Thursday, July 2, 2015

Mommy Daughter Patriotism

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My little Klair Marie and I are starting out 4th of July weekend off a little early with some matching outfits!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Baby Product Review #3 | Happy Baby Wrap

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Baby-carrying is all the rage right now, but I'll be honest--with my first baby I didn't give it too much thought. I mean, I only had Klair to worry about--one little person to give all of my attention to. I bought a really cheap, pretty awful sling because it was particularly inexpensive and I figured it couldn't hurt to try. It was a complete waste of money. At that point I gave up on the idea of baby carrying and wrote it off as an unnecessary luxury (if I had known what I was missing out on, I would have been singing a different tune).

This time around a good baby-carrying system became a priority. I only have two hands, but I have two kiddos, a house, and all the duties of a wife and SAHM that demand my constant attention. Before Grayson was born I decided to find a good baby wrap, and I am so very glad that I did. I started looking at different companies and even tried out a sling-style, but I didn't like how it made my shoulder feel. I've always had issues with my right shoulder, and the sling just exacerbated my pain.

I started looking at other types of wraps and found Happy Baby Wrap. Rather than placing too much stress on one shoulder, their design evenly distributes the weight across your back. I'm able to carry Grayson around without the constant pain that the sling-style wrap gave me. He is completely secure, and I'm able to go about my mom-life--multitasking in style and comfort.

Plus--bonus--he loves it too! As soon as I place him into the wrap he just melts right into my chest. It almost always puts him to sleep, or at least calms him very effectively. It's obviously great for transporting with ease, but I find myself using it a lot to simply calm him in public as well. I love the closeness that it creates, and the fact that I can get things done without feeling like I'm neglecting my sweet little babe.

Another bonus of this product is how easily it cleans. Obviously anything you consistently use with a newborn is going to see a variety of... fluids. This wrap is washer friendly. And, it even comes with the cutest and most convenient drawstring bag for toting it around town in your diaper bag. I take it everywhere I go and use it constantly.

If you are looking for a wrap for yourself--or perhaps a gift for a loved one--I highly recommend looking into Happy Baby Wraps. They have some really fun prints and colors (I went with Gray because... well, obviously I'm obsessed enough with the color to name my son Gray). This wrap is so easy and convenient that even Sam has used it with Grayson a few times (it's husband friendly!!!). We are big fans and just so happy to have been able to work with this awesome company!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Baby Product Review #2 | Cover Me Ponchos

4135 31 32 40 42 45 With Klair I was able to exclusively breastfeed her for the first 6 months, and I continued to breastfeed until she was 14 months old. I felt like this was a big accomplishment for me... like what I imagine running a marathon might feel like (not that I've ever done it, but a girl can imagine). Now don't get me wrong--I love breastfeeding. But, I'd be lying if I said that it didn't come with its share of challenges. There were certainly times that I wanted to throw in the towel, but ultimately I'm glad that I stuck it out for as long as I did. This time around I want to give Grayson the same experience and at least make it to the recommended 1 year mark... a feat that (I didn't realize) is going to be even harder to accomplish. More often than not when I breastfed Klair it was a quiet, intimate time between baby and me at home. This time around I have a toddler constantly vying for my attention (refer to the picture with Klair... she wants to be apart of everything) and always wanting to be on the go. Thus, breastfeeding Grayson often feels like something I squeeze in... a lot of times in public... when I can. Thus, having good breastfeeding products--like a good nursing cover--is a must for me.

Now, that's not to say that I think everyone needs to use a nursing cover. There are women out there who feel confident breastfeeding in public, and I commend them. I don't think there is anything wrong with it at all. Personally though I've always been a very private person. I remember from a young age making my own mom leave the room when I changed. The idea of breastfeeding in public... it just doesn't work for me. With Klair I bought a cover, but it was the kind that resembles an apron and only drapes over the front of you. This was okay while she was little, but it got increasingly difficult to keep myself covered as she started moving around more. Plus, without back coverage, I was forced to wear only clothing that was nursing friendly. I often found myself going to another room at social functions, or heading out to the car to try and avoid having to feed in public.

My poncho from Cover Me Ponchos as been game changing. I get complete coverage from it, and I don't have to worry about the wind or my baby moving too much and exposing me in a way I would be uncomfortable with. It's such great coverage in fact that I can wear shirts that aren't "nursing-friendly" and simply undress the top part of what I'm wearing under the poncho to make it work. It's awesome. I also love how stylish it is. As soon as it arrived I put it on and felt really cute. I'll even admit that I paired it with some black skinnies and wore it as my shirt the next day--it was an extremely convenient outfit for nursing.

Furthermore, my poncho is very versatile and has replaced other items I used to take with me--with a  toddler and a newborn I feel like I'm packing for a camping trip every time I leave the house so minimizing what I take is always a good thing. Obviously my poncho serves as a nursing cover, but it has also become my go to blanket that I can wrap Gray in when I need to, and a carseat cover anytime I want to give him a little shade or privacy for sleeping.

