Friday, January 30, 2015

High Five for Friday!

  1. We had so much fun last weekend just by staying in and playing around the house. Listening to Charlotte giggle uncontrollably is one of my favorite parts about being a mom. In that moment, nothing can be wrong. All my worries, fears, anxiety and stresses disappear and I get to laugh with this little girl.
  2. My (new) selfie stick came! My husband got me a selfie stick for Christmas and it broke due to the weight of my phone (stupid iPhone 6 plus). So I sent an email to their support department and they sent me a new and improved one that was meant to hold the phone, and guess what?! It's PINK! 
  3. This little girl needs to seriously stop growing up! She drinks out of cups with straws and doesn't even need me to hold it for her!
  4. How stinkin' cute are these?! I've been eyeing gold moccasins since before Charlotte was born, but when I saw these little beauties with bows on them I just knew they were for me (er, I mean Charlotte)! BriellaBo does such a nice job making these! Oh and if you use code JAN15 at checkout by Jan 31st, you get 15% off your order!
  5. I don't think I've mentioned it on here yet, but next month my friend and I are headed to Disney to run the Princess Half Marathon! (I know what you're thinking, "OMG, I had no idea you were even training!" Unfortunately, I haven't, but it will still be fun right?....this should be interesting!) Here is a start on my costume, can you guess who I'm going to be?! Stay tuned for the tutu! 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

5 Things That Helped Us Survive The First Year

While I was still pregnant with Charlotte, I remember my sister-in-law telling me that a baby only needs three things: a safe place to sleep, a car seat and clothes to stay warm. It was just the thing I needed to hear after wasting too many nights stressing over what brand of bottles and bibs to put on my registry. She made me realize that at the end of the day Charlotte would have her basic needs and survival is the only thing that matters. I know that sounds dramatic, but sometimes that is the best you can do until tomorrow.

Now that we have been parents for a year, I thought I would share some of the things that we couldn't have survived without. The funny thing about every single one of these items is they never made it on our registry, they were purchased in an attempt to solve a problem. Hopefully these items will help other first time parents get a little more sleep so they can enjoy the first year for all the fun that it brings.

This turned out to be the best money we spent in the first few months of Charlotte's life. We quickly found out that sleeping completely flat was painful to her, so we tried putting her down in her bouncy seat and it was the longest stretch of sleep we got. It didn't take us long to realize we needed the Rock-n-Play as a safe place for her to sleep in at night.

We kept her in this in our room for about three months. It was portable enough to bring around the house wherever we were, it vibrated which would instantly put her to sleep and it was at the perfect height by my bed so if she woke up, I could easily rock her back to sleep just by stretching my arm out next to me.

Moving Charlotte from our room to her crib was harder on us than it was on her. We were so worried she would know we weren't there and would wake up crying. We were wrong. But to help in the chance she did wake up, we got this little Giraffe that makes white noise and sings lullabies. You can put it on for 23 or 45 minutes. We have only changed the batteries once and we've used it every night for the past 10 months. We traveled quite a bit with Charlotte during her first year, so being able to bring this little giraffe with us everywhere we go has helped create a familiar sleep environment for her.

There are a lot of different schools of thoughts on video monitors and whether they are good top have or not. Some people think it's lazy, but for us it has been a huge help. We both are sound sleepers and have to keep ours and the baby's door closed at night so having a sound monitor is a must. However, the video part has helped us assess if she's truly in distress or not. I know I should know her cries, but sometimes in the middle of the night it's hard to think clearly. Being able to just look over and watch her try to go back to sleep has eased my mind on many occasions. Often when she wakes up she doesn't cry, so it helps us determine when we need to go and get her and when she is content on having quiet time in her crib.

Another huge benefit for us is being able to sit downstairs and watch TV or do work without constantly worrying if she's ok. She has a habit of sleeping with her blanket by her face (it's the only way she'll sleep) so being able to check on her periodically without going into her room and risking waking her up has been a lifesaver

Now that Charlotte is off formula, we have to always be prepared with a snack in case of a meltdown. A bottle used to solve everything, but now we have to be more creative. My mom discovered these little Buddy Fruits at the grocery store one day and we haven't been without them since. They are easy to throw in your purse or diaper bag for a quick snack, plus they have more nutrition value than cereal or puffs. I think Charlotte just likes being able to hold it on her own.

