Best of 2016

Can you believe that 2017 is here? A new year always makes me excited for a fresh start with new goals and exciting projects. Plus of course, looking back at the past year for smiles and memories.

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 2016 started off with a bang earlier than expected. Baby Bronson landed earth side on the 21st of January; three weeks ahead of his guess date.

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Our families came from far and wide to greet the new addition.

img_3354We knew we had a few things to learn, but Charles and I were up for the challenge.

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Even my dog Audrey tried to help take care of the new baby.

As this little guy started to grow….

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So did the laundry….

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When Bronson was 3 months old, his JJ and Pawpaw came to visit again.

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Bronson started traveling at an early age. This was his first road trip…

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and he met his older cousin who was really excited to meet him… at first….

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Then he had a change of heart. LOL

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When Bronson was 5 months old, we learned that we were moving across the country to Las Vegas.

So we packed our bags and hopped on Bronson’s first flight…

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He didn’t even mind the layover.

Once we made it to the land of sand and stone, we took advantage of all the fun outdoor things the area had to offer…

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and we went to visit an old mining town where Bronson was a hit.

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The first Thanksgiving feast was pretty exciting too.

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After Thanksgiving, we got ready for baby’s first Christmas…

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but since Bronson was a seasoned traveler, we flew back home to celebrate Christmas with family.

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And now it’s 2017 and Bronson just had his first birthday!

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I can’t wait for this year to be even bigger and better.

Stay tuned!

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House of Christmas

If you search nordic Christmas decor on Pinterest, you will unlock the key to the beauty of a Scandinavian holiday. This rustic, minimal and cozy style is the signature look throughout Scandinavia. As people who survive winter in the Arctic Circle, who better to incorporate these simple elements of the season.

Oh, this idea excited me so!

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Postpartum Wardrobe Essentials

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It’s understandable that we get excited about our bump style and often forget that we may need a few postpartum clothing options. Especially while transitioning from pregnancy to back into our old skinny jeans– assuming that we ever get there…Fingers crossed. Don’t get me wrong, I had a few maternity pieces that I wore after my baby was born. In fact, I’m wearing maternity leggings now, but shhhhh we don’t need to make that common knowledge.

When it came to what I would wear post pregnancy, I didn’t give my wardrobe much thought. Aside from deciding that I was perfectly comfortable with the idea of wearing my maternity clothes long after the baby was born. It seemed like a great idea until that first trip outside of my comfortable home. The sad fact is that I was used to dressing up my baby bump and all of a sudden I had a belly that I desperately wanted to conceal. I quickly learned that some of the clothes that looked great while I was pregnant, gave me that same look post pregnancy… and by this, I mean that I still looked very pregnant. That meant that my favorite body-hugging maternity maxi dress didn’t help. My best advice is to put aside a little cash for a few postpartum wardrobe essentials. Also, try to get as much as you can second hand because the idea is that you won’t wear these clothes forever. Again, fingers crossed.

 

Nursing tanks

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Let’s just be honest, not everything in your postpartum wardrobe needs to be made for nursing. The truth is that if my shirt is stretchy enough to pull down and get my boob out it works for me. Nursing tanks, however, are a gift from the postpartum gods. Trust me when I say that you will want more than a few of these in dark colors. Black = no visible spit up or milk stains. My favorite one is soft and the elastic band is covered with fabric for maximum comfort.

Leggings

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Of course, leggings will be as much of a staple post pregnancy as I am sure they were during pregnancy. Again my top choices are always soft like the jersey knit maternity leggings that I am wearing now. Also try to grab something a little sporty looking, just in case you actually do make it to the gym at 6 weeks PP.

A tunic shirt

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Next up I highly recommend a front button or v neck tunic shirt or dress. If you are nursing then you will want easy access to your assets. The longer cut can help hide new mama hips and postpartum panty lines. Again a dark color will hide any spit, spills, or spots. Also, try to buy fabrics that don’t show stains when wet.

Button-up shirts

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As I pointed out above, those buttons will make nursing easier. I liked having a denim shirt and a plaid shirt. With those two options, you can actually get three different looks each. Fully button up the shirt, leave it unbuttoned and open to throw over a nursing tank, or tie around your waist for a 90’s throwback look.

A thin T-shirt

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You might already have a few flattering thin T-shirts. I was discouraged from wearing any of my favorite T-shirts because I didn’t want to expose my belly by pulling the shirt up to nurse. Then I realized that wouldn’t be necessary. All I had to do was layer the T-shirt over a nursing tank. When it was time to nurse, the T-shirt went up and the tank went down. It also gave me a little more coverage if I wanted privacy. By layering, it meant that I could get away with my T-shirt being a little shorter than I would normally have been comfortable with. This handy trick works with almost any shirt.

A cardigan 

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Similar to wearing a button-up, a cardigan is easy to throw over any shirt. Depending on when your baby is due will determine if you will want something thin and gauzy or something more like a sweater. Either way, you will be thankful that you have something to grab and throw over your tank and yoga pants when the Amazon delivery person is knocking at your door.

