Halloween Goodies for Little Ones

Monday, October 13, 2014

It's October, It's Halloween month, and I'm over the moon to be able to start fun traditions and festivities for Forrest. Even though he is 5 months, and doesn't quite understand this yet, I still wanted to put together something fun for him. I decided to put together a little halloween bucket with some great finds; things he can wear, chew and well, chew some more. 

The bucket is from Target, along with the cute skeleton sleeper. It's so warm and Forrest loves to look at the white bones and pick at them when he wears them!

The Biscuit book was the easiest decision ever, we call Forrest Biscuit, we have since he was a little newborn, a funny little nickname that just somehow came to be when we were in the hospital. When I saw this book I almost screamed I was so excited!

The Dracula book is from Babylit.com, they are by far my most favorite books. They are creative, simple and have amazing art. The Dracula book focuses on counting and Im sure will be a hit when Forrest is old enough to read, but for right now, he loves to just chew on the corners.

The green cat onesie was an odd find on Zulily. I have stated in our vlogs, numerous times, that I am not a fan of Zulily. I randomly signed on one day to just see what was going on and found some hip onesies that I never see on the site. I stocked up on about 4 different styles but this one was a perfect addition for his bucket. It's simple and different,  I love to dress him in things that you can't find easily.

The ghost teether is from one of my most favorite companies ever; Little Sapling. They make wood teethers in so many amazing and unique designs and personalize for free. I have a few of these for Forrest and he loves them, so naturally, I had to pick up something from their fall line. Forrest loves to put his fingers through the eyes and mouth, and suck away.

Lastly, the Hello onesie. I LOVE this brand, and even that is an understatement. They are my go to for mama (and papa) and mini styles. They had a preorder for their halloween line back in September and I immediately purchased matching raglan tees for Jake and I along with a onesie for Forrest, so we can rock them throughout October. The ghost even glows in the dark, I just freaking love them.

Next stop is making our Halloween Costumes. We have a few parties to attend that day and weekend, and I am SO excited to put together the costumes I have been planning since Forrest was in my tummy! 

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$10 Homemade Salsa

Sunday, September 28, 2014

I lied. You can actually make this salsa for about $7 or less and depending on how fast you eat it, it could last a good while!

Ingredients Needed:
- 1 bunch of Cilantro (I am not a fan of cilantro so we use just the very top part of it for taste)
- 1 can of whole tomatoes, we just use the store brand
- 1 red onion
- 1 juicy lime
- Sea salt
- 4 roma tomatoes
- 4-7 serrano peppers, we normally end up using about 5, but if you're crazy, go for more!
- 1 Anaheim Pepper

You are going to first drain the can of tomatoes and pour them into a food processor (you can also use a blender if you do not have a food processor). Cut the 4 roma's in half, cut the onion in quarters and take the cilantro and blend it all together.

You are then going to cut the stems off of the peppers and start adding them to taste. We like to add a few, blend, then taste, and repeat until we get it as spicy as we can handle. Then add the Anaheim pepper and squeeze in the lime. Blend it all together then add in the salt to taste.

You can be totally classy like us and eat as much of it as you can out of the food processor, or, you know, you can put in a dish to serve. But either way, enjoy the hell out of it. 

You can see more of us stuffing our faces with salsa on our Daily Vlogs or if you are into beauty and fashion, check out my youtube channel!

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Baby Boy Halloween Style

Friday, September 12, 2014

You all know how insane I am about finding great little boy fashion, sans blue, and sports. I have been looking high and low for amazing halloween outfits for Forrest. Something about holidays when you have little kids makes your heart explode. I was never a hugely festive person, I mean a loved a good holiday, but wasn't outright crazed by it, I have made the transition to insane! I couldn't wait to start searching for some great Halloween finds and I currently have my alarm set for the Hello Apparel 'Helloween' launch pre sale this Monday! I have a feeling that I will buy each and every item without hesitation.

That being said, here are a few of my finds that I have ordered this past week. I also browsed through Carter's and was able to pick out a 2 pack of leggings that were orange and black striped, as well as black cats on grey.

