Firsts & Beginnings

 

 

 

I’m so excited to tell you that Royce is officially walking as of last week! Time is passing by so quickly and I want it all to slow down. There’s been so many big firsts this year and as we’re rolling into the end of the year and Royce’s birthday, I know we’re just starting. Soon he’ll be running throughout the house and eating off my plate, ha!

Since we’re talking about food, I wanted to let you know about something that every mom and mom-to-be should be checking out! Enfamil is hosting a free formula for a year sweepstakes (this seriously could have saved so much money for me if I won)! You probably know that formula wasn’t my original plan for Royce, but I am so grateful that I don’t have to feel bad about it because he’s baby is getting all the necessary nutrients to grow strong and healthy. Because of his lip tie he wasn’t able to latch on correctly and we’re actually getting surgery on it this month!

The first brand I knew of was Enfamil because of their Beginnings kit, and I was able to try out a few different kids to see what worked for him. Royce is currently on Enfamil Reguline (which isn’t pictured in this post but can be found at Target, Walmart, Walgreens, etc) and since we got him on that, he hasn’t had any tummy issues. Enfamil Family Beginnings truly helps prepare and aid you for the future with you and your baby like it did with us. It has already helped save me over $100 on formula with the coupons delivered monthly, but you also get nutrition tips delivered in your email!

When you sign up for Enfamil Beginnings, you’ll get up to $400 in gifts AND a chance to win free formula for a year. I don’t know about you but I could definitely use that! Click here to sign up, and watch the cute little video Royce & I made below!

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How To Get Your Baby To Sleep Through The Night

This post is NOT sponsored by coffee and dry shampoo, but it should be!

Let me begin by saying that I am no doctor or expert in parenting. In fact, I’m far from it. However, every new mom that layers on concealer to cover up the bags under her eyes (if you even have time to do your makeup) knows that most frustrating question is, “Is he/she sleeping at night yet”?

The first few weeks after having my son was miserable if we’re going to be honest. Between the baby crying, pumping as soon as he fell asleep, and recovering from a c-section, I got NO sleep. I was a zombie. There was actually a time when I fell asleep on the couch and my mom was taking care of my son, Royce, and he began crying and I started patting a blanket next to me because I thought he was laying next to me… totally hilarious, right?

I tried everything – white noise machine, singing to him, every brand of pacifier, sleeping with him, the rocker, swing… he just wasn’t having it. I was fed up and was pretty confident I just wasn’t cut out for motherhood. I was 100% sure I wasn’t having another baby EVER.

Fast forward to now, Royce is 10 months old and sleeps SO well. He’ll have a rough night here or there or I make the mistake of letting him fall asleep at 7 pm for a nap… but we’re both sleeping good. There’s actually times when I wake up and pick him up from the crib and we’re both smiling. Now I can ACTUALLY picture myself having another child one day. I want to let other moms in on my secret to getting him to sleep through the night if you’re on the struggle bus I was in.

My #1 tip: Patience. 

Looking back, I realized that a lot of the times I was tired was because I was also stressing myself out by trying to be super mom. Let others help you if they ask. You’re not a bad mom for letting people do your laundry, cook for you, or clean up the house. You’re not a bad mom for letting someone hold your baby while you get a nap in either. You definitely need it, and baby also needs a happy and stress-free mom. Plus you’ll regret not taking up the opportunity when they’re toddlers!

Don’t be too hard on yourself because some sleep method that works for 3 of your mommy friends on Facebook didn’t work for you. As I said before, we tried EVERYTHING but the only thing that worked was me being patient and letting time do the rest.  He was a very clingy baby and still is. We bedshared for a while and still do occasionally (I know, God forbid, right? I was making him be so attached to me that he couldn’t sleep! 😉 and I never once let him “cry it out”. If you want to give your baby all the cuddles in the world, do it. If something like the CIO method doesn’t feel right to you, even if all your friends are telling you to do it and their kids are “fine”… don’t.

Being patient is hard, I know. If you’re still looking for suggestions on what to do or try, here’s what I really did that I believe helped and guided us to where we are now.

