A First Birthday Gift Guide

first birthday

It’s so funny, I have been asked a LOT what in the world I am getting Blake for her first birthday and if I have any recommendations?! And I am not going to lie, shopping for her first–WAS HARD. I mean what do you even get a one year old? And one that is already pretty spoiled as is…oops. That’s what happens when you have two Grandmas close by, lots of Aunts and Uncles and a Mom and Dad that are pretty obsessed with you! Ha! BUT, after looking, looking and looking again I have found some pretty great first birthday gifts and compiled a list of my favs!

gift guide

gift guide

gift guide


Xo,
Jess

**Please read age guidelines on each toy.

See Blake’s Full Birthday Party, here.

gift guide

SHARE THIS!

6 Products to Continue using even AFTER Pregnancy

skincare routine

skincare routine

skincare routine

Picture Details: Jess’ Dress: Old Navy | Blake’s Top: Carter’s | Blake’s Shorts: Carter’s | Bow: Zozu Baby | Toy c/o Boppy | White Rug: Overstock

When I was pregnant I think I used every sort of skincare line out there to try to keep my skin in tact! You know what I’m talking about, stretch marks, itching, acne, dryness, you name it and it probably comes with pregnancy. I learned quickly though that most of these things stick around after pregnancy too and I found a skincare line that I love and have continued to use even after having Blake. In fact I’ve found SIX products I swear by and I’m sharing them now! 

  1. Boppy Bloom Renewing Body Oil – I love this product because it’s an oil but it’s NOT greasy and it’s perfect for these summer days because it absorbs quickly and hides dry legs all day long 😉 It’s also been great for my stretch marks!
  2. PMD – I started using this while I was pregnant, but quickly learned it should be used all the time!! I use it once a week now to clear up my dead skin and keep my face looking smooth and clean! Plus, after a couple months of using it, it really helped clear up my acne!
  3. Boppy Bloom Stretch Mark Cream – I didn’t find this until the end of my pregnancy, but so glad I did because I still use it! It has honestly helped my stretch marks fade SO much. I think I’ll probably just use this forever since it helps prevent them too!
  4. Benefit Total Moisture – If you’re looking for the most amazing face lotion ever, this is it. Not to mention it literally lasts me like 6-7 months and I use it everyday. I LOVE it! I’ve used it forever and it’s the only one I’ve found with the perfect balance of moisture, leaving my combination skin feeling great and not over oily!
  5. Boppy Bloom Whipped Belly Butter – Personally, I don’t think this is JUST for your belly. I use it for my entire body. It’s thick and creamy, but goes on light and smooth. I use it religiously, especially right now because it’s dry and hot here! Oh and might I add, it smells delicious and is full of vitamin E! 
  6. Neutrogena Face Wipes – I use these at night to remove my make up or any dirt on my face from the day. I used to sleep in my make up, literally every night, but quickly learned (while pregnant) that there comes a point in your life when you just can’t do that anymore! Now I keep 3-4 packs of these under my sink at all times and use them every night. Plus what’s great, is it cleans your face in under 2 minutes and it’s WAY easy!

It’s funny how much our body changes, including our skin when we have a baby. Personally, I didn’t even realize that would happen, not to mention that it would continue after baby! It’s a great thing though that we have amazing companies, like Boppy, that make such awesome skincare lines!! 

Plus, these babes are worth every single stretch mark or acne scar. 

This post was in collaboration with and sponsored by Boppy.

SHARE THIS!

Family Summer Fun & Giving Back…

family timeFamily time means the world to me. In fact it’s probably the biggest thing that brings me happiness in my life. There’s just something so rewarding about watching Marcus interact with Blake and Blake giggle and smile at everything! Unfortunately this doesn’t happen as often as I would like it to, with busy schedules, work to be done and well…you know, a one year old 😉 SO This past Saturday, I decided, it’s happening! I told Marcus (way last minute might I add)–we’re going to Dairy Days! Now before you start asking what the heck is Dairy Days?! Let me explain…

