Sephora Sale Purchases 2021

Quick post to share what I bought from the Sephora Sale that is going on. I always restock on things I need since the discount is good! Happy Shopping friends!! The discounts are if you are part of their rewards program and code: OMGSPRING

living proof Perfect hair Day (PhD) Dry Shampoo: This stuff SMELLS AMAZING and works great. I live on dry shampoo now since I try to wash and do my hair only once a week. The dry shampoo helps me extend my style.

summer fridays CC Me Vitamin C Serum: I actually just refilled this recently but if I had been low, I would have bought it now. I use this stuff everyday and love that it’s pregnancy safe. (Ask your dr what products are pregnancy safe I am not a dr!) It smells amazing too.I am a big fan of their whole product line. Also been using their Cloud Dew Oil-free Gel Cream Moisterizer frequently for a deeper more intense moisturizer but I just got a new container so I didn’t purchase yet.

saie Slip Tint Dewy Tinted Moisturizer SPF 35 Sunscreen: This is a great clean beauty buy that gives really nice sheer coverage with spf. I use it when I don’t want a makeup face but want to just even things out and wear some spf.

Tarte Amazonian Clay BB Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20 Sunscreen: This stuff is GOLD. I mix in a few drops of face oil to this to sheer it out and it’s my go to face makeup. The coverage is great.

Tarte Tartelette™ In Bloom Clay Eyeshadow Palette: This is one of my everyday eye palettes. Such good neutrals. I can NOT live without it. I go through them often. I don’t need a new one at the moment but if I was running low I would def add this to my purchase.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector® Pressed Highlighter: This is my go to highlighter and I am hitting the bottom of my current pan so I needed a refresh on this one. I use it to add highlights to my cheekbones, nose bridge, cupids bow, under my eye brows and the corners of my eyes.

Lawless The Baby One Mini Eyeshadow Palette: I have been dying to try out Annie’s epic product line and was waiting for a sale to try this eyeshadow palette. Excited to see what the hype is about.

Drybar Detox Dry Shampoo: Another staple dry shampoo. I love to have a few on hand and change things up so my hair doesn’t just get used to one thing.

Necessaire The Body Wash – With Niacinamide: This is a new product I see ALL over the internet and feel like it could make my shower experience a little more spa like. Excited to see what the hype is about. Will report back. I got the sandalwood scent.

Charlotte Tilbury Mini Airbrush Flawless Finish Setting Powder: Another new product I wanted to try out. Love that it’s a setting powder in a compact so a little less messy than loose powder.

Silk Mega Value Slipsilk™ Scrunchie Set: I am obsessed with these silk scrunchies. I wear them so I don’t make creases in my hair after I blow dry. I have all the skinny ones but wanted to try the bigger ones also. Great value for this set since they are pricey.

Ouai Wave Spray: Im running low on this and it’s lasted me forever which I love. I use this to spray on my wet curly hair when I want to air dry it curly. It’s EPIC and smells amazing.

Charlotte Tillbury Mini Pillow Talk Lipstick & Liner Set: I have been wanting to try the pillow talk color forever and legit always forget to order it. Trying it this time! Got the mini set so I don’t have to commit to full size.

Ouai Heat Protection Spray: This stuff is a MUST have. I am almost out and would cry if I didn’t have it. I use it when my hair is dry and I want to heat style it. I swear it helps hold the style longer and it also smells incredible.

Rancho Bernardo Inn, San Diego

Last month we took our first trip since lockdown. I would be lying if I said I didn’t go back and forth on whether it was safe for us to travel with Covid-19 and the global pandemic. But in the end, after countless rounds of failed infertility treatment our entire family NEEDED this. And we needed this dearly. My goal was to find a hotel that had great outdoor spaces so that we could hang with Otis and let him run around. Basically a change of scenery for all of us. I also wanted something a short drive away so we found the Rancho Bernardo Inn in San Diego.

We spent 2 nights during the week since I know weekends can be more crowded. We purposely planned to go mid week to avoid any crowds. I am telling you, we barely saw anyone during the week except for at dinner. I felt safe to be there. They had hand sanitizer set up EVERYWHERE and the majority of the hotel is outdoors so we didn’t need to spend any time inside except for our room. The other hotel patrons were also super respectful of staying social distanced from us which I was very appreciative of. And OF COURSE everyone was wearing a mask.

It was our first eating out experience since February so I was nervous about how that would be. But I have to say I am so impressed with how they truly spaced the tables out there, wait staff wore masks and gloves and everything was outside. It was a good experience all around. Eating out with a toddler though is a different story! HA. Otis was pretty easy going at lunch but I forgot how much work it is to go out to eat with a little one. Keeping them occupied and busy and happy BEFORE the food comes and then keeping them happy while you actually eat your own food.

