let’s talk diapers

Good afternoon! I am really excited about today because 1. I have my maternity shoot tonight and 2. this post talks about something I am far too enthusiastic over—cloth diapers! I never really thought I would get this excited talking about something that is essentially a vehicle for pee and poop but ever since I found out I was pregnant I was determined to find out every thing I could about cloth diapering. Now I am not about to get all activitst on you. Yes, I love mama earth and the thought of more diapers piling up in landfills and not decomposing hurts my heart but that is not the only reason why I am so obsessed. I am frugal! And very stubborn. Also if you haven’t heard, babies are really freaking expensive.

Now, my mother attempted cloth diapering me when I was a baby but was quickly fed up with the messy folding, giant pins, and covers. She cautiously warned me that I would have enough on my plate when the baby is born so maybe that was not the best idea. My mother-in-law laughed at the thought saying I would last about a day. Then again, she told me I had cankles last weekend. Isn’t that sweet? My husband looked at me like I was crazy. My sister told me she would not be changing any diapers if I went that route. Determined to prove them wrong, I decided to research cloth diapering like no other and find a way to make it work for my family.

Here is what I have found:

On average, using disposable diapers costs a family about $1,900.00. On the high end, using a more eco-friendly disposable, you are looking at spending around $3,000.00 until the little one is potty trained. Of course that price all depends on how many times you change diapers and when the child is potty trained. But you get the idea! Then, if you have another child, you have to spend that money all over again. Yikes!

With cloth diapers, you can get all of the diapers you need for around $400.00, including washing costs. It should be noted that there are several types of cloth diapers out there with lots of different price points. For example, some cloth diapers can get as pricey as $1,600.00, including washing costs. However, you can use them for any other babies you may have in the future or you can even sell them when you are finished.



The cheapest route for cloth diapering is using prefolds with covers. Prefolds are what I like to call the OG of cloth diapers. They are usually a large piece of fabric folded (thus the clever name) into thirds, wrapped around your baby’s bum, secured with a clip, and then wrapped in a diaper cover. You could also layer the fabric itself into the cover and not use a clip (as seen above). You will need several different size waterproof diaper covers as your child grows but you certainly do not need as many covers as you do inserts.



Now, I was ready to go with the prefold option until I found out about the lovely world of one size all-in-one diapers by Bum Genius. These award winning clothing diapers are essentially the insert and cover all-in-one. The absolute best part about this particular style is that they grow with your baby so you do not need to buy a bunch of different sizes. Seeing as convincing my family to use cloth diapers was already a challenge, the fact that the simplicity of these sold them instantly says something. The prefolds…not so much. With the all-in-ones you basically wipe them clean of waste and toss them in your diaper pail, wash, and dry. No stuffing, no layering. Keep in mind these are a large cost upfront at about $17.00 a diaper but again, they will work for any other babies we may have. I added this style to our baby registry and we received about a dozen as gifts, which is a great start to our collection and may even be sufficient once he grows into them.



You see, the only downside to my beloved Bum Genius diapers is that they will most likely not fit my baby when he is a newborn. They usually work best for babies that are about 2 months old (unless you have a big baby). Luckily, Jill from Baby Rabies, my cloth diapering guru, has a great suggestion for newborn cloth diapers—rentals. For around $200.00 you can rent 24 Kissaluvs (highly rated) fitted newborn-sized diapers. Once you are done, you send them back and you receive your choice of a $100.00 cash credit or $110.00 store credit. Pretty cool, right? The Kissaluvs do require a diaper cover but since I decided on renting these months ago I added them to my registry and someone kindly purchased them for us as gifts.

Overall, I am going into this whole cloth diapering adventure really excited and hopeful but not naive. There are many other cloth diapering options and I picked the ones that I see working best for our family. I do have some disposables on hand that I received as gifts just in case. Plus, when we travel and are without access to a washer and dryer I will probably rely on disposables. But I feel pretty confident about my ability to cloth diaper my bambino. Am I freaking out about all the added laundry? Not really. I took care of enough babies to realize that when you have kids, you do a lot of laundry anyway.



As far as other diapering needs, I have a standard garbage pail I bought from Target lined with a Planet Wise washable liner for used diapers. I can even throw the liner in the washer with the diapers. Eventually, I plan on using cloth wipes but I am going to start slow. Until then, I am open to suggestions or helpful hints with cloth diapering.


