Monday, August 22, 2016

Road Trip Essentials for Baby and Toddler!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SuperAbsorbent #CollectiveBias

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In the upcoming month, we have a family trip planned for Washington and we’ve been looking forward to this trip forever! We’ll be visiting family on both sides and have lots of activities planned for our stay. One thing that’s been on my mind for the trip is a 4+ hour drive we’ll be making from one stay with family to another. Our girls are great in the car, but this will be our longest ride with them both. I've been worried about what to bring with us, for the trip and the road trip, and the obvious items are easy- diapers, snacks, extra clothes, but what else?

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I've thought about what works for our girls when they're unhappy in the car, checked in on Pinterest, and texted with some of my mama friends for their tips and tricks. I kind of fall into the camp of less is best, but there's definitely some items we can't go with out. I’ve put together a road trip pack list to get us through!

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- Snacks
This is obviously the best part of any road trip right? For car rides, I prefer easy to access, minimal mess foods such a fruit snacks, crackers, grapes, bananas, granola bars, veggie sticks, and dry cereal. I love to make a "baby trail mix" of their favorite dry goodies and it's great for them to have a variety of snacks so I'm not constantly passing things back to them. Don't forget some water to keep them hydrated!

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- Music
What's a road trip without an awesome play list? We keep a few playlists just for the girls on our phones- one for radio songs they enjoy (Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars, Adele, Meaghan Trainor, etc.), one for movies and cartoons (Annie, Disney films, Doc McStuffins), and a third for nursery rhymes. Ellie can be so bossy when it comes to music so splitting the songs up like this help to find what she wants quicker. Emma can get cranky too if there's not an upbeat song playing. Nursery rhymes may sound like a bad idea, but songs that have hand motions with them are fun and a great distraction (especially when you need to hold it for the next exit’s bathroom break!) and some of our favorites include Wheels on the Bus, 5 Swinging Monkeys, Baby Jaws, and Itsy Bitsy Spider.

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- Entertainment
We do our best to keep the girls away from technology, but sometimes we give in to keep our sanity so we do have some apps and movies downloaded onto our Ipad/Iphones, but we plan to pack a few small toys that they can play with while in their car seats. A mini magnadoodle has been a lot of fun and a lifesaver sometimes with Eleanor, other ideas include baby dolls, busy books, lacing activities, etc. Anything that helps your little ones sleep is a must as well, hello lovie for Emma! We can't ever leave the house without it!

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- Essentials
If we’re going to be in the car or out of the house for a while, we always pack a separate bag with additional clothes, rash creams, wipes, and Huggies Little Movers Plus diapers- available only at Costco. Being prepared for potty accidents and blowouts is a must! One thing we can always depend on is our girls staying dry in their Huggies Little Movers Plus diapers.  Since Ellie was a newborn, we’ve been a Huggies household. They're super absorbent and perfect for babies on the go, I know that Emma will stay dry without any leaks for up to 12 hours - that’s what the “Plus” means. It makes for one less thing to worry about on the drive!

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If you've been following our family adventures for a while, you already now how much we love Huggies and always stock up at Costco for them. For one, we love the Little Movers Plus (Size 3, 4, 5, & 6), they're soft, super absorbent, and keep their little tushes soft and dry. Plus, they're such a great deal –  Little Snugglers Plus (Sizes 1 & 2) – $37.49, $31.49 after $6 discount and Free shipping (this offer valid 9/1 to 9/25) Little Movers Plus (Size 3, 4, 5, & 6) – $42.99, $36.99 after $6 discount and Free shipping (this offer valid 9/1 –to 9/25) Starting in August Little Snugglers Plus will also be available in size Newborn starting - $29.99 available in select warehouses and online at Goodness, I love my Costco membership.

Tell me, what are your favorite road trip must haves for littles? How do you stay sane?

Friday, August 19, 2016

Friday Faves

Friday!! My favorite day of the work week is finally here!! Last weekend was so busy and flew right by and I've been looking forward to this weekend all week long. We just have a few plans, but I mostly plan on staying home and hanging with my littles. Swim, dance, cleaning, purging, relaxing, and lots of ice cream are on my to-do list.

