Friday, November 21, 2014

How we saved money in preparing for baby

It's been 2 months since Ashby's birth and I've put together a list of things that we were able to save money on in preparation for our sweet bundle's arrival. I realized while pregnanct how easy it is to fall into the 'I need all the baby things' mentally. There are just so many things in a baby store and who knows what your little one will need or look cute in (hint - they will look cute in everything!). But honestly I didn't want to overload our small house with baby items more than we had to. 

We were able to get many things either hand-me-down or as gifts, and able to buy the items we really wanted new ourselves.

Free hand me down furniture
  • crib
  • dresser
  • side table
  • changing table top
These were from my own nursery as a child. Myself and my 2 brothers used this set and its still working great for Ashby. Review here


Estimated savings (at least) $500

Hand-me-down gifts
  • Ergo carrier
  • Swing
  • Bumbo seat + tray
  • Chicco KeyFit 30 Car seat + 2 bases (unexpired and from trusted friends)
  • Clothes - we got TONS of free hand me down clothes. Ashby has something like 30 sweatshirts & sweaters! She has probably 30 pairs of jeans ranging from 3-12 months.
  • Bibs
  • Baby towels/washcloths
  • Car seat cover
  • baby blankets
  • books
Estimated savings if bought new - $730 (plus more for clothes, toys, bibs, baby towels, shoes etc).

Using existing stuff for the nursery
  • Poang IKEA chair
  • Ikea lamp
  • Heirloom nightlight
  • Heirloom Moses basket
  • Pair of curtains
  • Storage bench
  • Decor
  • Organization stuff for dresser
  • Bookshelf
Gifts from family and friends - new items
  • Stroller - City Mini
  • 4moms mamaroo
  • Clothes (a TON!)
  • Pack n play - so we can visit the Grandparents! :)
  • Bouncer seat 
  • Toys & stuffed animals 
  • A bedding set
  • Baby blankets, cute burp cloths, a lovie, swaddle blankets, decor 
  • & lots more of gifts very generous people gave us (... I mean Ashby)


Estimated savings $560 + clothes & toys

1 free breast pump from my Health insurance
Value $200

Things we bought new ourselves
  • Crib mattress (IKEA)
  • Crib sheets
  • Rug
  • Changing table pad
  • Curtain black out liners
  • New curtain rods
  • Photo frames
  • 2 wall shelves
  • Wall decor
  • Video monitor - I got this one. It's very good for the price considering official baby branded ones at baby stores are upwards of $200 and ours was $67!)
  • Clothes - about $150's worth mostly from Carters outlet 
  • Burp cloths - cheap prefold diapers work great!
  • Baby bathtub
  • Disposable diapers - some from fresh to frozen at a discount & others with registry completion coupon.
  • Trash can
  • Cloth diapers - we spent $272 for 16 BumGenius Freetime diapers (saved 15% via registry completion). See update here.
  • Cloth diaper extras - bags, detergent
  • Baby Shampoo/body wash - we use Honest Company


Things we haven't bought ourselves or plan to buy anytime soon or at all (aka saved money on). Okay I suppose we'll have to buy her books, shoes, and toys eventually... yes.
  • Toys
  • Books
  • Shoes
  • Wipes warmer
  • Boppy
  • Diaper genie
  • Bows, fancy outfits
  • Basinet
  • Baby activity gym
  • Walker
  • Crib bumpers
  • special Sound machine/white noise maker (we use an old clock radio tuned to a random am station)
  • Baby food maker

Monday, November 10, 2014

Life Update - Ashby 2 months

Here's an update with life with a newborn Ashby - age (almost) 2 months.

It begins at 4am (zzzzzz's)


Here's a photo of the bedside table in the nursery. I have all the essentials. 
  • Nightlight - the cat lamp from my own nursery when I was a child. It takes a tiny 5 watt bulb to keep it dim as to set the mood for bedtime.
  • Clock radio. It doubles as a clock and a white noise machine. I have it tuned to random am station and creates the perfect background white noise to help her sleep.
  • large water bottle - essential for breastfeeding
  • snacks - oatmeal cereal for middle of the night snacks
  • 1 baby mitten
  • 2 pacifiers
  • chapstick for mom
  • nail file for baby
  • lanolin cream
  • hand lotion
  • baby D drops (no that is not a 5 hour energy drink!)
At exactly 7 weeks old Ashby slept 6 hours at night! It. was. amazing. 10:30 - 4:30 am. Keep it up baby.

On the cooking front Tony has been doing the majority of the cooking since baby often needs crazy nursing sessions during our prime cooking and eating ours. She has great timing! Ha. Tony has been amazing cooking for us. I haven't posted any weekly menus in a while, but we have been making them on paper. 

