// What's In My Doula Bag

I'm a total sucker for the "What's In My Bag" posts... Maybe I just like being nosey, but I dig seeing what folks carry around with them. Since I've been busy doing the whole doula thing as of late I thought it'd be fun to share what I carry with my in my doula bag. Notice how there's no fancy gadgets or gear really? While it's not rare for me to go into a birth (or postpartum shift) with nothing in tow, this is what I tend to keep handy in my car.

My tried-and-true keepers:

// The Bag: The perfect doula bag is not too big, and not too small. Bonus points if it's not totally ugly, too haha! Sometimes that's a tall order. I use this Eva leather tote bag because it's pretty much the best of everything. It doesn't look like a "work" bag, so it doubles as a really great purse, too. And it doesn't get dirty from being thrown around my car or ending up on the floor somewhere.

// The Sling: I always have a baby carrier (or three) in my car. Always. While I'm an avid babywearer and I will always cherish those days with Linden, our wearing days are pretty much over. However I always keep a sling in my car because they're my favorite type of baby carrier, and they come in *so* handy for postpartum clients (or even at the postpartum visit for labor clients). I love teaching my clients how to babywear! Ring slings also come in handy for things like hip squeezes if you don't have a traditional rebozo (bedsheets work also!). This gorgeous sling is the Summer Rainbow from Hip Baby Wrap (I have a size 6 woven wrap from them, too -- this one actually -- and it was such a great learning wrap. Not too thick, not too thin.)

// The Lens: While birth photography isn't part of my doula duties, and it's not something I do always, I sometimes have my camera handy in my bag, and I'll snap a few shots here and there of clients if they want. Even if I only have my iPhone handy, I know how precious those moments are and if I can give a family a photo they'll cherish, I'm happy and eager to do so. This guy is my trusty ol' Nikon D300s.

// The Juice: With labor clients I live an on-call lifestyle. Luckily I have a partner to split call with, but I do one week on call, one week off. We alternate to allow the other to have at least a little bit of a life haha! But because I'm on call so often and I have a tiny window of time to get to the birthing location, my phone always has to be charged. ALWAYS. I always keep a backup battery pack with me. This one is the myCharge HubPlus power bank and it can fully charge my phone 4 times. It plugs straight into the wall and it has a built in lightning cable and micro USB cable for charging different devices. I cannot sing the praises of this thing enough. I used to always buy those single charge power banks but then get frustrated that I needed my charger cord *plus* a charging base if I wanted to charge it. I probably have no fewer than 6 random little power banks because I always forget one piece of the equation. This thing is an all-in-one heaven send. It can charge my iPad, too.

// The Cash: Parking tolls, hospital vending machines and/or cafeteria food, whatever. Cash is always necessary to have on hand for labors. I'm not typically a cash-carrying kind of gal but I've learned to change my ways thanks to needing tangible dollars a few too many times.

// The Snacks: Snacks! Always snacks! Labors can be long. Overnight postpartum shifts can be long. And I can get hungry so. I usually keep a bottle of water and some crackers or a mini thing of granola in my doula bag. 2am is a little more manageable if you're not starving haha

// The Deets: Music City Doulas business cards. Always on hand for random opportunities. OB ask for your info? Meet an L&D nurse out and about? Someone asks you what a doula is? Boom. Biz card all up in that. They're pretty too, right?

That's it. My doula bag. No fancy gadgets to hear heartbeats or turn babies because that's 110% outside my scope of practice. I'm there for the emotional/physical/informational support, not to provide medical advice or procedures. To be honest, my hands are plenty enough and often the only tool that gets used. Still, I like to feel prepared just in case the need arises. It's a definite honor to be invited into such an intimate and sacred space. I really love being a doula.

xo KB

PS! Next month (May 27th) is our 2nd annual Nashville Diaper Dash! It's a 5k race and a 1 mile family fun run, and we'll have a bouncy house, face-painting, etc etc! It's a super family friendly event and the race is even stroller-friendly. Each year we raise money (and diapers!) for Nashville Diaper Connection, a non-profit here serving the families of Music City. Last year we collected 12,000 diapers for NDC, but this year we're aiming for even more. If you can't attend our event but want to help a wonderful cause, please consider donating some diapers to our efforts! 100% of profits from our event go straight to Nashville Diaper Connection, along with every. single. diaper. donated. This is an event we're really really proud of and we'd be so grateful if you considered contributing or at least sharing with your friends! If you're not local but want to help, you can buy diapers off of our Music City Doulas Amazon page and they'll go straight to our collection! 

