Motherhood

Top 5 reasons why parents need to invest in a good deodorant

Guys, this post is completely serious. Possibly funny. But mostly serious. Tell me if I’m on point here with the top FIVE reasons why parents need to invest in a super duper, really good, mask that sweaty smell (too much?) deodorant 

Why do we sweat as parents... oh, this is why(now proceed to read my top 5 list)

  1. Breaking a sweat getting the kids dressed
  2. Breaking a sweat wrestling the kids into their car seats
  3. Breaking a sweat army crawling across the room trying to sneak out after your child falls asleep
  4. Breaking a sweat power cleaning the house 10 minutes before a play date arrives
  5. Breaking a sweat driving home with all the kids screaming and one is yelling they have to pee

 

Can I get a hallelujah!!! He hee. I have three of the most incredible kiddos who make it totally worth it to break out into (possibly stress induced) sweats!!! But hey, if we can’t laugh about parenthood then we have a very long journey ahead of us. Tell me below in the comments if these reasons hit home! Or tell me your reasons!! 

until next time, 

-Emily  

 

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Motherhood

Make Money With H&F

Yep, you heard it right... Harris & Fin now has an affiliate program! I’ve had this idea for awhile and finally am jumping into it. So basically you share our products, a friend buys something through your special link, and you get a kickback from it! Pretty awesome right :) I love affiliate programs because you don’t have to make any purchases to make money. No gimmicks. 

So are you wondering why we would do this?? Well, simply put. You are advertising for us. Rather than pay Facebook and Google to run ads, we are giving you a percentage back from sales made from your recommendations to your friends! Word of mouth is still (in my opinion) the greatest form of advertising. And this doesn’t mean you have to spam your friends. Chances are you shop with us too, so here’s the chance to show off what you’ve bought. How you style those sweet little babies of yours. Or you simply just like sharing pretty things :) either way works  

so! If you’d like to sign up you can do that HERE 

 

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If you have any questions please feel free to send me an email to harrisandfin@gmail.com

-Emily  

Parenthood Humor

I’m all for independence, but goodness gracious we go through a lot of toilet paper around here...! Like half a roll every time my kid goes poop. (That’s no joke) do you all manage toilet paper useage or what? Sooo tired of having to fish out wadded up, soaking wet paper, especially on those joyous occasions there’s a surprise in there too. I think you can guess what I’m talking about. (Insert eye roll with a hint of laughter) we gotta laugh our way through these stages right!! 

 

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Until next time, 

-Emily

Motherhood

The Power of a Dream

The Power of a Dream

 Dreams. I’ve yet to meet someone who hasn’t experienced at least one of the two variations. I’m talking about the kind that scares you and the kind that propels you. Oh wait, the more I consider them, the more I realize each descriptor is interchangeable for each type of dream. Let me explain.

I woke up this morning with two dreams. The first was the recollection of the dream I had while I was sleeping. Foggy and vague, but while the rest of the world slumbered, my brain went into dream mode, concocting wild adventures filled with more make-believe than I could dream of. Oh wait, I did dream it! That type of dream – the kind we have when our eyes are shut – can be filled with exciting elements or scary worries. Just take an evening of kid-duty hanging out with my 6 year-old to understand what I’m saying.

Only a few hours into bedtime, he will rush out for a “momma hug” to wash away his scary dreams. Dreams of spiders crawling in his bed or monsters hanging out under it. Dreams that make him feel lost and dreams that leave him more worried than any child his age should be. If an evening vanishes with no crazed outbursts, you will likely find a pleasant boy in the morning, smiling as he stuffs his face with muffins and recalls enjoyable dreams of outings with his P-Paw or excitement for the upcoming school talent show.

Those dreams, unfortunately, we don’t always have control over. They happen whether we want them to or not. We remember some and others run away the moment our eyes open up to a new day. Those dreams have the power to terrify both the young and old. As your brain processes the world around you each evening, these dreams can bring mystery and delight, pushing you to think of new opportunities. 

But there is another type of dream too that we cannot neglect. This type of dream can also be terrifying and invigorating all at once. This type of dream is what can give you hope but make you shiver in your boots if we dwell on it too long. I’m talking about a dream that is placed in your heart when your eyes are open. The type of dream that makes your hands sweat when you think about it and your heart race a little as you contemplate the potential. I’m talking about the dream that has the power to change your life.

For years, I’ve had a dream buried deep within that I never expected would become a reality. This dream started as a glimmer of an idea, and the more that I allowed myself to churn it, the more it became something that was worthy of exploring. I had a dream to write a book, and this dream all started from a dream deep in my slumber.

