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I Hate Being A Parent In This Day

Photo By Kiely Ro Photography

I was talking to Hunter's grandma the other day on the way home from a baby shower, and the conversation we had really stuck with me.
We began talking about motherhood, pregnancy, and children. 
She said something along the lines of "I had no idea what any of you girls were talking about with your pregnancies. It's like I didn't go through it 5 times with how little of the medical terms I understood."
I then told her I was just about as clueless as her and I actually went through a pregnancy in this day and age.
Giggling, I then said: "Yeah you should've seen the look on the nurse's face when she asked for my birth plan and all I said was, an 'epidural and a healthy baby.' " 
Her response: "Birth plan? What the heck is that? Isn't everyone's plan to you know, have a baby?"
I chuckled to myself... "yep, you'd think so."

The conversation took turns all over the place surrounding the topic of motherhood, but she then shared a story with me I might never forget.
She told me about a time when she was a young girl. They had a pool in their backyard and she was swimming in it alone. It had never dawned on her that neither of her parents were out there watching her. Not even a sibling. She went on top of the roof of the shed and dove off into the pool. She instantly realized it was a bad idea because she smacked her head on the bottom of the pool. She swam to the top and caught her her breath from being terrified. She then said, "And can you guess what I was thinking about when I was holding on to the ledge gasping for air?"
I answered: "Well, that was probably the first time you realized your parents maybe should be out there watching you."
Her answer: "Nope, I realized I should never do that dumb dive again. It taught me to figure it out for myself and I made sure to never do it again. Sure if my parents were out there they would've told me not to do it in the first place, but I wouldn't have known why. I instead figured it out for myself. Nowadays, if someone heard that story they would've called CPS."

I laughed with her as we exchanged a few more ridiculous motherhood moments such as the time a lady made sure to come up to me as I was putting Oaklyn in her car seat and asked if I was hurting her because she was crying.
I wanted to smack her and ask if she's ever put a tired 10 month old in a car seat but I decided to let her think she was the best dog mom around instead.
There was also the time I gave Oaklyn one of those lollipops at the grocery store checkout and the woman behind me decided she should advise me not to give my one year old sugar.

I "can't wait" to see what other stories the rest of my motherhood journey will bring but I can almost guarantee it'll bring several more nights I fall asleep feeling guilty because I'm not cut out to be a mother in this era.
Sure, there are several gadgets we have now that our grandmothers could have only dreamed of back when they were mothers.
My mom couldn't believe they didn't have something as simple as a pacifier clip when I was little now that it's always attached to Oaklyn.
We may have all this awesome gear to "simplify" our lives now, but we also have too many "Nazi Moms" that are right there to tell us our child is going to die because we gave them goldfish in their lunchbox, used the off brand of sunscreen, or gave them a sippy cup that isn't bpa free.
Then there's the people that either have never been a parent, or think they're the perfect one (because they got lucky and got an easy kid) that give you dirty looks because your child dared to actually make a peep while you were shopping.
Or maybe you've all come across someone that thinks you could have been watching your child better when they get hurt.
I'm sure there was a little of this judgement back in the time Hunter's grandma was a mother, but by the sound of it, I should've given birth in that era.

The thing is, the mom groups are awesome, the ability to share knowledge with each other over the internet is great, and the freedom we get to decide how our child is born is exactly what some moms want.
But, the complexity of being a mother now is insane.
I mean come on, we have an entire aisle just dedicated to car seats.
How the heck is anyone supposed to know which one to buy??
I remember standing in the aisle when it was time to move Oaklyn out of her infant seat and feeling so overwhelmed with choices I almost just wanted to give up.
The mother next to me asked "Do you know what percentage of steel Chicco uses in their car seats?"
I looked at her with eyes wide open and said, you're gonna have to ask siri... I didn't even know car seats had steel in them.
Then I looked at Oaklyn and felt so sorry for her that I didn't know everything about everything and felt like I was inadequate to be her mom.
She smiled at me and drooled a little on her shirt and I remembered that I grew up on Koolaid and Lunchables with turkey that may have actually been rubber.
 And ya know what, I think I turned out just fine.