A wrap dress or shirt

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This may not be necessary for everyone but you might be heading back to the office. Or maybe Grandma is watching your new baby while you get a much-needed night out….and maybe you just need to find a reason to change out of the leggings that you have been wearing for the past four days. Whatever the case if you’re wanting to dress up a little, a wrap dress or shirt is a must.

Non-slip shoes

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Shoes are not always on the list of things to buy after your baby arrives. After all, you might have needed to go up a size during pregnancy. If you already have safe easy to slip on shoes from before or during pregnancy then, by all means, skip this suggestion. I gave birth in the middle of a blizzard. After most of the snow melted I didn’t need boots anymore but I didn’t want to risk slipping on the wet floor while babywearing. If you are going to buy some new kicks then you should at least make them cute and comfortable. Find the three pictured here, here, and here.

 

 

Belated Baby Belly

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It would be safe to say that the time for blogging about my pregnancy has passed, especially since my baby is now 6 months old. Speaking from my experience with this first pregnancy, it can be overwhelming. Between finding out that I was expecting and moving during my second trimester, I let blogging go for a while so that I could enjoy my pregnancy.

I was able to keep journals throughout that special time in my life since I knew that I didn’t want to forget how wonderful pregnancy can be.

I pulled together a list of the top memories that I have of being pregnant with my first child.

My heightened sense of smell…

My sense of smell was out of control to say the least. I’m sure you have heard about this early pregnancy symptom, for me it started at about 6 weeks and has continued to this day. I may never lose my ability to smell what the neighbors had for dinner last week, but at least it doesn’t make me sick to my stomach anymore. I never would have survived without Preggie Pop Drops. Made to ease nausea associated with pregnancy, they were seriously my savior. While I didn’t have much in the way of morning sickness, I would feel nauseated with certain smells. I still use them to tame motion sickness.

I was always hungry!

It was no surprise to me that I wanted to eat all of the time. What did come as a surprise was that after a few months, I didn’t have room to eat everything that I put on my plate. I wouldn’t say that I let that discovery stop me from trying to eat like a champion though. I learned early on to pace myself and take a longer lunch break.

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I craved pickles and hot sauce.

Not exactly together, although I did eat them both sometimes too.  I wanted a pickle on the side of every meal and everything smothered in hot sauce. Imagine my disappointment, er rage, when Panerabread would forget my pickle. That’s alright, I always had hot sauce to save the day. That is until it gave me heartburn towards the end. I used this recipe to make a home made version of Claussen pickels. It’s the best! Photo credit: Tasty Kitchen

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I began to “show” around 16-18 weeks.

I swear I was showing at 8 weeks. No one else would confirm that suspicion, probably because I looked like I had eaten a few too many burritos for lunch but my jeans told another story.  Finally around 16-18 weeks, I would turn the corner at work and hear, “Wow! You are showing!”

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I was tired all. of. the. time.

This is to be expected but I wanted to sleep after any activity. I took naps every chance that I could. I also remember it taking me two months to unpack after moving because the routien went like this: work on one box, nap, next box, eat, take a nap, unpack a box, eat, sleep. It wasn’t the most productive time for me. While we are talking about sleep, I also remember hating the snooggle thing everyone loves. I also tried the boppy maternity pillow and hated that even more. What I did love was my cheapo $7  body pillow and the $5 black pillow case that went over it. I named that pillow Drogon. Photo from: Redit.com

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I felt my baby move around 4 months.

I hear a lot of people describe it as butterflies and while I can understand the comparison, to me it felt like something moving inside my body. Haha, I wish I had a better description for you, but it pretty much felt like you would imagine something moving around your stomach to feel like. I can say that I felt the most movement at 7:00 am when I would wake up and when I would lay on my left side. Now that I know my baby liked to have his head on my left side, I can’t say that I blame him for not being comfortable with that situation.

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It’s a girl… No, it’s a boy!

The BEST memory of my pregnancy was finding out the sex of my baby. I was convinced that I was having a girl… CONVINCED! When the tech told me it was a girl, I said, “Yeah we know.” and then the biggest surprise of my life. “Oh, I’m so sorry I made a mistake. It’s a boy!” she said a few minutes later. I did’t have to look at Charles to know he had a giant grin on his face. I could feel how proud and excited he was. I did see the look on the techs face when she continued to apologize for the mix up. I could tell that she really felt bad. But I wasn’t upset, I actually thought that it was funny. I was also thankful that she notice the mistake within a few minutes. Could you imagine if we didn’t find out until he was born?

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Now I will leave you with some of my favorite maternity pictures…

 

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Boho Baby + Mama Essentials

As a first time mom I remember devouring any and all information about what I needed for my new baby while I was pregnant. Now that my son is 6 months old, I feel like I have a pretty good idea about what I actually used, and what was unnecessary. While I could do multiple posts and break down the difference between newborn essentials and what we use most now, honestly what I consider my essentials list has not changed much from birth to 6 months. Here we go….

