Sweet One

Annabelle’s Sweet One birthday was to date one of my favorite events I’ve planned and hosted. While we kept things simple and somewhat small, the details are what hit home for me! While we unfortunately had to reschedule her birthday party quite a few times, thanks Covid, this past weekend we were finally able to celebrate! Today, I’m sharing all the details of her “Sweet One” party.

I first started planning based on a theme, but I didn’t have a set theme in mind. I wanted to do some play on her nickname, Sprinkle, but I knew I didn’t want a “Sprinkle” themed party. Thanks to my best friend Chrissye, she came up with the name “sweet one”. I loved it and I knew I could take the party so many different ways.

Pinterest was my best friend when it came to planning and details. I had seen a daisy flower balloon arch that I fell in love with and knew I needed to incorporate! Thankfully, Miami Balloon Garden understood my vision and executed flawlessly! I loved that she first sent me a mock up of what our set up would look like. What she actually created, was truly beautiful! And it doesn’t hurt that she’s an absolute sweetheart too!

Because our party was mainly adults, I didn’t have any kid’s entertainment, taking advantage of this for as long as I can. Haha! I know it may only be this party! We hosted Annabelle’s party at 4 pm so only planned to serve bites and champagne. We did some Miami staples, sushi and Cuban snacks which included croquetas, pastelitos. Of course we had to get our Cuban goodies from our favorite, Sunset Bakery!

We also served our favorite flavor cake (lemon) from E&M Sweets. I showed Cynthia a cake I fell in love with on Pinterest, and what she created, was even better! Fun fact, she’s been making all our cakes since Thomas’s 2nd birthday, she also did our wedding cake!

To bring everything together were the small details in decor from some of my favorite small businesses in Miami. The first piece I ordered was the tassel garland from Crafting on Sunshine. I thought it would be so fun to add the “sweet one” pendant to bring it all back to our theme. Wild Briar Co. came up with the perfect custom piece. I love how delicate and “sweet” it is!

One of the most special pieces of the party was the milestone picture board created by Casa Viera. Vanessa from Casa Viera had been wanting to create this board, but needed a little one who had taken monthly milestone pictures. Funny enough, I had already been telling Joel he was going to have to help me make something similar. Vanessa truly saved the day! I mean, who better than Sprinkle?! I loved being able to display all those pictures for everyone to see!

They also created the sweetest cake topper for our cake that went perfectly not only with our setup, but the colors as well!

To send our guests off and sticking true to my Sprinkle, I created little Sprinkle jars for our guests to take home! By the way, Sprinkles are expensive AF. Just FYI, haha! For the kid gift bags, I used the “Sweet One” from Annabelle’s invitation, which I also made, no biggie!

And last, but certainly not least, as it was one of the very first things I ordered. Sprinkle’s custom dress! Wild Buffalo Threads had posted a picture of this dress for her own daughter and I messaged her telling her I needed this dress for Sprinkle! From the colors to the details, it was just absolutely perfect!

Overall, we are so happy with how everything turned out, but even happier that we were able to celebrate with our closest friends and family, in person! While Sprinkle may not remember her first birthday, she certainly did have a great time, especially finishing the night eating her cake with chopsticks!

My Favorite Baby Products (10-12 Months)

Sprinkle baby, is now Sprinkle toddler! It’s true what they say, the days are slow, but the years, or in this case, year, goes by so fast. Sprinkle’s first year FLEW.

In the last few months, Sprinkle’s understanding of her environment and the things around her has drastically changed. As a result, we’ve been able to start playing with some more exciting toys and our dynamic has become way more interactive! Bring on the fun! Take a look at some of our favorites for months ten through twelve and stay tuned for my next post. I’ll be featuring our favorite things for the first year!

Our Favorites

  • Pound & Roll Toy– This pound and roll toy is simple, but keeps Annabelle engaged for quite a bit! One of her favorite things to do is to hide the balls in different places around the house! That’s fun, hah!
  • Piggy Bank– I can’t tell you how much I love this piggy bank toy, for a variety of reasons. While Annabelle loves it, it provides the opportunity to work on so many skills like, turn taking, making requests, fine motor skills, etc.
  • Leap Frog Learning Table– This learning table is still one of our favorites. I featured it on an earlier list. My favorite tip was taking off two of the legs so that Annabelle could practice sitting while playing. Now that she’s standing and cruising, she loves playing with this table standing up!
  • Disney Spanish Book Set– Annabelle got this book set for Christmas and has absolutely LOVED it! She loves taking all the books out and already has a few that our her favorites to read over and over. Each page has one word, which makes it great for practicing receptive language skills, such as pointing to an objet when asked.
  • Pretend Play Food– This purchase was actually for Annabelle’s November pictures and she ended up loving to play with these pretend play food items. I love that while she mouths them and takes them in and out of the bag, it will be a set of toys she can grow into as well.
  • Toothpaste– Annabelle has turned one and we have started brushing teeth! I’ll be honest, I didn’t do any research about the most natural or the best toothpaste for babies, I picked this one out randomly at Target and Annabelle is obsessed.
  • Toothbrush– Annabelle loves her toothpaste, but she loves her toothbrush even more! She will now crawl to where she knows the toothbrush is and point to her teeth so we brush them for her! Also didn’t do much research on a brush, but picked one and out and happy with it!
  • Nuk Learner Cup– Around 11 months, I started the slow transition from bottle to sippy cup. Annabelle was already used to drinking out of the smaller Nuk learner cup for water at meal times, but with this cup being larger, it was really helpful for when she drinks more than 5 or 6 oz of milk! While it took us about a month to transition from bottle to cup, she did it! Eventually we’ll get to the straw cup!

Sprinkle Update

It breaks my mama heart that this will be the last of these updates! While my heart hurts that my baby is now a toddler, it has been the absolute biggest joy and blessing! Sprinkle has changed SO much! In the last few months she’s been cruising EVERYWHERE. She is also standing up independently and has taken a few steps on her own, but still not walking. It’s so much easier when Mama carries you! We’ve been working on lots of sign language and in the last two weeks in particular, she’s picked it up so fast! I can’t wait to see all the fun things this munchkin has in store for us! Thanks for following along this ride!

Holidays in 2021

This time last year, I was days away from giving birth and living through the peak of a pandemic. In just the matter of a week, it feels as if though we are right back to those weeks of uncertainty. So much so, that because of this recent surge in cases, it will be the first Christmas we are not all together, as a family, with Thomas.