Ultimately I can't speak highly enough about my poncho! There are other companies out there selling similar products, but Cover Me Ponchos' covers are extremely affordable while still maintaining impressive quality. Aaaand don't you worry they come in a variety of super cute prints and colors because I get it, style is important! (The one pictured in this post is their navy cream stripe nursing cover.) If you're looking for a cover that will look great while serving multiple purposes I highly suggest checking them out!

Also, if you do purchase one you can use discount code "autumn" to get 10% off.

This post was written in partnership with Cover Me Ponchos. All opinions expressed are my own.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Father's Day Weekend | Jord Wood Watches and Flip Flop Shops Review

There are days that definitely make you reflect on life and what you have. Father's Day is one of those days for me.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Family Photos | Roxana B Photography

Roxana of Roxana B Photography reached out to me recently about doing a family photo shoot. I took one look at her Instagram and I was completely thrilled by the prospect of working with her! This Utah photographer is not only one of the sweetest people I’ve met, but she is an exceptional artist with a unique style of photography that makes her photos stand out. I really enjoyed spending time with her. Like us, she has two small kids so we felt extremely comfortable taking photos with her. She was exceptionally patient with our kids (because, you know, she gets it).  Amid the chaos of trying to get a toddler and a newborn to take photos she managed to capture some real gems that I will cherish forever.

If you live in Northern Utah and you’re looking for a photographer you should definitely check out Roxana’s work. She does a lot of fashion shoots and is really well known in that world, but she her talents are versatile and she does all types of photography.

I love all of the photos from this shoot, but I think my very favorite moment that Roxana photographed was when Klair stood on her little tippy toes to give her adoring dad a kiss on the lips without any prompting from us. She did it by herself and Roxana captured it.  It’s kind of perfect. I also absolutely adore the photos of Sam and both kids. He’s such a good dad… I’m blessed beyond belief!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Baby Product Review #1 | Saranoni Blankets

As many of you know, having a baby comes with all kinds of life changing implications--both for better and for worse. Once another tiny little human is born and entrusted to your care, things simply can't be the same. While you're trying to adjust to the challenges of caring for an infant and searching for some sense of normalcy, routine, and calm amid the chaos it's really helpful to have fantastic baby products that make things easier--every bit of help and convenience counts. As a blogger I've been extremely blessed to work with some amazing companies and try out some of the best and most popular baby products on the market. I'll be posting about my experiences with these in a little series here on my blog.

For this first installment I'm reviewing Saranoni Luxury Blankets. As the name so obviously implies, these aren't your run of the mill blankets. They're luxurious. So much so that an adult size (the one featured here is toddler) is on my wishlist. I'm not sure I have ever touched a softer fabric. I wish there was a way for you to feel it over the internet, because I'm sure after one touch you would be sold.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Baby Grayson | 1 Month

I'm a little late in posting these...he's actually (technically) closer to 2 months old now... better late than never, right? Life with two kids is easier in a lot of ways than I imagined (likely due in large part to Grayson's sweet and easy going personality) but it's busy. I always tell myself "I'll blog tonight as soon as the kids are asleep!"...but once they're in their beds I usually crash in my own. I feel a bit like the walking dead these days. I'm sure (well, really hopeful) that the exhaustion will fade once Grayson starts sleeping more through the night. ...which brings me back to the topic of this post. Grayson. Enough about me, this post is about the sweetest baby boy that ever did exist upon the face of this earth.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Newborn Photos Part One | Heather Pickett Photography Lifestyle Session

A few weeks before Grayson was born my good friend and fellow blogger Sandy (of Sandy A La Mode) tagged me in a Facebook post. The amazing photographer she had worked with when her baby girl was born, Heather Pickett Photography, was looking for some models for an upcoming shoot...

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Hello Baby Gray | The Birth Story

I apologize for the lack of blogging as of late. I took a little... well... a long break after my son was born. I didn't intend to, but it happened. The chaos of taking care of a newborn and a toddler combined with my desire to focus all my energy on my family pushed blogging to the back-burner for awhile. But, baby boy is now a month old (as of yesterday) and we're finally settling into this business of being parents to two kids. I'm adjusting to my new life and I'm ready to dive back in to the blogging world. My fingers have been itching to type and to write out my thoughts...

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Preggo Legging Style + An Instagram Giveaway!

I've partnered with Preggo Leggings for a second time! Last time I reviewed their AMAZING super-stretch pregnancy leggings that launched their brand (and happen to be the source of their namesake). You can read/see that review here.

Today I'm showcasing their new line of tops and tees with quirky little catchphrases about pregnancy and motherhood in general. They come in a variety of cuts, colors, and tag-lines. Additionally, I'm hosting a $60 Preggo Legging gift card giveaway on my Instagram (see below for a link and details).

