October Q&A







Q. "#1 Fave diaper bag? I remember you posting a while ago but cant find! Thank you!"


A. I've been using my Twelve Little tote since Banks was born, and I've really enjoyed it. It's nice and lightweight, lots of useful storage, hidden zip bottom for diapers when you're out, waterproof, and has ability to carry with shoulder straps or longer detachable strap. My husband carries it a lot when we are out and finds it to be really comfortable on. (he wears the shoulder strap over one shoulder as a cross carry!) I also love the large side and front pockets! - Bag linked here!



Q. "How do you deal with mom shaming?"


A. This is something I've had to work on. With my first two, it was really hard to not take what people say personally. After all, we're human and it can be difficult to not have your feelings hurt. I've learned to separate what people say from the truth. I know the truth, and what really goes on in my life. Other people can have a skewed perception of reality if they aren't witnessing your every move to know exactly what you go through as a person, and as a family. Try and keep that in mind, and remember at the end of the day you're doing your best for your children. Their YOUR children, not anyone else's.


Q. "What are things that help you stay encouraged while working at home with the littles?" 


A. This is a great question! I've found that focusing on myself even for just a few minutes a day, as self care is extremely beneficial. If I feel my best, then I know I'll do my best. I can stay more motivated when I feel good about myself, and take care of myself! Some days that looks like starting my day with coffee, and immediately getting out of my PJ's, and doing my hair and makeup. That always makes me more productive and encouraged. Some days that doesn't get done, and I try to breathe and remember these days will be missed. The kids will be in high school in the blink of an eye. The days are long and hard, but I try my very best to soak in the chaos and everything. It goes by SO fast.



Q. "Maternity basics/Must haves? I don't want to spend a fortune on clothes"


A. I feel you! I didn't want to spend a ton of money on clothing I'll use for only a certain number of months. I think it can depend a lot on the season you're pregnant, If its cool/cold months, then definitely a good pair of leggings and a pair of denim. I've heard great things about both the Zella maternity leggings, this target pair, and my personal favorite from Blanqi linked here. Then, grab either a few maternity tanks (I lived in these from Target) or a longer sleeve basic like this one from H&M. I also lived in that one when I was pregnant with Kai! These pieces will start your "base", then you can add clothing you already have like an unbuttoned blouse on top to layer, jacket, vest, sweater, or dress on top. I didn't buy many "Maternity" styles, and instead bought pieces I could always wear like loose dresses, or skirts with stretch waistbands. I know I didn't post a ton of maternity outfits, but I did share some good ones on my Instagram! You can look back on those looks and shop everything in one place here. Congratulations!!



Q. "Can you help with what to wear to black tie fall wedding?! I love your style and I'm clueless"


A. First of all, you're so sweet!! Thank you! A jewel tone formal gown would be festive and stunning! I personally would go with something floor length if it's a black tie. However, if it's daytime you can get away with a party length dress. Try this chiffon gown, I personally own it and it's beautiful in many color options, plus only $89. You can get away with wearing it to other events, so it won't be a one time thing. I'm obsessed with this high-low gown, too! I found this wedding guest outfit idea page to be helpful. Have fun!!



Q. "Do you use a purple shampoo? What shampoo/hair products do you use?" 

"How do you keep your blonde hair so bright and shiny and gorgeous?"

A. I'll link my blog post I wrote all about that here for you.



Q. "How did you learn how to become an influencer"


A. I'm still learning! The internet is always changing and things are always progressing, so you'll never stop learning. When I started blogging in 2013, I would spend hours upon hours on the internet researching how to start a blog. I never started to become an "influencer".. I know this is quite a new term for us (lol!) so it was kind of a different thing back then, and even now. I researched how to create a website, emailing brands, contacting other bloggers to team up for a giveaway, sharing posts on social media, creating a community. It takes time, honestly if you ask any blogger when they get "off" work, they'll laugh. It doesn't really stop, and you're always kind of "on".. if that makes sense?! In the beginning, and even now, it takes a lot of dedication to stay consistent. I think in order to truly influence, you have to be 100% yourself, honest, kind, consistent, and show up for your people. Create a sense of community, and believe in it. Only represent what you can honestly talk about, and make sure you're connecting with who you are influencing.



