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The Idea of Perfection

4 tips for staying organized

 

4 tips for staying organized

 

4 tips for staying organized

 

4 tips for staying organized

 

4 tips for staying organized

 

4 tips for staying organized

 

4 tips for staying organized

As I mentioned in an Instagram post yesterday my life has been crazy busy. I remember a time like 2 years ago that I thought I was ‘busy’ and I kinda wish I could go back in time and slap myself for being so naive. Nothing prepares you for being a full-time mom, wife and employee. NOTHING.

Nevertheless, you all responded with such encouraging words because you all are the best thing since sliced bread!

I did get a lot of questions about how I stay so organized. Maybe it’s the fact that I haven’t posted to this blog in 2 weeks, or my inconsistent scheduling when it comes to posting on Instragram, but I have no idea what gave you all the impression that I’m organized lol. Nevertheless, here are my tips for staying afloat when all you really want to do is sit in your bathroom and cry. For the record, crying in the bathroom almost made this list.


1. Invest in a planner and use it

My best friend buys me a new Kate Spade planner every year for Christmas. Like literally she’s done it for the past 4 years or so – and I could not survive life without it! Thanks little Dino – you’re the best 🙂 But what’s the point of a planner if you aren’t going to use it to actually help you plan? This is where I put pertinent information for my work schedule, my editorial content and deadlines for my blog, Joe’s work and travel schedule and any important dates for Beckett. I’d be such a mess with out a place to log everything. And don’t preach to me about using my phone to schedule everything (JOE!). I am old fashioned and I need to write things down in an old school calendar with old school pencils. It’s just how I operate people!

2. Understand things Change

I try to get as many things done ahead of time as I can and for good reason. Now that I have a 3 month old, my day is inevitably going to veer off track at least once, if not twice. As much as I try to plan, Beckett just isn’t going to cooperate with everything I have scheduled. Some days she’s a perfect angel and our day goes completely according to plan. Other days I swear she’s smarter than all of us and doing things just to spite me. The more accepting I become of our changing schedule, the easier I find to balance it all.


3. You Can’t Do it All

This is the hardest for me to understand and accept. I have an extreme Type A personality and admitting defeat is not something that sits well with me. But at the end of the day I’m human, not superhuman and I simply cannot do everything I want to do, every single day. Case in point – this blog. I don’t even remember the last time I posted and even though I have outfits already photographed, I simply haven’t had the time nor energy to edit and post them. When push comes to shove, I have to be okay letting things fall by the wayside and for me, my family, my full time job and my sanity all take precedence. One day I hope to get in a better rhythm, but until that day comes – repeat after me: I can’t do everything for everybody every single day.

4. F*ck it. 

Excuse my french, but the world isn’t going to end because I didn’t get to wash my hair, clean all of Beckett’s bottles and the dishes, work, blog, watch a movie with Joe, play with the dogs, eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, wash, fold and put away laundry, exercise, look perfect etc. etc. etc. every single day. Instagram, although I love it, makes it so easy to see other moms who portray themselves as killin’ it at life (maybe they are!), but this just leads me to feel bad about myself for not being able to do it all. Maybe that mom has mastered the art to being a supermodel, perfect mom, successful employee, trophy wife, fitness fiend and overall bada$$ human being. Kudos to them! I fell asleep on the sofa last night during date night with Joe. I woke up having not charged my phone and 15 minutes after my alarm went off. My underwear is two sizes to small, my child is in daycare and I screwed up at work today. I’ll probably skip the gym because running makes my thighs chafe (thanks pregnancy) and I might have cookies and milk for dinner. Guess what? The world is still revolving. I’ll look put together and perfect another day. Or maybe I won’t. F*ck it.

