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Lifestyle

Checklist: How to Plan a Gender Reveal

Planning a Gender Reveal Party is SO FUN, whether it be your first or fifth baby. But have you ever been so deep into planning, that you lose site of what the party was about in the first place? ME…been there, done that. It can be stressful (slightly due to hormones), so for this reason, let me share with you a checklist for planning your baby’s gender reveal.

*Note: This can be applied to most parties, whether it be a birthday, baby shower, etc.

  1. KNOW YOUR BUDGET
    I feel this is the most important piece and the piece that can easily turn you into a ball of stress. Whether you have a lot of money or not, it’s wise to plan out a budget. Always remember to create your budget with unexpected costs in mind. You might be surprised that most unexpected costs pop up during the last-minute.
  2. CREATE YOUR GUEST LIST
    This can be interchanged with item 1. Some people create a budget which will tell them how many guest they can invite, and others create a guest list and work their budget around the amount of people. Remember to include the people whom you wouldn’t celebrate without. Then if you can still add, keep going.
  3. CHOOSE A DATE/ LOCATION
    Most Gender Reveals are planned only within a couple weeks or so, so make sure you’ve scouted a few areas before. The easiest, and most cost effective option, is to host in your home.  However, if you don’t have enough space in your home to hold the party, be sure you select the right venue. My advice is to choose one that is kid-friendly, has a quiet space where you can interact with your guest (ex. party room at a restaurant, club house, secluded park)
  4. PICK A THEME
    To further perk up your party, why not have a theme? Here are a few ideas below:
    He or She
    Cupcake or Stud Muffin
    What will it Bee?
    Princess or Prince
    Tutus or Touchdowns
    Stashes or Lashes
    Wheels or Heels
    Baseball or Bows
  5. ORDER & SEND INVITATIONS
    You can make invitation cards to make it more formal. However, if you are short in budget and time, you can easily send invitations through emails, text messages, phone calls, and even in-person.
  6. PICK YOUR VENDORS
    There are A LOT of vendors to choose from, depending on your budget and/or if you like a little DIY or cooking. Some of the top vendors are photographer, chair rentals, decor rentals, caterers, decorators, etc.
  7. PLAN THE MENU
    Big Tip: Consider the types of people who are going to attend your event. Make sure you have the right food fitting to every guest. We are not the type of mini sandwiches type of family, so ours will always have a buffet line whether it be Mexican, BBQ, or Italian. Be sure to have a some kid friendly options as well.
  8. THANK YOUR GUEST
    This is something that can be a simple small “Thank you” or it could be a party favor. Just remember that these are the people you care about most and that care about you. While you’ll be talking to a lot of people, make sure you go around and personally talk with everyone.

These are just some of the things you need to consider when throwing a Gender Reveal Party. If this is your first time, don’t stress. Just enjoy the process and don’t hesitate (I actually encourage you) to get some help from your friends and family members.

Lifestyle

Something to Smile About + Giveaway

Hi Friends! Today I’m so excited to share with y’all my results from Smile Brilliant. Let’s be honest, as a new mom, you’re living on a little sleep and a whole lot of coffee. I am actually impressed how many cups I can drink now. Any moms relate?! HA. Like most new moms, my self care went out the window for a couple months. I lived in the same shirt 3 days straight, my hair was half dry shampoo, half hairspray, and I was lucky to brush my teeth, much less whiten them. I didn’t realize how much my teeth has discolored in such a short amount of time until we took Christmas photos….and all I could stare at were my teeth. Ugh, totally embarrassing! I knew I needed to do something ASAP. With Smile Brilliant, I love that I can whiten my teeth, all from the comfort of my own home while either running errands or after Ava is asleep.