Being a mom nowadays means information you didn't ask for being thrown at your face every way you turn.
It means another mom disagreeing with your every decision or judging you for doing something different than they did.
It means wondering if you're doing the right thing at every moment of the day and questioning yourself with every move you make.
But it shouldn't be that way...

So here's me, another average mom, telling you that you are doing A-Okay mama.
If your baby is fed whether that be breast milk or formula, whole milk or goats milk, homemade purees or gerber jars, you're doing it right.
If your child gets sleep when they're tired, whether that's in your bed or their crib, in your arms or in their swing, with a sound machine or nothing at all, you are doing your job.
If your child is learning, whether that be home school or public school, charter school or private school, community college or a university, you should be proud of yourself for getting them that far.
If you think for one second you are failing according to the new standards of being a mom, you are not.
Keep smothering your kid with kisses, help them achieve their goals, give them a dang chicken nugget, and tell them how much you love them.
Because seriously, there is absolutely no right way to parent.
There are a million and a half suggestions if you want to listen to them, but being a mama is hard enough.
Instead just ask yourself "What would grandma do?"

All my love,
Aleigh Joy




Fall Decor Must Haves!

One thing I didn't really understand right when I got married was that you don't have to buy all of your decorations right away.
Oh, and your style will change!
I jumped right into overloading on decorations for every holiday right when we got married and while they bring me so much happiness every year, I most definitely could have gone a little lighter on the decorations the first year ha!
It's fun to get a few new things every year and just collect things over time.
You should see my mother in law's house at Christmas time!
It's seriously amazing because she got a few new things every year and over time ended up with the most incredible Christmas decor stash.
It's so fun and exciting as a newlywed to decorate, but just remember you are going to want to keep getting more every year!
I always forget just how much I love decorating for fall until I get up my decor.
The colors are warm and it just makes it feel so much cozier inside. 
Reds, yellows, and oranges are far from my normal decor style so it's fun to break them out just for a few months of the year to make our home festive.
If you're like me and have a hard time decorating for Halloween, just stick with the fall decorations and carve a pumpkin with your family to stick outside for Halloween.
I hate anything spooky so I just do fall candles, prints, leaves, decorative pumpkins, runners. and some lights here and there!
I decided to put together some fun stuff for you to shop through down below.
There's something for every price range. 
One day farrrrrrr into the future I'm totally getting those Neiman Marcus plates! Oh they are so dreamy!

Happy decorating friends, and don't forget to check out my free prints on my last post!

All my love,
Aleigh Joy



First Day of Fall! + Prints



Happy Fall Everyone!
If you haven't heard, today is the first official day of fall!
Over here in Utah it's the absolute perfect first day of fall.
Rainy, a little chilly, darker sky, and pumpkin spice candles filling the aisles of target.
I just love this time of year!
I put my fall decor up last night and finished a few touches today.
I usually put it up earlier but being in a new place I had to really think about where I was going to put everything.
Generally, our Christmas decor is up the first week of November, ha, so I put my fall stuff up early too.
However, I was having a little bit of a harder time getting in the spirit this year.
I've kind of been dreading the holiday season knowing how hard it'll be without my father in law.
He always had his iPad out filming everyone, the smell of his famous cookies filled the air, he made a delicious deep fried turkey on Thanksgiving and an awesome prime rib on Christmas Eve, and he always testified of our Savior to bring the Spirit in his home during the holidays.
When I walked into the BYU football stadium for the home opener my eyes welled with tears. I loved going to so many games with him in that stadium and seeing his excitement as Hunter warmed up.
I could go on and on about why my heart is hurting just a little extra but the lightest way to put it is, this season will just be very different.

Okay... Sadness aside.
Let's get back to the fact that I love this time of year!
There's currently a candle going in our living room and I have plans of making chili within the next week.
It's a time for cozy sweaters, homemade soups, fuzzy socks, warm blankies, hay rides, boots, pumpkin picking, costume planning, chunky scarves, extra snuggles, rainy days, and a warm feeling in our hearts.
As I type this, there's thunder outside my window and I can just feel a storm brewing.
I love it!
So, to celebrate the first day of fall, I thought I'd help you get in the spirit too!
I made four printables to add to your mantle or to hang anywhere else around the house!
All you have to do is download and print them.

