Happy Holidays from the (soon to be) Cantors ❤️

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah & Happy New Year to all our friends & family! Thank you for letting us share a piece of our lives here on Running with Strollers – it’s been an amazingly big year for us and we can’t wait to see what 2017 brings. I hope this holiday season and New Year brings you health, wealth, happiness, peace and many more blessings ✨ We love you all! ❤️

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kaylasignature-05(Craig & Calvin)
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Mama Bear Sweatshirt & Baby Onesie Giveaway (with Frank Regards)

Guyssss it’s officially the best & weirdest time of the year….those 3-4ish work weeks post-Thanksgiving and pre-Christmas that pretty much test your motivation levels on a consistent basis. It’s that feeling of “I have so.much.shit.to do” mixed with “gimme all the Peppermint Mochas and let me just shop for the ones I love from my comfy couch.”

Frank Regards is tempting me with the latter as they offer the cutest, affordable, high quality items & gifts – this partnership just has me feeling in the holiday spirit big time! Every product is designed in house, geared toward that millennial women consumer – and is done so with a bit of humor thrown in the mix!
The product offerings include coffee mugs, wine bags, sweatshirts, baby onesies, tote bags, dish towels and greeting cards. Perfect for gifting or for stocking stuffers, and are different than the more common gifts you would find at a larger retailer.
I was lucky enough to receive both the ‘Mama Bear’ sweatshirt and the baby Buffalo Plaid onesie to try for Calvin and I – we love them so much! Right away I was amazed by how well they fit both of us, and how soft/high quality the material was on both of the items!
img_1038-1I was also very impressed with…
The design quality
The words/images are not a vinyl imprint [which is very typical of start-ups trying to produce items for a lower cost] but can become non-permanent. The items from Frank Regards are screen printed to ensure the best possible quality and allow for multiple washes without seeing the words start to peel off. You all know what I’m talking about 🙂
Sizing & Length of the items
Both the sweatshirt and onesie fit us like a glove! I was worried a women’s fit medium would be too small for how I like my sweatshirts to fit, but it was perfect and long enough in length for bending down, picking up, and chasing after Calvin! He got the 6-12mo onesie and is fitting him just like the other 12mo onesies he owns. If you are questioning size, you should go up so that your babe can wear this adorable onesie as long as possible!
Feel/Softness
You guys know by this point that I am ALL about comfort – and that’s exactly what I got with these pieces! I know in about 2 seconds after putting on an article of clothing if it is going to be uncomfortable but these items are so so soft. I am actually wearing the sweatshirt as I type this and will probably keep on for bed! Cal played in his onesie all day so I know he was comfy too 🙂
Now for the part you all came here for… the giveaway!
I will be giving away one ‘mama bear’ sweatshirt to a very lucky reader – and you can only enter through my blog! If you’d like to win, (1) leave me a comment below and (2) enter your email at the bottom of the page to follow RwS (you will only get notifications for new posts – which you don’t want to miss anyways!)

I am also giving away ONE Buffalo Plaid Onesie – the option to recieve a floral onesie is also available if you’d like for a baby girl!
Enter via Instagram here.

As you can tell, Ashley @ Frank Regards (thank you for sponsoring this post!) really hooked it up for my readers – don’t forget to check them out on:
Frank Regards website
Instagram
Facebook 
img_1041^Cal is waving by for now!^
When we talk next it’ll be December…can you believe it? Have a great rest of your week!

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Engagement Photos + A Mini Wedding Update

Hi, Friends! Happy Thursday! This one is going to be short & sweet because yesterday’s post was info overload!
We are off to Cincinnati today and have a FIVE day weekend ahead 🙂
We have started to plan the wedding in terms of securing a date and venue, but that’s it for now. We are getting married at The Transcept in Cincinnati on 11.10.17- exactly one year from today! I would say planning is not #1 priority at the moment as my little sister is getting married this weekend and we’ve been focusing so much on work & little Cal of course. Hoping to steal as many wedding tips from her as I can, LOL. I’m the first sister with a baby and the last sister married – keepin’ it classy like that! But for real, I think that the REAL reason people get married before having kids is because there’s not much free time to plan a wedding once you have a child.
I was never the girl who always dreamed of her fantasy wedding, but I am a perfectionist in certain ways and go from 0 to 100 (real quick) when I commit to things. Sooo TBD on if i’ll be chill bride or psycho bride… From here, I am planning on building our wedding timeline with budget & payment details attached.
Married friends:
What should I be doing next?
What would you change about your wedding planning process?
What would you spend more/less money on?
What else should be done at 1 year out?
Here are the photos from our mini engagement session with my photographer Henrietta – she is the bomb and we love how these turned out! Excuse our summer attire – they were taken back in Aug/Sept and I’m just now sharing!

