Labor Day Weekend Sales...

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

LDW is a great time to snag things you've had your eye on all summer! There are lots of amazing sales going on (my favorite is Nordstrom and Sephora!), so you should take advantage! Sephora almost never has a sale...and when you can get an extra 10% off for being a beauty insider ... it's worth it! I'm in MAJOR need of bronzer, an eyebrow pencil/filler, a new foundation brush, and under eye concealer! I also have my eye on this tinted moisturizer. Moral of the story - my bill from Sephora will be UP THERE. Anyway - here is a little round up of some of the amazing sales happening this weekend! Enjoy! 

Nordstrom: SUMMER SALE up to 40% off through September 9th

Anthropologie: 40% off sale clothing, 40% off sale home, 20% off furniture

Urban Outfitters: 30% off all sale items

J.Crew: 40% off using code BIGSALE

Sephora: Extra 10% off Beauty Insiders and up to 60% off on sale items!

Loft: 40% off your entire purchase using code: LABORDAY

Target: Up to 30% off select items

xx, 

Ashley 

 

New Mommy/Baby Must Haves...

 
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I've been working on this post for awhile now (like, an embarassing amount of time) and am FINALLY finished! I'm excited to share some of my favorite baby items and "must haves" with you all! Most of these I've tried and used with Lo...and others I've discovered this time around with Malia. Either way - it's to make your life easier and aren't we all here for that?! I know I am! 

1. DockATot: For REAL, you need this. It's seriously the most important thing we have for Malia because SLEEP! We put this on our bed and she sleeps between us at night. For naps during the day, she sleeps in this and sleeps 3+ hours most naps. It's wonderful because of how portable it is and easy to just move around the house to whatever room you're in! LOVE LOVE LOVE! 

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Runner up: Lulyboo Baby Lounge To-Go ($59.99) is perfect for co-sleeping safely or travel!

2. Dr. Brown Bottles: This is on the list because I've gotten lots of questions about which bottles we use. We really LOVE Dr. Brown. There's an "anti colic" vent that helps reduce feeding problems. Both London and Malia took very easily to them! 

3. Fawn Design: Do yourself a favor and snag one of these backpack diaper bags. Don't even both getting a shoulder bag ... you will definitely always need two hands! Fawn Design has classic/chic bags that easily fit everything I need when leaving the house with two kiddos! 

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4. WildBird Sling: I absolutely love my sling from WildBird. It's super cute and totally makes life easier. I actually used this with London before Malia was born when we went to church, because she still wants to be held all the time. It was perfect and Lo loved it. If you have two kiddos, you're guaranteed to need hands free so this definitely allows for that while keeping baby close to you - just where they want to be :) 

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5. Ergo 360 Carrier: An absolute MUST HAVE. London napped at least once a day in this thing until she was 5 months old! It's super comfortable for both parent and baby. I also love that you can wear your baby four different ways with this carrier and that it's machine washable! This style/color is currently 20% off!

Runner Up: Baby Bjorn. I really like this carrier for when the babies are itty bitty aka newborns :) I use this A LOT these days with Malia but when she gets a bit bigger I'll switch to the Ergo for comfort. I think it's more comfortable with the strap around the lower back!

6. BOB Revolution Flex Duallie Jogging Stroller: Absolutely recommend this stroller! It's worth every penny (I recommend getting a used one - they have them on Amazon!) It's a BEAST of a stroller, with a huge compartment underneath for storage (yes please), the smoothest ride every for your littles, and also - so easy to push with one hand (hard to believe, I know!) I'm so glad we got this stroller! It will definitely make walks/runs much easier! 

7. Travel Stroller: BabyZEN YOYO Stroller (pictured below) I am OBSESSED with this stroller. It literally folds and can be carried over your shoulder like a purse - it weighs just 15 lbs. At least one person comments on it when we use it to travel (we have take it to Charleston, SC (twice), Disney twice, and lots of road trips!) It's amazing and I highly recommend!

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Maclaren Twin Triumph (double): I have done LOTS of research because we have some trips planned with both girls when Malia is 6+ months old and will be sitting up. The Maclaren double stroller has been on every list for the perfect double travel stroller. It's pricey - but I know we will get lots of use out of this!

 8. Video Monitor: As far as I'm concerned this is also a must. We have a Motorola monitor and love it. If you plan on having multiples, I recommend getting a monitor that you can "add a camera" too. We just bought another camera for Malia's nursery, but can watch both girls on one screen - so it saves us from having to keep track of two screens which would be very annoying.  

