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2022 Holiday Gift Guides

** Click on any image to check out the product. These are affiliate links- when you shop through them I receive a very small commission at no cost to you. It comes directly from the retailer. I appreciate you shopping through me SO very much. Hope you have a great holiday season and find the perfect gift for your loved one.. or yourself! **

Lifestyle

Baby Jogger City Bistro & City Sway- Best Baby Item Find This Nordstrom Sale

Baby Jogger City Bistro & City Sway- Best Baby Item Find This Nordstrom Sale

* This post has been sponsored in partnership with Baby Jogger. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. *

The Nordstrom Sale is quickly approaching and it’s something that I look forward to each year. It falls on my birthday week and I always treat myself to a little sale shopping to celebrate! Don’t worry, I always do the heavy lifting for you and sift through each and every page to find the best deals that are worth checking out!

This year, with our baby girl’s arrival landing right along with the sale, I put a heavy focus on baby finds.

My favorite find this year is by Baby Jogger. They have the City Bistro and City Sway combo as part of the sale. You can check it out HERE.

Baby Jogger thought of everything when it came to the City Bistro. I love that it breaks down and can be stored away at 80% smaller than when it is unfolded! We can fit it in our pantry while not being used. It’s not clunky or awkward to fold down and up either. It’s a two step fold and extremely convenient.

With this being our third baby I’ve learned how messy feeding time can really be. Cleaning is easy with this one because it has stain-resistant and machine washable fabrics. The tray insert is also dishwasher-safe.

We have also learned this third time around that you don’t want more baby items than you really need. Products that grow as the baby grows are key to save you both money and space. This highchair has four different height positions to do just that.

Travel is still a big part of our lives, even during the baby stage, so the City Sway is something I’m super excited about this time around. We did not have this with the boys and it would have come in SO handy!

The City Sway is a really lightweight (under 9 pounds) 2-in-1 rocker and bouncer. It folds completely flat and comes with a storage bag. If you have a small space or a frequent traveler this one is PERFECT. Like the City Bistro, it is made with stain-resistant and machine-washable removable fabrics.

There is a removable toy bar, battery-powered 2 speed vibration, 3 position adjustable recline and has adjustable calf support.

Having a newborn in this southern heat is no joke so I really appreciated that it features a plush infant insert featuring OptiVent™ fabrics allows your baby to stay cool and comfortable.
I was so excited to get my hands on these two items and share them with you. The convenience and usability are top notch.

Be sure to stay tuned as I continue to share more Nordstrom Sale finds throughout the week. Happy Shopping!

Lifestyle

Newborn Cart Essentials

newborn essentials cart

Newborn Cart Essentials

** Click on any of the below images to shop. **

This is the best hack for new mamas to keep newborn life a little easier and more organized-
a newborn essentials cart that can be wheeled around the house and you can visually see when any items need to be re-stocked.

I like to separate each tier by category, but you can organize however best works for you. The diapering tier I also use a diaper caddy. It’s easier to just take that out for diaper changes and you don’t need to move the entire cart.

Mine is organized like this:

Tier 1: Diapering
– Diapers
– Wipes
– Diaper Rash Cream
– Changing Pad
( I also out a tray with a bunch of pacis on this top tier.)

Tier 2: Feeding
– Breast Pump
– Haaka
– Nursing Pads
– Extra Nursing Bras
– Burp Cloths

Tier 3: Sleep
– Swaddles
– Extra Night Clothes (My favorite are gowns at night for easy access to diaper changes- we absolutely love this brand for gowns, easy access sleepers and sleep sacks. SO soft and well made. )

This would be the absolute best baby shower gift. Several people could go in together to stock a mama up on all the essentials and make her life easier!

Hope this is as helpful for your family as it has been for ours!

Lifestyle

What I Am Packing In My Hospital Bag- From A 3rd Time Mama

hospital bag

What I Am Packing In My Hospital Bag- From A 3rd Time Mama

I will preface this post by saying you don’t NEED to bring anything (other than a car seat to be allowed to leave.) Everything you need as far as postpartum care supplies, diapers/wipes for baby, etc. are all provided by the hospital. Most of these items are for your (and babies/significant others) comfort. You could wear the hospital gown and baby the blankets from the hospital and be totally fine.

As a third time mama I’ve realized that you just don’t need as much as you think! With my first I brought all of the postpartum supplies… I will not be doing that this time. Be sure to have some ready at home, but it’s just easier to not bring all of that.

