Friday, September 27, 2013

Five on Friday



--ONE--

I'm bound and determined to decorate for fall & Halloween this weekend.  I won't let anything stand in my way!  I even started last night with a little trip to Target for some brainstorming.  I didn't buy anything...just wanted to get the wheels turning. 


Also this weekend, while Jason is doing schoolwork, I'm so excited to hang out with my mom {and Jack of course}!  We are making a trip to Studio Ainsley for a picture presentation and then lunch and who knows what else.  Fun day! 

--TWO--

This week I did my very first run since having Jack.  It wasn't pretty, but at least I did it.  It was also the first time to use our jogging stroller from Chris & Jenni!  It is soooo much smoother than the stroller frame we use with his infant seat.  LOVE our jogging stroller.  HATE jogging. 

 
Jack loved the jogging stroller too and fell asleep within minutes!

--THREE--

I'm on the hunt for this costume at Target in a size small.  Lion + elephant = total cuteness.  Thanks Ash for this idea!



--FOUR--

Jason took this pic of me and Jack last Sunday {when we were bad and skipped Church for a nap}.  It's my favorite. 



--FIVE--

I'm 99% sure I'm going to chop my hair next week.  My appointment is Saturday, 10/5 so you have one week to talk me out of it.  Jason is totally against it, but he doesn't have to blow dry my hair every morning either.  Here is my hair inspiration, although I wouldn't do more even sides.  Refer to all of my old hairstyles to see if you would like this on me...feel free to be brutally honest. 



Thursday, September 26, 2013

Blog Elevated Recap {Why I Did Not Rock It}


I attended the Blog Elevated Conference last weekend.  While it was an AMAZING conference (especially being the inaugural year), I did not get out of it what I could have.  Throughout the entire conference I just didn't feel like myself.  Let me explain.  This was my first blogging conference (or any conference) to attend since having a baby who is now almost 5 months old.  Add that to the fact that I'm nursing and live in the conference city therefore commuting from home, I was not as engaged with the conference as I could have been.  This bums me out since it really was an inspiring conference with outstanding speakers and attendees.   

I skipped all of the evening activities and Saturday afternoon sessions.  Since I work full-time outside of the home, I feel guilty leaving Jack on evenings and weekends.  When I was in attendance I was worried and preoccupied....where to pump, how the schedule changes and weather would affect traffic and relieving the nanny.  Should I have brought Jack with me like the other moms who had babies in tow?  Why couldn't I just enjoy myself like all of the other moms?  Is that spit-up on my shirt?

To prove I didn't feel much like myself, I did not take one single picture of me with anyone!!!  All I have to show for my time at the conference is a couple of speaker action shots and some food pictures.



Back to the conference itself, WOW!  I learned a lot and left feeling so inspired.  I loved hearing from Jenny Ingram about vlogging, Rae Hoffman about SEO, Katie Laird about being a brand ambassador and Eric T. Tung about social media.  To say I have a long to-do list for my blog is an understatement. 

Lunch on Friday at Flora & Muse was perfect.  The conference location was amazing.   City Centre has everything you would want from a conference space all in walking distance.  Bummed I didn't make it over to Kendra Scott. 




Everything was organized and well put together.  The best part was the top notch speakers. 

It's the sign of a good conference when it is next to impossible to choose what sessions to attend because you want to be at all of them!

I loved seeing bloggy friends from Houston Moms Blog, getting to meet bloggers that I already follow like Lauren, Darby, Lauren and Whitney and meeting new bloggers like Rachelle, Miranda and Bree!

So to sum things up, if I met you at the conference and you were underwhelmed, give me and this little blog another chance.  If I didn't have the pleasure of meeting you, I hope to in the future.  I will definitely attend Blog Elevated next year ready to rock (and will likely check into the conference hotel so I can get the most out of my time). 

Jack and I watched the #BlogElevated Twitter feed for the Saturday afternoon sessions

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Besties

It's my besties birthday today and I miss her so much.  Wish we lived in the same city just about everyday, but especially on days like this.  Hope you have a happy, happy birthday Ashley!  I'm a loser friend and didn't get your package mailed in time so it won't arrive until tomorrow...that is the state of my life right now...everything is running a day behind. 

Here's to taco bell runs....blogging in class....Vampire Weekend...hours of research on car seats...and dressing up like the Spice Girls...