I established a routine and recognized his sleep habits, like him sleeping for 3-4 hours at a time when he stayed up later. I began keeping him awake from 7-9 p.m. as much as I could by placing toys around him, playing upbeat music, or even holding him and moving around a lot to spark his curiosity and keep him up. We started giving him baths every night or putting on his Otteroo so he’d swim and wear himself out. While in the tub & after, we used his lavender scented bath products since lavender is known to help you relax, destress, and sleep!

Again, I’m no expert; these are the methods that worked for my family. If you think your baby’s sleep patterns are unusual and there was an underlying problem, I’d speak with your pediatrician about it just to be sure.

The biggest message I want every mom to get from this is that you are doing a great job and the best that you can. There’s no secret trick to getting your baby to sleep – no rice cereal, no magic sleep suit, no essential oils that can help your baby if he/she just isn’t ready to sleep for hours at a time yet. The time will come when your baby is ready and the best thing you can do until then is be the most thankful and loving mother while they’re awake. Plus, less sleep means more precious moments you get to experience, right?

 

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Mom Style Monday: How To Wear A Statement Scarf

Tee: Old Navy | Scarf: Old Navy | Jeans: Old Navy | Booties: DSW | Purse: Ross | Necklace: 2911 Design Co

 

Welcome to Mom Style Monday, a monthly link party where my fellow stylish mamas and I share our favorite outfits and trends! There’s a new theme every month so be sure to join in next month with your own Mom Style! This month we’re sharing our favorite fall scarves and how we style them!

I absolutely love scarves and styling them in different ways. I had a phase where I only wore infinity scarves… then it turned into blanket scarves, and now I’m loving lightweight scarves simply tossed around my neck! This scarf is from Old Navy and under $20 – but I scored it when they were having a sale and it was marked down to $10!

Old Navy has been my JAM lately. My entire look minus the booties is from there – if you get their emails, you’ll know that they’ve been having some super good deals so that’s why I keep going back! I also got these booties when DSW had 25% off everything. I’m loving them so much that I might snag them in another color!

Side note: I originally paired this look with white sweater but it was in the high 80s all weekend long. There was NO way I could take photos in that, but this look will be perfect with an off the shoulder sweater too!

Now it’s time to link up! Share your favorite fall scarf style (or any recent outfit post) and be sure to comment on at least one other blog post in the party! Then join us next month (the last Monday of every month) for our next theme: Fall vests!

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Cherishing Everyday Moments with Artifact Uprising

 

 

From the beginning of my pregnancy, I knew I wanted to have some sort of book to document special moments in. Facebook is fun and all, but what if I can’t access it one day? I know that the best times are the ones that can’t be written on paper or snapped in a photo, but I still wanted something to pass down to Royce when he’s older (and use to embarrass him in front of future girlfriends)!

My mother has expressed that one of her biggest regrets when it came to parenting is actually keeping photos! While we have some photos of my childhood and the typical school portraits that you can order wallet size prints of, we don’t have a ton and have lost a majority over the years. Modern baby books like The Story of You from Artifact Uprising let you simply keep photos together and jot down special things about each one. This is definitely something my mother could have used! If you’re attending a baby shower soon… keep this is mind so they don’t make the same mistake my mother did!

The best thing about this book is that it’s so easy to customize. You can download their app and order your own products (and prints) right from your phone. With the purchase of a book, you get free prints – that was a game changer for me!  Technology is obviously amazing and it’s so convenient that we can snap photos of almost anything, anywhere, simply using our phones. The only downside of that is that I know a majority of people don’t print out their photos on their phones.   Letting you in on a little secret here: A majority of the photos I put in Royce’s book where from my iPhone! I love that I actually get to share these photos somewhere else besides Facebook and Instagram!

The biggest thing that sets this book apart is the prompts. It really focuses on little moments and reflecting them rather than asking you to put a specific day something happened. When I glanced through another baby book, I felt really overwhelmed because it asked for you to write down almost every little detail about your pregnancy and baby’s first year. I didn’t know how I’d keep up with it all! The Story of You helps us busy parents feel less guilty and stressed about forgetting things. As I said before, it really is a game changer!

