Solar Panels Is a Money-Saving Investment

The reasons to go solar are plenty. For one, the environment. Another reason would be to power your EV vehicle. Maybe you want to be self-sufficient and live off the grid? Or, perhaps you simply want to avoid the electric company’s price hikes. Remember January 2023? Oof! Those are all great reasons. But my favorite reason is that solar saves money. The savings can be immense, especially over time. Yes, installing them is an initial investment, but solar panels are what a call a money-saving investment.

Solar Is Affordable

Before I go into how much money installing solar panels saves, let’s talk about the initial investment. I want to debunk the myth that solar is too expensive. In fact, solar panels are very affordable. We shopped around for the cheapest option and chose a solar panel company, Sunlux, who installed our panels for less than $20k. $20k is AFFORDABLE. $20k is less than a brand new car. Heck, it’s less than many used cars, too.

If you don’t have $20K to pay off the solar upfront, you can finance it. A 10-year loan with Sunlux runs about $115 per month. That payment is covered by the savings from not paying the electric company! Below, I share with you our electricity bills after solar was installed mid-March. You can see that our savings run anywhere from $94-$150!

Related Posts:

Federal Tax Rebate Reimburses 30% of Total Cost of Solar

We were ecstatic to learn that they extended the federal tax rebate in 2023. This reimburses 30% of the total cost of solar panel installation. Since our solar cost $20k to install, we would get $6k back on our return next year. This makes the true cost of installing the solar panel $14k.

Solar Can Reduce Taxes on Your Real Estate’s Capital Gains

When you sell a property, you are taxed on long-term capital gains. However, you can subtract improvements you made to the home while living there. Solar panels count! Subtracting $20k from a properties capital gains saves someone $4k in taxes assuming they are in the 20% tax bracket!

It Takes 7.2 Years of Solar To Come Out Ahead

So assuming you save $6 k from the tax rebate and $4 K from the capital gains tax, the solar really only costs $10K. Financed at $115 / month (which is what you would pay anyway to the electric company if you didn’t have solar), you come out even at 7.2 years. However, the solar you just installed should continue to give returns after 7.2 years. This means every year after that, you are saving $115 / month. Meanwhile, the electric companies likely hiked the price of electricity due to rising demand coming from an increase in popularity of electric vehicles, electric stoves, and electric dryers. Factor in inflation, and you can quickly see why solar panels are a money-saving investment!

In conclusion, installing solar isn’t any different from paying the electric company when financed. Your monthly bills isn’t going to change much. For many, it would save you money actually. In the end, it would lead to savings in the future! Install it today, and your future self will thank you.

*If you are local to Orange County and wish to use Sunlux, would you do me a favor and mention my name as Sunlux offers a referral reward for previous clients. Thank you!

Photo by Vivint Solar on Unsplash

How I Saved Enough to Pay Off $575k of Student Debt in Under 7 Years

Finally! It has been a little over six years and we now have enough money to pay off my $575,000 in student debt! Although we haven’t paid it off because of the student aid deferment since the pandemic, it feels like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I don’t know how it happened, or when really. Which goes to show that little wins add up to big gains. It’s the everyday decisions you make that, in the end, pay out. Success isn’t so much the achievement. The achievement is the public recognition of that success. But success is made long before that achievement is earned. Every time you choose to take a step towards your vision, that is success right there. The crazy part is, we are considering not paying it off! But before I get into why, let’s look at the how.

How We Earned Enough $ to Pay Off $575,000 in Student Debt in Under 7 Years

I will start off by saying, I have never worked full-time in any one job. EVER. And when the pandemic hit, I actually quit my job with the thought of taking a break from dentistry. Alas, I soon found myself back in the office covering for a colleague 2-3 days a week. After her return, I ended up staying on part-time and have been part-time since.

All of this to say, we did not have to bend over backwards slaving away in the work force in order to earn this. Paying off debt doesn’t require deprivation. I didn’t accept a corporate job that might have given me benefits but would have wrecked my soul. I didn’t work over-time sacrificing family time. I lived my life exactly how I wanted to, worked the hours that felt comfortable to me, and prioritized my passions and personal life.

So how did I earn enough?

