Four Threads

Newborn Baby Essentials

MotherhoodVeronica ArrietaComment
Newborn Baby Essentials

Olivia turned 3 months last week and I just don't know where the time has gone! She's gotten so big and has gained such a personality. Since becoming a mom, everyone keeps asking if I'm going to start blogging about that. I really want Four Threads to stay as a style and beauty blog, but it's only natural to throw in some "mom" things because it's my reality now. So I've decided to start a series every Monday for all the mommy's out there. This #MommyMonday will be reviews of products, essentials, what's worked and what hasn't, etc. Since I'm a 'new mom,' I'm constantly asking other moms or researching things so wanted to share everything with other mamas out following. 

If you have questions about being a mama that you would love for me to review or talk about for #MommyMonday I would love for you to send me a comment or message.

To kick off the first #MommyMonday, I wanted to share the newborn essentials that I've loved using within the two month of having Olivia. 

BATH

Tub - This tub has been the best purchase. My husband thought I was so  crazy to spend $60 on a bath tub but now after using it he totally gets it and feels comfortable giving our daughter a bath. There are two things we love about this tub: it tells you if the water is too cold or too hot and it runs clean water in while dirty water flows out. Olivia loves bath time and I can honestly give all the credit to this bath! 

Body Wash - I found that Johnson & Johnson dried out her skin to started using Babyganics Baby Shampoo + Body Wash and am totally obsessed. I love the smell and how it's gentle on her skin. I also love that it foams so a little goes a long way! 

Lotion - Our pediatrician told us to stay away from lotion at first because babies skin is so sensitive, but I couldn't help myself after seeing how dry her feet were. I love the baby smell to this!

Hooded Towel - I have a couple hooded towels but this was gifted to us and it might be my favorite so far because it's warm and cuddly (and super cute!!).

Wash Cloths - Perfect to wash their face. 

Brush - My baby has a lot of hair so a brush is a must. I love this Wet brush for babies.

FEEDING

Nursing pillow - I thought this was a marketing-gimmick at first, like why do I need a nursing pillow, can't I just use a regular pillow?! But I got a Boppy Pillow and cover as a gift from and it's been amazing. I used it to sit on the first few weeks after delivery and when I'm nursing or will give to someone else when they're feeding her to give their arm a break. 

Bottles - I'm breastfeeding and pumping so have been bottle feeding her my pumped milk. I've been loving these Dr. Brown's bottles. disclosure they are a pain to wash because there are so many pieces but they do work. 

Burp Cloths - I don't think you can have enough of these...so stack up ladies!! I have them scattered around my house ready to grab incase she spits up. 

LAUNDRY

Drying rack - I was a little clueless to the whole 'you can't put babies clothes in the dryer because they'll turn into barbie clothes.' So quickly invested in a drying rack. 

All Free & Clear Laundry Detergent - I bought the baby laundry detergent at first and almost gagged when I opened it because of the perfumes. So talked to my doctor and got the OK to use my regular detergent as it's free of perfumes and dyes. This also makes things soo much easier because I can throw our laundry and hers all together.  

SLEEP

Velcro swaddle - As cute as the Aden and Ani swaddles are, they just weren't practical for both my husband and I during nighttime changes and feedings. We quickly realized we needed velcro swaddles and have been using the SwaddleMe swaddles and love how quick and easy they are. 

HALO Bassinest - Pre-baby I was going back and forth between this Restoration Hardware Bassinet and the HALO Bassinest but SO glad I went with the HALO Bassinet. The mesh sides are great for the baby to breathe, it has a built in light and sound machine that come in handy, it swivels to the bed, and has pockets so you can put bottles, diapers, burp cloths, etc. 

White Noise Machine - At night we've been using the white noice on the HALO Bassinet but during the day the white noice comes in handy when she's fussy. We bought this one, but I also use this YouTube white noise video on my phone and it works like a charm.

CHANGING

Huggies Little Snugglers Diapers - Hands down my favorite diapers. My favorite thing is the yellow line that turns blue when the diaper is wet, which makes it so easy to tell if the baby needs a diaper change without taking the diaper off.

Uppi Diaper Pail - This pail is so great because it keeps out all the smells. 

Motherlove diaper cream - I bought this on accident thinking it was their Nipple Cream (hello pregnancy brain!) but started using it after Olivia get a little diaper rash and it cleared up better then the Desitin, which also leaves a white residue on the baby's skin. 

Pampers wipes - I have both the Huggies and Pampers wipes but prefer the Pampers as they're a bit softer on a baby's bum. 