If you follow my Stepmom Strong Lives, our most recent chat was about holidays and co-parenting. Michelle Dempsey, Divorce Specialist, wonderfully pointed out, “a date on the calendar is just that, a date on the calendar. Make your own traditions, on whatever days you need to and enjoy the hell out of the time you DO have your kids.” Words to live by, this week.

I know Annabelle’s first Christmas isn’t ruined, in fact she won’t even remember it. But I would be lying if I didn’t say that, my mama heart is crushed. Crushed for Thomas, crushed for Annabelle. A year later and we’re back. This isn’t about politics, it’s about our well being, YOUR well being. Our Elves still had shenanigans to get into, we had a Noche Buena dinner planned with our family, but maybe this year is the start of some new traditions.

I had already said last year, that Maria needed to take our holiday pictures every year, but this year solidified that. Maria is the only photographer to have ever photographed our family, and she knows it better stay that way! Last year, she caught us in our last days as a family of 3, and this year she captured us as a family of 4. My favorite thing about our shoots with Maria, the simpleness. No staged shoot, no props, no fancy lighting. Just us, doing what we do, in our element.

As down as I am about the holidays right now, these photos are reminders that the holidays are dates. Moments like these don’t matter if they fall on a Monday or Saturday, Dad’s day or Mom’s day. It just matters that we have them. And even better, we have them captured.

I hope, wherever you may be reading this, that you are healthy and safe. I hope you are able to enjoy the holidays with the ones you love, whenever and where ever you may be celebrating!

Holiday Gift Guide 2021

It’s hard to believe Christmas is only 47 days away! This year I wanted to feature some of my favorite local small businesses and was so happy to be able to do so! As always, I hope these finds make your holiday shopping a little easier this year!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you choose to purchase through the links I provide (at no extra cost to you)!

Men’s Gift Guide

  • Cocktail Smoker– I gifted this to Joel for Father’s Day and it made such a fun date night! We need a bit more practice, but love that you can personalize this!
  • Google Hub– We have gotten SO much use out of our hub, great gift for any techie!
  • Sandbar Sauce– Local to Miami, a great way to support a small biz! These make a great gift since you simply just need to add your alcohol and you have a delicious hand crafted cocktail!
  • Nomad Charging Station– Joel is particular about his electronics and after a not so great charging pad, he invested in this one and uses it daily!
  • Cocktail tool set– Perfect gift to pair with the cocktail smoker and sandbar sauce!
  • Bose Sleepbuds– I gifted Joel a similar pair for Christmas a few years ago and these definitely seem like an upgrade!
  • Goldbelly Gift Card– Does the man in your life have a favorite dish that maybe isn’t a drive away? Check out goldbelly for some favorites all around the country, delivered to your door!
  • Buck Mason-This company makes Joel’s favorite t-shirts, I’ve actually been stealing them lately for myself!

Women’s Gift Guide

  • Pretty Girl Charm Necklace– If you’re a Miami local, you may have heard of this Women & Mom owned business making some of the prettiest jewelry pieces! I love that they have so many options that can be personalized like this necklace!
  • Charcuterie Book– Marissa Mullen, the author of “That Cheese Plate That Will Change Your Life” has always been one of my go-to for charcuterie board inspiration!
  • Cocette– Adding this to the list, because this piece has been on my wishlist for quite some time, hint hint!
  • GT Stitchery Mama Crewneck– Another Miami local and mom owned biz, GT Stitchery does beautiful embroidery! This crewneck is one of my favorites!
  • Eberjey PJs– I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Eberjey PJ’s will always be on my gift guides because they’re delicious and a little piece of luxury that pretty sure almost any woman would love! I’ve gifted Eberjey PJ’s myself, quite a few times!
  • Growing with the Pizarro’s Earrings– The story behind this mommy owned, small business is absolutely beautiful! I encourage you to check out their website and learn more about the Pizarro’s and make a purchase of one of her beautiful pieces!
  • Face Tools– Perfect for the woman in your life who is all about self care!
  • Wine Glasses– Every time I post a picture with these glasses, I get asked about them! They make a great gift!

Kid’s & Teen’s Gift Guide

  • Casa Viera Headband Holder– It’s hard not to want everything from Casaviera! This will actually be a piece I’ll be gifting Annabelle for Christmas!
  • Throw Throw Avocado Game– While we don’t personally have this game, it’s on my list for Thomas! –
  • Peppa Pig House– I can’t recommend this house enough for toddler’s, especially those obsessed with Peppa Pig. Although a little pricey, it will bring endless amounts of play! It was actually one of the most popular toys when I was working as a BCBA.
  • Love P & P– Chances are you know how obsessed I am with Love P & P and all their clothes! Love P & P is also a local woman & mom owned small business that provides some of the cutest clothes for kids! She’s also recently added bigger sizes which I’m so excited about!
  • Crazy Forts– I added this to the list because I would have absolutely loved this when I was little. What kid doesn’t love building forts?!
  • Pokemon Battle Academy– I got this for Thomas last year and it’s still one of his most played games!
  • Lovevery Block Set– While we never did a lovevery subscription, I am a huge fan of their products. As an early childhood educator, I cannot recommend a set of blocks enough! They encourage and foster imaginative play in ways you wouldn’t believe!
  • Piggy Bank– Another very popular toy from my BCBA days, I plan on getting this for Annabelle soon too!
  • Gift Card– While I know I said this was also a teen guide, honestly, I stick to gift cards for teens! Target makes it easy now being able to buy gift cards online!

Teacher’s Gift Guide

  • Trelles Cottage Mug– I love just about everything from Trelles Cottage, another local small business! This mug would make such a cute teacher’s gift!
  • Casaviera Teacher Wooden Sign– This wooden sign would look gorgeous on any teacher’s desk!
  • Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card– I can’t tell you how much I would have loved this as a teacher back in the day. I’ve dropped a pretty penny on that site!
  • AirPods Case– For the teacher with some AirPods, I love this customizable case!
  • Izzy’s Creation Teacher Pouch– As a teacher you can never have enough bags, this pouch from Izzy’s creation is so cute!
  • Pura– This would make a great addition to any classroom, to cover up any funky smells!
  • Laneige Lip Masks– The holy grail of all lip masks, this makes a sweet little treat just in time for winter break!
  • Desk Phone Holder– Love this little holder that looks so sleek on any desk!