The room itself was great and they even cleaned the carpets before we got into our room. We had a great little outdoor patio too. I love to request rooms that have patio access rather than a balcony with a child. The reason I request this is because we put Otis’ travel crib in our bathroom so we can set it up dark, with his nightlight and sound machine and recreate his room set up. We also bring a travel sound machine to put on the door of the bathroom to drown out any noise in our section of the room. I am telling you this is a game changer. For our nanit baby monitor, if the wifi is open we can connect it easily to the hotel wifi. If it’s not, we create a hotspot with one of our cell phones to connect the camera to wifi. Then when your kid is sleeping, you can still leave through your patio and hit the hotel lobby to use the restroom if you have to. Below are all the things we use for our hotel sleep setup for Otis:

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Another night thing about going somewhere during the week is that the pool was EMPTY. We got to go to the pool 2 times. Otis has not been in a pool in a VERY long time so it was a really cool experience to get him in with no one around. We also didn’t need to make reservations for the pool during the week which was nice because toddlers don’t do reservations. HA!

They have a little cafe that you could grab coffee and a pastry at as well so we did that most mornings. The best part about the property for Otis was the water fountains. HE IS OBSESSED with them. They had water fountains EVERYWHERE so it was basically a toddler dream of him running form one fountain to the other and us chasing him. Man I love seeing Otis happy!!! Overall we had a GREAT time and I am so happy that we were able to sneak away during the week. We are headed to another local staycation next week and I can’t wait to share our experience!

Shop the looks:h&m dress / Ancient Greek sandals / ray-ban sunglassesh&m dress / Jenni KayneFreshly picked diaper bag

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Pumpkin Patch Photo Shoot with Otis

Recently we took a family trip to the pumpkin patch. We go every year and I was so excited we could keep the tradition alive during this Covid pandemic. We went to Tanaka Farms and their set up this year was so great. You need to purchase advanced tickets so they limit capacity for safety reasons. We ALWAYS go on the last tractor ride of the day because there is nothing more magical than the pink skies at sunset as well as the temperatures are always much cooler this time of day. I always find that the last time slot of the day you get a little extra time to yourself as people are leaving.

When we arrived, they checked our temperatures and scanned in our tickets and we walked through a covered and shaded line queue. It was truly socially distanced and I felt very comfortable with it personally. Everyone was mandated to wear a mask as well. The wait in line wasn’t very long which was great because Otis is NOT very fun waiting in line. Toddlers, am I right?? Once the tractor (wagon) arrived, families were spaced into the corners of the wagon. Again, the spacing felt comfortable to me so that was a big relief. They take you through the fields and things are decorated everywhere. I have to say the wagon ride was really fun and likely about 15-20 minutes in total. At the end, you stop by animals that you can see from the wagon which was fun for all the kids as well.

Once the tractor stops, you get out and got to pick your own veggies! Which was right next to the flower fields so we stopped off to grab some photos and they were so beautiful. Carrots, beets, and cilantro is what we picked. Then we headed over to the pumpkin patch. To be honest, once Otis saw the pumpkins, he started to run toward them. What was nice is because they are controlling the crowds through ticketed entry, it was not crowded at all and was super easy to space out, pick pumpkins, and take some photos without our masks on. I almost didn’t think to do the pumpkin patch this year because of the state of the world but I am SO so happy we did. We all had a blast and I am thankful that the farm made the experience feel safe for everyone. Important to note that with the purchase of a ticket, you get to pick a pumpkin which is included in the price. I tried to get Otis’ height next to the cute signs on the way out… but he was NOT having it. Maybe next year. HA! On the way out, we stopped for some tiny pumpkins and a new lawn sign that they sell. We had THE best time. Hope you enjoy this family moment with us through these photos.

Also, just a little note on this outfit, I feel this is one of my all time FAVORITE dresses. i swear the silhouette is so epic and it comes in multiple colors. I have the black and white. Such a good investment piece for your closet.

On Kim // dress: free people / shoes: golden goose / sunglasses: ray-ban / mask: evolvetogether

On Otis // shirt: old navy / jeans: h&m kids / shoes: vans / sunglasses: real shades

On Blake // shirt: old navy // jeans: paige / shoes: vans

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Fall & Halloween Decor For Patio & Yard

I LOVE THE HOLIDAYS. Halloween is the start of Fall and you know we decorated early before October 1st. I think because everyone is spending more time at home, it’s extra special this year decorating. For us, Otis is now VERY into checking everyones decorations out on our daily walks so it’s extra special to decorate for our little guy this year. I have never really decorated our doorway as much as this year but it is given me such a smile on my face. All the items found here are from Pottery Barn and linked below. I particularly love the faux pumpkins this year. It’s still been in the high 80s and 90s here (Indian Summer in Southern California) so I am glad not to have real pumpkins out there with the heat we have had. But also, they look shockingly real for faux. Seriously they are so good. The ghost lights are on a timer with batteries so they go on and off automatically. I did get a remote for these faux candles and you just go an turn them on and off with the remote. I could never have real candles in there with the heat… I have tried years past and they melted. Love love love decorating for the holidays and hope I inspire you to do the same.

