Only The Best

This post was sponsored by WaterWipes as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own. We find ourselves saying it over and over again in new parenthood: "only the best for my little one." It couldn't be more true because this is really something that we all want when exposing delicate skin to anything and everything that will be touching it. But whenever you are busy running in and out of the store picking up baby essentials like wipes and diapers, and there are so many options - what do you choose? With little Blake's arrival, we made the choice to use chemical free wipes by WaterWipes from Walmart. It's so important to me that we protect these kiddos from everything bad in the world. With a new baby in the house, I have to say that we think about protection in a completely different way. She's always being covered with hats and blankets as we go outside and I have no problem removing her from a situation where someone is smoking in public to shield her from those chemicals, but her skin is something that I focus on every single day of our lives. After all, skin is our largest organ and there is so much focus on what's being put into the body that we often forget about what's being absorbed. What makes them so special? WaterWipes are chemical free wipes that are literally made of only two ingredients: 99.9% pure Irish water and 0.1% grapefruit seed extract. Unlike many products of it's kind, WaterWipes are … [Read more...]

The Mom’s Guide to Taking the Stress Out of Car Buying

  Stress and motherhood go pretty much hand and hand, right? As much as we try to take time for ourselves to chill out, there is just no erasing the amount of worry, to-do list, and thoughts that go through our heads on a daily basis. Adding car shopping to the mix and that stress level rises to it's max- but it doesn't have to be that way. While I can't promise to take all of your stress away, I can promise some easy ways to take the stress out of car buying. My husband bought his first car whenever we were dating, but not married yet, so I didn't need to deal with much there besides act all excited whenever everything worked out in his favor. The second car was when we were married and one expensive mistake that I was not there to witness. The third car, which I discussed when I knew it was time for an upgrade, is our Camaro that's just way too small for our growing family. Now, I have a voice in it all and the financial decisions that have come with being older and wiser are definitely a cause for stress in the process. How to Take the Stress Out of Car Buying It is possible. Here's how I'm trying to calm myself down. Do your research. I can't stress this enough. Know what is out there, know what upgrades you are interested in, know what color you want the car to be - everything. Seriously. Talk with your partner ahead of time and come to resolutions together on anything you may be at odds about and squash it. You want to walk into the car dealership … [Read more...]

Mom on the Move

This post is brought to you by Luggage Online and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own. I've been planning our latest vacation in my head for a while now. Since being pregnant over the summer and paranoid about the zika virus, we stayed local. Now, I'm ready for a vacation filled with sun, sand and many pina coladas. Vacations obviously mean different things to different families. Some like to go warm places, some cold, some like to relax while others like to be on the move - and you have to make sure you do what works best for your family instead of what someone else tell you that you should be doing. Here are some lessons learned while traveling that I will change next time around. Lessons Learned While Traveling For the perfect family vacation - learn from my mistakes! 1. Make sure your luggage is organized and in good condition. Two summer's ago, we completely neglected this when traveling to the beach and when we went to get our luggage out of the closet, it was ripped open - and it only got worse. This time, we have learned our lesson and got rid of the old stuff and bought new pieces from Luggage Online, where we found pieces for the whole family that are affordable and most importantly - super durable. Why do we love them so? They offer FREE ground shipping on all orders $99 or more (we always spend more!), they offer a 110% low price guarantee (which means I don't have to waste time shopping around) and we always find everything we need, whether it's … [Read more...]

The Ultimate Guide to Babywearing Like a Pro

  Babywearing is my life. We did it a tiny bit with Branden, but I knew being a city mama this time around that it was going to be a way of life for me this time around. Babywearing is how I get around the city, as we only use the stroller whenever my hubbs is there to help us carry the beast up and down subway steps. But it's also so much more than that as I cart her around the house in it, too. Babywearing has become a way of life for me and now I want to share my ultimate guide to babywearing like a pro so that you can master and benefit from it, too. So first things first, you need to find the right baby carrier for you. There are SO many different ones out there now that you really need to do your research to narrow down what works best for you and your partner. For us, we wanted something that was gender neutral since both my husband and I would be using it (he automatically vetoed any kind that was a wrap style) and I wanted something I felt secure wearing. For me, the wrap style made me a little bit nervous - but that's just me! I also wanted something that could be worn on the front or back and was lightweight, so we settled on the Baby Bjorn Air One in Silver. I have to admit that I was a little bit nervous strapping her in and wearing it for the first time (so much that I made Chris wear her on our trip home from the hospital, which you can see a picture of HERE), so I recommend playing with is a bit before putting baby inside. The … [Read more...]

