Diaper Bag Must-Haves

In my experience, I have found that parenting is all about the 4 P’s.  You  must:: Be positive. Be patient. Be persistent. And most importantly… be PREPARED. Mama’s… you know you’ve been there before.  When your adorable, sweet little babe decides to unload during the most unexpected time.  A time you will, undoubtedly, be diaperless. Not a fun place to be, but it happens, and trust me, it will. This is my 3rd time around at this whole mama gig, so I’d like to think that I’m somewhat of an expert.  Ha! Totally joking. Of course not a single one of my babies like, do, act, or seem as if they are even related {minus the blue eyes}. So every child of mine has been a whole new rodeo! Some days I feel as if I’m barely hangin’ onto the reigns. And others, I know I’ve got this. Since I am writing an entry to my mama friends who will most likely TAKE this advice, I will confidently say that today is one of those “I’ve got this” days, and boy do I feel like the pro! Please read + trust:)

So let me reiterate: Be Prepared!!  A well-stocked diaper bag can seriously save the day! Here are my diaper bag must-haves… stripped down to the bare necessities. I’m also going to keep this list for bags <1 year of age, breast and / or bottle fed. Feel free to comment below and share what items you won’t leave home without!

THE BAG:  Lily Jade Bags are my Go-To. Having a newborn requires you to have a bomb-diggity bag. { def just showed my age, didn’t I. Ha! } Anyway. Their super stylish + functional bags don’t scream “diaper bag” AND will last well beyond the baby days. Note:The Madeline + The Elizabeth are my favorite styles to date.  Not only are they both stunning, they also easily convert to a messenger or a backpack in seconds. Mega plus!

DIAPERS: I definitely try to use The Honest Co diapers, however, full disclosure: AJ’s lower half does NOT conform, so when using them, I toss a ton of onesies, and wash a lot of sheets. I wish they fit him better.

WIPES

BURP CLOTH / BABY BLANKET

CHANGE OF CLOTHES

BABY WRAP { I am a huge fan of Modern Wrap’s.  They are 4ft shorter than other wraps, and they also use a nice, light fabric! Use code RENEE15 for 15% off at www.modernwrap.com }

BOOB PADS { if you’re nursing. Because leaking through your gray tee in the grocery store is pretty embarrassing }

YOUR BOOBS:) OR BOTTLE FEEDING ESSENTIALS

POOPIE BAGS

BINKY { more than one }

BABY BALM

NURSING COVER

MY FAVE LIP BALMCONCEALER

SUNSCREEN STICK

RED PEPPER SPRAY *optional { ‘Cause ya just never know! But be sure it has a good lock  }

MOM SNACKS!! Especially if you’re nursing! chocolatepretzels, trail-mix, homemade lactation cookies, banana, etc. }

Okay so there you have it! The above is what I choose to carry in my bag.  It’s what works for me + my boys. Feel free to add to or remove items from the list above. I highly recommend keeping it packed on the lighter side, but you do not want to be stranded! So less is more, but not enough is the pits! So find your balance and roll with it. 

xRenée

{ traveling w: baby soon? Check out my Travel Tips + Diaper Bag Pack List post! }

Boudoir Bucket List {ooh-la-la} || Photographer Tessa Tadlock Q+A

A few months ago, I decided it was the right time for me to put on my big girl pants {or panties} + find the courage in myself to bare a little bit for the boudoir shoot I had dreamed of doing for almost a decade! For years, I came up w:: excuses as to why I couldn’t.  I hadn’t hit my goal weight, I was too busy, I’m too old, It’s winter and I’m too pale…blah.  You name it, I thought it.  After I had Jax {01/2015} I crushed it hard.  I ran, I walked, I lifted, I dieted… I was maybe 7 lbs from my pre-babe weight when we found out I was growing another human in my belly! Beyond thrilled, and never again thought about the weight or the number. Fast forward a few months + voilà! Photographer Tessa Tadlock turned me into a boudoir babe for a day that left a feeling in my heart + soul that’ll last a lifetime.

So no joke. I totally showed up to the shoot swimming in my hubby’s sweatpants + of course, rockin’ a mum bun {Tessa can vouch}. I mean, ladies, you get me. Yoga pants, a clean{ish} shirt, zero makeup, smell a little like spit up… Sound ’bout right? Mom life. As glamorous + incredible + crazy as that life may be, it doesn’t define us. We’re also women, we’re strong, we’re beautiful. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not for one second minimizing the privilege of being a mother. It truly is such a blessing. I’m just saying, it’s ok to be more than mom.

