Saturday, February 10, 2018

My experience with CoolSculpting at Amara Day Spa

Hi guys! I can't tell you how excited I am about this post today. It has been months in the making and I am finally ready to share my final results with you guys!

As you all know, I've had 3 kiddos now. Unless you are a magical unicorn woman who managed to look BETTER after pregnancy than before, chances are your babies reaked some amount of havoc on your body. Combine that with age and metabolism slowing down and it's safe to say that your post-baby body is a shadow of your pre-baby body. That's ok though! My children were worth every single stretch mark and fat pocket I accumulated, and I'd do it over a million times for them.

But sometimes it ok to miss who you used to be physically, or even to strive for a new level of physical improvement especially if you have never been able to feel at your goal before, at any point regardless of having children. My teens and early twenties I was in what I felt was my peak physical shape. I've danced since I was 6 years old. I cheered and danced in High School, cheered in college, and continued to be very active in working out after I was on my own. Unfortunately back then nature also tricked me into thinking that it was possible to eat 3 helpings of mashed potatoes in one sitting with no repercussions and survive solely on energy drinks and oatmeal cream pies and that this was going to last forever. WRONG. Just so ignorant. lol
I mean let's just take a moment of silence here for my pre-children body. This was in college and I actually had ABS people. ABS. I don't think I have seen abdominal muscles on myself since the beginning of 2011. (Sorry for the fuzziness, these pics are hella old and I can had to screenshot from my Facebook lol)

I gained 32 pounds when I got pregnant with Ava. I did end up losing all 32 fairly quick, but things were....let's just say, not the same as they used to be even though my weight was gone. It was like my weight had redistributed to different part of my body and I wasn't really loving the look. Next came William who's champ pregnancy clocked in at solid 40 pounds gained. That one took a while to recover from, not gonna lie. I started to notice that my body was not responding to weight loss in the way it used to and that things were gonna need to change with a quickness. I made changes to my diet and by about a year after his birth I was on the fast track to losing all the weight and then some. I ended up losing it all and actually got down to my wedding weight, but still no matter how much weight I lost I ALWAYS had a belly pooch and love handles. Then came Roman who clocked in at 37 pound weight gain and it was seemingly game OVER. I was eating clean and getting to that gym multiple times a week and putting work to get this fat gone. But it kind of felt hopeless because it WOULD NOT MOVE.

It became obvious to me that my weight loss had changed it's targeted areas. When people lose or gain weight, sometimes it's all over their whole body equally. Some only lose weight in the mid section, arms, trunk, butt, legs, but it's kind of funny that it's almost never where we need it from right? My current body pulls all of its weight loss in my arms, boobs, and legs. It holds onto ALL of its weight in my midsection. So I end up with what I call my chicken body. A round middle trunk on toothpicks, hahaha. Ok yeah, that is dramatic, but it is honestly how I felt sometimes. It seemed that no matter how much I hit the gym or cleaned up my diet, my gut and love handles never ever budged and I felt really defeated.

Liposuction is not something I ever considered. Number one it is very expensive, and second I understand it hurts like a mother. I didn't feel like my insecurities about my midsection would ever warrant needing this. But an alternative that was way less expensive and invasive, maybe I'd love to try it some day if I had a chance. A couple years ago something called CoolSculpting came out which was supposed to be an amazing alternative to lipo. Instead of invasively sucking out your fat during surgery, instead you freeze the fat cells (totally alert and awake) and they die off and absorb into your body never to return. "The CoolSculpting fat-freezing procedure is the only FDA-cleared,* non-surgical fat-reduction treatment that uses controlled cooling to eliminate stubborn fat that resists all efforts through diet and exercise. The results are proven, noticeable, and lasting—so you'll look great from every angle." DING DING! That was me to a T!

