Friday, July 31, 2015

Happy 1st Birthday Landry

Landry turns 1 today!!! I know I should be sad (and I am a little sad by how fast time is going) but overall I am stoked! We made it one year, we made it 11 months of the 12 me staying home with her and not only keeping her alive but it seems she is thriving!! Also I apologize in advance for picture overload but once I started I just couldn't stop!


























Baby girl, you rock my world! You are the bee's knees!! You are the jelly to my peanut butter!! You are everything special and magnificent! 

You are all my dreams coming to fruition and you are all the dreams you haven't even dared to dream. 

You are this precious little spirit that I have the honor of playing a part in raising and shaping. It has only just begun my dear little one but I can already tell it is going to be one heck of a ride!

Get ready my darling dearest because today is all about you (and so is Sunday when your actual party is)! Today is going to be filled library time, playgrounds, and possibly some frozen yogurt as a special birthday treat! I hope I can spend many birthdays with you celebrating in our own special little way.   

I love you more than I knew I was capable of! Now time to celebrate!

-Mommy




Thursday, July 30, 2015

What I've Learned in My First Year of Motherhood


Landry turns 1 tomorrow!!! I can't believe this time last year I was getting ready to head to the hospital to be induced (Landry was 11 days past her due date). Next week I will share Landry's 1 year update and a recap of her birthday party (her party is Sunday so more family could attend). I've decided to share some of the things I've learned during my first year of motherhood. This week is not all inclusive and I'm definitely not saying I've learned it all. I am a constant work in progress, as a person and as a mom.

1. Google is Not Your Friend.
I am notorious googler. Anything I wonder or don't have an answer to I just google it. Unfortunately as a new mom the ease of googling is not a good thing. Instead of trusting my own instincts I would google what to do about anything related to Landry. I swear it increased my anxiety and made me feel like I was doing nothing right. Also everyone's opinions online contradict one another which makes everything even more confusing. Once I started trusted my instincts and began realizing I have to do what's right for my child I started feeling a lot more confident and natural as a mom.

2. Getting Out of The House is Necessary.
When I first started staying home with Landry I would rarely leave the house except maybe to meet Daniel for lunch. I was terrified of going out with Landry by myself and her possibility having a breakdown. Once I got over my fear and started getting out, even just to walk around TJ Maxx, I felt so much more human and I think Landry benefited too. Before Landry could walk we would take a blanket to the park and just people watch and hang out. It was a nice change of pace and a little vitamin D never hurt anyone!

3. Finding Other Moms is Important.
I've learned this but have only begun to work on it. I think this is what I've struggled the most with. Most of my friends are not moms and the ones that are work full-time. I really want to make more connections with moms. I have met one mom who I really got along with so I hope to stay connected with her.

4. Time Speeds Up.
Remember when you were a kid and it felt like each day was never-ending? Yeah well now time is going in fast forward! One of my favorite quotes about motherhood is "The days are long, but the years short." It sounds so cliche and before I had my daughter I probably rolled my eyes when seasoned moms would share that tidbit with me. But now I get it. Some days it seems like it will never get to 5:15pm when Daniel walks through that door but I look back and can't believe a year has passed already. I literally broke down crying the other night to Daniel because I just felt like time is slipping away.

5. Children Take a Toll on Marriage.
I wrote before about how a baby changes everything when it comes to marriage. I love Landry so much but she has really changed things in our marriage. Things were pretty smooth sailing before she was born, but we are still figuring out our new normal as a couple that now are parents. A lot of the activities we enjoyed pre-baby we haven't been able to do (kayaking being a big one). Me becoming a stay-at-home mom has also changed some of the dynamics of our relationship which has meant another adjustment. Slowly but surely we are figuring things out.

6. Motherhood is an Adventure. 
There is so many things that motherhood is, it's exhausting, rewarding, guilt-inducing, draining, uplifting, funny, etc. But most of all it is an adventure. Every day I am learning more about Landry, more about Daniel, more about myself, and more about God. Adventures are scary and fun, as is motherhood. It is terrifying to know I am in charge of raising and helping shape a human being. But it is so much fun too! I get to experience childhood all over again but it's even better!

