Turning homeownership from a dream to reality

There’s an unexplainable thing about homeownership you don’t realize until you look back years after walking through the door for the first time. When I think about our first house, I think about all of the wonderful memories it was the backdrop for. It was the place a couple of newlyweds first called home. It’s where we trained Watson to sit and give high-fives – and then shortly after that, Lulu. The house we turned our guest room into a nursery, painted by my mom as I sat near the door rubbing my stomach as we chatted about how excited we were to meet our sweet baby boy, Jude. From home renovations to long family walks in the neighborhood – Blake being pulled by two hyper dogs and me trying to keep up while pushing Jude in the stroller with another baby growing in my belly – to all of the lazy spaghetti nights. Our first home gave us the space to grow from a young couple into a family with two adorable little boys and a pair of crazy dogs. That home is so incredibly special to us, simply looking at photos of the life we built in our first house brings tears to my eyes. Tears of happiness and gratitude for the beautiful life this house provided.

We’re very fortunate to be able to experience the joys of homeownership, and we know the process of saving and planning financially for a home can be incredibly intimidating. However, with Bank of America’s Community Homeownership Commitment®, owning a home may become more attainable than you might think. Bank of America is committed to helping prospective homebuyers on their journey to homeownership. Owning a home means creating a legacy and building lifelong wealth for your family. I’m thrilled to partner with Bank of America and share how this program can work for you.

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Four Months In: Life With Two Under Two

livvyland-life-two-under-two-austin-texas-motherhood-lifestyle-fashion-bloggerIMG_4819Four months ago we welcomed our second baby boy! Mid-pandemic, mid-lockdown, mid-two parents trying to work from home and take care of kiddos – we dove right into life with two under two. Ezra joined the fam and Jude became a big brother at 18 months old. I’ll be the first to admit that life with two babies (because an 18 month old really is still a baby!) under two years old is not for the faint at heart. But it is filled with heart exploding love and worth every second. Even the seconds crying in the car from overwhelm and exhaustion (they happened a lot with one, they’re absolutely still happening with two). Even the seconds peeing with the door open as your toddler vroom-vrooms his toy cars under your legs and your newborn rests in the lounger two feet away. The reality of taking care of two babies is not a Doen ad where you’re effortlessly put together in a beautiful billowy dress smiling in a field while your children dressed in head to toe linen jumpsuits frolic in the sunset. The reality of two under two is a combination of exhaustion and joy in the same pair of leggings you’ve worn for days and an oversized sweatshirt with a fresh sprtiz of dry shampoo in your hair. All jokes (er, that is the reality…!) aside, it’s also completely wonderful, fulfilling and an abundance of love that brings tears streaming down your face (like, I full on ugly cry often because I have never felt such a precious, pure love like this) and a chapter in life we will look back on and cherish.

Through the sleepless nights and early mornings, we snuggle our babies tight, laugh as Jude does the cutest dance moves to BTS “Dynamite” for the 1000th time, squeeze Ezra’s mushy thighs, inhale both of their absolutely delicious scents and smile so big with pride that these two miracles are ours and we get to enjoy them every single day. There is nothing like the happiness children bring into your life and we do not take a moment for granted.

I asked my Instagram followers to submit questions they have for me regarding life with two under and two and below you’ll find my answers. If you have a question I didn’t get to, please feel free to leave a comment. 🙂 Thanks so much for watching the madness that is our life unfold…! Sending big hugs to all the parents out there doing their best. Also – keep in mind that every family unit operates differently, what works for us may not work for others and that’s the beauty of parenting…it’s personal!

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Walmart+ For All Your Holiday Needs

livvyland-blog-olivia-watson-walmart-plus-delivery-review-8 livvyland-blog-olivia-watson-walmart-plus-delivery-review-3Holiday shopping is in FULL swing and if you’re like me and have a to-do list a mile long on top of crossing everyone off your list…well then, I have some very exciting news for you! With a Walmart+ membership, you can receive free delivery from your local store on orders $35+ (restrictions apply) AND Walmart+ free shipping, no order minimum (excludes oversized/freight & Marketplace items) with free next-day and two-day shipping (and more, but I’ll get to that shortly!). With an infant and a toddler, this is MAJOR given that my free time is nonexistent and attempting a store run with both in tow is asking for a meltdown in the car (me, not them, ha!). Here’s how Walmart+ is making my life (and yours!) so much easier…

 

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How I’m Taking Better Care of Myself

livvyland-blog-olivia-watson-mom-lifestyle-fashion-blogger-meology-shaklee-personalized-wellness-postpartum-vitamins-3livvyland-blog-olivia-watson-mom-lifestyle-fashion-blogger-meology-shaklee-personalized-wellness-postpartum-vitamins-7If you follow me on Instagram and watch my IG Stories, you likely know that my nursing journey with Ezra came to an end just eight weeks in. Behind the screen, it’s been an emotional and challenging time (throw in those postpartum hormones, too, ha)…as my expectation and dream to nurse for a year was very quickly cut short when I realized I wasn’t producing enough milk. While I’ll admit I was pretty devastated, it has honestly been so nice to finally have my body to myself after three years of being either pregnant or breastfeeding. I can finally drink an abundance of coffee, order a margarita when we grab dinner and only consider myself now when choosing what to eat – which has honestly been the biggest adjustment! I’ve been eating with a baby in mind (pregnancy and nursing) for SO long that it was a strange first week to eat without considering every bit of nutrition intake in order to keep a baby growing and thriving. As my fellow moms know, we tend to let our needs fall to the wayside given keeping tiny humans alive! So this whole “thinking of myself” mentality had to be relearned a bit, which also meant it was time to start taking good care of myself again – just for me.

