Friday, September 30, 2016

Friday Favorites

it's been a nice, calm, uneventful week for us that has somehow flown by! but it's the kind I like. our favorite place to be is home, and that's exactly where we spent a majority of our week. it's where our days are family days filled with my babies and all the love they fill my heart up with. we are all happiest at home :)

we don't have a whole lot planned for this weekend and that is just a-ok with me. we're officially into Fall (I even finally got our fall decor up yesterday!) and there's just something about low-key Fall days. especially when the holiday-craze will be here in no time. yikes. I  can't believe I just mentioned the holidays, but truth be told, they are just around the corner!!


baby Lleyton!
Brandon and I are officially auntie and uncle! so happy and blessed to be welcomed into this club. and Harper and Tanner now have their first cousin! Angela + Tyler welcomed sweet baby Lleyton into this world late Monday night last week and he is ever so precious! we are all so in love with him already.
this couldn't have come quick enough!! Brandon and I have been DYING over our old iphone 6s. having them on the charger allll day long was getting so so old! BUT our new 7s finally arrived and it has felt like Christmas! and the cameras on them! hashtag praise hands. I went with the regular 7 in rose gold, and Brandon went with the 7plus. it was such a hard decision for me with the plus having the even better camera, but I just couldn't get over the hugeness of it! I have to say, I am still very pleased with the camera on mine!
cat + jack!
I know this isn't brand spankin' new anymore, but the cat and jack line at target. seriously so much cuteness! there are so many pieces I have found for both Harper and Tanner that I just LOVE! and the price. can't be beat!
*jacket from cat + jack
iced coffee!
I'm not a big fan of coffee and especially not hot. to be honest, I probably don't always NEED to have this every morning given that we're getting good sleep in our house. but I started drinking this every morning during our first couple weeks of Tanner being a newborn, and I just don't want to stop. I kinda look forward to it when I wake each morning :)
*I buy this at target
I recently started back on snapchat and I'm loving it! (brittneymonae1) the filters alone are so much fun. and when you throw in two cute kiddos it's even that much better! one thing I am thankful for is that I take more videos when using snapchat. having more videos of my babies is so precious to me. I can see so much of their personality and growth when I look back and watch video clips :)

Happy Friday, all!!


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

dry shampoo review

I had listed dry shampoo as one of my favorite things on my two month favorites post and thought a post like this might be fun :) I'm no beauty expert, but I have tried my share of dry shampoos. and there are LOTS of them out there! I've loved some and hated some! here are my opinions on the handful of the ones I've tried. I'm always trying new ones too, so over time this list may change and I may come upon new favorites.
I'm all too dependent on my dry shampoo, but as a mom, I don't think I could live without!
I know.. I know.. first world problems.

I've seen this floating around on pinterest, and isn't it the truth!?
dislike! which I was very disappointed about. I had high expectations for this one. but I found it didn't help with the greasy-ness. and hello(!!) that's the point of using dry shampoo. it actually made my hair feel more oily. the only pro I found- it smells good.

big sexy hair volumizing dry shampoo
this one almost makes my hair feel worse! I thought I would like it much better than I did. it covers up the dirty hair look pretty well, but if I touch my hair, it feels more dirty... weird. and no thanks.

LOVE this product... the only downfall, which is a big one... the spray on the bottle tends to break and no longer spray. I had some that didn't and some that did. which is so disappointing, because the dry shampoo itself is my favorite. if there wasn't that issue, this would be my number 1.

psssst! instant dry shampoo
this one is ok. a good fresh smell. I don't find it to leave any white residue in my hair. it's decent at taking care of the greasy hair.

a good strong spray- which is great to cover more area at the root. I find I have to make sure I shake it well before spraying to avoid the white powder look in my hair- cause no one wants that!

eva nyc freshen up dry shampoo
love it! sprays really well, great cover, and no white residue. win, win, win!

I'll say this is my favorite! it covers so well, and for the price- can't be beat! I don't find it to leave any white residue and it covers around so well. this is my go to for sure!

-shake really well before spraying
-rub into scalp/roots well with your fingers
-brush your hair after

would LOVE to know any other brands that you've tried and tested! please share!


follow along on instagram @brittneyhjelseth

Friday, September 23, 2016

two month favorites

here's a quick run down of my favorite things over this last month with our baby Tanner Ross.
still love and use everything from last month. plus a few more!
life with a two month old! :)
solly baby wrap // let's just say hands free! with this I can run around with Harper and keep Tanner close. it's A-MAZE-ING

medela sterilizing bags // we've been trying to offer Tanner a bottle a little more frequently to get him used to it. these have been great in cleaning my pumping supplies. I hand wash them as well, but it's also great to use these sterilizing bags every so often and when I really just don't feel like hand washing with the bottle brush and soap :) it's so quick and easy to throw it in the bag and pop it in the microwave!

nursing bra // really I've loved this since day one of nursing, but it is still hanging on as a favorite!

dry shampoo // well because- I now go longer than I ever have before with washing my hair. how would we live without this stuff!?? I started using dry shampoo once I became a mom with Harper, and I don't see myself e v e r stopping! I've tried so many different brands too. some that I love and some that I hate. (thinking of doing a dry shampoo review post! - if anyone would care) ;)

grass drying rack  // I wouldn't say it's a complete necessity, BUT it works really well for the inside of the bottles to dry well when they're upside down

pacifier // we introduced Tanner to the pacifier when he was having a couple of fussy days at 7 weeks old. since then he has grown to really like this one and it soothes him so, so well! and I'm a fan of the solid, simplicity of it :)

Happy Friday, all!!


