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mommy blogger

Posted on August 22, 2019

RaeLynn’s Birth Story


The draft for RaeLynn’s birth story had been in progress since January of 2018.  A big part of the reason I couldn’t actually finish this post is because I was in denial about how my birth plan panned out. In finding out I was pregnant once again back in November, I realized just how much trauma and emotional pain I still had from my two cesarean births. I know that I need to write this birth story in order to heal and accept the way my beautiful babe was brought into the world. I’m a week overdue with our next baby girl, so I figure it’s about time we finished writing this story.

Read more..

Posted on August 23, 2017

Baby Must-Haves and a Bumpdate

Baby Must-Haves and a Bumpdate

MY DUE DATE IS TODAY! It’s time to make my hospital checklist and ensure I have all the baby must-haves for our sweet RaeLynn’s impending arrival! If you had told me this time last year that I would be 40 weeks pregnant right now, I would have laughed. God has such a sense of humor. Pregnancy wasn’t on our radar one bit since it took us so long to get pregnant with Elliana. But I cannot tell you how excited we are to welcome another girl to the family!

Making Memories

With a second pregnancy you tend to forget about the weekly bumpdate pictures and you don’t journal as much. I was so grateful when I was gifted this beautiful Bump book from Polka Dot Print Shop to record my pregnancy memories. I have loved having the prompts along the way to help me remember things like cravings, aversions, Mommy thoughts and feelings and anything else I want to record along this journey. Later I will get a Baby book from them to continue journaling RaeLynn’s life!

Baby Must Haves and a Bumpdate

Maternity Photos & Hospital Wardrobe

There are definitely not any weekly bump pictures from this pregnancy! I just didn’t get into it this time around. But I sure made certain to document my bump as it grew here and there. I love looking back at my Mom when she was pregnant with me so I knew I wanted to do a special photo shoot at some point. I received the softest, most beautiful hospital delivery robe from PinkBlush. I have had such a hard time finding cute maternity clothes but after hearing so many friends rave about PinkBlush, I decided to go for it!

And THEN, I took the biggest step out of my comfort zone and did a little mini shoot with my talented daughter Teck! I love how excited she gets when she shoots! So here you go…maternity photos in my new fav maternity robe! A Mama must feel good after delivering a baby, am I right?! So along with all the baby must-haves, I’ll include one for Mama’s too!

Baby Must-Haves and a Bumpdate

Baby Must-Haves and a Bumpdate

All About Baby

I was a nanny for many years prior to starting our own family, so I feel like I tried all the gadgets! There are many that are unnecessary and there are some that are an absolute necessity! I think we can all agree that having a babe that sleeps well is a Mother’s dream.

A sound machine is a MUST my friends! White noise is so great because they say that the sounds baby is used to in the womb are louder than a vacuum cleaner. This is the sound machine we are using this time around.

The other sleep weapon is our absolute favorite blanket from AllyZabba. My friend who is a Doula and sleep training guru, introduced these to me when I was a nanny and helped people sleep train their babies. THEY WORK people! They say the silky side resembles the texture and feel of the uterus which is why it is so soothing to a baby. I start a newborn with the smallest size to lay under their head while they sleep and then we get the bigger ones later. Just ask my 4 year old about her “BB’s”, she’s slightly obsessed. I love how they monogram them AND we even got to be the very first recipients of their new DAHLIA pattern!

Baby Must-Haves and a Bumpdate

Cannot Live Withouts

These last 5 must-haves are so vital for your new babe and YOU! Do you trust me?

The Swaddle:

Back to the topic of sleep. Swaddling is a must my friends. Some people claim their babes don’t like the swaddle, and to that I say, keep doing it and they will learn to love it. It’s most likely not the swaddle they don’t like, but the fact that they were recently born into a foreign world where they don’t have the squishy and cozy living quarters they once had. They need some adjusting time!

You can choose from so many brands but I’ve heard some rave reviews on the Ollie Swaddle and I’m going to give it a shot this time around! It is a must to have velcro to secure your babe as they are little Houdini’s while they sleep and can break out of most anything! The Ollie has that too, but it also has an amazing system for easy access to the diaper area without completely un-swaddling in the middle of the night. Plus, the moisture-wicking fabric keeps your little one at the perfect sleeping temperature.

Affiliate Link: Get 10% Off your very own Ollie HERE


More Sleep and Lounging Time too

By now you must have heard a Mom or two talk about the multi-functional lounger, co-sleeper, playtime hangout, the DockATot! For the longest time I seriously thought these were some kind of bath or blow-up flotation device. For real. But no, it’s only the most ingenious invention handmade in Europe from 100% all natural cotton. I love that you can take it with you anywhere for an easy docking station (ahh that’s where they got the name) for your babe. It comes in two sizes (Deluxe for 0-8 Months, Grand 9-36 months) and has some pretty cute patterns too. If you ask 100 Moms what they would say is a “must-have”, this is definitely up there on the list!

Affiliate Link: Score $10 Off your very own DockATot HERE


This is insanely important. Your babe spends more time sleeping than anything else for the first 2 years of their life. If you know me, you know I want to eliminate every toxic chemical in my home. I’m on a mission, people!

“When parents put their babies down to sleep, they expect that their children are sleeping safe and sound. Unfortunately, a major study conducted by the University of Texas in Austin found that this couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact, what they did find is that most crib mattresses are a significant source of chemicals in an infant’s environment.” Read more on this over at the My Green Mattress Website.

