For the Joy of Life.






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

Why I Chose the Chicco KeyFit 30 Magic For Baby C

*Thank you to Chicco for sponsoring this post

Oh baby gear, there's just so much of it out there!
Strollers, swings, car seats, carriers, swaddles, toys, clothes, diaper bags... it's seriously overwhelming to a newly pregnant mama.
Or at least it was for me...
When I found out I was pregnant with Oaklyn, I was honestly clueless as to what we actually needed and what was worth it to save and splurge on.
I remember taking out my laptop and searching "what do I need for my baby?"
That almost overwhelmed me more because I realized how much we needed and even worse, how much it would cost!
Needless to say, I closed my laptop and decided I would figure it out later.
One thing I truly believe is worth splurging on, is the car seat. 
A car seat needs to do its job and keep your baby safe.
I had no idea what type of car seat to get with Oaklyn so we just settled for a travel system that was on sale and called it good.
That was my first big mistake in motherhood haha!
I should have read the reviews, gone to a store to test it out, heard what car seat techs have to say, and maybe spent less on clothes so we could get a better car seat ha.
The one we got was a huge pain to install, never felt secure when installed, the straps always got twisted, and to be honest... was not the safest.

This time around we decided that the old car seat was one thing not worth saving.
We threw it out and did some research on getting a newer, safer one.
I was looking at a few well known brands and just couldn't get past the fact that the Chicco KeyFit 30 had the absolute best reviews.
I also went into my favorite local baby store and asked them a few questions and they told me they always recommend this car seat.

So... what's so great about it??
Well, it's the #1-rated infant car seat in America.
So, that for starters is always good to hear!
It has also been voted as the easiest car seat to install which is a huge selling point for Hunter since he usually does the car seat transferring haha. 
It Features ReclineSure® Spring-Loaded Leveling System and dual RideRight® bubble level indicators for an accurate fit. 
When the car seat is properly positioned, SuperCinch® LATCH Tightener uses force-multiplying technology to achieve a super tight fit with a fraction of the effort!
The KeyFit® 30 Magic is designed to hold babies from 4 to 30 lbs and has a reversible infant insert that is both breathable mesh and soft fabric for babies 4-11lbs. 
A large canopy with a zip-out, mesh extension allows gentle breezes to pass through which I thought was SO cool!
This is actually one of the differences between the regular KeyFit 30 and the Magic.
I love that the canopy extends further for extra shade. 
The magic also comes with the all-weather boot which easily folds open to give parents convenient, full-access to both baby and harness. It is also easily removable when you don't need it.
It has energy-absorbing EPS foam lining, a 5-point harness, and reversible infant insert which creates both a comfortable and safe place for your baby.

Because I want this review to be completely honest, I will say we have not actually used this car seat yet.
Baby C isn't going to be here for a couple more weeks so I haven't been able to actually use it on an infant, but just from having it in my hands and checking out all the features, I'm positive it is a million times better than the car seat we had with Oaklyn. 
Also, we tested it out with Oaklyn's (very well loved) teddy bear and loved the fit!
It is incredibly easy to remove from and insert into the base, weighs enough that I feel my baby will be safe in the event of an accident, yet is also light enough for me to carry, and I love the look of it!
We have the NextFit Zip for Oaklyn and have loved it so much that I knew we would become longtime Chicco users.
When searching for a car seat, I highly suggest looking into all it offers.
Car seat safety is HUGE so do yourself a favor and get this car seat next time around :)

All my love,
Aleigh Joy

Click here to look more at the Chicco KeyFit 30 Magic and Click Here for the rest of their infant seats

Tasty Tuesday: Avocado Corn Salsa and Grilled Chicken

I made up this little recipe two summers ago and loved it so much we had it more often than not.
However, I tend to forget about recipes all too often and haven't made it in way too long!
I'll also blame the fact that it's totally a summer recipe and we had the worst winter like ever this year!
All I want is comfort food when it's cold outside, and all I want is fresh food when it's hot.
Anyways, I remembered this recipe as I was meal planning last week and was so excited to eat it all week!
I posted about it on insta stories and got tons of questions about it so I decided it needed to be added here.
This picture is from the first time I made it so I'll need to update that at some point, but for now you can enjoy this recipe as much as I do!

-Chicken. However much or little.
-Marinade for the chicken. Any one you please. We used Lawry's herb and garlic marinade. (I've also since done this chicken by just adding some season salt, or garlic salt, or whatever we have on hand and baking it. Marinating is still my fav but takes a lot more prep.)

