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Family Life

Christmas photos!

December 7, 2017

It’s that time of year again! Family photo time! This year we busted out the tripod and headed to a park! Tripod shoots stress me out more then anything! We win some we loose some! We got ONE with everyone looking at the camera and smiling and I would say thats a big FAT win! Here are some of my favorites this year! Make sure to scroll ALL the way to the bottom for a Snapfish 40% off coupon!

We went with Snapfish this year for our Christmas cards.  The quality is SO good and I was sold when I saw the beautiful gold foil! There are SO many cards to pick from on their website and there is still time to order before Christmas! 

Don’t forget to use code ASHLEY40 for 40% off your cards from Snapfish.  HURRY though, 18 days until Christmas! No body panic!!!

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

XO Ashley

Stuffing Our Stockings With Dr. Brown’s!

November 30, 2017

It’s Christmas time! My favorite time of the year! Finding all the perfect gifts though, not my favorite time of the year! Every year I feel like the kids stocking ends up filled with a whole lot of junk they don’t need! This year will be different! I am so excited to fill their stockings with practical, and still totally fun Dr. Brown’s items! Here are a few Santa will be stuffing in Karis and Bexley’s stocking this year…

1. Baby’s First Straw Cup My all time favorite cup for Bexley! The weighted straw and handles make it super easy for her to use, and the lid keeps it clean in my baby bag!

2. Insulated Straw Sport Cup This cup is my favorite for Karis.  Perfect for a older toddler (Karis is 3 and a half) I love the lid to keep it clean and I also love that it is insulated.  I add a little bit of ice before we go out and it stays cold while at preschool, or running errands!

3. Long Spatula Spoons I feel like I can never have too many baby spoons in my house! I personally love these ones because of the flat end.  It is great for wiping good off the babies mouth while they are still eating purees and then great for cutting food into smaller bites when they have moved to solids.

4. Flexees This teether is the perfect size for little tiny hands to hold.  They are also very durable!

5. Coolees I am a sucker for a cute teether, therefore this will for sure makes its way to the stocking this year! Not only is it totally cute it is freezer safe and meant to hold in the cold to really help sooth sore gums.

6. Nawgum I love the shape of this teether.  There are so many different places for your baby to hold on to and chew on.  Perfect for all stages of teething!

7. Nose & Face Wipes These are a must in the baby bag! I feel like I am wiping both kids faces all day long.  These wipes are gentle on faces and get the job done!

8. Infant-to-Toddler Toothbrush Set Karis HATES brushing her teeth.  This elephant toothbrush makes it a little easier.  It is gentle and the toothpaste is all natural and safe to swallow.

9. Baby Lotion Filled with all natural ingredients and doesn’t leave a greasy feel.  Another baby bag must!

10. Snack-A-Pillar™ Stackable Snack & Dipping Cups I love this for the car or baby bag! Four stackable cups for different snacks on the go.

Happy shopping and Merry Christmas!

XO Ashley

Managing the Christmas Crazy With UPPAbaby!

November 28, 2017

Christmas errands can be so very fun and so very stressful! Am I right??  This year I am brining my UPPAbaby VISTA along for the craziness! (If only the stroller knew how lucky it was! haha) Mama is loving this new stroller, and the girls are totally loving their new ride! Christmas time means a lot of running around.  Each day is a new store, a new gift to buy, another grocery store visit or another ugly Christmas sweater party.  I personally love the busyness, but it can get pretty tricky with kiddos involved!  This stroller came just in time.  Finding a stroller that the kids feel comfortable in, love to be in, and will hang out in for long periods of time without complaining is a must in my book! I have found that in my VISTA for a few different reasons…

  1. I love the many different seat configurations! Some days my girls love each other, those are the days I face them toward each other so they can laugh and have fun.  Other days, not so much.  No worries, those are the days I will face them out!  If one is needing a little extra mama love one can even face me while I push the stroller!
  2. The stroller sits up high, making it feel so much more manageable while pushing it around tight stores.  Since the back seat is so high the second seat can sit in farther, this cuts back on the length of the stroller.  Cutting the length = making me feel like I’m pushing a stroller and not a bus.  WIN!
  3. This stroller has A HUGE basket for storage! This is so important in my opinion! Baby bag, snacks, toys, shopping bags, groceries, bring it on!
  4. My girls are defiantly known to be napping on the go. I love that both of these seats are able to recline for a comfy cat nap!  There is nothing better then having two comfy, sleeping girls while mama can get some errands done in peace!
  5. The last thing that I absolutely love about this stroller while out and about is the extendable sunshade! There has been so many times we are out taking a walk, or partying it up a Disneyland and the sun in blasting right in somebodies face.  Even the normal sun shade can’t block the sun sometimes.  The extendable sunshade is a lifesaver!

