REVOLVE FALL FAVORITES

(This post contains affiliate links. Purchasing through these links may earn me a percentage of commission. I thank you in advance for supporting my hobby!)

Fall is officially here! I’m patiently awaiting some much needed cooler temperatures here in East Texas. With the changing of seasons come different weather and occasions to dress for. I love shopping at online retailer Revolve because they have FREE SHIPPING and RETURNS plus their customer service is top notch! I’m so excited to share some of my favorite looks for fall from them!

Fall Wedding Guest Looks

The perfect Little Black Dress for a wedding or other cocktail event! This mini dress by superdown has great stretch to it and the thicker fabric provides a flattering silhouette. I love the choker style neck paired with the asymmetrical hem on bottom. I got so many when I wore it recently to a wedding and wore a size XS.

This stunning gown is perfect for a formal or black tie wedding. The fabric is truly butter soft and stretchy! I love the dramatic one shoulder look. It has the right amount of slit to be sexy while still being classy! The ruching on the front bodice is also a nice detail. I think it would look gorgeous paired with these earrings. I’m wearing an XS in this maxi and cannot wait to wear it to a wedding this weekend!

Shop all my favorite wedding guest looks here!

Casual Fall Looks

This sweater dress by Lovers + Friends is giving me all the Gossip Girl vibes! It comes in black and pink. The gorgeous detailed buttons and belt are adorable! This would look so cute with tights and knee high boots for cooler weather. I’m wearing an XS in this dress and cannot wait to get a lot of wear out of this all fall long!

I’ve been eyeing this off the shoulder crop top by superdown for awhile now! I feel like this can easily go from season to season by pairing with the right bottoms and jacket in color weather. I dressed it down here with a pair of sneakers and black denim jeans.

I got SO many compliments when I wore this girlie off the shoulder top by Tularosa to a girl’s night dinner! I paired it with denim shorts but it also looks great with pants or could go with a pair of faux leather shorts as well. I love all the ruffles and adorable tie details!

This classic LPA sweater dress comes in four colors including light blue, lime green, dark blue and ivory. The button detail throughout the front allows you to create a slit and play with the level of the neckline. The dress could easily be paired with booties or sneakers for a more casual look!

Let me know if you have any questions about my favorite looks in the comments or if you have one you’ll be adding to the cart! Shop all my current favorites from Revolve here.

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2022

It’s here: The 2022 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale! I know people tend to have a love-hate relationship with this sale but I’ve been shopping it for a decade and always end up with some great items at a discount. There are plenty of guides out there showcasing tons of items from all categories but I wanted to share my personal favorites I’ve purchased before or will purchase.

When Can I Shop?

Cardholders are able to shop before the general public. I would never tell anyone to get a credit card just for this sale. You can still shop the sale but some items might be sold out by the time you are eligible. Here are the specific dates for when each tier can shop:

  • July 6: Early Access for cardmembers with Icon status.
  • July 7: Early Access for cardmembers with Ambassador status.
  • July 9: Early Access for cardmembers with Influencer status.
  • July 15: Anniversary Sale opens to the general public.

Women’s Shoes

One of the best buys during this sale is always the shoes! Get ahead on fall/winter trends and grab a pair or two discounted. This upcoming season is all about chunky sneakers and Western style boots.

Sam Edelman Mules

I love the chunky style of these! I feel like they’d go with everything.

Steve Madden Pointed Toe Mule

These sassy slides come in six colors and will carry you from one season to the next!

Steve Madden Holley Chelsea Boot

These are at the top of my personal wishlist! I love the sand suede color.

Free People New Frontier Chelsea Boot

If you don’t have a pair of white booties yet, run! They go with everything and I am always reaching for mine.

Steve Madden Tall Boot

These are gorgeous! I feel like the black would go with everything.

Dolce Vida Solida Boot

If you’ve been waiting to snag a pair of white western boots this is your sign! This gorgeous pair from Dolce Vita will allow you to wear now and later as it gets cooler.

Nike Air Max Dawn Sneaker

I am drooling over these especially the pink! These are top of my wishlist for sneakers.

