Monday, September 27, 2021

Shopping for the Perfect Diamond Studs with Diamonds Direct

When it comes to shopping for a special gift, there's no better place to go than Diamonds Direct. Diamonds Direct is a national jewelry company that has over 22 stores (and growing!), including one here in Houston. If you haven't visited their showroom yet, be sure to put it on your must-do list. 

They carry several world-renowned designers, meaning they have something for everyone. What's especially unique about Diamonds Direct is that they're a direct diamond importer. That means they completely cut out the middleman, giving their buyer low and competitive prices. They also offer a 30 day money back guarantee, lifetime warranty and lifetime upgrade policy on their jewelry. Psst, husbands, did you hear that?! The Diamonds Direct upgrade policy gives you back 110% of your original purchase price to put towards your next piece. You can come in as often as you like to upgrade your original diamond and you’re only required to pay the difference between the two!

Whether it's an engagement ring, push present, or a unique heirloom piece, diamonds always represent something significant. After I had Wyatt I knew I wanted to add something sparkly to my collection to represent such a big milestone in my life. I knew diamond earrings would make the perfect gift as they're timeless, elegant and can be worn everyday - dressed up or down. 

I had an idea what cut and carat weight I wanted, but knew it was important to try on everything in person to ensure that they were just the right fit. What's great about Diamonds Direct is that they have a large array of sizes in-store. They also have loose diamonds, so if they don't have the specific size you're looking for on the showroom floor, they can make it for you. Not to mention the staff is so easy to work with, which isn't always the case when it comes to jewelry. 

When visiting Diamonds Direct you aren't pressured into buying anything or followed around by pesky sales representatives. The staff is incredibly helpful and easy to work with - it's obvious that they want to ensure that the customer is happy, while also considering their budget. I had the chance to work with several of their employees and each one was very helpful. 

They showed me several different sizes, as well as sharing with me that there are different settings for diamond studs. These settings include the four-prong basket (most common), martini (three pronged), bezel (diamond enclosed within the setting), and halo (diamond surrounded by a ring of smaller diamonds).  

When picking my earrings, I definitely was going for more 'standout' than subtle. I ended up choosing a pair of 14k white gold earrings with round brilliant cut diamonds weighing approximately 3.02 carats. As you can see from all these photos, having ~1.5 carats in each ear certainly makes a statement. I opted for the three prong martini setting, and love it. The diamond fits snuggly into the triangular setting, allowing for more of it to be seen and giving it even more sparkle. 

This push gift was certainly worth the extra wait to get just what I wanted! 

Thank you to Diamonds Direct for partnering with me on this post.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Tips on Traveling With an Infant


It's hard to believe that these photos were taken all the way back in June when we took our first flight with Wyatt. Since then, he's flown three more times, and has been a complete champ - even when we faced a seven hour delay on our most recent flight. 

Prior to his first flight, I did copious amounts of research on tips and tricks for traveling with a baby. Not only is this a compiling of what I read, but also what we've learned. I wanted to have a little bit more time to 'research' what the process was like going through the airport/different airports, and see how each separate trip went for us before acting like an expert (which we still are not!). 

We tried to select a flight time that worked around Wyatt's schedule. I know this isn't always possible, but if you can try to maintain your routine you will have a happier baby on your hands. We avoided evening flights because we know this kid loves his sleep & would rather wake him up earlier in the morning (5am to be exact), than disrupt his nighttime routine. 

We also opted to purchase a seat for him, and used the Doona through the airport and in the plane - so convenient. Seriously the my #1 baby item.

Since our summer travel was back and forth visiting my family in Wisconsin, I did order several things ahead of time, which I realize isn't always possible with shorter jaunts. Pssst Amazon does indeed deliver to hotels, though. I highly recommend ordering as much as you can and having it delivered because boy oh boy do diapers take up a lot of room.

I will be doing a lengthier post on what we all packed and traveled with - stay tuned. For the purposes of flying though, here is what I had in my diaper bag and wheelie:

Diaper bag 

For one of the trips I used the ToteSavvy Deluxe Bag organizer insert inside of my handbag to hold all of Wyatt's stuff. On the other, I used this TwelveLittle backpack - each had an upside, it just depends which you think will work best for you. 

