Lessons in Parenting: 2017 Chicago Baby Show

17 Aug 2017 Permalink

I’ve learned so many things over the past almost NINE years of being a mom.

For starters, I’ve learned to pick and choose my battles with my kids. Julia and Ivan have been getting themselves dressed for a number of years now, but just recently I’ve been having Ivan pick his own outfits. (Julia – my little diva – has been doing this since she was three.) For the most part he does a decent job, but when it comes to his socks, he grabs two that don’t match. This totally frazzles my OCD.  To make matters worse though, he loves wearing tall socks and then chooses to ROLL them down to his ankles. Basically his feet look like a hot mess.

I feel like I constantly have to explain the whole situation when we’re out in public, but I just keep telling myself that it doesn’t matter. At least he picked out his own clothes and got himself dressed.

I also learned that I NEED to make sure that I carve out some “me” time into each day. This could be as simple as getting in a workout or catching up on a show. Simply spending 30 minutes on myself each day helps calm me down and gives me more energy to be a better parent.

Many lessons about being a mom I had to learn on my own from trial and error. Other lessons I learned through other parents who have been there and done it already.

But now something super exciting is about to grace Chicago. Something I wish I had an opportunity to be a part of some nine or so years ago.

The 2017 Chicago Baby Show will be part of the largest show series for new and expectant parents in the country. Happening August 26 & 27 at Navy Pier, the Chicago Baby Show will provide a better experience for thousands of expectant and new families from Chicagoland, seeking a family-friendly jamboree of top brands, great speakers and seminars, big giveaways, and lots of learning, support, bonding, and fun as they make their way into parenthood. It’s pretty much a major fun Parenting 101 expo.

If you’re interested in attending, or know someone who would LOVE to attend, I have TEN tickets to giveaway! Let me know in the comments if you’re interested and I’ll either set you up with a free pass or you can click here for a 50% off discount!

Back-To-School Style With KidShoes.com

21 Jul 2017 Permalink

cute kids

back to school outfit

kid fashion

boy

sibling love

boy sneakers

redhead girl

kids

leopard print shoes

kid shoes

Is it really THAT time of year again?! One day we’re hanging out at the beach, and the next thing you know the BACK-TO-SCHOOL chatter has begun.

While these two are excited to see their friends again on a daily basis, I’ve already starting having the dreaded nightmares of potential troublemakers in my classroom. Spoiler alert: This year’s class looks like a real doozy. I’m gonna have to make sure that my dark chocolate and Moscato stash is constantly stocked at home. The struggle is real, people!

One thing that definitely puts us in the mood for waking up early and learning is shopping. Back-to-school shopping is so much fun! All the new and cool items just waiting to be put to use…gotta love it!

While we have yet to tackle the school supply list, we have begun clothing and accessory shopping. I mean, you can’t show up on the first day of school wearing exactly what you did ten weeks before. (Cue slightly sarcastic voice with eyeroll.)

I love how Julia and Ivan have developed their own senses of fashion. Julia likes girly things with an edge. She realizes that her outfits need to be functional. (Smart girl!) She won’t wear dresses daily anymore because it’s too hard to run around and play in them. And Ivan is straight up sporty. He’d live in athletic gear if I didn’t force him into a button-down shirt every now and then.

One item that was super easy for us to shop for were the kids’ shoes. We got these stylish pairs from KidShoes.com. KidShoes.com has tons of designer brands just for children AND they add new styles monthly.

Julia picked out this super adorable leopard print lace up. She LOVES that there’s a little platform to it making her a smidge taller. (I know that’s the reason why I wear shoes with a heel!) AND being leopard print, they will be very trendy for fall. Animal print is always a hit once the hot summer months start to cool off.

Ivan went with a velcro sneaker. Sometimes he picks out shoes with a bold color, but he said this black and silver version will match everything in his closet. Smart little boy!

With summer quickly coming to a close and the new school year almost upon us, I’m glad we got a head start on our back-to-school shopping. These two kiddos are all set to work the runways, I mean, hallways.

KidShoes.com supplied Julia and Ivan each with a pair of shoes for this post. All opinions are my own.

Secrets to Happiness

12 Jun 2017 Permalink

mother and daughter

redheads

redhead

mom and child

off-the-shoulder top

redheads

When I first started Knocked Up Fabulous, I was pregnant with my now almost 6-years-old son. My marriage was failing and I needed an outlet. A place where I could escape my reality.

Blogging did just that. It kept my mind occupied. I spent hours putting together outfits, taking and editing pictures, writing, and sharing it all on social media.

Along the way I inadvertently met tons of great people. Maybe you’re one of them reading this right now. Maybe we’ve connected through Instagram or commented on each others’ blogs. Maybe we’ve hung out at events, or worked on collaborations together. But whatever the case might be, we connected.

Those connections helped get me through one of the most difficult times in my life.

Becoming a single mom wasn’t easy at all. But on the other hand, I’ve learned so much about myself though the process and a few secrets to happiness…

  1. Like I mentioned, make meaningful connections. Find like-minded people. Spend time with those you love and show them that you love them. (If you haven’t read the book The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman, I highly recommend it! The book was originally written for married couples, but the author has since published editions for singles and parents. Definitely opened my eyes on how I like receiving love, and how those important to me want love received.)
  2. Streamline your life. Get rid of extra baggage, clutter, and junk. Let go of people who hold you down. And grab onto those who lift you up.
  3. Do something for yourself every single day that is going to make you healthier and happier. Take a walk. Listen to great music. Share stories with a girlfriend. Indulge every now and then. Find hobbies and activities that make you happy and DO them. Life is too short to not enjoy it.

The last few years have been the hardest ones in my life, but they have also been the most rewarding and happiest ones. And I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything.

Red, White, and Cute

18 May 2017 Permalink

Redhead, star sunglasses

red, white, and blue

red, white, and blue star

dino hat

boy summer outfit

kids

If you can’t tell from looking at these pictures, we’re majorly excited for summer. (And if you think their smiles are big, you should see mine!) There’s one more week left of the school year. We can’t wait to get our break started!

From cookouts to pool parties to neighborhood festivals, summer is packed full of fun activities! These two kiddos are at the perfect ages where we can just go and enjoy the different street fests and parties. No strollers or diaper bags needed! I love being able to just walk out of the house and go.

Memorial Day will start the summer fun for us, and this year we’ll be hanging out poolside. Family, friends, and a little grill action…just what we need for the perfect 3-day weekend!

And what’s a party without some cool threads??

Gymboree has these two set for celebrating in the most patriotic of ways with their One Big Happy Red, White & Cute campaign! I mean, how adorable are these outfits?! Julia’s accessories alone are beyond awesome. And I’m loving how Ivan’s star shirt and star shorts look with the dino cap. And those flag sneakers?? Too CUTE!!

One of the things that I love most about Gymboree, besides for their very reasonable prices, is that their clothes stand the test of playtime. Julia and Ivan have a number of pieces from Gymboree, and they far outgrow them before the clothes even begin to give. Definitely a plus in my book!

With these two lookin’ so fly for Memorial Day, I know that we’re going to have a blast! Now if I can only find myself a pair of matching flag sneakers…

The kids’ outfits and accessories were provided for this post as part of a collaboration with Gymboree. All opinions are honest and my own.