In My Hospital Bag

In My Hospital Bag

In My Hospital Bag by oykristen // 1.  Anthropologie Peach Blossom Robe  // 2. Target Expandable File // 3. Gillian O'Malley Nursing Cami // 4. Gillian O'Malley Nursing Bra // 5. Kate Spade "Stevie" Baby Bag // 6. Hanes Women's 10-Pack Cotton Bikini // 7. Gilligan & O'Malley® Women's Tee Shirt/Crop Pajama Set // 8. Annie's Homegrown Cheddar Bunnies Crackers // 9. The Honest Company Organic Nipple Balm // 10. C9 Core Fitness Ball //

In My Hospital Bag. 

I spent the last few weeks of my pregnancy gearing up for"the big day". Each morning was strangely thrilling, waking up and wondering if this would be the day that my body would encounter a whole host of sensations I'd never felt before and ultimately, unleash my baby. I spent those last weeks of pregnancy in mega prep mode: finishing the nursery, laundering onesies, and packing (and re-packing) my hospital bag.

I might have taken the "preparing" a bit overboard when packing my hospital bag. I say bag, but lets be honest... it was BAGS. Plus a cooler. Unfortunately, we forgot to throw it in the car when I actually went into labor (I know, how could we NOT be fixated on the cooler during our, "This is it! GET IN THE CAR!"-moments of labor transition?)  I went three days without my beloved La Croix. The worst. Well, actually, I wish that was the worst part of labor.

So here's what I had packed in my hospital bag, along with a few side notes of what I actually used, a few things I brought that I didn't use, and would recommend to others.

For Me:

  • These Nursing Tanks (#3 above) - Oh, Gillian O'Malley, since becoming a mommy I am LOVING everything this woman makes. You can find her maternity/nursing line at Target. These camis make nursing so much easier. I have been really happy with them and bought several more over the past few weeks. Worth the investment.
  • 2 pairs of Yoga Pants - You will live in these pants, so make it something you could comfortably fit in around week 25 of your pregnancy. You won't be squeezing into your pre-pregnancy pants quite yet. I preferred black and gray pants, just in case of leakage. Ah.
  • These Nursing Bras (#4 above) - Again, Gillian O'Malley is knockin' it outta the park. I think part of my adoration for her nursing line is the exceptional quality for the moderate price.
  • These Pajamas (#7 above) - They're cute. They're comfy. And I never ended up wearing them.
  • These Gigantic Undies (#6 above) - I say "gigantic" because you should buy a bigger size than you think you will need. Also, make sure these are something you don't mind tossing after a few weeks, they are strictly for the postpartum experience. You don't want to ruin your good stuff :)


The hospital will give you some incredibly sexy disposable underwear - stock up on these. Not only are they so attractive you will find yourself waddling the catwalk in your recovery room, but it's awesome to be able to toss them after each wear.

  • Lightweight Robe - Ahhhh I love my robe. I have a bit of a robe fetish. However, I also didn't wear this in the hospital at all. There just wasn't time for all these costume changes.
  • Belly Band - I wore this in an attempt to keep my tummy smooth under my clothes. I've heard rumors that it actually helps shrink your stomach postpartum, but who knows?
  • Socks/Slippers - Cuz hospitals skeez me out. Protect your tootsies.
  • Flip flops - For the shower (don't judge me... I never ended up using these in the shower. I just sort of forgot. DON'T JUDGE.)
  • Bathing Suit - For water labor (which I totally didn't end up doing. Womp womp.)
  • Going-Home Outfit - Keep it simple, you just need something comfy for the car ride. NOT your old skinny jeans that you hope you will fit into. Because you just won't.
  • This Milkmaid Nursing Pillow - I have been really, really happy with this nursing pillow. The design and material just makes it so easy to nurse! But I know there are a lot out there on the market - bring whatever seems comfortable for you. Just make sure you have something to use in the hospital for nursing, because hopefully you will be doing that a lot! *2017 update - this pillow is currently off the market.
  • Honest Co. Nipple Balm - Don't use that crap the hospital gives you. This stuff is the bomb. And you don't have to wipe it off every time before you nurse (can you believe they make stuff that you put on, only to wipe off? So dumb.) Seriously, this balm is just so soothing.
  • Toiletries: Toothbrush, toothpaste, face wash, shampoo, conditioner, razor, soap, contact solution, contact case, lotion, belly balm, deodorant, makeup bag, hair gel, hair ties, glasses - do I sound high maintenance?
  • SNACKS: Kind Bars, Pretzels, Annie's Fruit Snacks & Cheddar Bunnies (#9 above - the best!) Remember, these snacks aren't just for you. Whoever is in the birthing room with you will also need to keep up their strength, so make sure you pack some good stuff!

