Friday, November 10, 2017

Toddler Gift Guide!

I've had a lot of questions recently on some of Lila's favorite toys and gift recommendations. Toddlers are so much fun but it can be a hard age to figure out what they would really love and use (besides the obvious cardboard box haha).

Some of these toys are ones that we have and Lila loves and others are ones that have amazing reviews and I will maybe be getting her for Christmas. All of them are from Amazon - because I'm obsessed and two-day shipping and they always have the best prices for you guys.


PRETEND PLAY
Lila is just getting to the age that she loves to pretend play. These are also great options because pretend play is amazing for toddler development and will only increase in the coming years (so these toys will get lots of use now and in the years to come).

1- Cleaning Set Lila is always wanting to help me clean so I think these will be perfect for her to play with while I'm cleaning up!
2- Vaccum This has the best reviews and all of my friends swear by it! I will definitely have this on Lila's Christmas list!
3- Kitchen (this one is currently on sale and a phenomenal price)
4- Pots and Pans Lila could play with these forever.
5- Food
6- Makeup Lila loves playing with my makeup but that is starting to get messy so I think this pretend one will hopefully keep her occupied while I'm using mine.
7- Doll Stroller These are so affordable and provide hours of entertainment!
8- Washable doll - This is the best-rated doll on amazing because of the options of skin color and that it's completely machine washable. It's also the perfect size!
9- Shopping Cart - All of my friends swear by this little guy!

DEVELOPMENTAL
All toys and play are good for childhood development, but these toys are geared directly towards learning. Whether it's hand-eye coordination, speech or general knowledge development, these are GREAT options!

1- Play Desk - I have heard the most amazing things about this toy. Not only does keep them occupied for long periods of time,  but it is so educational too! It has a learning desk with interchangeable learning sheets, chalkboard, and art station. Plus you can buy expansion packs of more learning sheets to use as they grow!
2- Play Cube- This is hands down my #1 baby toy for this age. My mom got it for Lila for Christmas Last year and it is amazing how much she plays with it and how she has loved it through so many different stages and ages! It is FANTASTIC!
3- Doodle Pad - I'm so excited to get one of these for Lila! They are perfect for when your child needs to be occupied without noise (aka church).
4- Shapes Cube- If you don't get the big play cube get this and the toy below to get some of the best features :)
5- Pound and Tap
6-Interactive Book - Lila LOVES this book. It's interactive and sings the songs as you turn the pages.
7- Musical instruments
8- Mega blocks - These are so great for hand-eye coordination and imaginative play!
9- Knob puzzles
10- Color Wonder Set  - The only way to do coloring with a toddler haha

ACTIVE
Lila is definitely an active one so these toys options are some of my favorites! They keep her from climbing and jumping all of over my furniture (which is much more dangerous) and helps her get out her wiggles!

1-Toddler Trampoline - Oh goodness I want this so bad! I know Lila would LOVE it!
2- Popup tent - I'm going to be getting this for Lila's room for her for Christmas! I can see her and her new little sister playing in it for hours. Plus it folds up so tiny for easy put away!
3- Toddler Hoop This was one of my favorite toys growing up and I just feel like it's a must!
4- Ride on Scooter - Lila already has this one and plays with it every day. She loves to play the music as she scoots around the house.
5- Popup tubes These are a must with the popup tent!
6- Little Tikes Car Lila got this for her Birthday and it has been a huge hit! I think she will continue to love it for years to come too. We ride it inside and all around the neighborhood too.
7- Ball pit - Don't forget to buy the Balls too- I got this for Lila for Christmas last year and it is such a great present! Kids just love playing in ball pits. Lila likes me to throw in some of her toys too and try to find them in the balls.
8- Climber  Oh man, this would provide HOURS of fun! I want to get this and put it indoors for winter and then move it outside once it gets warm. It has great safety reviews too. I also love THIS toddler slide we have it and Lila plays with it every day.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Kitchen Cabinet Reveal!


