Postpartum Depression: Part One

Real Life

Mothering is hard.  Whether you're doing it all alone or with your significant other, it’s freaking hard people. Emotionally physically mentally. It’s. Damn. Hard.

Social media can either do us good or completely break us down when it comes to being a new mom. It’s easy to comply with the “norm” and post only what appears to be happy and joyful posts of your fresh newborn. To show only the “good moments” of those incredibly tough first few days/weeks/months home from the hospital. To post only adorable pictures of your squishy newborn and how you “bounced back” just a couple weeks after. Look, we all love to see that but it’s not the truth.. well the whole truth that is. It’s bits and pieces of your whole beautiful journey into this motherhood thing, and that's okay, but I think as a "first time mom" veteran we need to know the ugly side to it all as well.

What we should know is that deep behind that beautifully captured picture is the 100th shit pants you’ve changed today, the barf down your boobs, or the fact that you haven't bathed or brushed your teeth or changed out of your robe and its now 5pm. It’s not the dark circles under your eyes from waking up every half hour throughout the night to nurse your cluster feeding baby, or the truth about how you lost all that baby weight by withering away in your sorrows, with no time to shit, drink a glass of water, or shove some teddy grahams down your throat. This motherhood gig is EXHAUSTING. 


I think what’s most difficult is saying that it’s not easy. Expressing that you feel alone, that you resent your significant other for being able to go on with their day like nothing has changed #dadlife (I'm just kidding, Jay is amazing, but post partum blues are the real deal people and there were many times I resented him for going to work! GOING TO WORK! Who am I?) In a time when you are given such a blessing, but you feel less than blessed in the moment is when its the hardest to admit you need help. In todays world, the second you become vulnerable and open up sooo many people are quick to attack, make judgments or mean remarks like “you should be thankful for your blessings” “you wanted this” and so forth.

Well I'm here to tell you that you're not alone. You may think you are the only person hating this motherhood thing, that you're the only one who dreads bedtime because you know in fact you will not sleep, that waking up sounds even worse because you have to care and nurture this gentle baby all damn day with the little to no energy you have left, but know that you are not alone. You can get through this and this phase of life will soon pass.

Now I'm not saying this is the case for everyone. I'm sure somewhere in a long lost world there is a mother who never has any of these feelings and is truly thinking that motherhood is the most wonderful time of her life and it's everything she ever dreamed of but I can't help but think that there are more women than not that feel the way I do, or have felt this way at some point in there motherhood journey. Believe me, when I brought Oliver home, I wanted nothing more than to enjoy every waking moment with him, but I couldn't, I didn't and I just didn't feel myself. 

 I wanted to write about my post-partum struggles to hopefully help other mothers who are feeling this way. I think that as a brand new mom you have it the hardest. Your entire pregnancy everyone showers you with gifts, tells you how excited they are for you, and you are continually fed positive vibes which is how it should be, I mean no one is going to tell you it will be hard, you will be tired, but you can get through it. You put together the nursery, you go to your appointments and listen to the heartbeat, you buy little trinkets and adorable newborn clothing and all this awesome baby shit you've never even heard of before and you just get sooooo excited and anxious to hold your sweet bundle of joy and you want him/her to be in your arms so badly that once that babe is here you are blind-sided by the difficult not so glamorous moments that motherhood brings. Believe me when I say that childbirth is the most amazing thing that I have ever went through, but if I'm being honest, after birthing Oliver I never wanted to go through that again.

My Experience

A quick recap of Oliver's birth. I worked eves (3-11pm) the weekend I went into labor. Saturday night I stayed an hour late to help with the unit. When I got home I made an egg bake and cheesy potatoes because it was Easter the next day. By this time it was around 130-2am when I was finally able to get some sleep. Two hours later I woke up to my water breaking in bed. We got ready and off to the hospital we went! I didn't have a difficult birth, I got an epidural that wore off towards the end so I was able to feel my contractions and push him out in 45 minutes. Those first moments were like nothing I've experienced before. It was a mix of adrenalin, euphoria, and utter amazement that I just did it and I was holding that beautiful baby boy I had been dreaming of for the past 9 months. That first night was a breeze haha he was in the newborn sleepy stage so he didn't want to wake up and Jay and I were both like "Did we just hit the jack pot? Our kid is already sleeping through the night?!" Well we were very wrong!

The next night all he did was cry.. I obviously didn't have much for a milk supply yet so he was probably hungry but boy was I distraught. My nipples hurt with even the slightest breeze hitting them. I cringed every time I new I had to nurse him and I'm pretty sure he could sense my frustration with every feed because things were not going well. I was over paranoid if that's even a thing that I wouldn't get my supply in so I was pumping every 3 hours as well as after he ate. This caused me to have an oversupply, along with extremely engorged veiny pornstar boobs that were uncomfortable if I didn't release the milk and even more uncomfortable if I did. It was a vicious cycle of trying to regulate my supply to his needs, but you can read about my breastfeeding journey in another post soon to come!

That first month, all I did was sit in my rocker and literally nurse Oliver. I felt like he was a piraña and I was just a tasty piece of meat. I went days without showering, sometimes I would brush my teeth right before Jay got home from work at nearly 5pm. I tore up and down during delivery, and didn't take enough baths to help heal/dissolve my stitches so my lady parts were beyond sore for wayyyy toooo long.

I felt like a slob who never got out of her robe and was so ashamed of my "postpartum body". All day I would watch the clock, counting down the hours, minutes until Jay walked through that door to relieve me of my new parenting duties. Oliver wasn't a terrible baby, but he did cry a lot and it was so emotionally draining I felt like my life was ruined forever. How could this sweet innocent little baby, who deserved every piece of my love and affection, be so monstrous and cause me to be so unhappy? I remember scrolling through instagram/facebook and seeing all these post on how happy and joyful these new moms were with their brand new babies, and how motherhood was such a blessing and being envious of all the beautifully captured photos of their new bundles but found myself feeling like such a failure. I would then feel worthless because I wasn't reading to him every minute of the day, or making cute crafts with him, or taking him out and about.. I could barely walk and I just remember feeling so defeated, as if I wasn't good enough.

I don't post a lot of these moments or "tough moments" in our life because I honestly don't really want to remember them.  I don’t do this to portray a perfect life, or make you think I never have any struggles or problems arise because that is NOT the case, I just don't always broadcast it. I like to post happy pictures because for me, its a way to look back and remember those good moments, in the midst of the crazy and chaotic. The good always outweighs the bad. I encourage you to keep posting whatever makes you feel happy. You’re not a fake person or a perfect person because of it, you’re you and those Are the moments you want to remember. So whether you choose to post “real life” moments or the instaworthy moments that’s your choice and we should support you along the way. Just know that we are all fighting a different battle, living a different life and may have our own struggles that we’re going though no matter what you see on the gram.

