There is nothing I love more than a city that is right on the water. Whether it be a river, canal, lake or ocean I just love being able to see water across from a city skyline. So naturally I fell in love with Chicago. I loved the old brick buildings, and the modern skyscrapers. The hustle and bustle in the core of the city, and the space of being on the lake. One thing I did not love: the humidity. I've grown up in a city that is humid, but I was in no way prepared for the humidity in Chicago. If you live in Chicago there is pretty much no point ever doing your hair, because after a few minutes of being outside you end up looking like a poodle.

Our first day downtown was hot, humid, grey, and pouring rain. Luckily it rained on our way back to the car so we didn't have to walk around the aquarium in drenched clothes. I'm the kind of person that loves getting caught in a summer storm. Allowing the rain to soak right through me is so refreshing on a hot day. It was quite a walk back to the car, but it was one of my favourite moments of our trip. Maybe it's my inner romantic that loved walking hand in hand with Alex in the rain.
The next time we went downtown, was our last day. The weather was stunning! The sun was shinning and there was a nice breeze that kept us cool. We were able to explore the Tastes of Chicago event and then walk by the lake again. I could have spent days exploring that city. Our trip didn't end up the way we planned, but it was still filled with memories I will treasure forever. 



This video was actually uploaded a couple weeks ago, but I forgot to post it here on my blog for you all. Since I don't have a new video up today, I thought I would just share this first impressions video with you all instead :)
I have been dying to do a first impressions on this mascara for weeks!! It's literally been sitting on my vanity still in the packaging, teasing me. I wanted to wait until I was out of my original formula before opening it and filming my first impression video. Watch the video below to hear my full thoughts on the product :)



I am so excited that Kiana contacted me and asked me to participate in Mommy Style Monday, a collaboration that her and Madeline created. I love taking part in group collabs and getting to know fellow bloggers. This collaboration focuses on all things mommy and baby related. From home decor, to style, twice a month we will be posting along the same topic and inspiration.

This week we are talking about things we wish we had known about being a mom before we had our babies. I could go on and on with this topic, but I decided to focus on 3 main points that would have made the transition into a motherhood a whole lot easier. Now these 3 things may not apply to you and your experience of becoming a mom, so with that in mind I don't mean to offend anyone :)
1. The baby weight doesn't just disappear. 
I've talked about the struggle I've experienced with loving my post baby body on here so many times, so you are all probably very sick of hearing this, but I had such a hard time (and still do at times) getting used to what my body looked like after having Calvin. I mean of course I knew that for the first few months I was still going to look a little pregnant, but I expected to loose more weight during labour. So many of my friends literally lost like 30 lbs immediately after giving birth. I on the other hand pretty much only lost the weight of Calvin. Then you hear women say "I didn't do anything to loose weight, except nurse." Whatever you do, do not take these comments as gospel. Baby weight does not just magically disappear people. You can't simply birth or nurse the pounds away. Every single body is different, which means every single body is going to react differently to pregnancy, labour and recovery. Some women may only gain 15 lbs, others may gain over 60. Some women may loose the baby weight in a few months, others may not loose it until they are done having children. At the end of the day, you do you and don't pressure yourself into loosing so much weight in an unreasonable amount of time. If you want to loose weight, work hard and stay motivated. Your baby is not going to care what the numbers on the scale are.
2. Breastfeeding is hard. 
I'm not going to lie, but for the most part I felt pretty prepared for the whole post partum experience. I knew that it was going to take time to recover, I knew I was going to feel pretty bleh for a while, I knew that breastfeeding was going to be painful, I knew that my emotions were going to be all over the map. But I was in no way prepared for the emotional rollercoaster of breastfeeding. I'm so glad that I didn't experience any post partum depression, however the first couple weeks in terms of breastfeeding were a nightmare. I hated breastfeeding. Seriously hated it. I would look at the clock and think to myself "I have to feed Calvin in an hour" and cringe. He had such a difficult time latching, and my nipple would be slanted after he nursed, instead of flat. I had a midwife tell me that if he continued to latch on wrong, then it would risk the possibility of me being able to breastfeed future children. So of course I became super stressed and would pray every time he unlatched that my nipple would look different. But it didn't.
Luckily Calvin gained weight like a champ, and I was way too stubborn and cheap to switch to formula. I felt like I was so alone and crazy. I had heard people say that breastfeeding can be painful at first, but everyone talked about how beautiful of an experience it was. And here I was hating every minute of it. Just remember that both you and your baby are experiencing nursing for the first time together. I just stuck with it and luckily everything worked out in the end.
Now some women can't breastfeed, and that is totally ok. Whether you choose to bottle feed, or nurse, the decision is up to you. Never feel ashamed about your decision as a parent. Unless, you know, you choose to not feed your baby at all. Then there's a problem ;)
3. You don't "need it".
Anyone in the blogging community knows that blogging has done a major shift into the beautiful world of product placements. I understand that it's great to get paid or get free stuff from a company when all who have to do in exchange is talk about it on your social media platforms. I'm pretty sure we're all guilty of taking part in these types of collaborations, and that's fine. What's not fine though is reading/seeing all these posts and thinking "I need to go out and buy this so I can be or look like the best mom." There are so many "trendy mom" things on the market these days. Whether it be an accessory, a diaper bag (guilty...), a piece of clothing, a stroller, a baby toy, whatever it may be you don't "need" it! I feel like as a mom it's a easy to look on social media and feel like you have to keep up with everything that is on trend, and it quickly becomes exhausting and unnecessary. With that being said, I love getting product suggestions, doing more research and possibly getting it as a gift, but not in the mentality of "I need to buy this or I will have failed as a mom, because [insert name here] has it and is the perfect mom, so I need it." Nope. Just nope. Don't even go there. It's much easier to not get sucked into the "stuff" side of parenting. Your baby doesn't need it, and you don't need it either. Now if you want to go and treat yourself, then think about it but never ever impulse buy just to keep up with the next big thing.

With all that being said, becoming a mom has been the greatest decision I have ever made! I feel like I have found my purpose. I love Calvin more and more everyday. I love my husband more and more everyday. I have never had this much fun in my entire life.

Don't forget to visit the other blogs that are participating in this collaboration. If you are interested in taking part in our next post, then visit Madeline or Kiana's blog to sign up!

Kiana at Glitter & Donuts
Madeline at CaseyLand
Monica at It's All About
Erica at Good Job Momma
Beverly at What a Day
Justine at Little Dove
Amy at Harris Inc.



As I mentioned in previous posts, Calvin was not himself during out trip to Chicago. Unfortunately we had to skip a lot of places we wanted to visit. We were able to see the Shedd Aquarium all together on the Thursday. Calvin loved looking at all the fish and pointing and everything. It was nice to see him happy, even if it was only for an hour or so. Pretty much as soon as we left the aquarium he was screaming in his stroller. He eventually fell asleep, but then of course it started to pour rain. Luckily he actually enjoyed. And to be honest I think we all did. There is something about being stuck in a summer storm that I absolutely love!
On our last day Alex and I went to the Field museum just the 2 of us, so Chris and Rocky could have some alone time with Calvin. We took the subway down, had a lovely walk downtown and spent a few hours exploring the museum.  There were so many interesting exhibits and it was nice to take our time and not have to worry about Calvin. 

We were a little bummed that we weren't able to do all the things we had planned. We quickly learned that when your traveling with a one year old, you should always plan to change your plans.