Nixi Lauroo

So, the thing about babies is that they are really, really messy. No matter what you do, your babe is bound to spit up and slobber and generally just make a mess. These daily clean ups require some tough burp cloths which is where Nixi Lauroo comes in. 


These burpees are the most durable ones I’ve found yet. They’re super strong and absorbent while also being soft and cuddly. As you can see, Bennett enjoys chewing on them in his spare time. 


They also sell the sweetest little bibdanas in various adorable prints. Bennett was super excited to get one with the Nixi Lauroo logo. They’re incredibly soft with plastic snaps on the back to keep it securely in place. 


If you’re in need of the perfect burpee, click here. They’re also having a HUGE sale so check it out before their premium prints are gone! 

Modern Burlap



I stumbled upon Modern Burlap‘s Instagram recently and fell in love. This small business is owned by two high school sweethearts with two incredibly cute little boys. Their products range from changing pad covers to reversible throw blankets and all of them are amazing. 

I purchased an organic cotton muslin swaddle with one of my very favorite bible verses, Jeremiah 29:11, printed on the front. Their products are all made with high contrast black and white images to stimulate brain development in babies (and also look very minimalistic and cool).

The swaddles are all pre-washed, breathable, super soft and machine washable which is a huge bonus for this mama. Although we’re not swaddling Bennett anymore these are perfect as a little play mat, lightweight blanket, or burp cloth. I also plan to hang it on the wall when he gets a little older. 


Order yours here and be sure to tag it with #MBmemories so we can all see your cute babes! 

5 Ways To Make Mornings Less Stress for Mama

Mornings are hard but these five things help make mine a little easier. Run through this list each night before you go to bed, so that everything’s ready to go when your little one wakes up, bright and early!

Pack the Diaper Bag: Maybe I’m the only one, but for some reason packing Bennett’s bag each morning seems to take forever. When I get everything ready the night before, I can just grab and go.

Pick Out Baby’s Clothes: It’s hard enough getting myself dressed without spending twenty minutes searching for the lost match to one of Bennett’s tiny socks.

Pre-Fill Bottles: We usually send water bottles to daycare with Bennett, but when we’re out I’ll just fill his bottles with filtered water so they’re ready to use.

Portion Out Formula: Four months ago, before we were expert parents (yeah, right) Daniel and I would just pack the entire container of powdered formula. It was really dumb. One of our friends introduced us to the Munchkin Formula Dispensers and they obviously made life way easier.

Keep To-Go Makeup In Your Bag: All it takes is one blowout diaper and suddenly you’re out of time. If all else fails, keep some mascara, lip balm, and concealer in your bag. Just popping on those three products before walking into work will make a world of difference.

Everyday Makeup Routine

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Too Faced Born This Way Foundation (Snow): This is my holy grail foundation. It claims to be an oil-free, natural-looking, full coverage foundation with a radiant finish and it does not disappoint. I have combination skin with a very oily T zone but this stays in place all day. I pump the foundation onto the back of my hand, dot it across my face, and blend using a damp Beauty Blender sponge. // $39

Mabelline Fit Me Translucent Setting Powder: This is the best drug store translucent powder I’ve found so far. It holds its own against the Laura Mercier powder. I apply by using a Real Techniques face brush to lightly dust across my face, concentrating mainly on my T zone. // $5

Benefit Hoola Bronzer: I’ve always been intimidated by bronzer because I have such a pale complection. I was afraid I would end up looking like an orange, sparkly mess. Hoola was the answer to my prayers. It’s a cool toned brown that suits practically all skin tones and has absolutely NO sparkle, which I love. It’s great for adding a bit of color to your skin along with a subtle contour. I apply using a Sonia Kashuk brush along my temples, cheek bones, and lightly under my jaw. // $29

NARS Orgasm Blush: Scandalous name, perfect product. Somehow the geniuses at NARS have formulated a blush that literally looks perfect on every skin type. The slight shimmer adds a beautiful rosy sheen to the high points of your cheeks without looking like you fell in a bucket of glitter. I apply using an ELF total face brush to the apples of my cheeks and lightly along my temples. // $30

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz (Taupe): Honestly. Need I say more? // $21

