XO Watercolor Prints

xo prints free download | honestly, b.

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, I thought what better freebie than some sweet "xo" watercolor prints?! I love these because they can be on display year round—a reminder to give hugs and kisses to the ones you love :). I think I may hang these above Anchor's crib! Where would you hang yours?

Download below.

xo prints free download | honestly, b.

Tips: Print on a premium matte or card stock paper in bright white. Cut to 8x10. 

Download X | Download O

Valentine's Day Cards

valentine's day cards | free download // honestly, b.

Tell it like it is this Valentine's Day with these little message cards! Write something personal on the back and package up with some candies. 

Any special plans for Valentine's Day? It will be our first with Anchor! We will probably spend the day doing something fun as a family then make a special dinner at night :)

Download cards below.

valentine's day cards | free download // honestly, b.
valentine's day cards | free download // honestly, b.
valentine's day cards | free download // honestly, b.

Anchor's Newborn Photoshoot

newborn shoot | honestly, b.

Anchor had his newborn shoot at 8 days old with my amazing photographer friend, Yasmine Luther Photography. I will cherish these photos always! It's amazing how much I can already see he has changed, so I'm glad these early days were captured.

newborn shoot | honestly, b.
newborn shoot | honestly, b.

Dan made this bed a while back for Yasmine as a newborn prop. It was so special that we were able to use it for Anchor's shoot!

newborn shoot | honestly, b.
newborn shoot | honestly, b.
newborn shoot | honestly, b.
newborn shoot | honestly, b.

Introducing Anchor Knox

honestly, b.

Our little Anchor Knox came into the world on the night of November 23rd! I know it sounds so cliché, but I really never knew you could love someone so strongly and quickly. He is our world! <3 He weighed in at 8lbs 1oz and was 20.5in long.

Having a newborn has been quite the adjustment! I feel so thankful to have Dan as my partner in this. We split the care pretty evenly, I'd say. Even still, I feel like a walking zombie! It's like I just can't catch up on sleep. It's all worth it though :)

honestly, b.

His name: We came up with names pretty early on in my pregnancy. We didn't know if he was going to be a girl or boy, so we had a name for both. We wanted something nautical, virtuous and strong for a boy. The name "Anchor" has all those qualities! 

The birth: We had planned a homebirth and began laboring at home on Saturday afternoon. By Sunday night, when the surges were getting super strong and I wasn't dilating much (and hadn't slept a wink), we decided it would be best to transition to a birthing center. Luckily my doula and midwives suggested a hospital in which the care is very natural and nurturing. We felt so comfortable and cared for there. It was the right choice in the end! I was able to get some sleep and the next day things progressed very quickly!

Breastfeeding: This is a challenge we are still working on! I've been getting help from several lactation consultants, so hopefully this will work itself out soon. Luckily my milk supply is good, so I've been pumping then bottle feeding the breastmilk. It's a lot more work, but worth it to know he is getting the breastmilk. I also like that Dan and I can share the feedings! 

honestly, b.

Things I've learned after giving birth:

Be open to any changes! Anchor came 10 days after his estimated due date, after 50 hours of labor and not having the homebirth I had planned. Breastfeeding has not happened as easily as I thought it would. It's hard when you have an image of a perfect birth and things happen differently—but it all worked out and is perfect in its own way! These things aren't entirely in your own control, so it's important to set realistic expectations and go with the flow.

It's important to have a good support group and a strong foundation with your partner. There are times when I will just start crying and I can't tell you what a huge help it is to have Dan as my husband to calm me down! He is so supportive and always telling me what a great job I'm doing as a mother. Sometimes that's all I need to hear when I'm emotional/having self-doubt. Friends and family members that know what you're going through is also huge! Anytime I'm not sure if something is normal, I can count on them to assure me it is!

A doula is basically a necessity! I can't imagine having gone through this labor without the support of our amazing doula. She was helpful during pregnancy, during labor and has been after labor as well. She provides something your partner or midwives can't. When Dan got too tired, she was there to step in as support. She is trained in ways to best comfort and manage pain and avoid certain interventions you may not want. I have to say during the pushing stage she gave me the most confidence out of everyone. I had no idea whether I was making any progress and she assured me I was and told me when she saw his head full of hair! Bonus: she took some amazing photos during the birth that I will cherish forever! She also did my placenta encapsulation, gave us a baby-care class beforehand and has been an ongoing support after birth.

Staying in shape during pregnancy will do wonders for your labor. If I hadn't kept up with exercise during pregnancy, I don't know that I would have had the stamina to go through 50 hours of labor! During the first 28 hours of labor, I hardly laid or sat down at all except when I was in the birthing tub—even then I was on hands and knees and moving around! I was constantly walking around, on my birth ball and squatting during the labor. If I hadn't kept up with yoga and lots of walking during pregnancy, labor would have been much more difficult, I'm sure!

 

I am so happy and proud to be Anchor's mama! I can't wait to see him grow :) 

 

For all you mamas out there—did your birth(s) go exactly as you had planned? Is there anything you learned from the experience?

Fall Layering

fall layering | honestly, b.

I so enjoy a good layered look! The key to not making the outfit overwhelming with all the layers is to keep the patterns simple but play with colors and texture. I mixed faux leather with knit and denim in varying colors to keep this look visually interesting but still simple.

fall layering | honestly, b.
fall layering | honestly, b.
fall layering | honestly, b.
fall layering | honestly, b.

jacket | similar
sweater | h&m
skirt | similar
tights | h&m
boots | shoedazzle

What types of materials do you like to play with in a layered look?