I needed this. This shoot was originally a Valentine’s Day gift for the hubbs, but once I got there + we got knee deep in hair and makeup, I realized this was for me, too. Yes I’m a 34 year old mom, a loving wife, but I’m also me. It’s certainly not something I’ve forgotten or needed reminding of, but I do think it’s important for us women, every now + again, to do something for ourselves that makes us feel “me” again. Makes us feel a little more confident in who we are. Makes us feel beautiful! Strong + Empowered! More than enough! More than “mom”:)

So I started thinking…. I wonder if there are other women out there who feel the same way I did.  Thankfully, my freakishly talented photographer, Tessa Tadlock, made some time to sit down w:: me to answer a few Q’s I think just might clear up any fears or doubts you may have regarding boudoir.  Here we go::

 

 

Tessa! Tell us a little about you, your experience, + why you started shooting boudoir?
I’m Tessa Tadlock! I’m a crazy passionate photographer based in Seattle! I also make tons of trips to California & love to travel! I’m full of energy, I’m adventurous & I love connecting with people!  I fell in love with boudoir when I realized it changes women’s perspective of their own body! Getting to show my clients how beautiful and amazing they are in the body they’re in right here and now and getting away from comparing themselves to others and instead appreciate all they got goin on is what it’s all about!!
Why should someone have boudoir photos taken?
To celebrate yourself & how amazing your body is! Think about all your body has done for you, whether it’s gotten you to the top of that hike, it’s overcome cancer or its given you incredible children! Every single woman’s body is beautiful and deserves to be celebrated! Life gets soooo busy, boudoir can help you focus on YOU for once!
What are some of the most common occasions you hear of when your clients book boudoir with you? 
A lot of my clients come in wanting to create something for their man to cherish & obsess over, and they usually end up falling in love with their session themselves as well! Also women who don’t take enough time to appreciate how strong, resilient and beautiful they are, are often interested in boudoir sessions to give themselves a reminder of their incredible worth! And don’t ever think that having fun and feeling glam isn’t a good enough reason to book a boudoir sesh!
How do you handle shy / self-conscious clients? What do you/they do to make themselves feel more comfortable?
If you feel like you are too shy or too self-conscious to book a boudoir shoot lemme let you in on a little secret, every client of mine comes in feeling that way on some level! No one feels 100% comfortable and amazing about themselves all the time, which is exactly why you should do a boudoir session, to fall a little more in love with your gorgeous self! Also! I guide and direct my clients every step of the way! Clients never have to worry about looking awkward, or what to do with their hands, I am always there telling you exactly how to pose from head to toe! Also alsoooo, booking with a friend and making the experience into a girls day is always a ton of fun and can make it even less intimidating! And for some a mimosa or two doesn’t hurt either!
What should one wear/bring to a boudoir shoot? 
Whatever makes you feel your best!! My clients wear lingerie most often, if you’re looking for some gorgeous sets, Asos.com is one of my fav lingerie shops! Another super popular option is bringing in your man’s clothes – his button up, or his white t can easily be made into a super sexy outfit for you! Renee pulled off this look crazy well in our session!!
If someone is on the fence about boudoir, what would you tell them about the experience? 
You’ll never forget this experience!! You will feel so pampered, glam and special and finally get a glimpse at seeing yourself the way everyone else around you does!
What are some of the greatest responses you’ve heard from past clients once seeing their final photos?
Renee’s reaction to her photos perfectly sums up exactly why I love what I do. Hearing that she came in thinking this was all her for hubbs but left realizing this was for her too & that she found a little piece of herself that’s been missing for a long time is exactly what I am to give to my clients! I have also loved watching clients eyes light up as they see their photos and start to view themselves in a different light. Having clients tell me they feel beautiful and confident in their own skin after viewing their photos is the best compliment ever!
Any advice you can share that’ll help one make the most of a boudoir shoot? 
You’re allowed to come to me nervous and insecure as long as you’re willing and open to leave feeling empowered and beautiful!

 

How do clients typically display their images? 

Most of my clients come in thinking they just want digital images, but I realized my clients also want to leave with tangible memories that will last a lifetime! I so believe in not only having digital images that too often get lost in the depths of computers and never really valued or seen as often as they should be I also offer luxury products!

I offer gorgeous lay flat albums that are the most beautiful way to showcase and reminisce on your boudoir session!  Another beautiful way to display your images is with my heirloom boxes that I offer in wood and glass! They include a 4×6 print of every final image from your session! Lastly, I offer wall art which includes canvases, metal prints and matted prints that you or your man can enjoy viewing and being an everyday reminder of how beautiful you are!

