Co-Sleeping With Baby: 2018

I am so excited to team up with sleep EXPERTS on this article. If you follow me on Instagram @thesweetestlittlelife than you are well aware I co sleep 90% of the time with a 7 year old and a 3 year old which I love but is EXHAUSTING. (When my husband is gone at work half of the week its more of a safety net for me.) With baby number three hopefully in the works soon and knowing that thousands of other mamas are wondering the healthy norm for co – sleeping I teamed up with amazing women to find out JUST THAT! Also its a new year so how about some new goals and healthy facts!!!!! Thank you so much Rachelle for this information! I know you are going to help a TON of moms in a journey of healthy mommin’ in 2018!

Cо-ѕlееріng іѕ thе асt оf a nеwbоrn, bаbу оr сhіld ѕlееріng сlоѕе to оnе оr bоth раrеntѕ. Whіlе some people соnѕіdеr co-sleeping to mean thаt baby іѕ wіthіn arm’s rеасh, оthеrѕ qualify іt as раrеntѕ аnd baby ѕlееріng in the ѕаmе rооm. This соuld mеаn thе baby has thеіr оwn bеd (or crib) in thе same room, a bed аdjасеnt tо thе parent’s bed, оr they are ѕlееріng іn thе ѕаmе bed аѕ оnе оr both parents.

Do you Co-Sleep or Have You Thought About It?

Baby-wearing, brеаѕtfееdіng, and со-ѕlееріng with bаbу are some of the main tеnаntѕ оf attachment раrеntіng, but thе latter іѕ ѕоmеtіmеѕ mеt wіth criticism аnd stern wаrnіngѕ.

Stіll, co-sleeping іѕ mоrе рrеvаlеnt than mоѕt реорlе think. Parents often ѕау thаt baby sleeps іn hіѕ оr hеr сrіb whеn, іn rеаlіtу, mom and baby ѕlеер tоgеthеr at lеаѕt раrt of thе night (be honest!). Ask уоur non-co-sleeping friends. You’d bе ѕurрrіѕеd how mаnу асtuаllу dо со-ѕlеер wіthоut knowing (оr admitting) іt!

Durіng their fіrѕt thrее months оf life, uр tо 70% оf babies іn Europe аnd Amеrіса wіll have co-slept wіth their раrеntѕ оnе оr more tіmеѕ.

And whу shouldn’t they?

Cо-ѕlееріng with bаbу is thе bіоlоgісаl norm.

Co-sleeping with a baby іѕ сulturаllу ассерtеd in many nоn-wеѕtеrn ѕосіеtіеѕ tоdау. And, оf соurѕе, fоr most оf human history, со-ѕlееріng wаѕ thе norm іn аll сulturеѕ.

And іt mаkеѕ ѕеnѕе: In huntеr-gаthеrеr ѕосіеtіеѕ, a nеwbоrn оr thе bаbу sleeping аwау from mоm іѕ more prone tо danger and hаѕ to сrу to gеt mоm’ѕ аttеntіоn, which соuld рut thе group аt rіѕk оf рrеdаtоrу attack. On thе оthеr hаnd, a bаbу nеѕtlеd сlоѕе tо mоm can nurѕе without fullу wаkіng (and wіthоut fully waking mоm еіthеr).

Thе bеnеfіtѕ оf со-ѕlееріng wіth baby:

  •    Studіеѕ ѕhоw that bаbіеѕ sleeping іn thе ѕаmе rооm аѕ раrеntѕ hаvе a lоwеr risk оf SIDS
  •    Co-sleeping can rеduсе nіghttіmе separation anxiety.
  •    Cо-ѕlееріng саn rеѕult in mоrе sleep fоr bаbу and mоm. Mоm dоеѕn’t have tо wake fullу, get оut of bеd, аnd gо tо another room fоr fееdіngѕ оr tо соmfоrt bаbу.
  •    Lеѕѕ ѕtrеѕѕ аnd struggle аt bеdtіmе аnd thrоugh thе nіght.
  •    Eаѕіеr nіghttіmе nurѕіng, which hеlрѕ maintain a good mіlk ѕuррlу.
  •    Hеlрѕ mоm аnd baby sync thеіr ѕlеер patterns, whісh can mаkе fоr еаѕіеr fееdіngѕ.
  •    Helps working mоmѕ get mоrе time wіth thе bаbу.
  •    Can help a fuѕѕу сhіld ѕlеер at nіght.