9. HoMedics Sound Machine: It's just $16 on Amazon, but it might be one of the most important things you'll purchase! White noise is a must for babies/toddlers! It helps lull them to sleep with the consistent sound and also provides a relaxing environment. We bring it with us when we travel too - it's super compact and just plugs into the wall. We have been using this in London's room since she was 2 months old and Malia has one too! We also use this little butterfly and play the same lullabye for Lo every time she goes down for her nap or at bedtime. Again, super inexpensive but goes a long way! 

10. Boon Naked Collapsible Bathtub: This tub is perfect for small spaces! It's collapsible and comes with a hook that you can easily hang on the back of your bathroom door or in your child's bedroom. We love love love this tub! 

11. Baby Bjorn Bouncer: This is super lightweight and can be easily moved from room to room - which is very convenient! Malia hasn't been in this much but I think that'll change when she gets a bit older! 

12. Best Blanket: Little Giraffe Luxe Baby Blanket. The absolute SOFTEST blanket and worth every penny. It's sooo beautiful!

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Runner Up: Copper Pearl: They have the prettiest prints and the fabric is stretchy so it's perfect for swaddling! Here is the rose print that we got for Malia!

13. Wubbanub: I have five of these pacifiers, if that tells you anything :) 

 

Are there any products that you absolutely couldn't live without?! 

xx, 

Ashley 

 

 

Life With Two...

 
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So, I promise we'll make our way back to some style/fashion stuff one of these days, but for now my life is all motherhood and learning how to juggle two babes! I can't believe we're already two weeks and some change into this "family of four" gig...but so far it's been pretty smooth sailing! I'll attribute that mostly to the fact that Malia is such a calm, sweet girl and she sleeps like an absolute champ. I think life would look a whole lot different if we were dealing with sleep deprivation but since basically night two at home, Malia has been waking up once at night to eat! Insane, right?! London was not like that AT ALL. She wasn't a terrible sleeper - I actually thought she was pretty great - but now that we've got Malia to compare the "newborn stage" too, it's been pretty crazy different. 

If you've been following my pregnancy journey this time around then you probably know how worried/nervous/anxious I was about how London would adjust. She has always been such a mommy's girl and pretty possessive of me - to the point where holding another baby would cause a major meltdown for her. I'm so happy to share that she's been absolutely AMAZING and has adjusted so well thus far with this transition. I'm just so proud of her. Of course, she has her moments as all toddlers/three year olds do ... but overall it's been incredible to watch her embrace her new role as "big sister!" She loves to kiss Malia and calls her "sweetie pie" ... gives her the paci when she's upset and says in the sweetest voice, "it's ok honey!" It's magical to watch! 

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I struggled with some major baby blues for the first probably 6-8 weeks with London. I literally cried multiple times a day and my hormones were so up and down! I've been SO relieved because I don't have any of those feelings with baby number two. It's been the complete opposite. I'm able to be present and embrace this stage more - which I struggled so much with the first time around. I think when you go from zero children to your first child it's a GIANT life change. When you transition from one to two kiddos, you're already in "mommy mode" and everything seems less overwhelming. Basic things like changing a diaper or knowing how to feed or burp your baby aren't a big deal because you've been there, done that. The crying doesn't stress you out as much because you know why they're crying and you're also just used to the chaos :)

Getting out of the house is challenging, I will admit to that. Something so simple as running to Target isn't as simple anymore. I must say, ordering our groceries online helps because it's one less outing I have to plan. We've been hanging at the house a lot and if we do anything, it's in the morning when Malia takes a shorter snooze in my carrier. Thankfully, London loves her new playroom so she doesn't really want to leave the house too much anyway! Malia has been sleeping a good chunk in the afternoon (usually 4-5 hours!) so I haven't wanted to venture out because the sleep is not only good for her but it's good for me! I'm able to get London up from her nap and we can spend the whole afternoon together reconnecting and playing. I think she really loves the time and so do I! 

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In short, life with two is way less overwhelming than I had anticipated it would be! It's been so beautiful and if anything, even more enjoyable than I thought it would be! If you've got a toddler and you're expecting...try to relax. Mom's of multiples told me that too and I still couldn't - so trust me, I get it ... but it will be ok. Your heart really does grow in size when your second is born...yes, you instantly love them just as much as your first, and your first little love is going to be JUST FINE. 

