Showing posts with label delainey2017. Show all posts
Showing posts with label delainey2017. Show all posts

The Most Wonderful Time of The Year...



It's the most wonderful time of the year... Delainey and I agree. We both love the holidays.


The thing is, we have been slightly off lately, battling with a cold for what feels like forever... So things haven't been as cheery as they could have been over the last few weeks. I had all these plans and well, none of them really played out.




I was going to share how we made these awesome homemade ornaments.. then life happened. So instead you get this photograph of them right now and maybe the tutorial for how to make them at a later date.



We had plans to visit Santa again before Christmas, but our colds put that idea on hold and now Christmas has already passed. Oops! So... we'll take our precious photos from a random visit with Santa at the zoo this year and embrace them, even if she is being feisty in them. That's a true depiction of my girl, after all.


That's the thing, sometimes you just have to go with the flow, embrace the change, and just deal. So that's what we're doing this holiday season... and I'm okay with that.


With that said, in 2018, I'm hoping for great things - from myself, for my daughter, for my blog, for my business, for my circle of friends and family, for our country.


So cheers! Here's to the holiday season and all the greatness to come in 2018. I hope the best for you & yours in the coming year!

How I Spent My Weekend as a Long-Term Investor...




Guess what I did this weekend?

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I spent the whole weekend having fun as a family and while we were having a blast at our favorite amusement park, we also invested in our future. I guess you could say I spent the weekend where investors belong.


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And... Can I just say, we honestly enjoyed our time together more than normal!

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You may be asking yourself, the question " why was this weekend better than any other"?

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Well, several reasons. It was partially because our 9 year wedding anniversary is coming up and we had the chance to celebrate with our tiny little princess. It likely had to do with the fun rides, the cute animals, and all the other exciting stuff we saw at Busch Gardens,because we weren't worrying about our future.

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I was overjoyed to realize we can celebrate the way we want to, we can enjoy moments together as a family, and we can do this all without stressing about planning for our future.
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What's different about Vanguard? This is a community of investors all focused on long-term planning, instead of short term fads.

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I found it interesting when I learned Vanguard clients spend 6 more hours per week, on average, with their kids compared with clients of other investment firms. That means you'll essentially be investing in time with your child now and forever... and to me, and many of you, that's invaluable.

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  Want to learn how you can invest in "time" and your future? Whether you want more snuggletime with your spouse, a couple extra hours of fun with your kiddos, or maybe you're just looking for somewhere to invest your money. Check out how Vanguard can help you invest wisely.

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The Where Investors Belong survey was conducted by market research firm Kelton Global in 2016. It polled 1,000 Vanguard clients and compared them with 1,000 clients of other investment firms. All differences between Vanguard clients and clients of other investment firms are statistically significant at the 95% confidence level. The parental stat refers to clients with children of any age who provided the number of hours per week they typically spend with their children or who, compared to other people they may know, believe to be more involved in their child’s life. . The experiences of these Vanguard clients may not be representative of the experience of other Vanguard clients and aren’t a guarantee of future investment performance or success.

3 Unique & Adorable Gerber Baby Apparel Looks for Your Toddler

Did you know Delainey is now a paid Brand Ambassador for Gerber Childrenswear?! What does that mean exactly? It is just is a fancy way of saying this post is sponsored... but as always, all opinions expressed below are mine alone!


https://www.walmart.com/search/?cat_id=0&facet=special_offers%3ANew%7C%7Cbrand%3AGerber&max_price=50&min_price=0&page=1&po=1&query=gerber+clothing+-+searchProductResult#searchProductResult

Alright y'all... let's be real, before I even had Delainey I always thought baby clothes were adorable... what girl doesn't? I knew I would love being a mama, but I really had NO IDEA how obsessed I would become!

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While Delainey and I always have a ton of fun doing all types of activities together, I'll be the first to admit - we love playing dress up... and I do mean "we". This girl loves bows, clothes, and shoes, just like her mama. So she's always willing to get her sassy pants on and run around the yard while I take some pictures.

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 With that said, today we want to show how versatile the coordinating Gerber sets from Walmart are, more specifically we are going to show you how we style our onesies for fall, from bow to toe - in 3 completely different ways.