Here in Utah I have been a faithful client of literally my favorite day spa, Amara Day Spa and Salon. I had been going there for different services from hair appointments to massages and Botox over the last 5 years, and the owner Leigh is a dear sweet friend of mine. I was at a party in October with her and she was sharing her excitement that they were finally starting offering this amazing new service at their spa. I told her about my concerns and after discussing it she told me I would be a fantastic candidate for it, and she appreciated my honesty in only sharing things I truly love. She told me I would not be disappointed in the results and my followers would be so excited to see my results as it usually shrinks the fat area 25%, possibly more. I was in! Now I will say that I was little skeptical that it would work and I was not comfortable and never am comfortable sharing things with you guys that I don't actually, use, love, or would spend money on myself. I hated won't shlep nonsense, so I was nervous I wouldn't be impressed and let her down if I didn't want to share. I mean this is fairly new and I didn't know how much hype around something like this there really is, but if it really was legit, I wanted pretty much the whole world to know!

So without further ado, here you go friends! Let's dive into my experience, my results, and everything in between! Coolsculpting treatments usually come in 2 step parts. I chose to do my problem areas, my lower stomach and my love handles. Each area usually needs 2 different rounds about 6 weeks apart. Some areas that are larger might need more than one section twice, if that make sense. So for my stomach they needed to do it on each side at different times. One side for about 45 minutes, the other side for about 45 minutes. Then I would come back in a few weeks and do both sides again. This was the same with my love handles. Each side of my hips, one higher on the hip, one lower, then again in 6 weeks. This is me the day I got my stomach done at Amara!

I wore a comfortable pair of sweats and a sports bra. They place a gel pad over the area and then connect the machine to the area where it immediately sucks up the skin and fat into the large pocket of the handle. Some say that the initial sucking up can be uncomfortable, but it was definitely not an issue for me. The freezing starts to begin immediately, and you will start to feel the area literally freezing. This part is mildly uncomfortable. I do say mildly! It feels almost like when your hands have been in snow and then you run them under warm water. This only lasts for about 10 minutes before it goes completely numb and you no longer feel anything! At this point you can watch TV, play on your phone, Amara even will bring you drinks and food, you could even take a little nap if you wanted to! Once the time is up they remove the arm from the area and it kind of does look like a block of butter! It is crazy! Then they have to massage the frozen area for 2 minutes. This is honestly the most uncomfortable, possibly painful part of the entire experience but it is necessary and super affective! A thorough and deep massage of the area improves results up to 65%. So let them get in there and get in WORK on that massage cause it is over super quick. Then you are good to go! That's it! Seriously. The area will be numb, but you can walk right out of there in zero pain and go do whatever you want.

The rest of the day my stomach was reddish, numb and a little swollen looking but I was able to do all my normal activities. Now because I am sharing my entire experience good and the bad, some of you might experience some major swelling over the next few days. This all completely depends on your body and how it responds. By day 2 I legitimately looked pregnant. See below:

This did not affect my day at all, I just had to wear loose clothing for a few days. Swelling (if you have any) will subside within a few days, I think mine was completely gone within the week, and then it was time to watch the results slowly make their appearance! Some people's fat starts to dissolve faster than others, some slower, but usually you will see full final results within 3-4 months. But mine actually started to make major headway within 3 weeks. Every day it was better and better and flatter and flatter. I'm not kidding that I text Leigh and sent her photos asking if this was even normal for it to work this well this fast! I was floored. Here is a photo of my stomach before my very first treatment and then 3 weeks after my first treatment.

At 6 weeks I went back and took my before and after photos from my first round. This included my love handles as well, so you can also so either decrease! Here are those photos compared.

I mean what?? This my first round!! I couldn't wait to see the final results after I went back for my second treatment. So we repeated the same routine as last time with the love handles and stomach and I can honestly sit back and say I am astonished at the results. My second time getting it done I actually had almost no swelling that time, so clearly it was a one time thing for me. Here is the photo between my first round and my final round below and while they don't look different in the photos, it is the fact that my results have CONTINUED to improve over the course of the months!!
Here are the grids of my entire process. Before to after final treatment!
My final photos were taken in December, and now it is February and my results are the best they have ever been! Here is a photo of my current stomach 2 weeks ago (literally the messiest house EVER at the time) and the photo below that is my stomach as it is right now, as in 2 days ago.

