31 Fun Facts About Me

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It’s my birthday weekend!!! Woo hoo! Happy 31st Birthday to me! Last year, I wanted to do a big post about turning 30 and yadda yadda, well that never happened because that was also my first year of overwhelming motherhood. Birthdays after 30 get way less exciting in my opinion, so I thought it’d be fun to do a 31st birthday post! I always end up feeling really nostalgic around my birthday and find myself reflecting so today I’m sharing 31 facts you may not know about me! Here we go…

  1.  I wanted to be a teacher most of my life, until I took a marketing class in high school (Shout out to Mrs. Stumpf!) and now I have my bachelors in business with a concentration in marketing.
  2.  I’m the youngest and only girl! I have two older brothers, so watch yourself.
  3. I love a good greeting card. I put a lot of thought into picking them out!
  4. I had a bucket list blog at one point and it evolved to a more personal/lifestyle blog when I was laid off from a job.
  5. I’ve been doing #ootd pics my whole life.
  6. My dream job is being a mom and it’s pretty cool to be living it (Thanks Nick and Henry!)
  7. My favorite color is turquoise.
  8. I get the most compliments on my smile, but have had a lot of orthodontic work, pain, and money to get here!
  9. I played basketball until middle school when everyone kept growing and I stayed a shorty. IMG_1395
  10. I took piano lessons for years but hated practicing so it didn’t stick very well!
  11. Speaking of musical things, I also played percussion in the band for a hot minute!
  12. On that note, I also did chorus so I guess you could say I’ve a gota musical bone or two in me. Still, love a good karaoke night!
  13. I was not the best student in school even after many serious talks from my parents about applying myself. I think I ended up okay!
  14. Nick (my hubby) and I met online!
  15.  I lived in West Virginia for about 1.5 years.
  16. My dad is still disappointed I quit dance class. IMG_1398
  17. I went thru an “emo” phase and wore studded belts and lots of eyeliner.
  18. I jumped off a swing and broke my collar bone… haven’t tried again since!
  19. I’ve always had an interest in clothing/ fashion from a young age! IMG_1396
  20. I was on the high school tennis team and did not get along with my couch because ::see below::
  21. I’m not really all that competitive especially for someone who grew up playing sports.IMG_1404
  22. I can touch my tongue to my nose.
  23. I really enjoy taking photos and have almost 14k photos on my current phone which is why I enjoy Instagram!
  24. I used to have my nose pierced and often think about getting it redone.
  25. I was an officer in the marketing club and competed at a national conference two years in a row… and placed!
  26. My favorite song is “‘Many the Miles” by Sara Bareilles
  27. I’ve always loved a good hat.IMG_1399
  28. I have a resting nice face, no like it’s seriously hard for me to have a serious face.
  29. I’ve always been ready for bed by 8 pm, I would ask to go to bed when I was little and still do!
  30. I have a crush on JT for at 20 years now, that’s like a really long time!! Haha!
  31. I worked for a party store for many years and can still handle a helium tank and balloons like champ.

 

If you read all of those, you deserve a big ole hug from me! Was there anything you were surprised to learn? If you know me, what is something I should’ve included?

Now off to blow out some candles…

Xo, Anna

Our Essential Baby Items (0-6 months)

Our Essential Baby Items (0-6 months)

Hey, mama (or dada)!

Congrats on your bundle of joy and entering this crazy fun yet, exhausting world of parenthood. So you’re probably trying to prepare for the baby and it’s getting overwhelming trying to pick what gear to get. I’ve been there! Ultimately you will find out what works for you and your little one cause they truly are all so different. I’m sorry to share that, unfortunately, I don’t have all the answers for you. The great news is that you’ll know your baby the best before you know it, which is an amazing feeling.

I decided to go ahead and share my favorites items for the first six months when you’re pretty deep in the trenches and probably a little delirious. I’m here to tell you that there is nothing wrong with a little bit of 2 am Amazon Prime shopping after googling “how to make my baby sleep without me holding him”.

