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    Car Seats for Every Stage

    When I was a new mom, one of the things that really stressed me out was car seats. There are so many options, so many laws, so many price points, so many brands, so many different kinds. It can definitely be overwhelming.

    But after almost 7 years, I don’t stress out anymore because I have found that Graco is the BEST brand for all stages of car seats! They are affordable, safe, stylish + practical.

    When Cooper was 7 weeks old + Chelsea was 3 1/2 years old, we were hit by a drunk driver. My husband + I had several injuries (nothing major), but our kids were almost completely unharmed in their Graco seats. We cannot thank them enough for making these quality products that kept our babies safe.

    So I wanted to share with you all my favorite Graco car seats at each stage!

    Click on each picture to see the product link for each car seat!

    This is for the newborn babies + the good thing is that the stroller will grow with your baby! You can click the seat into the stroller when they’re little + then they can sit right in the stroller once they’re able to sit up on their own!
    This is for the baby who has outgrown their infant seat but still needs to be rear facing. Once they are 2 years old, you can turn it around + have it forward facing!
    This is for the bigger toddler that is forward facing but not quite ready for a booster seat yet.
    This is for the big kids who no longer need the harness seat. (And it’s VERY affordable!)

    I hope this helps you in your search for the perfect car seat! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!

    Remember, DON’T STRESS!



    How to Stay Organized + Not Lose Your Mind as a Busy Mom

    Am I the only one who despises mornings? No? Good, glad I’m not alone! Mornings with kids just makes it even more hectic + difficult. You’re trying to change a diaper + one kid’s like, “Hey mommy, go fish.” Really?!?!

    I have to have some kind of order in the mornings or I won’t survive. I’m not a morning person by a long shot, so having everything organized + ready helps me tremendously when I’m fumbling around trying to get everyone ready.

    Staying organized comes natural to me, but I know for a lot of people, it doesn’t. So I’ve compiled a list of my best tips for staying organized as a busy mom of littles. These are easy to implement + once you get in the habit, it will become effortless.

    #1 When you get home from picking all of the kids up, get everything out of your car right then. If you come in + leave it all in the car, chances are you will forget it. This will ensure that your car doesn’t accumulate a bunch of junk. It will also help remind you to get all the bookbags + lunch boxes unpacked + packed again for the next day.

    #2 If your child is at the age where they have homework, have them do it as soon as you get home. If you say you’ll wait until later to do it, you will forget or remember right before bed when they’re sleepy. Have them sit down as soon as you come in + get them a snack to eat while doing their homework.

    #3 Get everything ready for the next day before you go to bed. Sometimes I am really ambitious + do it as soon as I get home from picking them up, but other times I wait until they’re all in bed. Either way, DON’T WAIT UNTIL THE MORNING! If you’re like me, you’re usually cutting it close on time, + if you have to get things packed + ready, you might seriously be late. Plus it makes you rushed + that sets the tone for your whole day. Have all the bookbags packed, ready, + in the car. Have all lunch boxes packed + in the fridge ready to grab on the way out the door. I sometimes also have my kids a drink + breakfast ready in the fridge so we can save time there too.

    #4 I lay out my kids’ outfits for the week on Sundays. I look at what the weather is going to be + then pick out 5 outfits for each of them. I set them aside in their closet from left to right–Monday through Friday. This way I just have to grab their outfit each morning + throw it on them. I don’t have to think about what I need to pick out when I’m just waking up + in a hurry in the mornings.

    #5 Have a calendar with everyone’s schedule. We use Cozi Calendar. It’s a free app that my husband + I both have access to. So if I add an event in the calendar or an item to the grocery list, he can see it on his phone too. You add your family members in + can specify what events are for what family members. It is a great way to stay on top of your schedule. It can also send you reminders so I have it remind my husband to take the trash out every Wednesday night. It’s a great tool for our family.

    #6 I do all of my kids’ laundry on Saturday + Sunday every week. Saturday morning I start throwing loads in the wash. I do each kids’ separately, so once Cooper’s come out, I put Camille’s in, + so on. Then on Sunday, I fold + put everything away + lay out their clothes for the week. This helps make sure they never run out of socks or jackets or something + it helps to not have the loads get so big. I have been doing this for years + it really helps to have a specific day that you stay consistent on, otherwise you’ll just keep putting it off.

