Surprising New Mama Products

Alright, alright. I know my world is revolving around babies lately, but since I have this platform and have been trying out tons of new products, why not share right? I hope all my soon-to-be mamas out there appreciate this.

I have compiled a list of products and supplies that I wouldn’t have thought of right away or even knew existed that have been integral in the first few weeks of motherhood:

1. Kimono Onesies
I did have to laugh when I figured out what the name of these onesies were, but these have been a lifesaver when dressing our little one these first few weeks. First of all, it makes it super easy to check on the umbilicle cord stump (sorry, there’s really not a better word than that to describe that…) before it has fallen off. Plus, having a newborn in November in Missouri has been a bit crazy because the weather changes from 60 degrees down to 30 degrees overnight or throughout the course of the day. These onesies are super easy for layering and plus, they have the mittens for those crazy sharp newborn nails.

2. “Mayo Clinic Guide to Your Baby’s First Year”
I had a baby shower that requested all guests bring a book instead of a card and, of course, my dermatologist friend gifted a medical book. At first, I found it fitting that she brought it, but I’ve also discovered it was one of my favorites I received. As much as I appreciated “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom” and “Goodnight Moon,” I have almost read this guide from cover to cover. I would actually recommend reading the majority of the book prior to your baby’s arrival, but there’s also a great month-by-month section that reviews changes in your little one each month. I’ve soaked up an abundance of knowledge from it as well as learned a few things I was doing incorrectly as a new mama. Thanks for the advice, Emily!

3.  Booby Boons Lactation Cookies
Not going to lie, but I would never have eaten a lactation cookie had they not arrived on my doorstep in my bump box. I thought I would give them a whirl. First of all, they are the perfect sweet treat when you’re trying to slim down. The serving size is three cookies, and they’re only 170 calories. They are made with no artificial preservatives or flavors and use yeast, oats and flax. The flavor I tried was cocoa quinoa, and I would highly recommend it! As far as enhancing milk production, I can’t confirm or deny if they’ve actually helped, but this mama’s milk is flowing, so there’s a possibility they might have!

4. The Touch Lamp
This one I actually purchased on accident…well, kind of. I purchased it because we needed a lamp for the nursery. The overhead light on the fan was too bright for middle of the night feedings. So, I went to Target in search of a cute and inexpensive lamp option. I chose this one because it was simple and matched the nursery decor. I brought it home, plugged it in and realized it was a touch lamp meaning you could touch the lamp anywhere on the base, and it would turn on. Before baby, I thought it was a nice feature. Now, I’m in love with it. If your hands are full with the little one, a pacifier, a burp cloth, etc., it makes turning on the light super convenient, especially because our light switch doesn’t connect to the outlet that we plugged it into. It was a surprisingly awesome product!

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The Bump Must Haves

I’m going to preface this post and say it has nothing to do with event planning. But since I have such a great platform to share info on, I thought I would share some of my must-haves during pregnancy as I near the end of my nine months of prenatal bliss.

I know lots and lots of pregnant women right now and like myself, a lot of them are going through this for the first time. Between my own trial and error as well as having a subscription to the Bump Box (thanks, Mom!), I have been able to try a variety of products for soon-to-be moms. Here are a few of my personal favorites that are completely worth the investment!

1. Leachco Snoogle Total Body Pillow
I’m not going to lie to you. At first, I thought this was an overpriced body pillow. I mean, really? A pillow “specifically made for pregnant women” that is priced $60-$80 depending on the brand you select? Seemed like a little bit of overkill. I debated and debated and ended up deciding not to purchase one. But after receiving one as a gift, my world from 11:00 PM until 7:00 AM completely changed. I was about 20 weeks pregnant when I first started using my Snoogle, and it was comfortable at the time but the more I grew, so did my appreciation for the shape and design of this product. It has made a huge difference in my ability to sleep at night, and with a washable cover, it has made it easy to keep clean and even transport with me on a few trips (yes, I am that girl). I wouldn’t say it’s a necessary purchase right away, but definitely as you grow, your love of this product will too!

2. Under Belly French Terry Jogger Pant from Motherhood Maternity
This is one I am kicking myself about! I wish I would have purchased these pants months ago….and in every color they offered. I am mainly a fan of over-the-belly pants while pregnant because I am carrying so low that everything is more comfortable that way. And even though these pants are not designed that way, I could live in them. They are made of the softest material and can transition into postpartum life as well.

