On the Road to 30 – Change is Coming

It’s September which means it’s my birthday month! Yes, I’m totally one of those people who celebrate the entire month because one day just isn’t enough.. especially when you’re turning 30! I’ve had such an amazing life leading into my thirties and while I’ve had my share of bad times in my twenties, the last few years definitely made up for it.

As you approach the last year before you hit a milestone birthday, you start to reflect on your life, you know? Your accomplishments, what you’re going to be doing in the next few years, your career path, etc.. I’ve been really lucky to cross off husband, house, and baby on my list, but something I have been thinking of a lot lately is my blog and what I’m doing with it and where I want it to go. I remember back when Tumblr was hot! (Shoutout to all my OG Tumblr friends). I used to blog so much back then about young love and heartache lol, and loved writing whatever was on my mind! When I resurfaced blogging again last year, I forgot why I even stopped to begin with.

In the last year of writing again and learning how to use social media as a platform to send a message, I hope I can stick to writing more often and creating content that my followers will enjoy, hence “Change is Coming.” With my one year blog-aversary approaching, I’m changing up my whole blog vibe and while every day I’m decoding motherhood, I also want to explore other outlets that I absolutely love; fashion & home decor.

I hope you’ll stick around and see what I have in store for you! Don’t worry, your dose of Rylee pictures will not be affected! ūüôā

xx

Why Taking a Step Back is Important.

I knew having a baby would change everything, but I didn’t realize how hard it would be trying to balance a career and a newborn baby. I totally get it now though. I’ve been working in the hotel industry for six years and more recently I’ve been a meeting planner for the last three years. I thought running down this path with a baby wouldn’t be as hard as I’ve found it to be the last year. I came back from maternity leave in October and I’ve seen things more clearly than I ever have.

I never used to mind the long days, working weekends, sometimes working 14 days straight, having two phones, etc.. but when I came back and was in a situation where I had to work 12-15 hour days and weekends, I began to dread it because I knew waiting for me at home was the sweetest little babe and I couldn’t do anything about it because I had to work. I didn’t have the typical 9am – 5pm Monday-Friday job that allowed me to be at home more and for months I was unhappy at work knowing that I could be doing something else that wouldn’t require so much attention and stress. But what could I really be doing if I wasn’t doing what I’m doing now??

I was at ends trying to figure out what I truly wanted; to be a #BossMom and juggle my life as a meeting planner and move up in the corporate world or be a more present mom who was able to come home after work less stressed and probably happier. That’s when my decision was easy – I value my family so much that I just can’t bear to sacrifice a few years of missing out on my daughter’s life just so I can move up the corporate ladder. I am completely fine taking a step back in my career if that means I can be there when my daughter needs me and when she hits all her big milestones. The thought of having to work as much as I’m working as a meeting planner is daunting to be honest.

I can’t say that it’s the best decision I’ve ever made because it is scary venturing into the unknown, but it’s the best decision for my family right now. I am so relieved and happy that I’ll be able to dedicate more time to Rylee, my husband, & myself. I’ll be working in a Plastic & Cosmetic Surgeon’s office where I’ll get to leave my work at work everyday and that is truly one of the best things to come!

 

Rylee Takes the East Coast; Our First Cross Country Vacation

Good Afternoon Loves! We just got back from our week-long family vacation to the East Coast. To say the least, it was quite an experience. Weeks leading up to the trip, I was already feeling anxious and my stress was a little more elevated than usual. I had been doing tons of research and asking friends and family for advice on how to travel with a baby for the first time and once it was time for takeoff, I felt ready.

We had taken Rylee on multiple road trips to our surrounding states, but never flying across the country. Here is a list of things I learned while traveling with a baby for the first time and some advice.

  • Plan your flight early in the morning so it coincides with their morning nap schedule. Rylee slept the whole flight going to NY and we planned our flight back to Vegas late at night so she would sleep the whole night. It worked for most of the flight, but she was definitely a lot more fussy during the boarding/takeoff process.
  • I had Rylee strapped in her baby carrier while we went through security and that was probably the best decision because it was so easy-going through security. I had my cellphone, boarding pass, and ID out so I could easily put them in the bin along with the diaper bag and my purse.
  • Snacks! Don’t forget the snacks! We gave Rylee Puffs anytime we felt her getting fussy and it worked.
  • I went a little overboard and made little baggies for the passengers that sat around us that consisted of ear plugs, airheads, lollipops, & Jolly Ranchers. Since it was Rylee’s first time flying, we didn’t know what to expect, but if she was fussy, at least the passengers would have a little goodie bag to know we weren’t intentionally trying to make their flight miserable!
  • Bring an arm pillow or some thing that will keep the baby comfortable. All we brought was a blanket and I wish we would’ve been more prepared.
  • Your carry-on means everything! I was able to pack all of Rylee’s essentials on my rollaway luggage – diapers, wipes travel drying kit, bottles, formula etc.. It was nice knowing that all her essentials would stay with us.