The best news ever? It's that as long as you maintain being healthy and do not gain a ton of weight, the results are permanent. This is me now and it could actually make me cry, and actually has haha. I am sure iv'e annoyed my husband to no end with how much times I have showed him that I can't grab my fat roll on my stomach anymore. I would say "Remember? I used to be able to just grab the whole thing and giggle it!" I am 99% sure he'd wish I would stop talking about how amazing it is. Now this is not a fix all for bad habits. This is not a quick fix for eating terribly and laying on your couch. While the CoolSculpting does take credit for this direct fat loss, I do take credit for being responsible for my diet and trying to stay active and healthy, but friends...this is not some gimmick, this is not fingers crossed, hopefully it works for you kind of deal. It actually does work. Results are guaranteed. Of course everyone will be different and some people experience better or more obvious results than others, but you WILL see results even if they seem subtle at first!

I'm so grateful to Amara Day Spa for giving me the opportunity to try this out and trusting me to be the first one to relay this happy message for them. They have been amazing to work with and if you are considering this or will consider it at all, I couldn't recommend them more. Best yet Amara is running an amazing CoolSculpting special for the whole month of February and March! If you choose to do CoolSculpting with them you will get $200 off any CoolSculpting package, 20 units of free Botox (in one area) and 50% off any swimming suit with the package purchase (SEE IT HERE). Cause I mean you deserve a new suit with that new body right?? Consults with them are always free, so go see what they can do for you! They have locations in both Orem and Lehi and I was treated at both, and both locations treated me like gold. You can't go wrong. Here is their number: (801) 226-2300.

If you want to learn more about CoolSculpting from Amara, click HERE, if you want to read more about it from the CoolSculpting website, click HERE! Let me know if you have any questions, I am happy to answer anything I can! Thanks for reading about my journey, I know it was long but I wanted to share as much detail as I could about this awesome invention! xo

**This post is sponsored by Amara Day Spa but is unpaid and unbiased. All thoughts, reviews, and words are my own.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Strolling in style with UPPAbaby VISTA

GUYS! This post today is one I have been excited about for a long time, I am going to share with you my love for my new UPPAbaby VISTA double stroller and MESA carseat travel system! As soon as we found out we were expecting our 3rd child I knew for a fact we would need to upgrade from our single stroller to a double stroller. With the boys being only 2 years apart and William still relying heavily on being pushed around, it was time to do some research.

There are a lot of stroller companies out there, but I had quite a few prerequisites that had to fit the bill before I was willing to commit! My ideal stroller needed to be easy to fold and unfold because nothing is worse than being in a hurry and having a complex system on your hands that takes time to set up and break down! It also needed to be a stacked stroller as opposed to a double wide. It needed to be able to convert to a single in several different capacities with a car seat, bassinet, and toddler seat so I could adjust it accordingly if I only had one kiddo in tow, and finally it needed to have the option of a kickstand so Ava could ride along if she got tired!

Out of all the strollers out there, the UPPAbaby VISTA system met every single requirement I had! Not to mention it is absolutely beautiful and functional as well! Now all those features are great, but they don't mean anything if the quality is not there. That's why I headed off to my nearest Nordstrom to see the system in person and take it for a spin! Let me just tell you guys, it is more beautiful in person and even higher quality than I anticipated!

I'm sure I looked a little crazy with how excited I was pushing the display stroller around the store. This thing was flawless! It pushes so smoothly and it was super easy to turn and maneuver. I promptly text my husband several photos of the stroller announcing that this was truly "the Mercedes of stroller systems", and I truly meant it!

Since having our UPPAbaby VISTA, we have taken it countless places that have provided a stress free outing experience. We have gone to the mall, the zoo, and even a pumpkin patch with the VISTA! The robust wheels and shocks made it easy as pie to push through dirt and over rocks and grooves, something that most strollers would get stuck just trying to do! Aside from the compliments we get every time, we just love having such a functional travel system and can't wait to take it to even more locations to see how it does!

A few of my favorite features on this system are the adjustable handlebar that you can adjust to your comfortable height! The one button change is perfect for when my husband and I switch between pushing it on the same outing! He absolutely loves that he doesn't have to crouch over to push our kids! I also absolutely adore the extra large storage basket on the bottom! In the past I have had such limited space when out with my strollers and it felt like I had no where to put anything! Unlike the past where I had to hold all my shopping bags while out running errands, several bags AND my diaper bag fit flawlessly under the seat with room to spare! I also am obsessed with the bassinet! Just the other day we took our kids for a walk and it was a bit chilly! Instead of fastening the baby into his car seat, we played him in the bassinet, bundled him up in blankets, and zipped it up! He was comfy the entire walk and never made a peep! Not to mention the bassinet has been approved as overnight sleep option with a ventilated mattress inside of it! How may strollers can say that? Finally I love that the toddler seat reclines and allows for when William gets tuckered out while out on the run! Whenever he falls asleep we just recline his seat back and he is sleeping so comfy for the rest of his ride. You just can't beat that.