3. Glow 9 Organics Belly Butter
I tend to be very weird about body butters. I don’t like the consistency of them because they’re so greasy and thick. But when you’re stomach is growing as quickly as it does during pregnancy, I wanted to ensure I was doing what I could to eliminate the possibility of stretch marks. This product wasn’t quite as thick as other body butters I tried, and although I’m not necessarily an all-natural or organic girl, I appreciate that all the ingredients were good for baby and good for my skin.

4. Bella B’s Tummy to Toes Cooling Leg and Foot Cream
My job requires me to be on my feet for long periods of time, and even though your body adapts to its changing shape, this product was a must for long wedding days! The product is more of a gel than it is a lotion, but it offers the cooling effect of Icy Hot while still being completely safe for baby. I’m sure my husband hated the site of the bottle because when I brought it out, it was almost always guaranteeing I would be requesting a foot and leg rub. But ladies, let me tell you. This product works wonders for tired and achy legs and feet!

So there you have it! If you are an expecting mama, these would be my recommendations for making it through the nine months making sure baby is nice and safe and still pampering yourself a little. Happy shopping!

 

Celebrate The Little Things

On Kristi Uncorked, we tend to celebrate the BIG THINGS in life: marriages, the birth of new babies, showers, retirements and countless other milestones. Today, I wanted to send a little reminder to all the readers to enjoy the little things as they come too.

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s so easy to overlook the small accomplishments and forget to take in the slow beauty of our world. So whether you’ve checked a huge project off your list at the office, or maybe it’s a reunion between you and a friend you haven’t seen in a while, take the time to savor those moments.

An easy way to celebrate is with food or a few cocktails, of course. My personal favorite is a bowl of chips and queso and a frozen margarita (can I get an Amen?), or simply a glass of champagne on the couch at home after a long, successful day. Or maybe a frozen concrete from Andy’s? Yeah, that works too!

But don’t forget about other ways to reward yourself. If you’re watching the calories a bit or trying to be conscious of a healthier lifestyle, maybe rewarding yourself with treats isn’t the best idea. I love Megan Seales’ idea that she has. Megan is an online health and fitness coach, who runs her own company called Meg Moves. The other day she posted about rewarding herself with new workout gear because who doesn’t love a new pair or Nike kicks or a trendy new sports bra?

And to wrap up this short and sweet blog post, I wanted to leave you all with one thing: regardless of your age, how you feel, etc., please do not brush aside celebrating your birthday! My friend Beth and I were just talking about our favorite quote yesterday. It was one I had originally heard from the talented Jill Orr, “Do not regret growing older; it is a privilege denied to many.”

And with that, Happy Friday everyone!

Long Lost Blogger

Yes, I have become the blogger I promised I wouldn’t be who fell off the face of the Earth. Some of you may know but others of you may not that the reason blogging has taken a back burner is because Ryan and I have some very exciting news! We are expecting our first baby this November!

We shared the news with our families over Easter weekend and on social media two weeks later. The catch is I am just now finally getting around to blogging about it…sorry guys.

We are over the moon excited for our new bundle of joy! I will be 19 weeks tomorrow (almost 4 months for all of you non-baby people). That always drove me nuts that people having babies measured everything in weeks when I used to to not be able to easily comprehend that. It was similar to military time; I could compute it but would rather they just said it in standard time. Now I totally get the week thing with babies. If you ever have one, you will understand!

Of course we will be throwing a gender reveal party, which will happen in two weeks. Yes, that means I will have an envelope disclosing the gender of our baby at my house for 5 full days before we get to find out, but sharing that moment with family and friends will totally make it worth it! Ryan thinks it’s a bit over the top to throw a gender reveal party, but I quickly reminded him who he was married to 🙂

Now my nights have consisted of putting together registry lists, researching the latest and greatest baby products and pouring over mommy blogs. Hens the lack of blogging. But on top of that all, we are in the thick of wedding season, so I have tons of new content coming your way over the next few weeks. Stay tuned for the next post!

Here’s a little peek at the bump progress (10-18 weeks!)

Family Traditions

Cute selfie, huh? I know I’ve talked a lot on the blog about how classic wedding traditions are going away, but there are so many other fun traditions that still hold true. With the holidays right around the corner, I wanted to share one of my family traditions that I look forward to each year.

Lots of families have Christmas traditions, but one activity that has held true at the McCann household is New Year’s fondue. I know…totally random. I’m not even quite sure how this started. I remember doing this all the way back to when my sisters and I were young. Especially now that we are older, my sister working in retail and Ryan and I living 8 hours from my mom’s house, Thanksgiving and Christmastime become incredibly hectic.