Here are some pasts posts that show my feelings about motherhood this past year. Feel free to check them out: The Same, The Fog, Sick Days, A Different Kind of Hard, Why We're Only Having One Child

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Wonderful Web Round Up



It's been awhile since I've shared some of my favorite picks from around the web so I think it is time to share some of the greatness from around the web.

Nicole of Writes Like A Girl is killing it with her wish lists! She recently shared some hats which helped me discover Brixton. I am loving this hat.

I recently discovered Half United in my search of companies that give back. They use old bullets to make jewelry and for every piece sold they provide a week of meals to a child in need. I am in love with their Sullivan Stack Necklace!

As y'all know, I am a HUGE Netflix fan so this Netflix workout seems right up my alley.

I am really wanting to get back into a routine with having a quiet time. Elizabeth from Oat & Oaks shares 5 resources for your quiet time.

Landry turns 1 this Friday!! I love this post with 18 Non-Toys Gifts for Children. As Landry gets older I really want us to focus less on excessive material things and more on experiences. I will definitely reference this list for future birthdays/Christmas.

Method Dressing is a very interesting concept and kind of fits into the capsule wardrobe idea. I think I lean towards the neutrals + statement piece way of dressing. How about you?

I made these sweet potato skins a few weeks ago and they were so delicious and tasty!!

And in case you might have missed here are some posts of mine: Shopping with a Purpose, Our Favorite Board Books, and Why We're Only Having One Child.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Daily Wears 07.28.15







Dear Summer,

You've long been my favorite season. I dreamed of those 90 degree days, no school, laying by the pool, evenings out with friends. I loved wearing shorts, dresses, skirts, and sandals. But I hate to tell you this, but my affection for you has been waning.

Maybe it's me, maybe my love of your extremes coincided with my extremes. I've leveled out in the last few years (at least for me). No longer are your extremely hot days exciting, they are now just miserable. I have a child now! Your weather can be so rough on her.

Since having a child I can't spend lazy days by the pool. Kayaking, that's not even an option right now! And let's not even get started about how my hormones since childbirth means I start sweating something awful. You know how much I hate sweat and you just don't make it any better!

You've also began withholding rain which is so selfish and rude. It's always about you and never about anyone else and what's best for them. Even if I had someone to watch Landry so I could kayak right now the levels on the river are so low it would be near impossible. Do you not think about these things?

It's with a heavy heart that I have to say, I am breaking up with you summer. I'm just not that into you. It's not you, it's me. We should start seeing other people. I think autumn and me might have more in common. I am ready to trade in my sandals and shorts for cardigans and scarves.

We've had a good run and I hope we can be cordial as we move forward during this difficult time.

Sincerely,
Brittany

Dress- Old Navy
Shoes- Saltwater Sandals
Bag- Oh, Sweet Joy!
Bracelet- Target
Earrings- Target
What's your favorite season? Are you over summer? 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Honest Review of The Honest Co.


I have been really slow to jump on the Honest Company bandwagon. I am a huge fan of natural/safe products but for some reason I have just resisted the Honest Co. I make some of my cleaning products in order to keep it more natural and less chemicals, but I haven't made the switch with some things. After Jen posted about her love of the products I finally decided to give it a go. 

I started by ordering their free-trial of their diaper/wipe bundle and their essentials bundle. You can go sign up here if you are interested in sampling. The trial bundles are absolutely free (just paying shipping) and you can cancel as soon as you receive them! After receiving our bundles I cancelled the diapers/wipes (we primarily cloth diaper so I don't need a regular supply of disposable. However, I will definitely pick up a pack here and there at Target). I decided to keep the essentials bundle because there was some products I was wanting to try and I had a $10 off your first bundle coupon. The essentials bundle is only $35 a month (plus shipping) and you can customize what 5 products you want to receive and how often. Also the bundle saves you a ton of money which is great!

This post is not sponsored and below is my very honest review of the products! There are some things I love and some things I did NOT like. 