Print one | Print Two Print Three Print Four

Also, if you want a few decorating ideas check out this post for some inspo.
I have so many more fall posts coming your way and I can hardly contain how excited I am :)

Now go get yourself a caramel apple, schedule a fall family shoot with me, make some pumpkin cookies, and sip some cider!

All my love,
Aleigh Joy

Oaklyn's Outfit: Jeans | Scarf (similar) | Shirt (Similar) | Moccs (in black) 



Just a Little Update

I really love getting to work with companies and review their awesome products, but I have to admit... it's a lot of work!
Yes, it's fun... but taking pictures, writing a post, editing a post, submitting links, etc takes up a lot of the time I used to spend just updating this blog about personal thoughts.
I love that I get to help pay the bills with this blog of mine, but sometimes I forget why I even started!
The title, "For the Joy of Life" says it all.
I started this blog to share the joys in my life and as an attempt to remember them since writing in an actual journal is not my expertise.
Cut me some slack, I wrote Hunter through snail mail for two years ;)
I got to thinking about how I haven't done a family update in a while and if you've been a reader for a while you probably remember that I have zero method to my madness when it comes to writing updates sooooo here goes nothing!

We moved. Yep that didn't get an exclamation point...
I'm trying to be more optimistic about it because I'm really actually happy here,
but it's just hard to experience so much change at once.
We didn't move into our own house, even our own apartment...
We moved into Hunter's grandmother's basement apartment and while it's actually very nice,
it's just not home to me yet.
We'll only be here for a short time, but we didn't plan on being here at all in the first place.
But, life happens and you learn to be okay with it.
So that's currently what I'm doing, learning to be okay with it. All of it.
Some pros are: 
-We now have a backyard
-We can finally fit a kitchen table
-Two full bathrooms
-There's a piano down here, so I should probably learn
-Bigger rooms
-Bigger space in general
-Much more natural light
So there, I'll focus on the good :)

We bought a new (to us) car!
The car we were driving happened to be owned by my father in law and was actually meant for my sister in law.
We were using it while Hunter was in college so we could save up.
Then the unexpected happened and a whole lot of changes were made.
We are so grateful we saved our tax refund for a rainy day because that helped us with the down payment.
We are also thankful for Hyundai for finding us a car with very reasonable payments.
So we're adulting, and it's scary, but it also feels good.
I think I weirdly actually fell more in love with Hunter when he signed the papers for the car.
I was just so proud of him, and us, and all we've done together.
Also, I really like this car 

I got a new calling in our ward!
If you aren't LDS here's a little break down.
Our church is the same world wide. Like completely the same.
We all go to church for three hours, have the same lesson topics, have the same structure, heck most of the buildings even look the same!
The only difference is the people in each leadership position in each "ward"
There's the church as a whole. Then there's stakes which is made up of a bunch of wards. Then there's wards based off which building is closest to you.
And that's how you know which building to go to and what time.
So in my ward I just got called to be a relief society teacher.
So I get to teach the women in my ward and I am SO excited about it :)

Hunter is still working for BYU football.
He's liking the new staff and will always just love being surrounded by football.
He's planning on keeping this job til he graduates if all goes according to plan.
He also is now working for Culinary Crafts, a catering company in Utah.
He usually only works on Saturdays due to his other job and school schedule so we don't see much of him but he's definitely paying the bills.
As I had mentioned on instagram, he got into the business school at BYU!
This is a really hard school to get in to and I'm just so proud of him.
He's loving his classes and as far as I know, he's doing well in them.
Him getting in, was a huge answer to our prayers. It also gives me yet another reason to be proud of him!
He's in young men's in our church and is the perfect guy for it.
He relates so well with them and has so much fun with his calling.
He loves his little Oaks and I'm loving watching them play together now that she's older.
My favorite noise ever is hearing Oaklyn giggle and scream as dada chases her around the house.
If it were up to Hunter, I'd already be pregnant with another ;)