Burger Club


Arkansas Trip


Caught in the rain at Preview...nice phone, Chels


...Drinking Horchata
 
Freakin' John!
 
 
 
Pregnant with boys together...absolutely the coolest!



Do you have a bestie in your life that doesn't live close?  Would love to hear your tips for staying in touch amongst everyone's busy schedules.

Ash - want more pics?  Look at last year's birthday collage!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Scarf Swap 2013 Reveal

 I participated in Meredith's 5th Annual Scarf Swap.  Read about my experience in 2011 and 2012
 
 
This year I was paired up with Ashlee and we were the perfect fit...hello, we ended up both getting each other scarves from Loft!  She is so, so sweet and I truly enjoyed exchanging emails with her these past few weeks.  I also had fun shopping for her.  The scarf I bought Ashlee is below...I was looking for something with navy and pink since I read that she loves those colors.
 
Loft Scarf

Do I like leopard or what???  All of the goodies for Ash were packaged in Leopard. 
Hope you love your package Ashlee!
Ashlee way out did herself on my stuff.  Not only did she send me the perfect fall scarf, Starbucks card and nail polish, but she sent a gift for Jack and Tucker!  We were spoiled!!!


Jack and Tucker were so excited to be included!  They both love their treats.
Thank you Meredith for hosting the swap again this year.  Thank you Ashlee for all of my goodies and being the best swap partner.  I look forward to staying in touch through our blogs!!!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Visit Me!

 


Happy Saturday!  I'm blogging over at Houston Moms Blog today.  Jump on over and read about my experience nursing and pumping around Houston.  And thanks to all of my mommy friends who shared their stories and advice on this topic with me this week! 

See ya there!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Five on Friday

Hope everyone had a great week!  Ours has been a little up and down.  Lots of things to be excited about, but also a little stressful.  Little one had his first cold earlier this week, a little rash on his tummy that may or may not be ringworm...wth???, Jason dealing with a major project at work, and me trying to fit in a blog conference in all of this! 



--ONE--

I took a vacation day from work today to attend a blogging conference in Houston.  Attending a conference in your own city is harder than you think...especially when nursing!  Hopefully the conference is worthwhile and I'll meet lots of great, new bloggers!  Follow along with my adventures on Twitter and Instagram #BlogElevated





--TWO--

Who else shopped the 3.1 Phillip Lim for Target Collection this week?  I totally missed the boat on the day the collection hit the stores last Sunday.  All of the good stuff (the bags and accessories) sold out online and in stores immediately.  I was shocked to see a good bit of clothing items including this great trench left at my local store on Monday night.  I was able to score the sweatshirt I wanted.  There was only one left and it was my size!  Jack didn't quite share my level of enthusiasm for my find. 



--THREE--

Have you seen the bow scarf tutorial on Pinterest?  I love it, but am now sure if I can pull it off.  Since I'm short and fat round it might overwhelm me.  I'll give it a try...love the plum color scarf though!  Follow me on Pinterest. 



--FOUR--

We still aren't decorated for fall yet and it's killing me!  I'm dying to set out my pumpkins on the front porch and put up a cute fall wreath.  Jason and I battle every year about how to decorate...he wants creepy Halloween items and I want cutesy fall pumpkins.  We did get a few mothers on Halloween that told us to "tone it down" on the scariness so maybe Jason will learn this learn. 

I really want to order a fall garland for our mantle.  Something like this one from Aidie's Hideaway.

 
 I also need a few fall or Halloween wreath.  I love this Halloween ribbon wreath from Ribbons & Rick Rack




--FIVE--

I posted this picture yesterday on Instagram for Throwback Thursday, but it's worth sharing again.  Ashley and I entered a contest when both of us were engaged for the launch of Southern Weddings Magazine...and won!  You might think we are losers with way too much time on our hands, but don't worry, we did this during our time at HBU when we should have been working or studying for our MBA program...the things you'll do to put off homework and calling prospective students. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Kid Tested, Mom Approved Link Up :: {Go-To Gear}

Today is the last day of the Kid Tested, Mom Approved Link-up Party.  This has been an awesome series.  I've discovered some fabulous new blogs and found tons of new ideas for Jack.  Today's post about go-to gear is hosted by Vanessa of Sunflower State of Mind.  If you don't already read her blog, you need to.  Her daughter Arden is beyond precious and Vanessa is a fellow Pi Phi sister!