Maybelline The Blushed Nudes Eyeshadow Palette: This is one of my all-time favorite drugstore eyeshadow palettes. The colors are wearable but have enough definition to also create dramatic looks. I’ve even hit pan on a few shades. In all honestly, the formula isn’t quite as smooth as a NAKED palette would be, but for a fraction of the price it’s definitely worth it. I apply using various ELF eyeshadow brushes. // $8

Kat Von D Tattoo Eyeliner (Trooper): The felt tip is super thin to get those wings razor sharp and the ink is incredibly black. My one complaint with this liner is that it claims to be waterproof but it isn’t at all. It’s great for everyday wear, just don’t use before swimming! // $19

L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Mascara: I love, love, love this mascara. I have pretty tiny lashes and this makes them practically double in length and volume. // $7

Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick (Naked): The formula is SO smooth and creamy. It dries down completely matte but doesn’t leave my lips feeling dry. I honestly want every shade in this line. I apply straight from the tube using the doe foot applicator included. // $20

If you guys have any suggestions of products you think I’d like, or that you want me to review, just let me know!

KinderLou Lane

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As a full-time working mom, I love being able to wear things that remind me of Bennett during the day. For my first Mother’s Day, Daniel bought me this Kate Spade necklace which I immediately fell in love with.  I thought I’d never be able to find a necklace that I loved as much as that one, until I came across KinderLou Lane. The shop is full of gorgeous handmade and vintage jewelry. Instantly, I wanted one of everything. I was particularly drawn to the gold charm necklace ($15), which I was already envisioning with a tiny “B” in the middle.

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The 18 inch chain is the perfect length to hang comfortably around your neck, and closes with a lobster clasp in the back. There are two fonts to choose from, and you can have the letter darkened or naturally pressed. Once I saw how great the quality was, I immediately ordered a necklace for me and one for a friend. This would be the perfect gift for anyone you know who loves simple, beautiful jewelry.

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The jewelry is handcrafted by Kelly Hennings, a Speech Pathologist who chose to become a stay-at-home mom after her little boy was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (www.curesma.org). By purchasing from Kelly’s store, you are not only getting a beautiful piece of jewelry, you are also helping to support her family.

You can get 15% off of your order by using the promo-code “Bee15” at checkout.

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Newborn Favorites

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1) SwaddleMe: I am terrible with blanket swaddles. I can never get them tight enough, especially with a wiggly baby. The SwaddleMe velcro swaddles made life a million times easier for Daniel and me. Literally from day one we used these to soothe Bennett. He absolutely loved being surrounded by the soft fabric. We continued using the SwaddleMe’s all the way through three and a half months. They helped make the transition to sleeping in his crib much easier. Once he started to show signs of rolling, we decided to stop using the swaddle. Honestly I miss seeing him all wrapped up though. We called him “Baby Burrito.” // $25

2) Boon Grass Drying Rack: This is one of my absolute favorite things that we own. There are so many baby items out there that contribute to a cluttered house, and this is not one of them. The Boon Grass has a very minimalist look and comes in white or green (we have the green). It’s perfect for air drying bottles as well as breast pump accessories. We probably should have gotten the larger Boon Lawn just because I like how it looks on the counter, and we always have plenty of bottles always in need of drying. // $14

3) Gerber Baby Mittens: If your baby comes out with razor sharp nails like ours did, you will absolutely need these. Daniel and I were constantly trying to keep Bennett from scratching up his face and mittens were exactly the solution we were looking for. The hardest part was finding some that stayed on his hands. These worked great, but if all else fails, throw some socks over those claws and call it a day. // $6

4) Fisher-Price Auto Rock n’ Play Sleeper: Before Bennett was born, I knew that I wanted him sleeping at our bedside when we brought him home. I thought that it would make breastfeeding every two hours a bit more manageable, and I just wanted to watch him sleep. We thought about several different bassinet style sleepers, but we consistently had people telling us to invest in the Rock n’ Play. I am so glad that we did. Bennett spent each night in his sleeper as well as his naps during the day. You simply plug it in and turn it on and the sleeper gently rocks itself. The constant motion helped keep Bennett asleep, which helped keep us asleep, and that is something we were sincerely grateful for. // $59

5) Boon Clutch Dishwasher Basket: If you’re planning on washing your bottles in the dishwasher, this is an absolute must. It protects the nipples, and any other small parts from damage. I’d suggest going ahead and buying at least two. We started out with one and ended up having way more dirty bottles than we thought. Having two baskets ensures you’ll always have enough room to get everything clean, even with a full sink of dirty dishes. // $8