First, I made my vision and I always kept it in the forefront of everything I did. Second, we lived within our means. We were frugal, but not in the depriving sense of the word. We made good decisions, spending our hard-earned dollars on only the things that brought us joy. Third, we were valuists. We bought things based off of value, not price. I turned passions that I valued into money-making side-hustles. And fourth, we were true to ourselves. We did not compete with the Joneses, but rather, competed with ourselves. We spent energy trying to become better versions of us, rather than trying to one-up our neighbors and friends.

The main point is this: We created a plan to hit our goal and we stuck to it. It’s as simple as that. At the beginning of the pandemic, I had paid down my student debt to $425k. Today, it is at $400k and we have the money to pay it all off!

Where Did We Hold Our Assets?

Our assets are diversified and in multiple accounts. I never planned for it to be this way. When the pandemic hit, we didn’t really know what to do with left-over dollars that we saved. We wanted to be conservative, so we held most of it in cash in a High Yield Savings Account with Marcus. Currently, it is earning 4.65% in return. If you sign up with my referral link, your savings could earn up to 5.15% APY, which is 1% higher than the current Marcus rate. Over the past few years, we have saved $260k in a HYSA. By keeping our dollars in a HYSA, we are earning over $1,000 in free money every month!

We also have equity in our home. We started out by buying the best house we could find in the worst neighborhood in 2018. We had a roommate. Our down-payment was $25k. We sold that home and rolled the equity into buying a more expensive property in 2021. Currently, we have $150k in equity. Real estate has done well the last three years, and continues to do well. We listed our home on the market last Friday, on my 34th birthday.

Adding those two assets together, we are already at $400k! In addition to that, however, we have about $30k in cryptocurrency and $30k in stocks. We actually lost money by investing in stocks and crypto, but as long as we hold and don’t sell, we won’t realize those losses just yet. On top of this, we have $6k in an HSA account and $250k combined in our retirement accounts.

Therefore, if we rent a place to live or if we sold our investments, we would be free of student debt. So why are we not doing that just yet?

Why Have We Not Paid off the Debt Yet?

The politics around student debt have been shaky these past few years. Talk of student loan forgiveness during this prolonged deferment has kept everybody at the edge of their seats. Continued extensions of the 0% interest rate had us rolling our eyes. I thought it would be silly to pay the debt off while we were being charged 0% interest anyway. It was better to invest that money and realize the growth potential of those dollars. We benefited greatly from not refinancing out of the student loan repayment program that we are in (REPAYE). And now that student loan repayments are set to resume in September (????), I am not sure we will pay off the debt right away. Why??

As you may know, our first born son, Casey, was born in April. We decided to stray a bit from our frugal lifestyle in order to give him the best life possible. We want to roll the equity we’ve gained thus far to provide him a big home – one wherein he could have his own room. Our tiny home won’t allow for that. At the same time, real estate has been good to us. My husband, especially, likes being invested in it. And selling our current home in order to pay off debt without a foot in the real-estate game isn’t an idea we like.

What the deferment has taught me these past three years is that staying enrolled in the government’s loan repayment program afforded us more freedom than paying off the debt would have. Call it luck or chance, but I enjoyed that freedom and I think we could benefit from that one last time before the student debt repayment resumes. Which is why we are in the process of buying a $1M+ dream home in our beloved community before the first payment is due in October.

I Changed My Mind.

I changed my mind about what I thought it meant to give the world to Casey. I originally thought it meant choosing a smaller house in order to work less, so that I can be around him more. I originally planned to work 2-3 days total. During my maternity leave, while we were home every day, I realized that we had a lot of family members who could love and care for him as well as we can. In some ways, they can do it even better.

Meanwhile, we struggled to maneuver our tiny space. We were drowning in stuff he needed. We limited the toys that could help him thrive. It also became clear that our small space couldn’t house the people who came over because they wanted to love him and care for him. So I changed my mind.

I’m going to work four days a week in order to provide him and our extended family a bigger space. A place wherein we can all grow, thrive, and share memories in comfort. This provides opportunity for Mike and I to grow our careers, for me to regain a bit of my previous self, and for our family to spend quality time taking care of our son. I am trading my timeline of paying off student debt in under 7 years for something that I prioritize more: family.

