Disneyland Recap

This past weekend we took Rylee to Disneyland for the first time with my whole family – mom, dad, both sisters and both their boyfriends. Needless to say it was quite an experience. When my friends all told me their kids had a blast when they went the first time and they loved the characters and got perfect pictures, I was hoping for that kind of experience with Rylee, but what we ended up getting was a fussy baby half the day who wouldn’t smile for any pictures lol. I was racking my brains out trying to figure out why she wasn’t having a good time and then it dawned on me – we were with a big group of people vs just the three of us. We were on everyone else’s schedule and not Rylee’s.

It was a lot for her to take in and I’m sure overwhelming. We went first thing in the morning and left really late at night. The biggest thing was everyone was trying to make the most of their ticket (rightfully so) and we ended up riding only a few rides and saw three characters. The biggest mistake in my opinion was going with a big group. I’m already planning our Disney Do-Over trip which will include being on Rylee’s schedule to ensure she enjoys it herself!

But I am really happy that we got to experience Disneyland with my family because now we know that although more people means more help during the day, it also calls for a stressful day overall. There was a moment that melted my heart though and it was at the end of the night after we rode It’s a Small World and I had bought Rylee a Dumbo plush and when I gave it to her, her face had lit up more than we’d seen all day! A simple toy was more than enough for her.

Holiday Gift Guide – His & Her

Hey there loves! The holidays are quickly approaching us and I’ve decided to do a little series of gift guides to help you find the perfect gift. I got such a great response from all of you that I’ll be sharing His & Her gift guides today. Stay tuned for more gift guides in the upcoming weeks for the whole family & much more. If there’s anything you’d like to see in particular, let me know!

Screen Shot 2018-11-08 at 11.18.02 AM.png

  1. These chunky knit blankets are all the rage right now and I don’t hate it. They’re comfy, cute, & I’m sure your S/O wouldn’t mind cuddling in this during the cold season!
  2. With all these new & big phones making it’s debut, it’s getting harder and harder to hold your phone. Loopy Cases are seriously the best and so convenient. It’s not an eyesore on your phone case and it’s truly functional.
  3. Need I say more? I mean, Joanna Gaines, right??
  4. I recently got on the Hydroflask binge and I gotta say, I love mine! I know yours will too!
  5. Comfy loungers/joggers are seriously what we all live in during our off days. I’m not a fan of the baggy sweat pants, but these joggers are the best!
  6. I received this Marc Jacobs hydrating lip gloss over the summer and I could not stop using it. This is perfect for the women who like a little color on their lips, but also keeping their lips hydrated!
  7. For all my boho babes out there, these Macrame wall hangers are the cutest and make for the perfect gift!
  8. Since I’ve been a SAHM, I live in sweaters these days. There’s no question that a fuzzy sweater is considered inappropriate.
  9. I’m alllll for mommy & me outfits and these Mama Bear & Baby Bear shirts are great for dressing up or down! (website is currently being renovated so I linked their Instagram for you instead)
  10. Mules are trending this year for sure! I’ve seen so many different kinds and love them all.

Screen Shot 2018-11-08 at 3.13.56 PM.png

  1. I’m a big fan of the scoop neck hoodies. I think all men look good in them and I’ve stolen my husbands own and I’d say they’re pretty comfy too!
  2. For the sporty men in our lives, these dri-fit long sleeves are perfect for working out or just to casually wear out.
  3. I’m a sucker for a man who dresses up! These dress shirts from Express are a great gift because you can pair it with some really great accessories.
  4. Running shoes are never a bad idea because guys wear their shoes out so quickly. Under Armor shoes have booted out Nike in my hubby’s opinion, but these kicks are sure to make your man happy.
  5. We all love gadgets that make our lives easier. What better way to show convenient than by giving him a gooseneck tablet mount?
  6. Belts! It’s such a simple gift that not a lot of people give, but should because men are always in need of a new leather belt.
  7. This backpack-duffle bag is so cool! It’s literally great for any kind of man.
  8. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! I’ve learned that my husband loves the smaller Hydroflasks because it’s easier to carry. Either way, a Hydroflask is a win-win.
  9. A well dressed man can never have too many ties.
  10. Not all of them wear them, but beanies are a simple, yet great gift!
  11. And last, but not least….. a hands-free belt satchel otherwise known as a fanny pack or as the hipster kids these day say, a hip pack.

