The JetKids BedBox

 

BedBox in Blue c/o JetKids

If you’ve been keeping up with me on Instagram you saw that we traveled all over Italy, flew back to Atlanta then headed to Naples and Sarasota, Florida, for some extended family time. So after almost a month of traveling, we are finally home!

We’ve unpacked, finished laundry and I feel like I can now share with you how we survived international travel with a 22 month old. Knowing our flight times were reaching into the double digits, I reached out to JetKids about purchasing their BedBox product. I had seen the BedBox in a magazine a while back and after a quick instagram search I decided this was something we HAD to have! For those that aren’t familiar, BedBox is a ride on suitcase for kids that turns their normal airplane seat into a comfortable bed where they can relax or sleep and, as you can tell from Henry’s pictures, it worked great! Inside the suitcase you’ll find a foam mattress and side cushions plus extra room to pack a few of your kid’s favorite things. We were able to fit two blankets, two stuffed animals, pajamas and a change of clothes into the suitcase. The top of the suitcase pops off and turns over and extends to create the base for the BedBox and was super easy to set up even mid flight. After getting the BedBox in place, Henry instantly seemed happier to have a little more room for activities and I was happy that it discouraged him from wanting to climb all around the floor. Once we were settled in and overcame the general struggle of having a toddler on a plane (that should be a scary movie right?! Toddlers On A Plane… yikes!) Henry slept 7 hours out of the 8.5 hour flight. To say we were impressed was an understatement. Not only did the BedBox make it easy for Henry to fall asleep, it also made the rest of the flight enjoyable for us (and every other passenger on our flight!) On the return, Henry only slept 2.5 out of the 10 hour plane ride home but I’m not blaming JetKids. He still loved having his space to spread out and as far as 22 month olds go, he was very well behaved for the remainder of the flight. #proudparent

In addition to using the BedBox on the plane, we also used it on our 4 hour train ride from Venice to Rome. Henry didn’t sleep, but he enjoyed having his own place to settle into and watch movies. He also loved pushing it through the train stations and airports and provided him with some entertainment as we waited to board. Having said that, we felt there were a few design flaws that could have made it easier on parents when their kids weren’t riding or pushing the BedBox around. The carrying strap that is included never stayed secure when we adjusted it. We ended up having to knot the strap at two ends to make sure it would stay in place as we carried it through the airport. The other improvement we would suggest is to make the mattress cover with a zipper closure for a machine washing option. Currently it is suggested to hand-wash the mattress and lay flat, which I totally understand if you’re not near a washing machine, but with some of the spills we had, hand washing just didn’t get it clean. I ended up having to cut open the mattress cover, remove the foam padding and machine wash the cover..

The BedBox is priced at $200, but if you travel regularly with your kids, we definitely think it’s worth the investment. After all, I’m not sure you can put a price on a happy toddler… or his parents!

xo-

 

  

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Daily Wears

 

Top: J. Crew / Vest: J. Crew / Bottoms: Lululemon {similar}  / Shoes: Nike

If you’re a mom you probably have a mom uniform. You know, your go to outfit that looks socially acceptable but is also comfortable enough to take a nap on the couch while your little one rests. You know what I’m talking about. Well, this is mine. I pretty much live in Lululemon leggings and since it’s cold {compared to Florida} these J. Crew turtlenecks have been my go to. Im all about comfort while I’m home and since I sometimes change my shirt three times a day {because life} I make sure whatever I’m wearing is simple and functional. I also love that this look lets me chase after Henry. He’s on the move so much lately and just started walking on New Years Day so running around chasing him sometimes feels like a workout!

xo-

 

 

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It’s A Boy!

 

This past weekend my friend Shea and I threw a couples baby shower for Alina {from The Neapolitan} and her husband. They are expecting a baby boy in January and we just couldn’t wait to love on their whole family! We went with a rubber ducky theme and incorporated light blues and yellows through all our decorations. Shea found the cutest cupcake toppers and I ordered mini rubber duckies and jumbo rubber duckies from Amazon. They were perfect for spreading out around the food and flowers and looked perfect on top of the baby blocks I made. 