But New Year’s has always been a time that all of us are available to get together, and we look forward to starting out the new year with each other. We’ve even grown it to include other family and friends. Lots of the time we will have new guests who have never tried fondue. It’s fun to be able to teach them how and finish out the night with a few games and cocktails.

Share with me your family traditions! I would love to hear from you all!

Cheers to a 2017 that outdoes 2016 (although that’s going to be pretty hard…)

#rupthereitis #mcruprecht

I wasn’t really sure if I was going to put together this blog or not. To me, I feel like I have talked A LOT about my own wedding this year, and I felt weird posting about it again on my blog. But after sharing some of our wedding pictures on Facebook, I had a number of people asking me when I would write a blog post about it, so here it is, folks! A little insight into my very own wedding day….

details_159It is a little weird when you look at all of our wedding photos. It really is a classic wedding: black suits, a white dress, classic lines and color scheme….The funny part is I really don’t consider my style to be classic. In fact, the lack of color at our wedding was a surprise to a number of guests. I’m the girl that used to wear neon colors before neon colors came back in style and who normally thinks black is boring.

There were a few things I wanted to make sure our wedding day reflected: a beautiful marriage and a timeless look. I feel like we did a pretty good job achieving that.

The Squad
Yes, I know. We had a huge bridal party. End of story.

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They do say it takes a village…..

The Reception Venue
I am actually kind of surprised that we ended up having our reception at the Millbottom. When we first started planning, my original idea was to have a church ceremony just as we did with a reception following at a vintage barn. As much as I love vintage barns, I am glad we ended up at the Millbottom. Part of me was afraid it was a fad that would come and go before our wedding took place (keep in mind we were engaged for 15 months) and the other part of me was stressed about the logistics of a barn wedding when I couldn’t be in charge. There, I admit it. Overall, we were super pleased with how everything turned out.

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The Church
When a Catholic boy meets a Catholic girl and you get married in Jefferson City, you have a traditional Catholic church ceremony!

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details_192The Food
Even though I would love to consider myself a foodie, I am not adventurous when it comes to this department. I am more of chicken fingers and cheese and crackers kind of girl than a sushi and sharing plates-type person. When we started planning our wedding, there were few things Ryan really had his mind set on. And food was one of them. He wanted to eat fried chicken at his wedding. You can’t argue with that! We enlisted the help of Argyle Catering, who cooks delicious homestyle food and instead of a fancy plated meal that matched the elegance of our wedding, I ate fried chicken and mashed potatoes in my wedding dress. No regrets there.

reception_036The Cake
One thing Ryan and I both agreed on is that we aren’t huge fans of cake. I’m not keen on frosting, and he’s not too keen on sweets. So, we opted for a small wedding cake to keep the tradition of the cake cutting as well as a spread of bite-sized desserts, which our guests devoured. Hats of Becky, the talent behind Sugartree Cupcakery and one of the reasons why guests left the reception uncomfortably full.

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The Bar
We had guests who traveled far and wide to help us celebrate our big day. In my eyes, when your guests are making that big of an effort to be at your special day, spending money on your event and traveling, you want to make sure they have a good time. And an open bar definitely helps.

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reception_253The Music
As much as I would have LOVED a live band, it really wasn’t in our budget. And I was sure I wanted to add as many details as possible when it came to the little things on our wedding day, and I wasn’t willing to give a lot of those things up for the price tag of a live band. So, we went with the DJ route and hired Complete Wedding + Events. I did have to put in a special request for Blaz’ Barton, one of my favorite Complete DJs. Although he is now focusing more on managing the operation-side of the business, I was able to strong arm him into DJing our wedding, and we could not have been more pleased with our decision. The dance floor was hopping the entire night!

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12391209_10153405880705914_1699672745575187282_nThe Photos
I met D. Squared while working on a wedding in September of 2014. Not only were they a joy to work with, but I instantly fell in love with their photography style and how they incorporate fun lighting techniques. We loved their idea for our holiday engagement session where we were able to incorporate engagement photos, Save the Dates and Christmas cards into one. And we adored having them be part of our wedding day. All I can say after we got our photos back is WOW.