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As always, don’t forget to follow RwS by entering your email below & find me on my socials as I would love to have you!
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{Month 8} + Posts coming to RwS this Fall

We’re officially in month 8 and I’m LATE! Technically Calvin was 8 months back on Tuesday. He is getting HUGE and turning into quite the crazy guy. The words I would use to describe him now are: determined, independent, outgoing, extroverted, observant, energetic, silly & CUTE!!! Duh.
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Calvin has 1 tooth, he is learning to crawl but instead of pushing off his knees/feet he likes to go up into a plank/downward facing dog position. I told Craig I think he might go from army crawling to walking. He can say many words and is very vocal, although he probably doesn’t know he is saying them (mama, dada, hi.)
He is in getting very heavy so we bought a larger convertible carseat for my car and we keep the infant carrier in Dad’s since it’s almost impossible to carry him in the seat any longer. He is in size 4 diapers, and he has to wear overnight diapers during the night because this child. pees. so. much. He kept waking up with pee all down his front. TMI. He is in 9month+ clothing and is making my arms very strong – at least that’s what I tell myself!
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He gives the sweetest hugs, “kisses”, and lunges into my arms when he sees me after work. Lastly, no, we are still not sleeping through the night. He is hit or miss – some nights are 8pm-630am and others he’s up at 12pm, 3am, 5am, etc. As soon as we were going to start sleep training, he started teething hard core …SO TBD on this. We keep hoping he’ll magically start sleeping through consistently, but we’ll see. Who has done sleep training?
Tonight we are heading to a Halloween party and Calvin is staying with his first babysitter outside of daycare & family – let’s hope he decides to be a little angel
20161022_121506^this bear doesn’t stand a chance
20161022_121539^the only dog Cal is getting for a long time20161022_121645020161022_121645^these chunky leggies are super ticklish20161022_121654^yayyy20161022_121715^loves holding his books20161022_12174920161022_121830^ballin’20161022_121900^I have a big belly, Mom

Stay tuned this fall for …
The winner of my $10 starbucks giveaway (head to my instagram to enter)
My Game day Recipe
More accessory & clothing giveaways
Our take on how daycare is going & the benefits
A day in the life of a Working mom
A Wedding planning update
AND MUCH MORE ❤

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Thanks for following friends! – I love ya!

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Family Pumpkin Patching (in Free People!)

 We finally made it to the pumpkin patch yesterday – which means it officially feels like fall! The past two weekends have been rainy and dreary here, so this was the first weekend we’ve had in a while where we could even make it outside. We took full advantage….I think all of central NJ was at this same orchard!
I said we were going to get Calvin’s first pumpkin, but I really wanted to go for the apple cider and donuts…duh! We waited in line 45 min for a bag of donuts, but there was no way I was leaving without them. Craig had never had warm, orchard made, cider donuts (aka he has never lived) and he said the wait was #worthit.
I wasn’t originally going to do a post on our pumpkin patch adventure but we ended up getting some great photos that I wanted to share in one spot. I can’t get over Calvin in his plaid and jeans. I also realized that both the top and jeans I wore are some of my favorite ‘Free People’ items that I own, so I linked below and left some tips on where and when to find this brand on sale.