P.S. Totally off topic but there is the gorgeous giveaway going on over at E Tells Tales. If you haven’t checked out her blog, please do. She is easily one of my favorite bloggers!

work it out

Before I was pregnant, I worked out pretty intensely. My husband has always been very active so working out was also something we did to spend time together. Whether I was taking a spin class, hot power yoga, or just lifting weights at the gym, I was always finding a way to sweat once a day. I love the way working out makes me feel!

Once I found out I was pregnant, I knew that I would not give up on working out altogether (unless my doctor recommended that I do) but I would have to scale back significantly on the intensity. I had to say goodbye to my beloved hot yoga, for instance. I was fortunate and my doctors really encouraged me to continue working out while keeping my heart rate in check (around 140 BPM). My understanding is that doctors will typically tell you to keep your heart rate under 140 BPM but I find that I can keep mine a bit higher and baby and I feel great.

At almost 32 weeks, I am excited about the fact that I have continued my workout routine pretty steadily. In fact, I find that when I am feeling a bit tired and “off,” a quick trip to the gym will immediately help me feel better. Other times, I recognize that I need to take it easy. It is amazing how in tune with your body you become when you are pregnant. I truly know the difference between craving a workout and craving a nap. I have to laugh, though, because when I am in my community gym, people often give me weird looks when I hop on the elliptical with my round belly–similar to the looks you receive when you wear a bikini in your third trimester. Good times!

So here is my typical workout schedule:

*Keep in mind this is what works for me and has been discussed with my doctor in detail.

4-5 days a week I use the elliptical machine– 30 minutes (alternating levels 5-8) with a 5 minute cool down (level 1).

Every other day I extend the workout a bit more. Some days I lift light weights (bicep curls, shoulder press, tricep extensions) all while sitting on a big yoga ball. Other days, I love Jennifer Wolfe’s Prenatal Vinyasa Yoga DVD . The instructor has a soothing voice and the workout itself is a nice challenge. Plus, there are several options if you are short on time.

And my favorite part of my routine–lots of stretching!

I hope that I will be able to settle into some kind of exercise routine once my little guy arrives but I am going to take it slow and enjoy every magical moment.


dream baby shower

This past weekend, my family hosted the most incredible baby shower. While the shower itself was not a surprise, the details of the day were all a huge shock. My mother and aunt really took the time to think of Reggie and I as a couple and translated those likes and dislikes into a fun, whimsical day.

Not only was the event design beautiful but the people that attended the party truly made the event. I was reunited with family from the east coast and friends I had not seen in months. Both my girl and guy friends came to celebrate and even sat through the ridiculously long gift opening process. I am so incredibly lucky to have such amazing people in my life and I know they are going to love and support this baby so much.




















blue velvet cake!







All pictures taken by my beautiful cousin Sarah.


babymoon adventures pt III

Even though I am a creature of habit, I had to try out some new restaurants on our trip to Hawai’i. Luckily, Chef Morimoto opened an absolutely stunning restaurant in Waikiki last fall inside the new Waikiki Edition hotel so that made our decision easy.

morimoto sign.jpg

The actual restaurant was everything you imagine it to be. Understated, clean, but gorgeous. Think white everything with splashes of purple and light green.  If you are stylish and not almost 8 months pregnant, this is definitely the place to have drinks and hang out on a Friday night. I had water. And lots of really good food.


Did you know Morimoto brews his own beer? I had no idea! Obviously I can’t drink alcohol so you will have to take my husband’s word for it but he absolutely loved this particular brew.


To start, we ordered the pork gyoza which sat on a fresh tomato sauce and was enclosed in a bacon foam. The doughy gyoza was complimented nicely by the bright flavor of the tomato sauce. The bacon foam added the perfect hint of smokiness.

lamb morimoto.jpg

For my meal, I ordered the lamb rack with a yuzu glaze, ratatouille, and spam onigiri–which was a fun take on spam musubi. The lamb was cooked to perfection and not the least bit gamey. The ratatouille was quite light in texture but the bold flavors stood up to the rich meat and complimented the dish perfectly.

loco moto.jpg

Reg “pulled a Jenna” and read the menu ahead of time and already knew what he wanted to order. I was so proud. He picked the loco moto which is Morimoto’s take on the local classic loco moco. Chef certainly elevated this dish by using Wagyu beef and the result was absolutely delicious and certainly honored the inspiration.

morimoto dessert.jpg

For dessert, we ordered something new and off menu–a sea salt chocolate, caramel tart. This was served with vanilla bean ice cream, chocolate crumbles (their words, not mine), and crushed vanilla meringues. This was incredibly rich but that did not stop us from cleaning our plate. I loved the salty and sweet combination.