So if you are feeling busy, stressed or overloaded these are my tips for living to see another day with a smile on my face. Okay, maybe not so much of a smile, but like a half grin and some puffy, sleep deprived eyes. For the record, and more often than not I just skip right to number 4, but feel free to use any of these tips you find useful 🙂

xoxo, Jessica
Outfit Details
Sweater; J Crew Factory
Denim; Target (modified by me)
Shoes; Valentino
Handbag; Tory Burch

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ABC…Easy as CBR?!

new parents cord blood banking decision
new parents cord blood banking decision

 

new parents cord blood banking decision
I know I’ve been writing a lot about mommyhood on the blog lately, but let’s be honest – I’m not the most fashionable right now wearing pajamas with spit up pasted on them. Nothing prepares you for becoming a parent. And to think, before I had Beckett I was convinced I would blog every day and start a second business, all the while cooking and cleaning every day. Joe was going to come home from work every day to the perfect little trophy home, with his trophy wife and trophy daughter.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
So far during my maternity leave I’ve watched countless episodes of friends, have gone more than 24 hours without changing from pajamas, and once I forgot to brush my teeth until after 1:00pm…yeah I know – that’s completely disgusting but I pride myself and this blog on keeping things real, so there’s some real expectations from a real parent…you know, the stuff you don’t really hear.
You know something else you don’t really hear about? Cord Blood Banking. Yea, I know what you’re thinking – what the H-E-Double Hockey Sticks is cord blood banking?  To be honest, I had no idea what cord blood banking was either, until I got pregnant and I didn’t really learn about cord blood until I got to that ‘chapter‘ in my pregnancy read along book. And again, being completely honest here, that chapter of the book came WAY too late in my pregnancy for Joe and I to discuss and decide upon prior to Beckett’s birth.Joe and I first read about cord blood banking about 2 weeks prior to finding out we’d be induced. Truthfully, we wish we would have read about it sooner into my pregnancy, so we could have better understood the process, the costs and then weighed the pros and cons. Instead, we felt so rushed with everything that happened in the last few weeks, we ended up not doing a lot of things we would have liked. I mean we didn’t even get maternity photos taken (gasp)…I guess 40 weeks (in my case, 36 weeks) goes by faster than you think.

So with July being Cord Blood Awareness Month, it’s my hope that I can educate at least one person about cord blood banking, so that he or she can make an educated decision that is right for them and their family, without being rushed or unprepared when the big day comes. So let’s start with the basics – cord blood banking is the process of collecting the leftover blood  from the umbilical cord after birth and banking/storing it for the possibility of future medical use. Right now, the stem cells from the cord blood are being used in treatments for a broad range of diseases, such as blood disorders, cancers, immune disorders and metabolic disorders.  While the thought of a newborn baby or child being anything other than perfect is unimaginable and unfair, the reality is families everywhere have benefitted from cord blood banking. To learn more about the process such as costs, and more specific details, please check out CBR’s website by clicking here.

Should Joe and I decide to have another child in the future (oh my god, I can’t even fathom a second child right now <insert frazzled and stressed emoji face here>) we would definitely consider cord blood banking. Maybe the next time around, we will be a little more prepared too…but then again, Joe and I thrive when things are a little – hectic. 🙂

 

xoxo, Jessica

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25 Things You Might Not Know About Me

shein stripes pink ruffles chicago blogger

 

shein stripes pink ruffles chicago blogge

 

shein stripes pink ruffles chicago blogge

 

shein stripes pink ruffles chicago blogge

 

shein stripes pink ruffles chicago blogge

 

shein stripes pink ruffles chicago blogge

 

shein stripes pink ruffles chicago blogge

 

shein stripes pink ruffles chicago blogge
I figured it might be fun to share a few fun facts that you might not know about me this week, so here it goes:
1. I’m turning 30 exactly one month from today – YIKES!
2. I have to eat some type of dessert every night after dinner..sometimes it’s milk and cookies, sometimes it’s ice cream, and sometimes it may only be a couple Hersey kisses – but I HAVE to have something sweet as my last meal of the day.
 
3. I don’t drink soda, with the exception of my recent obsession with root beer.
 
4. My favorite part of the day is sipping coffee in the morning. There’s something so peaceful and relaxing about sitting and sipping coffee.
 
5. I have a serious shoe obsession! It’s my favorite thing to shop for.
 
6. Since college, I’ve lived in 6 different apartments in 4 different cities: Lexington (KY), Chicago (IL), Cleveland (OH) and now Oak Park (IL) which is a close western suburb of Chicago but still technically counts as a new city 🙂
 
7. Despite being from Kentucky, I cheer for the Florida Gators first and foremost. The Cats are my 2nd favorite team.
 
8. Football is my favorite sport to watch and football season is my favorite time of the year.
 
9. I have an undergraduate and graduate degree in Business Administration.
 
10. I’m a stomach sleeper. Truthfully, I have no idea how I survived pregnancy!
 
11. I only wash my hair once or twice a week – which may sound gross, but my scalp is so incredibly dry that I seriously could not tolerate washing it more frequently.
 
