If I could pack my hospital bag all over again…

hospital bag

A girl I knew from high school is almost due with her first baby and she asked on Facebook for recommendations for what to put in her hospital bag…which got me thinking: I put so much useless crap in my hospital bag that I didn’t end up needing/using and forgot so many things that would have been so useful! There are already so many “hospital bag checklists” out there, but I’m writing my own so that maybe there’s something on this list that could help a mom in need or for next time (when that time comes) I hopefully won’t be regretting what I forgot at home!

Hospital Bag Must Haves for Mom:

  • Comfy Pajamas: Preferably something like the picture that’s a button down so that you don’t have to completely undress for night time feedings. I slept in my cute hospital gown (which I also highly recommend as well)…but would’ve rather something more comfy to sleep in!
  • The stretchiest and most comfortable clothing you own. Leggings are a must. Fuzzy socks. Enough said.
  • Slippers. Because walking barefoot on the hospital floor is ew.
  • Flip flops for the shower.
  • Granny pannies. Am I getting into the TMI section of this blog post?
  • Nursing bras & pads and nipple cream. It’s nature y’all, get over it.
  • Any toiletries you might need (brush, contact solution, glasses, shampoo/conditioner, soap, lotion, hair ties, etc). I grabbed my full out make up bag because it was just the first thing I grabbed out the door to the hospital and I’ll tell you I did not wear ANY make up the entire time in there. But I think I’m in the minority…people like to get all gussied up before their first family picture and I’m just too lazy for all that. But don’t forget chapstick.
  • Snacks. Any of your favorite snacks for in between meals because #breastfeeding or for your husband because hospitals don’t feed baby daddy.
  • Phone and phone charger. Maybe invest in a longer charging cable?
  • iPad. I watched Netflix in my downtime…and I think Casey may have watched some Netflix during labor while I was sleeping, since he couldn’t sleep.
  • Your own pillow…if you’re as attached to your pillow as I am. Maybe a little too attached. Kind of wish I brought my own blanket, but I think that might be too much 🙂

Hospital Bag Must Haves for Baby:

  • Boppy Pillow: I saw this on some checklist and I was like, “Ok that’s a little excessive, why don’t you just bring the whole nursery?” But seriously. I wish I brought this. Breastfeeding was not easy with Joel and maybe I’m a pessimist for thinking that it probably won’t come easily for our future babies…but when I was in the hospital, the lactation consultant came in and started stuffing all this pillows at all different angles around me to try and make for the best breastfeeding position and I remember thinking, “My boppy pillow wouldn’t come in handy right now…” Hindsight.
  • Velcro Swaddle and Cute Swaddle Blanket: Casey makes fun of us because he says he spent all that time in the hospital learning how to swaddle and when we came home, it was useless information because all we used were the velcro swaddles. I don’t know why I didn’t bring them? I’m going to chalk that up to pregnancy brain. I also wish I brought a cute swaddle blanket for pictures or just wrapping the baby in without velcroing him/her.
  • Newborn hats. I’m a sucker for anything with ears. Joel had the biggest cone head the first day and all I had were those pink and blue striped hospital hat which was great…but again for pictures sake.
  • Sleeper pjs for baby. I would bring a few in case of accidents. Again, Joel was naked the entire time in the hospital under his swaddle…but when we got home he would sleep in pjs and a velcro swaddle, so I don’t know why I didn’t bring that stuff?
  • Car seat. The one thing you can’t leave the hospital without having. Our nurse was smart and asked us to bring the carseat to our hospital room the day we were leaving so it wasn’t too cold (since we had him in December).
  • Any cute “going home” outfit for baby.

Hospital Bag Must Haves for Other People:

  • Snacks go in this genre again. So that other people can enjoy some snacks if they want!
  • Whatever your husband needs for a couple overnight stays.
  • I wish I brought small goody bags for our nurses. They were incredible. Especially our labor and delivery nurse…I could give her a whole banquet of goodies because she was amazing. Nurses really are just hard workers, and I wish I was able to give them something other than a million verbal “thank yous”.

