Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Mom Style: Winter

Ok guys, I know I'm not a fashion blogger and most of you don't (ok maybe none) follow me for fashion advice :).  I'm five months postpartum and still carrying around 30 extra pounds of baby weight (I gained 50 pounds total during pregnancy).  Shopping for and dressing myself isn't exactly my favorite thing in the world right now!

I have been pregnant or nursing for a good portion of the last five years.  That's a long time to share your body with other humans!  Sometimes I feel like I've lost touch with myself, that I don't have much of an identity beyond "mommy".  But!  One of my goals for this year is to make myself a priority.

I've had a really hard time dressing my postpartum body this (third) time around.  The weight just isn't falling off!  Breastfeeding doesn't seem to help me shed any weight and my milk supply is too sensitive to do any major dieting.  While I'd love to lose the baby weight and get back to my old self, I'm also very aware of the season of life that I'm in.  I won't always have babies to distract me from working out!  I'm ok losing the weight slowly and making my babes my number one priority right now (as long as I fit myself somewhere in that list of priorities!).

I've been trying to make small changes lately like washing my face before bed and waking up before my kids for some "me time".  I also recently bought some clothes that fit my postpartum body!  I can't imagine I'm the only postpartum mama that's been looking for some flattering clothes to make myself feel a bit better so I thought I'd share!

If you find yourself in a similar situation with postpartum weight, please please give yourself some grace!  It won't always be like this.  Your baby won't always need you like they do now and at some point you're going to have a lot more time for yourself.  Remember that this is a season of life where you aren't the focus, your baby is... and that's ok!  I couldn't have said those words after my first two babies, but have learned to give myself time and grace this time around :).



A few favorite things worth an extra mention... 
Jeans  /  Leggings  /  Slub knit tee  /  Basic long sleeve tee  /  Favorite tee of all time (runs a little big imo)  /  Nursing friendly sweatshirt  /  Shoes  /  Shoes  /  Favorite ever mascara (because so many of you have asked!)

My clothing picks




Monday, January 22, 2018

Five Books I Want To Read This Year

Photo by my dear friend  Lindsey Wiatt Photography

At the very beginning of this year, Eric and I sat down and made goals for the year.  We split our goals into four categories: family goals, marriage goals, parenting goals, and individual goals.  Within minutes we filled out an entire sheet of paper!  It was such a great exercise and was also a nice moment to stop and focus on what matters most to us.  Most of the things we wrote down were goals, but some were our hopes and dreams.  We taped the list up on a shelf in our closet so that we see it every morning.

One of the individual goals I wrote down for myself was to start reading books again.  As in books for myself, not story time for my kiddos.  Before I had children, I was an avid reader.  Since having children, I haven't read much beyond picture books.  Finding time to read isn't easy when you have little ones.  Over the last few weeks I've been trying to find a little time to read every day and I've realized that early in the morning is usually the only time I can squeeze it in.  Waking up before my kids and giving up that little bit of sleep can be rough, but I always feel better when I start my day doing a few small things for myself (like reading, showering, and exercising).

I've had a list of books that I've been wanting to read for awhile and I'm hoping to read them all this year!  I want to read these books in hopes of bettering myself as a wife, mother, and overall happy person.  I would love to squeeze in a fun book too, I just haven't found one that I want to read yet!

Five Books I Want To Read This Year

1. From This Day Forward by Craig and Amy Groeschel
This is actually the book I am reading right now.  Our church is doing a five week marriage series and this book ties along with the sermons.  While I am very happy in my marriage, I believe there is always room for improvement!  I love being reminded to live in the 'right now' and not to take our everyday exchanges for granted.

2. Hope Unfolding by Becky Thompson
One of my best friends bought me this book as a gift and I actually started it and then had to pause to read the marriage book that our church is reading.  I cannot wait to get back to this book.  Hope Unfolding is a grace filled truth for the mamas soul.  It reminds mamas that even though they answer to little people all day, they are not alone.  That tomorrow is a new day, but you can find hope and purpose in today.  Becky Thompson also wrote a book called Love Unending that is about rediscovering your marriage in the midst of motherhood, that one looks really good too!

I so need to read this book.  Sometimes I get so excited about things, I get caught up in making everything bigger and better.  One of our goals this year is to live more simply.  To focus on what really matters most and pour our hearts and souls into that.

This book is the opposite of the latest parenting strategy or techniques, but focuses on leaning on God and giving ourselves grace.  

5. The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson
I've heard amazing things about this book!  It is about praying circles around your biggest dreams and greatest fears.  I cannot wait to read it!

I am also reading a daily devotional called 365 Devotions to Embrace What Matters Most by John Michalak.  It's only a page a day so it's been really easy to keep up with!


