I have an Evernote of pre-baby to-do’s that I’ve been working through and one of them is: Write a newsletter! So here we are.
I’m due in less than two weeks, which has me on high alert since I had Lilly at 38 weeks. This month has flown by but I’ve gotten in lots of quality time with Lilly (i.e. ice cream dates and Elephant and Piggie marathons), some self-care (yoga, reading, more ice cream), and even a little pre-baby organization (win: located my breast pump and approximately two dozen baby bottles). Despite moments of abject terror about having a second child and needing to find a job eventually, I feel extremely grateful to have had this time.
I’m going to take a little newsletter hiatus but I’ll be back later this fall with the usual grab bag of food, kid, and life recommendations. In the meantime, I just got swipe up on Instagram (extremely exciting) so I’ll work on sharing more links there!
Here are some of the things I’m excited about right now—unsurprisingly, many are baby-related! (For non-baby stuff, skip to the end.)
Weekend bag that doubles as a hospital bag: When I was pregnant with Lilly, I was introduced to Birdling, a bag company started by two best friends. I used their Weekender as my hospital bag and since then it’s become my go-to bag for short trips. I can fit both my and Lilly’s clothes in it, and it has a zillion pockets for easy organizing. I also use their Essentials Kit for toiletries, and I’m newly eying their Everyday Tote, which could easily double as a diaper bag.
Postpartum essentials, made easy: After you have a baby, your body is in recovery mode and you need all sorts of fun helpers like disposable undies, peri bottles, and cooling maxi pads. I assembled my own postpartum kit last time but recently learned about Frida Mom (thanks, Stephanie!), which makes cute, functional kits with everything you need. It’d be a great gift for (close) friends.
OMG pajamas: I have been weirdly obsessed with finding cute, comfortable, and nursing-friendly pajamas for the hospital. I know it’s silly but I think it’s my way of dealing with all the things I can’t control about birth. I looked at a million brands and ordered three sets from Eberjey (by far the most often-recommended brand but ultimately too long on me and not flattering) before I found these classic J.Crew ones—they’re a light, crisp cotton that won’t get too hot and the cropped fit means I won’t trip over the bottoms. I also got recommendations for Lake and Maison du Soir, which I’ll put on a future wish list.
Fitness, prenatal: With both my pregnancies, I’ve been able to stay active, which is key for my mental health. During the first two trimesters, I kept up my normal routine but toward the end I’ve really enjoyed pregnancy-specific workouts. Fit Pregnancy Club is based in Soho but also has on-demand classes you can do at home. They have excellent instructors, including Amanda Schoppe (who used to kick my butt at Brooklyn Bodyburn) and Maddy Wasserman (also an amazing doula!), and the classes are a nice blend of stretching, strength, and cardio. Aaptiv also has prenatal workouts tailored to each trimester—genius—and they are led by fitness pros who are also mothers so they throw in tips about labor and postnatal recovery.
Fitness, postnatal: After I had Lilly, I remember being surprised that I had felt so much stronger during my pregnancy than in my postpartum phase. I had to remind myself that my body was in recovery mode and that I needed to rebuild my core gradually. I found a couple great postnatal resources that I plan to use again this time. As soon as I got the go-ahead to exercise, I started taking classes with Rachel Welch, a Brooklyn-based postnatal fitness expert who methodically helps you retrain your core and gain strength safely. She offers classes throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan, as well as an on-demand option (and will also come to your home for private sessions). I also went to Angela Clark at Mala Yoga, my favorite yoga studio—follow her on Instagram for tons of pre- and postnatal tips.
In case you missed it: This NYT mag feature on Venus Williams was pretty inspiring—a reminder of all both she and Serena have accomplished and a compelling peek into their relationship.
More summer reads: I’ve had a hard time finding books this summer, probably because I don’t want to read anything too dark. I sped through Claire Lombardo’s The Most Fun We Ever Had and thought it was excellent, except probably not the thing you want to read if you’re already feeling melancholy about your daughter (features some truly toxic mother-daughter dialogue). I’m currently loving Searching for Sylvie Lee, Jean Kwok’s atmospheric novel about a Chinese-American family with connections to the Netherlands and what happens when the eldest daughter disappears.
Peak fruit season: As much as I love apples, I’m just not ready for them. I’ve been coping by buying all the peaches, berries, and plums I can find. Now is the time to make my all-time favorite Summer Spelt Cake from Violet Bakery (works with literally any fruit, and you can also sub buckwheat flour for spelt to make it gluten-free), and I’m also going to whip up Alison Roman’s Blueberry Cornmeal Tart this weekend.
Summer cooking bucket list: A few other things you should make before the season ends: pasta with sun gold tomatoes, which is crazy simple and delicious; a perfect tomato sandwich; and some sort of fruit slushy with melon.
Cutest baby skincare line: I recently met Sweta Doshi, the founder of Bubbsi, a line of coconut oil-based skincare for kids. She’s an expert in product development (years of experience at Bath & Body Works and Victoria’s Secret) who decided to create her own product to treat her daughter’s sensitive, ezcema-prone skin. Each product comes in an adorable animal-shaped bottle that is refillable and made from food-grade silicone. I love how concentrated and rich the formulas are, and Lilly loves playing with the bottles—huge fan.
Journaling for dummies: I’ve mentioned this in the past but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how much I like The Five Minute Journal. I just finished six months of daily entries and am about to buy a second journal. The simple prompts make it easy to stick to and it’s a nice way to take stock of the tiny, wonderful things that happen in early parenthood.
Ok, I know that was a very baby-heavy newsletter but can you blame me?
Have a wonderful long weekend and see you in September!