 

How would someone book with you?

This is when I feel obsessed with my own name ; )

website: tessatadlock.com

Exclusive boudoir FB group: Tessa Tadlock | boudoir 

IG: tessa tadlock

email: tessa.tadlock@gmail.com

Maynard MAUI Getaway || Westin Ka'Anapali Ocean Resort {Villas}

Aloha!

You guys – I cannot even begin to tell you how amazing our family vacation to Westin Ka’Anapali Ocean Resort {Villas} was.  It’s been the trip we talk about almost every night at dinner.  The one we keep circling back to when discussing our next family adventure! Spring break maybe? Man we have got the Maui bug bad!

Back in January, Bracy + I decided NOW was the perfect time to take a vacation.  With a new baby on the way, Jax approaching those incredibly challenging toddler days, and Ben, who’s schedule is completely booked solid w:: school, sports, guitar lessons, friends, etc – we sort of knew time was of the essence when peeking ahead at the vacay cal.  With that said, less than 2 days later, we had booked our last minute trip to Maui!

Where we stayed: Westin Ka’Anapali Ocean Resort {Villas}

(aka heaven. aka the place we will forever choose to stay when visiting Maui) Guys.  It’s safe to say the Westin Ka’Anapali Ocean Resort Villas is by far and without a doubt the most incredible place I’ve ever stayed.  Ever. And I’ve been insanely fortunate to have traveled to + stayed in some of the nicest places in the world on The Bachelor. Nothing compares. From the true Hawaiian atmosphere, to the greatest staff, from the relaxing pools to the stunning beaches, this place is beyond heavenly.

Where we ate: {bc food is very important to a pregant woman} Got hungry boys? Well, I had 3 of them w:: me on this trip.  3 boys who eat almost every 2 hours.  Thankfully, The Westin Ka’Anapali Ocean Resort Villas has 3 restaurants on the property to choose from for any + all meal times.  When not cooking breakfast in our gorgeous villa, we started off most days dining at Ocean Pool Bar + Grill, which overlooks the big slide pool. The continental breakfast buffet was literally to die for.  It had the freshest fruits, juices, and my all time fave, lox + bagels:) The coffee was better than Starbucks, the views + clean air is perfection, and the waitstaff couldn’t have been nicer.  It was a really refreshing way to start off the day.

After breakfast, we’d head out to the boardwalk for a nice long family walk along the waterfront.  The trail itself is just beautiful.  Be sure to bring your camera as you’ll probably see turtles surface + whales breech along your way {depending on the season}, and don’t forget your wallet!  On Friday’s, local artists pop-up shop along the boardwalk to sell incredibly unique Hawaiian gifts during the early-bird boardwalk art festival!  Such a fun touristy thing to do:)

Lunch daily was poolside for us.  As waitstaff circled around the pools carrying yummy frozen drinks + snacks that you could smell for miles, it was pretty hard to resist the temptation. Pailolo Pool Bar + Grill is an oceanfront  open air sports bar’s food truck style kitchen which offers an eclectic menu of local, contemporary twists on classic food truck faves! Open for lunch + dinner, and conveniently located poolside, this is one restaurant you’ll most likely be BFF’s with by the end of your stay.  Our Menu Faves:: The burger + the nachos were pretty scrumptious.

Still hungry? Well dinners at The Westin Ka’Anapali Ocean Resort Villas are beyond delish.  Hubby + I did have the chance to sneak in one romantic date night at Pulehu, an Italian Grill, during our stay. Pulehu, which is often recognized for its culinary excellence, was fantastic!  We sat at a sweet little table outside under the stars + palm trees next to the koi pond gardens. Great great great Italian food. Our menu musts:: Chicken Marsala + anything on the dessert menu!!

We also dined as a family for dinner back at Ocean Pool Bar + Grill on Wednesday night for their weekly Crab Fest event. This all you can eat buffet is a dream come true! The crab was pre-cracked + always warm, the butter was perfect, the caesar was the best ever… I cannot say enough about this dinner.  I have seriously dreamt about it since we’ve been back home. Mouth-watering never ending goodness. Note: You do need reservations for this night, so mark it down in the calendar right now!