The Flowers
I have to admit I had a pretty great connection when it came to the floral department. A family friend of the Ruprecht’s used to work for Busch’s Florist in Jefferson City, and he not only created all of the flower arrangements, but he also played the piano at our ceremony and helped coordinate the day. I know…talent. Mike Bruns was the brains behind our gorgeous florals, and I was absolutely in love. To be honest, I had little knowledge about flowers before starting this whole wedding planning process. I had seen hundreds of them at work, but with a brown thumb, I never paid much attention to the specifics. However, I had the coolest opportunity that I wish more brides were privied to. I was able to personally go to Baisch & Skinner, a flower wholesaler in St. Louis, and handpick all my flowers. It was amazing! And even though I didn’t see any of my flowers until I was getting out of the limo at the church, I was obsessed with them all.

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The Little Touches
As an event planner, there were a few little things that I knew I had to have at our wedding even from the very beginning. Calligraphy place cards was one of them. I am so mezmorized by the art of calligraphy (definitely wanting to check it off my bucket list and learn how to do calligraphy), and I think it’s such a beautiful element to add to an event. Thanks to Syd Stansberry from Inkling, I had some seriously gorgeous escort cards and menus.

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The Wow Factor
I wish I could take credit for this, but I really do have to hand it to Ryan. He was the brains behind the wow factor. As I mentioned earlier, I am not a huge fan of frosting, so cake just isn’t my thing. But I am, on the other had, obsessed with ice cream. So while at a festival where he ran into the Eagle Scoop ice cream truck, Ryan had the genius idea of hiring Jason Holbrook to come and serve our guests Central Dairy Ice Cream, a Jefferson City classic.

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There’s a million things I could say about our big day, my experience as a bride and how lucky we felt all day long. But I think everyone who was there celebrating with us could agree that the energy you felt in the room that evening is the energy that powers our relationship. It’s love, commitment, a support system, a little bit of fun and a whole lot of faith. I can’t wait to see what our future holds together.

 

bridegroom_028Vendor Shout Outs:
Hair & Makeup: Blanc Studio in Columbia, MO
Dress: Bliss Bridal in Brookfield, WI
Shoes: Blue by Betsey Johnson
Bride’s Jewelry: Express
Bridesmaid’s Jewelry: J. Crew Outlet
Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Buchroeder’s Jewelers
Bridesmaid Dresses: Individually selected from a variety of stores
Groom & Groomsmen Suits: J. Crew Outlet
Church: St. Peter Catholic Church
Ceremony Music: Michael Bruns, Julia Cowley, Ashley Edelbrock & 3 String Players from the University of Missouri School of Music
Reception Venue: The Millbottom
Invitations: The Ink Cafe
DJ: Complete Wedding + Events
Caterer: Argyle Catering
Cake/Desserts: Sugartree Cupcakery
Calligraphy: Inkling
Photography: D-Squared Designs
Florist: Michael Bruns
Rentals: A-1 Part & Events
Lighting: Reinhardt Circle
Ice Cream Truck: Eagle Scoop

 

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

When I originally started this blog, I was inspired by how many celebrations I was getting to be involved in and celebrate this year. And from the graphic above, you can see really how much celebrating I did this year! How blessed am I that this year has been such a whirlwind of milestones that I get to share with family, friends and clients?

And when I look back at all of these events, there are a few things that stand out as my favorites:

The handmade paper flowers from the wedding of Heather Benson & Alex Horn. I mean talk about talent!

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Our vintage Mother’s Day finds for brunch. I mean, who doesn’t like getting paid to go antiquing as part of your job?

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The bride who took some golf action shots in her wedding dress.

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Photo compliments of Tyler Beck Photography.

 The police car that crashed the wedding reception.

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The ability to pull off a total surprise.

The mounds of flowers I got to enjoy far past the Elder/Smith wedding.

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Photo compliments of Silverbox Photography.

The unplugged ceremony that focused on guests taking in the real moments of the wedding.

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Photo compliments of KatFour Photo.

 The genuineness of couples.

Photo compliments of Lindsey Pantaleo
Photo compliments of Lindsey Pantaleo.

The fact that my friends are creative enough to make McDonald’s the theme for a bridal shower.

Photo compliments of B. B. Photography
Photo compliments of B. B. Photography.

The handmade cakes by Lauren.

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The endless supply of cheers & champagne!

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The “Friends” photo booth.

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Photo compliments of J. Kelley Photography & Photo Booth.

The monogrammed corn hole games.

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The gorgeous calligraphy and attention to detail from Blue Poppy Lettering.

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The presence of a lost mother.

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That magical moment of walking down the aisle.