If you’re looking to recreate the blocks or make something similar, it’s pretty easy {but a little time consuming}. I found almost everything I needed at Home Depot and it was all under $30. I used 22″ packing boxes, taped them up and covered them with brown wrapping paper. I googled ‘ABC block templets’ and picked the type of font I liked best {I used the ones on this site I saved the image then went and had them printed to 26″ at Staples {the actual letters are only 16″}. Cut out the letters with an xacto knife to create a stencil but make sure to save the middle sections of the A and B. Trace the letters onto the middle of all the box sides and then paint! I choose a baby blue color at Home Depot and had them mix it in one of their small paint sample containers {about $5} I picked up a mini paint roller to cover the larger areas of the letters and small 1″ paint brush to outline them. They were so easy to make and added a fun touch to the shower!

 

Pumpkin Picking

 J. Crew {on sale!} / Denim:AG Jeans Henry’s Costume: Pottery Barn Kids / Onesie: Carter’s {similar}

We made a visit to our local pumpkin patch this past weekend and had so much fun exploring the grounds at Hunsader Farms. Henry loved crawling through the rows of pumpkins and banging on them like drums! I brought along his Halloween costume and we took some of the cutest photos. I got Henry’s costume from Pottery Barn Kids but they have so many cute options it was hard to decide. We went with a pumpkin because, well… who doesn’t love a chunky baby dressed up like a pumpkin?! Whats your favorite Fall tradition and have you picked out your pumpkin yet?!

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Bath time!

 favorite shampoo that doubles as a body wash and makes some great bubbles {Henry loves them!}  Henry doesn’t have any sensitivities that we’ve found, but we always use gentle products that are easy on his skin and fragrance free including sensitive diapers and wipes. Honest Company has launched its new Fragrance Free Bath & Body Collection, which you can find at Babies R Us, and I’m so honored to partner with them to share our Honest bath time story and to encourage the use of safe, gentle products for all parents and babies! gentle products for all parents and babies!

We love baths not only because it makes Henry so happy, but because it’s quality family time without any distractions. We’ve committed to taking time out of our day to spend laughing, playing and splashing for however long we want and knowing our little guy is getting clean in a safe way makes it even better!

What’s your favorite time of day with your little one?!

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New Normal

  J. Crew / Bottoms: AG Jeans

With so many of my friends expecting {seriously half of them are pregnant and the other half are trying} I thought this would be the perfect time to share my birth story, life with Henry and our favorite baby products! If you’re not into hearing about my story {totally understand!} you can scroll to check out more pictures of Henry and our favorite baby things.

About my look:

I’ve had my eye on this J. Crew top but it’s been sold out in my size since forever. I had the actual pajamas {with a similar top} so I made sure the shirt was extra pressed and wore it as a top pairing it with jeans and flats for a put together menswear look. I was a little nervous wearing it out but I had so many comments on it!

Labor & Delivery

I’m a pretty private person {weird I started a blog right?} so sharing my birth story wasn’t on my radar and I was pretty surprised when I started getting so many question about my experience. I thought my labor and delivery was normal for a first timer but after talking about it with family and friends over the holidays I quickly realized it wasn’t. I also realized there were other women who had the same experience I did and were also left with the “we’re never doing that again” feeling. I’ll spare you all the details, but after missing my due date I was finally induced at 41weeks {normal} and since I was only 1cm dilated and 70% effaced, I was started on a few different medications to jump start things. After 12 hours of cramping and contractions, I thought for sure we were about to meet our little man but my body had other plans. I hadn’t made any progress. After another 12 hours I was finally able to get an epidural but it would be another 12 hours before we would meet Henry. Are you counting? Thats 36 hours… including pushing for three hours plus having a third degree tear repaired after it all. To say we were ready to meet our man and be done with the process was an understatement. 

We spent two days in the hospital and couldn’t wait to get home. About an hour before Henry was born I was diagnosed with preeclampsia and while my blood pressure had returned to normal range in the hospital, I had to go back the following week for a “routine” blood pressure check. If you follow me on Instagram you might remember what happened next… My readings were way above normal and I was immediately readmitted for another two days. Oh and did I mention this was all happening while we had a house full of guests in town for Thanksgiving?! It had been the craziest week of my life!

While I didn’t love being pregnant, I trusted my body was doing what it needed to get ready for Henry, but when it came to D-day, my body didn’t know what to do. Everyone always told me how great pregnancy was and how labor and delivery isn’t “that bad” so when I had such an unusual and painful experience, I felt like other moms who’ve experienced the same thing needed to know they weren’t alone and that these things do happen. Labor and delivery is different for everyone, despite how many stories sound the same, and I honestly feel like nothing could have prepared me for my child birth story.

