Stilettos and Diapers: September 2015

9.30.2015

The Mom Car Essentials + Giveaway!

All mom's know that going anywhere requires a good deal of stuff. After a couple outings with baby #3, I'm basically a pack mule on my way out the door. The reality is, kids of all ages need stuff when you leave the house and the majority of it is to keep us moms sane. What I like to do, is keep my car stocked up with essentials so I don't have to be carrying so much every time I leave the house. 

Since my inlaws are leaving next week and I have to get back into the swing of errands and school pickup, I know I need to prep my car. I will need a lot of essentials before I start spending 1.5 hours a day in it with a 3 year old and an infant and my main focus is snacks. I guarantee there will be times that we are all starving at once! 

Since I'm breastfeeding, I'm requiring a bit more food than normal and snacks are the easiest way of getting in those extra calories I need. I'm trying to eat healthy, though, and not snack on junk! It's been handy coming up with healthier snacks for me, because I have some more suggestions when my boys ask for a snack. Is it just mine, or is every kid STARVING after school? 

Here are my Mom Car Essentials that everyone needs right in between the stroller and baseball gear bag:
Mom Car Essentials: Gold Emblem Abound #CVSBacktoSchool




1. Baby wipes
I don't think I will ever stop carrying wipes. I use them every single day for things other than diaper changes. Sticky fingers, dirty hands, spills; they're great for so many reasons!

2. Diapers
This is a no brainer if you have kids wearing them, but keeping them in the car means you can run out for a quick trip without having to take the whole diaper bag.

3. Change of clothes
This applies to everyone all around. The baby. The newly potty trained 3 year old. Yourself. You never know when an extra t-shirt stashed in your car will come in handy. 
Mom Car Essentials: Gold Emblem Abound #CVSBacktoSchool

4. Kleenex
The little pocket packs work great for the car and are much better for wiping little noses than the restaurant napkin you have stashed in your glove box. 

5. Empty water bottle
If you're a boy mom, then you probably know what this is for. With 3 kids, I am not about to haul everyone into a public bathroom, if I can help it. An empty water bottle makes a perfect toilet for the little men in my life. 

6. Blanket
This is mostly because I have an infant, who could blow through the extra outfit at any point. Or need to be hidden from the touchy feel-y people at the grocery store. 

7. Trash bag
I just keep an empty grocery bag for emergencies. This could include a poop diaper, a wet outfit, or the spur of the moment car cleaning that may desperately need to happen in the pickup line. 

8. Snacks
Quite possibly the most important car essential is food. I stockpiled my car with a bunch of snacks from the Gold Emblem Abound line at CVS. With them all being free from artificial preservatives and flavors, I love that I can go in and grab anything from the brand and trust it's quality. Here are the snacks we are loving to keep in the car:
Mom Car Essentials: Gold Emblem Abound #CVSBacktoSchool

Sea Salt Baked Rice Crisps
I always like a little salty in the car and these hit the spot without being fried, fattening chips.

Blueberry Breakfast Biscuits
These are hands down my new favorite food. They taste exactly like a blueberry muffin, just in a crunch little cookie type biscuit. 

Raw Natural Almonds
I think my biggest source of hangry is when I haven't had enough protein. Nuts are a fantastic, portable protein and raw almonds are my top choice. 

Bars
Almond & Cranberry, Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate and Almond & Coconut are all delicious flavors that pack in some protein and enough calories to hold you or your kids over for awhile. 

Heavenly Light Popcorn 
This comes in a large bag as well as a perfect car sized, 2.5 servings bag. This one is great to share when baseball practice runs 30 minutes late. 

That's a wrap! Have you tried any of the Gold Emblem Abound products? They're so great for the car, after school snacks and even regular pantry items like salsa, peanut butter, oatmeal and more!

Want to win some for yourself? Use the widget below to enter to win an assortment of Gold Emblem Abound products! 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I’m proud to partner with CVS/pharmacy for the Back to School Healthy Essentials campaign. I am being sponsored by CVS/pharmacy for my posts and activities, but all opinions expressed are my own, and all product claims or program details shared should be verified at CVS.com or with the appropriate manufacturers. 

