Hospital Bag Essentials

by Emily Satzger in ,

When I was pregnant I loved reading these type of posts.  So I thought it would be nice to see what my must haves and items I never used for the hospital.  And if you know someone who's pregnant, these are nice gifts to receive.

First off my bag.  I LOVE the canvas bags, and have 2, one for us and one for Graham.  I bought mine from LL Bean and my parents gave Graham one from Lands Ends.  I must admit I prefer the Lands End one, it's a much softer material.  We have used them both a ton, for traveling and going to the beach, I recommend the zip top!

My Essentials

Belly Band:  Funny story!  I had heard about these prior to having a baby, but didn't order one.  Then a nurse tech came in the hospital room the day I had Graham and told me in her Puerto Rican accent, "you want flat belly?!"  "you need a belly band!"  Well I'm a sales person's dream, and of course I purchased one that day.  

I loved it and began using it the third day after birth(only because I didn't have it in the hospital).  I ordered a small, you want it to be tight, but able to fasten(I had to work hard those first few days to fasten it).  Not only does it make your stomach feel more normal, but it supports your back.  I wasn't used to toting 7.5lbs around all day everyday.

I think it really did help my stomach muscles and hips work their way back into place.  I used it for about a month/ month and a half after having G.

Nursing Tanks:  I lived in these nursing tanks from Target in the hospital and the first few weeks.  If you are BF you nurse so often those first few days and weeks it's easier to have these on layered underneath a wrap or jacket.  I've continued to love them though, and sleep in them nightly.  

*side note, I even wore the black one under a blazer when R and I grabbed a drink one night when my MIL was watching G the second week.

Boppy:  I loved having my nursing pillow in the hospital.  I read mixed reviews on this prior, but I hated using 40 hospital pillows to get the right position.  Plus in my opinion, it's nice to have the LC show you how to get your baby to latch on the pillow you'll be using at home.

Your Sleeping Pillow:  Essential!  I did not have mine and wish I would have, not that you sleep a ton or soundly in the hospital, but it's more comforting to have the comforts of home.  Also, get your hubby to bring his pillow as well.

Maternity Workout Pants:  I didn't have a C-section, but I rolled the maternity band down anyway. These were my favorite pants throughout pregnancy and I loved them the first month postpartum.  I personally wasn't a fan of the robe, it made me feel "sickish."  I preferred to be in normal clothing to make me feel a bit more normal.  

*Also, I LOVED my Lululemon high rise pants, and wore them as well in the hospital.  Thank the lawd for spandex!

Hanes Undies:  Talk about granny panties!  I used these over the thin undies the hospital provides.  It made me feel more comfortable.  I think I ordered a Medium in these and I just rolled the waist band down to where I was comfortable.

Comfy PJ's:  I did change into PJ's at night to make me feel more "normal."  These were perfect, the waist wasn't too tight, and they were great for nursing, and having my vitals checked every 4 hrs.

Snacks:  These came in handy the second night(which apparently is this unspoken horrific night in baby world).  When Graham decided he only wanted to sleep in our arms and R and I were terrified of falling asleep while holding him we began eating trail mix and granola bars.  Also, nursing is so exhausting at first, they're sucking the life out of you(literally) and it's so important to keep your calorie intake up so you're not completely drained.  

Baby Blanket:  I had my mom and MIL go out and purchase a baby blanket to layer on him when we came home.  Clearly not needed if you're in a hot climate or have a baby in the middle of the summer.  HOWEVER, we live in Chicago, and it was in the 40's and rainy the day we came home from the hospital.

Things I Didn't Use

-Outfits for Graham:  I think people are different about this, but homeboy was literally in a diaper, hat, and his hospital swaddle blanket our entire stay.  They check their stats so often, and you change their diapers all the time, I personally found clothing to be pointless.  SO, all the outfits I packed for him did not get used.  However he did come home in a precious Kissy Kissy onesie, their clothing is SO soft. 

Outfits for Me:  Of course I thought I'd be dressed in all different types of outfits during the day for visitors, HA!  Who am I kidding, my tail was in a nursing tank and yoga pants all day, everyday.

Nursing Pads:  You seasoned mamas already know this, but with your first baby it takes a few days for your milk to come in.  SO were useless in the hospital.

Maternity Pants

by Emily Satzger in ,

Pregnancy style is no easy task these days, although I'm really not sure it was ever easy.  I try and wear as many of my regular shirts as I can, but the selection is getting more and more sparse to fit this belly.  Length is key, I find that as long as I have a little elastic and a good amount of length I'm golden.  

My favorite pregnancy pants have been these 4 guys, they're in constant rotation throughout my wardrobe.  

