Lyla’s FIRST Birthday 

My little girl is one year old! I don’t know how this happened so quickly.  It seems like just yesterday that we were heading to the hospital and didn’t even know if she was a boy or girl yet! She’s about 3x bigger now, but as happy, charming, and beautiful as the day she was born. 

Now, I love to throw a good themed party… I just wish we could have waited a little longer for this particular one! The theme for little Lyla’s birthday party was “on the farm.” I’ve had an affinity for all things farm animal related since we found out we were pregnant. Check out my previous post about designing her nursery to see where it all started! 😊🐮

My first DIY party project was the favors. The contents were very inexpensive; in each bag was a packet of seeds, some handkerchief mints, and a little plastic farm animal. I bought a plastic container full of mini farm critters at Hobby Lobby for about $10.  I also bought the paper bags and decor at Hobby Lobby.  I holepunched the bag, threaded a cow button and wooden “thank you” tag on a bit of Pom Pom string, and then threaded the string through the hole in the bag. I didn’t even have to tie any knots or bows… which I am horrible at. 

Party Favors

My next, and surprisingly most tedious project, was the mini party hats I attached to the farm animal decor.  I found similar mini hats for purchase on Etsy but they were like $25 for a set!! I made these with scrap paper I had in the house and left over pom poms. I used less than $1 in materials but I see why the Etsy chick charged so much after I tried to make these myself! They took forever and I hot glued my fingers accidentally several times because the hats were so tiny.  But, they turned out so cute! I placed the little party animals randomly around the tables and buffet. 

Party Animals

When guests first arrived, these signs greeted them at the door. I made these chalkboards out of scrap wood in the garage. I actually use them several times throughout the year (especially for holidays) as part of my front porch decor.  My handwriting isn’t the best just in general but I’ve certainly drawn better chalk lettering before. These were sort of a last minute addition but they got the point across! 🙂 The “party” balloon came from target. They have some really great party decor in the dollar aisles. 

I can’t take credit for the cakes; those were created by my sister in law, Kristen Davis. She makes delicious cake and icing! I loved the sweet way she incorporated our theme into these amazingly delicious birthday cakes. 

Lyla’s smash cake was strawberry flavored and the larger party cake was Neapolitan. Lyla had THE BEST time digging into her smash cake. She grabbed handful after handful of it. It was so funny to watch! 

The rest of the menu consisted of pulled pork, potato salad, green beans, pigs in a blanket, and fresh veggies. I also made salted caramel hay bales (Rice Krispies) and dirt pudding! I really wanted to find edible pigs for the dirt pudding but apparently pigs aren’t super popular haha! Thankfully, with Easter right around the corner, there were plenty of bunny themed items in the bakery aisle > hence our carrot garden pudding! 

Another one of my diy projects was this high chair banner. I’d seen several of these for sale on Etsy but wanted to try to pull one off myself. With the help of my Mammaw and her sewing machine, we made our own homemade version. You can also see the big pink barn backdrop I made from a pink trifold board and white duck tape! 

I didn’t even realize how many colors you could buy trifold board in but there are A LOT!  I’m usually not a pink fan but I love how it turned out. It was a surprisingly simple project! 

I still can’t believe this little princess has been out in the world for over a year now. She’s so awesome. She is just growing TOO fast!! Happy Birthday, Lyla Jo! 

Lyla’s FIRST Birthday 

Strong > Skinny: My Biggest Takeaway from Body Back

I was not born with genetics inclined to help me stay skinny with ease. After I passed through my early twenties, this reality set in and it was scary to think about how hard I was going to have to work the rest of my life to stay healthy and lean. After I had our daughter last spring and still had an extra 20 pounds to show for it five months later, I was even more down about my body. I worked out in some form almost every single day for months and didn’t shed a pound. Some days I would work out twice! HIIT, yoga, barre, weight lifting, running, walking, kickboxing, boot camp style classes, you name it… it was in my routine and it wasn’t making my body lose weight. 