A baby book is definitely something I recommend all new parents to get, and especially for them to pick one that they know is good quality so it lasts for generations – did I mention that this one is made with a high quality linen fabric that’s good to last for years? If you’d like to save 10% on The Story of You for yourself or  expectant mama you know, use the code “TheStoryofYou10” (valid until 10/31/17). You can learn more about Artifact Uprising below. Head’s up – they make a ton of other themed books, so if you know a couple that’s engaged, keep this company in mind as well!

 

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#BoyMom Fashion

Pink Blush Tie Wrap Dress

Graco Stroller Pink Blush Dress

Graco Stroller Pink Blush Dress

Graco Stroller Pink Blush Dress Mom Baseball Cap

Dress: c/o PinkBlush | Shoes: DSW | Stroller: Graco | Hat: 2911 Design Co. | On Royce: Carters

 

Who else is pumped that it’s football season? I’ll admit that I’m much more of a basketball fan (Go Bulls!) but I love how hyped up football season is – the barbecues, tailgates, brews… I could go on and on!

I’ve always been that girl who wants to dress up if I’m watching the game at someone’s house even if everyone else is wearing a jersey. This dress is PERFECT for the modern boy mom and wearing to a game! I love how stylish it is but  it’s still super casual – it ties up in the front making it look super sporty and like you’re wrapping another top around your waist! I wore it with sneakers and a baseball cap but I’ve also worn it with sandals. It’s also SO flattering – I have such a square/boxy body shape (at least I think so) and this makes me look like I have more curves than I actually do. I’ve worn it three times already and got compliments on it EVERY time!

On another note… Royce is 9 months… can you believe it? I know I’ll probably say this every month but time is flying by and soon he’ll be a year old! It’s the best feeling and also the saddest. He’s already falling asleep without me needing to rock him and very close to walking. He can stand up on his own in his crib or pack & play and lets go of the rail and stands without his hands for a few seconds before falling down. It’s so fun to watch! I’m already planning his first birthday party and know I’ll spend WAY too much money for a party he won’t even remember.

Don’t forget I’ll have a fall themed Mom Style Monday link up at the end of this month featuring scarves! I recently went shopping and found THE cutest one that I can’t wait to share. Until then, what are your plans for this season (aka the best season ever)? Any special traditions your family does?

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Styling Kimonos For A Transition Into Fall

Olive Kimono From Pink Blush Olive Kimono From Pink Blush and Garden RosesOlive Kimono From Pink Blush and Barrington Gifts Barrington Gifts St Anne TotePink Blush Kimono Olive and Barrington Gifts Tote

Kimono: Pink Blush | Tank: Wet Seal (old – see similar options at end of post) | Tote: Barrington Gifts | Jeans: T.J. Maxx (old) | Shoes: Target | Earrings: Stella & Dot

Welcome to Mom Style Monday, a monthly link party where my fellow stylish mamas and I share our favorite outfits and trends! There’s a new theme every month, so be sure to join in next month with your own Mom Style! This month we’re sharing our favorite fall transition outfits!

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that I LOVE Pink Blush. I learned of their store when I was pregnant with Royce because they have the cutest maternity pieces, but was even more thrilled to know they have options for all women! This kimono is perfect for a fall transition and I loved it so much that I also got it in black for a more edgier look! I love throwing this kimono over even the simplest, cheapest tank to dress it up and make you feel more put together! If you want a day to night type of look, you can wear a “dressier” tank like the one I have on!

I’ve been wearing these earrings from Stella & Dot like crazy lately! They’re the perfect size and also amp up any look. Another amazing find I have to share with you are these fun lace up heeled sandals! I got them on sale from Target and have been wearing them with everything since – dresses, skirts, jeans, even shorts!

Side note – these beautiful blooms are leftover from an event I had this weekend. I made centerpieces for one of my best friend’s sister’s couple’s wedding shower and got the most BEAUTIFUL garden roses. I love the touch of peach they have in them! If you’re in the Rockford or Chicagoland area and need a florist for your next event, definitely let me know! I absolutely love my major now and getting to create beautiful floral arrangements for others!

