2020 | Where your heart is now

Uppababy Vista Stroller Review

October 21, 2020



I am finally sharing details and a review on our Uppababy Vista stroller! Easton just turned 11 months and we use it everyday. When we first got pregnant, picking a stroller was huge for us. There are so many out there and I wanted to make sure we chose one that not only worked for us in the beginning but that we could keep and use for awhile. We went to Buy Buy Baby and tested out a few. As soon as we both pushed the Uppababy Vista we were like, this is it. 

This stroller is legit the Mercedes of strollers. It glides and is so easy to push. People ask all the time what my thoughts are on it and I am freakin obsessed with it. 

It is beautiful to start out with. I loved how sleek and chic it looked. It has a beautiful leather handlebar, a ventilated canopy and extendable UPF 50 sunshade, which keeps your babe cool and comfortable. It's very aesthetically pleasing and that is one thing I love about it.     

When Easton was a newborn, we had the bassinet attachment on the stroller and he loved it. He would fall asleep on walks. And during the "witching hour" we would push him around the house (winters are so cold in Ohio). 

I love how easy it is to change out the attachments. I wanted something that would be super easy to do by myself. I love how lightweight it is and you just have to push one little clip to unfold it and pop it in the trunk. 




He is in the toddler attachment now which is just crazy to me because I don't see him as a toddler yet. He'll always be my baby! It's cool because it has a recline. It also has a vented peekaboo window which he has recently loved because he can look back at me while we walk and puts his hand up to mine. 

We have the MESA car seat and it attaches perfectly. I did a few stories sharing how easy the stroller is to use because it is insanely easy. Everything is one click! 

If you're like me and a busy mom with a bunch of stuff you will love the extra large, easy access basket with a 30 lb weight limit. This is great to hold your diaper bag, toys, purse, shopping bags, etc. 

I see more babies in our future and I love that this stroller can turn into a double! I love that it grows with your family! Our entire family loves this stroller and I would recommend it to anyone! You can click below to shop our favorite Uppababy products. 

This post was sponsored by Uppababy. All opinions are my own. 







10 Road Trip Travel Tips with a Baby

August 27, 2020



Hi mamas! I know road trips may seem overwhelming with a baby but I deemed myself the guinea pig and am sharing what worked for us on our 14+ hour road trip! We recently traveled to a cute small town in Florida called Cape San Blas (check out my Instagram stories highlight VACA for tons of videos (HERE). 

Between COVID and knowing how much stuff we were bringing, we decided to do a road trip. The total drive was about 14 hours but because I am breastfeeding we had to make a few stops making it longer (17-18 hours). 

Easton is almost 10 months and has always been great in the car seat but just to be safe we broke the drive up in two separate drives. On the way there and on the way back we drove 6 hours the first day and 9 hours the second day. Here are my top tips:


10 ROAD TRIP TRAVEL TIPS WITH A 9.5 MONTH OLD BABY 

- Have one parent sit in the backseat with them (I did the entire time, Justin likes to be the driver lol)

- Dress them in comfy clothes 

- Pack tons of toys, books and things to distract them with. We packed new toys he had never seen before and brought them out on the way home! 

- Don't overdo it, make stops to let them stretch out. We would take out his pack and play to let him crawl around in! We have this one and love it! 

- Know that YOU are their ultimate favorite. So if he got bored and we had already cycled through toys, I would nibble on his hands / toes, sing to him, play with his hair, make funny faces, play peek a boo, etc. 

- Let them play with (safe) things they typically don't (ex. water bottle)

- Have a backseat organizer like this so you aren't stressed. Example- have a spot for the toys, a spot for food you bring and a "changing station" (diapers, wipes, etc.) 

- If you are planning to do naps on the road, pack a portable sound machine (we love this one), their lovey and a car seat cover (we have this one) or blanket to put over their car seat to create darkness. You can also purchase sun shades (these had great reviews!) for the windows to help darken it for naps! 

- Food/water! Easton is eating solids 3x a day now so we packed food for him and fed him in the car. This helped keep him happy! He loves to eat lol. 

- We had a mini cooler bag (like these) we kept teethers in! We had a large baggie full of ice and would refill it every few hours. 