Shampoo & Body Wash 
This is the product that I have heard the most bloggers/people rave about especially for their little ones. I have even had a few say this is their go-to shampoo. The smell is incredible, like orange creamsicles! I, however, did not like it for my personal shampoo. I have really thick, curly, coarser hair and I felt like the shampoo did not get it clean. I love it as a body wash and it is great for children!

Diapers
Like I said earlier, we mainly cloth diaper. We use a disposable at night and then sometimes disposables on longer trips or weekends away. I really like these disposables because they do not get the nasty smell after the baby goes potty. They also didn't make Landry rashy or anything. They don't work overnight for Landry (the only kind we have found that does work is Huggies Overnight), but I might pick up a pack here and there at Target for trips. 

Face & Body Lotion
Terrible, absolutely terrible! Sticky, did not feel hydrating. I would never use it on my face because of how terrible it felt just on my body. And I would not use it on Landry because it does not rub in well. I am glad this was in my free trial and that I didn't purchase it because I hate it! It went in the trash.

Organic Healing Balm
This came in our free trial and at first I didn't really know if I would find a time to use it. But obviously I am a first time mom and didn't think about all the scrapes that Landry would be acquiring now that she can walk. She got a little scrape on her face and I put this on it and the next morning you could barely see it! I was very pleased with the results and love that it is organic. I have this selected to arrive in our next essentials bundle because I know it will get a lot of use!

Wipes
I really like these wipes! They didn't smell super chemically and had a nice quilted like feel to them. I  did not care for the price though. We use cloth wipes so we only use disposable when we are out and about. I just don't see the need to pay a lot for wipes that are rarely used. 


Fruit & Veggie Wash
This was the product that made me decide to get the essentials bundle. I usually use vinegar (or GASP just water) but I hate the smell and I can sometimes taste the vinegar which is not what I'm wanting when eating my apple. Ideally we would eat all organic but we truthfully cannot afford it, so giving our produce a good washing is so important. I love this stuff!! It is quick, easy, and doesn't leave a taste!

Dishwasher Gel
I've been really pleased with the dishwasher gel so far. A little goes a long way (you only have to fill one of the cups) and I don't feel like our dishes look hazy or still dirty. We will most likely purchase again. 

Dish Soap
This product is ok. I don't love it, I don't hate it. It doesn't get as sudsy which makes me feel like it doesn't get the dishes as clean. I also didn't feel like it fought grease as well as my trusty blue Dawn. Luckily this was in my free trial so no biggie. 

Multi-Surface Cleaner
The smell is so light and refreshing, no harsh chemically smell. But I didn't think it got my counter tops as clean as my homemade multi-purpose cleaner. I felt like I had to scrub extra hard and I'm lazy and don't want to do that extra work. Also my homemade cleaner is super cheap/easy to make so I will probably stick with it. 

Oxy Boost
I mainly added the oxy boost to our essentials bundle because I was worried their laundry detergent wouldn't get the job done on it's own. The oxy boost is great for using with Daniel's clothes after mowing and towels (the real dirty stuff). 

Laundry Detergent
I've been surprisingly pleased with the laundry detergent. We have been very devoted Tide users so making the switch was a little nerve-wracking. It is definitely unscented which has been an adjustment. I am used to the smell that comes from Tide. Our clothes seem super clean and I've noticed no stains. It is more expensive than Tide but when purchasing in the bundle it makes it a lot more affordable. 

Floor Cleaner 
I LOVE THIS PRODUCT!!! It smells freaking awesome, doesn't leave your floor feeling sticky, and is easy to use (no mixing with water, just spray it on the floor and use a dry mop). We just finished adding laminate hardwoods in our whole house so this is perfect for quick cleaning. I have more of this scheduled for our next bundle because I know I will be using it a lot.

If you are interested in signing up with The Honest Co I would appreciate it if you would use my link here so that I would receive a $20 credit and you would receive $10 off your first bundle. 

Have you tried any of the Honest Company products? What did you think about them? Is there anything you are wanting to try? 


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Growing Up Not Apart


Monday I met two of my best friends from college (they are still two of my absolute bestest friends) for lunch. The three of us haven't been together since I've had Landry. We had all seen each other separately but not together (doesn't it get so much more difficult after college when everyone is spread out?). It was a wonderful lunch and I loved being reunited with my favorite people.

