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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

How to Build an Online Community and Define Your Brand

August 15, 2017

Welcome to the second installment of The Mom Blog Collective: How to Build an Online Community and Define Your Brand. If you’re new here, here’s the scoop. Every other week, 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 here at the bottom of my post!

How to grow your Instagram? I can’t sit down and tell you the moment I even thought about growing my Instagram, but I think it was about 2 years ago! I started very small with some adorable little shops.  I got a few collabs started in trade for a post on my Instagram and then the shop would repost my photo! Therefore gaining exposure and followers! This grew more and more, therefore gaining more and more exposure and more followers!

Tip #1 being collaborate as much as possible and even if you didn’t get the product for free tag the shop anyways! They might repost your photo! WIN WIN!

Collaborations are just one way I would say I grew my Instagram.  The second, and seriously important in my book, is engaging!

Engage with your people! Talk to people on Instagram, comment on their photos, like their posts, respond when they comment on your photos! Your followers want to feel like they matter because, well DUH, they do!

Tip #2 engage!

Find new followers! Go out and find new followers, don’t wait for them to find you! What I mean by this is go to the explore page, or search a hashtag and comment and like peoples photos! This will get your name out there and have new people seeing you! Fingers crossed that some of them even begin to follow you!

Tip #3 As I like to call it, stalk people!

Just remember, My Instagram page didn’t grow overnight! It took me two years to get to where I am now and I still have SO much growing and learning to do! We are all in this together! One of my all time favorite quotes, “Community over Competition!” AIN’T THAT THE TRUTH!

 

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

kristlesclarity.com | @hereyeswereolivegreen

@amylouhawthorne

My top 5 tips on how to start a blog and Instagram…

August 1, 2017
I’m so excited to share a new series I am starting here on my blog called #TheMomBlogCollective. Twice a month, a group of 10 of us will be sharing a blog post on the same topic — related to blogging, instagram, working with brands, making money, photography, motherhood and more.
Each month we will feature a different guest blogger in addition to the ten of us! My favorite part is that while we will all be answering the same questions and writing about the same topics, it will give each of you a wide variety of perspectives. We each have a different blogging style, photography style, schedule!  It will be a great opportunity to read everyone’s posts and then figure out what works best for you. And if you have a topic you’d love to get an answer to in our series, search the hashtag #TheMomBlogCollective on Instagram and comment on any one of our photos under that hashtag to let us know! You can also leave comments on our blog posts.
To kick off the series, we’ll each be sharing our Top 5 Tips on Starting a Blog and Instagram Account…

I get asked this question ALL the time! A (BIG) part of me doesn’t feel qualified to answer this question.  I am still learning so much myself BUT for now I will try and share a little bit I know about starting up a blog and Instagram.  Hopefully it can inspire someone out there to just go for it! That leads me to tip number 1…

  1.  Just go for it!  What’s stopping you? I know setting up a blog can seem pretty intimidating to someone that it not tech savvy, thank goodness my husband knows what he is doing, because I am CLUELESS!
  2. POST POST POST!  Find your niche, and post on Instagram often. I would say once a day.  Also, try and blog as often as possible.  I know that’s a lot harder then posting on Instagram, so I would say aim for once or twice a week!
  3. Find your niche! My niche: cute babies (is that a niche??) My Instagram and Blog are filled with my family and babies.  I follow some amazing fashion blogs, cooking blogs, photography blogs, etc.  Find what you love and stick with that!
  4. Make your feed pretty.  I know this one is debatable and it is for sure NOT a must, but to me it is so important! Find a edit you love, and colors you love and try to stick with those to make a nice coherent feed! (like I said, totally not a must!)
  5. Engage with your followers! Comment back to people, leave comments on other people photos, respond to DMs, be a real person!  Be genuine and people will stick around and come back for more!
You can find all the other blog posts linked below:
Occasionally Perfect | @occasionally_perfect
XO Ashley

 

Sleep training 101.

July 10, 2017

So many of you have asked how I went about sleep training Bexley girl, so I wanted to give just a few tips I have to getting your baby to sleep through the night! With both Karis and Bexley I waited until they were 11 months old. (do it sooner if you want!)  I have no idea why that number?? That must have just been when I couldn’t take it any longer!! haha There are so many different sleep training methods out there, but this is what worked best for us!  With both Karis and Bexley we went with the “cry it out” method.