Now it’s time to link up! Share your favorite fall transition looks (or any recent outfit post!) and be sure to comment on at least one other blog post in the party. Then join us next month (the last Monday of every month) where we’ll be sharing our favorite fall scarves!

 

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10 #NSale Baby Items You Need to Snag

Nordstrom Sale

 

Striped 2 piece set | Blender | Diaper bag | Slip on shoes | Firetruck rain coat | Honest Company gift set | “Night Life” tee| Tree bookshelf | Piggy bank | Forest 2 piece set

I’m sure ALL you’ve been hearing about is the Nordstrom sale from your friends and favorite bloggers, but can you really be mad at us? It’s such a good sale and has some of the best brands at prices you can’t beat. What I love the most is that unlike most sales, you can still buy the item after because they aren’t trying to get rid of the products to make room for new. These are NEW ARRIVALS! The prices just increase to normal when the sale is over. Basically, if you come to the party early, you get the food fresh out the oven. If you come late, it’s still good, but not AS good.

I’ve put together my favorite baby items (specifically for a baby boy!) that you’ll want to grab before prices increase ON August 7th. Simply click the link for the item you’re looking for above and let me know if you’d already snagged any of my favorites. Happy shopping!

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The One Product Your Baby Needs To Be Healthy For Life

Evivo_Probiotics

It’s almost every mother’s top goal to keep their child as healthy (and safe) as possible. I’ve researched countless things from the safest diaper brands to the best formula and even the best schools in our area already. You probably know that I wasn’t able to breastfeed for as long as I’d like, but with my research I found that some women actually get donor milk for their babies from either surrogate mothers, a mama who overproduces, or even someone whose baby has weaned and they’d like to help another baby.

Of course, I didn’t learn about this great news until after Royce had tried over 10 formulas. You read that right, TEN. I think the number is actually close to 15 now. I can only imagine what his little tummy was going through because there were a lot of fussy nights and weird colored poop.

Naturally, I wanted to do everything to help solve his tummy issues. I looked into getting donor milk and probiotics. I found one of two at the store for babies but NOTHING like Evivo.

Evivo is the first and only product that is clinically proven to restore a baby’s gut microbiome to its original, natural state for life-long health. I didn’t know that a baby’s gut during the first 6 months of life can really determine their lifelong health. It’s NEVER too early to start planning their future – many parents start saving for their child’s college before they even have a baby, and buy health/life/dental insurance shortly after they’re born. Wouldn’t you want to set your child up to have a healthy immune system and metabolism too?

 

The directions are right on the box on how to prepare – just measure, mix with breast milk, and serve! It’s incredibly easy and Evivo probiotics are clincally proven to:

  1. Maximize every bit of breast milk’s nutrients to feed
    baby
  2.  Restore the levels of B. infantis in baby’s gut
  3.  Protect baby’s gut microbiome for a healthy metabolism and immune system
  4.  Defend against bad bacteria linked to eczema, allergies, diabetes and obesity

Friends & fam, I’m giving you a coupon code to get $10 off an Evivo Probiotics Starter Kit of 4 weeks or more! This offer is only available for the first 50 readers so act fast – use the code “ev7-a8d999c9” at checkout to score your deal!

So, I’d love to know how you’re keeping your baby strong and healthy! What are you doing now to give your baby everything he/she needs? Leave a comment below!

 

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Palm Print Vibes: A Link Up!

Palm Print Skirt Shein.ComPalm Print Skirt Shein.ComPalm Print Skirt SheIn
Palm Print Skirt Shein.Com
Palm Print Skirt SheIn Tassel Purse
Striped Bubble Earrings Target SUgarFix Bauble BarPalm Print SheIn Skirt Target Earrings

Tank: Target | Skirt: SheIn | Heels: A’gaci (sold out, almost identical pair HERE) | Purse: Ross (similar HERE) | Earrings: Target | Ring: Bling Jewelry

 

Welcome to Mom Style Monday, a monthly link party where my fellow stylish mamas share our favorite outfits and trends! There’s a new theme every month, so be sure to join in next month with your own Mom Style! This month we’re sharing our favorite beach and vacay themed outfits!