This week's Friday Faves is a little bit of everything and I'm super excited about each one. I love sharing these posts with you guys. It's been a great way to share different items and shops I've found. I try and do them every week, but if I don't have enough things for a post, I just put what I love on the list for the next post. Everything I share here is always items I truly, and honestly use and enjoy, whether they're items I've bought on my own or were gifted to me for consideration. If it's not something I love, I'm either going to give it an honest review letting you know to skip it altogether, or I simply won't share it. You can always know that my posts are a 100% reflection of my true feelings.   So let's get started!

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Is Emma's pose and smile not the cutest thing you've ever seen? I just love this little sweetheart! I never leave the house without an accessory or two, but little hands tend to go for necklaces and I would hate to have one of my pieces break and become a choking hazard or snag their delicate skin. Through Instagram, I found Madre Beads and reached out to Lacy and she sent me their Emma Necklace (which is an perfect choice for me) and their MADRE tee and I’ve been wearing them both all the time. The t-shirt is extra soft and the “madre” print makes me smile every time I put it on. I honestly love being a mother, and this tee is just a cute way to celebrate it. I love the Emma Necklace, it’s extra stretchy (it’s made with t-shirt yarn) and the first time Emma pulled on it, my immediate response was “oh no!”, but then I quickly realized that it was made just for that purpose! The wooden beads are eco-friendly and non-toxic, perfect for those little ones who put everything in their mouths. It’s been a nice distraction for Emma while we nurse and I know I’ll be wearing it long after Emma is done teething or nursing. I love the natural look and feel of the necklace, and have worn it for fashion, and not just a functional piece. I’m also hosting an Instagram giveaway for a $50 credit this weekend, be sure to head over and enter!!

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Several of my girlfriends are stylists for Stella & Dot and always have such gorgeous jewelry pieces! One of my girlfriends Marina, is always styled to perfection and so I had to check them out again. She sent me their fall style book and I fell in love! I own a few pieces of Stella & Dot jewelry and it’s always a go-to for me. Their stud earrings are so sparkly and a great size and price point, I love them! I also created a family necklace using their charms to have a mix of sizes/styles for Matt, Eleanor, Emma, and my initials. Right now, I’m loving their vintage studs, tassel necklace, luna pendant, and their chandelier earrings. I’m having an online party that you can shop through the end of the month, shop it HERE! What are your favorite items?

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Summer seems to be slipping through my fingers and I think this is the first time I really don’t have a natural tan at all. Even with all the time we’ve spent at the pool! Thanks to Million Dollar Tan, I’m still looking nice and bronzed. They’re self-tanner has a nice foam application and came with a mitt for easy application. I’ve never used a mitt before, and I was MISSING OUT! Their mitt is amazing and doesn’t leak onto your hand inside, absorb all of the foam, and it spreads it easily and evenly. It has a very light scent that goes away and the foam dries quickly. Once dry, I went to bed (on white sheets) and got dressed without any color transfer. I did two applications (last Friday night, then again Sunday morning) and got gorgeous, natural looking color. After my first application, I smudged a spot on my waist and missed another spot on the inside of my left arm, and even those spots looked natural. The second application easily blended those two spots and I have a nice “tan” still a week later! I’ve used several self tanners over the years, but none of them have given me as great of color as this one or was so easy to apply. My color has lasted just as long as a professional spray tan

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If you’re new around here, you may not know, but we are bow obsessed! Since I first learned that I was expecting a girl in 2013, I’m always on the hunt for gorgeous bows. One of my favorite bow shops is Rain & Honey Bows. The styles, colors, prints, and options are just adorable and even with our mountain of bow options, I reach for these bows again and again. Plus, I love when the girls can match!

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I posted about these lipsticks in my #nsale haul and I seriously haven’t used anything different since they came in. They are gorgeous shades and I can’t believe I didn’t have them already. They’re just beautiful nudes with a hint of color that match with everything and can be worn all day. They’re so versatile!! I’m so glad I got my hands on them, I would definitely consider them in my top five of favorite shades ever.

Hope you all have a great weekend, thanks for stopping by!! What are your recent faves?

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

OOTD: Falling for Floral

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Dress c/o Journey Five // Booties

Happy Wednesday!! Hope you're week is going well, I'm still recovering from the weekend and I'm fine during the day, but am so tired when my alarm goes off! I should probably be in bed now, but I'm catching up on Big Brother!! Paulie, what are you doing? I'm totally team James and Natalie! Are you watching? Who are you rooting for?