Leave a comment below if you have any questions about juggling life with two or if you're expecting and anxious! I'll def try to give my best advice! 

xx, 

Ashley 

Malia Skye: Birth Story...

 
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It's been the most magical week and five days since little Malia Skye entered our world! She fits so seamlessly into our family, as if we've known her all along. I've called her a "unicorn baby" many times because of her sweet disposition and champion sleep habits. Big sister London has been a champ as well. We had no idea what to expect but I must say, we have been so pleasantly surprised and she has exceeded our expectations. Watching London take on her new role with enthusiasm is a big reason why this past week has been as amazing as it has been. I'm just so proud of her. Of course, she has her moments because it is after all a massive transition - but overall, it's been a pretty smooth adjustment :)

I wanted to share Malia's birth story because I've gotten lots and LOTS of questions on Instagram about being induced (i.e. why, how it was, etc.), whether I got an epidural or not (I DID!), if I'm breastfeeding (NOPE!), and more - so I thought I'd put it all here :) 

The Induction

Both of our babies were born on their due dates because we decided (in conjunction with our doctor) that we would be induced. With London, honestly, a lot of it came down to timing and Chris' job. He travels basically the entire month of July, and since London's due date was July 1st, our doctor suggested we be induced. She knew mommy + baby were both healthy at 40 weeks and that I was pretty stressed about Chris being gone so soon after the birth. We were all for it considering we could plan the time/day of induction and plan with our family so they could be here to experience it!

Fast forward to July 25th - which was Malia's due date - and we found ourselves with a planned induction once again. A lot of people asked me why we chose to be induced...and my answer was kind of like "why not?" We had the most amazing birth experience being induced with London and I wanted a similar experience this time around as well. I asked my doctor the same question and she sort of had a similar answer like, "why wouldn't you be?!" I trust her 100%. She is incredible; has been doing this for 30+ years and delivered over 6,000 babies! We absolutely adore her, so when she said we could do another planned induction we were all for it.We were scheduled to check into Brigham and Women's at 9:30AM. When we arrived they took my vital signs, did the necessary paperwork and got us onto the floor pretty quickly! My sister arrived for the fun around 11AM, just after my nurse (who was amazing by the way!) started my IV. I don't know why, but getting the IV started was something I was most nervous about...I think I'm crazy ha! Anyway, once that was in place we just hung out for awhile until Dr. Bunnell (my doctor) came to check on us and run through how the day would progress. We were all so excited to get the show on the road and meet our girl! They started me on Pitocin around 1pm (the same time they started me with Lo!) and from there they kept increasing the drip until come 6pm, my contractions were lasting 45 seconds and about 1 min, 20 seconds apart. 

The Epidural

I waited pretty long (I think) to ask for my epidural and maybe even wish I had asked for it sooner. Holding completely still so they could place the catheter in my back while simultaneously having contractions was less than fun. Not to mention, the resident had a difficult time finding the right "space" and by the end it took prob 20 minutes and I was dripping in sweat. It also took about a half hour for the epidural to kick in and even then, I didn't fully cover the pain. In fact, I started feeling CRAZY pelvic pressure shortly after and called my nurse in around 7pm. My exact quote was "why am I feeling this? I don't want to feel anything!" My doctor came in and checked me and said as calm as could be, "well, I think we could push once and have a baby!" I'll never forget the feeling I got when she said that! I just wasn't expecting it and it was like a huge rush came over me. I instantly started shaking with adrenaline and Chris and my sister were SO excited. We just couldn't believe it all happened so fast! 

The Birth

Malia's actual delivery really was in fact, one push. I pushed for a whopping 7 minutes with London, and this time (according to my doctor) it was 45 seconds and through one contraction. There's no rhyme or reason but my doctor tells me I'm made to have babies...who knew?! Either way, I'll take it! Malia Skye entered the world at 7:13pm weighing in at 7 lbs, 6 oz and measuring 21.5 inches long! She looked SO much like London when she came out with her slanted eyes and squished nose...Chris and I felt like we were having deja vu! Her fingers and feet were so long - we noticed right away and the nurse even measured her foot! It was 4 inches! Ha! She also didn't make a PEEP when she came out. No crying, whimpering, nothing. At first I was worried, but no one else seemed concerned at all, so we just went with it. She didn't actually make a sound for about three hours. Her name is Hawaiian, meaning "calm and gentle waters" and I just kept saying that she totally lives up to her name. I still feel that way 12 days later.