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Tanner Ross || 2 months

oh Tanner boy!! 
here we are- two months in already and it's like you've always been here. it's so natural to have you apart of our family and it's as if this is how things have always been. a few hiccups here and there as we've adjusted over the last weeks, but overall you fit right in and fill a space in our family that we didn't even know was there.
you are so sweet, so content, so go-with-the-flow, so cuddly, and so calm.
(all that being that we've kept you well fed and well rested) :)
we've had a few days this month where some fussiness has come on. you just seemed to be so alert and the stimulation around you wouldn't let you relax and sleep :) but we've overcome those hard couple of days and are well back to our normal! you've discovered the paci and are so soothed by it.
and let's talk about chunkiness!! you take the prize for this one. 
the rolls are multiplying, those cheeks are getting too sweet to resist, and your belly. oh your belly!! hashtag hearteyes. allll of the hearteyes!!
boy has he ever grown since last month!!
age: 2 months

                 birth: 8lbs 2 oz  --  21 inches
2 days: 7lbs 11oz
12 days: 9lbs 1oz
                             1month: 12lbs 4oz  --  23 1/2 inches
              ** 2 months: 15lbs  --  24 inches

clothes: 3/3-6 month
diapers: size 1
(but really you should be in a size 2 by now, we're just trying to use of the rest of the 1s)

Tanner name sign // Quincyjeanart
banner // hooray everyday
onsie // golden hill design
your first laugh. oh my heart! I haven't a clue what you laughed about, but oh it was the sweetest sound.
first seahawks game. first time alone with daddy and away from mama. first nap in your crib. first time to the fair. first blowout. first trip to costco. first bottle from daddy.
clearly by your weight, you eat, and you eat well :) growth spurts seem to be a constant thing around here and so nursing has been a constant things as well. I think just this last week we're coming off of a growth spurt though. nursing has been a little more regular of about every 3ish hours. but not always, sometimes it is more frequent than that. except for at night. even through the growth spurts, you've been able to keep your night time sleep the same. 
we tried a bottle for the first time just last week and you did so well. it made me so happy and yet so sad! you're getting so big to be taking a bottle and I get weepy that I'm missing out on a nursing session with you while you take it. 
so smiley these days! and the oohhs and aahhs. we all LOVE how you 'talk' to us. especially Harper. "Tanner's talking" she'll often say :) and tummy time- you don't oppose it. you're getting so strong and seem to actually be quite content and comfortable on your tummy. you are so so alert and keep your eyes on me whenever I walk by in the room. we won't tell daddy, but I'm pretty certain you're a mama's boy ;)
you're a champ here! we've slowly and gradually gone from 3-4 hour stretches this month to now 5-6 hours stretches at night. you just wake to nurse, and then it's right back to sleep without a peep. every night I say to Brandon "I can't believe Tanner is this good". it's down for bed by 8pm (in the pack 'n play in our bedroom), a dream feed around 10:30/11pm, wake to nurse around 5am, back to sleep until 6:30ish, where then you just want out of your swaddle and into our bed :), and back to sleep until about 7:30am.  
for naps, you will let me cuddle you, but quite often you'd prefer to be swaddled with white noise and your paci and be put down so you can go to sleep on your own. this is the same with night time sleep. you tend to take your biggest nap during the late afternoon. which I can't complain about because sometimes it will overlap with sister's nap!! #praisehands!!
**other things I don't want to forget:**
  • the sound of your first laugh
  • you've started taking more of a liking to the swing than before
  • burping isn't quite as essential anymore. you used to get upset with little bubbles that needed to be burped out
  • you're still gassy though! toots all day long :) such a boy!
  • with the rate you're growing we could be out of three month clothes anytime now! but not surprising the way you like to eat :)
  • you completely light up and smile when you spot Harper in the room! talk about melting my mama heart!

happy two months, my baby!!!


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Thursday, September 8, 2016

A Letter to Harper || becoming a big sister

we are EIGHT weeks in with our little love bug, Tanner!
as if I thought time flew when Harper was a baby, it is flying even faster with baby number two- Tanner! but it is so great, and I truly LOVE being a family of four!
I can only imagine what it will be like when we get to baby number four ;)

I was looking back and found this 'letter' (if that's what you want to call it) to/for Harper that I had written towards the end of my pregnancy with Tanner. man was I feeling emotional and mixed about bringing our new baby to the world! as I read through, I felt some of those feelings again, and yet I also realize how many of my fears/concerns weren't anything I needed to worry about. and what a peace that brings to me now!! Harper is AMAZING at her role as a BIG sister (at the little age of just two!). not once has she had resentment, jealousy, or sadness about baby Tanner coming into our lives and her no longer being my only baby.