Hen & Co. has been one of my favorite shops for Forrest since I was pregnant. Simple, and cheeky designs that i just love! He has quite a wardrobe from them already, so I immediately went to them first when looking for festive attire. Not pictured above, I also bought the "boo" and "Trick or Treat" onesie.

The No. 31 onesie is my favorite of the bunch, the Meow and the Hocus Pocus were easy decisions as well.

The ghost leggings are so adorable and I had a coupon code from a previous order that I was able to use on them! Pirates and Peonies is a great shop and their clothes are so soft and fit Forrest really well.

The cat beanie is adorable and I couldn't pass it up. Gap always has some great selections, the problem is that the clothing runs so big and they are always sold out of the 0 - 3 size that I need! But I was able to snag the black "boo" onesie above and I was pretty satisfied. I love when Forrest wears black, I wish there were more options for black baby clothes on the market.

Lastly, the cat mask harem pants are probably the softest and most adorable pants ever. I can't wait to shop more from this shop, I am so happy with their product!

I am so excited for October to begin so Forrest can start rocking some Halloween style, I also can't wait to put a little Halloween spirit around his room, I found these great black cat pillows at Home Goods, as well as some cute Halloween books that I have been accumulating that I'm sure he will just love! Although he has no idea what the words mean, he LOVES looking at colorful pictures!

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One Last Summer Dress

Friday, September 5, 2014

I seriously can't believe summer is basically over, and even though fall doesn't technically start for another few weeks, there is already a chill in the air, halloween candy at Target and PSL's at Starbucks, so itso facto... it's fall in my book. That didn't stop me though from throwing on one last summer dress.

If I had to pick one piece from my closet as my favorite thing this spring/summer, this would be it. I teamed up with the wonderful team over at eshakti.com for this post, their selections are amazing and once you select your item, you then get to customize it to you and your body type. Want sleeves? sure. Need more length like me? done. want it shorter to hit your knees? no problem. It's so easy and great to know exactly how the item will fit you. I was able to add length to this dress since I like my maxis to really be a maxi and not hit my ankles or worse, above my ankles.

This dress holds it own. The mix of prints, the fringe tassels, the softness of the fabric and the flattering fit all add up to be on my top 5 wardrobe picks.

Since this dress already has a whole lot going on with it,and happily so, I like to keep my accessory selection to the minimum. I love these gold stacking rings and a few stone bracelets that don't take away from or add to the dress' personality.

Make sure to head on over to eshakti and start your own order, when you register  you get a $25 coupon, seriously!

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4 Month Favorites || Mama + Baby

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

I don't even know where to start with this post, I swear each month I get even more emotional thinking of how big Forrest is getting. Although emotional, he is just so much fun. He loves to just sit, always sitting, and when not sitting, trying to sit. The Bumbo seat has been amazing for him.

Forrest is still drooling like crazy, chewing on everything he can get his little hands on. Our bib collection has almost tripled in the last month. He is still wearing mostly 0 - 3 month clothes, a few 3 month and 3-6 month items here and there, but it's very rare to find something that fits in those sizes.

He has started to have bad dreams which is HEART WRENCHING. He will just start screaming and crying this horrible cry in his sleep and without waking him up, we just have to run upstairs and put a hand on him to let him know we are there and then he will stop.

The funniest thing is that he recognizes his bottle and now gets SO excited, I mean legs pumping, arms flapping, excited breaths and then he reaches for it and if he gets his hand on it then he will pull it and try to put the side of it in his mouth. Hasn't quite figured out how to get the actual nipple in there, but he is so close and I can't help but giggle every time he does this.

This month we also went on our first plane ride with him, he did amazing.  We also took him swimming a few times at my Grandma's house, he loved it.

Below are our favorites of this month

Honest Diapers - We finally made the with to Honest Company and are so happy. These diapers, not only cute, are softer, thicker, and don't permit ANY smells. Totally worth it. We are using the wipes as well since we do the monthly bundle, they too, are great. We started using the laundry detergent pods and hand sanitizer. Forrest is officially a size 2!

