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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

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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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How to Make a Party in a Box

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How to Make a Party in a BoxIt’s that time of the school year already…the end!  Summer is approaching (if you live in the south like we do, it’s already here) and it’s time for teacher gifts.  Now, I’m a teacher myself and get a few gifts and I’m not one bit opposed to getting a gift card.  Those are awesome and so appreciated!  With that said, I just can’t stop my creative side from wanting to do more.  I got this crazy idea in my head about a party in a box for Gav’s teachers and I had to run with it.  It’s so simple, can be relatively inexpensive, and it so fun!

Continue reading

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Simple DIY Bunny Baskets for Easter

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DIY Bunny Baskets

It’s that time of year again, Easter basket time!  For a while, to be honest, I was a little against Easter baskets.  It felt almost like Valentine’s day to me.  Easter is a time of rejoicing and celebrating our risen savior, not bunnies and baskets and eggs filled with sugar.  But, eventually, the excitement got to me and I figured it was all in fun, we definitely teach our kids about the meaning of Easter (well, right now, the 5 year old), and I decided I was being an Easter scrooge.  Today I’m getting in the spirit with some cute and easy DIY bunny baskets. Continue reading

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Cookie Decorating and Egg Hunt Party

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*This post was sponsored by Party City and the majority of the products that you see were supplied for use in planning this party.

I love celebrating holidays.  Not necessarily in huge ways but I do enjoy heart shaped items for Valentine’s day, green colored things for St. Patrick’s day, pumpkins, and fireworks…you get the idea.  That’s why I started my cookie tradition with Gav.  I was able to take those little pieces that I love and turn them into a tradition.  There are a few holidays, however, that I enjoy more than others.  Christmas is pretty obvious, but I also really enjoy the Easter season.  Continue reading

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You Don’t Need Me Like You Used To

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It feels like yesterday that you needed me for just about everything other than walking.  I would wake you up, change your diaper, get you something to eat or drink, give you cuddles when you were tired, get you dressed, etc.  I would push you on the swings and you would crawl up in my lap when you started to get sleepy.

Now things are different.  Not a bad different just…different different.Continue reading

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Gav’s Tae Kwon Do 5th Birthday

In Mommyhood
  1. Tae Kwon Do Birthday Party - Gav + Ro

This past Saturday was our precious firstborn’s birthday.  The last time his birthday fell on a Saturday was his actual BIRTH day.  The day he came out!  You can read all about that HERE.  What was the theme this year?  Why only one of his favorite things to do, tae kwon do!  Gav started taking tae kwon do last summer and immediately loved it.  His masters are so encouraging yet firm and he thrives under that sort of discipline.  This practice has been so good for him and lucky us, they throw birthday parties!  We knew this would be perfect.  We literally had this party booked in November.

Low and behold, time got away from me and I rushed to get the invites to his class mates and some of our outside school friends.  I tell ya, I love me a Pinterest party.  You KNOW I love a Pinterest party! (See Gav’s construction birthday and Ro’s lumberjack bash)  But there is something very liberating about only doing a few details and just letting go of the rest.  So basically all I did was stick with a red and black color scheme, made some super simple black belt treat bags, and got creative with his cake topper.  (Want a custom cake topper for your little?  They’re available in my shop!)

Tae Kwon Do Birthday Party - Gav + RoTae Kwon Do Birthday Party - Gav + RoTae Kwon Do Birthday Party - Gav + Ro

Gav had so much fun taking class with his friends and showing off his crazy awesome skills.  Just watching him smile made my heart happy.

Tae Kwon Do Birthday Party - Gav + Ro Tae Kwon Do Birthday Party - Gav + Ro Tae Kwon Do Birthday Party - Gav + Ro Tae Kwon Do Birthday Party - Gav + RoTae Kwon Do Birthday Party - Gav + RoTae Kwon Do Birthday Party - Gav + Ro Tae Kwon Do Birthday Party - Gav + Ro Tae Kwon Do Birthday Party - Gav + Ro Tae Kwon Do Birthday Party - Gav + Ro

The kids had so much fun running around, as you can see in the pics, and the looks on their parents’ faces were priceless.  They said something to the effect of, “My kid is going to be so worn out….thank you!”

