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Welcome.

   The Arbo Family

Thanks for stopping by. This space is my attempt to share all things random, special, and fun in our lives as we continue our military-family journey. I hope you'll share your thoughts and comments. I look forward to connecting with you, dear reader! xo Lo

 

 

Monday
Dec212015

Must-Have's for Baby Round Three

How is this already my third child?! It's absolutely amazing to me how quickly the last three years have passed. We first welcomed Avah in 2012 and I did ALL the research, had every piece of baby equipment you could possibly need, and ended up realizing quickly that the majority of it was overrated, overpriced, and in our case, would be underused. Flash forward to 2014 and sweet Lucy Quinn arrived to a much more streamlined version of baby gear in our home. With that said, we learned with Lucy that what worked for Avah wouldn't necessarily work for Lucy, so we did end up buying some items that Avah hated and Lucy loved...lesson learned; every child is different! Things we splurged on for Lucy included a new crib (which was actually the same as Avah's, just a different color), upgrading our stroller from a single BOB to a double Baby Jogger City Select, and purchasing a new upholstered chair for the nursery. Well times have changed and here we are on the cusp of 2016 getting ready to welcome our third sweet child and boy oh boy have we gotten wise! So far I think we have spent about $350 total on everything for this baby's room. I've gotten supremely picky about what I will buy for myself maternity clothing-wise and have realized that less is more when it comes to carting around three kiddos and moving every 3(ish) years. I've fallen in love with instagram for product referrals and really will only try a new product if it gets rave reviews from other Mama's! So without further adieu, here are my must-have pregnancy and baby items this time around:

1. Milk Snob Paparazzi Car Seat Cover in Milky Strip: This is our first winter baby and I have no doubt people will be trying to peek in on our newest addition at the height of cough and cold season. After Lucy got so sick at such a young age last time, I fell in love with this product immediately and can't wait to use it to help protect baby Watermelon Pie. 

2. Baby Jives Snow Cloud Mobile: This is actually a repeat purchase. We have the star and moon mobile in Lucy's room and it's so enchanting I knew I wanted to incorporate another one of her mobiles in new baby's room. Since we don't know what we are having this time, I've stuck with a very light, airy white nursery with an understated mountain theme. This mobile coupled with the Baby Jives moon and stars is the perfect amount of whimsy for baby to stare at as they fall asleep. 

3. Blanqi Bodystyler Belly Support Maternity Leggings: I found this product via instagram after literally every Mama blogger I follow started posting incredible reviews. They finally had a sale one day and I bit the bullet and splurged. Yes, they are $65, but these maternity leggings will change.your.life. Especially in that last semester when your belly feels so heavy! These have become my maternity wardrobe staple and I would gift them to every mama I know if I could. Their customer service is amazing, too. 

4. Lush Bath Bombs (Tisty Tosty): Every Mama needs some time to chill, soak in the tub, and connect with baby, regardless of how many other kiddos you have. Lush bath bombs bring a whole new level of extravagance to this relaxation ritual and I can't get enough! This one is my fave because of the scent and the roas buds that float in the water once it's dissolved. 

5. Maxi-Cosi Mico Max 30 Infant Car Seat: For Avah and Lucy we had a Graco Snugride 35 infant car seat and it worked great. But, after two uses, it had seen better days and also wasn't the best option to attach to our double stroller anymore, so we decided it was time for an upgrade. After reading LOTS (ie. too many) of reviews, I decided on this car seat mainly for its light weight, awesome safety reviews, and compatibility with our double Baby Jogger stroller. Can't wait to start using it!

6. Ikea Hemnes Dresser: With the other two girls, I bought used dressers and had them refinished to match the decor in their rooms. While those have worked well, this time around I wanted an affordable, practical dresser with LOTS of drawers, both small and large. I found this Ikea dresser used on craigslist in excellent condition for $150 less than buying it new...added bonus? Someone else had already assembled it, so it saved us time and money. Win/win!

7. Honest Co. Belly Balm: Three babies in three years has definitely taken its toll on my previously streak-free belly (side note: It's amazing what having children does for appreciating how GOOD your old body actually looked! lol). Regardless, I've been lucky to not have too many stretch marks post-pregnancy and I attribute most of that luck to a great belly balm. I love this one from Honest Company because it really feels like it nourishes without being too greasy. 

8.Target Gilligan O'Malley Pajama Set: Stop the presses. These pajamas are game changers. With previous pregnancies I've splurged on J Crew or Pottery Barn Pajamas knowing I'd use them a lot both during pregnancy and postpartum. And while they HAVE been good, these $25 Target pajamas are GREAT. They are soft, stretchy, and cute. Absolutely perfect for lounging while pregnant and then ideal for the first few months postpartum when nursing takes over my life! I've bought them in two colors for myself and have already gifted them to my best friend expecting her first child next summer. 

