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Creating A Water Baby

This post was sponsored by SwimWays as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own


Oaklyn was a winter baby. She was born in February and I knew that we still had some cold Utah months ahead of us, but my heart ached for summer days outside. I hated being cooped up all day and craved sunshine. When summer arrived, I was SO excited to take Oaklyn swimming for the first time. (Learn more about teaching your little one to swim on the Tach Me To Swim website.) I bought her a cute little bathing suit, made sure she had a swim diaper, packed the towels and snacks... I mean seriously, I thought it was going to be the best day ever. Oaklyn really liked her baths so I thought for sure she would love the pool. Turns out... she hated it. She stuck her little legs up when we tried to dip her in, she cried even if we held her, she hated the water hitting her face, the bathing suit kept falling down, and I was so sad! However, I should have stuck with it and continued to expose her to water. Instead, I just assumed she hated swimming and we hardly went the rest of the summer even though I LOVE swimming. 


Growing up, we swam a ton! My parents put us in swim lessons early on to ensure we were safe around large bodies of water and then we spent tons of time on different vacations where swimming was always on the agenda. We went to Palm Springs, Las Vegas, Hawaii, beaches in the South of France... I remember spending tons of time in the water. I was so bummed when I thought Oaklyn didn't love water as much as I did. After that summer, it took several other trial runs to get Oaks to like being around the water. She still pretty much hates when it is in her face and I had to bribe her to play in the splash pad last summer... but we have definitely made progress.


I decided that I wanted to expose Cam to water in a positive way early on. We started with baths in a baby bather, moved to sink baths, and also let her play in the big bath. I always smile at her and show her how to splash and she just loves it. With summer on the way, I knew it was time to start introducing her to the pool. I wanted to create a positive water introduction experience with her and started trying to find ways that would help excite her. I knew I had found baby gold when I saw the SwimWays Infant Baby Spring Float. Not only is SwimWays an industry leader in helping children learn to swim, but they also promote water safety. The Infant Baby Spring Float is the most creative baby float I have seen yet. It has a sun canopy, it is fabric-covered, has a soft seat that cradles baby, and a 3-point harness to keep baby secure. To make mothers even more comfortable with bringing their babies into the pool, there are additional security features that include dual inflation chambers, child safety valves, and a wide base with an inner spring around the outside edge of the float for stability. I tried not to get my hopes up, but with this float, I was almost positive Cambria would have a really great experience. 


So, we loaded up the girls and took them to the pool with everything but the kitchen sink in the stroller... #momlife. I got the SwimWays Infant Baby Spring Float all set up and was shocked how easy it was. Then, it was go time. I got Cam in her little bathing suit and we stuck the float in the water. I passed her off to Hunter who securely buckled her in and she was in heaven. She sat back and lounged while loving looking all around. She was also shaded by the removable and adjustable canopy with UPF 50+ sun protection. But the best part, was that I was having fun too! The float has built-in handles making it possible for me to swim and enjoy myself while also knowing she was secure and safe. Once Cam found the water with her feet, she was loving splashing and moving all around the pool. I didn't hear her cry once even though it was past her nap time. Not only did I have a great experience, but I know Cam did too! I was so excited to have the SwimWays Infant Baby Spring Float because I know it was key in helping create my little water baby. Now I'm so excited for summer and all the pool days we have ahead of us!


Where is your family swimming this year? Backyard, beach, community pool, lake, or a vacation?

All my love,
Aleigh Joy

    Loving Every Little Thing

    Thank you Carter's for sponsoring this post. All thoughts and opinions are mine alone.


    I remember every minute of my pregnancy with Oaklyn. I remember the restless leg syndrome, the first kick, decorating the nursery, buying her first dress, every ultrasound, the heartburn... ohhh the heartburn! I also remember all the nights I couldn't fall asleep because of the anxious anticipation of her arrival. No one prepares you for what's to come once the bump turns into a bundle of joy. No one can prepare you for the new forms of emotional and physical exhaustion that come from parenting. The thought of that overwhelmed me and consumed me. The day I had Oaklyn, a wave of fear had swept over my entire being and suddenly I felt like the captain of a sinking ship. To be honest, the whole first year felt that way for me. I am so glad I took so many pictures of her, otherwise the whole year would forever remain as a cloudy blur to me.



