Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Her

one

Valentine’s Day is coming up and it has always been a holiday I truly love. I mean, how fun is it to spend an entire day reminding all your people just how much you love them. As a kid I always loved making Valentine’s Day cards and passing them out at school and to my family. I’m excited to sit down with Brynlee to make some special ones with her for her to give out this year, bring on the glitter, rhinestones and glue!

In case you are having a hard time coming up with something to give that special lady in your life, I am here today with a gift guide filled with things she’s sure to love!

Love Potion Tumbler– How cute is this tumbler, perfect for all the iced coffee or tea drinkers out there. I personally love having one of these for my water, cutting down on plastic water bottles and I prefer drinking out of a straw anyway. If your local you can pick on up here and not have to wait 2 days for shipping (you’re welcome).

Pink Travel Mug– If iced drinks aren’t her thing, never fear, here is an equally cute travel mug to keep those drinks nice and hot! I love the quilted texture on this mug.

Necklace and Earrings– Love these from Kendra Scott, there are tons of colors to choose from making them the perfect accessory for everyday wear.

Trinket Dish– And how about a lovely little dish for her to store her jewelry in.

Nail Polish– Some about some pretty pink or red nail polish paired with a gift card for a manicure and a pedicure. I don’t know very many (okay any) ladies out there who would love the chance to pamper themselves.

Pens– How darling are these pens, the perfect addition to any desk top.

Gift Set– Speaking of pampering, how lovely would it be to receive this little set with a candle, body scrub and soap.

Cozy Robe– I don’t know what the weather is like where you are, but here in the dessert, winter has finally decided to show up. Nothing is better than snuggling up in a cozy robe on those cold winter mornings and evenings, and let me just say, there is nothing cozier than this robe, it really is a dream!

xo, Cassidi

Top 5 Makeup Must Haves

top-5-makeup-must-haves

I love makeup, I love buying it, I love applying it, I love finding new items to love. But since adding a second baby into the mix, I’ve found that I don’t always have the luxury of time, now I’m lucky to get 5 minutes to do my makeup on the days when Landon goes to work.

b7

*Makeup Bag (VS– unavailable online, Similar)

And so, I’ve narrowed down my top 5 makeup must haves to get me out the door quick and still make me feel like I am put together. Now I am not saying that you can’t leave the house without any makeup on, in fact I try to go at least one or two days a week without makeup to give my face a break, but I do feel better about myself when I apply at least some, especially now that I need something to hide those dark circles caused by late night nursing sessions.

Concealer– I recently picked up this at Target and love it! I wear #10 Light. I think it does a great job of hiding my circles and minimizing any redness or blemishes I may have. I know that there are many other concealers out there that probably do a better job and I’ve often thought about investing in a color correcting palette, but for under $5 you cant beat this one from Maybelline.

Bare Minerals Original Foundation, Medium Beige, 0.28 Ounce

BareMinerals Foundation– I’ve been using this stuff  (in Medium) for years and I love it! It is so light weight, provides great coverage and it doesn’t make my face feel heavy from too much makeup. I’ve tried a few others over the years, but always end up back with this.

b5

Blush– In the winter especially, I feel a little pale without adding some color to my cheeks. I love this baked blush from Milani in Luminoso. It is a great dupe for NARS’ popular blush, Orgasm, at a fraction of the price.

Maybelline New York Great Lash Clear Mascara for Lash and Brow 110, 0.44 Fluid Ounce

Brow Gel– I have been using this stuff since high school and don’t know if I’ll ever change. It has a great price point, under $4 and is great at taming my brows. I’ve also recently started using this to fill in my brows (#gettingold) and I love it, but on days when I just don’t have the time, this brow gel does the trick.

b4

Mascara– Nothing makes me feel more awake than wearing mascara, if I had to choose just one makeup item to wear, this would be it! I have tried numerous mascaras over the years and my absolute favorite is this one. It is definitely worth the splurge (especially since I’m saving so much on #’s 1, 3 and 4). It has a huge bristle brush, I hate those plastic brush heads, makes my lashes look really thick and long and it stays put! There is nothing worse that having your mascara fall all down your face. Also, I am not a fan of waterproof mascara, some people swear by it, and it does come in a waterproof version if you do too, but I have regretted every waterproof mascara purchase I have made, so I stick to the normal wear ones now.