Light Up LED Ghosts / Ghost Light Up Doormat / Caleb Handcrafted Metal Lantern (15″, 21.5″, 36″, and 42.25″ sizes) / Premium Flickering Flameless Candle Remote Control / Premium Flickering Flameless Outdoor Wax Pillar Candles (4×8 size) / Crow Wreath / Faux Pumpkins

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Best Halloween Books for Toddlers 2020

Things that spark joy: Decorating Otis’ book shelves for the seasons. It’s a simple thing that adds some fun to the everyday and excitement for the holidays ahead. The decor is SUPER simple. I just bought these bats that stick to the wall and then this cat to set on the shelf. Then I just grabbed last years Halloween books and added a few new ones to our collection. To save my walls, I used blue painters tape to put the bats up in his room. Super simple and quick and I just love how it came out. Linking all the books we use and love below to inspire you for your kiddos.

shelves: ikea (similar) / letterboard: letterfolk (similar)cat: target / bats: amazon

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DIY Disney Pixar Cars Theme 2nd Birthday Party

Otis’ birthday was one for the books. In the midst of my fertility treatment (that you can read about here) Otis birthday ended up being such a bright light and much needed distraction. Of course… in true mom-goes-overboard fashion, we celebrated his actual bday as Trolls theme birthday and then we did a separate drive by birthday party for him. We did CARS theme since he is equally obsessed and basically wants to watch it everyday. 

We planned a car parade to come by at 4pm and then people could stop over after (wearing masks) to grab a snack and check out special guest (more on that later) and say happy birthday. I actually got the flag banners as a hand me down from a neighbor and they ended up being such an easy way to have it feel decorated. Otis’ buddy TJ also got him this ride on Lightning Mcqueen car and it was kind of epic for the party theme. We kept food super easy and just did donuts and juice boxes for the kids to grab. My sister helped me by DIYing these cozy cones and inside each one, I put a hot wheels car and some Cars theme stickers for the kids. I spread out some pieces of fabric on the lawn if people wanted to sit and eat their donuts. I also ordered this epic Mac cutout since Otis is obsessed with Mac in the movie. I ordered balloons ahead of time and filled them with our own helium tank. This saved any extra trips to the party store.

Last minute, I ended up finding this Lightning McQueen impersonator and it was literally the most epic thing ever!! I found them on instagram and McQueen stayed for the car parade and after so the kids could take a picture with him. SO FREAKING COOL. 

When the parade was almost ready to start, we were trying to get Otis outside to get ready to meet McQueen and also get ready to watch the parade go by. OH MY GOODNESS YOU GUYS. Toddlers are special little creatures. He was of course shy and grumpy from just waking up from his nap and Blake and I were trying desperately to get him to inch closer to McQueen and the sidewalk to watch the parade. He was being SOOOO shy (which you cant even tell from the later photos) but eventually he took his little ride on Mcqueen over to the big McQueen and started to warm up. The parade was about to start so we eventually got him to sit in our patio chair and inch it forward to watch the parade. After the parade, Blake brought out our bluetooth wireless speaker and started pumping the John Mayer New Light and literally the Otis could not have been happier dancing with his friends. The joy in his face is just priceless. I live for these moments!!! One of my mom friends ended up calling our local fire department to see if a truck to come and wish Otis a Happy Birthday. When the fire truck showed up, the kids lost their minds!!!! So special that they help to support the community in so many ways. 

After everyone left, just my family came to the backyard for a Happy Birthday cupcake and pizza. My friend DYI-ed the CUTEST birthday hats with the help of this tape to keep it on theme. I ordered race car flag toothpicks that made the perfect topper for the cupcake. 

For our outfits, I ordered us custom kids hats and adult hats from reytoz. They come in both adult, kid and infant sizes and they are one of Otis’ fav accessories. I also ordered Blake and Otis matching shirts from the Disney store online. 

Otis, I will celebrate you ANY chance I get. We love you so much!!!!!

Otis Outfit // reytoz hat / shopdisney shirt / childhoods clothing shorts / native shoes

Kim Outfit // reytoz hat // LNA tank top / rag and bone shorts / APL sneakers

Blake Shirt: shopdisney

Lightning McQueen Impersonator / Lightning McQueen Ride On Car / MAC cutout / race car flag garland / race car theme balloons / 2 balloon / custom letter balloons / plates + flatware + napkins / race car toothpick flags / party favor Disney Pixar Cars stickers / party favor hot wheels / cones / clear gift bags / checkered tape for DIY

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Pregnancy 2 // First Trimester

Figured I would do an update on how the first trimester was for Baby 2! Things have been different and more intense the second time around! Excited to share the details with you below.


I haven’t tracked my exact weight for JUST the first trimester but at my 16 week appt I had gained 9 pounds which my dr said was normal and on track! I will say the pounds started packing on WAY faster this second time around. Almost to the point I was freaked out. But you have to think that everything is growing and taking shape faster and as long as I am on track with my doctor I am feeling great. It is always also strange coming off fertility treatment into pregnancy because I am not fully myself. I had been doing fertility medication for almost a year and that always adds some start weight. But, like I said, it’s all part of my story. All part of my process. And honestly, the fact that I am here, it all doesn’t matter. I am so grateful to be pregnant and have a healthy baby!!



