11 January, 2019

5 on Friday


Happy Friday! This girl is no longer in her Dock A Tot and is a belly sleeper! I'll do a post about her transition to the crib soon!




1. So I've been dabbling in Intermittent Fasting this week to see if it really is all that it's claimed to be. I'm not doing Faster Way to Fat Loss or anything like that, but I am on my own fasting for 12 hours each day. Guess it's called a "Simple Fast". I know 16 hours is the magic time to get the full benefits but there is no way I could go 16 hours without eating, I can barely make it to 12 most days! I am such a breakfast person and since I'm breastfeeding, I am STARVING come morning. I decided to do a mild version of IF and try out 12 hours which I know doesn't sound like a big deal but for me it is. Usually I would eat dinner around 8/8:30, have a snack before bed some nights (I'm telling you, breastfeeding leaves me hungry!), and then eat breakfast as soon as I wake up. On workdays that's 6 am. What I do now is try to be done with dinner by 8 pm and not eat again till 8 am. It means no more late night snacking and no early morning breakfast. I think I'll continue with it for now. I'm hoping to lose a few pounds and maybe get the health benefits from it, we'll see!



2. I have finally found the best mascara! I have had the hardest time finding a mascara I like that doesn't smudge or flake and actually makes my eyes pop. I went to Ulta around Christmas because I was totally over the smudging from my current mascara, and the salesman recommended Lancome Grandiose. I generally try to wear clean beauty products but mascara is one of those I give a pass to. It doesn't even touch your eyes so I don't worry about it! The mascara also came with an eyelash primer and an eye makeup remover, it was a gift set for Christmastime. The primer plus the mascara makes my eyelashes big, bold and long, exactly what I've been looking for all these years. Best part is, it doesn't smudge at all. If you're in the market for a new mascara I highly recommend this one.





3. I wrote a blog post last week about a Capsule Wardrobe and that I was going to go through my closet and get rid of stuff. I decided to sell a bunch of my clothes on Poshmark, lots of rag & bone jeans, Joie tops, Madewell, J. Crew. My username is @ally72386 if you're interested in taking a look. I tried to make it a steal and everything is $25 or less. 



4. I stopped into J. Crew Factory last weekend to return something and ended up buying this chambray shirt and scarf (Only $13!). That was one thing I said I would consider adding to my Capsule Wardrobe, a chambray shirt since they're so versatile and work for any season. I just loved this zebra scarf and think it would look great with the shirt or a simple white t-shirt.





5. One of my goals for the new year is to get off my phone and get more stuff done. As soon as I say "I'm just going to sit down for a minute.." it's like I go down a rabbit hole while playing on my phone. Before I know it, an hour has passed and I've accomplished nothing! I did some searching and found this app called Flipd, ever heard of it? I think it was designed for college kids so they'll get off their phones and study but basically how it works is you set a timer on the app for however long you want, I usually do 30 minutes or an hour, and it literally shuts down everything on your phone except for phone calls. No texting, taking pictures, going online, no apps.. nothing. There is no way to get them back up until the timer is done. Yes it's drastic but I'm not going to lie, I need that! 



Have a great weekend!

07 January, 2019

Elsie's 7 month Update

1

I swear I blinked and she's 7 months. It makes me so sad, I'm enjoying her being a baby so much! This child is truly the happiest baby. She's so smiley and easy going, and talk about sweet! She loves to be held and cuddled too. She's my baby doll and let's me dress her in whatever I want and rarely ever cries.  She makes Oliver look like a hard child, and I thought he was easy! 



Sleep
She sleeps 12 hours at night and has since she was 3 months old. I followed Mom's on Call and Taking Cara Babies and kind of made my own plan mixing the two and it's made for an awesome sleeper. She sucks her thumb to go to sleep and to put herself back to sleep if she wakes up. Up until two nights ago she was still sleeping in the Dock A Tot. I tried to drop it cold turkey but she cried and got stuck up against the rails so I put her back in it, guess I'm a softy! The next night I decided we'll go the slow transition route so I took the long cushion piece out and placed it under her crib sheet. Every few nights I'm going to make it wider and wider till it's fully gone. She's done great with it so far so I'm hoping it'll keep going that way!