5. Family

It's not a product, but probably the most important factor to surviving our first year as new parents. We seriously could not have done this without our family. Whether you use them for advice and moral support or to help when you need a little break, having family and friends willing to help is the only survival tool we need. At the end of the day, there is always someone to listen to you rant about the hard times, but even better, they are there making memories with you along every step of the way.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Confident and Classic City Chic - WIWW

I must first apologize for the quality of this week's pictures. My camera charger is missing and I've officially killed the battery, so these pictures were taken with my phone. If I still don't have my charger by next week, maybe I will do a What I Wore Wednesday post using my selfie stick! Yep, you read that correctly, I have a selfie stick and I'm not ashamed to admit it. 

So there I was, out for one of the first times since having Charlotte and I came across this poncho at Ann Taylor on the clearance rack. It wasn't like anything I've ever bought, but when I tried it on, the transformation was instant. I no longer felt insecure or frumpy; I felt stylish and chic! Needless to say, this little gem went home with me. And now over a year later, I still find it to be one of my favorite pieces especially on a day when I need a confidence boost!

Outfit Details:
Poncho//Ann Taylor
Black Jeans//White House Black Market

I can't help but feel like Mary Tyler Moore when I wear this outfit which for some reason raises my sass level tenfold (I feel bad for my colleagues). Regardless, we must all have an outfit that makes us feel a million bucks no matter what the day throws at you. This goes to show that you don't always have to be super dressed up to feel fabulous. 

What is your go to outfit that makes you feel on top of the world? Do you wear it enough? I challenge all of you to dig out that outfit, article of clothing or even accessory and wear it this week to give yourself a well deserved ego boost!

Linking up with Lindsay @ The Pleated Poppy for WIWW

pleated poppy

Friday, January 23, 2015

High Five for Friday!

I typically don't miss a High Five for Friday post, but last week was beyond my control. Our entire family came down with a terrible stomach bug. The only good thing about bugs like that is they are usually gone within 24 hours. Needless to say, I missed my high fives. So to make up for it, I am doing one big high five to cover the last two weeks. Enjoy!

  1. Charlotte enjoys feeding herself at dinner, but I think her favorite part of dinner is licking the plate. She started this little trick the other night and I just HAD to document it.
  2. We of course had her 1 year check up last week and just as I was trying to take a picture of her stats, her little fingers crept in. Maybe it's just me, but those two little chubby fingers sneaking in just cracks me up!
  3. I've shared this picture on Instagram and in her Birthday post, but it's still one of my favorites right now. The pure joy on her face can make a bad day instantly better.
  4. Here is another one of my favorites. Charlotte insists upon brushing her teeth whenever she sees me with a toothbrush. She will fuss and cry until I give her hers.
  5. I made this perfect little Disney decomesh wreath for Charlotte's birthday and I've decided that it will now be my everyday wreath.
  6. One of my wardrobe staples as of late is this amazing onsie by OnePiece (don't worry I got mine on super sale!). It's made of sweatshirt material, so no static and doesn't have feet, which makes it absolutely perfect. As soon as I get home, I change into this for the evening. Can we say obsessed?!
  7. This is a little snapshot of how my mornings go. When I'm trying to get ready, she insists on being as close as humanly possible to me. It makes doing my hair with a 400 degree flat iron interesting to say the least. 
  8. On Monday I spent the afternoon making food for the week. I cannot say enough how much this helped us this week. I managed to make chicken pot pies, chili, cornbread and baked ziti. 
  9. One of Charlotte's birthday presents was this awesome little talking chair complete with a remote control on the armrest. From time to time I will catch her watching TV in it and suddenly she is no longer a baby!
It's going to be a nasty weekend with rain/snow/sleet so you will find my family in their jammies all day tomorrow and I can't wait! Have a great weekend and stay dry!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Easy Mini Chicken Pot Pies

Need dinner in 30 minutes or less with little clean up?! Then this is the perfect dish for you. My mom made these for us a few months back and I loved how easy they were. You can come up so many different variations by just swapping out an ingredient here and there,the possibilities are endless!

What you'll need:
Cooked chicken (1-2 cups)
Cream of chicken soup (1 can)
Frozen mixed vegetables (1-2 cups)
Grand biscuits (1 can)

Preheat your oven to 375. Now begin cooking your chicken and vegetables. I used frozen, precooked chicken strips and frozen vegetables and simply microwave them per the instructions. Once cooked, combine the chicken, vegetables and cream of chicken soup in a bowl and stir. 