GOOD GOD. My nausea was 10x worse this time around. At 6 weeks, I went on diclegis prescription for nausea and took 2 pills at night. Despite being on meds, I still struggled through most of my first trimester with extreme nausea. Luckily I did not have vomiting but man… the nausea was REALLY bad. To be honest with you, none of the “tricks” worked for me either. Sure snacks, small meals, ginger, etc etc but nope. Massive unrelenting nausea. The hardest part about it is that being the mom to a toddler means you don’t have the luxury of resting like you do as a first time pregnant woman. Having to take care of an active child while struggling with feeling ill is miserable. I have to thank Blake for pretty much taking over the minute he would be done with work to help me as I was doubled over on the couch. It was rough. And rough knowing just how long the first trimester is. What I did make sure to do was ALWAYS have a snack in the mid afternoon. If I didn’t have some kind of snack between 2-4pm, I would be even more miserable. Saltine crackers were always on my nightstand along with bold chex mix, and goldfish. 

Growing pains

I experienced some more intense round ligament pain in my groin area this time around. I noticed it mostly at night. Especially when I needed to lawn, or sneeze or make a bigger movement I would get a twitch of pain from it.

Pregnancy Brain

Like my first pregnancy, pregnancy brain is a REAL THING. I swear the moment I got pregnant my brain turned to mush. It’s hard to explain but I can’t remember anything to save my life. Lol!


I was a new level of tired being pregnant and chasing a toddler. Truth be told being in a pandemic didn’t help either. Not being able to take him places etc. I was very tired but the sickness bothered me more than being tired.


Sorry if that’s TMI but wow the constipation was bad this time around. The first month or two was tough and I know it also has alot to do with how much progesterone is in my body. Since I wasn’t drinking coffee after my transfer right away, it was extra tough. I always feel like coffee gets me moving. HA! I know. So much TMI. You’re welcome.

Baby bump

This time around I feel my belly popped out a lot sooner! At 14 weeks I feel I had a tiny little bump. I am sure I will look back and be like, WOW that wasn’t much of a bump but it’s when I felt there was a defined transformation. 


I think similarly to my first pregnancy, after so much loss (with each of our failed embryo transfers) you keep waiting and holding your breath as each week passes you by. Each week it’s own milestone. And you find yourself thinking, “Oh I will feel good once I hear the heart beat!” “Oh I will feel good when I hit the second trimester.” But really, I think there is always a sense of unease as you move through the process. I think it’s healthy to be a little bit nervous. It’s honest. I think things have just been more stressful with the fact that we are still in a global pandemic because of Covid-19. That has put alot of stress on us keeping our family safe during these times and staying as isolated as we can while also being aware of taking care of our mental health. We are very fortunate living where we do to be able to spend time together outdoors and that has been great for the mind and body. Really, I go to bed, and wake up every day just so damn grateful knowing that I am growing life and repeating to myself that I AM PREGNANT. And THIS IS OUR CHANCE. This is our miracle. It’s been such an emotional roller coaster to get to this point and really, despite any outside stressors buzzing around, I am just so grateful and smile so big everyday knowing that next Summer I get to make Otis a big brother. 


First trimester for me was CARBS. CARBS and MORE CARBS. Honestly most days I barely had an appetite because of how sick I felt but I know how important it was to nourish my body. So I would basically have to force myself to have my meals. ESPECIALLY when it came to dinner. I had no appetite at all at night. It was bad.

That being said, I didn’t have any coffee for weeks. First off because I avoid caffeine after my embryo transfer and didn’t feel comfortable drinking it until after I heard the heartbeat. At a certain point, when my nausea would allow in the am and I was in the mood for coffee, I started to drink it again. I started with decaf but then had some headaches and my doctor always encourages me to have 1 cup of caffeine to help with my headaches. What I was drinking and couldn’t stop was bubble water (or carbonated water) whatever you like to call it. I usually prefer lukewarm drinks but this pregnancy I was craving ICED COLD bubble water. We actually ended up getting this carbonated water maker and we literally use it EVERY SINGLE DAY. For some reason the cold bubble water just helped with my nausea believe it of not.  

Thankfully eggs were a lifesaver for me and I could tolerate them. My favorite go to breakfast that didn’t make me want to throw up: a piece of toast, a tiny bit of mayo, and a sliced hard boiled egg with salt and pepper. I basically ate that every day. I also had a lot of bagels with cream cheese when I wasn’t feeling great. Food was just tough so we didn’t meal plan as much so I could eat more what I could stomach that day.

As the first trimester went on, I was able to eat more regularly. I always try to eat protein for breakfast (like egg) to help really nourish me. I also try to make smarter choices and slip some protein in my afternoon snack. My favorites: string cheese, chocolate covered almonds, toast or apples with almond butter. Don’t get me wrong, some days I have a bowl of chips, a cupcake, or something else that is naughty. I think it’s all about balance and sometimes, you just have to indulge.


First trimester sleep was rough. With the waking up to pee almost every night that was one element. It’s likely the hormone changes that always get to me. Last pregnancy I had to take unisom to get some form of normal sleep. Since I started the diclegis at 6 weeks with 2 pills at night, I found that helped me sleep MUCH better. So for now, I am sleeping ok. Some nights are better than others. I do toss and turn alot. 