This was our last night in Hawai’i and I am so glad we ended our trip with such a great meal. I will never forget this trip. It was truly like a second honeymoon. I know this will sound cliche but I love my husband more today than the day I married him. He is such an incredible partner and I know he is going to be the best father.



babymoon adventures pt II

I could not come back from a vacation and not talk about the food. Truthfully, I plan out not only all of the restaurants I am going to visit but also what I am going to order (but keep an open mind if there are specials). Everyone does this right? 😉

So when we made this last trip we only had about 5 days and we wanted to make sure we visited some of our favorite spots and tried out a couple new spots as well.

Old Favorites

Our absolute favorite place to get breakfast in Waikiki has to be Eggs ‘N Things. The wait can be extremely long—even at 8 am so the earlier you get there, the better. We were on California time so I needed breakfast around the time they opened so we were just fine. No long waits. No pregnancy hunger meltdowns. Good times.



Can you find me?


Homemade Guava Juice


Spinach Bacon & Cheese Omelette with a side of their homemade salsa <——so good!


And a side of their Macadamia Nut Pancakes. Folks, these are the stuff dreams are made of. Seriously, I dreamt about these babies after having them the first time and that is why I ordered them again. So fluffy with just a little crunch from the macadamia nuts. And you must top them with the homemade coconut syrup. You must. I happily shared these with Reg.


Speaking of Reg, he ordered his favorite breakfast of all time: Eggs, Portuguese Sausage, and Rice. Before I met him I would never have thought of eating rice for breakfast but now I love it! The sausage was crispy and flavorful without being overly greasy.


Another old favorite is also a local favorite: Rainbow’s Drive Inn. My husband grew up going to Rainbow’s every time he was on the Islands so it was the first place he took me years ago on our first trip. Rumor has it that President Obama loves Rainbow’s as well.

Most of the food served at Rainbow’s is considered plate lunch. The exact history behind plate lunch is often disputed. However, the general consensus is that plate lunch began in the 1880’s when plantation workers were in high demand for sugar and fruit companies in Hawai’i. Laborers came from all over the world including China, Japan, Portugal, and the Phillipines and would share various proteins (think canned meat, teriyaki, cold meat) and rice for lunch. So the plate lunches themselves are a mix of food from different cultures. Eventually, the macaroni salad and gravy was added into the mix.

I am a total creature of habit and I usually order hamburger steak (thin hamburger patties smothered in gravy) or loco moco (same as hamburger steak topped with two eggs) plate lunch every time I go. This time I decided to try something new.


Boneless chicken with (the best) gravy! Served with macaroni salad and two scoops of rice.


Reg is like me when it comes to Rainbow’s and usually orders the same thing. Instead, he branched out a bit and ordered the Rainbow Royale burger. The special sauce that comes on the burger is very similar to deviled egg filling but thinned out. Delicious!

We both enjoyed trying something new but we missed our “usual” order and made sure we ordered it on our last day when we visited Rainbow’s again. If you are ever on Oahu, this place is a must try!

Next up: some new finds, including Morimoto’s new Waikiki restaurant!


babymoon adventures

Reg and I both love to travel. Since we wouldn’t be traveling for a while–you know, given that we will have a newborn in around two months, we wanted to take one final big vacation before our son arrives. And since I have gained over 20 lbs (so far), all I wanted to do was float in the ocean on a beach in Hawai’i.

You see, Hawai’i has a special place in both our hearts. My husband is Native Hawaiian and despite the fact that his dad was in the Army and that moved his family around a lot, he still managed to make it home to the islands as often as could. After meeting his family and learning more about the culture, I became enthralled with Hawai’i as well. In fact, most of my research in graduate school covered the Hawaiian Sovereignty Movement. So Hawai’i seemed like the perfect place to take one last vacation before our life changes. Plus, we both loved the thought of him going to our beloved islands before he is even born.

