Monday, September 18, 2017

My top 5 tips for beating insomnia + a Tomorrow Sleep mattress review.

Good morning & HAPPY Monday loves!

I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned on my blog or my Instagram page about my struggles with insomnia in the past.  It all started when Cole was around 5 months old, when my mind started playing the trick on me "you can't fall asleep".  I knew that if I didn't fall asleep, there would be no sleeping in or napping because I had Cole to take care of.  I would lay awake all night long & drift off around 3 or 4 am, just to have Cole wake up a couple hours later. This came & went in waves for years, & I've seen a couple doctors for it as well. It was a brutal battle that I had to fight & I learned a lot from it.  It also brought me closer in my relationship with God.  From time to time I still have trouble with being able to fall asleep if I'm traveling or dealing with a stressful situation.  Thankfully I now have some tools under my belt to combat it.

Knowing that there are SO many others who have or are struggling with this exact same thing, I wanted to offer some words of advice & encouragement for you.  First of all, you are NOT alone.  SO many people (especially moms) deal with this issue.  It WILL pass.  There are many things you can do to help yourself sleep.  Here are my top 5 tips to beating insomnia:

1.  The RIGHT mattress.

I am not kidding when I say this... Our new mattress by Tomorrow Sleep has changed our lives.  It's a memory foam + supportive coil system making it a hybrid mattress.  My husband & I joke that we're sleeping on a cloud in heaven every night.  It's that comfortable!  Also the comforter it came with is the softest, most amazing thing I've ever slept with. Last night I fell asleep with the comforter balled up in my arms like I was hugging the softest teddy bear ever.  Lol!  Something about a NICE comforter & mattress that make me feel like I'm a kid again sleeping SO soundly!

Another incredible feature that you can get in addition to the mattress is a sleeptracker.  You put this under your mattress & it monitors your sleep cycles, movement, etc. & then offers personalized suggestions for a better night sleep.  Can you believe that?  I'm impressed.

If you have an old or uncomfortable mattress & need to upgrade, I highly recommend this company.  The best part is they deliver your mattress in a BOX to your DOOR!  With free delivery.  How convenient is that?  I have a code you can use to get $100 off any $500 order.  Just use STEVIE100 at checkout before 12/31/17. :)  (We chose the medium soft mattress.  You can choose medium firm if you prefer a more firm mattress!)

2.  White noise: This is not just for babies & children.  White noise whether coming from a fan, a machine, or an app on your cell phone will help lull you off to sleep quicker AND  help to keep you asleep.

3.  A cool room:  Our body temp rises at night.  If you're too hot, you won't sleep as well.  Make sure you turn your A/C down to a comfortable temp before you go to bed.  Michael & I do pretty well at 71 degrees.

4.  Earplugs & an eye mask:  We make our room as dark as possible but even the light shining from the baby monitor can bother me.  An eye mask helps me to block out ALL light & sleep better.  Earplugs are great because A. my husband snores & B. if I hear even the tiniest peep from the kids or dogs I wake up.  Might as well eliminate anything that can disrupt your sleep right?!

5.  Sleep aids:  Go for natural first.  I learned that taking Magnesium before bed at night helps (if you're deficient in magnesium you will have a harder time sleeping), melatonin, & lavender and/or cedar wood oil are some of my favorites!  If you are REALLY struggling to sleep after trying all of the above, I encourage you to see your doctor.  Sleep is the most important thing our bodies need & if you're not getting it, you need to do what you need to do!  I am all for my natural remedies but there was a time when I needed a prescription for the occasional nights I couldn't sleep, & I am not ashamed to admit it.  Without sleep I am not a happy mommy!

If you have any questions, please feel free to message me.  Or comment below today's post on this topic on my Instagram page & I can reply to you there too.

Here are some silly pictures we took when the new mattress arrived.  The boys loved playing on it, & I am loving the amazing night's rest I'm getting because of it. ;)

Follow me on my Instagram page for more frequent updates on our little fam!

Monday, August 28, 2017

My #1 health tip for busy mamas.

Happy Monday friends!

As mamas we are constantly taking care of everyone but ourselves. Self care is SO important though, & we can't forget that. If I were asked what I feel is the most important thing for busy mamas to do for their health, I'd say TAKE VITAMINS. 