They're done!! The white cabinets I have dreamed about for years are done!
I was convinced that I could paint them on my own (like I did our bathroom cabinets) but thank goodness for smart Husbands! Scott wanted them done professionally and I am 100% glad we did!
We went with Happy Valley Painting and he was INCREDIBLE!
So here's a little bit about our experience!


When Choosing a Professional for Refinishing Cabinets

  • It's important when hiring a professional that you do your research! I spent weeks searching out options and reading reviews of different painting and refinishing companies in my area. 
  • Get at least 3 bids for the work. (I would add that the best bids are in-person ones. I had a few over the phone via texting pictures)
  • Ask them Exactly what they are going to do. How many days will the process take? What is their process? How many layers of paint? What kind of finish will the cabinets have? 
  • Do they have a no chipping guarantee? 
  • How long have they been refinishing cabinets?
I found these questions to be the most important!

It was very easy to choose Happy Valley Painting. He was very experienced, thorough in explaining his processes, had 100% 5-star reviews online (on all platforms) and had a 5-year no-chipping guarantee! 



Before Bill from Happy Valley Painting came, we decided to add molding to our cabinets. I'm so happy we did this! It was super easy and makes our cabinets looks so much more high end!

I bought the molding at Home Depot already primed (buy MDF! Pine molding is too soft and will get dented easily). Scott measured and cut the pieces with his miter saw and I nailed them in with finish nails (if you have a nail gun this will literally take an hour to do everything!) We did the vertical pieces first and then added the horizontal pieces after.



Doesn't it look so much better?? It only cost 30 bucks to add it!



Once that was done Bill from Happy Valley Painting came and took the cabinet doors and drawer fronts back to his shop.
He then taped everything else in the kitchen off.
Expect to not really be able to use your kitchen for about 2 days.

The next day he came and taped more. He covered the floor, the countertops, appliances and pretty much everything else.
And then he sprayed! He used 5 layers of paint and other finishes.
Warning it does smell very strong and probably isn't super safe to inhale since he wore a mask. I just planned to be out of the house the whole day while he sprayed.

The next day after spraying he came back and put all of the cabinet fronts on! He even went above and beyond and put all of my new pulls and handles on the cabinets too! Seriously, guys, he went above and beyond to make sure everything was perfect and exactly how I wanted.  It is so hard to find professionals like that nowadays!

The whole process only took 3 DAYS!!!!

The cabinets are SO resilient (unlike the ones in my bathroom that chip easily) and are SO smooth (unlike the ones in my bathroom that have more of a chalk finish). So when painting kitchen cabinets I would completely recommend hiring a professional. Kitchen cabinets are used so often and around so much water and grease it is worth it! 

I am SOOOO happy with how it turned out! It changes the whole room! And hopefully added some equity into our home!

I had a lot of fun making this sign for above the cabinets! We love having dance parties as a family in the kitchen, so we came up with this saying! I just bought a piece of wood at Home Depot, stained it and painted the saying on!

We also added this hanger from IKEA to add some character! I also think it is super functional!

I knew I wanted handles like this but the ones at all of the home improvement stores were SO expensive! Amazon to the rescue! They were totally affordable and GREAT quality!




Tuesday, April 18, 2017

These are the Days


Life with this girl is just SO much fun! Her chub is just my favorite! It's a plus she loves the camera :)
I'm SO in love with all of my Fawn Design diaper bags (not sponsored). She just released this mini version and it sold out in a few hours. Hopefully she'll be releasing more soon, because I love it! It's such a nice size for running short errands or to just use for my stuff when I'm going out. It's so cute and I get so many compliments!

