Friday, October 26, 2018

Fall Reading List

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Before Charlie arrived, I was reading up a storm y'all!
I knew that once he got here, my time would be very limited (I was definitely not wrong there) so I was trying to squeeze in as much as I could.
These 5 books I'm going to mention in this post were all so good which was a relief, because this past summer some of the books I tried to read I actually had to give up on!
Let's jump into some reviews. . .

I was so intrigued to read this book because I love the fact that the main character is around my age and is a teacher, which is my profession (at least what my degree is in!)
The main character, Callie, has a very type A personality with everything having to be planned and scheduled out.
That's definitely how I used to see myself, until l realized that sometimes if I let things go, then life can actually be so much better than my silly little plans and I think that Callie sees that by the end of this book as well.
It's got several different points-of-view to read from, which I always enjoy because I love to see the background of other characters.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book & would totally recommend you all check it out! 

If you've been around this blog before then you know my love for historical fiction and two of these books fall into that category-this one being the first.
Based in a western town with the focus being Lixie Miller, who was the widow of a very famous general, who famously cheated on her and died when discovered.
This book focuses on Lixie's adventures as she tries to find a new life after his death, and a way to take the focus off of the scandal.
It's got a little adventure, it's got a little love story, and it's got some sweet and interesting characters and is totally worth the read!

I'll be honest, what pulled me into this book was the beautiful cover-which you can't see in the photo but it's a woman standing in a beautiful red brocade gown. I was sold when I realized it was historical fiction as well.
This book is based in Denver, Colorado in the Spring of 1885 where a socialite from New York, Beret Edmondson has gone in search of her sister Lillie.
When she arrives, she discovers that her sister Lillie had become a prostitute and has been murdered which essentially blows Beret's mind.
What comes about from Beret's sleuthing is nothing short of an insanely well written crazy roller coaster ride of family drama, love, mystery, murder, and intrigue.
This is definitely one of the two two books I read out of these five.

This is actually a book in a series that I haven't read, but after reading it I feel confident in telling you that you can read any book in this series as a stand alone.
This book focuses on Cody and Andi as well as the love story of John Baxter, the family patriarch who lost his first wife to cancer and has remarried.
John's grandson, Cole has asked him to share his love story for a school project and although it's painful, John shares the story which is beautiful and painful and a wonderful lesson for Cole.
Cody & Andi's adventures in their relationship-breaking up, getting back together, getting engaged, breaking off the engagement, etc. is a bit of turmoil but the storyline is still powerful.
This is a Christian-based book (like several of these on the list are) and I love the addition of faith into these books.

Confession, I started this one earlier in the Summer when Christopher and I went to the beach. However, a lot of the time that I was pregnant I just didn't feel like reading very much so this one went to the back burner even though it was a good read.
Next to Nicholas Sparks, Elin Hilderbrand is one of my very favorite authors and I always enjoy her books that are set on Nantucket.
This book was about twin sisters who when their parents divorced, each lived with a different parent on a different island (Nantucket & Martha's Vineyard) and lived very different lifestyles.
This book is a journey of each of them making their way back to each other by the death of their father, ends of relationships, their mother being hospitalized, and a demanding teenage daughter.
Just as with most of her books, I laugh and I cried-especially at the end.
My most favorite part of this book are the parts written from one of the sister's Husky, Fish.
He has his own excerpts and they are just the best.
We seriously don't deserve dogs, not even fictional ones.

I really, really hope you all enjoyed this book review post & will consider checking out at least one of these books as I enjoyed them all.
I'm not sure when my next book review post will be up because I'm at a standstill with my current pick mostly because mom-life is ruling my life right now but I'm sure I'll find balance soon-maybe in 2019! 😂

Until next time. . .
xoxo, 

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Empties [No.5]

