Product Review: Moss & Marsh

Motherhood

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As we approach London turning 6 months old this week, she is full force into the teething (and drooling) phase. I’ve had a lot of mom friends recommend using bandana bibs to keep baby dry, so I decided to try them out for myself. That’s when I found out about Moss & Marsh. They focus on making functional, unique products that help make the parenting life easier! And because the creator is a mom herself, she has brilliant ideas that she takes right to the sewing machine to make come to life.

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This bib (along with all of their products) is handmade right in Savannah, GA. It’s made of 100% Kona and Terry Cotton and has two adjustable snaps to fit different neck sizes. Each bib is backed with terry cloth for extra absorbency and has a removable pacifier attachment. They come in different print and color options, and can even be personalized with your baby’s name.

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It’s made the last couple of weeks much easier to be able to protect London’s clothes and skin from the extra moisture and I can’t wait to try more of their products!

 

 

This post was in collaboration with Moss & Marsh, but as always, all opinions are my own. 

Tips for Sensitive Skin

Motherhood

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Before I had London, I already knew she was probably going to inherit my super sensitive skin. And of course, about a month after she was born, we were left dealing with all of the baby rashes in the book: baby acne, eczema, cradle cap…the list went on. I was so worried that the beautiful skin she was born with was gonna be gone forever.

We visited the pediatrician and dermatologist religiously to make sure we were doing everything we could to heal her skin. I know that’s not possible for all the busy mamas out there, so I wanted to share the tips I learned, in case it might be able to help your sensitive baby too.

Daily Bath

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This came as a surprise to me, because everything I read said that giving your baby a bath too often would dry out their skin. But this advice was given to us by London’s dermatologist and amazed me by how much it helped! We accumulate so much dead skin cells and bacteria on a daily basis that bathing once a day is recommended for everyone, and babies are no different. Just make sure to use warm (not hot) water and moisturize right after.

 

Lotion Twice a Day

Speaking of moisturizing, this is probably the best thing you can do for your baby’s skin. Find a good, hydrating lotion and apply once in the morning and once after bathtime.Aveeno Baby Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Cream

Our favorite has been the Aveno Baby Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Cream. It’s active ingredient is colloidal oatmeal, which is much healthier for the skin than other products. It’s moisturizing and absorbs into the skin, but isn’t heavy or greasy, which is always a plus. And it’s fragrance and paraben-free, so I feel safe using it even on her gentle skin.

 

Olive Oil for Cradle Cap

I don’t know if this is common knowledge or not. I honestly can’t even remember who suggested that we try this remedy. But if your little one is dealing with cradle cap, this is definitely something worth trying. About 10 minutes before giving your baby a bath, apply olive oil all over the scalp and rub it in. Wash and rinse as normal. After drying with a towel, go through their hair with a comb. You will notice the flakes coming off as you comb through. Do this once a week until it’s gone.

 

Find a Good Soap (and stick with it)

I myself have dealt with sensitive skin since I was a little girl. One of the first things that I figured out was that changing soaps/body washes always irritated my skin more. I would go through the cycle whenever I tried to switch up the products I used. Knowing that, I set out on a mission to find a good product that I can keep using on London’s skin for years to come.

I prefer a hair and body wash so that I can use the same thing all over and whenever possible, I try to buy things with natural ingredients. I recently tried out Tubby Todd’s 100% Natural Hair and Body Wash and I am in love! It’s a hypoallergenic wash with natural extracts and plant-based ingredients. And just a little goes a long way so at the price of $15, you’re getting a pretty good deal.

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It’s natural fragrance of Lavender and Rosemary is sweet with a hint of coconut. It’s pediatrician and dermatologist tested & approved. And free of toxins, parabens, & sulfates, which means it’s safe for the tiniest newborn and toddler faces, and extra-gentle for sensitive skin. It has all of the qualities I look for in a product to use for my family.

 

I definitely will have to try out some of their other products and give you my thoughts on those as well. Let me know if you try any of these tips or if you have any of your own! xx

 

 

 

*This post was in collaboration with Tubby Todd. As always, all opinions are my own. 

DIY: New Vanity Table

Beauty

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Okay, this isn’t a total DIY, because I bought the mirror, but you get what I mean. As most of you know, we moved to Texas a few months ago. Up until now, I had been using my little gold vanity table from Urban Outfitters. Which I loved, but I was definitely outgrowing it. My makeup took up more space than it should have (see below):

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I finally accepted that it was time for an upgrade, so I looked into buying a new vanity table. To my surprise, they’re about $700 and up. I couldn’t justify spending that much, no matter how much I like make-up. So I ended up making my own set.