I've recently stopped pumping at work (still nursing during the night) so dresses have been happily welcomed back into my life!! I've always been a dress girl, they're so easy to wear - one piece of clothing and done, plus they're easy to transition into different seasons. Bare legs in the summer, leggings or tights in the winter.  I'm always looking for modest dresses to wear to both church and work and fell in love with this gorgeous floral one from Journey Five! It's the perfect length, the skirt is fully lined, and it has sleeves! Yay! Why do so many dresses to have sleeves? I don't get it! I loved wearing this dress and felt so pretty in it, the print is gorgeous and it was so comfortable!!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Our Weekend

Happy (super late) Monday! I"m finally sitting down after a long day and it's even Tuesday for some of you! We had such a busy weekend, but it was so fun! We were out every night and had back to back activities and we stayed up way too late and were up way, way too early. What I would have given for today off or even an extra two hours asleep!!

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Friday night Matt and I ran some errands with the girls and picked up some take out. We had to get some odds and ends and a few birthday gifts. Target already has a ton of Troll movie toys that are so cute! I can't wait to see the movie! I've been running low on some makeup basics and grabbed my fave foundation (forgot to snap it!) and I wish I grabbed this one after Meg's review. Next time for sure! When I see a double pack of mascara, I can't help but buy some! It's such a great deal and I can always find some Holy Grail ones usually (check my fave drugstore mascaras out!). These beauty blenders are a must have and now Target is also selling them in two packs! Woohoo! I also grabbed some finishing powder to set my under eye concealer. I've used it twice now and I'm not sure how I feel about it. I like that it's colorless, but I do want to try a translucent powder that has some color to see if that would brighten up the area better. I don't know. Any suggestions?

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Saturday morning was so hectic! We had one of our last swim lessons and had to hustle out to make it to Ellie's first dance class! She's don't so well in swim and kept mastering skill after skill and moved up quickly, but she's recently hit a wall. We would have loved to keep her in swim year round but she isn't enjoying it like she used to. We've gone back and forth about pushing past it or just giving her a change of pace and decided that a change would be better for her, especially given her age. We asked her about dance and she just lit up, luckily a new season just started and we were able to get her started right away. Her first class went really well! She had so much fun and I can't wait for next week!

After dance class, we headed home to put the girls down for a nap before heading out to a family birthday party. After the party, we headed to Matt's parents house to stay the night. They got a new spa and we let Ellie stay up extra late so she could get in too. Made me miss living around the corner from them even more! The next day, we had a girls day while the guys went scouting. We met up with my sister in law, then came back to our house for a late lunch with the guys.

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Sunday night I headed out with my girlfriend for Thomas Rhett and Jason Aldean and it was so much fun! We had lawn seats and she had backpack chairs that were genius! We got there late and had to park so far, so it was nice not to have to lug the chairs by hand on what felt like a hike. We had so much fun, we can't wait to go to another show! It was funny because we went back and forth for a few days on what to wear and when we got there, it was nearly dark and all we could do was laugh because our outfits didn't even matter anyways! We should have just worn our mom uniforms and some tennis. It definitely would have made our trek to and from the car more comfortable!
Both artists put on a great show and sound so good live!! Rhett talked a lot to the crowd and played music from other artists and pop songs, he was an amazing opening act. Aldean cut right to the chase and went from hit to hit. It was refreshing and I liked that he didn't talk a whole ton, but went just for the music. Especially since I had almost an hour drive back home and needed to be up at 5 for work. Thanks Jason!

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These gorgeous rattles and teethers came in this weekend from Hey Jude Toy Co and I have a shop credit of $25 going on over on Instagram, be sure to check it out! Emma has been playing and gnawing on these babies non stop! I love the different sensors the wood and shapes offer, they're so cute too!

Ok, I'm signing off! Have a great night and a good week! xoxo

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Quick & Easy Toddler Snacks

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Eleanor has always been a great eater, and I’m so thankful for that. Of course, she’s gone through spurts of being picky or eating a plain peanut butter sandwich for weeks at a time, but having her eat healthy has never been a challenge. Thinking of different meals and options for her has sometimes been tough, but I thought I’d share our favorites and go-to snacks, on the go treats, and what I pack for trips and playdates.

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Ellie loves frozen sweet peas and they were perfect for her when she was teething too. She also loves carrots, broccoli, and cucumbers.

