Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Vintage Honey Shop Necklaces

I was seriously so excited when The Vintage Honey Shop picked me to write a blog post about their necklaces. I might have literally jumped for joy. Okay, I did. But after you read this, you won't blame me. I have been completely obsessed with them since the moment I found their site. I'm sure I will own one of their necklaces to go with every outfit in the near future.

Here are my top 8 reasons why I love The Vintage Honey Shop necklaces:

They are absolutely beautiful. Really though, look at this necklace. And they have a ton more just like them on their site! There hasn't been one yet that I've said, "Oh, ew." But I have said "OH MY GOSH HOW CUTE" to almost every single one of them.

You can wear necklaces again. I very soon realized after having a baby that necklaces are a thing of the past. One little baby hand tug can break even the strongest of chains...unless you wear one of these. Those babe's can pull all they want, these beauties aren't going anywhere.

You can wear them for nursing. I absolutely love nursing my daughter. But when she scratches, pinches, and pulls on me, it can hurt. But, when I wear my necklace from The Vintage Honey Shop, she has something to hold on to that isn't my skin, hair, face, or a random body part that she can reach.

It keeps the "mover babies" at bay while nursing. L just loves to move around when she nurses. She wants to see anything and everything. Howeverrrr, she also loves to stay latched when she moves that head around. Ouch. But when I wear my necklace, she stares at it and stays content while nursing.

You can wear them while baby wearing. I love to wear ours while I'm wearing L. She has something to stare, play, pull, tug, and/or chew on while she's in her safe place.

They can be used as teething necklaces. The Vintage Honey Shop makes some of their necklaces with safe wood rings for those babe's that have sore, teething gums. It's handy to have it right around my neck for her to grab when she wants to chew, versus having to find the random teething toy that's probably under the couch playing with the dust bunnies.

They have a ton of different varieties of necklaces. You can get them with the teething ringwithout the teething ring, ones made from silicone, and they even have one for dad's! Whatever your style, you're sure to find it on their site.

Are you hooked yet?! How about I give you one more reason to love The Vintage Honey Shop, just in case? ;)

The Vintage Honey Shop is giving you a discount on their site just for reading this blog post!  You can use the code VHSHARE on any order to save 15%! You may now jump for joy.

I could talk about these necklaces all. day. long. But I will end my fan-girling here and let you find out for yourself just how wonderful these necklaces are. :)

You can find The Vintage Honey Shop on their site:, as well as their social media accounts:

Their blog:
Instagram: @thevintagehoneyshop
Their email:

{Disclaimer: I was given a necklace to review for this blog post. I have two featured in my photos because I bought one, and then was given one, so I decided to feature both ('cause I love them so much). However, my opinions are 100% my own. I was in no way paid or influenced for my opinions. I just really love their necklaces. ;)}

{"Mama Bear" shirt was lovingly purchased from Descriptive Apparel.}

xoxo, Brandi

Friday, January 15, 2016

Lilli's birth story

I'll probably cry about five ten times while writing this. Even though it's a very intense story (for me), I can't help but get teary eyed thinking about when our sweet little baby entered the world.

L's birth was absolutely nothing like I expected it to be. Throughout my entire pregnancy, I planned on having a natural birth. I bought essential oils, packed my focal point (a 4D ultrasound picture of L), had calming music on my phone, took a natural child birth class- you name it, I did it.

But how many times in life do things go exactly as planned?

Before I begin, I want to say that I in no way, shape, or form regret how L's birth happened. Both mine and L's health was at stake, and it happened the way it happened because that's exactly how Jesus said it was going to go. I put it all in His hands and He delivered both of us safely in the end. No mother is any less of a mother by the way she births her child. I have friends that have delivered their babies naturally, with an epidural, at home, via cesarean- and what'll you know, they are all great mothers. :)

Anyway, back to the point.

Spoiler alert: This is going to be a tad TMI, so you should exit the room now if you are bothered by TMI shenanigans.

I should begin by saying that I first started to swell in my first trimester. It wasn't the normal "man, I have to take my wedding rings off" kind of swelling. It was a "in maternity clothes in my first trimester because I'm already puffy" swelling.