So now, tell me, what are your favorite makeup must haves, is there anything I am missing out on?

xo, Cassidi

PIN MEtop-fivemakeupmust-haves

Friday Favorites

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, but I have so many new favorite things, I had to share them with you today!

1

b1-2

My new planner!

b3-2

I love this thing, it has a great whole month layout and I love having some space to jot down quick notes.

b4

And the weekly section is exactly what I was looking for. I love that each day is broken down into 3 sections. I use one of our daily to-do’s- appointments, play dates, when it’s my turn for snack day, the second section I use for the blog, what post I have planned for which day and any to-do’s, like photo shoots, that I need to do and the last section I use for meal planning (I’m vowing to start that up again this year).

b2-2

I also love that at the beginning of each month there is a fun little quote and a section for birthdays, to write monthly goals or anything else important that I might need to remember. Plus there are a ton of accessories you can get to decorate you planner and if you don’t want one so big, it comes in a mini edition.

2

b1

I stopped in Maurice’s the other day after dropping Brynlee off at school. Among a few other things, I left with these sunglasses, I think they will be perfect for Spring. Maurice’s had so many cute things, I’ll have to make another stop sometime soon!

3

b2

I got these Nike’s for Christmas and oh my goodness, do I love them! They are so comfortable and go with almost anything! They are perfect for walks to the park, chasing after a toddler, running errands and for our soccer Saturdays.

4

b5

My new Solly Baby Wrap, there are no words for how much I love this things! My only regret is that I didn’t order it sooner! It has been a total game changer in my daily productivity, now that I can finally get my hands back.

5

b3

Play dates! I’ve been having a lot of mom guilt lately over not spending enough time with Brynlee, I know she feels it and we’ve had a few rough moments because of it. It breaks my heart to know how she feels and to know that she doesn’t completely understand why I all of a sudden can’t give her my full, undivided attention like I used to. We did everything together and I always tried to make things fun for her, now we are spending a lot more time at home and I know she gets bored and frustrated. I am so thankful when we get the opportunity to get together with our group of her friends (and mine too) to do something fun. We got to go to a birthday party over the weekend and this week we saw Sing and had lunch with all her friends. She had so much fun and I was so grateful to see how happy she was.

Do you have any new favorites for the new year?

And today I am linking up with Erika, Andrea and Narci for:

xo, Cassidi

My New Years Goals to Make My Life Easier

2017

I’ve never really been one to make New Year Resolutions and if I have, I’ve certainly never kept up with any of them. I think that at the beginning of the year, when we feel we are getting a fresh start on things, it’s easy of us (or at least for me anyway) to feel the need to create all these lofty expectations for ourselves, “this is going to be the year I lose ‘x’ amount of weight”, “this year I am finally going to do ‘blank”, etc. And we really do start off with good intentions, but often times I think we set ourselves up for failure because we try to do too much.

So this year, when I sat down to think about where I am in my life right now, instead of coming up with a bunch of tasks for myself, I thought about things that I could do that would make my life easier. We are still in that adjusting to 2 kids phase right now and let me tell you, things are not always easy. After giving my full attention to Brynlee for the last 3 1/2 years, I am now constantly feeling like I am neglecting one of my children whenever I am tending to the needs of the other. Mom guilt is real and it is no fun!

