About Me: Q&A

What is your full name:

Jacquelyn Marie Kokos

How old are you?

I’m pretending like I’m still 29, but I’m 31!

How tall are you?

5’6″ (the perfect height!)

How many siblings do you have?

I’m the oldest of six! I have two brothers and three sisters.

What time do you go to bed at night/wake up in the morning?

I absolutely LOVE sleep – I usually go to bed by 11 and wake up around 7:15AM (a few minutes before Everly is up for the day).

McDonald’s or Burger King?

McDonald’s… obviously. I can’t believe people even eat Burger King.

Who was the last person you spoke to on the phone?

My brother, Everette. I usually talk to my mom and sister, Arielle, daily too!

When was the last time you cried?

I cry a lot! The silliest things make me cry… I usually cry during the Steve Harvey show in the AM or the Ellen show.

What’s your favorite TV show?

I have so many… because I watch way too much TV. Right now it would probably be any of the Real Housewives, but I love Game of Thrones, MTV “The Challenge”, any murder documentaries.

Do you believe in yourself?

Sometimes! I’m always trying to portray confidence (mainly for my daughter), but I have lots of insecurities too.

What can you see out of your kitchen window?

We have a very tiny city view, but I mainly see power lines and parking spots — city life.

Do you have any pets?

We have two Persian cats, Minnie and Ace. They could not be more different with their personalities. Minnie can sleep all day and likes to hide. Ace (also known as Bob/Bobba) likes to play fetch, meows a lot, and needs a lot of attention.

How long have you lived in Boston?

6.5 years! HOLY HELL! And the answer to everyone’s next question — we have no plans to move anytime soon!

Where do you like to shop?

Nordstrom is by far my favorite store. I also like GAP, Target, Aerie, WHOLE FOODS :), and lots of boutiques in Southie.

What was your job before you had Everly?

I was an Event Planner for a restaurant in Boston – planned their corporate and social events. I loved my job and working in a restaurant. You meet so many amazing people, get to eat delicious food, and learn so much about business.

How did you and your husband meet?

We met in 2010 while I was bartending and he was living in Orlando working for the Magic in ticket sales. He came into the bar with some of his friends and started talking to me about his job… I was going to the Magic game with friends the next day! We started dating right away and I called my best friend after our first date and told her he was the person I was going to marry.

Do you and Jake want to have more children?

Of course! We both come from big families, so we would love to be able to have more children when the time is right. We are set for right now though! It is a lot of work with Everly – she’s loud, bubbly and needs lots of attention. Jake would love to have a son, but I’m convinced he’ll be the dad with three daughters!

What is your goal for your blog?

I started this blog as an outlet while Everly naps (almost 4 hours every day). I’m not a very good writer and am trying to be more creative. My goal is to get out of my comfort zone and share things that have worked for Everly and I in my journey as a mother – from recipes to sleep tips, mom outfits to toys, etc. Hopefully, if you are a mother, you can relate to some of my posts!

xo,

Jacci

Flying with Infants: Tips & Tricks

With my family living in Florida, Jake and I knew we would be flying a TON with Everly. She made the best travel companion and we took her everywhere! Everly had been on 14 flights before her first birthday — the majority of them have gone smooth, so here are my tips and tricks.

1. Plan your travel ahead of time.

Book your flights far enough in advance, so you get to pick your seats. I would highly recommend picking your seat even on airlines that charge an additional fee. The aisle seat is usually the best for adults with a lap infant. On every airline we’ve flown children under two are free as long as they sit on your lap (ie: JetBlue, Spirit Airlines, and Delta).

Most babies will nap anywhere and everywhere – which is great! You are probably able to choose anytime to fly. As your baby approaches 4-6 months you might need to schedule around a nap. Flights first thing in the morning work better for us than bedtime/red eye flights.

2. Organize Yourself

Arriving to the airport alone on the curb with a car seat, luggage, stroller, diaper bag and baby is top 5 most stressful moments of my life. Everly and I took a 9 day trip to Florida and Arizona (without Jake) and boy was I nervous! I ended up surviving — all thanks to being organized. I pack all of our essentials in the diaper bag. There’s no point in bringing an additional purse with you – it’s just one more thing to carry. The night before, I organize her diaper bag by taking every item out and starting fresh. Have your ID, credit card, and boarding pass put in a pocket that’s easily accessible to get through check in.

