Military Life: Month of the Military Child

Happy Monday, y’all!

Did you know that April is the official Month of the Military Child? This is the month we recognize and celebrate the strength, bravery, flexibility, resiliency, and sacrifice that the littlest members of military families make everyday.

When my husband and I decided we wanted to try to expand our family, we knew that our little one would have a wildly different life than either of us did growing up.

In Baby K’s first year of life, his daddy will have been gone more than he’s been home. Heck, my husband was even gone for training over my due date!

While he doesn’t know life any other way, my husband and I do. We often wonder if this path we’ve picked is the right one or not.

We may not regret a second of this life we live and how far we’ve come, but that little bit of guilt is always there.

For our sweet baby it means a lot of confusion as to why we sometimes only talk to and see daddy through a screen. It means crying out for him in the middle of the night and him never coming. It means seeing a whole lot of mama and always looking for daddy.

As he gets older, it will mean having to say goodbye to friends more often than if we weren’t part of the military world. It will mean his daddy will have missed being there in person for major milestones like crawling, first words, and maybe even walking and first days of schools.

We are not the first family to face a deployment, and we certainly are not the last. There will be many more times where duty will take daddy away.

Our little boy is so kind and loving. He is made of tough stuff. He is resilient and flexible beyond belief. He is sacrificing more than he even knows while his daddy is away.

Today and every day, I am in awe of this military child of mine!

XOXO,
Leah

Spring Products Refresh

Happy Monday, y’all!

A month or two ago I decided to switch umm routine a bit with spring being right around the corner. I happened upon these products by Pantene and Olay and am so glad I did!

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First in the line up is the deep detox & restore pre-wash! I love how it gently exfoliates my scalp and helps remove product build up. I use it once or twice a week when my hair seems to be hanging a little heavier, just remember that a little bit of this goes a long way!

With all of this social distancing and sheltering in place, I may be reaching for my dry shampoo more during the day than if I was out and about.

The miracle moisture boost shampoo is made with rose water and gives me all the spring vibes! Not only does it smell good without being overpowering, but it is so moisturizing!

I’ve always been a fan of lots of suds when I lather up my hair, and this does not disappoint. Even after just the shampoo my hair is left feeling softer and smoother! Once dry, it doesn’t get as frizzy either!

Even though I feel like I might not need it, I always follow up the shampoo with the miracle moisture boost conditioner. Just like the shampoo, the conditioner leaves my hair feeling so much better!

I’m all about having smoother, softer, and more voluminous hair. The fact that these are sulfate free is an added bonus! These products give me a high end feel without the high end price tag, and the packaging is too cute!

Last but certainly not least is the Olay cleansing & firming body wash with B3 and collagen. It feels so silky and smooth. I don’t think I can ever go back now that I’ve found this!

Paired with a loofa and it’s like a spa treatment in the comfort of my own home! The loofa helps to exfoliate while the body wash seems to wrap my skin in moisture and helps it stay toned.

If you’re in the market too switch up your normal routine and wanting to try something new, I’d definitely recommend these! After trying them out, they have quickly become my new go tos!

XOXO,
Leah

Finding Joy During Chaos

Happy Monday, y’all!

Gosh, have these last few weeks been a wild ride! i hope that this post finds you healthy and safe during these crazy times!

When 2020 started, I never would have guessed that this is where we would be at now. Then again, I don’t think anyone really would have!

I definitely believe that it’s important to stay informed and up to date on the happenings, but these days, I try not to focus too much on all of the nitty gritty details. I think if I did, I just very well might lose my mind in it all.

10 Things That Are Bringing Me Joy

1. My sweet baby boy and his endless giggles.

2. Being able to keep in touch with my husband via FaceTime while he’s deployed.

3. Being in a place that we’re able to get outside in the fresh air and sunshine during the day.

4. Such great friends that check in on us not only during these crazy times, but just in general.

5. Good health; both mine and those I care about.

6. Having the best parents ever that have let Baby K, Ailey, and I stay with them throughout this all.

7. Taking this time and #socialdistancing to give my skin a break from makeup and just breathe.

8. The best pup ever that snuggles in bed with me every night.

9. Being fortunate enough to get the things we need, both my husband and Baby K and I, without having to worry about money.

