And Then There Were Four

  Last week, our little family of three became four. We are all overly smitten with our newest addition - Blake Everly Cooper who had a bit of a dramatic entrance to the world during the week hours of the morning on August 21st. (Check out our announcement on Facebook!) It was bittersweet the last few weeks of waiting for her arrival and saying good-bye to Branden being an only child. But we were all so anxious to see what she would look like and how it would all happen. She proved that she makes the decisions right from the start and her birth story is a unique one. As you all know, I worked with a midwife this time around and was seeking a completely different birthing experience (with B I had ALL the drugs and now I hoped to have a completely natural experience this time). Since we were only a 4 block walk to the hospital and I was anticipating to be in pain, our plan was so labor at home as much as possible and walk to the hospital as soon as contractions were in the 2-3 minute apart range. But, that's not exactly how it all went down. Instead, we waited and waited, as she ended up coming 3 days past her due date. On the 3rd day (last Saturday night), my husband went to visit his mom in Brooklyn, while I was at home with Branden and my Aunt Lorraine who came from Pittsburgh to help us. It seemed like a typical night, as nothing was happening - and then some contractions slowly started at 7pm. Keep track until 10:30pm, I finally texted … [Read more...]

For The Sporty Ones {Giveaway}

This post is sponsored by Vocalpoint and Dick’s Sporting Goods. All opinions are my own. Back to school for us was a completely new breed of busy this year - and we haven't even started yet! If you have followed along with our family story, we just announced our latest family member, little Blake Everly this weekend, so I was on a quest to get every single thing that we needed for back to school done before her arrival. We are typically the last minute kind of family when it comes to this stuff, pulling together our shopping lists a week before (ya know - when the bus schedule arrives in the mail?!), but not this year! Thanks goodness for Dick's Sporting Goods®  and their one stop shopping experience for our little sporty one. Since I was pretty much ready to pop during all of our back to school shopping (and you can see in the above picture that I did indeed, pop) we opted for an online experience for both school supplies and clothes this year. I can't even tell you how much easier this made my life! Branden, as you can see, loves to have a say in the clothes that he wears, so he really enjoyed perusing the Dick's Sporting Goods®  website for everything that he needed. Much to our surprise, they really have so much more than just sports equipment and clothing. We were able to get our little guy the coolest sweats that will be amazing for chilly fall days when he is running from school to swimming twice a week and new sneakers for gym class (his absolute favorite … [Read more...]

A Letter To My First Born, As You Become a Big Brother

  Dear Branden, Your Dad and I brought you into this world one week past your due date on September 27th, 2008. Strong willed from the start, you did not want to enter the world until you were good and ready. You were delivered by the on-call doctor, who left in the middle of your birth to attend a black tie wedding . Whenever he returned, I was ready to push and he delivered you in his tuxedo (you can't make this stuff up!). We knew from that moment on that you would be a fancy little guy who loves to steal the show whenever possible. I've watched you grow every single day. I am truly amazed the way you look at the world and help me see things through your eyes. The strong personalty that you have developed reminds me so much of mine - which is probably why we bicker the way that we do. I remember all of your firsts and can still pick your little laugh out of a busy New York City crowed. This week, we are waiting for your little sister's arrival and couldn't be more excited to welcome her into our tiny family and complete it. You are going to be an amazing big brother in every single way imaginable because you have waited for this moment for so long. But I want you to know how special you alone are to me and that while it might take some balancing on Mommy and Daddy's parts - we will always do our very best to make sure you know that each and every day. For the longest time, it has been the three of us, and now we will be four - but we will never … [Read more...]