6) WubbaNub Pacifier: Bennett was never super into pacifiers, but when he was a newborn he would absolutely use one. They kept him soothed even when he was laying down. The little animal attachment is slightly weighted so that it rests comfortably on your baby’s chest without falling off as easily as a free standing paci would. Plus it’s just sweet to see your little one cuddling with a tiny fox. // $13

7) Enfamil Gentlease Formula: For any new mamas out there struggling with the switch to formula, it’s going to be okay. Trust me, I’ve been there. When we made the decision to stop breastfeeding I was so worried about finding the perfect formula that wouldn’t upset his stomach and would give him everything he needs. From the first day that we tried Gentlease we knew this was the one. He had no gassiness, and seemed quite content while drinking his bottle. The following days, his digestion got better, there was no fussiness, and he began steadily putting on weight. He’s still using the same formula now and we love it just as much. // $1.15 per ounce

8) Dr. Brown’s Baby Bottles: We’ve loved the Dr. Brown bottles from the start, but the 4oz size was especially useful during those early days. When Bennett was only taking 3-4oz of formula at a time, it was pretty awkward holding the 8oz size bottle. The 4oz size fits perfectly in your hand while snuggling up to your newborn. The size difference is just a personal preference, but overall I completely love this brand. // $18

9) Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Bubble Bath: Obviously, I love this brand because there are bees on everything. I also love the quality of everything they produce. Bennett completely hates bath times, but he does semi-enjoy it if he’s in the big tub with either Daniel or myself. With this bubble bath, it adds some more fun into the mix and gives him something to focus on other than how much he hates bath time. // $11

10) The Good Baby Bibs: Every person with a baby needs these bibs. They are adorable, functional, well-made, and perfect for catching all that unruly baby drool. I don’t like traditional bibs for a number of reasons, and these are the ultimate solution. Bonus: they’re created by a couple with twin girls of their own, so whenever you purchase from them you’re supporting a small business which is always awesome. You can check out my complete review on these bibs here. // $12

The Good Baby

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Sometime around Bennett’s second month of life he discovered that his hands were good for one thing, and one thing only: finding things to chew on. When I say that everything gets chewed on, I mean everything. From his toes, to handfuls of the cat’s fur (it’s a long story), this kid will literally put anything in his mouth. What this ultimately means is that Bennett is always covered in precious baby slobber.

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Processed with VSCO with m5 presetDaniel and I began putting bibs on him daily, to help cut down on the drool-soaked outfit changes but we never liked the way they looked. Each morning, Daniel spends about twenty minutes picking out Bennett’s wardrobe. When he has downtime, you can bet that he’ll be on the H&M app searching for some new outfits for Bee. Style is important in our household, even for four month olds, and his bibs were not making the cut.

Yes, it’t true that he is “Mommy’s Little Angel,” and a “Precious Gift From Above,” but we don’t always need that displayed on the front of his outfit. Especially when it’s completely covering his ironic tee and mini black skinny jeans. While scouring the internet for a solution I came across The Good Baby bibs and our lives were forever changed.

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Processed with VSCO with hb2 presetThe bibs are made with a 100% organic cotton front and extremely soft polyester on the back. The first time I felt how soft these bibs were, I immediately just wanted to make a blanket out of them. Seriously, you’ll wish all of your clothes felt like this. They are surprisingly absorbent and won’t get soggy against your child’s shirt. One of my favorite features is the fact that they have adjustable snaps in the back so they fit most babies from ages 3 months to 24 months. Since Bennett has a pretty big noggin, and I’ve only seen his chubby neck maybe twice, having adjustable snaps is a huge bonus. Half of his old velcro bibs can’t even wrap completely around his neck.

There are three different color combinations, with four bandana bibs in each set. We purchased the “boy,” and “unisex,” sets and the bibs all look exactly the way they do online. I will definitely be buying these as baby shower gifts from now on. They’re durable, high quality, adorable, and absolutely necessary for any drooly baby. // this post was not sponsored.

