It's All Part of the Job

August 17, 2017

This post is sponsored by Haven Life; all thoughts are my own.

This time last year I remember feeling overwhelmed. Sadie had just turned one year old, Hudson was 3 and a half, and I found out I was pregnant with baby #3. It was a lot to take in. Being a mom of three is a huge responsibility…and I didn’t know if I was ready. But you know what? You are NEVER ready. There is never a perfect time….but everything happens in it’s perfect time. And today? I wouldn’t change a thing. I LOVE having three kids. Yes, it’s crazy. And yes, I’m frequently overwhelmed. But man, it’s amazing.

I’m a stay at home mom…..but that doesn’t mean I don’t work. I work ALL DAY and often ALL NIGHT long taking care of my three sweet kids and our house. I’ve never worked so hard in my entire life. And I’ve never had a “job” that I love as much as I love being a mom. Some days you might find me crying in the bathroom while eating chocolate. And some days my face hurts from smiling so much. It’s just the nature of the job. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. So when you think about my contribution to our household as a stay at home mom, it’s huge. Not to brag or anything. But it’s true. It doesn’t matter if daddy is standing right there and is perfectly capable of helping a 2 year old put on her socks….it’s always “No, Mommy do it!” Mommy does it all. If there was a popularity contest in my house today I would win with an unanimous vote. I don’t think I’ve been able to say that with such certainty ever in my life until now.

And I love being everything for my kids. My kids are my whole world. And for now, I am their whole world too. It won’t last forever. But I want to savor it while I can. Now that I'm a mom, I'm all too aware of these precious gifts I have been given. I want to make sure they are taken care of.

As a mom, I can't help but worry. It’s part of my job. I knew going in to motherhood that I would worry about my children getting sick or injured. Or getting their feelings hurt. I knew I would worry if we are making the right choices when it comes to raising them to be kind and loving kids. But I didn't think about what might happen if I wasn’t around to be there for them. What would happen to my sweet babies if, heaven forbid, I died?

Do you have life insurance? It's scary to think about what might happen if you were no longer around. But it's even worse to think about what might happen if you don't have a backup plan. Life insurance is part of that backup plan.

I recently learned about a term life insurance policy that can be purchased entirely online, through Haven Life. They are a modern life insurance startup, backed by MassMutual, that has made buying affordable coverage easier than ever. I got an estimate for coverage pricing without speaking to a single soul.

Haven Life offers honest, easy, and affordable life insurance coverage for moms just like me. My contribution as a stay at home mom is huge in our family….and if something happened to me, I need to know that my family would be taken care of. Life insurance gives me that peace of mind and I sleep easier knowing my loved ones are protected…..that is, as long as my kids actually let me sleep! If you are interested in learning more about Haven Life, visit their website for more info and to get a quote!

Haven Term is a Term Life Insurance Policy (ICC15DTC) issued by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111 and offered exclusively through Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC

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7 Tips for Traveling with Your Dog

August 16, 2017

This post is sponsored by Autotrader; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

7 Tips for Traveling with Your Dog

Since we have three kids under age five and a dog, we don't really travel that often. However, we do LOVE to spend the weekend up north at my mom's lake house. It's only about an hour drive for us, which is perfect! Our golden retriever, Wrigley, absolutely LOVES going to the lake house. He loves to lounge around outside on the deck, watch the ducks and boats that go by, and most importantly, go for a swim! As soon as we start packing up our car he knows we are going somewhere and he hopes he gets to go along too! We love our sweet guy and love taking him with us!

7 Tips for Traveling with Your Dog

In the midst of packing up a family of five for a weekend getaway, it's easy to overlook Wrigley and his travel needs. So I rounded up a few simple tips for traveling with your pup!

7 Tips for Traveling with Your Dog

1. Keep your pup secured while in the car. It's important for your dog's safety and for your kid's safety that your dog wears a dog seatbelt or is in a crate while you drive. If you were to get in a crash and your dog was not properly secured, he could be injured or he could potentially injure you or your children.  You can find all kinds of resources and products for car safety on Autotrader's website.

7 Tips for Traveling with Your Dog

2. No food before getting in the car. Dogs get car sick too! There is nothing worse than a sick dog on a road trip....well, except sick kids!  Both are zero fun. In order to avoid an upset tummy, I try and make sure Wrigley has a few hours between eating his meals and traveling in the car. Trust me on this one.