While it started in my feet, it very quickly moved to other parts of my body. By the end of my second trimester, I wasn't able to wear any kind of shoes for longer than an hour, I had to buy a bigger pants size because my calves had swelled so badly, and it was starting to hurt to walk. I expressed concern to my doctor and he said that as long as my blood pressure stayed down and my urine stayed clear, it would be fine.

Way to jinx it dude.

By 30 weeks, I was extremely uncomfortable. Not because of my belly, but because of my swelling. The swelling was in my feet, legs, arms, chest, back, face, and hands. At my 30 week appointment, my doctor told me I had approximately two liters of water in each leg just in my knees down. By 33 weeks, I wasn't able to drive because I couldn't move my ankles, and by 34 I didn't leave the house unless I had to because it hurt to walk.

At the end of my 34th week, I had an appointment with my OB. While we were there, they said they were going to keep a close eye on my swelling, blood pressure, and urine since my swelling wasn't looking so good. My OB was set to go out of town that afternoon and wouldn't be back until the beginning of my 36th week, but that I was to come back to see him on that Monday and I would go every week after that.

Little did we know, I wouldn't make it to that point.

I was in the middle of 35th week when I went to the hospital for mild contractions and trickling fluid. They confirmed that my water hadn't broken, but my blood pressure was around 145/something (I never ever ever remember the bottom number, so please stick with me when I talk about my blood pressure.) They changed my position, told me to do deep breathing, and gave me some water but the lowest it would go was 140/something. I was in "very early labor" from what they said, but nothing consistent yet. They sent me home but told me I had to go see the high risk OB the next day, and until then I was on strict bed rest. I was allowed to get up and pee, but I wasn't allowed to do anything else. K took me to the high risk OB the next day. By that time, I was uncontrollably shaking, I was nauseous, dizzy, and lightheaded. They took my urine and blood pressure while we were waiting to get an ultrasound, and my blood pressure was up to 165/something. The doctor came in and told me I had protein in my urine, and obviously my blood pressure was very high. The doctor did my ultrasound to make sure L could breathe on her own and wouldn't need steroids to live outside the womb. She could, and he looked at K and I and said, "Okay, you are preeclamptic and this baby needs to come out. It's not safe for her in there anymore, and it's becoming a danger to you both. We will see you at the hospital tomorrow at 7:30."

Can you imagine the look on our faces when he dropped that bomb?

We left, called our family, and tried to wrap our minds around the fact that we were going to have a baby the next day. "Would she be okay this early? Would labor go okay? We don't even have a hospital bag packed. We are going to be parents- this weekend."

Needless to say I didn't sleep that night.

The next day my parents and K's parents met us at the hospital, and the hospital staff took K and I up to our room and our parents to the waiting room. They hooked me up to an IV to give me fluid (like I needed anymore water in my body, haha), gave me antibiotics through another IV, put the belly monitors on, put the blood pressure cuff on me, and put me on an oxygen monitor. My blood pressure was up to about 180/something. I was shaking so badly they had to hold my arm down to put the IV in. They told me I wasn't allowed to get out of bed other than to pee, and every time I had to go pee, I had to go with a nurse. At 8 pm they inserted a suppository to get labor going and told me that my contractions would start to get stronger and closer together. They did.

I started with back labor, but since I wasn't able to move, I just had to sit there and let them come. They checked on me every hour, and said they would check my cervix at 12. When they did, I had only effaced a tiny bit, and I wasn't dilated at all. They gave me another suppository around 12:30, and said that it would hopefully dilate me a bit more. I was still having back labor, and my blood pressure had gone up to around 185/something, which was causing me to shake so much that my teeth were chattering. They came in again around 2 hours later to check my again, and I was dilated to barely a one, and only a little more effaced. The on call OB came in and said that I should have dilated more by now, but that my blood pressure was so high that my body was fighting back and wasn't progressing with labor. He said that they were going to give me pitocin around 4 am, but that they were going to give me pain medicine to coax my body into progressing until then. He said he wanted to check me again in an hour. A nurse did an hour later, and I didn't progress at all. She sat down on my bed and looked at me and said, "I know you want a natural labor, but your body is fighting labor all together. Your blood pressure is getting too high. I would recommend getting an epidural now. It will relax your lower body to help you progress, and there will be a significantly less chance of cesarean, which you would end up needing the epidural anyway."