Because Life.

Happy Friday, Loves! It’s been a long month and every time I try and stay committed to writing a few times a week, well life happens. Let’s be honest, blogging regularly with a toddler is not an easy task and for those mamas that do it, I seriously applaud you!

Let’s update you shall we? Since my last “how’s life?” post, a lot has happened. Rylee is a well oiled running machine. She’s anywhere and everywhere these days! Who needs the gym when you’ve got a toddler to chase all day? She’s growing so fast that sometimes I still can’t believe all the things she’s learning to do. She knows basic sign language – eat, more, all done, and please and she’s learning how to spot different fruits when placed in front of her. We’re able to tell her things and she somehow understands it. She throws tantrums in public and has definitely learned how to scream at the top of her lungs.

I’m also now a Stay At Home Mom – full time. This is probably the question most people are wondering since just a few months ago I was raving about leaving the corporate life for a doctors office and out of nowhere I was posting stories to my Instagram on a random Tuesday morning, then again on Wednesday, and Thursday, etc… There’s no sob story here other than it wasn’t working out. I was there for about a month and a half and then I was told I wasn’t a fit for the position or the company. There was no misconduct or anything, I was just let go of. Until today, it’s still a huge mystery and shock to me, but it was a blessing in disguise. Our goal has always been to get me to stay at home with Rylee and even though this wasn’t the way we wanted it to happen, it did and here I am today, spending everyday with my little BFF!

The transition from working for 15 yrs to being a SAHM has been really great, but hard as well. People who think women that are SAHM’s is a luxury, well let me tell you – it’s not. I’m not on vacation and going out all the time and doing fun things. I’m literally at home trying to be productive throughout the day, but with a stage five clinger, it is not easy! I’m still trying to find my groove, but it’s hard. Bryce & I are super blessed that we have family that love babysitting Rylee any day or come over when I need some me/we time.

So that’s that. I guess that’s kind of my biggest update. Do I plan on going back to work? Yes, but right now I’m soaking up all the Rylee time I can get. She’s at such a fun and lovable age right now! Any SAHM tips you can share with me?? I’d love to know what your advice is!

Hooray Heroes

I remember growing up, my mom would always read to me and I remember falling in love with books at a young age. One of my very first birthdays, my parents got me a princess book, but to my surprise it was a personalized book specially for me! Each page was curated with my name included and a part of the story. As a kid, you have no idea how happy I was! Since then, I’ve always loved personalized books.

Now that I have a daughter, I was so excited when hooray heroes sent my Rylee girl her very own personalized book; When Rylee Grows Up. This book is such a cute gift and gives your kids a sense of imagination of what they can be when they grow up! I was able to edit the characters to fit the description of how Rylee looks and got the opportunity to select 10 different careers to add to the story. The book turned out great and of course my girl loved it!

We were able to add a sweet little note at the beginning of the book and we gifted it to her on her first birthday! As she gets older and begins to read and understand, this book will definitely be more valuable, but for right now, I’m okay snuggling up with her and reading it to her at night while she looks at the pictures!

Thank you, Hooray Hero’s for giving something my daughter will keep for years to come!

Mommy Blog Q&A –

I’ve been blogging and trying to grow my online presence for the last year and I’m at a place where I feel comfortable sharing some things I’ve learned! I’ve had multiple girlfriends who have reached out to me and asked me how I got started and the common questions anyone would ask when first starting out. By no means am I an influencer, but it is flattering when people reach out and tell you they want to start a mommy blog too! It’s seriously pretty great.

