Left Photo

Left Photo

Middle Photo

Middle Photo

Right Photo

Right Photo

Friday, January 31, 2014

Congrats to the Milkies Winners!

Congrats to Morgan N. for winning the Milkies Saver
and Helen S. for winning the Milkies Freezer!

Happy Weekend, folks.

Moments of the Week | Purple and Gold

This kid.  My whole heart right there.  

My best friend from high school sent us this purple and gold sweater set for CT.  My second grade teacher knit it.  I love it and he snuggled right in for a nap Sunday.

The flu is taking over North Carolina and it makes me just nervous enough that I think CT and I are going to become homebodies again for a while.  It's just not worth the risk.

I received my diploma from UNCG in the mail - great feeling of accomplishment there.  I am officially a Master of Education.

I've opened my Lulu's Mimi shop back up after taking a brief hiatus to adjust to motherhood.  Since reopening, I've filled several orders and I'm really excited for some new items I would like to add to my inventory.  I don't think I will be able to do any craft fairs for a while because I can't commit to a set sewing schedule - I'm sewing while CT is napping and that is allowing me to fill orders.

It snowed!  Snow in NC means hubby goes in late to work and hangs with us a little longer in the morning.  Wednesday he made restaurant style omelets and coffee.  Perfect morning.

Linking up with Katie and Lauren

Thursday, January 30, 2014


I love snow days.  Even on maternity leave, I get excited.

Two days in a row Justin got to go into work late and come home a little early.
We had restaurant style omelets and coffee and lingered in bed a little longer than normal.

I hope you and yours enjoyed the snow day and you were able to stay safe and warm.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Remixing my closet

Vest: JCrew Kids (thrifted, love this option), Sweater: Cynthia Rowley (similar on sale, splurge), Jeans: Old Navy, Booties: Zulily (similar), Bracelets: Alex & Ani

I went 9 months without shopping.  For the most part. 

(I feel like I'm at a Shoppers Anonymous meeting and I just introduced myself for the first time).

I did purchase a few pairs of shoes (including these chic mom shoes I'm wearing) and obviously some maternity pieces as necessary.  But, essentially, I went 9 months without capitalizing on the 50% off JCrew sale, the StitchFix credit sitting in my inbox, or the countless sales, coupon codes, and offers at all my favorite stores that frequent my email on a weekly basis.  

To say that I'm itching to shop for new wardrobe pieces is an understatement.

However, I'm still 15 pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight.  I don't want to go out and purchase a new wardrobe just yet because I don't want to become comfortable with those 15 extra pounds.  At the same time, I don't think its fair to live in yoga pants and deny myself clothing that fits and makes me feel confident in the mean time.  

So, I've started sifting through my closet remixing pieces I already own and a few that I've recently purchased to come up with outfits that are comfortable, stylish, mommy-friendly, and affordable.  This is one such outfit I put together.

My goal is to work my way through my closet making a list of items that are needed to complete my wardrobe, ridding myself of items that no long fit my person or my style, and cleaning out some of the clutter.  Do you have any wardrobe goals for 2014?

I intend to do several posts in the near future on remixing my wardrobe, de-cluttering, and purchasing new pieces.  If it's one thing I'm realizing, each stage of life helps define who I am and its time for me to take the fashion risks I've been fearing and allow myself to define my personal style without concern for what others think, wear, or say.  Here's to the new year!

pleated poppy
The Hump Day Blog Hop

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

the BEST dads get promoted to grandpa

Dear Dad,

Happy birthday.  I'm so thankful for this day (a number of years ago I won't mention) because it allowed you to be the dad you are to me.  

And now, the grandpa you are to Carson.

I always knew how lucky I was having you even when I didn't want to admit it while growing up.  What I didn't always know was how lucky my children would be to call you grandpa.  

I love watching your eyes light up when you look at him.  And I can't wait to see his eyes light up when he understands that he is going to see you.

I love how gentle you are with him, advocating for him and assuring him and everyone else that he is a good baby.  And I can't wait for him to know that about you.

I love how you will get up at all hours of the night to hold him.  And I can't wait for him to eagerly climb into your arms the minute he sees you.

I love how you call each day to check on us (him).  And I can't wait for him to ask to call you.

I know how lucky he is to have you for a grandpa because I know how lucky I am to call you dad.

We love you so much.

Happy birthday, Grandpa.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Milkies | Review and Giveaway!

Warning: you are about to read a post about breast feeding.  Don't say I didn't warn you (men).

When I read about this product, I was immediately intrigued.  There are certain things people just don't tell you about pregnancy or motherhood and you learn as you go.

Which reminds me, are any of you interested in a mini-series of "What People Don't Tell You" in regards to those things?  I've been thinking it would have been convenient for me to have read before embarking on this journey.