Bottles (2)
Water (2)
Formula (extra in case of delayed)
Diapers (4) 
Dog bags
Bibs (2)
Burp cloths (2) 
Gallon ziplock bags (2) - for soiled clothing and to store dirty items in that were used on the plane 
Pacifiers & clips (2)
Antibacterial wipes 
Alcohol free antibacterial wipes (for Wyatt's hands)
Sophie/stroller toy

In my roll aboard carry-on 

Extra wipes 

Extra diapers 

Medicine kit - including Benadryl, Motrin, Aquaphor, Hairbrush, Snot Sucker, thermometer

Baby Monitor

Hatch Baby Rest sound machine 

Two extra outfits

Folder with health records, birth certificate, etc.  

Be sure to dress baby comfortably. Footed onesies are perfect for travel and great for easy diaper changes, as well. 

Definitely plan to get to the airport a little early, especially if you're like us and are used to only traveling with carry-ons. Gone are the days, that's for sure!

Like I mentioned, we purchased a seat for Wyatt on all our flights thus far. I know that may be a little extreme and not feasible in every situation or with every budget. That being said, since it had been a while since we had traveled back in June due to Covid (and given the current environment), we felt most comfortable ensuring we had a lot of space for him and separation from strangers. 

With most carriers, children under two who are on your lap fly for free and do not require a ticket. Since Wyatt had his own seat, he did require his own ticket. I would do your homework ahead of time depending on what carrier you are flying, as I know everyone's rules are different. It is fairly simple to locate the "traveling with children" info on all respective sites. The same goes for what you're allowed to check for free, as well as gate check. 

In total, we checked three suitcases, our pack 'n' play, as well as our large everyday stroller. I found this stroller bag on Amazon that was big enough to fit our full size stroller, our Baby Bjorn bouncer, Dock A Tot, and stroller caddy/fan/mosquito net, etc. I have heard some people say that during check-in they occasionally will get agents that request to see what's in the stroller bag. If there are any additional items they may require you to remove them as technically only the stroller flies for free. I'm not sure what carrier(s) this was on, but we didn't have a problem. The pack 'n' play may have counted as a piece of checked luggage (?), but since we were allowed two each, I didn't ask. I've heard that normally most ticketing agents will let baby items fly free of charge. Worst case you pay the price of a checked bag, which is $35-$45. For the ease of having your own items, I think its worth it.  

Since we had purchased Wyatt's seat, we used the Doona on the plane, as well as throughout the airport. I literally cannot sing its praises enough. It is an incredible invention. However, if you have a car seat or stroller that you're using throughout the airport, it can be checked at the gate for free. Some travel strollers even collapse small enough to fit in the overhead compartment, taking out any wait time or damage. We got this one - I can't wait to use it in the future. 

Pro tip: I suggest getting a travel bag that comes from the same manufacturer as your stroller or car seat. A lot of times they will have protection plans. At the very least, your ensured you items will actually properly fit, and hopefully a few smaller odds & ends. 

If you're traveling with a stroller like we were, TSA will make you remove baby from the stroller and carry him/her through the metal detector. They will also have you place all items, including the car seat/stroller, on the belt to go through scanning. 

Bottled water can be brought through security if it's for formula. You can also have medicine, food, or juices over 3oz if they are specifically for baby/children. 

Be sure to check out the TSA's traveling with children page - I found it really helpful. 

Definitely take advantage of boarding early. It takes a while to get baby and all your things situated. 

Also, if you're traveling with a stroller and/or car seat, you'll want that extra time to collapse them and gate check at the end of the jet bridge. Note: be sure to get your gate check tag for these items prior to boarding. 

I made sure to always feed Wyatt right as we were taking off. If it didn't coincide with feeding time, I would just give him a little (about 2oz) so that it could help his ears with the pressure.

I purchased a new stroller toy ahead of time so that he had something new/exciting to play with, which he enjoyed. I also made sure to pack Sophie for him to chew on and play with because she's familiar. Other than that, I connected his pacifier to a clip and had a spare on hand - I had no intention of dealing with the filthy airplane floor. The clips are great for connecting to toys, as well. 

Be sure to have layers, as it can get just as cold for baby as it does for you. I always like having his muslin blanket on hand for this reason, and also because it soothes him. Since he doesn't like hats, I made sure to just keep the canopy of the Doona up at all times to keep the air off of him.

I would love to hear any tips and tricks you have up your sleeve for traveling with children! 


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