So before I cheers to a new year, I've got some favorites to share.


Naan pizza - I ate this stuff all the time from about 6 to 10 weeks postpartum. It was quick and easy, and when paired with a side salad, it felt heathy enough for a full meal.

Cape Cod Chicken Salad - another postpartum favorite (spoiler alert: there will be a theme here). I was literally eating this everyday throughout the summer. I absolutely couldn't get enough! It's from Costco, and there were times I made a Costco run with baby in tow just to get stock up on some more. I was buying two at a time. I was having it for lunch, dinner, snack, second dinner... did I mention I absolutely couldn't get enough? I think the reason I started craving it was because it was my first real meal postpartum in the hospital. I was looking at the menu of sad hospital food, and the chicken salad sandwich was the only thing that sounded halfway decent. I was pleasantly surprised, and I left the hospital wanting more. Then, my team at church did a mealtrain for us once I was home, and one of the lovely ladies brought a big batch of chicken salad from Chicken Salad Chick, and she paired it with...

Publix French Hamburger Buns - I had never tried these before, but once I did, I was hooked. When I re-upped on the aforementioned chicken salad, I also had to get more of these. So that meant I was going to Costco for chicken salad, and then straight to Publix for the buns. I was a fiend!

Plain Pringles - I'd also get these in bulk from Costco, and they were a great finishing touch to my favorite meal. J would make an actual dinner, with fresh-cooked food, and I'd be like "I think I just want some chicken salad," and I'd pull out the tub of chicken salad and one of the snack size pringles. It was wild for me because all throughout my pregnancy, all I had were aversions. Nothing tasted quite as good as it once did. I was cheated, bamboozled, HOODWINKED! It was nice to finally have real cravings again, so was ready to oblige.

Stella Rosa Rose - once I dropped my load in May, the first thing I was really looking forward to was a glass of wine. Unfortunately, I had so much postpartum swelling from all the fluids they pushed during labor (mentioned in this post). I didn't want to add alcohol to the mix and make things worse, so it took a good month or so until I finally felt well enough for a glass. We had gotten a bottle of Stella Rosa Rose during a Christmas gift exchange last year, and I remember having to watch J drink the whole thing on my behalf. It was a sad moment. So as soon as it was wine time, I went on the hunt for that same bottle, and it was just as good as it looked when J was drinking it. So I bought more, and sometimes I'd buy 2-3 bottles at a time. I used to be very picky about rosé. Lower ABV, more recently bottled vs. aged, etc. All I cared this year is that my rose was made by Stella Rosa. Period.

Sourdough Bread - The tangy texture of sourdough just makes every sandwich, piece of toast and cruton so. much. better. It's become a grocery list staple this year, and I buy a loaf pretty much every week.

Califia Farms Cold Brew - This one slid in last minute. I was making my own cold brew for a few months over the summer using a french press, but I got tired of the cleanup and decided to just throw some money at the problem. I've tried a handful of other brands (Chameleon, Stok, Starbucks), but none have as good a flavor as the Califia Farms.

Kale Salads - I had to have something healthy to round out this list, and kale salad is it. Anywhere we went, if there was a kale salad on the menu, I was trying it.


French Press - I never thought I'd be a french press user. I'd see people use them on Youtube when illustrating their morning routines, but it just seemed like it took too much effort. I was a fool! Thank God Meredith bought me one, because I have seen the light. I don't quite understand why, but the coffee tastes so much smoother from the french press. It's my favorite way to make coffee on the days I'm working from home. It makes my mornings feel more luxurious and intentional.

Metal Straws - I am officially a metal straw convert.

My Swing Chair - I wrote about it in this post.


Dock a Tot - Surprisingly, I don't have very many baby favorites, but this thing was an absolute must have. It's plush, portable and easy to clean, and Gabriel loved napping in it up until about 6 weeks. Then he got the itch to explore and couldn't stand lying down - pun intended.

Glass Bottles - Another easy-to-clean favorite, my mom bought a handful of glass bottles fo us to use, and even though I had a whole bunch of others, we mainly stuck with those. Gabriel likes his milk warm, not room temperature, not lukewarm, warm. The glass holds the heat well, so we didn't have to keep re-warming the bottle if he took breaks mid-feed.

Target Diapers - Before having a baby, I didn't think I'd be picky about diapers, but they are not all created equal. Pampers are the most expensive, and they keep baby's bum too dry in my opinion; they were drying out his skin. Huggies leaked like crazy, and it took me two boxes to finally realize Gabriel didn't have a super soaker bladder; it was just the diapers. The Costco brand were basically Huggies without the label, so those were also a fail. I finally tried Target's Up & Up diapers about 3 months in and loved them. They don't leak. They don't keep him too dry, they absorb the perfect amount of moisture, and they're honestly the best price around town. I'm buying a box of these for every new mom from here on out, so they can at least try them for themselves.