For a moment, I considered the alternative. I quickly realized that if I chose to pay off the debt, it would be for self-fulfilling and vain reasons. Mainly, to show the world that I could. But in reality, I’ve proven it to myself, and that’s all that mattered. It will be repaid eventually, but not at the cost of what this journey was all about – to live the life we dream of without money dictating how we live it.

The New Plan

  • Roll $150k from equity plus $75k from HYSA to cover our 20% down payment and closing costs.
  • Keep the remaining $175k in HYSA for my student loans.
  • Leave crypto and stocks where they are so as not to realize losses.
  • Continue contributing to 401k and retirement accounts.
  • When loans resume, start over and aggressively pay off debt.

Baby Bay Review: The Journey Thus Far

It has been two months since Casey’s birth. Since bringing him home from the hospital, we have solely used our Baby Bay bassinet as a crib. There are many reasons why I chose to go with Baby Bay, which I outlined in this blog post before Casey was born. Every reason stood the test of time. I love this bedside sleeper and would not have chosen any other if I got the chance. Now that he’s a bit more grown up, I wanted to provide an update on our Baby Bay journey thus far.

Baby Bay’s Sizing

Despite being in the 90th% percentile of infants for height, Casey still hasn’t outgrown his bassinet at two months old. We chose to go with the standard size and it still fits! To be honest, I worried he would outgrow it before three months of age which is when we planned to transition him to a crib. Especially since his dad is 6’3″ tall. I am happy to report that it isn’t the case. If you worry your child will be a giant or if you plan to use the Baby Bay co-sleeper for more than three months, they have a Maxi option which is longer in length. And if you have a tall bed to match your tall stature, they also have a Tall crib.

Baby Bay’s Functionality

Rather than mounting our Baby Bay to the bed, we opted for caster wheels so that we can wheel him around the home from room to room. Our living space is on the same floor as the bedroom which has been wonderful for this product. I can understand why the caster wheels may have limited function in a two-story house if the bedrooms are separate from the living space. However, for those living in apartments, studios, bungalows, or in floorplans like ours, the caster wheels are a god-send. We’ve been able to host guests at the dinner table, take showers, or cook in the kitchen with baby always in sight. The versatility saved me in the beginning. During the newborn phase when he did a lot of sleeping, I could set him down without having to pick him up in order to move him from room to room.

Baby Bay’s Helpfulness

Most importantly, having Casey bedside at night is the absolute best! Even before I gave birth, I knew I did not want to set my baby down in a crib located in another room. There are many reasons to love any bedside sleeper. First, for safety. I can easily see if he is sleeping well in the middle of the night without having to get up or out of bed. Second, for comfort. My night-time feedings were made better with Baby Bay. I had a C-section and couldn’t move much without experiencing pain and discomfort the first few days. My husband had to help me sit up. With the Baby Bay right next to the bed, my husband would simply lift Casey out of the sleeper and put him in my arms to nurse.

Having the Baby Bay supported me during my hardest moments and darkest nights. I was able to recover AND take care of my baby at the same time.

Baby Bay’s Quality

The Baby Bay bassinet far exceeded my expectations. Aside from being functional, it is a quality product. The wood feels sturdy, which makes me comfortable putting my baby in it. It wheels around with ease. The locking mechanism of the caster wheels ensured that my child was exactly where he needed to be. The mattress is firm, but seems comfortable for Casey. We never had any issues with sleep. Although every baby is different, we took this to be a sign that the bassinet was good to lie in. I ordered two jersey sheets, which I alternated in between spit-up accidents. Two was more than enough to get us through. The sheets were soft and never caused any skin irritations for our baby.

I would 100% get this product again if I had a do-over. I highly recommend the Baby Bay bassinet to all moms. Right now, TheDebtist audience receives a discount by using the code SAMANTHA10 at checkout.

We were partially gifted our Baby Bay. All thoughts and opinions in this post are mine and written in all honesty. I will not receive a commission from any Baby Bay purchase you choose to make. I only wish to thank you for supporting the companies that support this space. All content is my own. Thank you for following along on our Baby Bay journey.