Of course, my diet wasn’t doing my exercising efforts any favors. My husband and I would go out to eat numerous times per week. At home, a lot of our meals came from the freezer and when they didn’t, dinner was usually comprised of oversized portions, starchy sides, and few vegetables. At the time, I really didn’t even know how big of a deal my nutritional choices were for the way I looked and felt. Additionally, my sweet tooth was hard to reign in. My favorite treat is ice cream and I adore chocolate in all forms and variations from white to dark. Eventually, I got to a point where I literally would ridicule myself for being so weak about food. Internally, I would put myself down for not being strong enough to say “no!” I started to think I’d never be able to get it under control. 

It wasn’t until I started seeing the results of some of my friends from the first round of Body Back that Fit4Mom Louisville offered that I started to get really energized and hopeful again. I signed up immediately when the next sessions opened ….literally! I could NOT wait to get started. 

For those of you that haven’t heard of this amazing 8 week transformative process, it’s a program designed for moms (but could work for any woman) to get their body back through intense workouts (both independent and with your group), nutritional plan including recipes, one on one guidance from a coach, and support from the rest of the participants. This program is so special. So many of the roadblocks moms face when it comes to transforming their bodies are overcome through all of the resources and tools Body Back offers. I’ve seen it – in my life and the lives of others. Whether it was physical injuries, out of control eating, lack of time, unsupportive spouses, insecurities, lack of sleep due to little ones, lack of accountability, addiction to sugar, overwhelming temptation – Body Back had something to combat all of the struggles and excuses to give up. 

I started the journey wanting to get skinny. Even though the first homework from our coach was to come up with goals for our session that dug deeper than the number on the scale, my weight was all I really cared about in the beginning. I had no idea what else I was going to get out of the experience. 

Supporting each other at the end of a fun partner class. (Photo courtesy of Fit4Mom Louisville)

I ended up losing 14.4 pounds and 11 inches during the 8 weeks! My endurance and ability to complete various exercises greatly improved as well. For example, I started out able to hold a plank for 85 seconds and ended the program able to hold one for 130 seconds. I could do 27 squats in a minute in week 1 and could do 36 in week 8. I would never call one of our coach’s workouts easy but by the end of the program, some of the exercises that I hated in the first few weeks became much easier to complete (even if I still hated them). 

My Assessment Photos. (Courtesy of Fit4Mom Louisville)

Our coach continually reminded us not to focus on the scale. After all, it couldn’t measure the better quality of sleep I was getting. It couldn’t measure the feeling of putting on an old pair of jeans and realizing they fit! It couldn’t measure the joy I felt hearing compliments from friends and family. It couldn’t measure the quality of the relationships I developed with the other mamas in the program with me. It couldn’t measure the money we saved by not eating out all the time. It couldn’t measure the value of the nutritional knowledge I gained. A scale can’t measure the impact of the example you set for your kids when you take care of yourself. 

My goal from the get go was to reach my pre-pregnancy weight and I did that thanks to Body Back. I’m signing up for the next session too and this round, my goals will be different thanks to the perspective I gained from my first experience. Being skinnier certainly feels good BUT feeling stronger feels way better. I learned that our bodies are physically capable of so much more than our minds would like to allow us to believe. Heck… I should have already known that. I did have a baby after all. 

One of my fellow Body Back mamas (shoutout Katie Case) told us one of her reasons for doing the program was so her daughter would one day look up to her for her strength and not her body size. The beauty of being part of a village like the one Fit4Mom offers is that there’s always someone there to help you when you need it… even if it’s just to give you some perspective. Sometimes as moms we don’t even realize or want to admit how much help we need. The comradery among the moms at Body Back was one of the most unexpected but powerful sources of encouragement and strength I encountered during the 8 weeks.  Every mom had their own story and struggles but everyone supported each other through our differences and similarities. 

Katie may have set her goals with her daughter in mind but she unknowingly impacted mine too. I now appreciate the value of making healthier choices for myself and my family. I see the difference eating real food makes.  I feel strong and weighing less is just a bonus.   When my daughter is in the phase of life I am today, I hope she is too strong to worry about being skinny. 

Our last class 😢 (photo courtesy of Fit4Mom Louisville)

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Strong > Skinny: My Biggest Takeaway from Body Back

Sappy Reminiscent V-Day Post ALERT

Happy Valentine’s Day!  I’m currently halfway through the Fit4Mom Body Back program so a nice dinner out, chocolate covered strawberries, or… well chocolate anything is pretty much out this year.  Our instructor reminded us that you don’t need all the sweets to celebrate the love. With that in mind, I started thinking about the great love I have for my hubs and all of the Valentine’s days we’ve shared in the past.  This photo is from our first vday together. 