I purchased the Hollywood Glow XL 2.0 Vanity Mirror from Impressions Vanity and paired it with a computer desk I bought from Amazon. Altogether, I spent $400, a fraction of the cost of an actual vanity set.

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This mirror is beautiful and has some really cool features:

  • custom-made premium LED vanity bulbs for daylight bright white lighting that renders more accurate colors, saves up to 90% energy, and lasts 25 times longer – a smart investment that actually saves you money in the long run
  • Detachable base for easy wall mounting
  • Side-mounted accessory power and optional USB charging outlets for all your beauty accessories and device charging needs
  • Easy-to-reach dimmer switch for quick and accurate lighting control

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I’m in love with the size of the desk as well  it has two drawers, plus the tray in the center, so I have plenty of room to organize my makeup. Altogether, it was such a nice upgrade and I’m so happy with how it came out!

(I wish this post was sponsored. These are just my genuine thoughts and wanted to share in case you’re feeling like it’s time for a change too!) xx

 

 

Mirror:

Hollywood Glow® XL 2.0 Vanity Mirror

Desk: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07CV29WBG/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

Surviving the Newborn Stage

Motherhood

Bringing our first child home from the hospital was probably the most exciting and nerve-wracking feeling I’ve ever felt. And now that she is 4.5 months old, I can actually say: WE DID IT. We survived. And it was harder than anyone ever told me it would be!

Not much will make it feel easy perse, but I do have some trips that might help out if you feel like you’re drowning in helplessness!

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1. People will offer help. SAY YES

You know how you normally decline help in effort to be polite? Don’t do that! Having a baby is hard in so many ways and good people that understand that want to help you. We had neighbors dropping off take out, friends taking our dog out while we were in the hospital, and of course people bringing an endless supply of diapers. It was SO nice to not have to worry about those sort of things while I was healing and bonding with our new baby. 10/10 would recommend!

2. Take turns being on baby duty

I feel like I will get some criticism for this because a lot of people believe the mom should do everything for the baby (*eye roll*). However, this worked wonders for me and Q. London would not sleep AT ALL at night for the first month and saying it was exhausting is a major understatement. We came up with a plan to split the night in half: he would stay up from 12am-4am and I would be up with her from 4am-8am. This way we would at least get 4 hours of sleep a night. Of course this only works if you are pumping or formula feeding, but I am all for giving dad some breastmilk in a bottle and giving him the chance to bond too!

3. Keep notes with any important information

I’m not sure if this applies to everyone, but our babe had some eating issues in the beginning. Every time we visited the pediatrician, we were given a ton of new information and tips on what we should try/not try. It was overwhelming trying to remember everything. I started a note on my phone and eventually put it up on the fridge, that way I didn’t have the added pressure of memorizing everything. Learning how to take care of a new baby was enough and I didn’t need the extra work.

4. Find joy in the little accomplishments

If you’re anything like me, you’re gonna want to be a natural at being a parent and expect everything to come easily. It most likely won’t (and if it does, I envy you). Don’t try to tackle on too much in one day. I remember the first time I took London out of the house by myself. I literally just walked down the street to the grocery store. But I felt so accomplished and so much more confident in my new role. So take pride in those little moments and trust that soon enough, you’ll be nursing on a plane, pumping the other side, and eating lunch all at the same time (true story. lol)

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At the end of the day, you’re going to find out what works for you and your family, despite all of the advice people will try to give you. Just smile and nod so that they can end their rant about why you should use one brand over another and keep doing you! xx

 

Raising Her.

Motherhood

 

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During my pregnancy, I read anything and everything I could get my hands on about taking care of a baby. How to change a diaper. How to recognize their different cries. How to breastfeed. The list went on. Just before we moved to Texas, Q’s pastor prayed over our family. One of the things he told us was that whatever we do and prioritize, London will learn to do the same. It wasn’t until that moment that I realized I wasn’t just physically raising a child. I was going to have to spiritually raise her as well. I wouldn’t just be taking care of her body and needs of the flesh, but I’d be caring for her heart just the same. Whatever decisions we made as parents were going to shape her personality and determine the impact our daughter would have on others for the rest of her life. (Woah.)

That made me take a look at myself and analyze my choices and priorities. I can listen to songs that make references to drugs and crude language, because I know my stance and a song won’t sway my opinion. I never saw it as a problem if I skipped a day of church every once in a while because I grew up going to church every Sunday. I have a close relationship with God, so missing one day wouldn’t change that. But she didn’t have the upbringing I did. If I listen to those songs now, it’ll normalize those things for her as she grows up. If I attend church casually now, she’ll be attending church casually later. I started to realize that I needed to be what I want her to become.

