My Favorite Diaper Bag



So I’ll be honest… This was a bit of a ‘mommy-splurge’.  An ‘I-think-I-should-treat-myself’ kind of (totally justifiable) purchase.  I had done my research on diaper bags and decided that this was the one for me.  Except they can get pretty pricey…up to two hundred dollars (gulp).  I could just sew together all that cash and use it to hold my diapers…  But that wouldn’t be as attractive now, would it?

Enter Ebay.  Price-checking is your BFF!  I found my bag at a better price on Ebay, from a husband who was trying to sell it because it wasn’t the pattern his wife had wanted–hey, her loss, right? 😉

When this diaper bag came in the mail, it was seriously just like Christmas.  I was giddy, and couldn’t wait to tear off the wrapping paper.  Mom’s are weird, aren’t they?  Anyway, all the YouTube review videos proved to be true, with the exception of the backpack straps being “super comfortable”.  I wouldn’t go that far.

I’ve had this bag for over a month now and I carry it everywhere I go.  I often bring this diaper with me even when I don’t have the baby with me (she’s home with Daddy) because it has every single thing I need in it!  The main compartment hold all of baby’s things, but the front compartment (called the “mommy pocket”) holds my money, chapstick, kleenex, keys, phone….everything.

The bag also has two bottle holders on either side that are insulated for keeping your bottle cool if you’ve just pulled it out of the fridge–another feature I really like.

I also love the classic style of this bag, with the black and white stripes, and gold accents.  This particular diaper bag is called the Ju Ju Be BFF in the style “First Lady” I believe.



I used this bag on our first trip as a family, back to the mainland last month.  I had everything I needed, nicely organized and easily accessible.  Plus, it fit perfectly beneath the seat in front of me when we were on the plane.

Those are just a few of the things I love about this bag, but there are certainly many more!


What diaper bag do you use?  Do you have a favorite?



Kleenex & Coffee (The Not-So Glamorous Side of Mommyhood)

Today, being a Mom looks something like this…

Laying on the couch watching the TCM channel while Ava sleeps on my chest and we both try to recover from a rough night. She didn’t fall asleep fully until after midnight last night because she was so congested and fussy. No sooner would I lay her down, after rocking her to sleep, would she then wake up again, crying and wheezing. Poor baby. I gave her some of the Doctor’s prescribed baby Tylenol to bring her fever down a little and kept a bottle always in hand, as she seemed much hungrier than usual, and it was good to keep her as hydrated as possible.

Sometimes being a Mommy means dropping everything (house, errands, school, work…) and laying on a couch in your bathrobe, consoling a sick baby. I’ve got kleenex and Boogie Wipes to my left, a blanket and coffee to my right, that’s my setup currently and I’m okay with it.

Not every day will go as planned. You won’t always get everything accomplished that you had hoped and may not get anything accomplished that you had planned! But that’s okay. 🙂 I’m trying to focus on treasuring these unplanned moments and not feeling like I have failed if dinner isn’t ready or the house isn’t spotless.

To all Moms out there, today I raise my coffee mug to you…

Here’s to the unplanned, unglamorous, and exhausting side of motherhood…may you greet each precious moment with patience and grace, may you remember that in those late night hours when your child wont sleep and it takes every ounce of energy you can muster to soothe your baby, that you are not alone. In those (perhaps, not-so-quiet) moments, remember those that have gone before you (maybe your own mother who spent many a night holding you when you were sick), and never forget that God is with you. He gives strength to the weary and He gives grace, LOTS of grace to us all. He’s the one set of footprints that remain when yours disappear, because He’s carrying you the rest of the way. So rest in Him, He who is strong enough to hold you when you don’t feel strong enough to go on. May you be blessed today and face each day with renewed hope and zeal.

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12



Outfit of the Day on the USS Missouri



sheath dress Old Navy // wool hat (similar) F21 // brown ruffle tote (gift) Simply Vera Wang // bow sandals (out of stock) Target–different pair here.

Either she’s not looking at the camera or she has her hands in her mouth! ;)


My Mother-in-law was able to join us for the last event we attended on the battleship.



I’ve had the privilege to be on the USS Missouri battleship, on at least four different military occasions.  I’ve attended promotion ceremonies, a retirement ceremony, a ceremony to honor years in service, and I will be attending a retirement/farewell ceremony tomorrow for my husband’s coworker (our family friend).

I never get tired of standing on the decks of the battleship and singing our National Anthem with the soldiers of my husbands unit, while the many flags wave in the breeze behind the podium and the sun reflects off the crystal waters.  Or hearing thirty soldiers sing, “…First to fight for the right, And to build the Nation’s might, And The Army Goes Rolling Along … “.

What a blessing to be an American and to live in this beautiful country!



Closet Cardio + My AE Spring Picks

Happy Thursday, ladies. 🙂

My closet chronicles continue!  I haven’t gotten to a place yet where I’m willing to take pictures of my progress, 😉 but I’m close!  I still have a little ways to go with my downsizing and organizing.