    #7 I always try to go to bed with the kitchen + living room semi-clean. I like for all the toys, pillows + blankets to be picked up + the kitchen counters cleared of clutter. My husband always does the dishes every night before coming to bed. I can’t stand doing dishes for some reason, + it’s one chore he actually enjoys so that is his one thing he always helps me with! It’s so nice to not come downstairs to a mess + a sink full of dishes in the morning. This helps set the tone of your day to go smoothly!

    #8 Before going to bed, we always make sure the garage is closed, all the doors are locked, all lights are off (inside + out) + make sure our alarms are set to get up the next morning. I normally reflect on the day + think about what the next day will hold right before going to sleep. If you have a lot of things to do the next day, I would make a list! This way you can delete things as you accomplish them + it will ensure you don’t forget anything!

    Which one of these are you going to try? What’s another way you stay on top of things as a busy mom to littles?!? Let me know in the comments!

    + let’s be friends! Life is so much better when we do it with others. Sign up for my email list below!



    The hospital sends you home with a baby…now what?


    Anyone else wonder if it was this easy for every parent to leave the hospital with a baby? Surely there’s a screening process, a written test, an on the job test + they should really send at least one (maybe two) nurses home with you for at least one (maybe two) weeks until you get the hang of it, right?

    I know every new parent feels this way when a baby is handed over to them + they are sent on their merry way to fend for themselves. They trust *me* to take care of this tiny human?!?

    It was extremely overwhelming when I brought my first baby home. There was so much that I wasn’t prepared for. Why is she peeing every dang time I change her diaper? Why is her poop leaking out onto every outfit I put on her? Why does she sleep all day like an angel + cry at night when I try to set her down? Why does she appear to be hungry all. the. time.?!?! And not just hungry, HANGRY. Why is she spitting up? Does she have gas? Is she crying in pain? Why did her eyes just roll in the back of her head? Should I take her to the hospital? IS SHE DYING?

    These are real thoughts that went through my head. Along with other ones such as, I’ll never sleep again, my boobs are food, so much for being cool, my vagina will never be the same.

    Don’t get me wrong, I loved being a mom + I was beyond thrilled to call that little girl mine. But man, it is EXHAUSTING.

    I found myself scouring the internet looking for any tips, tricks + miracle hacks that other moms suggested. I tried some, laughed at some, shook my head at some + swore by some that worked for me. I also started to figure out my own hacks that helped my baby. Every single baby is different, so what worked for one mom might not work for another. I have three kids and all three of them were different as babies and had different preferences. There are some things that work for almost every baby though. I still remember those first weeks at home with my baby as a new mom + I cringe at the thought of how clueless I was.

    So I want to share with other moms some things that I WISH someone would’ve told me before I had my first baby. I hope these will help you navigate life as a new mommy!

    #1. Newborns are used to being packed tightly in your belly with little room to move. That’s why the nurses in the hospital always swaddle them so tightly. It helps simulate the womb. So many people stop swaddling once they get home. Why!?! There’s really no excuse now with all the swaddle blankets + sleep sacks out there now! You don’t even have to do the work–the blanket does it for you! It is so important to hold your baby on your chest, close to you, to help them feel more secure + start to bond with you. There is no truth at all to the saying, “You’re going to spoil that baby by holding it all the time!” Newborns don’t remember what happened an hour ago. They’re not going to remember that yesterday you held them more than today. Hold that baby tight. Bond with them. Get all the snuggles you can in because they won’t be this little for long.

    #2. Newborns are also used to having a muffled, constant sound always going while in the womb (aka white noise, similar to a vacuum cleaner, hairdryer, etc.). White noise is without a doubt the most important thing you can have as a parent to a newborn. It helps them sleep, calms them down, drowns out other noises, etc. When I discovered white noise as a first time parent, it was a game changer. Anytime she would cry, I would turn on the app on my phone + play white noise + she would instantly calm down. You’re going to want to buy a sound machine to play when for naptime + bedtime. This also helps establish the time they’re supposed to be asleep as opposed to being awake. They’ll start to hear that noise as a cue that it is time to go to sleep.