I’ve said it before, I believe our children belong to God. We are just given the job of bringing them up. I kind of compare it to taking in a foster child. They are temporarily in our care and will eventually be reunited with their parents. I looked up the definition of foster and it read:

foster

VERB

[WITH OBJECT]

  • 1
    Encourage the development of (something, especially something desirable)

 

Our job is to foster a love of Christ in our children. Foster a love of people. Foster a sense of self-worth. So that they will thrive and bring glory to God until the day they come face to face with him.

Having this perspective has changed everything about the way I view parenting.  It’s a much bigger job than I realized initially. And while I’ll never be a perfect parent, I want to do better than just buying her fun toys and dressing her in cute outfits (even though I do love those things). On days when it’s hard, I can ask God to help me do the job he’s called me to do. And as important as it is to learn about how to swaddle a baby, it’s more important to be an example of the person I want her to grow to be.

 

Embracing the “Mom Bod”

Fashion

It’s been 10 weeks since I gave birth. The initial weight loss that happens after delivering your baby has long gone and I’ve hit the “now you actually have to exercise” phase of my postpartum journey. And boy, it hasn’t been easy.

I was the girl who ate anything and everything while I was pregnant. I told myself that it’s my first time and I could just lose the weight later. I didn’t factor in that it would take 8 weeks to finally feel recovered enough to exercise. Or that I would be busy taking care of a newborn. Or that I would just be too tired some days to even think about going to the gym. So I had a rude awakening 2 weeks ago when I stepped on the scale and realized those last 22 pounds weren’t going to come off on their own.

Maybe it was that moment, or the fact that I literally can only fit into stretchy pants, but I realized that I desperately needed to lose weight for the sake of my self esteem. I had reached a point that I dreaded getting dressed for an event because I knew how many outfits I would try on and how many things wouldn’t fit. I would end up in a bad mood (and late) every time I would go somewhere. It was Q who finally convinced me that what I needed was a shopping trip. And he was right! I know I want to lose weight and I know I won’t be this size forever, but I also need to be patient with myself. My body birthed a whole human and it’s going to take some time to get back to normal. I need to be able to keep loving myself and loving my body, no matter what number ends up being on that  scale. I’m writing this post as a reminder to myself, and a reminder to you as well, because we all can use a little more self-love. So we went shopping (he even came with me!) and then had a little photo shoot to celebrate.

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5 Things That Happen When You Become a Parent

Motherhood

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Just like with pregnancy, there are a lot of changes that happen when you become a parent that no one really prepares you for. You leave the hospital with a tiny human and quickly realize your world is now completely about them. But there’s more. 

1. You’re now a “mom driver”.

B6B192AD-0895-4CC9-977F-9F02872F200C.gifEvery other car on the freeway becomes your enemy and you purposely drive in front of the worst ones so they can see your “baby on board” sticker. 

 

2. “Sleeping in” is waking up anytime after 5am.

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Even on nights when you’re baby-free, your body just isn’t used to sleeping until noon anymore.

 

3. Your kid is usually dressed better than you.

6119D10C-840F-4140-8EDE-B021482A86FA.gifThere just isn’t enough time in the mornings for both of us to look our best, so I take one for the team.

 

4. You talk about your kids nonstop.

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Every conversation starts with “we’re new parents” or “do you have kids?”

 

5. Going out just isn’t the same anymore.

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You get a babysitter and decide to take on the town, but quickly realize that you’d much rather be at home, snuggled with your little one, singing the itsy bitsy spider 99,000 times. And I guess that’s parenthood 🤷🏽‍♀️

Our Birth Story: 6/15/2018

Motherhood

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If you follow along here, first of all, THANK YOU! Second of all, you’ve probably been wondering where the third trimester bumpdate went and why I have been MIA for a while. Well, surprise! Our little girl decided to join us early, so I never even got the chance to post my last update! We have been taking some time away from technology and social media to enjoy our daughter and adjust to the parent life. And boy oh boy, do I have some stuff to say about that adjustment, but that’s for another post!

In this post, I wanted to share about our birth story. It was nothing like I had planned or envisioned, but I know that it was exactly how God had ordained in His plan. As usual, skip to the end if you want to avoid some TMI-type details.

On Wednesday, June 13, I went to the bathroom and noticed that I had lost my mucous plug (gross, I know). I didn’t freak out, since I had read that it could still be weeks before you go into labor once losing your plug. So I came back to the living room to continue binge-watching Grey’s Anatomy with Quinton and non-chalantly shared the news. He freaked out and asked if we should be driving to the hospital! I laughed and reassured him that we probably weren’t going into labor “anytime soon”.