 

The Kit

The kit is quite impressive because it comes with everything you need during the process. It includes:

  • Instructions for the whole process,
  • Dental Impression Kit & New Custom Fit Tray ~2 weeks later,
  • Return Mail Slip,
  • Teeth Whitening Gel,
  • Desensitizing Gel, and
  • Tray Holder

The Time

With Smile Brilliant, you can whiten anywhere from 45 minutes to 3 hours. I have super sensitive teeth, so I started out for about 20 minutes the first round, and slowly worked up to 45 minutes. I would put my trays in during the last hour before bed. Again, I love being able to do it from home because I would put them in, get lunches, and the diaper bag packed AND still have time to watch a show with my husband #multitasking. After the 45 minutes, I’ll put the desensitizing gel on for about another 15-20, and then go to bed.

My Review:

Overall, the process was very simple. Like I said before, I did find my teeth were pretty sensitive when I started out, so I had to build to keep them on for the recommended 45 minutes. Verdict: I’ll definitely keep using them because unlike regular strips, they’re custom fit to my teeth so I don’t have to worry about the gel getting on my gums. Other than that, you can see my before/after below.

Now for the good part:

 A GIVEAWAY

The steps are simple: Click here to enter to win a free kit of your own! The giveaway is for their very own Smile Brilliant kit ($149 value) and is open for 1 week and open to USA, UK, Australia and Canadian residents.

Goodluck babes!

Family Lifestyle

7 Products We’ve Actually Used All 7 Months

Hi Friends, happy Tuesday!

We are getting back in the swing of things after a rough weekend, but I wanted to share 7 items we’ve used from newborn all the way up to now 7 months. Like I said here, I know registry list and “must have items” can be overwhelming and a lot to take in, so whether you’re expecting, a new mom, or an experienced mom who can relate or share your own tips, I hope this list helps out. 🙂 Best part is, everything is on Amazon Prime, so you can get it in less than 2 days!

  1. Baby Detergent: Y’all, this stuff smells SO GOOD. After we found out Ava was well Ava, we started buying all the girl clothes. Dreft smells like a baby in a bottle, I’m so obsessed. We actually wash our clothes with it as well since Ava is always holding onto us, laying on us, etc. It comes in Newborn Stage 1, and Active Stage 2. As I’m writing this, I’m realizing we’re still using the Newborn detergent (oh well!). Dreft also comes with a stain remover and pre-treatment pen. Both are perfect for the inevitable blow out….trust me.
  2.  Forehead Thermometer: This is the one we have and love it. We love that it has both the ear and head pieces, because as the overprotective mom, I check both when she’s sick.
  3. Foldable Changing Pad: This has seriously been one of our most used products. We not only use it while we’re out, but this is primarily what we change Ava on at home. Her changing pad is upstairs in her room, and to date, I don’t think I’ve ever used it once. This one is great because it wipes down super easily and can be throw in any bag because it has space for wipes and diapers.
  4. Stroller Hooks: This is another item that is so small, but has been so helpful looking back on these past 7 months. These things can hold a TON. When we go to the mall, I carry my diaper bag, pump bag, shopping bags, etc. and they don’t slide down and have held everything.
  5. Breast Pump: I’ve used this one since day 1 and have nothing but great things to say about it! Check with your insurance first, as most plans offer (at least) the starter pump. This pump was actually an upgrade, but it was like less than $50 more. I love that you can discretely walk around with the bag, unless you’re a mom and KNOW it’s a pump bag. What is also really convenient is that is comes with an ice box/pack AND a battery operated cord, so if you’re out somewhere without an outlet, you can still pump and go on about your plans. ***A little PSA: finding bathrooms with outlets is actually pretty hard to find, unless you’re somewhere with a single stall bathroom.
  6. Bottle Brush/Drying Rack: These are self explanatory. One thing we ended up returning was sterilizer. I didn’t find us using it at all. Tip: I boil my bottles/nipples once a week and then I’ve rotated through bottles as Ava has grown.
  7. Baby Carrier: We use this one and LOVE it! Funny story, when we first got it, I told Sean this would totally be his carrier and that I would just use a wrap. I tried a wrap twice and Ava never got comfortable and I felt she wasn’t secure. I tried this one on a walk with the newborn insert and my life was changed. With the Ergobaby, she felt secure, and what I love about it now is that she can either face inward, outward, or I can put in on my back and she’s still safe.