A lot of the hospital rooms don’t have a ton of extra room. So having a bunch of extra stuff can make the space feel too crowded. A tip with this is also the car seat. Leave it in the car until you are about to leave. Your significant other can run out and get it then. It takes up too much space in the room otherwise.

FOR BABY

I love these little newborn hats that look similar to the hospital version, but with a bow. They come in several color options. I ordered the white for baby girl and it’s adorable and super affordable!

FOR DAD

Keeping it simple for Trey this time too. He made sure to have loaded movies/shows on his computer so we could watch them and a good playlist ready on his phone too. You could add a little speaker if you wanted to, but we never used it the last couple times.

hospital bag

FOR MAMA

Keep in mind that some of these items are personal preference of what will keep you comfortable.
For example, if you need a sound machine to fall asleep then pack that! Some women really love a handheld fan, etc. I personally try to keep mine pretty minimal. With George I completely overpacked and never pulled out 75% of the items that I brought.

hospital bag

Lifestyle

George’s Star Wars Themed Birthday Party

star wars birthday party

George’s Star Wars Themed Birthday Party

Gone are the days when I can pick the themes of my kid’s birthday parties. George is completely Star Wars obsessed and requested a party to match that. We typically like to do “experiences” over parties, but this year we decided to do both. He was so excited to scroll through Pinterest with me and come up with ideas for his party.

I’ve gathered up everything we used to pull this off so you can easily re-create.

Vender List:

Balloons: Cavender & Co

White Bounce House: Vlance House Nashville

Cake: Copper & Whisk

Light Up 6: Alpha Lit Nashville

Lifestyle

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

mother's day gift guide

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Personalized Bum Bag- You can emboss initials on to this bag. Comes in different colors as well. This has the same size and look as the Louis Vuitton version, but is affordable!

Comfy PJ Set– This is on my wish list this year as it will be perfect for postpartum days. They come in several color options and have great reviews.

Luxe Robe- You can’t go wrong with a super comfy robe!

Chill Pill Bath Bombs- These smell and feel amazing. They often run out of stock (because they are amazing!) but are currently in stock.

Five-Minute Journal- A great way to start your day with gratitude. As moms, we hold everything and everything together and this helps start your day in a calm/positive way.

Instant Camera- Such a fun gift idea to capture sweet memories.

Rose Candle- A splurge candle, but it can fill an entire large room. I love taking a bath and lighting one of these for a very luxe experience.

Custom Mug- This company also makes custom tumblers and several other items. Is cute as a grandparent gift. You can customize with any photo and name combo.

Mama Pouch- This comes in a matching “baby” and they have a “mrs” version as well. Perfect for trips or to throw in a purse.

Dried Florals- These are beautiful and dried. Love taking the dried route so they can last for much longer than normal flowers.

Tiger Sweatshirt- A splurge, but my most worn item. An easy “mom uniform.” Comes in a t-shirt variation as well.

mother's day gift guide

If you are looking for a really special fine jewelry piece.. I absolutely adore these custom pieces by a small, family owned Nashville business. They were so kind to give a code for 15% off. Add “ASHLEY” at checkout. These are the kinds of pieces you will have and love forever. You can check them out HERE.

Lifestyle

Stoney Clover X Target Collection

stoney clover for target

Stoney Clover X Target Collection

I absolutely adore Stoney Clover and all of their personalized pouches, totes, duffles, etc. We have many pieces and they’ve been so great. However, they are $$. So the fact that they are doing an extremely affordable line for Target is just SO EXCITING. The patches sell separately from the other pieces and you can add them on yourself to customize.

This line will sell out like hot cakes so I wanted to be sure to round up my favorites so you could add them to a wish list and then quickly add to cart when it goes live April 2nd.

Patches:

Lifestyle

Reader Favorite Baby Finds- The Top Recommended Baby Items

top rec baby items

Reader Favorite Baby Finds- The Top Recommended Baby Items

With this being baby #3 I have learned that you simply don’t need as much as you think you do. However, there are just some things that make life easier with a new baby and are worth the $$.

We have several items that I saved from George and Wilder, but the baby world is a quick moving one and there were tons of new items to hit the market since my last baby. After reaching out on Instagram, the moms really pulled through and flooded my DM’s with hundreds of recommendations. (Both good and bad.)

Having this resource has been SO helpful and I wanted to extend that to any other new mamas. I was able to get a good list going of what I plan to purchase over the next few months for the baby. I’ve rounded up the most requested items below.