12. I’ve loved writing since I was a kid and have actually won a couple of awards for it.
 
13. I watch food network almost 24/7!
 
14. I don’t like being woken up from a nap…if I’m napping I need to wake myself or else I will be MEGA cranky – just ask Joe!
 
15. I swear more than any lady should (not my finest habit).
 
16. Blogging is not my full-time job. I actually work for a really cool company called Medix (look them up!).
 
17. I’m only 5 foot 2 inches tall, or like I like to say – vertically challenged.
 
18. My husband does all my blog photography – we are learning together, but I think he does a great job!
 
19. I’m a total perfectionist, which definitely has it’s pros and cons.
 
20. I only started this blog because when I moved to Cleveland for my husband’s job and had no friends or family there, Joe told me I needed a hobby.
 
21. When I was younger, I was a competitive gymnast. I spent a lot of my childhood going to practice and traveling for competitions.
 
22. I’m pretty much freezing ALL. THE. TIME. I have no idea how I survive Chicago winters.
 
23. I have a strong tendency to be a bit of a homebody.
 
24. If I could choose any profession in the world for myself, I’d be a dermatologist. My obsession with skincare is out of control. Does anyone else watch those Dr. Pimple Popper videos on YouTube or Insta?! Yea – that would totally be me!
 
25. I’m actually quite terrified of heights.
Kinda feels like we been friends for forever now, right?! #Besties!
xoxo, Jessica
 
Outfit Details
Top; SheIn
Denim; Target (old) – similar here and only $30
Shoes; Jimmy Choo – cheaper option here

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Lions, Tigers & Owlets – Oh My!

Pregnant expecting mothers baby registry owlet

 

Pregnant expecting mothers baby registry owlet chicago blogger Jessica Lynna
Pregnant expecting mothers baby registry owlet chicago blogger Jessica Lynna

 

Pregnant expecting mothers baby registry owlet chicago blogger Jessica Lynna
Pregnant expecting mothers baby registry owlet chicago blogger Jessica Lynna

 

Pregnant expecting mothers baby registry owlet chicago blogger Jessica Lynna

 

Pregnant expecting mothers baby registry owlet chicago blogger Jessica Lynna

 

Pregnant expecting mothers baby registry owlet chicago blogger Jessica Lynna

If you read Beckett’s birth story, then you know she spent a few days in the NICU. If you didn’t read it – no worries, you can read all about it here! I can’t say there’s a lot I miss about her being there, although we did really love Beckett’s nurse (shout out to Doreen at Rush Medical NICU)! Anyway, there was ONE thing I wish we could have brought home with us – the constant tracking of her heart rate and oxygen, which helped us know how she was doing.

As a new parent, I found (and still find) myself worrying about every little thing. It doesn’t help that I am naturally an anxious person who tends to worry more than I should. So after we brought Beckett home, I really missed the reassurance of the heart and pulsation monitoring. Lucky for us, we had the Owlet to help us continue tracking both these levels (and without the price tag that comes along with a vacation in the NICU!). Before we put the monitor on her tiny little foot, I was literally getting up every 5 minutes to check to make sure she was still breathing. Not for any particular reason other than the fact that I am completely neurotic!

The Owlet is designed to notify you if either the heart or oxygen levels fall outside the preset zones, which means I can sit longer than 5 minutes without stressing myself into a frenzy – and frankly that’s better for my marriage lol. Joe and I love that the sock can be worn on either foot, and as much as I personally really love the mint green color of the original, the Owlet Smart Sock 2 has the option of a pink or a blue sock to customize the experience for your little one. I just think Beckett looks SO cute with her little pink sock.