Our Curated Road Trip Packing List for an Infant

Well, there we’ve done it. Our one month old has his first road trip under his belt. This past weekend, we trekked to Phoenix, Arizona to meet Casey’s uncle for the first time. It was also his uncle’s graduation from dental school. We used the occasion to test our tolerance for traveling with infants. Total trip time was 8 hours each way, including 2 hours of charging time for our Rivian EV. The charging time was divvied into two breaks, allowing us to feed, change and play with Casey. The verdict: Much easier with family around, adequate planning is a must, and staying minimalist helps reduce stress. I curated a road trip packing list for a one-month old infant, in case you don’t have the time to make one yourself.

Please note: This list is curated to our particular needs. For example, our hotel room provided a crib, which means we didn’t need to pack anything for our sleeping situation.( In case you are curious, we stayed with IHG this time around using points we earned from opening the IHG Premiere Rewards Credit Card a few months earlier. That’s the first step in planning ahead!) If your housing option did not provide a sleeping spot for your infant, a portable bassinet for a one month old will suffice. My favorite travel bassinet is Dock-A-Tot’s Kind Bassinet. It weights 5 pounds, folds flat into a box, and has a firm, quality mattress for your baby. I wrote my thoughts on it here. A pack-and-play works just as well but is much bulkier and heavier to carry. We own the Chico Alfa Lift Travel Playyard.

Our Curated Road Trip Packing List for Infants

  • Nuna Infant Car Seat which doubled as a rocker when set on the floor.
  • Uppababy Cruz V2 Stroller which carried him to and from events and restaurants.
  • YogaSleep Rohm Travel Sound Machine which is perfect for long car rides and to drown out loud hotel neighbors.
  • Product of the North Elkin Diaper Bag perfect for lugging essentials during site seeing. It comes with a changing pad which us all we needed to change diapers both in public restrooms and on the hotel bed
  • Crane Top Fill Humidifier  – I did not pack a humidifier and instantly regretted it. Due to Arizona’s hot, dry weather, my infant’s skin shriveled up on the car ride there. I luckily was able to borrow a humidifier from my brother’s apartment, but I will bring ours the next time I visit!
  • Baby Clothes (2 outfits a day, plus pajamas at night). When packing, I like to bring layers so the outfits are customizable to the weather. I definitely brought a sun hat for the bright Arizona sun. I also prefer onesies as pajamas.
  • Diapers. We have Esembly diapers at home, but I recommend going with disposable diapers while traveling. There may not be frequent enough stops to address changing cloth diapers, and the laundry situation may be non-existent depending on where you stay.
  • Dock a Tot Swaddle or Sleep Sack.
  • Plenty of baby bottles and formula. If you breastfeed, consider a hand pump for the long car ride. Unless you want to stop for thirty minutes every two hours on your road trip, a hand-pump is a must! A hand pump is more portable and versatile than an electric one. You can discreetly pump in the back seat and then feed baby the breastmilk without taking him out of his car seat. Anything to shorten the trip is key! I brought the Medela hand pump and it was a life saver. I am excited to use this on the 12 hour plane ride to Japan in October. Leave the bulky electric pump at home.
  • If you don’t breastfeed: formula, bottles, and a bottle brush. Sterilizing musts: Dr. Brown’s sterilizer bags work well! Just pop them in a microwave at your hotel room and sterilize parts in less than two minutes! Bring paper towels to dry them. We also brought our Munchkin Pacifier Sterilizer. On-the-go sterilization for when we drop the paci.
  • Infants don’t require daily bathing at this age. We gave Casey a bath the night before we left, and just wiped him down with a washcloth dipped in water. However, we were only gone three days. For a longer trip, I recommend the Frida Soft Sink Baby Bath. We love ours! It fits in most sinks, dries quickly, and folds neatly into a small suitcase.
  • Toiletries. Diaper rash cream and moisturizing lotion is great. We didn’t bring ours but I wish I had because Arizona is just way too dry for his delicate newborn skin.

While this list seems long, this is all we needed.

Vitruvi’s Glow Diffuser Is A Beacon of Light for New Moms

The first few weeks of motherhood is a haze. Everyone tells you “it’s hard work”, but in my opinion, it is more akin to walking through a fog. Between mourning the loss of my previous life and navigating a new body mutilated by child-birth, it’s no wonder post-partum depression gets the attention it deserves. My soul was in transition between the death and birth of a self. Like floating somewhere in the in-between, with no direction to go. So it may sound cliche when I say that Vitruvi’s Glow Diffuser served as a beacon of light for this new mama, but do hear me out.