I must have been watching too much “America’s Got Talent” because in my dream I was a judge. I got to make the calls. I stood between people’s dreams and their realities. A young boy approached the stage and painted a picture as his talent. I deemed it subpar from the get-go and with each stroke of his brush I contemplated how to let him down gently.

As I told him this was the end of his road, that he did not need to quit his day job (even if he was too young to have one), I braced for the tears of disappointment. They didn’t come. Instead, a smile crept on his face and he took his painting, folded it up, and delivered it to me while saying, “That’s okay. But will you go color something pretty today?”

I woke up, confused by the vivid nature of this single dream and all day I tried to dissect the dream’s meaning. I struggled bringing my A-game to work because I kept reflecting on the intricacies of the young boy and the words that he shared. Then, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I finally understood, and when I did, I was dumbfounded at the profound message that came from a dream.

“Color something pretty today.” This young boy was dealt a dose of rejection and in that moment, he was given a choice. Would what I told him stop him from dreaming, or would it push him to dream harder? Instead of giving up, the young boy didn’t just keep dreaming, but he challenged me to do the same. In just a few words, he placed a dream in my heart; a dream that I knew I had to share with others.

So what do you do when you have a dream like this? For me, I go for it! And going for it I did. For years I wrote in the quiet nooks of my house, secretively so that no one could poke holes at this newly found dream. Slowly I would leak what I was doing to others in subtle ways to see if it sounded as crazy as I thought it may be, and slowly others started to give my dream fuel. I could never have planned my dream to be ignited in the way that it was. And I could have never dreamed that my dream would be a reality just a few weeks ago when my book titled “Color Today Pretty: An Inspirational Guide to Living a Life in Perspective” was published for the masses to devour.

While having a dream is amazing in and of itself, the power of a dream is even more incredible. Each time I would sneak away to write a chapter, I was energized by the words that would show up on the page. Yet, little did I know, wondering eyes would also find new energy. Each time I would read a section that I was most excited about to my husband, other listening ears soaked in each word too. And when the book came out, and I finally got to hold it in my hands, two tiny hands grabbed the book afterward, and bringing it to his chest, he hugged it tightly.

You see, the whole time I was fulfilling the dream that I received from a dream, my son was watching. He was listening. He was dreaming and he didn’t even know it. And neither did I. It wasn’t until my husband and I went to his student-teacher conferences this spring that I realized what was happening. Walking down the hall toward his classroom, I gazed as the beautiful artwork on the walls that each kid in the class had made. They were charged with writing a sentence and then drawing a picture that corresponded. The sentence that they had to write began with a writing prompt: “I am unique because…” And each kid had to fill in the blank.

I saw lots of sweet unique sentences. One child said she was unique because she was a twin, drawing a picture of her and her brother to accompany it. Another drew a picture of himself running, touting that he was unique because he could run super-fast. I smiled reading each, but my smile started to quiver and my eyes began to fill up when they landed on one special piece of artwork made by my one-and-only sweet boy.

His picture was of a book, opened with pages flipped. And his sentence read: “I am unique because I write books.” Before hearing anything that his teacher was promised to share, I was filled with more pride than I knew was feasible. All this time I was writing, I never dreamed of my dream being the seed to one of his dreams. And yet, here in front of my face, was a picture of art – much like the boy in my dream – with a dream. He was ready, and I was given the choice to again on how I would impact it.

So together we write. He writes of balls, and church, and food in his two page picture books. And I now write of him. I write about how his dream propels mine and how powerful having a dream can truly be.

When you have a dream, I realize now, that dream isn’t meant to hoard. You can’t collect dreams like I collected bouncy balls as a kid, hiding them away until they will be worth something one day. Because if you try to hold tight to them, not sharing them with anyone, they will never accumulate any worth, just like the useless bag of bouncy balls I now have stored in our basement.

Dreams are meant to be shared, and my sweet boy proved that to me. For when I acted on my dream, he saw it, and he watched every step of my way. Once my dream became a reality, it proved to him that any dream he has is worthy of investing in, for one day, if you dream hard enough, your dream can come true.

As a parent, I know my job comes with lots of amazing opportunities and lots of gross ones too. Changing diapers and making baby food, while critical, aren’t experiences I’d look forward to doing again. Wiping noses and managing illnesses I’d like to forget as well. Important elements to parenthood for sure, but I venture to say that while those expectations are necessary for survival, so is helping your child catch a dream in their dream catcher with the intention of acting on it.

