Anchored East | Diaper Bag

If you are a new mom looking for your first diaper bag to put on your registry, or you are a seasoned mom needing to replace your old one that is falling apart, this is an amazing option!  Anchored East has created a functional yet fashionable bag that can work for any mom and for any occasion! As a backpack style, it is perfect for busy moms on the go and for chasing after your little ones as they run around.  The interior has space for everything you need for baby and there are even a few spots perfect to keep your personal items!  As a mom, I love being able to support other mom owned businesses, so read on for a behind the scenes look at this adorable diaper bag and the woman who made it happen.  If I have already sold you and you just can’t wait to have this bag for your next day out of the house you can grab it right here!IMG_5992-2.jpg


The Anchored East Company is based out of Maine, bringing to mind sailboats and New England style lighthouses scattered along a rocky shoreline.  The name itself is a blend of th classic nautical theme and the feel of being at home on the east coast.  The founder and owner of Anchored East, Emily, was born and raised in the state and still lives there today with her husband and two children.  She began the company after her second child was born, wanting to expand professionally as well as contribute to her family’s finances.  This is something I believe many full time moms can relate to, myself included.  And since she is able to run the business remotely, thanks to the flexibility of the internet, she still gets to spend her days with her children while continuing to build and grow her business.

The birth of the company occured in June 2017, only after the design was perfected to create the ideal combination of fashion forward and mommy function approval!  As production began, all the final details needed to launch the small business were completed. Emily hopes to add other color options for the bag in the future along with other products to the line.  The diaper bag can be bought from Amazon (Prime members rejoice!) or from a few local boutiques located throughout Maine.  This is great news because with Amazon you can get your 2 day FREE shipping and their customer service PLUS you can put it on your registry!


Diaper Bag Product Review on Mom Blog

When I look at this diaper bag, this is what I think of, because there are so many useful pockets and spots to put stuff!  I don’t know about you, but I stressed way too much over picking out my first diaper bag when I was still pregnant but if I had seen this one it would have been a much easier decision!  The color, a nice neutral gray (I seriously love me some neutrals) even makes it easy for Dad to carry too!  They say parenting is a team effort, why would that not also refer to the diaper bag, right?  The material is waterproof/juice-proof/spit up-proof basically all things messy proof which is a must for a bag like this.  This is consistent on the interior of the bag as well, which is large and spacious with room for pretty much anything you can think of! This includes, an insulated slot to put a bottle of breastmilk or formula, for a day trip or just running some errands, as well as 3 other pouches and one zipper pocket.

Some of my favorite features are on the exterior of the bag, besides the color and material.  On one side, there is a pouch to put a packet of baby wipes with a zipper for incredibly easy access, which has already come in handy on numerous occasions!  On the other side is a pouch perfect for your personal water bottle of any size.  The front has a pocket that is great for anything you need to grab nice and quick- pacifiers, favorite teether or snacks- or even your own personal items – wallet, keys, and chapstick.  And the last pocket on the exterior of the bag is actually on the back, putting it between your back and the bag when worn.  This is for anything you want to keep safe or out of reach, and there is padding to protect your back from anything you put in there.

Like I have already mentioned, this is a backpack style bag, but what I haven’t mentioned is that it can stand alone when you set it down.  You see, it has four little metal feet on the very bottom which allow it to stay upright every single time you set it down.  This is such a great feature especially for when you need to get into the main section of the bag.  It’s ability to support itself makes for easy access to all the pockets and also keeps things from falling out.  Last but not least, it includes adjustable clips that can be used to attach the bag to just about any stroller and/or shopping cart.  This bag basically has every single one of the best diaper bag features for a fraction of the cost without having to sacrifice on style.  And what makes it even better, is it doesn’t have to be used as a diaper bag! With it’s sleek design and versatility in can be used for almost anything you need a bag for!  So if you are just dying to have this adorable bag all to yourself you can head on over to Amazon to get your very own Anchored East diaper bag!


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This ‘Spotlight Article’ was sponsored by Anchored East however, all suggestions and opinions are my own. I do not represent or endorse any business I do not feel deserves praise or would not be of interest to my readers.  Supporting small businesses is my passion and helping them grow is my goal!