Disclaimer:  I’m not including, diapers/wipes/bottles/stroller/car seat because like, of course, you need those things and just do your research! Do take my advice and get your belly to the store to test out strollers for your height and try lifting/putting back together. That’ll make your decision real quick!

Anyway, here were our essential baby item lifesavers…

  1. Gerber Soothe Probiotics… We swore on these drops when Henry began becoming super fussy and colicky. They helped him go #2 regularly which quickly becomes an exciting event as a parent I’ve learned, ha! Gas drops are what everyone tells you about, but our doc urged us to give these a try. She was right… worth their weight in gold for our family!
  2. The Shusher… This thing is actually kind of ridiculous but it works! Our photographer had it for Henry’s newborn photos and he was so chill during so we decided to get it for our fussy babe. It really helped him calmed down and saved us from having to say “shhh” a zillion times as he responded really well to that sound for calming. Save yourself the energy when you need it most and grab it here.
  3. Swaddle Me Swaddles… These were the best for our swaddle escape artist! I loved how easy they were to use for my hubby and I. Plus, Henry would sleep like a dream in them! Find them here.
  4. Fisher Price Kick piano… This little toy was so fun for our little guy. After we had him I saw that they now make these pianos attached to a play gym which I’d totally get if I had known they were available!
  5. The Sleepeasy Solution Book… I really enjoyed this book for sleeping tips and tricks because they truly helped and worked. Lucky for us, Henry has always been a good night time sleeper. Naps on the other hand… we have had our trying moments! He was very sensitive to getting overtired and would have some epic meltdowns. This book got us on back on track with watching his wake times to avoid those dreaded, loud meltdowns, ha!
  6. Cloud Island sleepers… These are the best little things to keep your babe in. The zipper on this brand is the best because they are inverted, plus they have built in mittens! There are so many adorable outfits out there but at the end of the day they aren’t comfy for your kiddo, they are a PIA to constantly take on and off for diaper changes… aaaaand there’s a good chance they will be covered in spit up by noon. So just buy the sleepers, all the sleepers, but especially these ones. Here ya go.
  7. Bouncer seat… Or I’m sure a swing would work too! Our pack n play came with a super simple bouncer vibrating seat that Henry would nap in a lot and give my arms a break! This pack n play was my favorite because of the changing station too. This whole set up was in our living room pretty much for a solid 6 or more months.
  8. Infant Optics Monitor… Henry straight up hated his bassinet. He would not sleep in it. Out of frustration one night we set him in his crib and he was so happily falling asleep. But wait, they recommend your babe sleep in the same room for the first 6 months ::gasp:: Oh well, we’re tired.. just invest in a nice monitor and you’ll all be sleeping better in no time.

Let me know if you have any questions about the products listed above. These ideas are truly my own and not sponsored in any way (though I wish). Of course, if you have questions about the standard gear, I’m happy to share our experience. Just let me know! Good luck and enjoy those baby snuggles!

Xo, Anna

Easter Basket for Toddlers

Hey, guys!

Can you believe that I’m actually ahead of the game in for a holiday blog post? I found myself wandering the aisles of Target (yet again, who else is ready for spring?) and stumbled upon the Easter section. It seems crazy early, but I know that their holiday selections get picked over fast so I decided to jump on it to get first dibs! So you are wondering… what does one put in an Easter basket for a toddler that isn’t full of candy? Well, I came up with some great ideas that I would love to share with you all! Now keep in mind my kiddo will be 18 months around Easter so he is a young toddler, but I’d say these ideas can work for your older toddler too.

Let’s start with the basket. I got his basket from Target last season and though they don’t seem to have this specific design anymore, there are plenty of other super cute and affordable options. Check them out here.

