For the Joy of Life.

Recipes

Recipes
Recipes

Fashion

Fashion
Fashion

Motherhood

Motherhood
Motherhood
© Aleigh Moore - For the Joy of Life Blog 2015. Powered by Blogger.

Making A Goal To Get Outside This Summer

 This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com. All opinions shared are mine alone.


I've always loved being outside. The fresh air, the sunshine on my skin, the cool breeze, the pretty flowers and green trees... I love it all! I grew up with a very active family that loved being outdoors. Several of my childhood memories include hikes, bike rides, and walks/runs. My parents helped create my love for being outdoors really early on. After becoming a mom, I realized just how important being outside is for my mental health. Being out in the fresh air and getting active has really helped me stay sane... haha! Thanks to Babbleboxx, I recently found some awesome products that will help me get outside even more this summer!



First up is the AfterShokz Trekz Air Open-Ear Headphones
Okay you guys, these headphones are seriously incredible! I go running three times a week and I always bring Oaklyn. Music motivates and inspires me to run harder and faster, but I also need to be able to hear Oaklyn. I've tried just keeping my phone in the stroller, having an arm band... nothing has really worked for me until these! With Aftershokz I'm able to enjoy my music without shutting out the world around me. AfterShokz open-ear headphones allow you to hear it all! I'm able to run up-hill listening to my favorite pump up song and hear Oaklyn tell me she needs another snack. One of my favorite parts about Trekz Air is that they are so lightweight, sometimes I even forget I'm wearing them! They are also designed to embrace any elements thrown your way. From rain to dirt, and in my case sweat to front yard sprinklers (ha!) I know they will last through it all. Trust me, you're going to want to check out these amazing headphones and get some for yourself. Check them out by clicking here!





Next Up is Brew Dr. Kombucha
You've probably been hearing about Kombucha all over the place, but what exactly is it? Kombucha is a fermented tea. Dr. Brew kombucha is live and active, 100% RAW and unpasteurized. It is also Non-Alcoholic. Dr. Brew uses a form of non-heat distillation to gently extract the alcohol but keep the goodness. This beverage makes it possible to treat yourself! Clear Mind is their most popular flavor with notes of rosemary and sage. Each herb included has the ability to assist in mental clarity and focus. The strawberry basil flavor is deliciously refreshing and was my personal favorite. It is the perfect refreshing, summer beverage! Find out more about the brand here.




Another favorite is Heliocare® Daily Use Antioxidant Formula
This product is a natural dietary supplement with antioxidant effects on the skin. It is clinically proven and dermatologist-recommended for over 25 years. Heliocare contains Fernblock® PLE Technology, an exclusive and powerful antioxidant extract that is naturally derived from the extract of Polypodium leucotomos (PLE), a tropical fern native to Central and South America that aids in eliminating free radicals to maintain younger-looking, more resilient skin. I'm pretty young, but I definitely could be taking much better care of my skin. Heliocare makes it easy for me to get the skin I've always wanted. These little Capsules are Vegan, Gluten-free, and Free of artificial dyes. The sun can negatively impact your skin, so if you plan on being outside all summer like I am, these are a must! Find out more here.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Next we have Skratch Labs Drink Mixes, Energy Chews, and Energy Bar

Skratch Labs has created a variety of different products to help you recover after working out. Their products are not only tasty, but they are also made with all natural ingredients. Skratch Labs prides themselves in creating products made with only ingredients that will help you perform and feel better. I have found several companies with products that have questionable ingredients. It's refreshing to see that Skratch does not.

I loved the sport hydration drink mix because it did just what it was supposed to for my body. Not only do I work out six times a week, I also nurse my baby three times a day... the combination of the two leaves my body needing to hydrate often. This sports drink is formulated with 800 mg of electrolytes per liter. (twice the level of Gatorade) This is the average amount of salt active people lose when they sweat. The sport recovery drink mix is also great because it helps you recover faster than using carbs or protein alone. The sport energy chews provide a slow drip energy that won't make you crash. The anytime Energy Bar is made with plant based protein and is tasty enough to eat any time of the day! The anytime hydration drink mix is a sports drink for people who hate sports drinks! The electrolyte level is similar to that of national sports drink brands but is made with natural can sugar, real fruit, and nothing artificial. Click here to find out more about these products and receive 20% off your order with the code TRYSKRATCH.