The Illusive Pacifier | Why I Chose to Use One

The illusive pacifier in its natural habitat likes to hide in dark corners and camouflage itself to its surroundings.

But seriously where the hell do all the pacifiers go?? I think we own at least 15 of them and I currently only know where 3 are at this exact moment.

And then all of a sudden they all seem to reappear at once, turning up everywhere I go!  Who else has this phenomenon happened to?!?


Before my son was born I had seen a lot of information  discussing why you shouldn’t start your child with the pacifier- become too dependent, thumb is easier to wean, teeth issues down the road and things like that.  I had decided to try to go sans the pacifier for as long as possible.   I very quickly backed out of this conviction the second night home from the hospital during a 3 a.m. diaper change.  My husband and I were both once again trying to wrangle our screaming newborn out of his dirty diaper and into the new one, his screams piercing our overtired ears.  On a whim, I pulled out one of the pacifiers sitting in the drawer beneath the changing table and popped it in his mouth.


We both let out a sigh we hadn’t even realized we were holding as his little body relaxed and he became somewhat peaceful.  That was the day my son started using the pacifier and still does at 8 months old.  At this point, it is really only needed to get him to sleep but he will still use it throughout the night at times too.   And guess what- he’s still okay!


I can’t tell you how many times I was grateful to be able to pop a pacifier into his mouth when he gets cranky, either before bed our while we were out in public or just whenever.  This is not an advocate piece for the use of pacifiers, in fact if your child doesn’t need it then that’s great! But what I do want to say is if you do end up using a pacifier because it helps your child soothe, then that’s okay too.  Sometimes I think people take these little topics and blow them way out of proportion.  I hate to break it to you but people have been raising babies for thousands of years, we aren’t the first ones and they didn’t have pacifiers.

I can’t tell you how many times I have had people tell me how much they wished their child would have taken a pacifier but instead were fussy.  So I choose to be grateful that I can plug up the crying and give both of us a little peace.  It is my personal opinion that everyone should do for their baby what works best and not care for one second how other’s feel about the topic.  Below are the Mam and Avent ones we used and the soothies are also a great option!


Fed is Best…duh! | My Struggles with Breastfeeding and Formula

As someone who has been there, making the choice to breastfeed or formula feed your newborn can be difficult.  I say this as someone who has done both and understands the struggles that come with either decision. Here’s my story.


Feeding your baby is your #1 job once he or she is born.  Whether you choose to breastfeed or formula feed is a very personal decision and can be affected by many different factors.  This is a topic I struggled with minutes after my son was was born, a month in, three months in and 7 months in.  During my pregnancy I became incredibly anxious and breastfeeding was no exception.  As a Type A personality who needs to thoroughly prepare for everything and know exactly what to expect, giving birth to a new born human really threw me for a loop.  I read up on the different positions to hold your child while breastfeeding, picked up Lansinoh Lanolin Cream and Organic Bamboo Nursing Pads and bought 6 different types of bottles in case he didn’t like some of them.  As far as I was concerned I was as prepared as I could have been, especially since I obviously assumed I would be one of the women who was naturally going to be awesome at it. 

Boy was I wrong, on all accounts!  There is actual photographic evidence of my cry of pain the first time my son tried to latch but instead bit down as hard as he could with his toothless gums. Just because he didn’t have teeth doesn’t mean those little gums aren’t rock solid and felt like the jaws of death!  Throughout my stay at the hospital he just couldn’t seem to get the hang of it and I was already starting to feel like a failure as a mother, just a few days in to my new job.   By the time we got home from the hospital my nipples were so sore I was barely holding back tears every time he tried to nurse.  It got to the point where I would let him sleep longer than recommended because I dreaded the next nursing session.  Frozen nursing pads with lanolin on them gave me some short term comfort but everything just felt wrong.


