100 Foods Before ONE

My unintentional blogging hiatus came in strong and hard. I went from having two kids in school to having them home for summer. Then I gave birth to  Audrey last July. Oh, and the whole global pandemic thing kind of put a wrench in things as well. It’s funny, you think being stuck at home I’d have more time, but it has somehow seemed to work opposite of that. Well blogging went onto the back burner. Over the last 7 months or so, I’ve gathered up so many content ideas. Over the 6 months, I’ve been doing a lot of research and development into this post. AKA, Baby Led Weaning. It was going to be so hard to feed 3 little people, plus myself if I was doing baby food. I decided and talked to our pediatrician about Baby Led Weaning and go the green light at 6 months. From that day forward, she was / is basically eating everything we eat; some unhealthy snacks she probably shouldn’t have as well.

Etsy Shop Icon

Please note that this list is just from our personal experiences. While I’m sure some of the following items aren’t recommended or are taboo to feed babies, you do you. Check with your pediatrician if you have any specific questions on how to feed after 6 months.


It’s a pretty random list but that’s usually how it goes around here! I still laugh that my baby has tried Ox Tail and I have not. There were quite a few things that ended up not being added to the list that I just forgot to add to my note, like scallops and shrimp! It was a ton of fun to watch her try new things and I’m so glad we did this! She’s such a great eater. Although I’m not sure this really has anything to do with the variety of foods she was introduced too.


As you can see, she knows how to get into some food.

Postpartum Recovery with Bellefit

We’re at almost a month since our sweet little Audrey was welcomed into our family. Since my second pregnancy was a c-section and this time I got my successful VBAC; recovery has been much easier on me. I’m sure it has some to do with my method of delivery but also because I’ve been using the Bellefit corset.


The Bellefit corset is a postpartum girdle designed to help bind your abdomen. For me, it’s not about “waist training” but rather gaining that abdominal support. Your body goes through a ton during pregnancy and labor and having the Bellefit on helps everything feel just more secure.

So what exactly is a postpartum girdle? 

From the Bellefit website:

Bellefit® offers the best postpartum girdles and corsets for women recovering from c-section and natural childbirth. The leading medical-grade, doctor recommended postpartum girdle and corset brand; Bellefit® helps women get back to their pre-pregnancy shape and lose the post pregnancy tummy faster.

Bellefit® Postpartum Girdles and Corsets are medical-grade abdominal compression binders made of polyamide fabric and elastane. Their hypoallergenic and micro porous fabric prevents skin rashes by allowing the skin to breathe, thus keeping it fresh and comfortable


I can definitely attest to the fact that they are pretty comfortable. The first time you put it on, it’s a little awkward as your body is still working hard on shifting back to where everything was before 9 months of pregnancy. After the first or second time of putting it on though, buckling all the clasps becomes a breeze. It is also really breathable like they claim it to be. I am running a little hot natured during recovery and it is July in Georgia. I don’t feel like it holds the heat in which was something I was worried about.


I have also suffered with Diastasis Recti from my previous pregnancy and while I was working to repair it, this pregnancy reversed a lot of what I had been working on. If you don’t know, Diastasis Recti basically means that you have a space between your abdominal muscles. Using the Bellefit, has helped me have some of the strength and support in my abdominal muscles that I’ve lost.


Here’s a little glimpse of recovery. Take note that for some reason I still have Christmas lights (in July) and a full basket of laundry hanging out on the floor ready to be put away.

All of pregnancy, birth, and recovery are truly a whirlwind. The forth trimester is no joke but I thank Bellefit for helping make it a little easier.


Welcome Audrey+ VBAC birth story

It took me a few days (okay, 11) to get this post up. We’ve been soaking in all the newborn snuggles and cuddles. On July 2nd we welcomed Audrey Jane via VBAC into the world to complete our family. This birth was by far the easiest and she’s been the sleepiest little peach.


On July 2nd I was scheduled for an induction at 5:30 am. We woke up at 4 and called the hospital to make sure that there was room to induce. Since it was technically an elective induction, I knew there was the possibility of getting bumped for women that were in active labor. Sure enough, all the beds were full and they asked me to call back a few hours later. I called back, still full. They again asked me to call back in a few hours and just basically told me they’d call me after speaking with my doctor  if they could make room. I was pretty discouraged because I had my heart set but kinda put myself into the mind set of “what will be will be.” I decided to start cleaning my house like a mad woman and sure enough just when I was in full swing nesting mode, they called and asked me to come in.