As for me... I'm just getting by haha.
Okay just kidding, I'm loving all I'm doing but I'm just so busy!
While Hunter is gone all day I try to hold down the fort.
This generally entails trying to wake up before Oaklyn so I can do my makeup in peace, changing a whole lot of diapers, cleaning up a ton of messes, washing lots of sticky fingers, witnessing countless tantrums, getting several wet baby kisses, giving snuggles and hugs constantly, always laughing at how silly and sassy my child can be, kissing numerous boo boo's, and filling up sippy cups and bottles galore. 
We try to get outside at least once a day and every day is a new place but Oaks just loves to go "Buh Bye" with mama.
Surprisingly, we experience far less tantrums if we're out and about.
When we get home I put Oaklyn down for a nap and spend that whole time answering emails, editing photos, and writing posts. 
That's usually my favorite time of the day because it's me time and I feel important.
I know motherhood is important, but I love that I get to do something for myself.
I'm really enjoying all the opportunities blogging is bringing my way, I'm still doing photography and would love to schedule shoots, and I have another business in the works ;)

Oaklyn Joy is just growing right up
I stopped doing the monthly updates after a year but if I would've kept going, each post would be packed!
This kid is learning something new every single day and she amazes me constantly.
Not to mention, she's the cutest little thing I have ever seen!
She is seriously getting prettier by the day and just keeps looking more and more grown up.
She's so much more of a "kid" than a "baby" now and it's kind of breaking my heart while also so exciting!
He favorite foods right now are "poppy" (popcorn), "sauce" (any form of dip but preferably mustard), "wa wa" (any drink in her cup), and of course cookies. She also seems to like chicken nuggets, pizza, rice, carrots, and still loves shredded cheese.
She finally likes TV and gets so excited over Clifford and Care Bears or anything else with animals.
Her best friend is her white teddy bear that she named "Gida."
She only sees him at bed time and naps and gets so excited! She burrows her little face into him and her face lights up.
She definitely has gotten the hang of sleeping in comparison to her first year and it makes me so happy!
She walks super good and is pro at jumping. 
Her favorite toy is shoes ;)
Seriously, she could try on shoes for hours on hours!
She's saying so many words and is starting to put two together.
She's also super opinionated now and chooses her outfit almost every day. Bow and all!
She's just the best and so much fun!

This time in our lives is nothing short of crazy.
However, it's also super fun.
We love being young and married while also being parents.
We're both always tired and Oaklyn is always crazy ;)
But seriously, we're just having fun and living each day as best we can.
I've had a lot of people ask "how we've been doing" you know... as far as Hunter's dad goes.
The truth of the matter is, it's hard.
We both still have break downs and not a day goes by that we aren't thinking about it.
We're absolutely still grieving and we're going to take our time.
I've dealt with lots of anxiety and Hunter has dealt with the pain of losing one of his very best friends.
We wish we could call him, give him a hug, see him, just say one more word to him... but we're just trying to remember this is not the end.
We miss him. 
We're sad.
We love him.
But, we really will be okay.
It's still so fresh and we will take our time with healing, if it ever comes.
That being said, thank you to everyone for all your love and support.
We feel overwhelmed with all the amazing people in our lives.

Anddd that about sums it up!
We had an amazing summer turned most horrible summer but we're really looking forward to fall. 
This holiday season will be hard but we have the greatest family ever. (I'm biased but whatever)
We have so many happy things going on in our lives and we are trying to focus on them.
We have been given much and we are so thankful for this life we live. 

All my love,
Aleigh Joy

We got to attend a taping for a Christmas concert... in September!

Oaklyn goes to the BYU home opener!

This was just today... she got a pretty bad bonk on her forehead and this photo does not do it justice! Welcome to crazy toddlerhood.

Utah is gorgeous and we love hiking!

Oaksie watching "Gidas" (care bears) and eating poppy! She's such a mess by the end of the night haha!

But seriously, how cute is she?? Look at those long legs! Right after church.