On Cloudswift Running Shoe

Everyone swears by these and says they are the most comfy! I don’t have a pair yet but I do have my eye on them.

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Platform Sneaker

These funky platforms are so on trend this year! I love the all white style.

Nike Free RN Shoe

These running sneakers come in 3 color combinations. They’re super flexible and breathable to keep your feet comfortable!

UGG Genuine Shearling Slipper

I’m praying I can snag a pair of these in one of the neutral colors or pink! My husband makes fun of me because I bring slippers with my everywhere. What can I say? They’re comfy!

Women’s Loungewear

My other favorite thing to buy during the sale is pajamas or loungewear. I love to be comfy but spending the regular price on a lot of these items is crazy to me!

Moonlight Eco Pajamas

I grabbed the shortsleeved and short version of these last year. I was impressed! They are so soft. This year I’m hoping to score the long-sleeved and pants version in one of the fun prints like gingham or stripes.

Honeydew Intimates Pajamas

These sets are super soft! I am loving the pink color.

Barefoot Dreams CozyChic Long Robe

I love a good cozy robe! Barefoot Dreams always does it right.

Barefoot Dreams CozyChic 2-pack Socks

I have bought these every single year of the sale! They are my favorite thing in the world. The ankle socks are new to me. I’ve purchased the tall ones in the past and live in them! They make a great gift or stocking stuffer to put up for Christmas as well.

Women’s Clothing

Topshop Polo Sweater

This style of collar will be everywhere from here on out! I’m loving the lilac shade and hope to snag one.

Ribbed Dolman Blend Sweater

This ribbed sweater is calling my name! The shade of pink is so cute and cheery.

Spanx Faux Leather Leggings

Everyone needs a good pair of Faux Leather Leggings! They are so versatile and go with everything!

Nike Cropped Sweatshirt

I have this and it’s probably my favorite sweatshirt of all time. I’m always reaching for it year round. I have the beige and it’s the perfect trendy neutral!

Barefoot Dreams Cozychic Cardigan

The coziest cardigans ever! These are one of my favorite things to buy from the sale. The neutral shades go with everything and they last forever.

Baby/Toddler

Nuna Rava Car Seat

We love our car seat and recommend it to everyone! This is the best price on them all year long. Can be used for years with your child!

Nuna Pipa Infant Car Seat

We used this car seat with our son when he was a baby and loved it. It comes with a base as well!

Doona Covertible Car Seat/Stroller

I’m hoping to purchase one of these someday for child #2 when we have one! It can be a car seat or the wheels pop out at your destination for it to become a stroller. The price is the lowest I have seen it!

Stokke Tripp Trapp

A cult favorite among moms, this high chair will grow with your babe from infancy through child hood.

UPPABABY Vista Stroller

We love our UPPABABY Stroller because it rides so smoothly. They are pricey but the sale will save you a bit!

Little Giraffe Luxe Baby Blanket

These make fabulous baby gifts! They come in so many colors and are soft.

Accessories & Home

Barefoot Dreams Blanket

I use one of these every night on top of my covers! They are a great deal during the sale. I’d personally skip the throw version because I have found them cheaper other times during the year but the blanket doesn’t go on sale any other time.

Treasure & Bond Felt Panama hat

I’ve been wanting a pink hat forever! If pink isn’t your thing there is also an ivory, beige, and black version.

Ray-Ban Gradient Sunglasses

Ray-Ban Round Sunglasses

You can’t now wrong with a pair of Ray-Bans! Both of these are a great price during the sale.

My own personal favorites from the sale that are on my list are linked in the free LTK app! I’d love to snag a pair of shoes and something cozy for cooler weather later this year. I’m in the mood for lots of pink and purple currently! I’m not able to shop until this weekend but once I am I will share what I actually purchase on my Instagram stories and reviews on all items. Do you have any questions about the sale or my picks? Leave a comment and I’ll be glad to answer!

Love,

Megan

Stocking Stuffers for Toddlers

It’a almost time for Christmas! I’m sharing stocking stuffer ideas for toddlers that can be purchased from Amazon or Target for under $20. (Affiliate link: I receive a small commission for any items purchased through links in this post! Thank you in advance!)