So this induction was elective but since I was going for a VBAC my doctor didn’t want me to go much passed 39 weeks. Audrey was measuring at a great weight so she was comfortable with the induction at 38.5 – I know elective inductions can be quite controversial but I felt like I was doing what was right for us and was assured by my OBGYN that it was fine.


So by noon we were at the hospital. My doctor basically made a recovery suite into a birthing suite to accommodate me. The room was quite small but I could have cared less. I was checked upon arrival and was only 1.5cm dilated and still quite high. I was expecting to be there quite a while before meeting Audrey but to my surprise things progressed really quick.

12:30 – Pitocin was started along with antibiotics since I was GBS positive. I was really comfortable so I was nervous that the drugs really weren’t working. I was also surprised they went straight to Pitocin. I figured since I wasn’t that dilated they would have tried the oral / suppository medications first but doctor knows best right?

2:30 – My doctor came to check me again and I was about 2.5-3 cm so despite being comfortable, it was obviously working. She was able to break my water. Since I had no epidural at this point, this was one of the weirdest sensations ever. With every contraction, water would come out which just felt like I was peeing myself. I was still laughing and relatively comfortable.

5:00 – I made it to 6cm and now was in a great deal of pain. I wasn’t trying to go natural or anything but I didn’t want an epidural until I couldn’t take it anymore. I just wanted the mobility for as long as possible. It was this time I had the epidural ordered.

5:30 – The epidural was in place and I was a lot more comfortable. I still was feeling a lot but it wasn’t pain so I was happy. They decided to use the peanut ball at this point. I was laid onto my side with a giant ball that looks like a peanut between my legs. I stayed like this for about 45 minutes and kept complaining that my urinary catheter was bothering me. They let me get rid of the peanut ball at this point.

7:30 – At this point I hadn’t been checked in a while and they didn’t expect me to be fully dilated but sure enough… The nurses had just switched shifts and I was still complaining of the urinary catheter bothering me. I didn’t have a good numbing and knew something was going on. There was a ton of pressure.  The nurse asked if I wanted to be checked and I said “might as well.” She immediately called my doctor.

8:03 pm – Audrey Jade was born after just 4 sets of contractions! She was 7 pounds 4 ounces and 19.75 inches long. Successful VBAC.


This delivery, despite being an induction, was my easiest. I was prepared for the worst but the results ended up being the best case scenario for me. 7.5 hours from start to finish was absolutely amazing as I was prepared for 24 + hours.

I did have a second degree tear (same as my first delivery) but recovery this time around just feels so much easier. It’s been 100% easier than my c-section delivery for sure. Here I am 11 days postpartum now and besides the lack of consecutive sleep, I’m feeling pretty damn good.




She’s fitting into our world absolutely wonderfully. The kids are so great with her and are eager to help (most of the time) in anyway that they can! I was expecting more jealously but honestly, they’ve been doing great! My mom came to town from the day she was born until yesterday and then my in-laws get here this evening. Matt doesn’t have to go back to work until August so we’re unbelievably lucky.  I’ve been surrounded with lots of love and help which I’m sure is another reason recovery and adjustment has been pretty smooth sailing so far ! <3


October is RSV Awareness Month

This post was sponsored by AstraZeneca as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.


October is one of my absolute favorite times of the year. In Georgia, October means finally cool temperatures, fall activities, and color changes! Unfortunately, with all these added activities and weather changes usually comes some type of illness for my family. It feels like every single fall, the kids come down with something. October also happens to be National RSV awareness month so there’s no better time to talk about this virus!

I chose to participate in this campaign because I have a personal connection to this ugly virus. Both of my children had RSV as babies; neither were very severe cases and did not require hospitalization. Regardless, I know how nasty RSV can be and if I can help even one person prevent their baby from getting it or help them to recognize the symptoms early, then I’ve done my job.


What is RSV?