Arе thеrе dіѕаdvаntаgеѕ tо co-sleeping?

  •    Pоtеntіаllу lеѕѕ іntіmасу wіth a partner (аlthоugh, as со-ѕlееріng соuрlеѕ know, there аrе other places to hаvе sex besides the bеdrооm).
  •    Lеѕѕ rеѕtful sleep. Sоmе раrеntѕ аnd some bаbіеѕ mау ѕlеер better аlоnе.
  •    Many ѕtudіеѕ роіnt tо a connection bеtwееn со-ѕlееріng and SIDS

Iѕ со-ѕlееріng wіth bаbу ѕаfе?

Although thіѕ rеѕеаrсh hаѕ bееn сrіtісіzеd, a 2014 ѕtudу рublіѕhеd іn Pеdіаtrісѕ dеtеrmіnеd that nеаrlу 74% of deaths in bаbіеѕ уоungеr thаn 4 mоnthѕ оссurrеd іn a bеd-ѕhаrіng situation. The study lооkеd at dаtа frоm 8,207 infant deaths thаt occurred bеtwееn 2004 and 2012. Amоng older іnfаntѕ (4 months tо 1-уеаr-оld), the rаtе wаѕ slightly lоwеr аt nеаrlу 59 percent.

Most baby experts say that co-sleeping is generally a safe practice. If you want to really be sure and you’re the worrying type of parent (who isn’t!), you can always have a crib separate from the bed or attached to the side of the bed.

If you’re getting married soon (congrats!) and thinking about starting a family, you may want to have a conversation with your partner at that time to see what they feel comfortable with. There are so many options including overnight care, baby sleep training and more to help with the sleep side to having a new baby.

At the end of the day, do what feels best for you!

In the end, doing what feels best to you, following your maternal instincts, and doing what works well for your family is always a great choice. For more advice on everything “first year” baby, we’ve been enjoying Creating Sweet Dreams by Rachelle Gershkovich, local author and baby sleep expert who inspired this post. Thank you for reading!


Hoppin Johns New Years Dish

Hoppin Johns has been a fun family tradition we started the year my daughter was born! Its considered a “lucky” dish, and I thought what fun to look into a little history behind the Hoppin Johns Recipe. (I have also worked years on perfecting this recipe, and this year my friends…. I hit the jack pot with simplicity and patience!)

The History

The first recipes for Hoppin’ John appear in cookbooks that date back to the 1840s, although the mixture of dried black eyed peas, rice and pork was made by Southern slaves long before then. It seems to have originated in South Carolina. Rice grew well in the deltas, but the white farmers had no real experience with cultivating rice on a large scale. However the slave trade and enslaved Africans who had grown rice for generations.

Any type of dried peas can be used for Hoppin’ Johns, the black-eyed pea is the most traditional. This pea happens to have been domesticated in West Africa, which led to the belief that slaves took the peas with them to the United States, planted them in their new surroundings and created a dish that would remind them of their lost homes.

 The origins of the name “Hoppin’ John” are slightly less clear. Some say an old, hobbled man called Hoppin’ John became known for selling peas and rice on the streets of Charleston. Others say slave children hopped around the table in eager anticipation of the dish. Most food historians think the name derives from a French term for dried peas, “pois pigeons.”

It’s also uncertain why the dish became associated with New Year’s and good luck. The most likely story is that slaves would often have the period between Christmas and New Year’s off, since no crops were growing at that time. Hoppin’ John was, and still is, often eaten with collard greens, which can resemble paper money, and “golden” cornbread. The peas themselves represent coins. Some families boost the potential of their Hoppin’ John by placing a penny underneath the dishes—or adding extra pork, which is thought to bring more luck. – The History Channel

Best Recipe…Like Ever.