Then, I remembered that last Valentine’s Day was particularly special because we had the last sonogram for Lyla before she was born on that day. And THEN I remembered a draft of a blogpost that I’d kept during my pregnancy with Lyla that I HAD to find.  I just spent 45 minutes trying to hack my way into my own old blogger account only to realize I was using the wrong email address!  I finally got into it so here it is… I’m so glad I kept notes of these memories. I’d already forgotten most of them. Hopefully, Aaron won’t mind me sharing. Love you, babe 😘 


So, I’ve always heard of people keeping a book of funny/sweet things kids say. I decided to do the same thing only with my husband during this pregnancy. Aaron is a mega-goof; he’s always making me laugh by making up his own lyrics to songs, cracking “jokes”, stripper dancing randomly in front of me while I watch tv, caressing mannequins and trying to convince store owners he wants to buy them… The list goes on. (And yes, that last one actually happened) So this will serve as a record of the things that made me laugh or smile during this significant time of our lives… Even if it’s only funny to me! 
I’ve got to say… Aaron is great at being a husband to a preggo wife. He’s always telling me that my growing belly is cute and I think he actually means it. He asks me if there is anything he can do for me all the time. He’s going to be a good daddy. Here goes….

  • One day really early on, Aaron looked over at me and said, “I don’t want your belly button to disappear. I think it’s weird.” It was so random and he seemed genuinely bummed. I had to laugh… I didn’t realize my belly button was so important! (Update 3/19/16 – so far I still have an innie belly button and don’t think it’s going to disappear in the next two weeks. Aaron has started calling it my belly cavern since it was so deep! Lol) (update to the update 2/14/17… its funny that I updated this the day I ended up going into labor!!)
  • Around 17-18 weeks, I told him I could tell my appetite was picking up and I was trying to control myself. He said, “Why? You’re pregnant. This is the time you get to eat whatever you want and get fat.” Bless his heart but I’ve tried not to take that advice 🙂 
  • The sweet man also apparently thought I weighed around 100 lbs. He knocked into me accidentally at church one day and jokingly said it wasn’t as easy to push me around now that I was pregnant. I told him I’d only gained 5 lbs at my 20 week appointment. He said 5% is enough to make a big difference. Ha! If only 5lbs was actually 5% of my normal weight. 
  • We were over at my grandparents house eating dinner right at 23 weeks. I needed to go to the bathroom and couldn’t fit behind his chair at the dinner table so I asked him to move. He did a bit but I still couldn’t fit. He said, “oh, I’m sorry. I forget you’re bigger”. As I went into the bathroom I heard him turn to my Mammaw and say, “isn’t her belly so cute?” 🙂 
  • We were getting ready for Aaron’s work Christmas party. I was wearing a maternity top but it was flowy and sort of concealed the belly. I was looking at myself from the side in the mirror. Aaron came up behind me and pulled the top really tight around my belly. He said, “I wish you were wearing something more fitting so everyone could see your belly and know that I did that!” Hahah
  • 31 weeks – Aaron said, “I want to know what our baby smells like?” I found this an odd but sweet thing to wonder about. ☺️
  • I was 34 weeks preggo and laying on the couch when he said, “You don’t even look pregnant.” This was a week after complexion issues and swelling started to set in. The man is either blinded by love or very wise. I’ll take it. 
  • At 35 weeks he looked at me and said, “You’ve been an easy pregnant lady; I’d get you pregnant again.” 
  • We were trying to move the swivel glider into the nursery and it wasn’t fitting through the door easily. Of course, I wasn’t much help at 36 weeks pregnant. We almost had it in and Aaron said, “just one more push!” I busted out laughing and told him it sounded like he was trying to coach me through labor. 
  • One night during week 36 my feet were really swollen and achey so I asked Aaron to rub them. He started to rub one of my feet and he said, “woah. How do you balance on these things?” Hey… I didn’t say all of these memories would be sweet. Haha 
  • Right at week 37, he had already gone to bed and I was out on the couch. I heard him getting up and he came out of our room and said “just one more hug”. He said, “I feel like I don’t love on you enough and I’m sorry if you feel that way. I wouldn’t pick anyone else to carry my baby and I think you’ve done a great job”. I said, “I wouldn’t pick anyone else to put a baby in me.” He looked down at himself and said, “hey! it’s no baby”. The sweet moment had passed. 
  • My hands had been going to sleep a lot during the 9th month I guess due to all of the extra fluid putting pressure on my nerves. It drove me crazy so one night while laying in bed I was holding my hands straight up in the air hoping some of the fluid would drain. Aaron lifted his arms in the air too and held my hand. After a little while he said, “I want to see it’s little baby hands.” Aw 🙂 
  • On Easter Lyla was one week old. Aaron was checking out Facebook and saw a picture of someone he knew that just had a baby also. He said, “see? she didn’t look near as good as you did giving birth. You seriously don’t realize how beautiful you were pregnant.” 🙂