    When I found out I was pregnant with Cambria, I immediately knew that I wanted to do everything possible to enjoy the first year instead of jumping aboard that sinking ship again... There are so many amazing firsts that happen in the first year. From taking a bath to eating solid foods, and rolling over to pulling up onto furniture, every day is an adventure. I wanted so badly to be present during Cambria's first year and I desperately wanted to love every moment. I wanted to love the way she smelled after a bath and snuggle with her in a soft blankie. I wanted to enjoy the newborn sneezes and feel joy at the first belly laugh. More than anything, I just wanted to remember that it all goes by so incredibly fast so every moment is worth cherishing. So many people told me that same thing when I had Oaklyn, but it took me experiencing it to understand.


    When I started going through all the old clothes we would be passing on to Cambria, I quickly discovered we needed A LOT more of the basics. All of the white onesies and neutral colored pants of Oaklyn's were clearly used the most. The fluffy dresses and cute rompers were always fun, but I knew immediately a trip to Carter's was in order to grab some darling pieces from the Little Baby Basics Collection. Carter's makes cute and comfy pieces for newborns and babies from sizes preemie to 24 months! I've heard form several different people that Carter's is one of the only places that actually carries preemie sized clothing too! I learned pretty quickly with Oaklyn that quality clothing is very necessary. It'll be used a ton and you want your baby to feel comfortable in it. Clothing from the Little Baby Basics line is soft, hold up during all of baby's adventures, and the prices are just right. 



    When it comes to the basics, here are my favorites! First up is the bodysuit! Otherwise known as the onesie. Or, basically all babies wear in the first year, ha. It’s the ultimate basic for wearing by itself or layering under other outfits. They have expandable shoulders and snaps made to last. I also really love the easy outfit sets. It helps build baby's wardrobe with different pieces that all match! The tees also have expandable shoulders and the pants have a soft elastic waist. And lastly, I love all the bundles! They make it so easy to give shower gifts, and for mom to buy several pieces at once. You really can't go wrong with this line, so make sure to stop in to your nearest Carter's asap or check out the selection online! You can even get 20% off $40+ now through June 30th with code CART4342 online or 066944 in store!




    From one mom to another, spend less time worrying and more time cherishing during the first year. By shopping the Little Baby Basics collection, you'll be able to spend more time loving every little thing and less time trying to figure out which baby clothes to get ;)

    All my love,
    Aleigh Joy

    Creating a Calm and Collected Home With Febreze ONE

    Thank you to Febreze ONE for sponsoring this post. All opinions shared are mine alone. #ad #ONEStateOfMind


    Once I got married, I realized pretty quickly how many smells, good and bad, are created in a home. From steaming vegetables, to stinky bathrooms, and dirty diapers, to sweaty gym clothes, a home can quickly become filled with pungent odors that aren't appealing to, well... anyone! As much as I tried, I just couldn't eliminate these odors all together. Hunter and I both work-out throughout the week, for several more years we will be dealing with diapers and potty messes, I make dinner every single day, and the drain will often smell funny, the kids will forget to wear deodorant, the list just goes on and on! I want my family to always feel comfortable in their home, not have to avoid their daily tasks, whether they cause stinky smells or not, I also want guests to feel welcome instead of running for a more pleasant environment. So, since the first week we got married, I have been on the hunt for the perfect air freshener for our home.


    I've tried candles, plug-ins, and several room sprays but without fail, their overpowering scents and aerosols always make my allergies flare up. All of the heavy perfumes make my eyes itchy and watery and I find myself sneezing for a few days before the strong scents level out. I go back and forth between wanting a fresh smelling home and wanting to avoid the allergies all of the different products cause. Not only do strong scents bother me, but they bother others as well! The last thing I want is for people to be running for the door in my home because of the strong scents and overpowering sprays of different air fresheners. Febreze conducted a recent survey where they found 91% of people would be interested in trying an air freshener that doesn't contain aerosols, dyes, and heavy perfumes. The same survey also found that 90% of people can have an improvement in mood when they are in a fresh smelling environment. Because we were clearly lacking an air freshener that would help even the most sensitive of sniffers love the air they're in. Febreze created Febreze ONE! Febreze ONE provides a simpler, lighter, and fresher way to clear the air!


    Febreze ONE fabric and air mist is a first-of-its-kind product containing no aerosols, no dyes, and no heavy perfumes. I love that it contains nature-inspired, single-note scents in Bamboo, Mandarin, and Orchid. Because they are nature-inspired, they smell much more natural than other air fresheners I have used. I love that I can feel comfortable spraying these scents around my home without worrying about guests and my own kids having a negative reaction to the scent. A few places that are perfect to spray it are on bed spreads, couches, simply in the air, bathrooms, curtains, and pillows. All of these things collect and gather old smelly scents over time and could really benefit from a little pick me up that Febreze ONE offers.