Go-To Gear: Having a baby means your life can get taken over by stuff! What gear is on your must-have list?


Only four months in, but already with a long list of favorite baby gear items.  Read about my One Month Favorites list here.  Today I will share our Two - Four Month Favorite Items!

Two - Four Month Favorites
 
Fisher Price Swing - Originally we only had a Mamaroo for Jack to replace the need for a bouncer and swing {plus Jason just thought they were cool}, but we ended up buying both the Fisher Price My Little Snugabunny Bouncer and Swing.  Even though Jack does like the Mamaroo, he prefers the classic (and cheaper) bouncer and swing.  Before you go judging and think I have tons of money to throw around, I found the swing used on my neighborhood For Sale site for a fraction of the cost...I even bargained down more and in perfect condition!  If Jack ever won't fall asleep at night, this thing does the trick!
 

 
 
Baby Bjorn {Air Mesh Version} - Everyone raves about the Ergo Baby Carrier for the comfort, but I heard they were very hot.  Since we live in Houston I opted for a Baby Bjorn with breathable mesh.  I have no complaints except that this thing still gets hot...can't imagine how hot the others are without the mesh.  Jack seems very comfortable (usually falling asleep while in it) and so am I.
 

 
 
Eurobath - We moved Jack to this tub after he outgrew his Puj Tub and the transition was a dream.  he loves his bath time more than anything.  This tub grows with him and still supports his tiny body until he is able to sit up unassisted on the other side of the tub. 
 

 
 
Bumbo Floor Seat - At first Jack wasn't a fan, but now he loves to look around at things while sitting in his Bumbo.  My only complaint is that the leg holes are really tight on Mr. Chunk's legs.  He doesn't seem to mind though. 


 
 
Fisher Price Musical Gym - Jack loves playing on this mat and watching the musical mobile.  Great for tummy time too and so very, very soft. 

 
Evenflo Exersaucer - We just introduced this to Jack, but he LOVES it.  So much to see and play with.  I have fond memories of putting this together while I was bored and supposed to be on bed rest during my last week of pregnancy. 


 
 
Aden & Anais Sleep Sacks - A great replacement for swaddle blankets once baby gets bigger and is sleeping in their crib.  I love the Aden & Anais Sleep bags since they are made with the same breathable muslin material as their blankets.  Jack gets hot easily and I don't want him to overheat at night..especially in the summertime. 
 

 
 
Babies R Us Jungle Joy Music & Motion Soother - This item is part of our bedtime routine.  Jack falls asleep to the lights and sounds of this every single night.  It seemed to keep his attention when we transitioned him to his crib so he never seemed scared or lonely.  Love it! 

 
 
Twilight Turtle Constellation Nighlight - This guy is also part of our bedtime routine.  It worked the first night so we use it every night now.  It adds a pretty glow to the nursery of stars and moons that will automatically shut off after a certain amount of time. 
 

 


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Capturing Jack's First Year of Life :: {Studio Ainsley}



 Maca, the photographer extraordinaire {and baby whisperer} of Studio Ainsley came over to our house last week and took pictures of Jack.  We are working with Studio Ainsley to document Jack's first year of life.  It is CRAZY to see how much he has changed from his newborn session just four months ago. 
 
The best advice that Maca gave us when we were planning when to schedule pictures was to photograph the milestones rather than by the month.  This particular session documented Jack lifting his head up.  The next one will be scheduled when he can sit up independently...whenever that happens. 
 
If you are having a baby soon, I recommend finding a photographer who you feel comfortable working with during that first year: from maternity to the first birthday.  If you are in Houston, I highly recommend using Studio Ainsley.  They have the cutest studio, friendliest staff and will come to  you...how convenient!  They do a formal presentation of each session you have.  These always feel like Christmas to me!  The team assists you from planning the session to wardrobe questions to choosing the right images for how you plan to use them.  They just take extra special care of you and your family...I mean Maca gave me a bag of Cadbury eggs (my absolute fave) at my maternity session presentation.  She gets me. 
 
Check out their website, read their blog and follow on Facebook so you can learn about specials and upcoming holiday mini-sessions!
 
See images from our maternity and newborn sessions!  Jack will have quite the portfolio by his first birthday. 




How is this the same baby???

 
 
I almost cry looking at these images every single time.  Love. 
Thank you Studio Ainsley for capturing our most precious moments.
 

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