On Thursday, June 14, I woke up and noticed my underwear was wet. I wasn’t sure if this was another weird pregnancy symptom, or if it could maybe possibly be my water?! We decided to get checked at the hospital after consulting with the 24-hour nurse line. Per Q’s decision, we did not bring the hospital bag, because now he was convinced we weren’t having this baby, lol.

After waiting in triage for over an hour, I was told my water had broken, I was 3cm dilated, and I was having contractions 4-5 minutes apart. All of this was a surprise to me, because I was hardly feeling any pain! I waited 8 hours before getting the epidural, which I was so grateful for by that point.

Around 5:30 AM on June 15th, it was time to push. Within 20 minutes of pushing, London was born. Unfortunately, she had aspirated some fluid during the delivery and had to be sent to NICU before we had even gotten to hold her. While she was rushed out of the room, the doctors pumped me full of medications, due to losing more blood than expected. They “massaged” my uterus, to help it contract, but it felt nothing like a massage. I’m pretty sure that pain was worse than the birth itself! While I’m so eternally grateful for the doctors who provided her care, it was not at all what I had imagined for our first few days of being parents. Due to baby girl staying in the NICU, we weren’t able to hold her for the first 24 hours. I wasn’t able to do skin-to-skin or to breastfeed. Everything I had requested on my birth plan was denied to me. While I completely understood the situation, it didn’t make it easier to experience and I had to spend some time learning to accept  it all.

London was finally able to come home five days after her birth. It was the happiest and most nerve-wrecking feeling to bring her home after having around the clock care for so long! The days that followed were a challenge, but I was happy to be able to take it on with my husband by my side. Through everything that went wrong, he was such a source of support and strength. I now feel like there isn’t much we can’t get through together.

 

Happy Mother’s Day

Motherhood

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I won’t lie. Growing up, Mother’s Day was just an excuse to get to go out for lunch after church and give my mom an extra hug or two. As I got older, it became another holiday where I had to buy yet another gift. Fast forward to today, and I think I finally understand and appreciate the privilege it is to celebrate this day.

I was in church last weekend when the pastor asked all of the moms to raise their hand to acknowledge them. I didn’t raise my hand because I thought, “do people even consider me a mom yet?” Instantly, my husband leaned over and (loudly) whispered, “why didn’t you raise your hand?!” I laughed it off, but he was right. I’ve had one person refer to me as a “mom-to-be” during this pregnancy, and I must admit, I’m not fond of the term. I am a mom. Even though this girl still has a few weeks to cook in there, I’ve already taken on the role of being her mother. I’ve gone through hours of training during my childbirth & breastfeeding classes, I’ve had to make big decisions regarding her well-being, I’ve had to make sacrifices and put her before myself – things a mother does for her child.

So this Mother’s Day is for me.

It’s also for the mothers with children in heaven. For the women who are trying to conceive. For the women who only got the chance to know their child’s heartbeat. For the women who may not “officially” be mothers, but raised children as if they were their own.

Mother’s Day belongs to you too.

I hope that you feel that and believe it as much as I do. And I hope you are celebrated today and everyday, because you are remarkable. Happy Mother’s Day, mommas.

 

Product Review: Tree Hut Skincare

Beauty

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One of the not-so-wonderful side effects I’ve experienced in this pregnancy is dryness. On my legs, hands, and face. I’m ashamed to say that I hadn’t switched up my usual skincare routine in years, so I was clueless when trying to figure out what products to look for.

I reached out to Tree Hut and they generously sent me some products to help remedy my situation! Read on to see my thoughts below:

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I’m a huge fan of spending my Saturday night curled up on the couch, watching a movie, and trying out a new face mask. I was particularly happy with this product because there was no painful peeling involved at the end and no rinsing! This purifying sheet mask is infused with charcoal, lavender, and hollyhock extracts. It helps with:

  • Drawing out impurities
  • Hydrating & Cooling skin
  • Leaving Skin feeling rejuvenated

 

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I followed up the face mask with Tree Hut’s protecting daily moisturizer. I’m a big fan of any moisturizer that is lightweight, but still has SPF to protect my skin from too much sun. Use this moisturizer for:

  • UVA/UVB Protection
  • Light-weight Hydration

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To aid the dryness on my hands and legs, I used the 24-hour Intense Hydrating Shea Body Butter. This coconut lime scent makes you feel like you’re on vacation on a tropical island! I applied this body butter at night, after taking a shower and felt that it really helped soften my dry skin.

 

Let me know if you try any of these products out, or if you have any other holy grail skincare products that I need to check out!