For Stevie:

  • Comfy Outfit/PJs
  • Hoodie - It gets super chilly in the labor/delivery rooms for everyone except the lass in labor, understandably.
  • Socks/underwear/t-shirts - Or whatever else your man wears.
  • Toiletries

For Everett:

  • Hospital outfits - He didn't need these, as the nurses dressed him in hospital clothes the entire time we were there.
  • Going Home Outfit - I packed two, a NB size and 0-3 month size. While yes, he was a hefty baby, he still wore the newborn outfit home :)
  • Receiving/Swaddling Blanket - Again, not necessary. The hospital provides receiving blankets (AND teaches you how to swaddle that babe. Score.)
  • Nursing Cover - Ha, I also didn't ever use this. I just whipped out my lactation devices whenever he was hungry. All modesty goes out the window after having a baby. Believe me.
  • Diaper Bag (#5 above) - Make sure its stocked with all the baby necessities! Or you know, whatever you guess might be a necessity.
  • Car seat - Just make sure it's installed!

For the Labor:

  • Expandable File (#2 above), Including: 4-6 Copies of Birth Plan, Copies of ID, Copies of Insurance Cards (Guess who forgot her birth plan? Yeah, that was awesome.) 2017 Update: For round two we remembered the birth plan! Hurray for progress at adulting!
  • Water Labor Certificate - My hospital required this for a water birth. Surprisingly, I remembered to bring this and then never used it. The IRONY.
  • Music Playlists - Never listened to any music. I sincerely did NOT want extra noise when I was in labor.
  • Headphones - Nope. *2017 update - for baby #2 I totally listened to music (this Johnnyswim album, specifically) and loved having these with me!
  • Fan - I literally forgot I packed this.
  • Birth ball (#10 above) - THIS THING WAS AWESOME. I bounced my baby out. Do yourself a favor and get one.
  • Pillows/blanket - Nope, don't even think about bringing these with you. If you bring these into the hospital room... you won't want to keep them.


  • Extra tote bag (for all the hospital goodies, like free diapers and economy-sized maxi pads.)
  • Laptop + Charger (yeah, I never got on my laptop at the hospital. I mean COME ON.)
  • DSLR + Charger
  • Phones + Chargers

That's what I brought! It seems like a lot, huh? All I can say is... having a baby is the hugest transition of your life. You will want to come to the hospital (or birth center) as prepared as possible. Oh - and one more thing. Make sure you actually tell your family and doula that you packed snacks for them. I forgot to mention that to my birth team, and after 36 hours... well, they were starving. Oops.

Seasoned mamas, any items that you packed in your hospital bag that made all the difference? Feel free to comment below!

January Delights

January List...

January List... by oykristen // 1. Champion Women's Fit and Flare Tank // 2. Lacroix Pamplemousse Water // 3. Hale Groves Red Grapefruit // 4. Giada's Feel Good Food Cookbook  // 5. Neoprene Flashbulb Handweights  // 6. Vitamix Series 3 Professional Blender // 7. 2014 Paper Source Watercolor Art Calendar // 8. Korres Lip Butter in Quince // 9. Origins Plantscription Youth-Renewing Night Cream // 10. Paper Source Gratitude Journal //

A Jolly January.

It's a new year. Obviously, you know this. I have taken a little bit of time to reflect and think about what I want this year to be about. My bff Trish made a really point about resolutions. She said, "Year resolutions are too much pressure. I like to think about one goal for each quarter." So she makes mini goals for the Spring, Summer, Fall, etc. So smart! And certainly more manageable. That girl... she's a gem. 

So I've been focusing on wellness goals for the Spring (I know it's not quite spring yet, but humor me... I've gotta have some motivation to get through the winter up here!) When I say wellness, I do NOT mean just eating right, dieting or workout goals. I mean overall wellness; spirit AND body. What does that mean?


Making sure I take a few minutes every morning to pray, be thankful for another day of life and health, to read some scriptures or journal a little bit. It's annoying to wake up 15 minutes earlier than my eyes want to open, but I've found that it centers me for the entire day. And sometimes that 15 minutes turns into 45. It's rather peaceful. And it makes me more aware of others and their needs (hello, I write a BLOG, I don't need any extra incentive to be introspective. But I could certainly be less selfish.) This little journal (10. Paper Source Gratitude Journal) and calendar (7. 2014 Paper Source Watercolor Art Calendar) are a few great tools to get that reflective ball rolling!