PLAY/MISC.

Momaroo - I heard so many mixed things about this - some babies loved it while others hated it. So I made sure to save the box incase our daughter hated it. But, the verdict is out...she loves it. Best baby swing ever! This Mamaroo swing is fancy, it comes with various types of swing motions including a car ride and makes sounds, which you can also connect to your phone to play off there. 

Rock N' Play Sleeper - I love this sleeper! It's great for newborns because their head is at a bit of an incline, it rocks without you having to push it, and it's easily portable so she can sleep in any room.

Bouncer - This is a newer purchase towards the end of two months. My mom bought this when Olivia stayed with her and she loved it. Our daughter loves looking around so this is great because I can put it on the table or kitchen island and have her at eye level with me. She also likes the bouncing...it keeps her very occupied. It also makes sound and vibrates. 

Wubbanub - If your baby will take a pacifier, get a  Wubbanub. They are a lifesaver; like the burp cloths, I have a few upstairs and downstairs. 

Nail file - I haven't quite mustered the courage with nail clippers yet so have been filing her nails when they get too long. 

I know this post is SO long, and I give you props if you've made it this far! Every item I linked is the exact product I used! I really hope this helps a lot of you new mamas because it's certainly helped me. If theres any essentials you're using for 3+months, I'd love to know. :)

What To Wear To Your Newborn Pictures

Motherhood, LifestyleVeronica ArrietaComment
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The day before our newborn photoshoot, I went into pure panic mode thinking I had nothing to wear; but as I opened my closet full of clothes that I hadn't seen in 9 months (and not knowing how things were going to fit), I found a few different options. I also forced myself to fit into my biggest jeans! Mike and I had just moved into our house and literally only have a few pieces of furniture so it was fun to see how Hayley captured it all. 

Just like you're maternity photoshoot, you want to look your best with your new babe, so I've put together a few ideas that will look great on camera and you! Tip: Unlink maternity photos, I would stay clear of anything tight-fitting because girl you just had a baby ~7 days ago!

Light Neutrals

Skip the bright and bold colors and instead go with light neutrals. Don't feel the need to match everyone in white shirts and jeans, you can mix light browns, grays, blush, etc. 

Textures  

Play it up with textures. I love adding textures from sweaters, lace, sheer overlay. embroidery, etc. These types of textures really pick up on the camera as well. I'm wearing this OTS lace top and this Gap textured knit sweater. 

For The Guys

Is your man anything like mine, saying "what do you want me to wear" 15 minutes before your photographer arrives?! I love a simple t-shirt and jeans if you're going for more of a casual look. Again, he doesn't need to match you exactly, just stay in the same neutral color scheme.

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For The Moms: Three Helpful Tips When Taking Newborn Photos

1. If you have the bandwidth and extra hands at home, then get your hair and makeup done! I'm usually not happy with how my hair turns out so did both myself, but if you're not confident doing your hair/makeup yourself or just want to get pampered then get it done girl because you deserve it!! 

2. Wear more makeup than you normally would because the natural light will wash you out. 

3. Make sure you have your nails painted and manicured as they will be photographed. 

Reality vs Expectations Of Having A Baby

Motherhood, LifestyleVeronica ArrietaComment

I'm only 3 weeks into being a Mom and feel like I can write a novel on things I wish I had known before I had a baby. Not necessarily advice about the baby because let's be honest everyday is a learning day, but more so things I needed to understand.

1. Contrary to popular belief, you won’t sleep when the baby sleeps. Even though everyone always says "sleep when the baby sleeps," it just doesn't happen. You'll want to spend time with your spouse, you’ll want to shower, you’ll want to eat, you'll want to work, you'll want to clean, etc. I can legitimately laugh at the thought that I would nap when she naps.

2. You’ll miss your weekly OB visits. Anyone else?! Especially towards the end of pregnancy, when you're going in for your weekly appointments. I loved my OB and nurse and in a weird way miss driving to the appointment and waiting for updates on Olivia. Am I weird for saying this?  

3. You can throw all the books you read out of the window. The ONE book that I actually got some good and honest stuff from was Girlfriend's Guide To Pregnancy.

4. Where do the days go? Babies are the biggest time spenders and you can stare at them all day long. Whether you're changing a dirty diaper, trying to get things done when they nap, or feeding them every 2/3 hours, you'll look at the time and think where did the day go?!