During those first few weeks, probably even months after having Oliver, I didn't feel connected to him one bit, I felt like he was a foreign person in my house that I was forced to care for. I didn't want to feel like that. I felt even more awful for having those feelings. But that's what post partum blues did to me. It made me think irrationally, my self worth was zero, my body perception was so negative, and looking back now I really think I was depressed. I didn't want to admit that in the time because I wanted to seem like I had it all under control, that I could do this and that I loved every minute of it. I should of spoke up, I should of expressed my feelings more because I think that would of helped me cope with those feelings so much quicker. 

After a while, as time passed I started enjoying each moment more and more. I was in a different mind set that this would just be a phase, and it was. As he grew older, things got easier, but new challenges arose and together we overcame them. Our bond grew and our nursing journey was stronger than ever, and I'm so proud to say we made it 2 years with him being in control of his wean. I obviously love him more than words can say and I'm so thankful for gods blessings, but I want you to know that it wasn't easy at first. 

If this is you and you're having some of these same symptoms, I promise you that you can do it, you can get through this "phase of life" as I call it, and soon those tough and never ending days will become nothing more than a memory. You may look back and laugh at these dreaded days, and remember how sweet your newborn babe was and then think to yourself how much you miss that newborn phase, miss no sleep, no eating, no bathing, but you do.


So give yourself a break. We’re freaking human and we’re women for that matter. Women who have wayyyy toooo many feelings and hormones and thoughts that consume us. Post partum blues are very real, and they can happen to any body. You shouldn't feel ashamed, you shouldn't feel alone, you shouldn't feel defeated because you CAN overcome it, and you will. The most important thing to do is know when to get help, something I wish I would of done. Next week I will share part 2 of my post partum journey, how to cope with it and ways that I was able to overcome it, and not let it overrule my life after having Attikus. I was so much happier, truly a completely different person/mother my second time around and I want to share that with you to hopefully help you overcome those feelings and empower you to also share your feelings! Stay tuned, I hope you'll join me next week!

XOXO Mari 

Potty Training

#pottytrainingishard is an understatement! It takes a lot of effort, and hard work, persistence, and patience which can be VERY hard when you're dealing with an unwilling toddler. With Oliver now being potty trained for quiet some time, I thought it would be a good time to share some tips/tricks with you in case your next on the potty training band wagon!

Let me start by saying that potty training is 80/20. I completely agree that in order for potty training to be successful, the child needs to be 80% willing and ready. That makes only 20% effort for the adult to put in the work. If you're child is not 80% ready, then don't even try.. you most likely will fail and that's okay, you're just not ready. Wait a couple months and then try again. If your child is ready than continue to read some of my helpful tips/tricks that either worked for us or were recommended to me by other successful mamas!

KNOW WHEN YOUR CHILD IS READY: Look for Signs of Readiness

  • Your child asks you to change his diaper after they've went 
  • They can verbally/physically tell you that they went potty or have to potty
  • They may or may not want to wear a diaper
  • Interested in sitting on the potty, watching you use the potty, or being near the potty
  • May or may not wake from naps or nighttime dry
  • Goes and hides to poop or pee/wants privacy

IF your child is showing signs that they are ready to start potty training there are a few different "techniques" you can use to help the process go a little smoother!

  1. Treasure Box Method: Learned this technique from a dear mama who trained her son before he was 3! She put together a little treasure box filled with dollar store toys and little trinkets for each time he went potty, he could get a new treasure! If your child responds well to rewards, than this could be a great option for you! This can also be done with a jar of m&ms, skittles, or whatever kind of treat they love!
  2. Sticker Chart Method: Many, many, many mamas have used the sticker method and this is actually the method we used as well. If your child really enjoys stickers and putting them on a paper themselves which is rewarding for them then this is a great method. Just have a chart in the bathroom with a bunch of stickers for them to choose from and each time they poop or pee they get to pick one or two stickers out and put them on their chart!
  3. "Oh Crap Potty Training Book": I personally never bought this book, but have heard great success stories through our ECFE class and other mamas. The author is a potty training expert who shares her proven 6-step plan to successfully train your toddler. Plus it's only $5.99!
  4. The THREE day method: I think this is the most popular method I've heard of parents using and it's just as it sounds. Dedicate 3 full days to staying home with your toddler and be committed to training them. Let them walk around naked if that's their thing, set a timer to tell them your taking them potty (never ask, they will say no), and no matter if they go or not, make them sit on the toilet to get use to it! This method can be daunting, but is usually successful after just 3 LONG days so it can be worth it to many!

TIPS

  • These methods may not work for every child, but just know what your child responds best to and stick with that. Give each method a solid week before trying to introduce a new one to avoid confusion with your little one. 
  • ALWAYS carry extra undies and pants with you where ever you go! I always keep a pair in my truck and then in my diaper bag!
  • If you're worried about them having to go while your driving, I've heard of one mama who would bring their "potty chair" in the back of her truck in case of emergency situations!
  • Look up potty training videos on you tube kids for your child to watch while they go potty or sit on the potty. 
  • Bribery is great. Bribe them with their favorite treat, piece of candy or whatever they get excited about to help them want to go potty. 

The MAIN thing for you to do is to remain POSITIVE. Applaud them, reward them, tell them how proud you are of them for using the potty even if they don't go! Keeping a positive attitude and encouraging them along the way will make this process so much better for you both. You want them to associate using the bathroom with positive thoughts and good vibes, so remember that when you start to get frustrated. This is new to them and can be scary, so be their sense of security through it all.

Keep in mind that you may think your child is ready, but he or she may actually not be. If you try to potty train and it isn't going well, take a couple weeks/months off and then try again. Only 40% off children are actually potty trained at age 3, so don't get discouraged if your child is nearing their 3rd birthday and still not potty trained. It will happen, give it time!

With Oliver, I tried twice before I actually knew he was ready. Key signs I watched for were him going to hide to poop, immediately wanting to be changed once he went in his diaper, he would tell me before he went in his diaper, and he started showing signs of interest in the toilet or wanting to watch anyone who went. He was very afraid of the potty at first, which is why we did end up buying a small one to sit next to the toilet, and eventually only used the big boy potty! The sticker chart and treat reward only lasted about a week or two, and then he was kinda over it and just used the bathroom without having to get a reward. We still wear pull-ups at nap times and bedtime as he does still go pee when he sleeps. We are still working on him pulling up his own underwear once he's done, and we do still wipe his butt.. but no more man shit diapers for him! #WHOOHOOO 

Remember to stay positive, and patient with your little one. Each child is unique and may take longer than other children, or may catch on rather quickly, either way listen to your child! 

