Dorm Room Must Haves

Whether you are sharing a room or you have your own space the dorm room life is definitely a lifestyle all its own. Often times you have to load everything up over Christmas and Summer breaks just to carry it all back to campus a few weeks or months later, as a result storage and multi-use tools are great investments to any dorm room goer. So what exactly should you expect to need as you embark on your college journey. Here is my list of dorm room essentials.

Word-robe:clothes-hangers-582212_1280(1)

First if you are going to school somewhat close to home or you know you will be returning home for Christmas, weekends, and/or holidays. Do not bring your entire wardrobe to college with you. Bring a good assortment of items and keep it seasonal. You should have at least two or three professional looking outfits for interviews and presentation days, comfortable everyday where, pajamas, don’t forget to pack your underwear and socks, if you workout be sure to pack your athletic wear, and because your likely going to want to go out to enjoy your new found freedom at some point a few going out outfits. Essentially you want to have enough clothes to last a couple of weeks so your not doing laundry every week. Try to avoid bringing too many pairs of shoes you shouldn’t need more than three or four pairs if your a girl (you can change them out as you make trips home, think versatility when making your choices of what you will bring with you).

cutting-board-575367_1280Kitchen:

Before you go purchasing a mini-fridge, microwave, and hot plate check to see what your dorm room allows and what is already provided. I made the mistake of purchasing a mini fridge that I never used, because both dorm rooms I stayed in had the mini fridge already in the room. Also check the dimensions allowed some dorms will only allow certain size fridges in the dorms.

Essentials:

2-3 microwave safe plates

2-3 microwave safe bowls

Small tubbleware set

2-3 reusable spoons, forks, and butter knives.

1 non serrated knife (try and get a ceramic as they require no sharpening maintenance)

1 small cutting board

Coffee maker

Blender/Magic Bullet/Food Processor (Choose what works best for your lifestyle/diet)

2 reusable cups

Water filter pitcher

Trash can

Trash bags

windex

paper towels

Reusable water bottle

Bedroom:bedroom-690129_1280

This is where you get to be creative and bring your own style to the room.

Comforter/sheet set

At least one or two extra sheets, (on the off chance you spill your drink, or god forbid your roommate comes in drunk and throws up on your bed you will want extra sheets to replace your soiled bedding with).

Polyester Blanket (My dad brought me one just before Christmas break and it was the best thing on the planet to wrap myself in while sitting around doing homework, also it means you have an extra blanket should your not so careful roommate spew all over your comforter.)

I also recommend ticky tack, and thumb tacks. (A lot of people like to recommend command strips and hooks, but I found that when I used these I did more damage to the walls.)

A white board or cork board to keep important flyers, notes, or notices.

Desk:

cup for pens/pencils

calendar

file system

Think along the lines of this

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Stapler and Staples

Tape Dispenser and Tape

Three Ring Whole Punch

Bathroom:

Whether you share a bathroom with one other person or three other persons I highly recommend a bathroom caddy. This will allow you to keep your personal things all in one place.

Caddy

2 towels

Robe

hair dryer

Toiletries (i.e shampoo, conditioner, hygiene products)

Medicine Box, because you are likely to get sick at least once during your freshman year I highly recommend making a box with all the typical over the counter medications you would typically use/need for different ailments. Headache medicine, heartburn, stomach aids, anti-congestion medication etc.

What things did you find to be essential during your dorm room stay share in the comments below.

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My Birth Story (warning may contain graphic information)

I really enjoyed reading different natural birth stories all across the internet and as a result wanted to share mine in hopes that it can inspire another mom to go the all natural route.

First, why I choose to go the route of an all natural birth. The fact that I’m not a big fan of needles, in the grand scheme of things had no play on my decision as I was still required to utilize a saline lock in the off chance that I had a seizure during labor. I choose to go drug free because I knew it was healthier in the long run for my baby. I had a strong faith in my bodies ability to do like millions and billions of women before me and deliver naturally. I have always been very self aware of my body what it does and how it is likely to react with different things. I know I am sensitive to medication and that I have a chemical system, which does not like to be kicked off balance. For me choosing an un-medicated birth was the best decision I could make for me and my baby.