I really hope these were helpful! If you’re a mom, I would love to hear your best products to 🙂

Lifestyle

Blogging 101: How to Run A Blog When You Work Full-Time

For the majority of us bloggers, working full-time in an unrelated field is the norm. In fact, it’s pretty much impossible to turn your blog into a success overnight, so most of us work during the day and spend our nights and weekends blogging.

Work with your schedule

Clearly, your 9-5 is taken up by work. That is was currently pays your bills. Have you ever been on a conference call or meeting and felt you were starting to day dream through? Carry around your phone or note pad and jot down ideas. They could be your next blog post, or ideas for your next Instagram post. Also, use your lunch break to write some of your content or have your co-worker bestie snap a few pictures for you.

I spend nights after Ava is asleep and weekends for writing, planning and photo shoots.

Look at blogging as “Me Time”

One of the biggest pieces of advice I was given and that I can share is to view your blog as a business, not hobby. That is, if you’re wanting to monetize your blog.  When I first started blogging, I would blog here and there, one post one month, the next month, I would have five post. It wasn’t effective. You want to set realistic exceptions (talked about more below) and have scheduled posting days so your followers can know and expect something from you. This not only encourages people to come back, but also, has people going to your site regularly increasing your traffic.

In my life, my “Me Time” is working while Ava is napping or sleeping. To get everything accomplished, this does involve sacrificing in other aspects, whether that be a TV show, weekend naps, or just literally doing nothing.

If you aren’t wanting to monetize a blog, and you purely want it to be a hobby, then focus too much on the above. Your blog should definitely still be part of your “me time,” but it should be something you want to be doing instead of watching that TV show, not something you feel like you have to be doing. Part of this, is finding your niche and what motivates you to want to blog.

Set Realistic Goals & Learn to say No

Another big piece of advice, especially as moms. Your little one should be your main focus, especially during the hours they are awake. If you’re a working mom like me, you know you already get such little time with your babies as it is, so make sure you are setting realistic goals for yourself and that won’t make you go crazy. For example, I know I can’t post a blog post 5 times a week right now, and I’m 100% okay with that. My goal is 2 times a week. Anything more, I feel like a rock star.

When you start blogging, slowly but surely, brands will find you and offers will start coming your way. As tempting as it is to say “Yes, please!” to every offer or every product in exchange for a post, please say no. Ex. A bra company approached me the other day, offering me a free sample of their product. I looked at there Instagram and all the post are women posting in their bras. 1. Bra’s having very little to do with my target market and 2. I don’t feel comfortable posing a bra and putting in online for everyone to see. 3. By “bloggers” accepting free products instead of compensation, it makes it quite difficult for bloggers who view what they do as a business. At the end of the day, be firm on your goals and don’t say yes to every opportunity.

Rally Your Supporters

When we are passionate about something, the ones we love tend to be our biggest supporters and the first to know about anything. Big piece of advice: Use them! My husband is my biggest supporter and the one behind a lot of my pictures. At times, he can still get annoyed with taking the pictures, hence why I use an amazing photographer, but I’ll even find him saying “This would be a good spot for a picture.” It cracks me up, but I’m turning him into an Insta-Hubby slowly but surely. Other ways are pulling him into photos. As much as he says he doesn’t like being in front of the camera, you give the guy and date for a shoot and he’s picking out a whole new wardrobe.

Don’t Give Up

I know it can be hard to question yourself, the time you’re putting into your blog, and if anyone is reading it. Trust me, someone is. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was your blog. This isn’t a race. Don’t give up and believe in what you’re doing. I’m pretty sure every blogger, or entrepreneur, has been through it or going through it.