I was devasted. I started crying and K came over to the side of my bed and put it very plainly that I was still a great momma no matter how L came. He said that he thought it was time to get one, too. I started praying and I was immediately met with the answer that it was the right thing to do. So I got one. I look back now and I feel silly for caring about it so much. 

It took them about a half hour to 45 minutes to insert the epidural since my back was so swollen. They gave me the epidural around 3 am, and I received pitocin at 4 am. I was dilated to a two around 8 am, but my epidural had worn off on the right side of my body. They re-administered the medicine, but it would only take for around 2 hours before it would wear off again. I labored like this until around an hour before I started pushing (I'll get to that in a minute.) They broke my water around 9 am, and even though that helped with my progression, I was still dilating very slowly. It was taking me about 2 hours to dilated one centimeter despite the ridiculous amount of pitocin they were giving me. Around 7 pm, I was at 6 cm. They told me I probably wouldn't have L until the next morning, so K went to go get some food with my mom while a friend sat with me.

K and my mom were down in the cafeteria when the nurse came and checked me again around 7 pm. I let her do her thing, and I heard her say "Oh my gosh." I lifted my head up thinking something was wrong, and she said, "No no, it's okay! You're at a nine and a half! We need to get ready to push."

I started bawling. I went from 6 to 9.5 in 45 minutes, and my husband wasn't in the room! He was eating while I was having our baby!

So K's mom ran down to get both my mom and K. K was freaking out when he got to the room, and my mom was crying. Everyone left except K and they prepared me to push.

My blood pressure was around 190/something at this point. I was SO nauseous, and I kept seeing black spots in my vision. K just kept saying to hold on, that she would be here soon. The nurse got me all set and said it was time to push. *cue the craziest mix of feelings you'll ever feel.*

I began to push. And push. K was down watching, and when she started crowning, he said, "She has hair! I see her hair!" I remember feeling super lightheaded shortly after he said that, and I grabbed onto his arm and thinking that I couldn't breathe. The machine next to me started beeping as everything in the room started spinning. One of the nurses put an oxygen mask on me and made me lay back and take a few breaths. As I was breathing, the nurse that was 'down there' said "I can't find a line." I asked what that meant but she just responded with "don't worry, it's okay." I looked up and K and he had a downright terrified look on his face. They called in the OB and she came up to the front of the bed and told me that she needed me to push, and to push hard. L needed to come out, now. They called in NICU and told me to push. So I took a huge breath, pulled my body forward, and pushed incredibly hard. I felt L as she "popped" out (I'm being very literal here; she literally popped out because she was so tiny. The doctor had to catch her). I fell back and took a couple deep breaths from the oxygen mask while K cut the embilical cord. It was then that I realized that L wasn't crying. I couldn't hear anything. I couldn't see much between the nurses and K, but I saw her face for one quick second and saw that she was blue. K was over at her bedside as a NICU nurse tried to get her to breath. Even though it was only about 15 seconds, it felt like 15 hours. She finally let out a very loud scream, and continued to cry and they did a quick check while I delivered my placenta and was cleaned up. They rushed her over to me and laid her on my chest and she immediately stopped crying. K and I just swooned over her. She had SO much hair, and she was so incredibly tiny. She kept looking up at me and K and I were both crying. He just kept saying that he was so proud of me, and so happy to see her. I remember that feeling exactly of having her on my chest, holding her close, breathing her in and kissing her head. 

L was born at 5 pounds 1 ounce, and 19 inches tall. I labored for 25 and a half hours, and I pushed for one hour. L's birth was absolutely nothing like I expected. But to me, it was perfect. I delivered a beautiful baby girl with my husband standing right beside me. That, to me, is the greatest blessing.