So of course I jump on google to try to find some solutions and one thing that keeps coming up is a nipple shield.  What the hell is a nipple shield?  I think I remember one of the nurses mentioning that in the hospital but nothing else comes to mind.  So off to Babies-R-us we go to find this mythical thing called a nipple shield that I am convinced will solve all our problems.  Man was that exactly what it did! The Medela Nipple Shield is the one that I used, but you might have to give it 2 tries before you find the one that is the correct size for you.  Once you figure out the size you need, all you do is stick it on your boob and offer the pointy part to your infant who should latch on to it and start suckling.

The first time I used it was like a dream come true, there was still some soreness but nothing like before which had essentially felt like someone rubbing heavy grit sandpaper across one of the most sensitive parts of my body.  The best thing the shield did was allow my body time to heal without continuous pain, the worst thing it did was make it very hard for my son to learn to latch  without it.  Commence the unnecessary worrying and stress that for some reason all moms seem to do to themselves.  I ended up having to use the shield for the first two months of my son’s life and guess what- he is completely fine. 

I only ever met a few other women who were using or had used them in the past, or at least only a few women talked about it.  They seem to somehow have fallen into the category of things that lower your status as a good mom.  I hadn’t realized this until  a woman approached me at Mommy and Baby yoga class while I was using it.  She was so relieved to see someone else using one and until then had been embarrassingly hiding in the corner with her and her daughter both almost completely covered by a blanket.  It was then that I realized she felt ashamed for having to use a nipple shield and I was floored.  Sure I had realized it obviously wasn’t the norm and was slightly envious of women who seemingly had it all figured out but it never occurred to me to be ashamed.  That stupid little piece of plastic; while making the process much messier; had allowed me to supply my son with all of the nutrients he needed and I was incredibly grateful.


On the day of his 2 month wellness visit he kept refusing the shield so on a whim I gave it a go without it and voila!  Like the last two months didn’t even happen he quit the shield cold turkey and we were off on a brand new nursing adventure.  Unfortunately, this adventure hit some pretty rocky roads only about a month later when, due to lack of sleep and a pretty nasty cold, my supply dropped dramatically.  On the third or fourth night of my son screaming in my arms because he was still hungry but nothing more was coming out, my husband had had enough and opened a bottle of formula.  He offered this bottle to my starving son who sucked it down with abandon while I held him and cried, feeling once again like a failure.  This was something I was very unfamiliar with feeling but there was nothing I could do to change it.  Sure there are lots of suggestions out there on how to increase your output but most of them involve sitting for hours attached to the pump.  I already dreaded pumping and after very little success and many hours wasted I gave up. Looking back on my hospital stay and follow up wellness visits one jarring realization I had was; not a single healthcare professional ever uttered the word formula to me.  Guess what- it is not poison!

Once I came to terms with this new situation however, I felt relieved.  Relieved that not all the pressure was on me anymore, relieved to not have to always be within 100 ft of my son at all times and relieved that I could sleep for longer than 3 or 4 hours at a rip!  Supplementing with formula offered me a little more freedom which was the hardest transition for me so far.  I obviously love my son with all my heart but at the same time I was feeling suffocated and needed a breather.  So beginning at 3 months we started supplementing once a day with formula.  Unfortunately this creates a snowball effect and by 5 months my right side had completely dried up and my left side was hanging on by a thread as his intake of formula increased.  The fact that we sold one house, bought another and moved in and out of those respective houses only after a cross country road trip did not help my situation.  Right around the 7 month mark, my son started to get his bottom two chompers and would use them in his frustration if not enough milk was coming out. Ouch!  It was at this point that it became apparent that I was only trying to hold on for my sake and it wasn’t benefiting either of us to continue.

Although it is recommended to breastfeed for the first year of your child’s life, it is not worth sacrificing your sanity and well-being for.  I will admit I still feel guilty at times, convincing myself there was more I could have done to up my supply.  But forcing myself to do something that made me miserable was not going to be good for me, my son, or my relationship with my husband.  I do miss it at times but I know I will have another opportunity down the road and hopefully it will go a little smoother the next time around.  So I will leave you with this, no matter how you end up feeding your child, as long as you do just that, it doesn’t matter how!  Just don’t start them off with chocolate cake!

