Monday, October 26, 2015

Preggonista® Box Reveal & Giveaway Announcement!

Today I wanted to share what I received in my latest box from Preggonista. I have to admit I have been in a pregnancy tunnel lately. Tunnel meaning that all I can do is think about what all there is left to do until the baby comes. You forget about all that goes into preparing for a baby until you're about to have one. That's where I am now. With a long list things to do and very little motivation or energy to do any of them.

So when I received my box from Preggonista last week it was a much needed treat to myself for all the hard work I've been putting off until the last minute.

Here is what came in my box...

Preggonista Gift Box

Black Wrap Dress by Seraphine - This dress has been worn by celebs like Kate Middleton, Halle Berry and Kate Hudson. The dress can be worn after pregnancy too. It's perfect for nursing and comfortable enough to wear soon after baby. I am in LOVE with this LBD!

Preggonista T-Shirt - A super cute t-shirt that I've already worn twice. Once with ripped legged maternity jeans and today with a black pencil skirt.

Teething Bling - For babies that like to tug on jewelry this necklace is genius. SmartMom created this stylish teething ring for Moms to wear and it's safe for babies.

Organic Belly Butter by OG Mama - A belly butter with a hint of a lavender fragrance soothes itchy skin as your skin stretches to accommodate your growing body.

This was a great box, right? On November 1st you'll have the chance to win your very own box from Preggonista. This is a great way to treat yourself to something special during your pregnancy. It's also a sweet gift for a pregnant friend or sister so you can still enter the giveaway if you're not pregnant.

To see the live unboxing of this video visit my Youtube channel. Don't forget to like, comment and subscribe! ;-)

Monday, October 19, 2015

11 Reasons to Drive a Minivan & Love it by Chic Mom Blogger Britney

Hi everyone, my name is Britney and I'm visiting from Britney Dearest. I'm so excited to be guest blogging on "The Chic Stay at Home Mom" today!

Upon reading the title, some of you may be puzzled as to why anyone in their twenties would proudly admit to driving a minivan, let alone enjoy it.

Hear me out before you think I'm crazy!

I was once anti-minivan too. I could not fathom the idea that I would ever drive a van. EVER! A minivan wasn't the right vehicle for this hot, young mama.

How it happened...
In 2011, during the last month of my pregnancy with my youngest son, my family owned two small cars; my husband's black manual 2-door Scion tc & my 4 door Chevy Cavalier. My husband had bought his car brand new and customized and it was his 'baby'. He dreaded the thought of selling it, but knew it was time for a newer, family-friendly vehicle.

I never ever considered a minivan as an option. I was actually searching for a 7 or 8 passenger SUV. My dreams were shattered when my husband said something like, "babe, we're not getting an SUV, we need a van." I probably replied something like, "honey, you have lost your mind if you think I'm gonna be seen driving a VAN." Then, because he's Mr. Logical, he explained all the reasons why a van would be the most practical choice for our family. He was right, but I probably said, "screw that, I'm too young and fly to drive a van!"

A month after the birth of my son, my husband and I contacted my cousin, who at the time was a salesman at a Dodge Chrysler Jeep dealership. A couple of weeks after our initial conversation, he called us saying he had something for us; a van that only had one previous owner prior, it was in great condition, had low mileage, yada yada yada...

I was ridiculously dramatic on the way to the dealership. I guess reality had set in. I don't know if it was my postnatal breastfeeding hormones or what, but I cried (literally) and debated with my husband during the entire ride. I realized I may have lost my battle against the minivan and the possibility that I could really be driving one by the end of the day was over whelming for me. I know it seems silly, but I was really stressed out!

I wasn't sold on it until the test drive.

Needless to say, my husband and I became owners of 2008 Chrysler Town & Country Limited minivan by the end of that day. I named it Pearl, because of it's pretty, light blue pearly color.

Although my ideas of driving a minivan didn't start out so well, I have made it to a great place and now, it's all love and light.

October 11, 2015

Allow me to explain why...

1. Nice aesthetics. Everything on the inside and outside was close to perfection. It looked brand spanking new. The previous owner kept the vehicle in great condition.

2. It drives so smooth. During our test drive, my husband and I were blown away by how smooth the ride was. It was so much better than what we were used to. It still rides pretty good.

3. Entertainment for the kids. Our van has two TV screens that fold down from the ceiling of the van, a remote, and two Bluetooth headphones so I can ride in silence or listen to the radio while the kids listen to their movie. Every now and then we're offered three free months of SiriusXM satellite radio. I love it! I can't wait until the offer comes back around again. Using an auxiliary cord, I can hook up my phone and listen to my own music via YouTube, Pandora, or any other internet radio apps. We also have an electrical power outlet we can turn off and on in the second row.