As I was getting ready to meet my friends for lunch that morning I started realizing how different my morning was probably going than their morning. See I started getting ready for a 12:30pm lunch at roughly 7:30am. Landry was still asleep and I knew once she woke up it would be a million times harder to put makeup on with an almost 1 year old trying to play in the toilet and each trash.

I wrestled with deciding to go ahead and get dressed. Getting dressed without Landry under my feet is a lot easier because she isn't pulling clothes off hangers and dragging out every pair of shoes I own. However, at the same time I run the risk of Landry getting something on my clothes once she wakes up. What is it with kids and their sticky hands? I swear you give them a bath and 5 minutes later they have sticky nasty hands.

Throwing caution to the wind I went ahead and got dressed which ended up being a task in itself. I knew my friends were going to look cute, you know what I'm talking about. 20-something cute where it looks like they've gotten plenty of sleep and not worried if the other human in the next room is still breathing while they are laying there asleep. The kind of cute where they are wearing dresses that they don't worry will expose everything the good Lord gave them because they aren't constantly having to bend down to pick up a rambunctious 1 year old. The kind of cute where even though it is 97 degrees outside and 100% humidity outside they still look absolutely adorable and perfect.

Every fiber of my being wanted to just through on a pair of shorts and a tee because it is so stupid hot outside and shorts are so much easier when out and about with a baby. But I resisted and chose the dress I owned that I felt looked cute but would show sweat the least amount (since having Landry I sweat worse than ever!). Sadly, the mom pooch was making its appearance a little more known so I had to wear a pair of Spanx. Oh how I loathe Spanx and oh how they make me even hotter. I NEVER wear them but I felt the need to not look like a frumpy stay-at-home mom with her mom pooch that might not ever go away so I decided to grin and bear it.

After getting dressed I noticed Landry was still not awake and instead of getting to relish the one morning of my daughter actually sleeping past 5:30am I started worrying over how it would affect her naps. If she didn't wake up soon she wouldn't get in her first nap before lunch, which means she is going to get cranky, which means she is going to get clingy, which means I am going to barely be able to enjoy lunch. For the record, she didn't wake up till 9:30am which meant no nap before lunch, and all those things I said would occur did indeed occur. It might have been a self-fulling prophecy but I digress.

Instead of being excited about catching up with my best friends I was concerned about being the married old lady with nothing interesting to share. They would be able to talk about their successful careers, new boyfriends, going to the gym, going clubbing, etc. What would have to talk about? "Hey you guys, we are laying down new laminate flooring this weekend. Going to get wild up in here!" "Landry and I hit up a new kid's museum, it was pretty sweet." I am not jealous of the lives they are leading, I am very content with where I am in life and couldn't be happier staying home with Landry (well more mom friends would make me a little happier), but at the same time I want to feel that connection.

Mom life makes the life of a twenty-something look very different. I know my morning, my worries, my struggles are not the same as my friends. However, I know when I think back to that lunch I'm not going to remember the worrying, the sandwich I didn't get to eat because of a fussy baby, what I wore. Instead I will remember the laughing, the catching up, my friends helping with my daughter, walking around our college campus together.

We are growing up and growing in very different ways, but it does not mean we have to grow apart.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Liebster Blog Award



I know I have been a little MIA as of late so here is my face (with my adorable pups) in case you forgot who I was. If you like my page on facebook, you might have saw last night my post about the lack of posting. Summer has been in full swing and we have had so many more visitors (which has been such a nice break in our routine) since returning from the beach in June. We have also had playdates, swim lessons, Daniel working late, and so much more.

I won't apologize because I have been having a blast! But I will say I've missed being in the space regularly and interacting with all my fantastic readers.

So I thought to kickstart my return to regular blogging I would share about the Liebster Blog Award that Emma over at Behind the Leopard Glasses nominated me for.

The Liebster Award is given by bloggers to other bloggers. It's a great way to discover new blogs and get to know bloggers a little better!

Here are the rules:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
2. Answer the 11 questions they give you.
3. Nominate 11 other bloggers and come up with 11 new questions for them to answer.
4. Notify the bloggers you have nominated.