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SHOP MORE WELLNESS MUST-HAVES


Happy Mama Lactation Cookies

livvyland-blog-olivia-watson-austin-texas-happy-mama-lactaction-cookies-milk-supply-increase-4
A big thank you to Happy Family Organics for sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own.

I think every nursing journey has its ups and downs. I am thankful to be able to breastfeed, but it comes with its own set of challenges, both mental and physical. With Jude, I ended up getting Thrush nine months in and had to stop nursing cold turkey. With Ezra, we’re six weeks in and already down to one boob (he’s like Jude, he prefers a side and sticks to it, ha). With a toddler to care for and a newborn, I am trying my absolute best to make sure I eat three healthy meals a day that provide quality nutrition to me and Ezra – but it’s definitely hard to keep up being this busy! Since I’m on the move 90% of my day (did I mention we have a toddler?), reaching for quick snacks like the Happy Organics Happy Mama Lactation Cookies between meals is a nice way to add an extra nutrient boost to help support breastfeeding throughout the day!

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Walmart+ Makes Mom Life Easier

livvyland-blog-olivia-watson-austin-texas-lifestyle-motherhood-blogger-walmart-plus-grocery-delivery-review-1livvyland-blog-olivia-watson-austin-texas-lifestyle-motherhood-blogger-walmart-plus-grocery-delivery-review-3
Let the fall and Halloween festivities begin! With a newborn attached to my body (literally!) and a very busy toddler, I’ll be the first to tell you that my time is more limited than ever. Add the current pandemic into the mix and it’s safe to say I’m appreciating delivery services like never before! Which is why I am so thankful that Walmart has launched their new Walmart+ membership, to help save me time and money with their new offerings! …And let’s be honest, who doesn’t want that? I’m excited to share how my new Walmart+ membership is making my life (er…and parents lives everywhere, ha!) a lot easier…

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Our New Infant Car Seat & Travel System

livvyland-blog-olivia-watson-austin-texas-lifestyle-mom-motherhood-blogger-britax-b-lively-travel-system-stroller-review-1 livvyland-blog-olivia-watson-austin-texas-lifestyle-mom-motherhood-blogger-britax-b-lively-travel-system-stroller-review-7You can purchase Britax B-Lively & B-Safe Ultra Travel System via Amazon HERE.

It’s Car Seat Safety Awareness Week (perfect timing to have a baby, ha!) and we are loving our new Britax Travel System with the B-Lively Stroller and B-Safe Ultra Infant Car Seat. It’s an infant car seat and stroller combo, which is perfect for when Blake has Jude and I need to run errands with Ezra. Fear not, I’m still in my newborn mama cave, but for my sanity I need to get out every now and then – but with Ezra nursing, it’s a lot easier for him to tag along! Excited to share the details with y’all today…

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Ezra’s Birth Story

Two weeks ago, our world changed – we have second son and Jude has a brother! Isn’t it crazy how you walk into the hospital as one person (Olivia: very miserably pregnant, missing my other little guy already, nervous that my contractions are three minutes apart and we haven’t checked in, feeling pretty certain we forgot our bag of toiletries…spoiler: we did, anxious and mentally preparing for labor) and you walk out as another person (Olivia: mother of two, heart expanded to infinity, running on adrenaline and Tylenol, dying to pick up Jude from my moms house, feeling strong and tired and happy – oh so happy! Our lives are forever changed).

On August 26th, my due date, I’d given up hope that mr Ezra was going to make his appearance. As soon as I hit 38 weeks I felt so sure he’d come early. Then we hit 39 weeks and then 40 weeks and I succumbed to the thought that I would be eternally pregnant. I was a miserable bowling ball, moving slow and barely sleeping…bouts of tears here and there as the discomfort heightened each day (ohh pregnancy, so glamorous, right?).

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My Daily Self-Care

livvyland-blog-olivia-watson-austin-texas-lifestyle-blogger-daily-harvest-review-easy-meal-idea-8 livvyland-blog-olivia-watson-austin-texas-lifestyle-blogger-daily-harvest-review-easy-meal-idea-6Hello friends, how are you holding up these days? We’re into week four of shelter in place here in Austin, and I’ll admit, some days I am happy and positive, and other days (…er, other hours!), I am down in the dumps and feeling the weight of our current reality. I hope no matter what your circumstances, you’re able to find some sort of relief with self-care during this uncertain time…

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A big thank you to Daily Harvest for sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own.


Finding Comfort In Books

By Eugenia Vela

While we’re all practicing safe social distancing at home, some of us are turning to favorite movies and mind-numbing reality TV. Some of us are stress baking (and stress eating), or taking up knitting, or, possibly, scrolling through Twitter trying to catch up with the absolute worst news just to feel in control. (Some of us are doing all of these.) We are all dealing in different ways. I’m here to encourage you to read.

Sometimes a book finds you at the perfect time. It really feels that way, like it finds you

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