 

These are definitely the things that I wish I brought. Anything I brought that wasn’t on this list was just excessive. I didn’t end up using a lot of the things I brought. I also never wanted to bring my entire bedroom and closet and the baby’s bedroom, so I thought I was packing lightly, but turns out I packed all the wrong things. So I hope this was helpful and you don’t make the same mistake I did!

DIY Farmhouse Table Plans

DIY Farmhouse Tips and Tricks(plans included)

Hello to all of you wonderful Rehling Unit followers!
Rebecca was kind enough to let me take another stab at this blogging thing, so I thought I would share a tutorial from my latest project: our farmhouse dining table! If you follow me on Instagram (@cwrehling) I try to post progress pictures of projects, so you may have seen some already…but in this post I’ll share some tips and tricks that I’ve learned along the way. I’ve loved diving deeper into woodworking/furniture building, and my hope in sharing this post is to help motivate another person to plug in a saw and (carefully) get building! I’m telling you, once you see your first project start to take shape, you’ll be hooked!

For this table, I followed these plans we found at Shanty 2 Chic. They have lots of FREE plans for awesome, easy, farmhouse style furniture and home décor. Most of their plans (this table included) are designed with relatively inexpensive white common board or pine wood that you can get at Home Depot or Lowes (I’m a Home Depot man through and through). Rebecca found a picture of this table on Pinterest and loved it immediately. I’ve been trying to get around to building it for probably 6 months now. I actually bought the wood a while back but slowly used everything for other projects that came up…Oops. Anyway, the plans in the link above will have all the shopping lists, cut lists, and steps with awesome diagrams. But I’ll share my steps, some pictures, and any lessons learned!

For this table, you’re basically building 3 sub-assemblies that you will then finish with your stain/paint of choice and assemble:

  1. Table Top
  2. Table Bases (2)
  3. Stretcher (single board to connect the bases)

Table Top

For you to understand how I build this table top (as well as the other assemblies) I first need to explain what pocket holes are. If you are interested in diving into DIY crafting, building, making, whatever, pocket holes will be your best friend! A pocket hole is an angled pilot hole that allows you to screw two boards together either at an angle or edge to edge. I’ve used this technique for tables, desks, cornhole boards, bath trays, you name it. For our purposes, here’s how to do it:

  1. Buy a Kreg Pocket Hole System.This is the set that I use, and it gets the job done but if you see yourself doing lots of big projects, might be a worthy investment to spend about $50 more to get their heavier duty set. You’ll also need a Kreg Face Clamp. For this plan, you’d need the 6 inch clamp. I’d recommend getting that over the cheaper 3 inch clamp because it’ll let you do bigger boards for only $10ish more.
  2. Follow the instructions in the package to set your drill bit and jig to accommodate the size of wood you are working with.
  3. Clamp the jig to your board where you want the hole drilled and drill the hole.
  4. Line up your boards how you want them to be, use clamps to hold the pieces secure as necessary while you drill.
  5. Use Kreg Pocket Hole Screws to drill the two boards together.

Here are some pictures of how to do the pocket holes! You can see how when you repeat this and add on board after board, you eventually wind up with a nice table top, or a flat, plank style piece that you can use for trays, wall art, or whatever creative pieces you can come up with!
Picture1Picture2Picture3

Okay – now that you’re a pocket hole wizard, let’s move on…

For the table top you can follow Shanty 2 Chic’s instructions and you’ll be good to go. We wanted our table to be a bit shorter than the plans, so I subtracted the difference and shortened these cuts a bit. When you attach the boards to each other, don’t forget to use a thin line of wood glue between each board – that will help make sure the table top is solid.