*This part is for my amazing husband. I never would have been able to get through this without you. You were and are my rock, and not only are you a wonderful husband, but a wonderful father as well. I love you for all of these reasons and more.*

{I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. -Philippians 4:13.}

xoxo, Brandi

Thursday, January 14, 2016

you know you're a mom when...

Being a mom is the most wonderful, crazy, busy, loving, demanding, and beautiful job in the world. If you're a mom, you know all too well about some of the things I'm about to list. 

Ten ways to know you're a mom:

1) You leave with half the house in the diaper bag. Need a wipe? I have 50. Need a diaper? I have 10. Need a sandwich? I probably have one of those, too.

2) You know all too well about sitting in the car after your baby fell asleep during the ride. Can I take a nap in the car, too?

3) You've made up a song about poop. Or ten.

4) Bodily fluids don't bother you anymore. This one doesn't need explanation. 

5) You are always trying to find the other sock. Don't worry, there's probably another in the magical diaper bag.

6) Your child has more clothes than you do. But they probably spit up on them a lot more than you do.

7) Your hair is in a permanent bun. You know, like you take out the hair tie and your hair is still sitting on top of your head. Magic trick!

8) Your five minutes shower is basically a vacation to the Bahamas. Just turn the water to hot. Almost the same thing. Sort of.

9) You do something you told yourself you wouldn't before you became a mom. Whatever it is, we forgive you.

10) You literally feel like your heart could burst out of your chest with love. Now this one, my momma friends, is one I'm sure we can all relate to.

{Mothers hold their child's hand for a moment, but their hearts for a lifetime.}

xoxo, Brandi

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

twenty facts | about me

Yesterday I posted 10 Weird Facts About Me, and I decided today to write 20 regular facts about me so I can show the "normal" side of me.

1) I'm a lover of all things DIY. Seriously, I make everything. I could write a book on everything I have DIYed. (I'm making that a word, by the way.)

2) I grew up in a really small town. Emphasis on the small part. I graduated with less than 60 people, and of those 60 people, I knew all of their parents, siblings, dogs, and fourth cousins twice removed.

3) I secretly enjoy crocheting in my free time. Okay, it's not really secret since I own a shop and stuff (you can check that out here), but I do love to granny it out.

4) I hate hot weather. I know, silly me. But I seriously can't stand it. I could live in a place that rotated between fall, winter (oh, I'm a huge fan of snow, too), and a mild spring.

5) I prefer coffee over tea. I'm a bit obsessed with all things coffee, actually.

6) I played clarinet and saxophone for 12 years. Remember that one time in band camp...

7) I love to decorate. I'm constantly changing our house decor around because I just want to decorate something. And don't even get me started on the holiday decor.

8) I prefer a cookbook over Pinterest. *gasp!* I know, I know. Now I'm not saying that I'm not a fan of Pinterest, because trust me, I am. But when I'm cooking/baking, I would rather have the recipe on paper right there.

9) My favorite shows are Grey's Anatomy and Supernatural. I haven't decided which is my favorite yet, but I think I'm leaning towards Grey's. (Push one of Epi!)

10) I'm obsessed with Harry Potter. My husband is, too, so we bond frequently over the boy who lived.

11) I'm a semester away from getting my Bachelor's degree in Pre-Law. I was in my last semester when I had L and I plan to go back when I'm able.

12) I'm 22 years old. But I look like I'm 12. It'll pay off when I'm 60.

13) I'm 5'2. Yes, I've heard all the short jokes.

14) I'm constantly rotating clothes out of my closet. I have a few pieces that I've kept for a while because I love them, but I like to rotate clothes in and out to keep my wardrobe fresh. I usually sell my "old" on Poshmark (Find me! @brandijolittle_ & you can use my code "JGRRI" for $5 credit!) and buying new with what I make from that.

15) I have a horrible habit of biting my nails. I've tried for over 10 years to stop but it's not going so well.

16) I'm obsessed with essential oils. I swear by them.

17) I'm also obsessed with coconut oil. I literally use it for everything.