Boss’s Gift Guide

  • Casaviera Personalized Wine Box– Love that you can pick out a favorite wine and present it so beautifully!
  • Travel Mug-Insulated and spill proof, perfect for any type of morning commute!
  • Truff Gift Set– I have been hooked on all things from Truff after discovering them last year. Definitely makes a great gift giving a sample of a few of their products!
  • Apotheke Diffuser– I actually use a few of the Apotheke scent’s in our Pura at home! This diffuser is beautiful!
  • Still Flower Coasters– Another local small business, Still Flower uses real florals and resin to create these beautiful pieces.
  • Amazing Graze Co.– One of my favorite local business for all your grazing needs! Who doesn’t love an edible gift!?
  • Business Card Case– A timeless gift, they have tons of different leather color options to choose from!
  • Pearls & Twine Personalized Matches– I collect matches anytime I can. These personalized matches make a fun, unique gift!

In-Law’s Gift Guide

  • Google Hub-This makes a great gift for in-laws because you can link it to family photos and it acts like virtual picture frame!
  • Casaviera Cafecito Tray– I plan on gifting this myself, but this goes perfect in any Miami household!
  • Instant Pot– I’m obsessed with my Instant Pot and if I can pass on that joy, I’m happy to!
  • Courant Catch All– I love that this catch all also provides charing, perfect for any nightstand.
  • Bottle Stopper Garden Kit– If your in-laws enjoy wine, but also gardening, I found this gift to be so clever!
  • Soul Shine by Yem Personalized Dispensers– A local-mom-owned business, she creates a bunch of personalized items, but these would make a great addition for in-laws who love their kitchen!
  • Cork Chaos Wine Tasting– I recently came across this local small business and love the idea of gifting a wine tasting!
  • Pearls & Twine Personalized Candle– This would pair great with the personalized matches, but would look beautiful in any home!

My Favorite Baby Products (8-10 Months)

Officially in double digits, 10 months! Starting to feel like we’re just on hyper speed to get to 12 months. I am just NOT ready!

While not much has changed in the world of what we’ve been using with our Sprinkle, some baby proofing has happened, but honestly not much! While she is pretty familiar with what areas of the house are off limits, that doesn’t mean she doesn’t try testing thew waters from time to time! Check out some of our favorite goodies below!

Our Favorites

  • VTech Walker– While Sprinkle isn’t walking quite yet, this toy will be ready for her when she is! It has given her some great practice and she loves to play standing with all the fun things on it!
  • Stacking Rings– Whenever in doubt, bust out these rings. This girl is OBSESSED. She loves the bright colors, but especially loves all the different textures which help when she’s having a teething day!
  • Bottle Warmer– In the last few months, we officially transitioned from breast feeding to formula. While Sprinkle for sometime would drink milk cold, she wasn’t a fan of cold formula. This bottle warmer is simple and quick, although while you’re waiting with a hangry baby, it may seem like an eternity.
  • Formula Mixing Pitcher– For a variety of reasons, when making the switch to formula, I opted for powder based. I quickly learned that making individual bottles was a pain in the ass. This pitcher has come to our rescue! It’s no frills, easy to use and I always have a bottle ready to go!
  • EZ PZ First Food Set– When we started more of a baby led weaning approach to food introduction, we started off with basic silicone food mats, but transitioning to this food set was a game changer for Annabelle! I was surprised to find that she made MUCH less of a mess, but she’s still a mess! Haha! While we’ve introduced the cup here and there, it does require lots of hands on teaching and help! The set linked is from Target, but the EZ PZ website does offer more colors!
  • Banana Toothbrush– Sprinkle officially has 4 teeth! While we don’t use this toothbrush as an actual toothbrush yet, this is one of her favorite toys to gnaw on when she’s teething! It’s also just so cute!
  • Este Cerdito/This Little Piggy Book– If you’re from Miami, then you may be familiar with The Children’s Trust book club. You sign up your little one and every month until they are the age of 5, they’ll receive a free book! Sign up here if you’re interested! Last month we received this book and Annabelle absolutely loves it!
  • Baby Gates– Like I mentioned earlier, we have started some version of baby proofing and by that I mean we have secured our staircase from baby and conveniently the dog too! It’s actually the only baby proofing we’ve done for now! Also, if you’re going to be putting up any gates, I highly recommend these to protect your walls!

Sprinkle Update

Sprinkle has changed so much in the last two months! Particularly in the domain of MOBILITY! This girl is cruising everywhere! While it may be exhausting, it’s super super cute! We’ve also started having some mini tantrums here and there, those, not so cute! If you follow me on Instagram, you also may remember that Annabelle recently gave us a little scare with some red spots that appeared on her back. After a few doctors visits, one urgent care visit, a visit to a pediatric dermatologist and some blood work, it was determined she has Mastocytoma. The blood work determined there was nothing internal which was just the news we wanted! We have a follow up in a few weeks to see what our next course of action is, but for no, we’re just monitoring that no more spots come up! Unfortunately, it is genetic, so no known triggers and really the only treatment is hydrocortisone cream if they bother her. Luckily, as of now the spots she’s gotten haven’t bothered her!

My Favorite Baby Products (6-8 Months)

8 months! With summer ending and back to school, 8 months snook up reaaaaal quick! The last two months were full of so many firsts, it’s hard to keep track some days.

Luckily, we’ve done a decent job at rotating her toys to always keep things a little fresh. Although I did just order her a few new things that I have a feeling will be making my next guide of favorite things, so stay tuned! As always, most of these items are things we use daily and have made all the difference for us!

