Splash of Color

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

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Color blocking is in.. So why not do it with your hair? 
We used our models ombred purple hair to create a color blocked updo! 

Adding a pop of color like this is a great way to change your style. If you didn't want to commit to the process of coloring but really wanted this look you could try a scarf/headband or even some of Bumble and Bumble's Spray Chalk.

Happy Tuesday!


Baby "Shower" Party

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

As we are still patiently waiting for baby Ballentine to bless us with his presence, we will show another big step in preparing for his arrival...


Two months later here's a bit of the fun party thrown for the Ballentines'. Several of our talented friends added their touches to the night, which turned out to be a sweet southern backyard celebration. 

Let's start with the food!
Caitlin Cody (new blog "CupCait" coming November 2014) did the yummy yummy spanish inspired catering. I personally have been dreaming about this food ever since. 

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Courtney Bryant did the amazing gluten free deserts and Laura Chancey from Humble pie graced us with the beautiful fig galette. Yum. So as you can see ... we have some talented foodies among our friends. 

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If you're friends with Jo, you are basically family. And it was important to her that everyone felt comfortable and cozy. You can't get more comfortable than having all of your friends come celebrate at your own home. When Joanna suggested her house, we were all elated. It was the perfect backdrop for the night. And the place where all of baby's first memories will be made. So why not start with the shower!

In addition to the Ballentines' warm and welcoming home, we added a few fun areas in her backyard for all to enjoy. A gentlemen's corner (stocked with appropriate beverages), some rounds of Cornhole, a projector playing "Baby Mama" and a firepit were all a part of what made this night so special.

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A big thanks to all who made this happen.

Now... come on baby. We are ready to meet you!


The Double Bun

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

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There are a few things in life that bring us as much joy as fast hairstyles, like this one! Here’s a new fall trend that we absolutely love! It’s quick, easy and the perfect solution for those busy mornings! Not only is it a breeze to whip together, but it instantly makes you look like a million bucks. We love that its classy and elegant but can be paired with a weekend at the zoo outfit! Happy hair-doing! 
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  • Start with textured hair. Tease crown and nape of neck.
  • Separate into two sections- ear up and ear down. Making sure the two sections are the same density.
  • Form first section into a little bun (teasing from roots to ends helps make bun thicker) Pin.
  • Take lower section and repeat. 
  • Then loosen hair around head and pull hair strands out around entire hair line.
  • Hairspray and enjoy!


Any day now...

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Description of PhotoLet the waiting game commence! Okay, it has been going.. for awhile. Her due date is literally around the corner (next week!) and she is as ready as she will ever be! With swollen feet and a lot of restless sleep Joanna is highly uncomfortable these days. But as uncomfortable as she is feeling right now, can we just marvel at what a beautiful pregnant woman she is?  Raising the bar that Joanna.  Our brilliant photographer buddy, Rylee Hitchner, photographed Joanna in her dreamy home. I love how real and comfy her maternity pictures turned out!  Great Job Rylee!Description of PhotoDescription of PhotoDescription of PhotoDescription of PhotoDescription of Photo
Come on little buddy. Your mom can only go on so many long walks! We are about to start pulling out all the spicy food we can get our hands on!  Have any of you tried any ole wives tales that naturally induce labor...and worked? Do tell!-mojo 

Buttered Coffee

Monday, August 18, 2014

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Have ya'll heard of this whole putting butter in your coffee thing?? We've had a lot of friends that have been adding this to their daily regimen. Mostly- they are friends who are involved in some sort of consistent work out but the health benefits seem to be worth sharing! 

These coffee drinkers claim to have an intense amount of focus after a cup of buttered coffee. This may be coming from the the MCT oil that is added- it is said that putting a tablespoon of this oil helps with extreme focus and productivity! (enough reason to make me want to try it!) Because you would be putting butter instead of cream and sugar, the drink leaves you feeling fuller longer. From our research, it seems to be a high calorie drink that has a lot of benefits so far. So we suggest it to those that are actively working out- or for those that don't mind the 200 calories or so :) 
Here is a quote from a dietitian: "Metabolism is about hormones, blood sugar balance, and the quality of food — NOT just the quantity, therefore the healthy fat found in butter is important for our brain and waistline, regardless of the number of calories." 