After I got all the boards attached to each other, I wanted to make sure that all of the ends were flush, so I used a circular saw to cut the ends. You can use a straight edge board clamped in place as a guide to make sure that you cut straight. Make sure to use a speed square to check that your cut is square BEFORE you cut! Here is what the top looked like at this point:
Picture4

The next step is to attach the 2×4 edge pieces using the pocket holes (remember those??) drilled along the outside edges. To do this: simply cut the 2x4s to size, and attach the short ends to the table top first. Then the long side pieces attach to the table top. Then attach the edge pieces to each other in the corners using pocket holes. I used straight boards and clamps to make sure everything was level and locked in place before I drilled them into place.
Picture5

*One possible variation you could do here would be to cut the 2x4s at a 45° angle, but I chose to keep the edges at 90° because I liked the “raw” look. Don’t forget to use wood glue here too! I think these 2X4s were brilliant here because it makes the table top look really solid, but we’re only using 1” boards (which are really ¾ of an inch…).

Here’s what the finished table top looks like from the bottom and top!

At this point, just give it a really good sanding especially around the corners and edges (we wanted the edges rounded a bit). Make sure that everything is level, even, and smooth! I highly recommend getting some kind of powered sander. Ryobi makes a finishing sander that’s only about $35 and works well. But if you expect to do big projects I’d recommend a random orbital sander or belt sander. It’ll save you lots of time.

Table Bases

For the table bases, I followed the plans exactly. Shortening the table length didn’t impact the height or width at all, so if you make the cuts accurately and cleanly, you’ll be good to go. There are three main tips that I have for this section:

  1. After you cut your individual pieces, sand them well before assembly. This will make it drastically easier on you as it will be hard to sand all of the nooks and crannies once it’s all assembled.
  2. When assembling, it’s very important that the 4x4s that make up the main support of the bases are secured straight on at 90°. If the upright isn’t square with the bottom, then your angled trim pieces will wind up with gaps and it will look sloppy. I highly recommend having the upright clamped to the bottom when you screw into place! I made sure to do that this time (I haven’t on previous builds) and it made all the difference. Even if this is a first build, don’t be a rookie!
  3. If you fill in your holes with wood filler, do NOT use store bought wood filler unless you are painting the table. If you are staining your table, the wood filler will NOT accept the stain well (even though it says stainable). The best and cheapest option is to make your own wood filler (yes, really!). You take a little bit of saw dust (the very fine powder- if your sander has a dust bag, this is an easy way to collect it) and mix with wood glue and voila! Just mix it enough where it gets to a paste-like consistency where you could roll it up into a little ball. I would recommend testing this BEFORE you use it on your furniture 😊

If you make all your cuts cleanly and accurately, and if you follow those tips above, you’ll have no problem with the table bases! Here are some progress shots so you can get an idea of how they come along:
Picture8Picture9Picture10

Stretcher

I hope you all are ready, because this one gets kind of complicated. It’s a tough one. Just kidding, it’s the easiest part. Just cut the 4×4 according to the plan. Boom. Done.

Since our table was shorter than the plan, we just took the length out of here too- super simple.

Finishing

If you care about making good use of your time, then you followed my instructions and sanded the individual boards before assembling the table bases. Now you just need to give the different sub-assemblies a good once over. Make sure everything is smooth. Again, I’d suggest rounding the corners and edges just a bit!

We stained our table using the Minwax Special Walnut color. I applied two coats to get it a little darker without going all the way to a “dark walnut” shade. Love the color. We did the same shade on the desk that I made for Reb so we knew we liked the color. You’ll start to kind of learn how to achieve different colors!

For the top coat, I used regular ole’ polyurethane. I used the glossy finish and applied two coats. Just follow the directions on the can if you want to apply multiple coats! Give it a very light sanding after it’s completely dry to smooth and even out the finish.

Assembly

You’re almost there!! Home stretch! Just follow their instructions to get all of the pieces together. That being said, it’s helpful to have an extra set of hands while doing this. But Reb was occupado feeding Joel dinner, and brother you do NOT interrupt Joel’s dinner! But I used a folding table to support the stretcher and random scrap wood to get the upside-down base at the proper height. Then I used a clamp to make sure that the stretcher was held in the exact place I wanted it before I started to drill. I was pretty impressed with myself….