Our Favorites

  • Honeybear Cups– Recommended by pretty much any SLP or OT you may come across, these Honey Bear Cups aid in transition from bottle and straw drinking. We transitioned from the sippy cup to this at around 7 months and what a difference! Technically, the straw helps in developing tongue, cheek and lip muscles that will continue to help in future drinking and eating skills! This pack was great because it came with 3 cups and multiple straws!
  • High Chair-You probably already know how obsessed I am with this high chair alternative. We already have enough clunky baby stuff all over the house. The last thing I wanted was a bulky high chair. We also often eat at our kitchen counter or are usually standing around it, so for us this was a no brainer! It’s so easy to put together and clean up. We even took it with us to our house in North Carolina!
  • Play Mat– As soon as Sprinkle became mobile, it was time to get her a softer surface for our tiled floors. I can’t tell you how many times she’s bumped her head, oops. I love that you can pick and choose how many tiles you use and it comes with a great plastic carrying case. We also took this mat with us to North Carolina, which is where Sprinkle started crawling!
  • Play Pen– I think it was a matter of 2 days after we got home that we ordered a play pen for this baby on the loose. It’s probably the one item I hate the absolute most because it now dominates our living room, but such is this season of life, huh?!
  • Suction Toy Holder– This was a Kinactive Kid recommendation and I can’t say enough great things about it. This toy holder suctions to *some* surfaces. Unfortunately, not our wood dining room table, but that’s ok because she loves playing with the toy holder strings too!
  • Herobility Bottles– When I was pregnant, I ordered the Babylist bottle kit that provides 4 different bottles for baby to try! I used to be a die hard fan of the nano bottles. They even made a prior list, but with all the issues we’ve had with starting to do bottle feeds, the nano wasn’t cutting it. I brought out this bottle and what a difference! They’re not super easy to find in person, but I was able to order a few from their website. I also think they’re so cute!
  • Lev Baby PJ’s-I’ve been obsessed with Lev Baby for quite some time now! I love her original prints, but the fabric is just BEYOND! Because they use bamboo for the fabric, it makes everything so soft and so breathable, which is amazing for Miami weather. They actually just released some new Halloween prints and I already ordered Sprinkle a little PJ! Added bonus, use my code LIVELOVEFINDS15 for a discount!
  • Zoe Travel Stroller While I love my Nuna stroller and still use daily, it takes up SO much room in our trunk. Since we were driving to North Carolina, we needed something much smaller and compact. The Zoe Travel stroller came highly recommended by some mama friends I super trust! They were right! It is SO light, you can open and close it up with one hand and folds up teeny tiny! For the price point, you can’t beat!
  • Babytrend Jogger– To be fair, I haven’t spent too much time with this stroller, BUT if you’re a casual “runner” like me, for $98, this is a great jogger stroller! Very basic, but again, I’m a casual “runner” and this won’t be our all the time stroller! Thats my Nuna!

Sprinkle Update

Before updating this, I took a look at my last update. I loved reading that we were starting to give her actual pieces of food. Now we can’t get Sprinkle away from the food! We recently took her out of state on her first road trip and after 14 hours in a car, we got to North Carolina and she started crawling! Little babe is ALL over the place and has her hands in everything! Seeing her little personality coming through more and more everyday is such a treat!

Weaning

With summer coming to an end, we decided to finish it off at my family’s cabin in North Carolina. We typically go every year with Thomas and Joel’s family. Last year we didn’t get to visit with Covid, but this year we did…and we had a special visitor along for the ride!

To say I was nervous about Annabelle’s first big trip would be the understatement of the century. I was most nervous about the 14 hour drive we would have to the house and back of course. I shouldn’t have stressed that though, because she rocked it! What I wasn’t prepared for was her complete refusal to breastfeed.

Leading up to the trip I had noticed that breastfeeding Annabelle wasn’t coming as easy as it once had. Just to be clear, breastfeeding in general is NOT easy. Annabelle was becoming more and more aware of her surroundings everyday and therefore becoming more and more distracted. Her nursing times were shorter, but I could also tell my supply wasn’t what it once was. Leading up to our trip, I occasionally found myself supplementing a nursing session with milk I had previously pumped.

On our way up, I could tell Annabelle was distracted while nursing, but who could blame her, everything was SO new. I figured in a day or two once she got into a groove, things would get back to “normal”. Heads up, I only brought about 15 oz of frozen milk with me in case things went south on our drive up! While I was hoping she’d get into a groove, she didn’t. Each session became more difficult, to the point that she was refusing my breast. This had never happened before. While I tried my best not to panic, my heart broke. Was she ready to wean? Was I not making enough for her? Was she missing our element and routines as much as I was? Not sure, but off to Walmart I went to buy formula and a manual hand pump because mama was starting to fill up.

My plan- pump as much as possible so that I could give her bottles of breast milk AND formula. Before heading to North Carolina we had tried a formula, solo, at home and Annabelle absolutely hated it. I’m talking she spit it out every single time I tried offering. This time around I picked a different formula and mixed it with some breast milk.

This was better, but Annabelle wasn’t thrilled. The only way she would down that bottle was when she was completely starved and didn’t really have a choice. This totally threw off our feeding schedules and had me all worried about her night sleep. Luckily, she would sleep through the night, but was waking up around 5:30 daily. This wasn’t good for my brain capacity in the slightest.

You guys know how much I love my routine and things to be planned. I decided not to plan much for this trip and let Joel take the lead. That will never happen again, hah! So between the lack of routine, lack of planning, and lack of nursing, mama struggled and struggled hard.

Don’t let the faces above fool you. This was our last full day in North Carolina and I was absolutely miserable. I was physically and mentally drained. To the point that while we were at lunch, I became extremely light headed and needed to head back to the cabin, rest and let out a good cry.

After some research and chatting with a few mama friends, I realized weaning was taking its physical and emotional toll on me. I didn’t have the luxury of gradually weaning last week and my body felt it.

I wanted to bring light to this because when I started breastfeeding I immersed myself in reading almost everything I could and also worked with a lactation consultant. I wanted to be as prepared as possible, but what no one prepares you for is weaning.

Weaning looks different for everyone, there’s no one way to do it and sometimes you’re in situations like I was where you don’t have a choice. But the more I looked for information, especially on the plethora of breastfeeding social media accounts, the more disappointed I became when I just wasn’t finding information.

Quite frankly, the emotional toll it took on me in just a few short days was scary. Talking about it helped, it helped being reassured that this was normal, but still challenging.

I’m lucky that once I got home, Annabelle was less distracted and more into nursing. But I also did have to come to terms with the fact that my supply wasn’t what it used to be and if I wanted Sprinkle Baby to sleep through the night, she was going to need a bottle.

So, I’ve started the weaning process. We’re tapping into the frozen milk and my emotions are running high. I wanted to breastfeed until she was one and then start tapping into my frozen milk, but we’re on a different ride now! Side note, I can’t tell you how many ounces of milk I’ve wasted thinking she wants more and then she refuses. Why do I bring it up, because wasting any drop of pumped milk stabs me right in the heart. Countless hours and late nights pumping to build up a freezer stash while baby girl was fast asleep. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, whoever said “don’t cry over spilt milk” has clearly never pumped before.

While I’m sad this part of the ride is coming to an end, I’m grateful that we’re back home and this isn’t something we need to stop cold turkey. I was lucky in that I wasn’t getting engorged, but I think at this point I would have preferred that over the mental load this all brought on. Being home and nursing again, within two days I noticed such a shift in my mood and overall how I felt physically.

Just gotta keep thinking, I’ve been lucky to have all this time with you my Sprinkle Baby!

Facial Glow

* Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. 

I recently partnered with Love by Jade and was gifted their Glow Face Serum. I typically don’t review beauty products because I am pretty committed to the ones I use and have used for years now. But lately, with the way my body and skin have changed postpartum, I was willing to try something different.  