9.29.2015

Lincoln Lately

I thought I'd be a little more on top of blogging at this point, but I forgot how long it takes to type with one hand, while trying to not wake a baby with the other. And y'all, this baby is a sleeper. 
Speaking of sleeper, the new baby life is wearing Callan out, too.  
Lincoln had his first boat outing last weekend. We did a super slow ride and it was a ton of fun. As soon as this rain clears, we'll be out again!
3 week old little man. How cute is this onesie from Best Crafts Ever?
Over the weekend, the NY Mets clinched the NL East division. The Hubs has been a Met fan since birth and I've been since I met him 13 years ago. Their last Worls Series win was in 1988 and the've only been in the playoffs a handful of times since then, so this win is huge! You may see a lot of blue and orange from us in the next couple of weeks...
Sunday mornings are alone time for Lincoln and I while everyone goes to church. We stay in our jammies and watch church from the couch. I've loved the couple times we've done it so far.  
One thing's for sure, these boys love each other. Cooper is smitten with Lincoln and is constantly wanting to hold and kiss him. Lincoln knows big brother's voice and quiets down for him. It's so sweet! 
While suffering New York sports teams are a topic, Linc watched Sunday's Jet game with dad. It wasn't a pretty one, but my boy looks good in gang green!

9.28.2015

Recipe || Greek Yogurt Pumpkin Cream Pie

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #EffortlessPies #CollectiveBias
#EffortlessPies: Greek Yogurt Pumpkin Cream Pie

The weather is cooling off, even here in North Carolina. We've had rain for several days and are expecting if several more. While I could totally do without the rain at this point, it is making for some cozy, baking weather! 

I love all things pumpkin and it just seems right to make all the pumpkin things in the fall. One thing I don't care for? Pumpkin pie. Yep. It's a bit un-American, right? I've just never been a fan. But I love everything else pumpkin that I've ever tasted. So, I've decided it's the consistency of the pie more than the flavor that isn't my thing. So, I've made a creamier version, using Oikos® Pumpkin Pie Greek Yogurt. It tastes amazing right by itself, but is something awesome made into a pie! 
#EffortlessPies: Greek Yogurt Pumpkin Cream Pie
This is literally an effortless pie and it's perfect for last minute serving. Which is all I seem to be capable of these days. Not too much planning going on over here! I use Keebler® Ready Crust® Mini Graham Cracker Pie Crust for the simplicity of serving and cleanup. Hey, no plates to wash! 
#EffortlessPies: Greek Yogurt Pumpkin Cream Pie
After you've mixed your few ingredients and filled your crusts, you make them all pretty with a Reddi-wip® swirl and some fall sprinkles. 
#EffortlessPies: Greek Yogurt Pumpkin Cream Pie
And voila. Simple, delicious and ready for last minute company, or a fun, family dessert. 
#EffortlessPies: Greek Yogurt Pumpkin Cream Pie
Ingredients:

1, 5.3oz container Oikos® Pumpkin Pie Greek Yogurt 
4oz Cream Cheese, softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
8oz Reddi-wip®
2, 6 pack packages Keebler® Ready Crust® Mini Graham Cracker Pie Crust
Reddi-wip® for topping

Instructions:

Mix first 4 ingredients. Fold in Reddi-wip®. Fill pie crusts and top with Reddi-wip® and sprinkles. Enjoy! 
#EffortlessPies: Greek Yogurt Pumpkin Cream Pie

I found all my ingredients at Walmart, which is the only place I've found the Oikos® Pumpkin Pie Greek Yogurt. (And I'm going back for more!)
#EffortlessPies: Greek Yogurt Pumpkin Cream Pie

Are you a pumpkin pie fan? Who is more up for this creamier version? 

For more fall recipes, make sure to checkout Oikos and Reddi-wip on Pinterest! 

9.24.2015

Lincoln James: A Birth Story

I'll be honest and tell you that I've hesitated to write Lincoln's birth story. I feel bad saying that, but I think it's mostly because it's not exactly the story I wanted. The outcome is perfect, recovery is going great, but the actual birth? Not that awesome. But, I'll tell you anyway, because I tell y'all everything! 

