My Whole30 Experience

  You guys! The day is finally here where I get to tell you all about the adventure I've been having this past month attempting my first first round of Whole30. Honestly, it's been a winding path that has taught me a heck of a lot about myself and my relationship with food. If you follow me over on Instagram, I've shared a lot of behind the scenes in myself stories featuring all the different meals, ways that I've rewarded myself and food hauls. Living the Whole30 lifestyle is definitely an adjustment, but truly rewarding in the end. First things first, what is Whole30? You can learn all that you could possibly need to learn about this program by hopping over to their website, or buying the book here. (They also have an amazing cookbook that will help you get through those 30 days SO much easier!) But in the simplest terms: it's 30 days of removing dairy, gluten, alcohol, legumes and refined sugar from your diet. Once the 30 days are over, you go through a reintroduction process where you reintroduce one of each thing that you took away every 3 days. Doing this allows you to effectively diagnose any allergies, sensitivities, gut problems and even what's causing skin irritations and breakouts. It's not a diet, but a cleanse to help reset your system, get back to healthy ways and figure out of you have any intolerances along the way. You are also only to weight yourself before and after, so you're not focusing on what you are losing, but what you are feeling. … [Read more...]

9 Postpartum Clothing Styles For New Moms To Rock

  Here I stand, 5 months postpartum and though I'm still not back to my normal self quite yet, I've learned to work with this new body of mine. I've finally gotten back in the groove with a good fitness routine and am almost finished with my first ever round of Whole30 (today's the last day eeeek - I'll be sharing more details tomorrow!) and really am finally feeling great. (Though, that doesn't mean that I don't have discouraging days anymore or moments where I obsessively inspect every part of my body in the mirror, desperate to shed some inches.) I'm finally at that place where I'm ready to ditch the leggings and go shopping for some new jeans, and wanted to roundup my postpartum clothing styles and share all my postpartum fashion tips in one post with you all. Postpartum Clothing Style You Will Rock With Ease Dressing your postpartum body and finding postpartum clothing can be tough because you still have weight to lose, your old stuff doesn't fit and most likely you don't want to spend too much money investing in new things just yet. (Relax mama, give yourself some time!) So, here's some postpartum fashion that you can pull from your wardrobe, or buy super inexpensively that will help you feel like you have a full postpartum wardrobe. 1. The perfect over-sized sweater Okay, here's my thoughts on this: you will love your perfect sweater even more than your leggings - no matter what time of year you give birth! It's great for dressing your postpartum body … [Read more...]

5 Things I’m Loving This February

  January pretty much flew by, right? I felt like I blinked my eyes and we're in February and have a full fledged 5 month old on our hands! I sorta laid low in January, working on lots on back end stuff and updating old favorites and making them better for everyone. But, I have also been planning some fun new series and this is one of them: 5 things I'm loving each month. I do a lot of shopping behind the scenes and don't get to photograph everything or all of my favorite looks, so I thought this would be a great way to highlight some inexpensive (most of the time), pieces that are just fun to shop and add to your wardrobe, home, or kid's wardrobes each month. This month is all about the #momstyle. And, if you feel like it, hop on over to Instagram where I will do my best to share the behind the scenes to our everyday + some fashion favorites, too. 1. Flared denim  Ahem, if you haven't been living under a rock, you know that flared denim is all the rage these days. No need to toss your skinnies though, but by adding a great pair of flares you will add some dimension to your wardrobe for sure. (Read my full guide to wearing flared denim here.) Anyways, this pair from Free People (only $34!) are my favorites and I promise, promise you don't have to be a skinny minnie to wear them: just follow my guide for altering and balancing volume.  〉Shop Now  2. A Drawstring Bag If you're always on the hunt for a mom bag (a.k.a a bag that carries everything), you … [Read more...]