Tae Kwon Do Birthday Party - Gav + Ro Tae Kwon Do Birthday Party - Gav + Ro Tae Kwon Do Birthday Party - Gav + Ro Tae Kwon Do Birthday Party - Gav + Ro Tae Kwon Do Birthday Party - Gav + Ro Tae Kwon Do Birthday Party - Gav + Ro Tae Kwon Do Birthday Party - Gav + Ro

But let’s not forget that he also got to be an honorary black belt for the day and cut his cake with a samurai sword. Yeah, you read that right, they gave my 5 year old a sword to hold. Highly supervised of course!

Tae Kwon Do Birthday Party - Gav + Ro Tae Kwon Do Birthday Party - Gav + Ro Tae Kwon Do Birthday Party - Gav + RoTae Kwon Do Birthday Party - Gav + Ro

Thank you so much to everyone who came out to make Gav’s 5th birthday one to remember!

Tae Kwon Do Birthday Party - Gav + Ro Tae Kwon Do Birthday Party - Gav + Ro

XO, Kelly

 

 

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Body Image + Being a Boy Mom

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I’ve see many posts about the importance of teaching young girls to have a positive body image.  With all of the magazine covers, social media, and all of the things we watch on TV, there is plenty of of fuel for negativity to thrive.  Our social standard for beauty in America is a bit twisted and realitively unattainable, even for the rich and famous.  Once I found out I was having a boy the first time around, I was relieved.  Thank goodness that was one thing I wasn’t going to have to deal with like girl moms do.  Thank goodness I wasn’t going to have to worry about a daughter having an eating disorder or constantly worrying about her weight and appearance.

But later, after another pregnancy and getting back my body after breastfeeding stopped, I started to think much differently.  Boys can have these same problems.  Just because the statistics are much higher for girls, doesn’t mean my boys are exempt.  I already see a perfectionist streak in Gav and it worries me.  I know what that feels like and it’s not that fun.  The urge to constantly be the best, or do everything, or be good at whatever you try can be exhausting.  Part of that, at least for me, was in my appearance.

Part of me hesitates to write this because I do realize that I am not a big person.  I’m short and have a realitivly small build but I can honestly tell you that that is not what I always see in the mirror.  I can’t help it.  I struggled with bulemia in college and that was a very hard place to be.  I grew up in the dance studio where being thin is longed for and praised.  I still struggle with it at times but never act on it.  Having a positive body image is a constant battle for me but I’m getting there.  Oddly enough, I’m the most confident in my body now, after two children.  But what does this mean for my boys?  I want them to learn two things from having a positive body image.  One is the obvious.  I want them to love themselves exactly the way God made them.  For them to know that they were fearfully and wonderfully made.  That they’re worth lies in the Lord, not some image that they feel they have to meet.  I want the same things for my boys that girl moms want for their daughters.  I want them to have self confidence, to own who they are.

To add to this though, I want them to see me as a woman who values herself.  Who finds her own worth in the Lord, not some image I feel I have to meet.  I want them to see a woman that respects her body and that a woman’s body is to be respected.  It is why I don’t ever act on my negative thoughts.  It’s why I pray for self control and courage.  It’s why I eat as best as I can and stay active.  I have to model this behavior for them as their mother.  I know that I can’t shield them from ever feeling badly about how they look feeling doubtful about they’re appearance.  Self consciousness is natural, especially in t hose oh so glamourous teenage years.  Not to mention how grateful I am that I didn’t have to be a teenager when social media came about!  (Seriously, thank goodness!).

As an adult, I have witnessed the negativity on multiple occasions.  I watch my students at the dance studio complain that they are “fat”, when they’re clearly not, more times than I’d like to count.  It breaks my heart, yet I know how they feel.  I’ve seen girls go through feeling hurt when the boys they hang around with or once dated call them names or belittle them.  Neither situation will be my boys.  They will learn that all bodies are beautiful.  That all bodies are on a journey.  It’s that old cliche, be nice to everyone because you never know what they’re going through.  I’m not naive to think that they will never have these feelings.  I just pray that when they do, that I have set the example of positivity. That I have been an example of finding my worth in God and not the cover of a magazine or movie poster.  I pray that they see that others are to be lifted up, not torn down and that each body is sacred, made in God’s image.

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”  Psalm 139:14

XO, Kelly

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Boss Mom with Annie The Real House Wife of Fresno

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There are days that I feel totally overwhelmed.  I have a lot on my plate which is mostly self inflicted but regardless some days it has me bonkers.  I have to juggle being a wife, mom, friend, professional, aunt, daughter, cousin, granddaughter, sister just to name a few.  I also juggle being a taxi cab driver, chef, therapist, jungle gym, babysitter (and I don’t mean my kids, this has more to do with work), financial planner, professional shopper, and maid.  If I try to sum up all these roles I would say I’m a BOSS mom.  To successfully get through the day I have to take charge and be the boss.  Otherwise, days would slip away and I think I would get trampled on.