I LOVE Free People clothing – the material is so soft, quality, and comfy! BUT I never buy full price…watch for this brand at Nordstrom Rack and in the sale sections of Macy’s, Lord & Taylor and Nordstrom. You can absolutely get items discounted year round! The shirt I am wearing is originally $98 and I got for 54% off at Nordstrom Rack. The jeans are originally $78 and I got for $25 at Nordstrom Rack. The cheapest I found online right now is at Macy’s for $32 (but they have 25% off sitewide!) I highly recommend sizing down (this is a Small and it’s big!) & Free People as a brand in general, but do not recommend paying full price 🙂
Free People Purple Hi-Lo Blouse – Purple
Free People Hi-Lo Blouse – Black (54% off!)
Free People Purple Top – Similar (40% off)
Free People Relaxed Skinny Jeans (on sale!)
Large ‘K’ Pendant Necklace 
Kayla Sunglasses
Craig’s Plaid Flannel
What are some other fall family activities we could do with an infant? Any ideas!? I loveee seeing all of your fall family pics, keep them coming friends!
PS – I am also still loving Snapchat (as opposed to instastories) and I need some new friends! Follow us @greenskm:
We are off to meet our friends’ new baby today, get some blog shots for upcoming posts (some exciting partnerships!) and I want to make some chili for football! Have a great Sunday…talk soon!

{Month Seven} + Thoughts on Having a Baby Away from Family

We are officially to seven months!! How? Why? What’s happening? I have had 2 people in public say, “he’s almost one year!” Whoa people, let’s slow it down – he’s still my little cuddly baby. That is one exaggeration where I’d rather people round down. I’m so excited for our future but wanting to cherish every moment that I can. Every night after Calvin eats and falls asleep, I still hold hold him on my chest for about 30 min – 1 hour (and I wonder why I have no time to do anything) but I know that these moments will be gone so quick so – IDC!
I mentioned in my Instagram yesterday that he is seRIoUsLy giving us a run for our money! He is teething, not sleeping through consistently and extremely crazy rolling everywhere. The teacher at daycare told me that he loves taking the full bin of toys and pouring it over his head. I’ve never heard a more true metaphor for my life, LOL! I’m frightened for when he full on crawls, walks and then runs. #notready

In Month 7, I am officially feeling the stress of having a baby while living far away from the help of any and all family. {We do have friends here, but coincidentally (in a positive way) they all have babies or are pregnant themselves!} The first few months were great while I was on maternity leave and I had all the time in the world to focus on Calvin, while still getting personal items taken care of. Months 4-7 have been a bit of a different story. I’ve shared my working mom woes, but I think I have realized why the past few months have felt so challenging and straining. We have no help or moments of “relief.” It hit me like a ton of bricks this past weekend.
For a while I think I thought we were invincible and that we could do anything we set our minds to – which we can, BUT it would be better with people to help. Do a lot of people successfully raise their children away from family? Yes, and we are successfully doing it too, but it really is much harder. Our personal endeavors are very few and far between – and our time for each other is limited. Legit, I sometimes struggle finding time to shower. I am exhausted at night and he’s up between 5-6am each morning. Even if we only get “behind” on life a bit each week, it starts to add up. Before we know it, we have 6 bins of laundry waiting to be folded (we have to re-dry things like 3 times or they’re wrinkly as shit), I haven’t worked out in 2 months (more on this later), we’ve eaten dinner “out” 4 days in a row, and it looks like Hurricane Katrina has gone through our living room. While I know that this stage of our lives is short and fleeting – it is still extremely overwhelming and unlike anything I have experienced in the past.
All I want are mom-made casseroles and cookies on demand, and someone to do all my household ‘chores’ -is that too much to ask?
In true fashion to my writings, I want to also talk about the positives we have experienced while on our little Cantor family adventure away from home. While it’s been challenging, there has been no shortage of amazing moments that we are extremely grateful for.
*Craig, Calvin and I have become so much closer because of this. Even though Calvin doesn’t know it yet, I think he will be proud of the fact that we took a chance on moving away, getting out of our comfort zone, and then overcoming to provide as much love as we can to him in his early stages of life.
*We have learned to do everything on our own through trial and error – the best form of learning.
*When we DO have help, it’s such a blessing. Something we might have overlooked or expected while living close.
*This is only preparing us for our future and the challenges we may face with more than one child. Yes, we plan on sibling(s) for little Cal.
*Because this area is very full of “transplants”, three of our best couple friends are also going through the same thing – having new babies far away from family.
*Calvin goes with us everywhere and has become Mr. Social Butterfly. He’s so good when we get him out of the house!

