How to Pack for Baby’s First Beach Vaca

How to Pack for Baby’s First Beach Vaca

Our family is busy prepping and planning for our beach vacation, which means this mama is officially thinking about how to pack for Jack’s first trip to the beach. This is not my son’s first trip, as he flew with me to Fort Lauderdale back in May. However, that trip’s entire duration was only about four days. This time we will be gone for quite awhile – 12 days to be exact – so I want to be sure to pack enough of what he needs without going too overboard.

You see, every year we stay in my parents’ big RV ocean side. This year we have two extra guests – Jack and my brother’s girlfriend – so needless to say that closet space is going to be limited. All-in-all, there will be six adults, one baby, and one 65 pound black lab staying in the RV. Let’s just say that we’re one  big happy family!

I watched this video titled Packing Tips for Kids, and I pulled a few really good tips from it.

  1. Bring 1.5 times more shirts/one piece outfits than the number of the days of your trip. (For example: If you stay 7 days, bring about 10-11 outfits)
  2. Divide the total number of the days of your trip by two for pajamas (For example: If you stay 7 days, bring about 3-4 jammies)
  3. Bring 2 swimsuits / rash guards – one to wear while the other dries
  4. Bring 2-3 pairs of shoes max! (Includes sandals + 1 pair of tennis shoes, and maybe 1 pair of nicer shoes for going out to dinner)
  5. Place everything else – socks, white onsies, hats, diapers, baby products – into separate large zip locks and place in the suitcase)

Since we are staying longer than seven days, I may try to run a load of laundry in the middle of the trip so that I won’t have to bring a ton of extra.

Here are a few items that we’ll also be bringing along with us:

Packing for Baby at the Beach

  1. Oversized Beach Towel
  2. Beautycounter Baby Bundle Collection
  3. Rash Guard
  4. Beach Umbrella
  5. Pack and Play Playard
  6. Little Swimmers
  7. Baby Pool Float with Canopy
  8. Beautycounter Protect All Over Sunscreen SPF 30 and Protect Stick Sunscreen
  9. Baby Beach Board Book
  10. Large Beach Tote

Conversation Time:

  • What are your must-haves for packing for the beach with kiddos? If you’ve taken a baby to the beach before, what are your tips for this first timer?!
Why MLM Opportunities Get a Bad Name

Why MLM Opportunities Get a Bad Name

MLM… Pyramid Schemes… 

Simply uttering these two words can make anyone want to run in the other direction and deactivate any account with a ‘message’ option. Trust me, I’ve been there and have absolutely felt this way too. So why on earth would I want to get involved with a direct retail model? Simple – to run my business my way with a fresh approach.

It took hearing about Beautycounter at least ten times before I decided to take the plunge into consulting. I was so turned off by the MLM model that I immediately disregarded the opportunity. I did NOT want to be an annoying sales girl who bombarded her family and friends with request for sales. However, the more times I heard about the company and its mission to get safer beauty and skincare products into the hands of consumers, the more I became intrigued. Once I finally tried the products, I knew this was the right path for me. Sharing Beautycounter  with others was something I was passionate about and wanted to help educate those around me on beauty industry regulations. I knew if I was going to do it though, I wanted it done differently. When I chose my mentor Madison, the blogger behind Espresso and Cream, I just knew I had found my happy home within the company.

When I began my Beautycounter business, I promised myself that I would run it like a small boutique. This means that I treat every single one of my clients with individual attention and gratefulness. I do my best to follow up, send handwritten thank you notes, and let them know how important not only their business is to me, but also their relationship with me.

Beautycounter Thank You Cards

I truly believe that MLM opportunities get a bad name because we have all had those experiences with bad sales practices. Those disingenuous messages, the random invites to sell that feel so impersonal it’s as if your name was simply pulled out of a hat as the contact for that day. These types of communications are enough to turn anyone away from the entire sales model, and to lump all of these companies that use this sales approach into the same pile. One consultant may sell the exact same products as me, but in a completely different way. My goal is to slowly, but surely change the mind of those around me about direct sales. I hope to be seen as taking a fresh approach to the business and to be encouraging to others who want to be a part of such an incredible opportunity.