I’ve compiled a list of Q&A’s that I get asked frequently so I hope these help! 🙂

  • Where do I start? 
    • When I first started, I created my blog on WordPress.com. Came up with a title that reflected what I wanted my message/brand to be and as a first time mommy, decoding motherhood just felt right! Once I created my blog and had a few posts ready to publish, I started building my Instagram presence. I found accounts who are similar to mine and started following them and targeting their followers and learning how Instagram truly works.
  • How do I continue to grow my followers? 
    • The key is ENGAGE! Follow accounts that interest you, like and engage with their posts, write genuine comments, and get to know your fellow mommy bloggers! I’m a part of a few mommy pods and we’ve all gotten to know each other and engage with one another. We’re all trying to figure out the same thing so it’s nice to also have that support from other moms.
  • How do I get my Instagram to look cohesive and have the same aesthetic throughout?
    • This one took me a long time to figure out! I also heard that brands/people are more inclined to follow you if you have a cohesive feed – 100% true. My question was, how do I achieve this goal?? I tried for months to take great photos and use the same filters, lighting, settings, etc… but even with the same edits, it wasn’t the same. It wasn’t until I discovered presets. Absolute game changer! You gotta pay a pretty penny for it, but it is so worth it. I’m currently using Alexa Jean presets and I love them!
  • How do I keep up with posts? What if I don’t know what to write about? 
    • I keep a little calendar and I plan all my posts a head of time. I’ve been slacking the last few weeks, but when I first started, I would write 3 times a week. Decide what you want to write about and put it on a calendar so you can see everything laid out for you. I usually see what other bloggers are writing about or head to Pinterest for some inspiration!
  • How do you get great photos of your daughter smiling or laughing? 
    • Haha my quote literally every time we take pictures, “Let’s make this quick, we only need one good one out of a hundred!” My husband is the man behind the camera and he just snaps away. He usually sings the ABC’s or If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands! It gets a smile, giggle, or even a little wiggle every time!

If you’re thinking of starting a mommy blog or even just a personal blog, my advice is just do it. No one is judging you for your writing ability or skills, or even more so, your feelings. Blogging is such a great platform to keep track of your life and I think it’s something that people would actually enjoy doing!

 

Transitioning from stress to relief

I’ve been at my new job for about a week and a half and I can already tell I’m loving every minute of this transition. As you guys know, the hotel industry doesn’t stop for anyone. I spent countless times stressing about things that were not in my control and I came from working 10-13 hour days, having two phones, constantly worrying about my groups and how my inbox will look in the morning, and the list goes on. I was always stressed and it just wasn’t worth being unhappy. So I knew I had to make a change to better myself.

I’ve been working in a doctors office and the change is incredible. I work in a small office with seven people and it’s seriously a breath of fresh air. I do a ton of little administrative tasks, checking in patients, organizing, and inputting data into reports and it makes me wonder why I didn’t leave the hotel sooner. I’m able to clock out, leave work behind and go home to my family and enjoy time quality time with them.

We’ve been slowly working on fixing up the house and I can’t wait to share all the fun things we’ve done! We’ve opened up our dining and living room to accommodate all of Rylee’s toys (pictures to follow), I’m slowly working on her bedroom and creating a space she can play in when we’re upstairs, and hopefully by the fall, our backyard will be ready to host gatherings with a fully furnished backyard.

With all the extra time and energy, I’ve definitely felt a sense of relief. I’m currently happy with where I am and how the next few months are looking!

Below are just a few tips I have for anyone thinking of making a change in their work life:

  • Take the risk. My biggest dilemma in all of this was trying to figure out if risking my job to do something else was worth it and I went back and forth multiple times before making the jump.
  • Get rid of the fear you have. I was legitimately scared to leave because I didn’t want anyone to judge me for leaving behind a great career or to burn any bridges, but once I got rid of that fear, I felt unstoppable. I knew I made the right decision.
  • Just do it. We all want what’s best for ourselves and our families and sometimes you just need to rip the band-aid off and just do it.

If you’re having ABC problems, I feel bad for you. I got 99 problems, but my ABC’s ain’t one!

Rylee was gifted with these dope books from @thelittlehomie and they couldn’t have come at a better time. As she nears her first birthday, we’ve been reading to her a little more each day and teaching her, her ABC’s & 123’s. These books are for the next generation of OG’s.

I grew up listening to hip hop and rap, and these books showcase some of the greatest artists of our time. The reason I love these books are the illustrations and the simplicity of it. There’s no fancy sentences or anything complicated about it. Just books full of culture and creativity.

Thank you, The Little Homie for providing such a fun book for the little babes in the world!