I hope you are all finding ways to survive the season and make it one to remember! I am trying my very best this year to take in every moment instead of getting caught up in the stress of it all! UPPAbaby VISTA is just one way I am making my Christmas season a tiny bit easier!

Okay, now comes the time when everyone RUNS to add the          UPPAbaby VISTA to your Santa wish list ASAP!!!   

 

XO Ashley

 

 

IncrediBundles for the win!

November 27, 2017

Sometimes Christmas shopping is totally fun! When you know exactly what the person wants, it’s in your price range, and you can buy it online! That’s perfect right there! BUT when you have no clue what to buy it can just get frustrating,

INSERT INCREDIBUNDLES!!!

IncrediBundles.com is filled with themed baby and children gifts in ALL different price ranges!  We went with the bath time theme and it include a hooded bunny towel, and bath toys! Some other ideas are a book bundle, a diaper bundle, toys for different ages, sleep bundles and so many more! To top it off it comes in a really nice box with a bow! No wrapping on top of all this amazingness??? I’m hooked!

Here are a few of my favorites that I think would make such a great gift this year…

  1. The Bedtime Book Bundle
  2. Toddler Play and Learn Bundle
  3. Bath Time Bundle
  4. Eric Carle Book Bundle
  5. Organic Bundles

 

RUN and check it out HERE!  Such a great idea for the kiddos and babies in your life this Christmas season!

 

XO Ashley

 

 

Diapers all day, every day!

October 28, 2017

Our days are filled with giggles, play time, messes, and ALL the diaper changes! That is why I am so excited about Comforts™ Diapers! These diapers are totally adorable with 2 fun patterns; making it okay when they pop out from under the dress! Which happens all the day around here! This mama is totally loving them! Diaper changes aren’t fun for mama or baby!  I have been changing diapers practically every single day for 3 and a half years! SAY WHAT! I have tried SO many different brands and I wanted to share why Comforts™ Diapers stuck out to me! All the other brands I have seen loose the wetness indicator after the newborn size! HEY, I liked that wetness indicator! Comforts doesn’t get us all excited and then takes it away! They have a wetness indicator in ALL sizes! (If you are lost when I say “wetness indicator” it’s the line on the butt of the diaper that changes color when the diaper is wet!) If you think about wearing a diaper around ALL day and night, that just doesn’t sound comfy at all! Comforts™ Diapers stretch around the entire waist band, leg cuffs and tabs! Making them fit perfectly and move with your active babes! They are also super soft! I am so used to crunchy, bulky diapers so the new soft outer cover was surprising! GOOD surprising!

Ok, I think that is enough diaper talk for the day, on to Comforts™ WipesJust like diapers, I have used all different brands of wipes and I have decided my favorite are the thick ones that don’t rip easily! That is why I am loving the new Comfort wipes! They are thick and quilted making them super durable for all those adorable baby booties!

Comforts™ Wipes are Alcohol Free, Paraben FREE, hypoallergenic and gentle on skin with moisturizing aloe & vitamin E. Do I really need to say more about that??

Try them and totally love them for yourself with THIS coupon! Remember Comforts Diapers and Wipes are available exclusively at Kroger stores! 

Thank you to Comforts TM Brand for sponsoring this post.

XO Ashley

Balancing Motherhood and Blogging!

October 18, 2017

Welcome to the fourth installment of The Mom Blog Collective: How to Balance Motherhood and Blogging.

If you’re new here, here’s the scoop. Once a month, our group of amazing and inspiring mamas will answer the same set of questions to do with blogging, Instagram, photography, collaborations, sponsored posts, balancing it all with motherhood, and more. We each have different perspectives and different opinions, so this is a fun way to learn from one another. We hope you’ll join along! Check out the hashtag #themomblogcollective to see everyone on Instagram, and I will also link you to all of the amazing blog posts at the bottom of my post!

 How often do you post on your blog/Instagram?

I post on Instagram every day! I think it is important to constantly be creating content and getting your name out there! Of course I go through times where I am too busy to take new photos, or I am seriously laking inspiration.  Times like that I might post 3 or 4 times a week! For my blog, I try so hard to get at least one post a week! More realistically though it is probably twice a month! OOPS! My poor blog does not get as much lovin’ as my Instagram!