Keeping Our Family on Track With Chime

This post was sponsored by Chime as part of an Activation for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review. Let's be real here - keeping a family of any size on a budget can be both difficult and overwhelming. Every little bit of savings here and there counts in a major way. With a new one on the way pretty much any day now, I started taking our budget one step further and started making some bigger changes to help impact our family - and using Chime is one of them. What is Chime? (Because I'm sure you are wondering!) It's a new type of banking and savings that is targeted directly to us millennials, with a huge emphasis on the savings part. Our generation has gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to student loans and a crappy economy, to a point where money is often going out quicker than it's coming in. We want to save, but how is that possible when our banks don't make that very easy (think monthly fees and overdraft charges - thumbs down!). Enter Chime. An easy solution for a seemingly big problem. With Chime, everything is done online because - ahem - this is what our generation is used to! When was the last time you walked into an actual brick and mortar bank? Exactly. There are no monthly fees or minimums, no overdrafts and ATMs are fee free at 24,000+ locations. This is a big money saver for us, especially if you have a husband like mine who needs cash for tolls on a daily basis - those ATM fees rack up quick! Then, you … [Read more...]

Back to School Favorites For Your Household

This post was sponsored by P&G as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Back to school is nearing, whether we are ready for it or not! We get out really late in June here in the city and go back September 8th and it always feels like I blink my eyes and it's time to set that alarm clock again. (Though this year we will have a little tiny human alarm clock letting us know when to start our day!). I've always been quite the obsessive organizer, but being pregnant this summer it has truly gone to the extreme. The core of my crazy antics are this though - when it comes to being organized for back to school it's not just about getting uniforms and school supplies on time, but making sure the household is ready as a whole. I'm making this happen this year with my friends at Procter & Gamble and buying in bulk at Costco. Don't get me wrong, uniforms and school supplies are super important, and you best bet that I'm running around to make sure we have our list and have checked it twice before Baby C gets here, but there is a whole other element to "back to school" that is sometimes overlooked. (Except for by us mamas that is!) You guessed it - prepping the household! This time of year is C-R-A-Z-Y and your family is taking time to adjust from summer mode back into a school routine. In many cases there are sports starting and homework to add back into the mix. It can get completely overwhelming even for the most … [Read more...]

Baby Registry Must-Haves {Giveaway}

  I'm not sure if it's the second time around mom thing or the fact that we live in a small New York City apartment, but I recognized really quick that there were certain items we actually needed right away for baby and others that would just take up space until she was ready for them. There are the necessities and then the things that everyone tells you that you need when you really don't, right? Yes! There are items (such as a high-chair) that I won't be buying until we need one, but these baby registry items below are musts from the beginning - and you can win them all for yourself! (Keep scrolling!) Baby Registry Must-Haves 1. Mamas, trust me on this one - you want to keep dirty diaper separate right from the start and in a place that will get rid of the stink! This Ubbiworld diaper pail is not only super cute in design, small enough not to take up a huge amount of space, but maximizes odor control with it's powder-coated steel technology. You can use regular trash bags or a cloth liner and get this - it features a child-proof lock so any of your other kiddos can't get inside! Genius! 2. There is no other way to describe the Graco Extend2Fit 3-in-1 Car Seat other than amazing! I had the opportunity to actually meet with Graco and see this before if first launched and I was floored, there are so many wonderful features like taking baby from both rear to front facing and 4-100 pounds - it's the only car seat you will ever need throughout your child's … [Read more...]

New Year, New Style From Oshkosh B’gosh

This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of OshKosh B’gosh; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. Growing up and now with my own family, back to school to me has always stood for everything "new" - almost like a second New Year's Eve celebration. Everyone took a break from school to grow and experience new things with their families over the summer and then head back to school in the fall refreshed - with new teachers, a new school year, always new clothes. As you can see if you follow along here, Oshkosh b'gosh is always our go-to because they have a mixture of fun kid style choices at affordable prices, a uniform section (which we need in our home) and now a place where I can buy things for they new baby, too. It's a one stop shop and I love that. When we are out in the city on weekends, and B is sporting his favorite style, people are always so surprised to hear that it came from Oshkosh. Their response is that the always think that it's only for littles. News flash - it's totally not! I'm reminding people left and right that their super cute styles go all the way up to size 14! Branden does like to get involved when it comes to doing his shopping, even though he says that I guide him a bit. What can  I say? I follow the trends and want him to be in style! He loves how Oshkosh is always about fun and how he can find pieces that are both comfortable and he looks forward to wearing. We always get a mixture between solids and … [Read more...]