It’s no secret that palm print has been a HUGE trend this summer –  I featured an adorable palm print romper that everyone loved on Instagram (see picture) a while back and now I’m wearing this fun skirt! This look is perfect if you’re having a date night or even going to the beach (just swap the heels for sandals)! I linked a similar skirt I’ve been eyeing for a loooong time that’s fuller and dressier below.

Everything I’m wearing is REALLY affordable. It’s easy to recreate this look because there’s obviously tons of places you can get a black tank and heels, but I’ve linked the ones I’m wearing still! My bag is a dupe for a much more expensive Rebecca Minkoff version and found it months ago. The earrings are striped and can make a simple outfit stand out more! I love mixing prints and patterns and immediately thought of pairing these earrings with the skirt when it arrived. The best part about them is that they’re from Target (easily accessible!) and there’s TONS of boutiques who sell them as well but for much more!

On another note, summer is almost over and I have yet to go to the beach once! There’s been a lot of different things happening in my life that have prevented me from going to Chicago as much as I’d like to, but I plan to go at least once before summer ends! Part of me misses being in high school/college because every time I go to a store I see back to school things and I want to buy all the stationary!

Now it’s time to link up! Share your favorite vacay-ready look (or any recent outfit post!) and be sure to comment on at least one other blog post in the party. Then join us next month (the last Monday of every month) for a fall transitions theme!



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Becoming AcneFree This Summer

This post has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and AcneFree. All opinions are mine alone. #AcneFreeSummer #CollectiveBias

 

If you hover over the image above, you’ll get the direct link to my new favorite skin care products!

I’ve always had clear skin – I can probably count on one hand the times in high school or college when I had a major breakout and I was embarrassed. That’s how little acne and breakouts have affected me.

After having Royce, EVERYTHING is different with my body and my skin is one of the biggest. A lot of people thought I was having a girl (including myself) because my skin was breaking out and there is an old wives tale that girls take the beauty away from the mother!

This summer, I’ve noticed my skin to continue to change and I’ve had more breakouts than normal. As you can probably see in the photos above, I have little “heat bumps” along my jawline and cheeks. Last week I also had a random pimple come and of course I was so bothered by it that I messed with it. After learning about AcneFree products at Walgreens (also carried at Walmart and Amazon!), specifically their Maximum Strength Terminator cream, I used them and within a few hours I could already tell that it was getting smaller and more noticeable – probably because it’s the most powerful benzoyl peroxide acne medication available without a prescription.

The other product that I love is the 24 Hour Acne Clearing System. AcneFree is the only brand that makes acne clearing systems formulated with Advanced Micro-Benzoyl Peroxide. Micro-sized benzoyl peroxide is designed to work faster and penetrate deeper into pores, which is probably why it works SO well. I kid you not, I used the system twice a day (as directed) for few days and sent my friend a snapchat and he replies, “Your skin looks really clear, you don’t need a filter!”

Whether you’re just now starting a skin care regimen or looking for a simpler one, AcneFree is extremely simple to follow. The steps are listed right on the bottle. You start by using the oil-free purifying cleanser which helps exfoliate and remove pore-clogging dirt and excess oil on your face. Step 2 is the renewing toner – it helps balance the skin tone and control oil. I used to never use toners but can totally see why this is a must. I love this one because it also has vitamins, aloe, chamomile, and witch hazel and my mother has always SWORN by witch hazel for your skin! Last is the repair lotion which helps lock the products into your skin and continues the acne clearing! This has really helped keep my skin moisturized. Most acne products make my skin feel very dry and tight so I especially love having this lotion as the final step!

 

These products have truly helped me wear less makeup this summer and feel more carefree! I haven’t worn makeup for the past week when going to work because I’m not as self conscious about my skin. Even if you love makeup and wear it every day, having a clear foundation is key because it will help you simplify your look! Most skin care I’ve heard good things about also don’t fit my budget and AcneFree is affordable AND easily accessible. If you’d like to learn more about the brand, follow them on Facebook and Twitter! If you can’t wait to try these products, click on the very first image in this post to be directly taken to each product I mentioned!

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