I also have a travel diaper changing pad that holds wipes, diapers and creams. I can easily grab that instead of bringing the whole bag to the worlds smallest bathrooms on the plane.

3. Carrier or Stroller?

I’ve been asked this question dozens of times. And I always say both. Especially for babies under 6 months. You will fill your stroller up with your water, coffee, breakfast, diaper bag, etc. I always wore Everly in a carrier to get through security – this was super easy for me because most of the time she would be asleep (and you don’t have to take them out).

The Uppababy Vista folds up easily to go through the security check – you will need to take off the wheels too! If you don’t want to fold it, you can push it through the metal detector and they will swipe your hands (not 100% why, but they do!)

Once you get through security you can put baby in the stroller or keep in the carrier. It always worked best to keep Everly in the carrier until we got on the plane.

Gate checking strollers is super easy too – just grab a tag from the gate. I’d recommend putting your stroller in a bag to help avoid extra scratches.

4. Breast milk and Breastfeeding

Everly was exclusively breastfed until she was 6 months old. Before a flight I would usually panic and think I needed to go buy formula for the flight… not sure why! I was always stressed that she wouldn’t latch or my supply wouldn’t be enough to last through the flight. Breastfeeding really gets to your head, man πŸ€¦πŸΌβ€β™€οΈ. I would bring between 5-10 ounces of frozen breast milk in a small cooler in my diaper bag with an empty bottle and freezer pack. Security will test any milk that’s thawed, but we’ve never had a problem with that. They also test any water cups, juice cups, and pouches over 3.4oz!

Everyone recommends feeding baby during take off and landing so that their ears can pop too! I traveled with a black nursing cover. It worked as a blackout curtain for sleeping and gave me some privacy. Be sure to wear comfortable clothing for nursing on a plane!

5. Toys AND snacks!

I’m always packed with toys and books. Everly plays with a toy for 2 minutes then is on to the next thing. Before a flight I buy her a brand new toy (as a surprise for the plane). I also packed lots of snacks for her in containers including blueberries, Cherrios, and teething crackers. My favorite snack container is made my Ubbi.

I always travel with Lysol wipes to wipe down the whole row, seat, seatbelt and TV. Planes are a breeding ground for germs.

We have six flights coming up before the end of the year and I’ve been stressed about flying alone with Everly now that she’s a little older. We bought a travel car seat and purchased a seat for her. She’s easier to control when she’s buckled down πŸ’†πŸΌβ€β™€οΈ

What are you tips for flying with toddlers? Share any tricks!

Personalized Gifts for Newborns

Hi! I’m a huge fan of monograms, personalizations, and custom made items for baby showers/newborn gifts. They make for such special gifts that families will keep for a lifetime. I’ve come up with a great list of vendors on Etsy and thought that I would share. If you know anyone that is expecting, keep these shops in mind! Now if more of my friends would start having babies that would be great! πŸ™‚

Milestone Blankets

I ordered a milestone blanket for Everly when she was a few days old. I was so excited to get a picture taken monthly on the same blanket to see how she was growing. By month 7 she didn’t want to lay on the blanket… she was more proud of sitting up on her own. We’ve made it work though! I ordered from a small Etsy shop, LittlePeonyCo. The shop has hundred of items available for personalization including blankets and beach towels. The blanket I ordered for Everly has a floral wreath design and comes in a super soft mink material. The blankets come in different sizes too – I’d recommend ordering a larger size (50x60in).

Custom Lovey’s

A lovey might not seem like an immediate necessity, but they are so adorable and great for cuddling. Now that Everly is older she brings her lovey everywhere with her. When she was a couple of months old I was buying little crinkly blankets from an online Etsy shop, DwellDarling. This shop has hundreds of blankets, loveys, and crinkle pages available to be customized with a name or monogram. The prints are so adorable and come with a soft fur backside! They have a great Instagram page that highlights all of the new prints too!

