Beauty · Deals · Diy · Family · Home

15 items you NEED to be buying at Dollar Tree

Yall! I have been sitting on this post since BEFORE I even started blogging. Not kidding-This was one of those things I wanted to share with the world SO BADLY-that it may have even helped kick me into the blogging game. No joke. That is how much I LOVE Dollar Tree!

I know DT may not be your first thought, and truly, some items there aren’t worth the purchase. I am here to make your life a little easier, and show you WHICH ITEMS are worth your money and your trip. Let’s get started, shall we?

1. Greeting cards/Thank you cards

This is my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE thing to buy at DT. I am known for sending thank you notes for just about anything, and love to send anniversary cards in the mail. Now with postage being over .50 a stamp, and at most major retailers, cards on average cost about $4.50 a piece-the dough adds up quick. Im sorry, but $5.00 a piece is just NUTS. SO go to DT, grab a pack of 8 thank you’s for a buck and BOOM done.

Their greeting cards are mostly 2/$1.00-And someone getting an unexpected card in the mail is PRICELESS. So do yourself a favor (and all your friends, for that matter) and buy cards-and SEND THEM OUT! They do no good sitting in a drawer-grab that pen and make someone’s day y’all!

2. Sunglasses/Readers

Another fav-sunglasses. There is always such a great selection, and Hey! You paid 1.00 so if they break-Who cares? You lose them? Wonderful! Now you have an excuse to buy another pair.

If you wear readers, they have tons of super sassy ones! I can’t wear them ( I wear contacts) but if I needed readers, I would only buy them there!

3. Toys

Now, I am not saying you are getting the greatest quality….But hey. It’s $1.00 and it will make your kids day! There are tons to choose from, and my kids love when we can walk in a store and say “Ok, you can pick whatever you want.” Score one for Mom!

*My boys have been asking for mustaches for weeks now. I couldn’t’ find a pack for under 5 bucks–should have known they would be at DT! They cracked me up running around with these things on today-hysterical!

Puzzles are also an awesome buy here. We get new ones all the time for the boys! I don’t feel bad spending the $1.00 on each one as it makes for a good time together, and is a great brain building activity! *Hooray for big brains!*

4. Gift bags/Wrapping paper

I buy all my gift bags here! Seriously- they are GORGEOUS! You can’t beat a $1.00 gift bag! And the wrapping paper? AWESOME to have on hand for surprise gifts! Stock up when you see some you like!

5. Party supplies

You can’t throw a party any cheaper than with DT supplies. They have some gorgeous items, that are all disposable! There are supplies for any occasion, and it won’t break the bank. *Get your party cups somewhere else-I have noticed DT doesn’t have the best price point for cups!*

6. Doggie Items

I have had Peaches for almost 4 years now. She has worn a DT collar for 4 years. It served it’s purpose beautifully for those 4 years and I almost got her another one..but decided she has been my dog for this long-GEEZ the least I could do for her is get her a Target collar. #Upgraded. But really, collars and harnesses here (YES they sell HARNESSES for a buck) are a totally awesome DT buy.

7. Headache Meds

I can’t vouch for too much more than the headache meds, but let me tell you, their store brand PM meds are AWESOME….and I see no difference in them and the bottles that cost $5-$10. If I have a headache at night, I take one of these and BOOM. I’m asleep and headache is gone. Miracle.

Keep some on-hand for rough nights and you won’t regret it! This is another favorite DT item yall.

8. Bobby pins/Hair ties

Yup this heavy head of hair uses DT hair ties. They work! Now I can break them easier than others, but they do the job in a pinch! The Bobby pins are another favorite-somehow I lose them all monthly (Dollar Tree this is NOT YOUR FAULT. Don’t blame yourself. It’s not you-it’s me. Please don’t break up with me over this. Love you, mean it) but that’s ok. I can run back to DT and get some retail therapy -via Bobby pins. #worthit

9. Jergen’s hand soap

Is anyone else IN LOVE with that original cherry-almond scent? Because I am. It never gets old-and DT carries it in SOAP. Win!

10. Storage bins

DT has so many stories items to choose from-it’s insane! All of my under cabinet storage came from DT (Lordy I need to organize that again) but seriously -go grab you some bins/baskets and get to storing all the things! For $1.00!

11. Aluminum foil

Has anyone else noticed how expensive aluminum foil is lately? I hate to buy it…unless I’m at DT. Then I buy at least 2 boxes. It’s perfect-and hey look- A name brand! Go DT- I see you!

12. Catering trays

I may be saying this wrong–so look at the picture. Yeah-those. $1.00 so you don’t feel bad to throw those cumbersome things out when you are done. Awesome find!

13. Glow sticks

I love to treat my kids with these! They turn every light off in the house, and giggle nonstop when we give them glow sticks! Every other store is WAY TOO PRICEY for us to spend the money, but DT comes in clutch, yet again!

*These are also AWESOME to take to Disney and give your kids when they want those crazy expensive wands (YUP. DT sells glow wands too!) Or think about bowling/skating under the black light and how much fun going that extra mile (or really, its more like an inch) to make the experience THAT much cooler for your littles . (Bonus points for you Mom.)*

14. Pens

Not just any DT pens-but these pens are my favorite! They write kind of like a pencil and don’t slide all over the paper…. Such a great buy and I love to give these as gifts with a little notebook in gift baskets as well!

15.Washrags ( the soak in water ones)

I can’t believe my DT didn’t have these in stock when I went for pictures- but have you seen the little kids wash rags that come in a tiny square? You soak them in water and they expand to a big wash rag . Let me tell you-they feel rough. But my little secret ? I use them to scrub my face when it starts to feel bumpy and grimey. I’m telling you- a holy grail skin care product for me! Don’t knock it til you try it !

Well, if you made it here, you are a TROOPER. What did you think ?? Did I leave anything out? What’s your favorite DT items? Let me know in the comments, and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @Smittenwiththree_blog!

All the love dolls 💋

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Family · kids · Travel

What to pack for your next beach trip…

Turns out, I have been calling myself a blogger for a while now-so maybe I should actually write a blog post? Hahaha sorry I am so MIA allllll the time-but I have missed my internet peeps!

We recently took a trip to good ole’ Myrtle Beach and it wasn’t IDEAL (To me-ideal is being in a swimsuit. Laying on the beach. Reading. Eating. And WARMTH) mostly because it was COLD and super misty….But we took our nephews and had a good time nonetheless! Either way, there was things I forgot that I seriously wish I would have taken and wanted to share those with you!