    I also love that, with a little creativity, Febreze ONE makes for a unique and out-of-the-box gift for weddings, bridal showers, baby showers, and more! By pairing these fresh scents with other relaxing items, the receiver will be able to create their own "ONE state of mind." In this post I paired Febreze ONE with a sound machine, an adult coloring book and pencils, herbal tea, and a cutting board for a new mother to be able to relax and find some "me time" amidst the craziness motherhood brings. It would also be great for a bridal shower for a "night before the wedding relax kit." The possibilities are endless! Febreze ONE is much more than just an air freshener, it is the gift that keeps on giving. 
    What do you think your favorite scent will be??
    All my love,
    Aleigh Joy 

    Oaklyn's Spring Favorites

    Thank you to BabbleBoxx for sponsoring this post! All opinions stated are mine alone. 


    Does anyone else have a hard time entertaining their toddler all day?? I know it can't just be me haha. These little kiddos are learning and developing so much daily that they are constantly wanting something new and exciting to do. Oaklyn is always getting herself into mischief just because she is bored. I feel like I'm always finding her doing something messy or just strange! haha. Her brain needs to be challenged daily because at this age, she loves to learn new things. We recently put her in gymnastics so she has something fun to look forward to and all the new skills she is learning gives her something to practice throughout the week, therefore filling up some of her time! I'm also really hoping we can get her into preschool soon! In the meantime though, she's home with me all day and I am constantly looking for ways to keep her entertained and having fun! We recently teamed up with BabbleBoxx to receive their Just 4 Kids box and we were so excited to see the contents! Oaklyn was oohing and ahhing over everything she got and I was so happy when it gave her something to do as I was trying to get things done! Everything in this box is perfect for toddlers and young kids and would even make great birthday presents! I feel like we go to lots of birthday parties in the spring and summer and we're always trying to think of fun gift ideas. All of this fun stuff would be perfect! So what exactly is in this box?? Let me tell you!

    The Snazaroo Brush Pen
    Does your kid like to have their face painted? Oaklyn loves it! It makes her feel special and she thinks it is so fun to decide what to paint on her face. She about wet her pants from excitement when I told her I was going to paint her face and it wasn't even a special occasion, ha! The Snazaroo Brush pen is a clever two-in-one product that features a brush applicator and high-quality liquid face paint! It is available in 12 different colors, is fragrance and paraben free, and is suitable for sensitive skin! It can be purchased on Snazaroo.com and amazon! It's so fun that Oaks can quickly transform into what she wants to be for the day and that it easily washes off for nap time! The other day she wanted a butterfly on one cheek and a heart on the other and was giddy all day once she saw her creations come to life!



    Jane M. Rose-Vallee Books - Dinosaurs Living in My Hair & Dinosaurs Living in My Hair 2
    Oaklyn has the most adorable and fun imagination. I have absolutely loved seeing it come out more and more as she gets older. Her imagination runs wild constantly and I always want to encourage her to dream big and embrace her creative nature. I have always been a creative person that loves to bring my imagination to life. I can see a lot of that in Oaklyn too. This series of whimsical award-winning children's books encourages children to color outside the lines and embrace their creative, imaginative spirit. Oaklyn loves looking at the beautiful illustrations in these books and telling me all she sees on each page. These books, told in rhyme, are charming and adorable. We love children's books about inclusion while also captivating her attention. You can find out more about the book here and use code FREESHIP for free shipping! 


    PEZ Jurassic World Collection
    After reading the book all about dinosaurs in hair, Oaklyn was so excited to open her T-Rex PEZ Candy! Let's be honest here, I was excited too! I love those delicious little candies and always have! Oaklyn had so much fun eating the candies, and then playing with the dispenser. PEZ will soon launch the all new Jurassic World Collection with three new dispensers: T-Rex, Blue the Raptor, and Dilophosaurus. Also included in the initial launch will be a twin pack featuring T-Rex and Blue the Raptor in a Jurassic World themed box! On June 1, 2018 PEZ will also be launching their click and play gift tin! It will feature 4 dispensers and each of them can remove the top to then use in a board game! All of these fun new collectibles can be found at select retailers nationwide and here online!



