Friday I’m in Love

Happy last Friday of September! If you’re new here, on Fridays we share what we’re loving each week. It can be anything…and really, it’s always the little things that are the best. There are deets at the bottom on how you can join in on the fun, too. Let’s get started…

o n e

It’s officially fall!! If you are actually experiencing fall right now, I am jealous. According to this, Orlando won’t start feeling fall until October 28th….. bummer. It’s ok though, because this week, I got out ALL of the fall decorations so at least the inside of my house feels like fall…. then this weekend we will go jump in the pool and pretend like it’s still summer. #floridaproblems


t w o

Vikings Become 1st NFL Team To Partner With Mamava, Install Lactation Suites For Breastfeeding Moms

As an avid sports fan and a mama, I am in love with this. Bravo, Vikings, bravo! And look how fancy these things are…

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t h r e e

This…all. of. this. I have caught myself singing “when bedtime comes, I will sing hallelujah” this week. Catchy and yet so true.

Honorable mention this week goes to 100 Moves Dance Scenes Mashup to Uptown Funk

f o u r

This is truly one of those little things, but I seriously love our pediatrician’s office. We’ve made THREE visits to the office in the past week and each time they have gotten us an appointment within the hour and this week even stayed a little late to make sure we were seen. I was already feeling so thankful for them and the next day saw another mom on Facebook complaining about what a long wait they had at their own pediatrician’s office and it made me even MORE thankful.

f i v e

Greg and I love iced coffee and Starbucks iced coffee, so when Greg found a deal on the Starbucks Iced Coffee K-Cups (60 count!!), we jumped on it. They are SO good. We got a sweetened and a vanilla sweetened. Yum!

Keurig Starbucks Vanilla Sweetened Iced Coffee K-cup 16 Ct


Friday I'm in Love Linky Party

Now it’s time for our link-up!

Here are the instructions if you are a new to linky-party:
Click on the blue “Add Your Link” button at the bottom of this post – it has a blue frog head on it
Add a link to your Friday I’m in Love blog post in the URL field (please do not link to your home page but the specific post page).
For “name” write a short descriptive name for your post.
If you would like to put the Friday I’m in Love button on the bottom of your post, we would love to see it there!
If you’d rather just link over to your post in the comment section, feel free to do that!

**this post contains affiliate links.

my weekend in photos :: mother’s day surprise

“my weekend in photos” will be more words and less photos this week,
just to forewarn you.

Where to begin.
Friday I came home to two awesome surprises.
My amazing husband flew my mom down for the weekend
and I didn’t know it until I came home from work on Friday to see her holding Kenley.
My amazing father flew my brother down this weekend to surprise both my mom and myself,
and I didn’t know it until after I saw my mom and was already surprised.
All these men in our lives were in cahoots together.

Later on the Jenkinson’s came over to play!

Kenley just loves grabbing at Kyler.

Saturday morning we headed to the Winter Park Farmer’s Market, which was amazing!

Greg and I snuck away for a lunch-time date to our fave restaurant with an amazing view.

Saturday night, we played Sink the Biz.
Alicia was in town, so we were pumped when she came by to visit.

I don’t think I could have had a better first Mother’s Day.
After some chocolate chip pancakes, we headed to church, then to lunch.
My mom and I did some shopping this afternoon (shocking, I know),
then had an awesome dinner!

Hope all you mommies had a wonderful Mother’s Day, especially the first-time mommies out there!

Our Must Have List Part II

Here is our first must have list, in case you missed it.
Some items we still use everyday, like the car seat (obvi), breast pump, and Boppy,
and there are some things that we’ve grown out of  like the swing and the play mat,
but there are other new items that we’ve grown into that we love, so we want to share.
This list is probably more for months three to seven.

Fisher-Price Jumperoo

This was a hand-me-down that we are so thankful to have gotten!
I feel like it was just yesterday that we had to put my sports law book under her feet so she could reach the ground.
Now she can reach the floor perfectly and loves to jump around in it.
It plays music and lights up with is fun for her.
It’s also great because she can stay in one place and we know she can’t go far.