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Hey y'all!
Today I'm sharing one of my most favorite type of posts that I do-an Empties post!
Basically, I'm taking you on a short tour of my beauty (+Bath & Body Works products!)-related garbage and sharing mini reviews of each product.
The last time I did this sort of thing was my Empties [No.4] post way back in May...wow was life different way back then!
If you're interested in seeing what types of products I've used up around our house & my thoughts-read on, pretty please.
I have really, really dry legs y'all!
So during the Summer, I'm constantly putting on lotion and anything else I can do to keep them moisturized.
This shave gel really does help them stay soft, smooth, and hydrated after shaving-that's why I spent the extra dollar or two over the store brand and will pretty much always do that.
I've enjoyed a lot of Valentia products over the years and this one was no different, it was a really nice moisturizer that I used at night because it was very moisturizing.
It had a very pleasant, clean scent and the packaging is pretty to me!
I would repurchase if I was in need of a new moisturizer-there are just so many new ones to try!
Valentia Clear Lift Revitalizing Serum
Unfortunately, this serum is no longer available on the market which is so sad, because it was definitely a serum I could've recommended to you for hydrated, youthful, and glowing skin.
Revlon Colorstay Foundation in 200
This is the best drugstore foundation that I've tried, hands down.
It lasts all day, wears well, doesn't apply streaky and this is a great color match for my skin.
I miss having this, but need to use up one of my foundations I have before I purchase another!
Avon Skin So Soft Replenishing Hand Cream
One of my sweet student's when I was teaching, her mom was an Avon lady, so she gifted me some Avon products at the end of my last year and I'm slowly working my way through them.
I kept this as a hand cream beside my bed for nightly use and it did make my hands feel so soft and supple, however I just wasn't crazy about the Argan oil scent so I don't think I'd purchase on my own-it was such a sweet gift though!
We have been washing our hands a lot around here since my last empties post!
I spent my entire pregnancy washing them constantly because I didn't want to get sick & now with the new little one we wash them all the time & have company over washing their hands constantly as well so we go through a lot of soap!
This soap was so fresh and vibrant, it smelled just like fresh peaches & left the perfect amount of lingering scent on your hands without overwhelming you.
This line was one of my favorites from B&BW and I wish they would bring it back!
This was a really nice, lightly sweetened hand soap that we kept in our guest bathroom.
I loved the classic look of the label and the black pump made it a little different.
I'm always a huge fan of the gentle foaming hand soaps and would recommend this scent for sure if I ever was able to pick it up again.
The first thing that drew me to this hand soap was the beautiful bottle (& the soap was the prettiest blue color as well!), but what kept me loving it was the clean scent.
It's a very warm, yet fresh scent that reminds me of the beach in the best way possible.
It's one of my all-time favorite scents from B&BW.
Bath & Body Works Frost Sips Lime-a-Rita Foaming Hand Soap
This is an older scent purchased at a semi-annual sale, so sadly it's not available even on Amazon.
It's a really nice and fresh lime scent that is perfect for summer, I also thought the label was pretty cute!
Bath & Body Works Fresh Lemonade Foaming Hand Soap
Normally I really enjoy the lemon scents from B&BW, but this one was a little too artificial and sweet for my taste.
I used it up but probably wouldn't buy it again.
I'm finding that over the past two years, I prefer the Fall & Winter soaps to the Summer & Spring scents.
Bath & Body Works Sparkling Pear Riesling Foaming Hand Soap
Shortly before I had Charlie, I made a trip to Bath & Body Works (coupons in hand, in search of a sale) and picked up a ton of new soaps.
I knew we would have lots of company & that Chris and I would be doing lots of hand washing, so I wanted to make sure we had some smelly-good soaps available.
These soaps are also super gentle on my hands and don't dry them out which is a huge win.
This scent is a big favorite for Fall because it's clean and slightly fruity, with a warm background to it-defintely perfect for this cooler time of year!
Oh Happy Day-Pink Grapefruit Pop Foaming Hand Soap
This was a pretty good soap, I did like the citrusy scent, however sometimes grapefruit can have a bit of a bitter twist on the backend and this one seems to do that.
I also wasn't crazy about the label on this one and think they could've done something a little bit better!
All of the Summer soap labels weren't very "classic" in my opinion.
HASK Mint Almond Oil Shampoo & Conditioner
These don't seem to be widely available online anymore, and I can explain probably why.
They're supposed to be thickening, which really to me just caused a lot of buildup on my hair.
The scent is okay, if you like a strong mint scent, but that's about all it had going for it.
Soap & Glory Smoothie Star Body Butter 
I'm a huge Soap & Glory fan and I was so excited when they became available at Target.
I picked up a three-piece set of travel sized body butters after Christmas last year, so I'm slowly working my way through those.
Smoothie Star might be my favorite scent yet because it literally smells like wedding cake-it's almondy and sweet, I love it so much and when I need a new body butter I'll pick this up full sized.
Bath & Body Works Sea Island Cotton Shower Gel
If you like a very clean, fresh scent for a body wash then you would love this one from B&BW!
I was a terrible wife and forgot to replace my husband's shower gel, so I had to hunt one down from my travel drawer that he could use until I could get to the store and this is the one he chose, so it works well for men and women alike.
Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Butter
This scent was described to me as a "margarita" type scent and I would have to agree with that!
The formula is still that great Soap & Glory body butter formula, but this just isn't my all-time favorite scent, although it is good.
I love using cleansers with glycolic acid in them to resurface my skin & this one was really nice because it was super gentle and helped me keep my face really smooth.
I kept this one in the shower & had no problems with it's texture changing from sitting in there or anything. It was a great product, although a little pricey, but it does exactly as advertised & I would fully repurchase and suggest that y'all try it too!
Victoria's Secret Love Rocks Scented Mist
I've been making a real effort to go through my perfumes in the past few months & this one is finally gone out of my collection of products!
It's a very warm, musky scent that I used to love.
The only downside to these mists is that they aren't long lasting.
Philosophy Candy Cane Body Wash
I love a good seasonal body wash & picked this up last year around Christmas time to start using and y'all-it lasted me until June!
You need just the smallest amount to have a huge amount of foam and it smells really nice, very minty and fresh.
I might repurchase, just in a smaller size if they have it for this year 😂
John Frieda Frizz Ease Keraflex Hairspray
My husband is one of those people that unless he's wearing his cap, he feels like he has to have hairspray in his hair so I gave him this one to travel with and he ended up really liking it!
I enjoyed it when I used it for it's flexible hold, he enjoyed it because it didn't make his hair crunchy but it did keep his flyaways tamed.
Husband approved!
I received this & the complimenting shampoo in a Target Beauty Box & really enjoyed the set-it just takes me so much longer to use up a conditioner sometimes!
I just wanted to use up the end of this one, so I used it in our regular shower and really enjoyed it.
It's a lightweight but hydrating conditioner that made my ends feel really moisturized.
When I was picking up a new shampoo at Target, I wish I would've gotten the shampoo that goes with this conditioner-that's how much I liked the set!
Every once in a while, B&BW sends out a coupon for a free product and when they do that, I usually pick up a travel sized shower gel because they're awesome to have on hand for trips.
I had an excess of them in my travel products bin, so I decided to use this one up at home & I'm so glad that I did because now I have discovered one of my new favorite scents.
It's so clean and feminine, sweet without being headache-y. Definitely would recommend.
Biossance Squalene & Probiotic Gel Moisturizer
This is probably a more "natural" gel than the other ones that I mention in this post, but it definitely stands up to all the other moisturizers and is very hydrating.
My skin felt moisturized and balanced when using this, it's just a little cheaper than the Murad so not much difference in price there-they're both a little pricey but if they work then they are worth it!
Murad Nutrient-Charged Water Gel
I really, really enjoyed this Murad moisturizer!
It was a really hydrating gel that I felt really sunk into my skin well and lasted, I would definitely purchase this one full sized, I just wish it wasn't so pricey.
Korres Wild Rose Brightening Oil
This oil came in my Sephora Play! box to test out & I was very interested because I love testing out new skin care.
First of all, I don't really enjoy the rose scent but thankfully it doesn't linger on your skin.
It's claim is that it brightens and evens skin tone & maybe I just needed a bigger sized sample to see results but I wouldn't purchase the full-sized based on my lack of results from the sample size.
Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer
This sample was my first experience with a Smashbox primer & I wasn't disappointed!
This primer definitely helped hold onto my makeup, I used it on days when I really really needed my makeup to last as well as on days when I knew I would be photographed because I wanted to help prevent any flashback.
This primer didn't cause any of my various foundations to pill up or anything, so that's a huge plus that I could use it easily under so many products. 
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel
This has been my favorite moisturizer that I've tried in the past few months-and it's drugstore (although that price is pretty high for drugstore in my opinion!)
It sinks in to your skin so well & I love how light it felt-perfect for daytime.
I will definitely pick this up again in the future.
CoverGirl Loose Powder in Translucent Light
I typically keep a loose powder on hand just so that I can use it all over to set my makeup and his has been my go-to for years.
However, the last two times I've purchased it the lid has cracked and it just makes a huge mess so right now I'm testing out a few different things to see if I can find a replacement.
I did love the formula, so if you don't mind the crappy packaging then this would be a good buy, especially for the price!
The Honest Company Organic Belly Balm
When I was pregnant, I found this on clearance at Target, so I picked it up on a whim.
Now, I know why it was on clearance.
I did use it up just because I spent my $$$ on it but it's not great.
It's SO greasy and smells pretty strongly of an herbal nature.
I would try basically anything else. I also don't think it prevented any stretch marks or whatever, but I also couldn't force myself to use it every single day so who knows.
If you've read any of my empties posts before then you know I love me some Neutrogena wipes to remove my makeup on those days I don't feel like doing the whole routine.
This time around I've only used up two packs (which is strange for me!) because I didn't wear much makeup over the summer and in the last few months of pregnancy and when I did, I did the whole makeup removing routine!