Spa Helani
The Spa: Let’s talk about the most relaxing, rejuvenating experience of a lifetime.  I ended up living the dream with an 80 minute Polynesian Ritual Massage.  This massage was inspired by age old traditions. They used a coconut shell, white sand, sea salt and Tahitian vanilla scrub  with a relaxing massage, accompanied by sand pouches, that relax the muscles deep down, wrapping up the experience with a sacred golden Monoi oil! {Which I purchased from the spa + took home with me.  Ugh so obsessed} Seriously my skin has never felt so soft + my body has never felt better.

You guys:: whether you’re traveling with the kiddos, in love on your honeymoon, or simply flying solo, this is one place you need to hit. The Westin Ka’Anapali Ocean Resort Villas on Maui will forever be a special place for my family. A place we will go back to year after year.  A place our kids will grow up with.  If you’re ever headed to Maui, be sure to check it out:)

A big Mahalo for letting me share our Maynard Maui Getaway with you!  Feel free to scroll down to check out the rest of our pics:)

xo

Renée

Vacay w:: Baby || Travel Tips + My Diaper Bag Packing List! {Family Vacay Essentials}

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Family Vacation:: Sounds scary, doesn’t it? Well guess what!  It’s totally not! Our trip to the Westin Kā’anapali Ocean Resort Villas in Maui was beyond perfectly incredible + ahhhhh-mazing! Kids in tow + all! You guys look, I get it. Two words that you’d think realistically, don’t go happily together. Family and vacation. Well with the help from my gal pal Emily Giustiniani:: new mommy + 5 year Delta Airline Flight Attendant, together, we’ll clear up any fears or misconceptions you may have about airline travel with your rambunctious rugrats. Now I can’t speak for everyone, but I will tell you what we did right, what we did wrong, and what we’ll definitely do next time!

{THE} Diaper Bag:: Essentials For <15 month-ish old

How we packed our Lily Jade Meggan for airline travel!

Below are the items we love + brought with us! They may not be your fave + may even not be as “clean” / chem free as we’d like. We all mommy differently so please do not pass judgement:)

»Diapers {2 for every hour you’ll be in the air // 1 extra bc you know you’ll need it}

»Package of Wipes

»3 binkies + a binkie clip

»Package of Johnson’s Baby Hand + Face Wipes {these things are GREAT for travel}

»Travel Size Hand Sanitizer

»2 Bottles/Sippy Cups {in total, you will have 3}

»Water/Milk/Juice

Similac On-The-Go Powder Singles if formula fed:: We brought these and added water once we were through security {kept the bag a little lighter + it saved us some time w:TSA} We also brought 1 full bottle for the car ride TO the airport + the time AT the airport. Per TSA:: Formula, breast milk and juice for infants or toddlers are permitted through the security checkpoint. Separate formula, breast milk and juice from other liquids, gels and aerosols limited to 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters. Inform the TSA officer at the beginning of the screening process that you carry formula, breast milk and juice in excess of 3.4 ounces in your carry-on bag.These liquids are then screened separately.

»Age Appropriate Snacks {packed in plastic baggies}

»Munchkin LockFood Pouch Spoons! These will come in handy if bringing pouches!

»2 burp cloths / 1 light blanket

»2 large Ziploc baggies {for dirty diapers or wet clothes}

»1 Full Change of Clothes Rolled Up

»Teethers {if needed}

»Medications {whatever your child will need, bring it.  In addition, we chose to carry Tylenol + Children’s Benadryl {in case of emergency}

»Changing Pad {comes w:: your Lily Jade}

»Baby Carrier / ERGObaby

{You will use this for takeoff / landing, and pretty much the entire flight during your walk-a-thon up and down the aisle}

Now listen to me.  Right now.  If your baby is ever going to have a meltdown like no other, it’s going to happen on your flight, and you know what, IT’S OKAY! It’s okay. Say it with me.  IT. IS. OKAY.

Babies cry, it’s what they do.  You’re still a wonderful mommy, in fact, you’re the best mommy! So if your LO decides to scream for hours, just know that it’s not forever. Just know that paradise {or home} awaits, and tomorrow is a brand new day anyway. On our way to Hawaii, Jax {my 12 month old} didn’t make a peep.  He was a perfect little travel buddy! He ate, he napped, he ate, and he napped.  It was so easy!  Well let me tell you, the way home was polar opposite.  I’m not exaggerating the slightest when I tell you he screamed for 5 hours straight.  There I was thinking, worst case scenario, maybe he’ll cry himself to sleep.  Nope.  He was a trooper and managed to get so pissed, there were sounds coming out of him I’ve never even heard before! {I later realized he was trying to tell me he wanted to go back to Maui}.  Anyway, I’m only telling you this because here I am now, wrapping up this blog post before I start looking up flights for our next family vacation.  Was it rough? Sure.  Were we “those” parents? Absolutely!  But who cares.  The trip + the memories you will make with your family are worth every tear, every single time:)

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 Travel Tips + Tricks::

»Book aisle seats.  You will be getting up A LOT with the babe.