Now this isn’t your typical “10 things you need to take to the beach with baby” post. Nope. It’s real-and some items are not a must-but if you are anything like me, you want to have them! So let’s get started!

1. Lotion

Yeah, we all know you need to take sunscreen to the beach (So bloggers, please stop writing this in your posts) but OMG my skin was so DRY and I didn’t bring any lotion! The resort provided those little bottles, but honestly, they were crap. I wish I would have taken the stuff I knew worked! Every trip, my skin goes bonkers (Why is that?) and I need to be better about keeping my routine the same when we go out of town! AKA, pack lotion.

Ok, and I know I just ragged on bloggers for always talking sunscreen-but this is a little different. Last summer, we took a day trip with a friend to a water park-and her son broke out in a horrible rash! We couldn’t figure out what was going on, then realized it was his SUNSCREEN. He was allergic! So before you go, do a test spot on you/your kids, and make sure you are able to use what you bring! If you know your kiddo has extra sensitive skin, I recommend using a baby sunscreen with the least amount of chemicals possible. It may save your vacation!

2. Face wash/moisturizer

Ok this is weird, but every trip, I forget my face wash! I think I am so concerned with the kids stuff, I forget about myself. And this husband of mine had the AUDACITY to say “Use the bar the hotel gave us. It says facial bar!!!” OMG RUDE. Hehehe just kidding, but men don’t get it! But LAW- desperate times call for desperate measures-so I dabbed the washcloth on it, and scrubbed my face.

And no moisturizer on a trip? No bueno. Your skin gets used to your water at home, your products, the air (believe it or not) and when you leave, it all goes awry. FOr whatever reason, the beach just dries me out all over! I always think the sand will exfoliate me, but it never works that way. Lame.

By the time we got home, my skin felt grimy and bumpy and dry and YUCK. So we came home, unpacked everything ( Yeah, we immediately put everything where it goes. My husband is the KING of unpacking us) and I started into a pamper me night!

I used 2 different facial peels, a sugar scrub, and a night cream! It was GLORIOUS. **And if you have the space on your next trip, I would recommend taking a face mask or two with you! You almost always have a few minutes at night to relax, and this will help your skin tremendously when away from home. Pamper yourself ladies! **

3. Headbands/Bobby pins

You think I don’t do my hair at home? Vacay is even worse. I hardly wash my hair, and its a HOT MESS. This time, I didn’t pack anything for my hair except one hair tie. My gosh that was a mistake! I have all these tiny flyaways that are just my hair finally growing back after losing it all (Thanks Callaway.) It would have been so nice to have some headbands or Bobby pins to hold all that jazz in place. And speaking of Bobby pins, if you don’t know how to use them, please learn. They are your friend and can totally change your hair for the good (HELLO volume). If you want a tutorial, let me know. I’ll post to Instagram!

4. Nail polish

Don’t laugh. I wish I would have packed it-I am still regretting it! The beach has a way of ruining a pedi-so be on guard and ready! Pack whatever color you are going with for touch-ups when needed! (Yes, I know. NOT a need…but really, if you are a girl, pack it.)

5. Extra shoes

We tried to pack light and left out extra shoes. Well, when you have 6 year olds who like to run from the waves, and the wave wins, you are left with wet shoes that don’t dry in time for dinner. Pack extras.

6. Sand toys…or….

Buy them at the closest Dollar Tree! When we have flown to the beach, we buy all our toys at dollar tree, and then gift them to a kid on the beach when we leave! It’s the perfect setup. This time we packed a bucket full of sand toys and Im glad we did. The boys were entertained even in the cold from the moment we got there. Boys+digging=happiness.

7. Baby swim diapers

Now you can go disposable ( I always did), but this trip,we bought the reusable swim diaper and I am IN LOVE. Look for deals on off season for the best price!

8. Baby powder

I use baby powder for 2 things. Dry shampoo (when I run out of my brand) and knocking sand off kids. You pour it on sandy skin, wipe, and BOOM. SAND IS GONE. It’s a dang miracle I tell you.

9. Extra formula

I packed what I thought would be plenty of formula for baby girl, but what happened was me scraping the bottom of the can the last 2 hours of our trip. I didn’t even have enough for a full bottle. So we fed her all the baby food she would take, and made her a little bottle. Somehow it worked, but if we would have hit any traffic on the way, our trip would have been a lot less pleasant. So be prepared yall! Pack another can!

Ok that is all I have! Like I said, it’s not your typical “Beach preparedness List”, but we have seen all those anyways, right? Hope you enjoyed-let me know what I am missing in the comments! And make sure to come see me on Instagram @smittenwiththree_blog.

All the love dolls 💋

Family

Laser Hair removal

Y’all, I finally joined the club and figured I would share with the blog world all about my hair removal experience!

Laser hair removal is something I have wanted for years! I really wanted to get the peach fuzz removed from my face as an anniversary present several years back, but once I called for my consultation, I realized this wasn’t going to happen. Evidently, the laser is attracted to the pigment in your hair And since my face only has tiny blonde hairs, laser hair removal wasn’t happening for me then. Bummer.

But here I am ready again! Let’s just start by saying, I get terrible razor burn and shaving is no bueno for me. I truly hate it, and miss hair nonstop. Gross.

Well, I had my first treatment in my bikini area yesterday, and I am totally on board. The girl who did my LHR (that’s what we’re going to call Laser Hair Removal throughout this post) mentioned to me that everyone who comes says it’s addictive! And I can totally see why. Just knowing that shaving is going to be a thing of the past is enough to get my blood pumping! I’m SO excited to be done with this hair forever.

I went to Kersey family practice and laser hair removal. From the moment I walked in I felt so comfortable! I’m not going to lie about an hour before my consultation, I started to get a tad nervous. Even though I’m a mom of three and have no dignity left, it’s still something that is pretty personal. Thank goodness Morgan stepped in and made me feel comfortable and like an instant friend!