The post-birth snuggles are so magical. I felt like this time around I was able to be so much more present and really soak in the moment. It was beautiful and I will cherish it forever. Every fear I had about making space in my heart for baby number two went completely out the window the moment I pulled Malia onto my chest. It was like I had known her my whole life and she had always been part of our family. She has captured our hearts in so many ways and we just feel so blessed to have two sweet, beautiful girls to love and spoil forever! 

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Thank you all for your incredible love and support! Your messages were read and noted ... and even though we couldn't respond to every single one, we felt them all! It's so fun sharing this journey with you all - especially beautiful moments like these!

xx, Ashley 

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What's In My Bag: Part II...

 
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It's BABY WEEK! 

I can't believe we will actually be meeting our sweet girl in just a few days! It's SO surreal and we couldn't be more excited/anxious/nervous/ALL of the above! As promised, I wanted to share what I packed in my bag for the hospital! When we had London, I made it a point not to overpack and was pleasantly surprised because I felt like the hospital really had a lot that we needed.

I'll start with what I put in my diaper bag:

- Baby Markwood's "going home" outfit

- Birth Plan (I did this last time too and gave it to my L&D nurse when we arrived for our induction)

- Swaddle blanket from Copper Pearl (We got this one!) 

- Wubbanub paci plus a regular paci (probably not necessary, but, I packed them mostly for the days after we get home anyway)

- Newborn diapers, wipes, changing pad (again, probably not necessary)

- Letter board for baby announcement (under $16!)

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Now I'm going to list the things that I brought in my own bag ... which is actually a small tote from Target.

- Toiletries / make up bag (yes, I put make up on the first time around too - it made me feel like a human ... so I plan to bring it again!)

- Sports Bra / comfortable bra for post-birth 

- Underwear (literally could do without this...you'll end up wearing the super-attractive mesh underwear provided by the hospital because they're SO COMFORTABLE) 

- Bathrobe; I am bringing this floral robe for photos but also a warmer one with long sleeves because hospitals are always cold!) 

- Pajamas with buttons, I have this in gray and it's the BEST! Here is the shorts/top version (only $35 for the set!; I say "with buttons" because obviously if you're breast feeding it's easier...but also it's easier for skin to skin with your new baby, which is the best ever!) 

- Phone/Phone Charger for ALL the pics and/or a video camera

- Your pillow from home; I'm SO glad I brought my own pillow the first time around. It was so much more comfortable and I picked my own cute pillowcase for photos :) 

- Comfortable/roomy "going home" outfit; I opted for this Daisy Cami Maxi from Forever 21 that is loose fitting because let's be honest, you're not going to feel your absolute best!

I totally suggest making a small list of things you can't forget but also can't pack until you're just about to leave for the hospital! For me this was: phone, phone charger, toiletries, make up bag, and pillow! I strongly advise against overpacking. You'll have enough to worry about, but packing the car with 5 large bags shouldn't be one of them! I think if you want to bring a diaper bag, great - but if you can fit the baby's stuff with your stuff, that's fine too!

I hope this helped any parents-to-be! I'll make sure to post some updates / baby Markwood's birth story soon! If you want to follow along even closer, check my Instagram stories!

xx,

Ashley 

More NSale Favorites...

Hey All! The Nordstrom sale is still going on but this is the LAST day for cardholders to shop before it opens to the public! Lots of items are already sold out and super low in stock, so I wanted to share some more favorites with you to grab before tomorrow! Enjoy! 

xx, Ashley 

What's In My Bag: Part I...

Happy hump day! It's already been a WEEK prepping for baby but also recovering from a 24-hour stomach bug. Thank goodness my mom has been with us - she's such a lifesaver! I am working on a part II post to go along with this one - and it will be all about what's in my hospital bag! This time, I wanted to share my favorite diaper bag, Fawn Design, what I pack in it on a daily basis and also for when we head to the hospital! 

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I was using a shoulder diaper bag when I had London and quickly learned how much easier it is to use a backpack. I LOVE Fawn Design because not only is it a backpack, but it also gives you that shoulder strap option if you want it as well. I went with the "original black" because I think it will go with everything + I love the softness of the leather. It also doesn't scream "diaper bag" which, for me, is important :) I wanna still look stylish! 