You see, they will grow out of diapers (thank heavens) and they will opt for pizza over your handmade pasta sauce over zoodles whenever possible. They will not want you to wipe their nose, and quite frankly, you’ll be lucky if you can even get a hug from time to time. And they will opt to lie on the couch when they are sick versus cuddling in your lap. Those elements of parenthood are destined to dissipate. But if you opt to not just help plant the seed of a dream but nourish it with them, there, my friends, is where the true, lasting beauty lies.

I have no idea if my son will grow up and publish a book. Honestly, I don’t know if a week from now he will even have fun making picture books any more. I haven’t a clue where he will go or what will excite him. All I know is that right now he has a dream, and to me, it’s one worthy of acting on. I don’t care if he colors his pictures within the lines, I’m just proud that he’s coloring. And if he spells unique with a k strategically and inappropriately placed, I don’t care about that either. Because all that matters is that he has found a dream, and together we will dream until his dreams come true.

 

About Our Guest Blogger Stephanie!

Stephanie Feger is a passionate communicator who believes that a shift in perspective can help people live truly fulfilling lives. After working in the public relations and marketing industry for nearly 15 years, she learned that happiness isn’t found in what society deems important and felt a calling to do something different. That’s when she began to nurture her entrepreneurial spirit and build a brand intended to help others live to their fullest potential. Stephanie has embraced listening to God on her journey and empowers others to join her through Color Today Pretty. From being a professional speaker, avid blogger, and home décor business owner, Stephanie connects her passion for embracing creativity with her devotion to faith in everything she does. Stephanie has recently published her first book “Color Today Pretty: An Inspirational Guide to Living a Life in Perspective” which is available now on Amazon. Learn more at www.colortodaypretty.com.

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Organic Cleaner For Kid Products

Okay guys! What kind of cleaner do you use on your kid’s things?

I love cleaning with Shaklee’s organic Basic H2 cleaner 🙌🏻

Here’s why:

My kids are touching (and eating) off the surfaces I clean. Which means I don’t want any chemicals left behind from store-bought products

•The 16oz bottle is super concentrated -it makes 48 oz of cleaner. That’s over 200 bottles of store bought cleaner!!😱

•its ORGANIC

•Does not contain phosphates, dyes, toxins, toxic fumes, hazardous chemicals, fragrance or chlorine

•and is biodegradable


I love sharing ways to keep our homes safe! Let me know if you have any questions or if you also use these products!!❤️

 

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You can find the concentrate HERE 

And spray bottles HERE 

Most Popular First Birthday Party Themes

Most Popular First Birthday Party Themes

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Sometimes it's hard to keep up! I feel like every step, word, birthday has to be celebrated in this big way. While there’s nothing wrong with that, it can become a little exhausting. In the modern world of Pinterest and Instagram, it’s easy to feel like your failing and everyone else is rocking it with all these elaborate themes and ideas. Well I’m all about making things easier! I have listed below some of my favorite first birthday party themes that are super simple. To make it even simpler, check out our Etsy shop to add unique time capsules, banners, and invitations for your party!

 

Unicorn

This makes for a super adorable first birthday party theme! First birthdays are so magical as it is, so why not use a magical creature to mark the special day. The rainbow theme is lots of fun and you can have your little girl wear literally anything. There’s lots of cute unicorn shoes, shirts, and crowns on the market right now too.

 

Construction

 

What little boy doesn’t like trucks and big construction vehicles? I know my little one is obsessed! You can use small tonka trucks and construction vehicles for decoration. Mud pies or pudding with oreo ‘dirt’ make for the perfect dessert! It’s easy to find cute yield tape and signs for decorations as well.

 

Lumberjack

 

This is what we did for my little one’s birthday. I actually have some free lumberjack printables on my blog as well as the time capsules in our Etsy store. There are so many ways to run with a lumberjack theme. You can go camping with s’mores and camping equipment, or stumps and animals, wood branches, pine cones. The types of props that you can just find around your yard and house are endless. Also, all little boys look adorable in red plaid!

 

Donuts

Donuts make for an adorable first birthday party. This is probably one of your child’s favorite treats at this age. I do not know about you, but we did not let our little one have too many sweets. Donuts however were a special treat. There’s also cute wordplays you can do with donuts. Like “donut you want to have some fun”, “you donut want to miss this party”, and “thanks a hole bunch for coming”. We don’t currently have any donut themed items in our shop, but I love custom work! So feel free to reach out and I’d love to work with you and create something unique.