This time around we decided to stay in Waikiki. Usually when we visit Oahu, we stay on the North Shore because there are far less tourists and that part of the island is usually more quiet. Waikiki made a bit more sense for us this trip because we didn’t want to rent a car and preferred to walk everywhere, which is something you really can’t do on the North Shore. We really lucked out too. For Waikiki in April, the crowds were not bad at all and the whole trip felt really peaceful and relaxing. Staying at this beautiful place didn’t hurt either…

Sheraton Moana Surfrider


Built in 1901 and full of charm


Loved sitting in those rocking chairs during the evening, feeling the cool breeze.
Plus people watching was ah-mazing.



Gorgeous Banyan tree
This tree was originally planted in 1904 when it was only 7 feet tall.
Now it over 75 feet tall and spans the 150 ft. courtyard.



Private beach with crystal clear water.
Fun fact about me: I was so scared of swimming as a kid that I would scream if you came next to me in the pool. I didn’t swim in the ocean until I was 16. Now, at almost 27, you can’t get me out of the ocean. Seriously, I could swim all day. I didn’t even freak out when a baby sea turtle swam up next to me.


Clear view of Diamond Head


With delicious fruity (non-alcoholic) beverages


And a handsome husband


Followed by the face most people made when they realized I was pregnant…in a bikini. The reaction made me laugh but I owned it.

Part II coming up tomorrow…


time in a bottle

Please excuse me because  I am feeling particularly weepy today (ahhhh good morning pregnancy hormones) but this pregnancy is going by way too fast. It feels like I just found out I was pregnant and now he is going to be here in just 10 weeks.

Truly, I love everything about being pregnant–my round belly, how his kicks get harder each day, hell, even the nausea. All of those things remind me he is growing and is strong.  And the truth is, I am feeling a bit selfish. I like that we are so connected–like I am the only one that knows him at this point. Once he is born, I have to share him with the world and that feels overwhelming. Has anyone else felt like that? I can’t even imagine what it will feel like once he starts walking and talking. But if I focus on all of the what ifs, the next two months are going to be gone before I know it. So for the next 10 weeks, I am trying to truly enjoy each moment of this pregnancy and take it all in. Listening to Jim Croce along the way doesn’t hurt either…

baby name game

The most common question I am asked while pregnant is “do you have any names picked out?” In response, I tend to (attempt to) stare at my feet and mumble something along the lines of “we are going to name him when we meet him.” But that is not exactly true. We do have names picked out. I even have a favorite. I just don’t want to share it with anyone. You see, ever since I got pregnant, lots of “advice” is being thrown in my direction. And add in the fact that I am hormonal and extra sensitive, the reaction I get when I tell people the name is usually ends with me in tears. So, I stopped sharing.

Yesterday I broke my rule and shared our top names with someone and their reaction was pretty typical- very obvious distaste. And that was only after sharing one name! I wanted to cry. In that moment I decided to stop caring what other people think about the name. Not everyone is going to like every decision we make with our son. And we still will not finalize the name until he is born just to be sure it fits him but I do know one thing. I will stop the whiny, sensitive, dramatic reaction I have when people don’t love the name we picked. He is our son and whatever name we pick will be perfect for him. Because we picked it and because we love how it belongs to this amazing little man that we created. I can’t wait to meet him.


nursery update

I realize that I did not blog at all last week but my grandmother was in town visiting for the week. Since she lives in Southern California, I rarely get to see her and I really wanted to spend as much time with her as possible. While she was here we had a great time catching up and exploring the area. Other than just spending time with her, what I was most excited about was picking out fabric for a unique antique chair that was actually in my mother’s nursery.


This chair was given to my grandmother from a family friend for my mother’s nursery. It was considered vintage at the time, given that it was already over twenty years old when she received it. Now it is over seventy years old! I love that my mom kept it all these years and was even more thrilled when she said I could have it for baby boy’s nursery. The cushions that were on the fabric are long gone so my grandmother offered to make new ones. She is very crafty!

I was determined to find the perfect fabric while she was here so we drove to a couple different fabric stores in town but nothing felt right. I knew I wanted something modern, that would grow with him as opposed to being overly babyish. So, I went back to etsy for some inspiration and in my favorites I found a beautiful green and white chevron fabric. Since, I am adding pops of that exact green in the nursery, I knew that I had to find that fabric. A couple google searches later, the fabric was mine! I cannot wait to see how it turns out.