My Outfit
Top (old, love this one and this one) | Jeans (similar here and here) | Shoes (old, love these and OBSESSED with these) | Bag | Watch (on amazing sale!) | Bracelets | Necklace


Lila's outfit




Sunday, April 16, 2017

Our Easter Outfits


I love any reason to get dressed up, and especially for Easter! I fell in love with Lila's dress and then tried to find something similar for myself!
I LOVE Easter. It is such a great reminder of my Savior Jesus Christ. Words can never express my gratitude for Him. Because of Jesus Christ, my family can be together forever, I can repent, I can change, I can forgive, I can feel peace and I can love more fully. When it comes down to it, He is the source of all my happiness. Jesus Christ has always been there for me, even when I didn't realize it. I really do stand all amazed  for the love He has for me and for all of us. He is Risen! He lives!



My Outfit
Skirt | Tee (similar) | Shoes (similar)



Lila's Outfit
Dress | Bow | Shoes






Monday, April 3, 2017

Overall party!


SOOOOOOO ya I've decided I'm in love with overalls. I'll be wearing them everyday. And little Lila in overalls! I die!


My Outfit
Overalls | Tee, similar | Wedges, similar | Diaper Bag

Lila's Outfit
Onesie |  Overall Dress | Mini Birkenstocks | Bow 


This is my friend Camille! She is not only an amazing friend, but is also the owner of the cutest online shop - WIGHT GOLD! (where these awesome overalls are from!) You need to go check out all of her cute clothes and follow her on Instagram!




Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Our favorite and most used baby toys!




These are our most used baby toys! You can click the items above and it will take you to the product!

1.  The Fisher Price Basics Rock-a-stack is such a classic toy and for good reason! Lila loves to pull off all the rings and play with them. She hasn't gotten the putting them back on part yet but when she does the toy will be even that much more fun! The ring shapes are perfect for her to hold and the bright primary colors will be a great learning tool soon.

2. The Teething Banana!!! This thing is a MUST for us! If we lost it i'd have to run and buy a new one ASAP. It fits perfectly in Lila's mouth and she loves the way the little bristles feel on her gums. It's also good practice for teeth brushing in the future.

3.  The HAPE Activity Cube. THIS IS OUR NUMBER ONE! My mom is awesome and did a lot of research on what the best developmental toys are and she said that this was the best. Lila LOVE playing with all sides of it and the top too. It's great because it provides what seems like never ending learning and entertainment. When she gets bored of one activity I just rotate the cube. It has also given her incentive to stand because she loves playing with the top. I thought she wouldn't be into it until she was older but she started playing with it at 5 months. HAPE toys in general are amazing.

4. In my opinion you can never have too many of these basic links! Lila loves playing and chewing with them on their own, but I love having a stash in the diaper bag for when she's in her stroller or a shopping cart and I don't want her toys falling on the ground and getting covered in germs. I link a few together to create a chain and then hook one end to the toy and the other to the cart or stroller and bingo! No more toy throwing or falling on the ground!

5. We have so many of these little hanging toys! They're usually what I have in my diaper bag that I hook to the links :)

6. These rattles are super basic, but Lila LOVES them. They have a hard rattle end and a soft fabric end. Lila loves shaking them around, chewing on both ends and they are the perfect size and shape to fit in her little hands.

7. This Sit-to-Stand interactive walker is a great price for all the bells and whistles. The part with the buttons detaches and can lay on the ground or can be hooked to the walker. Lila uses it both ways and already stands up behind the walker (it has a wheel locking feature so It won't roll away when they play with it) . She can't walk behind it yet but I'm sure it will be great when she can too!

8. I just grabbed this Laugh and Learn Stages Puppy for Christmas and really had no idea how awesome it would be! It has three different levels and is really great developmentally. When you squeeze a body part it will tell you the name of it and sing a little song. Lila loves it! She always gives it a big hug when I give it to her and particularly loves the ears!

9. The Jumperoo is not only a toy but a must-have in my opinion to get things done! Lila can stay happy, playing and jumping for up to an hour in this thing while I clean or do laundry! It's awesome! It rotates 360 degrees with all kinds of toys and has 3 different height levels as they grow.