Set your mixture aside and take your biscuits and flatten them out to about 5 1/2 inches in diameter (be sure not to make them too thin). Then place them in your greased muffin pan so that about 3/4 of an inch hangs out on all sides. Once the biscuits are in place, simply fill 2/3 of the way with your mixture and fold over the remainder dough on top. Bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees. 

Not only are these great for a quick dinner that everyone will love (even your kids!), but I find them perfect for lunch on the go; just grab one and reheat in the microwave!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

How to Clean Your Flat Iron

 I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I know I can't be the only one who has a gunky flat iron. After all, we all use product of some kind or another when styling our hair. After a few months you may end up with a flat iron that looks like this.

Oh, yours isn't this bad? Don't judge me, Mine is months and months of caked on hair product and it needed to be fixed. After all, this was my beloved Chi! After some searching, I came across multiple sources that say baking soda and hydrogen peroxide will clean that gunk right off. That has to be better than the bobby pin I was previously using!

What you'll need:
Hydrogen peroxide
Baking soda (1/4 cup)
Dirty flat iron

Simpy mix the hydrogen peroxide with the baking soda until you have a think paste. You will only need a small dash of the hydrogen peroxide so as not to make it too watery.

Once it is good and mixed, you can start to coat the metal plates of your flat iron with the mixture. As soon as it is good and coated, walk away for about 10 minutes.

When you come back, wipe off the mixture and rub the excess into the flat iron with your finger a sponge or even a toothbrush. You can use anything to get the remainder of the mixture off as long as it doesn't scratch the metal plates of your flat iron.

And there you have it, in about 15 minutes you have a nice and clean flat iron. I can't wait to use it!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Charlotte's 1st Birthday and Baptism

I promise this will be the last post on the topic. But I wanted to share some of the details of Charlotte's 1st birthday party. We kept it small and simple as I didn't have time to plan a huge elaborate party and kept it at just family, however I did manage to add a few fun details that I thought I would share with you!

As you can see in the title of this post, we grouped two celebrations into one. We decided since everyone has been busy and we've put it off for a year now, there was no better time to get Charlotte baptized than on the same day of her party. This way we got away with just one party and limited the travel on our family.

The day started early with Charlotte's baptism and then everyone came back to our house to celebrate. The only downside of this master plan was the fact that I didn't take into account nap time, so that made things a little difficult, but not unbearable. Here are just a few pictures of the baptism.

When it came time to do the party, even though it was small, I still wanted to have a theme and to do a few things around the house to decorate for the day. I was hell bent on not having another Minnie Mouse themed party, but unfortunately I couldn't avoid it. Don't get me wrong, you all know I love Disney, but sometimes it's fun to do something a little different. The reason I ended up going Minnie was because I wanted to do something special with all the monthly updates. After all the work I've put into those throughout the year, I wanted a way to showcase it. And since they were Minnie Mouse themed I figured to just run with it. Also, I happened to walk into H&M last week and found the perfect Minnie Mouse party dress, so the rest just kinda fell into place.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Charlotte's 12 Month Update

I would be lying if I told you I was going to miss these updates. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely loved tracking Charlotte's progress, but it became such a tedious chore. From making her shirt, to getting her to cooperate for the pictures (you will see that this month we only got a few) to editing and posting them, there were many a tears shed (not just from her). OK, I'm being dramatic, but you get the point. 

I do find this last month update a little bittersweet, but I'm excited to see what the next chapter brings. We will always have these progress pictures to look back on for years to come, so even though I'm closing the book on them, they will always be there to serve as a precious memory of her first year.

Eating: The big difference here is we are no longer on formula! She officially switched over to whole milk about 2 weeks ago and we haven't had the slightest issue. To be fair, we are still warming it a little and giving it to her in a bottle, but this week we plan to wean her off the bottle all together. Wish us luck!

She continues to be a good eater with really no pickiness. She favors some foods over others but still manages to eat everything on her plate. Right now she's really into bananas, green beans and blueberries. She's not a huge fan of chicken or beef, but will eat it once the other favorites are gone.

Sleeping: Nighttime sleeping still goes really well. She's super easy to put down and will stay asleep until 7 or even 8 in the morning! Lately we've struggled simply because she is teething again and it's no joke! We were really lucky that up until now, teething has been a breeze and never seemed to bother her. Unfortunately this next set of teeth have her really bent out of shape. She's woken up a few times in the middle of the night screaming.

Napping is a different story. She naps well at daycare, but on the weekends we have a hard time getting her to stay down for longer than 45 minutes. I think it has something to do with how bright her nursery is compared to the pitch black nursery at daycare. When in doubt though, we take her for a little car trip to run errands so we can at least get her to sleep for a few minutes here and there.

