“Cha Cha’s Bloomin’ One” Cactus First Birthday Party

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1st Bday Letter Balloons & Pennant Banner

Cactus Balloons DIY | Cactus Cake DIY | Cactus Pillow

Watercolor Polka Dot Napkins | Watercolor Floral Plates

Hot Pink Layered Ruffle Tutu | Pink Crown Hairclip/Headband

Bday Onesie (handmade gift from aunt – ribbon rose tutorial here )

Well, it’s official. Our little Cha Cha turned one and is definitely not a baby anymore. She’s a walking, talking (although these days it’s more screaming), full fledged toddler. I always wished I’d had more of the baby months with my first – Garrett weaned and walked at 10 months old and mama was not ready for either. So hey, at least I got a couple more months with Charlotte, who just started really walking in the past week – on her first birthday, believe it or not. I keep joking what a strong-willed child she is, and she was gonna make darn sure she’d be walking by her first bday. Well played, Cha Cha, well played.

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Mom Jean Confessions: How to Tackle Bathtime with Two Kiddos

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GetJohnsonsBaby #ChooseGentle #CollectiveBias

Ask any mom, and she’ll tell you that the transition from one to two kids is like waiting for a hurricane to make landfall. Ironically, Charlotte was born just 1 month before Hurricane Harvey hit my hometown of Houston – crazy to think its anniversary is in just ten days. So not only was I trying to adjust to having a second child, I had to pack up and evacuate with a three year old and a newborn – not knowing if we’d have a home to even come back to. We were fortunate to have family close-by and ended up having very minimal damage to our house. Needless to say, the emotional stress though that it placed on me as a new mom of two was palpable. I remember breaking down in tears at the only gas station I’d miraculously found that hadn’t run out of gas yet. A sweet stranger walked up and told me “It was going to be ok,” after seeing me alone with two kids with a car packed to the brim and no husband around for help (as he was traveling for work and due home the night before Harvey hit). I guess my point in telling you all this, is that we often doubt ourselves as mothers. Thinking we can’t possibly handle another child, and worry about all the little things – like giving them a bath, and choosing the right products that meet our high standards as moms. Luckily, this time around I’ve realized so many ways to cut through the clutter and go with brands that I trust for my baby. JOHNSON’S® is one of those brands.

Now you can try my fave JOHNSON’S® products via this photo – just click through to shop them at Target!

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10 Things I Learned When I Quit My Day Job for Blogging

This post is sponsored by Basic Invite. I received compensation and a complimentary product in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are 100% my own.

Two years ago this month, I finally put pen to paper (er finger to keyboard) and started blogging again after a very long, very emotional, and very challenging 9 month hiatus (you can read more about it here). I had just quit my day job, moved my family back home to Houston, and literally had no clue what my life would look like 2 months from then, let alone two years. One thing I did know though, was that I finally had my future, my career, in my own hands for the first time since that wide-eyed 20-something took her first steps off the plane in NYC ready to embark on a whole new adventure (another story, for another day). So that’s what I decided to do – look at this new chapter in life as an adventure. I’d been given a second chance to write my own story, and pursue something I was truly passionate about, and I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity – since who knows when I’d get this chance again.

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Mom Jean Confessions: Self-Aware

This post is sponsored by Evivo but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

Our little Cha Cha just turned one, and for months leading up to her first birthday, I wasn’t thinking about what theme I wanted for her party (cuz cactus, duh, hehe). Nope. I was thinking about the dreaded “four-letter word” that every breast feeding mama loathes: wean. Thinking, how in the heck am I going to wean this “perfectly content to breastfeed her whole life” baby? This baby who touched a bottle for less than three seconds and decided I might as well be putting some foreign contaminate in her mouth. This baby who nurses with such ease that I honestly wonder if it’s cuz she’s my strong-willed child and there ain’t nothing she won’t tackle like a champ.

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Our Back to School Routine Trifecta

This post is sponsored by Pepperidge Farm, but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

I can’t believe this is my little man’s last year of preschool. In fact, I really can’t think about it longer than two seconds without wanting to bawl my eyes out (phew, that was close). But instead of wallowing in my mom tears, I’m just gonna buck up, as the hubs says, and make the most out of our last year in pre-K. So to help kick our back to school routine into high-gear, I’ve teamed up with Pepperidge Farm® to come up with what I’m calling the “Trifecta” of all school routines. These three things are not only crucial to the survival of our sanity, but they also teach our kids independence, confidence, and ultimately sets them up for success in that dreaded first year of “big boy school” as we call it. So listen up mamas – cuz I’m only gonna say this once.