-1 can of corn 
-1 firm tomato 
-1/4 ish cup onion
-Handful cilantro
-1 ripe (but not super mushy) avocado
-1 tbsp. lemon juice
-2 tbsp. olive oil 
-Garlic salt 

1) Marinate your chicken for 5-6 hours. Or longer if you have the time and patience. Have your husband (or do it yourself) grill the chicken to your liking. Or as stated above, baking it is totally great too!
2) Meanwhile make the salsa! Chop up tomato and onion into cubes and put in a mixing bowl. Add in your can of corn drained. Add in olive oil and lemon juice and coat. Next chop your cilantro and cube the avocado. Add this to the mixture. Now sprinkle your seasonings to your liking being careful not to mush the avocado while mixing. 
3) Once the chicken is done top it with the salsa and there ya have it! A few variations we've liked are to put the chicken and salsa atop a bed of rice or quinoa. Hunter also said it would be really good wrapped in a tortilla! I agree! Have fun with it, because it is such a fun and colorful meal. 

Happy summer everyone! 
I hope you're having pool days galore!

All my love, 
Aleigh Joy

Floating Photo Frame DIY

When we moved into our current apartment, I knew it was incredibly temporary,  but it just didn't feel like a home without decorating the way I wanted.
For the first time ever in our marriage, we walked in to a completely blank slate and it was SO refreshing!
White walls in every room made the possibilities endless.
I basically went through everything I had and got rid of a crazy amount of stuff because it was never really my style to begin with, it just worked in our previous places.
I've always loved light and bright when it comes to decor so i knew I wanted a lot of white.
 I also absolutely love displaying our family's memories so I wanted something that held a lot of photos without looking cluttered. 
I had two blank walls that needed some love but none of my old stuff was working.
I shared what I did with one of the walls here, but was torn for a while with the other wall.
I kept resorting to a gallery wall since I wanted a way to display a bunch of photos but ultimately decided against it because I really didn't want it to look cluttered.
Everything I was finding at my usual stores just wasn't cutting it so I decided to make something myself!

I am in love with the way these frames turned out.
They are exactly what I was envisioning.
Ultimately I wanted this DIY to be cheap!
While I am planning on bringing them with us wherever it is we go, I just knew there was a way to make them without breaking the bank. 
I went to Lowes and Hobby Lobby and weighed out all my options several different times and finally figured out how to make all three for around $10.
YUP! You heard that right ;)
So here's what you need and how to do it...
Sorry guys, I totally spaced step by step directions.

What you'll need:
-Wood!  I can't remember the exact name of the wood I used but it was very similar to this one. I believe the ones I got were just under $2 though. I had them cut the pieces into 32 inch pieces and and 12 inch pieces. I needed 6 of each to make three frames. 
-Paint. Use whatever color you want but I just used white acrylic from Hobby Lobby
-Wood Glue. 
-Black and white photos. Of course you can do color... but black and white looks much more uniform!
-Hot Glue
-Something to hang it. You can get the cool things like the sawtooth hangers to nail in or a wire but since we're renting I just attached command strips on the back.

How to make them:
1) Cut your pieces into the dimensions I stated above. You may need to sand the edges a little bit.
2) Assemble two 32 inch pieces and two 12 inch pieces to make a frame shape. Then add a little wood glue and apply pressure. This is where I went the cheapest route. Most frames have a 45 degree angle but I didn't have a saw to do that or correct tools to attach the pieces. If you do, then go ahead and go that route!
3) Once the wood glue has dried your frames are done! Haha so easy. I then painted my frames and let them dry but spray paint would've also been super easy.
4) Wrap twine a few times around the top. I wrapped it around the top pieces of the frame twice then strung it down and did the same to the bottom. I then Just took a smaller piece and wrapped it twice around the other side of the middle piece of twine that's used to hang the photos. I used hot glue to make the twine stay in place. I also cut out the backside of the twine since I used command strips and the twine made the back side too bulky.
5) Attach your photos using good ol tape! I got mine printed in 5X5 at Costco and arranged them to my liking before placing the tape. It has held great and will make changing them out super easy!

That's all!
You guys, these frames were so so easy to make and are one of my favorite decorations.
Not only do each of the sweet memories bring a little tear to my eye each time I look, but I love how clean it looks in our hallway. 
I also think it would look great with four or even five frames in a bigger space!