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Spring Style with Pink Blush--Dainty Dresses + IG Giveaway

This is the third and final installment in our Pink Blush spring look-book series and today we are featuring some fun little spring dresses--perfect for any occasion that requires you to dress up a little!...

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Spring Style with Pink Blush Part 2: Maxi Dresses

As the title suggests, this is the second installment in our lookbook series for Pink Blush. For this post we decided to dress things up a bit, and we are showing you just a handful of the gorgeous, brightly colored maxi dresses that this fabulous online company offers. They are perfect for Easter, a spring baby shower, a spring wedding... to twirl around the house in when you just need to feel pretty... they're basically great for any occasion...

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Spring Style with Pink Blush Part 1: Cardigans

A few weeks ago I was privileged to take part in a spring photo shoot for the Pink Blush clothing line. This is the first of a series of three posts featuring Pink Blush’s spring styles. I was able to collaborate with some amazing bloggers, who also happen to be some of my closest friends. We connected through this crazy world of blogging, and I couldn’t be happier with the relationships we now have. We teamed up with Diana of Diana Putnam Photography to style some looks both from Pink Blush’s women’s line and their maternity line (because, as you can see, two of us are preggo and two aren’t).  Since I’ve already talked at length about how much I love Pink Blush (especially during pregnancy—see my last post for just one example) I will introduce you to these lovely blogger ladies and our talented photographer.

First off is my fellow mama-to-be Fatima of Les Dedrickson. Although blogging has brought us much closer together, we actually met long before either of us started posting out our lives for the world to see.  Our husbands both served a 2-year LDS mission in Detroit, Michigan at the same time, and they were even mission companions for a time (meaning they lived as roommates and proselytized together).  They became such good friends on their mission that when they came home they stayed in contact and have remained buddies over the years. I met Fati shortly after they got married and I knew I liked her right away. She is the type of person that can effortlessly become one of your best friends. Add this to the fact that we have been pregnant together twice now, and we both blog…  and well we just have a lot of common ground. She has a little boy who is Klair’s age, and a girl on the way... so naturally we’re planning a double wedding for our children. Arranged marriages are still legitimate, right? Fati is also one of the most fascinating and accomplished women I know. She’s from Sweden, lives in Utah, went to BYU, and not only ran track for her university but became a world-renowned athlete. Oh and if that wasn’t enough she’s also an awesome photographer! Definitely check out her blog, you won’t be disappointed!

Next we have Sandy of Sandy A La Mode. I randomly met her through mutual blogger friends last summer. At the time she looked a lot like I do now—she was very pregnant with her now little baby girl. I had just recently discovered that I was pregnant, and I remember thinking… "Oh boy. That’s what I have to look forward to…" except she actually made me feel excited about the prospect of being super preggo because she did it so well! Since then we have become good friends, and her expertise in the fashion and blogging world makes her my go to guru on just about everything. Her blog is focused mostly on fashion, and her outfits are always so spot on and perfect in every way. Plus she collaborates with so many shops and companies that she is really a great resource for finding awesome and trendy brands. She works full time, has two kids, and blogs constantly…. I don’t know how she does it, but I for one am grateful she does because she’s a total inspiration for mamas everywhere.

Then there is Miss Cecilia of Dearest Lou. Ok so confession time, I followed her before she knew who I was. Last summer we were both part of a giveaway hosted by another blogger. During the giveaway she started following me on Instagram and even left this really sincere compliment on one of my posts. I was totally flattered and maybe even a little star struck that someone of her caliber was commenting on my Instagram! As I further dived into the blogging world we ran into each other and easily became friends. She is a talented photographer, lifestyle and fashion blogger, and a mama to the most adorable little boy (who I think Klair has a crush on because they play so well together). I love this girl and her blog. I’m sure you will too!

Last but not least is Diana of Diana Putnam Photography. I’ve worked with her on other collaborations, and I’m always so impressed with her work. For this particular shoot we were in the harsh noon-day sun, yet she still managed to pull it off like a rock star.  She photographs all sorts of events, so if you’re in need of a photographer you should definitely check her out!

For the style of this post we decided that we would all wear one of this season’s absolute necessities—the spring cardigan/kimono with crochet fringe. The one that I’m wearing is actually not even a maternity piece, yet it works and will continue to after baby boy comes (score!). Sandy is styling the same cardigan in a pretty blush color, and I love how she paired it with a bold floral print. Fatima and I are both wearing our distressed maternity jeans from Pink Blush, and Fati is also sporting a lovely floral patterned kimono that looks absolutely fabulous. Cecilia decided to show the possibilities of the spring cardigan by pairing hers with a bright skirt—and I really like how she belted it for a completely different look and feel.

A big thanks to Pink Blush for supplying us with these styles! Look back for our next two looks in this style series!

My Outfit Details (follow the links and head over to the blogs of the other ladies for more info on their looks):

Distressed Maternity Jeans: Pink Blush Maternity
Pink Tee: H&M (similar)
Nude Wedges: Target (similar)
Rose Gold Watch: Michael Kors