WATER WOW PADS (AFF Link)

Just add water for hours of fun! It keeps ink off your belongings and the mess to a minimum. These are perfect for any time but especially travel!

PLAY FISHING POLE (AFF Link)

Your little one can practice their fishing skills in the bathtub or pool! Comes with three toys to “catch.”

POPPIN’ PIPES (AFF Link)

Use them together to build or separately to make noise! They will keep your toddler engaged and their hands very busy.

PULL BACK GOLF CART (AFF Link)

This mini golf cart goes on its own once you pull it back! Such a cute and life like looking cart. Perfect for the mini golf enthusiast!

POP IT (AFF Link)

A quiet toy that is also easy portable! Pop it’s are all the rage and I can see way. It gives your fingers something to do and is relaxing to your mind.A great toy for the car!

TRAVEL DOODLE SKETCH (AFF Link)

One of our favorite “diaper bag toys” is this doodle sketch! It’s great for a quiet activity that is mess free. This could work for older children as well!

BATHTUB CRAYONS

Kick the bathtub fun up a notch with these! The crayons are bathtub friendly and wash off easily.

BATHTUB TUG BOATS

Stack these tug boats or link them for a train of boats! My son has loved these since he was a baby. They dry easily so you don’t have to worry about mold or mildew either!

MAGIC WATER BOOK

I’ve posted about this book before on my blog. It is made for water and dries easily. Each page turns colors when it gets wet!

BATHTUB LETTERS

Practice learning letters, numbers, and colors using these bathtub letters! They are made to dry throughly after being exposed to water.

TUBBY TODD HAIR + BODY WASH

So many divine smells! Our favorite is the lavender. It has natural and gentle ingredients for your toddler’s body and hair. (Get 10% off when you shop through the above link!)

TUBBY TODD BUBBLE BATH

Pick your favorite scent and enjoy the bubbles! We are currently enjoying pumpkin. (Get 10% off when you shop through the above link!)

What other holiday gift ideas do you need? Leave them below so I can help!

GIFT IDEAS FOR BABIES & TODDLERS WHO HAVE EVERYTHING

Has your baby or toddler got you stumped when people ask what to get them for a gift? I know I’m the same way! My 16 month old son is blessed with multiple grandparents, family, and friends who have gifted him toys. He had his 1st birthday in July and received many things then. We also buy him many things as well. I want to share some ideas for gifts they probably don’t have yet that are both quality and educational items that would be perfect for a Christmas or Birthday list!

LOVEVERY PLAY KITS

Lovevery offers play kits for kids ages 0-3 years. The items arrive together either every 2 or 3 months depending on the age. We have received 4 play kits now and I feel like each one gets better! They are grouped according to a specific age range and the toys are Montessori principal based. This means they’re all extremely practical and teach life skills. They are also quality made toys that can be played with for years to come and passed down to other kids. Each month includes a social story in the form of a board book. There is also always a puzzle and item(s) that work on gross motor skills. As a teacher, I love that everything is based on brain development research for the specific age of the child. I cannot recommend these play kits enough. They have free shipping and you can cancel at any time if you decide it’s not for you. This would be a great gift to suggest for a grandparent who wants to give your child something! We have gotten the babbler, pioneer, realist, and companion kits so far and they have exceeded our expectations! Click here to get 30% off with code: PLAYKITS30 #lovevery #loveverygift

BUSY BOARD

My son received this for his 1st birthday and has had a blast using it! It’s another Montessori based learning toy. It has all sorts of different manipulative items to entertain and engage children. There are features like a xylophone, push light, plug in, locks, shoe laces, and more. It is a real life applicable toy that can be used to teach skills while allowing kids to have fun doing it! We got the large one but there are smaller sizes available. We just slide it in the closet when it isn’t being used but you can also mount it low on the wall for safe use or just lay it on the floor to use!

PLAY KITCHEN SINK

This toy can be used inside or outside. The sink runs using batteries and water you fill it with. It comes with plates, cups, and utensils your child can “wash.” We typically put it on the back porch and let him go to town with it! You could also place it in your bathtub without anything else in it in the cooler months to contain the water when playing.