Being a BOSS mom means that I have to get up every morning and take the reins.  My husband is gone by the time I get up so the morning routine is all up to me.  I try very hard as a BOSS mom to have a positive outlook on the day and set the tone for the girls.  Also as a BOSS mom I have to be as prepared as possible.  Speaking of the morning routine it’s always chaotic but I try my best to prepare as much ahead of time to take the chaos level down.  I pack lunch and pick out everybody’s clothes the night before.  I also think about what we will have for breakfast the next morning.  Having a routine in the morning helps move things along because Emily, my oldest can help with getting things done and she knows her responsibilities.
Part of my preparation is looking at the calendar for the next day every night.  I also look at the whole week every Sunday night.  This is when I make sure I have babysitters at the right times, I’m prepared for any presentations, I’ve got my errands mapped out, etc.

As a Realtor my schedule is very unknown but I utilize nap time to get as much of my work and blogging done.  As soon as naps are over it’s back to the juggling act (or struggling act).  My girls take late naps so by the time they get up we might have time for a little activity and then it’s dinner prep time and the girls might watch tv while I do that.  The crockpot is my favorite tool ever to make dinner time a bit easier but I can’t use it every night.
My husband gets home pretty late each night so dinner is literally ready to go on the table when he walks in the door.  This means full dinner preparation is up to me.  Luckily, Emily is old enough now to help with a few small tasks around dinner time like setting out placemats and filling up water cups.
We have the same routine almost every night after dinner, which includes bath, nightly medicine, brush teeth and hair, use the restroom, say prayers, read a book and go down for bed.  If Emily has been good she sometimes gets to stay up a little later than her sister and then the three of us will play a game after the other routine stuff is done and Madison is down.
Being a BOSS Mom means that I have to delegate at the end of the day to survive.  My husband frequently does dishes while I do baths.  He also helps with the rest of the bed time routine; we make a good team.
From 6:00 am-6:00pm I’m on my own so being a BOSS Mom all day can be exhausting so getting some help at night is such a relief.
As you can see our days can be very busy and routine so part of being a BOSS mom is finding “moments” to share with my girls so the days don’t slip away.  Sometimes I get home from work and don’t even get a chance to change but want to spend special time with my girls.  I even try to spend one-on-one time with each girl.
This is a time that Emily and I made homemade strawberry ice cream.  She talked about that experience all summer long.  It was so fun and tasted even better! 
One way I spend one-on-one time with Madi is taking her to a mommy and me gym class while Emily is in school.
To sum up being a BOSS Mom in one simple sentence it means I have to manage it all. 
And let’s be honest one of the greatest struggles of all is the FAMILY PHOTO!!!  Family photos crack me up because you’re dying for that perfect photo but the behind the scenes is a very different reality…”If you don’t smile and look at the camera no TV for a week!…Smile and I’ll give you 5 lbs of candy…Act happy Darnit!!!”
Anyways every family photo shoot I sweat bullets and my blood pressure goes through the roof but getting that perfect family photo makes it all worth it.  This is our most recent family photo and what do you know we never got one with both girls smiling!  This was a close enough winner.
But this right here is what makes the struggle worth it!!!!
Ultimately being a BOSS mom means keeping my family together, happy, and healthy.
As a BOSS Mom I:
1. Take Charge
2. Prep
3. Plan, Plan, Plan
4. Have a Positive Attitude
5. Rely on Routines
6. Delegate
7. Find Moments
8. Live for my Family
I am Annie, the author of The Real Housewife of Fresno.  I am a wife, mama, Realtor, and lifestyle blogger.  I share about family, friends, food, fashion, and my favorite finds.  I was born and raised in Fresno, CA and I truly love this place I call home.  I married my high school sweetheart, Kevin in 2009 and we welcomed our first bundle of joy, Emily Grace in 2011 and our second baby girl, Madison Anne in 2014.  I wear a million different hats a day but typically love all my roles.  My obsessions include reality tv, anything sweet, high heels, handbags, arm candy, sunnies, lip gloss, buffalo chicken salad, hot tea (I hate coffee), Instagram, Pinterest, and a good book, a pool, and a cocktail!
I love connecting with new people so stop by and say hello:
Twitter: @RHWifeofFresno
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