Nose Frida - I SWORE I would never use this funny little thing, but was honestly being a little ignorant to its function. The filter ensures that no little boogers get to your mouth and it does wonders for removing every last booger in this little ones nose, ones that we can both see and not see!

Oball Flexiloop - This toy is so amazing! It's colorful, easy to grip and easy to chew on. Forrest has such and easy time gripping on to this toy and chewing on as many little rungs as he can. It's fantastic for a curious, teething baby like we have!

Avent Pacifier Clips - We went on our first plane trip with Forrest and Jake insisted that we buy a few pacifier clips. I can honestly say, that I don't know how we lived without these things. Not one pacifier has hit the ground since we purchased these things. I feel ridiculous that we hadn't had them before.

City Mini GT - We finally removed the car seat adaptor to this car seat and have been putting Forrest in facing out. It took a few adjustments but he loves it so much! I ran/walked a 7K this past weekend with him in the front and he was so happy. So many more things to see and explore. he can kick is feet, play with this toys and is completely protected by the amazing double shade. We tried to pull out our Oragami Stroller from 4Moms, but Forrest wasn't quite ready for it. It didn't have the side support that he needed, since he is still not 100% stable and strong sitting by himself.

Bumbo Seat - Last but definitely not least is our Bumbo seat (yes we have the purple one). This thing has provided endless entertainment. Forrest is so excited and happy every time he sits in this thing!

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Animal Spirit || Mama + Mini Style

Saturday, August 30, 2014

This week was the week of being casual, comfy and sick. Jake, very nicely brought home a nasty cold that stuck with me for a long time. Still got to look cute though right?!

The family ran a lot of errands and I decided to semi-corrdinate with Forrest, as crazy moms do right?! no? okay good! Forrest was rocking these cute fox print leggings, so naturally, I took out my geometric wolf print tank and we were on our way. Now, if only I could find something for Jake to wear.

Ive been loving these Gap denim shorts lately, I bought them in both the cuffed cut and ripped cut. So comfy, and fit so well.


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Transformation Tuesday \\ DIY Coffee Table Transformation

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

There is nothing I love more than a clean and organized space. Our original ottoman used to work perfectly for a family of 2 with 1 who works from home. It was simple and small, didn't take up a lot of space and was totally functional.

We went from a few TV remotes, Xbox controllers and my laptop to baby toys, 2 laptops, a breast pump, sanitizing wipes, cameras, pens and notebooks.. insert scream here

With Jake now working from home as well, this space was just too cluttered and frustrating to me. I can't stand the clutter and I clean it off several times a day, only to turn around and see another explosion of mess in no time.

Jake and I both normally work at our breakfast nook table, Jake made a long padded breakfast bench that is so comfortable and the lighting is great, (read: the perfect work space ever!) But, life isn't always cooperative and we some how always end up at the coffee table working. I work with 2 notebooks and a planner, Jake has a notebook and a planner, we both use iPads, and laptops.

It was time to transform this space.

We had a larger coffee table that we no longer used, just sitting in the basement, I wasn't too fond of this table anymore. I get bored really easily with interior designs and use pillows, frames and candles to help refresh my spaces on the regular. For some reason I couldn't figure out how to make this coffee table lovable again. Enter: Chalkboard paint.

All you need for this transformation is:
- a pre-existing coffee table or find a used one on craigslist
- Chalkboard paint. I have used many a chalkboard paint and SWEAR by the Valspar one as my    favorite
- A husband to paint and sand for you.. just kidding.. but seriously.

Jake sanded this baby down and painted it in less than 20 minutes. Easy peasy. The best part about chalkboard paint, is that it's fast, easy and you can repaint the space as many times as you need, so you don't have to worry about lingering chalk residue.

I'm still not IN LOVE with this table, but I love the functionality and organization that we so desperately needed. I ran out of my white chalkboard marker so I will have to wait to write something cute on the table top.

The table has 2 drawers and 2 shelf spaces.

In the front drawer, facing the TV, we put some diapers, wipes, bibs and diaper cream. This is so perfect for when we need to change Forrest downstairs, everything is completely concealed and organized.