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It is not certain exactly when early labor began for me though I estimate it began somewhere around the early part of week 37, as I had contractions during that Monday that I was able to time at 7-8 minutes apart. The contractions however only lasted about 45 minutes before they spaced out quiet a bit more and then tapered off completely and became randomly intermittent. At that weeks appointment, my doctor decided to check me as a result of that experience and determined I was between 1 and 2 cm dilated and 30% effaced. This excited and surprised me as I had not expected to have any change. The rest of the week was pretty uneventful, but when she checked me the next week I was declared to be at a full 3cm and 60% effaced. This indicated I was definitely on my way toward a happy baby. The day following my 38 week check I experienced 50 minutes of contractions lasting 4 and then 3 minutes apart, before they just stopped again. It was later in the day that I would loose my plug amidst irregular and un-timeable contractions. I continued to loose my plug over the course of weekend. Sunday following my 38 week appointment I drank some Red Rasberry Leaf tea and ate pineapple in hopes of helping my body to prepare itself for what was likely an impending labor.

Monday, July 13, 2015 I went to bed in the early morning hours as is typical of my night owlish ways, I was having mild contractions I started to time them before I fell asleep and noted they were 5 minutes apart. I fell asleep after having timed three of the contractions. I woke up 6 hours later around 10am to what were still mild contractions, I timed them and they were three and four minutes apart. I timed them for 1 hour and then waited to see if I they continued as this had happened before where I got to just under an hour before they tapered off. After having three more minor contractions I knew it was time. I woke up my husband and told him he needed to call into work, I was in labor. I called my OB’s office and informed them of my contractions, however because the contractions were not very strong they wanted me to come into the office to be checked before sending me to L&D. They scheduled me for an emergency appointment with the on call as my OB was not available. By noon my contractions started becoming painful.

My husband and I packed up the car and went to pick up food as recommended by the nurse on our way to the OB office. The contractions were coming regularly and were taking my breath away. We sat in the office for nearly 15 miniutes waiting, but it felt much longer. My husband begged me and finally convinced me to eat two of the tacos we had purchased on our way up. I ate between contractions. Finally the OB came in while I was in the middle of a contraction it hurt to sit on the table so I was standing while leaning over it slightly as my husband applied pressure to lower back and butt. I did not experience back labor however the counter pressure still helped relieve some of the front abdominal pressure I was feeling during my contractions. I was declared to be 5 cm with bulging waters by the OB and was immediately sent across the street to L&D.

I walked into the hospital and to the elevators straight to L&D it was too painful to sit. We signed a couple of sheets of paper, and then walked to the delivery room. It was 2 o’clock when we arrived at the hospital. They hooked me up to the fetal monitors and noticed that the babies heart beat was a little slow they recommended fluids as it was a possible sign of dehydration I accepted as I was already hooked up to a saline lock anyway. They gave me one bag of fluids and quickly removed it. I labored for two hours they checked me after the first and I was 8 cm dilated, not long after that I was at a nine and then a nine and a half. When they told me I was at a nine and a half I chose to then refuse any more checks, and I started to do small pushes on my own. At this point my water still had not appeared to have broken, there appeared to be a slight leek up high, but there was no way for them to really tell. Finally, I felt that my body was 100% ready. I told them to check me. I was at a ten and they broke my water discovering meconium.

This sent the doctors into a rush, they needed to get the baby out. I pushed for about an hour and a half the head was visible, but I was having a difficult time pushing it all the way through. They asked to perform an episiotomy, I was so far gone into my own mind and I just wanted him out. I agreed without thinking it fully through they gave me the episiotomy and I pushed him out in three pushes receiving a fourth degree tear as a result. The cord was wrapped around his neck so they immediately cut it and whisked him out to be suctioned from the meconium. He was declared perfectly healthy and okay after a few minutes. They began sewing me up and I delivered the placenta easily and without much effort. I received pitocin, as they feared the tear would cause me to bleed out. After doing his measurements and clearing his lungs they handed him straight to me. 150713_063713_4

Wesley Dominique Minton was born 7/13/2015 at 5:47pm at 8 lbs 7 oz 20 and 3/4 inches long with a head 12 inches in circumference.