As a first time mom, these are the things that really helped us on our first trip. I hope they help you! xo 

Ps- Justin wanted me to add in, pack headphones for the driver during nap time. We only had his sound machine on during his naps so Justin loved that he had his headphones to listen to a podcast during this time! 




Easton's Nursery Reveal

June 14, 2020



I know Easton is 7 months old, but hey better late than never right! I have had the nursery done for a while but wanted to add a few small touches before I shared. I am so in love with this neutral, boho calming, chill nursery I designed for Easton and it is my favorite room in our house! I hope you love it too! I tried to link everything but if I missed something you want, shoot me a DM on my Instagram ! Also- if you want to see the nursery in person, check out my highlights under "NURSERY" I am posting a room tour! xoxo 



Our crib, dresser and glider are from Delta Children  and are the 'Willow set.' It is currently unavailable but their sets are all so cute! Our glider is in the color sand. We were gifted these pieces. I love that they offer nursery sets. It makes it super easy and convenient when shopping! 

Everything linked here:

Pampas grass - highly recommend! 
Vase  (ours is the "jug")
Black picture frames (all four are 8 x 10)
Curtains (ours are in the color library gray)
Playgym: Poppyseed Play c/o
Rug (ours is 6 x 9)
Shelving in closet (right side)
"E" wall hook: ours exact is Anthropologie & not available but click here for a cute similar 
Baskets in closet: ours are Home Goods but click here for similar , these are also super cute
Pacifier clip  (that is holding our ultrasound photos)
Ottoman: ours exact was called the Soraya if they ever restock but click here for almost exact version 
Side table: ours is called Austen nightstand from Pottery Barn kids but this is almost exact
Laundry baskets: the one with the elephant is Home Goods, the other is Target that I can't find online but this one is super cute 
Easton's shirt c/o City Mouse Studio 
Easton's shorts
My sweatshirt  c/o Abercrombie & Fitch 
My shorts (LOVE) c/o Abercrombie & Fitch 
Llama stuffed animal - c/o Cuddle & Kind
Teddy bear on chair: mine when I was a baby! 
Mobile

Photography: Lindzy Lee Annis



Memorial Day Sales 2020

May 23, 2020

Sharing a few brands I love that have amazing sales going on this weekend! I know I will be shopping! This is the time to take advantage. 

Clothing

Aerie: 25-60% off everything. I love their comfy pieces. I live in their tanks & their bathing suits are my favorite. 

Abercrombie & Fitch: 40-60% off entire store, online they have an extra 15% off select styles! 

Lululemon - up to 50% off which is amazing because their stuff  is $$$

Nasty Gal: 50% off everything & an extra 15% off with code GET15, checkout their loungewear pieces. They are SUPER comfy! 

Boohoo: 60% off everything, I love my biker shorts from here! 

Urban Outfitters- 30% off sale items 

Target: BOGO on swimsuits & sandals for the entire fam! 

The Sis Kiss: 25% off everything with code Memorial25, this is where my EASTON necklace is from! 

Revolve: tons of sale items! 

Baby 

Cotton On: 30-50% off site wide. I just recently ordered from here & have already placed 2 more orders. Their baby stuff is SO cute & I ordered clothes for Justin & I too. Perfect for the whole fam. 

Gap: 50% off with code WARM, extra 10% off with code SUNNY


Little One Shop Co.: use my code YOURHEART20 for a discount. We love their basics and matching sets! Easton is wearing one of their sets here


Old Navy: tees, tanks & shorts are 50% off. So many sales! 



Easton's 4 month favorite things

March 26, 2020



I love doing updates on Easton and thought it would be fun to share some of his current favorite things! He is 4 months and 23 days to be exact. What are your babies loving right now? Send me a DM and let's chat here on my Instagram!

EASTON'S FAVORITE THINGS 

1).  Sit up seat: Easton loves this so much. We got it for him when he was 3 months and I really believe it has helped his head and neck strength. The print we have is not currently available but when it is I'll link it for you guys! 

2). Crinkle book: He is obsessed. There's a little red bird on the second page and he loves looking at her lol. He is super into touching everything and loves to crinkle this! He also loves this book! He smiles so big every time we read it to him! 