I did a significant amount of research on this one and I can say with confidence that My Green Mattress is a good resource for the entire family to sleep peacefully, in every sense of the word. As you are probably aware, the government requires all mattresses to pass burn tests. My Green Mattress is able to pass both the 1633 open flame test and 1632 cigarette test by quilting natural wool into the organic cotton cover of your mattress, without use of any chemical flame retardants. Wool is a natural flame retardant and was used in years past to make firemen’s coats. Word to that!

We also got a twin size for Elliana and I think we will be looking into replacing our Queen size chemically-laden mattress as well! They are SUPER comfy!

Affiliate Link: Check out the selection for your family HERE

The Grocery Cart Conundrum

Grocery carts are from the devil. I wish you could bring your own. I’m not really into germs. So the Binxy Baby seemed like an incredible solution to keep baby safe in her own carrier or in the actual Binxy during grocery trips. What I love about this cute little grocery cart hammock is that it holds up to 50 lbs. so if babe is sleeping, you can put the entire car seat carrier in it and you don’t risk it tipping over. OR you can put your precious bundle straight in the Binxy Baby and she will love it! It’s a game changer my friends.

Affiliate Link: Check out this link to get yourself 10% off HERE 

Last but most certainly not least…

Oh, Gentle Baby. The wonder-working essential oil! I’ve been using it all throughout pregnancy on my belly for those lovely little marks that like to reveal themselves as your belly grows. But aside from that, it is a very calming oil that is so helpful when used on the bottoms of tiny feet right before bedtime! I love diffusing this oil as well and it will definitely be in my hospital bag. If we haven’t had a Facetime or coffee date about essential oils, please let me treat you and I’ll share all the ways in which oils have changed the way we do life! You can visit my oily page to learn more as well.

Baby Must-Haves and a Bumpdate |

** Big thanks to the companies (excluding Young Living) that provided the products mentioned in this post for my review. I told every company I would only talk about the product if I truly loved it and boy do I love this round up of baby/maternity goods!
Posted on May 7, 2017

A Mother’s Day of Pampering | A Day at the Spa

A Mother's Day of Pampering | A Day at the Spa

Mother’s Day and a day at the spa just go hand in hand! I bet you didn’t know that back in the day I worked for a few different salons and spas! I learned so much about the industry and feel like I could write a book on being the best client, finding the stylist or service provider that fits your needs best and how to tip! So I might just have some high standards after a few years of getting to try out some of the best stylists and spa services back when I lived in Los Angeles!

Soon after moving to Tennessee, I realized that there weren’t many spas to choose from here. Which was really okay, because this Mama sure didn’t have time to pamper herself! I mean seriously, when was the last time you did something just for YOU?! Plus, we are in this whole Dave Ramsey, buy everything with cash season, and there is no line item in the budget for pampering.

But then there is Mother’s Day. A time where Mama’s around the world get a little something special from their loved ones just for THEM!

{and all the praise hands go up!}

A Mother's Day of Pampering | A Day at the Spa

A Mother's Day of Pampering | A Day at the Spa

A Mother's Day of Pampering | A Day at the Spa

The Mother’s Day Spa Experience

I had heard great things about The Woodhouse Day Spa from some locals and decided we would give them a try for a special day of pampering together. In fact, they were named one of the best in Tennessee! First of all, I loved the inviting ambiance in the spa. We were greeted warmly by a spa associate and lead to a dressing room to be fitted with a luxurious robe and reflexology slippers. Mood lighting and a comfy lounge with light snacks, loose-leaf teas and fruit-infused water is key for a perfect spa experience! Teck and I got to hang out for a bit in the Quiet Room where we sipped our tea and giggled with anticipation!

I went with the Mellow Mama massage which is a nurturing full body massage for moms to be. I really didn’t know what to expect but I assumed that I wouldn’t be able to get the full massage experience with the inability to lie on my back. It was surprisingly a very comfortable experience and just what I needed to slow my mind down and unwind. Teck had never had a massage before and she chose the hot stone massage. She could barely walk when she came back into the lounge, she was so relaxed. With having no idea what to expect, the whole experience blew her away!

A Gift for HER

I have been eyeing many of the other services that The Woodhouse Day Spa has to offer. If you strongly dislike the nail salons that smell like chemicals, you’ll definitely want to try out their nail services! I also love that they take a more holistic approach to skin care using certified organic ingredients in many of their treatments. I don’t know about you, but a facial to me is even more relaxing than a massage! The Spa also offers waxing, sleep treatments and body treatments. If only Phil would let me drag him to a spa, because they have incredible packages for two! But hey, with Mother’s Day coming up, at least they have a handful of amazing packages for just us Moms, too.

They even have a special for those who treat their Mother (wife) to a gift card of $250 or more — a beautiful floral robe! So don’t say I never did anything for you ladies, because if you are local, you can just share this post to your wall to give your crew the subtle hint they need to purchase just the right gift. {because you know they haven’t bought you anything yet!}

Question for the comments: What will you be gifting to a Mom this year? OR What would you want to receive?

A Mother's Day of Pampering | A Day at the Spa

A BIG thank you to THE WOODHOUSE day spa in Franklin, TN for giving me this amazing experience with my daughter! While this was a treat from The Woodhouse day spa, all opinions are my own. I can’t wait to hear you tell me how much you enjoyed your Woodhouse experience!
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