And so, here are the three things I came up with to help make things easier on myself and hopefully make me a better wife, mama and friend.

b1

  1. Get organized- If I thought I had mom brain after having Brynlee, it is nothing compared to what I have now. I swear my brain has just up and left my head completely, which let me just say, is not a good feeling. I’ve never been much of a planner user, ironically I buy one every year and then use it sporadically throughout the year, but most of the time I just try to keep track of things in my head. Well, I don’t think that is an option anymore, so I did some research on planners and found this one that I really think will work out best for my needs. I really like the layout and so far (3 weeks into the year) it’s been working out great! I also need to get organized around my house and with our schedule. I have very little time to waste these days so anything that is taking extra time where is shouldn’t, needs to go. Mornings when I have to take Brynlee to school are extremely hectic so I need to make some changes, like showering and setting out all of our clothes the night before, so we don’t have quite so many things to do in the morning and I end up am running out the door forgetting to eat, which as a nursing mama is not a good thing…b6
  2. Take more me time- when I take the time to take care of myself I am a much better wife and mama. I need time to be creative, it has been way too long since I’ve sat at my sewing machine. I need time to be social, being a stay at home mom can get extremely lonely and as an extrovert, that’s difficult for me. And I need to take better care of myself, often times us moms tend to put ourselves last (see “forgetting to eat” above”), but it is so important that we take the time to focus on ourselves too.b5
  3. Random Acts of Kindness- At this past Thanksgiving with my family we started a new tradition, everyone brought items to create bags for the homeless. Then after dinner, we sat down with all the kids, explained what we were doing and had them help us fill them. They really enjoyed putting them together and it reminded me how good it feels to give and help others. Brynlee is now at an age where she understands things like this and I really want to teach her to have a compassionate and giving heart. So at least once a month I want to take her to perform Random Acts of Kindness (RAOK) with me, this will not only give us some special time together (and hopefully help with some of that mom guilt), but it will teach her how doing kind things for others makes feel good too. I’m hoping this is a tradition that we can have for many years and bring Lincoln in on it when he is older too.

So, what are some of your goals for 2017, are you a resolution setter/keeper or are you more like me and just need to find some things to make your life easier?

xo, Cassidi

Lincoln’s One Month Update

b1

Somehow, and I’m still not quite sure how yet, but somehow Lincoln turned one month old! Ever since having Brynlee, time has flown by and I always remember barely being able to believe how quickly time passed between her monthly updates, but having Lincoln right before the holidays really sped things up for me. I’m mean, our holidays were pretty low key in comparison to what we normally do, but they were still busy with things like Brynlee’s winter dance recital, family visiting to meet Lincoln and for Christmas, and just our normal celebrations. Time just flew and now here I am writing his one month update… #timepleaseslowdown

b2

*Our favorite sleepers

Lincoln has been such a sweet baby from the moment he was born. He loves to cuddle and to be held, he has been a great sleeper, which has been wonderful for me, and he’s a great eater. Actually he eats a ton! When he was born he weighed 5 pounds 10 ounces, by the time we left the hospital 3 days later he was down to 5 pounds 3 ounces, it’s perfectly normal for babies to lose weight right after they are born. And he was such a great eater from the very beginning that I wasn’t at all worried by this weight loss. By his doctor appointment 2 weeks after he was born he was up to 6 pounds 4 ounces and I’m confident that he is continuing to steadily increase in weight. He also grew 1.25″ since birth, he was 18.5″ and at his 2 week appointment he was 19.75″. He is currently sitting in the 40th percentile for length and the 5th percentile for weight.

b3

*Stuffed Dog

Health: We are only a month in and keep him pretty secluded, when we do go out I always keep him covered up in his car seat with a car seat canopy cover that I made him. We also make sure that everyone who comes to visit/ meet Lincoln are not sick and washes their hands before they hold him. It’s kind of scary having a baby during cold and flu season with all the germs floating around. I’ve actually had a cold for about a week now, but luckily Lincoln seems to be doing well.

