My Favorite Things: Home Edition

My Favorite Things: Home Edition

I realized that home decor is one subject that I haven’t really talked about much on this blog, but I’ve always been a fan of interior design. My style is a bit minimalist, a lot bohemian, and a bit farmhouse inspired (I’ve seen way too many episodes of Fixer Upper). My home is still a work in progress, but there are definitely some pieces I’ve collected over the years that I love, and thought it would be fun to highlight them here rather than do a traditional home tour. It’s funny how certain objects can take on meaning in our lives. I’d love to hear about your decor style and favorite things in the comments.

IMG_0385

Dining Room Sign

I have a farmhouse style dining table and this sign from Smallwoods hangs behind it. I love the sentiment behind this sign. This quote by Walt Whitman (that is actually  paraphrased from one of his poems) reminds me to appreciate my time with my family. Looking back we’ll remember the time spent with people we love rather than the small grievances and annoyances. Smallwoods makes a variety of cute signs and even lets you customize framed photos and quotes. 

IMG_0390

Photo Wall

I know that some people love to hang family photographs but I always preferred to keep my walls looking pretty minimal. I usually also prefer artwork to personal photographs. But that made things look a bit impersonal, so I compromised with this Mixtiles photo wall. I love the cohesive, clean lines. Mixtiles is incredibly easy to use: just download the app, upload photos from your phone, and choose the style of frame that you would like. When they arrive you can just stick them straight onto your wall- no nails and hammer required, and you can rearrange or add to your wall anytime.

My Boys’ Nursery

My boys’ room has always been one of my favorite rooms. I love the soft, soothing colors. You definitely do not have to use dark colors for a boys room (although I’ve seen many beautiful rooms that do). I chose to decorate in shades of mint and light blue with white accents. There is also an animal theme going on. Their wall tapestry is from Society6. I’m getting ready to transfer Mason to a “big boy” room and I’m currently researching ideas. 

 

IMG_0407

My Hat Wall

As you can probably already tell from my Instagram feed, I love hats. I also love head wraps and pretty much hair accessories of any kind. After seeing so many hat walls on social media, I decided to display my own this way. I have more than what’s pictured here, and some have come from places like H&M, Banana Republic, and Nordstrom, but my favorite hat style is available on Amazon for less than $20! I have it in multiple colors.

 

IMG_0396 (1)

My Children of War Art Print

I used to live in Old Town Alexandria, and one of my favorite day dates in my neighborhood was browsing the art at the Torpedo Factory Art Center. I fell in love with a painting from Michael Fischerkeller’s Children of War series. Unfortunately the original wasn’t for sale at the time, but I was able to score this signed print. I really appreciate that you can get to know the artists at the Torpedo Factory Art Center. 

IMG_0389

The Boys’ Play Kitchen

Three boys means that I have a ton of toys everywhere. But this Kidkraft Farm to Table Play Kitchen that we purchased this past Christmas is one of my favorites, despite the fact that it took half the night to put it together. My boys love to play with everything in sight in the real kitchen, so I wanted to get them their own to hopefully keep them out of mine (so far this has been unsuccessful). I love that this particular set looks gender neutral and the colors complement my real furniture. It’s available on Amazon.

IMG_0406

My Grandad’s Swords

My grandad passed away after battling pancreatic cancer in 2017, and he and I were very close. I grew up visiting my grandparents every Sunday, and my grandad was present for every major life event that I experienced before his passing. During his life he traveled to many different countries thanks to a long career in the Air Force. He picked these swords up in South Korea. I keep them on top of my fireplace in remembrance of him. 

Those are some of my favorite items in my home. What items have special meaning for you in your home? What’s your favorite home decor style?

 

Xo,

Courtney

My Cold Weather Capsule Wardrobe

My Cold Weather Capsule Wardrobe

*Pictured above- J.Crew Ella Open Front Long Sweater. Photo by Gorsky Freres @adisregardedboy

Now that the holidays are over we have a couple of months of winter weather to look forward to without the festive cheer. But there is some upside- we still have cozy sweaters, warm lattes, and some snow days ahead. Plus Valentine’s (or Galentines) day is right around the corner. I’m staying bundled up and trying to look chic until spring. My three back to back pregnancies left me in a bit of a clothing rut, so I made it my mission to start investing in myself last fall by building a casual, cold-weather capsule. My capsule is mainly casual because I’m a stay at home mom, but a casual capsule is an asset to any woman who wants to look chic without having to put too much effort in while “off duty”. The key to building a capsule is investing in pieces that can be mixed and matched, but investing doesn’t have to come with a hefty price tag. Choose the highest quality pieces that fit your budget, whatever it is, to get the most wear out of your items. 

