Hi there! Welcome back to the blog! So much has changed in the last 7 weeks, having a newborn baby has been so fun, exciting and NEW! I am sharing with you, my top 15 newborn must haves that I really couldn’t do without.
I love this stroller so much, and there are so many reasons why. First, it is compatible with the car seat mentioned later in this post. It is so incredibly easy to slide in and out, and you don’t have to wake that sleeping baby up to take a stroll or go into a store. Second, I love the fact that it has a bassinet topper, a regular seat or you can use the car seat function. All around, this was the best stroller option I found to fit my busy lifestyle! The wheels are nice and big, which make going over rough terrain or curbs very easy!
Living in Florida, this is a great thing to have. We go on walks a few times a week and depending on the time of day, it can be hot for your baby. I clip this fan on our stroller and know John Luke is staying cool the entire time. It keeps your baby comfortable and is so nice to have.
We got this car seat in black, which is neutral if you are planning on having multiple kids! The car seat is so easy to install in your car, and honestly goes in the base with one click. None of that tugging and moving you may experience with other car seats. A good idea with this car seat is purchasing an extra base for your husbands car or the grandparents. My mother personally got a base for her car, so if she is watching him it is as simple as clicking in the car seat and go!
ABSOLUTE LIFESAVER! If you have not heard of the Snoo, you need to look it up right away. I can not say enough about this bassinet. We purchased the Snoo a few months before John Luke was born and ever since the first night he came home, he has slept great in it. The snoo soothes and rocks your baby, picks up on the cries, adjusts the built in sound machine and so much more. You can monitor your babies sleep patterns and status from an app on your phone. It is known for calming your baby in 60 seconds or less and that has been the case for us. He loves sleeping in his Snoo, and we also put him down for naps in it during the day. It gives me peace of mind that he will have the best sleep possible!
This came highly recommended from a fellow mom friend. We added it to our registry and we also use this every single day! It is convenient and we use it in all areas of the house. It keeps John Luke occupied for longer lengths of time, he loves to sit in the bouncer and just watch what I am doing. We just recently put the toy bar on it, and he is starting to use his hands to reach for toys! As he grows I am sure that we will use that feature more!
I learned very quickly in the hospital that newborn babies love to be swaddled. Our nurse on the first day was a PRO at swaddling John Luke up! We even video taped her technique so we could practice on our own. He fell right asleep and was immediately calmed by this. When we got home, we were not the BEST at swaddling. My mother actually purchased us our first set of swaddles that velcro (LIFESAVER). Your baby will be perfectly swaddled and you will not be frustrated. We love these:
7. Bottles with small nipples
Whether you are strictly breast feeding or using formula, I highly recommend using bottles with small nipples or newborn sizes. I am breastfeeding, and I pump as well so that John Luke can have a bottle with his dad or relatives that may watch him. It was important for us to get the smaller nipples. The bottles came with size 1 and 2 nipples, and he was drinking so fast. This caused him to get more air in which means more burps etc. This can cause discomfort in your newborn, especially if they are a big eater. So we had to “slow him down” by using newborn nipples. We actually still use the newborn size, and he is two months old. I prefer him to not waste the milk (sometimes when it comes out too fast it will run out of there mouths etc.). It also helps overall with his digestion. Another fear people have is that when they give their babies bottles, they will not want to breast feed any more. That can be true, they have to work harder to breast feed than they do to drink a bottle. If you get the newborn sized nipples, they have to work harder to get the milk out. I will link the bottles I have as well as the additional nipples I purchased.
8. Gripe Water
We originally tried another gas medicine and our pediatrician recommended Gripe Water to us. It is natural and he does not mind it at all. We give it to him as needed and honestly this is a must have. I have some at the house and in his diaper bag at all times.
9. Magnetic & Zip up Footie Pajamas / Sleeper Gowns
I love getting John Luke super cute outfits but I have really come to love and appreciated the easy outfits. Whether its magnetic or zip up, these are so convenient for quick diaper changes, especially when you are out and about. When your baby is not big enough to talk, it is helpful to be able to do a quick check to see if they are fussy because of their diaper. Magnetic, zip up and sleeper gowns are perfect for a busy lifestyle like mine!
My favorites are all linked here!
10. Tummy Time Mat
Tummy time is important and let me tell you: John Luke is not a fan of tummy time. This mat specifically has helped because we place him on his back and he gets to be stimulated by all the toys and used to the mat. Then, when he does his tummy time, he is familiar and more comfortable. I also love this mat because it can grow with him, there is 5 different stages/transformation with this mat! It ends up being a ball pit (so much fun). Definitely a must have!
11. Bibs Pacifiers
This came highly recommended to me from another mama! She swore by them, and they are from Amazon! We love them, John Luke has no issues with nursing/bottle feeding. He is not addicted to his pacifier and the nipple is the most “real” looking/ feeling for them. They have TONS of cute colors!