But these are obviously still a favorite and my tried-and-true, they're great for a busy mom too!
I went in to Ulta in June to pick up my birthday reward and treated myself to a few new sheet masks while I was there, I had always wanted to try out the cute Tony Moly masks, so I picked up this lemon one and really loved it!
I tend to use a brightening mask before an event and this one didn't disappoint, it hydrated my skin and left it feeling luminous-even if only from the extra hydration.
The scent and cute packaging were big bonuses too.
The Creme' Shop Rosewater Infused Face Masks
I was able to snag this five-piece set for $3 at my local TJ Maxx and it couldn't have been a better deal!
I love the Creme' Shop's masks-they're always soaked thoroughly with product and actually do what they say they will do as far as claims go.
I loved the gentle (not overwhelming!) rose scent that came with these masks and I felt like they really did help soothe my skin and just made my face more hydrated and glowy.
I would definitely pick these up again!
First of all, these products smelled amazing so I loved them first off for that reason.
They only had enough product for one use, so I honestly didn't see much volume from that, but I can say that they didn't leave my hair feeling a lot of build-up or heaviness so I would purchase the full size to try in the future.
I got a three pack of these samples in a Sephora order & at first wasn't even going to try them because I thought it was ridiculous to add another step to my skin care routine.
But, I decided what did I have to lose and ended up really loving the way the product felt on my under-eye area and honestly, I think it helped my eye cream sink in and absorb even better.
I'm not sure if it's worth the $95 price tag, but if you're in the market for a product like this one I would definitely recommend.
This was a pretty basic moisturizer that is really pricey at the drugstore.
I don't think it's even close to being worth that price.
This product was super underwhelming.
I have drug store products that cleanse just as well as this one for way less cost.
Sometimes the wallflowers don't smell like the test candles in the B&BW store...this was one of those.
When I brought this one home and plugged it in, it was SO strong that I had to take it downstairs to my guest bathroom to let it run it's course down there. It filled up the entire downstairs though, if you do like the scent.
You can return B&BW products and exchange them for something else, but I live about 30-45 minutes away from my closest store so I didn't want to deal with the hassle.
We use our wallflower in our master bathroom so that it will fill our bathroom & bedroom, so I like to keep the scents neutral and fresh and clean.
This cotton scent was really nice and clean, a lot like fresh laundry. I would definitely repurchase this scent in the future and recommend it for year round use!
This is another poor wallflower that was banished downstairs because of it's overwhelmingly strong scent. I couldn't deal with the floral sweetness once it was in the wallflower, it didn't seem that strong in store.
ELF Flawless Finish Foundation in Porcelain
I tried this out after seeing lots of YouTuber's rave about how good this foundation is, for the price.
It costs $6 and it is pretty good, considering how cheap it is-but it's not my favorite.
It tends to apply a little streaky and you have to be careful about the primer you use under it.
I also find it not to be super long lasting, but in a pinch it'll do.
Younique Moodstruck Lashes Kit
I was sent this kit a long, long time ago from a Younique presenter to review on the blog and back then my makeup style was totally different.
While this needed to be tossed because it was severely out of date, it also needed to be tossed because I don't like a fiber-lash look anymore-it's just not me, I like a more natural, fluffy, voluminous look that I can achieve from other mascaras so I wouldn't repurchase and I wouldn't recommend unless you just really enjoy fiber lash mascaras.
This brow gel had been in my makeup bag for forever and it was time for it to go because it had taken on the color of my brow product while it was supposed to be clear.
It was just an okay brow product. I've since tried another one that I like much better & would rather spend the money on.
If you like a light-hold brow gel then this one would probably work really well for you, though!
Essie Hi Maintenance Polish
This is one of my all-time favorite polishes from Essie, one I wear on my nails very frequently because it just makes them look polished and not too flashy.
However, this one got too thick and goopy so it's time for it to be replaced!
I picked this mask up (it was actually a pack of two) on a whim before we went to the beach earlier in the year & y'all it was the best four dollars I ever spent in my life.
I used one mask at the beach & saved this one for another night after we got home and these are just the best masks for the value.
They are super hydrating and soothing-I loved how it felt after being out in the sun all day and I distinctly remember how glowing my skin seemed when we went out for dinner that night.
Go pick these up!
These are marketed as being perfecting and brightening, two things I definitely need for my under-eye area as I've always struggled with darker under eyes.
These definitely hydrated that area of my face, but I didn't see a marked difference with the color-so maybe I'd have to buy multiple packets and use them regularly to see a big difference?
They do make for a nice pampering session though!
Que Bella Professional Moisturizing Eye Gel Masks
I love a good eye gel/mask situation, as y'all probably know by now...but this one, I'll be honest, wasn't great.
These claim to be moisturizing but they were pretty dry and didn't leave any lasting results of any sort for my under-eye area.