My cold weather capsule is actually full of pieces from Abercrombie & Fitch. Yes, you read that right. Hear me out. If you haven’t seen what they’ve been up to lately you should take a look. The once infamous mall store from my middle and high school years has gone through an impressive rebrand, particularly online. They’re now known for classic yet on-trend pieces and much more inclusive sizing and advertising. I’m a huge fan of their denim- the curve love jeans are perfect for curvy women like myself, and they carry a wide variety of styles and washes. I’m also a big fan of their Soft AF line. Their super soft tops are perfect for lounging at home but far from frumpy; they work for everything from running errands to date night.  And their statement outerwear covers all the bases, you’re certain to find a style that you like. 

Now that I’m done talking you through my favorite casual brand, I’ll walk you through the key pieces in my capsule:

Leggings- These are pretty much a must for moms, but many women who work out or are constantly on the go love them too. I like the Zella high waist leggings from Nordstrom because they suck everything in. They also make a maternity version

Drapey T-shirts- When I am wearing leggings, I pair them with these long-sleeve drapey t-shirts from Abercrombie. They’re soft, flattering, and most importantly- come down long enough to cover my derriere. 

 

High waist denim- I love high waist denim because I’m petite and it makes my legs look longer and also hugs my waist perfectly. I really like these skinny jeans from Abercrombie and these Mom Jeans and straight leg ankle jeans that look amazing with ankle boots.

Cropped sweaters- I was never a huge fan of knitwear until recently, because I always thought the bulk from thick fabric was unflattering on my frame. This all changed when I learned to pair high waist denim with cropped sweaters. I actually wrote a separate guest blog post on this topic on The Real Chic Life. This combo highlights my waist and makes my frame look leaner and longer even while wearing cozy thick fabric. Here are a few cropped sweaters that I love from Abercrombie. 


Bodysuits- Bodysuits also look amazing with high waist denim, especially thicker vintage style denim. This wrap front bodysuit is soft and flattering. 

 

Screen Shot 2020-01-12 at 11.19.20 PM

Teddy coat- I love teddy coats because they’re so on trend but also look pretty luxe. I have a cropped teddy coat from Urban Outfitters that I love, but I’m also a fan of longer teddy coats like these styles from Abercrombie and Nasty Gal

Screen Shot 2020-01-12 at 11.32.47 PM

Coatigan- This coat/sweater/blazer hybrid from J Crew is one of my favorite pieces in my fall/winter wardrobe. It’s casual but also a bit polished. I can throw it on over leggings or jeans. 

Screen Shot 2020-01-12 at 11.36.01 PM

Military parka- I love that this coat from Abercrombie is warm but not bulky. It has a slim, figure hugging shape.

 

Screen Shot 2020-01-12 at 11.40.03 PM

Those are the key items in my cold weather capsule. In a separate post I may cover shoes and accessories. What are your favorite cold-weather items and brands? 

Xo,

Courtney 

Life with 3 Under 3

Life with 3 Under 3

My oldest son Mason just celebrated his third birthday on New Years Day so I can’t say I have three under three anymore. But the past three months have been interesting to say the least. I haven’t really talked much about the experience, so I wanted to start off the new year with a quick review of my experience so far and some of the challenges I had to overcome, because while there were plenty of special moments, it definitely wasn’t easy.

As you may know if you’ve read some of my previous posts, I didn’t have too difficult of a time transitioning from one kid to two because my middle child Myles was so incredibly easy going. But our new addition Maxwell was not so easy going in the beginning. About 2 weeks in, he developed what the pediatrician called “a touch of colic” which basically meant he would scream and cry all day and night if he wasn’t held, but he was usually perfectly content as long as he was in someone’s arms. If you’ve never dealt with colic, trust me it can be pretty stressful. And with two other toddlers to take care of, unfortunately holding Maxwell all day long was just not an option.