I chose to get involved with direct retail to share my passion for Beautycounter and its products, to help educate fellow consumers on safer beauty, and to spend more time with my son while bringing in additional income for our family. This is not a get-rich-quick scheme. If you put in the time, thought and effort though, you have the opportunity to build a business that can change your life. Because I am so passionate about this company, its products, and selling in a new way, I would love to mentor other women who would love to have their own business, create their own schedule, provide for their family, and do it genuinely.

If you are interested in partnering with me and building your own direct retail business in a unique and individualized way, one that you can take pride in and reach an audience with a fresh approach, leave your email address in the comments below and I will be in touch. Or, send me an email to

I would be honored for you to join my team and allow me to serve you in building a successful business!

Wedding Bells

Wedding Bells

This past weekend I was honored to be a part of my girlfriend Brooke’s wedding.

Wedding Bells

The bride and I have been friends since we were little girls, and we’ve been a part of each other’s lives through so many changes – high school, college, post-college, new cities, new jobs, marriages and family.


Wedding Bells

and Now!

Wedding Bells

Friday night we had the rehearsal dinner, and Saturday we were up bright and early preparing for the day.

Wedding Bells

Wedding Bells

Wedding Bells

The wedding and reception took place at a local Pavilion on the most beautiful July day you could ask for. My whole family attended the wedding, including my parents, brother and his girlfriend, Tim and even Jack!

Wedding Bells

Wedding Bells

Wedding Bells

Wedding Bells

Wedding Bells

Some of my very best girlfriends were a part of the wedding or celebrating as well, so needless to say we all had a blast dancing the night away.

Wedding Bells Wedding Bells

The wedding had a blush and champagne color scheme, and I thought the bridesmaid dresses turned out incredible! Each girl picked her own long dress in blush, and the overall look turned out phenomenal. If I was getting married today, I would have done the exact same thing. Everyone was able to show off their own personality within their pick, and find the dress that worked best for her. I loved how it really gave individuality to each girl and each look.

Wedding Bells

I had a few compliments on my dress, and I have to admit that I actually found it at Forever 21 online. They actually have a lot of formal dresses available and I found mine for an amazing price, which is perfect for those one-time use items like bridesmaid dresses. However, I may wear the dress again in the future just because I thought it was so pretty!

Wedding Bells

We didn’t even see all the dresses together until the day of, so needless to say that shows just how relaxed the bride was about everything. She was truly the most beautiful and gracious bride and I am so thankful her day turned out amazing for her! Cheers to love, laughter and happily ever after!

The Lesser Known Exam

The Lesser Known Exam

Operation ‘Fit in All of My Annual Exams’ was in full swing during the months of May and June. I had my annual physical, visited both the dentist (…new night guard for the win to keep me from grinding my teeth while I sleep!) and eye doctor, and also had my skin looked at by the dermatologist.

Beautycounter - Safe Beauty

Since I was about 20 years old I have been visiting my dermatologist each year for a skin check. I have a ton of moles and they are all a little strange looking. Seriously – I have been told that literally every single mole on my body could be removed due to each mole’s irregular border and darker color. I have had six moles removed to date and all have thankfully been benign. In an effort to not have to remove every single mole on my body, we now have chosen to simply monitor most of them and remove immediately if we see any red flags or changes. Each year at my appointment, the dermatologist takes pictures of specific moles on his iPad, measures the growth, and then each year we compare that mole to the picture from the year before to make sure everything is still looking good. There are two on my lower back and one on my stomach that we are constantly keeping an eye on, but three years later there have been no significant changes so that is a great sign.