So what do you think? Have you tried it or thought about it? Were curious to see what some of you think! We asked Craig (who is a huge coffee lover) to show us how to make it! So here are a few things you'll need:

Preferably freshly roasted. Whole bean is always the best. Grind just before brewing and you will get the fullest amount of flavor and aroma possible. Try to buy local! My favorite is Seeds coffee in Homewood (AL). Klatch is probably my favorite non local roaster.
Coffee Brewer
We used a Hario V60, which we highly recommend. You can also use a french press, siphon, or automatic if it is preferable.
Coconut oil is also a good substitute. MCT oil is Coconut oil and Palm Kernel oil that has been concentrated.You don't have to have the oil if you don't like it. Buttery coffee is delicious in of itself. 
Unsalted Grass-Fed Cow Butter 
Kerrygold is the easiest brand to find that makes Grass-fed butter, and they're real good. 

Grind beans and Brew 2 cups (16oz.) Coffee
Add 2 Tablespoons of Grass-Fed butter to blender
Add 1 tablespoon of MCT oil to blender (You may need to use less the first time see if you like it)
Add freshly brewed coffee.
Blend in blender well.
Serve immediately and enjoy!

Anybody have good experiences with this, or not your cup of tea coffee? 


The Baby Whisperer Series: Baby Wearing

Thursday, August 7, 2014

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This is Dorothy, she is from Kenya and is a baby whisperer. She has been helping mom's with their babies for 14 years! Her mother was a labor and delivery nurse in her village in Kenya, so Dorothy has been learning about babies since a young age! She now resides in Birmingham Alabama and works with children full time. She is available to consult with families and help train babies with things like: getting baby on a schedule, sleeping through the night, introducing foods, potty training, etc. She's amazing! I have watched first hand Dorothy transform our little baby model into an angel! She got him on a set schedule and this buddy is just...perfect. She is currently helping introduce him to solids (which we'll talk on that soon too :) We are so fortunate to have her do a little series on a few major baby subjects! We love the simple way she helps raise babies. So we are just honored to share her wisdom! We hope this helps some moms out there! 
Dorothy helps a close friend of ours with her baby so we get to see her in action a lot. Usually I spot her doing a little bit of house work with baby Pace on her back in the sling. It’s adorable! He is so peaceful, just hanging with her, watching his surroundings. Sometimes, she'll go outside and walk around with him, to look at the trees or just calm him down with some outside air. I found it interesting that she used a regular long scarf. Nothing fancy, just a simple tie. I kept asking her questions about her method and came to find it’s actually very beneficial! 

The way she puts him in: She starts by expanding the wrap getting it ready to make an easy grab. Then she places the baby on her back (still holding him) while putting the wrap over the baby as she is leaning down. Once she brings wrap toward the front she slowly leans back making the baby sit inside the wrap. During this, she is tying it on the front. (Dorothy is experienced and has done it this way since she was young- so if you're interested in this simplistic way, it'll probably take you a few times to get it right! But there are many wraps out there that make it easier for you- see below) 
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Why baby wearing? Its benefits and purposes:
Helps A Cranky Baby-  Studies have shown that carried babies tend to cry less! In a study published in the journal Pediatrics, researchers found that babywearing for three hours a day reduced infant crying by 43 percent overall and 54 percent during evening hours. (source

Helps One Continue Life- In Dorothy's village, the men go do whatever the men in their villages do during the day... leaving the women to tend to the home and children. There are no babysitters, mother's day out or daycare in her village so the women had to figure out a way to continue harvesting, getting water, house work, cook, ect while still managing their babies. This is where the slings came into play. Wearing your baby helps a mom continue life while keeping baby happy! 