Friday, January 12, 2018

A Day in The Life // A Photo an Hour

I've gotten a lot of questions recently about what our daily routine is like.  I decided I would show you guys by taking a photo every hour.  My friend Amber does this on her blog from time to time and I always love getting a glimpse into her days!  The photos aren't pretty-they're just quick iPhone snaps, but I thought it would be a fun way to share what an average day looks like around here.  I took these photos on Wednesday (so two days ago!).  Please let me know if you have any questions in a comment below!

I woke up for the day at 5:45am and took a quiet moment for myself.  I read my devotional and approximately three sentences of this book before Briar woke up to nurse.  I nursed him back to sleep and decided it was time to start the day.

I spent 25 minutes (three miles) on the elliptical (we recently got an elliptical and put it in our bedroom-it looks awful, but I actually use it when I have to wake up and look at it).  I hopped in the shower, started a load of laundry, and then went downstairs to make myself some coffee.  Every morning when I go downstairs I fill the diffuser with some happy/peaceful oils, make myself coffee, pour the girls milk, and get Briar his reflux meds.  When I got back upstairs, Phayre was awake so I brought her into my room.

Phayre always wakes up first and it's typically the only alone time I get with her, so I tend to spend more time chatting and playing with her than actually getting ready.  We sit on the floor to do our makeup together (thank goodness for Just Like Mommy Cosmetics!) and she always helps me choose my outfit. Briar woke up around 7:30am so I got P and B dressed before waking Sloan up (and by dressed, I mean I put B in new pajamas because he's a baby and needs to be cozy on rainy days).

I got Sloan dressed and brought the kids downstairs.  The girls ate breakfast while I packed Sloan's backpack and snack.  We were out the door by 8:25 and headed to Sloan's preschool.  We got there five minutes early (yesssss, go me) so we had a quick dance party before walking Sloan into school.  

After dropping Sloan off at school, we headed to Trader Joes.  But before we could go inside, it was time to nurse B!  I nursed B in the car while Phayre watched Despicable Me 3.  We grocery shopped at T Joes and then headed to Costco.

We finished up our Costco shopping, spent some time jumping in puddles, and then ran into Babies R' Us to get B some sleep sacks.  Briar slept in his carseat through all of these stops.

We ran home to drop everything off and unload groceries.  I switched the laundry and then we hopped right back into the car to go pick Sloany up.  As soon as we got to Sloan's school (we were about 15 minutes early) Briar needed to nurse again.

Sloan is out of school at 12:15 so we were back home by 12:30.  The girls ate lunch while I unloaded and loaded the dishwasher.

After lunch, Sloan went up to her room for quiet time.  I read P books in her room and put her down for nap.  Then I rocked Briar to sleep and tried to catch up on emails and Instagram DM's on my phone.

As soon as I got P and B down, I ran downstairs and did a quick clean up and swept the floors.  When I was finished, I came back upstairs and grabbed Sloan and brought her into my room.  I try really hard to give her some individual attention each day while her brother and sister nap.  We did puzzle blocks on my bedroom floor for about 15-20 minutes together and then I started folding laundry while she continued playing.

Briar woke up, I nursed him, and then he blew out all over my bed (it's always on my bed!!!).  I cleaned him up and then Sloan snuggled him while I finished up folding laundry.  Phayre woke up so we went downstairs for snack.

The girls ate their snack while we played in the playroom (they also both demanded to put their pajamas on since B was wearing new pajamas).  

Briar always takes an evening nap around 5:00pm.  Since it's a shorter nap, I usually nap him in his swing.  Once he's asleep, I start making dinner.

Eric typically gets home around 6pm and we eat dinner.  He had to work late on Wednesday so it was just the kids and I.  Briar of course woke up the moment I sat down so I nursed him and then enjoyed plantain nachos (My friend Liz gave me this recipe, here is the recipe if you'd like to try it!  I omit cayenne pepper and I do not make the plantain chips (I buy them at Trader Joes).  Oh and I add a little cheese on top).

I cleaned up dinner and got all three babes in the bath.  I take them out one at a time (Briar, then Phayre, then Sloan) and lotion and dress them.  We all piled into P's bed for books.

We read books and then I kissed P goodnight and tucked her in.  I took Sloan to her room and tucked her in.  And then I rocked Briar to sleep!  Phew mama was tired!

Eric got home when I was rocking Briar to sleep so he was able to sneak into each of the girls rooms and tell them goodnight before they fell asleep.  Once I got B down, Eric and I watched This is Us and then we went to bed!  I forgot to take a picture, but I'm sure you can all imagine what two tired parents look like watching a show :).

