I know it’s only Thursday, but I have a sponsored post coming to you tomorrow so decided to share the lovely Jenna of Eat Drink Pretty with you today instead of skipping it this week.

Jenna and I have known each other through our blogs and social media for a good three plus years, but didn’t meet in person until her daughter’s first birthday nearly two weeks ago. I was the lucky lady who got to photograph sweet Juliet’s party. How fun! Watch for all of the unbelievable party details on Jenna’s blog soon. Jenna is a phenomenal mom, party planner and blogger. I am a regular reader of Eat Drink Pretty for many reasons, but lately, my favorite part is reading about the her daughter’s milestones. I love that stuff!

Please welcome Jenna of Eat Drink Pretty to Live the fancy life today! Note: All of the beautiful photos were taken by Gruman Photography. Enjoy!

Jessica: Tell us about you.
Jenna: I am a full-time working mom to Juliet. I work in advertising at an agency in Minneapolis. I work in media and have been at the same company for 9 years. I love what I do, but it can be really stressful and many work weeks are more than 40 hours. I love the culture and the people I work with and that makes it all worth it.

I am also the writer/creator of Eat Drink Pretty blog, which is a blog dedicated to food, party planning, and since I’ve had a baby, my family and personal life. I never intended it to turn into a mom blog and it’s not exactly, but many posts now revolve around Juliet and our life with her. It’s always been a blog about my life and well…things change a lot when you have a baby.

Even though I don’t have as much time as I used to, I still love to cook and bake. I love entertaining friends at our home and also enjoy a really nice dinner out with my husband (though those are very few and far between these days!).

My favorite thing to do with Juliet is wake up on Saturday morning and have a big breakfast, which always includes pancakes. My husband and I call it Pancake Saturdays. We keep Juliet in her pajamas all morning (and day if we have no plans) and lounge around the house, playing for hours in her playroom and reading books. Full days to spend with my girl are invaluable to me as a working mom.

Jessica: I am with you! Slow and relaxing Saturday mornings are the best. Tell us about your family.
Jenna: Our family consists of my husband Erik, Juliet (who’s one) and our cat, Kody. Until Juliet was born Kody was our baby. We love him dearly and he is very much a part of our family. Juliet and Kody get along well, but he doesn’t exactly appreciate it when she goes after his tail!

Jessica: Tell me your number one tip for keeping things fancy with your little one.
Jenna: Honestly, the one thing that keeps things easy in my household is that my husband and I truly split responsibilities as 50/50 as we can. We are both working parents with demanding jobs and realize the need for balance on how each of us contributes.

We have our morning routine down to the minute. When he’s gone for a day I realize just how much he does and how much I appreciate him. I know he feels the same.  We’re a team and help each other out.

Jessica: What is the hardest part of being a mama for you?
Jenna: The hardest part for me is feeling like I never have enough time (time with Juliet, time with my husband, time with my friends, time at the office, etc). Juliet goes to bed early, at 7 p.m., and I get home from work at 5:45. That hour and fifteen minutes flies by and is always so busy getting dinner for Juliet, squeezing in as much play time as we can, and then going through the bedtime routine.

Because I don’t get a ton of time with Juliet during the week, I try to keep my weekends dedicated to her. This means I don’t get any me time or much time to spend with friends. When I do make plans on the weekends I almost always bring Juliet with me.  Now that she is a toddler, brunch and meals out are more challenging but going without her isn’t really an option. I mean…of course it is an option, and Erik would be totally fine with staying home with her, but I don’t like giving up any weekend time with her because it’s such precious time.

Jessica: What is the best part of being a mama for you?
Jenna: The best part of being a momma for me so far has been Juliet and my breastfeeding experience. We struggled a bit for the first couple weeks but after a couple of lactation consultations it all came together. As a working mom, there is nothing I look forward to more than those quiet evening moments when I rock her and feed her.  She reaches up her little hand for me to kiss it and sometimes plays with my hair. It’s 20 minutes of pure snuggle time with zero distractions. I love when she looks up at me with her big eyes. Breastfeeding has been a really amazing experience for us.

Jessica: Tell me something people might be surprised to find out about you.
Jenna: I had a ton of anxiety after Juliet was born and to be honest I still have quite a bit now. I always brushed it off as somewhat normal anxiety until some of the moms on my Facebook moms group brought up postpartum anxiety. I had no idea there was such a thing. I didn’t struggle from postpartum depression and oftentimes postpartum anxiety is linked to postpartum depression, so I never looked into it.

When I started reading more on postpartum anxiety, I felt it described me to a tee. I could never sleep without checking on Juliet multiple times before going to bed. I would worry when we were out driving that I didn’t have her strapped into her car seat tight enough. When she was at daycare I worried about accidents. I drove my husband crazy with this because I’d often end up accidentally waking her up when I’d go into her room at night. I had to stop reading the news because I would internalize sad stories and worry about them happening to Juliet. It was pretty bad for a while (4-6 months postpartum) and then the anxiety started easing up little by little. Now I have a lot less, but I definitely am still anxious. I don’t think this will ever really go away.

Looking back, I think I should have brought up my anxiety to my OB or perhaps Juliet’s pediatrician. Medication may have helped or other coping mechanisms. It was very stressful for a while and next time around I will be a lot more cognizant about my anxiety and know that there are things I can do to make it better.

Jessica: That’s a tough one. I didn’t experience postpartum anxiety, but I will say that I did experience some anxiety after having a baby. It’s that whole other little person that you love more than life and want to protect. Thank you so much for bringing up PPA. I think it’s not covered enough in the mainstream media.On a totally different note, tell me what you keep in your mama toolbox?
Jenna: Juliet has always been a great eater and I love packing fun lunches for her.  We use cute trays like this Dr. Sears Nibble Tray and Boon Snack Box. It keeps meal time fun for her and gives her a good variety of different foods to eat.  We always take the nibble tray with us filled with healthy snacks anytime we leave the house for a long period of time.

Other must-haves:

Bambino Land muslin blankets – I never went anywhere without them when Juliet was younger.  We still use them to snuggle with and as a stroller cover when it’s sunny out.

Becco Gemini – Juliet loves being worn and loves forward facing.  The Becco has worked for us since she was a newborn.

Moby Wrap – we were big on baby wearing since Juliet was 8 pounds and big enough to go in the Moby. She loved being snuggled up with me and I loved having my hands free to get things done around the house.

Mothers Milk Tea – helps with milk supply

iPhone – saves me from the boredom of pumping and allows me to take those everyday photos and videos.

Jessica: Yes! I was definitely a baby-wearing mom too and used most of the products you mentioned. I may have to get the nibble trays. Our son loves variety in his meals and snacks. Well, we’re almost to the end. What one piece of advice would you share with new moms? Jenna: Join a momma group. Either in person or online like on The Bump, Baby Center, or start your own Facebook group. I’ve been in a Facebook group for moms that have babies born in the same month as Juliet, and their support and experiences have been invaluable to me. Those early weeks can feel a bit isolating, especially when you’re up feeding at 3 a.m. My Facebook group would have middle of the night check-ins and I would chat with other moms up feeding their babies the same time I was. Plus, when you have access to other moms you can get instant advice on anything from teething to car seats to when to call your pediatrician.

Jessica: Thank you so much for being here today and sharing your experiences as a mom. You can also find Jenna in the following places:

Instagram – @eatdrinkpretty
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