When do you find time to blog/post?

Nap time USED to be gold! Let’s have a moment of silence for my three year old’s nap time that is no more. So after bedtime it is! If I can get the kiddos asleep by 8 that gives me a good three hours for TV, aimless Instagram scrolling, and blog writing!

How do you manage your time and “do it all”?

“Do it all??” HA, what does that even mean? Being a good wife, a mom, keep the house clean, dinner cooked, wedding photographer on the weekend, getting sponsored posts done during the week, keeping up on my blog, finding time to actually have friends! HOLY COW! I can’t do it all.  There isn’t enough time in the day! I tell my husband ALL the time how I wish sleep was optional.  I could get SO much done if I didn’t have to sleep! It’s all about managing my time.  Every Monday I like to look at my week and see what really needs done! I plan a few fun things in the mix so we can all get out of the house and then I go from there!

How many collaborations do you take on every month?

I don’t necessarily take on a certain number of sponsored posts, but more so a dollar amount.  Instagram and Blogging is my job.  I used to have a Etsy shop that was pretty successful but it took up SO much of my time and I wasn’t excited about it anymore.  That is when I started Instagram!  I keep track of the months ahead and how many sponsored posts I have and once I reach what I need to make for that month I will schedule any further sponsored posts for the next month. (are you following??)  I also do NOT want to fill my followers feed up with sponsored post after sponsored post so I try my very best to mix in authentic, “every day” type photos in the mix! It’s a hard balancing but I have realized the best way to keep me on track is to make a posting schedule each week.  That way I can make sure I am not cramming in too many sponsored posts for the week!

Check out what these other amazing mama’s have to say about balancing motherhood and blogging and show them all the love…

darlingnightingale.com | @darlingnightingale

XO Ashley

Moms Do Palms!

October 10, 2017

As a final farewell to summer (I was holding on as long as I could!) I FINALLY blogged our trip to Palm Springs…

Take 9 blogging mamas who have never met, The Weekend House in Palm Springs, and NO kiddos, and you get an unforgettable week and 8 new BFFS!  I am finally getting around to sharing with you some fun photos from our girls trip to Palm Springs! The Weekend House was a perfect location for endless laughs, talks, and stories! These girls are the best, our hubbies are the best for keeping the kids alive, and my soul felt so refreshed!  If you have been thinking of doing a girls trip, PLEASE DO IT! Mama’s need a break too!

See you girls next year!

 

XO Ashley

Traveling with Babies, HELP!

September 13, 2017

Who else is so overwhelmed when it comes to going on a trip with their kiddos? We went on a few little getaways this summer and you would have thought I was moving in for 3 months! Packing for the kids is NO joke! I have just a few products I wanted to share with you all that really helped Bexley feel comfortable no matter where she was, and made our trips a heck of a lot easier!

  1. DockATot Grand! I can not say enough amazing things about this product! Bexley started in the Deluxe size and we have since moved her up to the Grand size.  There hasn’t been a day in her life that she has not slept in her DockATot.  The reason I am mentioning this for travel is because it is so easy to bring with you and brings the comfort of their sleep no matter where they are. I know friends that have brought theirs and put it right on the hotel bed with them, in the crib that the hotel or rental you are staying at might provide, or in the pack n play that you bring from home.
  2. Lotus Everywhere Travel Crib. Portable cribs typically weigh 3,000 pounds and are the size of a elephant, that is why I LOVE this travel crib! It is very lightweight, very easy set up and can be worn as a backpack while traveling with it! It also fit the DockATot Grand PERFECTLY so it was love at first sight!
  3. A sound machine! I am so glad I decided to throw our sound machine in! This is especially a must if you use a sounds machine at home on a regular basis.  It just gives the baby another comfort while they fall asleep in a foreign place.
  4. TRIP by Boon. This is a travel drying rack and bottle or sippy cup brush.  It all folds up in a portable case and it so convenient to leave next to the sink and your hotel or rental.  Typically wherever you are staying would defiantly not have brushes and things you would need to clean bottles and sippy cups so this was such a important item that I honestly never would have even thought of!
  5. Ergo 360 or Ergo Omni 360.  Either would do the trick just fine but some sort of baby carrier where they can face in for naps and out when they are awake and you are out adventuring is such a must!  A stroller just doesn’t always work out, I never go anywhere without my Ergo!

