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Friday, December 26, 2014

Babestagram :: #decemberreflections on Instagram

I've been participating in Susannah Conway's #decemberreflections photo challenge over on Instagram this past month. I thought it'd be fun to pull together some of my favorite snaps so far and I'm really excited to scrapbook these in the future. Hope you're all enjoying this special time as much as I am. See you next year!

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Thursday, December 25, 2014

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Look :: Tremaine and the Great Ones

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Outfit details:
T's footed sleeper - Carter's
My necklace - Falling Whistles
My (wrinkled, oops) top - c/o eShakti
My bracelet - gift from my mom

Brandon's mother's parents are so proud to be great-grandparents now, so of course we had to get photos of all of us while they were in town. We had a lot of fun and definitely enjoyed Pop-Pop's food. It was like Thanksgiving every day.

You may recognize these photos from a post over at my main blog earlier this week; I couldn't help but reveal a peek. (Totally didn't mean to rhyme though, promise.) By the way, you may not see too many posts here this month because I'm concentrating on a big, fun project for you guys! Get on the list to get all the details sent to you as soon as it launches!

*Photos by Megan Burke on October 31, 2014 in Santa Clarita, CA.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Lessons :: Baby Update / Week 11

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Here's what we learned and loved about our little one this past week...

+ To be honest, not much has changed. This is probably going to be a boring update haha but I like to keep these weekly updates going for my own memories. Trey is still eating 3-4 ounces every 3-4 hours during the day and we are all feeding him but it's mostly me.

+ T is still sleeping 6-7 hours a night. Lately he's been sleeping in the living room with Brandon's mom because they like to fall asleep watching movies together ha. He loves anything with lots of colors and sounds, especially music. Musicals are his jam.

+ At his two month doctor's visit, we found out that he's 11 pounds and 23.5 inches long and growing! He's still wearing size 1 diapers and 3-6 month clothing. I don't think that'll change for awhile. I've been getting better at clipping his nails, even though he hates it. He no longer wears socks on his hands but since it's getting cooler out we've been putting socks on his feet!

+ His mood is pretty much always happy! He gets fussy sometimes but it never lasts long. I'm so blessed to have such a wonderful baby. The holidays are more magical than ever now that I have my own little family.

*Photos taken by me, with my phone and edited with VSCO.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Babestagram :: #treytreytrey on IG / Month Two

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These are my three favorite 'grams from the past month. I've been spending most of my days at home but trying to get out on the weekends, which sometimes means picking up dishwasher detergent with B, and other times means celebrating a friend's birthday, depending.

Life is really nice right now, and I'm just trying to embrace all the niceness and enjoy this special season with my new little family. I hope you're happy, too.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Loves :: Mom + Baby Christmas Wishlist

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Here's my guide to the most unique and pretty presents this season...

Subscription boxes // I love getting sub boxes because it's always a surprise, and I love giving them because it takes off the stress of picking out something perfect! You can get subscriptions for anything these days, so there's one for every mama in your life. I've used Beauty Box 5 (for hair + makeup samples), Julep Maven (for nail polish + mani tools), Studio Calico (for scrapbooking supplies), and Stitch Fix (for clothes). You can rest assured that when your friend receives one of these packages, it'll be chock-full of handpicked goodies, and you don't have to do any of the work.

Cute clothes at a cuter price // I've pretty much been broke since the day I graduated college, so buying secondhand is my jam. Yet another reason to love the internet: you can now go thrifting online. I've shopped from thredUP and Twice and adored everything I received. You can spend $20 and get 4 items for the girls on your list (or for yourself). It's crazy. But if you're weird about wearing something that someone else has already worn, check out Zulily. They have new stuff but at super low prices. Either way, you're sure to find something more original than that shirt everyone has from your favorite fast fashion store.

Handmade (by you, or someone else) // I can't help but include Etsy on this list because you just can't go wrong there. You can find anything from soap to shoes to caramel chocolate fudge bars to glasses made from beer bottles, and let's not forget all the awesome jewelry. Personally, I'm keen on the friendship necklaces from Flapper Doodle, shown above. Plus, you can customize them. Too cute.