    Sprout Crispy Chews
    If I let her, I think Oaklyn could live off of fruit snacks. There's something about the texture and the flavor that every toddler just loves. When it comes to toddler snacks though, I try to look for better options. I love these Sprout Crispy Chews because they aren't your average fruit snack! They are crisped whole grain rice, fruits, and vegetables that are blended together into a delicious and chewy fruit snack! Get this moms, they are made with a FULL serving of real fruits and vegetables and they taste great! Oaklyn loved the Red Fruit Beet and Berry the most but the Orchard Fruit and Carrot was also delicious! We have brought the little single serving pouches in the car, to church, to the park, and any other outing because they are perfect for an on the go snack. I'm so glad I can feel good about giving her these! You can find out more about the product by heading here!



    Zenni Optical Kids Glasses
    Does your kid need glasses but hate keeping them on?? These ones are so cute and Oaklyn loved wearing them because they were so comfortable! Zenni Optical provides Kid's Flexible glasses for toddlers to pre-teens! These glasses are designed for some serious play which we all know is exactly what little ones need! There are no hinges, no metal parts, and they have an adjustable/detachable strap. You can check out this video and head to this website for more info on these glasses.



    So what do you think your little one would enjoy playing with the most this Spring?? There's definitely something for everyone in this box!

    All my love,
    Aleigh Joy



    Let's Take a Bath!

    This post is sponsored by Ivory Soap. All opinions expressed are mine alone. 


    You know how certain smells can take you back to a specific memory in an instant? How one moment you're going about your day, and the next you are taken back to a time filled with clear happy memories... There are a lot of smells that do that for me, but one very distinct one is the classic smell of an Ivory Soap bar.  It always reminds me of my grandma's house and the bathrooms that we would shower in. There was one upstairs and one in the basement and there was always Ivory Soap waiting for us. When I smell Ivory, I'm taken back to the moments I spent with family in Maryland and all the happy memories we created. From hiking in the creek to eating a crab feast on the deck, and Christmas cousin shopping to making music videos with choreographed dance moves, those are some of my fondest memories. I love that one smell of an Ivory Soap bar brings me back to such happy moments in time.



    Ivory may have a new look, but it is the same pure soap that I have known and loved since I was a little girl. I can remember so many times as little kids, we would be knee deep in the creek wandering through and making up stories about whatever we found. We would get out and head back to the house only to be covered in water and mud.
    Nothing felt better after a long day of fun than washing off with Ivory's Soap that has been trusted for generations to provide a gentle clean.


    Now that I'm a mom, I'm the one cleaning up dirt, mud, and sweaty little skin and I love using Ivory products because they are made pure to give parents peace of mind. My little Oaks loves to play, just like I did. She loves to play make believe and I often see myself in her. She runs through the yard with her wild hair trailing behind and walks through rain puddles without a care in the world. I want her to always keep that imagination and feel like playing outside is better than sitting and watching TV, but thinking about the cleanup is always the hardest part for me in letting go and letting her have fun. I'm so thankful that Ivory provides a pure, gentle clean for my entire family so I can focus less on worrying about cleaning up the mess and more about enjoying the mess as it's being created. Ivory aims to simplify life so you can spend more time on the things that matter most, like digging in the dirt and jumping on a wet trampoline! Ivory has been a proven and trusted brand for over 130 years and will continue to be loved by parents everywhere!

    I grew up using the bars of Ivory soap at my grandma's house and still to this day love them, but I'm also so excited that they have Ivory Clean Body Wash that has a new gentle formula that is free of dyes and heavy perfumes. Not only is it perfect for me and my allergies, but it is perfect for my girls with sensitive skin. I love reminiscing and thinking back to some of my favorite memories as a kid in Maryland surrounded by family. It makes me think of my girls and the memories they're currently creating with their cousins and grandparents. I'm so happy that I can choose to live in the moment and let my kids be kids because I have Ivory to trust to take care of the cleanup.
    What are some of your favorite memories as a kid that are brought back through familiar scents??
    All my love,
    Aleigh Joy

    A Special First Easter Basket For Baby




    I'm obsessed with holidays. And that's an understatement haha. I love celebrating holidays to the max and making them special for my family. It's so fun to start traditions early so your family has something to look forward to throughout the year. With Easter quickly approaching, I have my mind racing with ideas to make the day special and fun for my kiddos! This will be Oaklyn's third Easter, so by this point she kind of knows what to expect... But, it's Cambria's first Easter and I can't wait to give her her little baby basket! Oaklyn will get toddler appropriate toys and a few candies, but Cambria's basket is totally baby friendly thanks to GERBER® Puffs, Lil’ Crunchies, and Yogurt Melts!