Though my birth did not go 100% the way it was planned, I still managed to avoid theĀ  majority of the interventions. I was lucky to have had such a quick and fast labor. I am so proud of myself and my accomplishment with a 100% all natural birth and I can’t wait to do it again someday. My son is so beautiful and precious and I couldn’t ask for anything more.

How I survived Pregnancy?

With just a few days left to go till due date, I am at the tale end of this long tedious 9 month process. I must say it has been a beautiful ride and excellent experience. Though initially I was a little angry, upset, and surprised to find out I was pregnant and that everyone had lied about how beautifully easy pregnancy was now that I’ve reached the last moments I finally realize and see the beauty that everyone was talking about. Now looking back did I really enjoy the nausea, throwing up, scary runs to the emergency room for fear my water broke or that I’d lost the baby in the first two trimesters. NO!! Pregnancy is hard, and it often sucks as you suffer through months of being uncomfortable, sick, and worried about every little change or lack of change that you find yourself experiencing. That being said it is also beautiful and this experience has taught me so much not only about myself, but also my body that I didn’t really know, understand, or realize before. Here are ten things every pregnant woman needs and why.

20150710_2221441) A big water bottle with a straw, you will find yourself drinking more water than you ever imagined. Though I have/had plenty of these prior to pregnancy I found buying an extra large one much more efficient than constantly having to refill my regular sized bottles.

2) 2 body pillows (don’t waste money on the $80 pregnancy pillow, picking up 2 $8 body pillows has the same advantages. Use one to support your belly as it gets bigger and the other to support your back and butt.

3) Find a hobby you will need something to distract you during those late nights where you can’t sleep. If you find yourself in a similar situation to me where you are stuck without a job and pregnant look into doing something from home that you love. You just might discover a career you never imagined yourself pursuing before. If it weren’t for this pregnancy, I never would have realized that I could potentially make a living as a writer working from home. Consider making your hobby into a career.

4) Get a binder to organize all the to dos, coupons, and paper work you will accumulate with the baby preparations.

5) If you don’t have one already get a journal to record your thoughts as you will have plenty running through your head. travel-420011_1280

6) Take plenty of pictures of your growing belly, by the time you get to the end of your pregnancy you will find it a lot of fun to look back at your growth. This can also help quell any possible concerns you might have in the later days about whether your belly is too small. (Some women have this concern.)

7) Download a free contraction timer app, it beets trying to figure out your phones timer and many will keep a recorded history.

8) An exercise ball, when sitting in chairs, and even the couch becomes too much this ball will relieve so much of the pelvic pressure, also should your pregnancy progress past the forty week mark its rumored bouncing on such a ball can help bring on labor.

9) Granny Panties, yes, granny panties you want underwear that is comfortable, and if your having a summer baby breathable. In addition, you don’t want to worry about ruining good underwear when you do suddenly start to go into labor, plus all the nasty discharge prior to even reaching the third trimester isn’t a fun time either.

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10) Bananas and Gatorade, its generally a good idea to have a continuous supply of snacks near by as pregnancy has a way of making you constantly hungry. However, bananas and Gatorade are highly recommended as they can help dissuade and put off a lot of pregnancy issues and side effects. Nearly every time I went in to my OB with a problem her suggestion was to eat bananas and drink Gatorade. The potassium in bananas is believed to help with charlie horses and circulation, while the Gatorade is designed to help you keep hydrated especially when you’ve spent an entire day intermittently hugging the toilet bowl.

What are some of your Pregnancy must haves and survival tips? Share in the comments below.