There she is! The new(ish) car

This was the Sunday after Pat's funeral. It was a hard week but we were smiling through the pain.

This isn't new by any means but Hunter wouldn't leave San Diego without it. It's his favorite picture of him and his dad after a high school football game. Hunter's dad was his absolute biggest fan. 

This picture kills me a little inside. We went to visit his dad the day after the funeral. Oaklyn and I walked away for a minute to let Hunter be alone and I couldn't help but take this sweet and heart wrenching photo. Never ever would I have expected I would have this picture of Hunter this young. It still isn't making sense, but we're so thankful families are forever. 

Tips To Make Moving Less Stressful

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Jasco Products and Acorn Influence. All opinions are my own.


As many of you know, Hunter and I recently moved our little family out of our first home. We literally only moved a block up the street, but it was still pretty stressful. I'll be honest in saying I didn't want to move. I was incredibly content wIth our little life and with all our summer home improvement projects, it was starting to feel even more like home. Then the unexpected happened... Hunter's dad passed away. And when I say unexpected, I mean really unexpected. It ended up being best for the family for us to pack up and move, but wrapping my head around that was tough. I don't do so well with change, I just never have. And a new home in the blink of an eye, is a really big change. It took us the first year of Oaklyn's life to get her to sleep longer than like two hours at a time and we were finally on a schedule with her, how was I supposed to just stick her in a whole new home and hope she would sleep?? I had just redecorated our room and loved it so much that I cried when we left. We brought our first child home to that place, Hunter carried me over the threshold, and Oaklyn took her first steps all there! I knew we would be moving at some point, but I thought it was at least a year away so I was having some serious anxiety about moving this soon. We were so lucky to have so much help with packing and moving and I truly don't know how I would've done it without everyone that helped! Moving can truly be so hard and overwhelming. You are kind of packing on adrenaline and then you are suddenly in a new home surrounded by a million boxes. So what can you do to ease the burden a little bit? Here's a few tips!


1) Make sure you have appropriate lighting in your new home
Have you ever stubbed your toe on the coffee table trying to look for the light switch? Ever ran into the wall where you thought there wasn't one in the pitch black? Ever fell down a stair or two because you thought you had a few more feet before reaching the top of the stairs? Yep... me too. Moving is stressful enough, you don't want to have to worry about running into all your furniture every day while walking through the dark. In our new place, Oaklyn is clear across the house from our bedroom and it has caused me to wake up panicked in the middle of the night, several nights. I find myself stumbling through our house at 2 in the morning just hoping I don't trip over something because I want to check on her. I knew that at some point, this could cause some injuries so we decided to look into a few different night lights! I know... I'm in my 20's and I want to research night lights?? I loved the idea of being able to see in the dark, but I didn't love the idea of a night light being on the entire night. We like our home pitch black at night. It helps all of us sleep so much better. That's when we decided Motion activated LED lights would be the perfect fit. We did some research, and I loved the GE Motion activated LED night lights. I absolutely love that these lights add a sense of safety and security to our home. GE has made it so night lights aren't just for kids anymore ;) However, they are definitely perfect for a child's room. There is a 45 minute timeout feature that is perfect to light up any hallway for a middle of the night bathroom trip. There are dual light levels that help you decide how much brightness you want to let out and the coolest part is that they are motion sensing! They require AA batteries and they install just like your average nightlight, just plug it into the nearest outlet! These Motion Activated LED night lights have really eased the burden of running into things during my middle of the night wake up to check on my daughter and have even helped me feel safer in a new home.

 

2) Ask friends and family to help
It was so nice to have friends and family around helping us. Hunter had some of his guy friends come help with the heavy lifting while us girls were inside cleaning and making sure everything was spotless when it came time to leave. When we were all done moving our friends and family stayed around for a little bit to unpack and make sure we were feeling somewhat settled. It was so nice to not have to worry about paying moving guys on the clock. While I know we'll have to hire a moving crew one day when we have more furniture, it was nice to just have friends and family around to help ease the stress of moving.

