Jax and Jill Review + Giveaway

As I've said before, I love shopping small. It's kind of an obsession. I scour Instagram and Facebook weekly daily finding new outfits for Raegan and I was so excited when I came across Jax and Jill.
First off, let me say that they are FANTASTIC with communication! For me, that is probably one of the top things that I LOVE about small businesses. They are the best about getting back to you!
Now I don't know about you, but I'm a sucker for ANYTHING with Raegan's name on it. So I was ecstatic when I saw so many options to choose from.

I decided to go with the pretty floral shirt, because let's face it, flowers and girls, they just kinda go together.
And second, the quality of the shirts is great. The material isn't thin and it stands up to Raegan drooling on it all day. Girlfriend be teething. 
Today is Raegan's surgery day. She is surgery now. Isn't she just the cutest?
 The nurse just updated us and she's doing wonderfully! Can't wait to have my love bug back in my arms.
In honor of Raegan's surgery day, Jax and Jill has offered to give away THREE shirts to my readers.


You better get in on this goodness! Use the rafflecopter below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

100 dolla make you holla

This Tuesday is looking to be a great day!
I just got back from swim lesson with little miss and she is taking a nap. Hallelujah! She sleeps so well after swim class. Then we are making a trip to the mall. What else is there to do on a rainy day?
And this evening, I'm going out on the town for a little girls night.

Basically, I could use this cash and want to enter so badly!

Luckily for you, I won't.

Take a look at the beautiful gals who are bringing you this fabulous giveaway:

Not only are they beautiful, but their blogs/products are amazing.
Don't just take my word for it.
Stalk their links above {and below} to prove it to yourself.

Without further ado, go get entered.
May the best stalker win.


How to Win $125 Cash.... Let Me Tell You!

I am teaming up with a group of amazing bloggers to give you a chance at $125 CASH! Now I don't know about you, but I'm always on board for a little extra MULA! And I'm pretty sure I've never heard anyone complain about winning money, soooo, you definitely need to enter!

All you have to do is follow these amazing ladies below and enter in the rafflecopter.

That's IT!

How easy?

Yeah, I thought so!

Now go have a look at their blogs following the links below, and get entered to win your M U L A!

Oh also! Are you looking to possibly get some more exposure for you or maybe you're just looking for your next absolutely superb blog to sponsor? i'm offering a discount on all my ad spaces! how does 25% off sound? enter the word HECKYEAH for your discount!

Tini Divas Review + giveaway

It is no surprise that I love shopping. And once I had Raegan, that love for shopping just intensified. To the tenth degree! #mommymayhaveaproblem

Once Raegan arrived I realized that I loved buying from small businesses. My number 1 reason is because their products have so much heartfelt love put into each of their items!
These gals who run their businesses are just so sweet too! They make sure that your order is perfect and if there is anything wrong, they go above and beyond to make you happy! So when I choose where to shop for Raegan, I go to my small business gals first!
So today I am telling you about one of my new finds, Tini Divas! Claudia (the owner) is such a sweetheart and a pleasure to work with!

She is willing to turn any vision you have into a reality! If her store doesn't have exactly what you are looking for, she will make a custom item for you! Now if that isn't customer service I don't know what is!
When looking through her shop this shirt stopped me in my tracks! 

You go Glen Coco!!

Mean Girls was pretty much my favorite movie in college and when I had the chance to get this shirt for Raegan, I jumped at it!
And you now what's even better? 

Claudia has agreed to giveaway at $25 store credit (with free shipping) to one of my readers! How amazing is that?
So make sure you scroll to the bottom to get in on the giveaway. 

It is open to US residents only!

And let me know what item you'd like to get from her store!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What We Eat {challenge style}

Now that my challenge is over, I'm so excited to share what I actually ate! Now you will notice that there are not 24 separate dinner recipes. The reason being is because lots of these recipes made more than 1 night of food. So I would have left overs some nights.

To help planning I made this planning page.
Yes, I color coded my grocery list. Don't knock it till you try it. I promise it'll change your life! By planning ahead, you'll be less likely to grab something unhealthy for dinner. This way you will have everything you need when you need it!

Click on the picture above to download your own copy!

Let's start off with breakfast.