 

Cry it out, for those of you that aren’t super familiar is a technique to get your baby to learn to put themselves to sleep instead of relying on you nursing them, rocking them to sleep, etc.  Here if how Eric and I went about things.  First and I think very important is that we got Bexley out of our bedroom.  Ever since we brought her home her crib has been in our room so as soon as she wakes up she can pop her head right up and see us! NOT good for sleep training haha.  Second, we made the new space as cozy as possible.  We got a sound machine, I am diffusing essential oils each night, and she gets put in her Zipadee Zip (which she totally loves!)  Third, establish some type of bedtime routine.  This is so important to transition them into a time to get sleepy and know that bedtime is coming.  For now our routine with Bexley is pretty simple.  Her and Karis get a bath together, then I nurse her in the rocking chair (DO NOT nurse them until they fall asleep, that will defeat the whole sleep training purpose) then I cuddle her for a few minutes, and put her down to sleep.  When she gets a little bit older we will add story time to the routine also! Forth as long as she has a full belly, clean diaper, and is cozy, we let her cry.  The key to letting them cry is NOT to just leave them and let them cry all night long.  What Eric and I did (and you will know what is best for your baby) is let her cry for 3 minutes, then we went in to comfort her, then for 5 minutes, then for 8 minutes, then for 15 minutes.  By then she was asleep (YAY!!!) BUT if she was still awake we would not have gone any longer then 15 minutes in between us going in and comforting her.  This is what worked great for our family, and she has been sleeping 12 hours each night ever since! HALLELUJAH! 76 (2 of 19)

Here are some very important things to remember and know before starting sleep training!

  1. As a mom listening to your baby cry is awful!! It brought me so much anxiety! Sleep training is NOT fun, but so worth it in the end!
  2. Never pick your baby up! When you go in to comfort them you can shush them, pat their back, sing a little lullaby, place your hang on them for comfort, but never pick them up! Trust me, as soon as you pick them up and then put them back down they will start crying 10 times harder!
  3. Set a routine and have a key word you use so your baby knows bed time is coming! I just say “shhhhhh” over and over as I walk her over to her crib and cuddle her.  After a few nights of this she will know what to expect! You can also say something like “night night”
  4. Get bedtime started early! There is nothing worse then trying to put a overly tired baby to sleep! We have been starting bath time around 6;30 and having Bexley in her crib around 7:15.  Of course this won’t work every night, but the nights we are home early, this seemed to be working great!
  5. Stay strong, and if you can’t stay strong then buy some earplugs and make your spouse stay strong!! haha
  6. There is nothing better then training your baby how to sleep! You will hardly remember the hard few days it took, but you will remember how happy you are to have a baby that finally sleeps through the night!

76 (4 of 19)I would love so much to hear what worked and didn’t work for all of you! I know every baby is so different! Happy sleep training my friends!

Xo Ashley

transition swaddle c/o Sleeping Baby |||crib c/o Micuna

ShopSmarter not harder.

June 30, 2017

insta (1 of 14) insta (4 of 14) insta (5 of 14) Ever since having kiddos, especially two, online shopping is my JAM!  I actually dread stepping foot into a store. (unless it’s a solo trip to Target, that’s a WHOLE different story!)

This, my friends, is why I must introduce to you my most amazing new discovery! ShopSmarter.com is an online shopper’s BFF. Here’s the deal…insta (3 of 14)

As a ShopSmarter member, you will receive 10% cash back on any online purchase made through the site. You can even get 20% cash back sometime!                                                                                              ALL the up to date coupons are right there for you to see for each store!                         No more searching the web trying to find the best coupons; you know we all do it! AND it compares prices for you with over 1,000 online retailers!

IF YOU CAN’T TELL HOW EXCITED I AM ABOUT THIS WITH ALL THE CAPS LOCKS AND EXCLAMATION POINTS, well I’m really excited! insta (6 of 14)insta (8 of 14)

So are you following??? If you’re a mama, or just someone who likes to find better things to do then spend hours walking around a store, ShopSmarter is a pure life saver!

  1. Want to earn money back on the things you are already buying anyways??
  2. Want to sit on your couch and shop in you pajamas??
  3. Want all the best coupons??

If you said yes, then do your self a favor and RUN to check out ShopSmarter.

 

If you answered no, well, we can no longer be friends. (JUST KIDDING) but really….

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XO Ashley

 

 

Dr. Brown’s Giveaway!

June 9, 2017

Dr Brown’s products are saving the day over at the McFarland house and I am SO excited to be giving away some of my all time favorite products!

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  • Who else has a kid that carries a cup around with them 24/7?? Before kids I had no idea the struggle it would be to find a good sippy cup!! I have gone through WAY too many, and finally found some that we seriously love! Not to mention the adorable designs of them all! Mermaids, dinosaurs, monsters! TOO CUTE! My personal favorite are the Insulated cups!68 (7 of 12) 68 (6 of 12)
  • Another favorite of ours are their teethers! Poor little Bexley girl is gnawing on anything she can get her hands on! My all time favorites of Dr Brown’s are the adorable Watermelon teether and the Orthees.  They are the perfect size and shape for tiny hands and mouths!  Bexley can chew her little heart out! Total plus is, you can freeze the watermelon!
  • And my last favorite to share with you today is the infant-to-toddler toothbrush! So soft and easy for the kiddos to learn! AND it’s shaped like a cute little Elephant, which is not only adorable, but it keeps it standing upright so it doesn’t touch anything yucky! Winner!68 (5 of 12)

From bottles, cups, plates, pacifiers, and the cutest teethers!! I just love it all! Head over to my Instagram page to enter to win a fabulous bundle of all my favorites!