These are amazing, we use them nursing and bottle feeding. If you have a drooler or spitter you will LOVE these. Plus the styles are so stinking cute! They hug under the neck and help not go through as many outfits for me personally with John Luke. Copper Pearl is our favorite brand for these, they are so soft.
13. Diaper Bags
There are so many diaper bags out there, but I personally think its important to have at least ONE large diaper bag! We have the monogrammed large one from Pottery Barn Kids and love it. Its perfect for storing so much! Lots of pockets inside and out and it is durable. I’ve linked the large one, as it is the one I most use, and then a few smaller ones I love that would be good on the go!
A Dockatot is a luxury baby lounger and this thing is a game changer. It is perfect and portable, we use it every day. I can easily set John Luke in here while I do dishes, pick up the house or just need to use the bathroom. He loves to take naps in it as well but we tend to use it to get things done. It is also nice when you go to your family and friends homes, to throw it in the car and have it in case your little one wants a rest!
15. Baby Wraps
If you want to get stuff done, I highly recommend investing in 2-3 good baby wraps/ carriers. My husband even wears them (yes all of them). You can hold your baby, vacuum, do chores, work, walk, shop and so much more. These are hands down the best thing you can do for your schedule! Makes life so much easier.
From getting married on February 23, 2019 to now, life has been nothing but busy! Finally, I am sitting down to share the good news: WE ARE HAVING A BABY! I wanted to write this blog post to share some insight and happiness on everything up to my 14 weeks (which is where I am now)!
This was a planned baby, and we are so happy to be able to have a child so quickly! We both want a few kids; my husband Joseph wants 3 or more! I am optimistic about having as many as God has planned for our family.
Something that was very important to both Joseph and myself is being financially ready for a child. We purchased a home in August 2018, and got married in February 2019. We both have finished our degrees and felt that the time was right to take on the financial responsibility of having a child. I know that not everything can be planned for perfectly, and not everyone can be “ready” for a child. It is something that we both talked about, from diapers, toys, clothes, and doctors appointments; we wanted to be as prepared as possible for our little Gift from God.
We found out at 4 weeks that we were pregnant! I did not surprise Joseph in a cute way or anything, since we were planning to have a baby I took a test in our bathroom and we found out together! At that time I was not experiencing ANY signs, morning sickness, headaches, fatigue…. nothing. Within a week I began getting sick every morning, which is horrible for me because I am the type of person who would rather do anything in the world than get sick! My first appointment with Ultrasound was not until 8 weeks and I did not have many options other than to toughen up with the morning sickness. If you are pregnant, there is very minimal amounts of medicines that are safe to take for headaches, nausea etc. I prefer to take no medicine unless I can’t go about my daily life. The first trimester was pretty rough for me; my biggest challenge was how tired I was every single day. Even with a full nights rest, I still experience being so tired halfway through the day. I am a busy body, much more than my Instagram and Blog will show. I run the office of three different family owned construction businesses (8-5) while maintaining a blog and Instagram where I create content. Aside from being a wife, daughter, friend and sister it is safe to say I wear MANY hats. I would not have it any other way. One of the best lessons I have learned so far in pregnancy at the end of the day, is that you have to listen to your body, slow down, make your to do list shorter and do what you can!
Working out has turned from going to a gym regularly, to home workouts to walks. I have been making it a goal to walk 60 minutes after I get home from work, which I do over 3 miles and change up where I walk so I don’t get bored. I am used to changing up workouts and making them exciting and fun, but with a lack of energy and not wanting to elevate my heart rate too much walking has been my go-to. My husband works out at 4:30 in the morning and usually says “yes!” when I ask him to walk with me after work. Now that I have entered the second trimester, I am feeling more energized and will most likely start incorporating low weight/body weight workouts in my routine.
I just recently started “showing” I guess you could say. Mostly it looks like I ate a large meal, or drank a gallon of water. I did not show at all the first 3 months, and I noticed my clothing getting tighter, but I like my clothes very “fitted”. I have recently posted two outfits on my Instagram in Maternity dresses, they were gifted to me from Pink Blush Maternity! Other than that I have not yet purchased any Maternity clothing. I can’t wait to have a belly now that I am in the ” in between” phase. It is so incredible that our bodies can change and grow for months. I feel so blessed to experience it.