Calvin Updates
Likes:
  • Not sleeping all night
  • Waking up early
  • Showering himself in toys
  • Bath time
  • Being tickled
  • Holding Mom’s cell phone
  • Eskimo Kisses
  • Toys that rattle
  • Soft blankets
  • Rolling everywhere!
  • Riding on Dad’s shoulders
Dislikes:
  • When Mom leaves the room
  • Chunky baby food
  • Sleeping in
  • Naps
  • Getting his face wiped off
  • Being constrained in any way
7 month photo update:
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Who else lives away from family and is feeling some of these challenges? I definitely want to connect – feel free to send me a message in any way 🙂
Stay tuned this week – I’ll be talking about one of my favorite new, quick, easy to watch, relatable shows and hosting a giveaway along with it!
Talk soon!

KaylaSignature-02

My Summer Post Recap: All things Baby, Back to Work, Engagement, Re-branding & Travels!

It’s been a summer for the books! So much growing, traveling, fun & so many firsts in our life! As I was rounding these up, I went back to re-read some of my posts – I need to take some of my OWN advice and remember why I wrote the things that I did.
The post that hit me the hardest was “The 5th Trimester: Learning to Balance Time & Give yourself a Break.” This post is very near and dear to my heart – definitely the most honest words I’ve written to date. If you are a working mom, or will be…check it out!
The most exciting thing that happened personally this summer, is that Craig and I got engaged! We are so official now!
The most exciting thing that happened blog wise, is that I re-branded from “Kayla Marie” to “Running with Strollers.” I finally found my niche and can’t wait to keep writing & bring great content to all my readers!
Here is a recap of this summer’s posts. I have re-linked for easy reading if you may have missed one in the craziness that summer can bring 🙂
Calvin Turns 4 Months + The challenges & rewards during this time 
Back to Work! + My Working Mommy Essentials
The 5th Trimester: Learning to Give Yourself A Break
*My favorite & most honest post of the Summer <3*
My Favorite Way to Order Prescription Glasses + Pics of this Baby Bear!
4th of July Inspired Family Photos
We got engaged! + Our Favorite Vacation Photos 
Calvin turns 5 Months + How Having a Baby Changes Your Priorities
Our Day Trip to NYC + Getting Out of your Comfort Zone 
Mom goes to Nashville + Increasing Your Happiness + How to wear Shorts & Boots
*Blog Re-Brand!!*
Flying with an Infant + Travel Necessities! 
Calvin turns 6 Months + Remembering to Live in the Moment 
Calvin Tries the MamaRoo!
Shirt Dresses: Perfect for the Transition to Fall
Here’s to a new season, more firsts, and finishing out 2016 strong.
So much love for all of you! ❤

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Infant Toys for Development: Little Tikes #playwithpurpose

Let me just preface this post by saying a year or so ago, I never thought I would be blogging or interested in baby toys, their purpose, or which ones are the best. Priorities change so so fast …when you have a little one, he or she quickly becomes the most important responsibility in your life!
One thing I did NOT expect as a new mom was how early Calvin would be interested in toys and how important it would be that we have the right ones handy.
I remember when Calvin was only like 4-6 weeks old, he seemed bored just laying in his rock n’ play and my mom suggested we get him a play mat for our home right away. This way, he would have toys to focus on, grab at, and stimulate him. By 8 weeks he was grabbing at the dangling toys and could play independently for up to 20 minutes at a time.
Fast forward to 6 months, and this child needs stimulation constantly. He’s such a crazy little man, always grabbing at the things around him and very curious to discover anything in his line of site. Toys have been so important to have with us as we travel and take Calvin places in which he needs to be entertained. Little Tikes introduced me to the concept that products/toys can also be used as tools to help baby develop. That sounds like killin’ two birds with one stone –I’ll take it!
Two of Calvin’s new faves are…
The Little Tikes Shake ‘n Rattle Crabbie Ring designed to help baby grasp. Not only do I feel like this toy has helped him with ability to hold on, but he also mimics me after I shake it (and it’s not a super light toy!) The first time Calvin played with this crabbie, he was laughing hysterically!