And last but definitely not least, we have T-Rex® Tape

Let's be honest here, we all have had situations where our duct tape just wasn't strong enough to get the job done... but how is that so?? Isn't duct tape supposed to be ferociously strong?? T-Rex tape is! It is built for intense holding power so you can use it on long lasting home repairs, awesome DIY projects, or any other task at hand. T-Rex tape has a double-thick adhesive that holds up in any climate and environmental condition. Head outside this summer and find projects you can accomplish with T-Rex Tape. Click here to find out more about this brand!



So what are your summer plans this year? Are you making an effort to get outside more?

All my love,
Aleigh Joy

PPD Round Two


I've been meaning to write this post for some time now but couldn't seem to find the time to write it. #momlife. I've been asked several times if I went through PPD again this time. The short answer is no, not nearly anything like I did after having Oaklyn. But, I did have some form of baby blues and anxiety this time. It was short but it was still heavy. I thought I'd talk about what I did different this time and how it all went down quite a bit differently. This is a really personal topic, but I strongly believe it needs to be talked about more. I talked about this on my blog a few years ago, but I suffered from PPD really badly after having Oaklyn. The whole experience rocked my world and completely caught me off guard. While I had definitely felt upset and had low points before, I had never experienced something so life changing before. I remember feeling almost paralyzed from such intense feelings of failure, sadness, anxiety, anger, and loneliness. I honestly felt like I had no control over my emotions and thoughts which lead to feeling like I had no control over my life. I didn't connect well with my baby, the people around me, even my husband anymore! It completely took over my life and I felt consumed in a really dark cloud that could not be lifted. I knew it was really bad when I woke up from an awful dream and hoped that I would just die. I didn't have it in me to actually take my life, so I had hoped that somehow, it would just be taken from me. I actually remember praying that I would get in a car crash or something and that everyone would be okay except me. To me, it felt like everyone's lives would be better without me in them. Just so you know, I know how awful all that is. I know it's not true. I know how hard that is to read for some people... but I know better now and I hope that talking about the depths of those feelings I had will only help someone else know they aren't alone... Because of pride mostly, I chose to endure this awful time unmedicated. I kept thinking I could do it on my own. So here's my first piece of advice, please don't try to do it alone. There are so many resources out there! Take it from me who suffered through PPD severely for about 10 months... it's not worth it to live a life that you feel is worthless. If it takes medication or a therapist or whatever else, it's worth it. 

Okay back to it... So, when I found out I was pregnant with Cam, one of my first thoughts was PPD. It completely terrified me thinking I had to go through it again. I spent most of my pregnancy hoping this baby would never come out. I was THAT scared. I was honestly dreading the arrival of this baby. I started putting the nursery together extremely late, I put off washing all the newborn clothes, and I packed my hospital bag the night before being induced... You guys, I was seriously sick to my stomach over going through all I went through with Oaklyn. It. Was. Miserable. I did my research this time on ways to prevent it, I invested in a few things I hoped would help ease my anxiety, and I prayed continuously that I would have a different experience this time around. The night before, I felt a weird amount of peace. I laid down for bed, put my hands on my tummy, and started to talk to this baby I was about to meet. I told her I loved her and apologized that I might be a little crazy at first. I told her I would love her like crazy but that I would probably make mistakes... More than anything, I think I was talking to myself trying assure myself that it would all be okay. 