18) I take pictures all. the. time. I always want to document everything and I've never regretted it.

19) Melissa McCarthy is my homegirl. Really though, she's an amazing actress and even more amazing role model.

20) I love to read. When I was pregnant and on bed rest, I went through so many books that I thought I was going to have to buy a library.

Just 20 of the the hundreds of facts about me!

Can you relate to any of these?

xoxo, Brandi

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

ten odd facts | about me

I was sitting in my car the other day (I do that a lot, as L likes to nap in the car) and I was thinking about how super weird I am. Haha, really though. 
So of course I had to make a blog post about it. ;)

Here are ten weird facts about why I'm weird:

1) I cannot stand having hair in my face. Like seriously, it makes me mad. 99% of the time I have the front half of my hair pulled back in some way or another. I actually remind myself of Sandra Bullock in The Heat, like how she always wears a bobby pin in the same spot to hold her hair back. Yeah, that's me.

2) I cannot wear tight clothes. And if I do, I'm mad all day. I've always hated it. It literally makes my stomach hurt to wear tight clothes. Why? I have no idea.

3) I have to double check everything. Literally everything. If I don't, I go crazy. I've gotten up from bed at 3 in the morning to go double check that I turned the dishwasher on because checking the first time just wasn't enough.

4) I hate static. I loathe it. Like when your hair sticks to your face and no matter what you do it won't unstick - ack. I hate it.

5) I can't stand it when people smack their lips. I've been known to casually walk out of a room when someone is doing it. It grosses me out and gives me the shivers.

6) I need to have noise. Pure silence makes me antsy. I can't do it. Our TV is on almost all the time because I need to have the noise all day. And when I'm in the car, I have to have the radio on. I'm weird, I know.

7) I can't stand it when headbands fall off. Oh my gosh. The second I feel it start to fall off I have to fix it. Drives me nuts. I don't keep stretchy headbands very long because they are too stretched out after a while and there's just no point.

8) When my house is messy, I can't stop thinking about it. Which is super awesome with a newborn, let me tell ya. 

9) I hate it when my glasses side down on my nose. I'm c o n s t a n t l y pushing my glasses up (#nerdstatus) because if they fall even a centimeter down, it irks me.

10) I can't watch "old" movies. And by old I mean before like 2000. I like maybe 5 movies made before 2000. My husband isn't a fan of this one.

I'm sure there's many more reasons why I'm weird, but I'll stop here before it gets awkward. :)

Do any of these things bother you, too?!

xoxo, Brandi

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

celebrating | two years!

K and I celebrated our two year wedding anniversary this week! {January 4}

These past two years have flown by! We have been so blessed these past couple of years. K got his dream job, we bought a beautiful home, we moved, found out we were pregnant, had baby L… and that’s just to name a few!

Here’s our annual anniversary photo.

We normally take it outside but it was under 20 degrees and we didn’t want to wear parkas for our anniversary photo.

Here’s to two years, and God willing, many more!

{Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate. -Matthew 19:6}

xoxo, Brandi

Friday, January 1, 2016

L | three months!

L turned 3 months old on December 26!

Weight: 9 pounds 8 ounces. (She was a preemie.)

Wears: Almost 0-3 months clothes, size newborn diapers.

Teeth: 0 but I'm working on a couple!

Loves: playing with toys with mommy and daddy, tickles on her nose and belly, getting her diaper changed (even though she used to hate it), warm baths, music, being worn by mommy (& sometimes daddy), eating, crinkle noises, water noises, bumpy roads during car rides, the puppy, story time with mommy, being held and rocked/bounced/walked, going on walks, and the Christmas tree/lights.

Dislikes: getting dressed, nap time (#boycottallthenaps), when her bath gets chilly, when someone puts a hat on her head, when her belly hurts, when mommy isn't in the room.

Able to: roll on her side (she's working on the belly), lift her head up and keep it up for a long time, grasp onto things she wants, "examine" her toys (as mommy calls it), squeal, coo/"talk" all the time, smile the biggest of smiles, and giggle/laugh.

{You are living proof that God answers prayers.}

xoxo, Brandi