ERGObaby Original Baby Carrier

I love the Ergo, but we didn’t get it/start using it until she was a little older and weighed more.
We also have a Moby Wrap that was also a hand-me-down and it worked great when I was home with her
during the day and when she was a newborn and didn’t weigh as much.
The Ergo is so easy to put on and is very comfortable.
I’ve worn it on the front, as well as on the hip and would say that I prefer the front better right now.
We may still use the Moby later on, but the Ergo is much more handy to just put on and go.
I also think it’s a little more manly than the Moby wrap, so Greg has no problem wearing it around.
As silly as it sounds, I also love having the zip pocket on the front for my cell phone. It’s the small things.

Vulli Sophie the Giraffe Teether

We love Sophie, but this also goes for any other teething toy as well.
From about four months on, everything has gone into Kenley’s mouth, so having these toys on hand has been great.
We are now starting to utilize the teethers that can be put in the freezer (for small periods of time only)
as well as just a plain damp washcloth that she can chew on.
Anything that can help with the teething, chewing, drooling phase is a must!

Graco Sweet Slumber Sound Machine

Growing up, I didn’t sleep with any kind of noise maker. Just the silence.
Probably because my dad is the lightest sleeper you’ve ever met!
Freshman year of college, however, Lisa and I slept with the TV on every night. EPSN. Every night.
I quickly grew accustomed to sleeping with either the TV or the fan on at night,
but let’s be serious, I can sleep anytime, anywhere, so it’s not a must for me.
From the day we brought Kenley home, she has slept with the sound machine.
We usually keep it on the rain forest or the white noise setting.
I like to think it helps her sleep, but it also allows us to be as loud as we want
and not have to worry about waking her up, especially when we have friends over.
We also have the Cloud b Gentle Giraffe that we can strap to her car seat or strollers if she needs to sleep.

Burp Cloths

I swear, we have at least 12 burp cloths and I still think I could use more.
It seems like we are going through these like crazy, whether it’s spit up or drool,
we also have them within an arms reach.
I will say that with the Carter’s brand, the cute fabrics fade so fast when you’re washing them so often,
they still do their job, but just don’t look as cute.
I’ve actually started making some for friends with leftover fabric and the plain Gerber burp cloths.
In my opinion, it’s the perfect gift because I know they will get used!
Bottom line, you can never have too many of these bad boys.


What other goods do you mommies use that I’m missing?

Our Must Have List

Baby gear.
I spent a ton of time researching, reading, and looking online for all the must haves for moms.
I don’t even want to think about the amount of time spent just searching for strollers.
So silly, but I was obsessed and determined to find the perfect combo of out and about and jogging strollers.

Well, here is our list of  mommy must haves up until this point. Basically from birth to around three months.
I’m sure our must haves will change as Kenley gets older
as we’re already starting to retire some items and move on to new ones.

In no particular order.

Chicco Cortina KeyFit 30 Travel System, Midori

One of my first purchases was the BOB jogging stroller I found on Craigslist, which is why I became obsessed
with finding the perfect daytime stroller. Like I said, I have no idea why I searched for so long
because these travel system strollers are probably the most purchased strollers out there. I see them everywhere!
The great thing about the car seat is you can just pop it out and take it anywhere when there is a sleeping baby.
The stroller folds up so easily and it’s pretty lightweight so getting it in and out of the car is a breeze.
I have a feeling that we won’t be using the carrier function of the car seat much longer
because Kenley is already starting to get heavy and lugging that thing around doesn’t sound like fun.
** Update: We quickly realized how bulky the Chicco stroller is by itself.
Once we had graduated 
from the infant car seat, the stroller got old very quickly.
I recently sold the stroller portion of the travel system in a consignment sale. **

Boppy Pillow with Slipcover

I seriously could not live without this thing. It helps so much with feeding her.
So much so that the first time we were out and I actually had to hold her to feed,
my arm got extremely tired and we ended up buying an inflatable one in a different brand
so we could take it when we travel overnight. Needless to stay, I love it.
It’s also great because Kenley sits in it and also can do tummy time on it.