I have always had combination skin, sometimes oily, sometimes dry, never predictable and have dealt with breakouts since my early teenage years. I was intrigued that this glow serum was geared at addressing some of those issues exactly. I also liked that the product was organic and free of any toxins. This is something important to me as I am still breastfeeding.  

To be able to write a full and honest review, I needed some time to test out the oil. I received it right before we left on our trip to North Carolina and perfect timing because my hormones were out of control! The breakouts I do get, tend to be around my chin and always linked back to, you guessed it, hormones.  

I started using the oil as instructed, 2-3 drops in the morning and again at night, after cleansing. The first time I put it on I immediately fell in love with the scent and how luxurious it felt! My hopes were high that this would be a great serum since I have been in a committed relationship with my moisturizer the last few years.  

I have been using the serum daily and what I have noticed is while my breakouts have not gone away, they are much tamer. Since I am also a picker, what I also noticed was that this healed my skin so quickly!  

It’s important to highlight some of the ingredients to the Glow Face Serum. The main ones being Plum & Prickly Pear. Prickly pear has the highest form of vitamin E of any plant oil (3 times higher than argon oil). Plum oils are very high in vitamin C with helps repair cells. Other ingredients found are Sea buckthorn c02 extract is high in Beta-Cartons that help heal the skin and reverse sun damage. Living in Miami and the constant sun exposure, this is great to have! 

Some of the benefits of the glow serum include, restoring elasticity, calming inflamed skin as well as softer, nourished, and moisturized skin. Overall, I am so thrilled with the results I’m seeing and the way my skin is feeling!  

You can purchase your own Face Glow Serum through this link and by using the code LLF15 you’ll receive 15% off your purchase!  

Screen Time Behavior Chart

Such a hot topic right?! Screen time can be a source of frustration, relief, entertainment, anxiety, and the list goes on. I know for us, the impacts of Covid really changed the way we managed screen time in our home.

Up until before Covid, Thomas didn’t have a tablet, computer, laptop, etc. His source of screen time at our house was watching TV. Thomas is also never allowed access to a phone or screen while having dinner at home or out, thankfully this one hasn’t changed!

Once Covid hit, the amount of time we spent at home drastically changed and so did our sources of entertainment. Thomas got his first laptop, now has a desk with a computer, and the biggest change, he could now play Minecraft on Joel’s X-Box. YAY…not LOL. Over the last year and a half we’ve tried different ways of handling screen time such as allowing free access, timed access, taking away screen time for problem behaviors, giving extra time for the behaviors we want to see more of, etc. But lately it felt like we were taking away more time than giving. For those interested, Thomas was losing screen time for talking back.

We needed to revamp things, lucky (or maybe unlucky haha) Thomas’s stepmom (ME) is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. This definitely is not his first rodeo with a behavior chart. So off to work I went. I knew what we needed was to create a system in which Thomas was completing things independently, without us nagging (which led to the talking back) and earning the things he wanted through a little hard work. In turn, he gets lots of behavior specific verbal praise, and everyone is a little happier!

This past weekend we introduced the new chart to Thomas and I can’t begin to say what a success it was, there were a few kinks, but let’s go over below!

In short, the chart shows a “menu of tasks” that once Thomas completes a task he earns a designated amount of screen time for that task. Thomas has two choices, save up the screen time to use all at one time, or break up his time throughout the day.

I love that this addresses a few different things. First and foremost, motivation, extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. Extrinsic in that he’s working for these video games. I always point out to parents of clients, we ALL work for things that motivate us. You wouldn’t go to work if you were only getting paid $2 a week, but say you’re getting paid $5k a week, you may be a bit more motivated to go, right?! This leads to intrinsic because Thomas has always had a deep desire to please, the look on his face when he had completed his tasks around, especially some new ones, he was so excited to tell us and help! He was also excited because he saw how happy we were! The goal of ALL behavior charts should be that the child is completing desired tasks and therefore creating POSITIVE experiences while getting access to the desired outcome therefore increasing the likelihood that this behavior will happen again in the future and later on with no chart needed! Second, this chart helps with math and time management. All weekend I could see Thomas calculating what tasks he could do to earn the time and “budgeting” that time.

I shared this chart on my Instagram stories over the weekend and to say it was HOT is an understatement! I had so many requests for it so today, I’m sharing it with you!

How to use this chart:

  1. Edit list to your needs, you can choose to include child in this process by allowing them to suggest tasks they can do around the house. In the downloadable file, everything you should edit is in red!
  2. Review with the chart with your child, numerous times, daily, so everyone is on the same page!
  3. I like to laminate so you can write on daily with a dry erase marker!
  4. Keep track of the time! Laminating the chart and using a dry erase marker to cross of tasks and write down times is SUPER helpful! This was the kink we experienced day 1. Thank goodness Thomas never lies (almost to a fault) and keeps EXCELLENT track of time!
  5. Hang list in an eye level, easy place to see for everyone!

Behavior Chart Download

Be sure to download ASAP as it won’t be a freebie for too long!

My Favorite Baby Products (4-6 Months)

It feels like just yesterday I was doing my post on our favorite products from months two to four and now were at six months?! HOW?! We’ll be celebrating this girl all week! Can you imagine her first birthday?! I can because I’m already planning, haha!

Annabelle has changed so much in these last two months and as a result so have some of our favorite things. A few of these products I really swear by because I’ve seen how they’ve helped her to reach milestones like sitting independently.

