Thursday, July 27, 2017

I'll Take A Decaf, Please V. 1

And...let's make it an iced. If you have been following along via Twitter (where I have been more active than here), you'll know that I gave up caffeine cold turkey when I found out that I was pregnant with Noah. I know you don't have to give up caffeine but it was just a choice I decided to make. Anyways, I always forget how freakishly hot it gets here in FL during the summer so, if we were to meet for a coffee date, you could bank on me ordering an Iced Decaf!

Also, if we were having coffee, I would tell you that...

my heart could not be any more full. it is so true when "they" say that you "don't know what love is until you have a baby" now, of course I love J and my family and friends but my love for Noah is definitely a different kind of love. it is crazy to think that for the next 18 years at least, this little love bug will count on me for everything. I often find myself at night looking over to his bassinet just watching him to make sure he is okay and I soak up every snuggle I can!

i know my blog is lacking like woah. however, I am okay with that. I totally know and appreciate that I had an insanely easy pregnancy but I also knew at the time that I really wanted to enjoy every second of being pregnant. If I wanted to take six naps in a day, I would. I know that that caused my blog to hit the back burner along with the last few weeks of having a newborn in the house. I would rather soak in the baby snuggles than stare at my laptop screen. Although this is still true, I do still love this piece of the internet and want to get it back to a fully functioning blog. So I am attempting to fit in at least 45 minutes a day!

i am obsessed with the craziest of things lately. y'all, Jamie Foxx's game show, Beat Shaazam has been my jam lately! I watch it religiously and totally get way too into it with the audience. #lamemomprobs. Also, I have been so in love with the idea of knitting. John's mom made Noah the most gorgeous blanket and now I have the bug to want to try and make one as well...does this make me a real mom? a grandmom? I don't know but I will just be over here pinning all the knitting things.

along with re-upping my blog, I am revamping my photography business. I mean this just makes sense to me. not only do I LOVE photography (plus, the extra cash doesn't hurt) but now I have my own little model to help stage sessions with!

at this point, I would tell you it was time for me to go..and it is because my little man is getting hungry. But, we will meet again soon. What would you share with me on our [iced] coffee date?

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Audrey's Bear [Review]

Happy Wednesday lovies! 

Today I am bringing you a review of a brand that I have completely fallen in love with, Audrey's Bear. When shopping for baby things, it can definitely get a little overwhelming between all the different brands/styles/materials, etc. When shopping for items for Noah, I had a few things that were important to me, I wanted high quality, long lasting, preferably to purchasable from local/small businesses rather than chains where possible, and personalized. Baby things are not cheap so I didn't want to spend money on things that wouldn't last. 

I initially came across the Audrey's Bear website when searching "personalized baby blankets" on google. I browsed through the website and fell in love. They offer swaddle blankets, beanies, fitted sheets, changing pad covers, boppy covers, pacifier clips, rompers, and bibdanas. What really caught my eye about the company other than the fact that they are a small business is that they have a great mission. 

Audrey's Bear has a swaddle4swaddle program where they donate a swaddle blanket to a baby in the NICU or a pediatric cancer center for every swaddle that is purchased. This really stood out to me because the NICU is near and dear to my heart. My dad is a pediatric eye doctor for the NICU babies at our local hospital, I have spent a countless amount of hours volunteering in the NICU as a baby snuggler, and my best friend and her twin brother spent 1 1/2 months in the NICU. When I read that Rachel, the owner of Audrey's Bear also had personal ties to the NICU, I knew that I had to support this brand. 

Anyways, as I mentioned before, I was in the market for a personalized swaddle blanket for Noah and let me tell you, Audrey's Bear delivered! They have over 50 prints to choose from and they also offer sets with a swaddle blanket and hat (I picked up 4 sets and 4 blankets). The price point is right on target as well when you take in to consideration the quality and the personalization. The sets retail for $43 and the blankets alone for $29-$46 depending on size and style. 

I really can't get over the quality of these blankets. As soon as I got them, I washed them according to the directions they send with them so that they would be ready for our little man. The colors remained just as bright and the feel just as soft as when they came out of the package. 

A neat aspect of these blankets is that they have a stretch to them. Most other 'swaddle blankets' do not so it makes it hard to get a tight wrap on baby-which is what Noah loves! They are also super lightweight while still keeping baby warm. In Florida, you may think it is insane to want blankets regardless and yes it is scorching outside but because of that, every store b l a s t s the a/c so little man would freeze. I keep about three of these in the car for him to either cover a side of his car seat from the sun, shade him from the sun when we are driving, or to cover him lightly when daddy blasts the a/c. I also keep one in his diaper bag to have on hand for chilly trips to the store, and then they are scattered throughout our house. The prints and colors really stand out so I am constantly getting asked "where is that blanket from?"

This product is absolutely mommy approved and now more importantly, Noah approved! 
I highly recommend you checking out Audrey's Bear

Also: If you purchase before July 29th, they are offering 15%off with the code: MYSTERYSALE15 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

8 Goals Everyone Should Have

1. Complain less. Complaining usually doesn't help much, if at all. What it does do is bring you down, along with anyone who happens to be listening to you. Hanging out with people who complain all the time is exhausting. Also, being someone who complains all the time has to be exhausting. So do yourself and everyone around you a favor and start veering your comments to a more positive side.