My absolute favorite part of this travel system though is how easy it is to snap together! Unloading it and setting it up from the car is as simple as pulling a latch on the side and it unfolds and opens right up! From there you can take the UPPAbaby MESA carseat and drop it right on to the adapter clips, and with a few snaps it is ready to go. If I need to push both babes at the same time, I simply clip on the extra adapters and in seconds it's 2 child capable. Ready to pack up and head home? I simply press the button on the top of my MESA carseat handle and it pulls right off! No confusing or complicated latches! To say I am impressed with UPPAbaby is a huge understatement, and I want you all to love it just as much as I do! Please keep an eye out for my Snapchat (@morganallenfam) and Instagram (@morgallen) stories/feeds because I am going to be sharing a step by step of each of the different functions and configurations and answering any questions you might have about the system! You don't want to miss it!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of UPPAbaby. The opinions and text are all mine.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Roman Shay - A birth story

One month ago on Thursday September 8th, Scott and I woke up early at 5:30am to head to the hospital for my scheduled induction. My parents were asleep downstairs as we tried to sneak out as quietly as possible.

It was still completely dark as Scott and I loaded up the car and made the 20 minute drive to the hospital. On the way we didn't say much because it was just so surreal that we were about to have another baby in a few short hours! We checked into the hospital at 6:50 and we were lead to the corner room at the end of the hall. Luckily I was the first labor of the day so I was able to snag the most spacious room with beautiful views of the mountains. The nurses started to hook up my IV and get me comfortable for what I thought would be several hours of labor. They decided to check my dilation immediatley and to everyones shock I was a 4 and 100 percent effaced, meaning I would have probably gone into labor on my own that day. At around 7:30 a nurse informed me that the doctor on call was going to be doing a shift change but he would love to come in and break my water before he left.

I was a little taken back because I hadn't even received my piton or epidural yet and I had always had my water broke after both of those things. I was a little nervous that breaking my water was going to hurt since it had always broken when I couldn't feel it, but I was pleasantly surprised that it didn't hurt at all, but it was the hugest gush of water. Peeing your pants doesn't even compare to how intense it was! Around this time they started my pitocin and asked me when I wanted my epidural. In both my previous labors I have opted to get the epidural ASAP since I really wasn't interested in feeling any pain at all. This time though I had a crazy thought. Spur of the moment I decided I wanted to wait as long as I could without getting the epidural so I could experience true labor.

The next hour I relaxed and put on my makeup as the pitocin kicked in. It wasn't very long before I started to feel some pretty good cramping and contractions. At first I thought it was kind of funny and would joke with Scott "oh that's a good one!" but pretty soon they started to get more and more intense and weren't so funny anymore! They say with pitocin the contractions are worse and more painful than natural labor, so my pain started coming hard and fast.

It started to get to the point that they would stop me mid sentence and I would have to concentrate on the pain, and over the course of the next 15 minutes they got worse and worse to were I was wincing and gritting my teeth. At that point I decided I wanted the epidural and called for my nurse. She came in to check me and I was an 8! I was shocked and freaked out because I was progressing so fast. We then decided to call my mom and tell her to come over to the hospital. I told the nurse I needed my epidural, but that was when I was told that there was now a wait and he would be in as soon as he could. Well that didn't go so well for me because within 10 minutes I was DYING!!! It was one of the most painful things I had ever experienced and I started to twist and move into any position I could to get comfortable...(FYI, there is no comfortable position by that point). After 20 minutes I was starting to feel like I was going to throw up, so I yelled to Scott to go find them and get me that epidural NOW! He reminded me that there was no way to make them go faster and that I just had to wait, but luckily within 5 or so minutes he walked in the door! He joked that he was probably my favorite face I would see that day, and sheesh no kidding. At that point I was in so much pain that I felt like I was going to pass out. He started to explain what he was going to do and I wasn't even listening and honestly didn't care, I just wanted that epidural now. I asked him how long it was going to take to kick in, and he paused and looked at a nurse kind of concerned. He asked he what number baby this was for me and how far dilated I was. When she said 3rd and 8 I about died when he said "ummm...I'm not sure we are gonna be able to get this in on time" because of how far along i already was and how long it would take to work.

