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Family

To Grandma’s House We Go

“This post has been sponsored by MAM Baby. All thoughts and opinions are my own.”

Hi Gals! Today on the blog, I’m getting real. Let’s be honest, as parents, we need a break sometimes. A break can mean anything: a solo visit to the nail salon, a date night, or a full blown vacation with your spouse. Sean and I aren’t at the point where we will leave our daughter overnight [he’s trying for it though!], but we thoroughly enjoy date night.

Coming from a family of divorce, the best piece of advice someone gave me as a teenager [when I was babysitting btw] was to have a date night at least once a month. And as a parent now, I totally see why. Our daughter is only 11 months old, but I can see how getting in the rhythm of Sean taking her to daycare, me picking her up, attempting to eat dinner while Ava is squirming everywhere, and then being too tired by the end of the day, we just pass out. Parenthood is not for the weak. Some days are just plain trying, and that’s just part of the job.

Date nights are fun and something Sean and I look forward to, even if we spend most of the time talking about Ava or missing her. Tell me I’m not alone! HA! Getting ready for date night also means getting Ava a bag packed for Grandma’s house and making sure she has all of her favorite items.

A list of what I pack her is below:

The last two are absolute necessities for Ava. MAM’s Perfect Pacifier is BPA/BPS Free and has an orthodontic nipple that is 4 times softer than standard pacifiers. BEST PART is they glow in the dark to make them easy to find if she wakes up in the middle of the night.

The MAM Anti-Colic Bottle is one of the neatest bottles I’ve ever tried. It self-sterilizes in the microwave after 3 minutes. Plus, its SkinSoft nipple mimics breastfeeding, making it easy to switch between breast and bottle.

These are items that have helped make leaving her for a couple of hours just a little bit easier. If you’ve left your child overnight, I would love to hear your experiences in the comments below. If you haven’t left your child with anyone yet and you’re wanting to, I hope this encourages you and that our little packing list helps.

Gift Guides

1st Birthday Gift Ideas

Hi Friends, happy Tuesday!

This post has been LONG overdue and highly requested! Ava’s first birthday is next weekend [what?! so crazy!!] and I’m over here running around like a mad women. I laugh because I did a poll when Ava was around 7 months old as I was getting ideas for her birthday….and here I am Amazon Priming items.

Anywho, I thought it’d be fun to round up some gift ideas for a one year old! You know, in case you are stumped as to what to buy the little one year olds in your life. 🙂 A few of these we have and Ava absolutely LOVES, and some are on her own birthday list!

And there you have it! Just a few fun items any one year old would be lucky to have! 🙂 And, really, if we’re being honest, the most exciting gift for the birthday girl will be the bows and cake anyway. 😉

Lifestyle

5 Things I Wish I Knew When I Graduated College

Disclaimer: This post is in partnership with CORT Furniture. My review was sponsored by the brand in exchange for a blog post and social media shares. Thank you for supporting the brands that support the blog! 

I honestly can’t believe it’s been four entire years since I put on my cap and gown and was handed my diploma. I was 21-years-old when I graduated and left school feeling so unsure of where life was going to take me. I graduated with a degree in Supply Chain with emphasis in oil & gas, and being in Houston, you would of thought “you got this girl”….no. I applied to like 3-4 places and they all ‘required’ like 4 years of experience, a masters degree, and left leg. I shortly realized the supply chain world wasn’t for me, I was very fortunate to receive my first job offer a couple weeks after graduating. That was only the beginning

College is a safety net. I place where you can sleep until 10 or 11 and wake up just in time to get to class. College is the best, so enjoy it, but graduating can leave you with a million questions. Graduating was the moment where I realized that what happens next was completely up to me. Here is what comes to mind when I think back on same of the things I wish I would’ve known when I graduated college.