RSV is also known as Respiratory Syncytial Virus. It’s an extremely common and contagious virus that mainly effects children under the age of two. It’s so common, that nearly 100% of infants will come in contact with it by their second birthday! With that being said, I was amazed when my oldest son was diagnosed with it and I had never even heard of it! How is it possible that I wasn’t aware of something that is the leading cause of hospitalization of children under the age of one? It’s time to spread the knowledge and protect those little lungs!

What are the symptoms?

  • Be on the lookout for cold and flu like symptoms!
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Fever (Especially over 100.4 [rectally] in children under 3 months)
  • Blueish color around the mouth and fingernails
  • Fast or troubled breathing

What are the risk factors?

The most common time of year for RSV is November through March so this is the time that parents need to be on high alert. Unfortunately, premature babies (before 35 weeks) are more likely to develop severe forms of the virus. They don’t receive as many antibodies in utero to help their bodies fight and they often have underdeveloped lungs that have narrow and fragile airways.

How can you prevent RSV?

Of course, as parents we always want to prevent our children from any kind of harm. RSV has no specific cure so prevention is key! It’s very much like preventing any other virus which includes proper hygiene and sanitation techniques.


Writing this post completely brought me back to how miserable my kids were when they had RSV. Like I mentioned above, they had “very mild” cases which didn’t require any hospitalization. My son had it when he was about 18 months and my daughter about 15 months. They both had terrible cold symptoms and were completely not themselves.


That’s a picture of Everett when he was out for the count. It was days upon days of just laying around, pushing fluids, and trying to recover. I can’t even imagine what it would have been like had it been worse; unfortunately for many it is a lot worse.

Do your part this cold season! Help spread the word on RSV and make sure you’re using proper hygiene. If you or your child is experiencing symptoms, stay in! To learn more about RSV please visit the RSV website.

Toys Do Not Have A Gender

gendertoysAs I’m sure 99% of you are well aware, Target just made an announcement that they are going to phase out gender roles in their stores in regards to things like toys and bedding. This is the original article that I read in regards to the changes. I literally read it and thought, “Cool. Sounds good,” and went on with my day. What I wasn’t prepared for was the complete backlash that Target is now getting in regards to this decision. For example, there is a Facebook group of people protesting the change that is already at over 16,000 likes at the time I’m writing this post. I’m sure by the time it reaches your eyes, the numbers will be much higher.

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 3.39.31 PMI guess I can’t wrap my head around why this is such a big deal. Do consumers really need an isle to say “boy toys” and “girl toys” to find the specific toy that their child is interested in? Do your kids really go to the isle of the opposite gender and think, “oh, this says for **** only. I can’t like any of the toys in this isle.” I didn’t think so. Kids are going to like what kids are going to like. Signage and colors inside the store aren’t going to influence that in the slightest.

The comments running all over Facebook on these specific posts are astounding. There are plenty of people, like myself, who don’t see it as a big deal or a threat but of course there are others whom are on the opposite side of the spectrum. Some of these people believe that Target is trying to “make their children gay or transgendered” and truly believe that only boys like blue and girls like pink. I can’t understand that mindset.

To me, all they are doing, is eliminating the gender roles surrounding toys and bedding. They’re putting it out there that it’s okay for a boy to want to play with a kitchen set and it’s fine if a girl wants to play with toy dinosaurs. Toys are made to stimulate the imagination of the child and allow them to explore their world. Who says anyone should limit what that child chooses to use to do that?

What a child chooses to play with does not make them gay, transgendered, or any other term you decide as an adult that you want to place on it. They’re just simply being children.


I’m curious as to how these parents whom are against gender neutralization of toys deal with this issue in their household when they have two children; one of each sex. I have a boy and a girl which means I also have a household of “boy” and “girl” toys. It’s quite often that my son can be found pushing around a doll in a stroller. Should I stop him because that toy is for girls? All he’s doing is what children do best, which is imitate what they see around them. He’s exploring his own little world and I have no fear that this action is going to make him think he’s female or turn him gay. Hey, since when can’t a man push a stroller? This kind of action is exactly what the comments I have been reading have been afraid of.

So, you know what? If people start boycotting Target, that will only make it less crowded for me when I frequent it. If these people decide that they are still going to shop in the store; I’m afraid that they’ll actually have to look at the toys instead of read the sign at the end of the isle that tells you what they are.

