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Categories FAVORITESHOLIDAYS

Easter Mini Style

Happy Easter Week friends!

We are bursting at the seams this week with pre-Easter activities and lots of Birthday celebrations.  My hubby is turning 30 and then we are kicking off our Easter weekend festivities! We have some festive breakfasts planned, Easter inspired toddler activities,  and of course Reagan needs to practice her Easter egg hunting.  The weather has been beautiful (and WARM). I feel like I need to whisper that because it legitimately SNOWED yesterday, and then today ended up being sunny and almost 60 degrees.  I’m terrified of jinxing this weekend and the bucket loads of gorgeous weather we want for our Easter festivities.

In the spirit of the Easter holiday I rounded up some beyond adorable Easter Sunday outfits for baby girl. I can’t wait for Miss Reagan to rock her Easter outfit.  Everything about these sweet styles are fresh for Spring and rosy pink for Easter.

Easter styles for baby

Gray Knit Bunny Hat   //   Hop Sweater   //   Chambray Bloomers   //  Pink Cardigan   //   Chambray Polka Dot Flutter Dress   //  Floral Print Dress   //   Sugar Plum Felt Flower Headband   //   Ballet Pink Felt Flower Headband   //   Pale Pink Flutter Top   //   White Denim Jeans   //   Silver Bunny Flats

The Easter Bunny has a little more shopping to do and some strategic egg stuffing needs to take place.  I refuse to buy a bunch of Easter candy because my pregnant ass would end up eating all of it.  So I need to come up with a few backup plans and get creative so we can have endless egg hunting fun this weekend.

For those of you who emailed me, Reagan’s First Birthday Dress is from Gap.com and is actually 40% OFF this week, just in time for Easter.  I intentionally bought her a bigger size because I really wanted her to be able to wear it this Spring.  I’m still daydreaming occasionally about what a special and fun little party we had. To read all the details, click HERE.

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And for those that were wondering the knit bunny hat Miss Reagan was wearing in my Easter Basket Goodies Post was a newborn gift from a friend last year.  BUT, I did find a few similar styles HERE & HERE & HERE!

I hope everyone has an awesome week leading up to Easter! We are off to get our celebration on with endless birthday festivities!

And a very Happy Birthday to my sweet and 30 year-old hubby!!!!!! Reagan and I are two lucky ladies to have you in our lives.

xo xo Friends,

michelle signature

Categories HOLIDAYS

Easter Basket Goodies

Holy cow its April! We’ve been so looking forward to Easter this year!!! Easter 2016 was Reagan’s first big holiday and my first chance to play the Easter Bunny.  Obviously it goes without saying, she had no freakin’ clue what was going on.  She was around 3 weeks old.  BUT this year is soooooo different and she is starting to get the hang of this holiday thing!!! She is on the verge of walking and that means we can officially have an egg hunt and i’m not sure my heart will handle the cuteness.

The days are long with a toddler, but they are going so quickly at the same time because i’m pregnant.  Baby prepping, spring cleaning, work, and trying to remain active have me fully extended. But i’m oh so happy!!! I wanted to get a head start on Reagan and Baby H’s Easter baskets and thought I would share our findings.  Finding relatively inexpensive, small, age appropriate gifts is tough and i’m not one to buy a bunch of crap!!! If we purchase something, WE USE IT!!!! And I want to get my money’s worth from that purchase. AKA, something Reagan needs and will use.

We have always gone easy on the toys and i’m not going to fill her basket with sweets.  She is a huge fan of her stuffed animals or  “Lovies,” and we seem to go through pacifiers like its going out of style.  I’m obsessed with this limited edition WubbaNub Cow pacifier.  A reusable pair of bunny ears is always a festive addition and will get used over the years. We love to read to Reagan and are always looking to build up her library.  Children’s books are the absolute best and I LOVE anything with a holiday theme.  Its fun to mix up and exchange books from her library based on the season or holiday.

Easter Basket Goodies

FOR BABY:     Jellycat Bashful Bunny Ring   //   WubbaNub Pacifier

FOR TODDLER:     Jellycat Bashful Bunny   //   Gold Bunny Ears   //   HoneySticks Beeswax Crayons

BOOKS:     The Golden Egg Book   //   Bunny Roo I Love You   //   The Country Bunny and the Gold Shoes   //   The Secret Garden

I am so excited for some new books and probably most looking forward to getting those crayons into Miss Reagan’s hands.  I did a ton of research on safe crayons for a one year old.  She is busy sticking everything in her mouth still and the HoneySticks are completely natural and the size is supposed to be great for new little artists. Pinterest says you can tape a piece of paper to the highchair and let them color away. We are going to give it a try and if it doesn’t go well, we’ll just wait another month or so and try again.

Last year I got her Easter Basket from World Market and I was so excited to learn that it is back again this year.  This means that Baby H #2 will get the same basket and they can match for future years. Little details like that are super important to me and I actually go out of my way to think of them.  The basket is the Mint Wire Farmhouse Basket and is also available in white and rustic metal. The mint was just calling to me last year and is the perfect Springy color.

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Also totally random, but how CUTE are these Carrot Utensils for a toddler. These might have to make there way into our baskets this year as well. Reagan is absolutely fascinated by silverware and loves to practice using our forks to pick things up. Good practice for her hand eye coordination.

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Happy April Friends! I hope this gives you a few ideas or inspiration for your little bunnies and their Easter baskets.

xo xo

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Also one little throwback from Easter last year. Our little bunny has grown up so much!!!!

Easter 2016 #13

 

Categories FAVORITESSEASONS

Happy Spring

Awwwwwww Spring has officially arrived and our cooped-up, so over Winter, Summer loving hearts are ECSTATIC!!!! Miss Reagan has been ONE for a few weeks now and we are absolutely positive that these have been the best days of our lives to date!!! There is something about having a beautiful growing child and one on-the-way that gives me so much JOY!!!!  I still have my “oh shit” moments but we are just beyond excited to add Baby #2 to our little family.

As soon as Reagan turned One, she simply took off in terms of development. She is so happy and hitting new milestones left and right. I distinctly recall absolutely sobbing over how fast she was growing when she was like 4 days old. But I was totally bonkers at that point.  Now, I seriously look forward to each day and all the amazing new things she will learn. She is so close to walking and I am so excited to take her to the park for some FUN once she is cruising around.  The stroller just doesn’t do it for her anymore and she gets sooooo bored.  I almost feel guilty taking her out now because I know she would rather be crawling and climbing around the living room getting into everything. Much more fun. But my pregnant self has been loving the sunshine, fresh air, and I swear my energy is so much higher on bright days when we can get out of the house. I can literally feel a difference in my mood if its raining outside vs. sunny. All-in-all, we are LOVING SPRING and are so ready for some consistently sunny days.

I finally had to toss out the beautiful and bright spring blooms from Reagan’s birthday party.  I was able to snap a few photos of how pretty and bright they looked. Having the window ledge littered with flowers completely changed the atmosphere in our home.  I might need to splurge on some more and ramp up the Spring vibe. Mason Jars + Fresh Tulips = PERFECTION

spring flowers

spring flowers

spring flowers

Has anyone else been swooning over the adorable mini outfits for Easter and Spring?  I am so NOT a fashionista, but I absolutely love dressing Miss Reagan.  I secretly hope we are having another little girl because it is so much fun and I would have no idea where to start dressing a little boy.  I love the mix of comfy clothes with a little feminine style sprinkled in. Totally my vibe but in “mini.” Of course i’ve been living in stretchy tops, maternity clothes, and yoga pants/leggings… so maybe I shouldn’t be talking.

Here is a little roundup of some of our Spring Favorites for Baby Girl!!! I’ll take a pair of matching yellow Hunter boots just so we can splash around in the rain puddles together once she starts walking. 🙂

springtime mini styles for baby girls

Creative Little Person Sweatshirt   //   Gap Baby Jeggings   //   Coral Baby Girl Nike Frees   // Striped Gap Baby Dress   //   Yellow Baby Hunter Boots   //   Lace Pink Sweater   //   Polka Dot Leggings   //   Pink Baby Wedges   //   BabyLit “A Little Princess”   //   BabyLit “The Secret Garden” 

Happy Springtime Friends!

I hope the sun is shining in your neck of the woods and there are lots of Spring blooms around!!!

michelle signature

Categories BABYFAVORITESHOLIDAYS

St. Patrick’s Day Favorites

Happy St. Patrick’s Day week friends!!!