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July Favorites: Beauty

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Guys, it is HOT. I am convinced that during the summer months, the southeastern United States is about one degree away from being hades and my makeup does not appreciate it. With this thought in mind, I’ve stacked up my 5 favorite beauty products for July. These are definitely tried and true products that never let me down. Below I’ve listed my favorite things about each item and if you click the image, it will link you directly to the product page. Trust me when I say that I wouldn’t recommend anything I didn’t completely believe in. If you use any of these products, or decide to test them out after reading this post, let me know what you think!

 

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1) Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer Primer:

I will admit that before finding this product, I’ve never used primers. I tried a few but they never seemed to actually do anything. I felt like I was dishing out money on something useless when I could be spending it on more important things, like lipstick and liner. One fateful afternoon as I was browsing the aisles in Sephora, one of the makeup artists suggested this primer to me. I have combination skin with a very oily T zone. She suggested applying the mattifying primer just to my oily areas and then applying foundation as I normally would once the primer had set. It. Changed. My. Life. The range includes 10 different primers to suit different needs, so if being matte isn’t your thing, be sure to check out the rest of the line. // $37 here

 

brow2) Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz:

Eyebrows are very important to me. I was blessed with thick, dark brows at an early age but spent most of my life feeling like it was a curse. My brows are unruly at best and very high maintenance. I had been hearing lots of hype around the Brow Wiz and eventually broke down and bought it. Let me just tell you guys, this product does not disappoint. My best word of advice is to go with a shade slightly lighter than your actual brow color. For instance, I have very dark brown brows but when I match the color exactly to any type of brow pencil, I end up with the sharpie brow look, which nobody really wants. I purchase this product in the color “taupe,” which allows me to define the shape and fill in any empty spaces without making my brows look too fake. Honestly, I think anyone with eyebrows needs this product. // $21 here

 

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3) Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder:

As I just mentioned, I truly appreciate a matte finish, especially during the summer months. I can honestly say that even when it’s 100 degrees outside, this setting powder stays put. Every once in a while I may need to touch up right around my nose by the end of the day, but that’s the best I could ask for. I tested this out by purchasing the 0.33oz travel size first and with everyday use, it lasted me over a month. The full 1oz container is definitely worth the extra cash, since you’ll get months of everyday use out of it. // $37 here

 

liner4) Stila All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner:

Wow, okay, this stuff is ridiculous. I have tried a lot of liners in my day but this one is truly my favorite. The formula glides easily over my lid and absolutely sticks in place. I generally apply my liner around 8am each morning and by 10pm it hasn’t budged one bit. I have even worn this liner during hour long sessions at the gym and it stays perfectly in place. If you’re someone who wants liner that is as black as your heart and practically permanent, this is for you. // $22 here

 

lip5) Rimmel Show Off Lip Lacquer (Shade- Apocaliptic):

First, this product is branded as “Apocalips” in the UK, but the formula is exactly the same. I bought this shade a few months ago and it’s never let me down. It’s extremely long-lasting, especially for a drugstore product. The formula is very hydrating and comfortable on the lips. It leaves a bit of a shine but isn’t so glossy and thick that your lips stick together (which I personally hate). It also doubles as a lip stain so that even when I eat and the product comes off, there’s still some color left.  // $4 here

 

 

The Weight

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Weight // The force with which a body is attracted toward the earth by gravitation

Why does that word define so much of our lives? Why have I wasted so much energy on that one word? Why have I based my self worth on something so insignificant? How much has gravity held me down? Unfortunately, my answer would have to be, “a lot.”

I’ve spent the majority of my life hating the way that I look. I don’t remember exactly when the insecurities first crept in, but I know with certainty they’ve never quite gone away. My entire life, I’ve always been too something. My skin was too pale, my feet were too big, my face was too round, I was always too fat. Now fat, there’s a word I’ve often used to describe myself.

From making self-deprecating jokes, to standing alone in front of the mirror, fat has always been an adjective at the front of my thoughts. The word would sit in my mind, patiently waiting for the right moment to spring up and eat away at my joy. Like acid, it burned through my thoughts until it was all I could focus on. Let’s just say I’ve spent way too much time crying in dressing rooms, shying away from shorts and avoiding pool parties at all costs.

Part of the reason my weight has always been something I felt ashamed of was because I felt I could be doing better. I knew that if I tried hard enough and did the right things, the weight would come off. There was a pretty version of myself hiding underneath it all. If I tried hard enough, she would be the person everyone saw instead of the disaster that was my actual body. But every time a new attempt to diet and lose weight fell through, the shame and guilt just piled on that much thicker.

