5 Things Every Pregnant Mom Should Know

July 24, 2017




After having three babies, I’ve learned a few things about pregnancy. I’m far from an expert though….in fact, the more kids I have the more I realize I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing. And that’s okay! I did learn a few things that every pregnant woman should know:


1. Drink lots of water. When you are pregnant it’s so important to stay hydrated! You will be thirsty all the time! Make sure you always have water with you wherever you go…trust me on this!

2. Get some exercise. I exercised daily when I was pregnant with Hudson, and I felt great! I primarily walked on the treadmill during my lunch hour and then went for another walk in the evening with my dog. It helped me gain less weight during my pregnancy and also helped me shed the baby weight quicker afterwards. I didn’t have as much time with my second and third pregnancies to work out and I really noticed a difference in my overall mood and weight gain.


3. Give yourself some grace. You are growing another human inside your body. It’s an amazing thing but so so so exhausting! Listen to your body and take it easy when you need to. Take a nap, get a massage, or eat that ice cream sundae!

4. Expect the unexpected. Everyone and their mother (and your mother too) will want to give you advice on what to expect when you are pregnant. But in reality, every soon-to-be-mom is different. And every pregnancy is different. One day you feel terrible and the next you feel like a million dollars! I remember when I was pregnant with Hudson, I didn’t throw up at all….meanwhile my good friend was tossing her cookies every single day. I worried that something was wrong with me or my baby…but it turns out everything was absolutely fine. I was just different! And I totally made up for the lack of sickness with my next two pregnancies. Everyone is different so try not to compare yourself to others. It will only bring you un-needed stress!


5. Do your research! When you are pregnant, there are so many decisions that need to be made with your doctor or midwife team. If you are a long time reader here, you’ll know I did a lot of research on doctor vs. midwife and c-section vs. VBAC. Everyone is different and it’s important that you discuss all of your options with your medical provider. With all three of my pregnancies we explored the option of cord blood banking. We donated cord blood once too! Over the past several years there has been a lot of new research in the field of stem cells and cord blood banking. CBR partners with researchers on FDA- regulated clinical trials to advance newborn stem cell research as well as connect families to trials if they qualify. CBR’s goal is to provide the best service and quality in the collection, processing, and storage of newborn stem cells. If you are pregnant, you can consider the option of cord blood banking. Did you know that July is Cord Blood Awareness month? It’s a time to highlight and celebrate the significant contributions made through stem cell research, trials, and treatment. If you are interested in storing your cord blood for future use, you can find more information at the Cord Blood Registry.


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Princess Popcorn

July 20, 2017

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This post is brought to you by Disney Junior.

Princess Popcorn

It’s no secret that princesses have officially taken over our house. Sofia the First is Sadie’s most favorite princess. This girl is straight up obsessed with “Princess ‘Phia” as she calls her…and it’s just the cutest thing ever. She got a few princess dresses for her birthday and they are all she wants to wear. She calls this castle her “princess house”….basically I just want to bottle up her sweetness and keep her forever.

Princess Popcorn

 So, needless to say Sofia the First is Sadie’s absolute favorite show! I love that Sofia is always kind, helpful, and cares about others. She’s a wonderful friend and always tries to do what is right. Sofia also admits when she’s made a mistake, apologizes, and tries to make it right. As a mom I really appreciate Sofia’s character and kind heart. She’s a great princess for Sadie to look up to and admire. 


Princess Popcorn

Disney Junior has all new episodes every FRiYAY morning on Disney Channel of our favorite Disney Junior shows, including Sofia The First, which we love and look forward to! Sofia puts the YAY in our FRiYAY! To celebrate our favorite show and favorite princess, we decided to whip up some Princess Popcorn! 

Princess Popcorn

Both kids had so much fun putting this special treat together. Here’s what you’ll need: 
- popcorn
- pretzel sticks
- white chocolate chips
- olive oil
- multi colored mini chocolate chips

Princess Popcorn
Princess Popcorn

Spread the popcorn out on a piece of wax paper, then top with pretzel sticks. Melt some white chocolate chips in a small microwave save bowl and add a little olive oil to thin it out and make it easier to use.

Princess Popcorn

Next, drizzle the melted chocolate on top of the popcorn and pretzel sticks, making sure to cover everything with at least a little bit of chocolate.

Princess Popcorn

Before the chocolate dries, have your little helpers sprinkle on the multi colored mini chocolate chips on top.

Princess Popcorn

Let everything set for about 15 minutes.

Princess Popcorn

Once your princess popcorn mixture is dry, break off chunks and enjoy!