That’s it! My top 5 travel must haves! (besides the essentials of course!)  Traveling with a baby is no easy task and I hope this list makes the idea of taking a trip sounds a little bit easier! The key is to make the baby feel as comfortable as possible!  If you have any must haves for traveling with a baby PLEASE let me know! I would love so much to hear what you all think!

Happy Travels!

 

XO Ashley

Tips for Better Photography!

September 5, 2017

I am so honored that you would come on over to little old me to get some photography tips, but I am sure glad you are here! I am SO happy to share a little bit of my process in taking photos for my blog and Instagram…

1. What do you use to take your photos?

Probably 90% of my photos are taken with a Fujifilm X100F, SUCH a amazing little camera, and great for travel or outings! You get beautiful DSLR quality photos without dragging around a 10 pound camera! 2% of my photos are taken with my iPhone, and about 8% of my photos are taken with a Canon 5D Mark III.  Don’t let what kind of camera you have discourage you in any way! Phones have such amazing cameras and you can create such a beautiful feed just with the camera you have in your pocket!

2. What apps do you use and your editing process.

I use Lightroom for all of my photos. BUT, if you don’t have access to Lightroom I would tell you to go check out the VSCO app if you haven’t already!

3. What photos of yours tend to do well? What do your followers really respond to?

Instagram is such a strange place and it is so hard to tell which photos will do well and which ones will be a total flop! You have to know your audience! What is your blog geared toward? What is your Instagram page geared to? Motherhood, fashion, your home? That is why your followers are here and that is what they want to see! Also, Instagram algorithm is wack so if you post the cutest photo of all time and it gets 10 likes, brush it off.  It’s not you, it’s the algorithm.

It’s so hard to explain such a HUGE topic into 3 tiny little questions! My quick tips would be…

  • Use the best camera you have with you at the time! iPhone? NO problem! Big ol’ DSLR? Perfect! Capture the moment with the best you’ve got!
  • Find a editing style that is unique to you and stick with it.  This will take practice and might change a few times before you find what you love! Just please don’t use Instagram filters! PLEASE! There are so many great photo specific editing apps out there. Find what you like best! (VSCO, Snapseed, Filmborn, just to name a few!
  • Last, stay true to you! People want to see who you really are through your Instagram page! They are following YOU after all! Be real, be silly, be honest, BE YOU!

 

(Shout out to the real MVP, the man that taught we all I know about photography,                                                                                   the greatest Instagram hubby of all the Instagram hubbys, @_ericm_ You DA BOMB!)

Also check out what a few other amazing ladies have to say about these same photography questions!

darlingnightingale.com | @darlingnightingale

occasionallyperfect.com | @occasionally_perfect

mrsseacannon.com | @mrsseacannon

britthavens.com | @britthavens

koleimpressions.com | @steph__pollock

cultivatemotherhood.com | @cultivatemotherhood

www.ashleynoel.life | @_ashley_noel_

hellobabybrown.com | @hellobabybrown

www.a-blessed-nest.com | @blessednestblog

thelovedesignedlife.com | @thelovedesignedlife

helloerin.com | @helloerinv

hopefeathersphotography.com | @hopefeathers

psimfromthemidwest.com | @hollynbaron

@fresh_delivery

XO Ashley

Teething bites!

August 21, 2017

We (and by “we” I mean Bexley) are in the middle of busting through tooth number 7, and this one is not coming in without a fight!  Although I do love the extra cuddles she wants to give when she is teething, it is just so sad to see them uncomfortable! Am I right??? SO, it is my civic duty to share with you some of my all time favorite teethers to help Bexley bust out these stinken’ teeth! YOU CAN DO IT BEXLEY GIRL!

Our go to for all our teething need is Dr Brown’s! Here’s why, Dr Brown’s products are developed and designed by pediatric dentists to help prevent dental issues and to sooth and comfort! WIN, WIN my friends! I am officially sold! Moving on to my favorites…

 

  1. Coolees. Point number one, it’s shaped like a watermelon! I’m pretty sure I don’t need to go any further than that, but I will! These are made to hold cool to relieve sore gums and the perfect shape and size to reach all over the jaw line!  2. Nawgum. This teether is shaped like a cactus! I repeat, a cactus! It is Super easy to grip and filled with all kinds of different textures!3. Orthees These are so easy for the babies to hold on to, and they can naw on any side! It has a shape similar to a pacifier but has a teether end instead of a nipple! Totally awesome! 

We are fully equipped and ready to kick some teething booty!!!

Thank you Dr Browns!

 

XO Ashley