Fashion Friday-

Jumping on “The Cold Shoulder” Trend

Although the product in this post was sponsored by the boutique the opinions expressed are entirely my own. #sponsored #ad

I realize that I am completely late to this party, and yes I am regretting taking this long to join along. This whole cold-shoulder trend is pretty freaking awesome! I was hesitant to try it because honestly it felt a little dated to me at first, but then I saw this gorgeous top from The Jay and Gray Boutique. Basically it was a no-brainer at that point.

DSC_0859.JPG

First off I am loving this trend! It’s so fun and flirty without showing a ton of skin which, as a mom, I love. This top is an added bonus since it also has a high-low hem in a flow-y cut. Um dream come true for this wanna-be stylish mom.

Being trendy but still having things function in my everyday life is always a challenge for me, and I think my fellow Mommas can agree to that. To be real here for a minute, I totally threw those shoes on to take the pictures otherwise I was in my flat sandals all day. Comfort is king here people!

DSC_0861 (2)DSC_0862

If you are loving this top make sure to check out Jay and Gray Boutique because they have so many fun prints, colors, and styles which are perfect for us stylish moms.

Keep on rocking your style ladies (with sticky toddler, drool-y baby, or sassy teen in toe!)

Oh and I almost forgot! Here’s 10% off your entire purchase!

SHOPJG

Let me know what you find!

Love Always,

Sam

Camping

Prep for Camping with a Baby

Alright so we are braving a weekend in the great outdoors with our 6 month old. Naturally being the excessive planner I am, I’m already prepping for the trip even though its 2 weeks away. I’ve come up with a bit of a checklist for just the baby. My husband is the type that believes in minimal packing, so this is my attempt at this (they’re are still in fact things he finds unnecessary). I have found a few helpful lists on the ever wonderful Pinterest, but I think that they include too much; we are “roughing” it after all.

  • Bathing Suits (2) I want her to have a clean one free of dirt for both days
  • Onesies (plenty of them to keep her clean)
  • Hat (just one; there’s no need for more)
  • Hoodie (Prefect for snuggling by the campfire)
  • Sunglasses
  • Socks (for cool mornings and evenings)
  • Bottles
  • Bink aka Pacifier
  • Formula (I plan on bringing slightly more than I think because I don’t want a hungry baby)
  • 3 Burp Clothes (1 per day with an extra)
  • Baby Food Pouch (convenient feeding to keep up on her food without needing a highchair)
  • Diapers
  • Swimmer Diapers (we’re going to a lake)
  • Wipes
  • Diaper Cream
  • Pack n Play (this one my hubby is totally against so we will see if it comes with us)
  • Blanket
  • Toys (plastic ones that are easy to clean)
  • Fitted sheet (to put over pack n play to create shade and keep out bugs)
  • Wash clothes (make shift bath)
  • Towels (2)
  • Baby Soap
  • 3-4 Gallons of Water
  • Sunscreen
  • Infant Tylenol
  • Infant Benedryl (just in case)
  • Warm PJs
  • Front Pack
  • Super Awesome Camping Apparel (i.e The Littlest Sidekick) Stay Tuned for Little Miss Charlotte modeling some of their adorable items!

DSC_0693.JPG

I’m trying to pack minimally because we are in fact tent camping. Although we are bringing more than we would normally I still want to keep in mind that camping is about returning to nature, so that means leaving behind the luxury items.

What are your must haves for camping with babies/kids?

Love Always,

Sam

IMG_0222

Why My Husband and I Didn’t Celebrate Our Anniversary.

You might have noticed over on Instagram that my husband and I’s wedding anniversary was Tuesday; we’ve been married 3 years now. Besides that little post and each of us verbally wishing the other a “Happy Anniversary” we didn’t do a thing to celebrate (I know gasp in shock). My mom even commented, “Wow, you’ve guys are already at the point, huh?” Well my answer is, no; we are not at the point where we don’t care about each other.