Honestly, ever since I became diligent about taking them, my body (& mind) felt 10 x better. πŸ™ŒπŸΌ It's tough to decide on which kinds to take with so many kinds out there. The kind I'm taking currently are postnatal vitamins by @forteelements. There's a pack for AM & PM, that help restore important vitamins, minerals & antioxidants to my system. It helps with metabolism, hair & nails too. They also pass on nutrition to Jace when I nurse, to help him grow & develop. πŸ‘ΆπŸΌ They have all kinds of different types of vitamins developed by physicians. If you're feeling run down, or just a feeling your body is lacking something, you're probably vitamin deficient. Check out @forteelements to see which vitamin set would work best for your body! πŸ’ͺ🏼 I highly recommend.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Sweet moment between the boys & a Giveaway

Hey everyone!

Do you ever have those moments when you can't get your camera out quick enough to capture something adorable your kiddos are doing?  The other day when my boys opened up a package from IncrediBundles Baby Gifts, they all sat in the play yard together enjoying their new goodies & the moment melted my heart.  It's so nice when Cole & Brody aren't fighting (haha) & Jace is interacting with them like a big boy.  (But not TOO big Jace slow it own buddy).  Anyway, Incredibundles baby gifts is an online shop with tons of cute gift ideas for baby showers, birthdays, just because, or maybe some fun things to send to Nana & Papa's house on grandparent's Day?!

Good news: I'm partnering with Incredibundles for a giveaway of a $50 giftcard you can use on one of their bundles or to create your own! Head on over to my Instagram to enter:

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Jace's Current "Must Haves" at 7.5 months!

Jace is almost 8 months old now.

He's got 2 bottom teeth, crawling, pulling himself up to standing, & currently discovering the wonderful world of "Baby Led Weaning"!  Apparently I've been living under a rock, but I discovered this amazing technique JUST NOW with my third child.  I happened to post on my Facebook & Instagram stories asking about how to satisfy a baby who wants more than milk & purees at 7 months old.  SO glad I did, I now know what to do. ;)  More on that another time though, this post is already getting off track!

I wanted to share with y'all my FAVORITE items for Jace at the moment.  He's now out of the infant stage & I feel like this is the age where a lot of the most important "baby gear" items start to become more necessary than ever before.

Here they are:

1.  The Regalo Play Yard::
Moms of more than one, we've all been there.  Your baby is on a crawling mission to find every piece of fuzz or tiny piece of plastic on your carpet possible, so he can put it in his mouth.  Meanwhile your potty training kid needs his butt wiped & your older child needs help finding his favorite toy, simultaneously.  Your baby is now at the age where the bouncer isn't going to keep him happy long.  He wants to MOVE.  So you need a place to set him & let him play with some SAFE objects.  Enter: the play yard.  It's crucial, I highly recommend it.  Regalo's also isn't so ginormous that it takes up your entire living room either.  I put ours over by the window so Jace can see outside & it's out of the way at the same time. :) OH! It's also lightweight & portable.  We will be taking ours to the park soon so Jace can hang out in the shade while I push the big boys on the swings.  Win win!

2.  Guzzie + Guss Perch clip-on high chair::
I cannot stand traditional high chairs.  There, I said it.  Once I knew that clip-on high chairs existed, there was no turning back for me.  Not only can baby be up close to the dinner table & join us as a family for meals, but it takes up NO space! No giant chairs/trays to clean after every meal!  The cover is removable & machine washable.  Sold!

3.  The "Rest" by Hatch Baby:
This genius little invention is a white noise maker with 11 different sound options, a night light with every color option imaginable, & has an "okay to wake" feature.  The best part about it?  You can control it all right from your phone.  Download the app & it connects by blue tooth.  So after you put your babe to bed, you can adjust the volume, the sound it's making, the color of the light, turn down the light, or set a timer for it to shut off whenever you'd like.  I am SO happy I no longer need a bulky fan collecting dust & taking up space in the nursery any more.  When Jace transitions to a big boy bed down the road, I can use the "okay to wake" feature so he knows when he can come out of his room in the morning & for naps.  I can also set it to come on at his exact bed times too & shut off whenever I want.  Brilliant!

