Prepping for Baby: Budget-Friendly Tips for Mothers-To-Be


By Emily Graham, Mighty Moms

Preparing for a new baby comes with a lot to think about, from finding comfortable maternity clothing to adapting your home and the nursery. There are so many details that it can easily become overwhelming, even if you feel like you’ve planned well. In order to avoid stress and anxiety when it comes to prepping your home and yourself for baby’s arrival, it’s important to stay organized and give yourself plenty of time to get everything done. This can be somewhat challenging when you’re on a tight budget, as it can take a bit longer to get everything you need and research costs to find the best deals.

It’s also important to do a little prep work in anticipation of your first few weeks at home with your baby. Advance planning can help you save quite a bit of money if you tend to meal prep and freeze several lunches and dinners ahead of time, set up payment plans to ensure that important bills get paid on time, and arrange for help from friends and family when it comes to cleaning the house or running errands.

As you await the arrival of your bundle of joy, look for ways to cut costs and stay stress-free with the following tips.

Get creative with the gender reveal

The day your baby’s gender is announced is a special time for everyone. You don’t have to stretch your wallet when planning the event. In fact, Kindred Bravely lists several creative options for the special occasion, which can save you a good deal of money. Simple ideas, such as buying a statement T-shirt for an older sibling or planning a photo op for your social media posts, are not only budget-friendly but also unique.

Find comfy clothes

Many moms and moms-to-be are ecstatic about the invention of leggings, since they’re pretty versatile and are known for their comfort. Leggings are perfect for women who are expecting because they tend to be stretchy and will expand with your growing belly. Look for high-waisted maternity leggings that will keep you comfortable throughout all the phases of your motherhood without breaking your budget. You can also look to staple pieces like wrap dresses and stretchy maxi skirts, which easily come in handy post-maternity.

Meal prep

Meal prep can be a lifesaver for families who are on a budget, and it’s a great way to ensure that you will still be able to eat healthy and save money even after the baby comes. Look online for recipes that will be easy to execute and freeze, and prepare them a few days before your due date so you have nutritious meals available when you’re exhausted and don’t have the energy to cook. For new moms, it can be a game-changer.

Look for savings

When it comes to the things new moms use most, there are a few items that always make the list. Hand sanitizer, diapers, and wipes are always the first things to run out, and most of these can get expensive to replace. Look online for deals on subscription boxes and delivery services that will ensure you never run out of the things you need most, or consider joining a wholesale club so you can buy things in bulk. It’s important to compare prices, so look for weekly sales; if you find a certain brand cheaper at one store, a competitor may honor the price.

Check out gently used items

While you generally don’t want to buy used cribs or car seats (since they may be too outdated to meet the ever-changing safety guidelines), you can look for gently used clothing, shoes, toys, and items that will help make your life easier. Consignment stores will also offer store credit for items you bring in once your baby outgrows them. Just remember to save this shopping trip until after the baby shower if you decide to have one, as you may end up with two of the same items or too much of one type of clothing.

Another great way to save on items is by taking one of Living Hope Center’s “Earn While You Learn” classes with topics such as prenatal and parenting. Parents can earn Boutique Bucks by taking classes and use the bucks to purchase baby supplies such as diapers, wipes, clothes, formula, furniture and more at their pregnancy resource centers in Springerville, Whiteriver and Show Low. The Boutique Bucks (and cash) can also be used to purchase items in their thrift store, Hopeful Treasures in Show Low.

Preparing for a new baby takes a lot of work, but it doesn’t have to be a stressful time; in fact, it should be the exact opposite! By planning ahead of time as much as possible, you can ensure that you’re ready for your little one in every conceivable way and reduce stress and anxiety at the same time.

If You Want To Be Somebody


By Mandy Hall, Board of Directors

So often we look at others that we feel are “somebody”. We look at their house, spouse and life with envy. It may be a co-worker, friend or even an acquaintance on social media. It’s been said time and again that social media is the snapshot of the perfect moment captured between the craziness. It’s really true. If you talk to the subject about their full experience captured, more often than not, they will tell you how stressed, upset or insecure they felt during that “perfect shot”.

We spend so much of our valuable time wishing we were living a life that isn’t ours. If you want to be somebody that you envy, stop wishing to be someone you’re not. Embrace and be confident in who you are and know that you don’t have to give the control of your fate and your life’s snapshots to anybody else. Be real. Be raw. Be unique. Let me just tell you that we see how wonderful you are. We see your strength, stability and abilities lying just beneath the surface of how you may feel right now and we want you to see it too.

“Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.” — Oscar Wilde

Please reach out to Living Hope Centers if you need support. We are here for you, we will meet you where you’re at and help you take the next step toward that perfect moment between all the craziness that life brings. #youmatter #success

How to Be Ready When It's Time to Bring Your Baby Home


By Daisy Jones, Safest Baby

All sorts of wonderful emotions fill your heart when you’re becoming a mom or dad for the first time. It’s amazing, miraculous, exciting, jubilant, and sweet — and yet terrifying. A new little life is going to depend on you, and you want everything to be perfect, so there are moments when the prospect is entirely overwhelming. By making some preparations in your home and lifestyle, you can feel more at ease when you bring home that little bundle of joy.