*And can we talk about pain for a minute? At first, she said “Ok this is it!’ And I honestly didn’t feel a thing. I thought she must have forgot to turn the machine on. So if the hair is fine, it doesn’t hurt as bad–it’s when it gets thicker that it starts to hurt a little more..kind of like a rubber band smack, or maybe plucking your eyebrows. It’s not pleasant, but certainly tolerable. I could get it done every day if I am being totally honest. *

The whole process took less than a half hour–I’m talking paperwork, chatting about our kids, and the LHR. Seriously could not have been quicker! I go back once every six weeks for a total of 7 to 9 treatments. Every person is different so make sure you call and talk with someone to figure out your exact treatment plan! Feel free to click Here to find the place I went to! Ask for Morgan and she can explain everything to you. She was awesome in explaining from step one what I needed to do and be doing from here on out. It’s really quite simple and almost nothing in your life is going to change-Except diminishing hair!

Right now if you look on Groupon Kersey has several packages for 75% off. If you’re like me, finding a deal is the only way you could get something like this in the first place ! Laser hair removal is so pricey but this was an awesome experience and is affordable for almost anyone!

Just go to Groupon.com and type in Kersey. It will bring up the Kersey laser hair removal treatment, and you can pick your package from there!

Small areas start at 99.00 for 3 treatments-And I am so SHOCKED at this price! If you’re looking to stop shaving and saving yourself a ton of time, I definitely recommend getting yourself some laser hair removal. I’m thinking this is going to change my whole routine!

While I was there I also talked to Morgan and ask what else I could get done at her office. She told me they do skin tightening, micro dermabrasion, vein treatment, and they are working towards becoming a full on Medi-spa! I can’t wait to go back !

Again, feel free to click Here for the website, or call 865-609-2273 for all the deets! You won’t be disappointed!

Thanks for reading and I’ll be sure to update you in IG in the coming months and let you know all my progress!

Thanks for reading and of course,

All the love 💋

Family · kids · pregnancy

Postpartum Reality

Y’all, if there has ever been a blog post I want to share, this is it. Having a baby is the greatest joy you will EVER experience. Hands down. But, let me tell you, it isn’t all sunshine and butterflies.

Why does no one ever tell you how dang HARD it is after the baby comes. And I don’t mean the sleepless nights and endless diaper changes. That all deals with baby. I am talking how you will feel. It ain’t pretty ladies. But here is the cold-hard truth……

1. You are going to cry

When I say you are going to cry, I mean, you are going to flood the floor. You thought you cried a lot when pregnant? Well this is 100 x’s worse. (At least for me it was.)

I remember when I had Ford, I cried every single night rocking him to sleep, and the song “You’re gonna miss this” played in my head nonstop. (I still refuse to listen to it because it hits me right in the feels.) I would think about him growing up and getting married and I would just sob. (Seriously, he was 2 weeks old and all I could think about was him getting MARRIED. Insane.)

With Cash I cried, but it wasn’t as bad. Callaway was different in that I just had a mini breakdown. I had no reason at all, other than I felt like crying. My sister was here and I remember her coming in the room and asking what was wrong…I told her to leave and she just walked to the living room and told Dale ” You may want to go deal with that. She is having a breakdown.” Hahahaha now it’s funny but then all I could do was cry. No reason. Just cry.

2. The bleeding is unreal

Its like a period that lasts 5 weeks. And you don’t just bleed. You lose these huge nasty clots that make you want to vomit. I passed one the size of an egg (the doc told me to call if I pass one the size of an egg) and so I called, to which she said, “They now changed it to, ‘Call us if it is the size of an orange’. WHO THE MESS IS PASSING CLOTS THE SIZE OF AN ORANGE? At any rate, you see what I am getting at. You pass some nasty jazz in those first few weeks. Get ready for it.

3. Pain like you can’t describe

It’s all over once you get that amazing little baby laid on your chest, right? WRONG. True, once you get to hold that miracle, all the pain before goes away. But it all starts back up soon after, and continues for a while later.

Another thing no one tells you, is that nurses will come in every few hours and push on your belly to get rid of all the ‘afterbirth.’ NOT FUN. It hurts, but evidently it’s needed, so try to roll with it.

Something I haven’t shared with my little corner of the internet, is that after having Callaway, I got my tubes tied. Yup. She is 100% our last baby and we are ok with that. (Every once in a while, Dale looks at our kids and says “It’s a sin for us not to bring more babies into this world. Look at how CUTE they are!” Yeah, he is right, but we have our reasons for stopping now. )

*Cue cute kid.

Either way, tubes tied or not, your pain after is AWFUL. This time was definitely the worst though. Every time I laid on my stomach, it felt like all of my insides fell towards the front of my body (not sure how else to explain that). It was awful! Not to mention, sitting, standing, peeing, pooping, ALLLLLL of it-horrible. No one prepares you for that. Speaking of poo…..

4. Pooping just got real

Yeah I am going there. The first poo after giving birth is nothing short of TERRIFYING. Not sure why, but you can’t tell how to make all those parts work after having a baby. You don’t feel normal down below, and it messes with EVERYTHING..By the way, your nurse is going to ask if you pooped every time they come in the room in the next 24 hours, and if you are passing gas. It’s marvelous, really. Any dignity you had left after having 20 people shove their hands up your business, is now flushed down the toilet with your nonexistent poo.

5. Night 2 is the way harder than night 1.

Think about it…Your sweet little bundle is getting used to the fact that they aren’t constantly being nourished, being fed, warm-it’s all different! This world is way different than what they are used to in the womb. And I think the adrenaline is slowing down night 2 as well. (That’s speculation on my part, but I’m 3 babies in and am giving myself permission to say what I want.) Just Prepare yourself for no sleep between your baby trying to get acclimated to the world around her, and your nurses coming in every hour to check you.

Not kidding, with Ford it was EVERY HOUR. One nurse would come check him. An hour later, the nurse would come check me. An hour later, check him, then me. For DAYS. As if it isn’t crazy enough trying to nurse a newbie and get them to sleep, you falling asleep, add in nurses coming every hour or more, and it’s complete madness. Thank goodness our hospital changed their ways in the last 6 years, and only check in on mom every 4 hours (unless you ask for help in between visits) and check baby every 2-3 hours. I hope for your sake, your hospital will be the same!