    #3. Car rides are your friend (assuming your baby doesn’t scream bloody murder every time). Cars put babies to sleep. It’s science. Go for a ride. Have nowhere to go? Who cares. Your baby is screaming + you’re pulling your hair out: go. for. the ride. Even if they are screaming at first, odds are they will fall asleep + stay asleep as long as you keep driving. You get a moment’s peace + they get some rest!

    #4. Newborns like movement. Again, they have been in your belly, moving around with you. They will feel most at home when you move them. Sometimes it’s as simple as bouncing them on your lap or patting them on the booty. Other times, you have to get up + walk around with them. My first two definitely required me to get up + walk around with them to get them calmed down. It might seem like an inconvenience at the time, but it’s worth it!

    #5. Newborns are pretty much always going to seem hungry!! So even if they are sucking on their hands two seconds after they ate, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are ready to eat again. With my first two, that’s what i thought + it was exhausting just feeding them all the time. Then I finally figured out with my third that they just love that comfort of sucking. I gave my third a pacifier + she was golden. Now I know they say not to give it to a newborn if they’re not latching properly, but if they are + have no problems eating, there is nothing wrong with giving them a paci for comfort.

    #6. Newborns sometimes cry because they need to be changed. Some of them don’t like being wet or dirty. Check their diaper. They might just need a change + they’ll be all good after that.

    #7. Sometimes newborns need to be burped because they’re a little gassy. If they’re not content laying down, try sitting them up + patting them on the back to see if they need to burp. If they are burping + passing gas a lot, you might try some Gripe water. It’s supposed to help relieve gas in newborns + they like taking it.

    #8. Sometimes they might cry because they are just tired + need to sleep. In this case, I would recommend doing any of the above to calm them down. If they’re calm, they’ll most likely fall asleep. Try the white noise, walking around with them, giving them the paci, swaddling them, or bouncing them to get them to sleep. 

    What are some other ways you figured out calmed your newborn down? Let me know in the comments or email me! + let’s be friends! Life is so much better when we do it with others! Sign up for my email list below!



    To see my complete list of what you need for baby, check out my Amazon Storefront. I have a baby section, as well as kids’ books section + toys + games!

    *I am not a medical professional. These are solely my opinions from my own experiences.*

    What do you really need in your hospital bag?

    So the big day is coming soon, and you are starting to wonder what you should pack to take to the hospital. There are so many lists out there from moms telling you what you need to pack. Most of them have nine hundred seventy-seven items on them.

    I’m here to tell you–you don’t need all that junk.

    It’s more work on your huge pregnant self to pack all that, then it will sit in your bag in the hospital unused, then when you get home and are trying to recover from delivery and figure out your newborn, you won’t feel like unpacking all those items and it will sit there annoying you for days.

    Can you tell I’ve done that before?

    I’ve had three kids, and with my first, I took WAYYY too much to the hospital. I searched Pinterest and read all these blog posts and pins about what to pack, and I followed it to a tee. And then I was frustrated. I was frustrated that I had all this junk at the hospital taking up space in the tiny, little room. And I was really frustrated when I came home and had all this stuff to unpack and didn’t feel like it or have time.

    So with my second two, I knew exactly what I needed and most importantly, exactly what I DIDN’T need. I’m going to start by telling you some things that you don’t need (things that most people will tell you to pack).

    Things you should NOT pack:

    Diapers and wipes – The hospital provides these for free (well, not free, but you know) so there’s no need to bring yours. Save those for at home!

    Aspirator – The hospital provides this as well and theirs is usually better than what you can buy at the store.

    Baby blankets – The hospital provides an unlimited supply of these. Now it would be helpful to maybe bring one of your own to take a cute picture because the hospital ones are not cute (why have they been the same for the last 50 years?!?).

    A million outfits for baby – The hospital provides white onesies and they are swaddled in a blanket 99% of the time. The stay in the hospital is just not the time for that super cute outfit you have. I liked to have some footie pajamas and a going home outfit. That’s it.

