A Mist for Baby J

I've been overwhelmed with the feeling of joy recently.  Not only am I expecting our third baby (and first boy) any day now but I've got to share my pregnancy with one of my best friends.  Recently, some of our dear friends threw us a little shower even though we both said it wasn't necessary.  I'm not sure how I got so lucky with amazing friends but I sure did.  My cousin hosted the Mist (smaller than a Sprinkle she said, lol) at her home along with two other of our friends.  Everything was done to perfection and it was such a lovely day with our closest friends.  Jackson is already very loved and I am just so grateful.

Thank you Dede, Alexi and Pam for being so thoughtful and generous.  Also thank you to everyone who attended and made us feel so loved.

How to Throw a Client Appreciation Party

If you work in sales or with clients you may consider hosting a Client Appreciation Party to give back to your wonderful clients.  I recently threw just that and I have a few suggestions on how to make an impact while keeping it very simple.  

To start pick the appropriate venue:  I picked a nice local park that had picnic tables, play structures and large grass areas.  This was perfect for families and it was cheap to host there (read: free).

You don't have to serve lunch or dinner; I offered beverages and dessert and so the start time of the party was after dinner.  We have a local vendor, Pop's Emporium that makes gourmet popsicles that are to die for!  Some of my favorite flavors include Cookies & Cream, Pistachio, Cheesecake and Watermelon.  There is something for everyone's taste and they won't last long.  I highly suggest you consider having these at your next party if you are local!

I also had a local professional photographer, Melissa Gotelli on hand for clients to take family photos.  In the invitation I alerted everyone that she would be there so they would be prepared.  My thought was that clients could save themselves the time and the money to take Christmas photos and use these instead.

Towards the end of the evening I hosted a raffle where everyone got tickets based on their attendance and the clients they've referred to me in the past.  Lastly, everyone left with a very small token of my appreciation; a lotto ticket with a tag that read, "I won the LOTTO with you as my client!"

This is a sponsored post.  All opinions expressed are honest and my own.  Thank you for supporting the brands and companies that have received my stamp of approval.

Jackson's Maternity Session

It's so strange to think these are our last moments as a family of four.  Kevin and I always said we wanted three children but to ask us after two.  After I had Madi I needed a break because being a working mom is a lot of work!  Although I always felt busy and overwhelmed our family never quite felt complete; God was still tugging at our hearts.  Kevin was ready long before I was but finally last Summer I got on board with trying for another baby.  We were perfectly okay with three girls and definitely were not having a third just to try and get a boy.  I figured there was no chance and the odds were too high for another girl.  All these months later I still haven't fully absorbed the idea of having a boy.  To say we are excited is just an understatement. 

We are so excited and feeling blessed to complete our family any day now.  I wanted to capture this milestone with a maternity session and Little Lion Photography Co did a beautiful job of preserving this moment.

Friday Favorites 9/21

I've got some catchin' up to do and share our adventures from the past two months.  We tried squeezing in some last minute fun at the end of Summer with play dates.  We've had birthday parties, activities at school and a family wedding amongst all the normal "stuff".

Zoo Play Date:

Mommy Daughter Date

Last weekend I was feeling like I needed a break and was going to take some me time but then at the last minute I decided what was really needed was a Mommy-Daughter Date.  I figured it was probably our last opportunity for just a girls day and it was just what the girls needed before baby brother arrives.

We went to Build A Bear where the girls each made a bear and then together they made a teddy bear for little brother for when he arrives.  Emily named her bear Bella and Madi couldn't come up with one so Emily spits out Diamond or Crystal.  I asked if she aspired to be a stripper?!?!  Then thankfully Madi came up with Emma.  They named Jackson's bear Brownie.

After the bear building fun we went to BJ's for lunch and the girls were spoiled with pizza and a pizookie.  It was the perfect day and just what we needed.

Front Porch Refresh

When we moved into our new home five years ago I started making deco mesh wreaths for every holiday and my mom made me pillows for our bench.  Each holiday I would change out the decor.  After five years I was completely tired of the deco mesh wreaths and the pillows were worn and faded.  I decided I wanted to keep the front porch simple and not change it for every holiday.   It's funny that when we moved in I wanted Chevron everything and now I'm over that and in love with Buffalo Check.  My mom made the pillows and I grabbed the runner rug from Amazon.  I'm in love with the layered rug look and added a fun coir door mat from Danielle at Girl and Her Guys.  The boxwood topiaries from Hobby Lobby I added to either side of the door.  I had the boxwood wreaths already and just made new buffalo check bows.  I'm super excited about the new look of our front porch!

