Category - Pregnancy

Picture Perfect: A Review of Hogan Imaging Photography

Miss A Lil C

Miss A and Lil C both celebrate their birthdays in the Spring, which sometimes makes it a little crazy planning birthday parties, but is awesome for the annual kid pictures we have taken. We like to document the girls as they get older and love changing out the pictures from one year to the next and can really see how much they’ve grown. {Bittersweet}.

This year we were lucky enough to work with Jennifer Hogan, owner of Hogan Imaging. She’s not only a professional, but a mom too, and because of that, and her experience photographing a wide variety of ages, I knew we’d be in good hands. And that we were. We met Jennifer at a local park to get some fun outdoor pictures of the girls. The weather was great, the girls were in a good mood {yes I did keep filling them up with Goldfish and promising ice cream}, and Jennifer was very chill and calculated at the same time.

From the very first photoshoot with Miss A to this session I have calmed down a lot, and tried not to worry about getting “the perfect shot”. But even so Jennifer’s demeanor and how she handled the girls put me at ease even more. After a fun day I was excited to see how the pictures turned out, and I can tell you they were amazing….but honestly I’d rather just show you.

Here are a few of my personal favorites from our shoot:

 Miss A Lil C

Miss A Spring 12

Lil C

B girls

 

Amazing! I wish I could show you all of them. Jennifer has a great portfolio that can be found on her website: http://hoganimaging.com/ and if you’re in the Charlotte area I highly recommend her work. Also be sure to like her page on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/HoganImaging1

 

Hogan Imaging Logo

I received complimentary services to give my honest opinions about Hogan Imaging, the words expressed in my post are my own, honest opinions. Yours may vary. 

 

How We Picked a Name for Our Baby

Baby Name

Choosing a name for baby is one of the toughest choices you’ll have to make as a parent, it’s right up there with figuring out the color of the nursery, and who you want to be the caregiver for baby. 

For DaddyB and me, we had a boy name chosen from the start {go figure we are girl parents}, but when we found out that our first child was going to be a girl we went into name-seeking-mode.

Oddly enough, last week while cleaning out one of our closets I found an original list of names that we were thinking about naming Miss A before she was born.

On the list was Gabriella, Julia, Eisley and a few more but Olivia was the name we had our hearts set on. Being a Jennifer {in case you didn’t know my first name}, I have always been disgruntled that I had the most popular name {for a 10 year span} and that so many people around me shared my name, so many that I had to go by both my first and last name most all the time. Thus the reason I go by MommyB instead of my first name. 

During the time I was pregnant the name Olivia just seemed to become more and mom popular, and because I didn’t want Miss A to share her name with millions of other girls we decided that we would use that as her middle name. 

One day, as we started our first name search from scratch, we were looking at name cups in a cute children’s boutique and found this:

 

and automatically fell in love with the name. We still love the name and if ever by chance Miss A decides she doesn’t like it she can always go by her middle name. Seemingly, it appears that Avery is becoming more popular these days as well. I guess good names can’t be a secret for too long. 

Picking a name for baby can be a challenging task. I hope you enjoyed my story on how we chose Miss A’s name. How did you decide on your baby’s name?

Do you have a great story on how your parents decided on your name? Tell me for a chance to win a year’s supply of cards from Cardstore.com! 

Cardstore.com has expanded their offering of birth announcements! Everyone that replies will get a coupon code for 10 free cards for every 10 birth announcements purchased!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cardstore. The opinions and text are all mine. Official Sweepstakes Rules.

Unique Baby Shower Gift Ideas

If you’re stopping by after seeing me on CBS-Charlotte this morning welcome!!! Hope you enjoyed my segment. Here’s some additional information on products that were featured. If you’re a regular reader I love you just the same!

As a product reviewer and a blogger who gives parenting tips and tricks I’ve seen a LOT of baby shower gifts, the good, the bad, and the ugly {to remain nameless}. Although I adore cute onesies and giving practical gifts like diapers I really enjoy when I can fit a shower gift to the parents and get them something unique and that I know for certain won’t be a duplicate or most likely even on their registry.