Rollin in the Poop|Diaper Changing Advice

Never in my life did I ever think I would become so obsessed with another human’s poop.  What color is it?  What is it’s consistency?  How many times did he poop today? Is that poop under my nail?  Every parent knows exactly what I am talking about.


My very first diaper change, ever, occurred the day after I returned home from the hospital with my first born.  Since then, very few things have turned out to be as I expected being a mom would be like.   The preoccupation with poop is one of them.  Of course I knew there would be countless number of diaper changes but I was not prepared to be studying what was inside of them like a scientist looking through a microscope.  I also did not expect it to smell the way it did, or that once you smell it you start to smell it everywhere!  Sometimes I will literally give my hands a few sniffs, check the sleeves of my shirt and look down the front of myself before realizing its actually just the food sitting on my plate or a candle.  Its not that my food smells like poop, I think its more my brain tricking me because it is so attuned to everything baby.

I lost track of how many times I got poop on myself after the first few weeks.  And every time it happened I thought of the beginning of Baby Mama “Is that chocolate or poop?”

Makes me laugh every time.  Although while babies are on breastmilk their poop looks a lot like the honey mustard dipping sauce with the mustard seeds in it that you get with an order of soft pretzels at a hipster restaurant/brewery.(Sorry for the visual) But since my son has started to eat real food his poop has become much more solid, which means it doesn’t really stick to the diaper anymore, more like just sits in it.  So when you pick up said diaper, if you aren’t careful that shit (pun intended) will literally go flying.  This is something I have done on numerous occasions, much to my displeasure later when I have to clean it up for a second time.  Another thing that has changed is his ability to roll from his back to his stomach with ease, which has now become somewhat of a game on the changing table.  Imagine trying to clean poop off the backside of a rotisserie chicken as it rotates, talk about a moving target.


My messiest poop encounter thus far happened earlier this week.  It began during a 6 a.m. diaper change, in the dark and without my glasses on-which means I was doing it mostly by feel and muscle memory.   Now I know there are those super moms out there who get up at 6 before their baby wakes up in order to do whatever crazy people do that early in the morning.  I am not one of those moms, I love my sleep and will take as much of it as I can.  I am also a night owl so even though my son is now on a 7 p.m. bedtime schedule, my husband and I are barely ever in bed before 11.  Anyway back to the story.  So during this 6 a.m diaper change my son tries to begin his rotisserie chicken routine mid butt wipe.  As I continue cleaning him up while trying to keep him from flipping over my one finger sinks knuckle deep into the warm mushy mess.  “Oh goody” I think to myself.  This I assumed was the worst part of the situation as I attempt to wrap him up in a clean diaper and wrestle him back into his pajamas.  Well you know what they say about assuming.

Back into the crib he goes, unbeknownst to me with a huge glob of poop stuck to the leg of his sleeper.  And back to my bed I go to gratefully catch a few more Zs, only after making a detour to the bathroom to wash the literal shit out from underneath my nail.  Since he is such an amazing baby, he gives me a few more hours of much need sleep before deciding it’s time for us to get a move on for the day around 9 a.m.  As I make my way into the nursery bleary eyed and in need of a cup of coffee the scene before me is one of a very happy smiling baby with his legs propped up on the side of the crib.  That is not what immediately caught my attention however, rather it was the huge glob of something dark brown on one of those upright legs and the smears of that same dark brown color all over the crib sheet.  Crap.

Join Us on This Journey

I never saw myself as a blogger, or someone who had a whole lot to say about anything in particular.  It wasn’t until recently, during a long run that I decided maybe I didn’t have a lot to say about one thing but I definitely have a lot I can say about many different things. And as I enter into this completely new chapter in my life I have decided to document it in the hopes that I can maybe help some people or do some good, or at the very least make people feel better about themselves by sharing my screw ups.  Ha!  My very diverse repertoire of skills and interests include being a new mom, running and training for races, archaeology/anthropology, photography, the Air Force and plenty of other things in between.  If your now wondering to yourself “Why in the world should I even bother continuing to read this chick’s online ramblings?”, let me ask you this.  Have you ever been lost in an unfamiliar place and really would have loved it if there were signs or arrows or something pointing you in the direction you should go?  Well that’s exactly where I am in my life, and wouldn’t it be nice if you could figure out which direction to go by learning from other’s mistakes?  That is where this blog and the things I will be talking about come in.  I am about to navigate a brand new direction for my life, one that will most likely have lots of bumps and bruises as well as boogers and maybe a little bit of blood.  So come along for the ride, enjoy the funny stories and learn from my mistakes!  Here is an intro into some of the things I will discuss in more depth in the future.