We are so excited for the next holiday on our docket…St. Patrick’s Day!!! Its the only time of year I can get away with having Lucky Charms in the house and I simply can’t wait to shamrock shape everything for Miss Reagan.  She could probably care less but its so fun and festive and right up my ally. Since my huge pregnant self just isn’t looking good in green these days, I decided to round up some of my favorite Rainbow inspired baby favorites to celebrate good ol’ st. patty’s day. We are so ready for Spring and some fresh air around here and what better way to brighten a rainy day then with some bright and cheerful rainbow colors.

st patricks day baby favorites

Mint Rainbow Romper  //  Rainbow Swimsuit for Baby  // Rainbow Tulle Dress  // 100% Love Blanket  // Gold Baby Moccassins  // Rainbow Stacker  // The Story of the Leprechaun  // Rain Baby Teethers

I am sooooooo in LOVE with the rainbow swimsuit and can’t wait to get it for Miss Reagan.  I also think we need to add the gold moccassins to our shoe collection. I’ve never been able to jump on the baby moccasin band wagon, but these beauties might just make it happen for me.  Like the rest of the world, I am just obsessed with everything gold these days and with Reagan almost walking it seems like a solid investment.  🙂

I have big plans for some green paleo pancakes, lots and lots of festive green treats, and possibly a shamrock shake because my sugar cravings are just out of control these days.  My pregnancy chalkboards are officially back in action, at least for the final trimester, so stay tuned for those.  There are no drinking shenanigans in my future this year, but I might sneak in some Lucky Charm covered cupcakes and of course lots of kisses from our little leprechaun.

Cheers friends,

michelle signature

Categories BABY

“Our Little Bunny is ONE” – Reagan’s First Birthday Party

Last weekend I threw little miss an awesome First Birthday Party.  We had so much FUN and the biggest thank you to everyone who gave up their Saturday afternoon to hop on over and celebrate our sweetest little bunny, Reagan Marie.  It was just so much fun.  Normally planning everything is what really gets my creative juices flowing, but the actual day and seeing Reagan so happy made my heart sing.

After Christmas I started searching and searching for cute party themes. I didn’t want anything corny like pink sparkles, and ultimately thats just not Reagan.  She has such an independent and unique goofy personality that I just knew a cookie cutter first birthday wasn’t going to work for us.  Besides, there is no way in hell that I could go for pre-made party decorations. I love a good DIY project and throwing parties and decorating spaces is totally my jam.

Given that her birthday is in March, I knew we had to do something indoors.  We still have like 2 feet of snow around our neck of the woods. Which is so funny, because when I gave birth to her last year it totally felt like Spring with sunshine and green grass.  Such a difference this year. I didn’t want to spend a small fortune on her party and knew I needed to get creative. I found the bunny theme on Pinterest and voila, party perfection!

I gutted out my office/craft room and couldn’t believe the treasures and endless supply of stuff I had snuck away over the past few years.  I raided all my Easter decorations and went to work putting together a party.  I knew the garden/bunny theme would be great for her and I can leave up most of the decor for Easter next month.

Most of the tangible decorations I pulled out of my Easter decor and then I made a ton of stuff using random craft supplies that I found.  I snuck in a HUGE goodwill run full of random crap as well which felt really good.  I’ll try to provide links to things that I did purchase, links to old products if they are still available or something similar, and links to DIY tutorials that I used or made up.  Most of the ideas can be found on Pinterest and I’ll provide the links to the cake stuff I used to build her birthday cake.

I know throwing your child a BIG first birthday is totally cliche these days, BUT it is so much FUN!  I totally get why parents do it.  As a guest, i’m sure its a little boring but we so appreciate everyone who supported us and helped us celebrate our baby girl. We literally couldn’t love her more than we do and i’m sure that was more than evident at her party!!!!

I completely fell in love with the vibrant greens, pinks, and purples, the bright sunlight coming in through the windows and of course all the bunny and garden vintage looking decor! So much fun and so perfect!

1st Birthday Setup - Bunny Garden Party

1st Birthday Setup - Bunny Garden Party

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1st Birthday Setup - Bunny Garden Party

1st Birthday Setup - Bunny Garden Party

1st Birthday Setup - Bunny Garden Party

Green Moss Table Runner // White Cake Stand // Jade Cake Stand // Tin Tiered Tray // Gold Polka Dot Paper Plates // Gold Silverware // “Reagan is One” Custom Cake Topper

I opted to go for a light lunch, tons of fresh fruit and veggies, and a dessert bar displaying all her cakes and treats.  The dessert table was so pretty and I was ECSTATIC with how the cakes turned out. It was just a really simple layout on this Green Moss Table Runner and a long end table we already owned. I made her a mini 6″ basic vanilla cake for photos and her little cake smash.  But I ordered a cake from our FAVORITE dessert place.  They did our wedding cake, my bridal shower cake, and multiple other events and birthdays.  It was my favorite white cream cheese cake with rum raspberry filling!!!! SOOOOO GOOD! I also made THESE “bunny tail” sugar cookie truffles, THESE “lettuce” oreo truffles, THESE “carrot” strawberries, and pudding cups with crushed oreo and a carrot strawberry on top!

1st Birthday Setup - Bunny Garden Party

1st Birthday Setup - Bunny Garden Party

1st Birthday Setup - Bunny Garden Party

I moved our dining table to the side of the room and used our mirror as a backdrop with some hanging garlands that I made out of old scrap paper. Most of the table decor was a bunch of random mishmash from our house including some old glass vases, mason jars for flowers, craft crates, faux boxwood green balls, and ceramic bunnies from my Easter collection.

Lunch was chicken salad on croissants made to look like carrots with bits of parsley coming out the end, a gluten free and paleo option on beds of lettuce, the yummiest cheese ball recipe HERE, cheddar bunnies, a full garden of fresh veggies, and strawberry, blueberry, and raspberry patches. It was pretty easy other than lots and lots of washing, chopping, and assembling everything right before people showed up. But it seriously turned out way prettier than I had pictured in my head.

1st Birthday Setup - Bunny Garden Party

1st Birthday Setup - Bunny Garden Party

1st Birthday Setup - Bunny Garden Party

Beverages were strawberry lemonade, fresh cucumber water, and fresh lemon water.  I was going to do champagne but decided not to at the last minute.  My sister and I are both pregnant and we had lots of people who don’t drink at all.  Not to mention lots and lots of little ones and it didn’t seem right to have alcohol for some reason. Totally not like me one bit…must be the pregnancy hormones.

1st Birthday Setup - Bunny Garden Party

Bar Cart // Beverage Dispenser // Glass Pitchers

I made the cutest favor bags for our guests and then completely forgot to hand them out to people.  Totally my fault for putting them on the bottom of the bar cart.  Out of sight and out of the way.  I found the cutest vintage bunny graphics on The Graphic Fairy.com and printed them out on basic paper bags with the added wording, “Thank You for Hopping By.” I added a doily, some pink satin ribbon, a white bunny tail, and filled them with THIS recipe for “Bunny Bait” that I found on Pinterest. They were just adorable and the treat inside is so addicting!

1st Birthday Setup - Bunny Garden Party

1st Birthday Setup - Bunny Garden Party

Baby Girls Mint Flutter Dress // Blush Lace-Up Sandals // White Maxi Dress

1st Birthday Setup - Bunny Garden Party

1st Birthday Setup - Bunny Garden Party

Baby Girls Mint Flutter Dress  //  Blush Lace-up Flats  // Bunny Ears Homemade *Tutorial coming soon

1st Birthday Setup - Bunny Garden Party

Baby Girls Mint Flutter Dress // White Maxi Dress

1st Birthday Setup - Bunny Garden Party

1st Birthday Setup - Bunny Garden Party

Baby Girls Mint Flutter Dress

The whole party was just spectacular.  We watched a bunch of little ones play together, ate lunch, sang “Happy Birthday,” and watched Reagan go to town on a piece of cake.  The guys played pool in the basement and watched the NFL combine on tv.  It was so low-key and so perfect.  I intentionally went into the whole day with zero expectations on how the decor, food, people, or Reagan’s behavior would turn out. AND…everything turned out so perfect and couldn’t have been more awesome.  These kids parties can get out of control pretty quickly and become all about the parents and the production.  While I might have gone a little overboard on the decor, I never lost sight of the true purpose of the day…celebrating our sweet Reagan Marie.  She is such a little miracle.  It was a fantastic day and again thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate!!!!!

xo xo,

michelle signature

Categories BABYFAVORITESSEASONS

End of Summer Baby Sales

As I headed downtown this morning for a work meeting, I was quickly reminded that today is the first day of school for lots of “littles” all around our area.  Labor Day is on the horizon and that usually signals the END OF SUMMER and the beginning of all things Fall.  Cooler weather, falling leaves, and early September days are all calling my name.  The changing of the seasons is extra special this year because it is the beginning of “a bunch of FIRSTS” for Little Reagan Marie.  First time doing Fall activities, first football season, first Halloween, First Thanksgiving, and of course Christmas is right around the corner.

Labor Day sales are everywhere right now including a bunch of Summer goodies for next year.  I rounded up some of my absolute favorites that I can’t wait to see Reagan sporting next Summer. And as a bonus everything is clearance pricing right now + an additional 40% OFF all clearance items.  This really is the only way to shop for your “littles.” They outgrow things so fast that it is impossible to justify spending $40 on a freaking baby outfit…but thats just my opinion.  And if you buy the right sizes you can see your sweet baby in the same cute outfits again next year!!!

summer favorites 2016

Embroidered Chambray Romper     Teal Palm Dress + Cardigan Set     Pink Sailor Bow Headband     Chambray Tank Romper     White Fiesta Dress + Cardigan     Polka Dot Chambray Top     Polka Dot Chambray Bow Headband     Ruffle Tank Onesie with Floral Bottoms

baby shoes

Carters Mary Jane Flats

I have always aimed to purchase any BIG baby items on super sale and Labor Day is no exception when it comes to great deals. Here are some of the other items that are on my radar for fantastic deals and steals when it comes to baby items!