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Some may say babies don't have "style", if that's the case - they haven't met this baby! She's full of style and sass and these three Gerber looks show it:


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We'll start with the simple pretty in pink look. This one is possibly my favorite, it's classic with a twist of fun. For this look, I paired White Pearls & Lace distressed jeans with her pink striped Gerber onesie and a Bloomology bow. We finished the look with a pink rose bib and some grey converse and she was set for a day on the go with daddy.

https://www.walmart.com/search/?cat_id=0&facet=special_offers%3ANew%7C%7Cbrand%3AGerber&max_price=50&min_price=0&page=1&po=1&query=gerber+clothing+-+searchProductResult#searchProductResult

This look is pretty much an everyday outfit for Miss Delainey and it should be for your babe too. Since the Gerber coordinated baby apparel collection is available at Wal-mart at a super affordable price, every girl should own a handful of these classic onesies.

https://www.walmart.com/search/?cat_id=0&facet=special_offers%3ANew%7C%7Cbrand%3AGerber&max_price=50&min_price=0&page=1&po=1&query=gerber+clothing+-+searchProductResult#searchProductResult

Whether you're currently expecting or dealing with a fun little feisty toddler, like me, the Gerber apparel collection offers just what you are looking for...

https://www.walmart.com/search/?cat_id=0&facet=special_offers%3ANew%7C%7Cbrand%3AGerber&max_price=50&min_price=0&page=1&po=1&query=gerber+clothing+-+searchProductResult#searchProductResult

On that note, the next look we have is this "Sweet Baby Blues" preciousness. Delainey is showing off in her "Sweet" blue onesie. Paired with some polka dot leg warmers and a glitter bow, this look is perfect for hanging around the house and chasing her pup from room to room!

https://www.walmart.com/search/?cat_id=0&facet=special_offers%3ANew%7C%7Cbrand%3AGerber&max_price=50&min_price=0&page=1&po=1&query=gerber+clothing+-+searchProductResult#searchProductResult

Plus, with her baby blue eyes, I can't get enough of this gorgeous blue color... we MUST have more and luckily, there's other items in the coordinating collection that match it!

https://www.walmart.com/search/?cat_id=0&facet=special_offers%3ANew%7C%7Cbrand%3AGerber&max_price=50&min_price=0&page=1&po=1&query=gerber+clothing+-+searchProductResult#searchProductResult

And the last look we're going to share today is her punk rock princess persona. I'm not even joking when I say she loved the way she looked in this outfit. From giving herself a smooch in the mirror to giggling the whole time we played in the backyard, I think this look was D's absolute favorite.

https://www.walmart.com/search/?cat_id=0&facet=special_offers%3ANew%7C%7Cbrand%3AGerber&max_price=50&min_price=0&page=1&po=1&query=gerber+clothing+-+searchProductResult#searchProductResult


We paired a purple Gerber hat, with a fun floral print Gerber Onesie, and a coordinating tu-tu that we just happened to have... but isn't it beyond perfection with this print? We completed the look with a fun bubble necklace, some Gerber socks, and another pair of Converse!

https://www.walmart.com/search/?cat_id=0&facet=special_offers%3ANew%7C%7Cbrand%3AGerber&max_price=50&min_price=0&page=1&po=1&query=gerber+clothing+-+searchProductResult#searchProductResult

So, now that we've shared three completely different, fashionable, and adorable looks with you, be sure to leave your favorite stylish combination to dress your toddler up in below!

A Letter to My Daughter: This is The End & The Beginning

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My sweet one -

As I sit here, writing this letter to you, my dear daughter, I can't help but laugh and cry simultaneously.

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This is such a joyous time in our lives, you're gaining independence, you are becoming a little tiny woman... and I'm so incredibly blessed to get to be a witness to the miracle that is your life. I'm so thankful to be the arms you run to, the one that you seek comfort in, and occasionally still, your source for nourishment.

With that said, we've been slowly cutting down on feedings, going from the moments when I thought it would never end, when all that would comfort you was cluster feeding, to each day slowly lessening the time you spent nursing, and now... well, now you only need me for a tiny bit of time each day, mainly suckling as a source of comfort as you drift off to sleep.

And as you lay here, I can't help but feel pure adoration watching you slowly go from your wild, curious self to a sleepy, sweet little bundle of love. I also can feel my heart getting a little heavier, my soul aching because these sweet moments with you will soon come to an end.

My sweet girl, it's so crazy to me how quickly you have grown. You are now almost fifteen months old, that's almost 456 days of pure love and devotion - each day dedicating several periods of time to special, sweet moments between just you and I.

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That's over 450 days we have spent together - learning, growing, struggling, and successfully mastering breastfeeding, 10, 950 hours since your first latch and so many minutes spent admiring your beautiful face while watching you receive the nourishment you have loved so much.