3). Playmat: This has been amazing! We do tummy time on it, we loves laying on it. It's perfect for any type of play on the ground. Our print is sold out but they are restocking soon! Linked their other most popular one! Thank you so much again YAY! mats (this was gifted to us). 

4). Jumper: This is hilarious. Watch my video here of Easton really getting it! This is fun for him and also a great way to extend his wake time. It also gets him more tired! We got the one with a stand because we didn't really have a good doorway to hang one in! 

5). Ball: This ball is legit! They also make a rattle. He loves it because he can grab it and he shakes it. It has really helped with his hand eye coordination. He's been playing with it for over a month. 



6). Blanket: This is Easton's favorite blankie as we call it! It feels like my Barefoot Dreams blanket. So soft! Check out their Instagram here! 

7). Swing: He loves watching the mobile spin around. We love this one because it has different sounds and there's a little mirror so he can look at himself! 

8). Play gym: We were gifted this adorable play gym from Poppyseed Play and it not only is the cutest but Easton loves it! You can hang other toys on it as well. 

9).  Boppy: I cannot even explain how much we use this. I use it to feed him (I'm breastfeeding), he lays on it under his play gym, he'll lay on it on the couch when we read him books, he loves it! Number one thing from his favorite things! 



10). Light up activity bar: This is amazing for tummy time! It keeps his attention and he likes patting it! 

Thanks for reading! Hope you babes have a good day! Xo 



Easton's 3 month update

March 8, 2020



My baby is getting so big! Ah! Seriously, I just want time to slow down. I can't lie to you, this past month has been my favorite. Easton smiles all the time, he started laughing, he makes amazing eye contact, he is just so happy! The other day he BELLY laughed and I seriously melted. He loves the mobile on his swing and we just recently got him this sit up seat and he is obsessed. I think he feels like a real big boy in it. I feel like he is really developing his personality and it's amazing to watch. We also took our first overnight trip and Easton did great (I'll write another post on this too). 



My confidence is growing as a mom because since we've been on a routine, his schedule has been very consistent and life is just easier and more enjoyable. He started sleeping through the night when he was 10 weeks old and that was also when I felt like a new human. I feel like the first month or two are kind of like a blur. I really don't know how I survived on such little sleep, I think we were on a "baby high" from just being so happy we had him. 

I want to make sure I add, every baby is different. I know some moms who had their babies sleeping through the night at 8 weeks and some moms who's kids still wake up and they are two years old. You have to give yourself grace and be patient. Also- a schedule isn't for everyone! If it doesn't work for you, that's ok too! 



He is now 18 weeks today and anytime I post anything on my stories about him sleeping or eating I get tons of questions. So I figured I would share with you guys!

A big helpful tip I can give you (that has worked for us) is to develop a routine early on with your baby. Babies are so smart and they catch on quick. Justin and I are opposites and he didn't think we should have a routine but after he saw how good and amazing Easton was doing once we started it, he agreed I was right. I mean, duh. 

I am exclusively breastfeeding but Justin does doing the "dream feed" which gives me a break and has allowed me to build up a milk stash for times when someone else needs to feed Easton. Easton is a hungry growing boy! He used to be this skinny little thing and now he has these delicious chunky thighs and weighs about 15lbs. I feed him every 2-3 hours. I make sure he gets in his calories during the day which has helped him sleep longer at nighttime. Taking Cara Babies goes into more details on this if you're interested. Her recommended schedule is the one we follow. Between talking to our doctor and listening to Cara (who both said the same thing) we do not wake him to eat at night. Most babies still need to eat one time a night which is why we do the dream feed.

Here is Easton's 3 month schedule, since we are currently at 4 months our schedule is a little different now (I'll update below):

His ideal "wake" time for 3 months is anywhere from 1 hr. & 15 minutes - 1 hr. & 40 minutes. 

8:00 AM - wake & feed (he wakes up anywhere from 7:45 AM-8:30 AM, I let him wake me up but I don't let him sleep past 8:45 AM)

9:30 AM - Nap 1 (this is his longest, he normally does 2 hrs.)