I didn’t really work out at all till at least around 10-11 weeks. Of course I was doing my daily walks with Otis etc and getting my steps in and my blood pumping. But I wanted to take it easy and honestly I didn’t have the energy to do anything before then. Starting at 11 weeks I started short 10 minute workouts on my elliptical that we have in our garage and Blake got me for Christmas. I try to do that, or just walk briskly on our treadmill for 10-15 minutes. There are weeks I barely get 1 “workout” if you even want to call it that. Basically I just try to get my blood pumping whether I am walking for Otis’ morning walk or doing something else. I also started prenatal yoga class (virtually online) every week and its been music ot my soul. Great stretching and a great time for me to sit and connect with my body and the baby. It’s something I really enjoyed while pregnant with Otis so it’s a sense of comfort being able to participate even from my computer at home.


For most of the first trimester, I stayed on alot of my IVF medications. I stayed on my prednisone steroids till 9 weeks and then weaned down my estrogen patches as well as weaned down to 1 progesterone injection a day. During this time, I did get some hormonal headaches with all the fluctuations but luckily they weren’t horrible and only lasted 2 days. I finally was able to stop all my meds (with the exception of baby aspirin and my diclegis) at my graduation appointment from the fertility clinic at 12 weeks!!! This was a HUGE milestone after literally doing injections and taking medications for almost a year in prep for each of my FET (frozen embryo transfer) cycles.


The biggest hurdles this pregnancy have been knowing and believing that feeling like crap would likely get better at the end of the first trimester. After a year of hormone meds, and then feeling awful my first trimester, a UTI, a yeast infection from the meds of the UTI (sorry TMI!!) I got to the point where being in my own skin was just frustrating. Being pregnant is a WILD things because your body is completely taken over. It’s beautiful in many ways and also still really emotionally challenging in others. I am so thankful to see the light at the end of the tunnel of the first tri. But anyone else that is “IN IT” my heart hugs yours mamas. It’s tough!!


I feel everything comes on sooner with the second pregnancy and the need for stretchy things came sooner. When it comes to leggings, I still wear my pre-pregnancy lululemon align leggings which are high rise and so stretchy as well as my alo leggings that are really soft and a little lower rise. Both still fit comfortably and fit over my growing body. Toward the end of my first trimester, I ended up buying these maternity leggings from beyond yoga and I LOVE them. They feel like second skin and are so buttery soft. They come all the way up over your bump or you can also fold it down to go under. Highly suggest them as they are SO comfy.

Also because I don’t leave my house often (because of Covid-19) I wear a ton of sweats. These sets from Michael Stars have been a guilty pleasure because they are SO soft and made of terry material. I also love my sweat set from Tan Lines that Sivan sent over. The material is SO soft and I feel like a cool mom in them. Although Blake made fun of my crop top sweater. HE DOESN’T KNOW WHAT IS COOL!!! I do enjoy wearing more cropped tops when pregnant to let the belly have it’s little bit of room. I did end up getting one pair of maternity denim from jbrand that actually fit great toward the end of my first trimester also. Will report back when I wear them out. Equally stretchy too.

I did buy 3 bras from skims that I have been loving too. This scoop bra, this triangle bra and this nursing bra are all GREAT. I wanted to see what the hype was about with this brand and I have to say the materials are ON POINT. VERY comfy. If you plan to order, SIZE UP and size up big time. I got at least size L in everything because my boobs are enormous now and I feel their stuff runs small. I also have a ton of bras from Otis’ pregnancy. From last pregnancy, I have my hatch and bravado bras that I wear weekly also.

It’s different for the second pregnancy because you start showing and feeling bigger sooner (at least in my case) so you are in that in between period of not fully having a bump but feeling large and awkward if that makes sense. I have to say, a perk of pandemic life is the fact that I am mostly in lounge wear so I have been able to avoid real clothes for most of the first trimester aside from doctors appointments etc.


First trimester was just really challenging with not feeling well constantly. Hard to give yourself self love, in a pandemic, with no childcare help. If anything, I tried to listen to my body, and lay down when Otis was napping and try my best to give my body the much needed rest it was craving. Nearing the end of the first tri, showers and a blow dry were my self care routine and even an at home mani/pedi. Feeling better was already such a treat and allowed me the time to do some other things for myself. I think it’s just so important to listen to your body and slow down when you need it. 


Purchases for me:

Skims scoop bra

Skim maternity nursing bra

Skims triangle bra

Beyond yoga maternity capri leggings

Aarke water carbonator

Lululemon align leggings

Summer fridays babymoon belly balm

Purchases for baby:

Kyte baby rainbow onesie

Kyte baby toddler blanket

Moby mickey wrap (blake bought this for me!)

Letterfolk sign

Masongrey baby bundle


So we didn’t do much to prep for baby in the first trimester except for me sharing our good news with my good friend (and interior design guru) Anne! She helped to plan out the interiors of our whole home including master bedroom, living and dining rooms, and most recently Otis’ nursery. I basically texted her and forced her to dream up Baby #2 nursery ideas so we are currently working on that! IT’S GOING TO BE EPIC.