9. Solly Baby Wrap in Natural Grey Stripe: I love trying any and everything to carry baby in during the first six months. While I do have both a Baby K'tan carrier and an Ergobaby carrier, I have heard so many wonderful things about the Solly Baby Wrap since having Lucy I decided I wanted to try one out this time around. Looking forward to sharing my thoughts in about six-months time!

So that's my list this time around. Much simpler and yet I still feel like I'm discovering so much! Please share any must-have products you use and love. My favorite way to discover new things is from other Mamas as there's nothing better than tried and true. xo

Monday
Nov162015

Party of...Five

Well, the big news in our house is that our favorite little family is getting bigger! I've been on blog hiatus the last few months as I dug in with work and family and signed off social media for a while, but ultimately, I missed chronicling our little adventures and milestones, moreso for myself than anyone else. My blog has always been my diary, capturing changes in our lives and family, so it's fun to look back and see how far we've come. I've been looking for a way to ensure the girls have these posts to read when they're grown, too, so if anyone has a great resource for printing blogs, let me know! 

Anyways, on to the BIG news. We found out in May that we are expecting baby #3! We were beyond thrilled and have decided to wait to find out if it's a boy or girl this time around. I'm just over 29 weeks now and due at the end of January. So far, the pregnancy has gone extremely well, with one minor bump in the road in October for finger surgery. Avah has lovingly named this baby "Watermelon Pie" and is very excited to meet her new baby brother or sister in January. Lucy still seems like our baby at 17 months, and we aren't sure she will really understand what this new addition means, but she's a sweet girl overall and we have a feeling she will love being a big sister! Now if only we could figure out what to name this sweet little watermelon pie...

Tuesday
Aug182015

Lucy's First Birthday Luau

 

Aloha friends! I'm excited to be bringing you a long-overdue blog post from Lucy's first birthday Luau. We had chose this theme since Lucy spent so much of her first year vacationing in Hawaii. She crawled for the first time there, had her first foods, and really just fell in love with the sun, sand, and surf. So it was only fitting for us to bring a little bit of the Hawaiiaan spirit back to Virginia! Thanks to a couple of very talented Mama friends, that vision was made super easy for me!

Prior to the party, we did a fun photo shoot with Kristina Attwood Photography. She's been our go-to photographer for pretty much every major life event and we love her work! This time around was no exception. We did have extra cuteness added by the ingenious creativity of my incredibly talented Mama friend Tara Berger of One Stylish Party. She hand made the beautiful floral hibiscus flower ONE garland hanging behind Lucy as well as several other gorgeous items that really put the finishing touch on the theme. I'm so thankful to have such talented friends! 

We set all of the food out on tables in the dining room since it was so hot and humid outside. Many of the recipes I got from pinterest, but we served Kalua pulled pork, Pinapple glazed Ham, Mango shrimp skewers, Hawaiian macaroni salad, Pineapple Black Bean dip, and fresh troical fruit. The adorable tassle garland on the window was another One Stylish party addition, and as you can see, I repurposed the floral ONE garland above that during the party, as well. 

On the dessert table we had bright pink and green cupcakes (just purchased from Giant) with flamingo and palm tree chocolates my sweet neighbor Melanie made as the toppers. Adorable!

Outside we had our handy palm tree cooler for adult drinks and our little flamingo pinata friend, which was a big HIT with the kids (see what I did there?! lol).

We also setup what we lovingly refer to as the "redneck water park" complete with shaded kiddie pool, water table, sprinkler, water balloons, and slip and slide to help the kiddos beat the heat. 

When it came time for the smash cake, Lucy's highchair was again adorably accesorized with her hibiscus and gold ONE garland as well as one of my absolute favorite additions, a clear confetti balloon with tassels again from One Stylish Party. We had so many people asking us where we got that balloon, as it was a big hit with kiddos and parents alike!

At the end of the party, each kiddo went home with a treat bag filled with three Hawaiian-themed handmade crayons from Custom Crayons By Sara and a Luau coloring book. I can't recommend Sara's work highly enough, as she went above and beyond to make these favors perfect and everyone loved them. It's so nice to give kids something other than candy when they leave as a way of saying "thanks for being my friend". 

Overall, it was a seriously perfect day celebrating our big girl. I did most of the prep ahead of time since Rich and I had just gotten back from the Dominican the night before, which made the day of the party all about sweet Lulu. A wonderful way to ring in the big ONE for our sweet second child. We love you big girl!

~Special thank you to Tara, Kristina, Melanie, Sara and our parents for your incredible contributions to Lucy's big day. We so appreciate you sharing your creative talents xo~