Category

Mommyhood

Tips For Taking Pictures Of Your Kids With Just Your Phone

In Mommyhood

I often get asked how I take such cute pictures of my boys.  I’ll be honest, it doesn’t work every time but I wanted to share some tips on what I do with my boys to get some of the images I do.  You don’t need a fancy camera, you don’t even need the latest iPhone (I have a 6s guys.  Would I love to have that portrait mode though?  You betcha!).  Photoshop is great and all, but it’s not necessary.  All you need is your current phone, a couple (FREE) apps, and a dash of patience.  All the pictures in this post were taken with my iPhone 6s.Continue reading

What I Want To Teach My Boys

In Mommyhood

What I What To Teach My Children

Over the past few weeks (months, years…) I’ve seen a steady increase in the lack of compassion and respect in the younger generation.  Dear fellow grown ups of the world, we need to HAVE TO do better.  Whether it’s the need for stronger discipline, more love, or whatever, something needs to be done now.  What I have seen lacking in the values of today’s kids, is exactly what I want to teach my children.  I want to teach them how to be good humans.

There’s a huge difference from when I was a kid to now.  Or maybe I was in my own bubble which is a huge possibility.  I know I wasn’t a perfect kid, none of us are/were.  I know there were times when I wanted to give up or felt unmotivated, times when I let the sass fly and times I was ungrateful.  But I was taught, disciplined, put in my place, whatever you want to call it.  And this is what I intend to do with my boys.Continue reading

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4 Perils Of The Perfectionist Parent

In Mommyhood

Becoming a parent completely throws a perfectionist for a loop.  I use the term “perfectionist parent” in the sense of someone who has always been a perfectionist and has become a parent.  I do not mean it in the sense that I expect to be the end all/be all in parenting or that my children must be perfect little robots.  I’ve remarked in past posts about my OCD/perfectionist tendencies but, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten better at realizing that pretty much no one cares about certain things as much as I do.  I’ve also learned to let some things go.  This, however, does not mean that I don’t still get irritated,itchy, or anxious from time to time.  I’m not perfect (GASP!) but my brain certainly tries to be.  There are 4 areas I’ve found that are my “triggers” or things that make me get all hot and tight chested.  If you’re a perfectionist parent like myself, I know you’ll totally understand!Continue reading

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I Sent An Evite

In Mommyhood

Gavin's 6th Birthday

Well…I did the unthinkable.  I sent an evite for Gavin’s birthday party this past weekend.

Ok, ok.  I kid.  (No really, please don’t think I’m THIS dramatic.)

But, as one of “those” moms, those “Pinterest” moms, I enjoy doing all the bells and whistles for birthdays.  Yes, I ACTUALLY ENJOY doing all the crazy labels and renaming food and decor and anything else I can do for a theme.  Yes, I realize that it’s mainly just for me and my children will have no recollection of said party.  It’s just who I am.  However, as kids get older and my house continues to stay the same size, there’s less and less space to have the parties at the house.  This means jumpy places and specialty parties and those places cost the money that I would normally spend.Continue reading

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Tis The Season For Traditions

In Mommyhood

Hey strangers!  this holiday season has been pretty hectic for me but all in a good way.  I’ve been doing shows for the first time with my shop and I’ve been busier than ever with orders, which is amazing but stressful.  So, if you’ve wondered where in the world I’ve been, that’s it.  I’ve been elbow deep in snowman ornaments, house drawings, and canvases.  My hope for the new year is to continue the momentum as well as keep a balance here.  More on that in my coming new year post!  On to the holiday goodness!

I love traditions, especially ones that involve food.  My mom started this gingerbread house one three years ago and each year I think we get a little better.  I think… While its super fun each year, I’m looking forward to when little Ro can join in which will more than likely be next year.  We just weren’t ready to let the two year old (who seriously needed a nap) loose on the candy and icing.  So, without further ado, here are some pictures of our third attempt at gingerbread house engineering.

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Favorite Recipes For the Daniel Fast

In Easy Eats, Mommyhood
Favorite Daniel Fast Recipes

Photo by Alison Marras on Unsplash

Last week I shared about what the Daniel fast is and why I’m doing it. If you’d like to catch up on that, you can check it out HERE. One of my biggest challenges has been just figuring out what to eat.

