Eat Drink & Be Mary: 2018


The Stars Around

You guyssss, it has been far far too long since I've been typing away in this little white box talking to y'all.  Time is flying by SO INCREDIBLY FAST now that our little Baby T is here.  Not to mention I've gone back to work so basically we're living in organized chaos over here.

BUT, I have something something near and dear to my heart to share with y'all today.  And honestly I've been meaning to show my face around here since Cole turned 6 months, so keep your eyes out for a 6/7 month update (even though he's already 7.5 months old😮) here soon and hopefully I won't be so absent in the future.

So back to why we are here today.  

YOU GUYSS....a couple weeks ago The Stars Around sent me the cutest custom star map and framed it.  And I'm in love.

My world literally stopped the second Cole was laid on my chest and I loveeeee having that moment frozen in time in his nursery.  I actually searched and searched (for days, seriously) to find the star map I liked best.  And y'all The Stars Around delivered.  *insert heart eyes*  

Once I had fallen in love with their unique star maps I knew it'd be the perfect Christmas gift!  So I requested a preview so I could show Thomas EXACTLY what I wanted, and ya'll it turned out so good.  So its no surprise I was over the moon when they asked to partner with me that I was over the moon excited to share this with y'all.  

Its the perfect FINAL touch on Cole's nursery.  And I love the personalized touch it adds.  Not to mention I can definitely see lining up several of these in the family room when we have a couple of kiddos.  

When checking out, if you mention I sent ya then she'll throw in a free greeting card with the custom star map on it.  

ps. After talking to some friends, how cute with this be as a wedding gift too 😍

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11 Beach Essentials for Baby

Well, we survived.  Last week we went on our annual beach trip with Thomas' family, and this was our first time with baby along for the ride.  And Cole did SO GOOD.  He's a pretty chill baby anyways, but he's definitely a true beach bum like his mommy and daddy.  

I've got to credit our successful beach trip to a couple things:

My #1 travel tipbring everything you normally use.  Which is basically why we packed our entire house BUT it having things Cole was used to really helped make a smooth transition.  (thanks to my SIL for the solid piece of advice)

#2. Bring the essentials (I listed ours below.) They made our beach days SO MUCH EASIER on all of us.  

#3. Low Expectations.  That might sound bad, but we went into the beach trip we'll go out to the beach and see how he does, and if he's having a hard time we'll bring him back to the house.  That way when he did perfectly fine we were thrilled.  

#4. Avoid the hottest/harshest hours of the day (12-3pm).  We came up for lunch around 12:30ish each day and I stayed up with him through the HOT hours of the day.  That way he could take a solid nap in the AC in his rock n play (where he normally naps), and we avoided the hours the sun uv rays are the harshest.  No way I wanted to have a sunburnt baby!

With all that said here are the end all be all items when it comes to having a successful beach trip with a baby.  

Thanks to those that shared their tips with me before we went on Insta.  Y'all are the real MVP.  ;)

Rashguards - he may have only dipped his toes in the ocean but babies in swimsuits are so adorable..not to mention they also help protect from the sun

if you're baby has especially sensitive skin, someone recommended to me to just have them wear a sleeper so the entire body is covered

"Sharks" Rashguard | Old Navy (on sale for $8)

Flag-Print Rashguard | Old Navy (on sale for $7.50)

Bouncer - perfect for naps on the beach

other items suggested for baby to hang out in/on while at the beach: Fisher Price dome-on-the-go (SO SO heavily suggested by many many moms I talked to), just laying in a baby tent, baby bath tub with towel covering it

Fan - I intially got our rechargeable fan for stroller walks because summers in SC are HOTTTT but of course this was needed on the beach especially on extra hot, low wind days

Baby Sunscreen - of course consult your pediatrician, but ours okayed it if Cole was going to be in the sun for long periods of time

Tent - whether its a tailgating style tent (we have one of these each year tiny baby or not) or a tent specifically for baby this is a SUPER MUST HAVE if you plan on being outside any extended amount of time especially if you're like us and go all. dang. day.

Cole's personal tent

Portable Charger - our fan was rechargable so I could just continue to run it with the help of this

Sun hat - duh.  It took me a while to find a hat small enough for Cole (because most are 0-6m and 6-12m), but I found a 0-3m at TJ Maxx, and Cole literally cracks me up in it.