We’ve been married a whole 3 years, and yes I am proud of that time together. We have accomplished and been through a lot, however its only 3 years. Is it really necessary to celebrate every. single. year? In all honesty, that sounds a little exhausting. Sometimes in this new world of social media there can be pressure to prove your love to the world. You see couples doing vow renewals, epic vacations, fancy dinners for every occasion in their life and they fill your feed with their gorgeous photos together. It can be easy to feel like if you don’t show the world of social media all your perfect celebrations together then you must not have a stable marriage. I beg to argue the opposite. I love my husband to death and I love our marriage, but I like to think we show our affection and appreciation regularly.

IMG_0347IMG_7176

Maybe if we had more financial freedom we would have gone out to a nice dinner and left the little one with a sitter.  Or maybe we would have done the same thing. All I know is that my husband buying me flowers out of expectation and habit isn’t what I want or need to know he loves being married to me. I want to feel loved on the days that don’t matter on the calendar because those moments always seem to be a heck of a lot more memorable. I want authentic little signs of appreciation and love instead of the forced romance because its our anniversary.

What are your thoughts on celebrating anniversaries every year? Do you have any special traditions with your spouse?

Love Always,

Sam

Upon a lovely little life (3)

A Surprising Compliment

Hello Lovelies!

I just wanted to pop in and say first off that all of you Mommas are amazing and doing a wonderful job at this crazy journey called motherhood (just in case no one has told you today).

The other day I was at Nordstrom buying some makeup with my daughter on my hip (because sometimes the stroller is just not worth the effort). Any who, the clerk was ringing me up when she noticed my daughter smiling at her (Charlotte loves to ham it up for people). She gave out the typical comments that us moms (love to hear but) hear all the time; you know “oh, she’s cute” and etc. And then came THE compliment.

She looked at me and asked, “Is she yours?”

Now at first I was a little taken aback and frankly a little perturbed. Well yes she’s mine I carried her for 9 months, delivered her, and continue to soothe her but of course she looks exactly like her daddy. I, however, simply responded with a polite yes and a smile. Then she proceeded to ask, “Oh my you’re so thin to have a baby this young.”

You guys at first I took it weird but of course smiled and thanked her, and then we went on our way to finish errands. It wasn’t until later that evening that it hit me how much it meant to me to hear that.

I realize that I am naturally on the small side, and I always have been. That being said my body changed a lot in my eyes after having my daughter (keywords being my eyes). My hips spread, I can’t seem to lose the pooch, and don’t even get me started on post-breastfeeding breasts. Sometimes you lose a little bit of your “old” identity after having a baby, and it becomes hard to see past your role as a mom or your new “mom-figure.” This woman assuming my daughter wasn’t mine actually felt great!

She saw me as just me.

She didn’t see the bags, the added weight and width, or the all consuming position of mom. She didn’t see a wife, a dog-mom, or a mom of a baby. She just saw me.

Her comment made me realize that strangers don’t know what I looked like before the baby; they just see now. The outside doesn’t always assume as much as we think. I need to do the same with my body. Forget the past and just see it for what it is now, and love it. Easier said then done but I’m going to try!

What’s the best compliment you have ever heard from a stranger?

Love Always,

Sam

DSC_0242 (3)_SB

Fashion Friday: Instagram Round-Up

I realize that is now the 8th of July, but the weather here has been anything but summer-like so my Instagram round-up is going to be for June.

Below are a collection of my favorite looks for the month. I hope that you can use them as inspiration for your upcoming outfit planning!

IMG_7565IMG_7566IMG_7567IMG_7568IMG_7569IMG_7570

What are some of your favorite summer trends?