Schedule
Wake up: 7:15 and nurse or a bottle if I'm at work
Nap #1 : 8:45-1030 
Nurse/Bottle: 10:30 
Solid Food: 11:30/12 
Nap #2: 1230 -2
Nurse/Bottle: 2
Cat nap: 4-4:45
Nurse/Bottle: 4:45
Bath: 6:45
Bottle, book, song, then bed: 7/7:15


Milk
When we're home, I nurse her for all but her last feeding, she gets a 7 oz bottle of breast milk and formula. My milk supply has dipped some so if she cries after she's done nursing I'll give her 2-4 oz of  formula (Baby's Only- this is the kind I buy and this website sells it for the cheapest) in a bottle as well. Usually it's the 2 pm and 5 pm nursing session where she doesn't always gets enough, but not always. She does this cry/whine thing and it's her way of telling me "GIVE ME MORE!" My goal was to make it to 6 months, and I have, so I feel like the breast milk she gets now is just bonus. My plan is to make it to a year, so we'll see! It's definitely made it a lot more doable now that she also drinks formula. I don't stress about how much I've pumped at work like I used to. I try to drink 2-3 cups of Mother's Milk Tea (I love the Shatavari Cardamom too) during the day and it really does seem to help with my supply. When my mom is watching her she gets 6 oz in each bottle, mixed breast milk and formula so my stash lasts longer. On those days I do nurse her before bed and then follow up with a formula bottle because I know my supply at night is low.

Solids
She gets solids food (purees) once a day but I'm going to start giving it to her two times a day this month. I was going to do Baby Led Weaning with her, I didn't with Oliver so I thought I would switch it up!, but the thought of giving her pieces of food and letting her feed herself and possibly choking terrified me. So we'll stick to purees for now and I figure by 9/10 months she'll be feeding herself anyways. I make her own baby food by buying either fresh or frozen fruits and veggies and steaming them for about 10-15 in a pot over the stove, then puree with a little bit of water with my hand blender. Her first food was sweet potato which is an easy one to make and baby's really like it. She's also had avocado, cauliflower, apple, banana, and carrots. I freeze the food in this tray which makes 1.5 oz servings. When I'm ready to give it to her, I warm it in the microwave for about 15 sec and stir it until it's all thawed. This is the chair I feed her in. We do have an actual high chair but I just haven't gotten it out of the garage yet! Love silicone bibs! The cloth ones are worthless once they get food on them and silicone is so easy to clean.

  




Milestones
She rolls and rolls all over the room. It's crazy how fast she moves. She definitely scoots too. She's almost sitting up on her own and can for a few seconds but not fully. I'm trying to get her first word to be Mama since Oliver's was Dada, and say Mama to her 50 times a day!




Likes/Dislikes
She LOVES Oliver. She thinks he hung the moon and she'll burst out in a huge laugh if he just looks at her! It's the cutest thing ever. He calls her "My baby" which just melts my heart. She loves to eat and surprisingly loves bottles considering she hated them so much at first! There really isn't anything she dislikes aside from waiting for her bottle to be warm or for me to nurse her if she's starving. Otherwise she's a happy girl all day long.



Favorite Baby Gear/Toys
Everyone needs the Fisher Price Kick n Play Piano. Both my kids loved it and everyone I talk to says their baby does too! Elsie lives in the Lillebaby carrier. It's probably been my most used and favorite baby item second time around. She took naps in it when she was a newborn and now I wear her in it forward facing almost everyday. It's so easy to put her in it when we go to the store or on a walk. I got her the Grapple so I can place her in her little chair and give her toys to play with and not have to worry about them falling on the ground. She actually enjoys chewing on the ropes it came with more than the toys I have attached to it! She wants everything in her mouth so teething toys are her favorite. She loves her Matchstick Monkey. It's easy for her to hold and chew on. Other favorites: Winkle, Jellycat tail booksher mermaid teether, B. Spin, Rattle, and Roll, Little Taggies blanket, Sensory balls, Tikiri Toys