PLAYPEN – We have been wanting a Playpen for awhile now but Miss Reagan was just not quite big enough. Now we are a few short weeks away from her sitting up on her own and I am so excited to have a place that can be all hers. After lots of research we decided to go with the 4moms Breeze Play Yard for convenience, storage, and longterm durability over multiple babies! It is on SUPERSALE right now and I could not be more excited!

HIGH CHAIR – We intentionally held off on purchasing some of the BIG baby items that we knew we wouldn’t need right away when I was pregnant. Well, the last 6 months have absolutely flown by and I can’t believe that it is time for Miss Reagan to be in a High Chair. I fell in love with the Boon Flair Pedestal High Chair and am so excited to snag it for a good deal. I love that it has interchangeable seats so we only have to purchase one high chair but can change the color if we have a little boy in the future. We have been using our Bumbo Chair with the Play Tray as a temporary place to feed Miss Reagan, but her chubby little baby legs are beginning to not fit in the seat openings. HAHAHAHAH. So…I am taking this as a sign that it might be time for her to get an upgrade.

BABY GATES – Miss Reagan is still months away from walking but she is getting big enough to be in a walker & jumper. And that little walker of hers will mysteriously make it across the length of our kitchen when i’m not paying attention. So we decided that its time for a baby gate! We have a set of steep stairs right off of our kitchen and I don’t want to risk a tumble. Labor Day seems like a good time to get this item on sale as well. We decided to go with the Summer Infant Multi-Use Baby Gate and can’t wait for it to get here.

Labor Day is going to be extremely low key. We finally had our fence rebuilt after the crazy windstorm blew it apart last November. We’ve been hard at work staining every little nook and cranny whenever we get some free time together. So far it is coming together nicely and the color really pops against our yard!!! So happy to finally have some stain on it and we will most likely wrap up that project over the long weekend. September 2nd is Reagan’s Half Birthday and she will be 6months old. Holy Crap! Where did the time go?  Its been so fun watching her grow up and I am so looking forward to her walking and getting dressed up for Halloween.

Bye Bye Summer. Hello FALL!!!!!!!

xo xo Friends,

michelle signature

Categories BABYFAVORITES

Month Three Newborn Favorites aka “Playtime Essentials”

Whoa Nelly…I can’t believe it has taken me so long to write this post, and yet here we are.  In writing this, Reagan is almost 4 months old and time is flying by. I’m absolutely astonished at what she is capable of doing and she is surprising us and making us smile more than ever.

Month Three was a huge turning point because Reagan finally seemed to be enjoying the world around her.  Suddenly she had found her voice and and those little arms and legs of hers were always active and pumping.  I finally felt like we were able to introduce more activities, and in particular some FUN toys that she was actually able to enjoy.  During play time she is ALWAYS happy and smiling and I can really see the wheels turning in her little brain as she tries to learn and figure out what things are and do.  SOOOOO MUCH FUN!!!!

Our Month Three Favorites consist mostly of some fun toys and a few basics that we literally couldn’t live without.  Developmentally, we are all about the colors and tactile toys at the moment. I love putting different toys and objects in front of her to see how she responds.  My two favorites are the high contrast Art Cards and the cutest Alphabet Puzzle.  She will stare at the animal cards forever and we touch the letters and say them out loud. I know she can’t comprehend the meaning of the letters etc. but we are setting the stage for all the learning that is to come.  Plus she just loves it when we talk to her in general.

Month Three Newborn Favorites

Bumbo Floor Seat     Bumbo Play Tray     Gerber Cloth Diapers (used as burp rags)

Vulli Toy Blocks     Janod Alphabet Puzzle     Woombie Big Baby Swaddle

Mother’s Milk Tea     WeeGallery Art Cards

Bumbo Floor Seat - 3 Month FavoritesBumbo Seat for babyJumbo Play Tray

Bumbo Floor Seat and Bumbo Play Tray:   Reagan was extremely weary of this in the beginning.  She really didn’t like being in it at all and would start screaming as soon as we put her in it.  I decided to ease her into using it.  That seems to be her learning MO.  She takes awhile to warm up to things but once she is comfortable with something she is super happy and won’t stop smiling.  So really, I probably pulled the trigger a little early on the Bumbo Seat and she wasn’t quite ready for it at the three month stage, but now we use it daily and she loves it.  The Bumbo Tray is an awesome addition because I can put toys directly on it and front of her at her level.  She is able to play and practice fine motor skills like hand eye coordination.  This particular seat seems to bring with it some controversy regarding whether or not it is hard on baby’s hips.  I have received personal accounts of why some Moms don’t use this product and why some Moms absolutely love it.  I think it comes down to what you feel is best for your child and for us, we weighed the cons but still felt like the Bumbo was a good fit for Reagan. We are extremely happy with it.

cloth diapers burp rags

Gerber Cloth Diapers (also known as the World’s Best Burp Rag):   These are the best non-traditional burp rags.  The hubby thought I was crazy when I first brought these home and then around 2 weeks into having a newborn at home he realized how invaluable they really are.  SO MUCH BABY SPIT-UP AND PUKE!!! By themselves they really are not very cute.  So I decided to jazz mine up a bit with some fun gender neutral fabric to match our nursery. Tutorial coming soon.  These are littered all over our house and we could still use about a dozen more.  They are going to be my GO TO new baby gift and the best part of my day is when I pull 5 or 6 fresh ones out of the dryer.

Burp Cloths #3Burp Cloth ImageBurp Cloth Image

colorful toy blocks

Vulli Toy Blocks:   I got these for Reagan for Easter this year.  Read about it HERE. She was about 3 weeks old at the time but I knew we were going to love playing with them.  Well…she is finally enjoying them and they are the perfect soft small toy blocks to use with the Bumbo Play Tray above.  She can throw them without being destructive and the raised designs on each side are perfect for small hands and for developing her tactile senses.  These too are littered all around our home and are the perfect compliment to Sophie the Giraffe playtime.

alphabet letter toys

Janod Alphabet Puzzle:   This puzzle set just might be one of the cutest things i’ve ever seen. I am in LOVE with the bright colors and the natural safe wood.  The pieces are large enough that they cannot be swallowed and they are just the right size for little fingers and hands to grab onto.  We play a game where we sing the Alphabet all the way through R, and we say “R is for REAGAN,” and then keep going to the end. Next we give her each letter and say all the words we can think of that start with that particular letter. Its actually a lot harder to randomly think up words than you might think. And then we finish by signing the Alphabet song all the way through again.  She just loves our little game and is usually ready for a nap by the time we are finished. Bonus for Mommy.  Our latest addition is that we try and do Tummy Time as we play the whole game to continue building up core and neck strength.

alphabet letter toys

She is such a HAPPY little peanut!!! Those chubby cheeks give me all the heart eyes in the world!

woombie swaddle

Woombie Big Baby Swaddle:   The Hubby was not a fan of this contraption when we initially got it.  Now i’m convinced this might be the key to getting Reagan to sleep through the night. We started off by doing good old regular swaddles.  Which worked great for the first few months.  Now little Miss is getting so coordinated that she can wiggle free within a few minutes and her feet in particular are poking out the bottom of her swaddle.  She gets herself so wrapped up that we were worried she might suffocate herself. WTF!!!!! Not on this Mommy’s watch.  By zipping her up in the Woombie she can’t break free and wake herself up AND we don’t worry about her getting blankets wrapped around her little self. Huge sigh of relief as a parent.

nursing tea

Mother’s Milk Tea:   Ugh…the dreaded BreastMilk struggle continues friends.  About a month ago my milk supply suddenly dropped out of nowhere.  My pumping schedule was the same, my diet was still the same, and there was just no reason that I should suddenly stop making milk.  I decided to increase my pumping schedule and give this Mother’s Milk Tea a try.  I know a lot of Moms who swear by this stuff and so I have added it to my nightly routine in addition to pumping and drinking more water than humanly possible.

artcards for baby

WeeGallery Art Cards:   I bought these when Reagan was around two months old and we have been using them consistently for weeks now! It has been so much fun to see her progression of understanding and mental development take place before my eyes. We love the Garden collection because we have squirrels and birds right outside in our backyard.  And of course the Pet collection because of our the little zoo that we’ve got going on. I also got her the Woodland collection and the Jungle collection.

wee gallery art cardswee gallery art cardswee gallery art cards

Overall I would definitely say Month Three has been a complete success.  It can be emotionally hard at times to see your newborn become a full fledged “BABY” before your eyes, but seeing how happy and excited they are to learn and just be a part of your world totally makes up for the emotional mommy moments.