There was no crazy long labor like with Cooper, no in the middle of labor spray tanning like with Callan, but just enough drama to fit in, I guess. 
Lincoln James Birth Story: Stilettos and Diapers

Friday, September 4, I was scheduled for my c-section at 7:15am. I got up crazy early to be at the hospital by 5am. I was a hot mess on the way. I was so disappointed that I hadn't gone into labor earlier and that I wasn't going to be able to try for a natural birth. There was absolutely a sense of excitement about it being Lincoln's birthday, but I was really nervous about this c-section. 

For those of you who don't know, I had a spinal fusion when I was 15 for scoliosis. This means that the vertebra in my spine from my neck to waist are all fused together with metal rods. What that means for a c-section, is that it's very difficult to put in the spinal block that makes you numb for surgery. Luckily, they had success finding a unfused area in my previous births and we had gotten the paperwork from the anesthesiologists that had worked on me before. It should be easy, if they just went in the same spot that had worked before, but I was still very nervous. 
Lincoln James Birth Story: Stilettos and Diapers

We got into the prep room around 5:15am, where I changed and we sat. And sat. The waiting was not fun! We filled out all the papers and signed my life away. Had a minute to see the doctors and then off we went. They told us we couldn't bring a camera into the OR and I was so sad that we couldn't get those first pictures of our sweet babe! The Hubs had to stay in the recovery room and wait for me to get the anesthesia and be all prepped for the surgery. 

Walking into the OR, I was literally shaking from being so scared. Or maybe it was because it's freezing in there. I remember taking some deep breaths, praying for peace and telling myself that I was about to meet my baby. I grabbed onto a nurses hands while they attempted the spinal block. And I say attempted, because that's what happened for what felt like an eternity. After I felt the needle go in 3 or 4 times, I knew they weren't finding the spot. I could feel the needle scraping the bone in my spine and when I told them, no one said anything back to me. After I asked what was happening a couple times, my Doctor came right over in front of me. I said to her "it's not working, is it?" she said "no, but we're taking our time. It's okay." I felt my heart sink. I didn't want to go under general anesthesia and miss those first sweet cries. A couple more attempts and they decided to move low, under my fusion. This meant that I would be numb much lower and feel more in my torso. There were a couple tries there before I felt a weird jolt down my right leg. They took the needle out and back in for an 8th time, then success. 8 times getting a huge needle in my spine and mercy, I felt it for days after. 

Once I was numb and laying down on the table, I felt like crap. I told them I was going to get sick a few times and they put a little basin by my mouth. Not feeling anything and having your arms tied down makes it hard to puke, fyi. But after that, all the bright lights turned into one, big white blob and I was down for the count. Not sure for how long, but I really thought I was heading to heaven. It was a weird feeling. When I woke up, I could smell smelling salts and my Doctor was telling everyone that I was "coming to". I'm just glad The Hubs wasn't in there because he would have lost it, I'm sure. 

After that, The Hubs was able to finally come in. I was really relieved to see him and they started the surgery. I've always felt pressure during my c-sections, but this time it hurt. Like, I could feel a lot. I guess it's because they had to do the spinal block so much lower? But it wasn't comfy. 

After about 20 minutes, I heard that sweet cry all of us mommy's are longing to hear, no matter how you deliver your baby. So much relief is held in those tiny baby cries. They lifted my little man up so I could see him and I couldn't believe how small he was! Not that he was a tiny baby, just so tiny for my babies. 

7lbs 3oz, 21". My little Lincoln James was born and was mine. 
Lincoln James Birth Story: Stilettos and Diapers

We were in recovery awhile, where we snuggled, cried, stared at the newest member of our family and thanked God everyone was safe and sound. It felt like I had been up a whole day, but it was really only 8am. 
Lincoln James Birth Story: Stilettos and Diapers

My mom brought Cooper and Callan to the hospital around lunchtime and it was pure magic watching them meet their baby brother. They were so sweet, holding and kissing him. Cooper, especially, was completely smitten and wanted to stay the night at the hospital with me. They both have been amazing big brothers already! 
Lincoln James Birth Story: Stilettos and Diapers


Lincoln James Birth Story: Stilettos and Diapers



After telling you all about how terrified my surgery was, I can say that my recovery has been really great. My whole torso was super bruised after I got home and my belly button is still a bit black and blue. Not sure why I had that this time and not the others, but that was literally the only post surgery problem. I feel almost back to normal and it's been less than 3 weeks. 