RADIO FLYER 3-N-1 FOLDABLE WAGON

The perfect wagon for around the neighborhood or on the go! It can support up to two people and a total of 150 pounds. It has a padded seat with seat belts to keep your little one safe at all times! There are also two cup holders for drinks. When you aren’t using it or need to transport then just fold it up!

DOONA LIKI STROLLER & TRIKE

It’s a bit of a splurge but this stroller and trike combination will grow with your child for years to come! It begins as more of a stroller with a handle for the adult, sunshade, seatbelt, and protective bar. Slowly over time it can be transformed to fit the child’s current level of independence in four separate stages through age 3. Folds and unfolds easily in seconds and can fit in the overhead bin of an airplane. We have loved ours! My son has had so much fun riding it. We will be taking it on a trip to Florida this March when we fly for my sister’s wedding!

RADIO FLYER 4’N’1 STROLL

This is a less expensive version of the Doona Trike. I don’t have personal experience with it but the reviews are great! It doesn’t completely fold up like the other trike is the only main difference I can see.

BALL PIT

Hours if fun for them–maybe less for you if the balls get strewn all around your home! My son has kept them in there more than I thought he would be we still definitely pick up our fair share of them. We only let him play with it for a period of time before putting it up which helps keep it fresh and us sane!

INDOOR/OUTDOOR SWING

We have been having fun in this for months! We hung ours outdoors but if you have a spot in your child’s room or playroom I would go for it. It’s very well made and padded with pillows. I feel very safe allowing him to swing in it and it’s been a great activity for us to do and get a little fresh air!

NUGGET COMFORT COUCH

We are giving Turner one of these for Christmas but it hasn’t arrived yet! It can be used as an actual couch for children or you can configure the cushions and pillows into different set ups. Think professional fort building! The Nugget website and Instagram has tons of ideas of how to assemble them for different activities. They do took a while to ship and won’t make it in time for Christmas but if your child has a January or February birthday now is the perfect time to buy it!

WATER TABLE

Turner loved his Water Table all summer and into fall! You can also put sand in them instead. There are toys and accessories that come with it to keep your little ones entertained! We place ours on the back porch so he is shielded from the sun and it is a great warmer weather activity.

PIKLERS TRIANGLE

This is another Montessori concept toy. You can buy one piece or all three: climbing triangle, climbing arch, and/or slide/climbing wall.

I’m going to be sharing book and stocking stuffer ideas soon for children so be on the lookout for those posts! Let me know if there are anymore ideas you’re needing for the holiday season in the comments.

Best Products for Pets

[This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.] Our dogs are still our babies even though we now have a human one! We try to take the best care of them possible. We’re always looking for better ways to do that and I’ve been using some products with my dogs I want to share with you!

Pre and Probiotic Soft Chews & Hip & Joint Biscuits from Nutri-Vet

The Pre and Probiotic Soft Chews help support digestive health by promoting healthy digestion, proper stool quality, as well as supporting the immune system. They have delicious flavors like liver and cheese. I love that all the ingredients are vegetarian and safe choice for a dog probiotic.

The Hip & Joint Biscuits are something I feel like is really important to give to my dogs since both their breeds, Labrador Retriever and Golden Retriever, are prone to hip problems. Both my dogs are aging, they are 4 and 6 years old currently. I want to make sure they feel their best when they move and keep them pain-free. These peanut butter flavored biscuits are made with glucosamine will help strengthen cartilage which helps with mobility. Plus, my dogs thing they’re pretty tasty! Both products can be found here.

Simple Solution Extreme Pet Stain and Odor Remover

The least glamorous part of being a pet owner is definitely cleaning up pet messes! My dogs sometimes get into things outside and snack on them that upset their stomachs then vomit. I try to clean it up as quickly and throughly as possible since I have a toddler who is constantly crawling around! I’ve used the Simple Solution Extreme Pet Stain and Odor Remover on my hardwood floors and rug. It does a great job of leaving it spotless and odor free! I love that I feel safe enough using it for my son to be exposed to the surfaces directly after they’ve been wiped clean and dry. It’s a great choice for any pet cleaning needs! Check it out here.