Here's the Facebook event page if you're interested in joining us!

// Things I Love Thursday v.287

this gorgeous kitchen ♥
this fun packaging ♥
this neat whale sketchbook spread ♥
this fun no. 2 pencil packaging ♥
♥ these novelty cookies - unicorns and breakfast treats! ♥

♥ these "quiet" heels - i actually own these but there are other styles too ♥
these pastel dutch doors! ♥
this fun birthday party ♥
these jellyfish lights ♥

the baby cubby website/registry ♥
I recently got a gift certificate for Baby Cubby and I bought the boys all kinds of fun gadgets. Well, most of the items were age-appropriate for Linden, but I racked up on Hape toys and even got L his own makeup set so he'd stop playing in mine haha! They have a little bit of everything - baby gear, clothing, toys, etc. so I guess their tagline is on point ha

this book ♥
As a doula I work with an endless variety of clients, each with their own story and experiences. Pregnancy and infant loss is not an uncommon occurrence, but it's one that not a lot of people know about unless it happens close to home. In an effort to best serve my clients I scored an advanced copy  'Expecting Sunshine' by Alexis Marie Chute to read. If you're in birth work or have experienced loss yourself, I can't recommend this book enough. 

// When you get your period... hahahaha!

// Don't forget to support the Earmo Indiegogo campaign! Help get it funded!

xo KB

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// Things I Love Thursday v.286

A day late... again. But this time I had a gnarrrrrly case of strep. That has not been fun...
Things I Love Thursday
this stunning typography ♥
Things I Love Thursday
♥ this rad collage ♥
Things I Love Thursday
this blueberry mojito ♥
Things I Love Thursday
this bomb creative direction ♥
Things I Love Thursday
this WHOA milkshake ♥
Things I Love Thursday
♥ this MOM flash ♥
Things I Love Thursday
♥ this rad sandbox playhouse ♥
Things I Love Thursday
these brand new tattoos !!! ♥
Things I Love Thursday
these adorable cookies ♥
Earmo Smart Thermometer
this smart thermometer just went live on indiegogo ♥
I actually have this thermometer - with all the packaging in chinese (i think?) haha! It's *really* nice though (and the funded product would be packaged in english obviously)! As a doula and a mom I like to be in the know on all the snazzy gadgets and gear, and this little thing didn't disappoint. I didn't realize, before operating it, that everything shows up with little LED indicator lights on the front of the thermometer, because it looks like it's solid white plastic. That was a neat feature! It has 1-second results and a corresponding app, too. The ability to swipe and compare to the most recent reading is great if you're tracking someone's temp. I actually used this to convince myself to *finally* go to the doctor on Thursday morning because I most definitely have a gnarly case of strep. That 102* fever was the pits. Anyway - You can snag it for over 50% off if you back their crowdsourcing campaign, FYI! It looks like it will *definitely* get funded which is awesome.

// Sale alert: Get 20% off everything (under $500) - including sale items - at Shopbop! If you spend over $500 then you get 25% off everything! If you need any ideas: awesome pool floats, fun enamel pins and overalls should get you started! (The sale has been extended until 11:59 PST Sunday April 16th!)

// Steampunk sculptures from trash... these are pretty freaking neat!