– SO many of you suggested this little gadget (Amazon find.) I will say I did NOT love clipping my other two nails with a baby nail clippers so this was a quick add to cart for me!

Breathable Crip Mattress- This is something that was not on the market yet when I had my other children. I LOVE the concept behind this and can see why it would give parents some ease of mind with their baby.. we will be grabbing this one for sure.

Water Wipes- Hypoallergenic, clean and unscented.

Bouncer- Comes in several color options. So many of you swore by this one!

Infant Lounger- This version came recommended by far more people than the Dockatot.

Bassinet- Apparently this is similar to the Snoo at a FRACTION of the price.

Sound Machine-– This one doubles as a night light.

Haaka- One of the overall most recommended items. It’s $12 on Amazon, but breastfeeding mamas swear by it.

Baby Brezza- The Keurig of bottle making. Super convenient!

Baby Carrier- This came in several color options as well and is under $100.

Owlet Sleep Sock- Apparently they have made several changes in the newer versions and it is much better than previous/older versions.

Car Seat/Stroller- Lots of doona lovers out there. Anything to make traveling around with baby easier sounds good in my book.

Uppababy Stroller- The Vista has several configurations for multiple children. We have (and love) this for the boys, but I’ll be purchasing the board to make it suitable for three children.

Lifestyle

Valentine’s Day Gift Guides

valentine's gift guides

Valentine’s Day Gift Guides

Valentine’s Day has always been one of my favorite

If you are looking for more Valentine’s Day inspiration…check out this blog post HERE. with how to make a dessert board. It’s always the biggest hit!

Lifestyle

My Full Review Of Veneers & Veneer FAQ With Dr. Thomas Nabors

My Full Review Of Veneers & Veneer FAQ With Dr. Thomas Nabors

I have been contemplating getting veneers for years, but had a lot of concerns/misconceptions that held me back. Once I started researching, I realized there is not a lot of transparency available. I decided to share my experience in it’s entirety to help someone else contemplating veneers make a decision that is best for them. Dr. Nabors, very kindly, accepted my invite to share his wealth of knowledge and draw back the curtain on the cosmetic dentistry field.

MY WHY

First of all, I don’t think you need to ever change anything about yourself to be beautiful. However, if there is something that you seek to alter about your looks to boost your confidence….go for it!

I’ve always been very self conscious about my smile. I never had braces. No braces, partnered with my lack of enamel, made for a smile that didn’t match how I felt in the inside. I’m a genuinely happy person and wanted a big, bright, white smile that would match how I feel. It was important to me to keep the integrity of my natural teeth. For me, my ultimate goal was to look in the mirror and still feel like myself, but upgraded.

After lots of “smizing” in pictures, not to look like a model, but to hide my smile, I decided it was time for veneers. What I saw in my smile in the mirror and how I felt inside were simple not matching up.

ALL DENTISTS ARE NOT EQUAL

There’s a bit of a dark secret in the cosmetic dentistry world that I wouldn’t have ever realized without having the intel of one of my closest friends and next door neighbor who is a cosmetic dentist. She encouraged me to be very particular with who I chose to do my veneers for a multitude of reasons. The bottom line is that not all dentist practicing cosmetic dentistry are actually trained to do so. Crazy, right?

There is no dental “specialty” in cosmetic dentistry. To become an oral surgeon, orthodontist, endodontist, periodontist, etc. you have to complete, and pass, a specialty training program and be licensed in that specialty. However, general dentists can do all of the things a specialist can do, but there is no way to validate the skill level or training, like a specialty board.

For example, getting your wisdom teeth out. An oral surgeon goes to 4 years of specialty surgical training and often obtains and MD degree as well. Becoming an MD/DDS. Plus, a residency program. They would pass state and national board exams to be a certified oral surgeon in the state of TN. You can validate that as a consumer. That is NOT the case with cosmetic dentistry.

To have teeth altered, or know the skill set to not alter them, for porcelain veneers is not a board certified specialty. So, any general dentist can do porcelain veneers. However, most, if not all, have very little, if any, training on how to do them in dental school. So, most, if not all, of their training must come after dental school graduation and is entirely elective.

The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry is the largest cosmetic dental organization in the world. They have the only peer reviewed examination process there is in cosmetic dentistry and it is clinical case work that is submitted and evaluated by their peers. There are less than 500 dentists in the world that have been able to complete it. Dr.Nabors is one of the cosmetic dentist that is a part of this elite group. This gave me great confidence in my decision to use him as my dentist.