6. You 100% hate your body

I am not sure when this all changed. At some point in time, having a baby was a miracle. Our bodies were amazing for carrying this little human, and giving birth was a right of passage. Now all we do is stare at our deflated stomachs and cry . And judge. And wish. We wish we looked like we did at 18. We wish we wouldn’t be judged by everyone we see. We wish we could shrink back down to pre-pregnancy weight in a week like the supermodels on social media. I am trying with all my might to love myself and my ever changing body-but ladies-its HARD. My advice? Try. Try to love this miracle body women were given. Try to view it as a home for your sweet baby and trust your husband when he says a little extra curve is never a bad thing. (Thank heavens for this husband that is so supportive and tries to make me see the good in my postpartum body. Bless him.)

And I hate to break it to you, but there are so many other things that are DANG hard. But you get through it. I promise. And on the really hard days, just snuggle your baby and realize YOU have the privilege of being that sweet little one’s mama. He/she is going to give you the happiest moments of your life and it’s only going to get sweeter as you watch the sweet thing grow. Soak it up!

So there it is. The real real. Sorry for the graphic word pictures-but its’ the truth and I wish someone would have told me!

Thanks for reading and of course,

All the love dolls 💋

Deals · Family · Fashion · Home

Insecurities

Hey friends!

So I have been feeling quite inspired lately…and wanting to chat about something serious. It’s been weighing on me for a hot minute.. Yeah, the title gave it away…All our insecurities! Those sneaky little things get under our skin (sometimes literally) and eat at us. For some, those mean little boogers can totally plague us!

Now if you know me, I am sure you can guess one of my biggest ones. And while I don’t like to talk about them, they still get at me and I may as well put it out there. And maybe someone else can benefit….

So Can we stop and chat for a minute-about something we ALL are a tad self conscious of? Yep. Our smiles. Whether you have the biggest, brightest, whitest teeth you have ever seen, or the not so perfect set of choppers, you will be a little timid about your smile at some point!

Think about it…”Hey, do I have anything in my teeth?” Is that a question you have thrown out a time or two? Or “Yeeesh it’s time for some white strips.” Maybe, “ugh my teeth feel so gross! I need something better!”

I have said all of these at some point, and let me tell you, my smile is what I am most self conscious of….It’s so hard to be ok with my crooked bottom teeth, and one tooth up top that sits back so far in my mouth! (Ok, now I have said it. You know my weakness. Please don’t exploit it.) But over time, I am trying to come to terms with my “different” teeth. Not saying that I wouldn’t take straight teefers in a SECOND, but this is my lot in life and I need to chill and embrace my uniqueness, right? At least that’s the plan. I need to raise kids who can love themselves for their unique qualities, imperfections and all….And to do that, I have to love myself..Right??

  • Along my little self love journey, I have found a couple of things that can enhance my crazy smile….and want to share with you!
    1. The right lipstick.

    Or any fun lipstick for that matter…Believe it or not, I feel like you don’t notice my teeth as much if you see more of my lips! (Distraction is beautiful yall.) And never underestimate the power of a good red lipstick. (Look for ones with blue undertones for the pearliest whites you ever did see!)

    2. Play up your eyes

    Yup. Make those lashes touch the sky. Wear a colored mascara. Slap on a funky eyeshadow. Whatever you gotta do boo boo. The eyes are the windows to the soul (or something like that). So let’s have your peers do some soul-searching and get lost in those blue/brown/green/hazel eyes…Not the broccoli stuck in your teeth.

    3. Find the right toothbrush.

    Yeah. Weird. SO what? But really, I have realized, this is crucial for embracing my smile. It took me a while, but I finally have one I believe in. As a momma of three (still so hard to believe) I am not going to lie, sometimes my morning brush session becomes more of an afternoon cleanup…Shameful I know. But I am so busy and forget!

    You know what helps me out? My fancy shmancy new toothbrush (Yup. Just put that goofy word on paper…Err…website. Whatevs.)

    But really y’all! It has made such a difference in my brushing routine….It has 5 different settings (1. Clean 2. Whiten. 3. Massage. 4. Gum care. 5. Sensitive) and each one is something you didn’t know you needed. Not kidding.

    Since I have started using my new electric brush, my teeth have felt cleaner than ever and my confidence has a happy little boost! I can’t wait til my next cleaning to show off…Pitiful I know..But hey- I am a mom of three. We take our thrills a little differently 3 kids in.

    It’s also so affordable-The individual package is the one that I received and it includes one Ultrasonic toothbrush, two replacement heads with tongue scrapers and one wireless charging dock. This package is just $119-a small price to pay for healthy teeth and the happiest smile around.

    Also, Smile Brilliant has been so gracious to give me a coupon code for all my internet fam..Click Here for the brush and you get 20% off with code Smittenwiththreeblog20 !!!! How awesome is that?

    *Love Giveaways?* Enter to win your own toothbrush Here! I am so excited to give one of these away!

    I only want to share the good stuff with you on my little corner of the internet, and this is one of my favorite products to date. I think about brushing my teeth all day. Like a freak. I know. But I am not kidding-it’s made such a difference in my daily routine!

    Oh one more thing—-I never want to stay and brush my teeth for 2 minutes-but this one is set up to pause every 30 seconds so you know to switch to another quadrant of your mouth. Seriously-how fancy can you get?? And I know I am getting my whole mouth as clean as possible-the perfect setup for sneaking some kisses from the hunk I live with. (Yeah, yeah get a room Brandi)

    Anyways…Invest in yourself. Invest in your mouth health. Boost some confidence. Do it. No joke. Now. Here.

    AND don’t forget the GIVEAWAY HERE!

    *Long winded sorry*

    4. Have some fun with your style.

    One of the things I have noticed along the way, is the perfect outfit can distract from all the little things that make you uncomfortable. Have fun with your style and whatever you wear-own it! I’m not gonna lie, I HATED almost everything I wore when I was pregnant with Callaway. But I still did my makeup, wore fun jewelry, and everyone always gave me the sweetest compliments. Moral of the story-I felt like poo but still looked slightly put together with a little bit of effort! (Believe me, VERY little effort. I was exhausted all the time.)

    Well yall, this momma has got to go feed a hungry Bebe now, so we can chat later, K? Love you all and let me know how you feel about these pointers!

    All the love dolls 💋

    Family · Home

    Fall Bucket List 2018

    It’s fall yall. All I gotta say is HALLELUJAH.

    I crave this time of year like I can’t explain. The crisp mornings get me. The leaves changing literally make my heart flutter. Tiny bonfires out back with my family are what dreams are made of.

    And let me tell you, every fall, I have some things I NEED to accomplish. I am my happiest when autumn hits and I LOVE that everyone thinks of me and my obsession with this season!