I Broke Up With Breastfeeding and It Made Me a Better Mom

  It's time for me to get real with you all, so I have a confession to make: I broke up with breastfeeding. Yup, me and breastfeeding are no longer a thang. And you know what? I couldn't be happier. It's even made me a better mom. I know. Gasp. I'm sure the "breast is best" crusade is probably ready to come after me, but hold up and just let me explain. If you have followed along through my pregnancy and Blake's birth, you know that I had a very serious breastfeeding plan in mind. In fact, I was heart-set on making it work. You watched me share the products I was using to keep things going, special bras that helped make it a hands free experience for me when pumping, and even my favorite Boppy breastfeeding pillow (which I still love), but there was a lot more going on behind the scenes. The truth is that breastfeeding started consuming my life. I know that it is a commitment and I had prepared myself for that, but the stress of it all began to overwhelm me, take me away from everything else in my life, made me behind on work (work that my family and I need done to survive) and disconnected me from my husband and son. It got to be too much and Chris and I finally decided that enough is enough. First and foremost, I started at a disadvantage. Having a breast reduction when I was 17, I knew that there was a possibility that I only had so many milk ducts intact, so I knew that I would be supplementing to begin with, and I was okay with that. I didn't … [Read more...]

I Want More Days Like These

  On Friday, Branden took a (what we'll call) "mental health day." And I'm totally okay with that. Kids deserve them and need them just as much as we do as adults. I had been wanting to get to the Pixel Forest exhibit at The New Museum before it closed, and we finally did. (Check out some behind the scenes looks on my Instagram stories - it was a really cool exhibit!) Chris had the morning off, so he got up and watched the kids while I got my morning writing done, did all my invoicing, got dinner prepped in the crock pot, ran to the grocery store and finally - took a shower. It was truly magical all that I could get done by 11am whenever I wasn't interrupted. We had lunch and off to the museum we went, while Chris went in the opposite direction for work. It was nice to work that half day and get to spend the rest of the afternoon with the kids, being really present and focusing on this cool exhibit we were about to see. I felt like even though B wasn't in school, I was giving him a culture lesson instead.Then, I realized: I want more days like these. My truth lately is this: I'm struggling a little bit feeling like I should be doing more with my kids. I work from home, yes, my choice so that we don't have to pay for child care, but some days I feel like I yearn for more. I scroll through Instagram and see my friends who are out and about with their kids, constantly exploring the coolest offerings of our city and I wish I could be more present to guide … [Read more...]

The Best Winter Coats For Women

  Talk about being cold. Temperatures have definitely dropped and I can pretty much do nothing but shiver when I'm outdoors. I have a big, puffy white coat that I wear for warmth during chilly bus stop runs, but I had been wanting something new for when I'm out in the city and just want to look chic. We donated a ton of our coats right before Christmas, so there was room in our hall closet for me to get shopping for winter coats for women. Chris took the hint though and bought me this awesome Calvin Klein Faux-Leather-Trim Asymmetrical Coat.  Very rarely these days am I dressed up like this though, as most of the time I'm busy babywearing, but nonetheless, it's super fun to get dressed up from time to time, throw on some knee-high boots (mine are similar to these) and sunnies (my husband also bought me this pair for Christmas!) and truly feel like myself again. Honestly, when I walked into Macy's (where we got the coat) I had in mind that I wanted something in emerald green or burgundy, but this Calvin Klein Faux-Leather-Trim Asymmetrical Coat stood out and I had to have it! The gray in this coat goes with absolutely everything and I love the leather detailing, as it gives it a super edgy look. You all know that I've been working in reinventing my postpartum style and this is definitely something that I feel great in and keeps me warm during the cold weather, too. So if you find yourself searching for winter coats for women, this is a great … [Read more...]

Healthy Snack Ideas For Kids (And Parents, Too!)

This post was sponsored by Somersaults as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own. In an attempt to achieve balance in my life every single day, there's a lot that must fall into place. As busy moms, we have so many moving parts to our day, but as long as certain aspects are taken care of, we know we can pretty much take on anything. One of those major things for me in healthy snack, not only for me, but healthy snacks for kids, too. Obviously Blake is still drinking from a bottle, but I know that when Branden, Chris and I are eating and snacking well, I feel like I can accomplish anything. I worry about what goes into everyone's bellies after all. So with the start of a new year, when we are given a clean slate, here's my healthy snack ideas for kids that I hope will inspire you. Being balanced and eating healthy brings along an empowering sense of happiness, productivity and feeling like I've had a successful day. So when my days start with making healthy choices while packing lunches or grabbing a snack to sit with on the couch while I work, Somersaults has been my go-to. They are available online, and at select Whole Foods and at Target (every mama's favorite place!), making them really easy to always have on hand. (Check out their store locator here.) Most of my days begin with some sort of fitness, whether I'm out at the park or at home doing yoga - I make promises to myself to have an active life … [Read more...]