 

XO Ashley

Every dad needs coffee!

June 6, 2017

It’s June and I can hardly believe it! Father’s day will be here before you know it so let’s show the dads some love! For the man who works hard for the family, spends time with the kiddos, cleans up the yard, washes the cars, puts the babies to bed every night, and if you have a keeper like me, they even do the dishes, WOOT WOOT, what better gift then coffee or tea with the push of a button!

Keurig® 250 Coffee Maker for the WIN!!!

(This post is sponsored by Keurig Green Mountain®. All opinions are 100% my own)

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In honor of Father’s Day month, Karis was so very excited to have a tea party (and hot cocoa of course) with her favorite guy!  Her beverage of choice was some delicious Swiss Miss® Milk Chocolate Cocoa with a side of strawberries and cookies! Toddler heaven! Watching my husband have a tea party with our girls, now that’s mama heaven!

Just make sure you cool the cocoa or add some milk before serving to your little ones!

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Daddy joined in on the hot cocoa fun, but on a typical day he would be reaching for some delicious Tully’s® French Roast Extra Bold Coffee K-Cup® Pods because who can resist those smokey flavors.  Another favorite of ours is Bigelow® Lemon Ginger Herbal Tea K-Cup® Pods.  A zesty lemon blend with a hint of ginger is the perfect way to unwind after a long day with the kiddos.

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Thank you Daddy for being the best and thank you Keurig® for keeping daddy going with the ease and convince of the push of a button!!

 

XO Ashley

Karis’ Zoo Party!

May 21, 2017

Karis’ turns three next week and we celebrated a tiny bit early today with a zoo party (Karis’ choice! After asking several times, “are you sure you don’t want a princess party??”) I did NOT want to start planning and then she all of a sudden wants the good old Princess party of every three year old girls dream! haha SO a zoo party it was and it was such a blast!

Who else gets seriously carrier away with parties! UGH, I know I am not alone! Totally worth is though when you see you kiddos have the time of their lives!

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(Then I dropped the whole cake on the ground, #momfail)520 (60 of 94) 520 (64 of 94) 520 (77 of 94)

Party animal INDEED!520 (91 of 94) 520 (89 of 94)

The highlight of the party was the amazing balloon twister we hired! She was seriously talented!

 

Now for the juicy details!

Karis’ Dress: Grey and Lion

Karis’s Bows: Zozu Baby

Banners and Cake Topper “3”: Glam Banners

Cake: Albertsons! Seriously, the best secret! If you are looking for a super basic cake that you can decorate yourself with a few cute toppers, 6.99 BABY!

Paper Lanterns: Oriental Trading Company

Foam Animals Masks: Amazon

Inflatable Animals: Amazon

Hanging Monkeys: Dollar Tree

Leaves on Vines: Amazon

Monkey vines: DIY with a roll of THIS

Wood Slabs: Borrowed from my bestie (she used them at her wedding, SCORE!)

Burlap Runner: Amazon

Terrariums in center of Tables: Hobby Lobby

Balloons: Alin Party Supply

Animal Figurines: Picked them up ALL over the place! BUT my favorite big ones HERE

Tiny Party Hats: DIY

 

We love you sweet girl and can NOT believe you are almost three!!! WHAAAAAAAAAT?!?!?!

 

Thank you so so much to all our friends and family that made today so very special for miss Karis Brynn.

 

XO Ashley

 

 

 

 

 

Girls only! (and daddy)

March 29, 2017

Our little family recently moved which means lots of new decorating for me! My favorite!! Although this room rarely actually looks like this (Karis is a flipping tornado!!) I wanted to give you a little play room tour! A place to make all the messes, imagine, create, and make memories!

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Click the photos below for all the details on where to purchase!!

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AND the dress up closet handmade by my dad, because I KNOW you all will ask!

 

XO Ashley

My little bookworms.

December 30, 2016

Books books books. Karis loves books! SO, when I discovered Lillypost, a monthly subscription of books, I had to try it!

Here’s how Lillypost works!

  1. Choose Board Book or Picture Book Box.  Depending on your little ones age.
  2. Choose the length of your subscription.  Want to just try it out for a month?? Not a problem.  BUT you know your kiddos are going to love it so might as well go for the full year! DUH!
  3. Receive your box of books, open and enjoy!!

It’s just that easy!

It gets even better though, not only does your little get new books each month, they get individually wrapped books! Each book is wrapped like a little present in the cutest box! Karis absolutely loved opening each book and then of course had to read each one, over and over again.  Please, do yourself a favor and go check out this super fun subscription here and Canada, we totally have your back! You can get your subscription here!

Dont forget to use coupon code ASHLEYNOEL
Get 10% off any 3, 6, or 12 month subscription using the coupon code at checkout.
(Can only be used towards first time purchases.)

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XO Ashley