Favorite Baby Clothing Brands
I buy a large amount of my children's clothes second hand. They wear them for such a short amount of time, I have a hard time paying full price! I buy from Kidizen a lot, it's a kids consignment clothing website. You can search for a specific brand you like and by size. Pretty much everything I've bought has been in excellent condition. My favorite brands to buy for my kids are: Pixie Lily, Petit Ami, Feltman Brothers, Bella Bliss, The Beaufort Bonnet Company, Rosalina (Their clothes are made in the Philippines but the warehouse is in the Charleston area. Two times a year they have a big discount sale. If anyone is interested I can announce when the Spring sale will be. We went to the Fall one back in November and I got lots of smocked clothes for great prices!) Boden, Magnolia Baby, Kissy Kissy, Little English, Bailey Boys. I'm sure I'm forgetting something but that should cover it! Like I said earlier, I'm always trying to find a deal so I'm forever buying stuff on sale or second hand. I also buy lots of clothes off of other moms who sell their children's clothes on Instagram, eBay, and Poshmark. Can't forget Ellifox! It's a local online children's boutique, who is soon to be having a storefront, that I buy majority of Elsie's clothes from. They have the most beautiful monogramming and they can take practically any idea you have and turn it into embroidery!

03 January, 2019

Building a Capsule Wardrobe



One of my goals for the New Year is to have a more simplified life. I'm tired of all the clutter and mess that accumulates so quickly and just all the extra stuff we own, especially since having kids! I wanted to start with my closet. I actually did a big clean out when I was on maternity leave with Elsie. Going through it now, there's still lots of stuff I don't wear that's just hanging in my closet. It's gotta go! I want to start buying less but better quality. I kind of live by this already. I have jeans and shoes I've worn for 5 years but my tops could use improvement.  When I was younger, (and had lots of free time), I would go to stores just to waste time and spend money on clothes. It's ridiculous now when I think about it because I rarely buy anything for myself anymore! And, what a waste of time! Instead, I'm trying to buy nicer, more basic pieces that will last me for years and less of the "fast fashion" that is cheap and just faddish.

Capsule Wardrobes have always fascinated me but instead of buying new stuff, since that's what I'm trying to get away from, why not build one with what I already own? Then once I'm done going through it all, I can decide what I need to add to it but it shouldn't be much. If you aren't familiar with a Capsule Wardrobe, it's a set amount of clothes that you own and you only wear those pieces for the whole season. Some websites say it's 37 items or 19 items, I think it can be whatever you want it to be. The goal is for you to rotate through what's in your capsule and mix and match things.

So let's go through and see what's going to be in my Capsule for winter. Then at the end I'll decide what I need to add, maybe nothing! Oh, and accessories don't count. You can have as many scarves, hats, necklaces, bracelets, and earrings as you want. They help to change the look of an outfit. I'm also not counting rain boots or tennis shoes since they work for all seasons.


Tops



I wear scrubs 3 days a week and on my days off I'm usually in leggings so my tops don't need to be too fancy. I recently bought these pocket tees from Target and really like them. They're loose fitted but yet flattering which is what I'm always looking for in basic tees. So I have two of those, white and grey. I wear them with leggings or jeans and you can add a vest on top if it's cold.
I love the Madewell Courier/Central shirts. They're the best tops for any season and they never go out of style. They're great if you're nursing too! I own 2.
This Funnel Neck Sweatshirt from Target is a great basic and pairs well with leggings and jeans.
Pullovers are my most favorite to wear with leggings and I own two (forget to to take a picture of them!).
I have two of these Tunics from Nordstrom that are great casual or dressed up for a night out. They're also amazing with a pregnant belly! Only $24.
One Gingham classic button-down shirt from J. Crew factory, great with a vest over it or on its own.

Total: 10


Sweaters



I have a thick green turtleneck from Marshall's that's perfect for when it's really cold out. 
I recently bought this Turtleneck sweater from H&M.
I have Ribbed mockneck striped sweater  and Crewneck sweater in Fair Isle (not pictured because it's en route to my house!) from J. Crew. 
This Pullover sweater from Target definitely won't last two seasons but I'll keep it for now. It runs very small. I had to get a large in it and really could have gotten an extra large. It is a super cute sweater and I always gets lots of compliments on it when I wear it.

Total: 5


Jeans



I'm actually really good about buying jeans and will wear a pair for years and years. I think it really does benefit you to buy the expensive jeans because they just last so much longer.
I've been wearing my Rag and Bone jeans since 2013, not kidding!
I love the Madewell 10" High Waisted Skinny Jeans and wear them almost daily. They're the perfect jean that sucks you in and is super flattering.
I also own the Articles of Society Sarah Skinny Jean. They're great jeans and on sale for $38 right now! Size down, they run big.