Vitruvi’s Glow Diffuser is exactly what every mother needs and wants for those early post-partum days. This beautiful bedside bestie is a beacon of light for nursing moms. A soft yellow glow keeps feedings calm thus allowing baby to fall right back asleep once finished. The diffuser itself keeps mama grounded with scents that remind her this is where she’s meant to be. That everything is in place, as foreign as it may feel.

Before the Glow Diffuser, I was a groggy mess in the evenings. Night-time was the darkest. Getting up was a pain. I hated the disruption of my slumber. Casey was fussy, and I was always on edge. Since introducing Vitruvi’s Glow Diffuser into my routine, my night-feedings have become much more enjoyable. The scents cut straight through the fog. Aroma therapy at its finest. And it’s as if Casey picked up on it, too! If babies can truly pick up on our emotions, then we could use a lot more zen, mamas.

The light doubles as a task light for times when Casey is sleeping in the bed-side bassinet but I am not quite ready to retire. They say sleep when baby sleeps, but sometimes what you really need is to reclaim a bit of your time. I can read a book in bed with the Glow Diffuser on my nightstand. I can also move it to my desk space on the other side of the bedroom and work. Sometimes my husband and I speak in hushed whispers about parenthood before drifting off to sleep. The light mimics romantic candlelight, perfect for relaxation and easing into bed. And if we happen to fall asleep before turning it off, then it’s no brighter than a nightlight and none of us would know any better.

Vitruvi hands down makes some of the prettiest diffusers on the market. They are elegant, timeless, and modern in that minimalist way. Their stone diffusers have taken over every influencer’s home, but for me, the Glow Diffuser is what fits in mine. It is tiny, which is perfect for our small space. It is light and portable, which is great for movement (whether that’s from room to room or for our travels). There are two possible settings: continuously running for 4 hours, or intermittently running for 8. Because of its size, it doesn’t take much water to fill the tank, and I am shocked that it lasts the full four hours run-time!

I like that the scent is strong enough to fill a corner of the room, without being over-powering. The confinement of scent is a good feature to have when there’s a baby sharing the space. I can enjoy the soothing benefits of Vitruvi’s amazing scents without overwhelming Casey’s developing senses.

Vitruvi boasts luscious oil blends, which have many benefits for mood. I would highly recommend Vitruvi’s Signature Kit. It features blended scents that encapsulates this time period in a mama’s life. Legacy blend reminds me who I was before and motivates me to reclaim parts of my previous self. Sleep blend nourishes me in the now and gets me to rest when I need to. Pacific blend gives me a taste of the outdoors when I’m stuck at home, making it easier to stay present. And Golden blend is a sneak peek of what’s to come – the beacon of light on the darkest of days.

Since being gifted the Glow Diffuser for Mother’s Day, I have felt the fog lift. The scents cut through the haze, providing me with some clarity as to my new role in his life. I’m starting to retain bits of myself while adapting to someone new. Every mama could use that. Because of this, Vitruvi’s Glow Diffuser goes on my top 5 things every newborn mammy needs.

Vitruvi is a company elevating homes with their gorgeous diffusers and luscious scents. This post was sponsored by Vitruvi who kindly gifted us their Glow Diffuser and their Signature Kit of essential oils blends. The links in this post are affiliate links from which The Debtist may receive a small commission shall you decide to purchase Vitruvi products. As always, the thoughts and opinions are my own, as well as all creative content.

Memorializing Casey’s Story with Kept Collection

In a world where overwhelm is the social norm, it’s nice to discover a baby book reimagined. One that works well for a busy mama. Or a late-to-the-party mama. Or a mama who just doesn’t have the energy to sort through a million photos on her phone, organize them onto a page, and write little cute anecdotes for each pic. Kept Collection has created a baby book for the modern world. It is a book that will keep up with the business of life, go with the flow, and stand the tests of time.

