All my bags are packed...

IMG_6056My favorite Target travel bag is all set to go... With baby due in a week and change and knowing that it really could be any time, I decided to go ahead and get my bag ready. I had a pretty expedient first labor and with my [AMAZING] midwife urging me to not dilly-dally this time around, especially with a 45 minute drive ahead of us, I decided that I should get my shit together and make this happen. So over the past month I have slowly put together my Hospital Go Bag. I keep it and our iPad at the ready, just in case we have to bounce quickly! Here's what I have going on! IMG_6057[Oils & Diffuser] I love my oils. I wouldn't have survived my first labor without Peppermint oil which aided me not vomiting every single time I had a contraction. Huge Fan. I also had an oil concoction diffusing and I tell you what, that made a difference. I remember nurses walking in and commenting about how lovely it smelt. It did. It really did. I plan on diffusing Valor this time around because it smells like heaven and I am a freaking warrior. So I think it's fitting. Now, I'm not going to sit here and explain my use of oils, preggo or not. There is plenty of good info out there by far more qualified folks. I would love for you to check out my buddy, The Oil Boss, and do your own research! I fully believe that there are other trustworthy and quality brands of oils out there, but I personally like Young Living and would definitely recommend them. I don't sell them, so it's not a sales pitch.

[Robe] I suggest a lightweight cotton robe in a dark color! Mines from Gap and I love it.

[Rocco + Norah Turban] Pictured Mama ain't doing her hair, possibly ever again, so my adorable and comfy turban is most definitely in my bag!

[Nursing Tanks] I have majorly raved about the Felicity Slimming Nursing Tanks before and I will again. I love love love them. Buy them, be happy. That is all.

[Belly Bandit & Hip Bandit] Pictured So I was a huge fan of my Original Belly Bandit last pregnancy and am even more excited this go around, I have a medium and a small... I am so pumped to regain control of my body again! I love that this company isn't just trying to make you "skinny" and it's in no way a waist trainer. These products are gentle and not only help your stomach muscles remember their former glory, they also help with posture while breastfeeding which is HUGE for me as I am a major slumper. They can also help with c-section recovery and so much more. I opted for a Hip Bandit as well because it definitely took my hips a long time to get with the program last time. So while my body is still pumping Relaxin, I will be compressing and taking advantage of that rad hormone!

[iPad & Charger] For music [I've been working on an iHeartRadio playlist, free and no commercials] and for FaceTiming.

[Cell Phone Charger] Self-explanatory.

[Cooling Towel] Okay, these things are BOMB. I had one with Mohawk that I've used throughout both pregnancies. Summer baby boys, killing me. You submerge them in water and they stay cool for, like, ages. It's amazing. During my labor with Rocco I went from freezing to hot flashes in an instant, so I loved my cooling towel when I was feeling toasty.

[Belly Oil & Claraderm] MORE OILS! So to use with my Belly Bandit, I will continue to use a mixture of Mother's Special Blend oil and Young Living Gentle Baby oil. It smells so good and helps keep skin moisturized and toned. Young Living Claraderm Spray is a magical mixture of oils [tea tree, lavender, myrrh, and frankincense to name a few] you spray on your who-ha before and after labor to help with irritation, itching, and all the cray things that happens to your lady palace before, during, and after giving birth.

[Lip Balm] Insert your favorite brand here. My lips were so so so chapped last time and I ended up using the hospitals gross thick sample thing they give out, it worked, but I'm going to be prepared this time.

[Grippy Socks] pictured These are lifesavers on slick hospital floors! You can find various brands on Amazon, but I personally love my TDM ones!

[Snacks] pictured Snacks, snacks, snacks, I love snacks. So unlike my Cali Hospital, I'm not going to be able to order a 3 course meal off of a completely vegan menu... You guys. Scripps La Jolla's vegan menu is AH-mazing. I ate like a champ. So while there are a few surrounding restaurants that I will send The Captain to for mealtime, I'm relying on bars to keep me from chewing off a limb in-between.

[Face Wipes] pictured Cause they are just SO easy!

[Loose Clothing] Seriously, baggy loose trousers, baggy loose dresses are a life saver... Paired with your nursing tanks you'll be golden until you are discharged!

[For the Nugget] I have a few onesies in various sizes, lavender soap for his bath, my trusty Ollie Swaddle, and a few Aden and Anais blankets for mister man. The rest of his goodies will be eagerly awaiting him at home!!!

So that's all she wrote!! What do you think? Pretty good? Am I missing anything you HAD to have in your bag? Tell me in the comments below!!!