b7

Sleep: Like I said, Lincoln is a great sleeper, he will immediately fall asleep anytime we take a ride in the car, if we vacuum or if my hair dryer is going. In the hospital he would sleep for 4-5 hour stretches, which made the nurses nervous about him going without food for so long. But he is more of a cluster feeder, he eats a ton and then is able to sleep for longer amounts of time. I am eternally grateful for this, I was really nervous how I was going to handle being exhausted all the time and taking care of both Brynlee and Lincoln, it’s not like I can just sleep whenever he does during the day now like I was able to with Brynlee. We have had a few rough nights, but for the most part things have been great! We usually go to bed between 10-11pm, he wakes up to eat around 2am to eat, then sleep until around 6 or 7 which is about the time Brynlee wakes up to, so it’s been working pretty well for us. This isn’t to say that I don’t still get tired throughout the day, sometimes our 2am wake up last a couple of hours and I usually wake myself up a few times to check to make sure he is okay, but he is already a much better sleep than Brynlee ever was so I have hope that this will continue.

Social: While is sister Brynlee was a social butterfly and loved being held by anyone, Lincoln is definitely a mama’s boy. He loves to snuggle, but he wants it to be with me. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love it, but I do wish he would like to go to Daddy a bit more.

b4

Diet: I am so happy to report that breastfeeding is going extremely well. After not being able to with Brynlee I was worried I would have the same troubles this time around, but fortunately Lincoln had a great latch from the time he was born and my milk supply has been sufficient to be his sole source of food. I have recently started pumping to build up a reserve to serve as a backup and so Landon can bottle feed him occasionally. I’m hoping that once Landon starts feeding him too he will bond with him as well. The lactation consultant at the hospital suggested we wait a month until we introduced a bottle to make certain he was good and comfortable with breastfeeding and wouldn’t refuse to once he realized how easy it is to feed from a bottle.

b5

*Outfit

Clothes: Lincoln is just now starting to fit into his newborn clothes. He has been swimming in them all month and some are still a little big, but he is definitely starting to fill them out a bit better now.

Crying: Lincoln really doesn’t cry much, only when he is hungry or needs to be changed. Once his need is met he immediately settles. Although recently he has started protesting being put down, the boy loves to cuddle, so I ordered this wrap in hopes of being able to “cuddle” and still have my hands free. As much as I do love to just sit on the couch and cuddle him all day, Brynlee needs my attention too and so does my house… Hopefully this will help bring a little more balance to our situation.

b6

*3 Days Old 

b8

*1 Month Old in same outfit

Likes: His mama, cuddling, car and stroller rides, listening to music, being talked to and eskimo kisses. He loves to be swaddled and likes to eat whenever we do. I swear he has a sixth sense of when we sit down for dinner, he immediately wants to eat too, even if I just fed him.

Milestones: Successfully breastfeeding was a huge milestone we passed. I unfortunately wasn’t able to with Brynlee and was really hoping it would work out this time. I am so relieved I’ve been able to provide Lincoln with everything he needs so this is a huge accomplishment for me! I will say, in my experience, bottle feeding is definitely easier and less time consuming.

We are absolutely loving being a family of four! Brynlee is really starting to adjust to her role as big sister, at first things were a little rough, but she’s become very understanding of when Lincoln needs my immediate attention and has really been helpful if I need her to bring me something. She’s very attentive of her baby brother and is always checking on him or running to let us know if he is fussy. She loves telling everyone she see’s about her baby brother and I know things will just continue to get better and better. We love you Lincoln and feel so blessed to have you as part of our family, happy one month baby!