// Pro Tip: If you have kiddos who love to play with toy vehicles, you should totally get some of this Play Tape stuff! I have a couple rolls (and curves!) for the boys, and you can even peel it up and reapply it. Praiiiiiise being able to do away with those awful and huge Hot Wheels tracks haha

// Get paid to give your opinion - side cash, holllla!

xo KB

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// Financial Confidence as a Single Mom

Well, I've officially been a single mom for a year now. Whoa. Twelve whole months of just me and those two goons around here. I can tell you exactly how much of it has been easy: zilch. Nada. Nuhnuvit. Obviously one of the biggest obstacles single parents face is finances. All of a sudden I was solely responsible for 100% of our living expenses, but with only half of the income. Couple that with being an independent contractor for work (but your spouse was half of that work team) and you've got yourself a doozy of a pair. Financial confidence? I didn't have much of it last year. One thing became very clear to me early on though - I needed to get my butt in gear and learn some discipline then figure out how to make it work. My knowledge didn't come from desire to learn more about personal finances because it sounded interesting, it came out of sheer necessity. Fear dominated my thoughts around being a single parent to two kids.

Now that I'm a full year in I can say that, while I'm still no Dave Ramsey, I have a much better understanding of what all those acronyms stand for and why it's smart to utilize reward points and rebates on cards, and all of that good stuff. I started by reading a couple books that friends or family had loaned out to me (like 'The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous, and Broke' and 'How to be Richer, Smarter, and Better-Looking Than Your Parents') and I pored over Pinterest and the abundance of "millennial finances" posts and e-books. Finally, at the very end of February, I was able to start each of the boys their own savings accounts for college (or whatever path they embark on post-high school.) It's a little thing, but it's a big thing at the same time. There isn't a whole heck of a lot in either one of them haha - but it's a start. It's something that I was able to do for them on my own. It's something I can 110% say I'm proud of and that gives me a great deal of confidence. The rest of it I'm still figuring it out as I go along. Being a creative freelancer and IC means I'm tasked with taking care of all my own retirement and 401k stuff, health insurance, etc. Now that I'm less than a year away from my 30s I'm starting to recognize how important all of that stuff really is. Some of it still leaves me shaking in my boots a little, but like I said, one step at a time! All it took was reaching that first benchmark to ignite some type of mama bear determination or something, because now I'm a mama on a mission!

I'm partnering with SunTrust to share a small part of my story in hopes that you'll think about your own and then be encouraged to ~move on up~ in the realm of personal finances. Whether you've paid cash for a large purchase or simply stuck to last month's budget, we all need that something to be proud of when it comes to money matters. Financial confidence will look different for each and every one of us. Those two little savings accounts are my pride for the moment. What about yours? For fellow millennials, the economic climate is so vastly different than it was for our parents. Many (read: most) of us weren't taught basic personal finance skills in school. (Which, by the way, is ridic! Sure, I'm totally more likely to utilize my knowledge on chemical nomenclature as opposed to, you know, something more practical like creating a household budget... haha) Our generation are at the stage where we want to buy houses and have families and actually invest money in something with more staying power than a cup of overpriced coffee. How do we do that though? The answer for most of us is to figure it out ourselves. Look for the resources around you, and arm yourself with the knowledge on how to navigate some of life's sticky situations.

We are responsible for our ourselves, but that doesn't mean we have to do it by ourselves. That's why SunTrust created their onUP Movement last year. To coincide with Financial Literacy Month (April, obviously), it's the perfect time to talk about financial confidence. . They're asking people to join them in an effort to inspire other Americans to take a step toward their own financial freedom. My little piece of advice: create BIG goals, with smaller benchmarks along the way. Why not dream big? If you can't dream big, you can't reach big. Your goal might seem intimidating at first, but if you lay it out in steady increments then your confidence will simply snowball toward the finish line. Having the check-in points along the way will help ensure that you're on the right track and allow you to make changes before you get too far in. Check out the onUp Movement and join over 1.4 million other folks, not unlike me and you, on a quest for financial confidence.

xo KB

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This post was sponsored by SunTrust. Thanks for supporting the brands
and businesses that help support This Charming Life.