I got around this by “baby wearing” as much as I could. I used this inexpensive carrier (available on Amazon). It allowed me to keep my daily schedule with the other boys mostly the same. I also gave Maxwell Gerber Soothe probiotic drops at the advice of my pediatrician, and I do think they helped a little. From there we just waited it out. 

Another huge challenge was sleep deprivation. Maxwell was up every 2 hours until very recently and it was hard to transition back into those sleepless nights again so soon. I divided up night shifts with my husband but we knew we would mostly just have to hang in there until he started sleeping longer stretches.

Breastfeeding and pumping around my toddlers was also challenging because they demanded so much of my attention during those times. Maxwell’s weight dropped a little after his birth and our pediatrician recommended that I supplement with formula until it rebounded. After that I made the decision to continue breastfeeding and supplementing (something I also did with Myles) so that I could give Maxwell the benefits of breastfeeding while also being able to make a quick bottle of formula if I couldn’t nurse him or pump around my toddlers during the day. I plan to continue doing this for the next few months at least.

But despite those challenges some things went really well. Mason and Myles handled the transition to being a family of five well. I can tell that Myles (who was 17 months at the time of Maxwell’s birth) has felt a little jealous at times, but because he’s so easygoing it hasn’t been much of an issue and I’ve tried to prioritize giving him individual attention. Mason was really excited and has been very sweet towards his little brother. Dealing with colic was new for me, but Maxwell’s general care was still easier this time around because I have experience. I also felt like he became a part of the fabric of our family very quickly.

Now that Maxwell is 3 months old the clouds have lifted and we’re not really dealing with colic anymore. Instead we get to see his super sweet personality forming, and I’m beginning to develop routines that align with Mason and Myles’ schedules. He’s even starting to have a more consistent bedtime, which means more “me time” and alone time with my hubby. And there are moments when I’m holding Maxwell and my other boys are snuggled up against me and I feel so blessed. 

But during peak exhaustion I had considered getting a mother’s helper and strongly recommend that route if its a possibility for you and you need an extra pair of hands. But I waited so long to consider that option that now things are finally getting easier and I’m not sure if I want to use a mother’s helper. But I will keep you posted on what that’s like if I do.

I’m sure there are a lot of things I could discuss in more detail, but that’s a brief overview of my my life with three under three. I’m excited to see how the next year unfolds.

Xo,
Courtney

Style Inspo with Pink Blush + My Top Fall Fashion Tips

Style Inspo with Pink Blush + My Top Fall Fashion Tips

*The top mentioned below was gifted by Pink Blush, but all opinions are my own. 

Fall is without a doubt my favorite fashion season, and now that the season has officially started, I’m already starting to wear some of my favorite pieces. Feeling stylish while 36 weeks pregnant isn’t easy, but thankfully Pink Blush’s line of maternity clothes are comfortable and always on-trend. They’re really at the top of their class when it comes to making clothing that women actually want to wear to look and feel good during pregnancy. 

One of my favorite pieces currently is the Striped V-neck Tie Front Maternity Top pictured above (and fyi, it comes in a non-maternity version that you can find here). It’s incredibly soft, accommodates my rapidly expanding bump perfectly, and works with a variety of looks. It also comes in black with white stripes. Here I styled it with denim, over the knee boots, and one of my signature hats for a casual yet on-trend look that’s perfect for grabbing a meal with friends. 

You can easily style a date night look with this top by pairing it with black denim, heels or booties, and a moto jacket. Or turn it into a comfy casual look perfect for running errands or heading to the park by adding a pair of black joggers or leggings, tennis shoes, and a denim jacket. The possibilities are pretty endless, making this top a wardrobe staple. You can check out more cute and versatile tops from Pink Blush here

I’m excited to continue wearing this piece and some of my other favorites throughout the season. Here are my top 5 tips for transitioning into a fall wardrobe:

  • Accessories are everything. This is the time to break out boots, hats, scarves, and jewelry. Simply adding on accessories really ramps up the style factor on any outfit. 
  • Don’t be afraid to mix neutrals. Black, brown, beige, grey, and navy can all look amazing together. 
  • Adopt a signature print. Leopard and plaid are popular choices for fall and look amazing, but so do stripes, florals etc. A signature print lets you mix and match simpler wardrobe staples without having to think too hard. 
  • A pop of color is always refreshing. There are so many ways to incorporate a pop of color- lipstick, your nail polish, a bag, or your shoes are all easy ways to go bold when you’re wearing fall neutrals. 
  •  Make a statement with your outerwear. Once the temps cool down and you have to wear a jacket, you might as well make it one that immediately displays your chic sense of style. Moto jackets, trench coats, wrap coats, and teddy bear coats are some of my favorites. 