This duo foil packet came in my Sephora Play! box & I kind of rolled my eyes when I saw it because I don't like getting foil packs in my boxes.
But I tested it out, just to get it out of my drawer and honestly really enjoyed this set!
It was hydrating (my hair has been pretty dry lately) and didn't leave a lot of build up on the one use I got out of it.
I would pick this set up in the future if I saw it on sale.
I've tested this set out before in a foil packet form & really enjoyed them so I wasn't too upset to get these in a subscription box again.
They clean my hair really well without leaving buildup and they're nice and hydrating.
I think they're a great buy for the price & easy to find at Target or Ulta.
Boscia Exfoliating Peel Gel
This was a Sephora sample that I was excited to try, and maybe I would feel differently if I had the full-sized product but I just didn't care for this peel and I do love a good exfoliating peel.
It Cosmetics Confidence in a Cleanser
I always wonder if the higher end cleansers are worth it and spoiler alert...usually they aren't, in my opinion!
While this one was nice and did cleanse my skin, it didn't do anything for me in the one use I got to make a first impression.
I think I would rather spend more on essences, serums, and moisturizers that will sit on my skin rather than a cleanser that I apply and then rinse off, ya know?
You can see just how used & abused this buffing block is over the years of using it!
I buff my nails every single time I paint them so that my polish goes on smoothly, it's an expensive item that really takes your at-home manicure up a step.
While I lust after the original Beauty Blender, I've actually never tried it!
I'm usually a big fan of finding good beauty sponges for a good price at TJ Maxx, and this one was one such find.
I ditched it when it wouldn't come clean anymore (you can see how gross the foundation buildup can be!), but I probably wouldn't repurchase this exact one from TJ Maxx if I saw it again.
I do like the wedge shape on one side, but this particular sponge was just a little too dense for my taste-I like a really soft, squishy sponge to apply foundation.
The Advanced Night Repair is a trusty old favorite for a reason, it really does work.
It keeps my face feeling really youthful and I will definitely buy a large size once I'm through some of my other serums.
This came in a Target Beauty Box, so when I needed a night cream I pulled this out of my travel products and tested it out.
It wasn't overwhelmingly exciting, it was moisturizing but I didn't see any crazy results or formed a strong opinion on it to want to buy the full-sized.
Does anyone else miss when Laneige was offered at Target?! I do!
But, this mask is now carried at Sephora and it's honestly awesome.
I love the clean scent and how hydrating it is.
I would definitely purchase the full size!
This was an awesome sample form my Sephora Play! box that I really enjoyed using.
It was almost like a cream gel combination that sunk into my skin quickly but had lasting hydration.
It's a little pricey, but in my opinion worth it.
I was just sent this product from Influenster & have only done three weeks worth (now!) of these tubes, so I can't say I see a huge difference but I can tell you that peels are definitely the way to go!
I can't wait to continue my progress with these weekly peels and see how my skin looks at the end.
I used this up on a trip Chris & I took over the Summer, but I definitely don't think I would repurchase for myself in the future just because it is definitely a warmer scent that is very amber just as the name would suggest.
If you like an overwhelmingly amber scent though, you'd probably like this one.
Tory Burch Love Relentlessly Perfume
I really, really enjoyed this light & sweet perfume for the summertime!
I took this sample to the beach with us earlier in the year and it was perfect for days out and about on vacation. In fact, I would probably add this to my perfume wish list.
YSL Mon Paris Perfume
I know a lot of people complain about getting perfume samples in their subscription boxes or when they get samples from orders, but I love it!
I get the chance to test out perfumes that I otherwise wouldn't have tried or may not have even heard of and this is one of those that I'm not sure I ever would've tried but it's so good-it's probably going on my Christmas wish list.
It's a musky, slightly sweet perfume that I would think would be perfect for nighttime and even better during the Fall & Winter seasons as it's warm and cozy to me.
This is one of my favorite drugstore brow products because the color works really well for me, the pencil itself is large enough that it doesn't take me forever to do my brows, and the formula stays.
My only gripe is I wish it had a spoolie instead of a brush.
This is called "ultimate" but honestly it was pretty underwhelming.
The brush was just basic and plain.
I wouldn't repurchase.
This is one of the best shampoos, the formula leaves my hair feeling super light & weightless and the scent is SO yummy!
 I don't know who discovered the rosemary mint combo and decided it would work for haircare, but they were right.
I loved testing this out on days when my skin was feeling a little dry because it's supposed to be a primer and a moisturizer in one.
I think it worked really well, for the small sample size I got to test out!
 I would definitely consider purchasing full size.
This is a super strong, peppery perfume that almost smells manly but is definitely unisex in my opinion. It would be an awesome winter or Christmas-time scent.
This candle is an older one that I burned as slowly as possible throughout last Fall & Winter because y'all-it's SO good. I wish they would bring it back because it's perfectly equal parts sweetness with just a hint of smoke like a bonfire.
They do have it (and all of these candles!) on Amazon for various prices, so I'm seriously tempted to purchase another one from there!