White Noise App - this is a must have in my book no matter what the situation, and we used it on the trip to and from the beach.  But when bab is losing it on the beach, just break out this app.  I use the app GUVA and the white noise feature is free but they have TONS of different sound options.  

Nursing Cover - If you're breastfeeding a nursing cover will be a life saver.  A towel would work but my cover made it SO easy and convenient.  I actually won mine in a giveaway from Covered Goods.

Paci Clips - If you're anything like us, pacifiers are a total life saver, and ain't nobody got time for a paci falling in the sand.  My favorite one so far is from Brixton Phoneix, but I'm looking for more, so leave you're favorite place to buy them in the comments!

Mini Pool - If you're little one can sit up I highly recommend bringing a mini pool.  Our niece played in this for hours!  It contained her so she wasn't constantly bee-lining towards the ocean or getting sand everywhere, but was super entertaining and kept her cool.  Genius idea if you ask me.

I hope my tips & list of essentials helps y'all as you get ready to go on your own beach trip.  If you had to add something to this list what would it be?

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Happy Monday friends.  Is it just me or are the weeks just flying by lately?  We had such a blast at the beach last week with Thomas' family and this past weekend has been filled with all of the after vacation chores.  Laundry (and more and more laundry), grocery shopping and meal prepping.  Adulting...amiright?

So let's just get into this weeks' five shall we?

Speaking of our beach trip, I'll be working on a recap post to come in the near future and a post on "Beach Baby Essentials" for Thursday.  But until then...

T W O | ENSO RINGS (entire site is 15% off for the 4th of July)
I love these silicone rings I got several months ago.  They're my favorite while cleaning or going somewhere that I don't want to ruin/lose my wedding ring...not to mention they're super cute.   Oh and were featured on Shark Tank a little bit ago.  Anyone else a Shark Tank super fan?  #guilty  
I have the stackable rings: "braided" in white and "hammered" in carolina blue.

T H R E E | Love to Dream Swaddle
 Cole sleeps in this swaddle every night and up until our beach trip (which apparently TOTALLY threw off his sleeping patterns) he started sleeping from 11-7:30 for over a week.  And before that he was only waking up once at 3:30am each night.  I'm not gonna lie, I'm dreading when he starts to roll and I have to break him from this swaddle.  But if you're searching for which one to get for your baby, I h i g h l y suggest this one.

F O U R | Meal Planning
Now that we're back from the beach, its time for me to get my eating and work out routine under control.  I talked a little about my plans for this week on IG stories (so make sure to follow along on there if you're interested in getting ideas for healthy meals each week -- and help me stay accountable!), and since I got some pretty positive feedback I wanted to share the spaghetti squash recipe I tried this week and two posts from the archives y'all might also like. 

Whole 30 Creamy Garlic Spaghetti Squash

Two 21 Day Fix Approved Overnight Oats Recipes

1 Week of 21 Day Fix Meal Plans

And that's another week of family updates and products I'm loving.  Only four things this week, but hey whatcha gonna do?  I am in the works of creating the "beach baby essentials" post that has been requested so keep an eye out for that later this week.

May your Monday be strong, and your coffee stronger.

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Another week has come and gone.  Gosh dang Summer always fly by WAYYY too fast.  BUT this week we have our toes in the water and booties in the sand so I can't really complain too much.  😉
So let's just hop right into it...

I have a new found love for listening to podcasts.  I blame those middle of the night feedings where my eyes are too tired to scroll through instagram or reading anything, but I need something to keep me awake.  My favorites  (spoiler: most are bachelor related) are: Almost Famous | The Lady Gang | Off the Vine | Help! I Suck at Dating | Babes & Babies | In This Together
If you listen to podcasts, leave your favorites in the comments below.

The other day Brittany (@brittfullwood) shared her go-to Starbucks drink and y'all it was so good, dairy free & cheaper than most starbucks orders.  WIN.  Grande iced coffee with almond milk and three shots of butter nut syrup.  Trust me; you need to try it

A couple of thoughts about last week's bachelorette.  1. I love Garrett and I'm pretty sure Becca does too - I'm guessing he "wins" at the end.  2. The whole Colton and Tia thing is just sketchy 3. They're obviously saving David and Jordan for the 2 on 1.  4. I'd be down for Blake, Wills or Clay being the next Bachelor.  Although I just read a facebook status about how Rashad Jennings should be the next one and I'd definitely be down for that.  Who do you want to be the next Bachelor?

