New family pictures courtesy of LetMeSeeYouSparkle Photography

I’ve known fellow blogger Chrissy for awhile & was seriously so excited when I won a PhotoSession from a Facebook giveaway she was doing. We waited until Presley hit 18 months so our session could count as her 18 month pictures. I’ve tried taking pictures at each of Presley’s milestones & was so excited to have a professional take them (instead of me pulling my hair out in my kitchen with my ghetto backdrop & streamers. Ha). Chrissy rocked it, if you are in Arizona, I definitely recommend her. She is amazing, quick & is great with children. Thank you Chrissy for capturing such amazing pictures of us…..I mean, check out these shots. GAH. How the crap do I decide what to print? I think I’ll go with all.of.them.

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View More: More: I’m not kidding when I say that isn’t even half of the pictures that I got back from her. Oh, and we had our session with Chrissy & the next morning I had the pictures. CRAZY fast. So, check her out. Everybody needs updated family pictures, selfies, head shots, baby pictures. You won’t regret it. I mean, look at what she captured with us. (And Presley isn’t the easiest toddler to work with!)

You can find Chrissy:
FACEBOOK // INSTAGRAM // BLOG // BUSINESS // PINTEREST // TWITTER    (<—-Chrissy and I share a social media addiction)

So, seriously. What do I print huge?

*please keep in mind these pictures are property of Let Me See You Sparkle Photography. Any use of them needs to be linked back to Chrissy as she deserves credit for her work. *

Our Breastfeeding Story

Before I became pregnant with Presley, I always viewed Breastfeeding as a ‘crunchy, granola person’ thing to do. I thought Mothers who breastfed their children were all vegetarian, and only used cloth diapers and homemade cleaning supplies. Then I got pregnant and took the Hospital tour & breastfeeding class & finally decided it was something I would try to do. It all felt much more normal, and much more me.  I remember being in the Hospital and after Presley was put on my chest, I knew I would breastfeed her. I knew it would be perfect.
presley bornI remember sending a picture message to my mom when she latched, “Look Mom, I’m doing it!”. It felt normal, and natural & I was proud to be Presley’s breastfeeding mother. She pretty much was attached to my boobs for those first few days in the hospital. We either cuddled & nursed or we slept.  My milk came in a day after we got home (Day 4) and I remember taking a picture of these huge engorged boobs & sending it to Chad, “Look at these babies, best boob job ever!!”. I was ecstatic, not only because I had huge knockers – but because my milk had come in. I had a breast augmentation in August 2010 and I was always worried that I would never be able to breastfeed. (Such a selfish decision I made!). So I cried when my milk came in.

But then it got ugly, really quick. 

I couldn’t get Presley to latch right, my milk would spray everywhere, she wouldn’t empty my breast & my nipples looked like war zones. I was using lanolin cream, ice packs, nothing would help with the soreness. Then they cracked and bled, I had pieces of my nipples flaking off. I remember sitting with Presley on my breastfeeding pillow while I watched milk drop from my breasts & it was pink because it was mixed with blood. Every 3 hours it would be nursing time and I be terrified. I would clench my fists, curl my toes & just sob right into Presley’s face. I started hating her. She was hurting me. I knew it wasn’t her fault & that it was something we both needed to get used to, but I stopped breastfeeding. At that time, I had been gifted a single electric breast pump, so every hour I was pumping one side, then the other for 30-45 minutes round the clock. It still hurt, but not as bad. I would pump, feed Presley, pump again, take a nap, wake to pump, feed Presley. It was one of the hardest, most painful times of my life. To top that off, Presley literally screamed round the clock so Chad and I took turns so the other could rest. I remember being so glad when we had family come – but I was still pumping round the clock and absolutely miserable. I remember pumping in the computer chair in our tiny 1 bedroom apartment just sobbing my eyes out. My dad was visiting and after explaining the hassle of using a single pump (that was a cheap Walmart brand). He grabbed the car keys and went to Babies R Us & bought me a Medela double electric breast pump. My pumping time was cut in half & I was getting out almost twice as much milk as I was before. My supply finally was established and I had a schedule down. The pain had almost completely subsided and Presley would take a bottle from anyone (which was nice.) But I knew that I wouldn’t be able to continue being an exclusive pumping mother for much longer. It was so time consuming and I could never leave the house without my pump, ice packs & bottles all ready to go.

So when Presley was 5 weeks I decided to try and get her to nurse again. My breasts were ‘toughened up’ and I figured if she latched – great. If not, I would keep pumping for another month and then just be done. She latched. It felt great. I felt proud & happy and that I was free to go anywhere with her. I could feed her easily anywhere we went. It hurt, and we had to get used to it. But after about 2 weeks we were champs. I was so proud. I loved nursing in public (with a cover at that time) because I was so proud that I had a boobie baby. (When she was 9 months, I posted a bit of our story & some tips….)