I hope you found this post helpful, I know I wanted all the tips/tricks when we were starting to potty train Oliver. If you have further questions or other helpful tips, leave a comment below. Please LIKE this post or come comment on my instagram post to let me know that you enjoyed todays read! 

XOXO Mari

Affordable Sunglasses For Everyone featuring i-gogs

If I could, I would own several pairs of sunglass, but unfortunately they are usually expensive and that just isn't in my budget! So when i-gogs reached out about debuting their new line of sunglasses I was so excited to partner with them. i-gogs is a Minnesota based eyewear company that prides itself on quality, timeless designs without a steep price tag. Each pair of sunglasses ranges from 35-60 dollars, which in my opinion is soo reasonable especially when they are actually CUTE sunglasses. 

Being that Jay and I live in MN, we are always happy to support our local businesses and companies! After all, we are small MN shop owners ourselves. When I browsed i-gogs website, I was so impressed by the styles they offered and would honestly compare them to some of my other favorite "name brand" sunglass companies! PLUS I'll say it again, the price is just unbeatable!

When we got our new sunnies in the mail, I was so excited! Any time I get anything in the mail, I am always in an extra good mood. The boys each got a pair of blue and green shades that are only $5.99, perfect for small kiddos who tend to be rougher on their items. I usually gravitate to all black, but the bright colored mirrored glasses were super cute, and even cuter on! Jay got the TONKA-G style, he was so excited to get a "mail day" and couldn't wait to try them on. I chose the QUINN-B and JULIA-B styles and I can't say enough good things about them. I love the look of them on, durable and stay on my head without falling off, and they are sleek and sophisticated. 

I-gogs is passionate about the lenses they create. Each pair is made using P-tech polarization and polycarbonate technology. P-tech polarized lenses are coated to resist scratching and block out 100% off all harmful UV rays, up to 400 nanometers. Polycarbonate lenses are up to 10 times more impact resistant than plastic or glass, making them last that much longer! Not only are i-gogs sunglasses cute to wear, but are also good for your eyes and highly impact resistant which is key to me having two little kiddos that like to pull and tug on my shades! What I like most about i-gogs is you can customize your design from the lens tints to the frames! This is an awesome feature that most sunglass companies don't offer.  

If you are in the market for some new shades, I would highly recommend checking out i-gogs website! You can subscribe to their mailing list and get 15% off your first order with them! 

Shop the TONKA-B style, QUINN-B style, or JULIA-B style which are what Jay and I have and absolutely LOVE! 

Thanks so much for stopping by and reading today's post! I hope you enjoyed the read and are now looking for some new affordable and cute new sunnies from i-gogs! Thank you i-gogs for sponsoring this post in exchange for our new sunnies! 

XOXO Mari 

Why AMARA Baby food is next to the Best

I think it's easy to want to make our own baby food for our children, after all we want whats best for them and typically homemade is the way to achieve that. However, in the thick of motherhood it's not always easy to find the time. I'll be honest, with both of my children I've always started out super eager and excited to start making them purees and begin the food eating adventure but I soon realize how much work it is and resort to buying "some" off the shelf baby food because having two kids doesn't always allow me to spend the entire Sunday afternoon meal prepping for my 8 month old.

I feel like making homemade baby food is "the thing to do" and you see all these great recipes on Pinterest, and you buy all these cute storage containers, and you begin the process really solid, but then it comes time to feed your baby. Will he like it? Does it taste good? What if I spent all that time and money on making homemade baby food just to find out he won't eat it?! Yes, typically baby's take a couple days to get accustom to the new textures, tastes, and the overall process of eating solids, but after a while they should grow to like eating and trying new foods. So you have to be patient, persistent, and positive to show them that eating is a good thing! Duh..However, sometimes homemade baby food doesn't always turn out how you wanted it to. The texture doesn't look or taste right and then your stuck with all that not so appetizing homemade puree and you run to store to just buy a "few" pouches to get you through the next couple days, and you feel super discouraged about your baby food making process fail, and those days turn into weeks and before you know it, you've got a whole drawer full! Anyone else relate to this... (insert raise your hand emoji here)

Have you ever felt guilty for buying those sugary pouches or jars of baby food? I'll be honest, I totally have. Mainly because I feel like a "bad mom" if I don't make my baby all organic, natural, and healthy baby purees. It's silly really! Who cares if you make it or buy it, you're feeding your baby and you are doing a great job! I still buy pouches for quick on the go snacks, but I'm careful as to which ones I buy and I always stay clear of the meat ones (Like is that chicken and squash suppose to be sitting on the shelf at room temperature, that just weirds me out!) I tend to lean towards flavors and ingredients that I myself would eat. So when I found out about AMARA baby food I was super excited to try them out! They were ranked the second best baby food in 2017 and recently launched their products in Whole Foods Grocery Stores. A baby food you can buy in the stores and not feel guilty about!

AMARA baby food uses organic fruits and vegetables that are grown without pesticides. Are non GMO, and gluten free. No additives, or fillers are used, just whole ingredients that you can feel good about feeding your little one. Their method uses a unique process to cold and pressure lock in the essential nutrients of the fruits and vegetables, giving it a number of nutritional advantages. Most store bought baby food uses repeated high heat processes to create their shelf food life, concentrating high sugar contents and less nutrients. AMARA baby food is just the opposite, and something I can feed my baby guilt free. Their pouches are super light weight and thin, making it easy to pack one in your pocket, purse or diaper bag and head out the door. Just mix with water, breast milk or formula, and it's ready to eat!

At 8 months Attikus is enjoying more solid textures, especially trying to get those teeth in so I wish I would of found out about them sooner! Thankfully the stage 2 pouches are textured and full of flavor, which he loves! He is also Mr. Independent and prefers to feed himself so I actually make the pouches and put them in a reusable pouch for him so he can feed himself! I myself, have tried each flavor and they are so fresh tasting, they smell delicious and taste so good. Even Jay tried them all and was super impressed by the flavor they each held! They're not like most other baby foods that all taste the same and have the same texture. 

I am so happy with these products and "if" we have another baby, this will be the baby food of choice! The cost is reasonable compared to other store bought. You can get 5 pouches for 10.99, 7 pouches for 15.99 and variety packs for 39.99. Keep in mind they are essentially the next best baby food aside from making your own, making your life simpler and giving you more time to spend with your family on those Sunday afternoons. It's a price that I'm willing to pay to make my life easier, spend more time with my kiddos, and feel good about what I'm feeding my baby. 

