Fill Up Your Freezer With These Great Meals Before Baby Arrives!

freezer meals before baby

The days and weeks after your new baby comes home will likely be filled with joy, anxiety, busy-ness, tears (from mom and baby!), stress, love, and sleep deprivation. It's a whirlwind of a time!

Preparing for this time period before baby is born can help make it easier and more peaceful. One of the things you can do is make some freezer meals ahead of time so that you won't have to worry about prepping, or even thinking about, what to eat for dinner each night. 

We've pulled together some of our favorite freezer meal recipes to help you get started. Happy cooking!

chicken enchiladas

Chicken Enchiladas from Happy Money Saver

beefy baked ravioli

Beefy Baked Ravioli from Thriving Home

crispy cheddar chicken

Crispy Cheddar Chicken from Mommy Savers

bean cheese burritos

Bean and Cheese Burritos from Money Saving Mom

Sausage Spinach Stuffed Shells

Sausage & Spinach Stuffed Shells from Kylee Cooks

hawaiian pork chops

Slow Cooker Hawaiian Pork Chops from Stockpiling Moms

tuscan pasta recipe

20 Minute Tuscan Pasta from Six Sisters Stuff

beef taquito recipe

Baked Chipotle Beef Taquitos from Fabulessly Frugal

bacon egg cup recipe

Bacon, Egg & Cheese Cups from Our Best Bites

mini pot pies

Mini Chicken Pot Pies from Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms

If you're looking for even more inspiration, check out these free printable freezer menu plans from Life As Mom.

Style the Woodland Nursery of Your Dreams

woodland nursery design ideas

One of the most recent popular themes for nursery design is the Woodland theme, and this charmingly rustic style shows no signs of fading anytime soon. In fact, Pinterest declared the Woodland aesthetic as the most popular nursery trend for 2017. (source)

Here's a game plan to help you style to Woodland nursery of your dreams!

Woodland Nursery Colors

So, first things first. Start with the color palette you want in your Woodland nursery. Although earthy tones serve as the base layer for most Woodland themes, don't be afraid to add color. The neutral color bases usually include shades brown, beige, cream, light blue, gray, and olive/woodsy green.

Credit to The Creativity Exchange for putting together this fabulous group of paint colors from Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams. These woodland-inspired nursery paints are top picks from their readers. We love them, too!

We love wallpaper in the nursery. There are many sources of woodland-inspired wallpapers, and many are peel and stick... so you can easily change up the nursery as your baby moves to toddler (and then teen). Splurge a little and head on over to Spoonflower to find dozens of wallpaper ideas. They are a little pricey, but you can also paint three walls and then accent a single wall in the nursery. If you find a busy print you love, putting it on one wall, behind bookshelves, or in a window seat really works.

There is a site on Etsy called BC Magic Wallpapers, and while it may be a splurge item, these custom wallpapers are adorable. Check out the teepee pattern below.

Woodland Nursery Crib Bedding

The crib bedding that you select for your Woodland nursery will set the tone for the rest of the room. We've got the perfect options for you at Liz and Roo!

navy archery woodland bedding

Archery (Navy and Coral) Woodland Bumperless Crib Bedding

 

archery taupe and aqua woodland bedding

Archery (Taupe and Aqua) Bumperless Woodland Crib Bedding

 

buck woodland bedding

Buck Woodland (Taupe) Bumperless Crib Bedding

gray woodland

Gray Woodland Baby Bedding

 

navy woodland

Navy Woodland Bumperless Crib Bedding

Woodland Nursery Decor & Furnishings

After you've painted the room and selected your bedding, the really fun stuff begins. When it comes to accenting your Woodland nursery, there is no limit to the options. Shop at Hobby Lobby, on Etsy for handmade items, and at some of the major retailers like Anthropologie for accessories. We discovered this arrow wall hook online at Anthropologie and the bookends on Etsy. Here are just a few of the many, many fun options you can find.