Extra Strength Chewables for Dogs and Cats from Treatibles

If you’ve ever had a Golden Retriever then you know well that they can have anxiety from time to time. Maddux, my Golden, has it quite often. I want him to feel calm and safe. That’s where the Extra Strength Chewables come in! They have 7 mg of Full Spectrum Hemp CBD that also will help with discomfort from arthritis, digestive issues and pain relief. The salmon flavor is a hit with my pups. They are also available for cats! Use code: TRTBBDOG15 and TRTBBCAT15 for 15% off the products. (Good through December 31, 2021)

Ear Relief Finger Wipes and Enzymatic Toothpaste for Dogs from Vet’s Best

Vet’s Best Relief Finger Wipes

Maddux has an ongoing problem with ear infections due to the anatomy of his ears. We have to make sure they are clean and dry constantly. These wipes allow us to make sure they are taken care of in order to avoid a dog ear infection. They’re made from natural ingredients like aloe vera, witch hazel, and tea tree oil so you know this dog cleaner will be gentle on your dog’s skin. You just rub to and then dispose when you’re done. It couldn’t be easier!

Enzymatic Toothpaste for Dogs

Both my dogs have the worst breath! We try to keep it fresh by using a dog toothpaste and toothbrush frequently. It is so important to keep track of your dog’s dental health since it can contribute to so many things. This Enzymatic Toothpaste for Dogs is formulated with natural ingredients like aloe, grapefruit seed extract, baking soda, and enzymes. Check it out here!

What kinds of products do you find helpful for your own pets? Let me know in the comments! If you have any questions about the products I’ve tried and written about on this post please ask below.

Family Halloween Costume Idea: The Greatest Showman

(As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases from the items linked in this post.) Last year my son was 3 months old and amidst COVID we wanted to dress up as a family even though we knew we wouldn’t really be going anywhere. One of our favorite movies is The Greatest Showman. I knew we could easily replicate a similar look as Zenya and Hugh Jackman’s characters in the movie. We chose to have Turner be an animal from the circus. The most coolest part of our 2020 family Halloween costume is that Zendaya actually shared our photo to our Instagram which means millions of people saw it! I still can’t believe that. Today, I’m sharing how we created each look on a budget if you are looking for a costume idea for your own family this Halloween.

My costume was all purchased from Amazon.[paid link] (Another option) [paid link] I wore a pair of white boots [paid link] I already had (two other good choices: here [paid link] and here [paid link]) and used a hula hoop [paid link] from my mom’s classroom as a ring. I’m fully aware not everyone would be comfortable in this costume but I danced for 15 years so I’m used to wearing leotards. You could always add a skirt if you prefer! The wig I had was not great quality and I would suggest something like this instead.[paid link] (One more option) [paid link] Of course you could always color your hair pink and style it as well!

My husband’s costume was partially items he already owned. The jacket [paid link] was purchased from Amazon. We borrowed the top hat [paid link] from my mom. He wore a dress shirt and pants with the jacket we purchased. He wore Jordans but dress shoes probably would have been a better choice! 

We found my son’s costume at Walmart on sale. He hated the headpiece and I’m surprised we even got a photo of him in it. Here is an affordable option [paid link] I found. You could also do other animals like an elephant, tiger, or giraffe. You can definitely go a step further and use face paint/stage make up [paid link] to match whichever animal you go with. If you have multiple children they could even each be a different animal!

I’m currently planning this year’s family costume. I’m not sure anything will top last year’s but I’m definitely going to try! What are you and your family being this year for Halloween? Leave me your ideas below in the comments!

My First Rodeo Birthday

Turner’s 1st birthday was in July and we had a “My First Rodeo” theme for his party! This theme has become very popular over the past few years so there is plenty of inspiration on Pinterest. We chose to do a pool party due to the Texas summer heat. We have quite a few kiddos within our friend group so we knew this would be the perfect option! I wore this adorable gingham number from Buddylove Clothing. Turner wore a custom smocked Jon Jon from the Smocking Mama that I will absolutely keep forever! It is beautiful and we had his one year old photos made in it as well. My husband’s outfit is all from Peter Millar.

