10 Postpartum Must Haves! Survival Kit for Mama

As a mama with 2 kids under 2, I wanted to share my 10 Postpartum Must Haves! This is my survival kit for any mama! This is the most special time of our lives and hopefully this helps you better be able to combat your emotions and new responsibilities. These were absolutely beneficial in helping me feel more relaxed and comfortable and I hope it does the same for you mamas reading this too!

1. Nursing Pads

One of my favorite and most necessary buys postpartum were the Kindred Braverly Nursing pads. They are organic, washable, and they smelled amazing. Additionally. I have to admit I also absolutely loved the packaging and the cute little bag the nursing pads came in that you can use for anything. Whether you decide to breastfeed or not you will need nursing pads in the beginning to handle the lovely leakage. If you are breastfeeding, you will absolutely need nursing pads, it’s not optional.

2. Belly Butter

I absolutely love the Earth Mama Belly Butters and Oils. I didn’t consistently use stretch mark creams and butters in my first pregnancy like I should have and the results were apparent. This time around, I tried a few butters and creams and I ultimately loved the Earth Mama brand the best. Using it consistently definitely made a difference in the number of stretch marks I had postpartum.

3. Postnatal Vitamins

Postnatal vitamins have added nutrients to support mothers whether they are breastfeeding or not. It’s important to keep mom and baby healthy. Some doctors recommend you keep taking the prenatal vitamin you were already taking after the baby is born as well. I really liked the Actif Organic Prenatal Vitamins.

4. Pads & Padsicles

Most women have significant vaginal bleeding postpartum and you’ll want to make sure you have heavy duty maxi pads, mesh underwear, and padsicles (cold packs for down under haha)! The 3 of these things together will make sure that you’re comfortable, you avoid ruining your underwear, and decrease swelling and irritation.

5. Peribottle

Following birth, the hospital will provide you with a peribottle to clean and spray yourself down under with warm water to both soothe and clean yourself. There is a huge difference in irritation when you do not use the peribottle. You can buy your own personal one as well if you’re having trouble aiming. The MomWasher from Fridababy offers a retractable spout that’s angled and makes it extremely easy to reach and clean your hardworking lady parts.

6. Nipple Butter

Breastfeeding is no joke. Honestly, it is was one of the most difficult parts of being a new mom. Having my nipples on call 24/7 for my precious baby is annoying, time consuming, and sometimes quite painful. For those painful times when you may have cracked or irritated nipples you will want to use a nipple butter or cream. I like both the nipple cream from Lasinoh and Earth Mama. You want to make sure you are taking care of your nipples and baby. Earth Mama Nipple Butter is safe for baby and actually is the first Non-GMO Project Verified Nipple Cream.

7. Overnight Nursing Bra

For my nursing mamas, I would recommend an overnight nursing bra. It might sound silly but trust me you will need them for those middle of the night feedings. They are made to make you more comfortable while sleeping so you don’t have anything digging in your sides or back and they feel just fine on your possibly irritated and cracked nipples. Not only that but, you will continue to wear them even when you’re not nursing, they are so comfortable.

8. TUCKS with witch hazel

If you layer these on top of the pads and cold packs you will have so much more relief for days and the ultimate padsicle.

9. NETFLIX AND HULU

You will be consumed with breastfeeding and bonding with baby all day! You will do a lot of sitting and you will get extremely bored. Read some books or binge watch something new. As much as people recommend you get some reading in, I found it pretty difficult holding a baby and breastfeeding at the same haha. You will literally be bound to the couch for much longer than you’re used to, just indulge in the boredom and entertain yourself.

10. Seriously, whatever will make your life easier!

Anything that eliminates chores and makes you less-stressed you should do and for me that included using paper everything like utensils, plates, etc. Don’t be afraid to ask your family and friends for helps. Now is not the time to play superwoman. Some people don’t have other resources or help they can get from family, if you do please take advantage of it. They say it takes a village to raise a child and if not a village then superwoman.

Safari Babies
When you’ve progressed to not using a pacifier or baby bottle but you have a new baby brother so you steal his………

I hope you found my 10 Postpartum Must-Haves Helpful! Also, check out “The Best & Worst of Pregnancy”

Please follow and like us:
error
Atlanta Midtown

What to do during your Atlanta Layover & Review: Canopy by Hilton Atlanta

Have a long Atlanta layover and want to leave the airport? I have some great ideas for you!