BOY or GIRL?!? We would be happy with either! We plan on finding out the Gender between 18-20 weeks and we are just wanting a healthy baby! Since I grew up with only one sister, I thought it would be fun to have a boy first! I would be just as happy with a girl (mini me) but we will see what God has in store for us. There was an option to find out earlier through a blood test, but we are both on the same page about waiting. We also are debating having a Gender Reveal Party So stay tuned to see what we come up with. We do know we are NOT having twins! LOL
We have talked a few times about names, and what we would want them to be depending on the Gender. Nothing set in stone, I just having a running list in my Iphone for the time being. I want a pretty name (maybe something long?) if the baby is a girl. My name being Kayla, is so short, I don’t really get to have a nickname other than Kay. I think it would be so cute to have a longer name, with a nick name. We have also talked about boy names, and whether or not Joseph wants to name his first son (if we have one) after him! These are all things we are still thinking about.
The BEST part about all of this is our projected due date is our WEDDING ANNIVERSARY, so we may be spending our 1 year anniversary in the hospital, depending on when the baby is ready! I can’t believe out of all the dates on the calendar, the exact due date is our special day.
Cravings?! Food Aversions?! For the most part my cravings have been very healthy, oatmeal, fruits, pretzels… etc. The one thing worth noting is that I have always loved eggs and egg whites, especially on Avocado toast for breakfast. Ever since I have been pregnant I cannot stand the smell or taste of eggs. Eggs are recommended for pregnant women to eat, but I just cannot do it and will have to get some protein elsewhere. I do not wake up in the middle of the night hungry, or craving anything. During my first trimester it was very hard for me to eat (morning sickness that lasted all day) and I wanted to be sure that I was staying as hydrated as possible so I kept a full stock of Pedialyte popsicles in the fridge. I eat a lot of small meals throughout the day and try to drink as much fluids as possible. I’ve never been the type of person to have a cup of coffee every day but I did cut off all caffeine when I found out I was pregnant. In the past 3.5 months I have had one coffee, not to say I am not allowed or won’t enjoy a seasonal drink from Starbucks in the Fall. I just want to be my best for the baby and choose to not drink caffeine if possible. I have been drinking hot chocolate, which doesn’t exactly have the same effect, but it sure is nice!
My Skin has not changed at all, in fact maybe it has gotten better? I have not had acne since I was about 13-14 years old. I have experienced some redness on my face before, but I have clear skin being pregnant (fingers crossed it stays that way). I would have to attribute it to my diet; your skin can say a lot about what you are putting inside yourself. I have increased my water intake and kept a moderately healthy diet. My skin thanks me for this! I will keep an eye on my skin in the next couple months and update you guys with any changes. I also never go to bed with makeup up on, always wash my face with a deep cleanser and use moisturizers. All of that combined has led me to where I am now!
Keep up with my Weekly Updates on Instagram to see content like this:
Some more fun photos from our Announcement Photoshoot in Charleston SC! Thank you Kailee Dimeglio for capturing the most special moment.
Getting married is a big deal, and finding a wedding band that fits your style is not an easy task. Let’s recap a little and get you up to speed- Joseph and I got engaged on Jacksonville Beach on July 23, 2016 so we have been engaged a whole two years! (Still can’t believe it) We have had a long engagement due to the fact that we wanted to graduate with our degrees prior to being married. We both graduate August 3, 2018, mission accomplished. Our wedding date is February 23, 2019 in St. Augustine FL.
Now that you are up to speed, we have been browsing wedding bands here and there with little to no luck. This past weekend we ended up strolling in to Diamonds Direct located in the St. Johns Town Center to take a look at their selection. I have a Vintage styled Neil Lane Ring, and I have constantly struggled finding a matching band that compliments my unique styled ring. The two things I consider when looking for a band are how wide the band is and how much sparkle does it have. Living in Jacksonville our entire lives, Joseph and I are always shopping and grabbing dinner in the St. John’s Town Center. It was sort of a no-brainer to look for our wedding bands at Diamonds Direct, especially when I found out they have the largest selections of Diamonds in Florida. If you are indecisive like me, it is important to feel like you have seen everything that is out there before making your decision.
Joseph and I are always on the go, stressing out with school, work, buying our new home, getting settled, planning a wedding, volunteering and so on. Walking into Diamonds Direct, we felt relaxed knowing that we were going to do something for US was the highlight of our weekend. As we walked in, we were instantly greeted by friendly sales staff who offered to get us a drink. Not just any drink ladies, they have WINE- that’s right, you can enjoy water, soda, beer, wine or champagne while you try on diamonds. So with sparkling sweet wine in our hands (yes, we are both fruity drinkers) we started looking through the stunning showroom that is literally wall to wall diamonds and fine jewelry.
Ladies first, so I went straight for the sparkles. I would not say I am a very “picky” person when it comes to jewelry, I just prefer sparkles. The cases were extremely clean and every single ring seemed to shine, which made trying on bands very fun. As I explained my desire for my wedding band to match my ring, I felt like I was truly being listened to. I was surprised to find out that Diamonds Direct offers Custom Design Services, and can create the ring you envisioned for your big day! What a relief to know that I was not limited to the designs that I saw in the case. Of course, as I started trying the bands on my finger, I instantly felt the surreal “I am getting married” feeling all over again. It sounds so silly, but when you find the ring that fits you it feels right. Just like when you find the person that you intend on spending the rest of your life with.