When we finally made it to the East Coast, I thought the stress would lessen, but it definitely didn’t! We had a jam-packed week of activities and I thought with everything going on, it would keep Rylee entertained, but we learned that her attention span was short-lived. After all, how exciting is Time Square for a baby? Along with trying to keep her busy, we learned that she had three molars coming in hot! How convenient right??? As if traveling isn’t stressful enough, add three molars and an extremely fussy baby to the mix.

We tried to make the most of it and stay positive during all the meltdowns, but it’s definitely tough. Below is a list of things I learned while taking her around the city and some advice for new parents that are planning a trip.

  • Have a game plan. A lot of our trip was based on spontaneity¬†which made it difficult to plan ahead. I had 5-6 bottles with me at all times beacause I didn’t know when we’d be able to get back to our hotel or how long we’d be gone for.
  • Have a comfortable baby carrier and stroller. We bought a travel stroller for the mere purpose we didn’t want to bring her big bulky one, but I’m so glad we ended up bringing it because she napped comfortably in her stroller when we rode the subways and cruised through the city. I don’t think it would’ve been the same had we brought the travel stroller.
  • Bring lots of wipes and hand sanitizer. I don’t know how many times I wiped Rylee’s hands because of how many times they touched the ground lol.
  • Buy disposable table mats for when you go to restaurants. I found these on Amazon and it was probably my favorite travel purchase! They stick directly on table and stick underneathe the table so when they’re in their high chair and try to put their mouth on the table, at least they’re gnawing on the table mat.
  • Rely on your significant other to help. As mom’s we’re just naturally inclined to take control of the baby and try to calm them when needed, but having a S/O who is so involved and tries to help as much as they can is seriously amazing. It helps when both the stress is on both parents and not just the moms.
  • Try and have a great time even if you’re feeling frustrated! I feel guilty for having a lot of frustrating moments during this trip which resulted in everyone being in a bad mood, but once you realize that there are somethings you can’t control, you just gotta roll with the punches and take it for what it is.

Once we finally made it back home, I was so happy! Regardless of the events that played a part in this trip, I think it’s safe to say that I’ll stick to ground transportation with Rylee for a little bit longer! We definitely loved the East Coast & all it’s beauty though – take a look at some of my favorite pictures!

Headwraps: Stevie J’s – Rylee loved them! They stayed on her head all day and they’re super comfy!

Rompers: Old Navy & PatPat

Off the Shoulder Rose Top: Angelique Leotards

Recap – San Diego, CA

Happy Weekend, loves! This month has flown by extremely fast, hence, my lack of writing this month. I finally have some down time in between work, projects, reading, and of course raising Rylee. Our family did a quick weekend trip to San Diego, CA with our cousin & his girlfriend and it was to say the least, an interesting experience. We had a great time, but traveling is definitely not what it used to be.

It’s one thing to be stuck in a car with your husband and eight month old teething baby singing to Disney soundtracks for six hours, but it’s another thing when you’re also stuck in a car with a couple who doesn’t have kids. Granted they didn’t mind when Rylee had her occasional “Wrath of Rylee” tantrum, but I definitely felt the need to apologize on her behalf lol.

We stayed at the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina and the Pier South Resort, Autograph Collection. Both hotels were absolutely stunning & I wish we lived by the water more and more. The best part of the trip was being able to see Rylee discover sand, the beach, and the pool for the first time! I’d never seen so much joy in her face as I did when she got to play in the water.

There were times when we disconnected from our fellow couple and unwound in our rooms or explored hotel grounds without them and I find it so funny because we all had different intentions for this trip. Yes, we all went as a group to spend time together and to get away from Vegas, but while they were off being super cute and in love, strolling down the pier, our little family of chaos was getting excited about the usage of swim diapers and Rylee cutting two top teeth! Oh, how times have changed! Regardless of what this trip was about, we all had a great time together!