4.  Baby Moccasins::
One of my favorite baby tips to give new moms: DON'T buy them shoes until they're walking.  There's no point, & they kick them right off.  UNTIL baby Mocassasins came along.  They are designed to not fall off! They're comfy on baby's feet & oh-so stylish.  I don't put any other shoes on my boy.  I wish I had them when Cole & Brody were babes!  I get Jace's moccs from Sweet 'n Swag.  They now have a new style of shoe with the same "stay put" technology they use for the moccs, they're called "Moxfords".  I got a pair of these for Jace too so we can mix up styles.  These shoes are VERY well made & haven't fallen apart either. :)

(This is Jace wearing his first pair of white moccs.  He now has 4 pairs total & I won't put him in any other shoes!)

5.  Teething necklaces by Tiny Teether:
I'm not sure if these existed when Cole & Brody were babies but if they did, I sure missed out.  Jace LOVES these necklaces to gnaw on.  They soothe his gums SO well & he actually throws a fit when I take them away from him!  They're super modern & stylish looking too so I actually like them as an accessory which is a win/win right?!  Check out their new Modern Mom line, you'll love it!

6. One piece outfits like Rags to Raches:  Night time is so easy with zip up footsie pajamas right?  So during the day I like to avoid having to deal with multiple pieces as well.  (Onesie, pants/shorts, etc).  I'm ALL about the rompers or one piece outfits!  Here in Texas it's hot so I love the sleeveless ones with shorts.  I adore these ones by Rags to Raches because the style is more trendy than your traditional romper.  No need to remove bottoms & unbutton a onesie to change diapers.  These ones are so adorable, check them out!

(This is not Jace's Rags to Raches romper, this is by Cat & Jack from Target... another favorite line!)

I hope you enjoyed! Until next time. :) xoxo

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Our family update, recent partnerships & some pics!

Oh my goodness.  I haven't blogged since February.  I had to take a hiatus though because... life.   Sometimes I feel like it's justified, since I post almost daily on my Instagram (@sincerelystevieblog). If you don't follow me there though, you probably assumed I fell off the face of the Earth.  Sorry about that.

So I feel like I should give a bit of an update on us:

We are doing well!  Let's start with my hubby.  He has been working HARD, & long hours, he started a new company this year & it's been insane.  He is now putting on Expos for the auto industry.  He's been in the business for over 10 years & a part of these Expos as a vendor & key-note speaker, but now he actually started a company that is throwing their own.  It's exciting, scary, & SO much work.  So needless to say I've been on my own with the kiddos more than I was when he was working from home.  I'm not complaining though, I would take a hard working/driven/entrepreneur husband over the opposite any day.  Right?  He still manages to somehow put us first too, which is what makes him so incredible.

MJ's birthday Feb 4th, we celebrated at Medieval Times in Dallas. 

I'm doing great.  I was missing my family like crazy so right after Jace was born I started planning a family vacation with my brother.  We all met in SoCal for a Disneyland trip.  We started in Palm Springs to visit my mom & her boyfriend at their new home, & then finished the trip with my brother in OC.  It was absolutely wonderful & I never wanted it to end!

The day we arrived in Palm Springs, this is at my mom's!

The infamous "Pink Door" in Palm Springs... it has it's own Instagram page & hashtag.  Check it out.

2 days at Disneyland with my brother & his family.  We were in heaven & had such a great time!

Beach day in Corona Del Mar!

I joined Mops right after Jace was born, at our church.  I fell in love with it so much that I decided to join leadership for the upcoming Mops year which starts in September.  So, all of that is getting started right now which is super exciting.  One might think "how do you have time for that?" but honestly, if I am spending my free time in any way, I want it to be helping other mamas on this crazy journey, & help them know Jesus.  I also love being actively involved in my church, & it doesn't hurt that it's with a tribe of awesome mamas.  I'm also still going strong with my spray tan business & have a little salon out of my home.  I enjoy doing that on the side so much! Other than all of that, trying to make time to grow my "Insta-blog" life, & take care of my 3 sweet boys, that's about it!

Cole turned 6 in April & graduated from KINDERGARTEN.  His last day of school was super emotional for me.  His teacher was SUCH a gem, & Cole was blessed enough to have her as a teacher for her last year teaching at his school.  Cole did soccer for 8 seasons straight with Michael coaching, so we are taking a break for the summer.  Cole becomes more & more like me every day, proving to be the "mini-me" of the 3 boys.  He's VERY type-A, talkative, outgoing, social, smart, & friendly.  One part of him that is more like Michael than me, is he's extremely good at math.  Also interested in it!  I hated math.  Cole is showing to be more "left brained" than I was as a kid.  I know I'm bragging but I can't help it, he scored perfect on his entire report card & math assessment at the end of the year.  I know that doesn't seem like much in Kindergarten but here in Frisco, TX it is!  I hope he continues to do this well in school & his love for learning never dies!