I tried on so many different styled bands, from thin to wide, from colored to white gold, from curved to straight it was such an experience learning about the different styles. I ended up finding a band that had the same design as my engagement ring and it was love at first sight. Here is what I chose:
I literally fell head over heals for this band, and I can’t wait until February when I will finally get to wear it every single day. I also had fun testing my boundaries and trying on styles I normally would not go for, by trying on such a wide range of diamonds I was able to make the most educated decision about my wedding band. No wonder I have heard that Diamond Direct is the go-to source for diamonds, they truly have a style for everyone. Here are some gorgeous pieces that I enjoyed trying on:
Next up, Joseph’s Wedding Band. He had it in his mind that he wanted something SPARKLY, just kidding he wanted a Tungsten ring. He tends to go towards Black or Grey rings instead of a white gold or gold styled ring. He had so much fun looking at wedding bands, and learned about the different materials used to make the bands. He felt educated and confident that he was choosing a quality band. Although not as glamorous as mine, he enjoyed having the attention on him for a try on session.
The ring featured above ended up being the one Joseph chose! He loved the color and it matches his watches and most outfits. He chose it because it is Tungsten like he wanted and very practical. Now that we both had fallen for the one, we wanted to make sure the rings had a warranty of some kind. We were so pleased to find out that there is a Lifetime service and maintenance on the rings, free stone replacements (very important ladies) and they do not require that you come in for check ins on a monthly/yearly basis. However, you will want to stop in every once in a while, get your bling cleaned and enjoy a drink on the house. Diamonds Direct truly makes you feel at home and the environment is so welcoming, I will find myself stopping in for a cleaning every time I am at the Town Center.
Overall, the staff went above and beyond to just be there the entire shopping experience, which made it fun and easy. That is why I will be a Diamonds Direct girl for life! I know that I will want to upgrade my ring eventually (maybe 10 year anniversary, wink, wink) and Joseph appreciated their 110% lifetime upgrade. Just another reason your man will thank you for bringing him to Diamonds Direct.
These two bands are so special to us, and such a memorable moment leading up to our big day. I can’t wait to place Josephs ring on his finger and finally be Mrs. Campbell!
If you are looking for a Wedding Band, Engagement Ring, or ANY kind of Jewelry be sure to come to the Diamonds Direct this Friday through Sunday and attend the Destination Diamonds Event. You will thank me later, trust me. This is a rare trunk show, where you will be able to meet the designers and enjoy the gorgeous showroom like Joseph and I did this past weekend. Sales will include 20-30% off, free wedding band with engagement ring purchase, financing specials and even a chance to win a trip to Mexico (Say what!?) I will be attending this Saturday, and hope to see you there!
Thank you Diamonds Direct for Sponsoring this post!
When I had my Save the Dates for my upcoming wedding in mind, I immediately thought “classic, sparkles, and picture-perfect”. I have never helped plan a wedding before, and with no prior experience in creating Save the Dates, I turned to Google for some help. Minted was the very first site to come up, and within one click I knew that I was going to be ordering from their site. Not only do they have endless customizations, they are entirely geared toward producing the products of your dreams. You know the Save the Dates you see scrolling through Pinterest while planning your Wedding Board? That’s Minted- Inspiring, dreamy and #WeddingGoals !
Where to start?
So I started by looking at the main “Minted Weddings” Page, and selecting “Shop Save the Dates”. I am the Queen Bee of being indecisive, and noticed that they actually offer to send free samples of any design or a design kit. I could order free samples for days, so I decided the design kit would be most appropriate to order. Within a week, I had my design kit in hand, which included styles, colors, paper thickness, envelope options and more. (Who knew that choosing the details for the Save the Dates could become more challenging than wedding dress shopping.) The fact that I was holding a tangible product in my hand made all the difference. So back to their site I went, samples in hand and fell in love with the Intrigue Foil-Pressed Save the Date Cards. I uploaded this photo from my engagement Photo Shoot with the talent Photographers (We are the Bowsers– Lauren & Jared) and saw it visually on the card, the rest was history.
