How to Set Up Your Nursery

If the arrival of your baby is drawing near, the task of setting up the nursery is probably starting to loom large in your mind. Feeding, sleeping, and diaper changing will be your main activities for the first few weeks. You can start there, but you also have to think about when your baby starts to sit, stand, and walk. What will you need and where will you put it? We’ve got a few tips to get you started so that when your baby comes, everything you need will be at your fingertips. 

Positioning the Crib

It makes sense to start with the biggest piece of furniture in the nursery—the crib. You might be obsessed with style and color, but your decisions go well beyond that. Some convertible cribs can stay with your child from infancy until they venture out on their own. So, yes, style is important but classic and sturdy is often better than cheap and trendy if you want it to last.

Once you bring the crib home, safety is your number one concern and a lot of that has to do with positioning. Place the crib on an inside wall to avoid temperature changes and drafts. Cribs should be kept away from windows or electrical cords and outlets. If your baby can reach it from the crib, your crib is in the wrong place. 

Diaper Changing Station

You’ll be amazed at how many diapers a baby can produce in one day. A changing table is nice if you’ve got enough money in the budget. They put your baby at the right height and have storage for all of your supplies—diapers, wipes, diaper cream, and extra onesies. 

However, if your budget is tight with square footage being even tighter, you can still set up a diaper changing station so you’re ready from day one. A basket or bin with all your changing supplies works just as well and can be used in other rooms besides the nursery. Be sure to include a portable changing pad if you go this route. You don’t want any accidents permanently staining your carpet or floors. 

Feeding Station

Eat, poop, sleep. That’s what babies do in the first few months. Your nighttime feeding station will become your new best friend. The star player is the rocking chair or glider. Choose one that that’s comfortable and fits in your available space. 

Next to the chair, you’ll need some kind of side table with a lamp. This is where you can put a bottle warmer, baby monitor, and burp cloths. With everything in reach, you can get through those late-night feedings quickly and quietly. 

Create Plenty of Storage (and Leave Room for More)

The final piece to your nursery puzzle is storage. You’re going to need far more than you think. You’ll need to organize tiny pairs of socks, blankets, toys, and books. Even if you’re going minimal, a bookshelf with a basket or bin for toys can help keep the nursery from looking like a garage sale. 

The nursery is only going to become more crowded as your baby grows. Clothes, toys, shoes, jackets, blankets—they almost seem to multiply on their own. You don’t need to have room for all future possessions from the start, but don’t fill every nook and cranny either. You’ll eventually need space for shelves, a closet organizer, and other organization tools as your child grows. 


When all is said and done, the nursery should feel comfortable to you. It might take some rearranging to find a set up you love, but once you do, it can help you get through the hazy, sleep-deprived days of a newborn.

An Easy Way to Help Your Favorite Charity - SurveyMonkey

When I first started sharing activities that are easy to do from home and 'for the greater good' (calling it that for the lack of a better term) one of the first ones that came to mind is SurveyMonkey. Off and on again I've been participating in it for years and while the results of that aren't huge, for a work in verses reward, to your chosen charity, can be substantial. You've able to chose from a wide variety of charities, some of which are shown below, and able to send what can add up to a significant amount of money with a small amount of time, plus you can do it whenever you want! Below are just a few of the charities that you can have your earning sent to. 

I'll start with how it works. You'll want to go to, instead of the Survey Monkey main page which is made for people who want to set up surveys, not participate in them. After doing all the regular account creation stuff you'll start setting up your profile. They'll ask questions related to your age, interests and things you own, for all of which it's really important that you answer honestly. While it might feel like you should answer them in ways you'd get the most surveys so you can give more to your favorite charity in the long run this isn't a good idea. And anyways even when I started out as a teen with no job/car/whatever I still was able to get quite a few surveys. 

Once you finish your profile, or get tired of filling it out since you don't need a complete profile to get some surveys, you'll probably have the opportunity to immediately start taking a few. If not they'll email you when some are available. That email looks like the above, and when my profile is at 100% they send me it once a week. Typically there are 2-3 surveys available when I go to SurveyMonkey after getting the email. From there filling out the survey is pretty easy, normally taking about 5 minutes. A lot of the time they're market research questions for new products which, is actually kind of cool to see from the inside. Just like the profile questions it's really important to answer these questions honestly. 