😍😍😍Swoon 😍😍😍 

Gag. I know. Haha. But, I had to share this. Happy Valentine’s Day, friends! 


Sappy Reminiscent V-Day Post ALERT

Baby Free and Floating on Cloud 9

When my mom offered to take Lyla home with her for several days last week, I immediately started thinking about all of the things I wanted to squeeze in while we were baby free. Aaron and I are lucky to have a child that is very easy going; she loves to ride in the shopping cart at stores, ride in the stroller, and REAllY loves restaurants. However, there are certain things you just can’t do with a 9 month old. I mean…. a massage just wouldn’t be the same with Lyla showing off her standing skills by pulling up on the table (and also probably yanking on my hair which drives me absolutely bonkers). By the way, Karen at Josephs Salon and Spa is the best 😉. Also, we can pretty much get away with Lyla’s semi-demonic growling and dog-like panting at restaurants because the girl is intensely passionate about eating but J. Alexanders doesn’t really have the right vibe for all that! 😂  We also went to the movies and saw Passengers which was very good IMO. Aaron even said he liked it.

The movie really got us in the futuristic mode for our next date the following night to Floating on Cloud 9. If you haven’t heard of this place, check out this video to get the details.

You float in these water and salt filled pods for an hour. The bouyuncy created by the salt simulates a zero gravity environment which allows your entire body to relax. It’s intended to create a very restful state of mind which will lead to the release of endorphins. As you float, your body will also absorb healthy minerals. The owners describe in detail the numerous benefits of floating on their website so check it out!

Our experience was great. Our first impression upon walking into the building was that it was VERY clean (and sort of posh 💁). The sign-in process was quick and easy. One of the owners showed us around and explained how the pods worked. Each room was private and had ample space for all of your things, its own shower (which you use before and after your float), and everything you may need to use (i.e. Towels, washcloths, soap, shampoo, face wipes, earplugs, etc…). Once I’d showered, I stepped into the pod. The water was warm and I tested out the light options. You can leave the lights off in the pod also. Full disclosure- I had a mini-freak out when I turned the lights off and then couldn’t find the button to turn them back on for a few seconds. In my experience, floating with my eyes closed became a little disorienting. My spatial awareness was off so even though I only floated in darkness for a minute maybe and I really hadn’t moved much, I wasn’t able to tell right away where the buttons were. 

After that I just left the lights on and relaxed.  It was strange how well your body stays afloat. It was actually difficult for me to lower one of my feet to the bottom of the tank.  I did eventually get a little antsy wondering what time it was and part of me wished there was a clock in the pod (but I get that is contradictory to the point of floating!) When the hour was nearly over,  gentle jets in the pod turn on to alert you that you the time was almost up.  Once you get out, they advise you to shower again to get all of the salt off of your body.  Floating on Cloud 9 also has nice spacious dressing rooms, equipped with hair dryers and other get ready quick essentials. Aaron was able to wait for me to blow dry my hair in a nice waiting area with refreshments. 

I was so anxious to hear his impression because he is very impatient and the man CANNOT float.  He said he also was wondering how much time had passed but he actually sounded way more chill about the process than I had been. Oh… and he did float!  After reading reviews from previous floaters, I’d expected to emerge feeling like a brand new person. That did not happen. However, as time went on we both commented on how we were feeling progressively more relaxed. Aaron had been experiencing back pain and felt that it may have helped that slightly. About 45 minutes afterward, I started to feel like all of my muscles and joints were moving more fluidly. It’s an odd thing to explain! 