    Burp cloths, bibs, mittens – Like I said, the baby will be swaddled 99% of the time so mittens are really unnecessary. They aren’t that messy of an eater yet, so need for bibs. And if you need a burp cloth, the hospital will have you need.

    Hairdryer/straightener/curling iron – If you are going to do your hair while in the hospital, more power to you, but I just let my hair dry on its own while in the hospital. Most hospitals provide you with a hairdryer though if you need one.

    Pillows – The hospital has plenty of pillows and if you don’t have enough, you can request more.

    Baby book – Who on this planet has time to do a baby book while you’re at the hospital?!?

    Breast pump/pumping supplies – most likely you won’t need to pump while in the hospital because you are literally nursing so often with a newborn that there’s no time. But if you do need to, they have hospital grade pumps available that are probably much better than what you have anyway.

    Pads – The hospital provides you with all the pads you could ever need plus some lovely mesh undies. They also have everything you need to take care of “down there” post delivery.

    Snacks – The hospital usually provides some snacks for you. You also get all your meals delivered to you from the cafeteria. And your husband can go down to the cafeteria to get himself something to eat.

    Things you SHOULD pack:

    The obvious – Phone & phone charger

    A FAN – The best thing ever for when you’re in labor and get so freakin hot. Just a little handheld one with batteries is perfect. Seriously, don’t go to the hospital without it. And instruct your husband to hold it by your face the whole time you’re pushing!!!!

    Toiletries – Just the basics – Toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, a little bit of makeup, hairbrush, hair ties.

    Clothes for you – Nightgowns and robes are your friend here so you don’t have anything tight around your belly. Maybe pack one or two nursing bras. But honestly, sometimes it’s easier in the beginning when you’re nursing so much to not wear a bra at all. For your going home outfit, black sweatpants or leggings and a loose fitting shirt.

    Clothes for husband – Comfortable things like t-shirts and basketball shorts. Make sure they have a sweatshirt or comfortable jacket because it can be cold in hospitals and your hormones are crazy so you will most likely be hot.

    Clothes for baby – Like I said, a couple footie pajamas and a going home outfit is really all you need. You have plenty of time at home to have a fashion shoot with baby. Even though the hospital provides hats, I did have a special hat for my last two babies with their name on it. That was really special to me.

    WHAT I SWEAR BY – Adult diapers. No joke. Get them. And don’t look back. My aunt told me to get these before I had my first baby. I was like HA, yeah no. Then when I was in the hospital after having my baby, I made my husband go to CVS and get me some. And with my other two babies, they were purchased ahead of time and packed in my bag as the most precious cargo. Seriously, it makes so much sense. No matter how embarrassing it may seem, just do it. Even if you wear regular underwear with a pad, you could still leak and get blood on your panties and pants. If you wear adult diapers, then you won’t ruin your clothes, and you don’t have to worry about keeping the pad in place. These days they look and feel pretty much like normal underwear. And they aren’t noticeable. I even wore them under jeans, and you couldn’t tell.

    Bottom line and moral of this story – don’t stress. If you forget something, or if you get there and realize you need xyz, the hospital most likely has it and can get it for you. If it’s something they wouldn’t have, your husband or a family member can always run out and get it for you. You are not locked in that hospital room and closed off to the rest of the world. I’m telling you, DON’T OVERPACK! You will regret it. With my last baby, I took one small suitcase and the diaper bag and my purse. That’s it. And I had everything I needed. If you’re questioning if you’ll need something or not, you probably won’t need it.

    If you are contemplating taking something to the hospital and aren’t sure if you should or not, email me! I would be glad to give you my opinion and point of view! But please, please don’t stress! You are about to bring life into this world in a magical, wonderful way. When you lay eyes on that child, nothing else will matter, and you won’t remember what you packed. Congratulations and good luck!

    going home from the hospital with my last baby | july 2019

    5 Ways You Can Stay Home With Your Kids + Still Earn An Income

    *This is a sponsored post*

    I know a lot of women dream of being a stay-at-home mom. Maybe they don’t want to feel like someone else is raising their kids. Maybe they don’t want to send them to a daycare with all.the.germs. Or maybe it’s just that the money they would make working wouldn’t be worth it when 80% of it goes to daycare or nanny costs.

