Trend To Try: Pleated Skirts

October 19, 2017




Happy Friday!  And yay, I got two posts out this week! If you've followed along for a while, you know that I'm no stranger to pleated skirts.  In fact, I really have embraced the trend so much so that they've made an appearance in three different blog posts since I launched 2.5 years ago (this outfit last year was a fave of mine!). So how excited am I that this trend is still alive and well this year?  Really excited.


The Boot Edit- 4 Boot Styles You Need

October 16, 2017

Similar Skirt/Boots

So this post was supposed to go out on Friday BUT I just didn't get to it.  Kudos to the women I see blogging 3 plus times per week with two kiddos.  Besides having a newborn, we've been crazy busy these last few weeks with some exciting life changes (no, I'm not pregnant again!) but more on that later!  Did you guys have a nice weekend?  Even though it was super hot here, we got out and about with the whole fam quite a bit!  Austin took the day off on Friday and we hit up the zoo and Saturday we made it to a beautiful local park with retired antique trains (one of which you can ride).  It was all fun and games until it was 90 degrees out and hanger started to hit with both kids!  Thank goodness for naps, am I right?  So even though I'm not wearing my boots yet, many of you in cooler climates are so I thought I'd pull together a post of the key boots you need to get you through the Fall and Winter Seasons.  I think my favorite trend are OTK boots. I swear, nothing makes your legs look more flattering so I'm hoping this trend lasts for years to come! What are your favorites?  As always, thank you so much for following along! xo

The OTK Boot
I obsessed over these boots (I made my friends nuts trying to decide on the grey vs. the black) and finally pulled the trigger last year.  I realize they are an investment BUT they're are tons of dupes (like these) for them if you want the look for less. I am drooling over the grey lowland boots still but they're not anywhere in our budget and won't be anytime soon.  Either way, I wore these all the time last year (#noregrets) and love that they can be dressed down with jeans and a sweater or dressed up with a snazzy dress.  Honestly, it can't cool down fast enough for me so I can wear them again non stop. I'm also a big fan of  the flat OTK riding boot style like these ones I scored.  They're great with leggings or skinny jeans and are comfy enough to wear to brunch or running errands (and btw are an amazing dupe for these).


The Boot for the Elements
So it doesn't rain much in San Diego and it definitely doesn't snow but we try to take an annual ski trip so I can justify having boots for the snow and rain!  The Hunter rain boots are so classic and work in warm and chilly temps when its raining.  Personally, I chose the black but don't think I'm not waiting for the green or red to go on sale.  If I lived somewhere colder, I'd for sure need them in a fun color!

The Bootie
I found an amazing pair of booties at Marshall's like 5 years ago for $14.99 and they lasted until the heel fell off last year. #impressive  But there are such cute booties out there at really nice price points.  These are the perfect transitional boot and will work with everything in your closet- dresses, jeans, shorts all compliment this look.


The Statement Boot
Here is one I haven't invested in yet.  There are just too many fun options and I can't decide!  Personally, I'm loving the velvet and am so envious of the super stylish girls I see pulling off the white.  What are your favorites!?


Ten Things You Need to Survive the Newborn Stage

October 9, 2017





I've had a ton of requests for this post but I wanted to wait until Griffin was at least 4 weeks old before I put it together for you guys.  This way I'd be able to really test out products and be able to give you guys a honest review of what worked best for us to survive this harrowing yet amazing stage of your baby's life. I'll admit, our experience with Coco as a newborn was 1000% different than Griffin so keep in mind that every baby is different!  What works for one, may not work for another. Having said all of that, this post is now seriously overdue as it's been up on my computer ready for the final touches for two weeks!  Needless to say, we've been crazy busy lately! But more on those updates later;)

Sleep
So here's the thing.  We got lucky with Griffin...we got a SLEEPER.  And you know what? We freaking deserved it after Coco.  At 17 months and fully delirious, I finally succumbed and hired a sleep trainer to help us with her. Thank you to my good friend Natalie who intervened with this because I probably never would have done it on my own.  At 17 months, she was still waking 3 times per night.  It was horrible and I felt like I was the only one who was going through having a "non-sleeper".  I had significant anxiety especially around bedtime because I didn't know what to expect for the night.  I read every book, tried everything (including CIO) and nothing worked.  The sleep trainer DID work though and essentially saved us.  BUT Coco is STILL highly sensitive about sleep. She's woken up the last two nights in the middle of the night.  At every bump in the road (illness, travel, Grandpa visits), we have to essentially sleep train her all over again. Which leads me to my next point: Your babies will either be sleepers or non-sleepers.  At 4 weeks, Griffin was waking up twice per night. Last night, it was once.  And we haven't done anything different with him.  So I'm convinced it's ingrained in them and thank my lucky stars we're getting some sleep! Make no mistake though, I prepped for success this time around and yes, bought the Rolls Royce of bassinets (see below). Experiencing a non-sleeping baby for 17 months will make you do crazy things!