While I got a little behind in the blogging department, i’m ready to get caught up and so excited to be bringing some totally new stuff to the blog starting in August. Watch for some Reagan updates, cool new features, and an exciting announcement coming soon.

xoxo Friends,

michelle signature

Categories FAVORITESHOLIDAYSMAMA + MINI

Mama + Mini // 4th of July Style

With only one week to go until one of our FAVORITE HOLIDAYS, I thought it would be fun to round up some of my favorite Mama + Mini Styles for the 4th of July!!! Have I mentioned lately that having a Little Girl is the best and most festive thing EVER!!! And I LOVE it beyond belief!!!

4th of July Mini Style

Tank + Baby Bloomers   //   Gold Leaf Headband   //   Chambray Polka Dot Dress   //   Gold Glitter Jelly Sandals   //   Red White & Cute Shirt with Jean Shorts  //   Chuck Taylor All Stars for Mama   //   Chuck Taylor All Stars for Baby

I simply can’t wait to see Miss Reagan in her stylish & festive outfit for the fourth!!!!

Gold Leaf Headband

Red White & Cute Outfit

Gold Jelly SandalsGold Jelly Sandals

 It is no surprise that I am a lover of Holidays and anything festive.  When I think back to the Fourth last year, I was newly pregnant and in the beginning stages of good ol’ morning sickness…how FUN right??? I was a pouty party because I couldn’t drink, but was still head over heels happy because we were PREGNANT!!! We found out we were expecting over the holiday weekend last year and it was just so much fun.  The Fourth of July is one our favorite holidays and it is very serindipidous that we found out about our sweet baby while celebrating the Red, White, & Blue.

Gold Laurel

Mama + Mini

Mama Chuck Taylor All StarsChuck Taylor All Stars Mini

Gold Laurel

Here is our very first photo as a family of three + 2 golden retrievers. Baby Reagan was still a tiny tadpole swimming in my belly, but we gave her a little flag nonetheless!!!!

Patriotic Family July 2015

Bikini Top (last year – similar HERE)

***Mourning my pre-baby body and abs a bit after seeing this photo. Mama needs to continue working her hinny off!

I’m just so excited to see what kind of festive shenanigans we can get into this year.  Miss Reagan is going to be representing the Red, White, & Blue and we will be taking her to the lake for the very first time. I am just so excited.  I know she is still too young to understand what is going on but its so fun to see her little eyes light up when she sees and experiences new things for the first time. SPARKLERS & S’MORES anyone?!?!?!

Hope everyone has an amazing week and it’s definitely time to do some festive 4th of July party planning!

xo xo Friends,

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Categories BABYFAVORITES

Month TWO Newborn Favorites…aka “we’re starting to get the hang of this”

So excited to be sharing some awesome products today that made month two with our baby girl a little sweeter and a WHOLE LOT easier. Here is my run down on our month 2 favorite newborn products and all the baby stuff that I sifted through to survive the first 8 weeks with our baby girl.

I don’t know what I’d do without all the awesome suggestions I’ve received from other mommas, and then of course there is just trial by fire and learning EVERYTHING as we go.  I tried to do as much prep as possible before little Miss Reagan arrived, but there truly is no substitute for being in the moment and figuring out what you need to raise your babies!

*NOTE – I did a TON of research when it came to finding the best-quality and cheapest prices on ALL of our baby gear. I HIGHLY recommend starting a Target Baby Registry! Everything that Target and Amazon have are bomb.com and often both have the cheapest prices.  I compared them with Babies R’ Us, Diapers.com, Costco, and Walmart and was surprised/excited to learn that they really do have the best deals.

month 2 newborn favorite products

Infantino Car Seat Chimes: Pink Owl Chime    BlueBird and Elephant Chime    Yellow Giraffe Chime

Enfamil Gentlease Formula:   20oz. Reusable Tub     (4-pack)  20oz. Reusable Tub

Johnson’s Head-to-Toe Baby Wash     Boppy Noggin Nest Pillow     WubbaNub Pacifier

AngelCare Bath Support     Dr. Brown’s Bottles

baby toys car seat chimes

Infantino Car Seat Chimes:    I LOVE these little buggers. I happened upon them randomly one day at Target and was immediately obsessed. The bright colors and sweet chimes are absolutely perfect for catching Miss Reagan’s attention. The hubby built me a little mini baby gym, tutorial coming soon, and we dangle them from it while she sits in her Boppy and plays for hours. She gets those little arms moving and loves to play and grab them. If you follow me on INSTAGRAM then you have probably seen the sweetest little video of her playing with them. As a bonus, I love that I can easily remove them from the gym and take them on the go whenever we need them. The little Pink Owl and the Green Elephant are Reagan’s favorites.

baby formula

Enfamil Gentlease Formula:   I’ve mentioned this baby formula a few times now! But seriously, this might have truly saved me from losing my mind the first 8 weeks of Reagan’s life. We really struggled with breastfeeding and were originally given Enfamil Newborn Formula by our pediatrician. Well a few weeks later she was struggling with tummy troubles and we decided to give Gentlease a try. BABY…FORMULA…MAGIC!!! Reagan immediately took to it and now it is a huge part of our daily feeding routine. Like I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, I am still expressing and pumping breast milk and we mix it with a few ounces of this Enfamil Gentlease. The end result is one Milk Drunk Happy Baby and two completely relieved parents. She is still gassy on occasion but she no longer screams or cries from tummy pain. I am so happy that we found this. It has been an absolute godsend!

baby wash

Johnson’s Baby Wash: Baby wash seems like a pretty basic baby necessity, but I was shocked at how many different washes and shampoos are on the market today.  Its confusing as a parent to know what brands to trust and what brands are “over-the -top.” We were given Johnson’s Head-to-Toe Baby Wash by the hospital and have really loved it.  We started using bath time as a precursor to bedtime in our daily routine, and needed a baby wash that was super gentle on Miss Reagan’s sensitive skin.  Most websites will also recommended that you don’t bathe your newborn daily, but with the blessing of our pediatrician we were given the go ahead as long as the wash was gentle enough. Johnson’s Baby Wash allows us to keep Reagan “nice and clean” and as a bonus she gets “nice and tired” from playing in the bath. Bring on bedtime, aka Mommy & Daddy relaxation time!!!!

infant head support

Boppy Nest Noggin’ Support Pillow: Awwww…the dreaded flat head syndrome. Strangely this issue caused me more “mommy stress” then anything else during month two. We were officially out of the early newborn days and were feeling more and more confident in everything we were doing as parents. Then little Miss Reagan started sleeping a little longer and that meant she was on her back for longer periods of time while swaddled and sleeping. I was so terrified that she would develop a flattened head that wouldn’t correct itself with tummy time etc.

Are there any other mommas out there who stressed and worried about completely ruining your child because you weren’t able to hold/carry/wear your baby 24/7???

I truly felt like I was “damaging” my child every single time I put her down for a nap or bedtime. Enter the Nest Noggin’ Pillow. This has been a lifesaver. We tried a few different strategies prior to purchasing the pillow which included: side sleeping, rotating her head from side to side, propping her up in the Boppy to sleep and countless other things. But ultimately we got the Noggin’ Pillow and now I simply don’t stress about her having a physical deformity or requiring a shaping helmet at any point in her infancy.  She has a beautiful, perfectly shaped, round little head. 🙂

giraffe pacifier

Wubba Nub Pacifier: Love Love Love the WubbaNub Pacifier. I had initially heard mixed reviews about it but ultimately we received it as a gift and have absolutely loved having it as our dedicated car seat pacifier. If you read my Month One Newborn Favorites post, then you know how much we LOVE the Avent Soothie Pacifiers and the WubbaNub comes with one attached to the sweetest little stuffy animal.  I use this paci for the car when Reagan is fussy. While driving or riding in the passenger seat it is almost impossible to reach back and hunt for a pacifier while still being a responsible driver.  The stuffed animal on this bad boy is fantastic because it is easy to find, grab, and shove back in quickly.  The end result is a smooth and quiet car ride for everyone. Parenting WIN!!!!!

infant bath support

AngelCare Bath Support: This is by far my FAVORITE item that I discovered during month two. We use the AngelCare Bath Support EVERY SINGLE DAY, and it has made bath time so enjoyable for all of us.  Reagan is so happy because just like the name implies she is fully supported and can be in the bath splashing and looking around at us instead of being awkwardly held.  Bathing an infant is tricky because they get so slippery in the water and you are left with only one free hand for washing.  I am so happy with the AngelCare because Reagan is propped up and can look around but remains safely secured in the anti-slip rubber base. The AngelCare comes in both Pink and Blue.

baby bottles

Dr. Brown’s Vented Bottles:  Everyone has their own preference on baby bottles, for us, these have made a huge difference in the feeding arena.  We originally tried breastfeeding as long as possible but to keep it short and sweet, it just wasn’t working for us.  We moved to exclusive pumping and bottle feeding and never looked back.  Reagan is a healthy, happy, and lovely little girl, and part of that is because we have been able to give her breast milk mixed with a little bit of formula via these amazing Dr. Brown Vented Bottles. We originally used a basic slow-flow nipple on the standard Medela bottles that came with my Medela Pump.  Reagan was having some major tummy troubles and so after a little research I learned about these vented bottles.  No air comes in contact with the milk and Reagan isn’t sucking down a bunch of air with her milk which would cause her to be fussy and spit up all the time.  Once we switched over to this type of bottle and got her on the Enfamil Gentlease Formula, feeding time was fantastic and enjoyable once again.

xo xo Friends,

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Categories BABYFAVORITES

Month ONE Newborn Favorites…aka “Survival Gear”

Ok friends, I by NO means claim to be a pro at this “mommy” thing yet, but its funny how quickly I picked up exactly what needed to be done, how to do it, and the best gear for the job at hand.  I did a ton of research on different products during my pregnancy. I really tried to prepare myself when it came to what we were going to “need” for our little one and what would be considered “fluff” stuff.  I know there are dozens of posts out there with gear ranging from a completely minimalistic approach to fully stocked nurseries. I like to think we are somewhere in the middle. So… if you are looking for a good mix, here are a few month one newborn favorites that I would consider must-haves, nice-to-haves, and splurges!!!