Our Favorites

  • Skip Hop Fox– I actually bought this for Annabelle when she was around 3 months, but over the course of the last month this has become one of her favorite toys. She always gets a smile on her face and she loves all the different textures and things to grab!
  • Fisher Price Sit Me Up-This “container” was SO incredibly helpful for introducing solids and helping Sprinkle to start sitting on her own. The chair is super portable and comes in so many different color options! It’s also super easy to wash and clean!
  • Haaka Teether– I am obsessed with this food feeder/teether and so is Sprinkle! You can put fruits, frozen fruits, and her favorite on those hard teething days is frozen cubes of breast milk! The teether comes with 3 different size feeders and an easy little carrying case! We use this everyday!
  • Leap Frog Learning Table– You already know how much I love following Kinactive Kids on instagram! Her tips are SO helpful and this table was one of them! The best is that the legs are removable, so we only use 2, to prop it up on the side which helps so much with sitting play or tummy time play!
  • Tissue Sensory Play Box– Truth be told, I couldn’t bring myself to get the Lovevery subscription. Instead I’ve taken a look at what’s in the boxes and have found my own similar versions! While this isn’t the exact tissue sensory box we have, (we have such a cute Eric Carle one, but it’s sold out!) Annabelle in the last week or so has really started to LOVE taking everything out and opening up the box!
  • Nanit Breathing Bands– As soon as Annabelle got more comfortable rolling over during her sleep, baby girl got a little TOO comfortable. This girl likes to straight up sleep flat on her face. If you have the Nanit monitor this is SO helpful if you have some anxiety about tummy sleeping like I’ve had! This band wraps around her tummy, on the outside of her PJ’s and the app tracks her breathing and alerts you if for any reason she stops. They do also offer a sleep sack that has the same feature, but she’s already out of her sleep sack so we went this route!
  • Aden + Anais Muslin Blankets– I can’t tell you how many swaddle blankets we have that we haven’t used, until now! Sprinkle hated being swaddled, but she LOVES these muslin blankets for nap time. She literally stuffs them in her mouth and falls asleep in about 5 minutes flat. She only uses them for on the go naps since I’m still not 100% comfortable with her having anything in the crib. But we love the Aden + Anais blankets and their burp cloths have always been our favorites too! Not to mention all the beautiful prints!
  • Moms on Call– If you’ve been around for a while, you know that Mom’s on Call has been my bible since week 2. Fun fact it was the only book I read in regards to pregnancy and preparing for a newborn. Their materials are so easy to read and helped me SO much in developing a routine and good sleep habits for Annabelle. This girl has been sleeping through the night, with a few hiccups since about 3.5-4 months! Our naps we sometimes struggle with still, BUT the great thing is that for the most part she’s never TOO miserable from lack of sleep.
  • I Love You Through and Through– If you’re a Miami local and a mom with littles, I highly encourage you to sign up for the Children’s Trust Book Club. Each month, from birth until 5 years old, they will send your child a free book! We’ve gotten a few great ones so far, but this one has taken the cake for me. No lie, I cried the first time I read it to her! So cute and Annabelle loves it too!

Sprinkle Update

Today we had our 6 month check up and developmentally she is doing fantastic! We’ve also gotten the all clear to try any foods, any textures, whatever she likes! Minus salt and empty calorie foods! We started solids at 4 months on the day and to date Sprinkle has tried so many different things, likes most things except for Quinoa. Mix anything with her favorite, carrots, and you’re good to go! We’ve started giving her some actual pieces of food for her to explore. So far she loves toast, but for most other things she’d prefer for Mama to feed her. Can’t say I blame her! It’s so fun to see all the new things she’s doing, like sitting by herself, looking for Cogsy when I tell her to look for him and opening her mouth when I say “ahh” for her vitamin D drops! The interaction aspect is SO fun!

Time is a Thief

Time is a thief. This line. This line is one I’ve thought of maybe every single day of this infant phase we’re in. Next week, we’ll have a 6 month old and it’s been a thought that’s been hard to stomach!

What’s hard is how quickly everything changes! Sure, watching Thomas grow up gave me a bit of insight to my his thief we call time, but as they grow older, the changes aren’t so quick. There are days I literally tell myself, don’t rush her to the next milestone, these days won’t be here forever. But are there days that feel extra long and extra hard that we want nothing more than to skip over a leap or two. Absolutely. I’ll say it loud and maybe not so proud, FU time.

It still feels like yesterday we were bringing our little Sprinkle home in her sushi onesie. What I also think about lately is that my original plan was to go back to work after just under 6 months. Almost a month after giving birth I had a talk with Joel and knew there was no way I could go back to work and give up being with Annabelle everyday. I miss working, I miss the day to day interaction with adults, and working with my kiddos, but I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about how lucky I am to have this time and opportunity to be with her and get to see every moment. It’s also why I photograph and post almost everything. I don’t want to miss a thing! But pretty sure that transition won’t be any easier six months from now either.

I’ve thought about this concept of time in relation to childhood because this isn’t to say I haven’t felt the same way about Thomas growing up. But I missed Thomas as an infant. Infancy feels like its on hyperdrive compared to toddler years! There’s so many milestones in the first year, so many stepping stones to the bigger things later one. I always say, no stage is harder than another, they’re all so different with so many pros and cons to each. Although I am super partial to ages 3-4!

But here we are, almost 6 months later, out of the newborn phase and with a full on delicious baby. Almost 6 months and Annabelle sits by herself, is starting to eat food (already a foodie), sleeps through the night, looks for Cogs when you ask her, is not afraid to use her voice when needed and puts on the biggest smile when she sees her Papa and big brother!

To think that in this same amount of time I’ll have a one year old is daunting, also makes my eyes water every damn time. Stay tuned, soon next week I’ll be sharing my favorite products 4-6 months and before you know it we’ll be planning Sprinkle’s first birthday!

Father’s Day Gift Guide 2021

Does anyone else feel like father’s day is just kind of sneaking up on us this year?! Well that’s where I am! And as simple as Joel is, tech stuff right? Wrong. Do you know how hard it is to buy “tech stuff” for the guy that knows it ALL about tech. Yea, NOPE. Most of the time he picks out his gifts, sends me the link and I pick up the tab! Sometimes I get a few surprises in there! I’ve made this list based on a lot of things Joel already has and loves!

  • Sweatpants/Joggers-If you’ve seen my stories, you know that 1 Joel LOVES his sweatpants and 2 we debate on whether they’re sweatpants or joggers. Apparently they’re sweatpants, but I still call them joggers. Joel lives in these and perfect for working from home or lounging on the weekends!
  • Wine Tasting– Recently I was gifted by my great friend Chrissye, this at home wine tasting kit! It is packaged beautifully, the bottles are so gorgeous and you can choose from different types of flights! I love that it came with descriptions and pairing suggestions for each wine! Great gift for any wine lover!
  • JBL Speaker– I’m a sucker for anything personalized and I loved the idea of a quality speaker customized with a favorite picture! Super thoughtful idea!
  • Yeti Cooler– We have gotten so much use out of this yeti cooler. It keeps things ice cold for days, no lie, we left ice in there once and 2 days later, we still had ice! It’s light weight and perfect for a day out!
  • Flaviar-Joel has loved using Flaviar and I’ve enjoyed it too! We’ve gotten to try some great things and this makes a great gift for any whiskey lover!
  • Sony Noise Cancelling Ear Buds-I’ve posted about these before because this was one tech gift I was able to surprise Joel with that he surprisingly really liked!
  • Cocktail Smoker– I’m planning to surprise Joel with this, hopefully he doesn’t read this! We LOVE smoked cocktails, but truthfully we dont make cocktails at home. I’m hoping this will give us the kick star we need and you can even personalize it!
  • Truff Hot Sauce– You already know I’m obsessed with Truff and their sauces! I love that they make this gift set!
  • Beer Chiller– Casa Viera always has some great gift ideas and this one is so cute! Perfect for the dad who loves his beers and also comes with a can opener!