This candle was the perfect end of summer candle for sure.
My favorite types of candles are more musky instead of sweet and that's absolutely what this is, a musky scent with just a bit of salt like a sea breeze.
An all-time favorite B&BW candle and scent in general, I didn't even know what Bergamot smelled like before I bought this candle.
I love the glass this candle is in and the musky, clean-almost laundry like scent that this candle threw.

This is definitely a staple holiday scent that I bet you'll be able to get your hands on in the next few weeks if you visit your local B&BW store.
It's a little spicy from the mint, but cool too from the marshmallow.
This is slightly sweeter in my opinion than my first holiday favorite, Twisted Peppermint.

Wow, y'all-that was a ton of products in just a  few months but I'm so proud of myself for slowly cleaning out what I've been holding onto for so long!
I can't say that I'll be going through as many things in the next few months (but maybe I will?!) because I haven't been as great about taking care of my skin and wearing makeup since Charlie came along, but hopefully that will get better in the next few months.

If you've used any of these products and have opinions, please let me know!

Until next time. . .
xoxo,

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Ten on Tuesday [No.50]

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I am having the hardest time ever keeping y'all updated with Ten on Tuesday posts! You haven't had one since this one in July!
But you've seen lots of other fun posts between then & now, so I'm not 100% slacking, at least.
Today I'm back with a fun roundup of things from around the internet, pics of life lately, and all kinds of fun whatnot that ToT is famous for.

ONE
Probably the biggest life update that we have going on over here is that we welcomed Baby Charlie home in September!
I posted his birth announcement, then his birth story, and then his one month update if you're interested in getting caught up with our little man.


TWO
Since bringing Charlie home, he's had lots of adventures. . .
 Meeting big brother, Forrest for the first time!
I can't wait to see them grow together & become best friends as Charlie gets older.
 He visited his MawMaw & PawPaw Upchurch, Chris' grandparents.
We were so excited to bring them their littlest grandson to meet.
He attended his first Inter Se meeting, which is a women's club that I'm a part of.
He of course was loved on by all the ladies!
 We had our first trip to the farm with him & although he doesn't look too thrilled in the picture, I think he loved it!
We sat down in the pasture & watched Daddy get up a steer we were taking to market and we checked out our replacement heifers-Charlie approved.
 He also went to his first birthday party, his future bestie Anna Claire turned one and we wouldn't have missed for anything!
 His first seasonal jammies-we love these Carter's jammies!
 We had our first date night as a family of three!
One of our favorite little spots is a restaurant down on the river where they have an awesome buffalo chicken pizza so we took Charlie there for our first night back on the town.
 He's been practicing his tummy time skills and loves it (as long as he can look out the window while he does it!)
And most of all-he turned one month old!
The blanket he's on in this picture was a quilt hand-quilted for me by my dad's mom-my MawMaw so that made it even more special!

THREE
We had beautiful newborn photos done by my favorite photographer & friend in the whole world-Amy-Cole Photography!
I'll be sharing more of these in a big post, so keep a look out!

FOUR
I loved Cynthia's guide on how to plant a window box garden!
I've got a live list for my handy-man and one of the things on there is to build some hanging boxes for our patio space-I'm thinking they will be beautiful for Fall, filled with Fall Crocus, Lead Plant, or maybe just classic mums!

FIVE
Mama's been working on slowly getting her groove back, so when my middle sister comes over a few times a week, we venture outside with Charlie and Forrest for neighborhood walks.
The weather has been awesome the past week so we've been loving getting out in the fresh air!