    This year, my fall bucket list is a little extensive, but I wanted to share! Ready?

    • Corn maze (hopefully at least twice!)
    • Little bonfires outside with my family
    • Wear alllllll the booties/boots
    • Bake pumpkin pies
    • Bake recipes from my new Jessie James Decker cookbook!
    • Decorate my front porch
    • Make leaf piles for the boys to jump in
    • Fun fall pictures
    • Celebrate my anniversary (gonna be super simple this year)
    • Football with my boys in the yard
    • Drinking all the coffee
    • Hot chocolate outside with my boo
    • Nature walk with my kids
    • Fall crafts
    • Go to the park a TON
    • See the leaves in the smokies

    Ok its a little extra, but I just love fall with my whole heart! Is anyone else with me? Let me know what you want to do in the comments!

    Family · Home · kids · pregnancy

    Birth Story

    You guys! I have missed you-but sheesh! It’s hard to keep up with my blog, when I have a newbie on my hands. But YALL, let me just tell you, she is utter perfection. Sweet Callaway is keeping us on our toes, and is already 3 weeks now. (Ummm…someone PLEASE tell me how that happened so fast!)

    So while I have a minute in before dinner, I wanted to share a little bit about our birth story! ( I may throw in some details about my boys birth stories as well-it’s always fun to compare the differences, right?)

    Now technically my due date was September 8th, but Callaway came on August 27th via induction. This was my third time being induced for chronic hypertension in pregnancy. With both boys I had to be on blood pressure meds throughout my pregnancy. But this LO was good to me in the BP department.

    At week 37, the doctors decided induction was necessary as my blood pressure was starting to rise. I REALLY wanted to experience labor this time around, but better safe than sorry, so I said let’s do it. Preeclampsia is no joke! So we set the date for Aug 27th. That out me at 38 weeks 2 days pregnant. EEEK!!!!!

    I was told to be at the hospital at 5:30am and we arrived by 5:15. At 5:30 I was already dressed in my gown and getting started! That was new for us. With Cash, we got there at midnight and didn’t get into our room for like-2 hours! (Yeah they scheduled me to be induced at midnight. Weird.)

    So by 6am, we were getting hooked up to IV’s and all that jazz. This was the first part of a pretty rough day-it took 5 sticks to get my IV in. FIVE STICKS by 3 different people. Let me tell you, I am not funny about needles. I am not weird about getting blood drawn. It doesn’t phase me. But they were digging that needle around in my arm forever! I had a huge bruise from one of the sticks. NO fun. But hey, maybe an hour later, I had an IV ready to go! (Trying to make that sound way better than it was.)

    After being checked to see how far I dilated, I was still only at 2cm. How depressing. With Cash, by the time I got there I was 4 cm! WIth Ford I was at 2cm, and they used a Foley bulb on me. This was BY FAR the worst part of my labor with Ford! It hurt so bad it brought tears to my eyes! So if you aren’t familiar with this amazing (terrible) contraption, it’s a little balloon they stick up in your cervix to open it up. Then every little bit they come pull on it to get you to 4cm. It’s pure horror.

    So this time around, I told hubbs, that will be one thing I REFUSE TO GET. Cue the doctor. “Ok so I think the first thing we need to do is a Foley bulb.” Oh my gosh I instantly felt all emotional-Dale told her that was the only thing I didn’t want this go around. She proceeded to tell me that since I am on baby number 3, it wont’ be nearly as bad as my body knows what to do this go around! So I agreed (begrudgingly) and got it done. Ya know what? She was right. It was bad, but not nearly as horrible as it was the first go around. Either way-if you can avoid one of those things with your birth-do it.

    I also had one other huge issue that I don’t really want out there on the internet, but let me tell you, doctors had me sobbing and feeling super attacked. It was horrible and I was so happy to never see them again. Maybe if I don’t write it on here, I can forget about it all together. Ugh.

    So after all that craziness, we could move on with labor. The whole process took about 11 hours, start to finish. Ford’s took 19 hours, and Cash was 11 as well!

    I got an epidural which, again, was a nightmare! The guy was a resident and it HURT! He couldn’t find where to put it in, and I kept feeling pain in either side of my back. There was an actual anesthesiologist in the room who wouldn’t step in. She kept telling him ” Try this. Try this. Do that.” It took maybe an hour of trying to get it to work, (maybe more, again, I couldn’t keep up) and finally it kicked in! I could move my feet, but couldn’t feel contractions (which at this point were pretty strong.) I was feeling some crazy pressure in my rear after a couple hours, and that’s usually when it’s time to push! SO the last time I was checked, I was 5-6 cm dilated. When I told her I was having all the pressure, she checked again, and boom! 9.5 cm and I was ready to push! Oh all the feels hit me then. Time to meet my baby girl!

    So the nurse (who happened to be the sister-in-law to a friend of mine) gets ready for this baby to pop out, and the doc gets ready as well! All in all, pushing took 45 minutes. That’s no time, right? WRONG. It felt like HOURS. I couldn’t believe when they told me I pushed for less than an hour…NO way! I was laying there pushing all day (Ok dramatic, but really, I felt like it would never end.)

    As I was pushing, I kept feeling like I would pass out..Not good. But for some reason, at the end of every push, I was struggling. Either way, I made it through! At the end of our 45 grueling minutes, the nurse said “Give me one more good push!”……and I did. Then I hear “Oh ok wait. Hold on. Jamie, push the button and call the doctor!” Well, Callaway decided it was time to make her entrance, and that she wasn’t waiting on no big-shot-doc. Our sweet nurse was delivering this baby. Sure enough she came without another push! She was here! (and pretty much on her own in the end.)

    **Back up a minute** The first 20 minutes of pushing-NOTHING. NADA. No movement. No progress. Just me wearing myself out and feeling defeated. I felt pretty pitiful. Here I am with a huge mirror down below for everyone in the room to see EVERYTHING I’ve got-except my baby. Yeah-fabulous. But after the first 20 minutes passed, we started to kick things into gear, I figured out how to push the RIGHT WAY (OH YES…there is a right and wrong way. I think I hit every wrong way in those first 20 minutes.) But man was it worth the wait and pain. She was perfect. Seriously. SO PERFECT.

    She handed her to me, and her eyes instantly opened! We were so surprised and overjoyed with our sweet and tiny little bundle! She also started rooting around right off the bat, and man did she not STOP. This baby is an eater. She hasn’t stopped since.