It’s better than it sounds, okay? Haha! It’s a little “fair” with rides, yumm food and a PETTING ZOO! See! It’s pretty cool, eh? Well, Blake had a freaking blast. We loaded up the car, packed a bottle, lots of snacks, sippy cup of milk (she drinks milk NOW!) and of course–THE CAMERA. I mean, do you know me at all? 😉

When we got there, it was well…dead. The rides weren’t running and there wasn’t a soul in sight..we were a little confused until we found all the food trucks! That’s where the party was happenin’ and apparently the rides didn’t open for another 20 minutes. So we said screw the snacks we brought and we bought junk food. I mean YOLO, right? Okay, I promise I will never say that again. We chowed down on burgers and curly fries, Blake had milk to drink though — we stay nutritious 😉 and eventually made our way to the little pop up shops. Blake yelled and pointed at everyone that walked by and we ended up buying a gorgeous picture by a local artist.

family time

family time

family time

Finally, the rides were open, but first–Blake needed a milk break. We’re on a pretty strict milk schedule for her, especially since we just made the switch from formula this week and I want to make sure she is getting the nutrients she needs per her cup of milk! Speaking of milk though, let’s chat about this really quick because it’s something I’m so passionate about-have you heard of The Great American Milk Drive? It’s the opportunity to make a difference and join the effort to help deliver fresh milk and its high-quality protein to children in need this summer. You can help feed a childhood in your community this summer with a small donation at milklife.com/give. A donation as little as $5 can deliver a highly desired and nutrient-rich gallon of fresh milk to children who need it most! Because did you know? That whole food banks provide critically needed nourishment – including milk – to millions of Americans, it can be difficult to meet demand. On average, food banks are only able to provide the equivalent of less than one gallon of milk per person per year. So seriously, let’s make a difference y’all! Milk is so important and naturally nutrient-rich – it includes 9 essential nutrients, including 8 grams of high-quality protein per 8 ounce serving that can help to ensure that kids have the potential to play, learn and grow this summer.

family time

family time

Now, back to the rides. After her milk and a little game of chase around the picnic table, we headed to the rides! She had her first merry go round ride and LOVED it! In fact, she screamed when it was time to get off and kept reaching to get back on. Oops! Ha! It was clearly a hit. Finally, we finished it off with the petting zoo and games! Blake LOVED the cows and kept showing them her milk, which was hilarious and ironic all in one. She even got to pet on and it was adorable and she patted her back. Ha! As we were walking out, the games drew Marcus in. I swear this happens anytime we go to some sort of fair. Literally, he would spend all the money if I would let him! Oops. He played a few games though with the rest of our tickets and won Blake a little purple duck and a Princess Wand–she was pretty obsessed with both and wouldn’t put them down until bed!

family time

family time

Family time, milk and snuggles with be happening a heck of a lot more this summer and I can’t wait!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

SHARE THIS!

What’s Mine is Yours…

couple

couple

couple

couple

When Marcus and I first met, though we actually hated each other the first few weeks…(that’s another story for a later date 😉 ), I knew he had potential because he gladly watched A Walk to Remember with me. Literally, my all time favorite movie. He wouldn’t hold my hand, but hey, in time people, in time. This girl knew what she wanted though, we just needed to get past the hate part first 😉 

Eventually we fell in love and all that cute stuff, then he asked me to marry him in a parking lot and well, it was PERFECT. You might be thinking what kind of barbaric animals are these people?! But I assure you we’re only the classiest of class 😉 Actually, him asking me to marry him in a parking lot was one of the best things he’s ever done. I knew the proposal was coming and if you know me at all I am a HUGE surprise ruiner, like I WILL figure it out. So we went out on a normal Friday night date to a nice dinner and comedy show, then as we walked back to the car, he opened my door then paused for a minute and said, “Wait, do I have a flat tire?” At this point, I was pretty pissed–it was COLD and I wanted to get in the car, so I was like nope! Let’s go. Then it happened, he got down on one knee and COMPLETELY caught me off guard. So while you may think it’s silly, I think it’s perfect because it surprised me, I didn’t see it coming at all and well, isn’t that was a proposal is all about?! 

Well, a few months later we got married and the real journey began. I fell in love with him even more than I thought I could and he continued to show me how amazing he really was! 