The next morning I woke up with a bundle of nerves. Yes, I was nervous about the labor and delivery part... but I was mainly worried about how I would feel after it was all said and done. I honestly felt like I was just getting myself back before getting pregnant. I didn't want to entirely lose myself again. I will forever be grateful that I decided to deliver at a completely different hospital than I did with Oaklyn because it was a fresh start. I didn't want to be thinking about the way I felt in the hospital the first time around. I didn't want my previous negative experience to affect my second birth. You guys, that was such a great decision! I loved my doctor with Oaklyn, but chose a different one this time because I wanted a different hospital. I delivered at Orem Community and it was all around a wonderful experience but here's what made the biggest differences for me... 1) I insisted on keeping the curtains open. I wanted to let as much light in as possible. Having the sunshine let into my room created a really happy environment for me. 2) Everyone in the room stayed calm. Hunter was encouraging, my nurse and doctor were awesome, and my sister calmly watched and took photos after. It was honestly perfect for me. 3) Family and friends came to visit almost immediately after she was born. Having that company there was so good for me. It made me feel so much less alone and I really felt the love and support I needed. 4) I brought a comfy robe to change into. The day after her birth, I wore a floral robe, took a shower, and put on some mascara. I couldn't believe how much good it did to just take care of myself a little. 5) I took advantage of the nursery. With Oaklyn, I refused it. I felt like I was a bad mom if I had them take her. It was hard to let them take cam because those feelings crept back in, but I got three straight hours of incredibly needed sleep and that helped rejuvenate me to be a better mom for her. 

The first week was mostly wonderful. Cam was the dreamiest little newborn, my mom was there to help with anything I needed, Hunter was home quite a bit, and I was just able to ease into life with two. However, one afternoon the flood gates opened and I was so frightened by it I felt like I was drowning. Mom, don't get mad at me for not telling you about this part... I didn't want to scare you ha. Cam had an appointment to get her bilirubin levels tested. The hospital was right by a cool park so my mom took Oaklyn and I took Cam. The second my mom and Oaks left I had a meltdown. I sobbed on my way to the hospital and could not get myself under control. I missed Oaklyn, I missed my body, I felt frantic about totally random things... suddenly I was so nervous that the awful post partum depression was back. I texted Hunter and let him know how I was feeling so he was aware. He was awesome and supportive and that helped tons. But, I just couldn't convince myself I was okay. I choked back tears the entire time I was at the hospital. Cam was being an angel and really nothing should have been upsetting to me, but I felt the opposite. That is what PPD and PPA is... it's having absolutely no control over your thoughts or emotions and it is completely awful. I picked up my mom and Oaklyn and the rest of the afternoon was going well. My mom had to leave to meet with a client she had in the area and we all tried to nap. Hunter was holding cam, oaks was asleep, and there I was, sobbing about who knows what? Hunter was a champ and just talked me through it. He held me and did everything he could to make sure I was okay. More than anything I just felt so disappointed. I totally thought that this time would be different and there I was feeling helpless and overwhelmed all over again. Hunter and I both thought it was a good idea for me to see my doctor and discuss medication and just knowing that was an option gave me a moment of peace. I was able to get a little sleep and woke up with hope. The next week or so went a million times better. I was so much less emotional and I was getting good amounts of sleep. I started to feel like maybe I was in the clear again. 