    My boys had a really rough time breastfeeding-they were plastic babies from the start! They loved the bottle and never went back…Callaway is a definite boob baby though….and I am kind of adoring being able to feed my baby! At some point, we may start bottle feeding a bit, but for now, she is stuck on the boob and were rolling with it!

    Ok….That’s the short-ish version of our birth story with sweet Callaway! Now….Ready for some super adorable squishy baby pictures???? Prepare yourself. They are kinda phenomenal.

    Can we just stop right here. Soak up that newbie goodness, will ya?

    Tell me she isn’t the cutest???

    These black and white pics are Giving me LIFE. Seriously….You need to get a photographer to come to the hospital for some fresh 48 pics. It’s the greatest!

    Such proud aunties!

    This big brother was so in love from the start..It’s amazing!

    Gosh…these happy family members sure do make me smile… Can’t you see how smitten they are?

    This is one of my family favorites!

    Ummm…How cute?? Daddy is looking at Momma..A moment I am so happy was captured!

    We even managed to get some pics with Daddy in them! (If you knew the hubbs, you would know this is HUGE!)

    So there it is yall. Our little piece of newbie heaven—and I am OVERLY THANKFUL to have Jaira to be there to capture this important part of our life! Our very last baby. Our very first girl. Our completed family.

    And you need to go visit her Website for some amazing photography deals here in Knoxville. She is so talented and definitely one of my favorite photographers to date. Prices are unreal. She doesn’t make you feel awkward…..actually she helps you feel so confident! She will pose you, giggle with you, and show you shots along the way. Go book with her now! JairaJohnson.com

    Ok babes. Thanks for following along and I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on the blog post-make sure to comment-then go see my Instagram for some more baby fun! @smittenwiththree_blog

    All the love dolls 💋

    Deals · Family · Fashion · pregnancy · Uncategorized

    Douglas J Aveda Pamper Day

    I am a firm believer in treating yourself every little bit. I love me a good manicure/pedicure, I thrive on a facial every few months, and massages come about once or twice a year for me and that’s not nearly enough.

    But as a mom of two (almost 3) when you have a chance for a full day of pampering, you take it- and let me tell you- you enjoy every flipping minute.

    I recently had this opportunity and I wanted to walk you all through it. Hopefully by the end of this post you’ll be convinced enough to go treat yourself as well! I’m telling you it’s necessary for your sanity!!

    My pamper day started with a facial that cannot be beat at Douglas J Aveda institute. This is one of my favorite things to do when I’m feeling stressed or like I need a day to myself. And being so huge and pregnant right now, it was oh so nice to have an aesthetician who worked with me and all of my antics, if you will.

    At Aveda, it always starts with a foot bath and a quick chat about your skincare needs/wants. I will always take a quick foot massage, and the skincare consultation puts things in perspective for me. *NOTE to self-Wash your face. Tone it. Use quality products.*

    Now of course for a facial, you lay on your back, and while usually it’s one of my favorite things, this time was a little more difficult for me in that I can’t be on my back for too long. So I would kind of shimmy to the left or shimmy to the right…..And I swear girlfriend did not skip a beat! She pretended that I wasn’t propping my butt up with my hand and ignored the fact that the gown was way too short with my big ol’ baby bump..Much appreciated doll….

    I Indulged in the plant peel which is fantastic on all sorts of skin- and my skin LOVED ME for it! Yours will too! I walked out of the spa GLOWING! OK prepare yourself….Not so glamorous selfie coming………

    Seriously! My skin looked and felt like heaven- and I have such awful awful skin y’all. This was a kick in the pants for me… I have GOT to be better about skincare! I appreciated that the instructor said I need to not view it as pampering, but more as maintenance. Preach girl.

    Our skin is our biggest organ and it takes the biggest beating from free radicals in the environment. Let’s be good to it, ok? Treat it right and maybe we can slow this aging process a bit (Wrinkles are starting to hit me. And gray hair. Can facials fix that too?)

    Now there are several different Facials to choose from at Douglas J, just chat with your student and figure out what works best for your skin type! Here is a list of options:

    • Resurfacing

    • Acne

    • Skin Brightening

    • Plant Peel ($15 add-on)

    • Botanical Skin Resurfacing ($15 add-on)

    • Dual Exfoliation ($15 add-on)

    Any of those sound nice? Yeah-all of them- thought so.

    But the spa does so much more than facials. I also had a stress relieving treatment done and YALL…..allllll the heart eyes over here. It’s not a full on body massage, but perfect for all of those tight places in your shoulders and back. It usually involves a ton of laying on your belly (again-that just ain’t happening for this massive preggo) but Katie made it work….

    *Let’s chat about Katie for a minute. She graduates this week, so you probably won’t see her, but she was AWESOME! I told her I prefer a harder pressure, and she wasn’t afraid to press! I also got the pressure point massage with my facial, and I could have sat there all day just getting that service. (When you go, tell your girl you want this. Trust me. ) But what I’m getting at, is how accommodating she was to my current circumstance. I laid on my side and she did the back massage and hot towels.**Holy amazing**. I was so comfortable the whole time and I was so thankful for her sweet demeanor the whole way through. I threw a wrench in her normal routine, and she used it to get the knots out of my shoulders. Hehehe ok I made myself giggle there, but really, Katie, thank you for everything! You made my week!*

    So try to book yourself the stress treatment if possible, but I won’t lie, my go-to will always be a facial, and I seriously think it’s needed at least a couple times a year ladies! Book one Here! (Make sure to check the website for all the services offered! Waxing is on my list to get next-eeeek!)

    My next step in pamper day was a makeup application, and that was so nice! I am usually the one doing the makeup, so it was nice to have someone else take over for a minute….Now here is where Kattie came in. GIIIRRRLLLL I found me a hairdresser and fell in love. She was a dang riot! She did my makeup and hair (I just got a trim) but she killed! Now, I want you to keep in mind, these are students…aight? So let’s not be hateful if something doesn’t go your way. In every job, people have to start somewhere….Every job. YOU had to learn your job, correct? So if a problem is noticed, address it, and move on. They will fix it! Now this wasn’t my case at ALL…..Kattie killed. She had an instructor there to make sure all went well, but girlfriend knew what she was doing and had me laughing the whole way.