I’m not a picky eater by any stretch of the imagination so I’m game to eat any and all vegetables but I just don’t know what to do with them. My knowledge is basically salad and microwave steamable packages. Also, since this fast has specific food guidelines, I’m not accustom to using replacement ingredients such as tofu, dates, etc. Having a book, The Ultimate Guide to the Daniel Fast, has been a huge help.

I tried salads at first but the dressing that I made didn’t really do much for me. I tried making things I used to eat but that were compliant with the food list and they were, well, they were terrible. So here are my list of favorite foods that actually taste great and I have on a regular bases.

Smoothies – Smoothies are life savers. With two small kids, these are quick, easy, and even they will drink one. I can pack a ton of spinach in them and not even taste it with the fruit. Adding in a nut based milk add great protein and calories. (Click on “Smoothies” to find a ton of great ideas!)

Snickerdoodle Smoothie – This is a recipe from The Ultimate Guide to the Daniel Fast. I was skeptical at first but it said snickerdoodle so I had to try it. It’s flippin’ amazing!
The ingredient list is almond milk, silken tofu, date honey, frozen banana, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.

Date Honey – This is also from the same book as the snickerdoodle smoothie and is included in that recipe. What’s great about it is that it has two ingredients. Dates and cinnamon. It’s a bit time consuming to make but not labor intensive.

Oatmeal Bowl – These are great for days when you may have to go a little longer in between meals. A 1/2 cup if oats and 1 cup of water (try using almond milk for a creamier texture) in the microwave for 2 minutes (give or take depending on your microwave wattage) makes an easy and filling base for tons of toppings. I usually use the date honey to sweeten it, a scoop of natural peanut butter for protein, an extra dash of cinnamon, and some fruit on top.

Easy to Pack Snacks – Sometimes you just need a munch on something and that can be hard to do when just about every option out there has added sugar.  (This fast has seriously made question what the heck is going on in the food industry!)  Your best bet to be successful is to be prepared.  Prepackaged nuts are great and full of protein.  We bought a huge box from Costco and all that is in them are the dry roasted nuts and sea salt.

Another great snack I love are That’s It bars.  I first came across these at a Starbucks but now they are sold in more stores.  All they are is fruit…That’s It! (Get it?!)  They taste great and can help satisfy a sweet craving in a pinch.

Do you have some favorite plant-based recipes?  I’d love to try them!

(4 days to go!)

The Daniel Fast // Week 1 Reflection

In Mommyhood

Photo by David Vázquez on Unsplash

So last week I started my very first Daniel fast.  What’s a Daniel fast?  To make a long story short, it’s a spiritual fast that requires you to lean more into prayer and into your relationship with God through self discipline.  I can’t have meat, dairy, caffeine, alcohol, and sweeteners.  I like to think of it as a vegan whole 30.  Want the long story?  Click HERE for a more in-depth explanation and more if you’re interested in doing one yourself.

Why am I doing it?

Typically, someone starts a Daniel fast when a big decision needs to be prayed about, there is something specific you need to pray through, etc.  For me, I read about fasting for your children in my book for small group and knew that was something I needed to do.  Gav made a big change on Monday (which is why I started when I did) when he transferred to his new elementary school.

This past year has been a weird one for Gav and me and I knew that it was going to take some hard prayer to cut through this season.

What was the week like?

Let’s just say that I picked a doozy of a week to start a fast.  This first week was packed with stress, temptation, and plenty of opportunities to just say “forget it”!  On Monday, one of the parents at the dance studio brought in these absolutely delicious pumpkin loafs with brown butter icing in these perfect little ceramic loaf pans.  There was one that I could have taken home.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!  My inner basic chick was screaming but I left it.

Tuesday was met with a family emergency complete with an unexpected surgery.  Running around, helping, making phone calls, and carrying a 30 pound toddler on my back while doing it was actually a great distraction from the fact that all I wanted to do was pull into a drive thru and grab some edible feelings.  Tuesday was also Halloween.  Don’t worry, I have a stash for when my 21 days is up.