Announcement Pillows

Another option for monthly milestone photos would be to take a picture of the babe propped up in a chair next to an announcement pillow. I ordered one for Everly’s room from Empowering Decor on Etsy. It has her name, birthdate, weight, and height printed with a beautiful design.

Custom Clothing

There’s nothing cuter than a baby in a monogrammed onesie. Seriously, a perfect photo opp. I like to order outfits for holidays that have Everly’s name or initials on them. I ordered from an Etsy shop, LaineyKayDesigns, but there are lots of options available.

Decor Pieces

My go to spot is Pottery Barn. You can find any and every baby item there and they add personalization to 90% of their items for a small fee. Everything from furniture pieces, Boppy covers, lunch boxes, and towels… the list could go on forever. Sign up for their emails to know when the sales are going on too!

What gift ideas did I miss?

xo,

Jacci

Countdown to ONE!

(Milestone Blanket: LittlePeonyCo Etsy Shop)

Everyone says this, but it’s so true! The first year goes so fast! I remember sleeping on the couch for the first two weeks of Everly’s life wondering how the hell I was going to do it.(Yes, I slept on the couch because I was too afraid to wake Jake in the bedroom when Everly would cry… Hahahah)

And we’ve done it…almost! We’ve made it to her 11 month birthday and have begun the countdown to her first birthday party. Overall, Everly has been a great baby. She’s happy, social, curious, a great eater, and a great sleeper.

Things have not always been so easy and it was very difficult to think ahead and know that things would get better. I remember sleepless nights, LOTS of crying, lots of spit up, difficulty breast feeding, difficulty getting her out the door, and struggling to know if I was doing well enough. I always doubted myself, my intuition. I would stay up late reading blogs, articles, ebooks on everything – how to get your baby to sleep in 5 steps, why is my baby crying, why won’t my newborn sleep, is my baby eating enough. It made me crazy to a point. I wish I could go back in time and tell myself – you’re doing AMAZING and she is going to be just fine! Because that’s exactly what happened. She’s thriving, bubbly, and smart and every single day is better than the last.

If you have a newborn and are struggling, just know that it is going to get easier and that you are not alone. As everyone says… it takes a village. Take help when you need it and stay strong!

xo,

Jacci

 

 

Shoes You Need to Chase Your Toddler this Summer

Shoes You Need to Chase Your Toddler this Summer

Everly is on the go and there’s no stopping her. She’s crawling SO fast now on her hands and feet… a downward dog type of crawl. Pre-baby I was always wearing basic Tory Burch flip flops in the summer and now I need a little more support to chase her around. 75% of the time I am wearing Allbirds. If you haven’t heard of Allbirds, I’m worried about you. They are the softest, coziest runners ever made. They weigh next to nothing on your feet and are super easy to throw in the washing machine. They can be dressed up with jeans or worn casual with athleisure AKA mom uniforms.

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When I’m not wearing Allbirds, I’m wearing a comfy sandal or sneaker to chase Everly around. I’ve found three perfect pairs of shoes for summer that I had to share immediately! FYI – I wear a size 9.5…. yes, I know I have huge feet, so these styles are perfect for women with large feet πŸ˜‰ like me.

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Birkenstock “Arizona”//UGG “Sammy Sneaker”//TOMS “Lexie Sandal”

I’ve been a Birkenstock fan for a couple of years – they are my everyday, perfect, flat sandals. This color combo sold out so fast, but there are similar options available.

The UGG Sammy Sneakers are the perfect to-go sneakers. They have 250+ positive reviews on Nordstrom.com proving everyone else is loving them this summer too. They comes in nine colors including a really pretty aqua!

At first, I wasn’t sure if I’d like the TOMS Lexie sandal. They run true to size and fit really nicely, but when would I wear a red sandal? Hello, 4th of July in 2 weeks! I’ve also already worn then two other times with shorts and t shirt. They come in eight colors/designs and are so comfortable. Plus they’re TOMS so every purchase is matched with a pair of shoes for a child in need!

On top of these three, I also ordered the Sam Edelman Bay Cutout Slide Sandal that every influencer under the sun has been wearing.

Moms, what shoes are you wearing to look cute chasing your toddler around?

xo,

Jacci