I hope you guys enjoyed this little DIY!
What are you currently working on in your home?

All my love,
Aleigh Joy 

Little Oaklyn's Eye Pt. 2

A while back I opened up on this blog about Oaklyn's eye.
It was actually much harder for me to do than you'd think.
I'm incredibly protective over my Oaklyn, and I struggled with the fact that other people were starting to notice there was something different about her eye.
To me, she's perfect. 
She's a beautiful little girl with the cutest and sassiest personality and I couldn't stand it when I received rude comments or messages about her eye.
I struggled with it for a while so I finally just decided to open up about it.
You can read more about it right here, but long story short is that she was born with something called Brown's syndrome and we tried all we could to fix it without surgery... but ultimately she ended up needing surgery.
That's actually the update I wanted to share about for those of you that have been asking how it all went.
There's good, bad, and hopeful news... so bare with me as I share it.

The day we scheduled Oaklyn's surgery I literally felt like I was going to throw up.
I know that little kids and even babies go in for surgeries all the time but it just about broke my heart into a million pieces even thinking about it.
We had a couple of weeks to prepare but since we had never done the surgery before, I didn't even really know what to prepare for.
We went to the surgical center that morning and my sweet baby was hungry.
She had to fast, like you do with any surgery, and we had to wait longer than expected.
They finally called us back and we got her dressed in the little hospital gown and socks and I had to hold back the tears.
I've never seen someone make a hospital gown look so cute though ;)
We waited to speak with the anesthesiologist and the doctor while Oaklyn played with toys having no idea what was going to happen.
They were both friendly but my anxiety about the whole thing was still through the roof.
After talking to both of them, a nurse came in, picked Oaklyn up, and just walked away with her.
That's when I lost it.
I totally get that they didn't want her to be scared and crying that mommy and daddy were leaving her and they obviously didn't want us back there while putting her under, but man it was so hard just walking away from her.
All I could think about was her terrified wanting mama and dada.
I couldn't sit in the waiting room because I was a hot mess and bawling the entire time we waited. 
After about an hour, though, I knew the doctor would be coming out soon so I pulled myself together and went in.
The doctor came and talked to us and said everything went well and the surgery was successful.
He gave us a few brief instructions and told us she'd be waking up soon and they'd come get us when she did.
Those few minutes between the time the doctor came and talked to us and when they actually called us back felt like forever.
Right as they said "family of Oaklyn" Hunter shot up and practically ran to the door. I waddled behind because well... pregnant.
Oaklyn waking up for anesthesia was pretty funny, and also really not.
She was acting drunk and her body was flopping all over the place and she asked if she could go to Walmart, ha!
The nurses wanted to give her medicine but she couldn't have it unless she ate.
Getting her to eat and not touch her eye was an actual nightmare but we survived and about 2 hours later were able to go home.
From there, she was such a champ with recovery.
Her eye was pretty red and swollen for a few days and it wasn't exactly easy telling her not to touch it, but man did she impress us.
She hardly whined, took her medicine, and slept great.
I watched it closely each day and kept hoping it was starting to look better.
The swelling was going down and the redness was fading but inside, I just knew her eye didn't look better...

Her post op was about 10 days after the operation.
At that point the doctor was able to determine what our next step was.
I had been praying that our next step would just be to go home and call it good because the operation fixed it, but I couldn't help but feel that wasn't the case.
Oaks was the most cooperative she had ever been at this appointment and he was able to run several tests. 
He finally told me that the Brown's syndrome was in fact fixed, aka the good news.
However, the way her body chose to recover from the surgery created a different problem... aka the bad news.
With this surgery, they put a spacer in between the tendon behind her eye. 
That allowed the tendon a little more flexibility so it can move more freely which fixes the initial problem.
However, her body gets to choose how it responds to that... either it figures it out and all is well, or it can't figure it out and has a hard time adjusting.
Unfortunately, her body chose the latter.
The doctor let us know there is definitely a possibility of another surgery in the future to correct this.
However, here comes the hopeful part...
He let us know that he wants us to patch the strong eye for 2 hours a day to make the other eye work harder at figuring out how to work with the spacer.
So, there is definitely hope that the patch will work this time.
We've been doing it each night and Oaklyn has been awesome.
Sometimes it takes some convincing, and sometimes she peels it off early, but she's doing much better than we thought she would. 
Honestly, I really have noticed an improvement!
We have about two more weeks of patching and we'll see what the doctor says, but from what I've seen, I think it is helping.
I'm choosing to be hopeful and optimistic, but also to remember that surgery again is still a possibility... and that is okay.
If that's what needs to happen to help her, then that's what'll happen.