And his Little Tikes Hide ‘n Seek Hermie designed to improve eye tracking. The little hermit retracts back into its shell as Calvin watches – and it vibrates at the same time. I actually feel like this toy has helped with his grasp as well because he tries to pull the hermit out of the shell to see its eyes. Isn’t it funny how babies love toys with eyes? I also like how you can hang this from a car seat handle or overhead play mat.

I also really want to get Calvin this Little Tikes Soothe ‘n Spin Octopus – he’s obsessed with any stuffed animals and the spinning motion is meant to calm baby before a nap. If you know us, you know Calvin needs as much help as he can get while trying to get to sleep!

What are the best toys you all have discovered for 6 months and up? Anything I should expect developmentally in month 7? Experienced mamas, let me know! 🙂
For more on these these Little Tikes toys, where to purchase and how you can #playwithpurpose- you can check them out here!
I hope you all have a fabulous weekend and enjoy the warm weather while it’s still around!

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How often do you get out of your Comfort Zone? + Baby’s Big Day in the City

Hello hello – the first day back from Labor Day weekend! It was a super fun 4 day weekend for me so today was a BIT of struggle city getting back into it!
I don’t think it’s a secret that the past 18 months of my life have been a bit crazy – relocating for the first time away from all friends & family, taking on a new leadership role with increased responsibilities, finding out we were pregnant, moving apartments 3 times, making all new friends, having Calvin, getting engaged, and the list goes on! Yada, yada, you guys have heard it all. That is so much to fit into 18 months and people have often looked at me like I’m crazy or asked me how this is possible.  NOT that I think i’m the expert on any topic, as most of the time I’m writing about something when experiencing it for the first time. I also DON’T think others haven’t gone through crazier changes or experiences in even shorter time frames or that I’m special!
BUT the past 18 months are what have inspired me to write -the challenges and rewards are what inspired me to continue on this blogging journey and allowed me to discover something I love to do.
But why do I keep talking about this? Why do I say the back half of my twenties has been a ‘life changing’ time?
It has all been done completely out of my comfort zone.
None of it this has been comfortable – it has stretched me (both mentally and physically, ha) but all of it is preparing us for our growth, success and new opportunities in the future. I sound so responsible! But for real – Nothing rewarding I have ever accomplished has been done in comfort.
I didn’t WANT to relocate initially but I knew I needed a change and to challenge myself professionally.
I didn’t WANT to move apartments after only 6 months in the other one, but we needed more space.
I didn’t WANT to live away from family when we started our family, but we stuck to the decision we committed to, and have made it work very well for us.
Even going back to college, I didn’t WANT to practice with my dance team 16+ hours a week, but I wanted to be on a team where I could win a world championship more than anything else in my life. *humble brag moment*
Sometimes the right thing isn’t the most fun (initially.) If you want the outcome more than you don’t want to feel uncomfortable, it will be worth it.
I’ve gotten out of my comfort zone more recently than I even care to admit, but making the best of the situation, overcoming, and moving forward, I think, is where you start to see rewards and new opportunities. People may look at you like your crazy but if you have a feeling deep down that what you’re doing is right, you have to try.
I guess my question to you is, are you consistently finding ways to stretch yourself or do you stay with what is familiar? Are you unhappy in some aspect of your life but you keep doing the same thing every day? What have you been wanting to do but are too afraid of what others think?
Getting out of your comfort zone doesn’t have to be moving across the country – it can be sending that email or setting up that meeting at work that you’ve been putting off. It could be finally introducing yourself to another Mom you’ve been wanting to connect with in your “circle” of acquaintances. It could be going to an event that takes a hell of a lot more effort to attend than to sit at home on your couch eating chipotle.
What can you do this week to get out of your comfort zone in order to grow a bit? Seriously, I want to hear the “scariest” thing you’ve done recently! Let me know below!