10. This is toy is great to hang from the car seat to keep Lila entertained during drives. I don't wrap the whole thing around, but instead just hook one end and let it hang so she can reach it, but she loves it!

11.  Crinkle Books are one of Lila's favorite things. I have like 6 of them for her. They always keep her entertained I love the ones I have like this one that have a link so I can hook them to the links and on her stroller or shopping cart :)

12. Any taggies toys are a winner! Why the babies like the tags so much I will never understand, but they keep her entertained for such a long time. These are ones I love to have in the diaper bag because they are quite but can keep her entertained at church or at an appointment.

13. These little steering wheel toy is great for when they start sitting up!



Friday, January 27, 2017

Traveling with a Baby- My Tips and Tricks

I posted in my Instagram story earlier this week videos about Lila and me flying and had so many questions about how I fly with a baby. Now, I'm not an expert like some other people I know, and Lila is a really good baby which helps, but this was Lila's 8th flight so we do have some experience. Plus, being the oldest of a family that loves to travel has helped me learn a lot over the years.  So here are some tips and tricks!
(this picture is from awhile ago, but it's the most accurate photo for how I travel.)


1. PLAN BEFORE
Call your airline before your flight date to see what you need to do when you have an infant. Each airline is a little different. Delta has never asked me for any information about Lila, whereas Southwest needs some sort of ID (birth certificate, Shot record). It also will make your time at the airport shorter if you've already added them to your ticket. (all the airlines I have flown you have to call to add them you can't do it online)

2. GATE CHECK. 

Gate check will be your best friend when you're traveling with a baby. I always gate check my stroller and carseat. If you don't know what gate check is, it is different than checking your bag. NEVER check your carseat with your bags. It can hurt the integrity of the carseat being thrown around with the bags and make it less safe for future use. It also will cause you quite the problem if your luggage is lost because you will have no way to safely transport your baby. When you gate check something you take it with you through security to your gate. You go up to the counter at your gate and tell them you need to gate check your stroller and carseat (you NEED them both gate checked because they will come apart and one will get lost). If you have a layover they will ask if you want it during your layover and always say YES! After you get your gate check tags you don't need to worry about anything until you board the plane. At the end of the tarmac you will leave your stroller folded up and your carseat as well (if you can't take it on the plane - info in next point). When you get off your flight your stroller and carseat will be right at the end of the tarmac at the destination waiting for you :) If you have a connecting flight, you have to get new gate checks! So head right to your new gate and repeat the gate checking process (it really takes two seconds). Then you can enjoy your layover with your babe in their stroller and not on your hip ;)

3. TAKING A CARSEAT. 
As far as taking a carseat on a flight, it is the best! To guarantee that you will have a seat for your carseat you will have to buy your baby a ticket. I have never done this. I just always try to book flights on tuesday haha It is the least traveled day of the week and when I have booked my flights on that day the plane is never full. I always ask when I check in if the plane has space for me to bring my carseat and if they have extra seats they will say yes. Then I just carry it on and put Lila in it for take off and landing. She usually wakes up in the middle of the flight and we play on my lap. They will ask you when taking their head count if the carseat ticket was purchased or not and you just say no :) I LOVE when I get to take Lila's carseat on the plane. It happens about 50% of the time for me when I fly southwest. It makes everything SO easy. When I carry her on and off the plane I have her in the carseat and then when I get off the plane I can just snap her into the stroller in seconds and roll away. 

4. PREVENTING EAR PRESSURE
I'm sure you have heard these tips before, but they're important! I do them every time we fly and I've never had a crying baby on a flight. So, the tip is to have them nursing, drinking a bottle or sucking on a binky during takeoff and landing. This helps equalize the pressure in their ears. Half the time I nurse and half the time I make sure she is sucking on her binky. If you are nursing you HAVE to have the covered goods nursing cover. I've tried multiple kinds and this is the absolute best for flying. It covers you 360 degrees so you don't have to worry about anything when you're sitting so close to a stranger hahaha I had to nurse Lila once while shoulder to shoulder with a two middle aged men. It was SOOO uncomfortable but you gotta do what you gotta do to feed your baby!