 

Superhero

All the parents will love this theme as well! You can go super generic, or use your favorite superhero. There are cute onesies for boys and girls for most of the superheros. This is a bright and fun theme and the decorations are really endless.

Hopefully these most popular themes will help you when planning your little one's birthday party. This is such a fun and special time, so be sure to have fun when planning your party and not stress too much about it! I’d love to hear which theme you decided on. Leave a comment below to let me know.

 

About Our Guest Blogger, Amy!

guest blogger Amy

 

Hi, my name is Amy Lanham. I’m a blogger, photographer, and graphic designer. I’m a mom to a 2 year old son with a little girl on the way. I want to help moms document their children’s lives easily and affordably!

Facebook.com/lanhamphotography

Pinterest.com/lanhamcreations

Instagram.com/lanhamcreations

Instagram.com/lanhamcreationsstore

twitter.com/lanhamcreations

lanhamcreations.etsy.com

Amylanham.com

Healthy living

How To Clean Your Porcelain Sink

So, I love my porcelain sink, but being white...  it gets dirty and scummy pretty fast. I normally use Softscrub, which works pretty well, but I’ve been doing so much reading on chemicals and which “everyday cleaners” that are doing more harm than cleaning!! Who wants chemicals left behind after cleaning their sink... and then wash your fruits and vegetables in that same sink.. uhh, not me!! 

But no worries, I have an amazing product to share with you! Shaklee’s “Scour Off” heavy duty cleaning paste. Guys, this stuff is magic.  

 

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It says it can be used on sinks, tubs, ovens, stoves, and tiles. And even removes rust stains!! I have a whole list of places I’m going to try cleaning with it :) but I did try it out on two places! One, my sink, and two, a pan I burned beans in (oops)

 

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It’s pretty self explanatory.. Take a little scoop of the paste, and scrub away! The grime comes off easily. Easy peasy, right!? Gotta love a shiny clean sink!! And here is my pan 

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It doesn’t look like much, but this is what was coming off of the bottom of the pan (gross!)

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Pretty awesome stuff!! If you are interested in trying it, you can find it here 

If you have any questions, please ask away!

Until next time,

-Emily  

Recipes

Best Vitamins For Kids

How many of you have picky eaters? I’m always worried my kids aren’t getting enough healthy nutrition. They basically live off of pasta. If you ask my kids what they are hungry for, 90% of the time they say noodles. They also eat strawberries like you wouldn’t believe, so I guess we have that going for us! Noodles and strawberries aren’t much of a “balanced” diet. So I turn to vitamins. But have you actually read labels and tried to find ones that aren’t full of added sugars to make them taste good and dyes that decay their teeth... yes! I’m serious... kids “vitamins” do that! So I decided to share what I found 

 

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They are called Incredivities and are a chewable tablet made by Shaklee. My kids love them! And sometimes have melt downs that they can’t eat more than one a day... But hey I’d rather it be that way than refuse to eat them. Anyways, they are packed full of greatness! I’ll leave the link below so you can read all the benefits for yourself

 http://emilyloudin.m.myshaklee.com/us/en/shop/healthyfoundations/kidsnutrition/product-_p_incredivites_supsupp

If you have any questions about Shaklee Products let me know :) I love their products so much I signed up as a distributor for the discount ;)  

No sales speech here... just wanted to share how to get picky eaters the vitamins and immune building nutrients they need! While actually being naturally good for them :)

-Emily  

 

Motherhood

How To Keep Your Toddler Busy While Going Out

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I don’t know about your little one, but mine just doesn’t like to sit still! He wants to constantly be moving. So everytime we go out it’s an adventure. Every outing I feel like I stuff my purse with tons of snacks and toys to allow us to have a successful outing. If I don’t bring snacks to the store or his favorite toys forget about it! Eating out is difficult for this reason too. Sure there’s food to keep him entertained, but some days he might just not feel like eating, plus there’s a lot of wait time. Here are my favorite ways to keep my toddler busy while going out.

Cars, Planes, and Little People

I have a little zippered makeup bag that I keep in my purse with toys. These are only used for when we are out of the house. I’ll let him play with them while grocery shopping or at restaurants. It mostly consists of cars, planes, and helicopters bought at the dollar store. We don’t keep any of these kinds of toys in the house, so these are a special treat. It means he’ll sit quietly and play. Occasionally I’ll throw in some little people too. These we play with at the house, but he still enjoys them. He’ll have them ‘ride’ on the cars or planes. The toys are cheap, so if we lose them it’s not that big of a deal.