Not looking to venture out to your local Whole Foods Store? AMARA now offers their baby food on AMAZON. YIPPEE! 

Visit AMARA to shop their products and learn more about their exceptional baby food! If you decide to order off their site you can S A V E 15% and FREE shipping by using Code: ONLYTHEBEST at checkout! I highly recommend this convenient, nutrient packed, and flavorful baby food and you can bet I'll be using AMARA for the next babe!

 

Baby Food Pouches I Wood Bowl and Spoon I High Chair

Thanks so much for stopping by, I hope you found this post helpful! As always leave a comment if you enjoyed today's read, share it with your friends or come comment on my instagram page so I know people actually read what I write and Thank you AMARA baby food for partnering with me!

xoxo Mari 

How to Save on your Easter Basket

 

Easter is in less than a week, which means a couple things for the Wagamon Household, 1. Oliver's Birthday is right around the corner and I should probably send out invites, and 2. the easter bunny is coming! Growing up my mom always had easter baskets for us to find and I knew I wanted to carry that tradition on with my littles, but Easter Baskets can get spendy if you fill them with over priced junk that your kid doesn't need. I've gathered a few tips and tricks to help you SAVE on your easter basket budget! 

1. REUSE:

  • Buy your kid a basket and keep it for the rest of their life. So I choose to go with something simple that they could also grow into (AKA not the paw patrol bucket or PJ mask basket). So, yes immediately you will have to spend $10-20 bucks but then you don't ever have to buy another basket again! OR if you are a basket hoarder, you can always just use one you already have, your kid isn't going to care what the basket looks like when they have a bunch of candy and goodies in it! 
  • SAVE your crinkle paper. Put it in a plastic bag and take it out each year to add to their easter basket! It works great as a filler and just overall makes it look cuter in my opinion. 
  • Got any old toys or books laying around?! Chances are if you have small children, you most likely do which is awesome because then you can take a toy or a couple books out that your child doesn't play with or hasn't asked to read in a while and put that in their easter basket! It will be like brand new to them, and you won because you saved on buying another toy! 
  • Also, Attikus is only 9 months, so I didn't buy him anything because I didn't feel he needed anything at this time! He will never remember!

2. Get Functional

  • Obviously new toys and goodies are fun to get as a child, but it's equally as fun to buy them for your little one in my opinion! Why not fill your child's easter basket with things that are functional and they can reuse for the upcoming years! I like to add coloring books, matching games, flashcards, or learning activity books/games that they can grow from. One of my favorite places to get things like this are off amazon. They've got everything, and if you have amazon prime you can get it FREE shipping! 
  • Other ways to be functional is getting them clothing items they may need such as underwear, or new jammies, or swimsuit, or socks! This year I got Oliver a couple new baseball caps since he's outgrown them. TJ Maxx always has super cute NIKE ones that I love putting him in the summer months!
  • Water bottles or other items they need but are also fun to get new are great options as well!

3. Cheap Fillers

  • My favorite places to get filler/junk items would be Target dollar section, Walmart, and the dollar store! You can find some pretty inexpensive items at any of these places and an easter basket is always fun with some of these! My favorite items to add to Oliver's basket are: 
    • Bubbles
    • Dollar match car
    • Color Crayons 
    • Bouncy Ball
    • Glow Stick
    • Toy soldiers 
    • Animal figurines 
    • Small Lego set
    • Stickers 

4. CANDY

  • If you didn't already know, I've got quite the sweet tooth and it happens that Oliver does too.. go figure! So yes, I do fill his easter basket with candy because hey, I get to eat it too! It often is cheaper to buy the bags of candy and then just dump half in their basket and put the rest in a cute jar to sit on your counter for guest to enjoy! You also don't need to get every flavor of candy ever invented, get a couple options to put in their basket and call it a day, they will be happy with whatever they get! 
  • If you're not into giving your child candy, than get them cute snack sizes of their favorite snacks just to switch it up a little bit! Just giving them something they're not use to having will be fun and different for them! 

Lastly, If you're into making easter crafts than you probably already know that PINTEREST is the place to go when looking for cute ideas! I linked a cute pinterest page you might be interested in! This year we dyed eggs, something I don't usually do and actually never did as a child either! Oliver had a great time and I bought this super easy dying tray that came with 6 different colors, if you are looking for an easy easter dying experience, click on this LINK! 

I hope you enjoyed today's post and found it helpful in your Easter Basket gathering! As always leave me a comment, like this page or come and comment on my most recent instagram post @mariwags! I love to know that you enjoyed reading and that what I write may actually be helpful to you! 

XOXO Mari

Oliver's Easter Basket I Easter Liner I Khaki Pants I Coloring Cups

When you Spend $25 on Easter baskets, eggs, and decor you get a $5 dollar gift card to target right now! 

The Perfect Mother's Day gift: Wooden Watches by JORD

 

A Timeless Gift: Wooden Watches by JORD 

Believe it or not, Mother's Day is right around the corner, which means that very important Mama in your life deserves something extra special. Whether you're a mom yourself and are looking to treat yourself or you're looking to get that amazing woman in your life something unique, JORD watches make the perfect timeless gift. Each watch is incredibly made, with a minimalist design and unlike anything I've seen before. 

Why JORD watches are near and dear to my H E A R T

Last November Jay and I started our own little wood shop called WagaWOODS&goods and wow what a journey it has been. I think owning our own business has always been something we've wanted to do, but didn't think it would actually become a reality for, us until it did. I would say we make a pretty good team and love to take on just about any challenge. Together, we've flipped two houses, completely renovated our current home when I was 8 months pregnant, and are always looking for new projects to take on. Jay, my husband is beyond "handy", insanely smart and talented, and devoted to his new part time gig and I like to call myself the designer, the creator, the "honey make this for me" type, 

When we started WagaWOODS, we had only made a handful of wooden box and building blocks (Our best seller yet) for some of our close friends. That soon turned into a small online shop and the desire to create more wooden toys took off. When I first heard about JORD wood watches, I was stoked! From all the pictures I had seen of them and the reviews I had read, I knew I had to get my hands on one, especially being an owner of a wood shop! 

The day my wooden watch came in the mail, I was ecstatic. Jay and I opened it together, and I can't even begin to tell you how giddy we were. The detail of the entire packaging is impeccable. As self proclaimed wood workers, we were in complete awe. From the outer wood box with engraved JORD and logo on it, to the magnets that held the top on, and the drawer to keep all your extra links in, the details were not unnoticed. It came with the cutest little wooden tag, extra links to ensure a perfect fit, and even a watch cleaner and brush! The entire time, Jay kept saying how Badass it was. For someone who doesn't usually wear a watch, he was completely blown away and let's just say I think I know what I'll be getting him for Father's Day. 