So onto the questions...

11 New Questions: 

1. What is your favorite pattern to wear?
I am not a huge pattern wearer in general. I go through phases that I like stripes but I am always a fan on animal prints. Not like leopard or zebra but print of outlines of animals. I have a top with llama prints all over it and a bird print shirt I love.

2. What is the first thing you do in the morning?
I wish I could say something really inspirational and awesome but honestly it's check my phone and hope that Landry will go back to sleep for a while longer (she's usually my alarm clock).

3. What is your ultimate dream job?
It's funny that this is one of the questions because I have entered TOMS Dreamjob contest through Dreamjobbing. I had my interview yesterday and the winner will be announced Thursday. It is the chance to be a "Global Giver" for 10-11 days. I get to go to TOMS headquarters and see the business side and then go on a Giving Trip to first hand deliver shoes. You can check out my video and find more information here. So pretty much that is my dream job haha.

But in all honesty right now my dream job is being a stay-at-home mom. I went back to work for a month after having Landry and realized I was not doing something I was passionate about and it was not worth leaving my daughter every day to continue a job that was simply a job. I hope to have a better idea of what's next for me when Landry starts school. Until then I am fully embracing being a full-time mom.

4. What was the inspiration behind starting your blog?
I really wanted to seek a creative outlet and be part of the blogging community. Being a stay-at-home mom can be very isolating so having this community has been so helpful!

5. If you could travel anywhere in the world and do/see anything, where would you go and why?
Greece, Greece, and Greece! haha It is my absolute number one dream trip! I want to go to Athens and see all the history. And then of course I would want to go to Santorini because who doesn't want to go there after seeing Mamma Mia?

6. Do you keep any items from your childhood? If so- what is it and what significance does it have?
I have a ton of my childhood toys at my grandparent's house (including my Easy Bake Oven and Barbie Dream House). I really don't have a ton of items at my actual home. I have the yardstick that my grandma use to spank me with, which sounds sad but really brings smile to my face. Whenever she would get it out I would run and put long pants on because she always spanked the back of my legs. She said she liked to use the yardstick because she didn't have to catch me.

7. What is your favorite blog post you have ever written?
Probably The Fog, it was a very raw and truthful post about my feelings finding my identity after having my daughter.

8. If you could have one total splurge item- what would it be?
I really would love a new laptop, mine has seen it's better days. A new Macbook would be awesome (I really don't need any clothing/accessory splurge items).

9. Do you want children? What would you name your potential offspring?
I have a daughter and her name is Landry Adalay. We don't plan on having any more children but if we had a boy I would want to name him Abraham and call him Abe. I also love the name Everly for a   girl but Daniel doesn't like it.

10. What is your ideal dinner? Who are you eating with?
My ideal dinner would be a cookout (I love grilled food!) and it would be Daniel, Landry, Me and some of my closest friends. It's crazy how in college you take advantage of all the times you get to have meals with your favorite people, but now it rarely happens that we all get to be together. I know, I know, no exciting celebrities or fancy restaurants. I just want to have a good time with the ones I love!

11. Total interview-esk question- Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Ahhhh, 5 years Landry will be about to go into first grade! That's crazy! I think I might be back in school working on my Master's. I don't know in what but I could see that happening.


Here's my 11 new questions:

1. What is your favorite childhood memory?
2. What is your favorite tv show?
3. What do you do in your freetime?
4. If you could be any animal what would it be and why?
5. What is your favorite flavor of gum?
6. What does your perfect day look like?
7. If you could go back in time what decade/time period would you chose and why?
8. What is the one piece of advice you would give someone?
9. What's your favorite type of music?
10. What tv character do you most identify with and why?
11. What is your favorite scent/smell?

And I nominate:

Sully from Sully By The Numbers
Mandy from Hello Daisy
Indiana from Mom Jeans and Dad Jokes
Sabrina from A Time For Everything
Kathleen from Kapachino
Anne from Silly Heart Restart
Rebekah from Rebekah Anne
Molly from The Girl Behind the Wine Glass
Chelsea from Chelsea Laine Francis
Alyssa from It's Time to Trust My Instincts
Tatiana from Flora and Fauna

Please check out this incredible ladies' blogs! They are all wonderful writers and bloggers.