[show_shopthepost_widget id="1804444"]

Get pregnancy shapewear at BellyBandit.com

Beautiful Disaster

less housevia

First, if you caught my Kelly Clarkson reference, we could probably be best friends. Second, Things are currently cray for our family. Moving across the country is a son of a bitch. Add two dogs, a toddler, and a pregnant lady. Whoa. Just Whoa. I'm told adventures await. I'm not sure if a serious tornado mere miles away from our new home on day 2 is what I was thinking when I thought of adventures... Say a prayer, if you do that sort of thing, that things will continue to fall into place as we adjust to our new town, house, and life.

Peace out.

Fare Thee Well

IMG_1467 copyI really can't even believe it… We are no longer residents of SoCal. I'm in a haze of denial that we won't soon be returning to Sunny Cali back to our church, our friends, and our lives. We had our sweet baby boy while living here and leaving has hit me hard, I'm saying goodbye to the most wonderful hello I've ever experienced. I mostly eat chocolate while crying in bed, I may or may not be clothed, but that's neither here nor there… We are currently in a state of homelessness while we wait to close on our first house and that's making things a little harder to digest. I feel a bit lost. I know this is the best thing for our family and I AM excited, but I'm finding myself needing to lean a bit more on God as he guides us through this transition. I hope I can remain open to new friendships and a new season of life. It's just when you have had it so good, it's hard to see better.

I can't believe how lucky I have been to meet and know the beautiful people I call friends. Some of the most caring and giving souls I've ever met. Thank you. To all of the amazing friends that in their own way changed my life. Made me better. Made me stronger. Made me funnier. Made me happier. Made me, Me.

Thanks Boos.

Goin' Back to Cali

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset[Nana & Pop with all the Gran-Chillins]

So after an extended vacation in the dirty south visiting family, the youngster and we have made it back to sunny California and once again reunited with The Captain. Our trip was a ton of fun and we got to see friends and family, a bunch met Mohawk for the first time. It was wonderful, but as it turns out, plane travel with a 6-7 month old is just as awful as you would imagine. The flight to Atlanta wasn't terrible, but the flight home was THE WORST. I had to resort to giving him wipes containers and usb cords etc etc to keep him happy. I gladly passed him to strangers to give my poor arms a break… A 4 hour flight feels like 50 when your rugrat wants a change of scenery every 30 seconds. I appreciated the willing 25 year old Marine, Derrick, for holding him often and letting him slobber all over his Beats by Dre. And the high school student sitting next to him for bouncing him and letting him look out the window. And the flight attendant, whose name started with a C, who would take him every time she passed by. People really are good. I was so grateful. And they thought they were going to get to sleep!!! HA! Sleep!?! Who needs sleep!?!? Speaking of sleep, we haven't been getting much in our house, so I apologize for the glacial pace at which I will be posting, but I'm back!

Kula Project | For the Farmer

kula2all photos via Bobby Neptune 

Every once and awhile you come across a person or a cause that is just so beautiful and real that you can't deny the awesomeness and you just have to tell everyone. That is definitely how I feel about Sarah and the brilliant Kula Project! Seeing all the amazing things they are doing has really just warmed my heart and I thought it was about time that I shared the Kula Project with you. It's an amazing non-profit, co-founded by Sarah, that helps small-scale farmers create sustainable communities in Rwanda. Awesome-sauce!!! It is such a wonderful cause that I wanted to do anything I could to get the word out. I asked Sarah to just answer a few questions to share with you all and she graciously obliged. I'm so honored to have her take the time to share with us her passion!!! She is truly inspiring!!! Read on!!!Kula1What inspired you to start the Kula Project? I went to Kenya with a dental team in 2009, and it was the first time that I saw true poverty. It wrecked me, so I come home and changed my major to focus on International Development. It was through my studies and further travels that I saw the link between agriculture and poverty. Agriculture wasn’t my driving passion, I was passionate about these children that I continued to see that weren't in school, that were malnourished, or children dying because their parents can't afford a $7 pill that would treat their malaria. I wanted to fix all of this, but I knew I couldn't do it, but that these kid's parents could, if they were simply given the opportunity. If I decided to work with small-scale farmers, I knew I can reach over 80% of the developing world, so that’s what I did.

kula5What’s been the most exciting part about watching the Kula Project grow? I think when you start doing what I do, you have this big, gigantic picture of what your work will be, but you fail to realize that these are actual people you are trying to help with unique stories. So, now that we have been going for two years and in Rwanda for year, I have the enormous privilege to have relationships, friendships really, and I get to bring people into that. This fall, the families in our program will plant over 6,000 coffee and banana trees. 6,000! Those trees will make elementary school graduations and Sunday suppers possible. Moving forward, malaria will no longer be a death sentence because they will be able to afford the medicine and we get to be a part of all this!

kula3What do you think would surprise people to find out about the work KP does? The people of the communities we work in are just as much involved in the program development process as we are. So often people go into countries with the best intentions of helping but end not providing what is needed because they never thought to ask, they just assumed they knew. We sit down with the families we work with to get their opinion, find out what they think their community needs, and we combine that input with the input of some local experts and develop the programs with that information.