I started my breakdown with “Month One” because we successfully survived the first 4 weeks with Reagan without any major hiccups. I’ve included links for all the items in the cheapest places I could find them. *NOTE – I did a TON of research when it came to finding the best-quality and cheapest prices on ALL of our baby gear. I HIGHLY recommend starting a Target Baby Registry! I also found that Target and Amazon often have the cheapest prices when it comes to baby supplies and gear.  I compared them with Babies R’ Us, Diapers.com, Costco, and Walmart and was surprised/excited to learn that they really do have the best deals. ENJOY and let me know if you have any questions! Again, not an expert, but I will give my honest opinion and thoughts on the products we use on a daily basis. I found that reading about other mommies and their experiences was SOOOOOO incredibly helpful in preparing for my first baby.

month one newborn favorites

Medela InStyle Advanced Breast Pump     Avent Soothie Pacifiers     Aden+Anais Swaddles

Bare Naked Boppy Pillow     Boon Lawn Drying Rack     Aquaphor Diaper Cream

Mist Wipe Warmer     Babyganics On-the-Go Mini Pump

Johnson & Johnson Hand and Face Wipes     Lansinoh Soothie Gel Pads     Medela Hydrogel Pads

“MUST HAVES”

Breast Pump – This one is an absolute “must have” in my book.  If you’ve read some of my previous posts you know we intended to do breastfeeding for as long as possible and then supplement with pumped breast milk. Well, long story short, things didn’t really work out that way and we ended up doing exclusive pumping.  It works for us but I wouldn’t have survived without my amazing Medela InStyle Advanced Breast Pump. I did quite a bit of research on the different models available and concluded that this is one of the best ones on the market. There are definitely some cheaper models available and some pretty spendy ones also. I love that the Medela is durable and its motor will last for thousands of pumping sessions.  We considered it to be an investment for multiple babies down the road. And the quality is fantastic for the money you’re spending on it. I opted for the tote bag option and am sooooooo glad I did. Easy access, easy maneuverability, and a quit motor for night sessions were all the features I was looking for in my pump and the Medela has all of them.  I am very HAPPY with my pump and consider it to be a “must have” item for sure even if you’re not exclusively pumping like me! I bought mine at Target HERE but it is also available at Amazon for a great price HERE.

Avent Soothie Pacifiers – Pacifiers are another “must have” in my opinion and our use of a pacifier started by accident.  Originally we received advice from our lactation consultant, while still in the hospital, to not use a pacifier as they can sometimes cause nipple confusion.  So…like many NEW and completely unaware parents we decided to take her advice and forgo the use of a pacifier. Well, like most brand new babies, Miss Reagan did great for our first night in the hospital but really let us have it during night two, which also happened to be our first night home with her.  She was crying and screaming and no matter what we attempted to do, she was inconsolable. After the fact, I hear that this is actual quite common because babies finally realize they are not in their mommy’s tummy anymore. In the wee hours of the morning, my fantastic mother-in-law came into our bedroom and offered up some help by using a pacifier. We tried it and she immediately calmed down, thank the Lord, and soon fell into a peaceful sleep. We haven’t looked back and LOVE using a pacifier to soothe and calm her. She has NO nipple or bottle confusion and truly does great with a pacifier. Originally, I started using Natursutten Pacifiers because they were all the rage, all natural, organic blah blah blah. You know the drill with this mommy stuff. Honest opinion, I was super unimpressed and so was Reagan. She hated these pacifiers and at $9 a pop I won’t use them again. We had received a WubbaNub Pacifier as a gift and Reagan immediately took to this type of pacifier. The shape is similar to the type of bottle nipple we use so I think the consistency helps calm her.  I immediately went out and bought some Avent Soothie Pacifiers  and completely LOVE THEM!!!!! I of course bought the purple and pink ones but the Avent Soothies in teal are also a favorite because they match Reagan’s nursery.

Swaddle Blankets – If you’ve ever been on Pinterest or a Mommy website you’ve probably read about swaddle blankets. Well when we first started talking about having a baby I had absolutely NO idea what a freakin’ swaddle was.  No clue what that meant or why you would need one. How quickly things change once you become a parent. Swaddling is probably one of the most amazing and necessary skills we could have learned as new parents. Swaddling up our little Reagan girl was a complete game changer. She instantly becomes quiet. She does turn her head a lot while swaddled because she is so curious about everything happening around her, but overall being swaddled is so calming to her.  She loves it and so do we.  We received these Aden+Anais Swaddles as a baby gift and just loved them. I love that they have a bit of texture to them so they really stay in place and the little Miss can’t break free. I also purchased some Little Remi Swaddles and we really love them too. While browsing Target.com I completely fell in love with these butterfly and ladybug Aden+Anais Swaddles. So cute!

Boppy Nursing Pillow – I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Boppy Nursing Pillow. A hands-down “must have” for anyone!!! It is the number one baby gift for showers and it can be used for everything! We use it multiple times a day and are almost ready to buy another one for my office just to have around as a spare! We use it for naps, tummy time, lounging around, playtime, and for feeding! It is meant to be used as a nursing pillow but we love it for everything. As long as baby is being supervised it is a great hands-free aid for new moms who are still recovering from labor and as a comfortable place for baby to chill in while other “non-baby” life stuff happens. If you haven’t received one as a gift then please go out and buy one today! Your life as a new parent will be so much easier. You can thank me later! I recommend the Bare Naked Boppy Pillow because I really wanted to make my own covers but there are some really cute ones available. For little girls I love the Pink Dots Cover and for little boys the Blue Dots Cover.  Since we didn’t know what our baby’s gender was I needed to have all my basis covered!!!!

“NICE TO HAVES”

Boon Lawn Bottle Drying Rack – This product is so cute and so functional…definitely “nice-to-have.”  My husband hates clutter of any kind and I knew we were going to need something simple to contain all the hundreds of thousands of bottle and pumping parts that are endlessly floating around our kitchen.  Voila… the Boon Lawn Drying Rack is the answer. I could’ve easily got a cheap-looking plastic drying rack but I love the way this one looks in our kitchen and it is great for containing all the tiny parts and pieces of everything.  Having this also helped us establish a “bottle station” for all our feeding supplies and now we have our go-to spot when its time for Miss Reagan to eat.

Aquaphor Diaper Cream – I am so thankful that I had this Aquaphor Diaper Cream on hand in our first few weeks as parents. One thing I had read about but was hoping to avoid was the dreaded diaper rash.  We had a few weeks of some pretty acidic poops and we first tried Triple Paste but found that the zinc oxide in it irritated Reagan’s bottom even more. Next we tried the Aquaphor brand and it was fantastic.  Her little bottom cleared up within hours.

Munchkin Mist Wipe Warmer – We received the Munchkin Mist Wipe Warmer as a baby gift and I must say…it is definitely “nice-to-have.”  I originally heard about this product from my sister who has twin boys.  She recommended it because no one wants a nice, quiet, sleepy baby to wake up from an ice-cold wet wipe being put on their ass during a 3am feeding. That just sounds absolutely awful. Definitely not a “must-have” but this really helps to keep things flowing smoothly during the midnight feeding sessions. I am so thankful that we have this product.  They make one that has just the Wipe Warmer and one that has a Mist Wipe Warmer feature that is just awesome.

“TOTAL SPLURGES”

Babyganics Hand Sanitizers –  I have completely fallen in love with the Babyganics brand.  We have numerous products from their line and are so happy with ALL of them.  As far as hand sanitizers go, this is a total splurge because hand sanitizers are pretty basic.  I really loved the convenience of the mini bottles and have them in our diaper bag, my purse, and the car for quick access.  The bottle pump was great for the hospital when visitors came and we love having a bottle next to our changing table for a quick cleanup after a messy blowout.  The refill packs are convenient and really cut down on the overall price of this product. I know once Reagan becomes mobile and starts to get into everything I will be so thankful to have these on hand.