    Cambria is already such a great eater. She has nursed like a champ right from the start, but I followed her cues recently and let her try out some food. She already has the hang of chewing and got the hang of puffs really easily! They are easy to break down and are the perfect size for tiny mouths. I also love introducing puffs early on because snacking smart with Gerber encourages healthy eating patterns from a young age while the taste and variety keep babies happy! Did you know that little ones from the ages of 8-24 months get 25-30 percent of their daily calories just from snacks?? I love offering Cambria snacks throughout the day as an activity. We found a huge variety of Gerber snacks in their pretty blue packaging at our local Walmart. Before heading out to grab some for your baby, check out this coupon




    Gerber has several different snacks for babies and we recently tried the Yogurt melts which were a HUGE hit! Even at three years old, Oaklyn is obsessed with them! I have to admit that I even like to sneak a few here and there, they really are yummy! Gerber snacks make a nutritious alternative to chocolate and candy for your Easter and holiday baskets which means they are perfect to stuff into eggs! When Oaklyn was only 14 months old, we did an Easter egg hunt with some friends. One of the moms was brilliant and stuffed some eggs for the babies with tiny little snacks. I'm definitely going to be sticking yogurt melts and puffs in eggs for Cammy! 



    To add in a little savory taste, we added Lil' Crunchies and I have a feeling they are also going to be a big hit! 1/3 of 8-24 month olds are not eating whole grains on a given day, but it is easy to meet that with Gerber snacks! I'm sure your baby will love them! So, if you have a little one this year that might not be quite old enough to fully understand the holiday, you can at least have fun with making a baby approved Easter basket. Skip the toys that your baby doesn't even know how to play with yet and just go with the snacks you know he or she will eat! Gerber offers nutritious snacks with good for you ingredients like whole grains, real fruit and yogurt, with no added bad stuff (no artificial flavors/no synthetic colors). Not only will your baby enjoy the basket, but you will have peace of mind giving them snacks to encourage healthy eating patterns! 

    Whether this is your first baby or your last, make this Easter a blast with Gerber snacks!

    All my love,
    Aleigh Joy

    You + Me and What We've Learned As a Family


    Hunter and I went to run a quick errand yesterday, just the two of us.
    As we got out of the car and started walking towards the store, I kept feeling like I was missing something or had forgotten something.
    As I thought about it more, I realized it was because we didn't have kids in tow.
    We were able to just get out of the car and walk straight towards the store.
    No meltdown from Oaklyn about not wanting to sit in the cart, no trying to decide if we should use the cart or the stroller for both girls, no diaper bag, no snacks to keep them occupied... we literally just got out of the car and ran our errand.
    We talked about how funny it is that everything becomes more difficult when you have kids.
    The simplest things in life become the most challenging and suddenly everyday things require a whole lot more planning and thinking. 

    Hunter jokingly said, "can you imagine how easy life would be if it was just me and you?" 
    We both chuckled and continued on, but I thought about it some more.
    Holy cow, it really would be WAY easier!
    I would be able to work full time and therefore, saving for a house would be way easier.
    We would get to eat dinner in silence and maybe even enjoy our meal, ha!
    We would be able to go on date nights, any night.
    We'd be able to sleep through the night, take more vacations, spend more time together, invest more time in hobbies, and probably have a little more sanity if we're being totally honest... 
    There's a lot of life changes that come with a bundle of joy.
    There's a lot of time and energy spent on taking care of them when you would much rather take care of yourself. 
    There's a whole lot more hard moments and ten times more whining and crying.
    Truthfully, life would be a lot easier without kids.
    But, that doesn't mean it would be better...


    Life as just me and you, was delightful.
    It was carefree and fun, it was spontaneous and exciting, and it was a time that will forever be a happy memory to me.
    But, we have added two little people to our family and have dreams to add more. 
    They have brought challenges, that's for sure, but they have also brought more joy than we ever would have experienced had we not chosen to have them.
    Children are supposed be challenging.
    They're supposed to make you grow and think outside of yourself.
    They are supposed to teach us what we need to learn to become better and stronger.
    Caring for someone else who completely depends on you, is the absolute best way to learn the attributes of our Savior.
    Hunter and I have probably lost a few brain cells since we have become parents, haha, but we have gained experiences and perspectives that no university or job will ever teach.
    So to any newlyweds or expecting parents... one day you'll have a child or two or a few that change most everything. 
    So cherish the time you have now and keep those memories of just the two of you engrained forever, but never lose sight of the importance of being parents.
    The day to day life gets "harder" but trust me, it actually is better.

    All my love,
    Aleigh Joy

    *Loving this dress from Pink Blush! I think the choker neckline is so cute and fun because I don't even have to accessorize! Check out Pink Blush for any and all cute maternity clothes or trendy women's clothes!