Wednesday through Friday weren’t that bad and the book I ordered (same as the Daniel fast resource I linked above) came in and I was excited to explore new recipes.

Saturday was our church’s first women’s prayer gathering which was nothing short of amazing.  However, it was at 7 AM, I woke up at 5:30, and some caffeine would have been nice.

By the time Sunday came around, I was feeling a bit more confident and ready for the next week.  I have a few more choices now that I have new recipes and I’m getting pretty creative.

Let’s get real…What’s it like without coffee?

I won’t lie to you.  I got to day 3 and legitimately would have done anything for a cup of coffee.  And as much coffee as I drink for my size, it’s safe to say that my body probably craves it.  Luckily I already take medicine on and off for headaches so I just went ahead and preempted any withdrawal I might have.  I was also just plain tired.  Not quite that first trimester of pregnancy tired (mamas, you know what I’m talking about!)  but still just trying to scrape whatever I could from my energy reserves.  The tiredness did subside a bit but I still really love my coffee.

What have I noticed?

I’ve definitely started to redirect myself to prayer when I start thinking about food and the restrictiveness.  Oddly enough, I’ve become calmer, less quick to anger.  I feel better and I’m less bloated (maybe TMI but it’s true).

Most importantly, I’ve seen a change in my relationship with Gav.  Already there’s been more patience, there’s more attachment and closeness.  I know that Ro becoming a VERY active toddler means that Gavin has received less attention.  He has been told more times that I can count that he’s the big brother and he has to set the example, or that Ro is just two he doesn’t understand, or I’m simply just attending to more of Ro’s needs because he can’t do as much for himself yet.  I understand that Gavin may be feeling less and that is so not what I want for my sweet boy.  I’ve made it a point to tell him that he was wonderfully made by God and that he is special because of that.  We are reconnecting and it’s made my mama heart so happy.

Have you ever done a fast?  What did you learn?

 

 

 

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Playing Around With pediped®

In Mommyhood

Playing Around with pediped®

*This product was given to me in exchange for my honest opinion.

If your kids are anything like my two, they can go through some shoes. Sometimes it’s because they outgrow them within the month or it’s because they play hard. Playing is serious business so my boys need shoes that can stand up to the challenge.

This is why I’m loving pediped®shoes. pediped® footwear has been awarded the American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Acceptance for the promotion of healthy foot development, and preeminent orthopedic medical professionals, Dr. Mininder S. Kocher and Dr. Thomas W. Vorderer, deem pediped® shoes an excellent choice for parents/caregivers who want their children’s feet to develop naturally and healthily. pediped® has received numerous industry awards and accolades including recognition from Earnshaw’s, the premier media resource serving the children’s market. In 2015 pediped® was recognized by the Footwear Industry Awards as the Children’s Footwear Brand of the Year and earned a 2016 Earnie Award from Earnshaw’s magazine as the Footwear Brand of the Year.

Playing Around with pediped®

Ro’s new shoes are definitely standing up to the toddler test. Whether he’s in soccer class or on the playground, he has the support he needs. Ro is still in that clumsy stage of toddlerhood and, let’s just be honest, he falls a lot. I’ve noticed that he’s much more in control when running around at soccer and the shoes have good traction to keep up with him.

Playing Around with pediped® Playing Around with pediped® Playing Around with pediped®

My favorite feature of these shoes is the FLEX FIT SYSTEM™.  Both Gav and Ro have wide feet. (Gav not so much now that he’s older but both come by big feet naturally between me and my husband.) This has always limited our selection when purchasing shoes for them. I was so pleased that I could pick whichever shoe I liked for Ro because width is not an issue.  The inserts come out to custom fit your child’s foot as it grows.

Playing Around with pediped®

These are some of our favorite shoes and they are definitely helping Ro as his coordination and activity mature.

*pediped® is sold in over 750 stores in the United States and 40 countries worldwide with an offering of more than 120 designs for boys and girls between its three lines, Originals®, Grip ‘n’ Go™ and Flex®. The award-winning footwear is available in EU sizes 17 to 38 (US newborn to 6 Youth). For more information, visit www.pediped.com.  LIKE on Facebook at /pedipedfootwear and follow on Twitter and Instagram @pedipedfootwear.