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There a few "staples" that I never leave home without and ALWAYS stay in my bag:

- An extra pair of clothes/undies for Lo

- Snacks...snacks...and more snacks

- Wipes and hand sanitizer

- Dum Dum lollipops (because sometimes desperate times call for treats!)

- Books and a few activities on-the-go with a packet of crayons

Now that we're about to welcome baby number two, I've added a few more things to the bag and guess what - it all fits! Yay! Here's what I have for the babe: 5 diapers, disposable changing pads, Burts Bees diaper cream (I swear by this! I used it every diaper change on Lo and she never had one rash!), muslin blanket (love this feather print, under $15!), Wubbanub / pacifier, and an extra outfit and socks!

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The Fawn bag has so many little pockets inside to keep things separate. I always carry "on the go" Neosporin and bandaids just in case because TODDLER and I of course need a spot for my wallet and phone; there's room for it all! 

I hope you all have an amazing rest of your week! I'll work on my "hospital bag" post - hopefully before this baby decides to join us ;) Thank you all for following along! 

xx, 

Ashley 

 

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Favorites...

Nordstrom is having the BEST sale of the year now through August 5th! (Are you tired of hearing about it yet) ;) It's SO amazing if you're a Nordstrom cardholder, which you def want to be, you can shop the sale before it becomes open to the public! Trust me - SO much is sold out by the time it's open to the public so you'll want to sign up for a card. It's super easy, I did it for the first time last year ... worth it! 

I wanted to share my personal faves ... and I'll continue to update it along the way. Also, follow me on Instagram and IG stories for quick "swipe up" options on my more of my faves! 

xx, Ashley 

Family Shoot...

 
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We did a family shoot a few weekends back with our dear friend, Patty with Kivalo Photography. She has been a part of our biggest moments and captured our wedding, baby announcements, this maternity shoot and many others. I went back and forth on if I wanted to get photos done mostly because June was such a busy month for our family however, I could NOT be more excited about how these came out. Patty knew that we didn't have a lot of time and she captured this all in under 45 minutes with a rambunctious toddler, on a bright sunny morning (both which make for challenging photographs) She is such a pro and we just love her so much. I wanted to share some of our favorites, which was hard considering how many we loved! 

Thank you, Patty for working wonders! 

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xx, Ashley 

Happy Birthday, London!

 
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Our sweet girl is THREE in just a few days and we have been so busy getting ready for this move that it came ridiculously fast. I can't seem to wrap my head around it. HOW is our little 6 pound, 12 ounce little sweetie already this BIG amazing girl?! The time has literally gone by at lightening speed and I just want it to slow down.

London is truly a dream come true in every way and she's blossomed so much this past year. She's incredibly bright, witty, sweet, courageous, and BEAUTIFUL. People tell us all the time what a leader she is and how "no one will ever push her around" and it makes my heart so happy. We are trying our best to raise a world-changer; a champion for God, for what's good and right, and maybe for those who don't have a voice. I'm enamored with her in every way and there aren't enough words to describe my love; it's just overwhelming. She truly is my best friend and I'm so excited to see what this next year has in store...and how she will embrace her new role in just a few weeks! 

Happy Birthday, sweetheart! Maybe one day you'll see this and just know how OBSESSED I am with you...I love you BEYOND! 

xx, Ashley (Mommy)

All photography was done by Kivalo Photography

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Fourth of July Inspo...

It's moving week for us - so it's been crazy hectic! It's hard to even imagine what our 4th will look like this year ... but I'm hoping we can steal away for a little bit and celebrate! I love this patriotic holiday - and REALLY love the red, white, and blue style looks! I'm sharing some cute options below that would be perfect for any BBQ, parade, or just going to see the fireworks! Hope everyone is having a great week! 

xx, Ashley 

Topshop Sale!

Happy Friday! Topshop is having a crazy 70% off sale that you totally need to check out! I'm sharing some of my favorites from the sale that you can shop below! I hope you all have a great weekend! Thanks for stopping by :) 

xx, Ashley 

Beauport Hotel Weekend Getaway...

 
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Last weekend I whisked Chris and London off for a little getaway at the Beauport Hotel! We had been to Gloucester a few times to enjoy the beautiful beaches, but never had the privilege of staying at the Beauport and you guys, it's AMAZING. I feel like it's somewhat of a hidden gem in that it's only a few years old and the proximity to Boston is perfect (it only took us about 45 minutes!) The rooftop pool, delicious food and sweeping ocean views coupled with the standout service and amenities made this weekend one of the best family getaways we've had to date! I'm so excited to share the details with you all!