Lincoln’s Birth Story

b1

Our sweet baby Lincoln, 5 pounds 10 ounces, 18 1/2 inches.

b3

After battling preeclampsia throughout my pregnancy with Brynlee and having a due date of Christmas day, we made the decision to have a scheduled c-section for Lincoln on December 19th. If my body decided to go into labor early, we planned to try for a VBAC, but I really wanted to make sure I was home for Christmas with Brynlee. So many things would be changing for her, I wanted her Christmas to be as normal as possible.

b4

This whole pregnancy has been so different than my last, other than one bp scare in early November, my blood pressure has been great, I haven’t had any swelling and have overall felt pretty good. So after returning home from our last date night before the baby (special thanks to my sister in law for watching Brynlee), I was a little surprised, but not overly concerned when I started feeling the dizziness and nausea that comes with high bp. After checking it and verifying it was indeed high, I did as my Dr instructed and laid on my left side, rechecking it every 15 minutes. It steadily went down, until it reach a normal level and stayed there, so we just went to bed. The next morning I rechecked my bp and it was just bordering being high. I spent most of the day on my left side, trying to lower it, but all I was doing was maintaining it at those borderline numbers. Anytime I got up, it started to rise. After a phone call to my Dr, we decided I should head into OB Triage to be checked out. Between my last pregnancy and my scare last month, I have spent a lot of time in OB Triage, I went in fully thinking that they would monitor the baby and I for an hour or so, then send me home.

b6

But apparently my babies like to make dramatic entrances into this world because by the time I checked into OB Triage my blood pressure was 191/98, after that things happened so quickly that I’m pretty sure my head is still spinning. A bunch of tests were run and came back positive for preeclampsia. They called my Dr and the decision for an emergency c-section was made. All of this happened within about 20 minutes of me reaching Triage. Landon barely had enough time to make arrangements for Brynlee (again, a special thanks to my sister in law for dropping everything to come and get her) and get there before I went into surgery.

b2

Brynlee’s Scrubs

*Big Sister Brynlee, so excited to me her new baby brother*

I had an emergency c-section with Brynlee as well, I still need to share her birth story, but this time was completely different. My blood test came back indicating that my platelet levels were extremely low, which basically meant that I didn’t qualify for a spinal and would need to be put completely out during surgery. This also meant that Landon wouldn’t be with me, he would have to wait in the recovery room until I came out.

b10

It wasn’t but a few minutes that Lincoln was out and Landon could follow him into the nursery. I was 37 weeks 6 days, considered full term when I delivered, but since I needed to be put out and some of those drugs would make it into Lincoln’s system (it was less than 2 minutes from the time they put me to sleep and he was out) they needed to take him to the nursery for monitoring.

b9

Fortunately, all went smoothly and while I was pretty loopy waking back up, it was nice that I didn’t have to wait for the feeling to come back into my legs. And while my plan of having a family centered c-section and being able to hold my baby immediately didn’t happen, Lincoln was doing well enough in the nursery that he was able to visit me in recovery and I could nurse him. Sadly after about 30 minutes they had to take him back to the nursery, we were told he would need to stay for at least 6 hours.

b5

I was moved to my room, had some more tests and checks done to make sure my bp regulated and was put on a Magnesium IV. It wasn’t before long that the nursery was bringing Lincoln back to us. He was doing so well in the nursery and apparently protesting being there so much, they decided he could come to my room. As soon as I got him he settled down, I was able to nurse him again and amazingly we were able to get some sleep!

b8

Brynlee’s Scrubs / Stuffed Dog

*Meeting each other for the first time and Brynlee giving Lincoln the gift she made him, Marshall, the dog. At first Brynlee wasn’t sure what to think, but she quickly fell in love with her little brother and has become the most loving and caring big sister. She takes her new responsibility very seriously.

Lincoln has been such a good baby, nursing has been going so well, he’s a great sleeper and overall a very content and happy baby. He only cries when he is hungry or needs a diaper change and settles immediately when his needs are met. He is definitely a mama’s boy, his favorite place is sleeping on my chest, which I must admit is a favorite of mine too. He loves to be swaddled, cuddled and talked to and loves Eskimo kisses on the nose.

b7

Lincoln’s outfit / Blanket

*Lincoln’s going home outfit is a size Newborn, but he is still swimming in it.

We are so happy to have him home and are settling into our routine as a family of four. Thank you to everyone who came to our rescue while everything was happening so fast for us. And thank you for all the well wishes and congratulations!

xo, Cassidi