10. Having this space to connect with y’all.

What’s something that’s bringing you joy right now?

XOXO,
Leah

Winter Skin Savers

Happy Monday, y’all!

The older I get, the more I crave having an easy and reliable skin care routine. I don’t need a million products, just a few that are tried and true!

With all of the new products constantly being released, it can be so easy to get caught up in trying them all; trust me, I’m guilty of it too! And what works for your favorite blogger might not work for you. It’s definitely a game of trial and error!

1. Tula Glow & Get It Cooling & Brightening Eye Balm. In the winter, my skin can get pretty dull looking if I don’t stay on top of things with the cooler temps and dry air. This eye balm from Tula helps me achieve that bright under eye look that I love. It also minimizes the appearance of my under eye circles when Baby K insists on late night parties at his crib!

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2. Tula The Cult Classic Purifying Face Cleanser. I’ve tried out my fair share of face washes over the years; high end, drug store, even a few prescription ones. Nothing ever really worked long term though. My skin has always been prone to breakouts, especially around that time of the month. I’ve been using this face cleanser by Tula for several months now and haven’t had a single breakout! I love that it’s gentle enough to use everyday, but effective enough to keep my skin clear.

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3. Nivea Shea Daily Moisture for Dry Skin. Not going to lie, y’all; sometimes my skin gets dryer than the Sahara Desert! I’ve used so many moisturizers over the years that I’ve lost count. While this is technically a body lotion, I’ve found that it works best for my face too. I like that it doesn’t leave my face feeling or looking greasy while still providing my skin with exactly what it needs to stay hydrated!

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What products are your ride or dies when the weather gets cold?

XOXO,
Leah

 

 

 

Military Life: Find Your Tribe

I’ve always been the kind of girl that had lots of friends, but it was more so because we were in classes or sports together. Most weren’t the kind that I felt I could reach out to whenever for anything at all.

It’s never been something that bothered me too much, but then marrying my husband happened. Now here we are living hundreds of miles from our home state and me realizing just how valuable a close group of friends truly is!

There have been quite a few times over the course of our marriage when it’s just been me and Ailey (now Baby K too) at the house while my husband is gone for a school or another training. Within the first two months of being married and living on base, he was gone a total of six weeks.

This lifestyle adjustment really forced me out of my comfort zone.

Suddenly I found myself reaching out to the other wives around me, even though the introvert in me was terrified. I found myself texting and messaging to make plans. I found myself working hard to consistently make the effort to check in to see how they’re doing.

When our washer died the night before my husband left for deployment, I found myself reaching out to a sweet friend to see if Baby K and I could come hang out and use their’s.

Side Note: Murphy’s Law is real, and if something bad can happen during a deployment, it probable will!

Looking back on the last three years of my husband’s service, everywhere I look I see another sweet friend that I was lucky enough to get to meet.

I was never the girl that had a tribe of friends, that is until I became a military wife.

XOXO,
Leah

 

Military Life: Real Talk About Deployment

Happy Monday, y’all!

I had another post written and all scheduled to go up today, but in wanting this to be where I share about real life and not just the pretty things, this post felt more real for right now.

If you’re part of a military family, chances are that you’ll face a deployment sooner or later. It’s just part of the job. Now that our sweet baby boy is in the world, I was hoping it would come later, but the Army had other plans for my husband.

Where before we would go about our days and wait for my husband to get home, now we wait for FaceTime calls or text messages. Somedays we’re blessed to get a nice long call in and other times we hear nothing at all. Sometimes, no news is good news!

With this being our first deployment, it’s taken me some time to get used to single parenting and finding a new normal for Baby K, Ailey, and myself. If I’m being honest, I’m still trying to figure it out.

Even what seems like the easiest of deployments for the soldier can be freaking hard for the ones left back home.

Don’t get me wrong, I am so thankful for this life we live and everything we are able to do and the amazing people we get to meet, but there are definitely days where I count down the minutes until I can start getting Baby K ready for bed so I can have a moment to breathe.