Kid Friendly Spontaneous Summer Fun

This post is sponsored by Chevrolet Traverse.


Summer here in Georgia is in full swing. All the neighborhood kids are out of school and the town is buzzing with activity. My two children are not quite school age at two-and-a-half and just a year old, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t all like to get out there and enjoy the warm weather.

If you have children, which I’m sure most of my readers do, you know how hard it is to leave the house with them. Some days it takes literally hours just to get them dressed, fed, packed for the day, and out the door. I realized that these two little monsters have put a damper on my spontaneous nature from before I was a mother. I decided that it was time to reclaim that.

I decided to do so by doing one simple task. Having my Chevrolet Traverse packed and ready to go at a moments notice with things that the kids may need for a day out of the house enjoying the summer.


  • Swim and Regular Diapers. Half the battle of leaving the house is someone is always wet or dirty. I’ll change one and then the other decides to go. I’ve even had situations where I completely forget to repack the diaper bag, we get somewhere, smell something awful and then have to turn around and go back home. Having these in the car already is a saving grace. I also decided to keep swim diapers on hand because you never know when you’ll end up at a pool, lake, or splash pad.
  • Towels. They can be so multipurpose in a bind. Of course the most common use is to dry off after a swim but I’ve used them for everything from cleaning up spills to an extra blanket at nap time when we’re out and about.
  • Sunscreen. It’s brutal out there. We never leave the house without a layer on but reapplying is key to not getting burnt. When I have a spare in the trunk of my car I don’t have to think about packing it.
  • Empty Sippy Cups. This has saved me on numerous occasions. Milk gets bad really quickly and drinks get hot being out in the sun. I now just bring a few clean and empty cups along with me and fill up at drinking fountains as needed.
  • Spare Clothes. My daughter pees through her clothes more often than I’d like to admit. It’s not because of her diaper size or that I forget to change her. She just goes a lot at once. My son is a big fan of Peppa Pig and “jumping in muddy puddles.” I think both of these scenarios explain why I need extra outfits at all times.
  • Small Outdoor Toys. Kids can get bored really quickly. I like to toss a beach ball or some bubbles in the car just to have for those sticky situations. It’s amazing how much more time you can get out of them with a little bit of cheap entertainment.
  • Snacks.  My kids and well, myself get hungry all the time at the most inconvenient times. While I can control my tantrums most of the time my two little ones can not.

Some things I do or keep in my car that are not mentioned in the graphic above:

  • I keep everything inside of a spare cooler. That way if we decide to make a day out of it, I have a cooler with me. I can just stop for ice, drinks, sandwiches and we’re good to go.
  • Life Jackets
  • Baby Wipes
  • Portable Playpen

By having this small (okay, long) list of things stockpiled in my car I never have to worry about not being able to do something spur-of-the-moment with the kids.

A large cooler stores everything you could possibly need for two kids. There is even a full-size beach ball in here!

So you’re probably wondering how I’m able to just leave such a large amount of items in my car without it taking up too much room, right? I am not kidding when I say I leave all these things in there 24/7 and don’t remove a thing when I go grocery shopping or just running errands. It’s all because I have a Chevrolet Traverse.

I did a lot of research back when my second child Aria was born. I knew I needed more room for two kids and all the things that come along with them. My number one thing, I didn’t want a mini van. I wanted the space without the appearance and soccer mom feel of it. Nothing against anyone who drives a van, it just wasn’t for me. That’s when I found the Traverse and completely fell in love.

The 2015 Chevrolet Traverse has a 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score for safety*, which is huge when you’re driving around the most important people in your life. It also seats up to 8** and has best-in-class maximum cargo space. I can see why, because I have never had an issue fitting everything I need into it.

You can see that my Traverse is getting broken in. There is dirt from adventures yet still plenty of room for more.

You can see that my Traverse is getting broken in. There is dirt from adventures yet still plenty of room for more.

With spacious seating, ample cargo space, and available safety and entertainment technologies, there’s no better vehicle to bring the family together than the Chevrolet Traverse.