2. Drink more water. What drinking more water does to your body is seriously magical. Your skin gets better, you have less headaches, you have more energy, you feel overall better...just by drinking water. There's no reason not to do this. Buy a cute tumbler and keep it filled all day!

3. Compliment others. Compliments are so easy. They are free, quick ways to make someone's day so much better. If you like the color of someone's shirt, say so. If someone went out of their way to help you, mention it. Throw compliments around freely.

4. Practice being thankful. Complaining makes your day worse. Want to know what makes it better? Being thankful. For big things, little things, in-between things.

5. Get rid of what you don't use. I tend to form sentimental bonds with everything that I own...until said things are taking over my apartment. Listen: Throw stuff away. If you don't use it anymore, toss it. If you don't wear it anymore, give it away. Life is about experiences, not things.

6. Learn how to survive without takeout. I could easily eat Chick-Fil-A for every single meal and be a very happy person. But do you know who's not happy with that arrangement? My wallet. Also, my waistline. Everyone should know how to cook a meal or two at home. It's cheaper, healthier, and you can do so in your pajamas. So, we're looking at a win/win/win here.

7. Enjoy reading. Not everyone loves reading fiction, or even books in general. I get it. I don't understand it, but hey. Just because you don't like reading books doesn't mean you should swear off reading. Reading is a great way to learn--both really cool things and also completely unnecessary, but fun, things. There's plenty you can read without ever cracking open a book--magazines, articles, newspapers. Fill your brain with some good words.

8. Think before you speak speak, write, text, post, tweet...etc. I have a favorite quote when it comes to speaking out on controversial matters:

Does this need to be said?
Does this need to be said by me? 
Does this need to be said by me right now?

If you actually think about those things before saying whatever you wanted to say, chances are you'd regret a lot less.

What goals do you think everyone should have?

Thursday, July 13, 2017

#RickerPartyof3: A Birth "Story"

Hi my lovies!
I have always loved reading people's birth stories and experiences and had you asked me nine months ago, I hands down would have said I was absolutely going to write one. You may be confused at this point since the title of this post said Birth Story. I do want to share our big day with you however, instead of writing the events of the night, I want to just share some of the photos that were taken and save the birth story writing part as a memory for our little family.

What I will say is that our story to become a family of three started in our living room at 12:20am on June 22, 2017. 16 hours, 6 contractions and 18ish pushes later, it was official. Our 8lb 3oz, 20 in long little love bug had arrived.


Our little love bug is now three weeks old and we couldn't be any more in love. 

Noah Foley

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

#RickerPartyof3: Maternity Pictures

Around 34 weeks of pregnancy, John and I had maternity pictures done. These were super important to me as I wanted a special way to document the start of a new chapter together. As usual, with all my requests, John was such a champ and I couldn't love him more for it! These were all taken at a beach nearby by the very talented Amy Anderson.

I could not be more pleased with the outcome of our session and am so happy to be able to have these as a keepsake for the future. 

Did you have maternity pictures done?

Friday, July 7, 2017

Friday Five: 7.7.17

Oh Hi There! I know I have been insanely m.i.a on here and most other social media however, I am working towards being more active now that the babes is here. I am excited to kick that off with a Friday Five! 

o n e. 
as I am sitting here writing this, my two week old is napping in front of me. Y'all...two week old!?! like how did that happen?? I still find myself waking up in the middle of the night to check on him and just staring at his sweet little self wondering how he is here already! I honestly never thought I could love something/someone as much as our little bug. 

t w o.
we have been having such a great time learning and navigating this whole 'parenting' thing together. However, today is John's first day back at work so it is just the babes and I. I am so so so thankful that John was able to take all the time off work that he did and it was so great for us to enjoy the time as a family of three! I also have to brag about him for a second. He has been so patient and supportive and helpful it is insane. He definitely deserves an awesome daddy award! 

t h r e e. 
budget shopping. y'all this is so something that I am not any good at but, I am trying! Since I will now be a SAHM [with the exception of some photography sessions here and there], J and are are working towards getting ourselves on a budget. Neither of us are great at this because we are the epitome of impulse shoppers. We have started making baby steps by buying all paper products (paper towels, toilet paper, etc.) and meat from BJs. The meat we buy, John separates and then we freeze. This is a massive money saver. The issue for me now though is that since I am a SAHM, I have lots of time to make daily trips to target to get out of the house and it never fails that I see something that I just have to have. If any of you have tips on budgeting, help ya girl out! 

f o u r.
mom's groups are brutal. if you follow me on twitter, you will probably have noticed that I have said a time (or 8) that these FB moms groups are no joke.-well, some of them are but there are two extremes in every group. In some of the groups, you have these moms who are asking for medical advice from a bunch of nobodies via social media...for example "my child has this rash on their face..what is it? do I need to go to the doctor?" Then you have the other side of the spectrum of moms that literally bash the crap out of you and virtually drag you through the mud if you are pro vaccines or formula feed over breast feeding. I can't really tell you why I still follow some of these groups- I guess the 'drama' is just too good. 

f i v e. 
my new mommy makeup routine has gotten so short and I love it! I routinely use the same 8 products each day and it takes a maximum of 10 minutes-score! I am however in the market for a new [and less expensive] blush/bronzer/highlight combo so if you have one you love, pass it along! 

Thank you lovies for sticking with me! Stay tuned for [hopefully] lots more great content! 
Happy Friday beauties!