Does anyone else feel this way? I'm sure this doesn't apply to everyone, and if you're a mom that can nap when your little one naps then I applaud you. But I'm just speaking for myself and think it's humorous now looking back.

There are certain things I wanted to hold onto after having a baby - some I've stuck with and others have been harder to keep up with. One thing I've tried to hold onto is getting dressed. Now it doesn't happen every day but I feel more sane when I'm showered, dressed and have makeup on. What are some things you have held onto as a Mom? What helps make you feel more sane and yourself so you can be the best Mom to your little one? 

What To Wear To A Maternity Photo Shoot

FashionVeronica ArrietaComment

White Rachel Pally Dress c/o | Blush Sew Trendy Dress c/o

Deciding what to wear can be a daily struggle when you're pregnant, so let's just add the stress of deciding what to wear to your maternity photo shoot while you're super pregnant and full of crazy hormones. You obviously want to look your best and have your photos come out beautiful, but the struggle is real my friends. If you're searching for the perfect outfit to wear to your upcoming maternity shoot, here are some ideas that will help you look and feel your best, while showing off that perfect bump of yours! 

When we moved to Atlanta in February I was in dire need to find a photographer for maternity and newborn photos so took to Instagram to find Hayley and boy am I glad I did! If you’re in need of a photographer in Atlanta to capture your life’s greatest moments, check out Hayley Johnson Photography!

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What To Wear To A Maternity Photo Shoot 

Flowy Maxi Dress

A flowy maxi dress is perfect for a maternity shoot because it's so comfortable. And we all want to be as comfortable as we can be around 30+ weeks pregnant. It covers up anything you don't want shows but can also show off your baby bump when pulled against your belly. Not to mention the flowy fabric creates a movement in a snapshot. 

A Tight Fitting Dress

I'm all about the tight fitting dresses for maternity shoots. You're only pregnant once-ish (unless your planning on having a few more kids) so rock that baby bump proud Mommy. I love a tight bodycon dress on a pregnant body because it shows all your beautiful curves.  

Two-Outfits

Talk to your photographer about having two outfits for your maternity shoot, you could opt for a casual outfit and a dressy outfit. This will give you options when picking out which photos you want in your house forever. I went with a more casual flowy dress and a dressier tight bodycon dress, and was so excited to see the different shots Hayley was able to take. 

* GIVEAWAY *


I’ve teamed up with Hayley Jo Photography to give YOU a chance to win: $150 Gift Card Card to Rachel Pally or Etsy via Sew Trendy (you choose!), just in time for your maternity photo shoot. 

Here's how to enter:  

1.  Complete the Raffle below.

2.  Follow Four Threads and Hayley Jo Photography Instagram accounts and tag 1 pregnant friend on each account.
This giveaway is open in the United States and runs until 8/3 at 11pm ET.
Winner will be announced here. Good Luck!

My Experience on The Ellen DeGeneres Mother's Day Giveaway Show

Lifestyle, FashionVeronica ArrietaComment

I wanted to give you the inside scoop of what it's like to be in the audience of The Ellen Show Mother's Day Giveaway show. I've also gotten a ton of questions as to how I got on the show, what to wear, etc. so will be going into detail on the whole experience. Let me just preface this post by saying, I am speaking from my experience alone from her Mother's Day Show. 

Also, my photos are mediocre, at best. I had to use my iPhone as opposed to a real camera, but I did my best to sneak in a few pictures as they had a very strict 'no photos policy.'

Let's start from the beginning...How I applied to The Ellen Show's Mother's Day Giveaway?

You apply here on her website. I was checking basically everyday in February and March to see if she had updated it from 2016 to 2017. In April they updated the site to 2017, which was the green light for the first-time-mom's to finally apply. Because of my persistency of checking the site daily, I basically applied the day they listed. 

I filled out the application with all my information, a picture of Mike and I (we used one of these), my due date, social media handles, and then 1500 characters to tell your story. In my story I shared where I grew up, what I do now, how my husband and I met, my pregnancy journey this far, my hopes and plans for our daughter, etc. Then I pressed submit, said a prayer and crossed my fingers.

They got back to be within a few days via email and told me I got on the Mother's Day Show (woohoo!!). I was so giddy with excitement and then we booked out flights to LA right away. They send the ticket to the show via email a week before the show tapes. The ticket included everything from the address, check-in, where to park, dress code, etc. 

What to wear to the The Ellen Mother's Day Show? 

The dress code is nice casual. You may be seen on TV, so you definitely want to look cute! Most of the women wore dresses and a light jacket. I wore a maxi dress, denim jacket, and sandals to the show. 

