September 3, 2015

A Busy Mom's Guide to Healthy Hair....and GIVEAWAY

I always want my hair to looks it's best, but as a busy mom, I often don't have time to make it look perfect. Heck, I usually don't even have time to wash my hair, let alone style it! Since I seem to get a lot of hair questions, I thought I would put together some of my favorite tips for having pretty, healthy hair as a busy mom! (Plus I'm giving away some Paypal keep reading!)

1. Dirty hair is the new black. Wash your hair as infrequently as possible. Yep, I said it. Dirty hair is the way to go as a busy mom. In order to make this look work for you, you have to train your hair to go without washing. Before kids, I washed my hair every other day. On day two my hair was greasy and gross so I always washed it. Then, when I got pregnant with Hudson, I started stretching it out to every three days. And now that I have two kids it's more like I wash it once every 5 days! But this takes time. Start slow by adding just one day. After two weeks try adding in another day. Your hair will adjust to less washings over time and it will actually be healthier! This tip saves me SO much time!

2. Rinse with apple cider vinegar. I know it sounds strange, but apple cider vinegar is the best (and cheapest) way to clean out all the gunk that can build up in your hair. I typically fill an old water bottle with 1 cup of apple cider vinegar and the rest of it warm water. After shampooing my hair I'll pour the mixture over my head and let it sit for about 5 minutes, then rinse it out. Be careful not to get it in your eyes. My hair feels so clean and healthy after doing this! I usually do this once or twice a month.

3. Cut down on blow drying time. Who has time to waste blow drying their hair? My hair is crazy thick and it could take me 20 minutes to dry it. No thanks! I usually let my hair air dry for a hour and then blow dry it smooth using these tips.

4. Invest in a good dry shampoo. Remember how I said I only wash my hair every 5 days or so? Well, sometimes it's more like every 7 days....and there is no way I would be able to do that without an amazing dry shampoo

5. Fight the Frizz. In the humid summer months my hair can get frizzy it's important to use some products to keep that frizz at bay. Some of my favorite products can be found here
I think my hair is probably my most favorite feature. Sure, I hated it growing up. I was the only redhead in a sea of blue-eyed blondes and I wanted so desperately to fit in and not stand out. Isn't that just silly? I wish I could go back in time and tell my little 6 year old self to love her hair. Because I sure do love it now!

6. Have a rotation that works for you. I have a typical routine with my hair. The first day it's clean I curl it with a curling iron and set it with hair spray. I try to leave it down and not mess with it too much the first day so the curls stay intact. On day two, I touch up the curls with the curling iron. On day three, I usually brush through the curls with my fingers for a softer look. On day four, I usually style it in a low or high pony tail, depending on my mood. Which brings me to day 5.....

7. Love the top not. Need I say more? Some days you just have to throw your hair up in a top not or bun and call it good. I rock this looks frequently these much so that I wore my hair down yesterday and Hudson asked me "why you hair like that mama?". Haha.

8. Make time for a haircut! This one is tough, but it's so important. As a new mom I'm constantly shedding hair thanks to all those fabulous hormones! My stylist knows this and knows just how to cut my hair so that it still works even though I'm shedding like a dog. 

9. Cut yourself some slack. Your hair doesn't always have to be perfect. Some days it looks a hot mess. But what matters most is that you make time to take care of yourself...and that you learn to love your new "mom" hair. 

As my gift to you I'm giving one lucky mom $25 in Paypal cash to spend on your favorite hair product...or however you want! Did you know that eBay has some great informative guides that help you quickly access eBay to get your shop on? To enter: Visit these eBay guides below 

 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

and let me know in the comments the title of the guide that was most helpful to you. Giveaway runs until 8:00 a.m. EST on September 17th. I'll randomly select a winner from the comments. Full giveaway rules here. Good luck!

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September 2, 2015

The Breastfeeding Diaries: Holly from Raising Blondes with Redhead Attitudes

My name is Holly and I blog at Raising Blondes with Redhead attitudes. I write about my journey of raising three stubborn sweet little girls. I am so excited to be here to share my story. Breastfeeding has never been easy for me and has truly been filled wit obstacles. However I wouldn't change a single moment or make any different choices. In the end every moment, good or bad, was perfect.

I had Aidan when I was young. I actually turned 21 before she turned two months. I had no clue what to expect and believed that it was the most natural and easy thing. So I knew for the very beginning that I wanted to breastfeed her. I didn't expect to struggle at all. She surprised everyone by coming five weeks early. Aside from being a tiny little thing at barely 6lbs, she was healthy. She latched wonderfully the first try and I thought, we were going to be rock stars. However at her two week check up, she has dropped to 4lbs. I was devastated and unknown to me suffering from postpartum depression.  Her doctor suggested supplementing formula, but with my emotions hitting deep lows I gave up. I felt as though I had failed our daughter. I found out later that I didn't fail but that she just has an unusually high metabolism. Now we have a very rambunctious almost 7 year old. 