Kept Collection got it incredibly right with their open-ended templates that hone in on what you care about remembering. This leads to individualization of each page. No books could ever be alike. The book is easy to complete, with prompts that help parents jot down ideas, memorable moments, and important events. The layout removes the added stress of trying to figure out WHAT exactly to put in a baby book. The templates give a guideline for keep-saking, without the added pressure.

Plus these books aren’t just for mamas! Dads, too, have a great time filling in these pages. Their added perspective or alternative view would be worth jotting down, as it may be completely different from mom! These would make great gifts for new grads as well. Personally, I would have loved to read what was going on inside my mom’s mind when I was growing up. I would love to know what moments she cherished, and which challenges were most difficult. If I received a book like this from my parents, it could have guided me on my own parenthood journey. It’s a book that has a place on a shelf in your child’s future home.

I honestly can’t say enough good things about this baby book. I am absolutely in love with it! And they are gorgeous. Kept Collection baby books are bound by beautiful linens in rich, earthy tones. The brand uses US-based materials that are high-quality, and the pages themselves are smyth-sewn. Holding this book in my hands feels all sorts of special. It is something worth cherishing.

This post was in collaboration with Kept Collection who kindly gifted us a book to try. As always this is my honest review. This book has earned its keep on our shelf. One day, I hope to gift it to Casey, so that he may know some of the finer moments we forget to recall.

Breastfeeding Essentials for Nursing Moms

Breastfeeding is its own kind of monster. I was more prepared for the birthing part than I was for the aftermath. That is, swollen boobs, plugged armpit nodes, spilled milk, sore nips, and a whole lot of tears. TMI? I spared you the more painful bits. Let’s just say I walked around the house like Quasimodo until I figured out how to relieve the pressure. Physically, emotionally and mentally. Every midnight melt-down I had was related to breastfeeding somehow. That being said, there are a number of sanity-saving, breastfeeding essentials that I can’t imagine surviving without. Previous mamas paved the way, as did my lactation consultant who is absolutely heaven sent. Here are a few necessary items that I suggest you get BEFORE the arrival of your newborn. Trust me, every item is an investment for your breastfeeding future – and your serenity.

Breastfeeding Essentials for Nursing Moms

+ A very good ALL-IN-ONE nursing and pumping bra. This bra from Kindred Bravely is a work horse. It is an absolute favorite of mine. I can pump on one side and nurse on the other. I can also pump on both sides and the bra holds my Spectra S2 pump parts in place while I read a book or scroll through Insta (guilty!). Without the bra, I would have to hold both pump parts in place. If you also use a Haakaa and hand-express or manually pump, this bra will ensure it stays in place even if the suction comes lose while breastfeeding on the opposite side. Anything that avoids uselessly spilled milk is a blessing in my book! (I also own Kindred Bravely’s French Terry Nursing Sleep Bra and it is the softest material ever! So COZY! I use it exclusively at night time.)

+ Silverette Nursing Cups. Another mama gifted me nursing cups from Silverette USA when she heard I was expecting. “Nothing else gave my boobs relief except these bad boys,” she wrote candidly in the card. Alas, I can attest that these silver dollars are a life-saver. It protects nips from chafing and provides relief during off hours. It holds the breastmilk intact in case of leaky boobs and protects nipple cream being wiped away by your cotton bra. Lastly, it covers nips completely from drafts and wind. Nothing is worse than cold air on sore, aching nipples. Since I use these, I haven’t yet had to use a single disposable nursing pad insert!

+ Lanolin Nipple Cream. I bought this even before I gave birth and I am so glad I did! This product is soothing. I apply it right after each feeding. Then I cover up with the Silverette cups which I hold in place with my Kindred Bravely bra. It’s an entire production!

+My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow. I have tried multiple nursing pillows but this one worked the best for me. I even tried the larger, deluxe version of this pillow but the original size fits my small frame best. It literally acts as a “workstation” for breast-feeding. The pillow prevents spilled milk and messes from getting on the couch, bed, or chair. The pocket can store bibs, baby bottles, and even my cell phone. On either side of the pillow are two bumps which support the baby’s head during feeding. It is comfortable for me to wear despite having a C-section, and the back support is absolute clutch! My husband also loves this boppy and wears it when he is bottle feeding Casey.