Here are a few baby shower gifts for expecting parents you may know:

For the Organized Parents: Check out the Baby Briefcase, great for storing important documents, photos, medical records and more in one great location. The sturdy plastic case keeps out dust and moisture and fits right into your filing cabinet. It’s carrying handle also makes it easy to transport from your home office to doctor’s appointments too. The Baby Briefcase retails for $29.95 and can be found on their website: http://www.babybriefcase.com/

baby briefcase

For the Outdoorsy Parents: The Peekaroo Ozone is an amazing way to keep baby hidden from extreme elements. This product shields baby from 95% of UVA and UVB rays. Not only is the Peekaroo Ozone adjustable to baby’s size {up to 2 years old}, it also adapts to a baby carrier cover, stroller cover, and attaches onto a baby carseat with ease. To protect baby’s delicate skin and still smell the fresh air, check out the Peekaroo Ozone on their site {it’s currently on sale for $34}: https://www.togetherbe.com/peekaru-ozone-2

PeekaruOzoneMainImageBrown

For the Traveling Parents:  Baby B’air {pronounced baby bear}, is for you! This product is great for keeping baby close and on your lap while in flight, but most importantly it is the first and only FAA Approved Flight Vest. The Baby B’air comes in infant size and up and is very easy to use. This product allows your child to play, nap, and nurse while in flight which proves for a happier, safer child all-around. At $34.95 it’s a great price for a shower gift. More details here: http://babybair.com/

Baby B'air

For the On-the-Go Parents: This multipurpose GoGo Babyz Sidekick Bliss Diaper Bag offers more than meets the eye! This diaper bag also serves as a baby carrier, has a handy insulated snack bag, and changing pad. Not to mention that the side pockets and interior and exterior pockets are awesome. For a diaper bag this is on the smaller side, but personally I love the fact that it does so many jobs and I don’t have to carry the baby carrier with me in addition to a diaper bag. You can carry a child up to 35lbs safely using the Sidekick Bliss, I think it’s pretty cool. {And Dads won’t mind carrying it either since it’s not girlie at all.} This is definitely a larger ticket item but if you’re up for splurging a little or going in on this gift with a few other friends it’s a steal for $120. Find it and a few other styles on their website: http://www.gogobabyz.com

Sidekick Bliss

Do you have any unique baby shower gift ideas?? I’d love to hear them!!

Count Me Healthy Bracelets

This just in…”Mommy Brain” is now the largest pandemic in new and seasoned mothers. Symptoms have been known to elevate with addition of children, multiples, lack of sleep, eating any sort of food, leaving the home, or breathing air. Infected mothers may experience loss of brain function. EG: forgetting your conversation mid-sentence, placing non-food items in your refrigerator, looking for your phone when you are ON the phone, forgetting where you dropped the kids off, remembering to thaw dinner, and basically while doing anything in life.

Okay, maybe I got a little carried away, but only a little. I know for me, mommy brain or basically just being busy and having my mind pulled in a million different directions really effects my memory. Because my proverbial plate is pretty full I keep 3 calendars, have a white-board to-do list, purchase birthday cards and gifts in mass amounts, and try to stay proactive, but even with all my efforts to stay on top of the pile there are still things I forget. Personally I hate feeling like the flaky mom, but moreover there are the important things I have missed/forgotten which really eat me up.

One product I recently heard about that will contribute to thwarting the “mommy brain epidemic” are these really cute bracelets called, Count Me Healthy Jewelry.

Count Me Healthy Bracelet

I received a bracelet to try out and was so excited about the concept. Basically, you use the metal balls to count anything like how many cups of water you drink in a day, or to keep track of eating your vegetables. Each bracelet comes with 12 small movable balls, although my bracelet the balls were a little hard to move, but this did make them stay put once I got them to where they should be. I like that the Count Me Healthy bracelets are adjustable to fit any wrist size and that they offer different metals and styles if you’re looking for a gift for a woman who’s not a mom too. I encourage you to check out their website and shop here for a nice treat for yourself or a great gift to help a special woman defend herself against the effects of “Mommy Brain”!!  http://www.countmehealthyjewelry.com

What products or tricks do you use to combat “Mommy Brain”? {Personally, I’d love some tips!!}

I received my very own Count Me Healthy Mommy and Me bracelet in order to give you my honest opinions of the product. This post contains my original words, witty humor, and a little bit of sass, and it’s all mine. Your thoughts and opinions of this product may vary, but I’ll still love you if they do.

Life is So Good and So Sweet

So good So sweet

Before I became a mom of two I had almost 3 great years with one of my best buddies, Little Miss A. She was my world, and I was hers (and DaddyB too). Being able to be a stay-at-home mom meant we spent all day together, enjoyed time shopping, played with friends, and got lots of time for snuggles and cuddles, just the two of us. Hubby and I were excited to introduce a new little one to our family, yet at the same time I was nervous how that would work. Would I love the baby as much, would I love Miss A less, would Miss A love the baby?! I am a worrier by nature, although I’m working on it, and had so many thoughts like this constantly running through my head. I had only been away from Miss A one full night in her entire life, so when I was in the hospital, after Baby C arrived, I was missing my big girl tons and so excited to see her and for her to meet her sister. {We had done several things to get her excited to become a big sister.} When I saw this:

So good So sweet

I was pleasantly surprised and knew life was going to be alright, in fact, I knew that life was going to be amazing. Seeing my girls, together as they grow, loving each other, and playing with each other melts my heart.