When you've completed the survey they donate $0.50 to the charity of your choice and give you a change to "Win a $100 Gift Card". To be honest I don't even try this any more. While it looks like you have a 1 in 8 change of winning, I can say that while I've done almost 300 surveys I've yet to win. 

From the first photo you can see that I've be able to get $127 donated to the charity of my choice, the American Diabetes Associate (I had trouble deciding between this and the American Cancer Society). So while it might not seem like $0.50 adds up it really can!

Prayers for You, Book Review

Prayers for You 

The perfect gift for any occasion! Let your friends and family know you’re praying for them with Prayers for You, a beautifully designed book full of comfort and inspiration to encourage others in times of struggle or as a heartfelt way to show you care for any occasion.
No matter what a person is going through, a beautiful reminder of love and prayer will encourage anyone. Featuring written prayers for when you don't have the words, wise quotations on prayer and God's loving nature, Scripture, and a sophisticated design, Prayers for You is a modern, shareable gift book that is perfect for your mom, best friend, or colleague.
Prayers for You offers hope, peace, and connection for you and your loved ones to share together. Light up someone's world with this fresh reminder today.

My Thoughts: I have to start by saying that I was sent the book to review but that doesn't change the review in any way. I love that it's small (not quite picket sized), so it perfect to carry around, and perfect for a gift. There's an attached bookmark and it's a hardback. The quotes and bible verses are great and I love the photography they use as a backdrop. 

From Monk to Money Manager, Book Review

From Monk to Money Manger, By Doug Lynam

Build a better financial future for yourself and the world. Former monk turned financial advisor, Doug Lynam, shares the rules of money management that will change your approach to earning, saving, and investing.
From Monk to Money Manager is an entertaining and self-deprecating journey through Lynam’s relationship with the almighty dollar—his childhood in a rich family, the long-haired hippie days running away from materialism, time in the Marine Corps looking for selfless service, and his twenty years in the monastery under a vow of poverty that led to his current profession as a financial advisor. In this unique look at wealth from a spiritual perspective, Lynam shares his belief that God doesn’t expect us to live in poverty. The truth is, we need financial peace so we can help others. When money becomes a part of our spiritual practice, used in love and service, it can bring us closer to our highest spiritual ideals.
With humor and humility, Lynam uses stories told through the lens of his own money mistakes, and those of counseling clients, to understand how our attitudes about money hold us back. He also provides clear, step-by-step guidance on how to grow a little bit wealthy. His insights include how to build a compassionate relationship to our finances; some of the good, bad, and ugly truths about money; and the tricks to unlocking financial freedom.

My Thoughts: When I was offered this book to review I was very excited. I've always been interested in finance books and this one seemed like it would have a lot to offer. I love the perspective that Dough Lynam puts out about having wealth is different than many Christian books. His book isn't just motivational though and offers practical tips.

I'm Possible, Book Review

I'm Possible by Jeremy Cowart 

Internationally known photographer and philanthropist Jeremy Cowart uses snapshots of his own story to inspire readers with the message that all things are possible when we actively engage our God-given purpose to change the world.
Recognized as “the most influential photographer on the Internet,” Jeremy Cowart is known as a photographer, hotelier, fund-raiser, teacher, artist, world uniter, lover of life, and man of adventure. What fans don’t always know is that Jeremy started out as a failure.
Growing up, Jeremy’s life was defined by the words I can’t do it. Thankfully, Jeremy’s parents reprogrammed his mind with a single sentence: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.That simple truth propelled Jeremy to achieve greatness in many forms, including
  • running photo shoots with A-list clients, such as Sting, the Kardashians, President Obama, the Pope, and many more,
  • launching the Help-Portrait movement to invest dignity and value in people from underserved communities and who were victims of tragedy, and
  • launching the Purpose Hotel as a for-profit hotel chain designed to fuel the work of not-for-profit organizations.
I’m Possible is an extension of Jeremy’s belief that greatness must serve a greater purpose. It’s a book that will inspire readers with the message that all things are possible when we actively engage our God-given purpose to change the world.

My Thoughts: Before reading this book I hadn't heard of Jeremy Cowart, which might seem a bit strange but the book intrigued me. I love that this is a motivational book without going overboard and it really feels like a guide forward.. I love the message that all things are possible. A great book for people looking to push through their doubts.