I started to get really upset thinking that there was a possibility that I was about to have a natural labor. That was not something I had planned for at all, but I suppose that is what I get for gambling with my epidural! Luckily he told me he was going to try and "cheat" and give me a higher dosage that works quicker than a traditional epidural and it should kick in within 10 minutes. He had me sit up on the bed and hunch over with my feet on Scott's legs, and I started to pass out from the pain! They had to wait on the epidural until I was conscious and alert enough to sit completely straight and still. Finally they were able to get it in and within minutes, HEAVEN. I had never been so glad for modern medicine in my life!

I didn't get much time to really relax and enjoy my epidural because within 15 minutes I started to feel the urge to push. Luckily my mom arrived right on time and Scott grabbed my nurse to check me again. This time I was a 10 and it was go time! The doctor came in and asked me what kind of things I would like to see happen with my birth plan. I told him that I really wanted to do delayed cord clamping and skin to skin right after the birth because I didn't get a chance with either of my babies before and it was super important to me. He explained that as long as everything goes smoothly and baby is healthy those were things that would be just fine. Now this baby was posterior sitting which we had known for a few weeks (which means the baby is sitting face up in my stomach instead of face down, and this can sometimes cause complications), and they agreed that they would try and turn him as he came out so we could avoid any extra issues. I started pushing but within a few minutes they told me that they were concerned because the baby's heart rate was dropping. The doctor and nurses discussed for a few minutes and then the doctor said to me "Morgan, there is meconium in his water, we need to get him out as soon as we can, so we need you to push as hard as you can." I was totally caught off guard because neither of my other babies had this happen so I was not sure what to expect. This was the hardest part of my labor because now with the meconium situation I was not allowed any breaks, I had to push through with no pauses. It was hard to even catch my breath, but I buckled down and pushed harder than I ever had with either of my other labors.

Then I heard them saying, he's coming out, he is coming out! And just like that Roman Shay Allen was born at 9:53 am after a 2 hour labor and pushing for 5 minutes! I opened my eyes and see the doctor slide him out and flip him over. He was completely grey and purple. At that moment everything started happening so fast I had no idea what was going on, all I knew is that I got no skin to skin because he passed the baby off to a nurse, cut the cord himself, and they rushed him over to the baby station. I knew what that meant, that everything had not gone smoothly and I was started to freak out. I hadn't even seen his face yet and he felt so far away from me. I kept asking if he was ok over and over and the doctor and nurse told me he was ok, he just needed a little help, but I watched him on the table completely limp and not making a sound. I watched them lift his arms and they just flopped over. I could tell by their faces that he was not ok and I started to get really angry. I turned to my mom and told her that I'm not blind, it is obvious that something is wrong. At that point they were suctioning him and giving him a CPAP, and we would later learn from the pediatrician that he had to be revived. It was terrifying. They worked on him for what seemed like eternity and the whole time I panicked not knowing if my baby was going to be ok...and then the most beautiful sound a momma could hear, a cry! It was tiny like a little kitten, but that was all I needed to get the water works going.

They came over and told me that Roman needed to get an IV so they were going to take him down to the NICU, but I could hold him for a minute. I was so incredibly relieved and happy to be holding my sweet beautiful boy. He was perfect in every way. The most precious little face and tons of dark dark hair. I was incredibly glad that he was here and safe. It just reminded me how blessed I am to have him still be healthy after some scary complications! Roman ended up having an IV most of the time we were in the hospital, which was sad cause he kept scratching his face with it. They also required us to stay the full time in the hospital so they could monitor him closely, but other than that he has been perfect and we love him so much!