From that point, I really drilled down on the details and added my personality to them. You can choose the color of the Foil on the front and I of course loved the Gold (sparkly and so classy). I really liked the way the Gold Foiled popped on the front. On the back of the Save the dates, we decided to share our story- written entirely by my Fiance- he is seriously the sweetest and I am so proud and happy that he is so involved in the wedding planning process. I asked my wedding planner to preview the Save the Dates (Go stalk her she is the cutest thing ever- The Eventful Gals) She made sure that I included the verbiage “Formal Invitation to Follow” and the Wedding Website. The best part about Minted is that once you are ready to place the order, they send you a proof and allow you to make changes! Here is what our proof looks like-
Next up Envelopes and Stamps! You can customize the color, shine, style and font on the Envelopes. It was so so hard to choose what I wanted them to look like, because the designs are all so beautiful. At this point, I was not willing to slap a normal Forever Stamp on them and mail them. I had to customize the stamp with another amazing photo from our Engagement Session. I am so obsessed, I ordered extra for myself and my mom to keep!
All in all, Minted was the easiest, most stress free piece of my wedding timeline. I will forever be a customer, and would recommend them for anyone looking for Save the Dates, Wedding Invitation Suites, or just Invites for your next Celebration. Their customer service is fast to respond to any questions, and if you can dream it Minted can do it. They will customize anything beyond what you see on the site. There is an awesome feature where you are able to provide additional details and instructions for your order.
My Save the Dates are so beautiful and more than I could have ever dreamed of. I can’t wait to be married in Feburary 2019!
Thank you Minted for Sponsoring this post!
Happy Sunday! If you follow me on Instagram, you probably know that I am not only getting married in 7 months, but I have purchased my first home! I am so excited and nervous for all of the fun new things that have been brought into my life. I am 23, about to graduate college, get married, have a home and I feel like I am truly “Adulting”.
I have not always been the most organized person, and I am also the type of person who gets stressed out very easily. The more organized and in control I am, the more relaxed I feel. I wanted to share some amazing things that have helped me grow up and get organized lately. Hopefully they will help you too.
- Write down a To-Do List for upcoming tasks all in one spot. I used to solely rely on my memory to keep track of the things that I need to get done. Then slowly but surely, I started to write things down in my Iphone Notes, Planners, post it notes. The thing that you need to do is find the ONE way that works best for you and stick to that. That way all of your information is in one place.
- Create a “home” or place for everything. As I got older, I have accumulated many items and sometimes life can get cluttered. It is important to put things back in their “home” once you are done using them. If you can’t find a home for something, you probably do not need it, or should get rid of (donate) other things to make more room.
- Clean on a regular basis. Pick a day of the week that works best for you and make sure you clean you room, bathroom, car etc. If you make it a habit, you will always have a clean space and feel more relaxed.
- Donate things a few times a year. As the seasons change, so does your wardrobe. If you are me for example, you accumulate new clothes all the time and that leaves some things collecting dust in the closet. There are so many people in need in your community and if you have not worn the item in 6 months- 1 year then you probably should donate or sell it. If you have name brand clothing that you do not want to just donate, and could use a little cash in your pocket, you can sell on Poshmark. I have personally used Poshmark and have nothing but good things to say about it.
- Check expiration dates of food, makeup (yes makeup is actually not good forever), hair care products etc. This helps declutter what you currently have.
- Create a list of all your passwords, emails and login information in one area. As you get older you have multiple emails, online banking information, apps, reward programs, Amazon Accounts and so on. Not every password and login credentials are the same, and it is so nice to be able to keep them all in one place to reference.
- Make sure you schedule time for yourself. This is something that I have always struggled with. Do not say “yes” every time someone asks you to do something, otherwise you will always be running around like a chicken with your head cut off. Whether it is working out, getting your nails done, watching a movie, or reading a book… taking time for yourself is great for your mental health.
This upcoming week I will begin packing up my belonging and moving them to my first home, I am so excited. Be sure to follow me on Instagram, where I will be sharing more home decor posts, and fun lifestyle posts!
Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead!
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future- Jeremiah 29: 11
Happy Monday Everyone!
I have a little “Sneak Peak” for you guys who are interested in some wedding details for my big day. I will be sharing my favorite piece from Miss Design Berry thus far, my Guest Book Alternative with Wedding Venue.
So what Miss Design Berry?
A fully customizable online shop that allows you to personalize your wedding details. They offer services for Weddings, Gifts, Parties, Business and so much more. I obviously am solely using them for my Wedding, and could not be in better hands!
What is the Guest Book Alternative with Wedding Venue?
It’s a MUST! It is traditional to have a guest book where everyone signs their name or rights their well wishes to you in a book or on an oversized photo of you and your spouse. Miss Design Berry takes Guest Book to a whole new level by taking your dream Wedding Venue and making it a piece of art! I am obsessed with our Wedding Venue (The Basilica in St. Augustine FL) and the Historic City surrounding it. It will not only be an amazing piece at our reception, but the most meaningful keepsake from the big day.
What is the process like specifically for the Guest Book Alternative with Wedding Venue?
Start by going online to Miss Design Berry and taking a look at the Guestbook Alternative with Wedding Venue page.