SIX
Y'all-I finally found the best basic tee from Old Navy (which is obviously sold out because it's awesome), but now I want to pick up the long-sleeved option for Fall!
They probably have more color options in store, but I'm loving the maroon that's online (it's the color I bought the basic tee in too!)
Plus, at only $15 you can't really beat that price.

SEVEN
Just a few more life updates. . .
 I dedicated an entire blog post that you can read here to us being named the 2018 Outstanding Young Farm Family for the state of Alabama, but I just want to highlight this accomplishment in case you missed that post-Chris and I are just so thrilled to share our love of agriculture and are blessed to receive this honor as a family.
 After being named 2018 OYFF, we have been asked to speak at a few local meetings and had the honor of meeting our local state representative, Mike Rogers at one of those meetings.
Pardon my giant hair in this picture, but we were also asked to participate in "Cowboys in the Classroom" last week & with the local Cattlemen's Association we went and read to the students of our local elementary school and helped educate them about the beef cattle industry.

EIGHT
I have about zero sewing skills, but I also am trying not to spend a million dollars on this nursery for our little boy-so I'm trying to find ways to be frugal on things that "don't really matter" for example-the crib skirt.
I found a few that I like online, but they're all around $30 or upwards and I just think that's kind of crazy...so I googled, or Pinterested actually, and found a tutorial for a no-sew crib skirt that my sister & I attempted for the nursery and to be honest with you...it turned out pretty darn well. In fact, if I can convince her-we just might make another one in a different fabric!

NINE
Just a few farm and animal updates. . .
 The Sunday before we were induced, we spent our day with Willow (aka one of my horses) and Chris bathed and groomed her for me.
I hope that one day she'll be Charlie's horse & we'll all be able to ride together...but until then, I'll just be glad to be cleared to ride again!
 If you think we've forgotten all about Forrest you would be wrong-we still love our first born fur child more than ever.
However, a week from today he has an appointment at the University of Auburn's Vet School/Vet Clinic because he's been having some problems that started just after we brought Charlie home.
He started having pain while walking up the stairs (and our house has A LOT of stairs) and then stopped being able to go up them at all & also can't climb into/jump into a vehicle anymore.
He's a very large dog at 93 lbs so we can't just carry him around either.
Our local vet seems to think he might have a partially torn ACL or CCL (meaning surgery), so we want a second opinion before deciding on surgery.
So until his appointment/surgery Forrest has been living downstairs in our basement and getting regular potty breaks and loving/petting sessions each day...we look so forward to having him back upstairs with the whole family!
And just 'cause, I wanted to include this beautiful shot I took the day we brought Charlie to the farm for the first time-our girl's look good and all is right in the world.
TEN
And just a few more bonus pics/updates that never made it to the blog. . .
 The Cattlemen's Association hosted our first annual rodeo in our county and Chris is on the board, so we were there both nights-y'all it was SO fun!
I can't wait for next year already (and am so glad that I won't be pregnant for the next one!)
 Chris' sweet cousin Haley got married on Charlie's due date, but he held off so we could make it to the wedding 😉
It was such a beautiful ceremony and reception!
And I never got to share this picture, but the sweet ladies at our church threw us a baby shower!
Everything was beautiful & now that Charlie has been born and his name has been revealed, I can finally share the details from both of my showers with y'all!

Well, that was a huge picture & brain dump-but I hope y'all enjoyed it!
Hopefully I won't wait so long to do the next Ten on Tuesday 😊

Until next time. . .
xoxo, 

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Charlie: One Month

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 Y'all-I cannot believe that our sweet Charlie is already ONE MONTH OLD!
It seems like just yesterday we were waiting on him, then I shared his birth story, and now here I am with his first monthly update on the blog.
Weight: 9 lbs 10 1/2 oz
Height: 23 Inches

Clothes:
This is seriously the most irritating thing y'all-baby clothes sizing is just as bad, if not worse than grown up clothing sizes!
Charlie can still wear most of his newborn things, but they're getting pretty tight and probably won't last but a few more weeks. He can fit pretty well in some three month things (like the orange/blue outfit) but other 0-3 things are huge on him!

Sleep: 
Charlie sleeps pretty well for a one-month old. He's a rockstar of a napper, but when we go to put him in his bassinet at night he doesn't really love that.
He has a "witching hour" between 9-12 where he doesn't really want to sleep, so we're trying to get past that.
Once he's asleep at 12 though, he really only wakes up once in the middle of the night.