    *Side note* WHY do we feel the need to spill our guts to the stylist? I get instant diarrhea of the mouth when getting my hair done.. I guess thats why they call it #hairapy. My poor girl heard my life story and THEN some. Thanks for dealing with my psycho self Kattie. You da real MVP.

    Soooooo, dont’ hate me-but I don’t have pics of the finished product. Yeah, I am the worst ever. BUUUUUTTTTT, just know I had some serious Marilyn hair and rocked it even in my ponytail the next day. It made for a nice Barbie ponytail on day 2 in all this ridiculous heat here in Knoxville. BTW, in case you are worried, I haven’t died of a heatstroke yet even though all I do is complain. #stillalive

    Now after the #hairapy, I went for a mani/pedi with Macey. Poor girl had to sit and listen to me talk for 100 years, and took it like a champ! We bonded over puppies and the zero-gravity chairs in the salon. I kid you not, the chairs were some of my favorite part! You lay back and get your toesies done, and now I am wondering why every salon isn’t this way. Take my word-the pedicure is WORTH IT!

    A pedicure is only $26.00 and includes a foot mask with hot towels that made my tired feet feel incredible! *Listen up nephews–Macey said I had cute toes. Not little sausage toes like yall say. I believe her. Boom.*

    I left with the prettiest pink color, and the nicest foot massage! I am telling you, I didn’t want this day to end.

    But like all good things, even pamper days have to come to an end…..But let me tell you …Now is the time to treat yourself-and before you leave the salon, make sure to visit the product shelves and grab some hair/skin products to take home and keep it all going!

    Having a day like this, I believe, is truly important for your well-being! Take a day, and treat yourself. Then do me a favor, and try to keep it up. Your family will love your better. Your friends will be happier to be around you, and your kids will thrive because mama has some happy endorphins flowing. It’s a beautiful thing yall….

    So tell them I sent you, enjoy some YOU time, and of course,

    All the love dolls 💋

    Family · kids · pregnancy

    Hey babes!

    I know, I know. It’s been a hot minute, but here I am! Alive and well! And missing you friends……

    I am ALONE for the evening which is unheard of in this house! Hubby bubby took the boys to play some basketball and they couldn’t have been more excited! They love their daddy time-and I don’t hate being alone for a minute-although I find it hard to figure out what to do with all this time!

    I just wanted to pop in and give you guys a quick glance of what my day was like-as I thought this was a pretty entertaining day! Prepare yourselves………

    Ok-start with waking up-at 5:55am. NO bueno yall. I am not an early riser, and the reason I woke up was a TERRIBLE nightmare. I refuse to mention it here but I don’t want it to be one of those dreams I remember my whole life. But let’s just say I ended up in tears after I woke-and not so happy. Then I was awake when Dale left for work-which I HATE! Usually he kisses me and the boys and slips out-I am half awake for a split second, then back off to dream land I go! Today I had to watch him leave and that made me pitiful!

    Thank goodness I had a day full of distractions to keep me from thinking about being away from him! To start off, Cashy came in my room and laid in bed with me for a bit and was ready to chat! (Love those mornings) Not long after Ford joined, and wanted to read a book that has a goofy little dance song that goes along with it. So I play the song on my phone and immediately was in a better mood! Watching them enjoy it so much just makes me giggle!

    Not too much longer after the mini dance party, the boys mentioned something about the baby and I thought this would be a good opportunity to explain to them about breast-feeding. You may wonder why, but I have been trying to figure out the perfect time to explain all of these things to them. Having a newbie around is a totally foreign concept to my kids! So last week they learned where the baby comes out of ( that was hysterical) and this week they learned what the baby eats from. Let me just tell you the education they have gotten in the past couple weeks has been priceless-for me.

    Cash is so excited to learn that a baby eats from “boobies” and Ford is slightly traumatized. As far as he knows, those are things that Mommy’s have that should not be seen-now all of a sudden they’re feeding a baby? To watch the little gears turn in his mind today was too funny. If you ask him to explain it back to you he won’t even begin! He just covers his face and laughs! Cash on the other hand is a different story. Just ask him. He is happy to tell you that’s the reason God gave those things to women LOL

    Some people may think I shouldn’t have mentioned that to my kids, but I figure pretty soon they’re going to see it happening and I didn’t want them to wonder what was going on. Dale and I have always said will be very honest with our kids and explaining things and honestly it’s been more fun for me than anything! I kind of assumed these things would be awkward, But I think since we are starting early and explaining things honestly, when the harder topics come along later it will be easier for us as parents!

    Now, that was super interesting part of the day and then we had to rush out and get to target to pick up some things before a fun photo shoot! On the way I get asked if I can pick up my grandfather and take him to dialysis. I did, of course, and that didn’t fail to be interesting either. To spare you some of the details, let’s just say I had to make two stops for a bottle of ginger ale that could have happened in the first two minutes. He was mad at me because CVS did not carry ginger ale-ends up the bottle said “Canada dry” instead of “Ginger Ale” and he assumed that that was not what he should be getting. Jeez Louise. This is my life.

    After we dropped him off at his dialysis appointment, we ran home, had lunch, and I started to get ready for the photo shoot! I’ll make sure to post lots of pictures soon. This should be a fun one! And might I add, my photographer is absolutely phenomenal! She brought me Starbucks, and her husband entertained my kids the whole time we shot. It was a little mini dream come true! Shoot me a message I will send you all of her info! Believe me you want her for your next family shoot.

    As soon as they walked out the door, we had to leave for swim lessons! Ford took lessons last month but cash could not complete his with Ford because of breaking his arm. This is turned out to actually be awesome for us because now Ford can put all of his new ability in to practice while cash is taking his lessons!

    So we came home from swim lessons and started folding all the laundry that the husband did last night while I was gone at a work event. We finish laundry and Dale walks in the door. We attempted to go out to dinner ( which we hardly ever do!) but it took so long getting ready and having one minor setback) that we had to stop and just eat at Arby’s. The minor setback, you ask?

    In the Driveway, Dale realized I had something in my hair. I assumed it was a leaf so I told him to grab it out. He attempts to get it out of my hair only to realize that it is gum! So he told me to go in and “pick it out real quick.” I made sure to let him know that that gum is not something I can just grab out of my hair.

