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Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Ten on Tuesday [No.55]

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Y'all, can you believe that it's been since the first week in January since I've shared a Ten on Tuesday update with y'all?!
Basically 2019 got here and I absolutely hit the ground running. Life has been so busy (with no end in sight) but it's been the best kind of busy...let's catch up!
ONE
The biggest of big deals was our short trip to New Orleans with the American Farm Bureau to compete in the Achievement Award category. We placed in the Top Ten in the nation which was a HUGE accomplishment for us. We were so proud of how we finished and it was such an honor to just be able to attend.
Also, I was so excited to wear this fun Lilly I snagged during the last After Party Sale-it was perfect for NOLA!
Also, you can't really tell in this pic, but we took a selfie with the President himself!
He came and spoke at the convention & regardless of your political views it's always neat to be in the same room with the leader of the free world...my inner history nerd was geeking out!
TWO
Another fun thing-we took Charlie to the aquarium for the first time!
We went to the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta (which is a little over an hour away from us) and although we weren't really sure what he was going to think or how it was going to go...he rocked it!
He was so interested in seeing all the fish and the big tanks, we can't wait to take him back when he's a little bit bigger and I think it gave us confidence to take him more places like that!
THREE
 Big milestones are happening over here since my last Ten on Tuesday update.
Little man is eating solids now, three times a day.
His most recent favorite is peaches!
I put up a lot of fresh veggies in our freezer each summer and so it's been great to have those to pull out and put in our Beaba baby food maker to whip up for him.
I love knowing exactly what's going into his food, from where it was grown all the way to how it was made.
Also, Charlie has slept every single night in his crib since we came back from New Orleans!
He was napping in his crib before we left, but when we came home we made the transition and he's had a few rough nights but also has been sleeping through the night a lot more consistently so everyone is much happier!
He's such good guy, we're so blessed with him.
FOUR
If you've missed some of my recent posts, I shared a five month update for our little guy and some of my Mama essentials.
FIVE
 Just because I can't not share these again and again. . .
He's growing up so fast and I can't resist doing cute clothes and cute photos while he'll still let me...I mean, wouldn't you want a chance to kiss those sweet cheeks and thighs too?!
The lipstick I used was Mary Kay's Firecracker and his little onesie is this one (on super clearance if you want to hoard for next year!)
SIX
Okay, I'm a huge nerd-I'm fully aware.
But I'm here to share my obsession with the Hamilton soundtrack.
The music is incredible, the lyrics are fun and relatable, and I'm just a big history nerd.
I'm crossing my fingers that Hamilton comes back to Atlanta this year and the tickets are somewhat affordable and somewhat easy to get my hands on because I'm DYING to go.

SEVEN
From basically day one, we've taken Charlie most everywhere we go, and we go a lot.
He's been to a lot of different things and everyone just loves him!
A few weekends ago, we took him to the Alabama Cattlemen's Convention in Birmingham which was so fun-he found lots of things to add to his first birthday & Christmas wishlist from the Happy Toymaker-those toys are incredible!
 And we also took him to his first National Wild Turkey Federation banquet and live auction, he was such a doll baby and didn't fuss at all. He just snuggled up to his daddy and fell right asleep, even though we were sitting right next to the auctioneer!
EIGHT
If y'all are as Amazon addicted as I am, I hope you'll pop over to my Amazon Shop to see some of my favorites!
I have them broken down into categories for Women, Home, Children, Books, and Miscellaneous so there's a little bit of everything. If I've added something, it's been purchased and endorsed by me!
NINE
Also, if you're in the market for an Easter basket I recently purchased Charlie's basket and liner on sale & I cannot wait for him to have this for many, many years to come!
TEN
I don't know if any of y'all follow April over at Smidge of This but she shared this phenomenal Brussels sprout recipe on her Insta the other day & I had to test them out. She claimed they tasted like salt and vinegar chips, which are a favorite at our house...and guess what y'all-they didn't disappoint!
Highly recommend trying these out for yourself, even if you don't like brussels!

Let me know below what is up with y'all!
Until next time. . .
xoxo, 

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Five Mama Essentials

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 Photo by Amy-Cole Photography
P.S. How was Charlie ever this small?! I can barely remember that!