- You will Choose the type of material you want.
- Matte Paper, Gallery Canvas, or Framed Canvas *I went with the Framed Canvas
- Then you will choose a size based on your guest count.
- They have fun items to add on like Easels and even Snap Chat filters! (Totally optional)
- Then add to cart and checkout
- From this point, the fun begins. You get sent a form with questions on colors, wedding dates, your names, the handwriting you would like, themes, photos of yourself and your future spouse and photos of your venue. You can send photos of your wedding dress, specific pieces of jewelry, how you want your hair to look and so much more. They truly want it to be a perfect piece for your wedding.
- The artwork is then created and sent to you in a proof, where you can then request any additional changes to be made.
- After final approval the final product is shipped out to you!
What were the thoughts on the final product?
I could not believe how much attention to detail there truly was in the art. I mean even down to my jaw line being on point. The Miss Design Berry team truly did an amazing job (I am not just saying that) I am blown away and so happy that our Guest Book will be so unique and so special. I loved the Canvas and Mahogany Frame, it is beautiful and I can’t wait to get married and be able to hang it up in the house.
How easy is the Website to use ?
Miss Design Berry has a great website, where you can see examples of the work and how talented the team is. They have an online Chat system that allows you to instantly speak to someone about products, questions and more. The website is very clean, and easy to use!
Some of the things that caught my eye for my big day are: (Click Images to View Products)
If you have not already, be sure to follow Miss Design Berry on Instagram for more Wedding Inspo!
Thank you Miss Design Berry for my Beautiful Guest Book and for sponsoring this post!
Happy Monday! It is finally June, and I have just about 8 months until my big day. There are so many fun things that go into wedding planning so I thought I would make a fun post sharing some things that only Bride’s understand. Whether you are already married, or on your journey to saying “I Do”, you can relate to the following:
- You can insist that your girls come on a shopping trip with you (for the dress) but only so they can sit there and watch YOU try on clothes, LOL.
- Your dream wedding will remain a dream if you do not put Pinterest down and be reasonable. Pinterest is great for grabbing ideas in the beginning of the process, but stay off Pinterest once you start making final decisions.
- You should not DIY everything, major headache.
- You will not be able to walk the entire day in 5 inch heels, so choose comfort.
- Everyone will have an opinion or advice on your wedding, and not all of them will be kind or helpful. It is your day, so make sure you do it your way. (Within reason)
- Your heart will feel like it is about to burst.
- The font on the Save the Dates..needs to match the invitations, and the wedding signage, and the seating chart, and…. do not sweat the SMALL things.
- To do a first look or not?
- Hair up, no hair down, how about a half up half down?
- I will not go over budget (REPEAT 20 times throughout planning)
- Flowers are how much?
- Constantly saying “my wedding” instead of our wedding to your Fiance. (oops, personal truth! Joseph always corrects me, it is OUR day after all).
- Your “Day Of Planner” is like an angel on earth, sent to save your wedding day from any and all imperfections. (More details on my amazing Wedding Planner later on the blog)
I have been really loving the wedding planning process, mostly because my mom is so involved and helps plan every detail. She is constantly making appointments for me to meet vendors, working with the planner, and just being awesome. I could not do it alone, and it is so nice having someone who is listening to what you want for your big day.
Another fun part of wedding planning and being a bride, is being able to wear things that say your future last name or Bride! I have been loving this super soft tee from the cutest Etsy Shop!
They have Robes, Tees, Tanks, Denim Jackets, Accessories and so much more. All you Brides-to-be need to check them out; they can customize the items as well! If you are shopping for a bride to be, the shirts are the perfect gift! I have been wearing the Bride Vibes Tee non stop. Check out SS Design and CO
Have a wonderful week!
With the weather being so rainy lately, I thought it would be fun to share 5 things that I love to do in Jacksonville Fl on a rainy day. Who says you can’t make the most out of your weekend, even if the forecast is 100% rain?
The Edge Rock Gym
The Edge Rock Gym is so much fun and usually you can keep your eye out for a Groupon or sale on their site! Basically it is the most “fun” time you will have working out. It is an indoor rock climbing facility, and the more friends your bring the more fun you have! You can get competitive and race side by side, as well as enjoy different levels of climb from easy to expert.
I love to go here for two or three hours with my fiancé and we literally feel SO sore the next day! It is just as much of a burn as leg day!
Movie Theater Date
Going to the movies is always a good time. Take time to unwind and see a good comedy, a scary movie or in my case some super hero movie with my fiancé! He is such a fan of all things super hero and Star Wars! The best way to treat yourself on a rainy day is to see a movie in a theater with the reclining seats! Just be sure you don’t fall asleep.