 

 

 

It is definitely a, “So Good, So Sweet” moment in my life that will never get old. I love celebrating the little things in life.

Because KFC is a family-friendly restaurant, they too want to help share and savor those little celebrations in life. For a limited time, get a free Double Chocolate Chip Cake with the purchase of a 10-piece meal or larger. Try a great dessert with a great meal with one of our famous secret recipes, like Colonel Sanders’ famous Original Recipe®. What will you celebrate today? (Prices & participation may vary.)

 

Win one of five great prizes, such as chef services, house cleaning, Flip Video UltraHDcamera and more from KFC! Vote for my sweet unexpected moment below! You can vote once per day, check out mine and other sweet moments at www.sogoodsosweet.com!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of KFC. The opinions and text are all mine. Official Sweepstakes Rules

Creative Ways to Reveal Baby’s Gender

Boy or Girl Gender

Boy or Girl GenderThese days there are so many creative ways to make 9 months of pregnancy fun, even through morning sickness, swollen ankles, and stretch marks.

People are really going all out when it comes to announcing their pregnancy, sharing the baby’s name with friends and family, and especially announcing baby’s gender. Here are a few fun ideas on how to share your baby’s gender with friends and family that you may not have thought of yet.

If you yourself want to be surprised by baby’s gender, make sure you have your ultrasound tech write down the gender in a sealed envelope for your accomplice that is helping you reveal the gender.

Whether you decide to host an elaborate, big party, or just invite a few people over for an intimate evening it’s a celebration that you’ll want to catch on camera and video, so make sure someone you know is able to capture the moments and expressions on yours and your guests faces.

Sweet Surprises – Have your favorite baker frost the inside of your cake with pink for a girl and blue for a boy. The surprise comes with the first cut of the cake, and as a bonus everyone gets to enjoy a delicious dessert. If you’re looking for recommendations of bakers who do a great job at this in the Charlotte area email me.

Heavenly Helium – There’s just something about balloons that yell celebration. Recently I went to a gender reveal of my good friend {and Realtor} Kristi, who chose a balloon gender reveal. Kristi lost her mother to cancer not long ago, so this reveal was appropriate as the balloons came out of the box and floated up to heaven. The presence of Kristi’s mom was there as she found out that she too would have a daughter and be able to share those memories with her own little girl. It was an amazing and emotional moment, can you tell??!?! Congrats again Kristi and Z!!!!

Gender Reveal Balloons

Thank you heathermarie-photography.com for this photo

The Shirt Says it All – If you want to be discrete let your clothing speak for you. There are shirts and clothing for expecting moms and dads, and even older soon-to-be siblings that will let you tell the world the gender of baby on the way. Or if you really want to get creative you can make your own. DaddyB and I used this method when we wanted to reveal to our family and friends that we were expecting again, it was pretty awesome and Miss A’s shirt was pink, even before we knew we were having a girl, or maybe we subconsciously knew. 🙂

Gender Reveal Sibling Shirt

Isn't Miss A cute!! {Age 26 months}

Give a Gender Gift – It’s always fun to open presents right? How much more fun would it be to open a gift in anticipation of finding out the gender of a new baby. There are several ways to do this, the obvious would be wrapping something that is pink or blue and giving it to those attending your gender reveal party. Which is fun and does the trick. Here are an original idea I came up with that is more involved but just as fun, {if not more}.

You know those Photo Viewer Key Chains you get from theme parks? You can purchase them from most printers, those pictured here are from our friends at The Dustan Group.  Use a gender neutral color, write your last name, gender reveal and “It’s a…” on the outside of the photo viewer and get creative. You can take some couples photos and put the gender on the photo or just make a fun text image with the color/or words, “girl” or “boy.”  It’s a great souvenir of the day and a nostalgic item for when that child is older.

Photo viewer key chain

Thanks to The Dunstan Group LLC for this image

 

So no matter how you choose to share the gender of your unborn baby enjoy the all the little moments in pregnancy and those that follow. They go by so fast and you can never get those moments back, have fun, and congrats!!

What ideas have you used or seen for Gender Reveal Parties?

An Introduction to Paper Snaps Products

Paper Snaps Address Label

As parents, especially those of us who stay at home with little ones, often do everything and share everything with our kiddos, even going to the bathroom. Since it’s very seldom that we have our “own” things, once and a while it’s nice for me to have things that reflect just me as a person.