At SunTrust Bank their purpose is lighting the way to financial well-being. When you feel confident about your money, you can save for your goals and spend knowingly on what matters most to you.  

The onUp Movement is 1 million strong…and growing. onUp is about having the confidence to move forward one smart step at a time.

Join now and start building your financial confidence today.

Join the movement


This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SunTrust. The opinions and text are all mine.

It’s important that if you want to be confident financially, you have the correct information and understand that no matter how you make your money, it’s a valid method. What we mean by this is that there are some people out there who are going to judge you for the ways that you are doing life, but these people should be ignored. If you can make money selling foot pics online as a side hustle, you go for it! Use this money to set yourself up for the future!

// Things I Love Thursday v.285

I know... it's Friday. To be fair, this was supposed to go up yesterday. I should really switch blogging platforms...

these signs on our dixie league dugouts ♥
Things I Love Thursday via This Charming Life
this adorable freaking bag! ♥
Things I Love Thursday via This Charming Life
this illustrator ♥
Things I Love Thursday via This Charming Life
♥ this neon sign needs to get in my house STAT ♥
Things I Love Thursday via This Charming Life
♥ this stunning tattoo (source?) ♥
Things I Love Thursday via This Charming Life
this llama painting ♥
♥ this photo (+ every photo) by cassie rosch via daisynatives
this local nashville artist ♥

♥ me, 24/7 ♥
happiest in nashville... literally the softest shirt i own ♥

"It wasn’t just my marriage that was over, it was me. I was done with not being happy, with not being the woman I truly am, and with not living a life that felt connected to my soul.  
In truth, it was me that broke long before my marriage did—and so I had no other choice but to break it so that I could find myself again—and perhaps really for the first time."

// Did you know there's an actual rosé festival?! Pinknic, I need to be in you.

// I just got this swimsuit in the mail via AMI Clubwear and holy crap it's so cute. The racerback tank top style matched with the high waisted bottoms is definitely my jam. Also super digging the contrast between the black and white striped top and the peach bottoms! And it's currently 50% off! 

// Trends I'm loving right now: tassles and pom poms! and jungle/wild animal themed bags.

// Try this: Make Ahead Smoothies.

// I am feeling absolutely everything about Marc Jacobs' latest stuff.

"For a long time, I held onto anger and resentment for things people had done to me. Forgiving someone doesn’t mean we let the bad behaviors continue. It means we create boundaries, but also understand that people are who they are and we cannot change them. We can only change our reaction to them, how often we spend time with them, and whether or not we let it go. I try to be like the ocean. I may have a wave of anger, but it comes and then goes just as quickly."
// Looking for a (legit) way to make a couple extra bucks online? This site has all kinds of surveys and stuff to get in on!

// ICYMI: How to get Festival Ready // Zappo's Friends With Benefits Recap // Weekly Recap v.4

xo KB

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// How To Get Festival Ready!

How To Get Festival Ready! // This Charming Life
It's festival season, y'all! There's just something about seeing some of your favorite bands with tons of other people. Going to a concert or show is one thing, but going to a festival is a whole other ballgame. There are so many people, so many bands, so much going on! My favorite thing about festivals is the energy. Festival goers, in my experience, tend to be more laid back about things when they're floating from one stage to another. Plus there's just something so enjoyable about bringing blankets, chairs, tents, whatever. In an effort to get you ready for your next favorite festival, I'm sharing a few products you might enjoy!

How To Get Festival Ready! // This Charming Life


P.J. Salvage has always made super cute pajamas - I had a couple pairs myself! - but now they have a range of apparel that can take you from day to night, while never sacrificing comfort. This loungewear is perfect for any and every lifestyle. The bottoms I have above are some of the softest pants I've ever put on my body. The fabric is super lightweight and breathable, which is a must for festivals in the warmer months. Both my tank and my pants are from the Hello Sunshine collection - if you get a chance to see me in them, come pet my pants. For real. It's wild how soft and cozy they are.