I've officially made it 5 months as a Mama (23 weeks, to be exact!)!
It's been quite a journey & to be 100% real with y'all, it's not always sunshine and rainbows.
I am so incredibly thankful to have been entrusted to be Charlie's Mama. He's the sweetest, happiest little boy who makes my heart burst. But sometimes he also wakes up three times in the middle of the night, and sometimes he doesn't want to take a nap, and sometimes he is scared of the vacuum cleaner so I have to hold him and try to vacuum at the same time (okay, that last one is every single time!)
But despite all of those things, I wouldn't change my position for anything in the world.
But there are a few things that I trust to get me through each day. . .
Actually, I could name about one billion essentials, but these are the first that came to mind!
I've had an espresso machine on my wishlist for a really long time, but I couldn't stand the price tag.
Basically, all I really wanted was a milk frother to froth milk for coffees at home.
I picked this one up at Target with some Christmas money and it has made my inexpensive coffees at home so much more luxurious. Call it bougie, call it self-care...either way it's a small thing that has become essential for me.
I wrote a blog post about a year ago on how to get your best night's sleep & this was part of one of those tips. Now that I'm a mom, the sleep that I do get is so essential.
I was gifted an eye mask just like this one many years ago & it has been so helpful in blocking out the light and helping me get really good quality sleep in the time that I do get to rest.
The molded shape keeps the eye mask from irritating your delicate eye area, too!
I have been getting the Sephora Play! Box for several months now & have found so many awesome products in there that I have ended up purchasing full sized.
This eye cream totally changed the game for me after bringing Charlie home.
I knew just how important it was to make sure I was still taking care of myself while taking care of him, so I was diligent about using an eye cream-this one is wonderfully hydrating & magically makes my dark circles disappear after applying it. I will always repurchase this for my AM eye cream now.
I'm pretty sure I shared this in our one-month essentials blog post but it has definitely stood the test of time, until he's almost six months old & I think this will continue to be a staple for a long time.
If you're breastfeeding, you have to hydrate a lot-even if you aren't, it's so important to stay hydrated anyways!
This cup keeps your water cold and keeps ice all day long, I just use these straws and they work great. Definitely something you need to always keep on hand!
Oh, and another plus-you can use these for coffee too, that way that cup you pour at 6 AM will still be warm when you finally get around to drinking it at 8 AM.
This is probably the biggest help to me out of all of these things on this list.
I was recently sent this devotional book and while I always read the books sent to me, I don't always love them-and I'm always brutally honest about that with y'all.
I didn't know what I would think about this one; would it be cheesy? would it even really apply to me?
Well, it rocked my world.
I love that the daily devotions are short (usually just over two pages and totally readable), they are extremely relatable even to me as a young, first time mom, and they always seem to come just on time.
I love sitting down in the mornings with my planner & my first cup of coffee and catching up with the days devotion, but you know what-they are still as powerful when I don't get to them until after I've tucked Charlie into bed at night.
It's all a part of self-care for me, taking a few minutes to support my soul and lift myself up...that's definitely an essential.
And as a special surprise, I'm sharing a little giveaway with y'all for a chance to win this book for yourself or to give to any of your warrior-mom friends!

I hope y'all enjoyed this little roundup of some of my essentials; let me know-what were y'all's Mama-Essentials?!
Also, if you're the praying type, please consider sending some prayers out (or positive thoughts/vibes) for a friend of mine who is going through hard things right now. She was on my heart as I wrote this post & I'm just so, so heartbroken for her and her family.
Thanks!

Until next time. . .
xoxo, 

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Charlie: Five Months

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 He looks SO displeased in ALL of these monthly pics 😂
(As of our last checkup at 4 months he was. . .)
Weight: 13 lbs 11 oz
Height: 25 1/2 inches
So he's probably added a little to both of those numbers!
Clothes:
He's feeling pretty good in his 3-6 months clothes and we're loving all the new clothes we're finally starting to be able to pull out of the closet.
I think some of my favorites are these overalls he's been getting to wear, little collared shirt onesies like this one, and pajamas just like these-so easy!
And that bubble pictured is giving me all the spring & summer vibes! This website has some similar ones available, but I found mine on a Facebook group.
Sleep:
Y'all, I am SO PROUD of Charlie-he's slept through the night twice in the past month and for the most part, has cut out both of his night feedings. If/when he does wake in the middle of the night, most times he can soothe himself back to sleep now, or I can go in and pat his back or give his paci back to him and that's good enough.
We've been following the Mom's on Call 4-6 month schedule and it has made a huge difference in his sleep. I feel so much better and I think Charlie does too, being on a schedule.
Although, the last few days have been a little off-schedule, I think it's because he's starting to teethe and it makes it hard for him to sleep.
Schedule:
Four months was really hard on us, until out of desperation I looked up Mom's on Call.
Now, on a normal day, Charlie's schedule looks something like this.
7 AM-Wake up & nurse
8 AM-Eat some type of solids (some days it's avocado, some days it's sweet potatoes-whatever I have made for him)
8:30 AM-Down for a nap, about 1-1 1/2 hours usually
10:30 AM-Nurse again
11:30 AM-Solids (I try to vary what he eats, I try to have at least two different options in the fridge on any given day)
12:30/1:30 PM- Somewhere between here, whenever he starts showing cues, we go down for another nap usually 1 1/2 or 2 hours.
3 PM-Nursing again
4 PM-Solids again
5 PM-Possibly take another nap here, if he's feeling tired
6 PM-Mom's on Call doesn't call for this, but we actually typically have solids again here and this is sometimes his biggest meal of the day. I think it's really helped him sleep through the night and it works for us.
6:30 PM-Bath time! We take a bath every single night now, but we only wash his hair every other night.
6:45 PM-Jammies, Owlett monitor, and bedtime story
7 PM-Nurse one last time
Between 7-7:30 PM-Down for bed
Health:
Little man is doing really well, we went to the aquarium earlier this month and he's been out and about to several other places so we were a little worried about germs (& Chris had some type of stomach virus, too) but he's been really healthy through it all.