Overall, it was a fun and unique date activity.  As for me personally, I think 45 minutes would have been enough time. I probably won’t be a regular but I’m also lucky to not have any sort of chronic pain that float therapy might have helped. We just went for fun. However, I could certainly see how the lack of pressure your body experiences while floating could really help people with body pain/tension. 

Baby Free and Floating on Cloud 9

Fit4Mom Louisville 

I’ve been a regular at The Barre Code in Middletown since they opened almost a year and a half ago. I love it there and really enjoy the “me” time. But, there’s no denying that I am unable to get to classes near as frequently now that I have little miss Lyla Jo. 

Enter – Fit4Mom!  

Fit4Mom offers workout classes designed for moms with little ones. There are Fit4Mom groups all over the US and luckily, we have one right here in Louisville. Last Wednesday I went to my first Fit4Mom class, a new format they are introducing called Stroller Barre. We were rained out halfway through but were there long enough for me to decide I wanted to go back. The routine was challenging and fun. It was similar to other barre classes I’ve been to… Only without the barre (lots of pulsing, tucking, isometric holds and releve). Many of the exercises even incorporated the kiddos (i.e. Peek-a-boo squats with a bright colored balloon).  Here are some photos from the class:

Courtesy of Fit4Mom Louisville
Courtesy of Fit4Mom Louisville

The owners of the Louisville group are SUPER friendly and kind. Their customer service is excellent. They reached out to me several times before my first class to see if I had any questions. They also reached out after the class inviting me to another preview class for stroller barre since the first was cut short and welcomed me to try their other format called Stroller Strides today. 

I went to a Stroller Strides class at the Parklands this mornings and LOVED it. Even though it rained again and was chilly, I still worked up a sweat. Fit4Mom describes this class as a total body workout incorporates power walking, strength, toning, songs and activities. Today, for example, some of the exercises included lunges, burpees, tricep dips, push-ups, sprinting, and mountain climbers (which may be my least favorite move EVER 🙂). Oh and about those songs…. Singing Ring around the Rosie while doing walking lunges in a circle is not a walk in the park. 

Here was my little princess before class.  I realized today that I really need to get with the fall weather program and buy this girl some more cooler weather clothes. Thankfully, she still fit in this 3 month jacket today. 

Fit4Mom also offers Our Village Moms Club and Playgroup which includes free playgroups once per week, mom nights out once per month, and a “Moms with a Mission” community service opportunity once a quarter. 

You can check out more info about Fit4Mom Louisville at:

They have a lot of activities going on in the next month including a pumpkin patch workout at Gallrien Farms tomorrow morning!! 

Try it, y’all! 

Fit4Mom Louisville 

The Bogg Bag

We recently returned from our first vacation with Lyla, who turned four months old while we were on 30A! Before we left Kentucky, I knew I would need a bigger beach/pool bag to carry supplies for three people. I’d seen the Bogg Bag somewhere on Instagram a few months ago but didn’t want to pay for shipping online. My mom happened to find a store in Elizabethtown called The Bug’s Ear that carried the bags so we made a morning out of it and headed there to do some pre-vaca shopping! 

The Bug’s Ear had the color and size I wanted so I was thrilled!  The Bogg Bags come in many colors and two sizes. It was hard to decide on a color because there were so many I liked! I purchased the Large (19x15x9.5) in Green with Envy. The E-town store had a great selection and was larger than I expected. I bought some early Christmas and birthday gifts while I was there also! Great stuff!

My Bogg Bag was great for packing for the trip! I fit a ton of stuff in it for the ride down. In the photo above the bag is holding a baby beach tent, video camera, waterproof pads, all of our beach towels, spit up rags, bibs, four books, and Lyla’s bath towels and washcloths for the week. The bag is so sturdy that I ended up repacking this bag with items I didn’t want to spill or tip over since I knew they’d be safe in the Bogg. 

My main concerns with beach bags (aside from size) are comfort of the shoulder straps and whether sand can get in the bag or not. Obviously, this bag has holes in it so I was a little apprehensive. However, there are 3 clear accessory bags that came with the large that snap into the sides of the bag so those pretty much took care of the sand worry. Also, this bag is so structured and upright that sand would really have to be blowing around for any to get in the holes. 