    I totally get it. When you’re working 40+ hours a week & have a commute, it can feel like you only see your kids on the weekends. Plus it’s a hassle to have to request time off when your kid has a special performance or event at their school. You feel very restricted with your schedule when you have to be at an office everyday from 9-5.

    For me, I couldn’t just stay home & not do anything. I love being a parent (obviously), but I have to have something else to keep my mind active & my creativity flowing. It’s also nice for me to be able to bring in some extra income so we don’t have to rely solely on my husband’s. There are lots of ways I could have worked from home. I researched & considered many different options. I have come up with a short list here to offer to anyone who might be considering working from home:

    Start an Etsy Shop – I’m guilty of this one! I have an Etsy shop where i design invitations, Christmas cards, posters, and other printwork. Are you good at creating something? Some people can knit, sew, make jewelry, paint, etc. If you are a creative, this is a great way to earn some extra money. It does require some administrative work & you do have to deal with some customer service issues so you have to be willing to do that as well as the creating.

    Join a Direct Sales Company – This is not one that I have ever done. However, I know so many people who have & have made good money from it. You can sell to family & friends from the comfort of your home or wherever you may be! Most of the time it is makeup or skincare, but there are other options as well. These are few of the big companies: Rodan + Fields, Arbonne, Mary Kay, It Works, Scentsy, Pampered Chef.

    Ask Around for any Reputable Work from Home Jobs – So I work as a Director of Operations for an online business consultant. She is local to my area however we rarely meet in person. 95% of the time I am working remotely. The way I found this job is by posting on a local Facebook group that I was in search of a job. I noted a few of my experiences & skills & she reached out to me that she was looking for someone. We talked online a little bit & then met in person. It ended up being the perfect fit for both of us & the rest is history. You would be surprised how many work from home jobs are available these days because of technology. Get your name & your experience out there. Get connected with local professionals. You may be surprised what you come across.

    Become an Online Teacher – This one is SUPER popular right now. I know former teachers & people with no teaching background that have taught from home. There are American online schools you can apply for, but the most popular one right now is VIP Kid where you teach children in China. I never wanted to do it because you have to get up at like 4am to video chat with them at their time & I am NOT a morning person!! But I know tons of people who have/are doing this & love it & are making good money from it.

    Become a Medical Transcriptionist – This is an extremely popular career that so many are doing from home now and making good money. A company that hires for these at home positions is called iMedX. iMedX has been around for almost 20 years and isn’t going anywhere. They offer benefits to their employees (something you can’t get a lot of times with work from home jobs) including health insurance as well as paid time off. You do need to have some skills to effectively perform this job. These are not mindless tasks (which is great for those that want the challenge that comes with this position). This is a great job for anyone who has had some experience in a medical setting at one time or another. You will go through a screening process testing your knowledge of medical terminology, grammar, etc. to be considered for the position. The basics of the job are listening to audio recordings from a physician and then transcribing their oral language into written script. Obviously one of the best parts of the job is the flexible schedule and the ability to work wherever you are. This company is based in Atlanta, Georgia, so it’s pretty centrally located if you live in the south or close to there. To learn more about their webinars, coding tips, education and more, be sure to check out their website.

    Image: iMedX

    What other work from home jobs did I leave out? Have you ever worked from home? Do you want to work from home in the future? Leave a comment or send me an email & let’s be friends! Life is so much better when we do it with others!

    You’re a Mom, but that’s not all…

    my kids are my life, and pretty much everything i do revolves around them. however, i’m a firm believer that you have to take care of yourself first & you have to have your own life outside of being a mother. yes, it is my most important job and my highest calling. but i believe that in order to be the best mother i can be for my children, i must be healthy not only physically, but mentally. if i do nothing but parent 24/7 & do nothing that is enjoyable to me, i will get frustrated, irritated, annoyed, & burnt out. when this happens, you become like a volcano just building & building until an eruption. a lot of times you take things out on your spouse or your kids or your friends or other family members. & this isn’t fair to those people. take time for yourself. take time to relax & clear your mind. take time to do things that you enjoy–that don’t involve the kids for once. when you do these things for yourself, you are helping release more of the good chemicals in your brain that make you feel happy & satisfied with life. if you are feeling satisfied, you will be in a better mood, have more patience, & be more willing to read that dumb dinosaur book to your kid for the 57th time today. happy moms are the best moms. & you can’t be happy if you never take any time for self care.