 He's a cold-brew guy 
Y'all-those little pajamas kill me!
Crying:
Charlie is seriously the best little guy.
His tears mainly stem from being tired or if he does happen to fuss during nap time or bedtime, but other than that there's very little crying!
 We're crazy about avocados!

I think that smirk might get him out of a lot of trouble in his lifetime, don't you?
Likes:
Rolling all over the living room
Mama or Daddy blowing raspberries on his tummy
Eating!
 
Dislikes:
His biggest frustration in life is that he's not mobile already-he gets so mad because he can't crawl!
 I love these sweet brothers!
Y'all-there are no words!
Milestones:
Sleeping exclusively in his crib
Started solids: Has eaten strawberries, avocado, banana, sweet potatoes, prunes, apples, and summer & butternut squash.
Slept through the night (twice!)
 He's so ready to be out with his Daddy & Papa tagging calves!
Charlie was stoked to go shower Baby Daniel-we're counting down the days until his bff arrives!
I can't wait for Spring & bare baby toes!
Places You've Gone:
The Georgia Aquarium with Anna Claire
Cheaha Brewing Company
Chelsea's Baby Shower for Baby Daniel (aka your future bestie!)
To check cows, lots of times!
Got stuck with Mama in the pasture & PawPaw had to come pull us out 😂
 
Mama & Charlie's Favorites:
Charlie actually got this for Christmas from my oldest sister, but he's just now really getting to be big enough to use it. I love the grey color & the fact that it can grow with him as he gets bigger. It's perfect for sticking him in easily while I feed him and it cleans up really easily.
We usually use Huggies at our house, but when we were in Target a few weeks ago they were handing out sample packs of their new line of Cloud Island diapers and y'all-they are really good & priced well, too! 
I was sent a sample pack from Kiinde after registering somewhere (maybe Babylist?) and when I finally got around to using them, I really liked them. What sold me on purchasing was that I can use them for multiple things.
You can pump breastmilk directly into the bags, you can use them as storage bags and you just pop the bags into the bottle to feed, and on top of all that you can use the bags to create your own food pouches for baby food!
I've been making Charlie's baby food, but was purchasing pouches for on-the-go, but now I don't have to do that.
Here is a link to get a free Kiinde starter pack (you only pay shipping) that includes 1 twist pouch, 2 adapters for your breast pump (it's compatible with more than seven different pump brands), 1 twist active slow-flow nipple and case, 1 coupon valid for free 40-count pack of pouches, and 1 coupon valid for 50% off the Kiinde Twist Breastfeeding Gift Set. It's an awesome value & I wish I had those coupons before I ordered!
Charlie has really started playing with toys this past month & crinkle books are some of his favorite toys! He loves the sound and the feeling, we keep them stashed all over the house and in the diaper bag to keep his attention.
Charlie had a mild case of cradle-cap earlier in the month and I was having the hardest time clearing it up until my Mama brought me these scrubbers. I use them with a gentle shampoo and just scrubbed each time he was in the bath and soon, the flakes were gone. Now, I use it every time I wash his hair because I feel like it's gentle & does a better job than my fingers do.
I've tried a few different kinds of small containers to contain Charlie's baby food and these are my favorite so far. They come with two trays and eight cubes so they're easy to store in the cabinet when not in use or in the freezer while waiting for their turn in the fridge. They fit the perfect amount, too!
I honestly had never even thought of making my own baby food before seeing Mallory Ervin make her son's on YouTube, but here I am!
I chose this machine because it steams and blends & it's so easy to use and clean up. Everything can go right in the dishwasher.
I've loved everything I've made in it so far and so has Charlie.
These were another baby shower gift that I was so glad I had stored in Charlie's closet to pull out this past month when he started eating solids. These spoons are just the right length and shape, & the pack of six insures that there are always clean ones in the cabinet.
These bowls are perfect for Charlie's baby food!
They come in five different colors, are durable plastic, wash really well in the dishwasher...and the best part-they're only 59 cents!
Yep, fifty nine cents, so even if something did happen to them they're super easy to replace.

Another favorite is this recipe-I'm actually eating some of these right now as I'm typing!
No-Bake Energy/Lactation Cookie Balls
I found a recipe on Pinterest and wrote it down, but of course I can't find it now to link it, so I'll just share the recipe. These were SO yummy & perfect for snacking on while Chris & I were on our trip to New Orleans. I was trying to make sure my supply stayed up and I don't know if these had anything to do with it, but they were a tasty, relatively healthy treat that were easy to make and transport so I'll definitely be making them again ASAP.
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (but use crunchy if you like that!)
1/2 cup ground flaxseed (can be found at Wal-Mart!)
1 cup of shredded coconut
1/3 cup of honey (it's even better for you if you can find honey local to your area)
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Just combine them all in a bowl, refrigerate for one hour, roll into balls of desired size and then either refrigerate or store in the freezer.

Until next time. . .
xoxo, 
09 10