One of those things is that when your breasts become full of milk, they will often leak.  I swear its like they sense the baby or something.  He cries.  They leak.  I look at him lovingly.  They leak.

I did not realize (due to good nursing pads) that while I am nursing on one side, the other side is continuously leaking as well.  No big deal - there's a nursing pad there.  Until you realize how much milk is leaking out and just being absorbed by that pad.

Breast milk is liquid gold.

That's where the Milk Saver comes into play!  While nursing on one side, you wear the Milk Saver inside your bra on the other side and it collects any leaking milk while you nurse.  What seems like such a simple concept, has been an amazing tool for me!  In one day I can collect 1-2 ounces of breast milk just from leaking.  That's half a bottle right now!

Milkies also sent me a Milkies Freeze to review and giveaway.  This thing is genius.  It organizes your frozen, bagged milk based on a first in, first out system.  It freed up a lot of space in my freezer and took out the guessing game when it came to figuring out which milk needed to be used up first.  Let's face it, even with good labeling, things can become disorganized or lost in a freezer.

Not just that, the Milkies Freeze also has a quick freeze feature.  You put your milk in the freezer bag and then set it on the metal plate atop the freezer for seconds and it is frozen and ready to put into the organizer.  Like I said, genius!  

So, Milkies has agreed to give away a Milk Saver and a Milkies Freezer!  There will be two winners: one will get the saver, one will get the freezer.  Sign up below via Rafflecopter so that you can be entered to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, January 24, 2014

Moments in the week of a Mom | Baby Style

It's amazing how quickly this week came and then went.  I know my parents use to say, "They grow up so fast.  Don't blink."  I hated it, but it's true, and that makes me hate it more.  You too?

When Lauren emailed me saying she was starting a link-up for baby style, I got really excited.  CT has just started filling out his newborn clothes and I have had a lot of fun dressing him up in the outfits people gave us.  It was really fun setting up a little photo shoot for him.
Outfit: Carters

CT has gained so much weight this week which is a huge relief because at his last appointment he was struggling to gain.

I got a clean bill of health from the doctor.  She said everything is healing as it should.  However, I was informed that from here on out all future pregnancies will be considered high risk in an effort to prevent a preterm labor again.

My mom called and asked me to go online and book her a flight.  She will be here for a week at the end of February!  I can't wait to spend time with her and CT.

We have a pseudo-schedule going and I can't complain.  Being that CT was a preemie, I couldn't really inflict my own schedule on him.  I pretty much have had to feed him on demand.  The fact that I can expect my midnight wake up calls helps a lot.

Every morning during his first nap of the day, I enjoy a cup of coffee, some snuggles, and then I wash more bottles than I ever realized one little boy could go through in one evening.


Thursday, January 23, 2014

5 Ways to Spend 20 "Mommy Minutes"

It's no joke that when you're a mommy you have very little time to spend on yourself.

Things you always did before baby, don't always happen after baby.  At least not those first few days or weeks.  It can become a bit depressing to be honest.

20 minutes before baby might be wasted debating whether or not you should go work out, staring off into space, or sifting through Facebook or Twitter.  20 minutes of mommy time is actually pretty significant.  It may not seem like long, but it can be a matter of sanity in the day of a mommy.

Mommy's deserve a little pampering; time to cater to their needs and forget about dirty diapers, never ending laundry, overflowing dishes, bottles that need sterilizing, and floors that need mopping.

Here are 5 ways you can spend 20 guilt-free "mommy minutes:"

1. Lay down.  On top of the covers, under the covers, on the couch, in the recliner...just put your feet up and get comfortable.  Rest your eyes, take a cat nap, or just lay.  Embrace rest.  

2.  Moisturize.  Get your favorite body cream (I would suggest purchasing a more glamorous version of your favorite before baby) and strip down to your skivvies and spend those 20 minutes moisturizing your body.  It's amazing how dehydrating lack of sleep and breast feeding can be.  Don't forget about your feet, elbows, and spend a few extra minutes massaging into the back of your neck.  You don't realize how much strain is on it carrying a baby around all day.

3.  Give yourself a mini-manicure.  Moisturize.  Push back the cuticles, file your nails, and put a coat of your favorite polish on top.  It may not seem like much, but a coat of nail polish can really make a woman feel beautiful.

4.  Put your feet up and read.  Don't read all those books out there about how to be a great mommy, raise the perfect child, or establish a routine by week 2 of infancy.  Read for pleasure.  Better yet, read for guilty pleasure.  Pick up your favorite magazine or read through your blog reel.  Take a 20 minute mental break from being a mom.