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Our Room

We had the privilege of staying in one of the Beauport's oceanfront rooms and it was absolutely stunning. Our balcony overlooked the Atlantic ocean and we enjoyed the most beautiful sunset in the evening. Our room was really spacious, as was the bathroom, and had somewhat of a nautical vibe! The hotel provided bathrobes and slippers (even a pint-size robe for London - which was WAY too adorable) and the bath products were my favorite, L'Occitane. Housekeeping did a fabulous job of making sure the rooms were spotless and we loved the chocolate they left after turn-down service! We all slept so well in the plush queen sized beds and even though London was awake at 6:30AM, I was actually excited! I brewed a cup of Green Mountain coffee, which was provided in the room, and drank a cup while listening to the crashing waves. It was the most relaxing way to ease into the morning! 

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Service

One thing I really wanted to mention about the Beauport is their service! Everyone was so warm and friendly to us during our stay. They were very sweet to London and went out of their way to make us feel welcome! The servers at the pool and the restaurant were extra attentive and even the bellman we asked to snap a family photo was enthusiastic! I can't say enough about the staff + how wonderful they were. 

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Amenities

The amenities at the Beauport are a 10 out of 10! We were so impressed at every turn. First of all, complimentary valet parking...HELLO! I felt like there was such attention to detail and all hands were on deck when guests arrived. Our luggage was taken directly to our room while we went to check in so we didn't have to worry about a thing! We immediately made our way to the rooftop pool because London was bursting with excitement about going swimming. I'm not going to lie, when we stepped onto the pool deck the panoramic ocean views kind of took my breath away! I was worried we would be a little out of place with our 3-year old in tow, but was pleasantly surprised to see a handful of other kids there as well; it felt super family-friendly. The bar/tapas service at the pool was an added bonus! I enjoyed a (virgin) pina colada; a yummy way to cool down from the hot sun! There's also a jetted hot tub on the roof deck which was super relaxing! Not only is there a pool, but you can step out the door and right onto Pavilion Beach where complimentary beach chairs are provided as well as paddleboard rentals and service from the Beauport Beach Attendants! If you're one that can't miss a workout, there's an excellent fitness center that opens bright and early at 5AM. 

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Food

Ok, in addition to the rockstar amenities - the food at the Beauport was REALLY impressive. I think overall Chris and I are somewhat picky - mostly because Boston has such an incredible food scene - but we were pleased with all three meals we had during our stay! To start, the staff brought a bottle of wine and a cheese/cracker + fruit board to our room as a little surprise. It was so sweet and not to mention, delicious! The1606 Restaurant, where we enjoyed dinner, breakfast, and lunch the next day is right on site and has an amazing oceanfront dining deck. I won't bore you with every detail of every meal BUT I will say, the portion sizes for all of the dishes we ordered were generous! I ordered the lobster roll for dinner and it was loaded with chunks of yummy lobster meat! I also really enjoyed their breakfast options as well. The fruit was very fresh and the waffle served with warm maple syrup made my pregnant dreams come true! It definitely exceeded our expectations!

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I honestly could go on for pages about all of the things we loved about our stay! Chris and I just kept looking at each other going "this is awesome" and talking about how we can't wait to go back. I loved sharing it on social media too and seeing all of your DM's asking me about the hotel! I'd love to hear from you in the comments below if you have stayed at The Beauport before or if you have plans on going! Anxious to hear what you think! 

Thanks so much for stopping by! 

xx,

Ashley 

 

Father's Day Brunch + Area Four...

 
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This month has already been super busy for us as a family! We celebrated our four year wedding anniversary just last week, we're currently planning Lo's 3rd birthday and also trying to gear up for our move on July 1st! I couldn't let Father's Day weekend pass by without planning something special to honor the best Daddy in the universe! I knew I had hit the jackpot in the husband department but found out pretty early into my pregnancy with London that Chris would dominate the "daddy department" as well! He doted on me the entire time and when Lo was born - he made the transition to parenthood look (annoyingly) effortless! Needless to say, I love that I get to spoil him on Father's Day weekend because he is always taking care of us first before himself! 