I hope this list helps you find something for the father’s in your life!

My Favorite Baby Products (2-4 Months)

Dutifully reporting that the endless research on baby products doesn’t stop after baby is born. BUT I am hoping to make the process a little easier for you by sharing our favorite products every few months! Birth-2 months was all about basics and necessities. But Sprinkle is changing, growing and doing something new everyday, Mama has to keep her entertained! The last two months have been all about tummy time and play and our favorite products reflect that!

Our Favorites

  • Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags– I can’t tell you what a lifesaver these have been. Are they great for the environment, no. Am I thrilled about that, no. But at 3 AM when I’m done pumping, unfortunatley, that is the last thing on my mind. I’ve already gone through 3 boxes of these!
  • Ergo Baby Omni 360 Carrier-When Annabelle was smaller, I loved the solly carrier, especially to be at home, but out and about the ergo carrier is AMAZING! Her weight is distributed perfectly and she never feels like too heavy of a load, at least not yet!
  • Tubby Todd All Over Ointment– We’re huge fans of Tubby Todd products! I was a little skeptical of this all over ointment, but I tried it on myself first after I got a small burn. The burn was completely healed in almost 2 days! I was SHOCKED! I’ve used this for little scratches Annabelle has given herself and it has even worked on the baby acne she occasionally gets! With this link, you’ll get 10% off your order!
  • Sloth Soft Rattle– I bought this toy as part of Annabelle’s Easter basket, but she has absolutely loved it! She’s a big fan on chewing on soft things so she’ll hold onto the teething side while mouthing the sloth, hah! But this toy comes with us everywhere we go becaues it’s definitely one of her favorites and one she’ll spend a little more time with!
  • Tummy Time Water Mat-It is no surprise that Annabelle is not the biggest fan of tummy time. We’ve tried so many different things and this water mat has definitely helped! She loves looking at all the different under sea images! If you don’t follow Kinactive_Kids on IG, you need to immediately! This is also a toy she recommends for tummy time!
  • Boppy Pillow-I never used this as a breastfeeding pillow, but instead it is what helped Annabelle the most with tummy time. Little by little we’ve been able to fade it out, but on days that she’s having a little more trouble we still use it! Kinactive_Kids also had a great tip to use this for early sitting by placing it in front of baby as baby sits against you! Annabelle loves this!
  • Nano Bottles– In my first favorite product post, I raved about the nano bottles, Nano actually reached out to gift us this bottle and she immediately took to it! It’s been our favorite bottle to use! I’ve also found that it’s the most accurate at measuring milk. I often use this to measure milk when I’m filling my storage bags at 3 am!
  • Large Exercise Ball– Another tummy time hack brought to you by Kinactive_Kids! She gives a great tutorial on how to safely and effectively use an exercise ball for a super engaging and productive tummy time! This was a game changer for us!
  • Baby Einstein Musical Toy– I swear this toy is crack for babies. One of my awesome mama friends, here’s looking at you Meredith, recommended this and could never thank her enough! This has been helpful during tummy time, while out and about, or during Annabelle’s fussier moments!
  • Otteroo– If you’ve seen my stories, Annabelle LOVES this thing. I will admit, the first few uses are pretty scary and it doesn’t look very comfy, but she loves floating around in the tub! She also lets off so much energy using this! They offer two different sizes, so just make sure you’re buying the correct one for your babe!

Sprinkle Update

Last week we had our four month check up with the pediatrician and she is continuing to do great! We got the OK to start solids and we immediately went home to give that a shot! So far we’ve introduced rice cereal, old fashioned oats, whole grain oatmeal cereal, and pears. Tomorrow we’ll be introducing squash! Sprinkle is sleeping through the night, but if you checked out yesterday’s stories, our naps have been MEH. But Mama is doing better at letting that go and making the best of up time!

Mother’s Day Gift Guide 2021

Last week I put up some fun polls on my Instagram story about some shopping preferences and habits you guys have. Based on your results I was able to put together this year’s Mother’s Day Gift Guide. I’ve come up with two lists for you, splurge items ($50 and up) and steal items ($50 and under) and I tried to feature as many small shops as I could, as per your requests!

I’m so excited for Mother’s Day this year since this is my first official Mother’s Day. Last year, we were in the thick of the pandemic, but it was so special because it’s the day we told our families I was pregnant! So much has changed and so looking forward to spending the day with Annabelle and our family!

Splurge Items

Ginette Photo Pendant

If you found this Gift Guide through my IG post, then you’ll see the necklace featured! While this was part of my push present, it would still make a beautiful Mother’s Day present! I actually started my mom’s collection a few years ago and added Annabelle to it for her this year! Ginette does not sell these on their website, but you can call the store in NYC and ask for Sam! Although this order probably won’t arrive before Mother’s Day, it is well worth the wait! On a side note, I have this ring and it is one of my favorite pieces of jewelry!

The Standard Spa Day

If your a Miami local, I can’t recommend a day at the Standard Spa enough! Book your Mama a beautiful massage and then she can take advantage of all the amenities at the hotel! Stay for lunch at the Lido and take in the beautiful view

Amazing Graze

If you’ll be enjoying brunch at home with loved ones, a beautiful grazing board is a gift everyone will enjoy! Natalie from Amazing Graze put together a beautiful grazing board in the shape of the letter A for Annabelle’s baby shower and it was beautiful AND delicious!

Dr. Schell

I can’t recommend Dr. Schell’s services enough! Her one of a kind, post-partum concierge services should be mandatory for every new mom! Really ANY mom! She does offer gifting options for her services, this makes a PERFECT mother’s day present for a mama to be!

Sam’s Blooms

If you are local to Miami, I highly suggest checking out Sam’s Blooms! I have two dried arrangements from Sam at Sam’s Blooms and they’re beautiful! I love that they are literally NO maintenance. Sam also makes fresh arrangements that are just as stunning. Bonus, her mom makes the most delicious macarons!

Vana Chupp Studio

Formerly known as Le Papier Studio, if you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know I gifted my mom a custom silhouette print a few years ago. While this is another gift that won’t make it in time for Mother’s Day, it is definitely another one worth the wait! Vana offers much more than prints, but also silhouette pendants, jewelry, and gift cards!

E & E Project

If you pay close attention to some of my stories, you may be able to spot my E & E Project bracelet my mom gifted me for Christmas this year! I have an A for Annabelle and T for Thomas. I love how dainty and personal the pieces from E & E are!