So keep your kids and yourself busy and be spontaneous this summer! It’s one of the best times of the year to get out there and really enjoy life as a family. Just make sure that you’re prepared to do so and have ample space in your vehicle to keep it fully loaded.


*Government 5-Star Safety Ratings are part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s New Car Assessment Program (www.SaferCar.gov).

**Standard on LS and 1LT.  Available on 2LT.  LTZ seats 7.  Not available in Ebony/Saddle Up interior color.

Guest Post: Sweet Dreams, Bringing Elegance into your Babies Nursery


Two wonderful daughters were already in my life when I was expecting my third one. I think it was around my fifth month of my third pregnancy when I decided to redecorate the room for my new baby. Of course, I wouldn’t want my two daughters to feel evicted from their room, so I wanted to make them a part of the entire process. Firstly, they already grew out of their little cribs. I explained that they are big enough to have their own beds, so they felt very grown up and mature. It was so heart-warming watching them try and make their new, big beds after their first night of sleep in them. From that moment, they were OK with leaving their old room for their new baby sister, so we decided to redecorate it together.

My general idea was to make a room full of chic and charming details. While I was pregnant with my two daughters, I was so anxious that I didn’t have much time to think about room decoration. But now, with the two of them by my side, I had all the time in the world and all the help I could get to make an elegant, chic and charming room for my baby. Here are the most important things we did to make it happen:


  • Very important thing about the baby’s room is that it has a lot of windows and a lot of light. Don’t hesitate to change the arrangement of the rooms around your home to make this sort of room the baby’s room. It takes a bit, but it means a lot for the baby. Also, me and my two, little stylish assistants chose a nice greyish green color from the pastel palette of colors.
  • The drapes are long and very bright, so that a lot of light comes through them.
  • The best solution for the furniture is to take a minimal approach. A nice, white chest of very spacious drawers was just enough.
  • The baby’s bed should be in the same color as the chest of drawers. It should not have the closed sides, but safety bars instead. In this way, your baby will have more space and it will not feel trapped in its bed.
  • The baby’s bed is not complete without the baby sleeping bag. This is very useful and makes your life much easier. The baby will be more peaceful and the sleeping time will be lovely and tranquil. Also, it will save your kid from getting cold.
  • The entire room will feel a lot cozier if the floor is covered by the thick and fluffy rug on the wooden parquet. It gives a warm and homely feeling.
  • While you are at it, you will need a nice armchair with a couple of elegant and pastel cushions which will make the room look more posh and it will be your corner in this room.
  • You can opt for some elegant and sophisticated wall art. For example, you may want to frame the little pieces of clothes that your baby grows out of. Their first onesie and similar items. It can look really nice on the walls.


Take your time for this endeavor and you will not be sorry. If you invest just a couple of days of work, you and your baby will be able to enjoy the warm and cozy room that will make the first days of motherhood pleasant and unforgettable. Your baby will experience the peace, tranquility and harmony of your perfectly decorated and elegant baby room.

About author:

Tracey Clayton is a full time mom of three beautiful girls and dedicated housewife. She loves cooking, baking, sewing, spending quality time with her daughters and she’s passionate in writing. Her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live.”

mail: traceycltn@gmail.com
fb: www.facebook.com/tracey.clayton.1804
tw: twitter.com/traceycltn

National Learn To Swim Day with Swim Ways


I participated in a Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for SwimWays. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

My husband and I are both from the Midwest originally. Of course summer is nice and warm there for swimming but it’s nothing compared to the heat we’re getting now that we live in Georgia. We purchased a home in a neighborhood that has a pool which means that we will be spending tons of time with the kids in it staying cool over the summer. With tons of pool time comes safety precautions. I want my children to feel confident around the water which means starting early.

This past week we introduced Aria to the pool for the first time. We used the Swim Ways baby spring float. I thought for sure she was going to be terrified because she just recently started to enjoy bath time but I was totally wrong. She absolutely loved it!


I felt completely secure with her in this float. She was kicking like crazy and it wasn’t even coming close to tipping. I would never leave her unattended obviously but it’s a great feeling to know if I look away for a second to check on my other child that she isn’t going to go sinking to the bottom of the pool. Using this float was absolutely the perfect way to introduce her to the pool.