Unfortunately we didn't get many photos of his birth because everything happened so quickly and chaotically, and the ones that my mom did catch of the baby were a little disturbing because he didn't look very alive, so I have decided to keep them private, but we are so grateful for all of the love we received from his birth. I truly have the best followers ever and I am so honored that you would want to share in this journey with me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Pacapod Diaper Bag

Hey guys! Thanks for being patient while I got my post on the Pacapod diaper bag ready for y'all! It's been a crazy couple weeks trying to get operation baby prep completed! But I am so excited to be giving away a Pacapod to one of my sweet followers! I heard about Pacapod a couple months before I got pregnant, and when I did get pregnant I knew I had to have one for this baby.

There are so many cute options through Pacapod but my favorite is the Firenze in Putty! It is the most beautiful color and the leather detail is amazing. All those things aside though, the best part about it is what this bag is capable of. The cool thing about this diaper bag that makes it unique is the different sections for both mom and baby! One section is perfect just for mom. You can put all of your makeup, keys, wallet, whatever you want in that section without mixing it will all of your baby essentials because...dun dun dun! There is a different section you unzip on the back that is specially for all your supplies! The "pods" are what this bag is all about. Inside the baby section there is a pod for bottles, and it is insulated so it keeps them cool! There is another pod where yo can keep wipes, binkies, diapers, anything you need! I love having a bag where I can keep everything separate and not be scrambling for my keys or my chapstick like a chicken with my head cut off haha

This bag truly is a must for moms who have already been down the road of struggling to maintain it all in one little bag! If you haven't already, head over to my Instagram and find out how you can enter to win one for yourself!

This post is sponsored by Pacapod, but all opinions and comments are my own.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Maternity photos and pregnancy tidbits!

Photos by Kali Poulsen Photography
Well, it's finally the end of my pregnancy and I realized the other day that I have hardly shared any fun facts or details about this pregnancy! I figured now would be as good as time as any to share a few things I experienced the 3rd time around and answer a few questions I've gotten through IG and Snapchat!

How did I find out I was pregnant?: This is a funny one cause we weren't trying at all, but I wasn't on birth control because I HATE birth control with a passion. It makes me crazy, so for all of our sanity it is just beat to stick to old school forms of birth control haha, anyway, with that being said, there was a small malfunction in our efforts (TMI) and we immediately knew there could be potential of me getting pregnant. I honestly put it in the back of mind though thinking there was just no way it could happen that easily. When I went to Colorado for Christmas I mentioned it to my sister and mom that MAYBE I could be pregnant but not likely. For the next two weeks I didn't really talk about it, but Scott would randomly tell me he knew I was pregnant. My period due date came and passed and I was still in denial! After being about a week late, I was at dinner with my neighbor girlfriends and they asked when I was gonna have another baby. I off handedly mentioned that maybe I already was and one of my friends (who was fully pregnant at the time) offered to give me a left over pregnancy test she had at home! That night I picked up her pregnancy test and when I got home the kids were in bed and Scott was watching tv in our room. I didn't even tell him I had a pregnancy test with me, and I just took it real fast like no big deal...seriously, so much denial. After two minutes I came back to a huge fat positive. I was shocked and walked out to Scott and without saying anything he simply said "we knew you were!" Hahahaha so that was that. Nothing romantic or exciting.

What symptoms did I have this time?: Right off the bat I started losing my hair, which was weird cause pregnancy usually makes your hair grow! For me though before I even took a test I was losing clumps and clumps of hair and it really freaked me out! That eventually stopped though. I started getting sick pretty quick, like week 5, like legit the day after I took the test I was feeling nauseous. I ended up being SO sick this time that it was difficult to keep anything down. I would throw up multiple times a day, to the point that I would pee my pants! Yikes right?? luckily the sickness only lasted till about 14 weeks. This time I've also had awful heartburn! I had zero heartburn with Ava, and some heartburn with William, but nothing like this. Even water causes heartburn and I have gone through several bottles of tums this pregnancy! Other than that I've been crazy tired this time, way more than either of the other kids. I'm anemic though while I'm pregnant so it's extra draining, but seriously this time there have been days I couldn't even get out of bed. It's been a little rough!

What is his name and how did we pick it?: So we aren't revealing his name publicly until he is born, but pretty much all our friends and family know. But if you have been paying attention you might have seen the R on his bedroom wall, so there is a little hint! For his name I let Scott totally pick it! I have never had a lot of boy names I liked, so when we used William we used pretty much the only boy name I had! The name Scott picked though is a name he has wanted since we got married but I never fell in love with it. For some reason this time when he mentioned it again, I started to like it, and I agreed! Now I love the name and Scott is super stoked that he got the name he loved!