4. Rear view screen. My kids leave out their bikes and toys in the driveway pretty often, so when I open the garage, I can check the rear view screen to make sure there's nothing and no one behind the van before backing out. It's beneficial in parking lots because in addition to my rear view mirrors, I have another way to check for other vehicles and people walking by. The screen also allows me to control the radio and has the ability to show a movie while the van is in park.

5. It has automatic sliding doors that open and close with the push of a button. Yeah, SUV's are nice at all, but automatic sliding doors are a great feature they lack. I feel like I'm living in luxury when my kids and I are leaving the grocery store, and I tap the button to slide the doors open for the kids before we make it to the car. Instantly following that, I tap the button to open the trunk for the groceries. Then, I tap the button again to close the trunk, while my kids tap the button located inside the van to close the doors. I get that "I'm so fancy" attitude.

While I'm in the back, slaving away.

6. Because  of the sliding doors, I don't have to worry about my kids swinging doors open and scratching or denting cars nearby.

7. Stow-n-Go seating is great. Instead of removing seats, we're able to fold them down into the floor. It has been great for big purchases. I can put a few seats down to load a large item. We have also used the seating at the drive in, changing the trunk into comfortable seating and a spot to lie down.

The larger front row storage compartment has DVDs, change, hand sanitizer, lotion, car sprays, stuff like that.

8. There are useful storage compartments, including a nice sized trunk. There are two glove compartments on the passenger side and two nice sized storage compartments in between the driver and passenger seats. I store DVD's in the larger one and and stuff like loyalty/reward savings cards, baby wipes, lotion, & feminine products in the smaller. I keep my emergency kits and reusable grocery bags in the floor compartments located in the second row. We're able to fit our groceries, wagon, bikes, and scooters in the trunk with ease. In the third row, there's a few holders and areas where the kids store a few of their small toys.

9. There's so much space. My kids can get in and out very easily. When there are three people in the third row seat, it's still comfortable and spacious. On the day of my sister's wedding, when their limo, which was carrying majority of the wedding party including the bride & groom, became stranded on the side of the road {gasp!}, I was able to seat seven of them into my van... and they watched a movie on the way to our destination. :-)

10. Heated Seating. The driver, passenger, and second row seats have heated seating. It's perfect for the colder seasons! Not only am I able to keep my backside warm, but my kids can keep theirs warm as well.

Our emergency kits, reusable bags, and other stuff in the floor.

11. My family loves having a van. My entire family is spoiled by the perks that our Pearl offers. I don't want any other type of vehicle. I would love to upgrade to a 2016 Town & Country. They're so sleek and gorgeous, inside and out. I considered a 2015 Honda Odyssey; for awhile, it was actually my dream family car, however, when I saw the newer Town & Country, with chrome accents and new logo design, I fell deeply in like.

Truth be told, we won't be upgrading to anything newer any time soon. We'll be driving our current van until it can't go anymore, or as some say, "until the wheels fall off!" But it's fun to dream :-)

Third row. Snapping photos as I clean!
Having a van has most definitely changed my opinion. I was so hesitant to own one, but now, I don't want anything else. Well, I would like to have a nice 4-door mid-size sedan, eventually, in addition to my van, but it's not feasible for us right now, so the other alternative we have currently is my husband's Chevy truck.

Yeah, my vehicle screams, "I HAVE A BUNCH OF KIDS!" But that's not an issue for me, I'm a proud Mommy. I don't mind the "soccer mom" references. Regardless of the negative stereotypes and opinions surrounding minivans, my van is what I make it. And I like to believe my family makes it look darn good. :-)

Any other proud "minivans moms" out there? Or, are you considering joining the club? Did I convince you enough? :-) Thanks for reading! And thank you so much to Tia for having me!

In addition to my blog, Britney Dearest, you can also find me {as @BritneyDearest} on Instagram,  TwitterFacebook, and Pinterest.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Chic Bump Watch: NSTs & BPPs

I have reached that point in my pregnancy where I'll be going to see the doctor quite a bit. This week I started my non stress tests. I go  twice a week to make sure the baby is doing okay and that my blood pressure isn't spiking too high.

A non stress test doesn't last too long but if your baby is sleepy during the test (and doesn't "pass") you'll be given what's called a BPP (bio physical profile). A BPP is an ultrasound that checks for baby's breathing and movement. During all of my pregnancies my babies slept right through their NST but would pass the BPP with flying colors.

I wasn't suppose to start my testing for another couple weeks but my doctors thought that it would be best to have me go ahead start them now. I learned during Little Mike's pregnancy that a little extra monitoring never hurts and it can be the best thing for you. During his pregnancy we learned that I needed to deliver after a BPP. My fluid had leaked and if it wasn't for my NST/BPP appointments we may not have found out about that until it was too late.

So that's where I'm at right now. I go to testing twice a week and I still have my regular doctor visits every two weeks too. I try to have all of my appointments line up on the same days and around the same times but that doesn't always happen. 

As we cruise into the end of the month and into November I can't help but think about how close we are to meeting our #grandfinalebaby! 