The Drawer facing the couch now houses lotion, reading glasses, pens, sanitizing wipes, coasters, pacifier wipes and my portable hard drive that I use a few times a day when editing videos, photos, blog posts, etc.

The 2 shelving spaces contain a few blankets for Forrest, as I like to keep a few handy downstairs and Jake forbade me from getting anymore baskets. The opposite shelf has a little wire basket that has some of Forrest's favorite mini toys; rattles, Sophie the Giraffe, little wooden keys, that crazy molecule he loves to chew on... you get the drift.

When all said and done, we are happy, organized and productive, all while Forrest is napping upstairs. A parent win in my book.

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Exclusive Breast Pumping | Tips, Tricks + My Story

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Most women have the desire and need to breastfeed their baby, I was not one of these woman. From the second I got pregnant, I knew that I did NOT want to breast feed my child, and I was relieved when my husband was not only supportive of that decision but almost hoping for it so that he can help feed Forrest as well. I don't know why women are so harsh on each other about breastfeeding, I was a formula fed baby and I have done just fine in life, and I am also strong enough and confident enough to not care what other moms or women have to say about my decision. Breastfeeding is not for me... and that is okay.

Do I think that breastfeeding is the only way to bond with your newborn? Heck no! if that was the case then Forrest and I wouldn't be so close and bonded! I wasn't breast fed and my mom and I have a great relationship. There is this guilt that mom's put on themselves about breast milk and nursing...There is this quote that I always hear: "when your kid walks across the stage to get his college diploma, the dean doesn't ask whether he was fed formula or breastmilk.. " You don't need to be so guilt ridden over your decisions as a mother, you know what is best for you and your child.

I will whole heartedly admit that the reason I did not want to breast feed was a selfish one; I didn't want to be in bed nursing 24/7, I wanted to know how much food my baby was getting at a time (that's the Type A in me), I wanted to be me, an individual, not just Forrest's source of food, I wanted my husband to look at me as his wife and not just the mother of his child, and lastly, and this may just be me, but breastfeeding, although natural, was just weird to me. Not to say that women who do breastfeed are weird or bad in any way, you do you, and I'll do me.

I think that sometimes women get lost in motherhood, they abandon their husbands, they lose themselves and they focus only on baby and nursing, not all women, but quite a few that I have seen in my life, and that scared me. I couldn't wait to get back into working out, being with my husband without being pregnant, and just being me again. I wanted to be the best person I could be for Forrest, the best mom ever, and the only way I saw that happening, is if we were all happy.

I made the decision to exclusively breast pump and had no idea on how to go about it. The second that Forrest was out I had every nurse tell me to start nursing and right before I went into surgery I was still feeling like I needed to in the beginning, for the colostrum. I was so upset and anxious about the pressure that I was more preoccupied with those thoughts than I was with having my baby. Luckily, a crap ton of drugs later, my husband took charge and told them I will not be breastfeeding, give Forrest formula and I'll start pumping when Im ready to.  I was so relieved, and then,  by the time I was out of recovery and ready to meet my little man, I was SO excited and not burdened with the pressure from the nurses.

We did skin to skin, I gave him his first bottle, and we cuddled. Totally bonding in our own way and I loved every single moment of it.

I wasn't ready to pump for about 2 days, I was terrified of the pump as well, but less so than a baby sucking. I pumped the colostrum and put it in a little syringe to give to him before the bottle of formula. We supplemented with formula until my milk came in

In the beginning I was told to pump every 3 hours for 20 minutes, but Forrest was already sleeping through the night in long 5-6 hour stretches, I wasn't about to wake up to pump when my baby was sleeping, I need my sleep too! My milk didn't come in until about 10 days PP and oh my gaawd it was weird, my husband was quite excited, due to the fact that it looked like I had huge porn star boobs all of a sudden.

I pumped every 3 hours throughout the day and then went a 6 hour stretch through the night. I HATED IT! I had the feeling of being tied down and stuck, the same feeling I didn't want originally with breastfeeding. I hated cleaning the parts, putting them together, the whole shabang. It was horrible. So I started to cut out sessions with the intention of stopping completely and going to formula. I got down to 3 sessions a day, morning, afternoon and night, pumping 30 or more ounces a day and it was perfect. I was fine and happy with 3 sessions and decided to stick with it.