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Lights + sounds // Babies like anything that light up or make noise, so you really can't go wrong here, but we have this sound machine projector. My mom got us a cute owl night light for Trey's room (I couldn't find it online, but here's a similar one) and this owl mobile too. I also want this adorable turtle light and this Frozen music box. (Yes, I jumped on the Frozen trend train. Let it gooo!)

Something to chew on // Kids like putting stuff in their mouths up until the age of around 7 so anything safely chewable will do. Bloggers seem to be obsessed with giraffes for their babes -- and for good reason, they're totally cute -- so here is a giraffe teething toy and pacifier (and blankets and outfit, just for fun).

Rides + glides // I've read rave reviews about the 4moms bouncer seat and infant tub, along with the ERGObaby carrier. We use a glider by Graco and it's my favorite baby item hands-down. I'm also obsessed with the unicorn rocker I found at Pottery Barn and kinda want it for myself.

Be sure to check out what's in my diaper bag, what's in my hospital bag, my first Bluum box, and my first month favorites for lots more ideas! Happy gifting!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Lessons :: Baby Update / Two Months

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Here's what we learned and loved about our little one this past week...

+ Tremaine is now eating 3-4 ounces every 3-4 hours during the day. I've been breastfeeding him about half the time and using bottles the other half. Pumping and mixing in formula has made feeding a lot easier when Brandon and his mom are home. I'm really grateful to have so much help. It allows us all to get work done while also getting to spend time with each other and Trey. I love working with B and I'm really excited to write more about that over at TLL soon.

+ T was sleeping a good 8-9 hours every night for almost a week straight but then went back to sleeping 6-7 hours. I'm not complaining though; it's still more rest than I got when I was working 60 hours a week wearing suits and heels. He pretty much always sleeps in his swing in our bedroom now which pretty much defeats the purpose of the nursery, but he's going to outgrow it eventually and need to get back to the crib. We'll cross that bridge when we get to it.

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+ He's still wearing size 1 diapers but growing fast. As I said last week, he's tall enough to fit into 3-6 month clothing now but not chubby enough haha. Long and lanky like his daddy! We were putting socks on his hands for awhile because he was scratching himself, but now that he's over 8 weeks old (eek!) I am keeping them off and just trying to stay on top of clipping his nails. He needs to learn how to grab stuff now so we can't keep his hands restrained anymore.

+ His mood is so alert and excited! He's very eager to learn and it's amazing to watch. He just keeps getting cuter and I want to squeeze him all the time.

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*All photos taken by me, with my phone and edited with VSCO.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Life :: What's in my Diaper Bag?

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These are my 12 diaper bag essentials, and all of them can be purchased at Amazon. I've mentioned some of them before but they're worth mentioning again because I use them over and over again!

Without further ado, here are my must-haves...

1) Diaper bag. Obviously, in order to fill your diaper bag, you need a diaper bag. I absolutely love this one by Skip Hop. I put it on my registry and was thrilled when I received it. It's beautiful, roomy and comes with a travel changing pad in case you use any sketchy bathrooms.

2) Diapers. Our favorites are still Pampers Swaddlers, followed by Huggies Snugglers.

3) Wipes. Our favorites are still Pampers Sensitive, followed by Huggies Natural Care.

4) Burp cloths. I use these by Dundee. They're pretty basic, but what more do you need? Trey doesn't spit up often, but they come in handy for any and all spills.

5) Nipple shield. I've been using one by Medela as long as I've been breastfeeding and it's perfect for latch problems.

6) Hooter hider. I use this Bébé au Lait nursing cover if I didn't pump before going out.

7) Bottles. We use BPA-Free Born Free bottles and Trey loves them.

8) Blankets. You never know what to prepare for with SoCal's fickle weather, so we bring a blanket in case there's a sudden breeze or we need to block out the sun.

9) Extra outfit. Diaper explosions tend to only happen when we're not at home, so an extra onesie is crucial.

10) Travel size ointment. This mini version of Boudreaux's Butt Paste is the perfect size for your bag.