Hunter/Gather Wall Hooks

 (via Anthropologie)

Stained Wood Mountain Book Ends

(via Etsy)

  woodland nursery art

Woodland Nursery Art, Wood Slices, Fox Bear Moose, Set of 3

(via Etsy)

woodland nesting set

Woodland Nesting Set

(via MagicCabin)

antler pendant rope light

Antler Pendant Rope Light 

(via Etsy)

One of our favorite sites for invitations and cards is Minted.com. They have a rustic framed alphabet (you can order any letter of the alphabet) that you can see here.

The ideas and options for your baby's Woodland nursery are abundant. Make sure you check out our Woodland Nursery Pinterest board for even more inspiration.

We'd love to see your finished Woodland nursery! Send your pictures to info@lizandroo.com.

8 Early Signs of Pregnancy

Think you might be pregnant? Here are 8 signs to watch for that may indicate that a little one is on the way!

1. You're Unusually Tired

Extreme fatigue is one of the main signs of pregnancy at the start. Suddenly, you may feel like falling asleep during the day at times when you normally would not. Staying awake in meetings becomes a challenge. Or, you may notice how drowsy you are while driving. Because being tired can be due to so many different things in our hectic lives, it is often overlooked as an early sign of pregnancy.

2. Change in Menstrual Cycle

Women who have regular periods know when they are "late." Sometimes, being late is a result of stress, but it is also the telltale sign that you could be pregnant.

3. Morning Sickness

You may feel nauseous, throw up, or find you have an aversion to certain foods or smells. Even though it is called morning sickness, you may be feeling sick any time of the day. Morning sickness is most common in the first trimester of pregnancy, but can continue into the next two trimesters for some women.

4. Breasts that Hurt or are Tender

You have probably experienced uncomfortable breasts just prior to, or during, your menstrual cycle. This is what your breasts will feel like when you first get pregnant. 

5. Abdominal Cramping or Bleeding

You may not even notice the cramping, as it is not usually really bad cramping. It may just feel like some pressure in your abdomen, similar to what you may feel at the start of a period. You may even mistake it for the start of a period when, in fact, you are pregnant.

6. Enhanced Ability to Smell

This sounds weird, but it is true. Your sense of smell becomes very sharp during pregnancy. Suddenly, you may notice the scent of someone's tea from across the room. It may feel like the scents of everything have become stronger overnight!

7. Gustatory Changes

You may have always enjoyed a particular food, but now it tastes bad (it may also smell bad). You may find that you develop unusual cravings for foods that never interested you much before.

8. Lightheaded

This can be very subtle, but you may suddenly feel like the room is spinning, or you may feel faint. Make sure to eat during these times, as your blood sugar is probably a bit low.

To conclude, some of the early signs of pregnancy have been covered. There can be more, but the ones mentioned are quite common. The next thing that you need to do is find out if you are, in fact, pregnant. The sooner you find out if you are pregnant, the sooner you can begin taking good care of that precious little baby growing inside of you.



How To Increase Your Chances of Having a Baby Girl

Baby Girl

How to Improve Your Chances of Conceiving a Girl

You and your husband have decided you want to have a baby girl. 

Some people choose to leave gender selection to chance, which can be great fun to find out whether they are having a boy or girl on the day he or she is born. But, if you are reading this, our guess is you'd like to tip the scales in favor of conceiving a particular gender. So, here goes.... the "How To" on improving your chances of having a baby girl!

What are the Factors That Can Help you Conceive a Girl?

First, understanding the science behind what creates boys and girls is the easiest way to increase the chances of conceiving the gender of your choice. In particular, knowing the differences between sperm is what is most important.

What are the differences in sperm?

As you may already know, sperm can be X or Y chromosomes. X chromosomes result in a girl baby when they fertilize the female's egg. Y chromosomes result in boy babies upon fertilization. The mother's egg always contains an X chromosome.

  • X (from mother) + X (from father) = Girl baby

  • X (from mother) + Y (from father) = Boy baby

What other differences exist between X and Y sperm?

X sperm chromosomes are heartier and live longer in a woman's body. On the other hand, Y sperm chromosomes are weaker and do not live as long, dying off more quickly inside a woman's body. X chromosomes also swim more slowly, compared to Y chromosomes.