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CH2T Beauty: ABC13 x Five Minute Makeup Routine

So excited to share another video I filmed for ABC13’s “Mirror Mirror” with my lovely friend Rebecca Spera – who recently moved on from the network to start her own businesses, and be home more with her toddler and new baby. I can totally relate, since I made the same leap just two years ago after leaving my Digital Marketing Manager role at Los Angeles magazine. Since then, I’ve been able to focus more on growing my blog and personal styling services, while being able to spend more time raising my 4 year old and almost 1 year old (can you believe Cha Cha’s 11 months old today?!).

If there’s one thing I’ve learned since transitioning from “full-time working mom” to “part-time work-from-home mom” – it’s finding those #momlife hacks, as I like to call them. One that I’ve perfected over the years is my 5 minute makeup routine that takes no time at all, yet leaves you looking pulled together when you’re in a pinch. Watch the video below to see my 6 makeup tricks and read the story here on ABC13.

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Father’s Day Memories: A Father’s Hands

There will always be things we take for granted in life. It’s just human nature to focus on the seemingly more important things rather than the things we do everyday. I bet you’ve never thought about how many times you’ve held your father’s hand, or remember what it felt like to be that little kid looking up at him walking hand-in-hand down the street. I certainly didn’t. Just like I didn’t know 14 years ago today, that it would be the last Father’s Day I’d be spending with my dad. He had been battling stomach cancer for two years and just had a major surgery that we were so hopeful would give him a second chance at life. I had just graduated from UT and it meant so much for him to see me walk across that stage and accept my diploma. Something he wrote in my graduation card has always stuck with me: “Raising you has been my greatest success in life.” Fast forward to later that summer, his health had quickly deteriorated and I’d moved back home to spend what we all knew were his last days with us. Although I don’t think any of us would have ever expected what happened next. 

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Mom Jean Confessions: Life in the Slow Lane

This post is sponsored by Gerber® but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

This June marks two years since we left LA. Two years since we decided to move in with family here in Houston, and essentially put the breaks on life as we knew it. At the time it felt both exciting and confusing. We were excited to embark on a whole new chapter in life together, even though it was as if we’d made it to Chapter 27 and decided to go back and re-read the first chapter. Which leads me to the confusing part. We knew it was the right decision for our family as a whole, but as individuals we couldn’t help but feel like we were giving up a huge part of our self-identity. But that’s just the thing, when you become a parent – nothing, literally nothing, stops you from making the best choice for your kids. As hard as we knew it was going to be to say goodbye to the high-profile jobs, the lime-light, and pretty much the most gorgeous place to live – there really was no question at the end of the day that moving back home to Houston was where we needed to be.

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Mother’s Day Becomes Father’s Night

This post is sponsored by Huggies, Pull-Ups, GoodNites but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

So much changes when you have another child, and not just in the conventional ways. Sure there’s always a period of adjustment, especially when you wait almost 4 years to have another. It’s like just the right amount of time to get used to having an only child, and then wham – everything changes with the birth of a new baby. I still remember my hubs having a little heart-to-heart with me before the baby came, after I expressed some insecurities and anxieties I’d been feeling in one of my more honest pregnancy posts. And like always, we tackled this new phase in life as a team and figured out ways he could start helping out more with Garrett. One way we knew we had to tackle was bedtime. I’d gotten into the habit of laying with Garrett in his bed every night until he fell asleep – and it doesn’t take a genius to realize that was not gonna fly once a baby was in the picture. So Grant started taking over with Garrett at night which at first I was sad about, because it was just another thing to remind me that he was growing up and didn’t need me as much anymore. But then a funny thing happened – I got to witness the most special bond developing between a father and his son right before my eyes.

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CH2T Covets: How I Save on Home Essentials

This post is sponsored by Scott Brand, but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

It’s crazy to me to think that we’ve lived in our little fixer upper for nearly a year and half now. We’ve pretty much finished all of the major work we wanted to do on the house, including some outside lighting that my hubs just installed. It’s pretty amazing what a big impact a small thing like lighting can make on a home, and we actually wish we’d done it sooner. In fact, we were just saying how it’s got to be our favorite thing we’ve done that gave us the most bang for our buck. It’s funny the things you start paying attention to once you’re a homeowner. Ever since we moved from a 1 BR apt in LA to our first home in the suburbs of Houston, I’ve come to appreciate the fine art of saving money. One way that’s been the easiest, is saving on those home essentials that you know you’ll always need like toilet paper/paper towels. My favorite products are Scott and I love that you can conveniently buy them at Amazon.com and have them shipped directly to your door step. We call that a “mom win.”

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