Consider your comfort

Your own needs are probably not at the forefront of your mind, but by keeping yourself healthy and comfortable, you’ll have more energy to devote to your baby. Psychology Today notes new moms can be especially vulnerable to getting run down, so start relying on a strong self-care regimen ahead of your baby’s birth. By tending your need for relaxation, rest, exercise, and even time with friends, you will have the patience and energy your infant requires.

Mind over matter

An often overlooked tool for preparing new mothers is meditation. It’s a chance to settle your mind and let go of stress and anxiety. You can add a meditation app to your phone, which makes it easy to take a timeout whenever it’s convenient. By starting this practice before the baby comes, you’ll be better able to manage some of the stresses that come with newborns. More importantly, don’t underestimate the power of prayer. Your quiet time can be spent strengthening your relationship with God, which can help you overcome many of the worries and concerns you may have as a first time parent.

Comfortable and confident

When thinking through your comfort and wellness, consider wardrobe selections that will be beneficial when you’re pregnant and when you bring home your baby. Momtastic notes some styles can be particularly flattering as well as comfortable for your postpartum body, which is a time when many moms’ self-image is vulnerable. Stretchy leggings, boho tops, and tunics can have you looking and feeling your best.

Also remember your undergarments as your body recovers from delivery. For instance, supportive underwear will be a must, especially if you have a C-section. Nursing bras are also a must-have for breastfeeding moms, and you can even find attractive and supportive nursing sports bras that offer comfort and easy access.

Learn and grow

You might think parenting will come naturally, but many people benefit from parenting classes. Professional guidance can help you learn about things like the birthing process, how to bond with your little one, and how to deal with the toddler years. It’s a great confidence booster for new moms and dads. Living Hope Centers offers many programs, and you can sign up online.

Prep a soft landing

With your mind and body prepared for your little one, you’re ready to set up a soft spot for your baby to land at home. Give your house a thorough cleaning, ridding it of dirt, allergens, and toxins. You can use this checklist to ensure you don’t miss any critical points. You also might want to get a headstart on baby-proofing your home. Granted, you have some time before your baby is mobile, but those months will be here before you know it.

Free up your fridge

When it comes to baby prep, an often overlooked area of concern is the refrigerator. For your own convenience, clear some space right before your baby’s arrival. Clean and sanitize your refrigerator, making room for breast milk or formula, as well as casseroles and other goodies friends and family will drop off when they come to meet your bundle of joy.

Embrace tech tools

There is some gadgetry available that can make life for new parents far easier. You might want to consider adding some smart lights in your nursery to help your baby sleep. There are also some terrific apps that help streamline a variety of parenting duties, like staying on top of your baby’s schedule, singing your little one to sleep, tracking how much your baby is consuming, and monitoring your baby.

Having a baby is the beginning of an amazing journey, but it can also be pretty scary. There are several things you can do to set yourself up for success and put your mind at ease. Consider your health and comfort, and prepare your home for your little one’s arrival. As overwhelming as it may seem at times, with a few proactive measures, you’ll be ready when you bring your baby home.



By Mandy Hall, Board of Directors

Sometimes we get into those seasons in life when we feel stuck. There seems to be nowhere to turn, no support and least of all, no chance at making a huge, dramatic life change. Recently, I was speaking with a past Hope House resident that was in this exact situation before she came to us. She really felt like the only option was to keep living in the abused life that seemed to be her fate and her normal, day in and day out.

I was actually reaching out to ask for her help with a project for the upcoming Phoenix Gala. I was hoping to get her to participate and the response I received was, “I will do anything to help promote Living Hope Centers. If it wasn’t for you all, I would be homeless with my 3 children.” This past resident gave me more than what I had hoped for, she reaffirmed absolutely everything we are about.

I want to encourage you today that if you feel like you are in a situation that you have no control over, please reach out. If you or your family is experiencing abuse, please understand that you have a way out. There is hope for your situation and we would love to help you find that hope. You do not have to stay stuck. You deserve an enriched life of love and grace just as much as anyone else.


One Strong Mama


by Mandy Hall, VP of Development

When is the last time you really had someone believe in you? I mean really believe in you? Sometimes that’s all you need to get started. I will never forget the Christmas my husband bought me my very first DSLR camera. It came with different lenses and filters, all the bells and whistles. He saw my passion for photography and fed it. He sees something in me, that with the right tools, I began to see in myself.

What is it that holds us back from what we want to strive for? Fear. It’s always fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of succeeding. We can be our own worst enemy. Half the battle is fighting ourselves.

We are here to believe in you and to help you see yourself for who you are. An amazing, strong, capable woman. At Living Hope Centers, we put the right tools in your hands and say, “You go, girl! We got you!” We want to help you unleash your full potential. Don’t let fear tell you what to do, breakthrough it! Kick fear in the face. #youmatter #yougotthis