I am looking forward to more ultrasounds!!!! I can not WAIT for my anatomy scan at 20 weeks to get some more face time with baby. Other than that, it’s check off each week as an incredible milestone and try to remain as active as I can to help get my body strong for delivery again. It’s exciting to near the half mark and be buying things for baby, talking to Otis about the baby and just imagining our life together as a family. I honestly am still in shock everyday. I feel lucky everyday. Our rainbows have brighten out life immensely and I am so excited to continue to share our journey with you all. Big love from all of us.

IVF FET Round 4 (Third times the charm) IM PREGNANT!

As I sit here typing the words, “I am pregnant!” it’s words we have been dreaming about for almost a full year now. Literally working toward each month. For a year. My heart can’t stop smiling thinking about it, and I can’t wipe the smile off my face as the tears continue to fall down my face. Tears of happiness. Tears of joy. Tears of past heartbreak. All of it. I have shared a lot of my past infertility journey that brought us to Otis (which you can read about here) and I am committed to sharing our story with you as we experience it. These posts for me have been therapeutic to be able to diary as I have experienced it. Also, please be kind if I go in and out of tense as some of this was written in the moment and some of it after the fact. BEAR WITH ME. 

This Frozen Embryo Transfer was likely the most important of all of them. It was our last frozen embryo we had in storage. And our last try for a baby. The weight of that was suffocating. After previously going through 3 egg retrievals, after Otis I was left with 3 frozen embabies. Our precious little babies. Of course there are always options to keep going but I am of course already 37 years old and I STRUGGLED to get healthy embryos from my retrievals since my egg quality was pretty poor. I was also unsure if I was willing to undergo the whole egg retrieval process again but this now brought all those thoughts up. What if my last transfer doesn’t work? There was ALOT on our minds. Alot. So looking into our last chance with our last embryo had a lot of weight to it. After looking at our past failed cycles with our doctor, she had an idea to do something completely different. This both excited me and completely TERRIFIED me. But at this point, we really needed to throw it all on the line to put our best foot forward. I trust my doctor so I was willing to go down a new path. I think it’s always important to mix things up because you never know what your recipe for success will be. She wanted to try a “Natural FET cycle” meaning that we would supplement less with synthetic hormones and instead, let my body lead the way naturally and then only supplement with less hormones closer to embryo transfer. Since I have had issues getting a thicker lining with all the synthetic hormones, we were curious to see how my body does completely on it’s own. So the goal would be, track my natural cycle in a “mock” cycle where we were only doing bloodwork and ultrasounds to gather information and track my cycle. No embryo transfer. Just tracking for research. I was IN. 

Tracking my Natural Cycle

The process would be, wait till cycle day 3 of my period and come in for a baseline ultrasound and bloodwork at my fertility clinic. Then for me to do at home ovulation kits to track my ovulation at home as well as come in for multiple scans to see how my eggs were growing and tracking it with kits, bloodwork and ultrasound. In doing this, we found that my lining naturally looked FREAKING AMAZING. WHO WOULD HAVE KNOWN. Basically  my lining looked the best it ever had and I was almost upset this was a mock cycle and not a real one. That is how good my lining looked. After we confirmed ovulation with both my at home kits, and ultrasound and blood work, doctor also confirmed that my estrogen tends to dip a little low after ovulation so that is where we want to supplement a little more in our real cycle. Good to know! Also, we were excited to decide we would lock into a natural FET cycle and we were doing this!!! Of course we also tried naturally that month to get pregnant and of course it didn’t happen. So we were on our way to our Natural FET cycle with my next period.

Natural Cycle FET

I started my cycle on the 3rd day of my period and came in for a baseline check. The did an ultrasound to make sure I didn’t have any cysts on my ovaries and did blood work to check my hormone levels. The plan was to do at home ovulation kits and wait for high and peak results. The kits I use first tell you when your levels are HIGH and then tell you when it’s PEAK which is right before ovulation. So it was about 2 weeks until I went in again just for a check. Things were actually looking farther along than last cycle so we did more blood work and she suspected I would be getting close so I would come back in 2 days. In 2 days, my body was READY! Those eggs were growing perfectly and when we checked my hormones I was ready to go!! IT WAS INSANITY. I was expecting to have a much longer cycle again but this was flying by holy crap. I waited for blood work to confirm but that night I did my trigger shot! The trigger shot would confirm my exact embryo transfer timing. My lining was the best it’s ever looked! It looked “lush and juicy” in the words of my doctor and she was so excited about how great it looked that she printed me out a photo. I had that good trilaminar appearance to it as well which is all very positive. Things were looking amazing for my natural cycle and I was excited the doctor was as hyped as I was about it. I knew that if things didn’t look great, we could always cancel and try again but we were doing this!!