ASOS Leather Like Leggings:  I love these, they're probably my favorite of the 4.  First off, they're super affordable and secondly they really do look like leather.  I purchased them early on and have received so many compliments on them.  People ask me if they make a non maternity version and they do, click here!  I plan to buy the non maternity version post April.  

*sizing:  I purchased a size 4 in the maternity legging

Ingrid and Isabel Be Maternity for Target:  These yoga pants are my go to pants each night after work.  I love the full band and tightness of the leggings.  I ordered an XS and have been really happy with them as my belly has grown.  At first they were really tight, but they seem to stretch out a bit with each wear(not too much though).

AG Jegging Jeans:  I love the color of these jeans, but I don't care for how thin the fabric.  The flip-side of that is a thicker denim which has less elastic.  Let's just say you NEED elastic as your pregnancy progresses.  Or you end up like me a month ago trying to get these birthing hips into jeans and hear a rip...elastic is your friend.

*sizing:  I purchased the 26(I'm typically a 25) and am happy with that size now, but in the very beginning it was too big.  AG's stretch a lot, so just be prepared.

7 For All of Mankind Pointe Black Pants:  EVERY pregnant woman should own these, they've been amazing!  Since they're pointe the black doesn't fade and they can be worn casually or dressed up; if you're pregnant BUY them, seriously, you won't regret it.

*sizing:  I purchased the 25, which is my pre-pregnancy size and have been really happy with the sizing.

Major Life Update

by Emily Satzger in ,

Getcha reading eyes ready for a big ole update on our life, and what's new!

Did you think I fell off the face of the planet?  Well I didn't quite, but jeez has it been a crazy ride the last 8 months.  Moving to Chicago, getting PREGNANT, and starting a new job all at once has been an interesting hand of cards.  So where do I start to update you about all this newness?  Let's start with Chicago!

The view from our rooftop deck...which is closed in the winter of course, this was taken back in Sept.

So last time I blogged we had just moved to to city and to our temporary housing.  We moved into our apartment shortly after in late June.  We LOVE our building and area, it's brand new, we were some of the first people to move into the building.  We still don't have neighbors beside us, which I am not complaining about(watch someone move in beside us tomorrow).  I posted some pictures below to give you a feel. 

We're on the 28th floor and have beautiful floor to ceiling windows all around, Boone hates them!  He will slowly creep up to them, but he still remains 2 feet away from the window itself.  It must play tricks with his viewpoint and eyes.  

Chicago is a great city, it's finally beginning to feel like home.  Several months ago I thought I was on the verge of a breakdown, I was so homesick, not for NC or SC; but for a home!  I think it was the pregnancy hormones, new job, and adjustments to everything all at once.  However, now I love Chicago, and honestly was excited to get back after the holidays.  

Onto Pregnancy...well there's not much to say there, but more to show.  This belly is getting bigger by the day!  I'm 32 weeks and the baby's movements are more like kicks, jabs, punches, flips, etc.  The other morning I truly shouted out loud I was so startled by little bits movements.  Rob and I joke about having an alien inside of me, because my stomach looks like bambino is going to break out of there Men in Black style.  

I've felt great, little to no morning sickness whatsoever, and generally a good dose of energy.  My muscles are beginning to get sore and ache a bit every now and then, but that seems to be something most women experience at this point.  Sleeping is pretty good, although not great.  I'm at the point that when I roll over I have to actively wake myself up, and it takes a few good grunts and sighs to get to other side.  I can't live without my pregnancy pillow though, it's been a life saver!  

I'm referring to our baby as baby, little bit, bambino, and yes even "it" sometimes, because we didn't find out the sex!  All of you are probably in shock now, seeing that everyone finds out the sex these days.  Our ultrasound tech said over 90% of patients find out the sex.  We think it's the only true surprise in life, and hell, let's be honest they're in onesies for the first few months anyways.  Our nursery is gender neutral regardless, I may order a pink or blue throw when he or she arrives.

I must admit, when we first saw the ultrasound I told Rob "I want to know!"  I had said for years I didn't want to know, yada, yada, yada, but when I became pregnant it was a total game-changer.  Fast forward to now, we decided not to find out, and I couldn't be more excited.  I have ZERO intuition as to what I'm having(hopefully that's not a bad sign), and couldn't be more thrilled to have a healthy baby with 10 fingers and 10 toes!  It's hilarious to hear people guess, I must say not many people are guessing girl these days, but who knows, that'll probably change next week.

Soooo good to catch up with you, I'm hoping to be able to blog more routinely in the coming weeks!





What I'm Watching

by Emily Satzger in

In the last month we've had a little time to watch some TV.  All of this is about to come to a quick halt when we move into our apartment tomorrow!!!  I've listed my favorite 3 shows below, let me know if you have any other recommendations! 