Anyways, I know that was long, but I've gotten a lot of questions and I figured I might as well just write it all out.
So, if you want to keep our little girl in your prayers and thoughts, we would very much appreciate it.

All my love,
Aleigh Joy

Gearing Up For Baby Girl

Guys... we're totally in the final stretch here waiting for little miss to arrive.
I cannot believe how fast this pregnancy has gone!
It hit me pretty hard the other day when I realized we hadn't even taken the car seat out of the box yet... oops.
So this past week, we have been in nesting mode!
Not just me, Hunter too ;)
We finally got the crib out of Oaklyn's room and really pushed the big girl bed.
We arranged the nursery furniture and put together some of the items I knew we'd need right away.
It felt really good to be a little more prepared for her and to have both the girls rooms a little more put together.
I have several "must-have" items on my list from when Oaks was a baby, but so much more has come out since then!
I've narrowed down what I really think we'll need from the ever growing list of new baby gear out there and I'll be sharing my favorites with you!

The first thing I want to talk about is the DockATot!
I have literally only heard the same review about this thing from everyone, and that is that they all LOVE it!
So what exactly is it?
I'll tell ya!
It was designed to offer a snug and soothing environment for babies.
Since they just spent nine months inside, it somewhat recreates that same feeling.
Babies can both lounge, sleep, and play in them!
Since they are super lightweight, you can pretty much bring them anywhere.
That makes sleeping during play dates easy, and lounging around the house a breeze!
It also can facilitate supervised tummy time with the raised sides.
The bigger size, the grand, is also great for toddlers when trying to transition them out of the crib and into a big kid bed. 
Why on earth did I not get one for Oaklyn too?? 
That probably would make this toddler bed transition easier!

So why did I decide this was a must-have this time around?
Well, I knew this child was going to have to be okay being put down more than Oaks was.
That's not to say she'll be okay with being put down more, but at least the DockATot will give me a safe and comfortable place to lay her when I need to either take care of Oaks or get other stuff done.
We have a swing for little miss, but I always hated moving it around with Oaklyn.
It was big and bulky and needed a plug.
I like the functionality and ease of moving the DockATot around.
The other reason is that I knew we'd need another place for this babe to sleep.
We go visit out families in San Diego a few times a year.
It's been easy with just Oaklyn, but now we're going to be bringing two littles!
For the first little bit, I love that we can just use the DockATot easily at our parent's houses

So, I can't offer my own personal review at this time since we've only put Oaklyn's teddy bear in it... but click here to read a bunch of reviews!
I'll be sure to update you all when little Miss C arrives :)

All my love,
Aleigh Joy

A Little Pregnancy Update

*This post is in collaboration with Pink Blush Maternity

So, I'm 35 weeks and some change.
This child is coming in like 4.5 weeks.
I'm honestly so shocked at how fast this pregnancy flew by!
I also have been seriously terrible with pregnancy updates. 
Oops, second kid probs.
Also, not wanting to take pictures because nothing fits... probs...
But I know I really will want to remember this time so here goes a little update :)

I guess she's the size of a small watermelon so... here's a picture with some watermelon haha

How Far Along? 35.5 weeks!
Weight Gain: I just don't think it's worth it to know...
 Maternity Clothes? YES! I bought a few pairs of maternity jeans when I was pregnant with Oaklyn and called it good. Not only did I hardly show, but I was pregnant in the winter time and it was so easy dress the bump. This time however, ugh... I hate getting dressed. It's hot. Like really hot. So, I don't really want to wear anything tight. I've been living in dresses but I also got some shirts from Pink Blush Maternity that I absolutely love! You guys, they actually have CUTE maternity clothes! I chose some flowy tops that I love and the one I'm wearing in this picture can be worn after my pregnancy too. If all goes as planned, this won't be my last pregnancy so I figure stocking up on maternity clothes isn't such a bad thing! 
 Sleep? No, not really. I'm waking up more at night to pee which is the most annoying but I'm also switching positions constantly. For some reason I end up flat on my back while sleeping so I've been trying to correct that.
 Best moment this week? I am pretty nervous to add another little one to our family.
The newborn stage is hard for me and I'm just getting anxious about it. However, I saw an itty bitty baby the other day and I melted. I got so excited to have another one of my own! So that was pretty much the best :)
 Weird pregnancy moment? Just the way this child kicks and moves is weird. She's super active and her kicks actually hurt!
 Movement: Oh, spoke too soon ;) But seriously, this little girl's movements are so crazy that I wake up from them. She's either really big, really strong, or really crazy haha.
 Food Cravings: Halo Top Ice cream has become a recent obsession. French Fries, oh man do I love me some french fries. Steamed broccoli with cheese haha. Shrimp. Ohh give me allll the shrimp! Dole whips, and thankfully they have them in Provo! And whatever else I fancy each day ;)
 Anything making you queasy? Smells are still getting the best of me. Weirdly, I can't stand the smell right after Hunter brushes his teeth haha.
 Gender: Little girly pie! We'll see if this one has hair like oaks!
 What I'm looking forward to: Setting up the nursery. Well actually I'm more looking forward to it being done haha. Setting it up doesn't exactly sounds fun ;)
Best Advice Learned So Far: Bodies are amazing and can do hard things. My body won't always look like this, my body can and will carry this child, and even though labor is scary to me... my body can do it!