5.  Shop your closet.  Body after baby is different.  Not necessarily bad, but definitely different.  Take some time to put together a few outfit options that make you feel confident, beautiful, and comfortable.  Having options might motivate you to get out of the house later that day or week which (trust me) will make you feel more human and better your day.  Don't be afraid to start a bag of clothes that no longer fit or aren't mommy friendly to take to Plato's Closet one day.  Day dream about what you want to buy your new body with the money you make by doing so.

It's so important to take that time for yourself, as a mom.  While baby is napping, spend 20 minutes on you before folding, cleaning, organizing, putting away, what have you...

You will feel more human and you will feel more you.  Making being a mom a little easier and more enjoyable on those days when a 20 minute break is all you get.

P.S. Can we all agree that Vanessa of With Great Heart Design did a fabulous job on my new blog design!?  Stick around, we have a giveaway coming up in the near future.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Mom Shoes

Sweatshirt: refashioned by me, Jeans: Old Navy, Booties: Breckelles via Zulilly

Who says mom shoes need to be clunky and out of style?

I think these booties are the perfect mom shoe.  I wore them the other day to Babies R Us, Target, and Whole Foods and was pleasantly pleased at how comfy they are.  Not to mention, I still felt like "me" in them.  

I see myself rocking these little puppies with capris, jeans, skirts, dresses, and shorts.

What do you think of the new mom shoe?

pleated poppy
The Hump Day Blog Hop

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Hubby's Hospital Bag

Since sharing what I frantically packed into my hospital bag, several of you have asked what I packed for hubby.

I have to admit, I didn't even realize I needed to pack him a bag until one of my friends mentioned it a week or two before CT arrived.  I guess I was just so concerned with what we needed for baby that I hadn't really thought about the fact that my husband would be at the hospital for days/nights, too!

Here is what we found useful:

daddy hospital bag

1. iPad, chargers, and earbuds: Daddy will need some entertainment while you play the waiting game and earbuds will help him sleep through nurse checks.

2.  Camera: Document everything!  So glad hubby took all those pictures.

3.  Comfortable Layers: He is going to want to be comfortable and able to add or take off layers based on room temperature.  Not to mention, he will need shorts to sleep in.

4.  Toiletries: What your man uses on a daily basis - bring it!  Whatever effect the hospital environment is having on you and your skin, it is also having on him.  He wants to be just as comfortable as you do.

5.  Slippers: It's nice to be able to slide your feet in and out of a cozy pair of slippers to go to the restroom, get the nurse, or hit up the vending machines.

Monday, January 20, 2014

1 Month Musts for Mom and Baby

Go sign up to win a $30 shop credit to EDMobiles; just one more must-have for baby.

I thought I would share the things that I've found to be most beneficial for me and baby the first month he's been home with us.  I've seen these lists before, but I wanted to add must-haves for mommy as well.  After all, we need to take care of ourselves, too!

1 month mommy

1.  iPhone: I use the app, BabyCare, to document everything CT does throughout the day from dirty and wet diapers to his nursing and sleep schedule.  It is so nice to be able to look back at what he has done throughout the day especially when the pediatrician asks.

2.  Anti-bacterial Hand Lotion and Lip Butter: Breast feeding is dehydrating - must stay moisturized.

3.  Sweats: I'm living in yoga pants and soft hoodies.  I love these from Old Navy because they are soft and easy to maneuver for quick access for CT.

4.  Tervis Tumbler: It is essential to keep hydrated!

5.  Mother's Milk Tea: There are so many benefits to drinking this tea for breast feeding mothers.  It helps milk come in and maintains a healthy supply.  It's also nice to have tea to drink while breastfeeding - I find it relaxing.

baby 1 month

1.  Boppy: CT only weighed 5 pounds when we brought him home, but holding 5 pounds while nursing for extended periods of time starts to wear on you.  This makes it comfortable to nurse, hold him, and lay him in our laps.

2.  Gripe Water: This is an all natural way to tackle gassiness.  It is safe for newborns.  I just put a little on his paci and let him suck it off when necessary.

3.  Flannel Blankets: I ended up going out and buying more of these.  They get peed and spit up on all the time.  I use them to swaddle, cover him up while changing him, wipe his mouth, and as an impromptu changing pad.  They are so versatile - you can't have enough.

4.  Swaddler: CT loves to be swaddled.  These are a lot easier and hold up better throughout the night than a blanket.

5.  Nighttime lotion: Baby skin gets so dry and starts to shed the first few weeks.  I use this on him after baths and before bedtime.  I put extra on his feet and then keep socks on him.

6.  Chicco Pack-n-Play: This has been a Godsend!  Thankfully we got this the week before CT surprised us.  It has a mobile attachment as well as a changing table attachment.  It is the only changing table we have at the moment (and the only one we need) and CT is currently sleeping in this at the end of our bed.  So thankful we had this before he came.

What are your 1 month must-haves?