Since we cannot paint the walls of our apartment, I have decided to do a wall of colorful prints and photographs. I intend on using a couple baby pictures of me, the hubs, and Crosby the pug for the photographs. Then, I am planning on using my (very limited) Illustrator skills to design one large print. I turned to etsy for the rest!



First I picked these unique alphabet signs. My mom has called me blueberry for as long as I can remember so that one is a no brainer. The zeppelin print was an easy pick as well. We thought it was a fun, youthful tribute to one of our favorite bands.

And because pugs have to have some more face time in the nursery, I plan on buying these prints as well:



I cannot wait to see it all come together!


thoughts on becoming a stay at home mom

If you would have asked me at fifteen years old what I would be doing at age twenty-six I probably would have said something like “I will be a lawyer, definitely single (and definitely no babies), and living in California.” Well, at least I got one thing right.

Truth is, I am twenty-six, married, pregnant, and currently unemployed. When my husband was transferred back in October, I resigned from a teaching position that I finally really loved. My students were sharp, engaging and everything finally clicked that semester. See, I struggled with my teaching career from the very beginning. I always thought I was going to be a lawyer and then when I finally worked for a law firm in college, I realized that the life of a lawyer was something I no longer wanted. In the meantime, I was in love with my major of Communication Studies. I truly looked forward to going to class every single day and could see myself in front of a classroom teaching. Still I was not sure what I wanted to “do” exactly so I applied to graduate school in California.

The two years that followed proved to be the most challenging academic and personal years of my life. My whole life was dedicated to studying and teaching. I had never been pushed harder in school. Consequently, I lost some friends and gained some really great ones. In typical Jenna style, I started to have this aching inside of me that wanted something else, something more upon graduation from my Master’s program. I pushed any doubt to the side though and continued to teach for a year after I graduated. I started creating strong connections in the classroom and truthfully learned more about myself and from my students than anything. Despite that, I took a break from teaching to get some more practical experience and see if the (career) grass is greener on the other side (i.e. the real world). Turns out, for me, it wasn’t. I loved working for lululemon. I do not regret taking a break and trying something new because I learned so much about people, myself, and reaching my own goals.

One of my goals, in fact, for quite some time was to have a baby. Months into our relationship I knew that I was going to marry Reggie, but even before that I knew that I wanted to have a family with him. He is perfect for me in every way. After almost 5 years of dating, we married and immediately started trying to have a family. Over a year passed and no baby. We were disappointed every month but we were hopeful that it just was not our time yet. Then in October of last year Reggie and I decided to move to San Francisco. He had been living there Monday-Friday for work and there was no end in sight to the traveling. We wanted to be together and have a baby so a move just made sense. I was at peace with leaving my teaching position and I was very lucky that my department was incredibly understanding.

We were all unpacked by Halloween and I finally started to settle into our new place and relax. I didn’t even think about a baby at that point because, let’s face it, moves are stressful. That was until November 11th when I realized my period was late and I decided to take a pregnancy test just in case. When the second line appeared, I nearly fell over. I actually didn’t believe it. So I took another, and another. Three positives later and I had to call Reggie. There wasn’t going to be any fancy reveal here–not my style. Instead, in tears, I told him he was going to be a father. Together we sat in silence, crying, realizing our dream had finally come true. Life is funny like that. People who knew we were trying to have a baby would always tell me to just relax and it would happen. I realize that is not true for everyone but, for me, it really was.

So here I am, almost 25 weeks pregnant, and the happiest I have ever been. I laugh and shake my head thinking about my 15 year old self. I am literally her worst nightmare. There are moments where I feel ashamed because I have chosen to not only stay at home the whole pregnancy but for as long as possible after the baby is born. I then shake my head and laugh again because that is ridiculous. There is enough judgement in the world, I do not need to be doing the same to myself for something I know is right for me and my family. I am lucky that I can stay home and raise my son. I hope to go back to teaching years from now but I am not putting a timeline on anything. I have learned my lesson there.

As of today, this I know for sure: I love the life I have created with Reggie and I cannot wait for what the future holds. No regrets, just love.