11) Pacifier. T's favorite is the Avent Free Flow paci. Others have had trouble staying in his mouth.

12) Carrier. This Boba wrap is one of my favorite baby items. I pop T in it and he falls straight to sleep, which is great for outings or just wanting to be hands-free around the house.

PS: Don't forget to check out my awesome giveaway at my other blog, c/o Stratejoy!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Loves :: My First Bluum Box

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I pretty much lived and breathed theatre in high school and college. (If you don't believe me, I'll gladly sing Wicked for you in its entirety.) I've somehow been able to keep in touch with a few of my old acting buddies, one of them being Victoria. She couldn't make it to my Michigan baby shower back in June, but I was super excited to receive a package from her in the mail. She knew how much I adore subscription boxes (we've enjoyed bonding over our love of Julep), so she ordered me a month of Bluum!

My favorite thing about Bluum is that there are goodies for both mom and baby. You also tell them how old your child is when you sign up, so you'll receive age-appropriate items. If you have more than one kid, you can list all of them and even upload a photo for each. That way, the Bluum staff knows exactly who is receiving the package and can customize it for you! You don't get to see what you're getting in advance, but I liked most of what I received. This is definitely a service I'll be signing up for in the future. It really made a great gift, so if you have a pregnant friend, I strongly recommend it!

A monthly membership is $29 per month, and has a $40+ value per box. Here's what I got in my first shipment. Thanks again, Victoria!

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Anna Naturals Smooth Mama Vanilla Spice lotion // I normally scrub myself from head to toe with a loofah and lavender body wash, then slather on this lotion after showering. It's super yummy!

Things to do Now that You're a Mom book // This book is really cute. I keep it next to my rocker in Trey's room and flip through while I nurse. It's a nice break from scrolling through my phone.

Blum Naturals Daily Cucumber towelettes // The only item that I really disliked. I had to use two towelettes to get my eyeliner off and it has a weird smell that barely resembled cucumber. Not a fan!

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Skinfix Diaper Rash balm // Since the container is so small, I keep this one in our diaper bag. So far, T hasn't had a bad reaction, and it has a pleasant smell which is a plus for me.

Playtex BPA Free Premium Nurser bottle // I absolutely love this bottle! It clicks into a curved position which is so comfortable for feeding. T latches onto it easily, too. My only complaint is that the inserts are disposable, so it could become costly. We don't use a bottle too often, but in the future this may change.

B Kids Dedee Cozy temperature tester // To be honest I haven't tried this yet, only because we don't have a reason to. We use a mesh bather in the sink for T, but once he's in a traditional tub I'm sure it'll come in handy. Plus, it's cute. Who can say no to a multi-functional rubber ducky?

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If you have any questions about my experience with Bluum, feel free to shoot me a tweet! I'd also love to know if you tried it yourself or if there are any other sub boxes that you're into.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Life :: How I "Do It All" (Guest Post)

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I wonder what my face looks like when someone asks me 'but how do you do it ALL!?'

No seriously.

People ask. I don't get it.

I'm not supermom by any means. I know people with more than two kids and do FAR more than I do. For instance, a fellow blogger and youtuber that I love reading/watching, Emily, at The Freckled Fox has 4 kids under 4, blogs, posts to Youtube and stays at home raising those 4 little munchkins! I'm sure she gets it ALL the time, HOW.DO.YOU.DO.IT.

I'm here to tell you something.

We don't do it all.

No one does.

My house is a freaking mess 85% of the time. If we know someone is coming over, Jer is usually frantically throwing toys in anything that will hold them, conceal them or cover them up.

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We've been using paper plates a lot lately. And while I hate the waste factor what I don't hate is the 90% less dishes that I have to do that night morning, because if I'm being real with you, I don't do that shit till the next morning on most occasions.

You're probably thinking, 'okay fine, I didn't mean EVERYTHING, I just mean, how do you edit videos, write blogs, cook, clean, go to work, manage two kids AND have time for your fiance.'

I don't.

That's the truth.