5 Things I Wish I Knew When I Graduated College

  1. Your first job will most likely not be your last: Have your parents worked at their same job for 30 or 40 years? Yes, mine to. One thing I urge you to do is talk to your parents about their career path, you might be surprised. When I knew my first job wasn’t for me, I had quite a few questions. Am I just being a baby? Is this what the real workforce is like? Will I like any job? What I can tell is trust your gut. I was a top performer at my first job, and made very good bonuses, but I was always pressured to stay until 6, 7, 8 PM…and it was for nothing. All of my work was completed and I was just sitting there because their philosophy was the longer the hours you worked, the more you “cared” about your job. One piece of advice to any college grad: this is not normal. One thing is does teach you is to look into other companies before you apply to see what their work/life balance is like.
  2. Making your own money is way better than spending your parents: While it’s wonderful having someone else pay for your housing and meal plan, it’s so much more rewarding being able to do it for yourself. Being fully responsible for your finances really forces you to grow up and hold yourself accountable. Plus, it leads me to number 3 🙂
  3. Splurge on that purse/shoes/etc.: You know that designer purse or nice pair of shoes you’ve been dreamingggggg about forever? If you’ve been saving from you big girl job, or you have extra money to spend now, splurge on that item! It seriously feels so rewarding to know you can buy you own items and that you’ve worked for them. My big splurge was my car!
  4. College doesn’t prepare you for the workforce: Don’t freak out, but it doesn’t. College classes are great for honing your writing skills, learning time management, practicing critical thinking and working in groups etc. but honestly it’s impossible to learn what a job entails without actually doing it.
  5. Rent furniture: This the biggest piece of advice I could give anyone in college or newly out of college. You know that Pinterest board you’ve had of all your home decor ideas and your dream house? Reality doesn’t hit until you go shopping for furniture and realize it’s $$$$. So what’s next, you settle on cheap furniture that you know is really not your style (but in your budget) and make it work until you can buy what you really like. Thennnn when you can afford the furniture you like, you try to sell that couch and realize people are literally offering you $20. *this has actually happened to me. If I would have known about renting from CORT Furniture. With CORT, you can rent the essentials and buy accessories to make your space your own. CORT has packages starting from $99 a month for a full apartment.

Here are a few design boards I created for a living room all with CORT furniture!

Sofa | Accent Chair | Ottoman | Fiddle Leaf | Pillows | Lamp

Sofa | Accent Chair | Coffee Table | Pillows | Fiddle Leaf | Rug

I’d love to hear things you wish you knew in the comments below!

Lifestyle

Froot Loop Sorting for Toddlers

This post has been sponsored by Kellogg’s. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I hope you’re having a great week so far, friends! As Ava gets older, I can’t wait to share more activities and developmental games we are playing with her. As she is almost toddler (crazy!), I love seeing her learn new skills! I also know it is my role as a mom to encourage her to learn new things, such as shapes and colors, and to keep learning FUN! During our last trip to Walmart, I was walking down the toy aisle and realized we needed to start incorporating more visuals into Ava’s development. We are currently focusing on letters but shortly will be moving to colors and shapes. Here are a few of the items we are currently incorporating into our daily schedule:

Sing Songs: Adults learn easily through music. You know that song you’ve listened to twice and know all the words already? Guess what, toddlers learn the same way! We are currently listening to the ABC’s and while she doesn’t say any yet, she moves back and forth like she’s dancing and claps! It is THE CUTEST!

Read Alphabet Books: We love having an evening reading time. After being at daycare all day, she loves laying with us as she winds down. We are focusing on alphabet books currently and will point out each letter and trace her fingers around the shapes of the letter.

Learn with Alphabet Sheets: Ava has a pretty simple name, A-V-A. We thought it would be fun to teach her the letters of her name using food. To do this activity, you need 3 items, all of which can be purchased at Walmart.

    1. Large Letter A,
    2. Kellogg’s® Wild Berry Froot Loops® Cereal
    3. 3 Bowls

Another fun activity for toddlers is sorting. For this, you can print out a simple sorting mat or create a rainbow sensory bin with cupcake liners.  

Stimulating a little one’s noggin can wear you out. Since the Wild Berry Froot Loops were already open, I decided to treat myself to a bowl. Sometimes cereal just tastes better in the afternoon, am I right?!

I’d love to hear more about the tips and tricks you use to teach your little ones in the comments below!