Anyone else do NSTs while pregnant?

Monday, October 12, 2015

Mama Boxes: Third Trimester Box

Today I am sharing what's inside my third trimester box from Mama Boxes. I absolutely loved all of the samples in the first box I received. I can't believe I was able to hold out and wait for my third trimester to take a peek inside...

mama boxes subscription box service

Now that my third trimester is officially underway I am starting to plan for post pregnancy and all things newborn baby. Luckily this trimester's box included some items to help me with that. My husband has been telling me all weekend that I should start thinking about packing my bag for the hospital. I think I'll wait a couple more weeks before I pack my bag. Some of the samples in this month's box are going to be perfect for my hospital stay.

Here's what came inside my box this trimester:

Johnson's baby head-to-toe wash - This travel size sample will be perfect for my diaper bag. It also came with a $2.00 coupon for Johnson's/Desitin products at Babies R Us.

dapple - Dapple is a baby-safe dish liquid made from plants. The sample came with a $1.00 off coupon that can be used to purchase the product at Target.

Lasinoh - "The World's Purest Lanolin", provides relief for sore and cracked nipples. It's safe for mom and baby. I'll definitely need this as a nursing mom as we work on our latch. This sample came with a coupon for $1.00 off any one Lasinoh HPA Lanolin.

Healing Mix Flax & Nuts Cuisine - This natural organic mix of flax and nuts increases natural energy, helps in lactation, provides nutritional support for healthy hormone production after giving birth and renews mental clarity and focus. Sign me up for all of that post baby goodness! It is suggested that you take one scoop two to three times a day as needed. 

La Mav Coffee Bean Body Scrub - Exfoliates  dead skin cells while reducing the appearance of cellulite. This body scrub contains organic Coconut Oil, Camellia Oil and Macadamia Oil and is rich in essential fatty acids and vitamins.

ziaja body balm - A cocoa butter that improves skin tone.

Pink Unity - A non-staining glycerin free silicone lubricant for women.

MUN No.11 Anarose - A rejuvenating rose toner that gently exfoliates your flaky skin.

Pampers - This super cute diaper and wipes cloth clutch came with one newborn size diaper and a small pack of wipes. It also included a coupon for $5.00 off my purchase of any one value size box of diapers and wipes. I am kind of in love with the clutch. I can see myself using it to hold some of my own personal items after the baby is born. It's perfect for a diaper bag!

I got some great stuff in this box. All of the coupons will come in handy. I can't wait to try the healing mix. Mama Boxes is a fun way to celebrate your pregnancy. It's a great gift for a friend who is expecting. I have enjoyed getting a new box in the mail every few months. It gives you something fun to look forward to while you wait for baby. 

What's your favorite sample from this month's box? I think the Pampers clutch is mine! 

Don't forget that posts will be pretty random between now and when #grandfinalebaby arrives. I'm on modified bed rest  and will be resting as much as possible. Be sure to check here and on social media from updates from me. I'll be active on FB and instagram when I'm feeling up to it.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Organizing Mamas: Baby Nursery Inspiration

I am officially in the third trimester of my pregnancy, yay!!! I feel so incredibly blessed to have made it this far. I'm praying to stay pregnant as long as possible.

From previous experience I know it's in my family's best interest to go ahead and get prepared for baby as soon as possible. Little Mike came earlier than we expected and there were still some things that needed to be done once we were home from the hospital. Not fun.

I want to be ready this time. So this week for the Organizing Mamas Challenge I'll be trying to gather some ideas for a neutral baby nursery. I have been resting so much that I've actually ended up in a really time sensitive place. Thankfully, this challenge with Mimi from Unlikely Martha has been keeping me somewhat on task.

Living on a military base doesn't allow me to do as much as I would like to as far as decorating goes. Our home is over a hundred years old. The bedrooms are small but the house has a cozy charming feel to it. I plan to do a neutral 'nursery' so that the baby can share a room with either Sav or Little Mike. I just can't afford to give up our guest room right now. Our parents need a room when they come visit. 

I am very attracted to a room with a grey base. It can be easily transitioned to a boy or girl's room by adding different colors. 

That room is very similar to what I'll actually be working with. The walls in our house will remain white so I have to bring in color with furniture and decor. I found this crib on Amazon that I really love because it comes in different colors. I could easily choose a color that already matches the decor in Savannah or Little Mike's room.

I don't know why I'm so drawn to grey right now. It honestly doesn't go with either of the kid's rooms so I'd have to do a total room makeover for grey to work. I'm tossing around the idea. I like simple, easy and timeless design because moving is inevitable I want their rooms to work no matter where we're living.

For Mama's with multiples... Have you ever had kids share a room? How did that work? If giving up my guest room is worth it I'll consider it. Sleep means everything to me so I'm willing to do whatever it takes to keep the sleep flowing around here.

Now go check out Mimi's post to see her mud room makeover update!