At this point, there is nothing left to do but crack open a cold one and take a seat and enjoy your beautiful new table!

We also built a matching bench to go with it (you can find the plans here and all of my tips still apply!) and are thinking of building a church pew for the other side to give some height! Thoughts?

Here’s a picture of the final product with the bench. Be sure to check out our weekend recap for shots of the table decorated by my beautiful, talented wife for Jenna’s baby shower!
Picture11

weekend recap + jenna’s shower

Y’all know that I don’t post a weekend recap unless they include cute pictures of Joel or something eventful. Well this weekend recap has both!

This weekend, Casey finished our farmhouse kitchen table in record time (2 weeks). It looks great and I love how it ties our main living area together. Be on the lookout for a how-to (written by Casey) on the blog soon!

On Saturday we took down the Christmas lights (finally!!) and decided to head to the mall to eat lunch and take Joel on the carousel. We figured that since he likes to ride Dozer like a horse, he’d love the carousel…and we were right. He absolutely adored it. He kept patting the horse and saying “Hi pup pup (puppy)…” over and over again, occasionally taking breaks to wave at the commoners that were sitting around watching.

Sunday, we hosted a baby shower for our friend Jenna, who is having her 4th baby (boy…that’s my guess)! While we were setting up, the fire alarm at my house goes off 10 minutes before everyone was due to arrive. We (the other 4 ladies helping host…Casey and Joel had already left the house) thought it was weird since the sandwiches we had in the oven didn’t look to be burning at all. We opened all the doors and windows and nothing happened…I didn’t smell smoke or see it. Then all of sudden I saw a stream of smoke coming from the hallway…we go running and sure enough a candle in the guest bathroom had caught the hand towel on fire. The girls immediately ran to get cups of water while I grabbed a towel and tried to smother the flame (I learned that in school??). Nothing was working and I had no idea what to do because THIS WAS ALL I LEARNED IN SCHOOL. Eventually, the girls brought a bucket of ice (quick thinking) and I dumped it on the flames and it did…..nothing…because it was ice. But it gave us time to think so I grabbed the flaming towel with the other towel and quickly put it under the sink with the running water and smothered the flame out. The whole thing once we saw the towel/bathroom ablaze, probably lasted less than 5 minutes, but it felt like forever. But seriously props to the other girls that ran to get cups of water, not to mention Rachel who was scooping water out of the toilet (haha) and then calmed me down afterwards because I was shaking so badly. I went to call Casey to tell him and after telling him everything was fine and everyone was ok, his response was “Well I knew you wanted to redo the bathrooms, but you didn’t have to go setting it on fire to make me act on it!” Lord, I love that man.

After that, I was just worried about the house smelling like smoke when people and tiny babies started showing up…but Kristen put some strong smelling oils in the diffuser and it was a beautiful day so all the windows and doors open made sense. In spite of it all, we had a wonderful time celebrating a mother we all love and admire!

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetIMG_6048IMG_6050

And that’s our weekend recap! Until the next event.

 

Joel’s Lumberjack Bash

joel's lumberjack bash

I’ve been putting this post off for awhile because I have so many pictures and I didn’t want to filter through them…and also because maybe if I didn’t write the post, Joel wouldn’t be growing up so quickly (*insert crying emoji*). But he had such a great time at his Lumberjack Bash, that I thought I would post a few photos of the DIY decor. Thank you to Kimee for taking all these pictures during the party!

When you entered the house there was a little table that had his “guestbook” (The Little Blue Truck’s Christmas) that everyone signed and he’ll be able to one day read what everyone said to him on his 1st birthday! There were cookie party favors courtesy of Steph’s Sweets (look her page up on facebook!) that were all lumberjack themed. And then there were pictures of Joel with family and friends through his first year of life. The pictures were also party favors.