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  • What you need….
  • Ham Hock
  • Black Eyed Peas (3 Cans) or 1 bag of dried (you must soak 24 hours prior to cooking.)
  • Stalk of Celery
  • 1 box Chicken Broth
  • Bay Leaves
  • Oregano
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Rice (I use 5 minute rice for the pure conveinence of it.)

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Lets get to cooking

Cut up hamhock into square 1/2 inch pieces.

Cut Celery Stalk into thin slices.

Take about 4 bay leaves out.

Throw into pot the following ingredients….Cut up celery, ham hock, bay leaves, oregana, Chicken broth and salt and pepper to taste. Let simmer until bay leaves become aromatic.

Next Throw in Black Eyed Peas.

Let Simmer for about 30 minutes.

Start your rice.

Once the rice is done scoop the Hoppin Johns on to the rice and add salt and pepper to taste!



Heat Transfer Vinyl – HTV

When I first bought my Cricut, I was beyond excited to create anything and everything. I had been wanting to start a clothing line for years, and this was the perfect addition to make my little dream come true! Sometimes direction reading is not high on my priority list, the dive head first and deal with consequences after is a little more my style. I want to share with you my mistakes and learning lessons I have made over the past several years!

  • Make sure when using HTV (heat transfer vinyl) you get a vinyl that is more on the matte side and the shiny vinyl looks very….well vinyl and fake on light colored shirts.
  • Always set your heat press or iron temp between 300-350 degrees. (On glitter vinyl you can use a little higher level of heat.) Press for 6-7 seconds lift, repeat, remove vinyl, and then press about 2 seconds all around with no cover sheet on the vinyl.
  • Make sure when printing heat transfer vinyl you have the machine set on MIRROR IMAGE. My Gosh I have wasted an elephant size load of vinyl forgetting this little miracle step.

Cabinet Make Overs

Cabinet Makeover Magic

cabinet before

cabinet after

When we bought our first home in 2016 everything was oak and yellow laminate! My dream kitchen was bright, airy, and white. Going over yellow oak was terrifying for me, especially going from a yellow oak to bright white with a vintage looking touch! I knew I would need extra sealant for the 4 little hands that touch everything in my home. I experimented with several different brands of paints, failed once or twice, and finally found the perfect formula that I must share with you for the easiest cabinet painting experience.

You do not need the cabinet painting kit. (For the Paint.)

However this is where you need the kit for everything else unless you want to be sanding until you send your 3 year old off to college. Hell to the no? Buy the kit!

I have roughly 30 cabinet fronts and was not about to attempt which one went where so I did one section at a time! For example: The top two over the fridge I would destain, prime, paint, and seal as a set. There is no right or wrong just find a smooth system where you will not forget which one goes where!

Step One: Remove your first section of cabinet and take off all screws (Place in a ziplock bag so you do not lose any pieces along the way.)

Step Two: Use the Stain Remover and a green scrub sponge to take off any previous paint or sealant on cabinet. This is where the sweat part comes into play. (Lets hope we don’t include blood and tears in this process.)  I am probally the most inpatient person….well like ever… I attempted to half ass this step on my cabinets. DO NOT DO IT!!! RESIST THE URGE!!! The paint will not set properly if the previous sealant is not completely removed.

Step Three: Wipe down the cabinet and make sure remover is completely removed. (I used baby wipes for this because… well mom life.)

Step Four: Paint. YASSSSS! Use any color you want for this step! It must be an interior paint though. Cabinet Paint, a Benjamin Moore, you can get creative here! Make sure it’s semi gloss if your not using a cabinet paint though. (This is far easier to clean and wipe down.) Go with the grain of the wood! I started on the outside and then painted the inside. The different dimensions created some drips, which I could easily clean up by going out to in. DO THREE COATS. Not two….THREE. Especially if you are doing a bright light color.

Step Five: Seal. Seal and Seal some more! MAKE SURE you use a Cabinet sealer and not a polyurethane as this can turn your white a yellow. Wait a full 24 hours before putting on the hardware and hanging up again.