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Crayons

My little one is actually not a huge fan of drawing, but crayons can keep his attention for a little while. If there’s nothing else to do then I always default to finding some crayons for him, or a pen. I find if I talk to him and color with him it seems to keep his attention a little longer.

Stacking Jelly

When we go to breakfast this is our favorite thing to do! You know the jelly containers? We use them as legos. He likes to stack them up and knock them down. It’s a fairly quiet task, except for the knocking them down. We also talk about what colors they are and match them up. I try to make it a bit of a learning session too.


Go for a Walk

When all else fails, we go for walk. Sometimes just a quick jaunt around the restaurant will hold him off until the food arrives. This doesn’t always work in my favor. Sometimes, if he’s not that hungry, he’ll just decide he’s done and doesn’t want to go back to sitting down. So then someone will have to hold him or walk with him for the rest of the meal. So we try to use this sparingly and only if we know he’s hungry!


Snacks

I always carry extra snacks in my purse. His favorites right now are craisins, yogurt covered raisins, fruit snacks, and bars. I always try to have at least one of these. I give him snacks in the cart when were shopping, especially when grocery shopping. Another fun fact, most grocery stores will give kids free cookies from the bakery! So we always stop by the bakery so he can get a free cookie. This buys me time to do the grocery shopping. When we’re already out to eat, snacks don’t work amazingly. Especially because I want him to eat when I eat. But I’ll usually try to order him something small that he can snack on while we wait for our meal. Either bread or if we’re at breakfast I’ll order some fruit.

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Phone

Finally, we utilize our phones. It’s not my favorite, but sometimes you just have to do what you have to do! We have an old iPhone 4 that we use. I put some videos on it and it’s “my sons phone”. We’ll also let him watch videos or Netflix or YouTube on our phones if he gets tired of the videos on his phone or we forget it. There are a couple games for him on my phone too. Right now his favorites are “Endless 123”, “Metamorphabet”, and “AnimalsForToddlers”.

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So those are the main ways that I have found to keep my toddler buy while going out. How do you keep your toddler busy while going out?

 

About Our Guest Blogger

Hi, my name is Amy Lanham. I’m a blogger, photographer, and graphic designer. I’m a mom to a 2 year old son with a little girl on the way. I want to help moms document their children’s lives easily and affordably!

www.Facebook.com/lanhamphotography

www.Pinterest.com/lanhamcreations

www.Instagram.com/lanhamcreations

www.Instagram.com/lanhamcreationsstore

www.twitter.com/lanhamcreations

www.lanhamcreations.etsy.com

www.Amylanham.com

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Motherhood

And You Thought You Were Tired Before? How Toddler Exhaustion Outweighs Newborn Exhaustion

 

Everyone tells you having a newborn is hard; they selectively leave out how hard it is past the newborn stage. It is as if they are telling you “Once you get past those first few months, it gets better”

I am here to tell you, this may not be true. My oldest, Tempest was an easy baby; she hardly ever cried, she slept when she was tired, and we were in blissful ignorance thinking it would always be like this. I have to say, we may have been lucky as first time parents. I did not feel exhausted or overwhelmed in the slightest. In fact, compared to the exhaustion I felt when I was 42 weeks pregnant, I felt great. People brought us food, offered assistance, helped-out whenever I needed, my husband went back to work, and everything was fine.

In screeched toddlerhood. For us, this happened around 10 months. My daughter was no longer the peaceful sleeping infant. She is full on busy, active, little girl.  All the time. And she hated sleep. It was a Mexican standoff with her, sleep, and me. Her very effective way of fighting sleep (and me) was to out run us. If she was moving, she wouldn’t fall asleep.

Typically, by the time she fell asleep I was in need of some serious down time. I am not the type of person that can just flip a switch and be asleep. The longer the struggle, the longer I needed. This, of course, meant I did not get to sleep nearly fast enough and a few hours after I fell asleep, she was up again. This was the same time in my daughter’s life that naps started getting shorter and less often. By a year and a half, she was down to one 20-minute nap a day or no nap at all. Consequently, I was exhausted beyond believe.

Things went in the same direction when my second was around 11 months and is starting to happen again with my 10-month-old. As they reach toddlerhood, they start to be more and more active. This is the time that they start to understand that they might be missing something with sleep. You can see their brains being active at all times, even those rare moments that they sleep.