Babyganics Bottle Pump     Babyganics On-the-Go Mini Pump     Babyganics Refill Packs

      Johnson & Johnson Hand and Face Wipes I had read reviews about how awesome these wipes are but I must admit that I was quite skeptical at first. There are so many baby products on the market that are absolute garbage and i’ve already had my fair share of regretful purchases. This one surprised me.  I almost put them in my “must haves” because I love this product that much. It is still a splurge because they are a little spendy, but these babies are so amazing for cleaning up baby spit-up and baby boogers.  My husband often says, “just use a regular wipe OR why not a burp cloth?” Yes, I could use these items, but the Johnson & Johnson Hand and Face Wipes SMELL SOOOOOOOO GOOD! They have the freshest smell and I want to kiss Miss Reagan’s cheeks all the time because she smells so sweet.

Lansinoh Soothie Gel Pads Ahhhhh the comfort of having something cool and soothing on your poor, cracked, overworked and bleeding tatas. The joys of nursing your brand new baby. I wasn’t prepared for the “pain” that nursing can bring and these Lansinoh Soothie Gel Pads were an absolute godsend. They are crazy expensive but well worth the money if you want to splurge on yourself.  I bought THIS 4-PACK  and tried my best to take care of them so they would last longer. After nursing for the first few weeks your poor boobies will be so tired and these are AMAZING!!! I also used their TheraPearl Hot/Cold Pack and Lansinoh Lanolin and was so grateful for them.  I recommend the 3-pack because I kept lanolin everywhere around our house and was constantly putting it on. You really can’t have enough of the stuff. My tatas LOVED IT!!!!

Medela Hydrogel Pads – These are very similar to the Soothie Pads above but I received a whole stack of them FREE from our lactation consultant.  They were great to have on hand once my soothies were all gone. Medela Hydrogel Pads will give you the same cooling sensation along with protecting and shielding your nipples from any further irritation. I really love both products. I felt like the soothies stayed on better compared to the hydrogels BUT the hydrogels are a little larger for better coverage.

I hope this is helpful to any first time mommy’s out there.  Learning to balance life with a newborn is much harder than I originally thought and it takes lots of patience and the right “tools” to get through the day-to-day grind with your new little bundle of love.  I found all these items to be so incredibly helpful and even now in month 3, we still use most of these products daily.

Please let me know if you have any questions. I’m happy to help. Us Mommas gotta stick together!

  xo xo Friends,

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Categories Uncategorized

1st Trimester Favorites

So thus far in this beautiful little journey of mine I feel like i’ve gotten off EASY when it comes to the not so pretty side of pregnancy.  I might be eating my words later…especially if morning sickness kicks up a few notches, FINGERS ARE CROSSED.  Here are some of the HIGH’s and Low’s so far including all the MUST HAVE’s that have made my 1st Trimester so much easier! I’m sure these might not work for some people but they definitely worked for me.

1st Trimester Favorites

#1 – SmartWater  #2 – The Honest Company Belly Balm   #3 – VitaFusion Prenatal Gummies

#4 – Green Smoothie   #5 – Mustela Double Action Stretch Mark Cream   #6 – CanadaDry Ginger Ale

#7 – Sea-Bands   #8 – Premium Saltine Crackers

(not shown: RitzCrackers, my cozy bed for napping, and maybe one of our kitties to cuddle with)

#1 – Water

Drink as much WATER as humanly possible!!!! I purchased a few Liter sized Smart Water bottles and continue refilling them over and over again.  If I can get through one whole bottle throughout the day and only throw up a few times…then it was a GOOD DAY!!! The further I get into pregnancy the more I realize I had no freakin’ clue what I was signing up for.  My body has changed so much and I literally don’t recognize it anymore. HaHa. I’ve heard this is normal when your smallish because everything shows much faster.  The thought of drinking water often makes me completely nauseous but I feel so much better when i’m constantly chugging it down.  **PS I was a terrible water drinker before I got pregnant.  I was just never thirsty and would forget to drink it all the time.  I swear this is where my weight has come from so far.  Everything is much more bloated and soft but I can’t believe the difference in how I feel.  Bring on the water baby!!!!

#2 – The Honest Company Belly Balm  & #5 – Mustela Double Action Stretch Mark Cream

Ok…having a serious chat about stretch marks completely freaks me out.  I am literally doing everything possible to lube up my belly everyday to prevent these little devils as much as possible.  I am completely aware that I might have zero control over them showing up.  I know they are mostly genetic but at the same time I am convinced that I can make a difference where I can.  I’ve done a tone of research and am rounding up these two as my top favorites in stretch mark creams.  I think a huge factor is keeping the pregnancy weight gain in check, don’t go gangbusters on the fast food and you’ll be just fine, and staying active as much as possible. Like I stated above, I might have no control over this fun pregnancy side effect but working my butt off to prevent them is way better then sitting around eating garbage and doing nothing.  Even though when your pregnant, thats all you really want to do, sleep, rest, and actually keep food down for once.  Also…thanks mom for the good no stretch mark genes.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed for sure!!!!!

#3 – VitaFushion Prenatal Gummies

I feel like this is a no brainer.  Pretty much from the moment you find out your pregnant you hear from every website, book, doctor, and mama how IMPORTANT & VITAL your prenatal vitamins are.  And I must say I agree 100%.  Research shows these little buggers will make a huge difference in the health and growth of your baby.  They really aren’t that expensive and are easy to take if your already in the routine of taking vitamins or medicine.  I had been taking a good strong prenatal for over a year before we got pregnant.  My OB shared that this is fantastic because most women have usually been pregnant for 4 and 6 weeks before even finding out.  This period is so critical in the development of the baby.  The brain and spinal cord form and seal up and you want all the GOOD folic acid to help prevent birth defects and disorders. Now, on the flip side, as soon as I found out I was pregnant I felt pretty good for the first couple of weeks, but around week 6 or 7 I started getting sick and nauseous on a regular basis.  Taking my prenatals made everything so much worse so I switched to these gummy vitamins because they are much easier to keep down.  They still upset my stomach but I take them right before bed and just curl up and konk out.  They have the same good nutrients but are way easier on my mommy tummy.  The only downside…they are basically candy and are loaded with sugar.  But at this point…i’ll take a little sugar over throwing up and not getting the goodies my baby needs to develop.

#4 – Homemade GREEN Smoothie

I am a terrible pregnant lady because I literally forget to eat…all the time.  I’ve struggled with remembering to eat breakfast and grabbing that afternoon snack for years.  I get so wrapped up in the goings on of my job, which is non-stop, that remembering to eat keeps getting shuffled to the bottom of my To Do List.  With a little one on the way I know I need to make this a priority and this drink has helped me keep my memory in check.  I make a few of these giant green smoothies in the AM and take them to work with me.  I can sip on them all day and know i’m getting extremely healthy nutrients for me and the sweet little babe.  I can drink at my own pace based on my appetite that day, which is wonderful, because right now NOTHING is consistent for me.  One day i’m ravaged and stopping for ice cream because the cravings are so bad and the next I’m forgetting to eat until 3pm because the occasional food aversion is starting to kick in.  I love anything sweet, so originally my green drinks were loaded with fresh fruits and all that yummy sugar.  But I know I need to get all my greens in there, plus A LOT of extra fiber because pregnancy constipation is no freakin’ joke friends.  I started adding prune juice to my drink every day to help keep things movin’ because i’ll be honest, there definitely is a not-so-pretty and freakin’ magical side to pregnancy friends!!! But just thinking about the little gummy bear growing inside of me makes it all worth it.

My Homemade Green Smoothie consists of the following. And you can find dozens upon dozens of adaptations on Pinterest to suit your tastes…

Frozen Blueberries (in place of ice and for good antioxidants, occasionally i’ll do fresh blueberries instead)

Frozen Straberries (in place of ice and packed with vitamin C)

Fresh Spinach

Fresh Kale

2% Fage Plain Greek Yogurt (probiotics are a constipated pregnant lady’s BEST FRIEND 🙂 )

1/2 a Banana (i love the taste of banana and all that potassium)

1 Tbsp. Ground Flax

100% Prune Juice (without all the added crap…just give me the strong effective stuff please 🙂 )

Almond Milk (calcium without the lactose…cheers)

***Blend and Boom instant healthy preggers food!!!

#6 – Canada Dry Ginger Ale

This is probably a no brainer in the pregnancy world but it took me a few weeks to figure it out for sure. The only down side that I found is that these little babies are loaded with sugar, but they still make your sick little tummy feel loads better.  I did find a few brand that were an all natural version at our local health food store but I really didn’t care for the taste at all.  All in all I would go for the traditional Canada Dry Ginger Ale because I know its good and it definitely made my tummy feel better.  I did limit myself to one can a day and only drank it when I was really sick and needed to be on my game…like at work or running errands etc.

#7 – Sea Bands

The verdict is still out on these guys but I was committed and wore them every single day.  The theory is that we all have acupressure points right above our wrists and if you hold pressure on that point for at least 5 minutes it sends a signal to your central nervous system that tells your brain to not feel nausea or the “sick” feeling.  Mr. Jeffrey was pretty skeptical but I have done acupuncture before and loved it, so I was on board and willing to try anything.  I wore them everyday without fail. Some days were better than others but all in all I was still sick even though I wore them.  It might have been all in my head but I do think they “took the edge off” and made a small difference.  I still recommend them to every mommy to be I meet.