This year I arrived at the appointment knowing that I had a strange bump on the top of my head. I went into the check up and it was determined to be a benign cyst, but we decided to remove it just to be sure. After a short removal and three small stitches, the bump was removed and with it came a peace of mind.

Beautycounter Protect Sunscreen

Consider this story as a friendly reminder to be sure and make an appointment for the lesser known annual exam at the dermatologist. It is so important to protect your skin by using sunscreen and safe skin care products, but make sure to keep an eye on those skin spots and moles too! My mom has had a few pre-cancerous spots removed and she is my biggest supporter and reminder for me to always get my skin checked each year.

You tell me…

  • Do you make an effort to attend all of your annual exams?
  • What has your experience been with a dermatologist?
  • How do you keep your skin safe and protected?
Land of the Free, Because of the Brave

Land of the Free, Because of the Brave

We checked another ‘first’ holiday off Jack’s list this past weekend when we celebrated the 4th of July with our boys!

Screen Shot 2016-07-05 at 8.14.25 PMAfter traveling so much the past few months, it felt nice for us all to be home together and not have any set-in-stone plans. Most of the weekend we just spent time at home relaxing, something we really haven’t done since Jack was just a newborn. Most of the weekend was pretty rainy, but Saturday was still pretty beautiful so we woke up slowly and then visited a new-to-us donut shop called Bear Creek Donuts  followed by a long walk to the park. I  found the donut shop on Facebook and had been eying all of the delicious posted pictures ever since!

Bear Creek Donuts

Bear Creek DonutsWe picked four donuts to try – apple fritter, blueberry cake, glazed twist, and Oreo. Blueberry cake was actually my very favorite along with the traditional glazed twist. Sometimes simple is the best!

Bear Creek DonutsSunday we made plans to hit up a few local festivals, but most of them were cancelled or scaled back due to the rain. We headed south to Mason for Red, Rhythm and Boom and thankfully there wasn’t any rain, so we spent about an hour walking around and checking out the food trucks.

Jack's First Fourth of JulyWe got there right at four when it opened, so we missed Andy Grammer who performed later, and who I became a fan of when he was on Dancing with the Stars. Jack was too young to participate in the games and activity booths that were set up, but I could definitely see this being an amazing event for kids ages 5-12.

Jack's First Fourth of JulyAfter the festival, we went to City Barbecue for dinner followed by Graeter’s for ice cream – black raspberry chip in a pretzel cone for the win!

City Barbecue

City BarbecueOn the actual fourth, we spent the morning cleaning and prepping for the week since we have a wedding this coming weekend and know we will be busy every day leading up to it. Early afternoon we headed to my parents for a little outdoor cookout that we ended up eating inside.

Jack's First Fourth of JulyMy mom made Jack this adorable romper to wear for the holiday and I couldn’t wait for her to see him in it!

Jack's First Fourth of JulyShe even made a bandana for Tebow with the extra fabric – so cute!
Jack's First Fourth of JulySewing is not a skill that I exactly picked up, but it’s something I would really love to learn. I know a few girls who have purchased machines that can monogram items and I am obsessed! Maybe I will start with learning how to hem a pair of pants first, and then work my way up to a monogram machine.

Jack's First Fourth of JulyAt my parents we had the usual barbecue menu including ribs, steak, veggies and potatoes, and our meal ended with a sweet summertime treat – a strawberry shortcake dessert.

Jack's First Fourth of July - Strawberry ShortcakeJack fell asleep about 9:15, but we woke him up at 9:55 so that he could watch the fireworks. We had to drive home, so we were going to have to wake him up anyways to get in his car seat. He really liked the fireworks, but I’m not sure what interested him more – those or the passing cars! Either way he stayed awake for the whole thing, never cried or was scared of the booms, and fell right to sleep once we started heading for home. I would say that was one successful first fourth of July!

Conversation Time:

  • What did you do for the 4th?
  • When your kids were little, what did they think of the fireworks? Were they scared of the booms, or did they love them?