A Simple DIY Baby Binder

Sometimes it can be overwhelming the amount of paperwork and copies of documents new parents receive both from the hospital after delivery and again once you find a pediatrician. I felt like I would lose something if I didn’t have a convenient and safe place to keep these things. Thus I created this baby binder, which has been the perfect thing to ease my mind and keep all of Greyson’s medical information all in one spot. Let’s take a peek...

Being organized is one of my stronger qualities and I only need a simple excuse to create a binder. When Greyson came along I knew I wanted to have something in place where all of his important documents could be kept safely. It can be overwhelming, the amount of paperwork and copies of documents new parents receive both from the hospital after delivery and again once you find a pediatrician. When Greyson first started going to the doctor I felt like I would lose something if I didn’t have a convenient and safe place to keep these things. And since we travel, it’s nice to have an easy way to take his medical information with us in case of an emergency while out of town.

Thus I created this baby binder, which has been the perfect thing to ease my mind and keep all of Greyson’s medical information all in one spot.

Sometimes it can be overwhelming the amount of paperwork and copies of documents new parents receive both from the hospital after delivery and again once you find a pediatrician. I felt like I would lose something if I didn’t have a convenient and safe place to keep these things. Thus I created this baby binder, which has been the perfect thing to ease my mind and keep all of Greyson’s medical information all in one spot. Let’s take a peek...

Creating Your Binder

Any organized binder begins with a, well, binder! Any width will do, but since it’s just Greyson and he’s our only child we went with the thinnest. Then it’s all about pocket protectors, dividers, and stickers for labeling. I used Keynote to create each page and added photos of Greyson for a little fun touch.

Sometimes it can be overwhelming the amount of paperwork and copies of documents new parents receive both from the hospital after delivery and again once you find a pediatrician. I felt like I would lose something if I didn’t have a convenient and safe place to keep these things. Thus I created this baby binder, which has been the perfect thing to ease my mind and keep all of Greyson’s medical information all in one spot. Let’s take a peek...

Info At-A-Glance

The first page in Greyson’s binder is his medical contact information at-a-glance. It is perfect for locating important phone numbers and addresses as well as other info like his birthday and social security number. This page is essential and is important to have on hand in case anyone needs to call 911. This binder is also a great resource for family members or babysitters who may be looking after your child and an emergency occurs.

Sometimes it can be overwhelming the amount of paperwork and copies of documents new parents receive both from the hospital after delivery and again once you find a pediatrician. I felt like I would lose something if I didn’t have a convenient and safe place to keep these things. Thus I created this baby binder, which has been the perfect thing to ease my mind and keep all of Greyson’s medical information all in one spot. Let’s take a peek...

Any binder needs cute divider tabs and these ones from Target were so cute! I love the material because it’s sturdy but also allows for easy application and removal of my Avery tab stickers. By using stickers I can interchange the dividers over time as I need to.

Growth Tracker

Sometimes it can be overwhelming the amount of paperwork and copies of documents new parents receive both from the hospital after delivery and again once you find a pediatrician. I felt like I would lose something if I didn’t have a convenient and safe place to keep these things. Thus I created this baby binder, which has been the perfect thing to ease my mind and keep all of Greyson’s medical information all in one spot. Let’s take a peek...

Another great page I created was a growth tracker for each month up until he turns one. I’ve included his weight, height (length) and percentile for each. My OCD and love for filling out forms is excited to visit our pediatrician for Grey’s wellness checkup so I can fill in his previous months! During the months in between visits I weigh him on our home scale and record it. That way I can stay on top of his weight and keep an eye on things especially as we introduce more solid foods into his diet.

Pockets Go A Long Way

Sometimes it can be overwhelming the amount of paperwork and copies of documents new parents receive both from the hospital after delivery and again once you find a pediatrician. I felt like I would lose something if I didn’t have a convenient and safe place to keep these things. Thus I created this baby binder, which has been the perfect thing to ease my mind and keep all of Greyson’s medical information all in one spot. Let’s take a peek...

Another favorite aspect of my baby binder are these plastic page protectors. I love keeping his immunization records and pediatrician printouts all in one convenient pocket so it’s easy to slip in and out.

Bills, Bills, Bills

Sometimes it can be overwhelming the amount of paperwork and copies of documents new parents receive both from the hospital after delivery and again once you find a pediatrician. I felt like I would lose something if I didn’t have a convenient and safe place to keep these things. Thus I created this baby binder, which has been the perfect thing to ease my mind and keep all of Greyson’s medical information all in one spot. Let’s take a peek...