Sleep & Play: carter’s / Blanket: Aden + Anais

Henry & Our Favorite Baby Products

We love Henry so much and every painful, uncomfortable, excruciating moment was so worth it. However, it’ll still probably be a while before we welcome baby number two into our lives! We are absolutely loving being parents and while we loved Henry so much for 9 months, we had no idea we would love him even more after seeing and holding him. He’s the sweetest baby and every day is an adventure {even if we don’t leave the house}. We love seeing him discover new things, like fingers, toes and toys. He’s infatuating to watch and I’m always amazed at how quickly the days seem to go by. Henry loves his bottles {such a little chunker} just figured out how soft his blankies are and finds his fur brother, Louis, hilarious. We just can’t get enough of Henry!

While we’ve been figuring out what being a mom and dad entails, we discovered there are a few things that have made our new life easier. I’d love to hear if theres anything you’ve found that’s made your journey as a parent a little less crazy!

1. Munchkin Diaper Pail: This thing is the greatest! Each refill bag holds about 30 diapers and seals in the worst smelling blowouts so you’re not constantly having to take out the trash. 

2. Honest Company Wipes: Babies’ skin is so sensitive and I didn’t want to take any chances with fragrant wipes. Honest Company makes hypoallergenic, fragrance free wipes that are durable and get the job done. We keep them stashed everywhere around our house and even use them on ourselves!

3.Wipe Warmer: When your baby is warm and snuggly but needs a midnight diaper change, these come to the rescue. I’ve heard from other moms that this wasn’t a great thing for them {you have to make sure the padded inserts don’t dry out} but we have loved ours. Some moms feel like their kid should be able to deal with a cold wipe on their bottom for a few seconds, but this is not about the kids. This is about your sanity and sleep.

4. Pee-Pee Tee Pee: If you’re a mom of boys this ones for you. These things have saved our clothes, furniture, rugs, you name it. Plus the name cracks me up!

5. Light Switch Dimmer: This one isn’t such a specific product as it is a life hack. While I was pregnant I read a mommy blog that mentioned they switched out their normal light switch for a dimming one. GENIUS. It might be the single greatest thing we’ve done because it makes night feedings and diaper changes a breeze. Henry doesn’t fully wake up but we still have enough light to navigate his nursery.

6. Summer Infant Baby Monitor: Now that Henry is sleeping in his crib we need a monitor that could help us keep an eye on him. There are a ton to choose from, but this one works great for us. We call it our “eyes in the sky” since we have the cameras mounted in the corners of his nursery. The picture is clear, sound crisp, and the night vision works great! It also has a split screen if we want to see different angles. 

7. Pottery Barn Diaper Caddy: Since we have a two story house, running up and down the stairs every time we needed something for the baby became exhausting. This diaper caddy comes with me wherever I go and has saved me so many trips to the nursery. I have ours stocked with wipes, diapers, lotion, binkies, pee-pee tee pees and bibs. 

8. Aden + Anais Swaddle Blankets: We love these for so many reasons. They’re the perfect weight making it easy to swaddle and the more we wash them the softer they get! Out of all the blankets we have, these are defiantly becoming Henry’s favorite.

9. Boon Products: We have a handful of Boon products so I couldn’t pick just one. From bottle cleaning to bath time and safety, Boon makes products that are mom minded and baby approved.

10. Fisher Price Rock n’ Play: This won the 2016 Mom’s Pick for best baby swing/bouncer and theres a reason. It’s light weight making it easy to move from room to room and folds up thin when you need to travel. We took ours to Florida over the Holidays and used it as Henry’s bed when we bounced from house to house visiting family. Henry loves to watch what we’re doing so this is the perfect seat for when I’m cooking dinner, getting ready or just need my two hands.

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two year anniversary

I can’t believe it’s our two year anniversary already! I feel like the last few years have gone by so fast and I’ve been on the best adventure with my husband! So many people have told us marriage takes hard work, but I’d just call it work. Out of all the tough conversations, disagreements and lonely nights {when Erik was finishing Intern year} all the work has lead to such wonderful memories. I’m sharing just a few tips on what’s made our marriage the best thing ever and how we continue to grow one another even after our 15year relationship!

My first {and best} piece of advice it to communicate! You {or your husband} might not love talking about your feelings or dread having those hard conversations {you know, the ones about money, kids, etc.} but you’ll be so much better once you do. In our relationship I’ve always been about getting things out there {I mean my major was communications} my husband, on the other had, is much more reserved. So while it took him a while to open up or even engage in those difficult talks, we always felt so much better after we did. Like we were on the same team again and not just trying to work around one another. So, talk it out!