Fisher-Price Cradle ‘N Swing

We don’t have this exact one, ours is nature-esque and has bees instead of lambs,
but we scored it for 20 bucks at a yard sale four days before Kenley was born!
I had heard and read that you don’t need a bouncy seat and a swing, so we went with the seat,
but thank goodness we got the swing. Kenley lived in this thing for the first three months.
She would sleep for hours in it if we would let her… which we did most days.
She hasn’t been in it much since we started napping in the crib
and I think we will start using the bouncy seat more now, but I’m so glad we had this!

Infantino Twist and Fold Activity Gym

Kenley loves her play mat. Yes, we got the boy version, but I think it’s adorable.
The girl version was a little too pink for my liking.
She plays on this thing majority of the time she’s awake. She bats and pulls at the toys and just kicks around.
This is wonderful right now because we can get things done around the house
while she is playing on this. When she starts to become more mobile, I don’t see that being the case.
We did fold this up and take it with us on a road trip, which was so convenient.

.Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump

My cousin Abbi told me from the very beginning not to go the cheap route on your breast pump
or you would hate it and not want to ever pump. Well, I believe her.
This thing was not cheap (and I even got it on sale plus used a coupon!), but it is worth every penny.
I especially like how it’s not obvious that I’m carrying my pump to and from work every day.
If you are planning to pump, I definitely recommend this one!
Also, if you like to multitask, I highly recommend getting the Easy Expression Bustier.
I didn’t have it for the first month or so because I refused to spend $35 on it,
but now that I have it, I don’t know how I ever lived without it, especially at work!

Aden By aden + anais Muslin Swaddle Blanket 4 Pack

We were really big on swaddling Kenley. She didn’t hate it and we actually just stopped a few weeks ago.
When she was really little, we liked using these blankets because they are huge, light, and airy.
Later on, we moved to the Miracle Blanket and ultimately the Halo Sleep Sacks for swaddling,
but we use the aden + anais blankets all the time! Especially since it’s so hot here, they are perfect.


What are some of your must have items? I’m anxious to hear what other mommies can’t live without!

Fourteen Weeks!

Week fourteen has been dedicated to quitting the swaddle.
We were fully addicted.
Kenley didn’t hate it and she was sleeping so well.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?
So we spent a week [or more] researching, reading, and discussing when and how we should quit it
and decided to just quit cold turkey on Friday night.
It had to be a weekend night just in case we didn’t get any sleep.

The first two nights were flawless. Awesome.
Since, we’ve been up a few times each night consoling her back to sleep
because she was woken up one way or another and hasn’t quite figured out her self soothing mechanism.
We’ve swapped one vice for another. Now that she’s really loving her tootie,
we can give it to her and majority of the time, she’s back asleep.
Other times do require some rocking or shhh-ing.
It’s still a work in progress, but we’ve officially retired the swaddle.
(Even though it crossed my mind last night after the second or third time up
to just put her back in it “just for tonight”… but I resisted, thankfully).

She can’t get herself back to sleep at night, but she sure can fall asleep while playing with her toys.

Pay no attention to her lovely outfit. She had a little accident at school apparently.

Sleepy girl.

Cloth Diapers? What?!

This is usually the reaction we get when we tell people that Kenley is cloth diapered.
And to be honest, it was Greg’s initial reaction, too, when I told him I wanted to do it.
Thankfully, our friends, Sally & Nathan had cloth diapered their little one,
which gave us someone to ask questions and see first hand how it all goes down.

For most people, when we say cloth diapers, they think of the old fashioned
cloth diapers with the large safety pins that hold them together.
Honestly, I would have too, but believe me, there are no safety pins,
that would have been a deal breaker for us.
All of our diapers have either velcro or snap closures, so they are super easy to put on.