I love both of these two with my whole heart. there isn't anything like it.

so here it is. a little bit of my heart on my sleeve.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

she has no idea how many changes are to come in just a couple short weeks. her world is going to change. so much good, yet some hard things too. it's no longer going to be just her and I in our days. she's going to have to share me and I'm going to have to learn how to divide myself between my two babies. she's my world and fear of the unknown creeps in to think that I will no longer be able to give her all of me. she doesn't even know how her world is about to be rocked.
I think of seeing her and saying goodbye the last time as a family of three. as we leave her when we're about to welcome her new sibling into the world, I will say 'I love you and goodbye' one last time while it's still just her. the next time I see her our life won't be just her anymore.

as I sit here writing this with tears rolling down my face, emotions are flooding. emotions I haven't felt until now. at 38 weeks pregnant. maybe it's because it's becoming 'real' to me. and it's no longer just talking about what's to come, but realizing we're fully in it and it is so, so close to being our new reality.

I find myself feeling these emotions of sadness and guilt for what I'm taking away from Harper. soon she will no longer be our one and only.

I find myself feeling emotions of joy and excitement for such a great gift of a little brother that we will be giving her.

I've heard so many moms say before that they wonder if they will be able to love a second child the way they've loved their first. will they have enough love in them?
my wonder and concern falls a little different. I KNOW I will be able to love this new little love of ours just as much as I felt that instant love for Harper. but will I still be able to give Harper the love and attention that she needs while at the same time caring for our new baby boy. am I going to be taking away from her and sacrificing her needs?

I know we will get there and we will be just fine.

I know deep in my heart that there will certainly be challenges for both Brandon and I and for Harper as we adjust to our new life as four. but I also know it is going to bring us all so much joy. for her to learn what it is to have a sibling and love on him the way I know she will... that there, will be priceless.

I love you my sweet girl. you will always be the one who made me a mama. you will always be the one who got the piece of my heart first. that love will never, ever change. I am excited and nervous to watch you step into this new big role as a sister. I just wish I could explain to you what is coming our way.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Tanner has been nothing but pure joy to our family. joy that stomps every bit of concern I felt when writing that 'letter'. the Lord's plan is ever so perfect and I feel somewhat silly for the fear and doubt I ever had. not only have Brandon and I been given the gift of a new baby, but Harper has been given the gift of a sibling. and there is absolutely nothing like witnessing sibling love!


follow along on instagram @brittneyhjelseth

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

OUR TABLE || Freezer Meals

those two words can put a busy mama's mind at so much ease. and in my case, a mama caring for a two year old + a newborn! 
a delicious (still homemade) meal that's ready to go without the need to prep the meal. 
I had mentioned back in my one month favorites how I had prepped freezer meals towards the end of my pregnancy. hands down the best thing I've done to prep for adding a new baby to our family. I still haven't had to actually make dinner yet! and we're 7 weeks in with our little Tanner. that's a combination of freezer meals, friends/family bringing us meals, and any other reason we haven't been home at dinner. but I still have a good handful of them in the freezer and it gives me a peace of mind that I don't have to worry about what's for dinner
that question that is so often so dreaded.
"what's for dinner?"
must admit I went a little bit overboard with how many I made, but when you have an extra freezer in the garage that's just waiting to be filled... it was plum full!

here are ones that I found on pinterst and made:
spaghetti casserole // this one was a win! I'll be saving this recipe to make it even not as a freezer meal
slow cooker sweet and tangy meatballs // simple, easy, and good! win, win, win!
slow cooker honey sesame chicken // we haven't had this one yet, but looks delicious.
spaghetti sauce // this has been my favorite spaghetti sauce recipe. I decided to make it, split it in two, and freeze it.
baked ziti // now this one we have tried, and honestly I wouldn't recommend it. it's fine, but there just isn't much flavor to it.
slow cooker 8-can taco soup // haven't had this one, but looking forward to it as Fall is rolling in!
ravioli lasagna // good, but a little bland.
crock pot sweet and sour bbq meatballs // still have this one to try, but how can you go wrong with meatballs, bbq, and sweet + sour?!
slow cooker black bean and corn salsa chicken // another one that is waiting for us :)
cheesy chicken and black bean enchiladas // these are a fave for sure!! I made them first while I was pregnant with Harper and they have carried through over the last two years!

 no question it is time consuming to make all these. it took me a good two afternoons. but I tell ya, it was so, so worth it.

a few tips from my experience:
-pull all your recipes, make that big, long grocery list, and knock all your shopping out in one big trip.
-use frozen, diced onions. save yourself from all the chopping.
-make sure you have all the saran wrap, tin foil, disposable pans, and freezer ziplocs you'll need.
-take it one recipe at a time and try to do those that have the same meats back to back.
-recruit your mom or a friend to help.
-being SO pregnant, you might find yourself being SO over it when you're about half way through (I did!)... and remind yourself that you'll be happy you did all this once baby arrives!

freezer meals are our dinner life line right now!