One week before I did my trigger injection which would trigger ovulation and set the wheels into motion for my embryo transfer. I started my progesterone 5 days before transfer and my other meds 3 days before. Progesterone this time was 1 injection and 1 suppository at night. I literally forgot how horrible those suppositories are. Basically it’s a compounded version of progesterone that looks like an oversized pill that you shove up your lady parts at night. But the aftermath is that is oozes out kind of slowly over time. Sorry TMI but damn they are GROSS. They just really end up making me feel very uncomfortable and I much prefer the injections which I know sounds INSANE. I started WAY less other hormones 3 days before. 2 estrogen patches and then my normal protocol of antibiotics, claritin, pepcid, baby aspirin, and medrol. After the medrol was finished I would start my prednisone. So all the meds were mostly the same as my medicated cycles in the past but just a lot less of them since we were working with my own body’s goods.

We did one last appointment on Friday before my Monday transfer to make sure all my hormones were looking good and that lining was also looking good. I think my nerves were running high. The appointment went great and everything looked ready. Hormones and lining looked good. I got to the checkout desk and was scheduling my pregnancy blood drawl test and 2 of my nurses came over to wish me luck at my transfer. I lost it. I feel awful to have been crying at the desk as I am sure anyone in the waiting room could hear me. But wow. The gravity of everything was hitting me. I desperately needed this to work. It was our last precious embryo and I was a hot mess of emotion. I thought I had it all together, I was feeling so good and positive, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t FEELING. Just such a vulnerable moment. Losing your shit. In public. But damn, infertility is hard as fuck. It’s really fucking hard. And going to battle and being knocked down every time takes its toll. I left the office tissues in hand. When I got to my car, I decided to change the script. Yes we had 1 more chance but that 1 chance is a blessing.


Of all my transfers, this one was one for the books. My smile was bigger waking up. I was more hopeful. I laid out my rainbow shirt, my cozy warrior socks, and I sat excited to start my day and move a step closer to expanding our family. I blow dried my hair, which in Covid times, is a big deal. I wanted to feel good. Look good. Be the light I needed this day. 

Blake, Otis and I packed up to leave. Because of Covid-19, he was not allowed in for my transfer but he would drop me off and be there waiting. As I was getting in the car, I noticed 3 morning doves walking through our garden. It was the sign I needed that morning. Third time’s the charm. I couldn’t knock the smile off my face after that. Despite the fact that destructive fires were raging through my part of Southern California, my sister was evacuated from her home and it smelled horribly of smoke even outside of our own home, I was positive. Nothing was going to ruin this day for me.

When I got to the clinic, it was business as usual. Take my valium and I filled out all my forms etc and before I knew it I was back in the room getting ready. I always play music on my phone and this time I put on my Summer Salt playlist for some good vibes. The embryologist came in, shared good news about our thawed 4AB embryo and confirmed it was our last normal embryo. My doctor came in shortly after. A speculum, a catheter and a few quick minutes later and the embryo was in! Watching it on the screen happen via ultrasound is truly a sureal experience. And just like that, we did it. I had my lucky socks on keeping me cozy and I also brought a few ribbons with me from a gift as a good luck charm. Channeling hope and love through every moment. I had asked Blake if he could give me an affirmation each day after my transfer to keep my spirits high and keep my hopeful heart in the right direction. I didn’t know he was going to give me something on the day of my transfer but before I had walked in, he gave me my first affirmation from him and Otis. I got to open it as I sat alone waiting for the doctors and nurses to come in. I can’t tell you how much that meant to me. “The pain that you’ve been feeling can’t compare to the joy that is coming”

The Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort in Santa Barbara

Given that we are still in lockdown here in California, I know it’s strange to be sharing a trip here with you. We took a road trip to The Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort more than a month ago and I am just getting around to gathering all these photos. Hopefully they can serve as a bit of inspiration for a road trip in 2021 when California opens back up again. I realize that not everyone has the ability to take a mid week staycation and times are very strange in this Covid pandemic and hard but I wanted to share my experience with you in case you are itching to find a safe and friendly place to visit. Blake and I did a lot of research on where we could drive to that wasn’t too far (since driving with a toddler is NOT fun) and a spot that has lots of open space and outdoor amenities so we can stay away from other people and safely be outside the whole time besides being inside of our room. We LOVE Santa Barbara and it’s about a 2.5 hour drive for us so right at or driving threshold with Otis.

For our trip, we decided to book a mid-week getaway since hotels are usually less busy during the week days. Blake was able to take a few days off from work so it was perfect. Check-in was done by walking up to a checkin window outside which was great and easy. Our room was great with a working wood fire place and view of the horse fields right out front. Everything was sanitized, wrapped noting it’s sanitation. I was impressed. Felt good to know that things were properly taken care of. We had a 1 bedroom room that actually had 2 bathrooms making it easy to put Otis’ travel crib in so we still had access to our bathroom without having to walk to another one on the property. We also used the fireplace every night. Such a cozy way to unwind from the day and such a treat since we don’t have a fireplace at home.