Quite possibly the best invention ever.  We actually got this as a hand-me-down from my SIL (but I linked a similar one for you to get the idea) and it's legit.  It's just a little cushion that velcros around your carseat handle so it doesn't kill your arm as much. 




And that's it folks.  May your Monday be short and your coffee strong.  
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The Fourth Trimester | Postpartum Essentials

13.  13 must be the magical number around here because I've got thirteen postpartum essentials for y'all today and last week I shared thirteen pregnancy must haves.

It is so important to take it easy and recover during this "4th trimester" and these 13 (and one bonus) things really help during that period.  And I don't wanna waste any time without just hopping straight into so here they are...

Birth and New Mom Affirmations - Free Printables
get this free printable and more here

+ Depends - Easily my #1 suggestion for those first few weeks after birth.  So much easier than the mesh panties, huge pads, and all that jazz.  Trust me on this one.  

+ Nipple Shields - I didn't discover these until a week or two after Cole was born.  And while I don't suggest using them right away (unless a LC suggests or your baby isn't getting a deep latch) they did come in handy about 1.5 weeks in when I had some cracking and bleeding going on.  The shield simply gave that side some time to heal so we didn't backtrack in the progress we were making.  

+ Lanisoh Lanolin Nipple Cream - Speaking of sore nipples.  This stuff.  The hospital gave me a small tube (that still lasted a solid month) to use that was safe for Cole to breastfeed without me having to wipe it off, and then my mom went out and bought me a big tube of it.  It just soothes and makes it all a little better. 

one week postpartum

+ Disposable Nursing Pads - Two things about this product.  

1. I remember reading while I was pregnant to not use disposable ones but to get Bamboobies because the disposable ones would stick to your nipples.  BUT I found this to be the exact opposite, so I suggest getting the disposable ones and then saving the Bamboobies after the first 2-3 weeks when your nipples have healed and aren't as sensitive. 

2. We're 3 months into our breastfeeding journey and still going strong.  AND leaking is still happening.  I've heard varying answers on when you actually stop I'm thinking this is when the Bamboobies can come into play because you can just wash them and use again for months to come.

pictured: Bamboobies, Depends and large pads 

[ you might also enjoy HOSPITAL BAG: WHAT YOU REALLY NEED]

+ Baby Tracker App - As soon as we moved into our maternity/recovery room the nurse let me know she'd be in periodically to check how often and how long Cole was nursing for and his diaper count.  She mentioned some women use an app to track it (since your mind is basically mush) and I instantly downloaded this app -- and I haven't stopped yet.

It tracks nursing (bottle feeds, pumping and supplementing as well), diaper count, sleep, growth and more. 

You can see what the app looks like under my "Baby Products" Highlights on Instagram.

+ Oatmeal - Not only is this a quick & easy breakfast option, but it's supposed to be good for milk supply.

+ Snacks - Going along with the oatmeal above, anything that is easy to grab and eat is pretty essential.  More than likely you'll have a baby in one hand and only have one hand to grab something to eat.  Or you'll be trying to squeeze in something between all the cuddles and lack of sleep and quick and easy is the way to go.  And once again, this is especially crucial if you plan to breastfeed for two reasons: keeping up milk supply and you'll simply be hungry ALL. THE. TIME.

+ Water - You need all the water in those weeks of recovery, but especially if you are breastfeeding.  

+ Nursing Tanks & Bras - Easy access to the boob is pretty essential when you have a newborn and you're trying to figure it all out and get a hold on all the new changes happening.  For me, I just didn't wanna waste anytime having him scream his head of when he was hungry messing around with difficult I basically lived in nursing tanks for at least the first two weeks.  

+ Comfy Clothes - Whether you plan to breastfeed or not you need to feel as comfortable as possible.  Your body is recovering from a pretty intense experience and no need to try to cram it into jeans right away.  Leggings, comfy oversized tees, and pajamas are the way to go.  Not to mention it's easier on your mental health to not try to force yourself back into your pre-pregnancy clothes right away.

And along those same lines, don't be afraid to keep out your maternity clothes.  In fact, I purposely bought maternity shorts (and only wore one pair once while pregnant) for the sole reason of being able to wear shorts soon after having Cole.  Not to mention I still wear my maternity jeans.  #noshame

+ Facebook Support Group - I mentioned in my pregnancy must haves post that a group of women that are going through the same thing you are is a MUST.  It's just so good having people going through the same things you're going through.  And I was lucky enough that my "March Mommies Group" stayed together and now we are navigating this postpartum and new mom life together.  