One thing that we’ve made sure to do is to keep living our lives and truly incorporate Calvin into the things we enjoy doing. I’ve learned that having a baby doesn’t mean you no longer have a life – yes things are more difficult, and there are certain things you can’t do, but remembering you CAN still do things is key.
Since he was born, we have never shied away from taking him places – to restaurants, parks, the beach, friends houses, the city.
Earlier this summer my sister and brother in law let us know that they’d be coming into NYC in August and asked if we would be able to meet them for the day. We live in NJ – about an hour outside of the city, a 75 min train ride on the NJ transit. For anyone who has been to NYC, you know it is a different world – overwhelming, mesmerizing, full of opportunity. Before we got pregnant we went into the city a few times, always leaving exhausted but feeling grateful that we live so close to such a buzzing atmosphere. The east coast is no joke – it is fast paced and you can get lost in the shuffle easily.
When given the opportunity to take our 6 month old baby into the city with us, we could have easily said no or come up with a million excuses to why it isn’t safe, he’s too young, or that it’ll be too hectic. We knew it all of these things could be true in some capacity, but we were excited for the challenge and adventure of the day trip with Calvin. Plus, if we can take the babe into NYC and explore, we may just be able to take him anywhere!
It turned out to be the best day – even with an unexpected torrential downpour and we can’t wait to take him again.
Here are some of our fam pics from the trip!
^Cal’s first train ride
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^view from the Boathouse in Central Park^reppin’ the Bengals in NYC^central park

I hope you all have an amazing week and start to your September!!

Talk soon,

KaylaSignature-02

Ordering Prescription Glasses Online [aka save money & look smart]

You guys – how is it already the last week in July? I seriously feel like Summer just started! Time sure flies when there’s not enough hours in the day….I mean, time sure flies when you’re having fun. 😜
Calvin and I ventured to Cincinnati this past weekend. I’m here for work and decided to come in early to visit family and co-workers in this office. I posted this weekend on instagram, asking for advice, since it would be his first flight, and my first time traveling solo with him. Thanks so much to everyone who wrote to me – so sweet and helpful! I’m usually super positive but not going to lie, it was actually more hectic than I even thought it would be. He was pretty good but this process definitely involved more sweating, burning arms, stuff flying everywhere than it should have LOL…I will likely write about traveling with an infant (driving vs. flying) in the near future. Well, maybe – if we make it home in one piece!

Alright dudes, well doesn’t it seem like almost everyone wears contacts or glasses these days? I wear contacts 95% of the time but noticed my eyes starting to hurt more when I didn’t get a lot of sleep – which is pretty much every night for the past 5 months. It’s so necessary to have a reliable pair of glasses to wear to work or for early in the morning when those little guys (contact lenses) just won’t go in your eyes.

I have Michael Kors prescription glasses that I LOVE – the problem is that they are from like, 2012, and even though the prescription was outdated and no longer accurate, I didn’t want to order new ones because they are so expensive! Even with insurance, buying lenses and frames the traditional route (through your doctor) can be hundreds of $$$. So I just wore glasses that weren’t “strong” enough for a few years. Probably the cause of a few headaches? 🤔
I was so thankful that the Glasses Shop reached out to me at the perfect time – just a few weeks before I went back to work (while still waking up every night with a baby) – to pick out a pair of glasses and try out their shop. These glasses are:
Affordable
I’m not going to lie, I was a bit hesitant to order from this shop because they were so affordable. I figured something so inexpensive would be so so cheap. Not the case at all. The frames are so sturdy and the prescription is just right. Super impressed with both the price point and quality. I literally don’t have one complaint.
Fashionable
They have so many options to chose from and I’ve gotten so many compliments on these frames. Remember when you’re little and wearing glasses was so dorky – you’re like embarrassed when you have to get them?! Well now I feel like glasses (and sunglasses) are the best accessory and can make any outfit look more exciting. Did I mention The Glasses Shop offers prescription sunglasses as well?
Also, I need these glasses to make me look smart and cancel out my mom brain (which is real BTW.)

Convenient To Order
Request your prescription and PPD (pupillary distance) from your eye doctor. Because I had an exam in the last year, I called my doctor to request those two pieces of information and they sent them over via email within the hour. This is the information you will send over with your order
If you go to the glasses shop site on a desktop, there is an option to upload a picture of your face and virtually try on different frames. It sounds like it would be iffy but you can truly see how each frame will look on your face. Game changer in making my final decision.