For example, I had a laundry list tools I thought our farmers would need to implement this upcoming program. As I was reading the list, I realized no one was getting excited, which they usually do. Finally, JMV, one of our farmers, says, “You know, we really just need wheelbarrows with strong tires that can handle these hills.” I just laughed and nodded “okay, we’ll just go with wheelbarrows.”kula6What’s next for the Kula Project? This November will be the biggest month of our organization thus far. We have worked for almost year building this program and it’s finally about to happen! Our farmers will start “intercropping plots” with coffee and banana trees. These plots will help protect their land from rising temperatures and diminishing rains while almost doubling their current family income.

kula7How can people help? To make November happen, we need to raise $50,000 more dollars, so people can help by supporting one of our farmers. We like for people to be as much of a part of their lives and we are, so we do a pretty job at keeping people connected with the families they support. If you can’t give funds, buy some of our merchandise, or simply spread the word to people you think might be able to support our work.

tankI bought this awesome tank at the Kula Market and not only is it legit fabulous the money goes to the help this amazing cause!  I also picked up Rocco his first For The Farmer onesie!! Go buy a shirt, a bow tie, some coffee, or heck, just go donate money!!! If you feel the least bit inclined to donate, don't hesitate, don't wait! If not now, when!? I'm so excited for what the future holds for the Kula Project! Get involved!!!

Kendra's Night Out!

florida

image via

Does anybody else have Will Smith stuck in their head?! No? Just me? Okay… Recently I was approached by the lovely Kendra Thornton to be apart of her Kendra's Night Out Miami Vacation Challenge, that's a mouthful. And because when it comes to shopping I just can't help myself, I whipped up some inspiration for her to rock on a beautiful trip to Miami, land of ArtDeco, Cuban sandwiches, and first rate nightlife.

Challenge Extended: I have always loved the 1920s period in fashion. There were so many amazing outfits. The beaded dresses, feather headdresses and perfect makeup looks just always give me ideas for what to wear. I feel like I am headed to the 1920s again with my trip to Miami. My husband and I decided to go for a really lavish hotel that we found on gogobot. It's called the Biltmore Estate, and it's one of the oldest historical sites in Miami. I feel so lucky to stay here, but I am in desperate need of some fashion advice. My wardrobe is too mommy for Miami! I want to go to a few different romantic spots with my husband and just enjoy myself on our break, but I don't even know where to look for a new outfit. I definitely need a new look for a special date that my husband and I have planned. It would be amazing to have a day look that was comfortable enough to wear around the hotel and another evening look to go out in. We are going to spend some time exploring the historical and cultural areas of Miami like Little Havana and even do a little shopping at the Lincoln Road Mall. I can't wait to just relax and take a break from life in Miami. Any ideas that you have would make it easier to pack some gorgeous new digs for the trip.

Challenge Accepted.

miami day .001 [tank dress] Splendid [maxi dress] Loft [eyelet shirt] Loft [patterned shorts] JCrew [headband] Anthro [sandals] Latigo [sunglasses] Warby Parker x Karlie Kloss [bracelet] Gorjana [satchel] Rebecca Minkoff

I wanted to give Kendra a fresh and modern look for her trip! Glamourous, yet casual and functional. I like to travel light, if I can use the same accessories for most of my looks I am a happy camper traveler. Seriously, I'd never go camping, do you know me at all!?! So I found some genius pieces to rock with all of her day options and a few even transition perfectly for night!!! Hooray! I loved the idea of this brilliant eyelet top paired with a chic pair of shorts for exploring the grounds of the absolutely stunning hotel! I'm obsessed with both dresses and thought they would be perfect for exploring little Havana or doing some serious shopping at Lincoln Road mall! Add the beautiful crystal headband and you are ready for a night out in full 20's glamour!!

miami date night.001

[jumpsuit] Eighty Sixty [sandals] Steve Madden [clutch] DVF [bracelet] Gorjana [Ring] House of Harlow [necklace] House of Harlow

Hello Hot Stuff!!! This jumpsuit is just magical and so unbelievably chic! Light and perfect for Miami's sweltering heat. I loved the idea of pairing it with a brilliant pair of floral heels, a bold clutch, a dainty bracelet, and two statement pieces. I am a big fan of House of Harlow and both of these pieces have a lil' Art Deco something-something that just completes the Miami look completely.

Where are you vacationing this summer? What's your best packing tip?? Happy Traveling!