Feeling Peachy in Pink Blush {+another giveaway!}

HI BABES – HOW WAS THE WEEKEND?! It’s been a MINUTE since I posted – will share where I have been (& why) later this week<3
You all should know by now that I am a huge PINK BLUSH fan – this is my 3rd time working with them and I could not be more excited!

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I received this beautiful peachy/coral off the shoulder shirt earlier this month and fell in love immediately – I love the unique details on the straps and off the shoulder draping. It is an amazing color, flattering, perfect for Spring, and comfortable – what more could a girl want?
Pink Blush is NOT just maternity wear – they carry a full women’s, accessory & shoe line – and every item is adorable! Many of the items in the shop will take you from pre-pregnancy, through pregnancy and post-pregnancy as they are flattering and made for all stages of a women’s life.
I want to gift this shirt or any item you choose this week to one follower – so I teamed up with Pink Blush to give away a $50 gift card! I just announced the giveaway and entry rules on my instagram so head on over to enter! Winner will be choosen on Friday, May 12th.
I hope you have an amazing week – kick some ass & take some names!

PS — Can we please talk about my new Cincinnati photographer Hyun Ah Perez Photography? I posted back in March that I was looking for an awesome new photographer to work with after our move back to OH and in the midst of LIFE I started to fall behind on my posts because I was running low on time to find someone great that would just “get” what I was looking for. Through the fate of the universe Hyan (Hannah) found ME on Facebook and here we are! I highly recommend her services – you will be seeing a lot more of her work in the future on Running with Strollers 🙂

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Things Moms Love: Target & Nutrition for their Babies (feat. Gerber Cereals)

If I know anything about motherhood, I know there are 2 things moms love: great nutrition for their baby & trips to TARGET. Who’s with me?
I honestly didn’t realize why Moms were so obsessed with going to Target, until one rainy Sunday night a few weeks ago. It had been a long day, cooped up inside and I needed to get out, walk around, be by myself, and just…go somewhere. So I headed to Target solo for that alone time and wandered the aisles. And guess what, after buying m&ms and a new fall candle I actually did feel better 😅 I’m convinced 99% of the people who shop at Target are Moms…and for good reason.
1.) You can find anything and everything at Target – aka one stop shopping, the only way to do it!
and
2.) You can save with digital offers on the cartwheel app – I saved over  $14 in one trip this weekend, which doesn’t sound like a ton, but anything helps when buying baby items is so expensive!
Because of these, I recently started buying most of our baby “stuff” at Target – including the Gerber cereals that we have been feeding Calvin at least once every day for the past 3 months.
*Save 10% here on Gerber Cereals at Target through the Cartwheel App*

We made a trip yesterday so I could use this offer myself and pick up more cereal & necessities before the busy week.

Why do we use and trust Gerber for Calvin’s nutrition?
First off, Calvin loves this cereal and he has since day 1, so anything that is Calvin approved, we are a big fan of! When I was breastfeeding full time, I added breast milk to the cereal for the perfect concoction. Now that I have cut back, I mix the Gerber Cereal and one scoop of formula with water, and he loves it just as much. I love that you can do either. We mix it up between the Rice Cereal, MultiGrain Cereal, and Oatmeal Cereal at dinner each day, and also along with breakfast on the weekends.
The Health Benefits of Gerber Cereals:
• Have iron to help support learning abilities
• 2 servings of Gerber Cereal a day has 90% of a baby’s daily value of Iron.
• Are made with calcium to help build healthy bones and teeth
• Delivers a nutritional blend of Zinc, Calcium, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and six B Vitamins thanks to Gerber’s VitaBlocks for healthy growth.
• Non-GMO: not made with genetically engineered ingredients**
• No artificial colors or flavors**
**so key in my mama book!!!
This offer is good on Gerber Cereals now through 11/26. Just clip the offer digitally, pick up your cereals and save! So easy and efficient, since I know we will all be at the store shopping for Thanksgiving and eventually Black Friday this week.
Speaking of, I hope everyone has an amazing holiday with family and friends. I am thankful for every one of you!
Here’s to more trips to Target and making sure our babes get the best nutrition they possibly can. Oh, and saving $$$ while at it!

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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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What makes Parenthood “All Worth It?” [from Dad’s Perspective!]

Hello, hello, how is everyone’s week going? It’s almost Friday again! What are the big weekend plans!?
I’m so excited to be working with Gerber on their #growingupgerber campaign to talk about what makes being a parent all worth it. Gerber products have quickly become some of our favorite go-to’s that Calvin will continue to grow up with, and it’s truly an honor to work with such a classic household brand name.
^Calvin chillin in his favorite white Gerber onesie^ #gerberbaby!
Before I had a baby, I would watch other parents do things and think how unappealing it all looked. I remember seeing a co-worker wash all of her pump parts in the sink at work (multiple times a day) and think, “what a pain in the ass.” I remember hearing how parents typically need to add an hour to their before-work routine and think, “I can barely wake up in enough time to get myself ready,” or how parents are sometimes up literally all night with a sick child and think how I can only function on 7+ hours of sleep a night. My favorite is hearing how most families fork over a 2nd mortgage payment for childcare and I wondered how I would ever afford the 1st.
I saw and heard everything that the parents I knew did for their children and it seemed overwhelming, like such unnecessary hard work. I think that’s why there is so much anxiety tied to pregnancy. You are trying to imagine doing all of these things before the little one is even here. Then they get here, and most of the stuff you worried about doing is irrelevant – you do it because you want to, without thinking twice. Each smile, laugh, and hug we receive, reminds us of our why. The happy, content baby Calvin has become, makes it all worth it.