Then then you entered the house, the kitchen table was covered with lumberjack goodness. It helped that the lumberjack theme went with our Christmas decor. It’s kind of like it was planned………

I borrowed a lot of decor from my friend, Amy, who runs Agape Events in Houston. So thank you, Aunt Amy! Anything I didn’t borrow from her, I mostly got from Hobby Lobby like the small trees, the birch wood, the lumberjack signs, etc. This year’s Christmas theme was the red buffalo plaid (it was everywhere), so that helped a lot!  The felt bear head is from Target!

Joel’s bib and high chair banner was made by Sassy Cecy Baby Shop. I found her on Etsy and got ALL my bibs from her during Joel’s first year of life. Just kidding…she’s my mom. BUT her bibs really are great, so go check out her Etsy page! The cake was made by my cousin, Lupe. She made Casey’s groom cake too…which was amazing. If you need a cake made, let me know!

We also had a photobooth outside with some lumberjack props, woodland animals, and a Little Tikes car hauling a Christmas tree.

That’s basically it. Joel had a great time, but I could wait a little longer for his 2nd birthday to get here!

Here is a slideshow of some pictures of him during the party. I didn’t include any other kids, but there were some there! 🙂

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

DIY Flower Hoops

how to take betterfamily vacationpictures

The other day, I saw these beautiful flower hoops on a home decor instagram I follow and because I love instamessaging, I decided to ask her if she had a blog post on DIY ones (I guess I just assumed they were DIY). She said no, but they sold them! So I went to her Etsy link to check them out and they were 20 bucks! So I said “psh. I can make that for cheaper…” So that’s what I did. And now I’m writing a blog post on them because they really are so easy to make! If you decide to make them, don’t forget to post a picture and tag “The Rehling Unit”! I want to see!

The materials:
– different size embroidery hoops
-assorted flowers and greenery (I decided to choose some that weren’t super girly and maybe last all year around…minus Christmastime)
-wire cutters/scissors
-floral wire (optional…I didn’t end up using it, but I’ve seen it done with them)
-floral tape
-hot glue gun
-burlap/ribbon of your choosing

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset(some of the supplies used)
GUYS. I took some pictures along the way, are you proud of me?!

  1. The first thing I did was buy assorted sized embroidery hoops. I kind of put them on the ground at Michael’s and spaced them out because I knew I wanted them to drape around the corner of this mirror. So I just played around with it. I think the biggest was a 12 inch hoop and the smallest was a 6 inch hoop, maybe?
  2. I cut the floral stems and arranged them on the hoop like I wanted. I secured them at first with floral tape. It’s not super secure, just FYI, but I didn’t want to use hot glue for the whole thing because the greenery and flowers are so heavy, I would’ve had to sit there holding all the stems until the glue dried. BUT I guess you could do that! After I was done, I secured them with hot glue.
    Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
  3. The flowers you definitely have to glue with hot glue. That was the easiest way for me. The big flowers I hot glued twine to the back and then tied it to the hoop and it covers the green floral tape. I’m all about shortcuts.
  4. On the hoops where I couldn’t cover the floral tape with a flower, I used a burlap ribbon and hot glue to cover it.

    5. The last thing I did was hot glue some of the stems to the hoop up higher if I felt like they drooped or fell to a weird angle…and that’s it!
    6. Done! I nailed them to the wall. If they were lopsided because the weight might fall to one side since the floral stems might have been off-centered, I just hid a nail holding it in place behind the greenery…you just need to play with it!

    I hope that was easy to understand…if you have questions, let me know! I’d be happy to answer any! I loved how they turned out. All-in-all they were about $40 for the hoops and floral stems….definitely not $20 each.

Our 2017 In Review

I love the beginning of the year because I love a fresh start. It’s no secret that I like things clean and tidy, and to me, the beginning of the year is just that: a clean slate. But I don’t often go into a brand new year without reflecting on the highlights of the previous year.