The number one reason that we decided to cloth diaper was to save money. That’s how I sold Greg on the idea.
We crunched some numbers and that was the end of the discussion.
We talked about this towards the beginning of our pregnancy, so we had the opportunity
to register for majority of the items we needed and search for good deals.
One of the cons of cloth diapering (some say) is the cost up front.
Yes, you do have to get majority of your diapers and supplies before you start the process,
but after that, you’re set… even for your future children down that road!
The fact that they are adorable is an added bonus.

We started Kenley in disposables because (1) we had no idea what we were doing as parents
and (2) the cloth diapers we have are for babies at least 8 pounds, so they were too big for her at first.
We made the switch over to cloth when she was three weeks and close to 9 pounds.
We already had majority of our diapers & accessories, so we were set.
Even if you don’t have all the items when your little one is that young,
I don’t see any reason that you wouldn’t be able to make the switch later on.

There are a lot of different cloth diaper systems and many different brands
and we are by no means experts on any of them, but I can share what we use and why we like them.
Our favorite diapers are the BumGenius One-Size Stay-Dry cloth diapers.
They grow with her by adjusting the snaps (up to 35 lbs!).
These come with inserts that you stuff inside the cover.
We usually add an extra insert for the night time diapers since she is in them for longer.
Like I said, they are super easy to put on, very soft, and easy to stuff.

There are several accessories that we cannot live without and wouldn’t want to!
First and foremost…the BumGenius Diaper Sprayer.
You know that little thing called poop? Well this takes care of it!
It attaches to our toilet and we just spray off the poopy diapers.
Which I’m sure brings me to another one of your questions,
no poop enters the washer at any time, thanks to this bad boy.
While the diaper sprayer is awesome, I’m not going to say it doesn’t get messy or gross sometimes.
Poop is gross. You know that, I know that.
We just deal with it, wash our hands, and move on.

So here is how it works in our household.
The dirty diaper goes straight to the bathroom,
the wet ones go straight into the pail, insert and cover separate;
the dirty ones get sprayed off with the diaper sprayer and then go into the pail.
Our pail is just a regular trash can with a lid lined with a Planet Wise Pail Liner.
We have two liners so when one is in the wash, the other is in the pail.
The pail, nor the bathroom, smell like dirty diapers at all.

Then it’s time to wash. We wash the diapers every other day, well, night, now that I’m back at work.
The entire pail liner goes from the bathroom straight to the washer.
We’ve got it down to a science now that if you dump the diapers into the washer
using the bottom of the pail liner then you don’t ever touch the dirty diapers.
The pail liner goes right into the wash with all the diapers and wipes.
We use cheap wash cloths with a spray bottle of water for wipes.
It’s so much better for her bum and so much easier to toss the wipes and the diapers into the same pail.
For detergent, we use the Rockin’ Green detergent, as well as a homemade concoction we found here.
After the wash is complete, we dry the liners and hang dry the covers.

Daycare, traveling, and just general out-and-about days do require a little extra planning & packing.
When we don’t have access to the diaper sprayer, we use the Bumkins Flushable Diaper Liners.
These go between her bum and the diaper to catch any of the poop,
they go right into the toilet and get flushed, eliminating the need to spray off the diaper.
They were great when we traveled for Christmas in December.
When we’re out and about, we just pack up the diaper bag with extra diapers and the wet bag.
All dirty diapers go in the wet bag and get sprayed off when we get back home!
Same with daycare, we pack up her diapers & wet bag each day and the dirty diapers get sent home with her each night.