Brody graduated his first year of pre-school!  He also had two of the most AMAZING teachers who taught him so much about Jesus.  I was amazed at the things he would say when he came home from school, & the bible stories that he learned about.  His teachers told me that he was so good in class, always cooperated & was friends with everyone.  Brody tried soccer but I think it was a little too early for him to be interested.  He'd run on the field for a couple seconds & then say he was done for the game.  Lol!  We will be trying sports with him again this next year though, because I am convinced he is my athlete.  He's the most physical one of my boys yet!  He's built like a football player so far... not sure if that's a sport he'd be interested in but it'd sure be cool!  Brody is turning 4 this month on the 21st.  His best friend Marco from school (whose mommy is one of my favorite people on Earth) also has a summer birthday.  Since Brody & Marco are attached at the hip, & Marco leaves for vacation over their birthdays, we decided to throw them a joint party last weekend.  We will celebrate Brody turning 4 again though on his actual birthday!

This is actually from 5 months ago, but I had to share them... he's so photogenic it's insane!

Jace just turned 7 months old!  He is my EASIEST & happiest baby yet.  Thank God for that!  I always say that if I would have had him first, I probably would have wanted 10 more kids.  He is just so "go-with-the-flow", adaptive to every situation, a fast/efficient nurser, & can I just say how OBSESSED with his brothers he is?!  It's the most beautiful thing watching the 3 of them together.  Jace is on the VERGE of crawling as we speak, he's so determined to be able to follow them around everywhere.  He's currently loving just sitting on the living room floor & playing with his toys, especially when the boys play with him.  Jace has just been a dream come true.  I'm truly holding onto every stage, every moment, every phase he's in with all that I have, knowing that he's my last baby.  Now that I know just HOW fast it's over, I want to cherish every second.  Even when I'm sleep deprived & delirious, I don't even care.  I love him like crazy.

Recently I was featured on Little Miss Dessa's blog "How Does She Do It?" series.  I'm honored to even be a part of anything with a title like that.  It's a fun interview that was done back in March if you'd like to take a peak!

As my Instagram account has grown, I've partnered with some amazing companies.  It's been a pleasure working with brands that I love & sharing my reviews on products I truly believe in & love! I work with a lot of baby & children's products/clothing, & some products for women as well.  I recently became a Pink Blush ambassador which is awesome, I love their clothes! I've blogged about many of these companies in the past & posted about all of them on Instagram of course, but I thought I'd re-cap some of the ones here in this post that I haven't put on my blog yet:

It was an honor to partner with Taylor Golden's Wild Bird baby sling.  Jace loved it before he grew out of it!  

After seeing the sharks on ABC's the Shark Tank fight over who got to invest in Tranquilo Mat, I knew I had to have Jace try it.  I will talk about it more in an upcoming sleep training post.  This gorgeous personalized blanket pictured is by Jennifer Ann by Julianna Creations.  This is my favorite baby blanket for Jace & I love that he will have it forever!

Teething Toes - put a sock on your baby's foot with toes on it for them to teeth on! Brilliant right?!

The boys were sent tons of adorable swim trunks & swim briefs by Stella Cove.  Amazing quality & super cute designs.  They're living in them this summer!

Super cute kimono by Pulse Fashion.

A dress & top by Pink Blush.  I've received a lot of great pieces from Pink Blush that I love, & will continue to post my favorites since I'm an ambassador for them now!  One hint when ordering from them: Everything runs pretty big.  So order a size down!

Such a fun top that says "Messy bun & getting stuff done" by My Cheeky Baby & this organic bamboo teething necklace that Jace LOVES by Jellie Maples!

One of my favorite items for Jace, this teething ring attached to a lovie by Little Ewe & Me on Etsy.  So precious!

This top I got SO many compliments on by Ford and Wyatt & the boy's organic cotton outfits by Colored Organics which are SO soft!

Jace's cute onesie with one of my favorite bible verses printed on it by Ebon and Ivory!