Love Always,

Sam

Fashion Link Up: Favorite Accessories

Collage - accessories

DSC_0752 (2)

Hey Lovelies today I partnered up with Elle from Living in Color and Jacqueline from Stylin’ In St Louis for their #SpotlightWeekly. I’m styling my favorite accessory a statement necklace. If you follow me on Instagram then you already know I love a great necklace! It completes any outfit no matter how simple.  Read the guidelines below then head on over to their blogs to add a link to a blog post about your favorite accessory. DSC_0758DSC_0759 (3)DSC_0763 (2)

Link-Up Guidelines:

We kindly ask that you follow the two hosts: Elle from Living in Color on Bloglovin’, Jacqueline from Stylin’ In St Louis via Bloglovin’ , and our guest host (that’s me).

Use the button provided on Larissa or Jacqueline’s side bar or link back to the link-up on your blog. (Feel free to leave your links here as well in the comments section.)

Enjoy reading other blogs and make new blogger friends!

Love Always,
Sam

Road Trippin’ With a Baby

We survived our first road trip with the little one. I call that a parenting a triumph and milestone for my husband and I. Now let me be real with you and say that there were definitely a few times when I was on the verge of ripping my hair out. Here are a few things that worked for us and kept all my hair firmly attached (messy but attached).

IMG_6743

Let the Baby Sleep and Drive

I tried to time the day with my daughter to where she would be ready for a nap when we were loading up and heading out. Our plan was to drive until she woke up and pray that we made it to our destination without a meltdown. This seemed to work great for us on the way there and she woke up just before we arrived. For the way home she wasn’t as ready for a nap and we paid the consequences. Picture a full blown “I hate my car seat” meltdown with an hour left to drive. Lesson learned: leave later with a tired baby.

Bring a Partner

Having two of us meant that one could drive and one could (attempt to) soothe baby, feed the baby or just offer moral support for the relentless screaming. Not having to face a very unhappy baby alone was seriously a lifesaver.

Have a Bottle Ready

We bottle feed our daughter (see my post on why here) and so we had a bottle made and easy to access in the car. On the way to our destination she woke up just before arriving and was hungry. We saved ourselves from an impending explosion of pissed off baby by having a bottle ready to feed her in the car. Boom happy baby, happy mommy and daddy.

Put Their Favorite Toy in Their Car Seat

My daughter has this little giraffe rattle-like toy that she finds super interesting, plus she loves putting it in her mouth (win-win for a 6 month old). This was just another meltdown prevention tactic that worked for short spurts of time. Anytime with no screaming in a moving vehicle is good.

Let Them Nap

We arrived to our destination past her bedtime plus she had been sleeping the way down so she was up late that night! Of course my daughter doesn’t know what sleeping in is so she was up at 5:30 am like usual. Now normally she takes two naps per day, morning and afternoon. The day after we arrived, however, I threw her nap schedule out the window. Instead I simply took cues from her and put her down to nap when she was tired. This provided with my happy little baby when she was awake, which was perfect because she met lots of family that day.

Overall our first mini road trip with our 5 and a half month old went pretty well. We learned plenty for the next one though.

What are some of your road trip tips?

Love Always,

Sam

Summer Tank Styling Ideas

Fashion Friday

I’m back with this series! Its been a busy couple of weeks so I have missed this the last two weeks (read here more about my absence). Summer is full swing here in the Pacific Northwest and so I thought I would get back to Fashion Friday with some styling ideas for this summer staple.

I found mine pretty recently at Target, but really these outfits can be translated to your favorite sleeveless blouse that you already own. The tank I styled here is a woven material with some detailing so that it can be easily styled up or down.

First up, style it casually with denim shorts and a casual necklace. This is basically a mother’s uniform for the summer. Its super easy, super comfortable, and stylish too. You know the dream mix for us moms.

DSC_0709

Second outfit is styled with a denim or chambray skirt (mine is also a current Target find). This look is still casual and easy but is a little dressier then just denim shorts. What I love about this outfit is its still super easy but you can do lunch or something a little nicer without putting in a ton of thought or effort.

DSC_0716.JPG

Last outfit idea is paired with a neutral skirt with some structure. Mine is older from Loft but what I love is that the colors are very neutral and there is minimal going on. Its an A-line skirt with structure so that any top tucks well into it, especially an easy breezy summer tank.