This past month, Charlotte has really showed us her personality. I'm not sure if we should be worried or proud, but this little girl has quite a strong will. When she wants something, she's very emphatic on getting it and the same goes for when she doesn't want something. 

Right now she's really into any toy with wheels or that sing. Which lucky for us, is nearly every toy she has!  She likes to snuggle (on her time, of course) and will shake her head no at everything. She loves crawling up the stairs, which is good for us considering we have so many, and she still gets her feelings hurt when we say no.

Check back tomorrow where I'll be posting all about her first birthday/baptism party.

In the meantime, check out all the other month updates here:

Friday, January 9, 2015

High Five for Charlotte's Birthday!

Today is a big day for our little's Charlotte's birthday! This year has brought us so much joy with our little girl and we can't wait to celebrate her on Sunday with our families. But for now, I will continue with a recap from my week! Happy Friday, y'all!

  1. I couldn't resist. Apparently you can now play Oregon Trail online! Yes, my friends, it is the real deal. I was so excited to play until of course Charlotte died from dysentery....
  2. As I mentioned before, today is the day! Charlotte is 1! This was the best picture we were going to get this morning in her birthday outfit for daycare (she hates the hat). Don't worry, Monday there will be a full update!
  3. Believe it or not I wasn't going to do a Minnie Mouse themed birthday and then I saw this dress at H&M, I had no choice! Isn't it the most perfect party dress?!
  4. We had our first snow day of the season and even though Charlotte has technically seen snow, this time she was far more aware of the white stuff and spent the morning just looking out the window and pointing.
  5. I can never resist a good Lilly sale and these two items were just too perfect to pass up! 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Big Girl Shoes

One of my many New Years Resolutions is to blog more regularly. I let myself get too busy with a number of things this fall and it was time to say goodbye to some things so I could focus on the things I really love. Now that it's been a few months, I feel like I've found my balance again, so I'm back at sharing my everyday musings with you here in my little corner of the internet.

Now to catch you up. Charlotte's birthday is on Friday and in case you've missed it, she's already walking! These past few weeks, she really got the hang of it and seems to be nearly running away from me now! I used to just put socks on her but with winter here and her needing to get a better grip on the hardwoods, we thought it was time for some good shoes. 

The first battle is finding the right size. After about 5 attempts at shoes that didn't fit, I was fed up and wanted to get her fitted so we could know her size once and for all. Our local mall has a Stride Rite store, so we thought that would be a good place to start. It was super easy, they measured her foot and told me what kind of sole she needs for her current stage in walking and showed me to that section. From there, we found a shoe that would go with most things and that was on sale. (Stride Rite makes good quality shoes, but unfortunately they aren't very budget friendly considering the shoes only last a few months because your baby quickly outgrows them.)

Once Charlotte picked out her shoes, we tried them on and let her take them for a test run. They wanted to make sure her foot was in there properly and that she had no problems walking in them. In every other shoe we tried before Stride Rite, she would wiggle out of them so easily because we could never get her foot in them properly. It turns out we were buying them all way too small!

I think it's safe to say these were a hit! Unfortunately I don't think I will be able to buy Stride Rite's very often due to the price, but I definitely recommend them as one of your baby's first pair of walking shoes because you can be sure you are getting a good quality, sturdy shoe that is sure to fit. 

*These opinions are 100% my own and I was not paid or reimbursed in any way by Stride Rite to write this post

Friday, January 2, 2015

High Five for 2015!

First high five of 2015! I can't wait to see what 2015 brings. I already know it's going to be a fun year watching Charlotte go from a baby to a little girl. 

  1. My view on Christmas Eve. Wee enjoyed a nice quiet Christmas Eve at home starting new traditions for Charlotte's first Christmas.
  2. Big news! Charlotte starting walking! We took her to Stride Rite this week to get fitted for big girl shoes. I really can't believe how fast all of this is happening!
  3. On New Year's Eve we went to dinner with my parents and I caught my dad and Charlotte coloring together. Moment's like that just melt my heart.
  4. Milo hasn't been part of a high five in a while so I thought I would share this picture of him in his Christmas tie. He's been doing really well with Charlotte and I think has even started to like her a little bit (it only took a year).
  5. Our little almost one year old has such a big personality! I got a faux fur scarf for Christmas and she proceeded to snatch it from me, wrap it around her neck and pose (this comes way too naturally). I have a feeling her teen years will be interesting!