Steel cut oats with fruit and 1 hardboiled egg
Herbalife Cookies n Cream Meal Replacements Shakes (must be bought through a distributor, but it's worth it, I love this shake!)
Advocare Meal Replacement Shakes (provided when you purchase the 24 day challenge)

3-4 pieces of Salami (can choose any deli meat, only buy from the counter. Don't buy processed lunch meat)
1 banana
1 clementine
1 Mott's Natural Apple Sauce

rice cake (2)
hardboiled egg (2-3)

Marinated Chicken *linked to the marinade I love*
Chipotle Bowl (brown rice, black beans, chicken, pico, lettuce, and guacamole) NO cheese or sour cream *This is a great meal to eat when you want to go out!*

Some of the meals above need sides to go with them so you actually stay full! I've listed a few of my favorite below. If they are linked, they are linked to my favorite way to prepare them!

Sides to go with Dinner
asparagus *not the healthiest way to prepare it, but it so stinking yummy*
broccoli *not my fav, bleck!*
avocado *just slice it up and serve!*

Need more ideas? Check out some of the amazing websites I got most of my ideas from.

How I Lost 5 pounds in 3 weeks

First off I have to say that it is taking a lot for me to post these pictures. I have struggled with body image throughout pregnancy and after. But I know that so many moms struggle with their bodies after having their baby so I wanted to share my experience in hopes that it can help someone.

My journey to losing weight has been tough. In 2012 I gained a little more weight than I wanted. The older I got, the harder it was to keep off the weight. I wasn't in high school anymore and I could definitely see it in the way I looked. Starting in January 2013 I made a conscious decision to start working out and I get in better shape. This was the time we started trying to have a baby and I thought it could only happen. Ha! If only I knew. 

During this time I was also diagnosed with a hypothyroid, which can cause weight gain. Finally! An answer! I began taking medicine and it helped the weight gain a little.

When I started IVF in October 2013 I weighed 136. IVF does a toll on your body and can cause you to gain weight as they are stimulating your ovaries. I gained about 6-7 pounds in that 6 week period and by the time we found out I was pregnant, I had no time to lose that weight. So I started my pregnancy around 140 pounds. I gained 40 pounds with Raegan and topped off the scale at about 180 pounds.

Once having Raegan I lost 30 pounds pretty quick, but then it stopped coming off. I was pumping and was told that breastfeeding is a great way to lose weight. Well it wasn't working for me. I didn't have time to work out and had zero time to prepare healthy meals through out the day. I was having fast food at least every other day and snacking constantly. I would grab anything that was close, no matter if it was healthy or not. The weight stopped coming off, but I wasn't surprised.

I struggled with the fact that I still wasn't fitting in my clothes and needed to buy new clothes, 1-2 sizes bigger than my pre-pregnancy clothes. And I struggled with feeling attractive to my husband even though he continuously told me that I was beautiful to him. But I knew I looked different than the woman he married.

So in December 2014 I joined Baby Boot Camp. It was the first step in my journey. I am so glad I joined this group. Not only was I finally working out, but I got to take Raegan with me! Check us out in the top right hand corner :)
If you are needing a place to work out and take your kids, this is the group for you! They have tons of them all over the U.S. Google them, you won't regret it.

I started seeing a difference in my body, but the weight still wasn't coming off. So in March 2015, I decided to do an Advocare 24 day challenge. I had done one in June 2013, and knew the results it could give me.

I lost 5 pounds and 6 inches. It's not the best results ever, but I think the pictures are worth a thousand words. I mean, look at that side shot. That is a huge difference in my book!

The challenge is a great way to get your eating back on track. There are meal replacement shakes (vanilla is my favorite) and supplements to take for the 24 days. The first 10 days are the cleanse (don't worry, it's not a drastic cleanse. It's very gentle) and then the last 14 days is the max phase where the supplements are filling your body with wonderful vitamins and supplements that promote healthy living.

During the 24 days you are expected to eat healthy. That includes protein, vegetables, and complex carbs. I did have to do a little more planning for my grocery trips, but you know what? It made me think about what I was eating, and now that the 24 days is over, I STILL want to eat that way! 

For me, I wanted to start eating healthy and continue it after the challenge. This helped me do exactly that. I now have a ton of recipes to pull from for our dinners and I snack on things that are good for me.

Losing weight I feel is something all women struggle with, no matter your size. Whether you have 10 pounds, 20 pounds, or even 100 pounds, to lose, this program can get your started! It will change your body but also give you the tools you need to be successful in your weight loss journey.

Check back in a few days for everything I ate during the challenge (recipes included!)

Have questions about the challenge or want to try yourself? Email me I'd love to help!

Cleft Palate Update

Well this is it. We had our HUGE doctor's appointment with Raegan's team last Wednesday.

Our appointment was at 8am in downtown Dallas. Our house is about 45 minutes away, but with morning traffic, it takes double that time. So we left our house at 6:30am which was tough on Raegan because she normally sleeps until 8-8:30am. She fell asleep right as we pulled into the hospital. Great.