In these page protectors I have kept important information that’s been given to us like his immunizations and circumcision F.A.Q. I have also kept handy any payment confirmations or bills that we’ve received so that we have a paper trail on all of our payments for Greyson in case of any discrepancies (which happen more often than not!). Once we paid our delivery in full we made sure to have documentation from the hospital as proof. I always recommend keeping on file your payments or bills so that you have these at your disposal when dealing with insurance companies or others trying to unnecessarily bill you. Also, some of these forms can be super helpful during tax season too!

Creating your own baby binder is such a simple answer to this organizational problem and really helped us cut down on stacks of paper around the house or having the documents we need going missing. Having just created Greyson’s I’m already at ease about where to place his important documents and each time we go to the doctor I can just slip his paperwork into the appropriate pocket and put away – done!

How do you keep your family’s documents safe?

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How I Went Vegan…Part-Time

I often feel as though food seems to go through trends just as quickly as fashion these days. However, to be vegan or even vegetarian, seem to withstand the various trendy diets or hip new workout regimens (Zumba or P90X, anyone?). It’s crazy to me that event the food/science industry can’t make up their mind from year to year. They change the daily recommended values of certain food groups like the fluid ounces one should drink of milk a day, for example. One day meat is okay then the next it’s recommended to cut down due to high cholesterol or other health factors. So, why is it that no one can definitively say what is a basic recommendation of food for a healthy lifestyle? Why do food choices have to be riddled with so many questionable factors such as quality of ingredients, treatment, or production?

After years of yo-yoing with my weight and eventually having a baby, I became determined to find a lifestyle that was both enjoyable (aka easily maintained) and left me feeling good inside and out. I loved Weight Watchers, but found that I became neurotic about the point counting. It would work while I was on the program, then gain some of that weight back when I wasn’t counting the points and logging my food everyday. Although I lost initial weight while on their program, I would plateau and quickly become frustrated. I also felt as though I shouldn’t have to pay a company to help me lose weight. I needed something that removed these blinders of fad diets or promises of weight loss and get back to basics.

Insert Netflix.

First, ‘veducation’.

Our Netflix documentary feed is filled with nutritional or food related movies and one cannot simply help but begin to understand why. Why do these documentaries keep popping up? Movies such as Forks Over Knives, Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead I and II, Food, Inc., Cowspiracy, and most recently Food Choices. Each movie sheds the unfortunate light on how misguided we all are as American consumers of food and even food knowledge. What I have gathered is that we are stuck in a systematic cycle that equates to a dollar amount. From the medical field (because if we’re not sick doctors don’t get paid) to politics with institutions that should be regulating food quality, like the Food & Drug Administration.

Nutritional labels can no longer be trusted completely because of the fact that the FDA is behind it and they don’t exactly reflect the quality, or ingredients, in that particular product. Does bread really need 50 different ingredients that I can’t pronounce? What about those genetically modified or hormone-filled commercial farms? Or the fact that commercial farms are threatening to put local small scale farmers out of business. It’s sickening to know that we, as a society, have taken a very basic need, such as our food, and have turned it into something ugly that doesn’t only affect us in the present day, but will continue to affect future generations and our planet in the big picture.

How I Went Vegan...Part-Time | theprimarilyinspired.com |

If you haven’t seen them already, I highly recommend these food documentaries currently streaming on Netflix to, at the very least, expose you to some of the current studies and information available. Simply being aware is just the beginning, but it’ll give you great starting off places to those looking to make healthier food choices in 2017. If you’re not the documentary type, there are thousands of studies available online or books that present the same kind of material.

Second, introspection.

After wrapping my head around the information that was presented in all of these documentaries, along with my own understanding of nutrition, I set out to find which change in our diet would be the most beneficial. I knew I was still carrying baby weight, that I constantly felt bloated, and overall just slow. I knew that to relieve a lot of what I was experiencing had to do with my diet and level of activity on any given day. So, what were we eating that made me feel this way? It was more to do with what I wasn’t eating.

In retrospect, it’s kind of funny (in a sad way) to look back and realize that Greyson is eating more veggies than my husband and I; that we somehow put his nutrition at the forefront of our minds moreso than our own. After this becoming clear I knew that we needed to make a change and it needed to start with lowering our meat and animal products and up our intake of plant-based foods such as vegetables, fruit, nuts, grains, and everything in between.

Making our own baby food!

We took a peek at what we were eating on a semi-regular basis and it consisted of: chicken, some beef and fish, fried or baked recipes, dairy, and the use of olive oils. Rarely would we have vegetable sides and if we did we either sautéed them or baked them. We were pretty good about going vegetarian every so often, but in the end where we thought we were making healthy food choices we knew it was a touch in the opposite direction. I mean, Eggplant Parmesan is absolutely delicious but the gooey Mozzarella I feel just sucks the nutritional value right off the eggplant, haha!