What are your favorite fall clothing items? If you have any additional tips for transitioning into a fall wardrobe please share. 

 

Xo,

Courtney

What’s In My Hospital Bag- Round Three

What’s In My Hospital Bag- Round Three

I’m nearing the end of my pregnancy (my due date is next month!) and I have my hospital bag packed early this time. During my second pregnancy I also packed early and it turned out to be a smart move because I spontaneously went into labor at 36 weeks. Now that I know what to expect, I’ve narrowed my hospital bag list to some essentials and a few comfort/splurge items (because at this point I feel like I deserve it). Hopefully this list helps another expecting/future mom out there, but if you’ve already gone through labor and delivery I’d love to hear about what you packed. A lot of these items can be ordered and delivered to you within a couple of days on Amazon. I think the most important thing to remember though is that the hospital will provide most of what you really need. Here is everything currently in my hospital bag:

Screen Shot 2019-09-09 at 9.17.01 PM

Kindred Bravely French Terry Racerback Nursing BrasI know I raved about Everlane’s tank bra in my previous post about my favorite maternity items, but I’ve been meaning to post an update. They were a God-send, pretty much until I hit third trimester. As my breasts continued to increase in size (and I haven’t even started breastfeeding yet) I started to experience spillage with the Everlane bras. They just aren’t big enough to accommodate my pregnancy/breastfeeding size, but I’m hoping to get some use out of them later after I’m done breastfeeding. While looking for an alternative, I came across the Kindred Bravely nursing bras and decided to give them a try. These bras are amazing! Not only are they incredibly soft but they’re also supportive. Even with pesky pregnancy hormones they don’t irritate me at all. I don’t experience any spillage and the straps always stay in place because of the racerback style. The Kindred Bravely website has a really helpful guide for choosing the right size. Just fyi, this particular style is meant for sleep/loungewear, so there’s no padding. I have two packed in my bag.

Screen Shot 2019-09-09 at 9.19.07 PM

Emma + Ollie Postpartum Belly WrapThis will be my first time using a belly wrap after pregnancy, but I’ve heard good things from friends about how the right wrap or girdle can offer support as your stomach (and other organs) settle back into place. I found this affordable option on Amazon and I’m looking forward to trying it out. 

Screen Shot 2019-09-09 at 9.21.30 PM

Motherhood Maternity Long Sleeve V-Neck Ruched TeeI packed a maternity top and leggings for my going home outfit. Unfortunately a pregnant stomach does not go back down immediately after delivery (I usually look like I’m still several months pregnant) so maternity items will ensure that I’m comfortable when I leave. Motherhood Maternity’s ruched t-shirts are a great basic to have in your pregnancy wardrobe. They’re flattering and can work with a variety of looks. 

Screen Shot 2019-09-09 at 9.24.42 PM

Zella Mamasana Live In Maternity Ankle LeggingsI love these leggings because they suck in everything below the belly and they’re still comfortable because of the over-the-belly panel. I picked them up during the Nordstrom Anniversary sale and have kept them in heavy rotation. I’m sure they will offer great support when I leave the hospital. 

Screen Shot 2019-09-09 at 9.27.18 PM

Stars Above Soft Notch Collar NightgownYou should pack at least a couple of pairs of comfy pajamas that allow for easy breastfeeding. I love these pajama dresses from Target because they’re comfortable, nice enough to wear in front of guests if you want, and the neckline unbuttons easily for breastfeeding. 