7 Tips for Traveling with Your Dog

3. Take breaks! Everyone, kids and dog included, need a break to stretch their legs, go to the bathroom, and get all the wiggles out! A one hour road trip is never just one hour with our family. Between potty breaks, cranky kids, or a hungry baby, we tend to stop a lot! Take advantage of those moments and let everyone out of the car for a few minutes to get all the crazy out!

7 Tips for Traveling with Your Dog

4. Bring water! I don't recommend offering your dog snacks during a road trip, but make sure you carry a water bowl with you so that your pup can have a drink whenever you stop to rest. Dogs can get dehydrated when it's hot and they can't reach for a drink in the car like you can. Be sure to offer them lots of water when you stop, and as soon as you arrive at your destination.

7 Tips for Traveling with Your Dog

5. Remember to pack for your pup! Besides packing up their food for a vacation, remember to bring along a favorite blanket, bed, or toy. Wrigley has a favorite stuffed animal we always bring with us. We keep a dog bed and food bowls up at the lake house so that we don't have to remember to pack them every time.

7 Tips for Traveling with Your Dog

6. Make sure your dog's tags and micro-chip are up to date. We moved last year and I totally forgot to update Wrigley's information! So I need to listen to my own tips I guess! But I quickly solved that problem and ordered him new tags yesterday. If your pet gets lost while you travel it is essential that there is some way to identify him or her. So don't be like me and put it off...order those tags today!

7 Tips for Traveling with Your Dog

7. Keep the routine. Just like kids, pets thrive on routine. Whenever we travel I try to keep Wrigley on his normal mealtime schedule. He's an older dog, so he spends a good part of his day taking naps. Thankfully he's been able to stretch out in our car and rest when he needs to! For more tips for traveling with your dog, visit Autotrader.

7 Tips for Traveling with Your Dog

In honor of National Dog Day, Autotrader will be releasing a "New Dog Smell" car freshener! How funny is that?! For every order, Autotrader will give an in-kind donation to the Humane Society to help support adoption efforts at shelters all across the country. I love that, don't you? Also, if you are looking for a dog friendly car, Autotrader just created an awesome list of the best cars for dog lovers

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Bath Time Routine with Baby #3

August 10, 2017

Bedtime in our house is straight up bananas. Getting three kids bathed, in pajamas, and in their beds is a TON of work. My husband and I tag team during bed time and we are usually both exhausted by the time it’s over! Thankfully Belle is a pretty easy going gal…..and she LOVES bath and bedtime. I’ve gotten her routine down to a science…which probably means it’s about time for her to decide to switch things up on me. But for now, it works.

When Belle was first born I basically just held her or fed her all night long while Jon and my mom took care of the older kids. Or, when Hudson or Sadie demanded “MOMMY DO IT!” then one of them held her while I spent time with them. It was just a hot mess every night…but so much of those early weeks are, so it was expected! Belle was usually the last one to go to bed. But now that she’s 4 months old, girlfriend cannot hang past 6pm. She gets tired and fussy and just wants to sleep. Kind of like me, ha! So usually at 6pm I’ll give her a bath while Jon puts Hudson and Sadie in the shower. They laugh and make a mess for him while I spent some quality time with my sweet girl.

I mean….look at that face. Can you blame me for wanting to squeeze and hold her all the time?

I love using the Bumbo Elipad while I bathe her….it supports my knees while leaning over the tub. I didn’t have this with the first two kids and I really wish I did! It makes everything so much more enjoyable for me!

It also doubles as a toddler seat. Both of my big kids fight over it!

After bath time, I usually roll some lavender mixed with coconut oil on to the bottom of Belle’s feet and down her spine. She loves it! And it makes her smell so good and helps her calm down after the bath time excitement. I do this with all of the kids and they really like me rubbing their feet before bed!

Then I nurse and rock her to sleep. She’s my last baby, so I’m trying my hardest to soak up every second of her sweet little self. It’s true what they say…babies don’t keep.

We also started using another new product in Belle’s room….the Bumbo Changing Pad. It has a high side support and a safety belt to keep her nice and safe while I change her. It’s also super easy to clean, which I’m finding so convenient! And, like all Bumbo products, it’s ergonomically shaped so it’s comfortable for baby!

You can learn more about Bumbo and their line of products on their website, and can find the Eilpad and Changing Pad on Amazon! Use code BCARES20 for 20% off both products on Amazon, now through 8/31/17!