Now, regarding the shoulder straps, they could have been a tad longer for my taste. However, I did have that bag loaded up to capacity almost every day. Considering that I was almost always packing three towels, sunscreens, drinks, phones, sunglasses, diapers, a back up swimsuit for little bug, wipes, a book, the video camera and sometimes a baby life vest and regular camera… I’m not sure what bag wouldn’t have been bursting! 

Overall, I was super happy with this bag. I even saw someone else carrying Tourquoise and Caicos Bogg at our hotel! I can’t wait to see what trip this bag (and our fam of THREE) will go on next! 

The Bogg Bag

The Dad Diaper Bag

In honor of Father’s Day next week, I wanted to share the daddy diaper bag that I gave Aaron earlier this year before baby girl arrived! 

I’m a bag girl. There are shoe girls, makeup girls, monogram girls… But I am a bag girl. When I drop the $$ on a new bag, it has to be a reflection of me and my style (which is Kate Spade 💯 but that’s beside the point). So, when it came to picking out my husband’s daddy diaper bag, I wanted it to say “Aaron.” It had to be dependable, cool, and adventurous. The Sons of Trade Nomad Knapsack was perfect. 

It comes with a diaper changing kit but the bag could definitely be used for more than just baby gear/supplies. It can be worn as a backpack or tote and has side pockets large enough for adult travel drink containers or baby bottles. It also has a front pouch that has spots for pens, cellphone, keys, cash and other items you’d want to be able to access quickly.  

Before I tell you what I stocked it with, I have to say that Aaron was actually the one who said he needed his own bag. At first I wondered if he really needed one but then I thought it was super sweet that he wanted one and figured it couldn’t hurt to have a bag in his truck at all times in case we needed something! 

I’ve probably used his bag more than he has! Because of time constraints, Aaron will meet me and trade the babe when I go workout or run errands sometimes so it’s nice not to have to remember to swap the baby bag out all the time! So, it’s serving its purpose. 

Here are the essentials I packed:

Diapers. A given, I know. In the first month, I always seemed to need more than I packed. When we took Lyla to Churchill Downs when she was 5 weeks old, I was feeding her in the back seat before we went in and then started to change her diaper. I had her in my lap and took dirty diaper # 1 off. I was too slow putting clean diaper #2 under her bottom and she peed… All over my dress! Aaron came to grab her to help me and he laid her in the floorboard where she then proceeded to projectile poop on his truck and diaper #3. We didn’t have any towels to wipe my dress down so I use diaper #4. Finally, diaper #5 went on the baby and we got to go inside. Now I probably pack way too many! 

Wipes. Again… A given. 

Blanket. You never know when the one in use will fall, be kicked, or blown off and land in who knows what and get dirty so it can’t hurt to have an extra. 

Toy. You’ve got to include a little entertainment! 

Extra outfit. Or three! Dad will thank you when the little one pees through an outfit. I thanked myself when Lyla went through three outfits in under an hour a few days ago. Right before she was about to get her passport photo taken, I go to grab her out of her car seat and realize she is soaked. Somehow her diaper fell off and was just hanging in her outfit. So, she was absolutely covered in pee in her passport photo. Just half an hour later, she pooped through the next diaper and outfit. She hadn’t pooped in 24 hours…so it was everywhere. 

Pacifier. I ALWAYS carry extra. 

Changing pad. I guess these really aren’t a necessity and they probably pick up as many germs as you’re trying to protect the baby from but it’s still nice to have a barrier. 

Diaper Rash Cream. I was under the impression before the baby that this was something you used after the baby got a rash. I’ve since figured out that it’s what you use to prevent the rash in the first place! Once a rash has developed, it really just keeps the area moist and locks in the infection so it has never helped heal our little chicky. 😕

Hand Sanitizer. You’re not always near a sink! 

Wash cloth/Burp Cloths. Lyla doesn’t spit up a lot but when she does… It’s on Aaron most of the time! Save your clothes!

Baby Powder

And food! Lyla is still breastfeeding exclusively but I put a bottle of formula in Aaron’s bag just in case he were to need it. 

Once the diaper bag days are over, I know this bag will come in handy for many other adventures! 

The Dad Diaper Bag