Our Holiday Cards with Basic Invite


It's been a little while since I've popped in on this little blog--life has been crazy, moving to and from Tennessee, having our second little baby boy, buying 100 year fixer upper and working our little tails off to make it our own has left me little free time (where some little rug rat isn't insisting I hold, watch, change, or feed them). So I was pretty impressed with ourselves when we got our act together quick enough for family pictures to make into pretty photo Christmas cards

I guess I should give credit where credit is do! Kels+Michael our photographers basically planned our shoot for us, so that took some of the planning out of it! I'll try and do a post with our favorite pictures and tell you more about them later. You probably want them in your life :)

We decided to try out a new card company since the one we used last year didn't have any cute designs and allowed for no customizations. 

Basic Invite, partnered up with me and I'm so glad they did because one of my main complaints with card companies is that they don't let you change colors or phrases and sometimes I love a design, but it doesn't flow with the colors we're wearing, or I want it to say something specific, but the text is non-negotiable. 

Basic Invite allows you to change pretty much every color in the design and even let's you remove embellishments you may not like in the design. I picked out 3 or 4 of my favorite styles and then put it to a vote on IG stories--thank you all who weighed in! It was close, but this design won. I think people like more zoomed in shots, where you can really see the faces. Plus, it's a super pretty card design!

Another cool thing is you can get a sample of your card before you order them all. But I can attest that the quality is so good! Nice and thick matte paper and the colors are beautiful! I'm very impressed and will definitely use them again in the future.

Oh, and if you're really organized, they have this service called Address Capturing - that allows customers to simply share a link on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other form of social media to request their friends and family’s addresses which will be stored in the customer’s account and can then be selected during the design process. Basic Invite offers recipient address printing at no cost on all Christmas card orders. Or you can input the info yourself and they print the addresses so pretty on the envelopes for you!

They have over 250 designs, so take a look and see if you find your perfect holiday cards-- we've done New Years cards before, so it's not too late!

Right now Basic Invite is offering 15% off with coupon code: 15FF51

So tell me, do you send holiday cards each year? I'd love to see, tag me on Instagram @ashleyanielson so I can see your beautiful familes!!

I could definitely get behind the whole Stamp Collecting thing! They're so pretty, I need to do more snail mail so I have more opportunities to buy stamps!!

A Complete List of Your Postpartum Needs//That everyone is too embarrassed to talk about


Before I had Simon I had gotten all the emails and read all the lists on what you needed to pack in your hospital bag and what things you needed at home. I thought I was set, and I figured if there was anything I was missing once he arrived, I'd just pop out of the house and pick it up from the store. Well none of those lists prepared me for the excruciating healing process my body was going to be experiencing the months after delivery. Granted, I had a pretty traumatic situation, and I know some women who are just bouncing around a few days after delivery, like nothing happened, but my advice would be to assume you may not be those women and you may be like me. Unable to get out of bed without your husband hoisting you out. Taking 5 minutes to carefully and gently maneuver your way down the stairs. Carrying your donut pillow/seat with you in the car, to restaurants, to you in-laws and everywhere in between. It was not pretty and it was a very humbling/humiliating time and I feel like a lot of that was because I just had NO IDEA it could be like that--and for so long.

No matter how wonderfully you recover, your body just went through a hell of a lot. And you'll probably never feel cooler in your life, than when you go through all that and they hand you that amazing and perfect baby at the end. But gosh darn it, your body still has a hell of a lot to do after and so here's an extensive list to make it a little less hard, a little more comfortable, and maybe make you feel a little less awkward talking about those rips and tears and dreaded hemorrhoids that are a lot more common than people are comfortable mentioning.

I put out a mass question on my IG stories last week and I think I had over 100 answers from woman of things they needed or wish they would have had--here were the most common answers!

  • For Healing:
  • Witch Hazel Pads--Like Tucks
  • Peri-bottles in every bathroom (The hospital has them, beg to get sent home with an extra one)
  • Padcicles (Also from the hospital, these are frozen pads that sooth your poor, sore vagina--hoard these!)
  • Hemorrhoid Cream--yup, even if you avoided them through pregnancy, there's a very good chance you'll get the joy of experiencing them from all that hard pushing :/
  • Dermaplast--bluelid (Also from the hospital--ask for extra!)
  • Earth Angels Mama Spray (a natural option)
  • Capsulized Placenta (didn't try this, but I've heard amazing stories regarding milk supply and mental health)
  • Mesh Undies from hospital (just keep requesting more while you're there, so you don't ruin all your underwear when you get home!)
  • Adult Diapers--Depends fit/flex diapers or Depends silhouttes (The pads shift around, so once you're home, I highly suggest just suckin' it up and wearing adult diapers while the discharge is heavy)
  • Maternity undies (I really want to try Thinx brand for when the bleeding isn't so heavy)
  • Donut seat/pillow (the swelling, the stitches and the hemmorhoids do not make a comfortable seat, so these keep that area free of pressure, plus you'll look so fancy, requiring a personal pillow everywhere you go!)
  • Stool Softener/Digestive Support
  • Tushy Bidet (if you're really lucky, those hemorrhoids won't go away for a long time and this is a toilet attachment that keeps things hygienic and irritation free. Europeans have been using these for a looooong time, I'm not sure why we've been so slow to adapt, but I have one, and I attest that they are very cool.)

  • For Breast Feeding/Pumping:
  • Warming Pads and freezer packs for sore breasts
  • Nipple Cream
  • Hands-Free bra if pumping
  • Nursing Basket with Easy snacks and new toys for other siblings (I thought this was such a cool idea, you just pull it out when toddler needs a distraction while you nurse)
  • Nursing Pads--Lansinoh Brand is my favorite!
  • Snacks for mama (that can be opened one-handed and aren't loud to chew)
  • Dry Shampoo
  • Nursing Pillow (your back and neck will experience a whole new level of soreness from nursing, you need all the support you can get!)
  • Milk Catcher (while you nurse on one side, the other breast will just drip and drip and if you're like me, SPRAY!, so these will catch the extra milk so it doesn't go to waste)
  • Burp Clothes (both for spit up and for wiping up the milk that drips from your boobs)
  • Water Bottle that keeps water cold in every room (gotta stay hydrated to keep your milk supply up!)
  • Comfy nursing chair
  • For Changing:
  • Puppy Potty Pads (for boy moms especially--for the first month, S would pee EVERY SINGLE TIME we opened his diaper. We started keeping stacks of potty pads around where we'd change him, we'd throw one under him so when he started to wiz, we could throw a corner over him and avoid the major clean up. I always stick some of these in shower gifts if they're having a boy)
  • Night Lights
  • So many diapers
  • Extras:
  • Pre-Written Thank you notes
  • Frozen Breakfast Burritos/waffles/overnight oats (you get lots of dinners brought in, but not a lot of breakfast options, so something to think about!)
  • Fresh fruit and veggies (Most of the dinners that were brought to me were delicious, but rich and creamy with not a lot of fresh stuff, so I was majorly craving just a big bowl of cut of fruit or veggies and dip!)
Comment anything we missed! Happy healing!

© i believe in unicorns. Maira Gall.