Princess Popcorn

We’ll be making this recipe again for the premier of Sofia the First on Friday, July 21st at 9am on the Disney Channel! We love watching the morning block of Disney Junior shows on the Disney Channel and can’t wait to watch the new episodes of all of our favorites!

Princess Popcorn

Thanks to Disney Junior for sponsoring this post.

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Lake Life Essentials

July 18, 2017

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Hyland’s Earache Drops.  The uses for Hyland’s products are based on traditional homeopathic practice. They have not been reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration.


We are LOVING our summers at the lake. Both of the big kids love hanging by the water, playing outside, going on boat rides, fishing, swimming, running through the sprinklers, and special treats like ice cream for dinner. I think they are totally living the life!


I love that we are creating special memories together as a family.


I hope the kids know how special it is that they get to spend long summer days at the lake house together.


My two little fishies are ready for the water!
Next summer we’ll have three little ones going for a swim!


Since we love to live at the lake during the summer, I’ve found a few items that are necessities for keeping everyone happy, healthy, and well-rested!


-two bathing suits for each kid
-sunglasses
-sunscreen
-bug spray
-bandages (we ALWAYS need these!)
-special treats and snacks
-essential oil roller balls to help with sleep, upset tummies, and fevers


It seems like the kids sometimes get sick when we are away from home, so I love keeping just a few essentials with me in case we need them. We love Hyland’s Earache Drops because they help relieve symptoms of earaches including fever, pain, irritability, and difficulty sleeping. Every parent knows that tired, sick kids are zero fun…especially when you are not home and trying to enjoy a little getaway! I feel good about giving my kids Hyland’s Earache Drops because they are a natural, homeopathically prepared blend of botanicals and minerals. And they help my kids feel better, especially after a long day of swimming and getting that lake water in their ears.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Hyland’s Earache Drops.  The uses for Hyland’s products are based on traditional homeopathic practice. They have not been reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration.

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Girls Just Want to have Tea Parties!

July 12, 2017


I try to spend a little one on one time with each of my kids every day. Even if it's just a few minutes of reading a book, playing a game, or making something together. I want each of my kids to know just how special they are. 


The other day Sadie and I had a little mommy daughter tea party. And it just warmed my heart. Sadie spends a lot of her days playing with Hudson...which means she plays with cars, trucks, robots.....you name it. So when she has a chance to actually play with some of her toys, she gets so in to it!


We played tea party for such a long time. The weather was perfect so I couldn't resist moving our tea party outside! Hudson was at summer school and the baby was napping. Perfect timing for some special time with my sweet girl.


Watching her play brought back my own memories of playing with my tea set. Having a little girl is so much fun!


Isn't this the cutest set up ever? 


Even Wrigley got in on the tea party action. 


Sadie definitely knows what she likes...and it's PINK! Everything needs to be PINK these days. And she wants to wear a "pretty bow" and "neck-ise" every day. This girl kills me!


So much fun!


Sadie's adorable tea set and dessert tray are made by Cubbie Lee Toys. They are beyond darling....in fact both Sadie and I squealed when we opened the package! Have you ever had a toy that you just know you will keep forever...and save for your grandchildren one day? That's exactly how I feel about these sweet wooden toys! All of the Cubbie Lee toys are fun, educational, and beautiful. They are made of sustainable harvest timber and are hand crafted to the highest standard. I can tell these toys will stand the test of time and get a lot of love in our house. Cubbie Lee Toys are available on Amazon too...and there are special discounts if you order two or more! You can view the selection on Amazon here.


You can find Sadie's Ultimate Tea Party Set on Amazon too. It would make a great birthday gift! These toys have entertained us for countless hours and are the first things Sadie reaches for. I've never seen her so enamored by a toy before! I just love playing with my sweet girl....and I seriously cannot wait for Belle to join in on the fun! Want to win an amazing prize package from Cubbie Lee? Right now they are giving away a $195 toy super bundle filled with so many cute toys! Enter to win here

This post is sponsored by Cubbie Lee Toys but our love for their amazing toys is all our own!


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5 Ways to Create "Me Time" as a Busy Mom

July 7, 2017


As a busy mom, it's hard to make time for myself. It's easy for my days to become long and stretched thin and exhausting. I'm sure so many of you can relate. When I do have some alone time it's often spent running errands for my family or cleaning the house. But if I've learned anything from raising three little ones it's that a burned out mama is no fun for anyone. Everyone is happier if I am happy. And in order to maintain my sanity I need time to myself every once in awhile. It doesn't have to be an entire day, just some moments here and there to rejuvinate my mind and body and feel more like myself.