Autobahn Indoor Speedway
If you are feeling a little adventurous, Autobahn Indoor Speedway is the place for you! It is a high speed Indoor go-karting facility that is super fun, but not cheap! Be prepared to spend a little money, while having the most epic go-karting experience Jacksonville has to offer. I personally love to go here because I am so competitive in nature. Fun for the whole family for sure.
Grab breakfast at a local spot
The most delicious breakfast I’ve had, that is unique in location/ decor is at the Cool Moose Cafe and The Fox ! These two spots will leave you stuffed and needing a nap! They have such a large menu, and the coffee is delicious! I recommend getting there a tad bit earlier than you plan on eating, needless to say they are very popular.
Despite what you may think, Top Golf offers a whole lot of fun on a rainy day. For those of you who have been to one, you know that the actual building is covered. This allows you to enjoy food, drinks, and a few rounds of the golfing game with those you love most. What is more exciting than a challenge like adding rain to the equation? Top golf is fun, challenging and a great place to spend time with friends and family!
So next time there is a rainy day in Jacksonville, now you know the top 5 places you should go! I hope you all have a wonderful week.
When you look good, you feel good! It is finally May 1st (this year has really flown by hasn’t it?) It is time to make those summer resolutions and start working hard on your fitness goals. It’s so much easier, when you love your workout attire, to love your workout.
Lately I have been absolutely loving the Ellie Activewear line for my summer body workout regimen. From gym floors to pavement, I can lunge, sweat and stretch my way through my fitness routine.
I love the detailing in the pants, they even have POCKETS! Which is always super amazing to hold your phone while using your hands to workout. I am a huge fan of pockets and can’t rave enough about how comfortable these are!
Last but not least, a good sports bra is hard to come by, and Ellie Activewear has mastered the cute and reliable sports bra! I love the way they fit, they have padding and are just a total confidence booster. Safe to say, I will be caught wearing my Ellie Activewear on repeat!
Ellie Activewear launches 3 new sets each month, with free shipping and no commitment.
Be sure to check them out, I am so excited I will Be receiving my May Box tomorrow ☺️
Wishing everyone a wonderful May!
After voting on my Instagram Story, over 70 % of you wanted to hear about all the things that I have learned while being engaged. To top it off I thought I would invite my Fiance, Joseph, to chime in on all the things HE has learned while being engaged. So let’s get started!
Ladies first, right? Here is what I have learned:
- The first thing that I came to realize about being engaged was that it is not all about the ring. Of course, it is fun to celebrate and share the magical moment of him asking for my hand in marriage, but the purpose behind it all is the real showstopper. The fact that we are in a covenant for the rest of our lives and working towards marriage, a family and life long happiness.
- Second, I learned that everything good in life takes time. We chose to have a very long engagement (2 years) to plan our wedding, and the reasoning was so that we could complete our degree program in college. Everything is going according to plan, but it was not a very quick engagement and then you are married turnaround. I personally think a long engagement is more fun because you have time to plan out your wedding, celebrate, save for a first home and grow together.
- You have a new name “Fiance”, for the first few weeks you will be shouting from the rooftops that you are a Fiance now. As the time goes on, you won’t really mind being called girlfriend still, or future wife by others. Fiance is just a label, and that’s that.
- Budgets are born. So for me, I have always been a huge saver my entire life. When thinking about a future together as husband and wife, you will discuss things like how much each of you will be paying for the combined bills (like mortgage, insurance, cable, internet, water, electric etc). Luckily, Joseph and I actually agree on almost all financial decisions and allow ourselves to budget our own spending money to enjoy while breaking down our combined bills.
- Communication is key, especially during the stress of wedding planning. Most women know that the men really do not care about the color of the flowers or what your Invitations look like. While all the hustle and bustle of wedding planning that may be going on, remember to take time for your significant other each day. Ask how their morning or day at work went, and my favorite thing that Joseph and I both say often is “How can I better serve you?”. It is amazing knowing that the other person is there for you no matter what.
- Disagreements do not go away. Once you are engaged, there is no magic love spell that makes you get along perfectly. Like any other couple, you will have bumps along the way.
- Add you ring to your insurance policy, something I did not know about!
- Getting married young has a lot of pros, we will be married in February and do not have any children, which leaves time to travel and enjoy experiences before starting a family.
- You may decide you want a dog, but not agree on which type. Ok, so we both LOVE dogs, but he wants a Belgian Malinois and I was thinking a Golden Retriever, or possibly German Shepherd. We shall see who wins this.
- You will care about the little wedding details that you said you would not. My top priorities for the wedding are my dress, photos and video. His are food (typical) and “me” he says. LOL
- MANY people will offer you wedding advice, so just make sure you take it with a grain of salt, it is your big day not theirs. Although some advice is very helpful, others may not be.
- Lastly, I have learned that life is too short to sweat the small things, you are engaged and going to spend a lifetime with your bestie! Focus on what really matters most, each other.