    We went to dinner anyways- gum and all, just to sit down and eat for five minutes and Cash to say he has to poop. So I run him to the bathroom and we stay in there all of 10 minutes. Mind you, this kid is having a conversation with the lady in the stall next to us the whole time She is in the bathroom. I swear.

    I come back, eat some more food, then Ford has to poop! Almost the whole dinner I spent in the bathroom with kids. I’m not going to lie, it was entertaining, but I wanted to spend some time with the hubbs- Mom life though I suppose.

    One of the super cute things that happened tonight though, when Dale walked in the door from work, I was in the kitchen and he walks in with a box of chocolate hidden. He looked at me and said “You don’t give a girl flowers, you give her chocolate” and handed me the cutest heart shaped box. Lord did I melt into a puddle. I told him he sure knows the way to this pregnant girl’s heart. Swoon.

    Next cute thing? Besides all of the wonderful things that Ford says to me all the time, as we were leaving the restaurant he said “love you mom!” then looked at my belly and said “love you baby! ” Dale and I both melted. Then Cash followed through with the cute little “Love you baby! ” as well. I’m telling you somehow we got so fortunate with these kids. And I am so happy that Cash and baby girl have Ford as such an amazing older brother!

    So as I left my kiddos and husband, I ran to pick up some paint samples to pick for baby girls room! I think I found one that I love. It only took me 40 minutes in Home Depot ( ha ha Ha that girl totally hated me) but I’m telling you it’s worth it. Pink walls could make you crazy really quick! So I want to find the perfect pale pink that won’t make me nauseous looking at it after week! You know I will be sharing nursery pics with you guys as soon as we get her room up and ready. Now that may be five months after she’s born, but we’re getting there-promise- slowly but surely.

    Now I’m Home. I put the paint samples on the wall. Now blogging and eating chocolate. I’m about to go try and get this gum out of my hair ( let’s hope it isn’t a nightmare- I’ve already had one of those this morning) And then going to get myself prepared for bed! At any rate, I just figured this was one of those days and I should probably fill you guys in on. Never a dull moment in this life!

    Hoping everyone has a fantastic weekend and I’ll be back soon!

    All the love dolls💋

    Deals · Family · knoxville

    How I am staying organized these days

    Yall…It’s one of those days. I have already run 100 errands this morning and now I am back home and ready to crash. But, oh. Yeah. I can’t. Why? Because my life is insanity all the time!

    Yes, I am technically considered a stay at home mom, but let me tell you why that isn’t always the easiest.

    We have one child in school (thank goodness that is almost over for the summer!) and one who stays home with me. So every day, we take Ford to school and then the madness starts. (Cash is a tiny tornado, so the longer I am home, the more he is terrorizing the house. It’s madness.)

    I have dishes and laundry nonstop-and my dear gosh-pray for me when this baby gets here. I have a strong feeling it isn’t going to get easier.

    Doctor appointments are an every week thing….and here is why. One kid in school means sickness NONSTOP. Literally, I have to pick him up early for an appt today. Then he likes to pass on his sicknesses to the other kid a week later. Let’s just say our docs know us well….

    Not to mention, all the preggo appts I have to go to. ( I am considered a high-risk pregnancy because of my high blood pressure with past pregnancies so I go every 2 weeks.)

    This month, every Tuesday and Thursday we have swim lessons and physical therapy for Ford’s knee. (Yeah we are trying to fix a knee injury from when he was 2.)

    And of course, all the blog things going on now…Which I refuse to complain about! You all have been amazing at keeping me busy, and I love it! But I want you to know, this blog venture isn’t always easy. Maybe one of these days, I will try to give you the rundown of what each blog post entails!

    I also work in the office one day a week for a Non-Profit Foundation. Let me tell you, I LOVE my job! I get to find people to donate money to and that is pretty darn fun. But with that, comes board meetings that I have to prepare for, meet with potential NPO’s to work with, emails, phone calls, work conferences, etc. That all can’t be done during one day, so my work week is whenever I have a moment to take care of those things….a lot of times….in the carline to pick up my son, driving to appointments, just whenever!

    Now throw in all the day to day things that happen, and really, life can get messy if I don’t somehow stay organized! I want to share with you all how I do it!

    1. My phone calendar

    This is where I immediately insert every appointment as soon as I know about it. (For a long time my phone calendar didn’t work and I kept a little calendar in my purse!) This keeps me organized on the go…

    But I like a backup….so…..

    2. My Picture it Custom Calendar

    This is my newest addition to the calendar family..and it’s so fun! I am doing my best to start meal planning a bit better, and this has a place for my meals, things to do weekly, monthly, and daily. I even have a “goals” section! It’s metal, so I can use my dry erase markers and this way we can edit as we go!

    Check out our month here….

    How cute that our name is at the top?? And for everyone who doesn’t know, believe it or not, it’s pronounced “Cook”!

    Make sure Click here to buy one of these awesome customized family calendars, or any of the awesome things Picture it Custom has to offer… I am telling you…they are amazing! Every item they make is gorgeous!

    My favorites are the Metal prints and Wood pallet prints. Their prices are amazing and the quality is phenomenal!

    Check out their showroom here..

    (How flipping cute is all that????? I want every piece!)

    Better yet, they are a local business right here in Knoxville! Believe it or not, they are only 4 minutes from my house, so I obviously am going to support them being a little Fountain City business! ***Can I take a minute to tell yall, it’s time to shop small, OK? Little businesses need our support, and I guarantee you there are places in your hometown that could really use your love and support! Let’s build up our little towns friends!***

    Now, I know plenty of your photographers could use them in your line of work, and all of their items make such wonderful gifts! (What a great surprise it would be to anyone who chose you to freeze their moments in time over another photographer!)

    And all you picture fanatics like me: Sometimes you need to print those pictures off and use them as a statement piece in your house. Now is the time to do it! And what an amazing present for a bride to be, anniversary gift, or a special keepsake for a momma to be. Just thinking out loud here people.

    Make sure to follow Picture It Custom on Instagram for fun giveaways and all the newest products Here! *Fun giveaway coming soon…FYI I may or may not be hosting it on my Instagram page over at @SmittenWithThree_blog TODAY!!!!!*

    And if you are local, stop in and see them! Take a look at the showroom and meet the owners. They are awesome people! (Fun fact: They have 2 boys with a baby girl too!)

    Ok now that my local business rant is over, make sure to look them up on IG, follow, support, and come back to tell me you did….I want to know!

    All the love dolls 💋