I spent so much time before Lincoln's birth stressing about going into labor, attempting a vbac and having another c-section. Now, even though it was a scary experience, I could care less that my "perfect" plans didn't work out. I have my sweet baby in my arms (literally right now as I one hand type) and my heart feels so full. I was blessed to deliver a healthy baby and grateful for technology that was there to assist when my body just wasn't doing it's thing. 

It's been almost 3 weeks and I'm loving this mom of 3 thing. Sure I feel pulled in many directions right now, but every way I turn, I feel loved. There's something so special about how a boy loves his mom and I'm so excited I get 3 times the fun!

9.23.2015

Best Eats in Charlotte, NC

Today, I'm partnering again with Charlotte Marriott City Center to share some of my favorite spots to eat in the Queen City! By the way, how great is the city view from the maternity floor of Presbyterian Hospital? I had to stop and take a picture as we left with our new little guy!
Best Restaurants in Charlotte, NC






The Charlotte Marriott City Center is running a contest through October to find the best of Charlotte! In conjunction with their massive remodel, they want you to show them your favorite part of the city. Use the hashtag #DesignCharlotte when you post a picture to social media and you'll be entered to win! 

Alright, on to the food! 

1. 
Queen's Feast Restaurant Week
Happening twice a year, you can find over 100 participating restaurants around the Charlotte metro. For $30-$35, you'll get 3 courses, getting to try some of the best restaurants for much less money. Just make sure you make a reservation, since some of the hottest spots fill up quickly! 

2. Amelies
This is the place to go for the most amazing desserts in Charlotte. Grab a cup of coffee with your treat and sit awhile in their eclectic shop. 
Amelies Bakery Charlotte, NC
3. Bird Song Brewing Co
JalapeƱo IPA. I'm not sure there are more words needed for this! The brewery is now canning this popular beer and you can find it in stores all over the Charlotte area!
Birdsong Brewing Company: Best of Charlotte
4. Food Trucks
Charlotte is not missing out on the food truck trend. You can find a whole host of food trucks at Food Truck Friday every Friday night year round. Bring a blanket and meet your friends at the corner of Camden Road and Park Ave in Charlotte's South End. If Papi Queso is on the schedule, it's a must try. 
Charlotte, NC Food Trucks

Charlotte Food Trucks

5. Earl's Grocery 
Looking for a great bottle of wine? Amazing cheese to go with it? Or maybe just lunch, topped off with some vegan or gluten free treats? Earl's is your place. They also offer catering for your next event. 
Earls Grocery Charlotte
6. Flemings
While you can find this place in some other cities across the country, Flemings is home to one of the most amazing meals I've ever eaten. With it's fantastic location in the Epicentre, it's the perfect spot for a date night. 
Flemings
7. Atherton Market
You can find a many vendors in the market, selling everything from fresh meat and produce, to prepared meals, candles or plants. Atherton Market is also home to Charlotte's second Not Just Coffee location. This one is much easier to find parking at, too! 
Atherton Market and Mill
8. Luna's Living Kitchen
Luna's serves local, plant based cuisine. You won't find meat or dairy products here and yet you'll be blown away by how delicious and filling it is! 
Luna's Living Kitchen


Luna's Living Kitchen
Check out Charlotte Marriott City Center on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter for more info and to see other's great pictures of the city! 



This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of #DesignCharlotte. The opinions and text are all mine.

9.22.2015

Fashion || Game Day Style



I feel like I went into the hospital to have a baby in the summer and when I came out 3 days later, it was fall! After my initial protest of wanting to stay tan, go to the pool and wear sundresses, I am now fully embracing fall. That means it's all coffee, pumpkin everything and most importantly football! 

I was never a big sports fan growing up. My parents were big FSU fans since they went to college there, but I was never into professional football. Once I started dating The Hubs, he brainwashed me into loving all his New York teams. Now raising 3 boys, I've grown to love sports right along with them. I'm a proud boy mom in my gang green for the New York Jets!

I love wearing the team apparel for game day, but I'm not a big fan of a baggy jersey. I found this cute top at NFLshop.com and like how it pairs with booties and a patterned top around the waist. (A trend that is great for a 2.5 week postpartum belly, by the way!) I was also glad to find a top that wasn't a sweatshirt, but perfect for the mild North Carolina football season. 