Step Six: While the Cabinet faces are drying paint the cabinet base and repeat steps 1 through 5.

Tips and Tricks – If you are doing an accent or vintage look on the cabinet use a paint brush and lightly rub in the wax base with your finger wrapped in a soft cloth, it creates a grainey look and brings out the natural wood grain which turns out gorgeous and looks like a $10,000 cabinet!

The Simplest Sign Method

Signs are amazing, inspirational and add the perfect touch to any room or event. You can make a professional looking sign in less than 30 minutes with this simple hack!

  • Go to and find the perfect font style you are looking for.
  • Download it onto your computer.
  • Pull up a word document and print out the words. For example


  • Once you have your printed paper, turn it over so the words are back wards and the printed farm house is facing down ward. Take a pencil and trace each letter from the back side. Press hard and scribble so every letter is completely colored in with the pencil.
  • Flip your paper over so the printed side is up and place the pencil covered side on to the wood you are working with.
  • Trace over the letters pressing firmly until you have completely spelled the word and “transferred” onto the wood.
  • Remove paper and you should have a clear outline of the wording you placed. Then take a sharpie or paint and go over the letters.

Rainy Day Bored Jar

On cold rainy days, when your children are at the point of a wold war 3 break down, the bored jar will be a saving grace! Being a mom of two very spirited little ones, I have learned the art of parenting strategically with attention changing ideas. I found this little gem on pinterest a few years back and have put a few spins on it, but Im telling you what Mama bears…..Every time I run out of ideas this is my go to. Lets get to making!

        You will need:

  • Mason Jar
  • Wooden Craft Sticks (Big enough to write on.)
  • Sharpie

I have a list of activities Ill include below, however add your childrens favorite indoor games, crafts, a favorite movie, all of these things can be written on the stick as suggested ideas!

  1. Watch a movie and make popcorn.
  2. Bake cupcakes.
  3. Have a dance party.
  4. Make a fort.
  5. Go on a scavenger hunt.
  6. Play a board game.
  7. Play Simon Says.
  8. Lazer Tape – Take masking tape and create a maze – each child has to make it through without their body touching the tape.
  9. Childrens Yoga.
  10. Finger Paints.
  11. Make Slime – Amazing Recipes in this book.
  12. Play Hide & Seek.
  13. Make mud pies.
  14. Cozy up with blankets and books.
  15. Make Super Hero Capes.
  16. Make a Volcano – Baking Soda, Vinegar, & Food Coloring.
  17. Draw a picture.
  18. Put together a musical or play.
  19. Home made bowling with plastic water bottles.
  20. Make a list of dream vacations to do as a family.
  21. Lay down masking tape and create a race track.
  22. Stage a tea party for stuffed animals and dolls.
  23. Make an indoor sand box of rice, rubbing alcohol, flour and baby oil.

Chicken, Bacon, Cream Cheese? YASSS!

With these three ingredients you truly can not go wrong? Am I right?! Ok this one lets just dive right in, because its mouth-watering! My kids even loved it! That is a huge 5 star for me right there!

What you need….

  • Cream Cheese
  • 1 Cup of Chicken Broth
  • 4 Chicken Breast
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • Turkey Bacon (1 Pack)
  • Egg Plant Noodles or Rice *Pick  your favorite*

Lets get cooking……

Heat your crock pot to high if your inpatient like me… Put in the chicken breast and in a separate bowl put 1 cup of chicken broth and 1 full cube of cream cheese. Pop it in the microwave for 2 minutes and whip together. Add salt and pepper. Lay over the chicken in crock pot.

Let sit for about 3 hours or until chicken is white in the center.

While this is cooking, at about hour 2 1/2 put bacon in over on 400 for about 15-20 minutes or until nice and crispy.

When the Bacon is a Baking (see how I did that!) hehe. Start the noodles….or rice…which ever you want. Cook as instructed.

To serve.

Place noodles or rice first on plate. 

Top with smothered Chicken.

Top with Bacon and Sour Cream.

Bon appetite! 

By the way this takes about 20 minutes of effort.