Now it’s time to fill it up! Here’s what I got…

  1. Easter Eggs (duh!). I grabbed some larger size eggs to “hide” for him and some to open with his basket. I plan on filling them with stickers (just cut out single stickers of a sheet to fit) and little animal figurines. Hot wheel type cars would also fit in these eggs I would bet!
  2. Duplo Legos. They had the cutest set for 5 bucks at Target that was for building a duck! They had a real lego bag Easter themed set for older kiddos too. I can’t find the exact one online, but something like this would be a cute option too!
  3. Art Supplies. I grabbed Henry a new tablet to put all those stickers onto it and one of these stain glass paper kits to try (at the store they have them sold separately).
  4. Books. I love getting Henry themed books for the holidays, so for this Easter, I grabbed Biscuit’s Pet and Play Easter. He loves dogs and those touches and feel books so this book was a winning combo.
  5. Okay, so I did go for candy too. I grabbed some mini M&M’s for him to try. He spits everything sweet out so we will see if he likes this treat! You could also do pouches, puffs, goldfish, or fruit snacks too!
  6. Some other ideas that I had that aren’t included in Henry’s basket that I’ll save for another yet… a new sippy filled with goodies, movies, “coupons” for activities like a date with mom, bubbles, sidewalk chalk, and play doh!

That’s it! I hope you found these ideas helpful in building your little one’s basket this year. Happy Easter!

Xo, Anna

Easy Valentine’s Day Craft

Any other mama’s out there to a taby? Yea, that is not a typo! A taby is a toddler-baby aka a one year old. It’s a word I discovered while scouring the internet in how to entertain my newly walking, stir crazy kiddo this winter! If you’re in my shoes you know that the attention span of a one-year-old is crazy small, their motor skills still need a lot of work anddddd if they are anything like Henry… want to chew on everything. Mainly wanting to chew everything is our main obstacle with activities over here. One thing that has worked for us is stickers! Okay, so he isn’t the greatest at it, but with a little help, it keeps in occupied for a solid 5-10 minutes (sometimes, haha). To get in the Valentine’s Day spirit, I grabbed some festive stickers for Henry to “make” his very own Valentine’s Day cards!

What you’ll need:

  • Construction Paper
  • Stickers (I found these cute ones at the Target dollar spot)
  • Scissors
  • Sharpie Pen

Feel free to use your creativity here, but I just happen to cut rectangles on a whim out of construction paper, then had Henry go to town with stickers. Cutting the paper into hearts if you actually plan in advance (unlike myself) would be super cute! I still have to peel the sticker off, but let him pick ones he wants off the sheet and help put them on the paper wherever he wishes. After that, I wrote a little message and viola… homemade Valentines and easy taby entertainment. You can see ours in the photo below!

Happy Valetine’s Day, mama! Enjoy!

 

Xo, Anna

Three years.

Here I am again apologizing for the lack of time that has passed since my last blog post. I saw today that almost three years have passed since I started blogging again. Then I got disappointed with myself. I have a degree in marketing, I’ve had jobs in social media, and sales. I actually feel really confident that I could be great at this, given the time/energy but as of now, I’m not. I started asking myself “what have I been even doing!?”.

:: bear with me here::

Then I started scrolling… oh you know, the dreaded Instagram scroll where you get lost and then an hour goes by. Except this scroll was different, I did it on my own page. Then it hit me, I’ve done A LOT in the last three years and I started jotting these things down. I have…

Planned a wedding

Got married

Got laid off

Was on unemployment

Started a new job

Traveled to Jamaica, Hawaii, Michigan, Deep Creek Lake, West Virginia, Niagara Falls

Lost a friend

Gained new friends

Bought a house

Got pregnant

Moved in the house

Morning All day sickness, yet gained extra lbs

Made a house into a home

Birthed my son

Became a MOTHER

Cried a lot

Laughed a lot

Breastfed for 7 months

Navigated ridiculous hormone shifts

Had a migraine for a week straight… multiple times

Found myself

Lost myself

Let go of little things

Held tighter to bigger things

Rode in an ambulance

Somewhat successfully mind read my tiny human 24/7

Became an aunt for the third time

And the list goes on…

 

You get the idea. The point is that a lot has happened for me. Probably less than some and more than others. Instead of feeling sorry for myself and my hobbies falling short, the idea is that I should be feeling gratitude. Gratitude for the things that I’ve experienced and lessons I’ve learned in the last three years. There have been many highs and many lows as I pick myself up and navigate my newest role as a mother all while trying maintaining pieces of my original identity. This process alone can feel overwhelming, time-consuming and confusing. So my thought to you is the next time you are feeling low, start jotting down everything you’ve done the last three years whether it be big or small, if it comes to mind write it down. Then you’ll see how much you actually are doing.. and living!