This was the type of exhaustion I imagined when people told me those first few weeks were tiring. But there is one big difference now. There is no one busting down your door to help. Where are the people with food now? I would love for someone to come make me dinner. There is no one offering assistance. My husband still is working. Everyone is anxious to help with the brand-new baby, but now they all think I “have a handle on the whole mothering thing” as one of my relatives put it. The more kids you have, the more exhausting toddler-land becomes. Not only because you have more needs to meet, but because more and more people consider you the expert. Yes, I am a mom. Yes, I am fried. Yes, I run to the store every time we need something, so I can sit in the car and breath without having to worry about someone sticking handfuls of cat hair in their mouth.

Newborn exhaustion has got nothing on toddler exhaustion. Toddlerhood is better with a village. And if there were people there when your baby was new, they will be there still. But they might not know you need help. The help won’t come to you, you need to ask for it; demand it if you must. And through it all there is one thing I want you to remember, I promise it gets better. “You got this whole mothering-thing! You’re the expert now” 

 

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Meet our guest blogger!

Paige is a caffeine addict and lover of chocolate. She is the mom of three little girls. She has a master’s degree in Writing and Rhetoric and has started too many blogs to count. Her current blog, ScrawlsOfLife.com, shows what real motherhood looks like. Her mission is to raise smart, confident, and compassionate children in a stress-free and happy environment and to help others do the same.

Social Links

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ScrawlsOfLife/

Blog: http://www.scrawlsoflife.com

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Kids Crafts

Marshmallow Craft

We have the serious winter blues over here!! Having two very active toddlers is challenging enough when you’re stuck inside, but add a newborn to the mix and you’ll be going stir crazy too! Oh and did I mention they are both sick. It has been a rough couple of days.. So I knew we needed a fun easy project to do today. All I did was write their names on construction paper with glue and let them place mini marshmallows onto it. Seriously, super easy! But they loved it, and I was able to breathe for a few minutes while they worked on their projects 

 

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I highly recommend keeping a stack of construction paper on hand! It’s fun to have the colors to pick out for quick crafts like this. Also, amazon that stuff to your house! Who wants to drag kids out in the snow to pick up craft supplies..!! Not this Mama :)  

-Emily  

Motherhood

The Bottle Washing Stage

I’m back in the newborn, washing a million bottles, stage of life. And I love it! I’ve been on the fence about breast feeding verse formula feeding. I nursed in the hospital then decided when we got home to start bottles/formula. This is my third baby, I’ve been through nursing and bottles before and bottles just seemed right this time. And here’s my greatest advice!! If you don’t want to breast feed... then don’t!! Seriously it’s okay, it’s not for everyone. Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty or that it’s wrong that you don’t. You do what’s right for you, Mama. My middle child was only breast fed for a week and my oldest 3 months, and she keeps up just the same!  

Anyways :) I was at the sink washing all these bottles and couldn’t help but smile that I have a sweet newborn to snuggle again. Yes I’m lacking sleep, sore, and all that good stuff .. but hey it’s completely worth it. 

Have your kids all used the same bottles? Each one of mine preferred one kind. And Miss Clara has taking a liking to these Como Tomo bottles. Which are SUPER easy to wash

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You can get them on Amazon here

I’m also obsessed with the Baby Breeza. Like blown away by its convenience. I was skeptical at first by the price but it’s so worth  every penny. It takes seconds to make. No measuring or heating up water. It does it all for you!! I have it set up in the bedroom so it makes a bottle while I’m changing her diaper. It’s a must have for babies who don’t like to wait to eat!!  

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I also got this on Amazon HERE and it was on my porch the next day. Amazon also blows me away.. 

Well my babe is up ready for a bottle so I’m saying goodbye for now! :) 

-Emily

 

Motherhood

Finding The Directions

Finding The Directions

By: Stephanie Feger

When I was expecting my first bundle of joy, I spent hours agonizing at the local baby story over what to include in my registry. I needed the perfect bedding set with matching accessories, and it was critical that we had other must-haves like the most up-to-date video monitors. I read tried-and-true books and joined blogs that not only prepped me for my pregnancy but promised to prep me for mommy-hood. I was prepared. I was equipped. I was ready. Or so I thought.

The moment that we welcomed our first baby is one I will never forget for many reasons. I remember his first cry, as my cry of relief accompanied it. I remember his cuddles, as I too needed this comfort while we began this new life together. Those fond memories I will always cherish, however, I also remember that feeling of fear, which was probably what my little one was feeling too. His fear was of entering a world unknown, far brighter and much noisier than the one he had grown accustomed to. My fear was also connected to uncharted territories, and I quickly realized that what I thought I needed most I didn’t receive at a baby shower. In fact, it was nowhere to be found.