Canvas and Confetti

Recently at my best friends wedding, she had Talia from Canvas and Confetti doing water color portraits of all the guests as a party favor! It was such a beautiful treat to go home with! While Talia does a lot of wedding work, her website does show other portrait work and does offer gift certificates for her work!

Sydney Evan Mama Necklace

Part two of my push present was my custom made “mama” necklace, but the inspiration came from this Sydney Evan piece! This makes a great mother’s day present with the perfect amount of sparkle!

Mackenzie Child’s Potted Orchid

You should know by now that I’m always going to include something from Mackenzie Child’s on my gift guides because it’s just my favorite! While it is an artificial flower, I love that there is hints of their famous pattern on the orchid! They also offer a variety of vases that can be gifted with beautiful fresh flowers!

Steal Items

Taudrey Mom Necklace

If you’re from Miami, chances are you’re familiar with Taudrey! I love the dantiness of items, but also the fact that they have so many personalization options. When in doubt, I always find something to gift! While this necklace is a little above $50 ($54), it’s a beautiful option and if not they have plenty of other items to choose from for all budgets!

CasaViera Dried Floral Arrangement

Another local Miami small shop! I am obsessed with all their home decor items lately. They recently released these wooden vases with a small dried floral arrangement and the cutest little wooden sign! They also have a few other mother’s day specific items! Also, the customer service is amazing!

Hotel Collection Candles

I am obsessed with the Hotel Collection candles, especially the My Way Scent inspired by the 1 Hotel in Miami! They have different options such as candles, reed diffusers, room sprays, even diffuses. With my code LLF20 you’ll get 20% your order!

Seasons and Seeds Art

I can’t remember how I stumbled upon Catie’s IG page, but I’m so happy I did. Her work and pieces are delicate, minimalist, yet personal and meaningful! I love that she offers digital files of her art as well!

Little Wooden Box “You’re Not Alone” Box

You already know how I feel about Dr. Schell’s services, but she has teamed up with Little Wooden Box to offer a beautiful postpartum box, perfect for any new mama! I love that these boxes can be used for so many different things afterwards and they’re beautiful!

Bow on a Box “Mother’s Day” Box

I’m a big fan of gift boxes! It’s such a great way to give meaningful gifts with more than just one item! Bows on a Box is a new small shop located in Miami, specializing in carefully curated gift boxes! They’ve put together a beautiful mother’s day box! While I’m not sure the exact price on this box, they do offer fully customizable boxes to fit your needs!

GT Stitchery “Mama” Travel Bag

I would take just about anything from GT Stitchery lately! But really loving these travel bags monogramed with “mama”. I love that these can be personalized however! I don’t think these would be ready in time for mother’s day, but still make a great gift!

Shop Letters & Loops Jewelry Case

Letters & Loops is another amazing embroidery small business that I am loving! She has so many options of different customizable pieces! I love the idea of a personalized jewelry case, perfect for travelling!

Uncommon Goods Cocktail Soaps

This is such a fun idea to gift to a mama who loves herself a cocktail. Guess what, IT ME! This would also be a great addition to a gift basket!

Revlon All-in-one Brush

You’ve heard me rave about this brush before and almost a year later, I’m still raving about it! I don’t use it for an all over blow dry, I use my regular blow dryer for that, but I love to finish and add volume with this dryer! It’s also perfect for next day touch ups and cuts down any mama’s routine!

What are you shopping for this mother’s day? What is on your wish list?! Leave me a comment and let me know!

Family Weekend Getaway

This past weekend we had our first getaway as a family of four and since the pandemic began! Our last trip, pre-covid was our honeymoon. Needless to say, things look a little different these days!

We’re still not comfortable with air travel, so we decided to do a little road trip to Naples. Naples is about two hours away from Miami. This would let us see how Annabelle would do with a longer car ride since we’ll be driving to North Carolina in August. Spoiler, she did GREAT! Luckily, she enjoys being in the car!

We decided to stay at the Naples Grande Beach Resort. Overall, while we enjoyed our stay and the property, the service left quite a bit to be desired. Would we be back? Perhaps if the surge in hotel prices (happening all around Florida) stops and the prices go back to normal. But at the current rate, I don’t think we’d be back. Though the service was not the best, we had a great room and really did enjoy our time at the pool!

Here’s a run down of how our weekend went!

Friday:

Thomas had school on Friday, so we picked him up from school, snack and Nintendo Switch in tow, and went from pick up line to Naples. Conveniently, his pick up time coordinated with Annabelle’s nap time and a car ride always puts her to sleep! We were originally going to stop at Seed to Table (came highly recommended by a great friend) to get some food for the hotel, but the complete disregard for wearing masks and not to mention the sign outside the store on 10 reasons not to get vaccinated, we opted against it! But I can’t wait to check it out when things normalize a bit! We then checked into the hotel and headed right to the pool while Annabelle and Mama sat poolside enjoying the hotel’s champagne happy hour! Later that night, instead of doing room service we ordered delivery from Don Tequila and we could not get over how great it was! If you ever find yourself in Naples, we highly recommend!

Saturday:

Saturday was our only full day in Naples, so we decided to take advantage and make this our beach day. While the hotel itself is not on the beach, they offer a shuttle service back and forth to the beach. Whenever I know our day is going to deviate from our typical routine, I try to make sure Annabelle has a good first nap of the day. I have found this to be HUGELY helpful! Once she was up, we headed off for our beach day. We weren’t the only ones with this idea. Unfortunately, the beach is also open to the public, so it was packed! While on the beach we at no point felt unsafe or too close to others, but when ordering food from the hotel’s restaurant at the beach, there was no social distancing nor people wearing masks. This was pretty common in Naples. This was Annabelle’s first beach day, but baby girl was NOT a fan of the cold water! Her and I spent most of day on lounge chairs napping and I am not upset about it one bit!

That night we headed to dinner at Lamoraga. It was actually our first indoor dining experience since the pandemic and we were really happy overall! The food was delicious, yummy cocktails and Thomas tried so many new things! We have a rule that he has to try anything we give him, if he doesn’t like it he doesn’t have to eat it, but more often than not he ends up loving what we give him! His latest try, tuna tartare!

Sunday:

We started our day making sure Annabelle got a great nap in and then made our way to the pool. We were so excited because the pool was so nice and warm and perfect for Annabelle’s first dip! She LOVED it! I think this girl will definitely be a water baby! Before heading home we had lunch at the hotel. We timed our trip back home around Annabelle’s nap time and this worked great!