My mom made the decor and I was her assistant. The backdrop holder is from Amazon and I bought a red roll over paper to go on it. The banner at the top was made from tied pieces of printed fabric. The balloons on either side were in a kit at Hobby Lobby. We blew them up and attached them to a holder it came with then placed them on either side. This wasn’t necessarily hard to do but it definitely takes time. It was good having two people and a hand pump. If you make your own balloon garlands just be sure to have patience and extra time.

We got cheap black frames from Dollar General and framed photos of his 1 year photoshoot and invitation. I already had quite a few various cactus and western decor items that I sprinkled throughout. We placed flowers in a pair of my cowboy boots (we a cup inside for water) and a pitcher. I purchased cactus toothpicks, vintage looking cowboy napkins both from Amazon and the gingham plates came from Target. We served Chickfila nuggets and had a large Charcuterie board from Grazing East Texas for guests to snack on.

I found many different ideas for cakes on Pinterest and sent them to Trystin Reed of Say Grace. I told her to just make it cute! She always delivers and I loved the end result. She also made his smash cake. The cake topper and candle came from Amazon.

He wasn’t quite sure what to think about all of the attention or the cake! He didn’t eat as much of it as I thought he would but it was still fun. We placed a plastic tablecloth underneath for easy clean up. The banner on his chair was made by my mom.

These delicious cookies were made by Basket Full of Goodies! I found photos and sent them over to her. She also heat sealed them individually so guests could take them home with them!

The invitations were from ETSY and I had the digital file printed at Office Depot!

The balloon garland and “1” pictured here were done by One Sweet Soiree. Overall, I feel like for a first birthday party I controlled my urge to go too far overboard pretty well. I liked how everything turned out and all the guests had a great time. I’m already dreaming of next year’s 2nd birthday party and what the theme will be!

Baby Beach Essentials

We just got home from the beach this past weekend! It was our first time taking our son. He was 10 months and actually turned 11 months while we were there. We had a great time but it is certainly different traveling with a little one. I’m sharing a few essentials that made our time at the beach much easier! *This post does contain affiliate links that a make a very small percentage of commission on if you purchase from them. This helps me pay for my domain name, WordPress subscription, etc which are all costs I have to maintain this website! :)*

Beach Tent

This is an absolute must have for me. Not an umbrella but an actual beach tent. Make sure it is one that has a bottom attached so your baby will not be directly on the sand. This is the exact one we have. I found a more affordable option here! Our tent kept him shaded which protected him from the sun and kept him cool.

Kiddie Pool

We just grabbed one once we got there but you could totally bring one with you! We placed the pool underneath the tent and killed it with fresh water. We were afraid the saltwater might irritate his skin. We only put about an inch or two of water in the pool but he was more than happy with that. It kept him cool especially one on day it was super hot with no breeze.

Stroller Fan

We used this inside the tent to circulate air. The one we have charges using a USB port. It also has 3 different settings. I take this thing everywhere and it comes in handy!

Hat + Rash guard

Keeping him protected from the UV rays at the beach was very important to me. I know he was still exposed to them despite spending 99% of the time in the shade while we were there. I love these hats since they shade the entire head and stay on well. I have him wear a rash guard to cover more skin as well!

Baby powder + make up brush

I had heard about this trick forever but was pretty skeptical it would actually work. I purchased some baby powder and a cheap makeup brush to apply it to his body to remove sand. It works really well! If you use it on skin with wet sand you do have to work a little harder but it truly is a lifesaver. I will never go to the beach again without it!

Sunscreen

You want to have plenty of sunscreen! We applied it before we even headed to the beach. I have been using Babo Botanicals both the stick and spray all summer. It has not irritated his skin ever. He will even rub it into his eyes sometimes and there has not been any issues! I love that the ingredients are pretty clean so we aren’t putting a bunch of chemical junk on his skin.

Squirt bottle

I literally had a 99 cent squirt bottle in my bag for tanning and ended up filling it up with freshwater for him to play with. He loved for us to squirt him and he would also play with the bottle himself. Cheap and easy entertainment!