Third, change.

I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t skeptical or even a touch nervous about making such a bold choice to let go of meat and meat products…at least part-time. We both were raised in families that had meat as a part of our daily diet; along with deli sandwiches, spaghetti with meat sauce, or steak and potatoes. As adults, it’s easy to realize how we’ve continued this mentality without much thought. However now that Greyson is in our lives, it’s important for us to begin thinking about how we’re raising him as he relates to food and food choices. In the end, we should be adopting more of the diet we’re feeding him, which includes more fresh veggies and lighter overall recipes.

One documentary in particular that I really enjoyed and learned the most from was Food Choices. In this film Michal Siewierski investigates the true benefits of veganism by asking the most common questions about health and how it relates to only eating a plant-based diet. He enlists the help of various doctors, nutritionists, lifestyle coaches, and real people who have positive health benefits from changing their diets to plant-based. He asks the very questions I’ve had myself and I was astounded to find the answers. This documentary was the catalyst for making a real change for me of which I am already seeing the benefits.

Noticing the benefits.

Over the last month since going plant-based I have noticed a significant difference in how full I feel, how lighter and less bloaty I am, and the amount of energy I have, which helps me keep up with Greyson. I’ve continued to run at least three times a week and with the combination I’ve actually been able to lose about a pound a week, although weight loss isn’t the real goal.

As much as I have really enjoyed this change in diet, I do have the exceptions during the weekend. I enjoy my wine or cocktails and I refuse to give up real cheese. Life is about enjoying every moment we have and my husband and I enjoy it through the love language of food and drink. I don’t feel guilty about these little pleasures of ours, but overall I am extremely happy with making the switch knowing that 90% of our diet is now health conscious and sustainable for both us as a family and the planet.

FAVORITES THUS FAR:

I really enjoy a cookbook that tells it to you straight; as if someone is in your kitchen really kicking your butt and explaining things like a normal person. The recipes look pretty great and already the Fire Roasted Salsa I made yesterday only lasted (barely) 24 hours. We have a couple things on the menu this week from Thug Kitchen like their street tacos, which we’re very excited about. If you haven’t taken a peek at this cookbook I highly recommend you do!

I received this cookbook from Blogging For Books a couple years ago and since I’m serious about going vegan throughout the week I decided to dust it off. We made the Kimchi Dumplings with a Fiery Miso Sauce and it’s one of my husband’s favorites. Who knew you could make a dough wrapper with no milk or eggs! Again, we’re excited to really dive into these cookbooks, as well as the numerous recipes online. If you’re interested, please feel free to follow my Plant-Based Meals board on Pinterest!

 

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Patio Inspirations For Apartment Living

I am so excited about our move – even if that means I’m not too excited about the actual physical aspect of moving. I enjoy packing and organizing, but unpacking and getting a head start on decorating is where my heart truly lies in this whole transition. Our new apartment not only has more square footage, a second level and a bedroom for Greyson, it also comes with two patios! One large patio on the main floor leading out from our living room and a smaller balcony off our master bedroom, which happens to be high enough to see the ocean.

Our larger patio will lend itself to entertaining for us as well as when we have guests; like our out-of-state friends and family this summer. This means we need all new outdoor furniture (here’s where my husband rolls his eyes and hears the money start stacking up, haha) and I am excited to pull a few ideas together in an inspiration board. Because, that’s free.

So, here are my favorite picks and favorite inspirations for our new patio space!

Patio Inspirations For Apartment Living | theprimarilyinspired.com

Patio Dining & Entertaining

It all starts with the seating and outdoor furniture! We plan to use the bar table and two chairs we currently have for our patio for our master bedroom balcony, which is just big enough for a table and chairs that size. This allows us to enjoy a sunset over wine or relax with a book while taking in the gorgeous views of the ocean. The bar table also puts us high up so the ocean is that much more in view.

That leaves us with the main level patio which is large enough for this outdoor dining set. It’s a 6 piece set from Target and on sale for $849.99, which isn’t bad for a table, bench, and four wicker chairs. I read that the bench isn’t all that great from the reviews, but overall those that have purchased it love it. I plan to use the outdoor rug we already own (fingers crossed it’s large enough), but will need new cushions and pillows for the chairs.