Thursday, July 16, 2015

Shopping with Purpose





Lately I have been feeling more convicted about the clothes I wear. As I have shared before, I am a huge TOMS fan. I appreciate the fact that for every pair of shoes I buy a pair is provided to a child in need. For every package of coffee I buy, water is given to someone in need. For every bag I purchase, a mother is provided prenatal care. It makes me feel good to know that I am not merely consuming, I am giving back. I also love knowing that the products TOMS makes are not made under unfair, unethical working conditions.

Several years ago I read Indiana's post about shopping with heart. I admired her decision to start being discerning about where her clothes/accessories come from. Recently Molly posted about purchasing with a purpose which really convicted me about my purchases.

I am now at a place in my life where I really am becoming more aware of the world outside of myself. I have always had a heart for others but when it came to the products I purchased I never really thought about the products I purchased. I always made the excuse that buying ethically manufactured goods was too expensive, or not made in my size. I am tired of making excuses.

Since starting my capsule wardrobe I have really began to see the need for less clothes. And the less clothes I buy the more I can really focus on investment pieces. I can make a conscious effort to support companies and businesses that focus on ethical working conditions, giving back, made in the USA, thrifted, and/or made from sustainable resources.

Will it be harder? Yes. Will it require more thought and time when shopping? Yes. Will I be perfect at it? No.

This is a learning process for me. I am slowly trying to learn more about indepedent shops, ethically made clothing, and clothing made in the USA. I am not going to get rid of every thing I have in my closet that currently does not meet those standards. That is wasteful and I do not have the kind of money to buy an entire wardrobe from scratch. However, when I start planning my fall capsule wardrobe I am going to shop with purpose. I have already found out about some awesome companies that I can't wait to support!! I hope y'all will stay tuned as I embark on my journey of shopping more with purpose.

Shirt- Ezra and Eli
Skirt- Old Navy
Shoes- TOMS
Backpack- c/o TOMS
Necklace- The Giving Keys 
Bracelets- Alex and Ani, Etsy

Do you try to buy ethically made clothes? Any suggestions for shops/retailers to check out? 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Weekend Recap


This weekend went by SOOOOO fast! It feels like the whole summer has just flown by. I can't believe Landry's birthday is just a couple of weeks away! Where has the last year gone??

Anyway, we were pretty go, go, go for the last few days. My Mama and brother came to visit Friday and we went to Hickory to the Catawba Science Center. Daniel and I bought a membership to the science center which means we get to go for free and we can use our membership at several other children's museums and science centers.

We had a blast but sadly I did not take any pictures :( The picture above is from the last time we went to the science center.


Saturday we decided to head to Kidsenses Children Museum in Rutherfordton (about 40 minutes from where we live). We get free admission with our science center membership so we were excited to check it out. The museum had great little areas for children. Landry had a good time and the older she gets the more she will enjoy going there.



Landry loved the grocery store play area, especially the pretend register.



Daniel also got a kick out of the exhibits!





There was a special little area for children under 4. It was perfect for Landry to explore without having to worry about her getting run over by the big kids or into something that was unsafe for her. There was 14 month old little girl that Landry kept trying to steal a paci from. I love watching Landry interact with kids her age, it's adorable!



Of course we had to play with the cool shadow thing!





Landry is a star in the making. Loved playing on the stage they had. She crawled, walked, rolled and just had a big ole' time! 






We made a detour from Rutherfordton to Asheville. We ran some errands at Target, walked around Best Buy, and then found a nearby park to let Landry get some of her wiggles and energy out before the ride home. It was the cutest park with NO ONE there (granted it was pretty hot outside so I'm not surprised).

Sunday we took it a little easier. Lunch out, grocery shopping, TJMaxx stop, and playing in the backyard.

It might all sound mundane, but it was a perfect weekend with my little family. A perfect combination of adventure and taking it easy. I love everything we are able to do with Landry the older she gets. I know certain aspects will get harder but I also know that things will get more fun! She is really becoming my little buddy.

What were you up to this weekend?