Rock and Play-  I'm not sure how I missed the boat on this with Coco but ALL of my friends had it for their babes and raved about it so I snagged one at Target prior to having Griffin.  First, the price point compared to other swings/bassinets is really great.  I got the one that vibrates and is battery powered. What I love most about it is that it's light and easy to transport up and down our stairs. Newborns sleep a lot so I need the convenience of being able to have some place to put him that's easy to move around the house.  When I shower, I bring it in our bathroom, when I cook, I put it in our kitchen and when I play with Coco, it's in our family room.  At night and one nap per day, Griffin sleeps in the SNOO bassinet which we are obsessed with.

Dockatot- Another gem that wasn't around when I had Coco.  From the moment we brought Griffin home, he loved to lounge and snooze in the Dockatot.  You could tell that he felt very secure in it and I loved that it was light weight and similar to the Rock and Play, easy to transport around the house. The first week and a half we had Griffin, he slept in our bed in the Dockatot and we still put him in it at various times throughout the day.  He loves to lay in it and look up at our ceiling fan!  The fabric is breathable and comes in a ton of cute patterns (check them out here).  The dock comes in two sizes so there is an option for when they get bigger too! Honestly, this would be a great item to gift to a mama to be and we love it so much that I think it may warrant it's own review blog post- stay tuned for that!

Eat

Coco never took a bottle. Everyone assumes we didn't try hard enough which is fine because I know that we did. She also didn't take a paci. Or sleep. Or not cry...all of which are stories for a different post, haha! Regardless, I dug up a zip lock bag of old bottles and paci's I had saved of hers and cringed at how much money I spent trying to find the "right" one that would make her happy. None did but my girlfriend told me about these bottles and said they were hands down the best. We started giving Griffin a bottle of pumped milk this week in this bottle and he's had one per day for 4 days with zero issues. HOORAY! I have an oversupply of milk and have worked diligently with a lactation consultant to help manage this so please let me know if you have any questions or if you're having a similar experience.  I'd be happy to share what has worked for us on this topic!  Because of the oversupply, when Griffin eats, it's a mess. Milk is everywhere but these burp clothes are our favorite! I prop one under him while he nurses to catch the massive run off, lol.

Gear

Infant Carseat- Honestly, I've tapped into my girlfriends and their wealth of knowledge and experience for this one!  With Coco, I bought a fancy car seat that looked cool and really swanky. And then I nearly threw my back out lifting it daily.  So I sold it and consulted my tribe which overwhelmingly recommended this car seat based on ease of installation and it being so light.  We LOVE it and it really is light and easy to get in and out of the car. On that topic, the snap and go stroller has been a LIFE SAVER.  Strollers weigh a ton and are difficult to get in and out of the trunk. I'm currently borrowing this from a girlfriend and can't believe I didn't have one with Coco! It's perfect for quick errands (not walks necessarily) and for drop off and pick up!  It pops open and you snap your car seat in it and go.

Stroller- We used this stroller with Coco and still love it today.  Again, I tapped into my girlfriends for stroller advice and am so glad we chose this one.  Right now, we take Griffin for walks in the bassinet and I just ordered the kick stand for Coco to ride on.  But down the road, this converts into a double stroller by adding a seat so they'll both be able to ride in it.  Isn't that genius?  There are 16 ways to configure this stroller!

Baby Bjorn-  If you saw my insta stories, you know this carrier has been the ONLY carrier that has worked for me.  I didn't "wear" Coco because it just seemed to complicated!  Now that I have two kids, I wanted to figure out SOME sort of system so I could be hands free if I needed to be and this carrier was the easiest to figure out.  I literally watched tons of videos for different wrap and ring baby wearing options and still couldn't figure them out.  Don't get me wrong, I think they're adorable but simple and easy trumps cute these days.