What I like even more about JORD watches, is their ability to engrave your watch! At WagaWOODS most of our products are custom made, and personalized which makes that gift even more special and meaningful. Getting your custom wood watch engraved would be just the same! Already have an apple watch? JORD watches creates wood bands designed specifically for your apple watch! How cool is that? Three reasons I love JORD watches, 1. because they are beautifully made unique wooden watches, 2. They have the ability to be engraved to make a gift extra special, and 3. being a wood shop owner I feel its only right to have a wooden watch to sport! 

Whether you are looking for that perfect Mother's Day gift, birthday gift, or a gift to treat yourself I can assure you won't be disappointed with a JORD wooden watch. I'm happy to have partnered with them to give you the chance to win $100 gift code to use on the JORD site so you too can get your own custom watch! All you have to do is click on the link below to ENTER the GIVEAWAY! Ends April 22nd, 2018 at 11:59. Even if you don't win you will receive a consolation code worth 10% off your purchase with JORD watches once the giveaway is over!

JORD WATCH GIVEAWAY: CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW!!

https://www.woodwatches.com/g/wagawoodsandgoods

To SHOP my exact watch and many other beautifully made wooden watches, click on the links below!

Men's shop

Women's shop

My watch

JORD Homepage

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed today's post and I hope you're the lucky winner! Good luck!

xoxo Mari 

 

Sun Bums

Hola! Just kidding, still dreaming of being on the beach in just a bikini. If you ask my husband, Jay, he would tell you that I have an obsession for swim suits and that's probably true but as you grow older and have kids and things start to hang, become a little squishier, that itty bitty string bikini starts to get a little bigger in material size. 

Funny story though.. two months postpartum after having Oliver I went to Vegas for my best friends Bachelorette party. I was a new mom, hadn't started working out yet, my eating routine consisted of teddy grahams and trail mix (not the good for you kind either, the kind with three different kinds of chocolate) and I spent most of my days rocking my newborn baby that didn't stop crying in my oversized comfy and plush robe. Well, when it came time to start thinking about what I was going to wear in Vegas, surrounded by beautiful women who were much skinnier than me, well put together, and just drop dead gorgeous I insisted that I needed 4 new one-pieces so I could feel good about myself. I think I spent a total of $600 dollars on 4 one-piece swim suits which believe me I feel utterly embarrassed about. I can't even fathom how Jay let me spend that type of money, or where I even got that type of money for freaking SWIMSUITS! I was convinced that if I could cover my postpartum belly that I would look and feel amazing. I thought wrong. One pieces only made it worse, it made me feel larger and just excentuated my squishy belly. I ended up borrowing some larger bust tops from Jay's aunt and they weren't one pieces! 

Moral of the story, feel damn proud about your body and all that it is capable of. Yes, you may feel a little squishier, less attractive, and frumpy but that doesn't make you any less beautiful. Feeling confident in your new mom bod will give you the strength and courage to get through each day, rather than putting yourself down on how you don't look the way you want to. That day will come. It may take some time, but with some hard work and patience you will get to that body goal you have for yourself. Don't be too hard on yourself, don't bring yourself down and think that you need to start working out right at 6 weeks. Take your damn time. You just had a freaking baby, a beautiful new baby and it's okay to soak in all that yummy newborn goodness for as long as you want. You've got your hands full with a toddler, multiple kids or you're a busy working mom and its okay! If you're reading this, then I want you to know that you are amazing. You look beautiful and you're doing a damn good job! It's easy to compare ourselves to one another, I do it all the time. There will always be someone who you think is "better" than you, but once you learn  to love yourself and everything that you already do have your life will become so much richer. You will feel so much happier in your life and just grateful for everything you DO have.

I'm not going to say that this has ever been easy for me. I tend to be very hard on myself and always wanting to be in better shape, have more things, want more more more and It's no easy task, it takes a lot of work, but its worth working towards. At 8 months postpartum, after having Attikus, I can say that I feel good about where I'm at in my fitness journey. I try to work out 5-6 times a week, hoping that spring and summer months will bring even further results as we can walk and play outside. I usually do Jillian Michael's home DVDs but two weeks before Cabo I started doing BBG and I LOVE IT! It's a home work out right on your phone. The work outs are hard, make you sweat and are about 30 minutes long. I plan to continue to work on myself because when I feel good about me I am the best mom, wife and me that I can be. I hope that this encourages you to work on you and put yourself and your happiness first. You deserve that, we all do! Lets remember that we're in this together, woman to woman, mother to mother. Lets rise up and see each others worth because when we do that great things happen!

To give you a better idea on what size to get, I'm 5'6" tall, 130 pounds. I usually take the padding out of all my swimsuit tops because I hate how they make my mom boobs look and I'd rather nip out than have weirdly shaped breast. I am a 36C now. I was a 34C before having kids, but my rib cage expanded and never went back! Now after having kids, I tend to stay away from triangle top suits and go for the halter, or sports bra type which fit me much better and hold up my deflated size C pancakes I have for breast.

Unfortunately the orange/yellow swimsuit that I wore in Cabo is not available for purchase in the US but I've found a few other ones that I think are just as cute below! (It is from Women's Secret, which does not ship to the US) Click on any image below to shop that exact swim suit. Many of the ones I've found are ones that I currently have or want to buy! As always, please Like, Comment, share on pinterest, or just leave me some love! I love sharing brands, products that work for me and my family and I sincerely hope that you enjoy them too!

The swimsuit brands below are the top brands I shop, but I do buy swimsuits from American Eagle, Boys and Arrows, L*SpaceEverything but water, and Target as well, but there are so many cute suits out there right now that it would of taken me forEVER to put all those picks on here!

ZAFUL PICKS: I wear size L, but kinda want to try out a M next time I order

 

ASOS PICKS: I wear size L top and S bottom
ZINGARA PICKS: I wear size 10 top, size 8 bottoms

XOXO Mari

Bathing Basics

From Newborn to Toddler, Everything you need to know about Bathing your babe

I'm not going to lie, since Oliver was born I've just been using Johnson and Johnson. 1. because it is what we use on our babes in the NICU, so it should be okay right? and 2. I looovveee the smell. you just can't beat it. (So if you know how to replicate that smell, in a homemade soap... please please share with me by commenting below!) Well, 2018 made me want to start fresh with our lives, and that included going to a more natural, organic, good for you skin products and overall wellbeing. I took a poll a few weeks ago on my instagram stories on what products people used, liked, and other various questions I threw in there and I got soo much feedback so I wanted to share all my new info with you!