Use discount code GSHOT50 for 50% off your order – enjoy!

I am wearing the Beauvais Wayfarer in Black (SKU: FZ0647) in case you are so inclined to try the same style.🤓
PS – how sweet is Calvin in these photos? Mama bear and baby bear tops made by etsy shop @hellohandpressed. 🐻

If you try out the glasses definitely let me know! Such a great alternative to ordering traditional prescription lenses or prescription sunglasses. I mostly love that you can order multiple pairs and switch up your look as often as you’d like, for such a great price!
Hope you all have an awesome week and go swimming or something along those lines, it’s seriously so hot!
💕 Kayla

{Month Five Update} & How Having a Baby Changes Your Priorities

Hello hello! How is everyone!?
In these monthly Calvin updates, along with his milestones, I’m also going to invite you inside of my thoughts and how I’m feeling from month to month. As baby changes, so does Mom, and I think it’s important we recognize that! It’ll be kind of like my Monthly Mom 2 cents. I don’t really have an exact focus for how I’ve been feeling in month five, as my brain and thoughts still seem to be all over the place, but I will try and put it into words.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how much I’ve changed this year. Things I never thought I’d say, do (not do), or want, are now my new reality. How having a baby, someone that relies on you 24/7, changes you and your priorities…big time. Am I an adult now? All bills and pre-tax contributions point to YES.

But seriously.

I used to watch my favorite reality shows at night and now I get to watch my baby play instead- I used to lift weights and do push-ups -now on many nights, my arm workouts are rocking my 17 lb. baby to sleep. I used to take as long as I want to shower and relax at night, now I bathe Calvin as long as he needs, and take the quickest shower possible to maximize my sleep. I used to be late to work because I couldn’t get my ass out of bed, now I’m late because I have to feed, dress (and cuddle with) another human being all before 830am. And no, I’m not talking about Craig. LOL.
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Along with this, my priorities have completely changed. All that seems to matter is the well-being of my child.  His happiness is my happiness. His tears are my tears. His achievements are my achievements. You’d think he’d just won a gold medal on Team USA when he rolled over for the first time, or when he sleeps for a span of longer than 5 hours.
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 It’s so easy to slip back into the thinking of, “remember when” or “I used to be able to do this”, but it is just not worth letting your mind stay in that space for too long.  It really hits me when I’m trying to keep up with others who don’t have kids (or a baby) or when I’m trying to plan something that would have been logistically so simple when it was just me. Is EVERYTHING more complicated? Yes. Do I think twice about solving said complications? No. This is my awesome life now, and I figure it out as I go.
All the Moms I know just seem to know how to handle life’s complexities, and I think I’m starting to get the hang of it too.
I think most things in life seem to work out in your favor, if you believe they will.


Alright, back to Calvin – because I know that’s the real reason you all are here anyways! Calvin is getting to be even more fun, even more adorable, and more outgoing than before. He is the biggest joy in our lives and as always, we are so excited for our future with him.
Here are his 5 month facts, stats and pics, of course!
  • Wearing 6-9 month clothing
  • ~17 lbs and ~27 inches
  • Eating 35-38 oz/day
  • Can hold his own bottle, however we don’t quite trust his grip just yet (envision milk everywhere)
  • No teeth yet, but starting the process with drooling, chewing on EVERYTHING and not sleeping too well at night
  • Still not sleeping through the night
  • Great at laughing, screaming, and talking
  • Can roll back to front and vice versa
  • Still the best baby in his class 🙂
  • Loves swimming at the pool
  • Loves clawing Mom & Dads cheeks when excited
  • Sleeping full time in his crib
  • His hair is finally growing back
  • Eyes are changing from blue to either green or brown (we can’t tell just yet)
  • Hates his nose or eyes being touched or cleaned
  • Loves nightly walks in his stroller
  • Just tried rice cereal for the first time tonight – it was a major hit and so cute!
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How have my other mama readers felt around 5 months? Anything fun/cool/scary I should be expecting in the next few weeks?
I hope you all have a fab rest of the week and that the weekend arrives seemingly quick! Love you all!