There are a lot of pros to using cloth diapers (cost efficient, less waste, no blowouts, cuteness),
but we completely understand that cloth diapering is not for everyone.
In no way are we judging those who do not cloth diaper.
It is a little more work than just tossing a dirty diaper in the trash,
but it works for us and we are completely obsessed!
We are always open to trying new brands and systems and I love getting new cute patterns,
so if you have other suggestions, let us know!!
If you have any other questions that I didn’t answer, let me know and I’ll be sure to do so.
If you’re thinking about cloth diapering, check out Cottonbabies Cloth Diaper 101, it’s a great place to start!

a {very} new year

While it’s a new year for everyone, this year is a new year for us in a different way.
We rang in the new year as parents, with a baby sleeping down the hall.
How weird is that?
I was drinking Monster, just so I could stay awake until midnight.
Oh how times have changed.

Today is the fifth day of the year and I feel am already overwhelmed.
I’m now a working mom with a stylish new, must-have accessory.
My breast pump.
I returned to my position in the workforce this week,
and I’m not going to lie, it’s been hard.
Real hard. 

Heading into the new year I had a few “resolutions” on my mind,
I’ve never been big on resolutions, so they are nothing too concrete, just things I’d like to do this year.
However, after this week (of only working three days, I might add)
I am thinking how am I going to have time to do anything this year?!
Cue the overwhelmed feeling.

Now, I know that Rome wasn’t built in a day
and I know that we’re going to eventually get into a routine.
Greg so sweetly pointed out today that returning to work after 12 weeks
would be hard on anyone, even without a baby.
Which is a very valid point.
Which is why I’m still a tad optimistic about my goals, I should say,
[rather than resolutions. I just don’t like the word resolutions], for the year.

– 1 –

I want to get back to my pre-pregnancy body.
I think that’s a reasonable goal for any new mom.
While I’ve lost almost all of my baby weight, and yes, I’m thankful for that,
I just don’t feel like I used to. Maybe that’ something I need to accept,
but I really need to get into a work out routine.
I know it’s going to be hard because I just want to spend every free minute
snuggling on the couch with Kenley.
But, thankfully Greg is really good about just getting on the treadmill
and getting it done, so hopefully that’ll rub off on me!

– 2 –

I want to be more intentional with my blogging.
I never want to feel like I HAVE to do this. I WANT to do this.
I LIKE to do this. It’s a way for me to relax, vent, have some me time.
I also love that I am documenting Kenley’s life (or any future children we birth),
how fun is it going to be for her to look back and read about all the fun
and even not-so-fun stuff we did when she was growing up.
That’s why I do it. And that’s why I’m going to keep doing it.
It also doesn’t hurt that we can keep our family & friends
across the country updated too. (You’re welcome)

– 3-

I want to keep updating, upgrading, and decorating our house!
We’ve done a lot of fun stuff to it this year,
both big and small.
I want to keep transforming it into a home.
Our home. Kenley’s first home. 
And I want to actually DO some of the things I’ve pinned on Pinterest.
What a concept!

– 4 –

I want for our family to become more regular attenders of church.
We go when we can, but sometimes make excuses not to,
which I think is normal. Maybe?
But that is something I want to work on.
I am also thinking very seriously about becoming more involved.
We love our church, but I don’t really feel like we’ve found our place there. Our purpose.
I don’t know, just something I’ve been thinking about,
hopefully by the end of 2012 I’ll have it figured out.

– 5 –

Finally. I want to learn to let things go.
Not be so stressed.
Life is short.
I am going to have a messy house.
I need to deal with it. And I’m already starting to get a little better.
I know my to-do list is going to be endless.
There is always going to be a dirty bottle, pump part, diaper or clothing article, to wash.
I need to get over it.
I’m never going to have it all together.
I need to learn that no new mom really has it all together. Right?
Again, we’ll get our routine eventually and we’ll take it day by day!

I hope to reference this post as we progress through the year to see how we’re doing.


I’ll leave you with this.

Aside from the chaos of trying to get out of the house at a decent time this week,
yesterday, I clipped the recycling bin with the front of the car
so all of our empty glass and plastic containers
were all…over…the…street.
And today, I definitely pulled out of the garage with my coffee
Even more awesome.