Throughout the year, I used an app called “1 Second Everyday” where you would upload a picture or video from that day and it compiled it into a video at the end of the year. This app was awesome. I especially loved it this year because you can see Joel grow from a newborn to a toddler right before your eyes.

Here’s our 2017 in review (click here)

 

 

 

Container Store Must Haves

must haves

In the spirit of Casey being featured in The Container Store blog (take a look!!), I decided to write a post on some of my favorite Container Store products. How I narrowed it down to just 10, you ask?? I don’t know. Everything is my favorite in this store. When Casey got a job at The Container Store, my inner neat freak self was ecstatic. I grew up loving  The Container Store and now I had a discount! It’s awesome. Anyways, here’s my top 10 favorite products from The Container Store:

  1. In the spirit of Christmas, I’ll start with this ornament storage box. We had these as a family growing up and the thing I love most about them is that the actual storage part in the inside is cardboard. So your ornaments aren’t limited to one size. If you have some that are particularly large, you can fold the outside cardboard to fit that ornament. Genius.
  2. When I was picking out baskets for the playroom, I wanted something that was durable but soft and something would stand on it’s own. I knew Joel would be pulling them off the shelves and probably roughing them around a bit, so I didn’t want anything that was too stiff or breakable like plastic. I chose these cute charcoal striped baskets and I love them! Joel really is rough with the baskets (ie putting all his weight on them or getting inside them entirely) and they have held up great.
  3. Ok really anything Elfa is my favorite. Growing up, we had Elfa closets because my parents are believers too and we swear by them. They are completely customizable and move as your family grows or changes. I remember Catherine’s closet (my younger sister) was customized to her youth sized clothes, so when she got older her clothes didn’t fit in the space anymore. All we did was move around a few shelves and voila! Done. It was the perfect space all over again.
  4. I love love love love their wrapping paper. It’s so much thicker and more durable than the cheap wrapping paper we’ve gotten at the grocery store. Not to mention, their patterns are adorable.
  5. Their acrylic modular make up storage is awesome! You can customize it by adding to it: so as your wrinkles grow, so do your creams, so does your make up storage. Mine is all organized by face creams, hand creams, etc.
  6. But Rebecca, how do you organize tupperware in the kitchen?? Those are the worst!! Well do I have a solution for you! (what?? are you not asking yourself that question??) These Elfa (again, the best) Mesh Gliding Drawers are so great for organizing tupperware containers and lids, under the sink cleaning supplies, or bathroom necessities.
  7. Again with the Elfa…this door rack is a must. We have this behind the pantry door for all those miscellaneous spices or food items. We also had them in our closets growing up. I’ve seen them used in a guest closet for wrapping paper storage, or in a kid’s closet for shoes and other things. Super diverse and awesome.
  8. When we went to Italy on our honeymoon, we used these awesome packing cubes and packing folders to organize our stuff. We were meeting the Pope and had to bring Casey’s suit, a white dress, and my veil (all without getting it wrinkled). And note to mention all the nice clothes for masses and visiting churches. This is how we did that! Those packing folders kept everything from getting wrinkled without taking up a ton of space in your suitcase.
  9. This is super random and super small, but these cable clips are life. We attached these behind our nightstands and they hold my phone charger, my apple watch charger, and the baby monitor charger all in place (all these cords went into ONE of these cable clips).
  10. Last, but certainly not least, any of their plastic storage tubs are true winners. They don’t crack or break like the flimsy, cheap Walmart ones. They have some for every space in your home. Some waterproof, some tiny, some huge (in fact, I think we just got one to hold a tailgate tent….like not a small one. One of those huge, industrial, metal poles tailgate tent). So anyways, I can’t link all their storage tubs, but they have one for EVERYTHING.

Like I said, I really don’t know how I chose just 10 and maybe I should’ve organized it by room, but I really had a hard time narrowing it down. The Container Store is awesome and has organization for everything in your life. If you want to see more pictures on how we use their products in our home, go follow @organizedhubby on instagram! That’s Casey’s instagram account for work stuff and how we stay organized in the Rehling casa.