3) Make sure you have nothing else going on the week you are moving
This is where I went wrong! I had a jam packed week, and even the week before that when packing. I was so scatter brained and really did not think about what I was placing in boxes. There was absolutely no method to my madness. If I would have left my week open to just packing I'm sure it would have been much more smooth for me and I wouldn't have misplaced several items. I'm still trying to figure out where I put things!


Those would definitely be my top three tips on making your move less stressful. Also, the time change is quickly coming in November and you need to make sure you are prepared for a little more darkness whether you are in a new home or not! The days are going to begin to get shorter and the nights are going to feel a whole lot longer making it harder and harder to see where you are going amidst the darkness. Trust me in saying that the convenience and safety of Motion LED Lights will make your life so much easier.  They are perfect for moms like me that are constantly checking on their baby, or visitors that have no idea where they are going in the middle of the night. Motion LED lights are definitely the way to go this fall and every season!



In hopes to help all of you light up your home this fall with Motion LED Lights, I have an awesome giveaway!  One person will win a $200 Amazon gift card, to get some of your own GE Motion-Activated LED Night Lights during the coming darker months. Trust me, you are gonna want to enter! Just use the form below to enter! #Light4Night
So, How are you going to use Motion LED lights this season??
All my love,
Aleigh Joy

Motion LED Lights





DIY Children's Memory Book with Snuggle

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ShareABear #CollectiveBias


When I was pregnant, there were a few gifts I just couldn't get enough of. One obviously being the cutest tiniest clothes, another being the sweet little girl bows, but the snuggly stuffed animals just melted my heart! I could just picture her snuggling all the little teddy bears and loved adding more and more of those sweet and soft animals to her crib. I distinctly remember in the hospital hearing the nurses tell me not to put anything in her crib while she was sleeping such as blankets or stuffed animals. I was so sad because I was so excited for her to play with them right from the start! However, I waited and waited until it was safe for her to sleep with them. 

I remember giving her a blankie to sleep with around 12 months as somewhat of a test run. She didn't really know what to do with it at first, but it didn't take long for her to absolutely love it. We went through about three different blankies until she found her favorite, and now that one never leaves her side when she's asleep. Seeing that adding the blanket went so well, I decided to try out a teddy bear. One morning after a long night of being uncomfortable and not sleeping while pregnant, I was lazily laying in bed. I heard the doorbell ring and grabbed my robe to go answer the door. Either I took too long to get my pregnant self out of bed, or it was meant to be a surprise, but I opened the door to a present! When I opened the box I found an adorable teddy bear for my little Oaks. It quickly became my favorite of her stuffed animals so it got its own spot on the rocking chair. I gave that bear to Oaklyn first in hopes that she would love it just like I did, and boy did she ever! He didn't have a name at first, but he now goes by the name of Gida. I know... of all the names she chose that one. You're probably wondering where she even got such a weird name, so here's a little background. Oaklyn is obsessed with animals of all sorts, but she first showed interest in dogs. She first learned how to say puppy, and then doggy. Suddenly every animal became a doggy. One day I noticed she decided to shorten it to just "Gee." Then one morning when I picked her up form her crib she was pointing to her teddy bear saying "Gida! Gida! Gida!" It took me a little while to figure it out, but she decided to make up her own name for animals... Gida! It has been so fun to watch her teddy bear become her best friend. She actually looks forward to going to bed now because she knows she can snuggle him! I love feeling comforted that if she wakes up in the middle of the night scared or uncomfortable, she can reach for Gida to calm her down. It truly is so sweet to see how much a little kid can love a stuffed animal. It melts my heart to see her love Gida so much. 



Oaklyn would take Gida absolutely everywhere if I let her. More often than not, I find her sitting by her crib talking to him. It is so cute that she loves him and wants to be with him so much, but she drags him around and gets him SO dirty! Between the food that she tries to feed him, to the drool from her sleep, Gida can get pretty gross and his fur can get pretty rough. I love adding an extra little touch to my laundry with Snuggle®. It helps get Gida back to his snuggly self after a long hard week of being mangled by a little toddler ;) Snuggle® is a brand of premium-quality fabric conditioner that enables Moms (and Dads) to create even more snuggle-up moments. I quickly noticed that Snuggle® delivers Snuggly Softness™ and inviting, long-lasting fresh scents at a noticeable value in comparison to leading brands. We love using Snuggle® in our family laundry for Gida, and all of our clothes, blankets, and linens. I easily found all my favorite Snuggle® products at my local Target. 