On my way to Dallas from Cleveland, I had an almost 24 hour layover with the kids (not by choice, flights were cancelled due to weather). I decided to make the best of it and have some fun in the city. If you’re reading this and you have kids you know exactly why I didn’t just stay at the airport with 2 kids or wait for the sooner flights on standby with them. Fortunately, I used to live in Atlanta for 4 years when I went to school at the illustrious Spelman College. Coincidentally, it was actually my Spelman College reunion. Of course, I stopped by campus and I gave my husband and the kids a tour of one of the most influential places in my life, that shaped part of who I am today. 

Some of my favorite places I recommend on any visit to Atlanta as a 4 year Atlanta resident are: 

Then we went to Two Urban Licks which I recommend everyone frequent on any trip to Atlanta. It’s definitely not the best place to bring children but we still brought them anyway and we had an amazing time nonetheless. 

  • Georgia Aquarium – you can even swim with whale sharks
  • World of Coca-Cola – Atlanta is the home of Coca-Cola
  • Atlanta Botanical Garden
  • High Museum of Art
  • Piedmont Park
  • Atlantic Station 
  • If you have children, definitely check out the Children’s Museum of Atlanta and Legoland Discovery Center Atlanta

WHERE TO STAY: My family and I stayed at the Canopy by Hilton Atlanta Midtown. The room was large and the decor was very stylish. Not only that but, the rooms were also recently updated and very modern so the furnishings were refreshed, large bathroom with walk-in shower, and a balcony. The complimentary breakfast for Hilton Diamond Members includes hot breakfast which includes waffles, pancakes, made to order omelets. It also includes a wide continental breakfast spread, as well as lattes and smoothies. It is a great location for getting around to the biggest attractions in Atlanta and if you have children it’s by Atlantic Station which is a shopping center that has a movie theatre, shops, and most importantly a TARGET. Anyone with kids knows how important a Target is haha. The room had free WiFi, a 55-inch TV, refrigerated drawer, Nespresso® machine, and bedding designed exclusively for the Canopy Brand. You can grab water anytime at the filtered spring water stations on every floor.

Canopy at Hilton Midtown
Canopy at Hilton Midtown

Please follow and like us:
error

Home Makeover: The Kitchen

Hey guys! The Johnson-Karim (JK) crew have a new home and I am so excited to take you guys on our home makeover. I have owned my share of condos in Chicago for real estate investment but this is our first FAMILY HOME that we own as a family and we want to create a stylish, cozy, and family friendly home for Amirah (our crazy daughter). Our first week has been exciting and productive in my opinion but I know you guys will be honest and tell me what you truly think.

Kitchen Organization

So the first week of moving in a new home is usually unpacking and organizing for most people. I have been doing both but I really wanted to get a head start on the interior design. I put a lot on my plate but my goal is to give design of each room in 2 weeks. So this week my task was the kitchen. The most important rooms in my mind when shopping for or designing a room is the kitchen and the bathroom. They both can take quite a bit of time, they are the most important rooms to me, and the design of both can be quite expensive.

Kitchen Organization

Kitchen containers

Our kitchen was already my favorite part of the house. My kitchen style is white, bright, and minimalistic. I took this week to unpack kitchenware, organize, and do a bit of sprucing up. I want to involve green and white florals, aluminum or steel as you can in the photos for that modern and industrial loft feel. You can also see we have exposed brick in the kitchen, which is definitely one of my favorite features. This exposed brick really puts together the modern, Italian bistro, trendy unfinished look I’m going for.

Exposed Brick Kitchen Makeover

The rest of the kitchen is white and bright as aforementioned with light sleek granite countertops. The hardwood floors in the whole home of our a light maple brown and I have considered refinishing them with a different stain. However, I think that in this kitchen the light maple brown works well and there is no better pairing that hardwood floors and exposed brick.

Kitchen fireplace

You tell me, but I think I have been pretty productive in Week 1. Some additions I would like to make in the next week are the design of the breakfast nook and coffee bar. I would also like to add some green and white florals as well as some blue hydrangeas for a pop of color. You will see in the following weeks I am very neutral in terms of interior design but I love a pop of color.

Kitchen Makeover Week 1

I want you to comment and share what you would change or some ideas that you have as well. I can definitely use your help in making my home the most stylish, sophisticated, cozy, and family friendly home for the Johnson-Karim (JK) crew that one could imagine!

New Home

Please follow and like us:
error

How to Maximize a Weekend in NYC

Have A Free Weekend And Want To See The Big Apple?

What to Eat | What to do | How to Enjoy

The crew and I ( Adham, baby Amirah, and I ) decided to take a family weekend trip to New York City and it was awesome! Of course the travel planner and Virgo (like Beyoncé) in me wanted everything to go by the itinerary, however, with a baby its just not that easy. I’ve been to NYC plenty of times but never had I been traveling with an infant and she showed me that I had been doing NYC wrong the whole time anyway! She has taught me that if you truly want to enjoy NYC have a light itinerary, I now believe it is incredibly advantageous to leave quite a bit of room in your itinerary to go with the flow. There are so many things to do in New York City and you can make yourself feel like you have to do everything in one weekend or even in a week. However, YOU WON’T and you shouldn’t.