If I haven’t already mentioned it…I’m eliminating anything in my wardrobe that I haven’t worn in the last couple years, or that I don’t absolutely love when I put it on.  I’m trying to create my version of a mommy “capsule wardrobe“.

ootd by classically-preppy on Polyvore featuring Organic by John Patrick, J Brand, J.Crew, Dorothy Perkins, Yves Saint Laurent, NARS Cosmetics, Rebecca Minkoff and Kate Spade:

Have you ever had the feeling that you have SO many clothes you actually have nothing to wear?  As strange as it sounds, it’s a completely normal feeling.  My closet is brimming with clothes, yet, when I try to pick out something to wear, the options, and colors, and patterns, overwhelm me and I spend much longer choosing an outfit than I should have to.  My easiest, and quickest mornings, when it comes to getting ready, have been those were I reach for neutral colors (maybe all black, or jeans with a white, or grey top…) and throw on an accessory (sun hat, fedora, braided belt, arm cuffs) and a cute pair of sandals.  Not only do I feel totally put together, but I feel chic and effortless.  And it only took me 5 minutes, or less!  So the other part of my organizing project, is in sticking with mainly basic colors for my clothes, and coloring them with an accessory, such as a scarf or piece of jewelry.

Minimal + Chic | crop top. maxi skirt. #outfit #casual #simple:

Lately, I’ve been scouring the internet (hey, sometimes it’s easier to shop online than it is to get out the door with a 5 month old!) for affordable, but good quality clothing that I can use to replace the pieces in my closet that I no longer need or wear.  Last night, I went through American Eagle’s website, and found a bunch of cute items!  They are all simple, and classic pieces that I think would look fantastic in my closet. 😉  Check out my spring picks!


My Skincare Routine

skincare update routine

I’ve always believed, since I was a teenager, that skincare was very important.  No matter how tired I was at the end of the day, I always tried to at least give my face a good rinse and clean up the oil build up from the day.  As I’ve gotten older, and tried many different products, my routine has changed a lot, and for the better!

Pond’s Cold Cream Cleanser, and St. Ives Apricot Scrub are the two newest products that I’ve adopted into my routine and I LOVE them!

Every evening I apply the Pond’s Cold Cream Cleanser to my face and then wet a washcloth and wipe away all my makeup.  Its simple, and easy, and I love how refreshing the cold cream feels on my skin–it’s a refreshing, yummy-feeling, rich cream that picks up all the makeup and dirt on your face and leaves your skin feeling smooth and moisturized.


Three or four times a week, when I wake up in the morning, I wash my face with the Biore charcoal soap bar (not pictured) and then I follow-up with the St. Ives Apricot Scrub to smooth away any dead skin cells and leave my skin feeling silky smooth.

After the cold cream cleanser (and the apricot scrub every other day or so) I soak a Neutrogena Alcohol-Free Toner cotton ball and gently rub it over my face in upward strokes to help recondition my skin and smooth my complexion.

Lastly, I finish with lotion.  I use Aveeno Ultra Calming Lotion with SPF 15 in the mornings, and Yes to Tomatoes Daily Balance Moisturizer in the evenings.

Do you have a skincare routine?  What are your favorite products?


Not Your Mom’s Jean’s | Outfit of the Day

Hello!  I feel like it’s been awhile since I’ve done an outfit post.  I miss blogging my outfits, but it hasn’t been easy for me to adjust my style to my changing body.  Learning to dress my baby bump was such a challenge for me, and now I’m trying to swing back into my (slowly) shrinking post pregnancy body (only weigh 10 pounds more than my prebaby weight!).


shoes-target | jean shorts-charlotte russe | chambray shirt-target | sunglasses-amazon

It’s been hard to embrace my new body–while also trying to improve it and exercise.  Honestly, for me, that’s probably been the second hardest part of having a baby (the first is the loss of sleep haha).  Slowly, I’ve been working hard to get back my sense of style and try to put in the time to dress myself well.  I’ve always believed that the way you dress, reflects who you are, and that first impressions count.  I also believe that tired, and thoroughly exhausted mommies, need to feel beautiful too!  So do yourself a favor and spend a couple minutes on yourself each day to ditch the pajamas and put on something comfy and cute.  Stick with the classics if you aren’t feeling adventurous: jeans, simple top, hair in a bun…  But throw in a cute belt, a sun hat or a fun necklace to jazz it up a little.  Even small steps are still something!


I’ve been cleaning out my whole clothes closet and getting rid of what I don’t wear anymore and storing away the maternity outfits. 😉  I’m excited to get my closet more streamlined and simplified so I only keep items I love and always know exactly what I have. Hope to share some of the process with you soon!




Tilia Exquisite Aloha | Restaurant + Groupon

rest tilia

A fantastic way to save money, and discover new places, is to use  My husband and I have come across some great (and some not so great) places.  My number one recommendation when using Groupon, is to make sure you review the place before you buy the discounted ticket for it.  I like to use Yelp and Trip Advisor to see what others have said about a particular restaurant, or tour (like Shark cage diving, which my husband did just last Saturday!).  We’ve gone to a little frozen yogurt place in Kailua many times and have always used a Groupon discount–it’s pretty much saved us the price of one yogurt each time!