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Through every bit of pain as we had to adjust our position and finally learned to get an excellent latch I knew nursing you was the right choice. For each and every inch that you've grown and each time we've seen the scale go up a pound, we've celebrated our achievement. Each time you peek up at me, every time I see the way you embrace me, I know, deep within my soul every single second of our 15 month breastfeeding journey was worth it.

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Breastfeeding isn't just something we have experienced though, it's part of who we both are... and it has been since you took your first breath. So seeing this all come to an end is bittersweet and amazing in so many ways.

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Maybe it's knowing that you need me that makes ending this all so hard, maybe it's the fact that it's truly a connection unlike any other... I'm not sure. But as the tears stream down my face as I think of you, my little nursling, I know and will always know breastfeeding you was the best decision I could ever make and I wouldn't take a second of this journey back.

You are worth it.

And, although our breastfeeding journey is coming to an end soon, this is only the beginning of another more amazing journey together. Just remember, I'll always be here to comfort you, I'll always be the one that helps you to learn, who encourages you to grow, and who hopefully helps you achieve success through the struggles.



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Always & Forever,

Your mama



Are you a breastfeeding mom or mom to be? As you probably picked up on, nursing is so worth it all. With that said, not everyone has a breastfeeding journey as easy as ours was... some need nipple shields, others can't handle the pain, and some breastfed babies even need probiotics specially formulated for them... and that's where Evivo comes into the picture.

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With breastfeeding and D's health being of utmost importance, it comes as no shocker that we have her on a probiotic to make sure her gut is as healthy as it can be. Evivo not only helps her gut stay healthy now, but we're setting her up for a healthy future too. If good bacteria (like what Evivo offers) are thriving before a baby is fully weaned from breast milk they're more likely to develop a healthy metabolism and immune system later in life. Learn more about Evivo and how it can help your baby from the inside out here.

My 14 month old's Christmas List...

I can remember when I was little I would sit down with a catalog and circle all the toys that I wanted for Christmas each year... ranging from art sets to dolls, I was spoiled and always got what I wanted and then some.With that said, Delainey is only 14 months old so she won't be circling any items in a catalog or browsing online with me for toys, but I have a good idea of some of the items on her Christmas list this year and today I want to share them with you, whether that's to inspire you to grab something super cool for your little one or to start shopping for your grandbaby. So happy shopping...

Let's get started with the most epic little princess ride, possibly ever. This would be perfect for any little princess that loves to explore, especially one named Delainey Kate.



Next on her list, the most precious little princess tent. Completed with a cute little rug and some decorative lights and she'll have a sweet cozy place to hang out now.... that eventually can grow with her into a reading nook.



Another item that I think every little girl would love is a "play kitchen"... and since D is OBSESSED with being in our kitchen and watching us cook, this beautiful little play kitchenette is at the TOP of our list.



Okay, well, maybe this item is more on mama & daddy's list, but it's definitely FOR her - this little bench would make the perfect toy box/organizer for all of her wonderful toys and it would also match our house pretty well, so that's a win!


Another item every Florida girl has on her Christmas list this year is a water table and this one definitely won't disappoint!

One item that I know D would absolutely FLIP over is this little playset, she's obsessed with playgrounds so having one at her house would make her way too excited for words!



I'm not going to lie, this "roller coaster" looks like it would be a great toy for all ages of children and it's such a good deal!




Since D is in love with birdies lately and she's always been a foodie, a placemat like this one is perfect!




I'm certain we'll have more to add to her list and I'll even be sharing a handful of great gift ideas in our upcoming gift guide... but that's all we have in mind for now. So tell me, what do you think it something every toddler should have? Can you remember a Christmas gift from your childhood that took your breath away... what was it? I'd love to hear all about it in the comments below!

Parenthood, Adulting, and Saving for Your Child's College Education Wisely...

This post is sponsored by the Florida Prepaid College Board, through my role as a Believer Blogger. All thoughts are my own.

After Irma hit my husband and I have decided to prioritize things in our life a little more, I guess you could say we are giving this whole "adulting" thing a go. I guess it just took the threat of a natural disaster to make us "man up" but we've both been doing a lot of thinking about life and evaluating what our priorities are.


With my itty bitty baby already hitting her 14 month milestone recently, I've realized she's going to  grow up fast. Right now I'm reading her stories at bedtime and remind her not to eat dirt, next thing I know it'll be tea parties with her neighborhood friends and trips to library with classmates, and soon enough I'll be sending her off to college. I'm still figuring all this adult stuff out but one thing I know for certain is life flies by, so the reality of planning for her future is absolutely of utmost importance to us now.