Screen Shot 2019-09-09 at 9.29.39 PM

Barefoot Dreams Cozychic Socks, Lite Ribbed Robe, and Lite Circle CardiganI’m a huge fan of everything Barefoot Dreams makes. A couple of these items were splurges for me, but I really think this Oprah endorsed brand is amazing. The cardigan and robe are so incredibly soft and cozy and give me all the fall feels. It’s a good idea to pack a robe and slippers or cozy socks in case you want to walk around the hospital while you’re dressed in your delivery gown or to feel a little cozier in your room. 

Screen Shot 2019-09-09 at 9.31.22 PM

BabyBliss Reusable Bamboo Nursing PadsIt takes a few days for your milk to come in after birth, but before that you’ll produce colostrum (an important source of nutrients) for your baby. If you’ve already had a baby before the milk may come in faster. Once it does come in you will need nursing pads to absorb leaking milk in your bra. I’ve used disposable nursing pads in the past but prefer the reusable kind that I can just throw in the washing machine. This saves money and I think they’re more comfortable. 

Screen Shot 2019-09-09 at 9.34.19 PM

Frida Mom Upside Down Peri BottleIf you haven’t experienced childbirth yet I don’t want to gross you out, but things get very messy and if you have a vaginal birth you will be sore and may even need some stitches. The hospital provides all sorts of things to help you recover like ice packs, witch hazel, pads, and a plastic peri bottle to rinse yourself off every time you use the restroom (and they’ll send you home with a ton of extra supplies). A lot of women aren’t huge fans of the standard issue peri bottle though, and Frida Mom (the makers of the amazing Frida Baby products) came out with an upside down version that is supposed to be so much easier to use. A friend recently introduced me to the Frida Mom line and I can’t wait to try this. 

Screen Shot 2019-09-09 at 9.37.41 PM

Frida Mom Disposable Postpartum UnderwearAnd because things get messy after birth (think an extremely heavy version of your period) the hospital will provide disposable mesh underwear to wear with giant pads. Some women don’t like them but I actually think they’re pretty comfortable. The only problem is I always run out of them and then resort to using inexpensive Hanes briefs until the bleeding slows down (but there’s nothing wrong with using regular, comfortable underwear that you don’t mind ruining if you want). This time I plan to keep the stretchy comfort going a little longer with Frida Mom’s disposable underwear. They also make a variety of other postpartum products that I may order once I run out of my stockpile from the hospital. 

Headbands and hair ties- I’ll probably stick to simple buns while I’m in the hospital so I packed a few hair supply essentials. 

Toiletries- I also packed the essentials like a toothbrush, deodorant, etc. The hospital will also provide some basic toiletries but you may prefer to have your own. Some women like to bring their own towels for comfort too but I always leave mine at home. 

Makeup- If you like to wear makeup it’s a good idea to bring some along for pictures and/or visits with family and friends. Putting on a little makeup always makes me feel more put together after birth.

Electronics and entertainment – I packed a phone charger, and if you have an Ipad you may want to download a few of your favorite shows or movies on that, or bring a book or two for entertainment. 

Screen Shot 2019-09-09 at 9.41.08 PM

Boppy Nursing PillowBoppies make certain breastfeeding positions more comfortable by providing extra support as you hold the baby. I used mine often the last time I was in the hospital, and they make great infant loungers later on. 

Screen Shot 2019-09-09 at 9.44.25 PM

Aden + Anais Stroller BlanketThe hospital will provide everything you need for the baby while you’re there, including clothing, diapers, pacifiers, and blankets for swaddling (and let you take a lot home). But you may want to bring something personal to drape over the baby in the car seat when you leave. I like Aden + Anais because they make high-quality muslin products and muslin fabric is breathable and therefore gives me peace of mind. 

Going home outfit for baby- You’ll also need an outfit for the baby when you leave, although you can usually dress the baby in clothing you brought the entire time if you want. I usually pack 1-2 going home outfits. 

That’s everything in my hospital bag! I’d love some feedback, is there anything I missed? If you’ve gone through labor and delivery in a hospital what items were you glad you packed and what do you wish you had left at home?

 

Xo,

Courtney

Pre-Fall Inspiration + 5 Fun Things to do with Your Kids in the DMV Area Next Month

Pre-Fall Inspiration + 5 Fun Things to do with Your Kids in the DMV Area Next Month

*The sweater below was gifted by Pink Blush but all opinions are my own.