Water book

A friend had one of these at the pool recently. It floats and this exact one changes color as it gets wet. He has been loving it lately!

Wagon

We did not need this because we stayed on the beach this time. If you aren’t staying directly on the beach then I would highly recommend having a wagon for transporting everything and baby. I have heard amazing things about the Veer Wagons but they are super pricey! A less expensive option I have looked at is the foldable Radio Flyer one. It has great reviews!

Pool float

We did not take Turner in the ocean and also did not have a pool where we stayed so we didn’t take a float. We do have floats at the pool we use at home and lake. He liked this one when he was much younger and now he enjoys this one. The one he likes now is pricier but it will last a long time. You can put them in it so many different ways and it has a pretty high weight limit so we will get a ton of use out of it!

Bonus things to bring are lots of patience and another set of adult hands to help if you are able! We had my parents and sister which was so helpful for getting him up to the room for nap time. We also had more people to help set up at the beach. I highly recommend help if you can swing it! What’s your biggest baby hack for the beach? We head back in March so I’d love to have some more tips for the next trip! Leave them in the comments.

Love,

Megan

Farmers Branch Family Travel Guide

My parents and I recently took Turner on a quick family getaway to Farmers Branch, Texas! I was so impressed with the area and loved that it is only a 2.5 hour drive from where I live in Northeast Texas. It’s also literally in the heart of the DFW Metroplex and only takes 15 minutes to get to downtown Dallas!

Where To Stay

There are many places to stay in the Farmers Branch area but we stayed at the DoubleTree by Hilton Dallas near the Galleria. We really liked that it was only minutes from restaurants, attractions, and shopping. It was quiet and clean plus the room was a nice size for the four of us. The hotel has a bar downstairs if you fancy a cocktail, an outdoor pool and Starbuck’s coffee on hand. I would definitely stay in this hotel again!

What to Do

On a hot summer day the best place to be is be in the water to cool off! We spent an afternoon at Frog Pond and there truly was something for every age group.

We spent our time in the kids area where there are smaller slides, water features and a bucket of water dumps every 10 minutes! I liked that the water was shallow and we could sit along the edge so Turner could play.

The other area of the park is geared toward older kids and adults. It has a few large waterslides that I contemplated going on! It also has a lazy river with floats and a lagoon pool. I really appreciated that there were plenty of lifeguards keeping everyone safe in both areas.

There were plenty of umbrellas and pavilions for shade plus chairs and picnic tables. They had concessions available and they were very affordable. You can also pay a small fee to bring in your own cooler! Overall, we really enjoyed our time at Frog Pond and would love to return sometime.

Another cool summer activity we did was visit the Dallas Aquarium! It was only 15 minutes from our hotel. We skipped through the first few floors pretty quickly in order to get to more of the sea life since Turner’s attention span is pretty short currently. It was fun to see all the different animals throughout the aquarium. Kids under 2 are free!

We went close to opening time and there were more people than I thought would be there at that time on a weekday. It still wasn’t overly crowded though. You could get around pretty easily even with a stroller.

There were other things we didn’t get a chance to do like catch a show at the local Firehouse Theater, visit the Rose Gardens, or check out all of the newly built Mustang Station. Other things to do within a 15 minute drive of Farmers Branch: Galleria Mall, Dallas Zoo, American Airlines Center, Perot Museum, Dallas Arboretum, and Dallas Museum of Art.

Where to Eat

We had lunch at Bay 34th Street Pizzeria. The owners are transplants from New Jersey. They have a lunch deal that is pizza by the slice plus a drink. It’s not only delicious but also very affordable!

We had breakfast at the Starwood Cafe that consisted of breakfast burritos and cinnamon roll French toast. Yum! It came out quickly and we enjoyed it all. It was super cute inside too.

We grabbed coffee at Native Coffee which is a great spot to also catch up on a little work. It has WiFi and plenty of places to get comfy.

We ended up having Salt Grass Steakhouse for dinner because it was across the road from our hotel and Turner needed to eat ASAP. It was good as always! A few places we wanted to check out but didn’t get to: Nuevo Leon Mexican Restaurant, Cattleack BBQ, and C Poke Bowls. I have heard good things about them all!