With our second pregnancy, I was determined to be more prepared, but had so many doubts. I knew that I wanted to give our girl the very best and that meant nursing. I knew what it felt like to be depressed but I also knew that there was help. I felt prepared and ready. I was going to nurse our baby and it was going to go smoother this time. 
Jozy came into the world 4 weeks early but a little bigger than her sister. She was a healthy little baby, but we struggled with latching. I was able to get some help in the hospital and left feeling comfortable with continuing on my own. Again I felt sure that we were going to succeed with breastfeeding. At her two week and one month checkups she was gaining, not a lot though. With each visit I breathed a sigh of relief. Until her two  month check up. She had stopped gaining, but I wasn't going to give up. So I supplemented when we needed to, but I also nursed and pumped. 
I would feed Jozy every two hours, even at night, and pump while nursing. I would then offer her the bottle. I was also pumping on the hour in between nursings. I felt like I was more of a feeding station than a mom and Aidan wasn't getting enough attention. On top of the exhaustion, I could feel my emotions slipping into caous So I stopped. I switched Jozy to formula and was able to finally enjoy our baby girl. 

With our youngest baby, little Kristianna, I had so many mixed feelings and so many people giving me advise. I went back and forth so many times the first two trimesters. I was terrified that I couldn't care for our baby this way, that I would feel like a failure. In the end my husband, who is my greatest supported, encouraged me to follow my heart. So I refused to by bottles and I dug into research. I pined everything I could find on pintrest. I read every article. I spoke to multiply lactation specialists. I was ready and prepared. I knew that I might not be able to nurse her for long, but I was going to give it my all. 

And then the unexpected happened. She came into this world three weeks early and after an hour of loving on her, she was rushed to the NICU. I couldn't touch our girl, or hold her. There was no way that I could nurse her, but that was honestly the furthest from my mind that first night. I felt broken and I had no clue what we were going to do.

We were blessed with incredibly wonderful nurses. After the first night, one of them asked me if I wanted to breastfeed. It was easy to answer yes, and she quickly got me a pump. She taught me the best way to use it and what the best routine would be. All the nurses at the NICU encouraged me, helped me, and cheered me on. They celebrated every pumping victory and helped me through all the sidetracks. Then after two weeks, I was finally able to breastfeed our girl. After a lot of trail and error, we finally got it right. I felt confident and supported.

However, at her two month checkup we ended back in the hospital. Kristianna had stopped gaining. Thankfully our doctor wanted to know why. Even though I felt a little lost, I felt grateful to finally get answers. After several days we finally got some. 
I am not able to produce enough milk, no matter what we try. Our kids have high metabolisms and my body can't support them solely. So despite all the criticism I received I supplemented. I pumped and nursed as often as possible without killing myself. I also offered her a bottle of formula. I was able to nurse Kristianna until just shy of her 6 months. She weaned herself and it felt wonderful! 

Breastfeeding is hard and there are so many opinions out there on what is right or wrong. I was told so many times to not supplement. I was told with my last two pregnancies to not even try breastfeeding. I had so many people trying to tell me what was right for my baby and my body. But breastfeeding isn't easy and there isn't one right way. I nursed for as long as I could with each baby. Yes, I would love to have gone longer or had less obstacles. But I have three amazing little girls. They are healthy, happy, stubborn and growing. So my advice, don't give up and don't let someone else make you feel less. Do what you believe is right for your baby, and remember that some breast milk is better than none. Get the answer you are looking for, no matter how many times you have to ask.
There is no correct way to be a mom and life is filled with road blocks. All you can do is what you believe is right and what keeps your babies healthy and happy!

Be sure to catch up with the rest of the Breastfeeding Diaries at the top of my navigation bar.

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September 1, 2015

A day in the life....

Now that I have two kids, our days have changed quite dramatically. I'm also officially a work from home mom, which means I pack not only fun, but work time into our days. So it's about time I give you all a little peak into a typical day!

6:30 a.m. Sadie is up and ready to party...even after being up at 2:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m. What happened to my good sleeper? It's days like these that I wish I drank coffee. Normally I try and wake up before the kids so that I can get some work done...but when I'm up all night I give myself a pass and try and sleep in as much as possible. It's sad that 6:30 is considered sleeping in. 

 I feed Sadie and then we play for a while. I quickly make breakfast (scrambled eggs and a green smoothie) before big brother wakes at 7:30.

7:30-8:30 a.m. We have no where to be this morning so Hudson says "cuddle me mommy" and my heart melts. He drinks his smoothie and watches The Lego Movie (his current favorite!) and I check my email on my phone while he sits in my lap. I'm so thankful that he loves to snuggle with's the best start to our day. When I was working full time we often couldn't snuggle on the couch and it made for a rough morning. I'm thankful to be home now so that Hudson gets this quality time with me.