I love the navy blue paired with the deep color of the wood table and comes with a hole for an optional umbrella. We have a hand-me-down from a previous neighbor and we’ve loved having it. However, it doesn’t properly fit the stand we bought and tends to lean or fall over, which isn’t good. Plus with the navy colors I, of course, would like to update our umbrella if we lean in that direction (see Sun & Lighting).

Privacy

The way our complex is designed is that we have neighbors that are slightly on the close side when it comes to the patios and distance of apartments. As much as I love our community here, it would be nice to achieve some privacy while outside without coming off too obvious. Other residents I’ve seen use lattice or plants to create a little barrier that won’t get in the way of the sunshine or be an eyesore to others. I would love to use a lattice planter box like this one and either grow a vine plant or attach pots along the lattice as shown in the picture. Since our patio gets plenty of sun I want to bring a lot of greenery to provide a relaxing overall feel while growing some of our own herbs or even veggies.

Green Living

Speaking of greenery, I’m all about decorating using fun planters from *Etsy like these macrame hanging plant holders (I’m even excited to hang these indoors too throughout the house). This rectangular tabletop candle holder using succulents is just adorable and adds a fun touch to the dining area especially if we’re opting out of using an umbrella. Plants and flowers just add a beautiful touch to any space and makes it purposeful at the same time.

*Affiliate link

Sun & Lighting

Where our new apartment will be located in our complex the sun practically shines all day, which is great. Our patio will get a lot of sun, which will make growing and maintaining plants that much easier. One of the two options I had for our patio in terms of providing shade when lounging outside is: a large umbrella or a sun shade/canopy. Either option allows us to keep the patio covered or open, it’s just about how we can do it with the string lights I’d like to use for at night.

These wrapped Edison string lights from Target are just adorable and I can’t wait to hang them on our new patio. During the summers we spend a lot of time eating and lounging outside and these lights will give our space a slight glow. I’m trying to decide whether to string them along the trim (which is most common) or if I can somehow string them so they drape like a canopy across the whole patio (see example below).

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Storage

Storage and organization is key to decorating a purposeful space (and pretty much the driving force behind my husband and I with everything). All of our things need a place and preferably out of sight. Since I plan on having various plants, I’d like to have a storage system that aren’t those plastic gardening boxes to keep my soil, fertilizer, watering can, etc. Because, let’s be real, it also has to be cute and go with the rest of my patio decor. Target offers some cute options and I like this wicker storage bin, which will closely match the chairs I’ve picked out.

Another small detail that I would like to incorporate are these cast iron wall hooks, which I would use for drying our bathing suits or beach towels. Again, we get so much sunlight it would be perfect to use to dry our wet things. I just can’t decide which design I like best!

We aren’t moving for a couple of months, but as you can tell I’m mentally preparing and cultivating various ideas to make our new place feel like ours. Due to the husband finding a job that he loves, and will ensure our staying here in Ventura for the long haul, we feel good about this next move being our last. Now it’s just about finding those unique touches and simple projects that will tie our forever home together, all-the-while maintaining our minimalistic lifestyle.

To see more of my home decor inspirations for both inside and outside decorating, feel free to check out this post which features some of my favorite Etsy shops! These accents are perfect for any home and makes me even more excited to move in the coming months!

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Styling With Stitch Fix | January

Styling With Stitch Fix | January | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Referral links are used within this post, but all opinions are 100% my own.

There’s no better day than when ones Stitch Fix arrives in the mail! I was so excited to receive my box and I couldn’t wait to see what my amazing stylist, Whitney, sent me this go around.

I am going to preface this post with the fact that I returned everything. You read that right: everything.

I didn’t receive anything that I felt as though I could keep, or even exchange for a different size, but that’s also the fun of subscribing to this service. I really do enjoy trying on the different styles my stylist sends me – even in the off chance I don’t purchase a thing. At the very least it lets my stylist know what doesn’t work for me and keeps me realistic about all those Pinterest fashions I pin to my style board.

I learned this go around that although I love certain trends, my body type doesn’t lend itself to fit everything the way it’s projected through others’ fixes or pins. Nonetheless, I appreciate Whitney trying to send me some pretty great clothes options and although I didn’t keep anything from this fix, I had fun trying them on.

So, here is my January fix! Again, because nothing (other than the scarf) fit me well I opted to highlight each piece and how I would have styled it. I think it’s important to always highlight the piece regardless of whether or not I kept it. Style is so subjective and if you find a piece you like here today I hope you request it in your next fix! Which fashions do you like best?

Mystree Adelene Scoop Neck Cable Knit Sweater – RETURN

Mystree Adelene Scoop Neck Cable Knit Sweater | Stitch Fix Review | theprimarilyinspired.com |

I really liked this sweater because of how lightweight it was and the cable knit feature along the front. The fabric was super soft and it’s a piece I really enjoyed. I decided to send it back only because the weather is beginning to warm up here in central California and I am no longer in need of sweaters. Perhaps I’ll request this next fall!