I know first hand how hard it can be to carve out some alone time. So I'm sharing a few tips I use to carve out "me time" during the day.

1. Wake up before the kids. I know I've shared this before, but the reason I'm putting it as number one on the list is because it is THE BEST tip I've discovered. I've tried staying up late to get a few things done, watch TV, or just sit and enjoy the quiet. And although it works, it's exhausting. I always end up staying up way later than planned and I miss out on some quality time with my husband. So, at least a few days a week I set my alarm so that I'll wake up before everyone else. It's so nice to have the early morning all to myself. I can work out, make coffee, read blogs, or just be alone. It's such a great way to start the day and always makes me feel happier and more motivated to keep up with all the things I have to do during the day. Not going to lie, some days waking up early just isn't going to happen. Either the kids kept me up all night or I'm just too tired. And that's fine. A little grace always helps.

2. Hire a babysitter. I'm lucky that my mom lives next door and my in-laws live 15 minutes away. And they are all retired. So I have several options for child care if I need a break. Before having Belle my in-laws came over in the morning once a week to watch Sadie while I took Hudson to pre-school. While he was in school I would run errands, go shopping, or just sit at Starbucks and work on blog stuff! It was the perfect break and just what I needed each week to feel accomplished and more on top of things. Now that I have Belle I frequently still have them come over to watch Sadie, and I just bring her along with me. She's the easiest to take places! 

If you don't have family close by I highly recommend finding two good babysitters you trust. I recommend two because you might need a backup if one is busy! When I just had Hudson my mom worked and my in-laws lived 2 hours away, so I had to rely on a babysitter now and then to get some alone time. I asked my neighbors for recommendations and was able to find a sweet college girl to watch Hudson. I also found a sweet high school girl by using the NextDoor app. It's an app for your neighborhood. I simply asked if anyone could recommend a babysitter and a mom in a local neighborhood down reached out saying that her daughter would love to do it! I ended up meeting with the mom and the daughter to "interview" her and had a great experience. I know babysitting can be expensive but it's WORTH IT! 


3. Take a bath. You guys, this one is sooooo amazing. I forgot how much I love baths! There is something so relaxing and peaceful about taking a bath. I like to get the kids in bed and then spend some time alone, soaking up the quiet. (Can I get an amen?) 


I recently started using BathTease herbal bath teas and I'm in love! BathTease combines a blend of high-quality green tea, essential oils, and bath salts into a tea bag that you simply drop into your tub. And it smells AMAZING. Their spa quality products help improve skin complexion, promote healthy shiny hair growth, draw toxins out of the skin, reduce puffiness and dark circles under the eyes, and fight signs of aging.


There are three different types of teas to choose from: Aches and Pain for muscle tension relief, Floral Forest for complete skincare, and (my favorite) Lavender Dream for relaxation and stress relief. The Lavender Dream makes my bathroom smell heavenly, and leaves my skin so soft. I could stay in the bath ALL DAY! It's like a mini spa! 


Every bag comes with five individual 100% cotton muslin pouches, already pre-filled for a perfect bath. Simply put the muslin pouch in your bathtub and fill it with hot water. Allow fifteen to twenty minutes for the bath tea to brew and for the water to cool to a comfortable temperature, and then enjoy. 


BathTease only uses the highest grade essential oils, which are 100% pure and therapeutic grade. I look forward to taking a bath now and actually make it a priority. It has done so much to help improve my mood! 

4. Teach your kids independent play. I love to sit down and play with my kids, but sometimes I need them to play by themselves. I've worked from home for quite a while, so I knew when Hudson was really little that I would need him to be able to occupy himself for short periods of time. He understands that mama needs a break now and then and is happy to play by himself. Some days he's NOT happy and needs me to do every little thing for him. But most days he's fine to play independently for awhile. Sadie is naturally great at playing by herself, so this helps a ton. I encourage them to play by themselves (not together....they will fight, ha!) a little here and there so that I can have a moment of peace to do whatever the heck I want. It often involves me hiding in the bathroom eating cookies. Just keeping it real. 


5. Plan a girls night. Every mom needs a support system! I don't know what I would do without my mama friends! Pump a bottle of milk if you have to, ask grandma to help your husband with the kids, and get out of the house for the evening! This weekend a bunch of us are going to see the #imomsohard ladies and I can't wait! I haven't had a girls night in FOREVER. So obviously I need to put my own tips to use more often. 

Be sure to check out BathTease for yourself and let me know what you think! You can find them here: Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest

*This post is sponsored by BathTease, but all my love for their products is all my own!


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