Over the next year we went through many ups and downs. Presley would all of a sudden veto nursing & I would be forced to pump for a few days. She’s always been up at night so I would nurse her throughout the night & every 3 hours during the day until recently. Every time she is getting teeth she bites & hard. I’ve been hospitalized with mastitis, taken supplements to boost my supply – pumped in the middle of the night to try and boost my supply. I drink water constantly & have to watch what I am eating. I can’t go anywhere over night & most days feel trapped at home because Presley ALWAYS needs her boobie. She usually refuses to take a milk bottle unless I’m not around & it’s Chad giving it to her. And despite all of that, I just keep going. Presley has always been a hard baby, she finds such comfort and happiness when nursing – I can’t imagine taking that away from her.

It has been a long road. A long, long breastfeeding road. I had a 6 month goal. Then a year. Then 18 months & we’ve made it. I don’t see us quitting anytime soon either. We are at a really good place, Presley nurses on demand & I just cut out her night feedings. She nurses sitting up, standing, while I’m standing, and cuddling. It’s magical. I never, ever thought I’d be THAT mom that pops out a boob in public, but I don’t mind it at all now. I’m proud to be a breastfeeding mother, NOT because I think it’s better than formula – but because I know how many trials Presley and I have been through to get to THIS point. I was so thankful when we met with Chrissy this last week. She captured such beautiful moments between Presley and I am emotional looking back at our breastfeeding journey….I’m so excited to print some of these out to display in her room & in my office.
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So there is a bit of our story. I make it a personal goal to high five every Mom I see breastfeeding – because it is hard, hard work. Shame on any of you who scold or scoff at Moms who breastfeed without a cover (I could go on for awhile about this but I’ll spare you.) If you are a breastfeeding Mom, PROPS to you. Whether its 1 month, 3, 10, or a 100 months. YOU are incredible. And formula moms, PROPS to you for being so strong in a world thats covered with self righteous in your face breastfeeding mothers. YOU are feeding & nurturing your child – and THAT deserves just as much (if not more) applause. Breastfeeding is a hard journey, but I know the trials I had the first time I bought formula for Presley when I needed to supplement while boosting my supply. I applaud your courage & strength to not smack every (like me) ‘look at me breastfeeding mother’. Oh, and to the moms who exclusively pump – HUGE HUGE high five. I have a friend who exclusively pumped for an entire year! (GO HARMONY!)

So, basically just booyah to moms. Go spoil yourself today. And tomorrow & everyday after.

Nuby Review – The Flower Child Bowl

nuby plate“At Nuby we strive towards making the lives of parents and children easy, simple, and fun. The highest quality standards, global trends, and continual product developments help us bring parents everything they need for their baby’s development. Our products are inspired by nature and offer the best, safest, and most simple choices for you and your baby.”

Every morning after Presley wakes up we cuddle & nurse. I start my coffee & get Presley’s water sippy cup of water and breakfast started. Usually we eat breakfast together in the living room while Presley watches the beginning of a movie & I slowly sip away at my coffee. I love these quiet moments & love watching Presley with her crazy bed head, using her little pudgy fingers to eat. I was so excited when I saw this adorable Flower Child plate from Nuby. We are always looking for cute little Presley plates so I knew this one would be perfect for her.

IMG_2588The Flower Child plate is the perfect Toddler plate. It has soft grip handles, a gorgeous bright design & Presley loved the flowers & ladybug design. It is suitable for hot or cold foods & is microwave & dishwasher safe. (Can’t go wrong with that!).
NUBY1This Nuby plate was a DEFINITE win for us. The design, texture, size. Everything is perfect – can’t think of anything we didn’t like about this plate. What are you waiting for? Go grab one!

Available at:, Buy Buy Baby

Connect with Nuby:


You can read all of my Nuby reviews HERE

*I am a Nuby mommy blogger. I received this item for free in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are mine. We love Nuby and I wouldn’t share it with you if I didn’t believe it was an amazing company with amazing products.*

How to distress furniture – with Diaper Cream

desk1The closet to office makeover has officially begun! I am so excited to share this desk transformation with you today. I have seriously tried to master this effect for years & have gone through shelves, a bed set & my share of desks all without success. I was so excited when I came across a new trick to try – I had nothing to loose. I found this gorgeous desk on Craigslist. It was listed for $60 & literally a 3 minute drive from our place. Being the classic Craigslist idiot – I offered $30 (because girls gotta stay in my budget!) & they accepted. We picked up the desk & I got the garage all set up.