So that's it!  A day in the life around here is FULL, but it's so so good and full of love.  Let me know if you have any questions for me!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Save Your Winter Lips with Carmex!

This is a sponsored post in paid partnership with Carmex.  I have used the product for years and all opinions expressed are 100% my own.  Thank you for supporting my blog, my family, and the brands we love!

I have super chapped lips all year long, but they're at their absolute worst in the cold winter months.  I remember when I was little, my lips would get so chapped and I would lick them constantly.  The licking would only make them worse and soon enough I would have red chapped skin all around my mouth.  As an adult, I have been an avid Carmex user (because I certainly can no longer pull off the red chapped skin all around my mouth look!).  The original tube is my go to, I have them everywhere-my diaper bag, my purse, car, etc.  It's super smooth and cooling, it also provides a protective barrier to help promote healing.

A few weeks ago I had major flashbacks when Sloan woke up with red chapped skin all around her mouth.  Poor girl got her mamas chapped lips and she had licked them all night.  I immediately grabbed my Carmex and put it all over her mouth and the chapped skin around her mouth.  The next time we were at Target I let her pick out her own chapstick and she chose the Carmex comfort care sugar plum stick.  It's packed with natural ingredients and contains a blend of oatmeal and cold pressed antioxidant rich seed oils.  It cleared her chapped lips and skin up so quickly!  I've gotten her a couple tubes now to keep in her school backpack and bedroom.  P chose the Carmex daily care strawberry stick which smells really yummy and has SPF 15.  She obsessively puts it on and it ends up on about 75% of her face :).

If you suffer from cold sores (which can be especially bad during the cold winter months and the hot summer months), make sure to try Carmex Cold Sore Treatment.  The cold sore treatment helps minimize the appearance and promote healing of cold sores and fever blisters.  It treats the seven symptoms of cold sores: pain, itchiness, dryness, cracking, redness, scabbing, and irritation.

Out with the sparkly princess lip glosses, in with moisturizing products that actually heal and protect!   If you suffer from dry chapped clips, make sure you pick up some Carmex.  There are several types and flavors to choose from and it's great for the whole family.

There are also some coupons on their website!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Slow Snow Days

The ol' blog has been quiet since Briar was born four months ago.  I start countless posts and never get around to finishing them... A habit I am really hoping to kick.  It's one of my 2018 goals to bring my blog back to life!  I want to share about our favorite products and processes, our everyday life, and everything else in between.

Last weekend we got to spend the weekend with some of our favorite people, in one of our favorite places.  My best friend Lexi (who is also Sloan's Godmother) has a family cabin up on Mt. Hood and we will pretty much drop everything when we get an invite up!  Lexi and I have been friends since high school and her family has pretty much taken Eric and I in, we love them so much!  

I love going up to the cabin because the snow is so beautiful, but mostly because all we do is eat, drink, and spend time as a family.  There aren't floors to be mopped, lawns to be mowed, or laundry to be folded.  It's only about an hour away from our house, but it feels worlds away from our busy everyday life.  Plus anytime I get to spend time with Lexi and watch our babies play is kind of the best ever!

I know someday these are going to be the weekends I long to have back so I'm going to soak them in every time we get the chance!

Monday, January 8, 2018

Safe Sleep with The Halo Bassinest Swivel Sleeper Luxe Plus

Well somehow time has flashed before my eyes and our little guy is four months old!  Briar may be our third baby, but when it comes to babies and sleep there is always some mama anxiety.  You want to make sure they're comfortable, safe, and sleeping through the night.  Well I've figured out the first two... we're definitely still working on the sleeping through the night part ;).

Since we brought B home from the hospital, he has been sleeping in the HALO Bassinest swivel sleeper luxe plus next to our bed.  I love this bassinet guys!  It looks nice in our room, is super convenient for those nighttime feedings, and keeps our little man safe while he sleeps.

The HALO Bassinest swivel sleeper luxe plus swivels 360 degrees so you can bring baby close to your bed.  The base of the bassinet slides about halfway under your bed and you can adjust the height so that it comes right up to your bed.  The 360 degree swivel allows you to easily get in and out of bed.  The side wall easily lowers so you can pull baby close for nighttime feedings (also helpful when you're trying to gently place them back in the bassinet once they're back to sleep).

We went with the Luxe series because of the added features.  My favorite feature is the floor light.  It's just enough light so that I can see while I'm nursing, but not bright enough to really wake up Briar or disturb Eric while he's sleeping.  Other features include 2 levels of vibration, soothing sounds and lullabies, and a back to bed reminder that reminds you to put baby back to bed 30 minutes after you've started feeding.

We also used the Bassinest newborn insert.  It provides a narrower sleep surface so that baby feels more secure.  It's made with a breathable mesh fabric so that baby feels comfortable and secure, but also stays safe.