Moving Forward

  I have to admit, I contemplated a bit about even writing anything about the new year at all. Everywhere I looked and everyone I talked to seemed to have nothing good to say about 2016 and are ready for 2017 to take the wheel. I, on the other hand, have conflicting feelings. Last year, I wrote about how we were hoping for change in our lives  and 2016 brought just that. Little did everyone know at the time, but when I wrote those words just one year ago, I was pregnant with our little Blake and already knew that change had arrived. Blake has been the biggest blessing and brought together our family in ways that I have never dreamt that she could. Our family is more connected now than ever and she was truly the puzzle piece that we all felt we were missing the second that she was born. Her smile lights up all of our faces and there is nothing that I love more in this world then watching Branden be a big brother and Chris now be a girl dad, too. They are the best father and son duo and I know that as long as I have this little family by my side that anything is possible. I'm excited about the future of the Coopers and know that if we continue to work hard, we will eventually reach our goals of moving out of the city and buying a home that we love. But, that will happen when it's meant to. I'm thankful for everything that 2016 brought in our lives and the word "change" certainly described just that. We in addition to expanding our family, Chris started a … [Read more...]

The Only Bottle For Our Babes

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Philips Avent. As always, opinions are my own.  When we first had Branden, now eight years ago, we were new parents swimming in a sea of bottle options. We went through quite a bit of the many, many brands on the market until we found one that was right for our little guy. Philips Avent was the answer that we had been looking for in those new moments of parenthood that made feeding so much easier. Fast forward to almost nine years later and we didn't even blink an eye stocking up on the Philips Avent Anti-Colic Bottle for little Blake. In fact, these are the only bottles that we will use for our babes. I shared over the summer how I attended a Philips Avent event with Sarah Chalke and got to hear her story about using these awesome bottles with her children, and definitely felt a camaraderie there. You can watch her video here and instantly see that you are in good company with Philips Avent lovers everywhere. When we had Blake, colic was definitely a worry, since we didn't deal with it when we had Branden. At about a month and a half old, it hit us like a ton of bricks and my husband and I were scrambling to find a resolution (and get some sleep, too). We turned to the Philips Avent Anti-Colic Bottle because Philips Avent is the #1 bottle brand and it helped create a better feeding experience for both us and Blake that lessened the screaming and lead to less gas, as it's clinically proven to reduce colic … [Read more...]

DIY At Home Day At The Spa In A Jar Tutorial

  Ok mamas, if you're anything like me, you're getting a bit overwhelmed with holiday stuff at this point, am I right? It's the week of running around to tie up any loose gifting ends and get all those last minute things for stocking or people we accidentally forgot (oops). I'm sharing my new favorite gift that is SO easy to make, really fun to receive and easy on your bank account: the DIY at home day at the spa in a jar. Your friends will use every single piece that's included, while they get a few minutes to themselves to enjoy it. So cute, right? How to make the spa day in a jar Here's what you need to complete this super easy DIY: Unscented Epsom Salt (this bag will only cost you $7.99 for 2 pounds) Your favorite essential oil (I used Lavender, it's my favorite!) A single use face mask (My favorites are Masque Bar as they come in sets of 3) 2 nail polishes (I like to include Sally Hansen Top Coat and Sally Hansen Cool Cucumber - my favorite this season!) Contigo Shake and Go Tumbler Simply add a half cup of the epsom salts to your open tumbler and drop in about 5 drops of your essential oils. Give it a good shake and then fold in the face mask and add your nail polishes. Close the lid on tight, throw in a holiday bag and you are ready to go! Check out my video below for a little extra inspiration to see just how easy it is to make! Watch my quick video here: I seriously can't recommend making these in mass quantities for … [Read more...]