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Family

What’s In My Fawn Design Diaper Bag

Happy Friday, Friends! I am so excited for today’s post because it’s something I’m asked all the time. What is my favorite diaper bag? What do I love about it? How is the material in person? I’m hear to say, I seriously LOVE (and I mean LOVE) my Fawn Design bags. I actually have two: a black and now gray. One of the biggest tips to any new moms or mom’s-to-be is to buy a diaper bag that converts to a backpack. Being hands free is a game changer! Also, I love bags that don’t scream diaper bag and bags that I can still carry as Ava gets older. If you invest in a good bag, you’ll get your monies worth and not feel like you need another bag.

Now on to what I carry in my diaper bag. The first couple months, I carried everything. I was ready for an Apocalypse. That also left me carrying around a 8 lb baby and a brick of a backpack. Around month 4, I moved towards only carrying around the essentials.

For Ava:

3-4 diapers
Wipes
Full bottle of milk
A change of clothes
A portable changing mat

For Myself:

Hand Sanitizer
Chap Stick
Cell Phone
Wallet

Yup, that’s it! I don’t carry a purse anymore because it’s just easier to have everything in one spot.

Fawn Design bags already have plenty of compartments, but they just partnered with another one of my favorite brands to create matching inserts into their bags. Check it out here.

Want to see more colors? Check out their blush (all heart eyes) and other colors here!

 

Thank you to Fawn Design for sponsoring today’s post. While this was gifted, I truly LOVE this bag and use it every day.

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.

 

Fashion

Spurge, Save, Steal: Summer Totes

Happy Good Friday! What are y’alls Easter plans?

I like doing these because everyone has their own budget and are willing to splurge on certain things and not on others. These dupes are too good either way! Now, don’t get me wrong, I do splurge on items that I call investment pieces, but sometimes, that is not necessary because the steal option is so good! Take a peek at what I found!