After my mother in law left, I was completely on my own. Hunter worked two jobs and went to school full time and was pretty much gone from 7am-11pm every night. I felt SO alone. I was impatient with Oaklyn, I was tired, I was overwhelmed, I felt hopeless and helpless and suddenly it all surfaced again. I was hardly getting sleep because my anxiety was taking complete control of my body and I just wanted to run away from all of this and never look back. If you read my post about PPD after Oaklyn, you might remember something Hunter had told me one night when the depression and anxiety were at an all time high... He told me that I just needed to accept the trial. That I needed to stop trying to push it out of my life and feel sorry for myself, instead I needed to embrace it. Part of embracing it was praying and asking the Lord to help me through it. If it wasn't time for Him to take it away, then I just needed His help to get me through it. In this moment the second time around, of feeling lost and broken, I pleaded with my Heavenly Father that He would get me through it all in one piece. That I would figure out how to gain even a little bit of control over all of this, and that I would feel strong and able. The next few days got gradually better as I truly looked for ways to make my life feel normal again. And I think that's the biggest difference I made this time around. Instead of trying to act like it wasn't there when it clearly was, I chose to recognize it, live with it, and change it. The first time around I bottled up all of the feelings and unwanted emotion which caused an unhealthy amount of pent up sadness, anger, and anxiety that would all release really heavy when I didn't expect it. This time, I decided to keep working on blog stuff because that helps give me feelings of purpose. This is a weird one... but I decided to shower at night again like I used to. I always felt like I didn't have time to at night and I was so tired that I just stopped doing it even though I loved it. So, I made that a priority again. I got ready every morning even if that took sticking oaks in front of the tv and wrapping cam on my chest... I got ready and in turn felt ready for whatever life through my way. I went on a walk every single day. Whether it was short or long, I went. I needed that sunshine and fresh air desperately. I napped when my girls napped. I insisted that once a day, they would nap at the same time so I could nap. I tried not to care about things that needed to get done, and instead tried to care about my personal needs. I tidied up every night. Not any major deep cleaning, I just tidied up. That way I woke up to a clean apartment and felt more motivated to make it a good day. I made my bed everyday, because that meant I at least accomplished one thing on my to-do list haha! I made an effort to have a play date with friends once a week so I got girl talk and Oaklyn got to play with friends. I Facetimed and called my mom whenever I wanted because honestly, I just missed her and felt a lot of support and love from her. She always answered and it helped tons since Hunter worked so much. I started working out and eating healthier at the 6 week mark and was so impressed at how much better my mood was. And lastly, I said yes to help SO much more than I ever did with Oaklyn. People wanted to help, so I let them. You guys, I got meals for two entire weeks after my mother in law left because friends just kept asking if they could bring them. It was a lifesaver! All of these things brought my anxiety levels down which helped me to get things done and when I got things done I was less prone to depression.

 I can't even begin to explain how thankful I am that this whole experience went so much more smooth. I absolutely had hard days, I absolutely still do... but I feel like I have such a better handle on it this time around. I also believe that even though I was able to get through it unmedicated, not everyone is. I think we have modern medicine for a reason. If you just don't feel like yourself after having a baby, if you feel more anxious, angry, sad, unmotivated, easily upset, or just simply put unhappy... there is no shame in seeing a doctor to discuss your options. Because guess what, there are options and that is such a huge blessing. PPD/PPA is so common you would be shocked. What isn't common is people being open and honest about it. It does not define you, it does not make you a bad mom, it is nothing to be ashamed of. I want all of you moms out there to remember you're enough. You are more than enough... because you are absolutely everything to them. To those tiny humans you created. I remember looking at Cambria sleeping one day and I thought to myself; "you are, because of me." You are here, you are alive, you are staying alive, because of me. That thought felt equally as terrifying as it was beautiful but I am trying so hard to remember that I am meant to feel joy. These little people demand a lot from us, but they were also sent to us so we can feel joy. I can promise each of you that there is so much joy to be felt and that the storm of anxiety and depression will pass if you let it. If you need support and love surrounding this topic, let me know! I'll make sure you find it.

All my love,
Aleigh Joy

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



    Mom's 50th Birthday Party: 80's theme!


    We celebrated my mom's 50th birthday last week with the coolest 80's theme party like...ever! From a live band to a delicious dinner, and glow sticks to leg warmers... we all had a blast! We had been planning this party for months and months so  when it finally came we called it her wedding, ha! It took a lot of preparation but I think it all paid off with how it came out. I thought I'd share the details of it with you guys and how we put it all together. So, here we go!