Friday September 9th was National Teddy Bear Day! This is a very special month for Snuggle® given that their mascot is a very snuggly and adorable bear! This is the second year that Snuggle® is launching a special #ShareABear campaign to help make the world a softer place, one teddy bear at a time. Just as I mentioned above when I found Gida on my doorstep while pregnant, something as small as a teddy bear can brighten someone’s day! Because of that, Snuggle® is donating 5,000 bears to children in need! How adorable is that? If a teddy bear can create that much happiness in my little girls life, just imagine how happy it will make a child in need! I'd love to see you contribute to the #ShareABear campaign all September long by sharing stories, memories, and pictures of your loved ones with a teddy bear on Social Media channels! Join the fun on Snuggle®’s Facebook page and in the Snuggle® Bear Den where you will find all the best offers, prizes, and content for #ShareABear. 


Stories like Gida coming about need to be remembered. I'm sure I'm going to forget several moments throughout Oaklyn's life by the time she gets older. While I understand that I won't be able to remember everything, I can try to remember most things! In an effort to remember all I can about my sweet little girl, I decided to make an affordable DIY children's memory book! This was so easy to do and will be so fun to look back on over the years! I want Oaklyn to be able to see what she was like as a baby and to be able to read about all the fun experiences we went through together. 


Making this book was super simple and fun!
  1. Click here to download the boy cover page and click here to download the girl cover page. After downloading, print it out and write in your child's name and birth date.
  2. Insert the cover page into a binder cover
  3. Download this page to place all of your children's fun pictures in and download this page to be able to write about experiences you had with them.
  4. Insert those pages into page protectors and stick them into the binder
  5. Have fun adding photos and writing about all the memories with your child!



I'm so excited to keep this fun memory book forever. I also hardly had to spend anything on it! It's a win for everyone! Make sure to participate in the #ShareABear campaign and freshen up your kids stuffed animals with Snuggle® products!

All my love,
Aleigh Joy


Master Bedroom Makeover


Happy Friday!
Although, for me, it's been a really stressful Friday...
But, it's still Friday!
I am beyond excited to share our bedroom makeover reveal with all of you tonight.
We worked on this room literally all summer and it turned out exactly how I had envisioned it.
If you follow me on instagram, you probably saw I said we put our blood, sweat, and tears into this room and I'm not even exaggerating!
All of it, was so worth it though because we absolutely love the results!
If you follow me on instagram or snapchat you probably also saw that we moved... right after finishing the room... and that's unfortunately true too.
I'd be lying if I said there weren't tears shed as I was packing it all up.
However, life happens and this was what was best for our family.
Plus, I now have so many great ideas for our future home! Whenever that may be ;)
I also cannot say thank you enough to our amazing sponsors that helped bring this room together.
We had a blast working with Devine Color, Ikea, Tuft and Needle, Cariloha, and Hayneedle to bring this vision to life!

So without further adieu, here's the before and after!!


And After!!

(Please excuse my terrible panorama skills)


I knew I wanted grey and white to be the main colors and who doesn't love a good distressed shiplap accent wall, right? As time went on, I was able to find some gold accent pieces that fit perfectly in the room and I absolutely love the way it all came together. I worked with Devine Color by Valspar which you can find at your local Target to get the perfect color on the walls. We used Mirage as our paint color and only used one can to do two coats on three walls! We were so impressed! Devine Color also supplied the amazing Distressed wood wallpaper! You guys, this is easily my favorite part of the room. Every time I looked at this wall, I instantly got happy. It's just so pretty and the absolute perfect accent wall. Not to mention, it's adhesive wallpaper so it was incredibly easy to accomplish! The first strip definitely took some time for Hunter and I to figure out, but once we understood what we were doing, I was so impressed with how simple it was to apply. I definitely give two thumbs up to Devine Color!