11:30 AM - wake & feed

1:00 PM- Nap 2 (normally 1-1.5 hr)

2:30 PM- wake & feed 

4:00 PM- Nap 3 

5:00 PM- wake & feed

6:45 PM- start our nighttime routine (bath time or wipe him down with a warm washcloth, turn on sound machine on low, change diaper, put on jammies, lotion/massage, put on Owlet sock, brush hair, say our prayers, feed, swaddle, bed)

7:30 PM- in bed no later than 8 PM

10:30-11 PM - dream feed

Now that he is four months old our "awake time" has increased to 1 hr. 30 min-2 hours. We still follow the same schedule (wake, feed, play, sleep) but we just have extended his wake time a little. As far as sleeping at night goes, he is amazing and I feel blessed. BUT let me add he did not sleep good the first month. Since we started Taking Cara Babies, he kept sleeping longer and longer stretches. After one month of implementing the strategies taught by Taking Cara Babies, he was sleeping through the night. We have only had a couple hiccups where he wakes up once and that's only because we are transitioning out of the swaddle. 

A few tips we have learned are:

- The swaddle is KEY. This is the one we are currently using. Babies are used to being in a small tight space in your belly. They like to feel confined so we swaddle him for every nap and at bedtime. The only time he's not swaddled is if we are out getting lunch or something. 
- White noise is also huge. We have this sound machine and it is life changing. There are tons of different sounds and colors and settings. When we start his nighttime routine I turn on the red color (clinical studies have shown red light helps you sleep better) to about 50%. The sound is like a stormy rainfall. As I keep feeding him I increase the sound (you can do this on their app your phone), and by the time I lay him in his crib I have the sound on 87%. 
- Like I said earlier, routine is everything. My mom watches Easton once or twice a week for a couple hours to help me and she told me the other day, "Nicole it's crazy how much he knows his routine. He literally yawns when it's nap time." 
- Easton loves when I sing to him. So every nap I sing you are my sunshine and he knows it's nap time. 
- Darkness is also key for sleep. Whether it's a nap or bedtime, the room needs to be black. We have blackout blinds, blackout curtains, a blackout shade we stick to the window then I also throw a blanket over the curtains (I know I'm a freak). But guess what, he sleeps awesome and it works! 

I can't wait to continue to see this babe grow and learn. He is truly my entire world! If you have any questions, feel free to send me a DM on Instagram. I'll probably do another update in a couple months! 

I linked a few products below that have really helped us too. XOXO




Update on my Daith Piercing

March 1, 2020



Today's post is a little different than normal. If you have followed me for awhile you know I suffer from migraines. I have ever since I was a little girl. They have got worse as I've gotten older. Luckily, I did not have them as frequent during my pregnancy but right after I delivered Easton they were back to normal. 

On average I get 3-4 migraines a week. Yes, you heard that right. I have learned to live with it. Trust me I have tried everything to make them better and for me the ONLY thing that will ever take one away is my presciption medicine (imitrex, I actually take the generic version), a dark room, sleep, no noise and tons of water.

About a year ago someone had mentioned the "daith" piercing to me. I kind of forgot about it but a month ago I posted about having a migraine and one of my friends messaged me and said. "girl go get your daith pierced!" I was in so much pain and said screw it, let's see if this works. 

I went to Body Jewel in Westerville and it was super clean, nice and they were quick. I'm not going to lie to you it freaking hurt like hell. It was more like I felt a ton of pressure but the needle was huge. It was crazy though because when I went in I had a migraine and as soon as she pierced my daith, it didn't take it away but I felt 100x better. 

As soon as I came home and told you guys I did it, I got a ton of questions and messages asking about details. I wanted to give it a month before I reported back to you guys. It has officially been a month and I'm so excited to report back GOOD NEWS! 

I went from having 3-4 a week to 1-2! AND one week in February I only had 1! This piercing has truly been the biggest blessing. Having migraines is so debilitating and I am so grateful they have decreased. 

Q & A

Q- What is a daith piercing?

A- It goes through the second cartilage shelf at the top inside of your ear. 

Q- How long does it take to heal?  

A- I am a month out and it is still sore but they told me I can sleep on it after 2 weeks. You can also use a travel pillow if you need to sleep on that side! I heard it takes 6-9 months to fully heal. 

Q- How do you take care of it?