+ The Positive Postpartum Project  IG Account - I fount this account during my pregnancy and just NEW it'd be someone to follow for after baby was here.  They constantly share uplifting messages that are good for the postpartum mama to read.  Everything from healing, recipes, and encouraging messages.  I find myself "saving" many of their posts to go back and read again later.  Definitely check this one out.  

+ Do Something For You - Lastly, I think it is so so important to find something to do that makes you feel happy.  Something that makes you feel like yourself again.  Whether its exercising (with the doctors approval), painting your nails, throwing on a little makeup or taking a quick trip to a coffee shop to pick up some much needed caffeine I think it's super important to not lose yourself completely.  

I feel ya, motherhood is exhausting and that new little baby takes up a lot of your time, and while I know we wouldn't have it any other way its so so good for your mental health to take a little me time for yourself even if its only 5-10 minutes at first.  

BONUS:: Have your mom stay with you for the first couple days/weeks.  Seriously.  This is actually my number one suggestion.  If your mom can come stay with you (or any helpful family member - but there's something special about your mom helping you navigate this new mom life) for that first little bit.  DO IT.  

My mom stayed with us the first two weeks and she was a total life saver.  She constantly got me water and snacks.  She offered to changed Cole's diaper all the time.  Cleaned everything.  She answered any questions, shared in my obsession over any little thing Cole did, and even helped me bathe Cole for the first time.  Like I said, there is something just so special, and unique about having your Mom there.  I highly suggest it.  


my postpartum recovery

Cole's birth story part I

Maternity Pictures

What do you think is a total must have when it comes to recovering during postpartum?  

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Jackson Cole | THREE MONTHS

SIZE:  Sweet boy is still rocking those rolls.  Cole is about 14 lbs, and is still in size 2 diapers and 0-3 month clothes.  But he's starting to fit into his 3-6 month clothes and his 0-3 month onesies are definitely snug.  

BREASTFEEDING: He's still eating 10-15 minutes every 2-3 hours.  BUT really he'd rather talk and smile up a storm while eating instead.  And I'm still pumping once a day to freeze for the future.
SLEEP:  At night Cole gives me 5-6 hour stretches and wakes up between 3:30 and 4:30am.  He also slept straight through the night a handful of times!!

SCHEDULE: We pretty much have no schedule whatsoever (still) -- it's Cole's world and we're just living in it.  ;)  
Cole now consistently wakes up between 6:50 and 7:30 everyday, and I'm going to try to move his bedtime up to 8:30/9 depending on when he eats.  He's also staying awake between 1 hr 15-30 minutes and naps anywhere from 30-2 hours.  The goal would be to get him napping a consistent 1.5 or 2 hours so we could get on more of a set schedule...but I'm just rolling with it for now.  

MILESTONES: Y'all on father's day he laughed for the first time.  Talk about my heart melting.  Cole is also talking so so much.  He's continuing to become more and more alert, holding his head up SO well especially when we're assisting him with sitting/standing.

LOVES: his hands (spends all day trying to get them to his mouth and this chews/sucks on them),  fans, sleeping on mama, "the wheels on the bus..", playing airplane, the pool, his daddy face (literally all Thomas has to do is say "hey" and he gets the biggest smiles, and he's still loving his paci


DISLIKES: same as last month: getting out of the bath time, nose frida, and he's starting to come around on Tummy Time the stronger he gets but still lets us know when he's over it

PLACES HE'S BEEN: now that he's older we've started taking him more and more places, so I'm obviously not about to list them all.  BUT he took his first trip to NC to see my family, we went out to restaurants twice and he slept the whole time and he went to church for the first time.

PERSONALITY: He really it such a good, calm, happy baby.  But he's come into his own a little and is letting us know when he's unhappy about something - usually he's tired and we haven't been home where I can do our normal naptime routine right when he starts showing the signs.

WHO HE LOOKS LIKE: Daddy's Mini Me.  But he definitely has my lips..I'll take it!

NICKNAMES: buddy, bug, Coley and anything else I randomly make up

  • celebrated Thomas' first father's day
  • first mini road trip to NC
  • met more great-grandparents (G.G. and Bubby)
  • went in the pool
when everyone is taking a picture, but you just wanna stare at the fan

Here's to month four.  Time can slow down any day now, k thanks.  

one month  |  two months
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