When You Feel Like Motherhood Got The Best of You, Remember This

  Monday was a day I took the world on and won. Tuesday I gave up at noon. Wednesday was a day I texted my husband reaching out for some major help - texting through tears because I was overwhelmed. We were both tired, I knew that, he new that - and I needed him to push through his exhaustion and just be there to take over things that I just couldn't that day. And of course he was there for me, no questions asked. You could say that motherhood got the best of me and you would be 100 percent accurate. I'm the kind of person who writes her to-do lists for the week every Monday and if a day comes where I begin to get behind, anxiety starts to swell within me. Monday, I kicked that to-do list's butt and even squeezed in a shower and a workout. I felt like I could take on anything. Then evening crept and I started to feel that chill creep within me and knew I was starting to get sick. Tuesday I got up and got writing that I owed my editor turned in, but not without a struggle. I was achy and had the chills and Blake would not go down for a nap. So we fought with sleep all morning and every single time I went to put her down, she of course woke up. I looked at the clock at 12:46pm and said "screw it." I placed her in the bed next to me (which I never ever do) and took a nap next to our little sweetie. So needless to say, I woke up Wednesday morning frazzled with a to-do list a mile long. And that's when it all really hit me. Crap. I still wasn't … [Read more...]

The Most Beautiful Birth Announcements {Giveaway}

  I'm behind. Again. I guess this is what happens when you have another baby, or what some refer to as "second child syndrome." Either way, I had it all together whenever Branden was born and I only had to focus on him and now poor little Blake is lost in the shuffle between school bus pickup and writing gigs. Whomp Whomp. Well, our little princess finally has had her birth announcements printed thanks to our friends at Minted and I am beyond obsessed. (Keep scrolling for a chance to win $150 to Minted for yourself!) I'm sure that you remember the beautiful pictures from our Newborn Portrait Session With Christina Marotto Photography - this one was one of my top MANY favorites. View the full image below, absolute perfection! Again, I can't recommend Christina enough, if you are looking for a newborn photographer - she's your girl! (You can contact her through her website HERE.) In the midst of a world where technology has pretty much taken over, I love to be super traditional about things like birth announcements, thank you cards and we always send out a family Christmas card each year. I think it's nice to have something tangible instead of electronic. Anyways, I fell in love with these Minted Modern Glow Foil Printed Birth Announcements while I was pregnant and saved a screen shot of them in my phone - they are just so beautiful and seriously do twinkle because of the rose gold foil print. (They also make the "thank you card" version you can … [Read more...]

Time For An Upgrade

  Truth: five years ago whenever we moved back to the city, my husband drifted away one day and came home with a "surprise." He bought a Camaro as our family car. Yup, at this time, Branden was still in a baby car seat and I was wincing at the thought of getting him in and out from the backseat from this two-seater. This was not a fun surprise for me, but a toy him. So fast forward to our current situation: two littles in car seats and a whole lot of inconvenience. It's time for an upgrade. With the birth of little Blake, my husband and I are finally on the same page about the car (probably because he's experiencing the inconvenience with a newborn plus one) and we are ready to trade in the Camaro for something more family-friendly. Buh-bye Camaro, you've had a good run, but we need something better for our family, and we're going to find that with the Capital One Auto Navigator site. It's really no secret that families are busy. We have so many schedules to worry about and buying a new family car really needs to work for everyone. Yes, mommy and daddy will be footing the bill, but it's gotta be a vehicle that takes kids, (pets if you have them), lifestyle, and of course - safety, into consideration. What's been so great about the Capital One Auto Navigator site is that is takes all of that into consideration and really is a "one-stop-shop" (my favorite term!) for all things auto related. What can you do on the website? It allows you to do basically … [Read more...]