The Fiance’s Side:
- Don’t Sweat the Little Things – Life is too short to constantly stress about every little thing involving your partner. For as long as you’re certain that you’re spending your entire life with that partner; it is not worth it to sweat the little things. In the past, I would get so worked up over the smallest of details whereas now, I go with the flow! Relationships can get really complicated if you make them that way!
- Accept your Lady for Who She is – There are a whole lotta’ great things about Kayla, might I say. She’s all that and a bag of chips! With that said, nobody is perfect (although she’s pretty dang close); she does have flaws like everyone else. I’ve learned over time that those “flaws” mean almost nothing in the grand scheme of things. In the past, I attempted to change Kayla in one way or another to “better” these flaws; whereas now I’ve learned that if pushed too hard, this can lead to resentment and unhappiness from both parties. If you can learn to accept someone for who they are, you will live a much happier life.
- Love Grows and Changes – The honeymoon phase is great and all, but everyone knows that it doesn’t last forever. Kayla and I have been together nearly 4 years. If you asked me how I love her today, it would be a completely different answer from 3 years ago. Today, I see Kayla as the love of my life, my best friend, my confidant, and the future mother of my children. 3 Years ago I would’ve probably said I love how gorgeous, awesome, and fun she was (These are STILL true!). I can only imagine how my love will grow and change whenever Kayla and I get married and move in together (MAKEUP AND HAIR PRODUCTS EVERYWHERE!! CAN’T WAIT)! When Love grows or changes, it is not a bad thing; it’s simply a part of how things work, and should be completely embraced.
- Support your Woman to the End of the Earth – I will never be the person to stop Kayla from following her dreams. I will always be the person holding her hand the entire way and making those dreams a reality. In Kayla’s first days of blogging and instagraming, she was on the verge of quitting it all together because a full time job and full time college was making her passion near-impossible. This “quitting” phase happened not just once but twice. I’ve always tried to push Kayla to help her become the best she can be. When Kayla’s ambition tells her to photograph 5 different outfits in 5 different locations over a 2 hour time span, I’ll always be the one that helps make it happen (I’m the photographer! Yay!). I will always do my best to support her, endlessly.
- Financial Selfishness Stops Now – Back in the day, I used to love buying Fitness Supplements, Guns, Ammo, Miscellaneous Amazon Items, and whatever else I wanted. At one time, I had a 2014 Ram 1500 Truck with a 5.7 Hemi which I loved dearly (Prior to this, a 2008 Mustang). All that changed shortly after we got engaged. I was struck with the realization that soon, all of this random stuff and money in my bank account would become “our random stuff” and “our money”. I thought it was completely wrong to give my future spouse my debts, when I racked up the debt before we were even married. I traded in my truck to get a 2015 Ford Focus Hatchback (The savings are totally not worth it), in order to save money on a car payment, car insurance, and gas. Also, I stopped buying random stuff (This one took a while, I’ve only started getting 100% serious about this since Fall of 2017). All-in-all, I have tremendously less debt now than I did then and I am so proud to say it. Kayla and I are both on a budget now which limits most frivolous spending. As a side note, I’ll say I am a lot happier having less. Life sure isn’t about material items and buying new stuff each week (Although, I want a truck so bad!).
- Fighting isn’t Fun, but is Sometimes Necessary – I’ll start this by saying that, In general, I suck at communicating. When Kayla and I have fights, sometimes they’re so beyond productive that we both grow from the argument. Usually, this is due to me letting information out that I was holding inside; Kayla then learns these things and can adjust or help me in different ways according to the issues I didn’t communicate until that argument. Other times, when either both or one of us is having a bad day for example, and an argument is started; that argument can be completely completely pointless. We are both passionate about everything, including arguing. When we fight or argue, we almost always grow from it and better ourselves in one way or another.
- Team work makes the Dream work – I don’t always want to consult with Kayla before I make a big decision, but 100% of the time, I should. A partner can feel betrayed if they’re not consulted before their special other asks their opinion first. Many times, when I’ve already made up my mind on something (I am stubborn), I will still at the very least tell Kayla I am doing something before I do it. This may not exactly be Team Work per say, but its the best way to keep both parties on the same page before big decisions. On the other hand, more than once Kayla has shown me the cons of my idea (Whereas I only saw the pros), and then changed my mind on a decision. I will say that I am still guilty of (rarely) making decisions without telling Kayla but I am working on improving this. Engagement, or even marriage, is all about discussing things and communicating 100%. Working together as a Team almost always (if not always) has advantages over working alone.
I hope you guys enjoyed this post, as much as we loved writing it. It was so fun to have Joseph join in the blog post this week, maybe we should have him write more often? Let me know!
Have a wonderful rest of the week!