I also grabbed these ponytail holders when I was ordering my shirt. I almost always have one on my arm for if I want to pull my hair up, but these work with the team spirit, too!
NFLshop.com NFL ponytail holders
Rack Room Shoes Booties
Are you a football fanatic family like ours? Check out NFLshop.com for game day gear for the whole family! 

9.18.2015

Friday Favorites

It's time for Friday Favorites! My little man is 2 weeks today and I'm officially stir crazy. We attempted a dinner out this week and as we walked up to the door, all 3 boys were screaming about something. One glance between The Hubs and I and we turned right around and got in the car. Haha. Guess our big sushi plans were a bit premature! 

Here are some things I'm loving this week!

MammaBaby App

I grabbed this free app earlier this week when I couldn't remember for the life of me the last time my poor baby ate. This app has a breastfeeding timer and reminds you of what side you need to go to next. Perfect for a sleepy mom. 

Fall Decor

I don't know when I will be able to get my fall decor out, but I'm loving the inspiration I've found for when I get the energy to decorate! 
DIY wooden fall signs


gold pumpkin fall centerpiece

diy wooden pumpkins



Fall Food

I can't wait until I can go to the grocery store and bake yummy treats. It's been 2 weeks since I was at Target! I just want to browse and buy all sorts of fall foods, like canned pumpkin and those delicious Market Pantry gingerbread cookies with cream cheese filling. And I want to do it all with a Pumpkin Spice Latte in my hand. Target will absolutely be my first mom's time out, but until then, I'll drool over these foods and keep making shopping lists. 
Reese's Muddy Buddies



Pumpkin Oat Balls


Apple Pie Bites


I had all the ingredients to make these crescent rolls wrapped around sliced apples and sugary, cinnamon-y goodness. They're so easy, you can make them 10 days postpartum and your house will smell a bit like fall. 

Warm Weather Clothes

It's been in the 50s here every morning this week and I'm loving it! This blanket scarf poncho is due to arrive today and I'll be listing them on Molly Suzanne soon! After I put one in my closet, of course!  
Plaid Blanket Scarf Poncho
I feel like I need a pair of black, distressed skinnies this fall. I love these on A Southern Drawl (and every other person on Instagram for that matter!).
Black skinny distressed jeans


Still trying to decide if I go for a quality pair, or a cheaper version since I won't even be buying my normal size right now. 
What are you loving that I need to check out? 

Happy Friday, y'all!

9.15.2015

Fashion || Postpartum Style

It's been 11 days since Lincoln was born and I'm ready to get back to normal! I've only lost 9 pounds of the 28 I gained and am feeling super smushy still. Since I'm all about real life, I'm going to keep it real when it comes to this baby weight thing, too. 

I've been wearing this Belly Bandit for the past few days. I was so bruised all over my stomach when I got home from the hospital that I couldn't even put it on. Once I could wear it, though, I feel so much better! It's very supportive and makes it possible to laugh without feeling like I'm going to pop open. 
Chambray Tunic, Black Leggings, Postpartum Style: Molly at Stilettos and Diapers

Postpartum Style: Molly at Stilettos and Diapers

Black and Tan Flats: Molly at Stilettos and Diapers

Chambray Tunic: Molly at Stilettos and Diapers

Chambray Tunic: Molly at Stilettos and Diapers

The Hubs ordered me a little Lincoln charm for my Julie The Fish necklace. I love having all my boys close to my heart. 
Julie The Fish Name Necklace



I can't even begin to tell you new mamas how important it is to get up and get dressed after having a baby. Sure those pjs are comfy, but you'll feel like a new person if you get a shower and put on some makeup. Even if that does mean you put on sweat pants afterwards! I've worn this chambray tunic twice this week, as well as a different pair of black leggings with a button down chambray once. It's super easy for nursing, not squishing my belly and I don't have to be terrified to answer the door. I'm lucky with this cooler weather we've been having, making some easy legging outfits possible! 

And just an FYI, babies love the sound of a vent fan and running shower. Lincoln loves sitting in his carseat and being wrapped in a swaddle, even though they all swallow him still! 


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