Total: 3


Leggings
I literally own one pair, Zella Live in High Waist Leggings and wear them all the time. I promise they're washed often!

Total: 1


Dresses
I think I'm going to revisit this category in the spring. Pretty much all the dresses I own are summery. I don't wear a lot of dresses in the winter and if I do it's just for church or a wedding so I'll wait and go through those in March. 


Shoes



Just like jeans, I like to spend a little bit more money on shoes because I know they'll last for years. I've had these Sam Edelman Maddox boots for 5 years, they're one of my favorites.
Just recently bought these Sam Edelman Petty boots because my other ones tore but before then I had my old pair for 4 years. Some sizes are only $29!
I have a pair of brown tall boots by Franco Sarto (similar) I got from Marshall's.
I also own a pair of Stuart Weitzman Mainline boots that I'll probably never part with. 
I have these Sam Edelman Paris Suede Mules as well. Can you tell I love Sam Edelman? They're great shoes for decent prices! 
I have a pair of backless black mules from Target that are surprisingly comfortable. 

Total: 6


Outerwear



I own two vests that I wear all the time, Patagonia Retro-X Vest  and J.Crew Factory Quilted Puffer Vest (mine is green).
Barbour Jacket and J.Crew Pea Coat for colder days.

Total: 4


Grand total: 29


What to add to my Capsule Wardrobe:
Honestly, I don't think I'm going to add a thing. Looking at everything and knowing my lifestyle I think I'm set for the next few months. I have pieces I can dress up with dark jeans and boots or wear casual with leggings. Only two things I would consider adding is another pair of Zella leggings since I wear them so much. Unless I find them on sale, I'll just wait. I would like to find a new chambray button down shirt too. I had one from Madewell that was super old and I could use a new one since they're so versatile. 

What am I going to do with all my other clothes?
I'm going to donate a ton or try to sell some on Poshmark. Clothes for spring and summer will just stay in my closet until I go through them. I have so many blouses that I've saved because I just knew I would wear them again. Sorry silk, you no longer fit in my lifestyle!

Alright so there you have it, my Capsule Wardrobe for winter. I'll do another one for spring/summer probably in April so check back for that!

26 December, 2018

My Favorite Things of 2018





I was going through my Amazon purchases of 2018, and it was like a walk down memory lane. Whatever I had bought at that time was what was going on in my life. I guess since I buy almost everything from Amazon that would make sense but it was neat. I spent the first half of the year pregnant so a lot of my buys had to do with that, which feels like a lifetime ago! I thought it would be fun to write up a list of some of my Favorite Purchases/Items from this past year!




This pillow is necessary if you want to get sleep while you're pregnant. I had my same one from when I was pregnant with Oliver and pulled it out very early on with my pregnancy with Elsie. Since you have to sleep on your side pretty much your whole pregnancy, this makes sure you're comfy and that you get some good sleep!






Ok, so this is kind of an odd one but since potty training Oliver consumed most of this year, figured I would mention the book that made it easy! Oliver was potty trained at 2.5 years and he showed many signs of readiness. It was my goal to have him potty trained before the baby came because I knew once she arrived it would be the absolute last thing I would want to do. This book is more of a guide than a strict 3 day boot camp and has lots of troubleshooting tips that are very helpful too. I will also mention, Oliver did not regress at all once Elsie was born. I know a lot of people are fearful to potty train their toddler before the new baby comes if they're only going to regress, but he did not!




If you pump/nurse then you need this bra. It's a hands free pumping bra/nursing bra that you can wear as a normal bra. Did I mention it's cute too? I owned one when I was nursing Oliver and I bought a second one this time around. So that when one is washing I have a replacement. I wear this bra every single day, it makes nursing/pumping so easy.







Theo bought me this for my birthday in July and I really didn't even ask for it. Elsie was like 6 weeks old and I mentioned I wanted to wear a Fitbit to see how much sleep I was actually getting, because I knew it wasn't much! So he surprised me with one and it's become of my favorite things I own. It motivates me to get in at least 10,000 steps a day. I don't use all of it's features and honestly stopped looking at how much sleep I get once Elsie started sleeping through the night but it's definitely been a great motivator to get off my butt!