 

I’m currently 29 weeks into my pregnancy and attempting to have a pretty low-key summer, but my family and I do have a lot on our agenda for August. I’m already thinking ahead to fall though, and I love that we’ll be transitioning to fall next month. I can’t wait for cozy sweaters, warm lattes, changing leaves etc in addition to the fact that I’m excited about having a fall baby this year. 

Speaking of cozy sweaters…I’m no stranger to the Pink Blush brand (I’ve worn their clothing in all three of my pregnancies and they also have non-maternity clothing for women) but they recently gifted me with this gorgeous and very on-trend leopard print maternity cardigan, and gave me the perfect opportunity to start thinking about my pre-fall wardrobe. I love that the leopard print is both bold and neutral, you can easily pair it with a variety of items in a neutral color palette. It’s also incredibly soft and I can’t wait to get cozy in it both before and after the baby comes. You can shop the cardigan here

Other items at the top of my pre-fall list include hats (they instantly add a dose of style to any outfit), open toe booties for the summer to fall transition, and denim. 

Another thing I’m excited about is taking my kids to do fun activities as the weather starts to cool down next month. I can’t say I’ll miss these 90+ degree temps. Here are 5 fun activities to do with kids in the DMV area in September:

  • Visit a farm- I love taking my boys to farms. Wide open spaces, fresh air, animals, and delicious fresh food are perfect for families with small children. Some farms even have elaborate outdoor play spaces. A few of my favorites are Great Country Farms (Bluemont, VA) Cox Farms (Centreville, VA),  Miller Farms (Clinton, MD) and Braehead Farm (Fredericksburg, VA- worth a trip for families who live in the Stafford area). The Cox Farms Fall Festival also starts September 14. 
  • Visit the zoo- The Smithsonian National Zoo’s free admission makes it a great choice for families, and visits are much more enjoyable when the heat isn’t unbearable. 
  • Attend a Washington Nationals home game- Another activity that’s great when the sun isn’t beating down on you is attending a baseball game. The stadium has a great selection of food, fun family theme nights, and places you in close proximity to other DC area attractions.
  • Attend the Prince George’s County Fair (Sept 5-8, Upper Marlboro, MD)- who doesn’t love a good carnival? Find more info here
  • Visit a Museum- DC has a number of amazing museums with free entry every day, but take advantage of Smithsonian Magazine’s Museum Day to visit a handful that normally charge an entry fee on September 21. You can download tickets here starting August 15. 

Do you have any recommendations for fun things to do with kids in the DMV area this fall? I also travel a lot and would love to hear about activities in Hampton Roads, NYC, and other areas. What are you looking forward to the most about fall?

 

Xo,

Courtney

The Routines That Keep My Household Afloat

The Routines That Keep My Household Afloat

Now that I’ve been a Mom of two for over a year (and am getting closer and closer to being a Mom of three!) I’ve realized the key to success in my household is creating routines and sticking to them, and how routines might help others even if you’re a parent (or future parent) of one. My household does the best when we stick to established routines, and when we stray from them for too long chaos usually ensues! Below I’ve listed some of the routines that I use to keep my sanity on weekdays, including the kids’ daily routines, my weekday mealtime routine, and most importantly our bedtime routine (is there anything parents want more than more sleep?) 

The Kids’ Daytime Schedule

We typically follow the same schedule Monday through Friday. When the kids wake up I let them play for about half an hour, make breakfast, then let them watch cartoons while I do some laundry or cleaning (yes, I am pro screen time when I need a distraction).

After that we do an at home preschool program by Susie of the Busy Toddler. It’s meant for kids ages 2.5 and up, but my youngest Myles still participates sometimes. The lessons typically involve a song or two, a book, and 2-3 hands on activities. I get most of the suggested books from the library, and the rest of the books and supplies on Amazon.

After “preschool” and more play time I make lunch and put the boys down for a nap. It took a little while to get both of them on the same nap schedule. This involved doing my best to keep Myles awake until after lunch, until he got used to it. Getting them down for a nap at the same time is so worth it, because it guarantees me an hour or two of free time where I can get some things done or take a nap myself (which has been helpful this pregnancy). If you have two children close in age I recommend getting them on the same nap schedule as early as possible. 