A- I have a sterile saline spray I spray on it about 2-3x a day! Get the spray if you can it's super convenient. 

Q- Why is this known as the "migraine" piercing?

A- The daith is a pressure point associated with digestive organs on that part of your ear. The belief is that wearing an earring constantly in your daith will give constant compression to that pressure point and can relieve pain. While there are not any medical studies I could find, many people have had success with it, like me! 

While I don't think I will ever be able to get rid of my migraines completely, this piercing has done wonders for me! If you get it, make sure to tag me on Instagram stories so I can see.  I hope this helps! xo


Step Up your accessory game

February 28, 2020





Outfit details:

Sweater- Superdown via Revolve c/o (wearing a medium)
Coat- Superdown via Revolve c/o 
Jeans- Superdown via Revolve c/o (loveee these, wearing a size 26)
Boots- Superdown via Revolve c/o (sized up to a 10)
Leopard cuff- Victoria Emerson c/o
Gold chain bracelet- Victoria Emerson c/o
Neutral mini boho bracelet- Victoria Emerson c/o
Earrings- J Crew


I never used to be an accessory girl tbh. I was actually a tomboy! Can you believe that?! Shooting hoops, wearing backwards hats and watching wrestling lol. Then I finally came to the realization I loved barbies and fashion and the rest was history. When I became a blogger over four years ago, I only used to wear earrings. I found Victoria Emerson  a couple years ago and have been a fan ever since. Their pieces are not only unique but they go with every outfit no matter what you wear. They recently came out with a few new ones and I'm obsessed

I love leopard print and gold so I had to grab this one and this one . I love layering them to achieve a more boho look or if you want to stick to simple you can just wear one! They currently have BOGO FREE, yes that's right buy one, get one free. So if you're wanting to try them out or you're already a fan, go check out the sale and their new pieces now! 

If you are a neutral lover like me I am loving little mini boho bracelet. The mix of textures, crystals and stones together achieve the perfect look for some good wrist candy. 

I have linked some of my favorites below. Hope you babes have a great weekend! XO

Photography: Lindzy Lee Annis



Thank you so much to Victoria Emerson for sponsoring today's post! XO



Easton's Birth Story

February 27, 2020



I am already getting emotional writing this. What better day to tell you about Easton's birth story than on my birthday. You are the best gift I have ever received Easty boy and you truly will never understand how lucky I am to be your mama. I am very excited to share with you guys this amazing, loving, empowering, life changing and unforgettable experience. Now let's talk about how he came into this world...

CONTRACTIONS STARTED

It was Friday November 1st, 2019 and I had a photoshoot with my friend Lindzy. Let me rewind and tell you I already had my hospital bag packed and in my car because I thought I was getting induced earlier but my doctor changed her mind. Halfway through the photoshoot I looked at Lindzy and said, " I don't want to freak you out but I'm definitely having what I think are contractions." They felt like bad cramps. I came home, did a try on session, got some food and relaxed with Justin. I woke up Saturday to worse cramps around 10am. I told Justin and you guys, you would have thought I was having the baby on the floor at that moment. Justin started freaking out, running around the house, trying to get everything in order. 

FIRST TRIP TO THE HOSPITAL 

I said, babe calm down I am fine but I'm in pain. I remember standing at the top of our stairs bending over as Justin was at the bottom of the stairs looking at me and he said we are going to the hospital!! I showered, did my makeup, brushed my teeth and we stopped at Tim Hortons (I had heard to make sure to eat before) and headed to the hospital around 11:15am. 

Justin was seriously so cute. He dropped me off at the front, went and parked the car and sprinted in with the bags. He was flustered the person checking us in was taking a while because he knew I was in pain. Once we got checked in, they put us in a room. 

They checked me and I was 3-4cm dilated and 70% effaced. They put me on the monitor and watched me for 1.5 hours but my contractions were irregular (7 minutes apart) and not super close together. They sent us home and said to come back when it got worse. 

We left the hospital, picked up food, went home and tried to nap but they were getting worse. Justin downloaded a contractions app for me to time them. I was pacing around our bonus room and would bend over anytime I got one. Justin kept telling me to lay down but it felt better to stand. I finally gave in and curled up in a ball on the couch next to my phone with the app opened up. I did it for one hour and two separate times an alert came up that said go to the hospital! At this point the pain was so bad I could care less what I looked like I just knew we needed to get there. 