Therefore, to increase your chances to conceive a girl, you will want to ensure that there are no Y sperm still inside your body so that the X sperm fertilize the egg when you ovulate.

How do you make this happen?

If you want to have a girl, you need to plan to have sex about two to four days before you ovulate. By then, the Y sperm will have died off, and the slower-moving, longer-living X sperm will presumably get to the egg to fertilize it.

This is just one factor that can help you in getting pregnant with a girl. For best results, you need to combine several techniques for higher success.

Other techniques include considering the pH levels of your cervical mucus, what foods you are eating, and more. The best way is to get reliable information from someone who has helped couples achieve the gender that they desire.

Best Baby Nursery Checklist

When you're expecting a baby, whether it's your first or your tenth, setting up the nursery is one of the most exciting times. Given the plethora of items available on the market today, it can be a bit overwhelming to figure out exactly what you and baby will truly need.

Liz and Roo is here to help you sort out the needs from the wants. Follow the Liz and Roo Baby Nursery Checklist and the only thing you'll have left to do will be to wait for your baby to make his or her appearance.

Blake Lively inspired nursery featuring Liz and Roo crib bedding

Baby Nursery Checklist

1. Crib and crib bedding. Even if you're planning to have baby sleep in a bassinet during the first few months, you'll want to select and purchase a crib right from the start. It's a great, safe place to lay baby down, and he or she will get comfortable with the space when it's time to make the nighttime move. Getting the coordinating crib bedding before baby is born makes sense. And, we just so happen to know where you can find some extraordinarily beautiful, high-quality, made in USA bumperless crib bedding! Check out our selection here.

Buck Woodland Crib Bedding Set by Liz and Roo

2. Glider. Late night feedings will be so much more comfortable for both you and baby when you have a designated place to snuggle together. Your husband will love it too. He'll be doing some nighttime duty, too! Gliders today are luxe and have come a long way from what your mother used (a rocker) but a rocker will do the job, too!

3. Sound machine or white-noise app/device. Help baby sleep more soundly, and help the rest of the family live their lives without constant worry about making noise that will wake baby.

4. Baby monitor. There are lots of options available - from super simple to high-tech cameras with sensors and alarms. Gauge your comfort-level to decide the best fit for your family and you'll breathe easier knowing you can keep an ear and/or eye on baby at all times. The new monitors with video can provide real peace of mind. Parents.com has a great review of baby monitors with all the pros and cons and tips for buying. 

5. Odor-free diaper pail. You will never regret this purchase, especially after you've dealth with your first few blow-outs.

6. Soft light or night light. This will make it so much easier for you to take a peek at your sleeping baby without worrying about waking him or her with a bright light.

7. Changing pad and washable changing pad cover. Having a designated spot for changing baby makes it much easier to keep your nursery and changing materials organized. Plus, a contoured changing pad (the most popular style) gives baby a soft, safe place for diaper changes. Contoured changing pad covers can tie into the overall nursery theme and add a stylish touch to the room. Make sure that it is high-quality, durable, and washable. This is an item that will get washed regularly for sure! Check out the Liz and Roo selection of contoured changing pad covers here.

8. Play mat or rug. Give baby a place to spread out and play. Tummy time and crawling practice will become a part of daily life as baby grows, and you'll be happy to have a safe spot for baby to hang out. We suggest these stunning, washable Lorena Canals rugs. They make a great finishing touch to nursery decor.

Lorena Canals Rugs for Nursery

9. Swing or bouncer. This item is likely to become your best friend and sanity saver! You'll soon realize you don't know how you'd function without it, especially if you ever need to do anything that requires 2 hands, such as make dinner or brush your hair! Here's a great link to a review of the Top Five Baby Bouncers

10. Books, softs toys, stuffed animals. You want baby to love their nursery (it makes night time so much easier!), so make sure it's a fun and inviting place for them. Get lots of books. Reading to baby should be a nightly event. Remember never to put anything in the crib, no matter how cute, with your newborn. Stuffed animals belong outside the crib.

Round this list off with plenty of clothes, diapers and wipes, and bathing and feeding supplies, and you'll be ready for baby!

Visit our website at www.lizandroo.com.