Jer and I will argue if he thinks I'm spending too much time on my computer or phone, which I'm not going to lie, sometimes I do! When I'm at work all day doing work things, and then come home and do mom things, sometimes I just want to stare aimlessly at my laptop and Pin my heart out, edit pictures and videos and ignore all other things around me. I'm still trying to find a balance between it all, because it's ALL important to me; work, motherhood and spending quality time with Jer while still finding time for my hobbies. Sometimes I have to put the phone and camera away and just remember that live moves far too fast.

Some things that I have found helpful is I will edit things while I take my lunch break at work. I'll answer emails and scroll through Instagram while I sit in Tracen's room and wait for him to fall asleep. Lately I've been trying to not touch my computer till it's after dinner and it's 'unwind' time, meaning the boys relax on the couch and watch a show before we read books and hit the hay. I will then try and edit and write things later at night. I also have about 25 posts in my draft box. I work on them as I go and I use the 'schedule' function in Blogger to schedule posts through out the week. 

Sometimes I let my kids make HUGE forts out of the couch cushions. This drives Jer IN.SANE. It doesn't bother me as much because it keeps them busy and I can then do some light house work or blogging while still being in the same room they are. I will also get up early to work on a video, blog post and start some laundry before anyone is up. There's something so satisfying about being up before everyone else is and I can get things accomplished!

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While it's a complete compliment when people make these comments, I do want them to know that don't be fooled by my makeup that day or the fact that my house is picked up. If you look in any closet I'm sure you'll find something that definitely doesn't belong there and I am probably rocking 3 day old hair with the same tank top from the day before. 

When all else fails, chug some coffee.

Chelsea is a full-time working mother of two little boys. While she enjoys being the only lady in the house it can be a little stressful! She writes for her personal blog, East Willow Grove and also produces weekly vlogs on her Youtube channel to ensure there will always be family videos to watch!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Lessons :: Baby Update / Week 7

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Here's what we learned and loved about our little one this past week...

+ In my last update, I said that he would get his last feeding at 11pm and not wake to eat again until 6am. I also said in this post that I wasn't ready to supplement with formula yet. Well, I think I jinxed everything because he started waking up more often again and having a hard time settling down before bed. However, I've started mixing a bottle consisting of half breast milk, half formula and that seems to do the trick at night. He doesn't even notice a difference and has no problem taking it. He seems more relaxed and sleeps longer. I'm knocking on wood after I finish typing this sentence though!

+ Like I said, he used to be fussy when it came time for sleeping but it's getting a lot better. There are good days and not-so-good days, and that's just life. I think I'm also getting used to his crying and it doesn't make me panic as much. When he was first born, it scared me and stressed me out -- I was always worried that I was doing something wrong. Now I know that he's just trying to communicate and it doesn't mean that there's an emergency situation. Even though I was told that before, I'm finally getting it. Brandon has been really helpful at night, as always. On good nights I get about 6 hours of straight sleep. I'll take it. We also received this swing as a gift from Brandon's grandmother and aunt which has been an absolute lifesaver! It rocks Trey right to sleep. I can't recommend it enough!

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+ It's pretty much a 90% chance that T won't freak out when it comes to diapering now, which is quite the improvement! We are still using the same diapers and wipes most of the time. Nothing too exciting to report on the poop front.

+ Trey has started wearing 3 month clothing and can even fit in some 6 month but only length wise. He still isn't chubby enough to fill them in but he's very long! His frog Halloween costume had a little extra fluffy fabric and he looked SO adorable! If I do say so myself.

+ His mood has been so happy and sweet and friendly. He is having a wonderful time with his great-grandparents who are visiting!

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Thanks for letting me share these little details here. If you want more useful business/blog/life stuff, head on over to The Loudmouth Lifestyle!

*All photos taken by me, with my phone and edited with VSCO.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Babestagram :: #treytreytrey on IG / Month One

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I couldn't help but share a few Instagrams from T's first month or so of life. Speaking of which, I'm hosting my first #photoaday challenge and I'd love for you to join! You can follow me here, and get details here!

*All photos taken by me, with my phone and edited with VSCO.
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