Lets get real. My holiday was all-consuming. Literally. I vegged my heart out and worked out, um... very little. So I'd like to get back into the swing of balancing cardio and weights, along with some extra stretching. I never stretch anymore! Its ridiculous, because I know how good stretching is for the bod. When I watch TV, I'm taking half an episode to sprawl out on the floor and just stretch. There is just really no excuse. (Especially since I've been glued to House Hunters International and Property Brothers lately.) Oh HGTV. You slay me. I bought this fun workout top (1. Champion Women's Fit and Flare Tank) and have been using these nifty little weights (5. Neoprene Flashbulb Handweights) to slowly regain my strength and stamina. In an effort to imagine that I'm living in the tropics, I've been snacking on grapefruit everything lately, and treating myself to this sparkling water (2. Lacroix Pamplemousse Water) like it's going out of style. Yum. My dear friend and health guru got me this fabulous book (4. Giada's Feel Good Food Cookbook) for Christmas, and I've been trying out a few of the recipes. Who doesn't love Giada? She's such a babe. And a wonder in the kitchen. ANNND (drumroll please) I got this dreamy blender (6. Vitamix Series 3 Professional Blender) for Christmas and I am FREAKING OUT about all the wonderful eats that will come from such a powerful machine. Stay tuned for lots of yummy recipes to come.

Side note: It's winter. It's a real bear on the skin. I'm currently involved in a dysfunctional love/hate relationship with Origins (love the products, hate the prices), and since I am the whipped party, I shell out the cash for the promise of a brighter tomorrow (in this case, 9. Origins Plantscription Youth-Renewing Night Cream.) And to be honest, these products make my skin so soft and less, um caveman-like? I tend to turn sallow-yellow in the winter (thanks, Dad, for that Italian heritage. And thanks, Mom, for throwing in that Native American heritage, too.), so while my lovely sisters got the rosy-pink undertones in their skin, I unfortunately inherited the olive face which means than sans-tan, I am sporting a tricked-out yellow-fever kind of palette. Talk about being between a rock and a hard place. Thankfully, a pretty pink-ish lip gloss (8. Korres Lip Butter in Quince) certainly helps the dismal situation. Am I being too chatty? I'm feeling deliciously girly today.

I hope your January continues in a jolly fashion. Don't let the cold get you down! Blast your heat and wear bright colors - the sunshine is in your future!

My Merrell Challenge Gear

My Merrell Challenge Gear

My Merrell Challenge Gear by knhale // 1. C9 Champion Sports Bra // 2. Eos lip treatment // 3. Women's Nike Tempo Track Short // 4. iPhone // 5. Reebok Zigkicks // 6. iTunes gift card // 7. Sport Arm Band for iPhone // 8. Gaiam Sublime Yoga Mat //

The Challenge Update.

I've been running. Getting my groove on, if you will. For those of you who missed it, I am partaking in the Mapmyrun Merrell Challenge, which means I am challenged to run 30 times in a span of 45 days. So far, I am on Day 9 and I've done 6 runs. On the Mapmyrun app, I am in the top 8%, but (wait for it), I am in 2574th place. Basically there are a LOT of people who are out there, dreaming of free tennis shoes. Which is what you win, IF (in my case), you go up over two thousand places. Awesome, huh? No really, though, it is kind of awesome.

The Gear.

I created a round-up of the gear I've been using during this particular season. Anyone else fancy a run every now and then? You will like all of this stuff. Seriously.

1. C9 Champion Sports Bra: The best sports bra ever. 'Nuff said.

2. Eos lip treatment: I also really really love my Eos lip balm. Have I shared this with you before? OH THE GLORY. I especially love the honeydew honeysuckle and passionfruit flavors. They're a little elusive, but you can usually find them at Walmart or Target (check the ends of the aisles in the beauty section.) Seriously. This is a worthy three bucks spent. It's like your lips go on vacation...

3. Women's Nike Tempo Track Short: These are just the best shorts! They're the perfect length, never feel too tight, and always let enough breeziness in for, um, leg breath-ability? And they have some pretty wild colors... which I really dig.

4. iPhone: Bless you, dear Steve Jobs. I looooOOOooovee my sweet white life accessory. I run with this bad boy and listen to tons of inappropriate rap whilst doing so.

5. Reebok Zigkicks: The Reebok zigs are a wonder (and isn't this color to die for? I feel like I light up the dirt path when I run!) My dear friend Carrie introduced me to the world of Reebok, and I am forever grateful. Their gear is awesome and these shoes especially fit my large feet oh-so well. (For those of you keeping tally, I am only 5'4 and wear a size 8.5 shoe. I think I drank too much coffee as a 13-year old.) 

6. iTunes gift card: Sweet i-tuneage.

7. Sport Arm Band for iPhone: My precious little stylish sis got this for my birthday last year. It holds my phone in so I don't have to actually hand-carry it around (I would surely drop it) and therefore listen to the above-mentioned tunes.

8. Gaiam Sublime Yoga Mat: When I finish my run, I like to cap it off with about 10 minutes of abs or some pushups mixed in with some yoga stretches. Makes me feel all "Ommmm" inside.

The are the glories of my running world. Please enjoy. Do you have any gear that helps in your workouts?