How much weight have a I gained?: Honestly, I didn't want to know my entire pregnancy. I felt like it was so depressing last time, so everytime I got on the scale this time I got on backward and told the nurse I didn't want to know. Well they accidentally let it slip last visit, so I've gained a total of 34 pounds. This is my middle amount. I gained 32 with Ava, 34 with this one, and 40 with William.

What has been the best part?: Definitely feeling the baby move, that is always my favorite part. Plus in the 2nd trimester you look adorable!

What has been the worst part?: For sure being so sick during my first trimester. I felt so awful all the time that I told Scott one day that I didn't even remember what it felt like not to be sick. That is how constant it was.

Are we planning on having more kids?: We actually don't know! I've been asked this one a lot and to be honest it is really up in the air! We have never really decided on a final number of kids we want, we just have figured we would know when we felt like our family was complete! I personally don't want more than 4 for sure, and Scott feels like 3 might be the perfect number, but we don't know! We talk about it openly and we always say "if we have another baby..." so we will see! Just depends how we feel in a couple years!:)

Cravings?: My first trimester I craved Taco Bell, which I actually never craved again! I wanted any bread, especially sour dough. I also loved fake store mini cupcakes. My 2nd trimester I craved Jimmy Johns turkey subs and pork tacos from Rumbi. My 3rd trimester has been extra cheese and sausage pizza and Wendy's frosties! My entire pregnancy I have craved both blue powerade and lemon water. :)

I am super excited to meet this little guy! It's been a fun ride, but I am for sure ready to have him here!

Friday, September 2, 2016

The Nursery Reveal

Hi guys! I am so excited to finally share with you my nursery reveal for the boys! When I started this project I wasn't sure exactly what direction I wanted to go because I had never really created a true "boy" room before. When I had William, he shared a room with Ava and so it was much more of a gender neutral space. Once we moved into our house and they each had their own rooms, William's room stayed the gender neutral design, so this was a fun but kind of difficult task!
Toddler bed: Baby Mod (here) | Pillows: TJ Maxx & Homegoods | Dresser: DIY | Plant: Homegoods | Glider: c/o Dorel Living via Target (here and here | Nighttime Sky print: co/ from designer Shirley Lin Schneider (here) Giraffe print and resin W: Hobby Lobby | Rug: c/o Lorena Canals (here)
Lamp: Target (old)| Wood basket: TJ Maxx | Mirror: Target (here)| Changing pad: Old from Babies R' Us | Bottles: Marshalls | Globe: Target (here)

I started with the colors I wanted to use. I knew for sure I wanted a royal/navy blue dresser with gold hardware. That was my first piece. This dresser was almost the death of me friends. There are very few dressers out there in the color I was looking for, in an affordable price range, so I decided to DYI this one. I found an old white dingy dresser on a yard sale site, and seriously this thing was gross! It was covered in several layers of tacky paint with awful glass pulls. Straight out of the 80's! I knew I had to revamp from scratch. I decided to do the dresser completely myself and not let Scott help at all, because I wanted to see if I could handle this project on my own being as pregnant as I was. I used a strong paint stripper with a scraper to get all the layers of paint off (don't worry, I used gloves, ventilated masks, and my open garage to work, so baby was totally safe!). Then I took an electric sander to the whole thing. This was for sure the longest part of the project. It took several days to get it fully sanded down to the original base. Once I finally had to bare, I painted it with a good quality primer that I had tinted purple so that it would not show through the dark blue paint. I waited 24 hours and then painted two even coats of Behr Marquee paint with sponge roller. I waited 24 hours between each coat before finally sponge rolling it with a polyacrylic top coat which helped seal it and take away that tacky feeling you get with a lot of latex painted furniture. For the knobs I ordered a set of silver pulls from Amazon and spray paint primed them and then spray painted them gold! Finally my DIY was over and I sighed a huge sigh of relief!