DSC_0724.JPG

Happy Summer Lovelies!

img_7522

Sometimes We Can’t Do It All

I’ve been a little MIA lately from my blog and other social media accounts. I’m trying to grow this space of mine on the internet into something more than just hobby, but honestly that is what it is right now. I will be frank with you all tell you that I do get some perks or compensations from time to time for this blog of mine but it is in no way a business for me, and for that reason I feel able to take breaks from time to time.

My first priority in my life will always be my family. I know, I know we always tell our fellow moms to make themselves a priority too but lets be honest with each other for a second. Most moms will say the same thing. Family (kids and hubby) come first before anything else.

I love connecting with you lovelies and sharing my stories, thoughts, opinions, concerns and hearing back from you the same. Sometimes though, life can get a little too overwhelming and somethings gotta give, right? Well social media and my little blog seem to be the easiest to give up in these times of stress or busy-ness, and I think it is because these things are solely for my own benefit.

This little blog makes me happy and allows me to express myself. That’s it. Sure we get cute little perks (again that I love), but my daughter doesn’t know the difference right now and my hubby just smiles at my excitement. They are again just for me. I obviously can’t give up my day job (you know the whole thing motherhood thing), my dog wouldn’t be too pleased to give up her walks, and the hubby likes to eat dinner, so I make the cuts to accommodate.

I love taking care of my little family so for a while it doesn’t feel like much to give up the things I enjoy. Before long, though, I start to miss it. I’m returning to the crazy(er) balancing act to include pieces of my day for me. Sometimes laundry won’t get down right away because I’m taking back some nap times to write this blog and chat through social media. I miss my outlet and more importantly I miss having a little part of my day be just for me.

What is something during your day that you do for you?

Love Always,

Sam

Upon a lovely little life (2)

But Your Baby Doesn’t Even Understand Yet.

My daughter is 5 months old. She giggles, smiles, rolls over, and kicks her legs like crazy but she still doesn’t have much understanding of the world around her. Often times I hear from friends and family “Why are you doing that [insert activity]? She doesn’t even understand.” There is a very simple answer to that question.

She will understand and it makes her smile with curiosity.

We’ve been reading to my daughter since she was about 2 weeks old (see my post on our love of books here). She couldn’t see or focus on the pictures, and she had no idea what was being said, but the sound of my or my husband’s voice soothed her. Now at 5 months old she still has no idea what the story is about, but now she enjoys the pictures and still the sound of our voice. We will keep reading and she will keep learning until one day she is reading her own stories. We will have a bond and a relationship that was fostered partly by that constant bit of time together, that will grown and flourish into other aspects of her life.

I read to my daughter because I like it. I read to my daughter because she is learning. I read to my daughter because it bonds us. I read to my daughter because it sparks her curiosity. And I don’t care that she doesn’t understand yet.

I’m a first time mom, and all of the milestones are so exciting to me. I can’t wait to hit the next one (while simultaneously crying over her getting older. My poor husband). I can’t wait for park adventures, children’s museum trips, and just general exploring, and I don’t wait. We do exploring that my little girl can enjoy now.

We just recently went to the zoo where she may not have seen or looked at the animals much but all of the trees and new sights were so exciting to her. She looked up in wonder and awe at the branches filled with bright green leaves over head. She laughed at the children playing in front of her. She smiled the entire time and slept so soundly that night. Yes, she has no idea that she saw elephants, lions, and bears but she did get to take in things that were new and exciting to her. In my opinion that is the definition of a successful day.

DSC_0697DSC_0703DSC_0705

I will keep taking her to places that she “doesn’t understand” because she’s curious and I always want to foster her curiosity. No matter what her age.

That little smile and curious eyes are more important to me than the judgmental stares with wondering looks that say “that baby doesn’t even understand.”

Have you ever experienced this sort of sentiment from others about your little ones? How did you respond?

Love Always,

Sam