I had gone through a rough morning, so my husband decided to take Ava and me to breakfast in Waikiki.  He said he was sure that I’d love the place he was taking me to and that it would cheer me up–he knows me so well. 😉


The moment I stepped into the quaint little café & shop, I was smitten.  The aroma of coffee and warm waffles greeted me at the door.  I took several minutes to take in the fresh, morning vibe of the café, and admired some of their product displays in the windows.  A smiling waitress led us to our table in a bright little corner with cheery, beaded beach scenes on canvas, decorating the walls.


The menu had a fun assortment of yummy juices, waffle sandwiches (or traditional waffles with fruit), acai bowls and coffees.  I ordered an espresso (it kept this mommy going all day!) and a waffle sandwich with shrimp egg-salad, fruit and a tall acai pomegranate juice.   It was all delicious!





Doesn’t he make a handsome daddy? 😉

Tilia Exquisite Aloha café would be such a fun place for an all-girls brunch or coffee date with a friend–make sure you check it out if you’re visiting Oahu or are stationed here!


10 Things I’ve Learned About Being a Mom


1.  It’s essential to make naps a part of your midday routine so you can be refreshed and rejuvenated…just kidding! by all means take naps but be aware that you’ll probably be just as exhausted and ready for another nap after you wake up!  (Tip: coffee is your best friend)

2.  You will laugh more than you cry.  Actually, you’ll probably cry more than you laugh, at least at first…unless it’s that sleep-deprived, psychotic-type of laughter you do so that you don’t go crazy, or it’s because you are already crazy and that’s why you’re laughing.

3.  You can’t wait to put your baby down for her nap so that you can have a moment to yourself, but then you end up checking on her every 15 minutes wishing it was time to wake her up and hold her again.

4.  Your husband can help more than you realize.  Yes, you typically feed the baby (assuming you only breastfeed), but all it takes is one pumped bottle of milk for him to keep her happy for a couple of hours while you go to the nail salon or coffee shop–you need it!  Trust your husband to help you.

5.  Stay adventurous and figure out what it takes to travel with a baby.  It’s good to get out of the house and feel like you’re still a part of civilization!  I learned early on that all I had to do was make sure my diaper bag was packed and that I brought my pump when taking day trips around the island.  You can pump in the car and feed her from the bottle while you’re shopping or running errands–a great time-saver.

6.  Treasure the sweet moments.  When my little girl wakes up in the morning, she almost always has a smile on her face and giggles when you make a couple of funny faces.  I live for those moments.  File every one of those precious memories away in a safe place and pull them out again when you need to renew your ‘mommy-soul’.

7.  You might go a little crazy on the baby clothes…who knew it could be so much fun to dress your own living doll baby?! Seriously.  It might become a problem.  Would you believe that I walked straight past the baby clothes section of T.J.Maxx the other day and didn’t stop to look at a single outfit??  That takes major self-control, ladies.  Treat yourself to a smoothie.

8.  Guess who’s the star of the party now?  Your baby!  You’re just the faceless wonder that transports your little prince/princess around for others to admire.  Considering that it is your child and he/she received their gorgeous looks from you (of course), it’s really not so bad that the baby gets all the attention, is it?  You’ll just beam with admiration as they shower your baby with lovely compliments, which the mommy-brain translates into, “you make beautiful babies!”  Hey, I’ll take it!

9.  Not everyone likes to hear a baby crying.  Okay, let’s be honest…NO ONE likes to hear a baby crying.  But it’s your baby so you take it personally–how dare the nearby table guests act annoyed at hearing your precious baby wailing!  Honestly, no one will be more stressed than you when your quiet dinner turns into a chaotic moment of find-the-pacifier, or bottle, or whatever it is that will shush your sweetie-pie.  So relax (or just try really hard to), put on your selective-vision mommy glasses and ignore everyone else.  Babies cry.  Just focus on your baby and remove yourself and the baby temporarily, if necessary, so that the two of you can have a moment together to collect yourselves and figure out the source of the babies frustration.  It will be okay.

10.  You will be amazed at how one giggle from your baby, one lopsided smile, or one beautiful glance from their big, innocent eyes, can change everything.  Suddenly, you forget the mountain of laundry that made your heart sink when you walked by it this morning, or the four different times you woke up last night to soothe your unhappy infant.  In that moment, everything is worth it.  It always was, and always will be.  Your child accepts and loves you unconditionally and you return that love with your whole heart.

I love being a mom.


Happy Anniversary, Sweetheart!


It’s been a wild two years, with a 7 month deployment, a move to Hawaii and now a 2-month old baby, but I wouldn’t have changed a thing.  Happy to be going through this life together with my one true love and looking forward to all the years ahead!

I love you, sweetheart. <3