Xo, Anna

Little Blue Truck Party

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Hi, guys!

Fall is such a crazy time in our household and then adding in our little one’s birthday into the mix has kept me busy! Ever since Henry could sit up he’s been obsessed with books. He will literally sit there for long periods of time flipping the pages and staring at the illustrations. Little Blue Truck became a family favorite in this household and it seemed fitting to have it be the theme of Henry’s first birthday party.

We kept the guest list small with just immediate family and enjoyed spending the afternoon with loved ones. Henry was a little under the weather and wasn’t so sure about moments when all the attention was on him, but overall had fun playing with everyone! I served crockpot pulled pork, mac and cheese, coleslaw and a variety of dips. We finished off the meal with the most delicious birthday cake from a local baker! Henry liked playing with his smash cake, but when it came time to eat it gagged and cried. I’m sure he will eventually come around to sweets, ha!

little blue truck

I kept the decor simple, but thoughtful. We had a chalkboard chart with Henry’s current stats which was a hit for the family that doesn’t get to see him as often. Another piece was a banner showing all of Henry’s monthly milestone photos I had taken throughout the year. We had fun asking people which month was their favorite. Mine was his 7 month photo, which was when his rolls were sooo rolly! To liven up his high chair we tied on a special banner. The final detail was balloons!! Henry loves balloons, but his favorites were farm animals tied to the little blue truck.

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All in all, it was a fun day celebrating our little man! Happy birthday, Henry!

Special thanks to my extra crafty mom for helping as well as making some of the decor! Love ya!

Xo, Anna

Baby Cat & Jack Unboxing

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Hey, guys!

It’s been a minute, but I wanted to write a quick post since a lot of people showed interested in seeing what we got in our Baby Cat & Jack box (by Target) Basically, it’s a box full of surprise seasonal clothing for your little one! Target sends you 6-7 pieces along with a free gift that you can try on your babe and whatever you don’t like it, just return in store for merchandise credit. You can subscribe or order as you wish… we opted for a single purchase this time to see how it went. Being an employee for a major subscription clothing box, I was so curious to see the delivery (I’d totally order him Stitch Fix kids if they had baby sizes!).

Let’s start with the presentation…

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The clothing is all folded nicely along with a brief note on the pieces and a coupon! All good in my book. Unfortunately, it’s not as personalized as other services so it’s just a stock-written note and randomly selected pieces. It would be super cool to do one more personalized to our style, which is basically Mac & Mia. I’ll do that when he’s a little bit more steady in his sizing to make the higher cost a bit more worth it! So let’s dive into the clothes!

Outfit #1: Keep! Love this cozy outfit, plus we are smiley people over here so it’s fitting.

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Outfit #2: Keep! I’m not the biggest fan of hooded things for babies because they honestly just get in the way majority of this time, but this outfit is too cute!

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Piece #5: This little romper is fun.. and cute… but I never put him in rompers anymore! Maybe I should? I’m undecided… help me! Actually, I’ll probably keep it, if you know me, I’m a big olive green gal!

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Piece #6: Leaning toward the return. I just can’t really decide if I’m into the details on this piece. Plus, I’m torn on the romper situation. It kind of goes with the next pieces below.

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Piece #7 & Free Gift: Return. The face on this hood weirds me out. Plus, like I said before there is only room for so many hooded things in little man’s wardrobe. But, the bib was the free gift, so I’ll obviously hang on to that for my little drool monster.

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What do you guys think? Do I think it was worth the 38 bucks (Redcard discount), sure! I would say you aren’t by any means saving or spending more money than you would if you purchased the pieces from the store. The fun part is the surprise and these pieces haven’t been released in store yet. I’d probably do it again since you can just return what you don’t want and let’s be honest, we are always at Target to use that merchandise credit. If you want to check it out for a special little one in your life, click here.

Have fun!

 

Xo, Anna