Directions. Was that asking for too much? Sure, parenting books exist with tips and tricks, how-to’s and what not to do’s. I had read them all, and yet the moment that my baby boy wrapped his tiny fingers around my thumb I realized that no amount of preparedness would prepare me for the journey of parenthood. That is unless the moment that he arrived, magically a packet of directions would also appear. No amount of wishful thinking would bring this, and unfortunately it wasn’t an item offered on the registry.

You would think three kids later, I would be able to write the directions I had longed for years ago, but the truth is that until recently I was still looking for them. A clear set of directions on how to tackle the new challenges I faced would be extremely helpful, especially now-a-days. I may have been prepared for nursing my babies and knew the right protocol for bathing them, but I wasn’t prepared for a child with severe reflux or extreme eczema. I knew how I wanted to teach my kids and how I wanted others to as well, but I wasn’t prepared to learn how to teach one with sensory issues. I had found the best daycares and schools that met our needs, and yet I wasn’t prepared for bullying, heartbreaks, or the latest, lice.

I have two boys and one girl, so my odds for lice should be low except for the fact that all of my kids inherited my thick locks. A blessing and yet also a curse once we realized it was a loved spot for our home’s unwelcomed residents. I had never experienced the pesky bugs growing up, so when I found more than my stomach could handle on my daughter, I panicked. Okay, that’s an understatement. I had a full-fledge panic attack, overwhelmed trying to figure out how to eradicate them from her head and our house.

Directions would have helped out tremendously here, saving me the hours it took to learn every nuance of the nuisance. Directions would have probably saved my boys from losing all of their hair, an impulse reaction when I was determined to omit any unnecessary hair in the house. But, again, none were to be found. Advice, yes. Recommendations, sure. But clear directions on how to navigate through it. Nada.

We tried it all – over-the-counter treatments, home remedies, hot water fabric washes, and entire house scrubbing. We even bagged up every stuffed animal, including toys that had any resemblance of hair or fur, and secluded them to the basement for a month, not allowing the microscopic pests any opportunity for survival. I’m sure we went overboard, but even with all our prevention techniques, after a week lice-free, they returned. I was defeated and my daughter was too.

You see, the lice outbreak didn’t just leave her scalp irritated, she too was irritated that she was without her beloved toys. Most of her toys were no-goes, and her favorite stuffed animals were locked away. Together, we looked for things to do around the house while she was quarantined from society. Even with limited options we managed to fill the time with smiles… until nap time.

My daughter, the hoarder, usually keeps a bed full of unnecessary blankets and stuff animals. The outbreak left her room so bare that it echoed as I tucked her in for nap. She tossed and turned, and I knew if we didn’t get creative, nap would be nonexistent. No directions were available to help me in this time of need so I just used what was handy and prayed it would suffice. A doll dress and a ball –uniquely separate toys but when brought together became a new world of make believe. If she couldn’t have a stuffed animal I would make one, and when I put the dress on the ball, “Tina” was born.

I figured my daughter would dismiss my temporary solution to our current problem, but she didn’t. Instead, she took that ball in a dress and hugged it so tightly as if she had just been reunited with her best friend. She thanked me profusely for my ingenuity, and cozied up in bed with Tina for a restful nap.

Normally, nap time allows my mind to take a break from being a parent. It’s my chance to catch up on a TV show or just relish in the silence, but this day I found trying to come to grips with what had just happened. For years I had been looking for the wrong things in the wrong places. I had spent time hoping for quick fixes and clear directions on how to tackle challenges I faced that I didn’t realize that I was given much more than I needed and it was placed right in front of me all along.

You see, I wanted directions on how to parent. I wanted to follow a step-by-step guide so I could be successful at it. I wasn’t given that the day each of my kids were born, and that day I realized if I kept seeking it I would only be met with disappointment. I needed to come to grips with the fact that no set of directions would be perfect for me, but instead I had been handed a perfect set of directions all along, just a different kind altogether.

My daughter’s reaction to “Tina”, her doll dressed ball, proved that my kids didn’t need all the stuff we bagged up, praying to suffocate any lice remnants. My sons’ embracement of their new hairdo’s proved that what we think defines us doesn’t always have to. Hair, like toys, is merely a perk, a nice-to-have but not a must for you to still be who you are at your core. And for me, I realized that with a little inventiveness and a whole lot of patience, I was capable of doing so much more than I thought possible.