1. Ring Sling

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I am the biggest fan of baby wearing. I don’t think that I would be able to get anything done without wearing my son. In fact, he is strapped to me now. I pretty much have all forms of baby wearing fashion, a ring sling, a wrap, and an ergo. I love all of them for different reasons, but my ring sling is my favorite. You can carry your baby from newborn all the way up to toddler in these works of art, not to mention that they add to the cuteness of your outfit. In my opinion, a ring sling is the new must have mama accessory. From nap time to lunch time, this sucker has saved me over and over again.

You can find my DIY ring sling here.

2. A well stocked diaper bag

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While I’d like to say that my diaper bag is as well organized now as it was in the picture above, that is not always the case. I do however, make my best attempt to clean it out every other day or so. It can quickly become your newest catch-all. My diaper bag is made by Big Buddha and you can find a similar one here.What I like to keep in my diaper bag:

  • Diapers of course. I like to have three in the bag and I also have a few in the car as well. We cloth diaper so I carry a wet bag too.
  • Wipes, both cloth and disposable.
  • A bib
  • A few toys
  • Three changes of clothes for baby. I also have an extra change of clothes for my baby and myself in the car.
  • Bug spray, sunscreen, homemade hand sanitizing spray, and coconut oil.
  • Blanket
  • Sunglasses for me
  • Snacks for me. I like to have natural applesauce since it is easy for me to eat but I can feed it to my son now that he is old enough for solids.

3. A small purse

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This small wonder holds money, cards/I.D., cell phone, a pen, receipts, lip balm, and anything else  that you would keep in a purse. The beauty of it is that I can throw it in the diaper bag or take it out with me when I’m baby free. I highly recommend an option like this. I purchased this one from Target but you can find a similar one here and here.

4. A safe multi-use cleanerHonest Company home cleaner

I am a total DIY girl. My go to cleaner is normally vinegar but when I was given this as a gift I fell in love. I use it mostly in the kitchen and bathroom. It is a plant based cleaner with a fresh grapefruit scent. Find it here.

5. Coconut Oil

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By now, I think that everyone loves coconut oil. I use it on my face, body and hair, and it is the only thing that I use on my son’s skin. After his bath, I use it in place of lotion or baby oil, and I use it as a diaper rash cream. I can’t get enough of this stuff and it makes us both smell delicious.

6. Slumber Mist

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Nighttime Soothing Slumber Mist…. One spray and my son is in a trance. I can’t say for sure if it is the essential lavender oil or the relaxing sight and sound of spritzing this product on to his PJ’s before bed, but it has a nice little home in our nighttime routine. The fact that it smells like heaven is a giant plus.

7. Nipple Butter

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As one of my favorite product company’s, Earth Mama Angel Baby struck gold when they created this nipple butter. With 6 months of nursing and still going strong, I have used this from day one of motherhood. I also use it on my lips when I can’t find my lip balm.

8. Amber Baby Necklace

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Made of Baltic amber; it is believed that wearing the necklace causes the release of oil containing succinic acid. This is a naturally-occurring substance in the body and when the oil is absorbed, it is said to have an analgesic effect on swollen and sore gums.

9. Mama Teething Necklace

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While we are talking about teething and necklaces, I like to wear this silicone necklace to give my baby something to play with and chew on. It is perfect for baby wearing as it gives your little one something that is within reach, other than your hair. I like to wear it while nursing too since my little guy gets grabby and tries to pull at my face. This one is by My Baby Chews and I love that it is not only functional but stylish.

10. Water

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Last but not least, is water. Staying hydrated is one of the most important things that you can do for yourself and your baby, especially if you are breastfeeding. I am a lover of minerals and crystals so I like to drink crystal elixir water. I have a glass tea infusing water bottle and I simply add my crystals to the mesh infuser. This may sound extra fancy, but as long as you are well hydrated, that is the goal.

 

How about you, do you have any boho baby and mama essentials that you love? Share them in the comments. I would love to take a peak at your list.

Journey + Mama & Baby

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Little did I know that I was pregnant the last time I visited the Outer Banks of North Carolina. It was too early for pregnancy symptoms, and although we were trying, I never would have guessed that I was carrying my child in this picture. To become a mother, was something that I remember praying for, crying for, and preparing my body for.

Two years before we decided to start our family, Charles and I knew we wanted to bring our little one into a healthy home. Not only that but, as with all parents, we also wanted to raise the healthiest child possible. I knew that the health of my baby would start before conception. I needed to create the healthiest environment possible to grow my little baby.

We removed as many toxins from our home as possible, and began to focus on eating real, whole foods, and living a natural lifestyle. After two years of trail and error, I finally found out that I was expecting in May of 2015. I strongly credit a healthy lifestyle and whole foods diet to my successful pregnancy. I highly recommend The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Child Care if anyone is trying to conceive.