Grace and Frankie

Grace and Frankie is a new show on Netflix that I am absolutely obsessed with, it's HILARIOUS!!!!!  The cast is star studded, Jane Fonda, Martin Sheen, Lily Tomlin, Brooklyn Decker, and Sam Waterson just to name a few.  It's a short series, with 13 episodes each lasting less then 30 minutes.  It's an easy series to watch, so check it out + they just renewed it for a second season 🙌

can we talk about her hair...maybe just a little too much volume, maybe...

can we talk about her hair...maybe just a little too much volume, maybe...

Chrissy Knows Best 

Don't just me.  Lets just pause for a minute and talk about how absurd this show is and how I love every part of its absurdity.  He has the best one liners!  R and I watch this show and crack up the entire time.  The grandma, Faye, is just about as hilarious as Todd Chrisley. 

Chef's Table

Don't watch this show hungry.  The very first episode captures your stomach, and makes you want to travel all around the world, savoring every bite of food.  I found the show on Netflix, and it features top chefs and restaurants throughout the world.  The first episode takes place in Chef Massimo Bottura's restaurant, Osteria Francescana, ranked #3 restaurant in the world.  Must. go. to. Italy. now. 

Weekend Recap

by Emily Satzger in

Best weekend evaaaa!!!!  How can a weekend go badly when you start it off with the best(that i've tasted so far) Chicago Deep Dish pizza, oh my gah!  So delicious!  So let me give you the play by play on this moment.  We first tried to go to Lou Malnati's which is down the street from us, after seeing 50 people waiting outside and being told the wait was 1 hour and 45 minutes we decided to flag a cab and make our way up to Lincoln Park to try Pequod's.

So the wait at Pequod's was 45 minutes, which was fine, we grabbed a beer and just stood and waited as we saw and smelled all the pizzas.  It seemed that the majority of the crowd was local, which in my opinion is ALWAYS a good sign.  Luckily for us two people got up from the bar and I ran over and snagged the seats.  We went ahead and ordered an app as well as our pizza(which we ordered a small pizza and that was PLENTY). 

It was worth the cab ride, the wait, and every penny...this pizza was INCREDIBLE, absolutely delicious!  We kept it simple, which I recommend, pepperoni and sausage.  R's parents are coming up this weekend and I see Pequod's in our future :)

Saturday we headed to walk around Navy Pier with every other human in Chicago.  It's about a 20 minute walk from our current apartment, and definitely worth going to walk around.  Next time I would go early in the morning before the mobs of people take over.  

Afterwards we headed to Wrigley for a Cubs/Reds game!!!  I surprised R for our anniversary with tickets to the game, which was a great experience.  

The red line runs straight to Wrigley, the Addison stop, it's super convenient, hence why every other person in the world is on the train.  This is how the train looked after it thinned out a bit.  Prior to this I was smashed up against people telling myself to remain calm and breathe, luckily everyone smelled ok, otherwise I might have had a slight panic attack.

Our seats were incredible, R was in heaven!  This was our view prior to the rain and lightening rolling in, which caused a 2 hour and 45 minute rain delay 👎  BUT we found two seats under the covered area and they put the Blackhawks game on the jumbo-tron 👍

and the Blackhawks won!!!


Next up on the agenda, our 1 year anniversary!  R had the perfect day planned.  He surprised me with an afternoon at the Trump Spa.  We spent the day being pampered with mimosas, chocolate covered strawberries, infinity soaking tubs, massages, and was luxurious and an absolute treat!  

After we took plenty of time at the spa, we headed back to our apartment to get ready for dinner at Mexique!  It's Mexican fusion(it's French inspired) done oh so well.  Chef Carlos Gaytan has been on Top Chef, which I don't watch because I haven't had cable, but I believe he was one of the final four.  Mexique is in the Noble Square area, and we took Lyft there(similar to Uber if you've not used it, but they have a ton of first time promotional deals).

I should have taken a picture of the menu to better describe each dish, but I did just check out the pictures.  Every part of our meal was delicious.  I highly recommend Mexique!

We started with two appetizers, the ceviche and a braised pork dish. Both were delicious, but we both preferred the ceviche, it was a type of tuna with compressed octopus, the flavors of the dish were incredible!

Onto our main dishes, R ordered the lamb, I ordered the duck.  We would both order the same dishes again.  The duck just fell off the bone, duck leg confit success! 

We finished the evening with dessert, Tres Leches!  One of the most delicious desserts I've ever had at a restaurant.  

All in all, an AMAZING WEEKEND!!!

Rug Obsessed

by Emily Satzger in

Happy Wednesday friends!  This week has been a great first week as we start our new life in Chicago.  R is loving his new job, and I have done a good bit of exploring, each day I've gone a little further than the day before in my exploration around the city.  I think I may take the L-train up to Lincoln Park today, they have the best little shops and cafes!  