In case you haven’t noticed, Beckett really REALLY likes the rug in her room, so every night Joe and I wind her down with bath time, followed by some milk. Next we put her in some clean pajamas and her Owlet, then spend time playing with her on the rug. Sometimes we read to her, sometimes we play with her and just let her run the rug between her fingers and toes which she LOVES. Then when she starts to get a little drowsy, we move her to the crib or bassinet in our room depending on whether or not one of us is ready to go to sleep as well. Like I said in my last post, she naps in her crib, but I’m just not ready for her to sleep there overnight! Frankly I’m just not ready for her to grow up at all!!

And for the record, although this post is sponsored, I would never encourage you all to use a product that I didn’t know and love. The Owlet was something I looked at and wanted to get my sister in law before my nephew was born, so when Joe and I found out we were expecting – I knew this was something I HAD to have. It makes the perfect gift for all those momma-to-be’s or already mommas!

**This post is sponsored by Owlet, but all opinions expressed by the author are authentic and original.

 

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Nursery Reveal with Newton

Burts Bees Morning Glory Coverall
Nursery Reveal with Newton

 

Changing Table Essentials

 

Nursery Reveal with Newton

 

Changing Table Essentials
Minted Artwork for baby girl nursery

 

Nursery Reveal with Newton

 

Tufted crib & floral wallpaper for baby girl nursery
Nursery Reveal with Newton

 

Nursery Reveal with Newton

 

Burts Bees Morning Glory Coverall

Who knew putting together a nursery would be so challenging?!! When I first found out I was pregnant, I was torn on whether or not to even put together a nursery because the lease to our current place would end roughly 8 weeks after Beckett’s due date. Plus, I figured she would sleep in a bassinet by our bed during that time, so what was the point??

As the pregnancy progressed, I found myself wanting a nursery more and more – even if she never stepped foot in there. The idea that we would have a special place that was all hers was something that Joe and I rallied around and thus we embarked on putting together our perfect nursery.

Every decision we made was researched, researched again and then researched AGAIN! It’s tough as a first time parent to really ‘know’ what being a parent is like and what a baby truly needs. Do we actually need a diaper genie? Should we move our extra sofa to her room or buy a rocker? Why are there so many mattress options, and which one should we buy for the crib? Which color of white is the perfect white for the walls (but seriously…I was in the paint section of Home Depot for over an hour trying to pick the perfect shade of white). The list goes on and on…but after several months, so many hours spent planning, designing and shopping and the help of my in-laws – the nursery was super close to being finished.

We had the bones of the nursery done – the walls were painted, floral wallpaper put up, crib put together, etc. But for weeks on end, the crib remained without a mattress because I could not decide on that perfect option for our sweet little girl. Mattresses were either too heavy, too flimsy, not highly rated by previous customers, or REALLY expensive, until I stumbled upon Newton!

The Newton Wovenaire Crib Mattress was the perfect mattress for our princess…it’s washable, because no matter how hard you try, your baby will spit-up, vomit, pee and maybe even poop in their bed. It’s firm (as all infant mattresses should be), but only weighs 11 pounds, which means even my measly arms can lift it in order to change the sheets, etc.  Its’ patented mattress is made of 90% air and 10% food-grade polymer which allows babies to breathe through it reducing the risk of suffocation…and let’s face it…being a parent is stressful enough, so anything that can be done to reduce stress and worry is a plus in my book. The mattress is also made to last through Beckett’s toddler years, which means a sound investment that will last for several years and when she does outgrow her comfy new bed, the mattress is 100% recycle which makes it better for the environment! Starting to see why this is the PERFECT mattress?!

Fast forward several months, and Beckett LOVES her nursery!! She naps in her crib (momma isn’t ready for her to sleep in there overnight – although I’m pretty certain our independent little lady would prefer to sleep in there than her bassinet lol) which allows me time to get stuff done around the house – like writing blog posts!

And guess what else?!! You can score this Rolls Royce of baby mattresses for $30 off with code JLYNNA30!! Saving money and being safe when it comes to baby sleeping is the perfect match, don’t you think?!

Details

Beckett’s TieDye OutfitBurt’s Bees

Unicorn Stuffed Head; Target

Bookcase/Changing Table; Ikea (old) – similar here

Gold Tray; World Market

Wall Art; Minted

Crib; Target

Crib Sheets; Burt’s Bees

Mattress; Newton

Floral Wallpaper; Target

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