“Ask for help! Most of us are happy to calm a crying baby or watch a toddler while mom changes a diaper in a lav.”  -Emily w:: Delta

»Did you know that most airplanes have a changing table in one or more bathrooms?

When boarding, ask a flight attendant which ones got it!

“Dispose of diapers in the lavatory. Seat back pockets are a BIG no-no!” -Emily

»Try to feed during takeoff and landing.  It just might help your little ones ears:)

“Bring treats for your flight attendants if you have a chance. A bag of candy they can split that you can pick up from an airport store or even one time I asked the gate agents how many pilots/FAs were on board and got each of them a $5 Starbucks gift card while waiting to board. ” -Emily w:: Delta

»Bring an umbrella stroller, and gate check that bad boy. You will use your stroller on vacay! Unless you’re renting one, then in that case, don’t bother.

“Headphones are polite. If you have a bigger kid watching a movie on an iPad, the sleeping business traveler near you might not want to listen to Shrek. And Frozen. And the Lego Movie.” -Emily w:: Delta

»You do get to pre-board if you travel with your little ones! Perk!

“Speak up! Make sure if your child has a peanut allergy to try and let them know when you’re booking your ticket. Many airlines still serve them and are happy to go peanut-less during your flight if you let them know. If there’s a severe allergy in your family, carry a prescribed epi pen. Just because your flight might not have peanuts doesn’t mean the person who last shared your seat didn’t nom on trail mix.” -Emily w:: Delta

»If your baby drinks milk, bring your own.  Do not trust the catered flight milk for LO.

“Many families are messy. It’s the nature of the beast! Feel free to ask your attendant for an extra trash bag so you can dispose of all the stuff you need during your flight and then pass it to them at the end.” -Emily w:: Delta

»Don’t introduce any new foods/drinks to your baby right before or during your flight.

“Pay attention to your closest exits, safety demo, etc. In the unlikely event of an emergency, you’ll be glad you paid attention! If you have a child big enough to understand, go over some of these simple things with them. Like how to buckle and unbuckle your belt, where the closet door is, and how to put on a mask. Even ask an attendant to show you!” – Emily w:: Delta

That’s a wrap! If you have any questions at all or would like to add a tip of your own, feel free to comment below! Good luck + happy travels:)

Renée

UP NEXT!

You guys! Be sure to check back next week as I breakdown our EPIC trip to the Westin Kā’anapali Ocean Resort Villas in Maui – you will not want to miss this one!

*Advertising Disclosure:Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Beachy Mermaid Hair Tutorial

Messy beachy mermaid hair is the totally in, perfectly imperfect look right now. And who really cares if it’s the “in” look anyway… right? So in this video, I’ll be showing you how I get that post beach day look everyday! It’s super simple + you’ve gatta move quick. Let’s get real. Who has time to sit infront of the mirror for 45 minutes each morning? I don’t! So let’s go! Check out my {Mermaid} Beachy Wave Hair Tutorial. Sorry it’s a little long + the music is a bit choppy but you get the point:) Feel free to comment below with any questions you may have!

​​
​​PROCESS:

Step 1:: Dirty Hair

Step 2: Saturate Hair with Dry Shampoo

Step 3:: Pull top half of hair up + clip

Step 4:: Starting with the front piece, wind hair away from your face.  Hold.  I can keep my wand on for 10-15 seconds but you need to test your wand, your heat, your hair. See what temp your hair can take and for how long.  Start low and for shorter amounts of time.

Step 5:: 2nd curl will go towards your face

Step 6:: Continue alternating all the way around your head

TOP
Step 7:: Longer bangs will go away from your face, keeping the curl low + pulling in a downward motion at a 45 degree angle. Be careful not to burn yourself

Step 8:: 2nd curl, towards your face

Step 9:: Continue to alternate all the way around your head

Step 10:: Flip head over + spray with dry shampoo!

Let me know how it turns out! xo

xo
Renée

Products used::
www.bombayhair.com
Use code RENEE25 for 25% off all wands

TRESemmé Volumizing Dry Shampoo
http://rstyle.me/n/bg989sbirrf

Faux Feather Necklace:: www.jaxbee.com