Baby Bjorn Seat- Hands down a MUST HAVE.  Griffin loves to sit and bounce in this and you can use it for all stages of babyhood as there are several settings.  Both of our kids loved it and I loved that they could be close and sitting up without having to be held.

Clothes- Griffin has just grown out of most of his newborn stuff.  Everyone tells you not to invest in newborn clothes but at 7lbs 11oz, he wore them for almost a month!  I had nothing newborn so we scrambled and bought a bunch at Target when we got home.  My favorite jammies though are these! The fabric is so nice and I love how cute the prints are.

I've racked my #mombrain and think I've covered all of our essentials!  Do you have anything you can't live without?  If so, I'd love to hear about it!  As always, thank you so much for following along. xo



Welcome Baby Griffin- My Birth Story

September 12, 2017


Hi! It's so great to get back on the blog and reconnect with everyone.  I just want to say, thank you so much for all of your kind words over the last few weeks.  Austin and I read them all and are so appreciative of each and every one of you that took time out of your day to give us support and encouragement.  I've been asked quite a bit if I'd be sharing my birth story on here and as someone who has an obsession with reading other peoples' birth stories, how could I not?!

My doctor decided it would be best to induce me at 39.5 weeks with Griffin. There was a lot of satisfaction in this decision for Austin and I mostly because we could arrange child care for Colette and know that there wouldn't be a middle of the night scramble finding someone to take care of her.  I can't explain how weird it is to drive to the hospital to give birth but not be in labor.  Obviously I got NO sleep the night before and had a complete weeping breakdown around 3AM.  Honestly, I was scared.  My labor with Colette was difficult and my recovery was even harder.  I worried about her and how she would feel with Austin and I being gone for a few days.  To reiterate, I was really scared. We checked into the hospital, got my IV (not bad this time around!) and I was started on Pitocin around 9:30.  My Mom joined us at the Hospital and the morning was pretty uneventful with the exception that I could not seem to control my anxiety about the looming epidural and birth.

There came a point (around 1PM) where my nurse politely suggested I opt for the epidural as the anesthesiologist would be in a surgery for the next hour and a half and I was becoming really uncomfortable with the contractions.  I sobbed through the entire process even though it wasn't painful at all.  The afternoon was lovely from that point on!  I read an US weekly, took a nap, prayed and made a conscience decision to put my fear aside and enjoy and live in the moment as it's pretty likely that this will be our last baby.  I mean never say never though right?

During the end of my pregnancy, I had a feeling he was sunny side up.  He was super active and I could feel what I knew were hands and feet, not heels and elbows during my last few weeks.  They confirmed that he was face up and had me lay on my side with a special exercise type ball between my knees and he ended up turning on his own! Around 5:00, my OB and nurse ran in the room asking if I had felt the need to push.  They said that the baby's heart rate was dipping with contractions, meaning he was in the birth canal.  My OB checked me and said, "let's push this baby out!" Wait. What?!

People started to assemble (about 6 total) and set things up and I knew it was time. Let me preface this part with the fact that I pushed for over 3 hours with Colette and was in labor for a total of almost 16 hours. By the time she arrived, I could barely open my eyes.  My level of exhaustion prevented me from being fully present and happy in the moment. This was a totally different experience! Everyone in the room was pumped, my OB was relaxed, I felt excited and empowered, Austin and the nurses cheered me on and in 17 short minutes, Griffin Thomas was here! It was hands down, the most incredible experience of my life.

Both of my babies were born with the cord wrapped around their necks so unfortunately, Austin is 0-2 with cutting the cords but we are just thankful that they were both healthy babies.  How is my recovery you ask? In the words of my OB, "I'm sorry, your body just isn't well equipped to handle deliveries without significant trauma." I had a 3.5 degree tear (had a 3rd degree with Coco) which took 45 minutes to "mend" with somewhere north of 25 stitches.  It was not fun but I'm 2 weeks out, and feeling so much better and could not be more grateful for my experience and the fact that we get to snuggle this sweet baby boy now. Nothing comes close to the sense of mental and physical accomplishment you have when you give birth!  At the risk of sounding so sappy, the birth of Griffin was a gift and a miracle and we feel incredibly blessed to be a family of four. Now we're settling in and figuring out how to manage everything that comes along with having a newborn- more on that in a later post though!

THANK YOU again for all of the kindness and support you've extended to me and my family over the last 9 months.  It means the world to us! xo

PS- please excuse any typos over the next few months. I'm sleep deprived!




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