Q. "What was the baby leap app that you use again?"

A. The Wonder Weeks!



Q. "Can you link the piece that helps with layered necklaces?"


A. Yes! It's by Necklet, linked here.



Q. "Skincare routine? What are you currently using?"


A. Currently, I'm working on hydrating. My skin has been all sorts of crazy postpartum, and what I noticed helped the most was doing less while my hormones are trying to regulate. I'm nearing my 8 week mark now, and everything is starting to calm down and back to normal. Anyways, I've loved my Farmacy Honey Grail oil both during pregnancy, and now. I use it every single day. Love that it adds hydration, but sinks right in and doesn't make me look or feel greasy. I'm actually really boring right now with skincare. Just keeping with the same classics I've used for months and months. Dermalogica Intensive Moisture cleanser, and multi-active toner is still the same. Other than that, I started to add in Tula day and night cream a few days a week to see how my skin reacts.







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$30 Amazon Prime Sweater







Found the cutest knit sweater while browsing Amazon, and much to my delight it's the perfect fit and style! I was a little worries because its a one size, but it's perfect. (I'm 5'7 for size reference) Love when I find something like this for an affordable price. The blouse sleeves are my favorite part, not too big, and bonus points because they don't get in the way. I have the camel color, but there are other options. I think black would be cute too! 


Sweater \\ Jeans \\ Booties (I have tortilla suede color) \\ Hat , similar style here 


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Back To School





Can't believe I'm even writing this blog post. It feels like Madelyn and Kai were born just yesterday, and now we have Banks! Crazy how fast time flies, and how quickly your little ones start school. If you're reading this because you've got young children, or even kids in middle and high school, I'm sure we can all relate to that back to school feeling. It's bittersweet! Madelyn started Kindergarten this year, which was huge for us. She's doing incredible and has the most amazing teachers. We were truly gifted with the best possible situation. Her teacher adores her, and she's made so many great friends already. Kai is still in pre-school, and always enjoys picking out his supplies to pack up in his little backpack! Today, I'm partnering with Walmart to share with you all how easy it is to shop for everything you need on your lists!



First of all, Walmart's next day shipping and free same day pickup is what really saved me as a mother of two toddlers and newborn baby. We honestly didn't even need to leave the house! Every single item on their lists and more, were picked up that same day. The kids loved being able to help me choose everything!


You can browse all back to school supplies here, and don't forget the free next day shipping on orders of $35+ with items marked NextDay!







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XMAS IN JULY





Hey, friends! I'm excited to share that Victoria Emerson is having their Xmas in July sale right now until the 29th! Wraps are $19.99, and boho cuffs are $24.99! Perfect time to grab something for yourself and go ahead and knock out a few gifts. Y'all know I love my wrap bracelets that I first shared when I bought them back in May. Since then, Victoria Emerson was so kind to partner with me so that I can share more fun stuff with all of you! 

My favorite thing about these wraps and cuffs is that they make layering so simple. You just need one piece to create a stunning illusion of a perfectly layered look. They're really comfortable to wear, and easy to put on. 



















I have worn my wraps all summer, and can't wait to carry these beauties into the Fall. Gift Tip: My plan is to gift some to the kids teachers this Christmas! 


- A few styled outfits from the summer with my wraps below! -








Thank you to Victoria Emerson for sponsoring this post! 





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Top 5 Baby Gear Items for Your Registry



Hello, and welcome to part 2 of my baby registry posts! I recently talked about Walmarts' new baby registry and how impressed I was with it, you can read part 1 post here. In that post, I shared recommendations on items to help get your registry started, and today I'm really narrowing things down to 5 top items for your registry. 





One. Car seat! This is a great item that friends and family can all pitch in for a a gift. We had this Britax infant car seat gifted to us for Madelyns baby shower, we used this until she switched to a convertible seat. We currently have the Maxi Cosi Magellan All-In-One for our new little babe and highly recommend. Another great option is this convertible seat from Britax, and this one from Cybex - both have wonderful safety features.



Two. High Chair. You won't need this right away however, you will need to have this on hand for when your little one starts sitting up and trying solids. It's best to make life less complicated and already have one at home! This 4moms highchair is the one we will be using for our new baby. I'm so excited for the magnetic tray feature. I'll always vividly remember the struggles with those darn high chair trays!!



Three. Swing! This is something that will come in handy right away. You can safely let your little one relax and sleep in a swing like the 4moms Mamaroo. You can select from 5 different motions, and connect for smartphone via bluetooth to control all motion and sound features remotely! We'll also be personally using this item for our baby #3 soon! (I got the classic black!)




Four. Activity Mat. This is an item you'll randomly think of one day, and wish you had it on hand! One important thing about babies? They don't keep. Your little one will be growing rapidly. I typically introduce play and activity mats as soon as 3-4 weeks old. Once baby starts "waking up", and staying awake for longer periods of time, it's wonderful to place them under activity mats and practice tummy time to build their strength and development. (Maddy pictured above with this mat!)