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Photos compliments of Heather Brulez Photography.

When your heart is so happy for a couple that you feel like it could burst!

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Photo compliments of Carretto Studio.

The warm candlelight glow of this reception.

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And lastly because I am biased, the entire day on September 17, 2016.

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Photo compliments of D. Squared.

The Infamous Question

As I kicked up my feet tonight after a 14 hour day, I started reflecting a bit. And as I poured myself a bowl of cereal and a cocktail (I swear I don’t eat like a college kid when my husband is home), I started thinking more about my job in general.

Almost every event I work, I get asked, “How do you work such long days?” or “How do you just never seem to stop moving?” or my favorite, “Why do you work so hard?” I used to always respond so simply: “I hope on my wedding day, I have a me.” And that was true. All the energy I put into each wedding and event was because I knew that on my wedding day, I wanted someone to work just as hard on my big day.

But now that our big day has come and gone, nothing has changed. I still buzz around work exactly as I have done before. I still have a stash of flats under my desk for those unexpected busy days. And I will do anything to see a genuine smile. To be fair, I feel like I always go above and beyond. Well, now why? What’s my reasoning for not accepting good but always striving for great?

I think what it comes down to are two simple things. First and foremost, I’m real. When a guest tears up during a speech, I tear up right along with them. And when something is not going as planned, I want to make sure I pull out every trick in the book to make sure it’s taken care of. And secondly, I think this world is really lacking a little bit of love. Now more than ever, I feel like more people need to respect and take care of other people. Now don’t worry; I’m not going to go into some political rant (unless it’s promoting this awesome video by Kid President).

Our world lacks humility. Everyone always puts number one first. Now don’t get me wrong, there’s a time and place for putting yourselves before others, but I feel it happens all too often now. People are too worried about what’s best for them. All I’m saying is if people spent a little more time making sure other people are comfortable and taken care of, it would help everyone out.

I did have the tiniest bit of hope when I was on my way home tonight. I swung by the grocery store since I haven’t been shopping all week (like I said, my husband has been out of town). When I pulled into my parking spot, I turned to grab my purse, and I witnessed a young man running around the car to open the door for his girlfriend. Ahh chivalry isn’t dead!

So I am going to leave you with this: If we all just gave a little bit of effort to focus on others’ happiness instead of our own, the world would be a better place.

Nighty night!

 

Kristi Uncorked.

When I got home from work today, I had a stack of boxes outside my front door. This sight instantly raised my excitement level for the day because who doesn’t love getting mail? Inside the boxes were not just one but two bridesmaid dresses, which makes a total of three dresses delivered to my doorstep so far this year. Mind you, it’s the beginning of February. My mailman probably thinks I am taping my own rendition of “27 Dresses” at my house for the number of David’s Bridal and Brideside boxes I have received in a few short weeks.

I had always wanted to start a blog. With a journalism degree and experience in the magazine world, I had dabbled in blogging for various publications. But I have always oohed and ahhed over women who have blogs that express their personal brand. I never took the leap of faith because my life was not that exciting, at least not enough to keep the attention of a reader.

But today as I pulled these dresses out of the boxes and tried each of them on, I couldn’t help but to think that I was unwrapping the subject to my very own personal blog. Let’s do some math here. In the year 2016, I am in four separate weddings (well, five if you count my sister who is having both a destination wedding as well as a cocktail reception back home). Oh yeah, and did I mention one of those is my own? That’s four plus bridal showers, four bachelorette parties, four rehearsals and dinners, four ceremonies and four receptions. In addition to that, I am currently aware of three additional weddings that I will be receiving invitations to, which includes a couple additional showers and potentially another bachelorette weekend invite. That’s just the festivities for the friends and family.

I am also in the process of assisting 26 other couples plan their big days as an event specialist for a country club.  Now add all of those champagne-drinking, love honoring, well-wishing days together, and I have more than 64 days of this year that I will be celebrating marriage. And then there’s the planning. You get the gist, right?

So, hence the creation of Kristi Uncorked. Here is where I will share with you all of the knowledge I have acquired thus far and plan to while frolicking through the fabulous world of wedding planning. You will get to read my professional, real-life, “oh $%*^” situations, holding up my friend’s dress while peeing, wedding-attendee advice. Now you might not agree with everything, but I feel I have a pretty good handle on Midwest weddings. So hold on, friends. It’s going to be a wild year, and I can’t wait to share it with all of you.

Cheers!

Kristi