Fabletics Powerhold Leggings - I bought the 7/8 length, which fit me like regular leggings because that's what happens wen you're short. They held in my tummy and made me feel so supported post c-section. It took a while for them to actually feel comfortable against my skin, but once they did, I wore them every day. Even in the dead of summer in Atlanta. I just kept rotating my 2 pairs over and over again, and even now, after well over 100 washes, they've held up so well. I'll be buying more for sure next year.

Microsuede Pointed Ballet Flats - I regretted buying these the first few times I wore them. They hurt my feet so bad, even with bandaids around my heels, but once they were broken in, they became my everyday work shoe. Love them.


Chattanooga with my boys - Wrote about it here.

Starting to feel like me again - This happened at around 10 weeks postpartum, and ironically I got my period a few days later. I guess that familiar feeling I was feeling was really PMS? Who'd've thought PMS would feel so... comforting.

Brunch with my blog baes - I didn't blog this, but I finally met Setarra in person, in real life, and she's just as amazing as I knew she'd be. It's my turn to visit her in DC now! Valla was with us as well, and we all had such a great time chatting and eating all the donuts. Setarra, Valla, if you ladies are reading this, pleeeeeaaaase come back to your blogs. I miss them.


Nivea Creme - This was on my favorites list from last year, and this was the the year my skincare routine went out the window. After a long day, I just couldn't be bothered. I'd wash my face while I was in the shower and then massage this cream into my skin and call it a night. I use it for everything: face, body, cuticles and baby. I keep a tin (the blue one, not the white one, there's a big difference!) in my nightstand, my purse, my car, the diaper bag, the bathroom drawer and a kitchen drawer.

Cera Ve Face Wash - This is another from last year's favorites list, and I love it so much that I haven't tried another one all year; I just keep buying it over and over again. The foaming version is my favorite, but the hydrating one is good, too.

Eau Rose Solid Perfume - Does this count as skincare? I'm not sure where else to put it. I've never owned a solid perfume before now, and I'm not sure I'll buy the regular spray stuff again. Roll-on oils and the solid versions last on my skin so much longer, and they smell way more subtle.


Scarf Scrunchies - I mentioned how I couldn't be bothered with skincare, but I also had little patience for my hair. Scrunchies with scarf detailing made it look like I actually tried when all I really did was pull it back in a bun or ponytail.

Satin Scrunchies - If I wasn't using a scarf scrunchie, I was using a regular satin one. I bought a 3-pack from Macy's about a year ago, and they've held up very well, even after multiple rounds in the washing machine and dryer (one of them snapped, but the other two are holding on strong).

Microfiber Turban Towel - For the times I can't be bothered to dry my hair after washing it, I just throw it in this overnight and deal with it the next day.


Ready or Not (2019) - I wanted to see this in theaters so badly when it first came out, but spare moviegoing time is rare these days. I finally watched it last month, and it exceeded my expectations. It was such a fun take on the horror genre. I'd even recommend it to those who don't care for horror movies - more cheeky than scary.

Chernobyl (2019) - Whew, chile. This one is not for the faint of heart. It has taken me months to finish the whole thing because it's such a sad story; I could only take it one episode at a time. It was sending my anxiety through the roof! Even still, I had to keep going. The storytelling is brilliant, and it gives a real look into what happened during and after the disaster.

Stay With Me by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ - I fell into a reading slump this year, for a variety of reasons, but I read this book way back in January and it has stuck with me all year. It's a heartbreaking nontraditional love story and truly a fantastic read from cover to cover. (Trigger Warning: pregnancy and infant loss)

Julia Trotti - I love all her behind the scenes photoshoot sessions on YouTube. She mainly shoots Canon and Sony gear, so I don't necessarily get usage tips, but watching her videos give me such inspiration.


Fujinon 27mm f2.8 Pancake Lens - This little baby is a workhorse. It has mixed reviews online, and I did lots of research before taking the plunge on the purchase, but I'm so glad I went for it. It makes my camera even more portable and compact, and it takes beautiful pictures.

Kitchen Shears - I bought these because I was tired of how long it took to cut up different meats while I was prepping food throughout the week. Using kitchen shears is so much quicker and easier on my hands.

photo credits
Ready or Not (2019) image via Vox