Then one day, something amazing happened. I learned that I was pregnant. My body was actually doing something good. Over the next nine months, my relationship with weight became even more complicated. As the pounds added up and my body grew and grew, I felt torn in two directions. On one hand, I knew that my body was doing what it was supposed to do. I knew that the weight was necessary and needed to bring my baby into this world. On the other hand, I was harder on myself than I’d ever been before. With each new clothing item that I outgrew, more guilt and shame built up in my heart. If I had just tried harder, I could be healthier now. If I had just lost the weight before, I’d be one of those pretty pregnant girls. If I had just dieted a little longer, these stretch marks would have never appeared. 

When the day finally came for my baby to arrive and the pregnancy to end, all I could focus on was getting my body back. I just knew that once my son was born, I would immediately feel so much better. As much as I loved him, I was ready to be the only one in my body for a while. I was ready to take on a new diet and a new workout and to finally get all of the extra weight off of me. What I wasn’t ready for was a c section. Suddenly, reality hit me hard.

Over the next few weeks following the birth of my son, I could only feel miserable about this body of mine. For the first time in my life, I felt completely disconnected from the shell I was living in. Everything was different in the worst way. Not only had I been cut open to my core, but I was in constant pain, and everything felt wrong. Every inch of my body had changed. I spent a lot of time staring at my reflection and trying to figure out who I was now. The stretch marks reaching around my thighs and across my stomach weren’t part of the body I knew. The wide hips weren’t there before, and that belly certainly didn’t look the same. I was devastated.

As my recovery progressed and the pain eased away, I slowly became more okay with this new body. It still didn’t feel quite right, but at least I wasn’t hurting. The majority of the baby weight fell away on its own, leaving me just ten pounds higher than I was pre-pregnancy. However, those ten pounds were now part of a completely new figure that I was unfamiliar with. I bought a few new clothes to suit this new body, focusing on the day when my doctor would clear me to begin a new diet and exercise plan.

Then, last week I found myself talking with a good friend of mine. As we brought up our babies, I casually mentioned the stretch marks I’d recently found around my c section incision. I complained that I’d made it through my whole pregnancy without any stretch marks on my stomach when suddenly they appeared post-surgery. I expected her response to be understanding and agreement, with her probably complaining about a part of her body in return. That’s common practice among women, after all. But instead, she surprised me. She just smiled and said, “I don’t really mind stretch marks, to be honest. I’ve actually had a baby, so I don’t care if I look like I did.”

Immediately I felt embarrassed and ashamed of myself in a new way, because I realized that she was right. I’d spent the past twenty two years of my life hating my body. I’d spent twenty two years telling myself all the reasons why I wasn’t good enough. Twenty two years of letting my weight dictate my self worth. I’d thought things about myself that I would never dare say to another person. I’d been bullying myself from the inside out. This body had housed my soul for my entire life, and this was how I had treated it.

Later that night, I went home and looked at my reflection yet again. Instead of seeing something lazy, something worthless, I saw something I was proud of. This body had been the vessel that my most precious gift was born from. Without this body, my son couldn’t exist. Without the stretch marks, I wouldn’t have had room for him to grow. Without these wide hips, I couldn’t have carried him to term. Without the extra weight, he wouldn’t have been healthy. For the first time in my life, I felt my perspective truly shift.

God created this body, and he created new life within this body. I was created in His image and I should be proud of that. This body has brought me through every step of my life. This body is healthy, and functions in all the ways I need it to. This body allows me to see and think and breathe and laugh and love. Every thought I’ve ever had, everything I’ve ever felt, has been within the confines of this body. Even though it may have grown and shifted and stretched, this body is still my body, and it can do amazing things. This body has ached for months on end to reach its fullest potential and safely guide precious new life into this world. How could I ever look at something capable of a feat so powerful and be anything less than amazed?

From now on, I hope to keep my perspective straight. I want to honor my body in every way. I will continue to pursue a healthier life, including the way I speak to myself. I will treat my own body with respect and dignity. Whenever I begin to doubt myself, and feel the insecurities creeping in, I will look to my son and know what I am capable of. I will see the stretch marks and wear them with pride. I will accept the shape of my body and be grateful to call it my home.