Well that's all I have this time.
This pregnancy is a million and a half times different than mine with Oaks but I guess they'll all be a bit different.
Needless to say though, I'm giving myself a nice long break after this child is born ;)
I had an appointment today and baby girl is measuring at 5.5 pounds! 
No dilation but I didn't dilate til about 38 weeks with oaklyn and even then I was just at a one. 
So, only time will tell when this little one gets here :)

All my love,
Aleigh Joy

Why I Always Keep My Freezer Stocked

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

I absolutely love cooking up a big meal and I always have.
For as long as I can remember, I've enjoyed making up my own recipes and trying out new ingredients in the kitchen.
However, there are two instances where cooking just isn't in the cards for me.
Usually when it's hot outside, aka all summer, I really struggle cooking. 
Does anyone like standing in a hot kitchen in the dead of summer?
Didn't think so...
The other times are when I have something important going on that I need to take care of.
You never know when something will come up and cooking is just the last thing you have time for.
Sometimes it's a family emergency, a crying baby, sickness, helping a friend, the list goes on and on!
During those moments, I love being able to reach in the freezer and grab a convenient and great tasting meal.

Many of you know, we had one of those moments where something was just far more important this week.
My sweet Oaklyn had to get eye surgery and I knew I wanted to be able to spend as much undistracted time with her as possible before and after.
The day before her surgery I figured I would give her a fun summer day since after surgery she wouldn't be able to do many of her favorite activities.
I wanted so badly to get out the door quickly and have her spend as much time at the splash pad as possible but the thought of preparing lunch was stressing me out.
I just wanted to be with her instead of slaving over a hot stove.
Thanks to Tai Pei, our freezer was stocked and I was able to spend much needed time with her instead of preparing and making my own lunch

One of my favorite meals to stay stocked up on are the all-new Tai Pei single serve line of Asian inspired frozen entrees.
These meals are made with real, quality ingredients. None of the bad stuff, just pure and delicious goodness.
Hunter recently had the General Tso's Spicy Chicken, and I had Beef and Broccoli.
We both absolutely loved them and Oaklyn decided to snag a few bites herself ;)
Those are just two of their great tasting entrees, but we can't wait to try all of them!
One thing Hunter kept saying is how much he loved the chicken in his.
We're both pretty picky about meat in frozen meals, and this one exceeded his expectations.
That's because all entrees are made with real, pure ingredients, and no preservatives or artificial ingredients.
Beef and Broccoli is one of my all time favorite Asian dishes and Tai Pei hit the nail on the head with this one.
I loved that each entree features infused rice for great flavor.
I love a good tasting rice!
The coolest part about these entrees was the new packaging that makes Tai Pei quick and simple to prepare in just minutes in the microwave.
Seriously all I did was remove the plastic seal, popped it in the microwave with the lid on, and ta-da! It was done!
Not sure where to find Tai Pei entrees?
It's easy! Just click here to use their store locator and find the closest store that carries it.
You can also click here for a coupon so you can save $1.00 on ONE (1) Tai Pei® EntrĂ©e (7.9 oz. or larger) or Appetizer.

I have been so thankful to have my freezer stocked as Oaklyn is recovering from surgery.
It is making my life so much easier during meal times because I get to give her the much needed attention she deserves.
When is a time you could really use Tai Pei entrees?

All my love,
Aleigh Joy