#8 – Premium Crackers

Another pregnancy no brainer. I’m not sure these beauties need a reason for being on my favorites…they are more of a pregnancy NECESSITY!!! I had these with me at all times.  Boxes at home, work, in my car, and in my purse at all times.  Perfect for when a wave of sickness washes over you.  I would sit down, nibble a few crackers, close my eyes and just breathe for a bit…and the sickness would pass completely!!! These literally made my 1st Trimester so much easier and I don’t think I could have made it through without them.  I also depended on RitzCrackers, Cheezits, and dry toast to mix it up.  Saltines can get pretty bland after 6 weeks straight of eating them.

xo xo Friends,

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Categories Uncategorized

Our SuperBowl XLIX Party

Well…the SuperBowl was definitely a BIG disappointment for our Seattle Seahawks. But, a true fan is always a fan even when their team loses.  It simply comes with the territory and nature of competitive sports. We had high hopes for a 2nd SuperBowl win, but it just wasn’t in the cards for our 12’s!

Our original plan was to watch the game and enjoy some game day food with our girly puppies.  Things changed rather quickly and we enjoyed the game with a house full of FAMILY! It was awesome.  We have never done much “entertaining” at our house so it was wonderful to have everyone around for the FESTIVITIES!!!

I decorated our basement and turned it into a “HAWKS NEST” of sorts.  Festive decorations always help to set the mood and we wanted to send good energy to our Hawks on game day.  I decorated our mantel last year, but this year we went all out with balloons, streamers, and football pom poms in addition to last years decorations! I’ve got quite the collection going on.

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I took last years mantel decor and gave it a little update.  To check out last years mantel and how I made the “GO SEAHAWKS” letters click HERE!  My Circle Garland Tutorial can be found HERE. This year I added the festive tassel garland and football yardage banner! They turned out so good and I can reuse all the pieces again next year!

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We wrapped up our “Hawks Nest” decor with a cute football field snack table! Add some yummy lime chips, homemade guacomole, veggies and one of my FESTIVE chalkboards and we were ready to start some pre-game party action.

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I was sooooooo pleased with how my Seahawks Chalkboard turned out. I have made it available in my Etsy Shop, LoveTheSparkle, if you are interested in downloading it.  I also have some other Football Inspired prints available to help carry you through the off-season.  

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We continued our SuperBowl Shenanigans upstairs with LOTS & LOTS of appetizers, drinks, and my spicy homemade Chili! To download the recipe click SuperBowl 2015 Game Day Recipes and ENJOY!!!!

Crock Pot Chili

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I finally had an opportunity to put my Pretty Bar Cart to good use.  This sweet thing was a birthday gift from my mom and I have been absolutely dying to do some entertaining so I can show it off.  I brought back the football mason jar from last year and enjoyed “several” tasty rum & cokes during the game.  It was the SuperBowl after all.  I also put out some champagne glasses for celebratory purposes…but we didn’t win.  We totally broke out the champagne anyway…

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I had every intention of posting this several days ago, prior to our Big SuperBowl celebration. Here are some Seahawks Favorites that will knock your socks off at your SuperBowl 49 next game day party…

Seahawks Favorites - 2015

We had such a wonderful time celebrating with both sets of parents and finally enjoying a “day off” together.  They very rarely come around these days so it was so wonderful to see my sweet hubby and rock some Seahawks gear at the same time.  The off-season will “feel” long, but football will be back before we know it.  I’m already anticipating Draft Day 2015 and hoping Marshawn Lynch accepts the new 4-year contract we offered him.  Sigh…

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CHEERS to a very happy and loving February Friends!!! And hopefully it will either snow some more OR spring will pop up early…i’m so over this dark, cold, and brown winter!!!

Hope everyone is ready for “HEART” shaped everything!

xo xo Friends, 

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A New Year…New Favorites + UPDATES

 Happy Hump Day Friends!!!

Now that we are officially almost through the month, CRAZY, I am thinking it might be time for some January favorites!! I’ve included some amazing finds that i’ve been completely loving since the start of the new year. Some of these were Birthday and Christmas gifts and now I can’t imagine living without them!!!

January Favorites - 2015

#1 – Erin Condren Life Planner   #2 – Sugar Paper Wall Calendar   #3 – Basket Weave Gloves

#4 – Rose Gold iPhone Case   #5 – UGG Boots   #6 – EOS Smooth Stick   #7 – Orla Kiely Water Bottle

 #1 – The ABSOLUTELY AMAZING Erin Condren Life Planner is by far one of the most wonderful and life changing birthday gifts I have ever received!!! Thanks MOM, you are truly the best!!! This thing is sooooooooo unbelievably cool and has completely changed the way I structure my day and coordinate my schedule!!! It has all the features of a classic planner but is extremely reinforced so it won’t wear and tear, has wonderful colors throughout the whole planner along with fun and inspiring quotes, and my absolute favorite feature includes the customizable & interchangeable covers.  I know this sounds incredibly dorky to some, but getting a new planner to kick off the beginning of a brand spanking NEW YEAR is such a highlight for me!!!! I’ve always loved picking out my new and clean planner and now I can make changes, aka the interchangeable cover, whenever I feel like it!!! Soooooooooo Awesome!!!!

Above is the link to the main planner I got…extremely cute with the white & gold foil and gold spiral!!! I absolutely love its clean design and white is simply perfect for the new year!!! Here are the links for the other interchangeable covers I got for when i’m ready to “change things up a bit.”

White Roses Cover  /  Pink Roses Cover   /  Spearmint and Gold Cover  /  Charcoal and Gold Cover

Planner

Erin Condren Planner Covers

#2 – The classic and beyond adorable Sugar Paper Wall Calendar is always a winner in my book.  I’ve always loved their products and have used their planners in the past.  But i’ve officially been converted to the Erin Condren one above. I still loved this cute wall calendar however, and the colors match my planner.

#3 – Cozy Gloves are a Winter must and slightly obvious for the cold weather season.  I love these ones from Target because they are soft, warm and CHEAP.

#4 – I am obsessed with all things Gold and Metallic at the moment.  This cute Rose Gold iPhone Case caught my eye, but a new iPhone 6 is also on my radar so I decided to hold off for now. I’m still rocking the 4s like a pro and can’t wait to get my hands on a new one!!! Counting down the days…

#5 – These fantastic UGG Boots were a gift that I received at Christmas time and I absolutely love them.  UGG’s are a Winter staple for me and when i’m not working, I practically live in leggings and UGG boots.  So comfy and cozy for the cold weather.

 #6 – Cold weather in the Pacific Northwest also means dry skin and chapped lips for me.  I have super sensitive skin and my lips love the EOS Chapstick Balls.  I recently found the EOS Smooth Stick and love it just as much as the ball.  I also tried the EOS Shave Cream this past summer and will never go back to traditional shave cream.  Its a little more expensive but my skin loves it, especially this time of year.

 #7 – And last…no favorite board would be complete without a super cute Water Bottle. I have dozens of these things floating around the house but this one in particular was especially cute. Love the color…and pair it with anything “gold” and I am one happy girl.

 Something else i’ve been enjoying lately are these fabulous Green Smoothies that are all over Pinterest at the moment.  I might be a little behind in the uptake but I think they are beyond tasty.  I have one every morning with my coffee and oatmeal. My favorite includes Spinach, Kale, Raspberries, Blueberries, Banana (sometimes…high sugar content), a little ice, and topped with water or some Kombucha tea.  My favorite is Synergy Kombucha in Guava Goddess.

Green Smoothie

I only buy these little buggers when they are on sale, however, they can get really expensive.  But one bottle will last me 3-4 smoothies and helps them to taste flavorful instead of bland. They are fabulous to have on hand when you need a pick-me-up or a little body cleanse.  They will make you feel fabulous!!!!!!

Guava Goddess

 And FINALLY…I got around to adding some new CHALKBOARD PRINTS to my Etsy Shop, LoveTheSparkle.

I know its a bit late for a New Years Chalkboard, but it makes me happy non-the-less.

To check out the print click Happy New Year.

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“Be Happy, Be Bright, Be You” Chalkboard Print

To check out the print click Be Happy.

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I’m also running a Coupon Code for anyone interested in my shop, LoveTheSparkle!!!

Use coupon code BEHAPPY15 at checkout to receive 15% OFF your total purchase!!!!

Well, thats all i’ve got for now, time to get some chores done around the house…

XO XO Friends,

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Happy “Fallidays” Friends

Happy Monday Friends!!!

I can’t even begin to express how excited I am to write this post!!! Fall is upon us and I am in heaven. I’ve been super busy at work the last few weeks and on my days off i’ve been decorating our home with so many fun new decorations!!! Loving & living life to the fullest my friends!!!

We’ve got pumpkins, we’ve got costume making materials, and we’ve got my traditional October addiction…salted peanuts and candy corn!!! Tis’ the season for everything spooky, spellbound, and candy corn colored!!!

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I’ve got a number of fun updates and pictures to share today!!!