SECOND TRIP TO THE HOSPITAL 

Justin was in a panic (again) lol. When we got to the hospital around 9pm we pulled up and I got the biggest contraction. It was so bad I couldn't get out of the car until it passed. I waddled in as Justin parked the car (and this is actually really funny) the guy at the front was a younger kid and he looked at me and asked if I was there to visit someone. YOU GUYS, lol. I was huge, waddling, out of breathe and looked at him and said no I'm in labor. Then he freaked out and said omg let me grab you a wheelchair lol. 

We got into a room and they checked me. Somehow I was still only about 4cm but 90% effaced now. The contractions were super close and I was in so much pain. I knew I wanted and needed the epidural. They had me in a room on a monitor waiting for my delivery room. 

Once we got into our delivery room I was in so much pain I didn't even open my eyes for a long period of time. My mom and my sister came (I am super close with both of them) and were trying to calm me down. My nurse, unfortunately, was not very nice. She was an older woman and acted like I was a pain for her. The time came to get the epidural and Alyx (my sister) said Nicole it's ok, it doesn't even hurt! She knew I hated needles and was trying to make me feel better. My nurse (right before I got the epidural) said, "oh wow really? I have seen people jump off the bed it hurts so bad!" Justin later told me him and my mom looked at her like they were going to punch her lol. 

I received the epidural around midnight and it felt like a bee sting. But once I got it I was in lala land. I said on my stories that I've never done ecstasy but it has to be what it feels like because all of the pain was magically gone. From 12am-7am my nurse said she wanted to check me every hour. She had me flat on my back and would come in and flip the lights on, change me, check me and flip me then we would wait. She kept saying every time I was closer. Finally at 7am her shift was over and a new young, bubbly, super nice nurse walked in. She was like girl why are you flat on your back? We've gotta sit you up and get you to start pushing! I was so excited. I liked her a million times better already. 

THE BEST TEAM 

At 8am they called the doctor and he came. Oh ya I missed that. My entire pregnancy I had a woman doctor I loved and I found out the day I went to the hospital she wasn't on call and wouldn't be delivering my baby. My only real criteria was that I didn't want a guy delivering the babe. Guess who was on call? The only guy at my doctor's practice. He came in, cool as a cucumber and had me start pushing. He was amazing. I instantly felt at peace with him delivering the baby and he helped me focus on my breathing. Justin was at my head, my mom was holding my leg and my sister was recording everything. All three of them were coaching me, telling me how amazing I was and truly were the best. I couldn't ask for a better team. 

GO TIME

As I continued to push, I realized I could feel what felt like his head on my left side. Oh no. The epidural had wore off only on the left side. I told Justin I couldn't do it. The pain was so intense. I remember looking around and I could tell something was not right. I later found out Easton's heart rate got up to 200 and that was when the doctor said he was going to "help me." He used the vacuum and I heard my sister say omg Nicole he has a head full of black hair! My doctor said Nicole look at me and give me your hands. I reached down and grabbed Easton and pulled him out and onto me. Ok officially crying. The song "You are the Reason" by Calum Scott was playing on my playlist. I looked down at you and you were staring right at me. That is when I truly experienced the most amazing love. My baby was here. November 3rd, 2019 at 9:23 God gave me the best gift I have ever received. My boy! Easton Brooks Leffew. He was 6lbs 13.5oz and 19.5 inches long. He had a head full of black hair just like mama but was daddy's actual twin. I could not have been more thankful the labor and delivery went smooth and we had a healthy baby. For the next hour I held him on my chest and had skin to skin. He latched right away and he was so peaceful and calm. 

Justin had to skin to skin after me and just when I thought my heart couldn't be more full. Seeing him staring at Easton, being "daddy" for the first time was the most precious and special moment. 





It is insane what our bodies can do, just when I thought I couldn't do it, I did. It was the most incredible experience and even though at times I felt the most pain I have ever felt I would do it 100 times over if it meant I got to see Easton at the end. 




Thank you for blessing me a 1,000 times over Easton. You are my best friend. I love you so much. XO





































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