Five. BabyBjorn bouncer. I'm adding this bouncer to the list after having hundreds of people reach out telling me to get this. The incredible online reviews sealed the deal for me. It's lightweight and incredibly easy to use, take with you, move throughout the house. I'm thinking of how great it will be to take into the bathroom, so I can grab a quick shower. Or, place in the kitchen while I'm cooking, take outside to watch the kids play and get some fresh air.. the list goes on. I also like that it won't be overstimulating for baby. Most bouncers I see have too much going on.







Thank you to Walmart for sponsoring this post!
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Labor and Delivery : What I'm Packing In My Hospital Bags for Baby Number 3














Hi, friends! Today I've rounded up my hospital bags to share what I'm packing. I hope this post is helpful. 


For Baby


Diaper bag
Newborn Nest
Going home outfit - Spearmint Love cactus print footed onesie with a KB Cute Designs Beanie/Top Knot hat
Short Sleeve Bodysuit
Kickee Pants Footie
Lou Lou & CO knotted gown & swaddle newborn set
Socks
Beanie/Top Knot hat
Copper Pearl swaddle
Car seat cover
Pacifier + Clip set
Car seat 
White Noise machine




For Me 


I'm using my rose gold rolling carry on this time around, a duffel bag will work just fine though! I personally felt this to be easier to organize everything and roll, rather than lug on your shoulder. Just my two cents :)


Silk pillowcase (it's nice to feel comfortable and more "at home")
Nursing pillow - I'm using the My Brest Friend Pillow
Nursing pads
Earth Mama Angel Baby nipple butter
Earth Mama Perineal Spray
Wish Garden Afterease for soothing after birth contractions
Slippers! You'll want something comfortable to walk around in!
Socks
Always Discreet underwear
Button down Nightgown
Leopard Kimono/Robe
3 piece pajama nursing set (love this set & that it comes with a robe!)
Nursing bra
Nursing tank top
Pajama set
Postpartum PJ pants
Going home outfit - I'm bringing 2 options. Option A) a nursing tank top ( this one is the best!), pair of  leggings, and my barefoot dreams cardigan. Option B) My absolute favorite Rachel Pally dress. This would also be a great option if you are in a warm climate, and/or having a c section.




Pro Tip - [[ Your hospital will provide you with postpartum underwear, pads, diapers, wipes, tucks, dermoplast, and a peri bottle. If you want to purchase extra of these to bring and/or for when you get home, thats totally fine, but you won't absolutely need to bring to hospital! ]]


Cosmetics/Toiletries



Face cleanser, moisturizer and face oil, toner (The necessities)
Makeup bag including - foundation or CC cream, concealer, bronzer, highlighter, mascara, brow pencil, lip balm
Toothpaste
Toothbrush
Hairbrush
Dry Shampoo
Travel size Shampoo, Conditioner, Body Wash, Lotion
Flip Flops for the shower (I know they sanitize and clean the showers, but still I'm grossed out by it)



Miscellaneous 

Health Insurance cards
Gum
Snacks (Granola bars, Protein bars, nursing cookies, etc. This will come in handy after birth, and for your husband/SO during labor. You personally will not be allowed to eat during labor depending upon your hospital policy)
Cash for vending machines
1 regular phone charger & 1 portable phone charger
Camera + extra battery + memory card
1 file folder for all of the hospital paperwork you will receive
Letterboard for announcement photo


Husband/ Significant Other

Deodorant, toothbrush, hairbrush, a change of clothes, and a cozy blanket/pillow depending on their personal preference! For example, Chris is extremely low maintenance so I won't bring him a pillow or a blanket, but I will bring him a book or two that he likes. This really depends on your labor, my daughters labor we had some downtime while I progressed after receiving my epidural. My son was an emergency C-section, so there wasn't much time.




PS: If overpacking makes you happy and feel better, please do what you need to do. If packing less makes you feel better, again please do what you know is best for yourself. This is your labor, your delivery, your baby, and you need to only worry about making sure you feel confident and secure. If someone wants to judge you for what you're bringing or not bringing, let them! With that said, I am an over-packer and not having enough options brings me anxiety. This is my third delivery, my daughter was a vaginal delivery and my son was an emergency caesarean section. After going through two drastically different deliveries, I'm confident in what I need to pack this time around for baby #3!



Best wishes, mama's!


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