IMG_2392The first thing I did was wipe down the desk & remove all the hardware (handles)  & then begin sanding. Now, you can save A LOT of time by not sanding and just painting directly over this cleaned color. I wanted my shabby chic desk to be white with a black underneath, so for me, sanding and staining was necessary. Tip 1: If you can, sand outside. Our entire garage got covered with a layer of dust. Whoops. Tip 2: Invest in a hand sander – we received ours as a Christmas gift but you can get a similar kind at Home Depot for $30-$50. In my opinion, worth EVERY penny. I used 220 grit sandpaper and sanded the shiz out of this desk.
IMG_2396Once it was completely sanded & the garage detailed (sorry hubby!), it was wiped down and stained. I’m pretty sure when you stain you wipe it on & wipe it off. However, I loved the dark look I got when I just wiped it on, so I didn’t wipe it off. In some places where I knew I would be distressing (top & all corners) I added a second layer after it dried. I absolutely LOVE Minwax in ‘Ebony’ it was the perfect dark color for this project.
IMG_2516So here is the fun part. In all of my other distressing projects, I would paint on the color & then sand away & stain – NO BEUNO. Whip out your babies butt cream. I’ve read other projects where Vaseline was used, but after tearing apart our house & not finding any – figured that Presley’s butt cream was an almost identical consistency & idea so I went with it (Because I’m far too lazy to run across the street to Walmart). I painted on the Diaper cream (Desitin, aquapher, etc.) on any of the areas I planned on distressing – so, various parts around the flat surfaces & then on all the corners, edges & places the desk would normally have wear. Then painted immediately over. The vaseline/butt cream creates a barrier that the paint won’t stick to – it’s GENIUS. I went pretty heavy with the butt cream, because I wanted this thing DISTRESSED. I used an old brush that had seen better days & sloppily (but gracefully) painted over the entire desk. I waited a few hours & applied a second sloppy coat to make sure it was white enough & you couldn’t see crazy brush strokes.
IMG_2537After the paint dried, I took an old cloth and rubbed over the places I applied the butt cream – the paint flakes right off & BEAUTIFULLY. It chips off and looks completely normal, in some spots I went over with some sandpaper to give it some texture instead of just flaked off paint. But holy crap – I was seriously screaming from my garage in my sports bra. My neighbors must have thought I was crazy. I decided to do the drawers in a light pink so give the desk a little more dimension that just all white.
IMG_2527E ASY peasy. Throw a top coat on (I ended up using a wax which I now swear by) and let it sit in a well ventilated area for a week. Stare at it daily and just countdown until you can put all the things in & on it. Dang for cure time. And for following directions.

TIPS on staying CHEAP: If you’ve been here awhile, you know how much of a budget we are on. We live on a stipend so all my crazy projects are done for very little. Always check Craigslist first. Offer LESS than what you are willing to pay. Thats just a Craigslist rule. They say No, and counter offer. Save yourself a few bucks. Use products you have around the house. This white paint was purchased by the gallon and I have used on a bed set, our laundry room & now this. The pink was a sample from Home Depot for $3. You can have ANY color made into a sample! ALSO, both Lowes and Home Depot have ‘Mistints”. I check every morning because full gallons of paint go for $5. These are the colors people decided they didn’t want & they want to sell. Ask neighbors to borrow paint, a sander, stain – reach out & ask for help. It’ll save you money and the world goes round.

Have you refinished any furniture? Any tips for staying on a tight budget?

18 months – The STATS

18m Check out this huge girl! I’m pretty sure 18 months is my favorite month so far – I love my big Presley girl & all the fun she is becoming. We had her 18 month appointment this week & she is doing great. She is still in the 25% percentile across the board – but the Pediatrician said she is perfectly normal & we don’t have any need to worry. So, here is all the latest & greatest (including all her current tricks).

She is just shy of 22 pounds & 30 inches. Wearing mostly 12 month clothing, but is starting to wear some of her 18m clothes. Starting to wear all 18 month pjs or not footy 12 month sets. Size 3 Diapers & Shoes size 4. Teeth: 12. Only 8 more! Almost there!!!

She can say words for: Mama, Dada, Dex, Grandpa, Ball, Apple, Hannah, Honey, Bubbles, Boobie, Yes, No, Banana, Pop & Up


She can make animals sounds for: Elephant, Horse, Cow, Kitty, puppy, snake, owl, bear (dinosaur, crocodile, lion – all the same as bear), sheep/goat, chicken, bird, duck, Bee/Fly.

She can point to: Head/hair, eyes, nose, mouth, ears, belly, boobies, bum, elbow, knee, hands, feet

Can sign: Please, more, all done & thank you. She needs reminding most of the time – but will do them on her own as well sometimes.

Other notables: She is completely down to 1 nap a day which lasts between an hour & an hour and 15 minutes pretty consistently. She is sleeping from 8/830 – 630/7 & we just started Cry It Out this last week to hopefully get her sleeping more consistently through the night. Understands when we ask her to do something. Will bring you things if you ask her to. She takes direction really well. She has been throwing lots of fits – throws herself down on floor, throws whatever she is holding. But does better when you give her options. i.e. you can stay in her room and throw a fit, OR we can go play together. She can go down slides alone. Loves to climb. Jabbers all the time. Loves to yell at Dexter. She gives lots of kisses & hugs but only when you ask. Stranger Danger is GONE – (FINALLY!), she waves & blows kisses at everyone! Loves to help with chores around the house & will grab your hand and pull you when she wants to do something together (ALL day!)
meandpresI love this girl. I really, really do. She is becoming my best friend & I am finally getting the hang of being her mom. I’m so excited for all the conversations, and nail painting parties & hand holding I get to have with her in the next forever. Cheers to the last 18 months of craziness, sleepless nights & everything that happened in-between.


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