For The Messiest of Days

This post is sponsored by Single Edition Media on behalf of Wet Ones®. I have received product or an incentive from the brand. Having a baby in tow with us through all of our weekend city adventures pretty much means one thing: having double the Wet Ones handy. I grew up with them and they are a super important diaper bag and at home essential to help us get through the messiest of days with the craziest of kids. Wet Ones® Antibacterial Hand Wipes are the convenient 2-in-1 way to wipe out dirt and messes and kill 99.99% of germs when soap and water aren’t readily available. Based on this alone, there are many times even when we're at home and I tell Branden to just go grab a Wet Ones (you know...because 8 year old hate having to actually wash their hands.) But having these miracle wipes in my arsenal gives me more power as a mom. (Did you know that 91% of moms admit to keeping their child from an activity just because its messy?) I'm able to encourage those fun, memorable, messy moments because I know that we will have a quick and easy cleanup. Since Wet Ones are available pretty much everywhere (at mass, grocery, and drug stores nationwide) and come in various sizes, we all carry them with us. As an added mom tip that we often overlook: these wipes are just as powerful as any hand sanitizer, so there is no need to double up on products - you just need the Wet Ones and you're good to go! But what sets them apart is that they are hypoallergenic and contain both … [Read more...]

Our Newborn Portrait Session With Christina Marotto Photography

  You guys...life has been a little bit rocky lately. This current weekend and the weekend before, Chris has been out of town for four days at a time. Being at home with these two has been exhausting. So whenever I saw these pictures arrive in my inbox last night, it totally perked me up and I beamed from ear to ear. In fact, I'm still smiling because we had such an amazing experience with Christina Marotto Photography and are overjoyed about all these special memories we now have from our newborn portrait session. Drum roll please... It's all about the experience whenever you're working with Christina. From the second that you book your session, she makes sure that you know how important your wants and needs are from the session so that she can create not only these beautiful memories, but gorgeous pieces that will hang in your home for many, many years to come. As you can see, pink and navy are totally my jam when it comes to this little girl. They were the colors that we chose for her bedding and also the colors of the outfit that she wore when she came home from the hospital. So whenever I filled out my client questionnaire (so that Christina knows how to cater her props and setting to you) I made sure to share that info with her. She totally carried my color scheme out in the sweetest way imaginable. We also wanted to make sure to get some special Daddy and daughter military pictures since this really is a big part of our life … [Read more...]

Graco Baby Swings: The One Every New Parent Must Own

  About a week before Blake was born, we bought a bouncy seat. We needed a seat or swing of some sort, as it was the absolute last thing on our list of baby needs. We found one online on a whim and clicked "purchase." It was a cute seat, don't get me wrong - but it didn't do exactly what we wanted it to, or more accurately - Blake didn't have the reaction that we wanted. I should have gone with my gut instinct and got another of the Graco baby swings right away (this was one of the only ways I could get baby Branden to sleep many moons ago), but I didn't. I learned my lesson and now have the Graco Oasis Swing With Soothe Surround Sound. (Spoiler alert: it's perfection.) Yup, there's our sweet little one chillin in her new favorite "toy." But in all seriousness, this swing has made my life so much easier and lulls her into a deep sleep so that I can get things done or simply have my hands free from time to time. If you watch my video (below) you will see what my nick name is for our new favorite piece of baby gear. Check out our video of the Graco Baby Swings: This music is a great addition that most other swings don't have, which is a fantastic added bonus. There is also something about the shape that is cozzier to our little Blake than her crib, so she takes many naps in her Graco  Oasis Swing with Soothe Surround Technology during the day. What's your current favorite of the Graco baby swings? We seriously couldn't live without this … [Read more...]