We started our weekend off on Friday with a little shopping spree. Chris NEVER buys anything for himself...so I thought it would be fun to take him shopping so he could pick out some new things for summer! Saturday kicked off with an AMAZING brunch at Area Four in the South End! We had been wanting to try it for awhile and it did NOT disappoint! The food was absolutely delicious ... and the cocktails (even though I couldn't indulge) looked so yummy. The staff showed off a few of their creations (you can see the "Malibu Beach Barbie" cocktail to the left!) and the presentation was super unique and innovative! The vibe is also really cool and artsy...with giant windows that bring in lots of natural light. Since Chris is a sports guy, he pointed out that it would be a really fun place to catch a game - and I couldn't agree more. 

Before we even ate at Area Four, I had heard that the cinnamon bun was TO DIE FOR. Well, I can now say from experience that it was without a doubt the best cinnamon bun I've ever had and my husband totally agreed! It made all of my pregnant dreams come true and now I'll be craving it from here on out; a price I'm willing to pay for that amazing-ness! The caramel-bacon frosting (yes, you heard that right!) is made in-house as is the entire bun itself. It was served on a warm skillet and you better believe we ate the whole thing! We were able to try a few entree's as well; the breakfast pizza, the "hot mess," and the breakfast sandwich - all of which were delicious! (You can take a peek at the brunch menu here!)

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I can also say that the staff was super friendly and welcoming! They brought London a little doll and mini blow-up flamingo cup holder, which she just thought was the coolest ever. We were totally impressed from start to finish and can't wait to go back! There's another Area Four location in Kendall Square, Cambridge - so if you can't make the South End, check that one out! 

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After brunch, we continued our Father's Day weekend celebration by heading North to the Beauport Hotel! A full review of that is coming soon! I hope you all had an amazing weekend celebrating the special Dad's in your lives! Thanks so much for stopping by!

xx, 

Ashley 

Red, White + Blue...

It's so close to July 4th which for us means, we'll be moving apartments (ugh!) but for YOU I hope it means vacation, bbq's, a beach day, or family time! Whatever you're doing, I wanted to share some patriotic inspo to get you in the spirit :) Shop any item directly below by clicking any photo! 

xx, Ashley 

Father's Day Gifts For The Stylish Dad...

Sharing some Father's Day gift ideas for the special guy in your life! Click any image below to shop directly :)

Thanks for stopping by!

xx, Ashley 

Bumpdate: 33 Weeks + Bloomlife

 
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I can't believe I'm already at the time in my pregnancy when my OBGYN appointments are just two weeks apart! For some reason, knowing that just makes it all seem like it's going to go even faster! We are moving at the end of this month; so I'm hoping baby girl doesn't decide to come crazy early...mama needs some prep/nesting time :) I'm happy to report that my sciatic nerve pain is almost completely gone! I'm guessing the baby's position changed because I don't think it would have subsided otherwise! I was going to the chiropractor, icing, backing off from any sort of physical exercise and it was still bothering me at some points...so it had to be position! Either way, I'll gladly take it. I feel SO much better now that I'm not dealing with that. I still have a crazy amount of pelvic pressure but usually with some elevating of the feet and a little ice...I can manage that well. I have totally noticed more veins popping up this second pregnancy! By the end of the day if I've been on my feet (which I usually have been with a toddler), my leg veins are kind of swollen. Eeek! I'm praying they don't start popping out completely!

Now that I've hit the 33-week mark in my pregnancy, I'm starting to have some Braxton Hicks. I notice them more after I take a walk with Lo or at the end of the day. At my last appointment, the doctor checked to see if everything was ok and thankfully it was (aka cervix is closed!) Thank goodness! I was certain they were just Braxton Hicks and not the real deal because I started using my Bloomlife monitor! It's the world's first clinically validated wearable contraction monitor that detects all uterine activity, so I could see that my contractions were far too irregular to be labor contractions. I SO wish I had one during my first pregnancy! I feel like it would totally have given me more peace of mind and confidence when determining what my body was experiencing! The Bloomlife tracker comes with three parts; the app, a sensor and a reusable patch you can take on and off your body for up to a week. If you run low on patches more will be shipped to you at no cost! 

The Bloomlife app that I mentioned above can start tracking the frequency, duration, and patterns of your contractions! You can know: 1. If you are having a contraction, 2. Are the contractions regular or irregular, and 3. How far apart/how long does each last. So awesome, right?! Who actually has time to keep track of the time between contractions when you're working or you have a toddler running around! This makes it so much easier! (You can read more about how it works here!)