I mean, you know it’s true love when your husband is okay with you using his razor. I mean really though it goes both ways. You know the saying what’s mine is yours and what’s yours is mine? That’s BEYOND true in our relationship. I use his razor, he uses my moisturizer. I steal his Chapstick he steals my hairbrush. 

In fact, shh…don’t tell, 😉 but one day I came home from work a few years ago and he was watching Gossip Girl…mainly because Blake Lively is pretty dang cute and I watched it religiously, but I got him hooked and well…he couldn’t help himself! Ha!

Recently though, he’s been the thief of my all time favorite treat. Literally, he is eating one right now and I keep finding the empty box in the freezer (one day we will work on throwing boxes away…I’m guilty too!) Skinny Cow Dipped Ice Cream Sandwiches. I mean COME ON, those are MY chocolately “right for you” indulgences. I mean, I guess who can really blame him? They are really good…same goes for my moisturizer and GOSSIP GIRL. In fact, our child is literally named Blake, does that tell you how obnoxious we are? Ha!

Seriously though, side note–if you haven’t tried Skinny Cow’s Chocolately Dipped Ice Cream Sandwiches (available in 3 delicious flavors: Vanilla Bean Dream, Ultimate Chocolate and Creamy Caramel) , please do so! They’re freaking delicious, like I keep them in my freezer at all times delicious. And while us women are usually the ones that buy them, we know the men in our lives are eating them too!

Learn more about them, here. 

See what store near you carries them, here. 

Now, tell me I’m not the only lady who’s man in their life steals their stuff and uses it for themselves?! It’s a good thing I don’t mind sharing.. Well, here’s to marriage, great husbands and the saying, “sharing is caring”!

skinny cow

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

SHARE THIS!

Favorite Shop Friday: Sweet Dreams..

snugababy

snugababy

snugababy

Everyone, stop what you’re doing. Turn your favorite jam on and DANCE! Why?! BECAUSE IT’S FRIDAY! Every Friday deserves a dance party. Unless you’re like me, then everyday deserves one 😉 ha! Especially Friday’s though. I’m so excited for today’s favorite shop Friday y’all! It’s seriously SO good and had been game changing with naps/bedtime for Blake!

The Shop: Snugababy

The Deets: This is a ground breaking  innovative new concept in the world for babies and their caregivers.  It is a patent pending product with handles to use for not only making it easier to lift your baby but assuring your baby experiences restful sleep that started in your arms but ended up in their crib! HOLLA! It helps get extra time back for us Mamas, but also snuggle time before that! Meaning we no longer have to sit there with a baby asleep because you know once you move and get up to put them down they will wake up! Seriously y’all, I mean this wholeheartedly this has been AMAZING for Blake. We use it every single day. She is a light sleeper and every little movement wakes her up, so the fact that I can keep her snug while transferring her to her crib is game changing! 

 Snugababy is made safe, durable, user friendly, and tailored to people with busy lifestyles.This also helps in not having to bend over the crib and do the awkward arm behind head- you can literally lower the baby down – YES!

The Deal: Of course, I’ve got y’all a deal because well, YOU NEED THIS in your life! Use the code, “bestdealP” for $10 off your purchase! 

Now, go get yo shop on y’all!

SHARE THIS!

Just be Tired.

motherhood

Do you ever just feel so tired? Like physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted? The point where our brains are kind of mush all day, in fact you’re pretty much useless. You know you have two hundred things to do, but you mentally can’t even handle it, you can barely handle taking care of your babe let alone yourself. Yeah, that tired. That’s the tired I’ve felt today.

The tired where you can’t even handle worrying anymore, wondering, trying to make a plan and you just don’t care.

Literally, don’t give a crap.

In that moment, all your mind can take is being a Mom. You just have to sit back, stay in comfy clothes all day, ignore the laundry, dishes, work and everything in between. You soak in all the cuddles, enjoy Mickey Mouse clubhouse and let your little eat half the container of puffs.

It’s one of those days, where you just pick your battles.

Then comes the end of the day..nothing is done, you’re still exhausted as ever and it’s time to rock the babe to sleep. As you’re rocking them to sleep you make a big realization.