Girl's Room Refresh

As I was starting to think about designing baby boy's nursery I decided that I wanted to revamp the girls room as well so they felt special.  Honestly when we put the girls together I never quite finished their room so this was the perfect time to do so.  

My best friend Gina of Family, Food and Furniture helped me immensely with the room and worked on three major projects.  Gina is super talented at building and restoring furniture and the first project was a long picture shelf.  Gina constructed, painted and hung the shelf and I added the frames and pictures.  Next she made three cork boards for the girls to display their work.  The girls were always working on masterpieces and paper was accumulating or I was throwing their works of art away.  Now that we have the cork boards I'm able to hang the pieces they want to save.  Gina used baseboard to construct the frames around the cork board and I just loved how they turned out.  Her last project is by far my favorite.  But likely Gina and Kevin's least favorite because it was a lot of work for them!  I found an old, beat up dresser that Gina restored and Kevin worked a crazy amount of hours putting on new drawer slides.  The piece turned out gorgeous and just completes the room.

Contractions: To Be Concerned or Not?!?!

All of my pregnancies I've experienced pre-term labor and even had to be put on medication to slow down contractions.  I've also had gestational diabetes with all three babies which is considered a high risk third trimester.  Because of that I've had to have NST's to monitor the baby and my contractions.  There's so much unknown with pregnancy and contractions just happen to be one of those areas.  Are they Braxton Hicks or something more serious?  Even though this is my third time around and I should be an expert by now contractions still had me guessing.  That was until I found Bloomlife, which is a hands-free, cord-free, clinically validated wearable contraction monitor.  It's such an easy and comfortable system that gives me such peace of mind.  

You rent Bloomlife weekly and can start as early as you like.  Once it arrives you charge the device and then snap it into the patch.  You stick the patch three fingers below your belly button and then start up the app.  It's suggested to wear for one hour at night right before bed.  You need to be still when you wear the device so I usually put it on, sit on the couch or my bed to watch tv and work on my computer.  The app shows you real time activity of uterine activity.  You can learn how many contractions you are having, how long they last and how close together they are.  I especially love that I can take the data back to my OB so he can know exactly what's going on in between my appointments and NST's.

I give Bloomlife an A+ rating and highly recommend it for anyone who is pregnant.  You don't have to guess if your contractions are real or not and it also helps when it comes time for real labor and helping you to decide when its time to go to the hospital.

I have yet another reason for you to try Bloomlife now... get 10% off your weekly rental with CODE AF10.

Something else I'm needing during my third trimester is clothing that fits my growing body!  As you can imagine my clothing options are becoming more and more limited.  However, I just snagged this top from PinkBlush and it's perfect for my belly yet still flattering.  It's light-weight, cute and comfortable.  I picked it out with the intention of being able to wear it after pregnancy as well so it would last me way longer.   For your reference I"m wearing a Woman's Small (not maternity because PinkBlush tends to run on the bigger side).

This is a sponsored post.  All opinions expressed are honest and my own.  Thank you for supporting the companies and brands that have received my stamp of approval.

Girl's Craft Night- AR Workshop

Can you think of a better way to spend a night than with girlfriends and DIY projects (don't forget a little wine was involved too)?  I was so excited when I learned that AR Workshop was coming to Fresno and all that it had to offer.  Recently the Fresno Fab Females headed over for a craft night and I fell in love immediately.  The space and atmosphere were so cute; I could take one of everything home with me.  Plus the two owners are the sweetest and cutest cousins which is just the icing on the cake.

Ahead of time everyone signs up online for a class and picks their project.  I was pleasantly surprised that each person in a group could pick a different project so everyone gets exactly what they want.  I picked out a growth chart board for Jackson's nursery.  When you arrive your space is all set up for you and two instructors were on hand to walk us through every step.  I was so impressed with how everything was ran and how great the class was.  At the end of the night every project looked professional and it was fool proof.  I could go back weekly to work on a new project.  I've had so many people ask me about AR Workshop and I'm planning to head back very soon with more friends.  I'm also super excited to share Jackson's growth chart in his nursery with you; stay tuned.