 

For example, normally when I am in NYC I have so much that I want to do and see (so I can tell you all what to do when you get there), but also because people tend to make you feel like if you don’t do “this or that” in NYC then you missed out on something. However, we went to go have a picnic in Central Park, which I recommend you all do and baby Amirah just didn’t want to leave. I had a Michelin star restaurant I wanted to try for lunch but Amirah had her bottle, a blanket, the shade under the sun and she just wasn’t in the mood to leave. So of course, we stayed, Her and my husband both fell asleep and I ended up reading a book and people watching. When both of them woke up, I wasn’t disappointed at all that we skipped the restaurant! It was relaxing, it was peaceful, and even though it wasn’t a museum or a must-eat restaurant, it was still a very New York City thing to do.

Picnic in Central ParK

Adham and Amirah Asleep in Central Park

Later that night, we ended up going to a Midtown Michelin star restaurant, Cafe China, that was incredibly delicious and surpassed our expectations. Midtown’s Cafe China is unassuming, traditionally Sichuan, delicious and its the only Michelin star Chinese restaurant in NYC. The 1930’s Shanghai decor is sure to make you feel like you’ve taken a short journey to China. Our favorite dish their was the Chungking chicken which is only for someone with an appetite for spice, and by spice I mean an abundance of dried chilies.

At around midnight, while many people are out clubbing (I used to do this well) or grabbing drinks with friends. The foodie, parents, and Muslim in us decided to grab desserts instead. We continued to stay with our various Asian cuisine palette for the day and go to Grace Street Coffee and Desserts. Everything we ordered was nothing short of amazing so we ordered our first order twice. I recommend the Ho-Dduck Korean Donut (vegan option available), Apple Cider, Hong Kong French Toast, and he Mango Madness Shaved Snow.

The next day, the crew still wanted to take it easy, I obviously ignored their request because we ended up in Times Square. Walking around with a stroller and a baby in Times Square was not fun to me but my husband thought it was and seemed to think navigating with the baby in Times Square was a fun challenge as if he was in a video game. They ended up loving their navigation adventure and I throughly enjoyed taking pictures and people watching. Sponge-bob Squarepants on Broadway was showing at the Palace Theatre, if you are a Sponge-bob fan I would definitely see this. I preferred Aladdin, which was showing at the New Amsterdam Theatre.

Times Square

After a great show, you must eat and we decided to go to Miss Lily’s. Miss Lily’s is one of my favorite places to eat in NYC. The food is incredible and I have never had a bad experience food or service wise. Everyone there is extremely sweet and accommodating and they want you to have a good meal. I actually found out about Miss Lily’s a couple of years ago while watching Chef Andre Fowler’s of Miss Lily’s win ’Chopped’ on the Food Network. He brings authentic, and vibrant Jamaican flavor to Manhattan and crowds do indeed flock to experience it.

Miss Lily’s Restaurant

The weekend wasn’t over yet and even though there are so many incredible museums to see and many people purchase the New York City Pass, which includes admission into NYC’s top attractions, if you are only there for a weekend all of the attractions can be a bit overwhelming and it might not be worth the money. One of the museums that the New York City Pass includes is the Guggenheim museum which is a must see but due to my tight schedule this time we went to the Brooklyn Museum as I like the Brooklyn museum a bit more. It is NYC’s second largest museum and it features electrifying art, inspiring and educational exhibitions, and right now a David Bowie tribute display.

Brooklyn Museum

Every time I come to NYC I find so much more do and so much more to eat and I recommend that you visit the following on your next visit:
* You can find many discounts to attractions on Groupon as well

Central Park
Such a great time as aforementioned with bike and pedestrian paths, jungle gyms, ball fields, a zoo, picnic areas, carousel, and awesome city views,

Times Square
In the heart of the Theatre district where you should find a good show, do some shopping, and people watch .

The Empire State Building
Sweeping city views, museum, and history.

Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
National Monument, museum, history, and guided tours.

Brooklyn. Museum (my favorite)
Incredible large art museum as aforementioned above

Grand Central Terminal
Iconic train station, shopping, dining, and feeling like you’re on the set of NYC romantic comedy as you can’t watch one that doesn’t feature a scene in this station.

Brooklyn Bridge
Picturesque bridge that connects Brooklyn and Manhattan

Please follow and like us:
error