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Another REALLY cool thing about the monitors is that you RENT them on a week-to-week basis. You can use it until the baby is born and then just pop it in the mail to return it when you're done! I started using mine this week and I’m definitely going to be using it until baby girl is born. I typically wear it at night after I put London to bed and I’m finally resting on the couch. I think it’s also nice for your partner to feel like they have a clue as to what’s going on with your body! When the contractions do start, both you AND your partner can see what's going on and it will put everyone's mind at ease.

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If you’re interested in trying your own Bloomlife monitor, you can get 10% off using the code: AM10! If you’ve already tried it, let me know your thoughts in the comments below! Thanks for stopping by!

Xx,

Ashley

Stripes...

Sharing some of my favorite striped pieces today! I love all of the striped linen jumpsuits/rompers that are out right now so I included those :) Thanks for stopping by! 

xx, Ashley

A Letter To My First born...

 
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My darling girl,

Where to even begin. 

It's taken me awhile to start this letter because every time I try, I get so emotional! I hope one day you read this, and you can feel my heart. Right now you're sleeping...and I've got the monitor next to me like I always do so I can peek at you periodically because I just love watching my little angel sleep.

You are my first born. The "chapter one" in my motherhood story and what a beautiful story it's been thus far. You completely changed my world that night three years ago and nothing will ever compare to the feeling I had pulling you up to my chest, all 6 pounds 12 ounces of you, holding you for the first time with tears welling up in my eyes. In that moment time stood still and it was just "us" ... Mommy, Daddy, and London Grace. I had absolutely no idea what was in store, but I'll never forget how overwhelmed I was with love and how instantly I felt so honored to call you "ours."

If only I'd known then how fleeting every moment after that would be. How quickly you'd go from that 6-pound bundle to my sweet, independent, bold, beautiful, and sometimes sassy baby girl soon heading off to preschool. You've grown so fast and while I feel so incredibly lucky to watch every part of that, it hurts my heart a bit. The truth is, I already miss "us." I've had days (a lot of them) where I find myself in tears...almost mourning the time spent where it's just Mommy + Lolo. Because whether we're adventuring to the beach, having a Starbucks date or just taking a walk to the playground - we always have the BEST time together. That doesn't mean it's always been easy. You are my first born after all, and with that has come a lot of trial and error. I've probably done too much worrying, stressed a little too much, and shed too many tears about things that don't matter much in the end. I have days where I feel worn down and like I am failing in so many areas as a mom, but your beautiful, loving soul always brings me back down to Earth. Your infectious personality and smile reminds me that while I'm far from perfect, I must be doing something right. Thank you for that. 

Soon, daily life for us will look a little bit different. It won't be just the three of us, and you will have to share mommy more. I want you to know that God knew I needed you first. That's the thing about God...He always gives us exactly what we need and He's the ultimate gift-giver. YOU are His ultimate gift to us and everything I ever imagined. This transition may seem a bit scary and overwhelming for both of us, but it gives me so much joy when I envision the ways our family is going to grow in even more love and happiness. I can picture you as a brave big girl ... eager to show and teach your little sister everything along the journey of life. She is the luckiest to have you. 

No matter how much our world changes, you will forever be my first child; the one who taught me the truest meaning of unconditional love, pride, happiness, and even heartache too. I love you from the depths of my soul...forever and ever, my sweet girl. 

With all my heart,

Mummy

Memorial Day Sales + My Top Picks...

This is an amazing weekend for shopping with brands like Nordstrom having their half-yearly sale through June 4th, Topshop up to 40% off, Anthropologie 20% off all furniture/decor, and (another fave) ASOS having a 20% off sale.

Here are some other brands to score major discounts plus you can shop some of my favorites below!

Abercrombie & Fitch: 40% off full-priced items; May 25-May 28

Ann Taylor: 40% off with the code: SOREADY

BaubleBar: Up to 70% off through Memorial Day weekend

Express: Up to 50% off everything!

J.Crew: 40% off everything, including new arrivals with code: GETAWAY

Loft: 40% off all full priced items with the code: LONGWKND

Levi's: Take 30% off through May 30th

Macy's: 20% off with code: MEMDAY

Nordstrom: 40% off now through June 3

Shopbop: Up to 40% off new markdowns + free shipping

Wildfox: Additional 20% off all on-sale items

xx,

Ashley