Monthly subscription box of books by Bookroo. It's nice to have a new couple books arrive in the mail every month to keep things new. ;)

So many cute tanks by Betty Rukus, I live in them.

Coming soon I'll be posting all about the current "must-haves" for Jace, I have some awesome products to share with y'all!  I also have a lot more planned, so stay tuned!

Don't forget to follow me on my Instagram for more frequent updates on what's happening in our family. Thanks for reading friends!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentines Day! My favorite date night look + Irresistible Me Extension before/after!

Good morning loves!

Happy Valentines Day!  Today is one of my favorite holidays.  I think it's great we have a day of the year dedicated to showing the people in our life that we love them!  Shouldn't every day be Valentines Day?  I think so.  ;)  If you're single, you can still celebrate!  Show your family, friends, or YOURSELF some love!

This day is very special to Michael & I because he proposed to me on Valentines Day of 2005.  So every year I like to get all pretty & done-up for him, & then we go on a date.  Today will be the first year in 12 years that we aren't going out... we can't leave baby Jace with a sitter because he won't take a bottle.  He's also only 10 weeks so I'm not sure my mommy heart is ready to part from him yet.  SO, we are putting them all to bed at 7:30 & doing a romantic date night at home.  I'm still going to get pretty for my man because it's one of my favorite parts of Valentines Day.  I want to keep it as romantic as possible... & the sweat pants + messy bun look MIGHT not be so cute.  Haha!

I wanted to share my favorite date night beauty tricks.

1.  Hair Extensions! Specifically Irresistible Me clip-in extensions I shared all about in my last blog post! There's nothing that makes me feel more glamorous than thick, long hair.  It's such a fun transformation when you want to feel extra pretty!  I never got around to showing the before & after photos with the Irresistible Me extensions in so here they are:

There are 2 main reasons I LOVE these extensions:  
1.  The quality of the hair.  Like I explained in my previous post, I have tried many different kinds of extensions, & the quality MATTERS believe me.  These are real human hair, thick & silky, & style SO well with whatever hair tool you want to use on them.  (In these pics I used a 2" curling wand).  
2.  How EASY they are to put in!  This is the first time I've used clip-ins & I'm not looking back.  I've had extensions damage my hair a TON & I lost chunks of hair when they came out.  These extensions can't do that your hair, which is why they're amazing.  Plus, you can take them out & put them in so quickly/easily unlike most other types of extensions.

To get some of these for yourself, here's the link!

2.  A GOOD fake tan! As some of you may know, I have my own spray tanning business.  I encourage you to find a good spray tan artist in your area who uses QUALITY solution.  You get what you pay for.  Trust me, I've tested every kind there is.  I could go on & on about spray tan solutions but that's for a different day.  (Message me if you have any questions & I'd be happy to answer them for you).  If you don't have time to go get a good spray tan, here is my current favorite AT HOME self tanner:

You can find this at Sally's Beauty Supply.  It's super dark so WEAR GLOVES or your palms will turn dark brown!  It's FAR from orange & looks gorgeous on.  The foam is so much easier to blend than lotion & you can see it as you rub it in, helping you to avoid streaks.  :)

3.  Fake lashes!  Ladies, I've been using these since dance team days in high school.  I have NO eyelashes so I feel so much better with these on.  If you're a newbie, don't be intimidated.  They're actually really easy to put on.  You just put a skinny line of glue along the edge & slowly/carefully place the lashes as close to your lash line as possible.  Put one finger on each end of the lashes & hold there for about a minute.  The glue dries clear.  My favorite ones are these:

I've used many different kinds though... as long as they're the kind that are all in one piece.  I don't do the individual lashes!  You can find them everywhere that sells makeup!  I usually get them from Target.

4.  Bold lips!  I'm all about a good berry colored lip stick right now.  I've bought a ton of different shades recently & my FAVORITE one I've found is Katy Perry lipstick in "Kitty Purry".  I found mine at Target... it's so pretty!

All of the above tricks in addition to the rest of your makeup, maybe a little bit heavier on the eyeshadow & bronzer + a sexy outfit, & you'll be feeling like a new woman for your date! ;)

I hope you enjoyed these tips even thought they're a little bit out of the norm from what I usually post!  It's important to feel good about ourselves & not forget about looking good for our hubbies even when we're tired & busy mamas.  I hope you all have a wonderful Valentines Day!