❤ Kayla

Our Engagement Story + My Fave Vacation Photos

Hi Friends! It has been a CRAZY week back from vacation and so much has happened since I posted previously about the 4th of July. I got those pictures taken of our family for both the blog and just to have some quality images of the 3 of us – little did I know that this holiday would take on such a larger meaning for our family. We got engaged on July 4th, 2016, in Corolla, North Carolina. We were on a family reunion type trip with 18 of my family members staying in one large beach house, so they were all there watching!
I know it may sound dumb or that you’re thinking, “yeah right”, when I say I was shocked. We do have a child together and already function as a true family, but I had NO IDEA it was happening at this time, let alone this year. We had talked so much about re-focusing our priorities to Calvin, our careers, figuring out where we’d be long term, and eventually buying a house, that I thought engagement was the LAST thing on our roster for this year. Also, Craig can hardly ever surprise me, so I thought I’d know for sure before it happened, and that I’d have to fake being surprised so he didn’t know I knew …lol! Well he got me good.
I has previously told Craig when we do get engaged, I better have my nails, hair & makeup done for picture purposes. #princessstatus So, the day before (July 3rd) it was pouring all day and my sisters tried to take me to get my nails done. I didn’t have time to go before we left & what else do you do on a beach vacation when it’s raining? When we got to the place they couldn’t take us because of availability and I said “oh well, I don’t even care about my nails.” There was no more convincing me that we should try elsewhere. Fail #1.
On the 4th, before dinner, we took showers and Craig was trying so hard to get me to dry my hair and “get ready” but I wasn’t having it because we were staying in for dinner to grill out. God knows I won’t get ready if I don’t have to…especially on vacation. 😂 So I threw my wet hair into a clip and bolted up to dinner. Fail #2.
These two things show right away that I had absolutely NO IDEA I was about to get engaged, as I was always sure I needed to look my very best during one of the biggest moments of my life.
Earlier in the day, Craig had told me that he wanted to give a toast before dinner just to thank my family for having him and say how cool it is that we all got together. I said, “ARE YOU SURE?” I thought he maybe just had too many beers at the pool…however, others had said prayers or toasts before previous meals, so I suppose it wouldn’t be that weird.
Craig telling me ahead of time he was doing this was so so smart – when everyone had gotten their food and he stood up, I was expecting the “toast.” When he started talking, I took a hugeeeee bite of my cheeseburger because I did not think I was about to get engaged. #hangrymama
As he began to get more serious and look a bit nervous, my chewing slowed immediately and my hands covered my face to hide my tears. I don’t even cry that often. I couldn’t believe it was happening. After every thing we’ve been through in the 3 years we’ve been together – a move across country, 3 apartments, stressful days at new jobs, A BABY – it was just so bittersweet and I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room. He did so good. He’d been planning so long for this moment.

It’s funny, you set all of these ground rules or requirements in your mind for when you get engaged and how you want it to happen. Then, when the moment came, I wasn’t thinking about anything except the fact that it’s finally official – I’m going to marry the most selfless, caring, sweet man and Dad that I know!  No fancy location, fancy outfit, perfectly polished nails, or expensive dinner could have topped this moment. I feel so lucky every day and I can’t wait to finally share a last name with my two guys.

Here are a few other of my fave photos from our trip:

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We didn’t take as many pictures on vacation as I would have liked because Craig’s phone got wet and we usually use his camera. Honestly, I was also trying to just enjoy each moment on our trip & not think as much about perfectly capturing every second. We also haven’t bothered lately with using another camera because well, that’s one extra thing to worry about. I do, however, want and NEED to invest in a DLSR. Does anyone have any recommendations for one that is easy to use and won’t break the bank? Please shoot me a message – would love your opinions!
Now, onto planning a wedding (scary!) We have a really busy summer with my work trips, my best friend’s bachelorette & wedding, etc, so we will probably focus more on planning come fall. For now, we are not in a HUGE rush, but I’m sure I will be capturing a lot of the planning journey here on the blog once it begins.
Huge thanks to everyone for your continued support and sweet notes on our engagement. Love you all!

❤ Kayla