This post was sponsored by Bumbo, but all opinions are my own.

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Back to School Style and Mini Boden Giveaway

August 8, 2017

Where did summer go? I swear it just started....and now we are already getting ready for back to school! 

Hudson is going to a "young fives" program 4 mornings a week in the fall and it's mostly excited. We decided not to send him to kindergarten this year. Kids in our district need to be 5 by September 1st in order to start kindergarten, and Hudson's birthday is September 5th. We could have filled out a waiver to have him start kindergarten anyway but decided he's just not ready. He's a homebody (like me!) and a little shy (also like me!) and I think one more year at home will be the best for both of us. We also didn't want him to be the youngest in his class. I know there will be lots of kids with summer birthdays that are probably doing the same thing we are, so he'll fit right in. 

A certain little girl is sure excited to have her "Hudsey" home with her every afternoon. 

And I'm excited to have a structured activity for him four mornings a week....aka, a break for mama. 

I stocked up on some super cute back to school clothes for both the kids from Mini Boden and they are just beyond adorable. 

Sadie isn't starting school yet...but that doesn't stop her from dressing the part! She's in love with her "kiki" dress. Mini Boden has the cutest selection of dresses for little girls. I want them all!

Always on the move these two! 

Wherever Hudson goes, Sadie isn't far behind. 

They both look so big here, I just can't take it. 

And don't get me started on Sadie in her backpack. 

Hudson goes through clothes like it's his job. I try to buy him at least eight pairs of pants and several shirts so that he can mix and match throughout the year. I love these pants from Mini Boden. The quality is top notch and they wash and wear so well. They are the only pants that didn't rip in the knee from Hudson's wardrobe last of course I stocked up again this year! 

And the shoes are straight up darling. I wan't Sadie's pair in my size! I learned early on to try to always have the next size up in shoes ready to never know when those little feet will all of a sudden hit a growth spurt and you are left with zero shoes that fit. 

 We love Mini Boden so much that I want to share the love! I've teamed up with 6 other bloggers to give away a $1,000 Boden shopping spree! Enter using the Rafflecopter below. Also, be sure to visit their posts for more Back to School styles, tips and fun ideas. Here's where to visit: The Chirping Moms, Jordan & Co, Hello Erin, Seven Graces, Sweet Southern Prep, and Being Brickner. You'll love the outfits and fun photos they've all come up with!

Good luck and we can't wait to announce the winner of the $1,000 Boden giveaway!

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A Mom's Guide to Spaghetti Sauce

August 5, 2017

This is a super yummy and easy spaghetti sauce even your kids will love! Spaghetti is my go-to dinner because the whole family loves it...and most importantly it means everyone will actually eat it.

So your weekend plans should now include grabing some pasta and some Pop & Cook garlic and basil to whip up some of this amazing spaghetti! 

Here's what you'll need:

1 box thin spaghetti
1 package ground mild Italian sausage
30 oz can tomato sauce
30 oz can diced tomatoes
1 onion
Parmesan cheese 


First, finely chop the onion

In a large pot, combine sausage, chopped onion, and 4 cubes of Pop & Cook garlic.

Cook over medium heat until onions are translucent and meat is browned

Next, add jar of tomato sauce and jar of diced tomatoes and salt to taste

Simmer on low for 30 minutes

Add 2 cubes Pop & Cook basil and simmer for an additional 30 minutes

Meanwhile, cook your pasta according to the directions on the box.

Serve the sauce over warm pasta and top with parmesan cheese! That's it, you're done! We like to have a big salad and bread with this meal too. 

I love this meal because it's so easy to prepare and everyone loves it. I think Spaghetti is Sadie's favorite thing to eat. Ever. 

 I usually throw everything in the pot during nap time and let it simmer until we are ready for dinner. This was my first time using Pop & Cook garlic and basil and I am officially never going back! Pop & Cook takes fresh herbs and freezes them in little cubes for all you have to do is pop one out of the freezer and add it to your recipe. So easy! It is so convenient to have yummy ingredients and herbs ready to go in my freezer! And they tasted fresh and delicious too. Perfect for a busy mom like me.

I'm so forgetful when I grocery shop and always manage to leave one item off my this is perfect for me! Pop & Cook provides the perfect amount of herbs, with no prep or cleanup! Yes please!

You can find Pop & Cook in the freezer section of Walmart. I made sure to stock up on my favorites so that I can whip up a yummy meal at a moment's notice!

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