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Label All The Things With Stuck On You

In Mommyhood

Stuck On You Labels

*I received these products in exchange for review.  The opinions expressed are my own.*

When you have kiddos, things get lost. It happens all the time because, well, mom brain and kids can forget they were wearing shoes in about 5 minutes. Between church, school, and after school activities, there are plenty opportunities to leave something behind. Enter Stuck on You labels!

Stuck On You Labels

Australia based Stuck On You was founded in 1995 by Carrie Felton, a mom of three boys.  A global leader in personalized products for baby & beyond, Stuck On You products are available in more than 127 countries.  Felton created Stuck On You to celebrate the individuality of every name, bring joy to new parents with unique, timeless products for every child, save families time, energy and money and help them to lead a more organized life.  In addition to a broad offering of labels, the Stuck On You collection includes activity and personalized books, durable and stylish bags, lunchboxes and drink bottles, stationery, bag tags and gorgeous gifts for all ages.

Stuck On You Labels

These labels are great for anything and everything you could ever want to put your kid’s name on. There is a size for any space you made need to stick one. My favorite thing to label are the boys’ water bottles. Gav leaves his behind at school from time to time and both the boys go to soccer on Saturdays so it’s good to have them labeled. Both places have water bottles EVERYWHERE and now I don’t have to wonder if the Spiderman one in the lost and found is my child’s or I should just buy a new one. These labels also hold up in the dishwasher so you don’t have to constantly replace them.

Stuck On You Labels

I love the variety of colors and images they have and I feel like they fit my boys’ current interests and personality.  Gav is growing up (insert mama tears) so, while he still love cars, he’s also developed an interest for sports.  With Ro’s, I love the bright primary colors.

Stuck On You Labels

I’m loving organizing all of Gav and Ro’s stuff and now I don’t have to worry about that dreaded lost and found bin anymore!

Find out more about Stuck On You and their products: Facebook//Instagram//Twitter

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Roman’s Birthday Time Capsule

In Mommyhood

Roman's Birthday Time Capsule

We are finally at part 3 of Roman’s second birthday party.  Today I want to share with you our little disclaimer from our invitation.

Roman's Birthday Time Capsule

You read that right.  We asked for no gifts. (I am also proud to tell you that I wrote that.  *pats self on back*)

To be completely honest, I have to tell you two things.  One, the original letter idea is not mine, I took it from my neighbors who did the same for their 2 and 3 year old.  Two, I was a little self conscious when I sent these out.  I’m not one to go against the grain or tell people what we do or don’t want for our child.  I mean, if I could, I would put *no toys that make any noise, ever* on every invitation and card and I know I’m not alone in wanting to do that!  But, I’m a stickler for tradition and pleasantries and this was (pardon my pun) pushing the envelope for me.  However, I just loved this idea and figured that Ro is still young enough that he doesn’t fully comprehend what it means to have a birthday.

Roman's Birthday Time Capsule

Another reason I loved this idea, less stuff.  I’ll say it, my kids are spoiled.  Not by my husband and me, though.  They want for nothing and get just about everything they ask for, especially when the grandmas and my aunt are around.  Ro loves to play with Gav’s toys and look at his books, he has a ton of Gav’s hand me downs that are in great condition (some how), so there wasn’t anything he truly needed.  This was pretty much my only opportunity to do this.

Roman's Birthday Time CapsuleRoman's Birthday Time Capsule

Once all of the letters are in, still waiting on a few, we’ll seal it up and keep it somewhere safe.  I wrote mine this past Saturday night and had to hold back the crocodile mama tears.   Just thinking about him reading my words in the future, probably standing much taller than me, just grabbed at my heart.  I am so so glad we did this for him.  We’re also adding a few extra items that are special like his invitation and cake topper.

Roman's Birthday Time Capsule

And, last but not least, I have mention that grandparents and other family can’t help themselves.  Ro did receive a few gifts.  They were perfect and he loves them! I love how much they love these boys!

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