A few tips to remember when traveling with a baby:

  1. Don’t forget dish soap to wash bottles! Silly me forgot to pack soap and had no way to wash Rylee’s bottles in the room.. FML right? Thankfully we got some delivered by the hotel staff!
  2. Download their favorite movie/show on the iPad before you leave or have Netflix of Hulu on your phone! This will help tremendously during your drive or during dinners to keep them occupied.
  3. It’s always better to over pack than under pack. My husband knows better not to question how many bags I bring on our weekend trips because he know’s he’ll lose if he tries to fight me haha #MomsAlwaysWin

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Review Wednesday – DockATot

Happy Wednesday, Loves! Today I’m sharing details about one of my favorite products to date; DockATot. When I first discovered the DockATot I fell in love. This all natural, 100% cotton multi-functional gem has made parenthood just a little easier. It’s perfect for co-sleeping parents and playtime/tummy time. I’m lucky to call myself a DockATot partner and experience this product first hand and share all the great things about it!

It comes in two sizes – The Deluxe which is for babies 0-8 months and the Grand (which Rylee has) is for babies 9-36 months.

Some of my favorite features of the DockATot include:

  • Interchangeable covers. They offers different covers and they’re all so adorable!
  • Transitions baby from parents bed to their own.
  • It’s easy to transport to & from grandparents houses or vacations.
  • It’s great for cuddling!

It’s been a few weeks since we’ve gotten our DockATot and Rylee loves it! She plays and sleeps so well in it that I have no doubt once we transition her into her big girl bed, it’ll be a smooth transition. I love that DockATot has two different sizes and can really grow with your baby.

The prices may intimidate you, but I promise it’s worth every penny and a really great investment! Head over to DockATot now and save yourself $10 off when you click this link!

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Disclosure: I received this product as part of a partnership with DockATot. All words and opinions are completely my own. 

 

The Water is Wide by Natalie Banks

This post will be a little different than my usual posts, but all my book lovers will appreciate this.

Everyone has their own hobbies and one of mine is reading. Books are such a great way to escape reality and get lost between the pages of an exciting story. I’ve been lucky to be a part of a book club for the last three years with some of the sweetest girls who I can call some of my best friends. We meet once a month for brunch to discuss the book we selected the previous month. This past weekend we had the pleasure of having an exclusive FaceTime interview with the author of our latest read, Ms. Natalie Banks! It was such an amazing and intimate experience that I got to share with my closest girlfriends.

For those of you looking to read an epic romance novel, The Water is Wide will fuel all your desires. It’s full of love, pain, loss, mystery and most of all, fate. I really enjoyed this book and I’m glad we were able to pick the authors brain a little.

Where did your inspiration and ideas come from for this book?¬†Well, it’s difficult to say sometimes.. my mind can be a little erratic so it just popped in my head. I had seen a movie some time back where a lady saw a man that looked like her dead husband and it wasn’t.. you know, it’s completely unrelated. It kind of stuck with me like everything does and one day I was like “what would happen if she saw him and it was her husband”? and so that’s kind of how the idea started marinating and simmering until I came up with the entire plot.¬†

Is there any truth behind your book or is it purely fiction?¬†It’s all fiction! I mean I’ve heard stories especially after the book came out!¬†

Why sons in the story when you have daughters? I actually have 2 sons! That’s a great question. My creative mind is a little ..a mind of it’s own let’s say. When I’m writing, the story kind of just comes to me. It’s not like I plan it out really, like with the plot, I kind of had a skeleton idea and then I just start writing.¬† I’m not really one of those writers that make like the posters or the bullet points and everything. I just write. And so I don’t really think ahead. I know that sounds really strange, but they were meant to be boys! It was fate!¬†

We all really loved the Kindred Spirit Mailbox, the messages of hope.. Is it really in Wilmington? It is! You should Google it. It’s a really neat thing. It’s special!¬†

Where do you write? Where’s your setting? Is it in your house? Is it on a beach? Or a little coffee shop? The house and the beach. When I wrote The Water is Wide I actually wrote it in my living room, but now I kind of have a little place.. it’s a sun room¬†where I put my desk and write there now.¬†

Thank you, Natalie for speaking with us! We cannot wait to read your next novel and maybe one day visit Wilmington! Click here to order your copy of The Water is Wide today, you won’t regret it!

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Review Wednesdays – Binxy Baby

Happy Wednesday, Loves! When I first saw this little cart hammock for my little one, I was so impressed at how simple, yet effective this thing was. I knew we had to have one and thanks to my in-laws we do!

Rylee did so well in it the first time we used it; I kept trying to find reasons to go shopping just so I can use it again! People stop and ask us about it all the time. It’s super easy to use and it’s safe. The Binxy Baby fits perfectly in my diaper bag and it clips easily on the carts with additional safety straps. My daughter is at that age where her eyes are always wandering around so having this hammock makes shopping a dream come true because now she can see everything around her while we shop. The best part about it is you no longer have to put the car seat in the cart!

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Whether you like shopping or not, this gem is worth every penny. I’d definitely recommend this to any mommy!