With that said, I know now is the time to start saving for her future - I want to be sure she can get the higher education she wants and deserves without feeling burdened. My hubby and I have been saddled with college debt and a monthly student loan for years and that's just not something I want for her future, so we're doing something about it.


Saving for her future isn't just for her though. It benefits us too, we want to be sure we don't saddle ourselves with even more college debt and I mean, one day... someday, we eventually hope to retire... and well, that all takes planning, budgeting, and all that jazz.

While it's been great to really start to "adulting", I'm not going to lie - it's a little stressful getting up close and personal with all things finance-related. I'm sure we aren't the only millennials trying to figure out what to do about our college debt while also trying to plan how to pay for our kid's college one day.


After a little bit of research and some investigation, I'm so happy to have found the answer - The Florida Prepaid College Board Plans... and the good news for us all is: NOW is the time to enroll!

With five different plans, each with specific costs, payment schedules, and benefits which all include tuition at 28 Florida Colleges (as well as 12 universities), it's easy to see why the Florida Prepaid program would make sense for our little Florida baby.




So if you're a parent in the same boat as me trying to figure out how to save wisely, you may be asking yourself some questions... and I'm hoping I can answer a couple of them...


Let's start with the first question that came to my mind - How can you sign up for this Prepaid Plan and how much will your monthly payments be? You can sign up here... and since the monthly payment amount varies based on the age of the child and the amount you plan to save, your payment will be different than mine. Prices start at around $50 and the range of prices really varies.

When is the right time to start investing? NOW! From birth until 11th grade, you are eligible to enroll during open enrollment and should take advantage of this savings plan. After all, when we found out the cost of college has already increased 538% since 1985, we knew NOW was the right time to start investing and guaranteeing her a great education.

But why a Florida Prepaid College Plan? There's several reasons, but my top three include:

You and your family can literally fund your kiddo's college years, one month at a time. I mean it's pretty easy to pay approximately $50 a month, it's a little more daunting with a bill of $7,373 being thrown at you each semester, which is approximately the lump sum you could pay into the 1 year Florida Prepaid fund if you were able to...

Another reason we decided to save with Florida Prepaid, is the benefits and the flexibility.

What exactly do I mean by that?
Even if one day we decide to move back to Oklahoma or maybe even broaden our horizons and dip our feet in a Wyoming pond, the good news is Delainey will always have access to Florida in-state tuition while using her plan to help pay for tuition! I love that we are free to roam and she won't lose her Florida Prepaid benefits!

Even better, if she happens to get a scholarship, I love that the amount of the plan we have selected can be use towards school expenses or refunded!

What if you only have enough for the one year plan now? Well, I love that we can work towards getting her college paid for as a family. One student can have a handful of purchasers, that means grandmas, aunts, cousins, and more can help send your kiddo to college.... and it's an affordable monthly payment, if they're able to help! I love that. Instead of asking for toys this year, I think we may ask Delainey's grandparents to help pay for a year of college... maybe you could do the same?

Will my payments vary? Nope, the plans are guaranteed and the prices are locked, so no worries about price hikes in tuition or payments suddenly increasing.


With all of that said, just because these plans work for us, doesn't mean it's made for you... Don't fret. Check out how a Florida 529 Savings plan could be the answer! With no set payment schedule it may be harder to add into your budget, but the down side is the plan isn't guaranteed by the State of Florida like the Florida Prepaid plan.



No matter which plan you choose, now's the time to enroll - go ahead and sign your little one up for a Florida Prepaid Plan before open enrollment ends in February!

DIY Matryoshka Russian Stacking Doll Baby Costume



So, I kinda sorta have a fascination with Russian stacking dolls.


I'm not sure why I find them so fascinating and adorable... but I do.


I look forward to sharing this love with my little "Babushka".


And since we've been playing dress up all month long, it was obvious to me that I had to find a way to make D into a matryoshka...



While I couldn't exactly stick her inside of another doll, I did my best to make her family of smaller dolls - including the cuties on her top & her bow!


I'm proud to report, while playing dress up she fell in love with the little "dolls" I made her to play with and we will soon be adding a real matryoshka set to her toy collection.


And well, she may or may not be rocking this "costume" as an outfit again in the future... because hello, adorable! Want the details on her costume? I've linked what I know below!




bow { Darling Diva Boutique Bows }
top { bought used/shop sadly unknown }
icing pants { MudPie }
stacking dolls { Bloomology }