+ Mother’s Milk Tea. My best friend gifted me Mother’s Milk Tea when I was still expecting. I saved them until now. I drink one every day, which is supposed to help with milk production. In general, though, any tea that relaxes me also helps with breastfeeding. Nursing success highly depends on mom’s stress levels (hence why it’s important to invest in these essentials!). A cup of calm chamomile definitely does the trick!

+ Comfortable Robes. Look. During this time, I am nothing but a milk machine. It may sound dramatic, but I feel like I just set the baby down when he is already ready for another feeding. We feed every 1.5 to 3 hours, and some feedings take an hour. Soooooo, yes the math adds up. That being said, I have to be ever ready to feed and robes are just so much more comfortable than getting dressed. When we are at home all day, I will opt for a robe instead of a button down shirt. My favorite place to source robes are Coyuchi and Parachute Home.

+ Haakaa – The Haakaa is great for catching let-down. Which happens both while feeding baby on one side, or randomly after hearing baby’s cries. It also happens right after a warm shower! All that feel-good vibes really spikes the oxytocin, which promotes milk flow. I own two just so can catch let-down from both sides while I get ready after a good shower. These babies are so easy to use, too! Simply suction it onto the non-latched boob and it’ll ensure not a single drop of milk is wasted. Just be careful baby doesn’t pop it off with one mighty kick.

+ A Hassle-Free Night-Time Nursing PJ Set – I started out wearing my husband’s oversized T-Shirts as my C-section scar healed, but they immediately were ruined by the third day when my milk supply came in. So my mom brought me robes to wear all day long, but at night-time, I couldn’t hop into bed with a tangly robe! So I turned to button down tops that I had in stock. Flannels worked until it got too hot (I blame the hormones). As summer nears, a short-sleeve night-time nursing PJ set like the ones from Hatch are a must-have! These are my favorite!

Of course, there are other things that would be nice to have but we did not end up buying. A glider would be life-changing, but our tiny home cannot permit much more baby items, let alone a furniture piece. I’ve also considered reusable wool nursing pads. Two should do the trick, but I am making do with the nipple shields for now. And it seems like no matter how often we launder, there could never be too many bras. If you have any other must-haves, feel free to share with the community! Mamas helping mamas are my favorite thing.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more. 

An Extravagant Mother’s Day Gift-Guide

As a newly made mum, I am more keen on celebrating the specialness of motherhood this year. The journey is only beginning, but even the nine months before I could physically hold you felt like something worth celebrating. I’ve always been a fan of simplicity, but this year especially, I am collecting gift options that are both simple AND fancy. Something that screams, “you are special“. Because that’s how I feel about my body as well as my baby. As a deep thank-you to the mamas out there who have delivered, breastfed, given up sleep, sacrificed careers, and more. Here is an extravagant mother’s day gift-guide.

An Extravagant Mother’s Day Gift Guuide

  • Slip dress that works all around the clock for every occasion. Whether it’s lounging at home, going to cocktail hour, or brunching with friends, this dress will carry you through it all.
  • Personalized pendants that signify what matters most.
  • Eye Protection for soccer games, beach days, BBQs and that beloved vacation you’re dreaming about.
  • Comfy flip-flops because who has the time to tie shoes? Slip it on and go.
  • Mommy glow is the secret to looking dewy fresh, despite the lack of sleep.
  • A routine to keep you in tip-top shape, without the hassle of remembering what’s what.

Of course, my personal favorite brand for expensive gifts is non other than the niche J. Hannah. They are currently having their bi-annual sale this week (April 30- May 7). Use code BEJEWELED to get 20% OFF sitewide. Personally, one that I find endearing is this stacked inlay signet ring wherein a mother of pearl encircles a recycled diamond. My birthstone is pearl and my son’s birthstone is diamond so it’s quite fitting. I also love the thick band. One thing I have to say about J Hannah is that the quality of the jewelry is unmatched. Small-scale pieces made to order with a focus on recycling metals and precious stones is what this brand is all about. I own many of her jewelry pieces, and if you like the ethereal, check out the well-matching polish too!

If you are more of the quality-time type, check out How I Want to Spend My First Mother’s Day.

For those loving acts of service, read what I wish others would offer to help a new mum.

Past Mother’s Day Gift Guides

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more.