We have really fun family address labels, but sometimes I send mail to my readers, people I work with, and just want to have my own, professional, address labels for those specific items. Because Paper Snaps has a sophisticated line of products to choose from I had a hard time choosing just one, but ended up with the Contemporary Colorblock Address Labels, clean, but pretty.

Here’s an example:

Paper Snaps Address Label

Paper Snaps is awesome because their designs are classy, fun, and pretty, what more could I ask for?!?

I heart Paper Snaps’ contemporary look, and while they do have some really great stuff for just me, they also have great lines that cover lots of different needs from, “Save the Date” cards, to kids birthday invitations, baby announcement magnets, and more. Here’s a collage of some of my personal favorites from Paper Snaps.

Paper Snaps Collage

 

I encourage you to check them out too, here’s a handy-dandy list of their social sites for you to peruse:

What’s one thing that you make sure is “all yours”? 

Do you have a favorite Paper Snaps product yet??

Paper Snaps Logo I received complimentary products from Paper Snaps in order to give you my honest opinions about their products. The opinions expressed in the post above are my own thoughts and words, yours may vary.

2 Chix Chicklet Line – Clothing for Kids

Chicklet Ice Cream Shirt

2 Chix

Now you may be familiar with 2 chix from your own experience or from one of my first ever posts here: http://www.mommybknowsbest.com/2-chix/. They are known as a fun line of maternity shirts made mostly for moms, but some for dads too. Well, recently I found out that they not only carry bump-themed gear, but they also carry kids clothing, and it’s just as cute as their other lines.

Of course I had to try them out, especially after I saw that they had this bee shirt:

Queen Bee 2 chix

I am, afterall, MommyB and have a whole bee family on my site. I thought it was appropriate, and the girls loved it, especially Miss A because she goofs around sometimes calling me, “MommyB”.

We also got to try out their “Suh-weet” t-shirt which was a white fabric, and the girls honestly looked adorable in both. The first thing I noticed after I received the shirts was the amazing shirt quality. The fabric was thick and soft too. So many of the kids clothing stores today offer cheap prices but the fabrics are so thin you have to layer so they’re not see-through, or they just don’t hold up. Having two girls, namely Baby C who’ll inevitably end up with hand-me-downs, I have to make sure that their clothes can survive the daily wear-and-tear.

When I saw the fun designs were, “velvety accents”, I must admit I was really skeptical that these t-shirt adornments would soon be ripped off by my washer and dryer. Much to my surprise, {and delight}, the shirts have held up wash after wash. No pilling, the bee and ice cream cone have stayed put, and the shirts have kept their size too.

The shirts are a little pricey for what I would normally buy the girls at $32.00 a shirt, but with the way it holds up and the fun velvet accents as opposed to normal print, I could definitely see this being a decent purchase, especially if it’s going to be handed down to one or more child in the future. Weird to call a shirt, “an investment”, but that is exactly what came to mind.

My one disappointment in 2 Chix Chicklets line: they only make them in size 2T-5 and 2T-6 in organics. I don’t dress the girls identical a lot, but once and a while is cute, {in my opinion}. What’s your opinion? Cute or not???

Chicklet Ice Cream Shirt

Check out 2 chix Chicklet line here: http://www.2chix.com/products/toddler__kids_tees/index.asp and don’t forget they also have maternity clothes for moms and fun shirts for dads, not to mention cute onesies for the wee babes too. Check them out on Facebook too: http://www.facebook.com/2chixMaternity

What is your favorite 2 Chix Chicklet shirt design?

Be Nice Review

Be Nice ReviewI find it so hard to get my 64 ounces of water especially now that the cold weather is here. I’m just not interested in H2O even though I know it’s good for me and this little baby that’s growing inside me. Well, I found a product that makes getting my daily requirement of water much easier. Be Nice Prenatal packets are not only a more flavorful way to enjoy your water, but they also include essential vitamins and DHA. You can drink Be Nice before, during, and after your pregnancy to get the benefits of this all natural product. Read More

The Prenatal Picture Review

The Prenatal Picture ReviewEver wonder what your unborn baby will look like? Who’s nose he’ll have or if she’ll have a head full of hair? With today’s amazing 3d/4d technology you can find all these things and more out about your little one.  Coming from a time where mothers had to sense the gender of their baby and find out only on their labor day going to being able to see the most intricate details of their child’s fingers and toes and watch their baby suck their thumb in utero. What amazing progress we’ve made!

The Prenatal Picture allowed me and my family, DaddyB, and Little Miss A, the opportunity to take a peak at Baby Girl C and we were in awe. We confirmed that Baby Girl is indeed a baby and a girl, but even more than that we got to see her yawn, open her eyes, and mostly hide from us using her hands AND her feet. Read More