 8:30 a.m. and it's nice outside, so we are off for a walk in the stroller. I pack some cereal for Hudson to snack on and he's as happy as can be. I'd love to start going to the gym...maybe once Hudson starts pre-school...but for now it's walks around the neighborhood for us!

9:30 a.m. We come home from our walk and I get ready for the day while Hudson plays with toys and  Sadie watches him. Hudson is great at entertaining himself for a little while and I am SO grateful for that! I quickly feed Sadie again and we are out the door for Hudson's swim lesson. He LOVES it! After crying the first few lessons I was starting to doubt our decision, but I'm so glad we stuck it out. Sadie sleeps in her carseat the whole lesson so I have 30 minutes to myself! In between sneaking photos of Hudson swimming I check my email again and poke around on Instagram

11:30 a.m. After swim lessons we come home and have lunch (mac n' cheese and fruit) and then I read Hudson a book and put him down for his nap at 12:30 p.m. I feed Sadie again and she falls asleep too. Both kids are sleeping at the same time! VICTORY!

 My victory is short lived when Sadie decides she'll only nap if I hold her. I actually don't mind...I know that this stage is short and one day I'll miss it. So I hold Sadie and get to work. My ability to type with one hand is getting better every day. I bust out a blog post, answer work emails, and work on a project. Feeling super productive! 

3:00 p.m. Hudson is up from his nap and I bribe him to go to Target with the offer of fruit snacks. Usually after a nap he wants to stay home and play, so the fact that I got him out of the house is a big deal. 

With Hudson in the front of the cart and Sadie in the basket part, there is basically no room for all the things. Which means I have to go to Target every week. No complaints here. 

 4:00 p.m. We are home and I bribe Hudson with promises of more fruit snacks to get these photos. While we are at Target I stock up on diapers. We picked up the new Pampers Cruisers that I love because they have the best fit and protection around! They have extra absorb channels that help distribute wetness evenly. 

 This is his "cheese" face. The newly innovated Pampers Cruisers do not sag, which I love and I know is way more comfortable for my little guy.

Right now Target has a deal if you buy 2 Pampers Giant Packs you get a $10 gift card (until September 5th). Giant Packs include Pampers Cruisers and Pampers Swaddlers, so I grabbed some for Sadie too!

4:15 p.m. Hudson is over our photo shoot and is begging for popcorn, so after a wardrobe change for both kiddos it's time for a little movie watching. I feed Sadie and watch some of the movie with Hudson and then it's time for me to make dinner. Hudson and Sadie stay like this for close to an hour....which is a record for both kids!

5:00-7:00 p.m. Daddy is home! The next two hours is a rush of eating dinner, doing dishes, playing, Hudson riding his bike, and generally making a big mess.

7:00 p.m. Daddy takes Hudson to take a shower while I quickly sweep the house to clean up and then give this girl a bath. She is all smiles. Then it's books, snuggles, and bedtime for Hudson. I would love to get Sadie down at this time too, but she refuses to go to bed before 9:00, little stinker. So I feed her while I watch some TV with my husband and relax a little. 

9:15 p.m. Sadie is asleep and I have a little more work to do. Then it's a shower for me and then watch some TV in bed with my husband. I'm exhausted so lights out by 10:30 p.m. 

Then we do it all over again!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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August 28, 2015

These are a few of our favorite things

We've got a few new favorites around here to share with all of you.

 photo IMG_0391_1.jpg
First up, we have finally found the most perfect kid blanket. Ever. Saranoni blankets are the softest, most cuddly blankets I have ever seen. Both kiddos are in LOVE and so am I. In fact, I'm tempted to steal Hudson's when he's not looking. Or I could just buy the adult size and call it a day. Seriously, these babies are soft.

 photo IMG_0434.jpgThese blankets would make great baby gifts! Sadie has the swaddle blanket size and Hudson has the toddler to teen size. They are so well made and so plush....we love them!

 photo IMG_0408_1.jpgI love that their names are embroidered on them too...such a sweet keepsake. I know my kids will love these blankets for a long time!

My two loves all snuggled up on the couch ready for a movie and popcorn date!

Up next...bows, bows, and more bows. I LOVE having a girl and I've quickly become obsessed with bows! Sadie doesn't have much hair so she technically needs a bow in her hair at all times....right? Lots of you on Instagram have been let me share a few of our favorites right now..... 

Sadie's gold bow headband and the pink one she is wearing in the top photo are from Sticky Bliss

And we love everything from Sadie Skye Boutique

And Ellia May Designs

And my final new favorite thing are these softest jammies ever. Plus they have a zipper....Sadie needs these in every color. And another cute headband from Little Elle Boutique. Obsessed.

Happy Friday!

Have a great weekend my friends! Linking up with these lovely ladies....

Oh Hey Friday with September Farm and The Farmer's Wife.


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