Mystree Adelene Scoop Neck Cable Knit Sweater | Stitch Fix Review | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Threads 4 Thought Nessa V-Neck Knit Tee – RETURN

Unfortunately I wasn’t interested in basic t-shirts from Stitch Fix. I already own a few basic t-shirts and therefore I couldn’t justify the purchase. The color was a nice faded blue and the overall feel of the top was very comfortable and soft. My stylist sent it along to be paired with the joggers for a nice comfy outfit, but in the end I just didn’t need another t-shirt.

Threads 4 Thought Nessa V-Neck Knit Tee | Stitch Fix Review | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Hailey 23 Joel Popover Knit Dress – RETURN

This was the dress I had specifically asked for by name and I was so disappointed that this didn’t fit me right AT.ALL. It looks so cute on practically everyone else but at my current weight and curvyness it just didn’t look very flattering on me. I felt like it ran a touch too small, so my recommendation is to request this in a size larger. At the very least if it’s too big when you try it on, but you love it, you can always exchange it for a size smaller and know it’ll fit well.

Hailey 23 Joel Popover Knit Dress | Stitch Fix Review | theprimarilyinspired.com |

I loved the Aztec design of the dress itself and the popover blouse effect is very flattering. I love this feature and hope I can find another dress or knit tops in the future.
Hailey 23 Joel Popover Knit Dress | Stitch Fix Review | theprimarilyinspired.com |

21 Main Emilia Drawstring Jogger Pant – RETURN

I loved the color of these joggers and were exited to try them on. I love my CottonOn pair that I found on Black Friday, so I was curious to see how these would fit. Again, unfortunately these were too small. This was another piece I wanted to like considering I loved the color and the overall fit, but it was just too small. Perhaps I still need to lose a little bit of the lbs or it’s just not a fit for me at the moment. Nonetheless, if you’re slim and are looking for comfy joggers these are for you!

21 Main Emilia Drawstring Jogger Pant | Stitch Fix Review | theprimarilyinspired.com

Octavia Mallory Stripe Infinity Scarf – RETURN

This was a hard item to return because I so badly wanted to buy it! I have a love for scarves and I absolutely love the colors and lightweight-ness of this particular scarf. I had to return it simply because the weather is beginning to shift to spring here in Ventura and I know that I wouldn’t have many opportunities to wear it. So, this will be another item I’ll have to specifically request next fall/winter.

Octavia Mallory Stripe Infinity Scarf | Stitch Fix Review | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Octavia Mallory Stripe Infinity Scarf | Stitch Fix Review | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Octavia Mallory Stripe Infinity Scarf | Stitch Fix Review | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Do Good #GiveBackBox

You may have seen this campaign around, especially with Amazon and other retailers. Stitch Fix is joining the movement to reuse their boxes for good by donating gently used clothing and housewares to Goodwill. Simply take your old Stitch Fix box and fill it with any items you’d like to donate and what makes it extra convenient is that shipping is already paid for.

**another option is to take your items to a nearby Goodwill storefront so you can get the tax deduction slip for every donation you give.

So, what is so great about Stitch Fix?

Stitch Fix first began as a skeptical leap of style faith. I wasn’t quite sure that some stylist over the internet could really find 5 pieces that would not only fit me, but be looks I’d actually want to wear. For a $20 styling fee I received my first fix and was initially so impressed with how my stylist heard exactly what I was looking for and delivered on it. I still wear a number of those first purchases today (and that was over 2 years ago) and enjoy adding new and fun pieces along the way.

I’ve journeyed with Stitch Fix through the ups and downs of my weight and even through my pregnancy with their maternity styles. Since it’s been a couple of months since my last fix, I was so excited to see that they offer shoes now in addition to a new mens line. This just proves to me that Stitch Fix has a finger on the latest trends, but also keeps the needs of their customers in mind. I can only imaging how they’ll grow and expand into the future!

What about those referral links?

Because I created a free style profile I now have the ability to share my love of Stitch Fix with others. A referral simply allows me to earn a credit of $25, which essentially covers my styling fee for the next time I schedule a fix. Once you create a style profile you are given a special referral link and begin earning your own credits. Why not get a credit for something you use anyways? I am so appreciative to those who use my link because it helps me as a SAHM enjoy the little things. So, thank you.

Which items in this fix are you loving the most? What styles do you gravitate towards?

Linking up with Maria.

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