First up are the new prints in my Etsy Shop, LovetheSparkle! You can check them out HERE if your interested in downloading one of them! If you follow me on Instagram you’ve probably seen these pics already! And as a fun addition if you use coupon code HOCUSPOCUS30  at checkout in my shop throughout the entire month of October you will receive 30% OFF your entire order!!! Whoop Whoop for discounts!

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Happy Halloween - Listing Image #3As far as decorations go in our festive little home, i’ve been EXTRA inspired this year and just went crazy! Its been a blast friends! To kick off September and Football season the right way I pulled out all my fun SuperBowl decor from February and gave it a little update with this football yardage garland! GO HAWKS!!!!

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And you know we rocked ever second of that good positive energy for our Seattle Seahawks during game days!

But…come October I was ready for a change, a very festive “orange & black” everything kinda change! Here are a few pics of some decor that is sprinkled around our home.  I spy a kitty in the background!

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I still have a few decorations that need to go up but i’m trying to pace myself.  We are only a few days into October and I could not be happier!!! I tend to get overzealous when it comes to holidays!!!

I’ve got a number of fun favorites to share for Fall this year!! I’m loving anything in soft neutrals and classic black with gold accents & “Pumpkin” flavored everything!

Fall Favorites 2014

#1 – White Ceramic Pumpkins     #2 – Blush Bow Ballet Flats     #3 – Pumpkin Caramel Latte Candle

#4 – Black Welcome Mat     #5 – Gold Lanterns     #6 – Black Ballerina Flats

I’m absolutely LOVING the black ballerina flats!!! Love Love Love!!!

I hope you are all enjoying the gorgeous Fall weather and counting down to Halloween!!!

xoxo Friends,

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Summer Lovin’ (plus a few UPDATES)

HELLO AUGUST!!!!

August 2014

I thought it might be nice to take a little break from my SuperHero tutorials and do a post all about Sweet Summer Time!!! I’m definitely a girl who loves all 4 seasons but Summer will WIN each and every time in my book.  This girl loves sunshine and happiness and SUMMER is undeniably FULL of both!!!

Hello Summer Time 2014

So i’ve been so busy enjoying this BEAUTIFUL Summer that i’ve been neglecting my “summer” post.  HaHa, oh well. The summer months are simply glorious and are usually over way too quickly.

We’ve been busy working during the week and living life to the fullest on our days off.  We had a fun mini vacation, enjoyed an awesome and totally crazy 4th of July, and a pretty bridal shower and bachelorette bash for my sister-in-law. Here are a few other Fun Summer updates:

#1 – Wedding Season has officially arrived!!!

Its wedding season

 PS…one of my favorite movies of all time…”Wedding Crashers.”

Wedding Season is in full swing and i’ve been a busy little bee busting out beautiful chalkboards for some clients & getting all my Brides ready for their big day!! I absolutely love this time of year because not only do I get to see all my gorgeous brides, who I haven’t seen in months, but all the work and energy that goes into creating a wedding comes to fruition!!!

Love seeing all my stunning brides in their beautiful wedding gowns!!!!

Knowing that I had a small part in making their big day beautiful and perfect is the best feeling in the whole world!!

This year is extra special because i’ve added a new element to my title as “Bridal Consultant” and that is “Wedding Chalkboard Artist.” I’m doing 2 beautiful weddings this year and am supplying custom chalkboard art for the ceremonies and receptions!!! Can’t give away any other details other than they are going to be gorgeous!!!

#2 – CrossFit Initiation

CrossFit 2014

In other fun news, i’ve finally jumped on the CrossFit bandwagon and joined a CrossFit gym! I’m actually sitting here writing this post watching the 2014 ReeBok CrossFit games in the background.  Hello crazy strong uber-intense workout people! Man, this stuff is fun though.  I’ve never worked out so hard , felt so ridiculously uncomfortable, or so insecure/anxious in my entire life. And I keep going back!!!! I always joke with my hubby that he doesn’t “sell” CrossFit well in that he is always hurt or sore and completely tanked ALL the time.  But now i’m addicted  and understand the draw and desire to become better. CrossFit goes beyond “looking good” or simply improving your athleticism…this is about real world strength and taking your mental and physical body to a whole new level.  Holy Shit, i’ve drunk the CrossFit kool aid.

#3 – Summer Lovin’ Favorites

Here are some of my current favorites that I’ve been enjoying this summer!

Summer Favorites 2014

#1 – Honey Bronze Shimmering Dry Oil in “Honey Kissed”  & Honey Bronze Shimmering Dry Oil in “Honey Gold”     #2 – EOS Shave Cream     #3 – Songza App     #4 – Neutrogena Revitalizing Lip Balm in “Petal Glow”     #5 – Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray     #6 – Lemon Mint Leaf Mason Jar Candle

 All these products have been super awesome finds this summer.  My special favorites include the EOS Shave Lotion,  Honey Bronze Shimmering Dry Oil, and Neutrogena Lip Balm.  Love Love Love them all!!!!

Vanilla Bliss

I can’t rave about the EOS Shave Cream enough!! My current favorite is the Vanilla Bliss!  If you haven’t heard about the EOS Lip Balm yet, PLEASE STOP whatever you are currently doing, go immediately to your local Walgreens, Target, Walmart etc. and grab a dozen (or possibly 2 dozen) of these PHENOMENAL lip balms.  These little round balls of wonderful have officially changed my life. My fav is “Sweet Mint.”

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DISCLAIMER: You might become addicted to ALL of the EOS products! 

I recently came across the EOS Shave Cream and immediately snatched it up.  This stuff is beyond amazing! I used regular body wash and was constantly cutting myself etc. Now, my skin is continuously moisturized, shaving is a breeze, and the smell is amazing!!!!

Honey Bronze

I’m super porceiln white during the winter months and during the Summer I usually get a mild tan. This year I tried the Shimmering Dry Oil from the Body Shop.com and immediately fell in love with it.  I’ve gone back and forth trying different sunless tanners and I really enjoy this one because its not really a “self tanner” at all.  Its more of a sparkly oil that you can apply, it only lasts the one application, it doesn’t have any “orange” tint to it, and it doesn’t smell funky at all.  I read several reviews about the product before officially committing and i’m so glad that I took the plunge.  I wasn’t sure about the two color options they have so I bought them both.  My go-to-fav is the “Honey Gold.” It is perfect for everyday use and great to add a small amount of color for work or shopping! The “Honey Kissed” is quite a bit darker and would be perfect for a date night or special event.  I recently wore it to a Bridal Shower and was so happy with the color it gave me. I love how it doesn’t streak, isn’t too oily, and isn’t too glittery!!! The smell is fantastic and really isn’t strong at all.  Both products are overall amazing and add the perfect amount of SPARKLE to any look.

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 Back in June I was on the hunt for a moisturizing SPF chapstick to use during Hoopfest weekend.  I came across the Neutrogena Revitalizing Lip Balm and was very impressed! They are mostly a chapstick with a little bit of light color added.  I have never been the lipstick type and always struggle with dry lips.  This is the perfect combo of moisturizer and a little bit of color for special occasions, with a bonus of SPF for added sun protection!!! I use my EOS lip balm multiple times per day and will throw this on top if we are headed out on a date or if I have an important client/ appointment to attend to! My favorite color is the “Petal Glow.” I love this product and will definitely be purchasing it again!

#4 – Happy 3rd Wedding Anniversary Mr. & Mrs. Haguewood!!!

On July 30, 2011 I married my Best Friend and Soul Mate!!! I can’t believe how quickly we shot through the years…but I am beyond grateful for every Year, every Day, and every Moment we’ve shared. The wedding was gorgeous but the marriage is EPIC!!!! I’m so beyond happy and beyond in love with my husband! The life and family we are building together is simply BEAUTIFUL and better than anything I could’ve ever imagined!!!

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#5 – We said GoodBye to my beautiful Grandmother, Helen Theresa Allen!!!

Grandma Helen

On August 4, 2014 we said goodbye & God Bless to my kind and wonderful Grandmother.  She was a stunning example of what a strong and loving woman could accomplish throughout a lifetime.  Wife to her husband and love of 62 years, mother to 7 beautiful children, and grandmother and great-grandmother to many, she will be forever LOVED and forever missed as well as cherished in all our hearts!!! The Catholic funeral mass was gorgeous and very lovely! We honored her with a full police funeral escort and sang a jig in honor of her memory as we lowered her casket. Beautiful pink lilies and carnations adorned her grave and we will forever remember the beauty and heart that she carried with her.

TO MY GRANDMOTHER IN HEAVEN:

I will always remember your petite frame and endless capacity for love.  You are a beautiful example of strength and willpower as well as compassion and LOVE! Thank you for raising the most wonderful woman I know, my mother Nancy, and I hope and pray that someday I will be half the woman and mother that you have been in your lifetime.  You are a shining example of everything I strive to be in my life, All Woman, All Strength, and All Love!!! Thank you for your endless inspiration and faith in me as an individual! I will forever Love you!!!

I hope you are enjoying every beautiful moment of this gorgeous Summer!!!

Thank You for Reading,