The realization; today was good.

Today was actually REALLY, really good.

I think sometimes you just need to hit that point. The point where you can’t wait to close your eyes and go to bed, but you spend the entire day having quality time with your baby, even if you didn’t realize it. You ignored all of the housework, didn’t bother even looking at your to-do list and you hung out all day with the one little person that means the entire world to you. Only..you didn’t even realize that’s what happened until this second. Instead you were so tired, so focused in on being a Mom, that your brain was in total relaxation “I don’t care” mode.

So often I’m in a rush, I’m worrying, I’m working on my next project or trying to finalize my current one that I forget to just be tired, to just relax, to JUST be a Mom for the day. That it’s completely normal to not be Super Woman for just one day. Just one day where I can just chill, where I can remember what it’s like to laugh with my little girl, where I can laugh at how ridiculous Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is, but watch how much excitement it brings her. In fact, I could literally tell you what today’s episode was about. That’s the kind of day we should be living for. They don’t come often, but they should.

The kind where I didn’t argue or say no to the water table. She played in it FIVE times. We literally went through five outfits, which means more laundry for me that I haven’t even started in the first place. But it was worth it, it was so freaking worth it. She smiled, she laughed. I literally didn’t care about a single work thing, finances, housework or any other crap happening. I soaked it in, even if I didn’t realize that’s what I was doing, I was doing it. And guess what, I was happy. My heart was so happy, my mind was at peace and the “tiredness” of always being on the go and worrying overcame me. That’s what we should be doing every, single, day.

Obviously, there has to be worries, we have to work, in fact I really do love working, but sometimes it’s a lot. I think life is just a lot and worries always come. BUT we don’t need to worry, we don’t need to let it affect our quality time with our babies. I heard a saying from a movie yesterday and it went like this…

“Why don’t you ever worry?” His answer; “Would it help?”

Oh my gosh did that hit home. When I heard it I wanted to scream, THAT IS WHAT I NEED. Only the problem is, my mind just doesn’t work like that. Seriously though, let’s just talk about this, does worrying help?! Nope. It doesn’t. In fact whatever is going to happen, is going to happen and we will figure it out. We will make it through it, we do every, single, time. And guess what, did worrying ever make a difference during one of those times? NOPE. It never did. Can we “re-wire” our brains to learning this? Heck, I don’t know, but for today…I’m tired and those worries just don’t matter. Tomorrow, might be another story. However–I think this saying is one to live by. Every time things look a little stressful, like they’re not going to work out, just repeat it in our head–“Is worrying going to help?” 

It just ages us, makes us sick, takes quality time away from our babies and our family and makes for long, bad days. So you know what, let’s just live this life, let’s just take what comes our way–kick it in the butt and enjoy everyday to the absolute fullest. Things don’t need to be perfect, we can do what we absolutely love, and our house can be messy for a day!

Have a tired day, ignore the housework, answer emails later and watch your babe ruin five outfits because they’re having a blast playing with the hose.

Xo,
Jess

SHARE THIS!

Blush Pink & Chic..

mom style

mom style

mom style

mom style

mom style

Skirt/Top c/o She Traveled | Bag c/o Jo Totes | Shoes c/o Ruby Claire Boutique | Hair Tutorial, here

I haven’t done a style post in a little while, so this morning felt like the perfect day because…it’s my anniversary!! Which means, I get to get dressed up cute tonight and go out with my hubby! It’s a rare occasion really, between both of our work schedules and raising our cute babe. Usually we go on family dates (which I LOVE), but I’m not going to lie..I’m pretty excited for some us time and a restaurant without a kid’s play area… 😉 

So luckily today happens to be the day I’m teaming up with She Traveled on a really cute look! Think blush pink, floral and chic. Okay, I’ll just show you. 

She Traveled is a new online clothing company based out of Utah. Try not to fall off of your chair when I tell you this next part…Their clothes are designed by experts from the modeling and fashion industries, and tailored specifically to flatter and maintain comfort simultaneously. COMFORT MAMAS (and it’s no joke). No layering required either! Their collections, North America & Europe and now Africa, are designed to mix and match combinations of tops and skirts with various complementing styles and become the foundation of any wardrobe. Obviously if you couldn’t tell, I’m a HUGE fan.