Getting Back on Track With Skinnygirl

This post was sponsored by Skinnygirl as part of an Influencer Activation. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review. You guys, things are about to get real in about t-minus 10 days (give or take a few) when I will officially be the mom of two. I'm definitely stressing about pretty much everything and have focused way more on my feeding plans for Baby C then how I'm going to be feeding myself to get my body back on track post-baby. (I know, tisk, tisk). But the thing is this - thanks to Skinnygirl and their amazing products that seriously cater to real mom life (yup, Bethenny Frankel gets it!), I can stock up and have these products handy to keep me on track. Yes mamas, this crazy, organizing, plan ahead, to-do list constantly in hand mom-to-be is going balls to the walls and taking on my postpartum days without a true plan. Because I'm slowly learning that plans change and I need to start rolling with the punches. So let me preface my Skinnygirl journey with sharing this: whenever Bethenny first came out with the Skinnygirl Margarita, I had a case pre-ordered from my local liquor store. I've seriously been a brand advocate since the way beginning and have been super excited to watch it grow and branch out to what it is today - a brand that gets what us busy mamas want and need in our lives. (And sometimes, that involves alcohol!) These are all solution based products that solve everyday issues that we have whether from being on the go, too tired to … [Read more...]

Dear Hospital, I’m Nervous About Your Sleeping Procedures

  Dear hospital that I was very much looking forward to giving birth at, About mid-pregnancy, all the stars aligned in our life and my husband was able to take a morning off to accompany me on our hospital tour. This was very important to me because delivering in your hospital was new to us and in a completely different city than the first time around. You made it really easy—no appointment required—so we called up the hospital coordinator after my monthly visit with our midwife and met her on the delivery floor to go over all the ins and outs of how things would most likely go down on the big day. We got through triage and the actual delivery rooms, and headed straight towards the postpartum suite, where I learned many things that made me more nervous than at ease, even though this wasn’t my first rodeo. First, my husband isn’t allowed to spend the night and I will have a roommate for the two days that I’m there. This didn’t surprise me much, but became all the more real when I was hearing it firsthand. Then, there is that one thing that still makes me feel a extremely nervous when I think about it: you won’t be keeping our new baby in the nursery at all (unless, God forbid, there's a problem with baby or me). Our baby is expected to be by my side the entire time. Gasp. Sure, I get the arguments to both sides and definitely want to be close to my sweet newborn, but I also have a very distinct memory of delivering our son and just needing a moment to … [Read more...]

Back to School With Mini Boden

This post was sponsored by Boden as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review. Is anyone else in complete awe that it's time to get ready for back to school besides me?! Holy moly does time fly! But I'm not gonna lie - shopping for Branden's fall style is one of my absolute favorites (summer isn't nearly as fun for little boy style) and I'm so excited to share some of our favorites from Mini Boden for the upcoming back to school season! This little dude was in a posing mood when we took these pictures and excited to show off two of our favorite trends for boys this fall: stripes and colored denim! I absolutely love mixing and matching pieces like this and Mini Boden clothing is so soft and comfy for kiddos on the go - yet durable enough to withstand boys. (Ahem, THIS LINK HERE scores you 25% off your entire purchase!) // Top: Raglan T-Shirt // Bottoms: Coloured Skinny Jeans in Sage // While the top is called a "t-shirt" it really is a little bit heavier and could almost pass as a sweater and is so cozy! These jeans also fit our little guy perfectly (he's a bit on the skinny side) and they are so easy to move around in. We love how Mini Boden doesn't use clothing tags at all in their kidswear, so you never have to deal with those itchy spots! And then there is this coat that I am completely obsessed with and my favorite purchase for B in a really long time. Even though it's puffy on the … [Read more...]