Laugh. There’s nothing better than having a big old belly laugh with your best friend. One of the most fun things about a marriage is that this person loves you no matter what {even when milk is coming out of your nose or you’re trying to figure out what whip/nae nae means. It’s a constant judge free zone and laughing with each other only makes things that much better!

Finally, put each other first. Your relationship is the most important thing once you get married and that means you both come first. This one might be the hardest to navigate because it involves saying “no”. Let me explain: There’s times {or will be times} when you both just can’t do it all or make everyone happy. This was a big one for us since we want to do it all, but once we realized how much happier we were doing what we could, it was amazing how the stress of pleasing others just lifted and how much more we enjoyed doing the things we could. While this isn’t something we battle on a daily basis, it’s something that we needed to master {especially around the holidays} We love our families, but lets be real, no one can enjoy the holidays when you feel like you have to be at every party or dinner or get-together. Plus, add all the friends you want to see and your own personal agenda when you’re only in town for a few short days and things can make you crazy. For the sanity of our relationship, and to enjoy that special time with our families, we’ve had to decline events and hand out some hard no’s when it comes to visiting home. It was difficult the first few times but it’s gotten a lot easier. We’re happier, and our family and friends have way more fun with us when were in good moods and totally devoting that carved out time to them!

I can’t wait to see what else we learn and how our marriage grows throughout our lifetime {especially with a baby on the way!} If you have questions about our wedding or the planning process I’d be happy to answer them- it feels like just yesterday we were celebrating! You can also check out our feature in Every Last Detail

Wedding Details:

Bride & Bridesmaid Robes: Etsy

Bridesmaid Gifts: Lilly Pulitzer {similar here  and here}

Shoes: Ferragamo

Monograms: Devon Alana Designs

Invitations: Crane & Co/ William Arthur

Signage & Save the Dates: Custom

Photographer: Hunter Ryan Photo

Wedding Planner: NK Productions

Instagram Roundup

 top, bottom} / Sunglasses: Chanel {similar}

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J. McLaughlin {same style} / Bag: Louis Vuitton {similar} / Sandals: Tory Burch

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Gap / Cardigan: Lilly Pulitzer {similar} / Bottoms: Gap / Flats: Chanel {similar} / Watch: MICHELE {faceband}

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Bugaboo Cameleon3

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Oh Baby!

Instagram you saw our big news this weekend! We are so excited to be expecting and can’t wait to meet Baby A in November! I wanted a fun announcement, but also one I hadn’t seen on social media before, so I enlisted a friend and she helped me find this adorable idea on Pinterest! Im sharing how I made our jumbo letter balloons below!

Sketch out whatever phrase you want your balloons to say on the card stock paper. I freehanded ours, but if you want a more refined look, you can enlarge a typeface on your computer and print out the phrase to use. 

Cut out your letters!

Fold the “extra” rectangle section of the letters.

If you want your balloons to float on their own, make sure your local party store fills them up with helium before you leave. It’s an extra charge, but not expensive at all.

Once your letters are taped, ensure your fold is sharp {the sharper your fold, the easier they’ll stand} If you find your letters are flopping forward, you can add tape closer to the fold to help them perk up. Thats it! This super easy and inexpensive project is so fun and can be used for any type of event!

Giving Thanks

For this day of Thanksgiving I am forgoing my traditional post and sharing just a few very important things I am thankful for. While we can’t be with our families this year, we have reflected on what is most meaningful to us and how our lives have been blessed this past year {and every year}. I hope you enjoy this more personal post and take time in between turkey, stuffing and naps to give thanks for the people or things that have touched your life. Happy Thanksgiving y’all!

I love my family! Everyone says that right? But seriously, we have seen each other at our worst, our best and just our plain old usual and we love each other more every day for it. I am so thankful for all my parents have done for my brother, Erik and I and the opportunities they have provided. They support us in everything we do {with parental questioning of course} and no matter where our lives take us, they are always close by. People often ask how we move around so much and say “isn’t it hard on your family” but its never been an issue. There are {of course} times when we miss each other more than usual, but I always know my family is just a phone call or airplane ride away!

photo credit: Hunter Ryan Photography

These girls are my bests! For real, we have life or death packs {but seriously}. Our group texts are infamous and we blow each others snapchat up on the regular. We tell it how it is, give unwanted advice, shop each others closets, throw sleep overs, laugh and cry with one another, celebrate life’s miracles and love each other every day! Theres just some people in your life who always stay with you and these are my people. They’re the Christina to my Meredith.