So while for the most part, this little family of mine is doing really well, even thriving, there is nothing I wouldn’t give to have our number one guy back home with us!

XOXO,
Leah

 

 

 

 

Open When Letters

Letters are a great way to communicate with those that we love. They’re personal and, in my opinion, are something that I wish would make a comeback in 2020!

When the Army keeps my husband gone more than normal, I love to write a bunch of these to put in a packet that he can take with him.

‘Open When’ letters hold a special place in my heart. They’re a sweet and thoughtful to let someone know you really care. If you haven’t written one, it’s as simple or involved as you make it! At the core of each letter is a predetermined topic.

After you’ve picked what the letter you’re writing will be about, just write on the front of the envelope when it should be opened; ‘Open When… You’re Having A Bad Day’, ‘It’s Your Birthday’, ‘You Need Encouragement’…

To keep things simple, you can write them on notebook paper. If you want to be a little more creative, you can buy or make cards and include other things with the letters.

I love adding pictures and silly stickers that I know will bring a smile to my husbands face!

Who would you write ‘Open When’ letters for?

XOXO,
Leah

 

Homemade Baby Food: Butternut Squash

Baby K has had teeth since he was about three months old! Ever since he started showing signs of teething and showing an interest in food, I’ve been doing all the trial and error runs I can with making his food.

I love the convince of store bought baby food, but at the end of the day, it’s super easy to make and takes me less time than it would to get it from the store!

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What You’ll Need

  • 1 Medium sized Butternut Squash

First things first, wash and peel your butternut squash. Then you’ll dice it into cubes. Don’t worry about how big or small they are, everything is going to be puréed.

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Next, throw all of the cubed squash into a pot and cover with water. For me this came out to be about 3 cups. Bring water to a rolling boil and leave until squash is tender (about 20 minutes).

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Reserving the cooking liquid, strain the squash and put into a food processor or blender. Pulse on high or blend until the squash has a smooth consistency.

Incorporate the reserved liquid into the purée until it reaches your desired thickness.

Depending on the size of your squash and how much of the cooking liquid you add back into your purée will determine how much it makes. For me, I used 3/4 of the cooking liquid and got about 32 oz. of food.

The purée can be kept in the fridge for about 3 days or frozen for up to three months! Use any freezer safe container you’d like. I have these ice pop bags from Amazon and freeze in two oz portions!

And voila! Homemade butternut squash baby food.

XOXO,
Leah

Love the Mama Too

As I sit here looking at him while he naps, I can’t help but be so thankful for him and all of the people that have poured into our little family!

Babies are such a wonderful gift. Most people you know want to come love on your little addition, but sometimes the mamas can get lost in it all.

Ask her how she’s doing and really listen. God knows she’d probably appreciate someone asking about her before the baby!

Bring or send her a favorite meal or snacks. When the decision comes down to eating or trying to get some sleep, I can almost guarantee that sleep will win out.

Take the baby for an hour or two without asking. Help is always appreciated, but if the new mama in your life is anything like me, asking for it is hard!

When you bring something for the new little one, bring something for her too; a candle she loves, a nice lotion and body wash, coffee (I’m mostly made up of coffee these days). Just a little something that says you were thinking of her too!

I know it can be easy to be sucked in by the cuteness of a new baby, but it’s just as easy for a new mama to lose herself in it all too.

Next time you go visit a new baby, don’t forget to love on the mama too!

XOXO,
Leah

Life Update: Why I’ve Been MIA

If you follow me over on Instagram, you’ll know that life has gotten pretty busy for me and my husband this last month; we welcomed our baby boy into the world on July 9th!

While we are both over the moon that we have been trusted with this sweet little love, the struggle has been real as far as sleep is concerned! After months and months of waiting for the day that we would finally get to hold him in our arms, it is still so hard to believe that he is here.

Keeping that in mind, I think we’re finally starting to get into a rhythm, or as much of one as a family with a newborn can be in!

I’d love to know what y’all would like to see more of in the weeks and months to come; Recipes, product reviews, fashion, lifestyle… Let me know in the comments or send me an email!

As always, thanks for following along for the ride with me!

XOXO,
Leah