The point of this appointment was to allow every part of her team to meet with us. This appointment last hours. HOURS! 

Raegan was a champ, for most of it. She was crawling all over the room and wanting to be into EVERYTHING! It was tough listening to the doctors when she was crawling all over me. But we made it through.

After all our appointments our ENT sent us to Audiology for a hearing test. During our meeting with the ENT she said she had fluid on her ears which is to be expected with a cleft palate baby since their ear canals are smaller and she's had a cold for about a week. 

So off to audiology we went. She checked Raegan's ears again and confirmed fluid on her ears. Then she did a hearing test. She had Raegan sit in my lap in a booth. There was a clear glass looking out where the audiologist sat. There were a set of speakers on either side of us and she would talk to Raegan through those. Raegan responded each time to her voice, but when she started doing just sounds, Raegan stopped turning to look at the speaker. My heart just sank. I had noticed recently that I was having to say Raegan's name multiple times before she would turn to me, but I didn't think anything of it.

After the test she said Raegan showed signs of mild hearing loss. This is to be expected of cleft palate babies which is why they suggest doing tubes in their ears during their repair surgery, which we are doing. She didn't seem too worried since Raegan passed her newborn hearing test and had a cold at the time of the test. She said we would retest 8 weeks after her surgery. I am praying the results come back perfect. I don't want anything else to get in the way of her developing normally.

Her surgery has been scheduled for April 30 and we will be spending at least 1 night in the hospital, maybe more. With Raegan's diagnosis of Pierre Robin, she is at a higher risk of complications after surgery. Her airway is small and since they are closing the cleft, it will make her airway smaller. There will also be swelling after surgery which may cause her to struggle with breathing. So her cranio-facial surgeon (who is doing the cleft repair) wanted us to be prepared for her to be in the ICU and to also possibly stay a few days compared to 1 day like other cleft repair patients.

I will try my best to do a quick post after her surgery to update everyone on her progress. Prayers that the surgery would go perfectly, there would be no complications, and that her recovery is quick.

For years I prayed for this child. For years I begged God to give Kyle and I a baby. And now we have her. No matter the struggles we have had or will continue to have, I wouldn't trade her for anything. God gave us her because He knew we could be strong. But we are only strong because of Him. He has given us the strength to push through when we felt weak. Only through His amazing guidance and grace have we gotten where we are today. I was meant to be this little one's mama bear and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Easter 2015

The older Raegan gets the more fun each holiday is. She is smiling, laughing, and interacting so much these days. So Easter was a lot of fun!

We went to church on Saturday {Sunday church interfered with Raegan's nap} and the day was absolutely beautiful!
 Kyle was out of town on a bachelor party. Wah wah. No one realized it was Easter weekend when it was planned. So we stayed with my parents for the weekend.

We ran into a sweet friend of mine at church and we had to grab a picture with our sweet miracle babes.

Sunday was a yucky, cold day and I just couldn't dress Raegan in her Easter dress like I planned, so we wore it on Monday instead!

Kyle came home on Sunday afternoon and we waited until Daddy got home to give Raegan her Easter basket. We put confetti eggs in her basket this year since she wasn't "hunting" them this year!
Of course it goes straight in her mouth!

She's starting to move so fast that I can't get a non-blurry picture!

And we find out that the eggs bleed bad!

Let's put another in my mouth then!

Onto the next toy to get your mind off the eggs.

Daddy reading to Raegan. {be still my heart}

Confetti on the baby!

I found confetti in her diaper till the next day!

I hope you all enjoyed celebrating the resurrection of our Lord!

Friday Happenings

Another week has passed and the weekend is here! Hallelujah! Here's what went down this week.

First off, this blondie is now a brunette. I'm a natural brunette and honestly, it's just easier! So I'm a brunette until further notice.

This little chunk turned 8 months old. Where has time gone?

We met with Raegan's surgical team on Wednesday to discuss her cleft palate repair surgery. I will write a more in depth post later, but her surgery has been scheduled for April 30. This momma's heart is already nervous.

Raegan has also added to her vocabulary! She is now saying momma and Coco. My sister was beyond thrilled!

Raegan and I headed to my parents for the weekend while Kyle is in Miami for a bachelor party. Oh and don't worry. There were at least 3 more bags behind all of these bags. It took forever to pack up! 

This is Raegan's first night away from home and she went down pretty well! My mom took the baby monitor before bed tonight and told me to sleep! I am so stinking excited to sleep as late as I want and not be woken up at all!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Linking up with:

The Diary of a Real Housewife
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