Her favorites are grapes and strawberries, but she also loves figs, blueberries, watermelon, plum, and apples.

-Savory Snacks
We love to have something else with our lunches or snacks that add a different texture than fruits or veggies. I make sure to always give her an extra item like veggie straws, string cheese, popcorn puffs, graham crackers, pretzels, or our new favorite Larabar Bars and Bites.

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We don’t eat totally healthy all the time, there’s plenty of drive-thru chicken nuggets in our diets, but I really try to have healthy food available for ingredients and snacks for our family. It’s really important to me to teach my girls to eat healthy and pay attention to what they’re putting in their bodies. We can see a difference in how we feel and even our behavior (hello sugar crash) when we focus on eating good, natural foods that isn’t high in sugar, sodium, or has been heavily processed. That’s one reason why I’m so happy to have found Larabar at Sam’s Club. They’re delicious, easy to grab for a quick bite, and have simple natural ingredients (that I can read and pronounce). We enjoy both their bars (the apple pie is my favorite!) and the bites, and because they’re food made from real food, I never feel guilty about having them or giving them to our family. Larabar is gluten free, vegan friendly, and dairy free which makes for a great snack to have on hand in case any of our guests have allergies. My nephew is on a gluten free diet and we make sure to always have items on hand for him to eat when he comes by, and these are perfect for him! We just have a hard time keeping them on the shelves since we love them!

What are your favorite toddler snacks?

Monday, August 8, 2016

A First Birthday Garden Party

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Well guys, the day has come and gone. My littlest baby, Emma, turned one and I still can’t stop crying about it. Didn’t I just announce that we were expecting her arrival? Wasn’t I just sharing my hump day bump day pics? Didn’t I just bring her home? Ugh, the agony. Time is so dang selfish! Ok, I’ll stop the pity party to get on to the fun garden party we had to celebrate her.

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Since I first started thinking about Emma’s birthday, I knew I wanted to do a garden party theme with soft pinks and a relaxed vibe. She is just the easiest baby, so sweet and always smiling and I wanted the party to reflect that. We’ve also had a bit of a floral theme throughout her first year with her nursery, monthly photos, and clothes I’ve leaned towards when shopping for her so a garden party was an obvious choice. We invited just our families to celebrate her big milestone, which still makes over 30 people, and since it was a small gathering, it was nice to really sit and visit with every guest. It's so easy when you're hosting a party to be so busy that it feels like you didn't get to really talk to anyone. I loved that we were able to enjoy the party and catch up with loved ones. We even stayed up till 230 with a few of my cousins just chatting and eating late night pizza around our fire pit. It was a great end to a perfect day!

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At parties, I always like to know what people serve at parties and this year we kept it simple with sandwiches, fruit, veggies, broccoli salad, potato salad, and various chips and dip. Dessert was vanilla and chocolate cupcakes with white frosting and sugar crystals. They were so yummy! For favors, we had pink chocolate dipped rice krispie treats (with pearl sprinkles!) wrapped individually for our guests. I'm glad I made extras because nearly everyone wanted to take one or two extra home. We had them at the dessert bar at Eleanor’s first birthday party and they were gone in minutes so I knew everyone would enjoy them. We set up seating outside, had a bounce house, our guests played cornhole, and we just talked, ate, relaxed, and had a great time!

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Emma didn't care much for her cake, even after sissy showed her what to do! We put some on her lip, but I think there were too many eyes on her for to check out the cake for herself. It was so cute and she smiled so big when we sang happy birthday! It was really a beautiful day and the party turned out fabulously.

For her party, I partnered with some really great shops for decorations. Without them, the party wouldn't have had the same feel and I just love how everything looked! The toppers, balloons, florals, everything was beautiful and I saved them for keepsakes or for future decorations in Emma's room and the girls'  playroom. They were all a dream to work with and helped make her party a success!

Floral Headband // Floral Highchair Garland – Enchanted Bow Shop
Tissue Garland// Emma is One Balloons – LoveGarlands
Cake Topper – Rustic Daisy Designs
Cupcake Toppers // Happy Birthday Emma Banner – Good News Lane Get 15% off using EMMA15
Felt Flowers (used for photo clips) – Wholesale Bow Supply
“One” Highchair Garland – Sugar Daisy Doo
Moss Table Runner – Amazon
Pinwheels – Hobby Lobby
Chalkboard signs – Amazon (from our wedding!)