I plan on stopping pumping when Forrest starts solids. I have quite the freezer stock of milk that will last well after Im done pumping.

I have another freezer full of these bags in our garage freezer as well.

Now for some tips and tricks I've learned along the way.

1. Tell your body ASAP how much your "baby drinks" - Why pump 6 times a day when you can pump 3 times a day and get the same amount?  Build your supply and teach your body that your "baby drinks a shit ton, 3 times a day"

2. EXTRA PARTS - no joke, unless you want to end your night wanting to throw your pump and parts on your street and run over them 20 times, buy extra parts. I have three sets of pump parts so I'm only washing/sanitizing once a night.

3. A Good Pump - I have the Medela free style, as far as pumps go, its amazing and easy to use. Worth every penny.

4. Storage Accessories - If you have a Medela like me, don't waste your money on the Medela pump bags. I pump into the Medela bottles (say medela one more time) and then pour them into the Target brand breast milk storage bags, label them and throw them in the freezer, which brings me to my next point.

5. Storage Organization - When I first started storing my milk in the freezer, I would just close the bag and throw it on the shelf, I had no idea how many ounces were in there. When I pull the bags over to the refrigerator to start thawing for the next day, I had NO idea how much I was actually pulling over. I started to put 4 oz in each bag since that is how much Forrest eats at a time. Anything more than 4 oz, I label and put on a separate shelf for when Forrest is ready for that amount. I mark it with a sharpie and we are good to go.

6. Be Hands Free - See that happy multi tasking blonde up there in the first picture? Well, I may not be smiling, but that's me! I can work and pump, eat and pump, or do whatever and pump easily with that insane looking, yet functional, bra.

7. Protect them nipples- Don't waste your money on the Lasninoh HPA Lanolin, it was gooey and sticky and a bitch to get off your fingers once you applied it. I went with the Medela Lanolin, which is smooth and works just as well, and also a fraction of the cost. Also a fraction of the cost? the Target Brand Disposable Nursing Pads, I was using the Medela ones at first because I thought they were better, but Target was out of stock one day and I decided to go with the Target brand.. literally the same quality.

8. HYDRATE - If you aren't carrying around a cute Starbucks tumbler all day, then I don't even know what to say to you. Hydration is so so important when pumping... or nursing, for that matter. It helps when you have a cute tumbler to remind you to never stop drinking water... and trust me.. I  never stop drinking water

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Mama + Mini Style: Neon + Camo

Friday, August 15, 2014

I would be lying if I said I never hated camo, because I most certainly did. Then I discovered that neon and camo (and pink and camo) are genius together. Not only that, but it's the perfect unisex combo, and you better believe that Forrest and I will be rocking our semi matching outfits this fall. See some of the things that I have picked up lately that are both, camo or neon and equally stylish.

Camo Moccasins - I want these in my size. That is all Im going to say

Lightning Bolt Onesie - J Crew is killing it with their fall line for the babes. I picked up the Oh Baby Onesie as well and can't wait for the cooler weather so Forrest can rock them!

Camo Onesie - Another J Crew item that I couldn't resist.

Neon Dino Tank - No secret that I love my Hello merch, I quickly bought this for Forrest and plan on him wearing it as much as possible before Fall officially begins!

Camo Hello Tee - Jake has this one in black, naturally, I have it in the grey. Love these tees.

Pink Baseball Tee - These Victoria Secret Pink Basics are my jam. They are so soft, ways to wear and  can be paired with jean shorts or leggings.

Neon Boxy Top - This top is fantastic, another top that can be dressed up or down. Forrest has some moccasins that match this color as well, so I couldn't resist buying it. Super comfy and forgiving as well for the days that need some forgiveness!

Camo Slips Ons - I love these, they are so comfy.. and since I can't have camo moccs, Ill settle for these.

 Happy Fashion Friday and stay tuned for my highly requested exclusive breast pumping post going live this Tuesday.