What happened the day of the show? 

The Audience Waiting Area/check-in area. I've never seen so many pregnant women in my life!!!

The Audience Waiting Area/check-in area. I've never seen so many pregnant women in my life!!!

Prior to the show they tell you to bring the biggest car you have because you never know what you're going to get in gift giveaways. We rented the biggest car in the Hertz parking lot, which just happened to be a Yukon XL SLT. We pulled in to Warner Brothers Studios, Gate 3, parked and went down to the check-in area, which is actually just a section of the parking garage. There were rows of benches, a roped off VIP section, TV screens with Ellen playing in the background. 

For the Mother's Day Show, each first-time-mom has a guaranteed ticket so you need to check-in, which was at 1:30pm for a 3:30pm show taping. I would recommend getting there earlier because they give you a number upon checking-in and that's essentially the order they bring you into the studio. We got there around 1pm and waited in line to get #158, my husband also got a number for the Riff Raff Room so he could watch. 

Closer to 3pm they had everyone line up according to their numbers and took us across the street to the set. The set looked much smaller than I had imagined. The seats were much closer to the stage than it looks on TV. 

The Riff Raff Room where the husbands and +1s sat during the show. This room also has The Ellen Show Shop, where we bought our little girl an Ellen onsie. 

The Riff Raff Room where the husbands and +1s sat during the show. This room also has The Ellen Show Shop, where we bought our little girl an Ellen onsie. 

From where I'm sitting. You can see where Ellen sits :)

From where I'm sitting. You can see where Ellen sits :)

The Ellen Show

This is the only show where they allow the audience members to get up and use the restroom during taping AND have food. You bet I took advantage of the food! :) 

This is the only show where they allow the audience members to get up and use the restroom during taping AND have food. You bet I took advantage of the food! :) 

Twitch came out and got the crowd excited and dancing, then a few minutes later the Ellen-music played, the blue doors parted, and Ellen walked through the doors. Everyone was so excited yelling and clapping. Ellen woo-d back at us, and finally as we quieted down, we took our seats. Ellen looked like Ellen. Ellen sounded like Ellen, only a little bit different since she was microphoned.

She opened up the show with her Mother's Day lingo, then said those two amazing words… ‘let’s dance!’ After the dancing, she didn't waste any time to start giving things away. The celebrity guests were Goldie Hawn and Amy Schumer. 

For the 2017 Mother's Day Show, she gave away: $500 Amazon gift card from Amazon Baby Registry, Amazon Echo, 1-year Amazon Prime membership, 1-year Amazon music unlimited, 1-year supply of Huggies Diapers and Wipes, Babyletto Bingo 3-in-1 crib, Essentia crib mattress, Laurel & Wolf online interior design service, $500 Home Depot gift card, 4moms Moxi Stroller, 4Moms Self-Installing car seat, 4moms car seat adapter, Svan high chair with cushion, $350 Amazon gift card from Plum Organics, 2-night babymoon in Palm Springs, $500 Carter's gift card, and a Kate Spade diaper bag

And then. It was over. The show was done taping. I couldn’t believe how fast it went by. Ellen took the microphone, and expressed her gratitude for us. It was genuine, but short. Then her staff came out and passed out all the gift cards to us, the Amazon Echo, then headed to the car for the second part of the gifts, where they loaded the stroller, car seat, car seat adapter, high chair and diaper bag in everyone's cars. 

The SUV fully packed and loaded with everything from Ellen! 

The SUV fully packed and loaded with everything from Ellen! 

First of all, if you are still reading this, thanks! I know it is a long one, but I wanted to give a detailed account of my experience at The Ellen Show for her Mother's Day Giveaway! Here are some things I realized about the show:

  • Ellen is an entertainer/performer, and an amazing one at that.
  • During commercial breaks Ellen stayed and danced with Twitch and talked to the staff, which pleasant surprise.
  • Ellen mostly addresses the camera, which really gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling when you are watching from home.
  • A lot of the magic that you see in your living rooms, happens in the editing of the show.
  • They will also take anything inappropriate out in editing as well (i.e. Not everything Amy Schumer said was aired).
  • It goes by so quick, so make sure to take in every minute. 

If I missed anything and you have questions, please comment below and I will answer anything else you want to know about my experience on The Ellen Show! xox

You bet we watched the show when it aired Thursday, 5/11 and spotted me!! 

You bet we watched the show when it aired Thursday, 5/11 and spotted me!!