I recently became a Mom and found myself invited into this brand new club I didn’t even know existed.  It seems there are many things that come with being a parent that only other parents can understand, because only those who have brought a newborn home from the hospital exhausted and scared shitless can understand exactly what that feels like.  Just like me I assume other new Moms (and Dads) have read many a blog post discussing things like the items you need and don’t need as a new parents, what happens to a woman’s body postpartum, and what life looks like now that you are on the other side of that invisible wall.  I also assume I am not the only person who wants to call bullshit on some of the things discussed in those articles.  Sometimes I even question whether or not those articles are written by people with kids!  I plan to give you the down and dirty on some not so glamorous parts of being a mom as well as those beautiful moments you hold out for between the poopy diapers and the tantrums.


After having a baby your body is definitely going to change, don’t let the articles saying “your body will never be the same after having a baby” scare you too much.  With a little hard work and some serious self-control I do believe it is possible to get back to a place you can be happy and comfortable at.  I am currently working my way back to that place after devouring sleeve after sleeve of Oreos during my pregnancy and immediately postpartum.  This attempt includes training for a trail half marathon, which for you non-runners out there, that means 13.1 miles on a winding hiking path in the White Tank Mountains in Arizona.  I know, I know this is the part where I start to lose people who say they suck at running or absolutely hate doing it.  And this is where I tell you, no matter who you are or what your fitness level is you can teach your body to do it.  We are genetically designed to be able to run long distances in order to outrun the threats we were not intended to be able to fight.  But it doesn’t have to be running, just getting out and doing something active can make the biggest difference in your mental and physical health.  I will talk a little bit more about how it has helped me in the wake of baby number one and things you can do to keep yourself active as well!  After being a competitive gymnast for 8 years, playing soccer up to the collegiate level and spending a lot of time researching I think.

To Infinity

My husband and I, along with our (then) 5 month old son, two German Shepherds and two cats made the move from the Northeast where we have lived our entire lives to the Southwest, just outside of Phoenix Arizona.  On a mild November evening in New York we piled into our F-150 pulling our newly acquired 2002 Jayco Kiwi 17 foot camper and made the trek through 10 states and almost 3,000 miles to get to our new home. (Stay tuned for a more in-depth version of that fiasco).  After growing up in the Northeast this has been an incredibly dramatic change, particularly the weather.  So far I can’t say I miss the bitter cold or the snow, and since I have been running outside so much I also have a tan, so that’s pretty awesome! Now if you look at a map of the Southwest you will see tons of National Parks, National Monuments, State Parks and all sort of cool places to visit and explore in a pretty small radius around Phoenix.  So far we have accidentally stumbled on one called Tuzigoot National Monument, an outcropping with thousand-year old ruins on it, and obviously the archaeologist in me was so stoked! Yes you may now call me a nerd in your head but only if you say it like this “neeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrddddddd”.  Anyway, that is just the first of many travels we will be exploring and each one will get a review and any new tips or tricks we may have learned about traveling with a baby.

And Beyond

Now that is just the tip (phrasing) of things I will talk about, so stay tuned for other topics.  Including but not limited to; what it is like to be a woman in the military,  how we handle being a dual military couple, my struggles to start other endeavors, my love of all things photography, binge watching Stranger Things, continuing to learn how to be a mom and pretty much anything else that comes to my mind!  So stay tuned because its going to be fun, or at least interesting (and maybe not in a good way! Ha).

And last but not least I would love to feature other moms or just people dealing with or experiencing some similar things I have talked about.  If you feel you have a good story or something you would like to share that could benefit everyone please contact me so we can coordinate.  No one is alone in this journey we call life and I want to highlight that!