How To Get Festival Ready! // This Charming Life


Coconut oil! Coconut oil! I can hear the collective internet chanting the powerful properties of coconut oil! If coconut oil can't fix it, nothing can, right? I have a love-hate relationship with coconut anything. I love the smell, but I am not a fan of the taste. At all. So I guess it's a good thing I'm not eating this shampoo... haha Hair care products are my favorite type of product to test out. There are so many great options out there, and these products from Renpure are top notch. They're super hydrating (obviously, because that's in the name haha) and they leave you smelling like summer. Summer smells good, y'all. The Black Label collection from Renpure combines the hydrating properties of coconut and the smoothing properties of bamboo fibers to leave you with silky, smooth hair. Since we're petting pants I'll go ahead and say sure, you can smell my hair :P

How To Get Festival Ready! // This Charming Life


In my first Babbleboxx post I shared a personal IPL hair removal device that has totally changed the game when it comes to being smooth all over - except my tattoos. And I have a few of them... but these right here! These Nad's wax strips are like the missing piece to my regimine! While I still totally plan on sharing an additional review of the IPL device, I'll go ahead and say that these are the perfect partner-product in my quest to be smooth and silky! The strips themselves are salon-quality and they're infused with both pomegranate and grapefruit extracts which make them ideal for sensitive skin. They're also super handy for those of us who want to cut down on our prep time for heading out the door - they exfoliate while they wax. I've been using these on the larger tattooed areas of my legs and hot dang! Y'all might want to rub on my legs after you pet my pants and smell my hair hahaha! This is getting weird, isn't it?

How To Get Festival Ready! // This Charming Life


Like in my original Babbleboxx, Clear Eyes Pure Relief Multi-Symptom eye drops are here to save the day! Nothing ruins a selfie like red, irritated eyes. While dust and wind whirl around you and your sweet dance moves, this little bottle is sure to come in handy. This Clear Eyes product is the first preservative-free multi-dose bottle at retail in the US, so if you're conscious about what goes in your peepers, this might be the ticket. This unique formula was designed to relieve red, burning, itchy, dry, irritated, gritty, and/or watery eyes... for up to 12 hours. Grab a bottle or three and toss them in your purse/car/bathroom. -- There's a $3 coupon available here if you want to try them out!

How To Get Festival Ready! // This Charming Life


High on the list of things I love: sour candy, gummy candy. Now we're talking sour, gummy candy! The Ragin' Reds bites from Sour Punch were going to be absolutely delicious, I already knew it (and they were!). But the Pineapple-Mango-Chili straws... I wasn't sure. Rarely do I meet a pineapple-flavored edible that I don't like, but this combination just sounded odd. DUDE. Consider me a convert. The mango and pineapple were both very apparent, but the chili was a bit more subtle. It was definitely there and I could almost feel a bit of "warmth" from the candy, but it was never over the top or anything. Just the perfect amount of spice. The balance of flavors in the straws is pretty impressive, not gonna lie. The Ragin' Reds included the new raspberry flavor and it was definitely my favorite from the mixture. Swing by Target and grab a bag for yourself! They make for the perfect purse/backpack treat.

How To Get Festival Ready! // This Charming Life


LaCroix! Luh-croy...Luh-cwah... How do you say it? It's not uncommon for me to have 3 cases of LaCroix in my fridge at any given moment. And lucky for me, the Pina Fraise (Pineapple Strawberry) flavor is my absolute favorite! The flavor is bolder than many of the others, which is really nice since we're talking about 100% sparkling water here. The best part? Absolutely no caffeine, calories, fat, sweeteners, or sodium... just pure, innocent flavor! Holla! Simple, refreshing, bubbly goodness. 

How To Get Festival Ready! // This Charming Life

So there you have it! 6 easy and quick ways to be festival ready this season! Have you gone to any festivals lately or have any planned? Do you have any tips or tricks you'd like to share?

xo KB

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This post was sponsored by Babbleboxx and Single Edition Media. 
All words, photos, and opinions are my own - promise!