Most of what I write comes from my experience as a mother and a NICU nurse, so I'm no expert but I do want to share with you what works for us, new products you may want to try out, and just give you some new perspective on bath time in case what you're doing now isn't working and you want to try something new!

Bringing Baby Home

  • Swaddle Bath: If you've never done a swaddle bath, it's my favorite bath to give to a newborn, especially during those first few days of life. You start by swaddling baby in a receiving blanket. Hold your baby in the football hold with their head over the water, and gently wash their face with a clean rag, then proceed to wash their hair with soap and water. You can then dry it with a towel if you want. Next, dunk them in the sink or tub completely swaddled and wash them taking out a limb at a time to help keep them warm. Afterwards, have clean dry towels ready and take the babe out leaving the wet blanket behind. Dry your babe completely and get them dressed! 
  • Sponge Bath: This is where you bath baby with just a wash cloth and a bucket of water on the side. This is typically done if you don't want something on them (for example an IV) to get wet, but they usually HATE this way because they get so cold. 
  • Sink Bath: Sink baths are also my favorite, and I'm not talking a large farmhouse sink where the baby is just flailing all over. Just a small bathroom sink that you can put a towel down in, a blooming bath pad, or puj baby. This allows the water to fall on them and keep them warm, but be careful you watch the temperature as it can sometimes change unexpectedly. 

TIPS:

You can bathe your baby with their umbilical stump still attached, just be sure to let it air dry afterwards and fold the diaper down below their umbilicus

Cleaning the umbilicus stump is no longer current practice, it fall off on its own anywhere between 7-14 days. However, both my boys umbilicus fell off on day 2-5. 

In the beginning, babies only need to be bathed x2 a week. Of course you can bathe them as much as you want, but that will dry their skin out quicker.

Babies live in the womb nice and warm, completely regulated by mom. Once born they have to thermoregulate themselves, so keeping them warm during bath will keep them much happier. 

Get all your supplies ready before you start bath so that your not scrambling to get things you need once baby is already bathed. EX: Have your towels, bath soap, clothes, diapers all ready.

Sitting Infant/Almost Sitting

Tub:

  • Lay a large towel down in the tub and fill it with a couple inches of water, just enough to come up to babies ears when laying down. The blooming bath works great for this! They can splash and kick their legs and feet and they usually love this. To help keep their top side warm, you can put a warm wash cloth on their belly. 
  • I started using the mamas&papas chair in the tub for attikus so that the boys could take a tub together and I wouldn't have to hold Attikus at all times. This works great, but you have to be careful because once you add water to the tub it tends to be tippy especially if they like to bend over and reach for things!
  • Farmhouse Sink: This option is great for infants that can sit up on their own or start to sit up on their own. You can use the blooming bath for added cushion incase they fall. Fill the sink up with water to your desired level. Often times they usually love playing with the faucet and enjoy splashing the water with their hands. 

Toddlers

Tub: This is the only way I know how to bathe Oliver, unless you give your toddler a shower! Don't ever leave them unattended, not even for a second as the worst imaginable can happen in the blink of an eye. Have your toddler help you wash them, this not only makes it more fun for them because they get to be a little more independent but it also allows them learn how to bathe themselves so your not washing them until their 10. 

#MOMHACK When bathing two babes, (like mine 2.5 and 7mo) Use a mamas&papas chair in the tub for the youngest one so you don't have to hold on to him or her the entire time and they can splash their feet and play in the water without you having to worry about them falling over!

 

Diaper Dermatitis: AKA Diaper rash can be very uncomfortable for your little ones and it doesn't only happen to infants.. it can happen to toddlers too. Teething can cause this, getting their molars can cause this, and then the obvious cause is from urine and feces coming in contact with the skin. Allergies can also be a cause of diaper rash, which means it could be from the diapers you're using or detergent used for cloth diapers. Antibiotics can also be a cause for diaper rash.  Things that you can do to help prevent/heal diaper rash are below. 

  • Don't use scented wipes or strong scented soaps
  • Change diapers frequently
  • Give Sits baths
  • Let their bum air dry/free breeze for a while
  • Avoid powders or ointments that have not been prescribed by your childs doctor
  • If you choose to put a diaper cream on something with zinc oxide works best or coconut oil

Above Pictures were taken by SamanthaCaterPhotography

Products

I mentioned above Blooming Bath and Puj baby which are both products used inside of the sink to help comfort and support baby during bath time. We personally don't have a Puj tub, but it has great reviews and looks like it would work nicely, and it cost $45. Our blooming bath is great to use in the sink or even when they get to sitting age because it helps pad them and lessen their chances of slipping all over the place. I also like it because you can machine wash it to keep it clean and dry in the dryer! The price for a blooming bath is $40. We also have a summer infant deluxe which can be used in the tub and works great for those beginning days, and is only $15! The Fisher Price 4-in-1 Sling'n Seat also works great, and was an option suggested to me, plus it's only $27! That little round float below is called an otterroo, and I had to have it for Attikus lol and although I've had people tell me they love it, I personally didn't care for it. Maybe we got it too late in the game and Attikus was too big for it but we tried it in the tub and the water level had to be nearly to the top (and we have a deep tub) and his feet still toughed so he was basically floating by his neck with us butt touching the bottom. We'll shoot for the next kid! You can click on the image below to directly shop that product!

As I stated above, I've been using Johnson&Johnson since Oliver was born, and I always thought that since we use it on our NICU babes, it should be safe for our kids. Well, after doing those bath time polls in my insta-stories and getting so many great suggestions, new product details, and some awesome information that was really eye opening, I started doing some research myself. When I say eye opening, I mean that I've never really been one to read labels. Along with my 500 other goals for 2018, living a more chemical free and natural lifestyle was up on the top of the list. So I started digging and I can say I threw out all of my johnson and johnson baby soaps. 

I found out that formaldehyde was used in Johnson&Johnson, and I'm sure many of you are much better at saying up with the news and current events than I am, but I had no idea. I mean you just can't beat the scent of a fresh babe bathed in Johnson&Johnson, it's just so yummy. Well, come to find out formaldehyde has many names such as formalin, Formic aldehyde, Methanediol, methanal, methyl aldehyde, Methylene glycol, and Methylene oxide. There are also formaldhyde releasing preservatives that have the names quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, polyoxymethylene urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, bromopol and glyoxal. The American Cancer Society list everything you need to know about formaldehyde HERE

Why is this concerning? Well, these chemicals can be absorbed through the skin and have been linked to cancer and allergic skin reactions. I know, I know, like everything causes cancer these days.. at least that's what I say. BUT I can do my part in buying and using safer products for my children and family to hopefully decrease the risk. So I went to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics website and did some searching. This site has an abundance of resources and ways to help you be better at reading labels so I highly recommend getting started there if you too are looking to go chemical free, if you haven't already. 