Nurtures Babies- Premature babies and babies with special needs often enter the world with fragile nervous systems. When a baby rides in a sling attached to his mother, he is in tune with the rhythm of her breathing, the sound of her heartbeat, and the movements his mother makes—walking, bending, and reaching. This stimulation helps him to regulate his own physical responses. Research has even shown that premature babies who are touched and held gain weight faster and are healthier than babies who are not. (source

Good Bonding- Baby carriers are a great bonding tool for fathers, grandparents, adoptive parents, babysitters, and other caregivers. Imagine a new father going for a walk with his baby in a sling. The baby isbecoming used to his voice, heartbeat, movements, and facial expressions, and the two are forging a strong attachment of their own. Baby carriers are beneficial for every adult in a baby’s life. Cuddling up close in the sling is a wonderful way to get to know the baby in your life, and for the baby to get to know you (source)

What are the best positions for baby in a wrap?
Dorothy has noticed that placing baby Pace on her back has been the most beneficial to him. He loves to look around and seems to be at his most comfortable. She actually prefers this position the most because it encourages good posture for the baby, especially for their little hips. The back of the mama is straight and helps babies that are colic be up straight and not hunched. Which helps with digestion. 
When babies are in their infant stage she likes them up front, promoting bonding. Sometimes she'll slide Pace to her side or front when he starts to get fussy. 

What are the best ones?
Honestly, we can't really answer that question for you. It really depends on the person and their lifestyle. There are many many good slings and carriers out there that tend to different families. So our best advice can only come from one's Dorothy has tried...Which is a generic long scarf like the one's from her village. She does recommend when choosing one, to choose one that is preferably cotton and light weight. Something that is breathable for the baby. 

Obviously not all of us can fly to Africa and get one of these beautiful wraps, so I pulled together a few options that other mom's have tried and loved!
  • The Solly Baby Wrap is a very lightweight, breathable wrap (and beautifully designed) that a lot of mom's love to use for an everyday carrier.
  • Ergo Baby Performance has been a favorite for a while. Its great for active parents who need a lightweight carrier that can hold comfortably! Especially for taller bigger babies/toddlers. 
  • Another heavy duty carrier favorite is the Baby Bjorn Miracle Baby Carrier. The newest Bjorn carrier is made to fit a newborn without an infant insert or padding and can adjust all the way to a 15 month old! 
  • The Baby Ktan is another lightweight everyday wrap that is great because it doesn't require wrapping, buckling or straps! 
  • Another lightweight everyday wrap is the Sakura Bloom. Its probably the closest to how Dorothy wears hers. Simple over one shoulder wrap with a ring to secure it. 
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If you have any questions and are interested in getting more info from Dorothy herself, shoot us an email to get in touch with her- she has the sweetest heart and spirit. Such valuable wisdom this woman has! Can't wait to continue with this series!

Do any of you wear your baby? I'm planning on wearing mine a lot! Seems a bit easier than lugging that car seat around- but I wont know until he gets here :) As far as choosing a wrap for myself- I'm going to stop by world market to see if they have any good patterned, long lightweight scarves I can make into a wrap like Dorothy's!! But I am curious as to which wrap seems to be the favorite from experienced readers- lightweight everyday wrap? Or a carrier for the active parent??


Mango Banana Smoothie

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Smoothies are our thing right now...Usually its just frozen mango, strawberries, banana and water. But I thought we could get creative and start adding some supplements to make the snack go farther! I love using chia seeds to make my smoothies thicker, since I have them mostly in the morning I thought oats would be a great filler too, not to mention all the protein and nutrition this puppy brings! Will keep you full for hours! Try at it and let us know if you like- or if you adjust it and love it! 
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  • 1 Cup Frozen Mango
  • 1 Banana
  • 1/2 Tbsp Chia Seeds
  • 1/4 Cup Oats
  • 1 Cup Almond Milk
  • Honey (to taste)
  1. Add chia seeds and oats to blender with milk. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes to soak.
  2. Then add frozen mango and banana.
  3.  Taste and see if honey is something you would like to add, add to taste.
  4.  Serve to immediately.
  5. NOTES: Milk measurements are approximate. Add more if smoothie is too thick and would like it to be thinner. Oats tend to dilute the sweetness of the fruit a little bit, so add some honey if its not sweet enough for you!
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