I  bought this pump with my own money because my current insurance would only cover a hand pump. I had a Medela Pump in Style Advanced from my pregnancy with Oliver but it was 3 years old and LOUD. I knew I wanted to nurse Elsie for as long as I could but I didn't know how long my Medela would last, so I bought a Spectra after reading tons of great reviews. It's so quiet and not painful like the Medela was. I was even able to buy an adapter so I could still use my Medela pump parts, which I actually prefer. I'm still figuring out all the different settings but I do love this pump.










I could sing praises about these all day long. These little pads have so much goodness in them like Glycolic Acid and Salicylic Acid that exfoliate, improve the texture of your skin, even out your skin tone, get rid of acne and prevent wrinkles. The morning after I use these I can always tell such a difference in how my skin looks. I have sensitive, acne prone skin and I swear by these to keep my skin clear. Each pad is heavily soaked, so I can always get two uses out of each one. I usually use them every other night but if I'm dealing with a breakout, which I honestly don't anymore since I started using these pads and this Black Clay Soap, I'll use a pad every night. 


         


This was my "push gift" from Theo after Elsie was born.  It has an O for Oliver and an E for Elsie, it's so special. I know some people think Push Gifts are silly but after being pregnant for 9 months, sick for the first three months, miserable the last 2 months, a painful labor, then afterbirth and all that entails, I see nothing wrong with your significant other buying you a thoughtful gift. Aside from my wedding rings, it's my most cherished piece of jewelry and I never take it off.









I started shaving my face this year with Tinkle Razors, it's like DIY dermaplaning. I never would have thought I would shave my face, it's what guys do!, but it sure does make a noticeable difference. It exfoliates your skin and gets rid of peach fuzz and facial hair. You're left with a smooth face so your makeup looks better and it allows your skincare to absorb deeper in your skin.




These jeans are my absolute favorite. They're super high rise so you don't have to worry about your muffin top and it keeps you all sucked in. These are the best jeans if you have some extra weight left around from having babies, trust me!








Do you see a trend here? These leggings are a cult favorite and with good reason. They suck you in so tight and make you look slim. I don't think I'll ever buy another pair of leggings again after having these! 



Of course my most favorite thing about 2018 was welcoming this cutie into our family!


21 December, 2018

5 on Friday

Hello Friends! Happy Friday and extra long weekend!

1. I sent Oliver to school today with some macaroni and cheese for his class party and Reindeer Food for his classmates. We always had Reindeer Food growing up and it's super easy to make: oats, red and green sprinkles, and sugar. I thought it would be a cute gift for 3 year olds!





2. I hit the jackpot of all sales this week. Pixie Lily, one of my most favorite children's brands and made locally here in Charleston, had a Sample Sale last weekend but I unfortunately couldn't make since it was the same day as my cousin's wedding. Luckily they posted some clothes for sale on Instagram for those of us who couldn't make it to the sale. I snagged a 6 piece set of dresses and bubbles for Elsie! I ended up getting each piece for around $22 and they normally run 3-4 times that price. It seriously felt like Christmas morning when I got that package. Buying clothes for my children is my favorite hobby and finding deals is right up there!





3. We visited the Park Circle Christmas Lights last Sunday night in North Charleston. A bunch of companies and people decorate trees around the circle and there's a big Christmas light tree. We always love going to Park Circle, it's the cutest little area and has some great restaurants. 



After seeing the lights, we went to Madra Rua for dinner. The kids were angels and we were able to enjoy a beer and some fish and chips. 




4. Theo and I started watching Dirty John on Bravo. I never did listen to the Podcast and wasn't even going to watch the show, but my mom of all people said she and my stepdad have been watching it and enjoying it. You can tell it's low budget and it's pretty of predictable. I have no clue how they got so many good actors to star in it: Connie Britton, Eric Bana, and the neighbor mom from The Brady Bunch Movie (I don't know her name!) The story is pretty crazy and the whole time I'm watching it I keep reminding myself it's all true, this man really existed!





5.  I picked up this face oil on a whim at Target because I ran out of what I was using and I like the Shea Moisture brand. Their products are free from anything harmful and always well priced. I was blown away with how soft my skin felt after just one night of using the oil! The soap I use to wash my face can leave my face dry, so at night I like to moisture really well. Ever since I started using face oils, my oily skin was gone away. It's totally balanced my skin out. It's funny how that works, oils getting rid of oily skin. Check this out if you're looking for a hydrating face oil! I actually found it here for only $6.47!



Have a great weekend!