Overall, I liked how easy the Farmers Branch area was to navigate. We never encountered any traffic and felt safe the entire time! It’s such a quick and easy trip plus I feel like there’s a little bit of everything for families to do. Do you have questions about our trip to Farmers Branch, Texas? Let me know in the comments and I’ll be glad to answer!

5 things I Learned From Becoming A First Time Mom In A Pandemic

The good, the bad, and the ugly. I’m sharing 5 things I learned from becoming a first time mom during a pandemic.

  1. Family and friends being involved in your child’s life is one of the most precious gifts.

It began with the hospital. Due to restrictions no one else was allowed to be at the hospital. I had always thought I would have my mom there with me while I was laboring. That truthfully was really hard for me to come to terms with. We were blessed enough despite the circumstances to be able to have both sets of our parents around from the day we brought Turner home from the hospital. Having the help was really nice. My mom came everyday for the first few weeks for a couple of hours since Tyler went directly back to work. He has been able to see his grandparents often since we are in the same town. Other family and friends he wasn’t able to meet until months later. Some just met him for the first time this past weekend and some still haven’t met him. I definitely envisioned all my family and friends meeting him within the first few weeks and definitely by two months old. It didn’t happen that way due to COVID but it made me treasure the time I did get with loved ones. I’m so grateful for every moment now and don’t take it for granted.

2. Having an empty calendar is a blessing in disguise.

Due to many things being closed, postponed or capacities limited our social calendar certainly cleared quite a bit. In some ways I wasn’t thrilled with it because I was so excited to get out and about after having a baby for some normalcy. Having a much more free schedule allowed our little family to spend lots of time together. We were forced to slow down and enjoy the small moments with Turner. They pass too quickly not to hold on to them and treasure each one! We have spent more quality time together than we would have if things had been different and I think we will definitely keep it up even as things return to normal.

3. Less is more.

Oh boy, this may also just be a first time mom in general thing but we definitely overdid it on the baby items. Spending all day everyday inside your home makes you analyze what all you have. Babies do not need 5 different options to sit in. They also do not need more than 2-3 holiday related outfits; especially if you have no where to go in order for them to wear them. (Don’t ask me how many Christmas outfits my son had. Far too many.) Additionally, a few toys are more than substantial. Most of the time they would prefer playing with a box, diaper rash cream tube, or your shoe. Trust me, you can always place an order on Amazon for anything you need!

4. Both parents need an outlet outside of being just mom or dad.

This is probably one of the things I struggled with the most. There weren’t as many things to go and do for me earlier on in Turner’s life due to all of things being closed/limited. I definitely had to get creative at times. I got quite a few pedicures and walked around Target. My husband is a little better about this because he actually has concrete hobbies he does. As a couple I think it’s also important to get a break together. We have had date nights and we then day arrived I truly didn’t feel like putting the energy to get ready to go somewhere. Despite that I always found a way to make myself go and we enjoyed the time together every time! It’s so important to put in that effort for your marriage.

5. Modern technology and pick up services are one of the best things to happen to the 21st century.

Call me lazy but being able to roll up to a business and complete my transaction without even getting out of a car is the best thing ever! I’ve done Walmart grocery pick-up since 2019 so I was no stranger to that. I hate grocery shopping and love just going on the app to do it quickly. Due to the pandemic there were many new curbside services taking place. I think I have had a Target pick up order almost every single week. Chick-Fil-A curbside has seen my face more than I care to admit. Not having to get a baby in and out of the car is truly the most convenient thing ever! And, I’ll say what most of you are thinking: driving through to grab Mexican food plus a margarita to go for the house isn’t too shabby either. Don’t get me wrong, I still love to stroll around stores and see things in person or eat a meal in an actual restaurant but; convenience is definitely king when you have a baby. I’m glad these services are here to stay!

If I knew beforehand that I would have my first baby during a global pandemic would I purposefully choose that time period? Maybe not. Now that I have met my son though I can tell you I would do it over a million times just for him! I’m choosing to take the high road and use these lessons I’ve learned going forward. I’ll treasure the memories but I’m ready to move toward normalcy!