    another reason i believe it is so important to have your own life as a mother is one day, far too soon, these children will grow up and sadly, leave me. while i still hope to see them very often and be involved in their lives, i will need to have my own life. as someone who has struggled with depression, OCD and anxiety for a large portion of my life, i can see how parenting could become an unhealthy obsession. where i give & give & give myself until there is nothing left. & looking to the future, what’s going to happen when they’re all out of the house & living their own lives? what will i be left with? an empty house, an empty heart, & no friends or hobbies of my own. i can see that being a very dark time in my life if i don’t do things now to combat that. so i try to have things that i do regularly outside of being a mom. i believe all mothers should have hobbies and things that interest them besides their kids. it is so important to not lose your own identity for the sake of being a mother. you are still an individual & when your child grows up, you can’t live their life for them. they will become their own person. & if you lose your own identity, then when they find theirs, you will be left with nothing.

    so how do we keep from going insane as a mother & also keep our own sense of individualism? here is a list of ideas to help:

    1. go on a date with your significant other
    2. go to a coffee shop by yourself for a while to read a book or online shop
    3. have dinner with friends
    4. go to the gym
    5. get a massage
    6. get your hair done
    7. get your nails done
    8. get a facial
    9. go for a walk alone
    10. go to a movie with your mom
    11. go shopping without the kids
    12. have your significant other take the kids somewhere & let you take a nap at home
    13. go out for a drink with friends
    14. take a bubble bath when the kids are in bed
    15. take a local craft class
    16. take a long drive to nowhere
    17. have a show that you keep up with (that is not a cartoon)
    18. have a podcast or radio show you keep up with
    19. join a local club or group
    20. when all else fails, hand the kids off to your significant other & go to target!!!

    what are some things you do for self care & to keep your identity that i didn’t mention? comment below or email me!

    & let’s be friends! life is so much better when we do it with others.


    Confessions of a Mom of Three

    i forgot to send the lunch money. again. the school is going to call & remind me that my daughter’s account is in the negative. ugh.

    ever feel like you’re failing at being a mom? like nothing you do is “right”?

    i know i feel like that multiple times a day. 

    i also know that it’s not true.

    it’s a little voice inside me that has been formed by popular culture. & it’s a liar.

    yes, i let my kids watch tv.

    yes, i let them eat fast food.

    yes, i let them stay up late on the weekends.

    yes, i let them nap in the car.

    yes, sometimes they argue with each other.

    yes, i lose my cool with them sometimes. 

    no, i don’t cook a home cooked meal every night.

    no, i never prepared my own baby food.

    no, i never used cloth diapers.

    no, i don’t give them a bath every single day.

    no, i didn’t breastfeed exclusively for the whole first year.

    no, i don’t buy every single school picture that my kids get taken.

    but you know what i do?

    i read to them every day.

    i sing to them every day.

    i kiss & hug them every day.

    i make sure they use their manners.

    i correct them when they are not playing nice.

    i tell them i love them every day.

    what do you think they will remember?

    *my mom didn’t hand make my baby food*


    *my mom spent time with me & told me she loved me*

    i’m not a child psychologist. but i think it’s the latter.

    the way we love our kids is all that matters. spending time with them is more important than the research we have done on which stroller is the best or sticking to a set, strict schedule every single day that is approved by NASA. 

    so many moms these days are more interested in the “mom fads” & “mom trends” & what they look like on social media, & i often wonder if they had a conversation with their kid today. even if they’re a baby. i have conversations with my three month old. granted, it’s pretty one-sided. but i still think it’s important.

    i promise your kid is not going to remember all the parenting trends you tried. but they will remember how much love you showed them. 

    you are not a failure. & don’t let anyone (including yourself) make you believe that. focus on loving your kids & spending time with them & you will most certainly gain the biggest, most rewarding prize.

    comment below & tell me what “mom trend” you hate. or send me an email. let’s be friends.