In between my trips out I've been obsessing over rugs, yes rugs.  I think rugs make the biggest difference in a home/apartment.  Since our apartment has hardwoods throughout(heck yes!) I want to have plenty of rugs throughout to warm the space up and make it feel a bit more homey.  Also, all our rugs are going to be indoor/outdoor rugs!  My cousin swears by Dash and Albert, and I found them to have one of the largest indoor/outdoor collections.  

2) Guest Bath Rug-side note, I love rugs in front of vanities in the bathroom.  Everyone concentrates on bath mats and they're missing the ball.  Put a 2X3(if it's a small or average size bathroom) in front of the vanity and get a white bath mat towel and use that instead.  

3)Master Bath Rug-I just can't make up my mind on a rug for our bathroom.  Lulu & Georgia has some great indoor/outdoor rugs as well, and what I like about them is their size.  There smallest size is 2x4, and I like having a little extra length.   This is my favorite so far for our bath.


Enjoy your day!!

Madewell Wish-list

by Emily Satzger in

With time off I've had plenty of time to browse just about every clothing website known to man.  I find myself coming back to Madewell all the time.  I love Madewell's simplicity, it's a little more so than J.Crew, and Madewell partners with some pretty amazing brands.  Here's my Madewell wish list I've been day dreaming of...

Catching Up

by Emily Satzger in

This weekend was filled with sun, time on the water, yummy food and lots of wine...sounds like a perfect weekend to me!  

We went on over an hour long paddle board trip around the lake on Thursday.  The water is crystal clear in this lake, it's a glacier lake so you can see everything below in less than 20 feet of water.  It was amazing to see all the little and sometimes big fish swim around.  Which inspired me to take up my new


R and I have spent several hours each day just fishing.  The water is so clear up here, so it's fun watching them swim right by, it makes it more of a game!    Please note I did catch the end of a boat engine 3X(same boat engine, oh and the boat was docked), as well as a rope on the dock, and the my casting game is a work in progress.  

We made the Salsa Verde Chicken Casserole I posted about was SO GOOD!!  Easy too!  I highly recommend making it one night this week, you'll have tons of left overs(thanks again for the recipe Natalie!).  I boiled the chicken and mixed in the taco seasoning after shredding the chicken with a little butter and water.

Hope you all have a Happy Monday!!!!  I leave you with this awesome quote!

Apartment Decorating

by Emily Satzger in

Decorating is always on the forefront of my mind.  I don't find myself amazing at decorating, so I am constantly looking at Pinterest or magazines for inspiration.  Since we are downsizing by half we are going to have to make the best use of our space.  I have been pinning away trying to get some inspiration...

We are going to have to be smart about organization.  

We are purchasing this bar cart to store wine, glasses, and our favorite liquors.  

I love the sheepskin rug look, and know I will love how it feels when it's sub zero outside.  I found this sheepskin rug to layer on top of a larger rug on amazon for under $55!  

Shelves in the guest bath will give us extra room to display pictures and put glass canisters filled with bathroom essentials(cotton balls, q-tips, etc.).  These shelves from West Elm seem to be deep enough.

How great is this letter holder from Cb2?!  Having little organization pieces like this will make a big difference.



Lake Essentials

by Emily Satzger in ,

Since we will  be at the lake for 2 weeks prior to Chicago I have been making a list of things to pack(along with packing up our entire lives in Charleston), and these six pieces made the top of my list!

J.Crew Panama Hat:  I have talked about this hat previously on the blog, and I still haven't purchased it...nonsense!  I am nervous it will get messed up prior to moving, so once we get settled into the lake house I am going to hit "buy!"

SunBum Sunscreen:  I am all about sunscreen these days, and this sunscreen has been a favorite of mine in recent years.  It smells amazing, and rubs in so easily.  I will be stocking up on their sunscreen for the entire summer.  They sell it at just about every surf shop and I have also seen it at Ulta.

J.Crew Market Tote:  What a great beach bag!  I have learned having a bag with a shoulder strap is an absolute must!  

Tkees Flip Flops:  I love the simplicity of these flip flops.  I have worn rainbows for years, which I love, but I don't feel that I can throw my rainbows on with a dress for dinner in Chicago, ha!

Triangl Swimsuit:  LOVE!  LOVE!  So these swimsuits are neoprene, and they say they hold their shape.  I have two J Brand Neoprene pants, and they're my favorite pants I own.  How pretty is this royal blue and neon yellow!

Elta MD:  Best face sunscreen!!  I  have blogged about this sunscreen before, and I will blog about it again because it's by far the best.  I use their tinted version, but you can buy it without.  It contains zinc, which my dermatologist says is a must when buying good sunscreen.