After nap time I take them out in the stroller for a walk or some time at the park or library. Then I just let them play until my husband comes home and he takes over while I make dinner. The rest of the evening typically revolves around whatever my husband and I are doing.

Mealtimes

I love to eat but I am not the type of person who loves to cook. I’ve developed a few hacks to make things easier for myself. The first thing I do to make things easier is never taking my kids grocery shopping. I rarely go to the grocery store at all these days, unless I’m running in for a quick item or two. The rest of the time I order groceries through Amazon Prime Now. They are conveniently delivered to my door and as long as you buy at least $35 worth of groceries the delivery fee is free (although you can add on an optional tip for the driver). This means no more struggling with a crying toddler or two while I schlep down aisle after aisle, and grocery shopping no longer raises my blood pressure like it has in the past. 

For breakfast I usually alternate between whole wheat pancakes, Abe’s amazing vegan muffins (I cannot stress enough how amazing they are), cinnamon raisin toast, or scrambled eggs with fresh fruit for my kids. In the future I’d love to expand to some more healthy recipes but for now these options are quick and always work.

Lunch is usually peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or Dr. Praegar’s spinach, broccoli, sweet potato or kale littles with veggies or fruit. I don’t experiment much with lunch foods because my oldest Mason is so picky.

Dinner is when I do the most experimenting. I recently restarted my Hello Fresh subscription so that I can learn more vegetarian meals, and we go meat free 3 times a week with their veggie plan. I won’t keep the subscription going forever, but for now it’s a great way to learn new recipes and cooking skills, and having a subscription has definitely increased my interest in cooking. The rest of the week I cook with meat from a farm CSA (community supported agriculture) share. This allows us to purchase 15 lbs of pasture raised, hormone-free meat each month. I purchase my share through Liberty Delight Farms. And once a week we order takeout for dinner (my favorite night of the week).

Bedtime

Thankfully both of my children sleep through the night at this stage (I’m getting ready to start over with baby #3 so wish me luck!) but we got there by moving the kids out of our bedroom, establishing a bedtime routine, and using the cry it out method (aka sleep training) for a little while. Moving the kids out of my bedroom was vital for me. I always start off with co-sleeping before moving my kids to a bassinet or pack n play in my room. But there’s something about having me nearby that just causes my kids to wake up looking for my attention (or milk) more often. I was amazed at how much longer they started sleeping when they left my room. This is only recommended when your kids are about 6 months +.

Crying it out is a controversial method, I know some parents can’t stand to hear their little ones’ cries go unanswered and I felt the same way at first. We tried it with my son Mason when he was about 5 months old because I was still getting up multiple times a night and feeling like a zombie at work. The first night of crying it out my husband had to stop me from going to him and I felt so sad. But then when he finally fell asleep, he slept for the rest of the night! On the second night he cried for a much shorter interval before falling asleep. After a few days he barely cried at all. The time it takes to get this method to work can vary but trust me it does work. And both of my kids survived the experience and are happy and very attached to me. 

Some people are amazed at how easily they usually fall asleep at home but it’s because we’ve been doing the same bedtime routine for so long that they’re very used to what comes next. I use Honest Calming Lavender Bubble Bath to help the boys get in a sleepy mood. After bath time I read 1-2 board books that are appropriate for Myles, then take him to his bed and turn on 15 minutes of bedtime music on his Scout dog (I’ve also used a noise machine and night light in the past- the Hatch Baby Rest is amazing, but found that they do fine without it now). I rock him in my arms for 2-3 minutes then lay him down and leave. He’s usually asleep within 10 minutes without any fuss. Then I read 1-2 more advanced books for Mason and repeat the same music/rocking routine with his Scout dog. Sometimes he takes longer to fall asleep but he lays in his crib without crying until he does. Then I give myself a mental pat on the back and relax for about 30 mins before joining my husband for a Netflix show. 

I know a lot of people who co-sleep end up doing so long-term, but once my babies reached the 6 month mark having designated kid-free time every night and sleeping in my bed without them has been so beneficial to my mental health and my marriage.

Those are the most important aspects of my daily routine. I would love to hear your thoughts/tips for establishing a routine in the comments. 

 

Xo,

Courtney