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How I Do It All | Forrest's Schedule at 3 Months

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

I get the same question every day from subscribers and followers: "How Do you Do it All?!", and I promise you, I don't. I don't even come close to doing it all, but I have established a solid schedule with Forrest and my daily life that has helped me to accomplish a lot in a day!

I am lucky enough to work from home, which, I really think helps because, I let Forrest lead the day. I think baby lead schedules work best because you aren't trying to make your baby do anything, you are customizing your schedule to him. At the beginning this was really difficult for me, I tried for a few days to force a schedule on him and it was unsuccessful.

From about 2 months, I noticed certain trends in his daily sleep cycle, and I just started to go with it. He was already sleeping through the night and would take about 3 naps during the day around the same time. So, during his first nap I normally go down for a nap myself, his afternoon nap I work and then his evening nap/bedtime I clean and work some more. Another game changer: my husband and I made the conscious decision to exclusively pump. We didn't even attempt to breast feed, and I was and am SO happy with our decision. Ill be happy to write an entire post on this process and decision if you would like on another day. Let me know.

Below is what our day normally looks like.

5:57am - Seriously, 5:57am is the EXACT time this kid wakes up. Every now and then he might push it and sleep until 630, it's very rare, but it does happen from time to time. He wakes up happy and I let him just talk to himself and hang out by himself for about 10 minutes while I make a bottle. He drinks 4oz and then we go downstairs to play.

7:15am - He goes down for his first 2 - 3 hour nap. He is worn out from playing so he naps hard. He will normally nap until 10am, when he eats next. I nap during this time or, if I'm feeling great, Ill make a cup of coffee and work from bed.

10am - 4 oz bottle then play time again.  After we play for about 30 minutes to an hour we go out and run errands, get lunch, or go on a walk. This time is really important to me because I can't stay in the house all day long. Whether we go to Target, the grocery store, drop off orders at the post office or just drive through Panera, it is VITAL that we leave the house for at least 30 minutes. Sometimes we go on play dates, or meet a friend for lunch, other days we just go on a long walk around the neighborhood. But again, this is Vital!

2:00pm - Another 4 oz bottle and then play time for about an hour.

3:15/3:30pm - He normally starts getting tired around 130, but after he eats he gets a burst of energy.  It doesn't last long, but I will play with him until I see the signs that he is ready for a nap, and then Ill take him to his room and put him down.  This is normally a 3 hour nap,  sometimes longer, and I get A LOT of work done. Ill edit videos, shoot videos, edit blog posts, prepare orders, you name it. I'll plan in the morning what Ill get done during this time and knock it out.

6:00pm - He wakes up for another 4 oz bottle and then we watch about 20 minutes of Baby Einsteins, (he loves the Baby Neptune Water one), play on his play mat, practice sitting up, etc.

8:30pm - bath time starts. I dim all of the lights, turn the TV off, just make it an overall relaxing time that signals it's time for bed. I use the Aveeno Comfort Bath Line, put him right into his pajamas after and cuddle for a little on the couch.

9:00pm - another 4 oz bottle and bed time. At this point, Im not ready to go upstairs yet, so I lay him in the mamaroo on tree swing setting until midnight. I can clean up the kitchen, eat something, do laundry, edit more videos, work a little more and watch some much needed reality TV drama.

12:00am - We go upstairs and without waking him up, he drinks another 4 oz bottle. This bottle is his formula bottle and he immediately goes into the 4moms Breeze Play Yard next to me after and he's out for the night. I mark his bedtime at 9pm, even though I feed him at midnight too. He doesn't wake up and since I stay up late every night any way I thought, why not feed him one more time, maybe give me the extra sleep in the AM.

Then it starts all over again the next day! This is what totally works for us and this schedule is what helps me to accomplish all I can in a day. I have also gone down to only pumping 3 times a day instead of every 3 hours. I pump around 7am, when we come downstairs to play, then again around 4 or 5pm and then the last time is around 11/11:30 pm, Im able to still pump 30 oz or more doing it this way.

Again, every little one is different, and I don't have a crap ton of experience, but living a baby lead schedule has been so amazing and easy to plan around. Watch this schedule all go to shit in a month anyway when teething starts, lord save me.

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