Schedule:
He's eating every 2-3 hours during the day, and gets a little bit of a longer stretch at night.
He typically doesn't stay awake too long after I feed him, but when he is awake-man is he alert!

Health:
Our little boy has been so healthy from day one and we do not take it lightly how blessed we are for that.
I don't know if I can attribute that to him being a 100% breastfed baby, but I'm hoping that I'm doing my part in trying everything I can to keep him healthy.
(And yes, fed is best-no mom shaming here on this blog!) 

Crying: 
He really honestly only cries when he's hungry or wants his diaper changed. He also isn't crazy about being buckled into his car seat or when clothes are too-involved and I have to do a lot of buttoning or moving things over his head.

Likes:
Cuddling
Riding in the truck
Going for walks in the neighborhood
Visitors

Dislikes:
Dirty/wet Diapers
Waking up alone (when he's in the bassinet in our room and we're in the living room/kitchen)
When Forrest licks his foot 🙈
Being in the carseat when we aren't moving/going anywhere

Milestones:
Being born/Coming home!
Our sweet boy is trying really hard to hold his head up and it makes me really happy and kind of sad all at the same time-it's all going so quickly

Places You've Gone:
The Pediatrician
Anna Claire's first birthday party!
The Farm
Nana & PawPaw's House
Gran & Papa's House
To the Barn for my Inter Se meeting (all the ladies loved you!)
Talladega/Calhoun County Young Farmer's Meeting (your very first YF meeting!)

Postpartum:
Y'all, I'm going to be really, really honest here.
I was terrified of the postpartum part of pregnancy!
Everyone tells you how awful it is and all the internet/Pinterest posts tell you that no one tells you how bad it really is-so I'm thinking, it's going to be really bad...but it wasn't!
I honestly felt great from the time I got into my recovery room at the hospital, but I felt really really good when I got home.
My pain level was basically a 0 by the time I got home and just finding a routine and hitting our groove has been the best thing for me.
I'm doing okay with the sleep, if I need to catch a nap I can do that early in the mornings, but most days I don't even need one.

I'm super thankful that I didn't gain a whole lot of weight while pregnant & now all of my pre-pregnancy clothes fit, heck some clothes I couldn't wear pre-pregnancy fit!
I credit all of that to being pretty conscious of what I ate and my activity level during pregnancy as well as afterwards, I'm just so much more thoughtful of how I fuel my body now.
This is an absolute must-have, especially for breastfeeding Mama's!
I'm so thirsty all of the time, so I try to keep my big Yeti full of ice and water at all times and within arms reach so that I always have hydration on hand.
This app was recommended to me by one of our nurses at the hospital to help us get in a schedule with Charlie's feeds (we had been writing them down on the marker board and it just got to be too much to keep up with there).
This app is really simple to use & keeps data on his wet/dirty diapers as well if you're trying to keep up with all of that data too.
I know that the use of pacifiers in breastfed babies is debatable, but Charlie has taken a bottle (when we were supplementing with pumped milk) from the beginning and has had his wubbanub from basically day 2 when he was under the bili-lights.
We've never had a problem with nipple confusion yet!
He has a regular Soothie paci that we let him use in his bassinet at night, but his wubbanub stays in his mouth so much better when we can watch him.
This was highly recommended to us & we love it! In fact, Charlie is sleeping in it right now as I type out this post.
This one is automatic and has different noises as well that Charlie likes. We also use it to just bring him around to different places around the house with us because it folds up so easily and is super handy to bring around.
75% of the time, Charlie is in his pj's, it's just a fact of life with a newborn!
These Carter's ones are a personal favorite.
They zip up, making them really easy for nighttime changes and are lightweight but warm enough that he only has to wear those at night.
They're inexpensive, wash well, and come in tons of patterns.
A lot of people who buy these seem to not like them, but I really love our Bassinest!
Like I've mentioned, Charlie isn't the best about going down-but once he's asleep for the night he sleeps really well in the Halo.
I love the swivel feature and how the legs go under our bed, so that he's right beside my side of the bed making it really easy for me to check on him throughout the night.
This didn't make it onto the graphic, but it should've because we use it nightly and it's been a big source of comfort for both Chris and I.
We just strap the little sock on him under his footie pajamas before bed & turn it on through the base station or the app.
It monitors his heart rate and oxygen levels and will alert us if either one drop or get too high throughout the night.
This will definitely be a must for us when he moves into his nursery too!
 If you had any products that your baby's loved for months 2+, please let me know below!
Until next time. . .
xoxo,