Now, can I just interrupt this style post to get sappy for a minute?! I have the best husband in the world, he is so supportive of me and my dreams, the best Daddy to our little girl and the most amazing partner in this crazy thing called life. I can’t believe it’s our anniversary already again and I am so excited for our little dinner together. I have something exciting planned, but well..I can’t say here–just in case he reads it 😉 So stay tuned on my Snapchat tonight (@positivelyoakes).

And now, back to She Traveled, since I know y’all are probably obsessed already, it’s time to go get your shop on!

SHOP NOW.

Enter below for the chance to win a $50 gift card..

a Rafflecopter giveaway

SHARE THIS!

Because Slumber Parties are Where it’s at..

slumber party

slumber party

slumber party

slumber party

Blake’s PJs: Carters | Jess’ Top c/o Loved by Hannah and Eli | Jess’ Bottoms: Zappos | Nap Mat c/o Tinytweets | Couch & Rug c/o Joss and Main

Slumber parties are something I loved as a kid, especially with my sisters. I remember begging our parents to sleep in one another’s rooms. Then we would fight about which room…(#siblings). Seriously though, I have some of the best memories from them! So a couple of days ago, over the weekend I decided well…a sleepover HAD to happen. Only this time a little different. It was with Blake and I. Ha! It was so much fun though. I live for these little moments and Mommy/Baby time. 

Marcus helped us clear out the living room and move the coffee table so there was plenty of room for our giant floor bed! I made our little beds on the rug. Blake’s with her little Tinytweets bed and mine with a few giant blankets and a pillow. I busted out the popcorn (and goldfish for Blake), we turned on Mickey Mouse clubhouse and she just snuggled up next to me while sipping on her water and locked into a little Mickey. Ha! It was perfect and there’s just something about a little quality time that really makes this Mama feel special. Marcus had to go to a work thing for the night and it was just the perfect thing to do.

Eventually Blake got tired of Mickey Mouse (surprisingly enough) and we played with different toys while she handed them to me saying “Here you go!” and then taking them back and saying “Thank you!”. It’s a little game and so cute to hear her tiny voice say these little phrases. She also climbed all over me…because apparently I am a jungle gym..but was belly laughing while doing so, so I couldn’t even be mad. I love watching her, it’s probably my favorite past time. That’s totally normal, right?

Eventually Marcus got home and by that time. Blake was fast asleep and I had Fixer Upper on…while she was snuggled up, snoring next to me on her little pineapple bed. It was the cutest thing ever and if it wasn’t totally dark I would have snapped a picture! 

Eventually we all fell asleep and it was one giant family party, the pups included 😉 I live for these moments, seriously they’re my absolute favorite and though she might be too young to remember them at this point, one day she will and I hope she looks back and has nothing but happy memories!

Since we had so much fun during our sleepover I wanted someone else to get in on the fun! SO I teamed up with Tinytweets (the fabulous shop that makes her little nap mat she slept on!). Tinyweets is a small artisanal luxury design line that represents high quality hand-made kids products without compromising on design. Each and every piece is created with a lot of precision and love. Their exclusivity and strength lies in the uniqueness of their products and we are totally obsessed! Since each of them are handcrafted carefully, they are only able to produce few of them at a time, so get your hands on your favorites ASAP!

Here’s the fun part, tonight and tomorrow only you can grab 10% off your total purchase, just use the code “OAKES10”!

This post was in collaboration with and sponsored by Tinytweets. Read our full disclosure, here

mommy

SHARE THIS!

A Pigsty of a First Birthday…

Even though my baby girl doesn’t actually turn one for about a week and a half, we celebrated early with a little party while my sister was in town. It was better than I could have ever imagined. Obviously I’m forcing my obsession with pigs on her..so…her entire party was pig themed 😉

We had breakfast for dinner (egg/cheese/hash brown casserole, toast, bacon and French toast! Watched Blake open her presents, in which she definitely picked a favorite. Ha! My sister, Ariel got her a cute little pink Little Tykes car and she would NOT get out of it. In fact, she screamed when I pulled her out for cake…oops. After she calmed down we eventually dove into dessert. She literally couldn’t get enough cake, she LOVED it!!