For the majority of our bedroom furniture, we worked with Ikea. I actually grew up with this dresser in a different color and loved how much storage it had so it was incredibly easy to pick out a dresser. I chose the matching nightstands to go with it and I just love the sleek look of them. White is my absolute favorite color when it comes to decor so it was also super easy for me to pick the color. Ikea furniture does take a little while to assemble, but you seriously cannot beat the price and the quality is wonderful! Hunter and I actually enjoyed our date indoors putting together our dresser and nightstands. As with any dresser, make sure you secure it to the wall so an accident doesn't happen with your little ones. We managed to score our bed off of Craigslist and I used Waverly chalk paint to paint it in only two hours!





Our mattress is a little piece of heaven. We worked with Tuft and Needle on the mattress and I could not be more happy with it! First off, Tuft and Needle is an amazing company with great values and even better customer service. They even thanked us with cute shirts! Now that's a company that values their customers. Tuft and Needle was started after the owner went shopping for a mattress and was pressured into buying an overpriced mattress that was far less than comfortable. After this experience, they vowed to create an exceptional mattress at a fair price. I can honestly say that they have accomplished just that! Our king size mattress has been amazing and we are blown away at how they shipped it! It comes right to your doorstep in a box and it almost "inflates" when you take it out. It was so fun!




Our bedding was supplied by two amazing companies that I would hands down recommend to anybody! Our heavenly sheets, pillow cases, and the grey throw are all from Cariloha. The white bamboo bed sheets are the softest sheets I have ever felt. They are thermal regulating and are soft and smooth because of the box stitched seams. I honestly don't know how else to describe these sheets other than sleeping on a cloud. They fit the bed perfectly, came with a fitted sheet, bed sheet, and two pillow cases. I loved the customer service they provided and they made sure to fit every one of my needs. The bamboo throw blanket is my absolute favorite blanket to take a nap with. It is also thermal regulating, has a cute herringbone pattern, and is beyond soft. Our comforter and decorative shams are from Hayneedle. I was so in love with this comforter from the moment I saw it on their website. If you know me, you know I love ruffles! The ruffles on this comforter are so cute and the perfect statement for your bed. It is also very comfortable! I was very impressed with how comfy it is. I thought it was sort of feminine at first, but my husband actually loves it, win win! I also got this white pillow from Hayneedle and think that it's the cutest little accent pillow. The super cute gold striped bow pillow is from Target and it just so happens to be on sale!




As far as the small decorations go, I got things from all over the place! The lamps were from Burlington and I got a great deal but these ones from Target are very similar. I made the prints for our night stands and put them in dollar store frames I already had. The glass jars are from Michaels with dollar store faux flowers. On my dresser I did a little DIY with the jars and used Mod Podge  and Gold Glitter to add a little flare. The bird candle holder I already had but I think I'll add these candle holders at some point because I love them! I'm such a sucker for a cute vintage white frame and found mine a few years back but I'm loving this one from Target. I got the white mirrors as a wedding gift but these ones look almost identical! In the middle I hung two of my favorite wedding pictures in poster frames from Target. I bought my bird cage picture frame from Hobby Lobby but it was on clearance and this gold one  is seriously dreamy! I used a milk crate to set my mirror on top of and loved the way it turned out. The canvas hanging next to the mirror was my mothers day gift a year ago, but if I could choose another one, I would get this one in a heartbeat! My mom also gave me her old curtains, but before she did that I was totally eyeing these ones!

 










I really loved putting this room together, and like I said before, I was so sad to leave it! However, these pictures will always bring me nothing but good memories and I'm so glad we had the experience of being able to act like Chip and Joanna Gaines for a summer ;) I now have so many ideas for our future home, the countdown to Hunter's graduation is so on! I hope you guys enjoyed this post and really hope that it gave you some fun ideas for a little makeover yourself. If we could do it, you totally can! If you have any more questions about how we did things, feel free to ask me! Feel free to shop some of my favorite farmhouse bedroom styles below too! Now go have yourself a fun Labor Day Weekend!

All my love,
Aleigh Joy