I was able to find a long 3 hour nap one morning to make this cake. The Better Homes and Gardens cover cake looked too good to pass up. Also we've had practically no pumpkin this season so I had to fix that! Honestly I wasn't sure if pumpkin and chocolate would be that great... but hint. It is! The hint of orange in the frosting (which pooled all on the plate) really was a great addition.




We made and loved this recipe:
http://www.flourishingfoodie.com/2014/10/black-bean-and-avocado-loaded-baked.html?m=1




We'll be travelling this year for Thanksgiving (wish us luck!). Tradition is that we like to try one new recipe each year. I've got my eye on a couple good ones.

http://juliasalbum.com/2014/10/spaghetti-squash-quinoa-and-parmesan-fritters/





Friday, November 7, 2014

We're doing cloth diapers

Baby's first cloth diaper backside:

bumgenius, freetime, baby, ashby, cloth, cloth diaper, diapering, babys first cloth, clothdiaper, organic

How adorable is this purple baby backside? 

I knew even before getting pregnant that cloth diapering was something I probably wanted to do. Cloth diapering is better for baby, better for the environment, and most importantly better for our wallets. I'd read a decent amount of blog posts on the subject and knew it wasn't anything we couldn't handle. I chose the 'all in ones' style cloth diapers since it is easiest for family, day cares etc to handle since they are practically just like putting on a regular disposable diaper. 

About 2 months ago when our Target baby registry completion coupon came in the mail I ordered 16 BumGenius diapers from Target.com. Although Target isn't the first place one may go to purchase such things but when you're sitting with a stack of gift cards and a 15% off coupons you buy them anywhere place online you please! Target had 2 packs of the Freetime diapers in mixed colors and I bought a variety for Ashby's cute behind to sport. We paid $272 for the 16 diapers plus some extra for stuff like special detergent and bags to store the dirties in before laundry time. 

They are designed to fit babies around 8 lbs up to potty trained age. Since Ashby was 7lbs at birth I didn't know when to start her in cloth. We used pampers and honest company disposals for the first 3 weeks. Then one day I just decided to try and see if they'd fit (I had no clue how much she weighed). At 3 weeks she proudly sported her first purple cloth diaper! 

They fit her great and I can report that after a few weeks of wearing them we really love them! They are easy to put on baby, she seems comfortable in them, and her skin is really appreciating the lack of chemicals and harsh fabrics in disposables. Our wash routine is easy now since I'm at home on maternity leave and can do laundry whenever I want. I wash them according to the manufactures directions and dry them outdoors when its sunny. Right now I launder them every other day. Our traditional top loading washing machine is perfect for cloth diapers (so I hear). I got a cute storage box at my baby shower and use it to store the clean diapers on her changing table. We use a regular cheap trash can with a Planet Wise cloth diaper pail liner for the dirties (with an extra to swap out). It helps that shes exclusively breastfed now since her dirty diapers don't really smell. That'll change once she starts solid food down the line.

We're planning on continuing cloth diapering when she starts at daycare after my maternity leave. We found a daycare that is open to cloth so I'm excited! I may pick up a few more diapers once we get into a routine and need a few more. Good thing I have another 15% off coupon for items on my Target baby registry! 

That's the run down on our cloth diapering experience at a month and a half!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Baby Ashby’s Woodland Nursery

Here is baby Ashby’s nursery reveal! Nothing cuter than nursery photos than nursery photos with a baby in them! Can you spot our little newborn?

As I wrote in my last update we reused my old childhood nursery furniture. More recently I hung black-out curtain liners behind our IKEA curtains and stuck cute woodland creature decals all over the room. Because why not!? We finalized all the decor such as frames finally making it on the walls and had to include functionality before she arrived – such as a trash can, swing, changing pad, diapers, baby monitor etc. Logistical things are important too and I personally think often left out of designer nursery photos. This is a real life nursery. Except I did clean up for these photos – no dirty laundry or random water bottles scattered over the room.

Ashby was a great model for these photos. Adorable and I hear she loves her room.

nursery, baby, woodland, ashby

 nursery, baby, woodland, ashby 

nursery, baby, woodland, ashby

nursery, baby, woodland, ashby

nursery, baby, woodland, ashby  

Previous baby posts:

Introducing baby Ashby
100 days until baby
baby update 20 weeks
and baby makes three (aka the time nobody believed us)

As seen on: Virginia Bloggers Friday favorites 10/17. http://virginiabloggers.com/2014/10/17/friday-favorites-1017/




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