As far as food goes, breakfast and dinner were organized through reservations at their restaurant and I was able to secure outdoor dining. It was cold while we were up there but it wasn’t a problem since they had lots of heat lamps. Also to note, there were not weird tents surrounding the outdoor dining so it was truly outdoor with the addition of the heat lamps. Indoor dining was also open but we opted for outside for a safer experience. The food was SO freaking good. The dinner menu changed each night and the dessert menu was INSANE. I feel I would go back just for the dessert. We picked 2 things each night just to share and try something else and then took home a home baked chocolate chip cookie. For lunch, they have a casual restaurant you can get togo food which was actually great as well. I indulged in the bbq chicken sandwich which I got 2 days in a row because I loved it so much. There were also plenty of kid friendly options which made it easy for Otis. We would either sit at a table outside or bring lunch back to our room.

When it came to activities, traveling with a toddler can be unpredictable so we didn’t plan too much. They have a barn (which is all outdoors) that is open daily which was great to be able to walk in and pet and see the barnyard animals. Otis was obsessed with the duck and chickens. You didn’t need to schedule to go there so we could come and go as we please. We also brought Otis’ scooter so he could get his energy out and enjoy the outdoors. We visited the pool once which was heated but obviously it was cold so not ideal in the Winter. Otis did have a blast though. They have ride along horse rides for toddlers and little ones also. We tried to put Otis on a horse.. let’s just say, it didn’t go well. He started crying so we took him off. I posted a photo above for the .5 seconds that Otis was on the horse. Next time! I think the real gem of this ranch is the horse back riding which we sadly didn’t get to experience because we couldn’t do that with Otis. But it was still really cool to be able to see, pet and interact with the horses on the property daily. There is something to calming about being around those gentle giants. It was a highlight of each day waking up and seeing them from our bedroom.

Each day when Otis would nap, Blake and I would sit outside on our patio in our lounge chairs, grab a glass of wine, and just watch the horses and relax. The resort is a true hidden gem and feels like time just magically stands still. Nestled into the valley the mornings are foggy and cool and we would light our wood fire to heat the room.

One important thing to note was the my phone reception and internet was spotty. Yes we had access to wifi, but it was spotty for me personally. Also the rooms do not have a tv. So it’s truly about being mellow, enjoying each others company and being present in this special place. Did we miss the tv? YES. HAHA. But was still nice to chill and relax and just giving you a heads up if you plan to visit! Get into the ranch vibes people.

One of my favorite moments of the trip was our wagon ride to breakfast. You can check the hotels website for a list of daily activities for each day. On Wednesdays and Saturdays they have a wagon ride (or horseback ride) to The Old Adobe. You take the wagon to a ranch-style buffet breakfast at the historic Adobe Campsite (accessible only by horse or hay wagon), complete with campfire, fireside sing-alongs, cowboy poet, and famous buttermilk pancakes. The live music was SO freaking cool and it really felt like a slice of another time. The wagon ride itself was also a great way to really see how large the property is and to also get a glimpse of the other wildlife out there. This was by far one of my favorite experiences of the trip. Such a unique breakfast experience I highly suggest it if you visit.

Besides eating, watching the horses, playing on Otis’ scooter and visiting our barnyard friends, that was pretty much it on our agenda. It was the perfect escape and I can not wait to go back in the future. Was such a great gem of a spot to be able to be outside the whole time and enjoy some much needed relaxation as a family. Feel free to ask me any more questions you may have in the comments below.

Also! Something fun and random to note was that we had 2 monarch butterflies in their chrysalis state that we brought with us on our trip. We were lucky enough to see one hatch into a butterfly while we were there. Our butterfly friend Billy wanted to live at the ranch. So that was a really beautiful moment to share there. Hope he is enjoying life as a ranch butterfly.

hat: preston & olivia / dress: the great / sneakers: p448hoodie: the great / jeans: jbrand / sneakers: p448otis hoodie: the great / jeans: zara kids / shoes: vans / hat: beau hudsonsweater: the great / jeans: jbrand / boots: uggjacket: aritzia (similar) / sweater: naked cashmere / jeans: jbrand / sneakers: p448

Christmas Gifts for Toddlers Age 2+

Sharing the things we have on Otis’ Christmas list. For the most part I wanted smaller items more easily able to be stored since our house is literally filled with toys and games. Otis’ “big” gift this year is the ride-on recycling truck. The eyes and mouth move, it talks, you can recycle with it and Otis can drive it. HE IS GOING TO LOSE HIS MIND and I can’t wait to see Alfonso’s face when Otis is riding next to him. If you don’t follow me on instagram, Otis is obsessed with our garbage man Alfonso and nothing makes me happier than seeing Otis’ joy on trash day.

Another current Otis favorite: Pretend food! He loves chopping his pretend food with his fake knives so we wanted to load up his pretend food goodies. I am pretty excited for the pretend pizza and pretend sushi.

Another bigger item is this wooden parking garage. This item will be fun for him to play with all his hotwheels and other cars. It’s big but not too big so I can keep in the garage and bring it in when we want to play with it.

The last toy I want to call out is this Play House Dust, mop and sweep set. Otis is VERY into helping us “clean” the house and uses his pretend dyson vacuum whenever we use ours. This set will be cute to have him sweep up with us.

Little Sleepies Mom, Dad + Toddler pajamas

Click each image above to shop Christmas Gifts for Toddlers Age 2+