5. WHAT TO PACK ON YOUR CARRYON 
- Extra wipes and diapers than you would normally have in your diaper bag just in case
- An extra outfit (also in case of an emergency) 
- 3-4 burp cloths. You can never have too many of these in my opinion
- 5-8 toys that your baby loves and are entertaining but aren't too loud to bother other passengers (Lila loves the crinkle books! and we steer clear of electronic toys that play the same song over and over again haha)
-2 binkies (you always need a backup in case)
- Wrap. If your baby is new the wrap is a must! I would wrap Lila up to me before I got on the plane and she would fall asleep in there until we landed. It was great! She's too big for it now, but it was awesome in the first 3 months. 
-Birth certificate or shot record
FOR YOU- phone charger, wallet, phone and ear buds (you never know when you're babe is going to fall asleep and you'll want to enjoy that time!)


That's all I can think of right now! If you have any other questions, just shoot me a direct message on instagram!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Sneakers!!



Since Lila came around I always seem to grab sneakers or flats! I have really fallen in love with comfy and gorgeous sneakers! These are some of my favorite right now. I have the blush velvet ones and the snakeskin printed ones too. I wear them almost everyday. I think I'm going to need to order a few more.....


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Lorena Canals Machine Washable Rugs!

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OK! I am so excited to share one of my favorite companies with you today!! Lorena Canals Rugs!

Not only are their rugs and cushions GORGEOUS, but they are machine washable in any standard washer and dryer! That's right!!
It really seems too good to be true. A soft machine washable rug is perfect for babies and kids. Lila is always making some sort of mess and it's nice I don't have to worry about it when we're playing on this rug!

They have a home collection that is beautiful for adult spaces and kids collections perfect for nurseries and kids rooms! All of their rugs are made with all natural dyes, handmade in India, eco and contain no VOC's like in most carpeting and rugs! Also, their proceeds support the Sakula project and provide schooling for children in India (I love companies that give back!)

Not to mention that for a gorgeous rug it's really affordable! I just love the ombre grey one I chose and I'm obsessed with the tassels!!

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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Lessons from an Infertile Mom : OUR JOURNEY


I talked about this a few months ago on Instagram, but I am starting a new series called Lessons From An Infertile Mom. I've decided that this series will be done with video since it is the easiest way for me to answer questions and really convey my feelings. 

I felt like the best way to begin this series was to share our story. I'm sorry it is so long, but I really didn't even go into great detail (our story is a long one).

If you have any questions about our journey, infertility, miscarriage or things I have learned please email me and I will try to answer them in one of the series videos!

I love you all!




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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Binxy baby shopping cart hammock

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Ok friends, today I wanted to share with you another totally genius baby product! The Binxy Baby Shopping Cart Hammock!

I remember the first time going back to the grocery store after having Lila, I was SO nervous that she would cry the whole time. So I timed it perfectly and went right when I knew she would be taking a nap. What I didn't know is how hard it would be to get all my groceries to fit in the cart with Lila's car seat taking up the bulk of it! Seriously I felt like it was tetris or something trying to fit everything in the cracks! haha

Enter the shopping cart hammock! It is seriously genius! It's light weight, portable and safety tested. It fits in most standard grocery carts and it is also strong enough to hold a car seat or up to 50lbs!

It is so fantastic because it leaves the whole cart open to fit everything and Lila loves looking around too! I didn't snap a pic of using it with her car seat, but that you can use it both ways is a huge plus! If Lila is asleep in her car seat I just strap it into the hammock and if not I strap her into the hammock herself.

It's so genius that I get asked multiple times by moms when I go to the grocery store what it is and where they can buy it.

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Chocolate milk is my weakness.... Has been since I got pregnant.
I grab one when I walk into the grocery store and drink it as I shop. haha. Anything to make grocery shopping more enjoyable right??


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