Make sure you ask the correct questions to see if they have the correct credentials. Dentist can actually just purchase memberships to make their “title” feel more impressive. For example, For example, Dr.Nabors is a member of the American Dental Association, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, etc. He simply pays a membership fee to be a part of these organizations.

So his title looks like this:

Thomas Nabors DDS
AACD, ADA, AGD, TDA, NDS

Looks impressive (and he is TOP TIER and is impressive) but other dentist could not have the training he does, or anywhere close, and still have the same long, fancy title. Be sure to see their cosmetic resume and not fall for a misleading title.


WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE

Item #1. Any dentist that is Accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry has chosen to participate in the most extensive and thorough post graduate training in cosmetic dentistry. The difference between AACD, and AAACD is huge. (That extra ‘A’)

The Academy of General Dentistry is the second largest dental organization in the United States. Second only to the American Dental Association. The AGD offers a Fellowship program that is voluntary. It tracks your dental continuing education and you must complete hundreds ours of extra training in all areas of dentistry. Then, you are tested on all of it, and if you pass, you are a Fellow in the Academy of General Dentistry. So, you can me a paid member, AGD. Or, you can be a FAGD (fellow), and that is a huge difference.

Item #2. Fellowship in the Academy of General Dentistry.

Any dentist can place veneers. Choosing a trained dentist is a HUGE difference. You don’t want to have to re-do anything due to things not being done properly in the first place.

A veneer can mean different things to different dentists. Some, very aggressive tooth removal, to others, very minimal tooth is removed. What type of porcelain you use is also very different per practice. Each dentist must use a laboratory to actually make the veneers. Some are very expensive and do amazing work with amazing quality. Others, use cheap materials and cheap quality. An inexperienced dentist using cheap materials and lab support is not a recipe for success in the long run.

MY EXPERIENCE-

1. Consultation– I went in for a consult and asked a million questions. I learned if I was a good fit, what I would need to achieve the look I was wanting and the cost of that.

2. Teeth/Gum Cleaning– A lot of patients wouldn’t need this. I had some gum disease that needed taken care of before placing the veneers. It meant a lot to me that Dr. Nabors made sure that my teeth and gums were completely healthy BEFORE placing the veneers. This saved me from possible problems down the road. I really appreciated that the health of my mouth was as high of a priority as the cosmetic aspect.

3. Temporaries– For my particular case we used a laser to raise my gum line, did very minimal prep work to the teeth and then placed the veneers. We also took x-rays, pictures, and impressions of my teeth. They had me completely numb and on nitrous oxide. I could hear everything, but felt nothing. It is a strange thing to hear, but it was a fairly quick appointment. Mine was about two hours.

My temporaries were on for two weeks. This time is used for deciding if there is anything you want to change as far as size/shape etc. The temporaries are not the coloring or texture of the final porcelain veneers. They are all bonded together, so during the two weeks you can not floss in between. It’s a strange feeling and an annoyance, but again, there is no pain. I never took more than a Tylenol right after my appointment.

4. Veneer Placement- This was truly one of the happiest days for me. Similar duration and experience as the temporaries… around two and a half hours.

First, they popped off the temporaries. This is a strange feeling as you can hear the prying and poking, but I was totally numb and felt nothing. The veneers were placed, but not glued in, so that I could see what they would look like. They then placed the veneers and shaped them. Afterwards, they cleaned them up and removed everything left over from the temporaries. We also did impressions and pictures at this appointment.

I was able to eat and drink as normal by that evening.

5. Follow-Up- We made sure everything was exactly how I wished it would be. We slightly brought one of the teeth up and then did some after pictures. It was a very quick and easy appointment.

** If you’d like to watch videos of this entire process.. you may do so on my Instagram on the Highlight “Veneers.” You can find that HERE. **

FAQ’S WITH DR. NABORS-

* Cost?

This was by far the most frequently asked question and for good reason. When I started my research online it was very hard to find an answer.

Dr. Nabor’s veneer fee is about 2K per veneer, but that includes everything. No surprises. This covers everything in the case. Whitening, gum contouring, hygiene for a year – before and after if needed, x rays, exams, images, models, anything to make the case great. Keeps it simple.

For example with my case. 1o veneers = $20,000. All in.

* Are payment plans offered?

Yes, most clients use financing. Care Credit has been the best, and easiest. 6 months to 5 years. www.carecredit.com

* Is there a minimum amount you have to take a case?

No, they can do as little as one tooth. But, for the case fee, it’s two or more. For a single, we have to identify individual items.