Did you know that there are over 80,000 chemicals on the market today and many don't have any safety data. This is because the FDA doesn't regulate it in the US, and they allow large companies to make their own judgements on whats safe and whats not safe. This is complete bullshit if you ask me! Beauty Counter, a brand committed to the health and safety of the products they sell have great resources as well and display a "Never List" which is all the harmful chemicals they work hard to avoid using. 

Taken straight from the campaign for safe cosmetics, lists the top 4 tips for babies as seen below!

  1. Avoid sunscreens with octinoxate, oxybenzone, benzone and homosalate. While it’s important to make sure that babies are protected against UVA/UVB rays,it’s equally important to make sure that these sunscreens do not contain toxic chemicals.
  2. Avoid mineral oil in baby oil. Try coconut oil or olive oil instead!
  3. Reduce the amount of baby products with added fragrance.
  4. Read labels closely and find safer alternatives using tools like the Think Dirty app and GoodGuide.

Now I can't tell you how much I have used this think dirty app now, and I highly recommend downloading it, its FREE and you'll be amazed at some of the stuff you find in your house that is up on the "toxic" scale. Okay, if you're like my husband you're probably thinking, "yea.. everything causes cancer, everything is bad for you these days" and maybe so. Butttt the way I see it, is if I can take this small step in buying safer, less toxic products for myself and family to use, than I am doing a better job at eliminating the potential risks for serious side effects or health issues down the road by simply buying safer cosmetics/skin care products. Yes, there are still many things that I myself or family or the world are doing to pollute the environment, but this is something that I can change. That I can make a difference for my family and children and feel good about it. 

To break it down for you a little bit more, I've listed the severity of toxic chemicals in each store bought product below, but basically the app ranks products on a scale from 0-10. 0-3 are products that do not contain any ingredients which have documented potential negative health effects. 4-7 are products which ingredients have potentially moderate negative long term health effects, and 8-10 are products with ingredients that have potential serious negative long term health effects. They've got thousands (almost a million) different products you can search and its so easy to use. 

Store bought

  • Johnson&Johnson: ranks a 10 (I know, I was shocked, well not really but my gosh, we're suppose to put that shit on our children. I guess I just expect products labeled for children use to be safe.. not anymore)
  • Aveeno Baby: Gentle shampoo and conditioner, eczema night balm rank a 3. All other products rank between a 4-9
  • Burts Bees Baby: Lotion, Nappy ointment, Shampoo, body oil, diaper rash ointment, and dusting powder rank 0-3. The cream-to-powder diaper cream, bubble bath, and fragrance free wipes rank a 5-9. We have this brand of shampoo and I plan on using it until its all used up, it smells great and is low on the rankings!
  • California Baby: Everything ranks a 0-3
  • Toms baby line: Everything ranks a 0-3
  • Honest Company: Everything ranks a 0-3 other than the laundry pods rank a 5
  • Babyganics: Most products are ranked a 0-3, sunscreen and exzema cream, bubble bath, and floor cleaner rank a 5

DIY

  • Coconut Oil: Was told by multiple people that they use coconut oil as a lotion on their babies
  • Young Living: There are tons of great recipes you can make using oils (I for one don't have any to share with you, but maybe another time!)
  • Pinterest: Oh pinterest, you can find just about anything on here and got a lot of moms who said they use pinterest as a resource for making their own recipes at home, which is something I would love doing, but I'd rather just buy them already made from a local or small shop!

Online Shops

All of the below shops were recommended to me by other fellow mamas. They are all companies, brands, or small shops that are dedicated to making safer products for us to use. I added a few products that mamas suggested were their favorites or must haves, you can click on the name of the company below to start shopping!

Beauty Counter: The Baby protective balm and soothing oil were a couple must haves! 

MinErbs: Their creamy lather baby soap and baby bath soak were a few favorites! If you want more information on their products or to talk to the mama that suggested this shop, comment below and I will get you her contact info!

Noodle and Boo: The soothing baby wash!

Melaleuca:  A fellow mama recommended this brand as one of her favorites because they are all natural, chemical free including their cleaners. You do have to become a costumer to buy products, so if you want more information comment below and I will give you her contact info!

Zoe Organics: Everything here is amazing according to a fellow mama and it smells amazing! If you want more info, comment below and I can give you her contact info!

Tubby Todd: We have this brand and we love their baby spray, all over ointment, and any of their bath time products!

I talked a lot about products, new apps to try out, tubs and different styles of bathing your babe. If you at all found this blog post to be helpful or know of a momma friend that would also love to read it, please please share or comment below! Use my pinterest button to post it, or tell your friends about it! I love to help other mommas find the best solutions. We're all in this together, it really does take a village and I love being there for one another and sharing my experiences, gaining new insight, and just being supportive! 

Thanks so much for stopping by!

XOXO Mari

 

     

     

    S E V E N Months of Attikus

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    SEVEN Months

     

    Where do I begin? I can start by saying I #failed by not writing a post on his 5-6 month updates and I just today wrote in that dreaded baby book of his and the anxiety hit me like a ton a bricks when I opened up my notes in my phone labeled "5 months Attikus" and all it said was eating solids... yea that was super helpful! NOT. So I frantically scrolled through my phone to try and help jog any memory of what he did during those months and came up with his clothing size, diaper size and that he started eating solids. Super.. #lifegoeson I'm for real telling you, do the dreaded baby book as they grow because it's nearly impossible to catch up months later and it sucks. I wrote some helpful tips on how to get started on your own baby book if you want to check that out HERE!

    Anywho.. My sweet chunky boy is 7 months old. I keep saying that it sounds weird to say, like he sounds super old and I really don't know how time went that fast. I mean I've got an idea but com' on! Slow Down. So the STATS. He's 19 1/2 pounds, 27 inches tall and wears size 4 diapers. Just today I pulled out all the 12-18 month clothes bins because his chunky little thighs can't fit into his just 12 month clothes! I put him to bed in 18 month jammies... my baby! I literally just packed those bins away when we moved into this house because Oliver had just grown out of them. He's a bean pole though, definitely a Wagamon. 