    First things first, let's talk about the food! My mom knew she wanted to have dinner for everyone and upon looking at different catering options, we fell in love with what we saw from Luna Grill. I had eaten at their restaurant several times before so I knew I liked it, but their catering went above and beyond. We were so impressed! I kept hearing from all the guests how much they enjoyed the food. There were options for everyone and plenty to feed all the people that were there. They supplied everything, set up and took down everything, stayed to serve everyone, and decorated so elegantly. We loved that we didn't have to worry about the food at all because they were on the ball and completely took care of it. Our menu included a Greek salad, pita bread, hummus, veggies, basmati rice, grilled chicken kabob, bistro beef kabob, and grilled veggie kabob. You can check out their website here and find the nearest location to you. You can also take a look at all their catering options here. We highly recommend them!









    Next up let's talk about the party rentals. When serving dinner, you need to make sure people have a place to eat... right?? We did some research online and found out that in San Diego, Allie's Party Rental is the place to go for all your rental needs! We were able to get the round tables from them, black fold up chairs, the bar, the belly bars, the riser for the band, and all of the linens for the tables. Everything arrived the day before so that we were able to play around with the layout and not stress about timing the day of. They delivered everything to us and came and picked it all up once the party was over. Renting from them was a very smooth and easy process and we were impressed with their customer service. Everything we rented from them was in good condition and really helped the party look above and beyond. They have so many different options of party rentals on their site that you are sure to find everything you need all in one place. They also have the option to sit down with a planner and have them help you create the party/wedding/event of your dreams! You can check out their website here and see all they have to offer!












    Okay next let's talk decor. Okay, this was a BLAST to decorate. A little out of my element since I'm a 90's baby, but once we got going, it was so much fun. When planning we just kept envisioning black and lots and lots of neon. We asked everyone to dress in 80's attire and that made it even more fun. There were fish nets, leg warmers, shoulder pads, MTV shirts, wigs, off the shoulder shirts, fanny packs, bangles, zebra pants, teased hair, and tons of scrunchies! It was so much fun to see what everyone came up with. For the tables we chose to keep it pretty simple. We did black table cloths and black chairs with a mirror round in the center. The centerpiece was a tall glass vase with black raffia and glow sticks It looked so fun as it got darker outside. We strung market street lights over the area with the tables and where the band played to supply extra lighting. For the candy barI used my cricut to cut out some little records, I designed the sign in the back and we just stuck it on a piece of poster board, and the banner on the bottom is tulle pom poms. There was all 80's candy stuck in apothecary jars and glass jars. The belly bars had a black table cloth with neon colored tulle tied in a bow around the middle. We stuck more round mirrors with magic 8 balls and rubrics cubes in the center. These were placed near the band. The cake table was so fun! My mom cued a card table to make a pac man game on the top. She used blue painters tape to re-create it. We made a lemon cake and decorated it like ms pac man, then I used my cricut to cut out some pink circles to place the mini cupcakes on. The background was just bright colored streamers taped to to the wall and a simple happy birthday banner. I loved it! For the snack table my mom's friends brought some fun 80's snacks like cheez wiz and bugles! The cassette tape banner and the circle banner were made with my cricut. The entry table had a cork board with old pictures of my mom. It was so fun to see those photos! My mom's friend made the adorable cards box to look like a boom box. We put all of the glow sticks on this table for people to get decked out once it got darker. We also had a photo booth and kept th backdrop simple with a black door curtain, but my mom had tons of fun with the props! I saw people taking photos all night. 





















    Lastly, the entertainment! The first hour or so people ate dinner, mingled, and snacked. It was fun to catch up with old friends and new friends! Once it got a little darker the band got started and played for the rest of the party. They were awesome! People were dancing, singing along, mingling at the snack table, sitting and watching the band perform, and even getting up on stage and dancing, ha! Once the band was done people stayed around to talk and snack and needless to say, we were all pretty tired the next day! Having a band come and play, dressed in 80's attire and covering 80's songs was awesome. Everyone had a blast!















    This party was so fun to plan and attend and we are so thankful for the two sponsors, Luna Grill and Allie's Party Rental! I hope you all enjoyed this post! To see some live play by plays head to my instagram stories highlights!

    All my love,
    Aleigh Joy