In celebration of Father’s Day, I’ve asked Craig to share his moments that make it worth it for him. I think we spend a lot of time talking about Motherhood….but Parenthood includes Fatherhood and I think it’s so important to appreciate both sides of the spectrum – because it’s no secret they are very different. No more of me rambling…here’s my boo, Craig:


“When we first found out we were having a baby and announced it to the world, we heard a ton of “Congratulations, so happy for you” and “that’s so exciting.” These positive reactions were soon followed by “kiss your life goodbye” and “prepare to be tired for the rest of your life.” All in good fun of course, and I’m sure our friends and family meant nothing negative in these comments but still, the prospect was slightly daunting.
Fast forward and Calvin William Cantor was born February 18th 2016, so I’ve been a father for about 4 months now. I’m not going to sugarcoat it, being a parent is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Some sleepless nights, crying/fits that don’t stop, lifestyle sacrifices, these are just a few things I’ve experienced so far and you know what, I wouldn’t change it for anything. Because with these negative instances (which with Cal we have been extremely fortunate to have very few) come endless positives including baby laughter and smiles, numerous “firsts”, and pictures that are so cute I want to claw my eyes out.

I love being a Father, so I wanted to write down some of the perks to celebrate & remember on my first special day. Here’s a list that make all those blown out diapers and times being peed on totally worth it:
NEW YEAR, NEW ME
 The phrase New Year, New Me has never been more accurate. Not only do I have a new baby but I have a new life. This means new experiences, new goals, heck new everything! I’ve got new responsibilities, I’ve got a new daily routine, and through Calvin, Kayla and I met new friends. Each day brings something new and to me, this element of parenthood is beyond exciting. Instead of going out on weekends and staying out until 3am planning to sleep the next day away, I’m at home watching Netflix and in bed by 11pm. This is definitely new, but to quote one of my favorite shows and sitcom characters:

Life is what you make it, and I choose this new life every time.
NEW LOVE
I wasn’t aware I could love something as much I love Calvin. When you hear someone say this it sounds totally cliché, but then you look into your new baby’s eyes for the first time and you finally understand that Stevie Wonder song. I watch my Mom snatch him up when we arrive for a long vacation with our families and it makes me unbelievably happy. You can feel the love in the room as my sisters complain about how short of a turn they got holding him and my Dad constantly comments on how cute he is. Kayla’s mom just spent a week with us to help out the first week that Kayla headed back to work (delaying the inevitable daycare drop-off as long as possible.) Watching her play with Calvin or putting him through his bedtime routine, it breaks my heart that we aren’t closer. The fact that she took that time to help us like that makes me love and appreciate Kayla’s family more and more every day. They say “love makes the world go round;” well it sure as hell gets me through the day.

NEW GROWTH
Every little thing Calvin does amazes me. I can’t tell you how many times Kayla has heard “Kayla look, look, OH MY GOD LOOK.” Sure he’s grabbing my finger super tightly for the one hundred and fifty third time or giving me one of his 100 megawatt smiles, but to me these are incredible. Soon he’s going to have teeth, soon he’s going to be walking, and soon he’s going to be beating me at one on one basketball. You can totally tell he’s learning on a daily basis. His newest thing is to rub his hands and face on my beard. He continues to develop and surprise us but I am very thankful for him as he facilitates my growth as a father and as a person. I have physical growth to look forward to from him while I deal with my emotional growth. He was the first baby I had ever held, looking back I’m like “HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO KNOW HOW TO TAKE CARE OF ONE OF THESE?!?” And now I have my answer, because I have grown that much in these four short months. I’ll ask my Mom to confirm but I believe I’m a better person now that he is here.

AN EXCITING FUTURE
This is my number one PRO of fatherhood, above the others mentioned, only because this can cover everything in one category. Kayla and I have started our own little family; I am now responsible for a tiny human’s life and well-being. Are we going to eventually move again? Are we going to buy a house then? How many kids do we want?
 I am no longer thinking in the “I or Me” frame of mind, now it’s “Our and We and Us.” It is immensely rewarding going to work every day, being the best I can be, knowing I have people at home who depend on me. I hope I can be half the Father to Calvin that my Dad was to me and same goes for teaching him to be a good person, right from wrong, all that jazz. I tell my parents “I love you” every chance I get and I count the days until I can hear one from Calvin because when I do, I will know I have truly succeeded as Calvin’s father.

It is almost impossible to describe the joy that comes with being a new Father, but I gave it my best shot. Sure it’s not all sunshine and rainbows but that comes with the job, the ups and downs, and I definitely enjoy the ride.
Don’t let these veterans of parenthood scare you with their tales of chaos and shambles, it’s like they can’t help themselves. It almost seems like an initiation into the club that is being a parent, they talk this way because it’s basically assumed that the benefits and rewards of being a parent are beyond any combination of disasters you can possibly imagine.
Every child is different; every parent is different, what works for me might not work for you. This is what I love about being a Father and I wish you well on your journey to figure out what makes it worth it for you.”
-CC


How good of a writer is Craig? He’s seriously the best Dad, too. I think I’ll have him write my heartfelt posts from now on…
With Mother’s Day just passing and Father’s Day approaching, we encourage you to think about what makes it worth it for you. Keep them in mind when the going gets tough….I know we do.
Want to join in on sharing your favorite #growingupgerber moments? Click here to find out how your Instagram picture could be chosen as a Gerber Pic of the Week and also, to unlock some savings. Happy Sharing!
❤ Kayla & Craig