I will never get the directions I originally was seeking, but instead I got a set of directions that were more priceless. Each child I have been blessed with, and the one that I lost before I got to hold, continue to teach me, step-by-step on how to live a life worth living. Some days, they teach me how to navigate this world as I watch them glide through it. Other times, they teach me how to believe in myself, because to them I am capable of anything. There are moments where they embody the true essence of love, which helps me break down calloused barriers that the world has built. And they constantly show me that things in life aren’t as hard as we think. In fact, forgiveness is as easy as a hug.

Directions for parenthood aren’t quite so important to me now. I’d much rather learn as I go, because my kids have taught me that it’s through the hiccups where the true teachings come and the challenges that I find I am challenging myself to grow the most. It’s through these moments that I realize the only directions I really need are right in front of my eyes, three beautiful and spirited souls promised to guide me, step-by-step, moment-by-moment on how to live. 

 

 

Guest Blogger Stephanie

Guest Blogger: Stephanie Feger

Blogger Bio

Our culture can sometimes paint an unrealistic definition of what it means to be successful and happy, leaving us unfilled and always searching for more. But what if life isn’t about how busy you make your days, how much you achieve, or what you’re able to acquire? Instead, what if a meaningful and extraordinary life can be found by simply acknowledging the moments of beauty that each day offers?

In the hustle and bustle of finding balance in her life amidst managing a career, being a parent to three young children, nurturing a marriage, and much more, Stephanie Feger of Mount Washington, Kentucky, decided to create her own definition of success. Life can be relentless – from one difficulty or hardship to the next, but it can also be exquisite and nurturing, and the secret to finding that sweet spot is finding perspective. After being inspired by others and God Himself, Stephanie has embarked on helping others see how one can live an ordinary, and sometimes hard life, but still find blessings that nourish the soul and create true fulfillment. 

Stephanie has embraced listening to God on this journey, and through Color Today Pretty, she is empowering others to join her as she merges the creative with the creator, connecting her passion for embracing creativity with her devotion to faith.

Social Links:

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1281029548595083/about/

Instagram: @colortodaypretty

Recipes

Go-To Recipe For Kids

Hey there moms! I’m sure we have all been there where our lovely children just don’t want to cooperate and eat what we give them, right? I only have one child and it's literally an everyday struggle:( So I was searching through recipe after recipe trying to find something for him to eat the other night and this lovely recipe saved me! 

Garlic Bread Pizza!  

Yup, you totally read that right and let me tell you, my son ate more of this than anything that I have ever given him! So, I decided to share it with you to possibly help end the recipe searches. As you can see from my picture, my son doesn’t like spaghetti sauce so it's nice to be able to add or leave certain things. Plus, it's super easy and quick to make! 

 

Garlic Bread Pizza Recipe

What you need: 

  • 8 Count frozen garlic bread slices (any brand is fine) 

  • Spaghetti Sauce 

  • Pepperoni 

  • Shredded cheese 

 

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees

  2. Lay your garlic bread slices on a baking pan, no toppings, and cook for 4-5 minutes depending on your oven. 

  3. Take out once finished and top with your spaghetti sauce, pepperoni, and shredded cheese and place back in the oven for another 5 minutes or so. 

  4. Ta-da you are done! 

 

Pretty simple right! I hope this helps some other moms out and if you have any comments about it, I would love to hear them! 

-Heather 

 

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ABOUT OUR GUEST BLOGGER:

Hi! I'm Heather! Mom to one sweet little boy and owner of Simply Heathers Blog and H&L Vinyl Creations. While I love being all things "mom", I also enjoy Crafting, Beauty Trends, and Traveling. You can follow more of my adventures and gain tips/ tricks from my links below. 

@simply_heathers

www.simplyheatherssite.wordpress.com

 

guestbloggerHeather.jpg

Welcome!

Hey guys, it's me, Emily (owner of H&F)

So, I'm sitting here (of course not sleeping) because I swear I don't sleep anymore, thinking of ways I can bring more moms together. Motherhood is a fun/scary/exciting/challenging experience! And why do it alone?? So I've decided to add this blog section for Mamas like you to have a quick moment alone to read about advice, go-to kid-approved recipes, DIY craft ideas, and basically anything mom/kid related. But the fun part will be, that each post will be from other bloggers sharing their life experiences and tips that get them through each day. 

I have it stated over and over again "we rise by lifting others" 

With that being said, give the blogger a follow, click to her page, and be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to know when there is a new post to read!

Now, I should probable get to sleep (if my nine month pregnant belly will allow) Pre-school drop off comes before I know it..