    Attikus has enough hair to do a comb over, but its so dang thin. He got my hair., poor kid. Still no teeth, but they've been bothering him much more recently. His thighs are so chunky, like he doesn't even have rolls they're so big, if that even makes any sense! When his leg is straight, it has a huge fat roll above his knee.. and I just love it. His arms remind me of the michilan man or pillsbury dough boy. His eyes are still so expressive, and bright blue. He smiles non stop, however he does scowl at unfamiliar faces or people he doesn't see often. Stranger danger. He loves to pull hair and hit/rub you. I think he's just getting a sense of how his hands work. He can fully sit up by himself and roll over both ways. Loves to jump in his exersaucer, but when prompted to stand or try and walk, he's got no interest. He can reach for toys and pick them up, bring them to his mouth and switch toys from hand to hand. He still loves sucking on his pointer finger, and when he lays on his back he loves grabbing his feet and sometimes sucking on them!

    Sleep has kind of regressed since his 4 month post. He still sleeps in his dock-a-tot although I think I need to upgrade to the deluxe, unless I just take it away completely and put him in his crib. IDK what I want to do yet. He wakes up about 2-3 times now-a-days to nurse, but then goes right back to bed and sleeps til around 7-8am. He's still nursing about 4-5 times during the day, but is enjoying much more solids and food from moms plate. He loves those yogurt melts and puffs! 

    On February 15th, we'll take him to get a consult for his un-descended right testicle. He'll have his First Valentines Day, and at the end of the month we travel to Cabo San Lucas for a family vaca and that will be his first time on a flight! 

    I can't say enough about how much we all adore this boy. Oliver is so in love with him and Attikus just lights up every time he even looks at him. They're growing relationship just melts my heart and it's so amazing to see how much they truly care for one another. 

    Thanks for stopping by! xoxo Mari

    6 of Our Favorite Small Shops

    Thanks for stopping by, I'm so glad you're here!

    Today I'm sharing with you a few of our favorite shops that we absolutely adore and love wearing on a day-to-day basis. Aside from these amazing shops, you can find my boys in basics from Zara, H&M, Old Navy, Target, or Gap. My go to's for these stores are plain onsies, plain t-shirts or long sleeves, sweat pants, and skinny jeans for Oliver. But since this post is all about my love for small shops, lets get to some of our favorites!

    Peregrine Kidswear

    First up is a new brand I recently came across while shopping up in Alexandria, MN. The boutique is called Little Darlings, and it sells the cutest, trendiest baby gear, clothes, and toys. If you're ever in that area, I highly recommend stopping in, you won't be able to leave without a bag full of goodies! Peregrine Kidswear is based out of St. Paul, MN and they're gender neutral sleepers are sooo amazingly soft! Their fabric is made out of 95% bamboo and 5% spandex making it more breathable and stretchy for the perfect snug fit. Shop the Pictures below for your convenience!

    For the direct peregrine site click HERE

    For the retailer site used for the below pictures and links click HERE also note a lot of their Kickee pants are on SALE!!!

    The Kinnd Project

    This next shop not only has cute apparel with words to remind people to be kind, but they are truly doing amazing things to help the world be a little better place. Their mission is dedicated to helping kids in need and spreading kindness through their partnership with Feed my starving Children, every item purchased provides 10 meals to be donated. THIS IS AMAZING, and I just love to support shops that are making a difference. You should definitely go check out their site, purchase some apparel and feel extra good about your purchase knowing that you helped provide meals to those children in need. A few of the best selling items are sold out, so I'll keep an eye out for a restock and keep you posted when they'll be back! But be sure to check out the items below, as they all amazing! Oliver wears his Conquer with Kindness sweatshirt all the time. Just click on pictures below to shop that exact item!

    If you'd like to learn more about this amazing shop click HERE

    Temperance and Tyler

    These knit bonnets are so amazingly made and handcrafted to perfection. The knit pom ball on top makes it even more adorable! I love how warm they keep Attikus, which is perfect for these Minnesota winters. I had to buy a couple because I couldn't just choose one, and be thankful to my husband that we don't have a girl because I probably would of bought the whole shop! You can't beat the prices for how amazing these goods are, a bonnet is $20! Again, click on the picture below to shop that exact image!

    For more information and to shop more styles click HERE

    Luralu

    If you saw my instastories recently you've seen me posting Attikus in these suspender tights that are so stinking cute I can't stand it. This shop is ran by a stay at home mom of 3 littles, that makes these adorable pieces in her free time! (AS if moms have any free time!) But seriously, I can't say enough about the quality of her products, you won't be disappointed with anything you purchase from her. Attikus has the camel suspender tights (that are currently sold out) and the dark green cotton gauze coat which are both adorable, so soft, and made to last. She just did a restock, and her items sell out fast so go get your goods before they're gone! Suspender tights are only $15 and the cotton gauze coat is $26! Click on the pictures below to shop the exact item or go to luralu's site directly by clicking HERE

    Jay and I are headed to Cabo San Lucas with his family and grandparents at the end of February so I wanted to share with you a few of my favorite "summer" items from some of my favorite shops below!

    Humble Hilo

    This company truly does mix fashion with philanthropy and with each purchase a portion of every product bought goes towards a current project to creating opportunities and changing the lives of many guatemalans. This could be supporting child nutrition and clean water, and education and small business opportunities for women, and you get to choose what you want your portion of the proceeds to go to, How amazing is that? The work that these two lovely women do and have done is something to be admired by, and I'm truly inspired by the good they create and continue to do. Their goods are all so amazing and I'm so excited for Attikus to wear Oliver's hand me down sandals I bought a few years back! If money grew on trees, I'd definitely be buying more of their products! From women's dresses, to sandals, to kids goods and sandals and the most perfect bags and backpacks, you will want to check them out! Prices are reasonable, especially for part of the portion going to help a specific project of your choice! For more information and to shop more products click HERE 

    Minnow Swim

    Since we'll be near the pool all day for a week in less than two months, I did some research on some new swimmers for the boys and I'm so excited about this new brand I came across. I ordered the boys matching buttercream boardies and the dove grey rashgaurd, but let me tell you if you've got girls and you're reading this, you NEED to check out their adorable swim suits for the little ladies! I'm super excited to dress them in their new suits mainly because they are cute, but also because they are so soft and comfortable for little movers! Click HERE to shop more products or click on the pictures below to shop directly those items!

    I hope you enjoyed today's post, did a little shopping, found a few more shops to add to your list and found it easy to navigate! I appreciate any feedback and sincerely enjoy your love and support! Feel free to comment your favorite shops below, I love to find new ones to start supporting!