Now from there I looked for yellows, greens, and grays to compliment the blue. When I found the crib sheets on Pottery Barn Kids, I knew things were going in the right direction. Unfortunately this exact style of crib sheet is no longer available, but they have a lot of cute ones on clearance!
Toy Baskets: Old from TJ Maxx and Target| String Lights: c/o Bright Lab Lights (here) | Pillows: TJ Maxx & Homegoods | Crib sheet: Pottery Barn Kids (sold out but similar here)| Darling print: free from Bethany Menzel (here)| Elephant print, fern print, and resin R: Hobby Lobby | Lamp: IKEA (here)| Wood Basket: IKEA | Blanket: c/o Aden and Anais (here)| Crib skirt: Old from Target

During this project I had SO many amazing contributing companies who sent us the best pieces to pull everything together! Lorena Canals sent us this amazing washable rug in their Hippy Yellow! I loved the design and mostly the fact that unlike most rugs, you could throw this one in the wash and BAM! All clean again! That is obviously a must for a place like a child's room where stuff is constantly getting dirty! Plus the rug is crazy soft, so it is our favorite place to play with the kids with all their toys!

Another piece I loooooove is our print from! I saw this art piece once day while searching for nursery art, and when I saw it would match the room I knew it had to be in there! Honestly it is probably my favorite piece of art in my home. The quality is amazing and the artist Shirley Lin Schneider did incredible. Not only that but Minted sent the piece totally framed and ready to go! Nothing I had to do but hang it on the wall!
Right underneath my favorite art piece is my favorite seat in the whole house! Dorel Living sent us this incredible Eddie Bauer swivel glider from Target, and oh my gosh you is SO comfy. The gray is a perfect shade to match the room and I love the white piping around the sides! I would be lying if I said that I didn't sit in there every single day just rocking in that glider. I love it that much. Seriously my kids won't even be around, and I'll just go in there and relax. I have always wanted a nursery glider but never pulled the trigger, so to have this in my home is an absolute dream! If you are in need of a glider, I can't recommend this one enough!
Gold wire shelf: Target (here)| Bookcase: IKEA | String Lights: c/o Bright Lab Lights (here)

While everything else went up, the room still felt a little bit bare to me. It needed a special something to brighten up the corner with the crib. I was so excited when Bright Lab Lights sent me a 48 ball string of lights in the colors that match the room! Bright Lab Lights is really fun because you can choose between 24 and 48 lights, and you can either pick a premade set from their site, or you can create your own with your own number and choice of colors! Putting those lights together and hanging them up was the final touch on the perfect room! I was so glad to have everything finally together and have this room complete!

Thanks for taking this nursery tour with me and letting me share this awesome space with you! Let me know what you think or if you have any questions! I again want to thank my amazing sponsors and contributes to this room! We couldn't have done it without you!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Back to School with Famous Footwear

Does anyone else think it is just crazy that it's already back to school season?! I feel like this summer flew by way too fast! In fact, I've already seen Halloween products in stores. How is it going so quickly?? The summer just started right? I'm not going to lie though, it will be kind of nice to be back into a routine especially with the new baby coming, AND Ava is finally going to preschool this year! I'm a little bit sad but I am also so excited for her. She has always wanted to go to school so bad, and now she finally gets the chance! That's why I teamed up with Famous Footwear for their #Intheseshoes campaign! The first time at school is such a special experience for both the child and parents! I swooped up these amazing Nike's from Famous Footwear, and they will be perfect for running my baby girl back and forth to school! I will be so busy with the new baby and William at home, that I will need comfy shoes at pretty much all times! In these shoes I will drop my baby off at school for the first time, I will probably cry, and I will wonder how she got so big. In these shoes I will run to the grocery store with my other kiddos while Ava is off playing with her friends. In these shoes I will HOPEFULLY get in some exercise while Ava is off making new friends and learning to write her name.

Such big changes coming up. Back to school was always such a fun time for me growing up, a chance to start over, turn a new leaf, and start off on the right foot. I'm excited to see this fun time now through my kids eyes, and thanks to Famous Footwear we are well on our way! Also don't forget to stop by my Instagram and enter the giveaway Famous Footwear is hosting on my IG right now! It's your chance to win $100 gift card from them!
Shoes: c/o Famous Footwear (HERE) | Dress: Target | Jacket: Target (HERE)

**This post was sponsored by Famous Footwear. All opinions are my own.