single, but I linked the 4 pack since it's under $120.

want to treat someone to a one size fits all gift? how about an amazon prime membership or even a subscription to netflix? how freaking cool.

looking for a fun gift? you guessed it! subscription boxes! gift someone to blue apron or hello fresh. we had gotten a gift card for one and it was seriously such an awesome surprise. 


_________________

I hope you guys enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed creating it for you! I have made all links "shoppable", or you can find some extra ideas down below!



brain blox

November 18, 2018


it takes a lot for me (no seriously, a LOT) to be influenced by an "influencer" on social media. most of the items I see are overpriced and are in way too high of demand, meaning .. everyone and their mother will have it .. which isn't really my style. 

I started drafting up my 2018 gift guide a few weeks back and began researching for the "kids" category. I came across someone's stories on IG and I stopped dead in my tracks.

I know for my girls, they love imaginative play. they love to create things over and over again. I didn't want to include any toys that would last for 6 minutes and then end up in the bottom of the bucket. I really wanted to find toys that would "grow with them" and challenge them.

BrainBlocks are the perfect toy for any age, gender and even "education" level. my girls are 4.5 and almost 2, and they were able to both create at their own pace. Mila followed most of the sample ideas in the booklet that's included, while Lu did more of a "domino" effect. 



"teaches math, physics +
engineering concepts"


I included brainblox in my upcoming gift guide, but wanted to make sure I gave you guys a little more input on them, rather than just "oh buy these!". every morning the girls grab them (in the adorable storage bag that's included), and dump them all out onto the floor, giving me some extra time in bed .. WIN WIN!

the building blanks allow the girls to create whatever they wanted -- even John got in on the fun & used every block (all 200) to make a tower that the girls got to knock over!




"develops problem solving
+ reasoning abilities"

another plus? the owner. Christine + I had chatted a little before she was beyond thoughtful to send us out a box. she is so hands on + stands behind her brand 100%.

I plan to get my gift guide up this week, so I hope you come back to check that out! I am so happy to introduce you guys to brainblox and make sure you tell Santa to add it to the list!

G.

back to school with YUMBLE KIDS

August 19, 2018


So odds are you have been falling asleep looking up Pinterest ideas on how to crush this upcoming school year. new backpacks, ways to "get your kids out the door on time", chore charts, but what about meals?

Sure there are a ton of ideas online, but that means you'll have to go to the store, dirty dishes + actually cook - UGH!

I have teamed up with YUMBLE KIDS to make your meals easier (and give you an amazing discount code). 



YUMBLE KIDS is an online meal prep service, totally customized to your child's needs. Whether they have allergies, or you have a specific diet for them, you can find everything at YUMBLE KIDS.

They provide snacks, lunches + dinners, that you can heat up (some don't even need to be heated) in the oven or microwave! Meaning: less dirty dishes + happy kids with happy bellies.

Just click HERE, create an account + decide on your subscription.

6 meals, 12 meals or even 24 meals

.. then stalk your mailman for the cutest box, fully insulated to make sure your meals arrive fresh

Each meal gives you nutritional facts + lists all allergens, incase a friend wants to try some.



But my favorite part? Each delivery included a "busy bag" filled with coloring sheets + activities, perfect for keeping your little one busy while their meals heat up!



YUMBLE KIDS gave me a promo code for you guys to save 30% off your 1st TWO WEEKS!

Enter GZABRISKI30 at check out, or simply click HERE to have the discount automatically applied to your order. ENJOY!

G.



*this post includes affiliate links. all opinions are my own*

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