Swim Ways has created the perfect way to get your child swimming like a fish. This float that we tried out is just step 1 in the 3 step system. The next step involves getting them kicking and paddling while being supported. The final step involves swim trainer vests to even further get them doing everything on their own. I will be looking into the next step for my 2.5 year old son for sure! You can find out more about these specific steps on the Swim Ways website here.


May 16th is national learn to swim day! This is the 4th year that this specific day is nationally recognized. The purpose is to remind parents and guardians of the importance of learning to swim and pool safety. Swim Ways really believes that swimming is an important skill that every child deserves the chance to learn. I couldn’t agree more with them. My children now both are turning into little fish and I can’t wait to spend more time over the summer enjoying our neighborhood pool.

You can purchase your own Swim Ways float at Toys R Us stores nationwide.




I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Beech-Nut. I received a free coupon to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

Aria is just about at that stage where she no longer wants “baby food.” Shes quickly becoming independent and wants to feed herself with her spoon or just use her fingers. Most of the time, I’m able to cut up fruits and veggies for her to nibble on and self feed but sometimes there just isn’t enough time in the day. Those times I like to rely on the Beech-Nut organic line. I have a peace of mind that it’s JUST the fruit or veggie and not packed full of preservatives and artificial ingredients. There are just real fruits and vegetables, sometimes ancient grains and beans, packed into every jar.


This organic line that we love is real recipes inspired by real moms and their home-cooked meals for their babies. You’d think that some of these flavor combinations might be a little whacky sounding but trust me, they’re delicious. I’ve tried them too. Come on, who doesn’t try the food that they are about to feed their baby! The line includes the following flavors:

  • organic apple, raspberry & avocado
  • organic banana, cinnamon & granola
  • organic butternut squash, black bean & cumin

All of the foods are cooked similar to how they would be if you were making them at home. The process doesn’t include adding any excess water or cooking to the point that any nutrients are lost. They are just created so that the natural ingredients shine through! You can trust Beech-Nut to be truly organic. They come in a clear jar and have the USDA organic seal right on the outside which is an indication that they are GMO free.


I love that Beech-Nut is organic and GMO free but what really makes me excited about the product is how much my daughter loves them. As I mentioned above she is quickly getting out of that stage where she will allow me to feed her foods. I couldn’t shovel this jar of apples, raspberry, and avocado in her fast enough. I should have snapped a picture of her little meltdowns she was having in between bites.

The food is also really nice and thick. I’ve had problems in the past with extremely liquid “baby foods” that would hardly stay on the spoon. Not with this stuff!

So where can you purchase your own jars? There is no need for extra trips to the store for you since you can pick it up where you probably already buy groceries. It’s conveniently found at all of the following retail stores:

  • Kroger
  • Babies “R” Us
  • Wegmans
  • Price Chopper
  • Wakefern
  • Walmart.com
  • Winn-Dixie
  • BI-LO
  • Stop & Shop
  • Giant Carlisle
  • A&P
  • Pathmark
  • Albertsons
  • Hannaford
  • Raley’s
  • Meijer
  • Nugget Market
  • Diapers.com
  • Harris Teeter
  • Shaws
  • Acme
  • Shoppers Food
  • Cubs Food

If you need to find the closest retailer near you, check out this convenient store locator tool!


Beech-Nut and Influence Central are also giving away a coupon to try a jar to one lucky reader. Just enter using the rafflecopter below for your chance to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Adorable Personalized Gifts From My 1st Years

gift boxesThere is only a short period of time in life that you can get away with having your name adorably plastered all over everything that you own. That time being when you’re a child. I recently got the chance to shop at My 1st Years and choose something for my daughter. There was an overload of cuteness to pick from. They literally have everything from blankets to clothing to teddy bears. I ended up going with the personalized pink fleece robe.


Like I mentioned above, there was so much to choose from!

I almost decided on the Jellycat Nighttime Bunny but figured she would get more use from the robe.

bella nighttime bunny

The gift came wrapped gorgeously! My 1st years would make the perfect shop to purchase something for someone else at since you’d have to do almost nothing except buy it. It would arrive to them wrapped and ready to be enjoyed.


We are loving our robe and I have nothing but great things to say about my experience working with this company!