I cannot believe we'll soon be packing up our bassinet and moving Briar into his nursery.  Why do they have to grow so fast??  I so love having him close to me at night! I have really loved the HALO Bassinest swivel sleeper luxe plus, if you're looking for a great bassinet make sure to check it out!  I hope your baby loves it as much as Briar and I have.

Now a little trip down memory lane...

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

A Year in Review: 2017

Happy New Year friends!!

I decided it's about time I dust off the old blog!

With a new year ahead of me, I feel so excited and hopeful.  I can't wait to see what this year has in store for my family.  2017 was SUCH an eventful year for us.  We had some of our highest highs, but also some of our lowest lows.  If I'm being honest, I am really just looking forward to a less eventful, but still full and fun 2018!  I wanted to share a quick recap of our 2017, before my tired mama brain forgets things :).

We started out the year full of joy and hope and wonder because we found out we were pregnant with our third baby!  Along with that joy came A LOT of puking.  I was so so sick during my first trimester.  So basically the first few months of the year consisted of take out, way too much tv, and piles and piles and piles of laundry.

At the end of January we told Eric's mom that we were expecting.  She was so surprised and excited for us.  We all hugged and shed a few happy tears.  We had no idea it would be our last conversation with her.  Eric's mom got sick and after an agonizing week in the hospital she passed away.  She was only 57 and truly the best grandmother I could have ever imagined for my children.  I can't even write about it now without crying... it was just so unexpected and tragic.  We miss you everyday Carrie and find peace knowing you are our angel and always watching over our family.  We love you so much!!

Shortly after Carrie passed away, we announced that we were pregnant.  Our friends and families excitement truly lifted us up in a time of such deep sorrow.  The little baby in my belly was our light, a light that shined down on us and helped us move forward and heal.

We found out that third baby was a BOY!!!

We traveled up to Seattle to visit friends.

We went to California to visit family and celebrate Sloan's fourth birthday in Disneyland!

I went on my first ever girls trip to Palm Springs.  It was like my own personal babymoon :).

Phayre turned into a toddler overnight by becoming potty trained, moving into her big girl room (with a big girl bed!), and giving up her pacifier.

Eric worked hard to close up his moms estate, which was very emotional and time consuming.  As all of that came to a close, we finally completed Briar's nursery.

We spent the summer soaking our girls in.  We filled our weekends with so many fun adventures, tons of sleepovers in our bed, and weekly trips to our favorite ice cream shop.

We went up to Seattle again and ate our way through our favorite city.

Phayre turned two!  She requested a pizza and lemonade party and that's just what she got!

After weeks and weeks of painful contractions, I made it to my induction date.  Leaving the girls and checking in was one of the most emotional and exciting moments of my life.  It was finally baby day!!!

Briar Calloway Brown was brown on August 18, 2017 at 1:50pm.  Weighing in at seven pounds six ounces, measuring 20.5 inches long, and stealing our hearts forever.  My brother and his girlfriend walking our girls in to meet their new baby brother will be a memory etched in my mind forever.

We adjusted to life with three littles!  We spent days in bed cuddling, but also got out and made the most of Eric's paternity leave.  We took our new little guy up to the mountain, the zoo, the beach, and on lots of fun outings.

We were tired.  We were overwhelmed at times.  We fought.  We forgave.  We gave ourselves and each other grace.  Through such a big transition, we hung on to each other.

Eric and I celebrated eight years of marriage!

Eric got lasik and said it was one of the best decision he ever made... outside of marrying me obviously ;).

Sloan started her last year of preschool.

We went on our first vacation as a family of five to Palm Springs.  It was the most wonderful vacation ever.  So much fun in the sun and even a little bit relaxing (as relaxing as vacation with three kids can be!).

We celebrated Halloween and Phayre declared it her favorite holiday ever (which is true because she still talks about it constantly).

Briar was dedicated at our church.

We celebrated our first friendsgiving with best friends and decided its our new tradition!  We asked our friends Kev and Liz to be Briar's Godparents at Thanksgiving dinner.  They said yes and Liz and I cried :).

We had the absolute most magical holiday season of all time.  We wrapped gifts together, decorated cookies and gingerbread houses, went to zoo lights, walked around our neighborhood at night to look at Christmas lights, and so many other fun things.  Christmas was just magic this year with our three.  Pure magic.

Like I said, it was an eventful year!  There were times or sorrow and sadness, but we walk out of 2017 feeling overwhelmingly blessed.  We had a healthy baby boy and so many fun adventures!  I'm ready for you 2018, I am so excited to see where you take us!!  

I have a feeling it's going to be a good year!  Thanks for following along babes,


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