* Do you have to file your teeth down?

Every case and every tooth is different. The goal is always to do as little to the tooth as you have to. Some cases require no filing at all (small teeth, spaces.) Some teeth require minimal shaping (this was the case for mine.) Also, it depends on if cavities are present, old veneers or crowns, etc.. But, you should know what is required of your case before you start. Finding a talented dentist helps with this as well.

* How painful is the process?

For me, the pain was very minimal. I never took more than a Tylenol.

* “I have an extreme fear of the dentist, but I want veneers so desperately. I’ve been watching your stories and you did not get put under. Did you choose not to? Is that an option????”

Honestly, prior to this, I hated going to the dentist. I would go a few years in between cleaning even because I would get so anxious. This was very doable. It was pretty non invasive, and no real downtime. Dr. Nabors likes to be able to talk about the process, the temporaries, etc. Their office can bring in a dental anesthesiologist and he is awesome. But, there is additional fees for that, as he is an independent contractor. He comes in and you would pay him separately from their office.

* “What is the down time after procedure? How many days would I need to take off?”

Appointments are typically 2- 3 hours. You are a numb (in some instances) a bit after that. I went to hot yoga the night after getting my veneers placed. VERY little downtime.

* How many veneers do people get on average?

8-10. (I got 10 upper veneers.)

* “What exactly did you ask for? I LOVE yours so much!”

I wanted a realistic, but nice bright white. Same DNA as my smile had as far as shaping, just improving the parts I didn’t like. (For instance, I had a tooth that was turned that I wanted to appear straight.) I wanted them to look like my teeth, just the way I always wished they would be improved.

* “I’m looking into this seriously, but would be coming to Florida. Is there a way to expedite the process to not make as many trips?”

“Absolutely, We have had clients from all over the US this year. We make the process two in person appts, about two weeks apart. We have a travel kit that includes GLO whitening so you can do that prior to your trip. It also includes a “what we love” info sheet about where to stay (5 boutique hotels are within 2 blocks from us.) We want it to be fun. We also send an impression kit with a return label, so you can send us your impressions prior to coming so we have what we need before arrival. Two appts, about 2 hours each, and about 2 weeks apart. ”

(Took this one direct from Dr. Nabor’s , as I didn’t have a travel experience.)

* “Are these like breast implants where you need to replace every 10 years?”

No, they never plan on re-making a case. He has cases that are 20 plus years old. Porcelain, when done right, does not have a wear out date. You do need to take proper care of them and accidents can always happen. With that being said, it’s a long term investment.

* How much is a consult fee?

No charge. They want people to have access to information. It’s a big decision, and they are happy to provide that for anyone interested in improving their smile. You can check out Dr. Nabor’s Instagram HERE and his website HERE if you are looking to book a consult.

I truly couldn’t possibly recommend getting a consult enough. It was an amazing decision for me!

* What happens if you change your mind and want them off?

Straight from Dr. Nabor’s on this one:

“Honestly, that has never happened in 27 years. But, no tooth removal veneers can be removed, but it’s a decision that everyone needs to go all in on or it might not be best for you. But, keeping the client involved in the look is key. Doing the temporaries like we do, then seeing the case prior to placement, on the teeth, is key to building confidence.”

* “Will they help with teeth sensitivity? My teeth are so sensitive it hurts to eat too much salt even. Ughh.”

Yes, they help seal the teeth, and restore them.

Right after placement, my teeth were pretty sensitive, a couple weeks in and I have noticed GREAT improvement in my sensitivity.

* What does “prepless” mean?

No tooth is removed at all. By definition, when you prepare a tooth, you are removing some tooth structure. Prepless means you are not prepping the tooth, there is no need to.

* Will they stain over time? Do you have to keep getting them whitened?

They do not. You will not have to do any upkeep whitening on the teeth with veneers.

* “Are there foods you won’t be able to eat now? Corn on cob, apples, etc? Wouldn’t that break them off?”

Things that could break a normal tooth (ex. chewing ice) could also break a veneer. They are as strong as teeth, but not stronger.

* “Are there different kinds of veneers? Are they all the same or did you have to pick a material or something?”

There are many types of dental veneers and it’s important to choose the right material for the case. Not all porcelain is the same, so not all veneers are the same.

** If you have any questions that I can answer, please reach out. I’m happy to help by sharing my experience! **

I couldn’t possibly be any happier with the outcome of my case. Huge thanks to Dr. Nabors for helping this dream of mine become a reality!