Rachael with Rachael Burnham Films made the most gorgeous video of her little party so y’all could see everything and she captured some great shots of everything
(PS. I’ve linked where everything is from below all the pictures)

pig party
pig party
pig party
pig party
pig party
pig party
pig party
pig party
pig party

And….her one year cake smash pictures because well, all of my wildest dreams came true and we had a real POCKET PIG!

first birthday

first birthday

first birthday

first birthday

first birthday

first birthday

first birthday

Photos by Angela Minnick Photography

Plates, straws & candles c/o Favor Lane

Confetti, one cake topper c/o Alexis Mattox Design

Heart balloons c/o Studio Pep

Milk Jugs: Party Presentation

Pig mask/dress: Opposite Of Far

Felt Balls & Pigsty Banner: Hooray Everyday

Dress: Old Navy

Blake’s Pig Shoes c/o Donsje

Cake & cupcakes: LillyJane Cupcakes

Pig party favors: Carnival Toys

Letter board c/o Letterfolk

One is Fun Balloons: Oh Shiny Paper Co.

pig party

SHARE THIS!

10 Summer Activities to do With a Baby Under Two..

Summer is here y’all! It’s been a solid 75 degrees or higher for the past several weeks and I figured it was about time that I shared a summer post. As much as I don’t want Blake to grow up, I’m actually really excited for this summer because she’s a little older and we can do a lot more! So today I’m sharing 10 things to do with your babe under two this summer.

  1. A water table. Blake LOVES playing in her water table! Plus it’s in the convenience of your own yard, which means you can sit on the patio, watch your babe and relax a little (or work like in my case 😉 ) In fact, I’m literally writing this while I watch her play in her water table. Here are a few of our favs: 
  2. A Munchkin Duck Tub. We use this for outback actually as a little pool and Blake loves it! It’s small enough for her to climb in and out of and she has a blast! Grab one, here.
  3. Picnic at the park. It’s the perfect time go to the park! Grab your favorite snacks, pack up the stroller and head on out. Here are a few of our favorite picnic items: 
  4. Ice cube water colors. Freeze water and food coloring to make fun little ice cubes they can color with! Plus, they’re edible–so you don’t have to worry about that. Bring some paper outside and let them go to town.
  5. Splash Park. We are all about the splash park right now! Blake drawls around to all the different water toys and LOVES it. Make sure you dress for the occasion though too because you’re bound to get wet 😉
  6. Little Tykes slide. This was probably the best birthday purchase ever for baby girl. We can make our own little water park in the backyard with it, the hose and her pool or she can just slide down it for hours in the backyard.
  7. Sandbox. We actually bought a square planter box and transformed it into a sandbox. It looks nicer in my backyard, has a little ledge to sit on and she has a blast in it. Shop our favorite sandbox items below: 
  8. Popsicles. I mean, most of our babes are at the perfect age to eat Popsicles! Plus, it’s summer time which means you can strip them down to just a diaper and let them have at it! We usually hook up our Portable Munchkin highchair seat to one of the outdoor chairs and let her chow down!
  9. The Lake (or ocean). Who doesn’t love going to the lake?! Obviously this one is a little more difficult with babes under 2 because well, they can’t swim yet 😉 BUT, as long as there is a beach part–you can make it a blast. Build sandcastle, show them what it’s like to put their hands through the sand and help them dip their toes in the water.
  10. The Zoo. Your town most likely has a zoo or some sort of Wildlife park, so take advantage of it this year! We just got a Zoo pass and I can’t wait to take Blake a whole bunch of times! She yells back at the monkeys and LOVES watching the giraffes move around.

What are your favorite summer activities? What did I miss?! I mean, I am a newbie…so I need all the tips and tricks I can get 😉

Shop more of our favorite summer items below..

A big thanks to Munchkin for the fun products for our video.
Video shot by Rachael Burnham Films

 summer activities for babies

SHARE THIS!