Showing posts with label Life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Life. Show all posts

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Undercover Mama Nursing Maxi Dress

I can't believe I'm at the halfway point! This pregnancy is going by so fast. :)

I just got my first piece from Undercover Mama and I'm slightly obsessed. I'd heard about Undercover Mama for their awesome patented nursing friendly designs, and couldn't wait to try their nursing maxi dress! It is so comfortable, it feels like PJ's, but its also still flattering, I got lots of compliments. ;) I feel so comfortable in maxi dresses, but some can make me look like I'm wearing a tent while pregnant rather than show off the bump. I love how this one still gives a flattering shape! ;)

The dress is a perfect pregnancy staple since it can be dressed up, or worn casually. It is also nursing friendly, so you don't have to give it up after baby comes! An amazing feature of Undercover Mama pieces is their hook and loop design that allows you to attach the dress to your favorite bra and gives one hand nursing access!

Since I just about wore this dress to bed, I feel like I'll be wearing this one ALOT over the next 5 months! :)  Today on my Instagram stories I'm sharing a few different ways to style a maxi dress making in super versatile!


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Surviving the 1st Trimester Blues

Finding out a baby is on the way is such an exciting time! Sometimes the symptoms that creep up during the first trimester can put a damper on things. Its discouraging to suddenly feel awful every day (all day for some of us!) and have no energy for weeks on end. It's a struggle to know how much to ignore the yuck and press on and how much to rest! There are a other few things I've learned that helped me through my 2 first trimester journeys. Since I just finished going through it again, I thought I'd share! I'm no expert, and I know there are lots of experienced mamas out there with amazing tips of their own. If you have anything to add that has helped you, feel free to share in the comments! We all are encouraged by help and support from each other!

**Another note, I am by no means a nutritionist, or doctor, so make sure to speak to your OBGYN before making any changes to your diet!

1. Eat what sounds good to you!

I know a healthy diet is important during pregnancy, but a lot of those great-for-you items are hard to eat at first. Carbs are so much easier! I found that rather than forcing something that didn't agree with me, eating a potato or crackers helped me feel better and I was more likely to be able to eat a balanced meal later on. My OB told me eating what you can is sufficient for the 1st trimester, so AKA, enjoy the excuse to carb load while you can! ;)

Baked potatoes or sweet potatoes are my favorite go-to for morning sickness! I just microwave one when I'm getting hungry. Ok, chips and fries work too!

2. Get out of the house.

Even though the exhaustion and ridiculous amounts of nausea make you feel like staying in bed, getting out of the house can actually do miracles! I felt so much better every time I was out and about. Errands, girls night, family time, even a walk worked like magic. I almost started to wonder if my house was giving me morning sickness! Haha, it seemed to return as soon as I pulled in the driveway. :P I think a distraction is just so refreshing and gets your mind off the constant, "This nausea will be the death of me!" thoughts.

3.  Mediate on Truth

Its so easy to get in a rut and start thinking this will never end. Devotional time helped me so much to focus God's promises, be reminded of His love and care, and the fact that He wants to help me through trials even little nausea ones! I feel like first trimester blues can seem like a small hardship since nothing serious is wrong. We tell ourselves to "buck up" and that its not a big enough deal to ask for help. But nothing is too small to talk to Jesus about!

The fact that our little one is in God's hands also helps during a time of just so much uncertainty during the beginning weeks. Its so hard not to worry, but His character and His promises are unchanging. I really liked going through Loving God with All Your Mind.

It also helps just to keep reminding ourselves that this will end! It doesn't feel like it, but one day with both pregnancies, I woke up and the exhaustion and nausea were gone! I know some mamas experience morning sickness the entire pregnancy, but eventually, you will be a person again! You will get you enjoy your favorite foods again too. ;) Although temporary, the symptoms are real, and you're not imagining them or being a baby. Another thing to remember!

4. Drink a Coke.

I don't know if this would work for everyone, but Coke is like my pregnancy cure all! Definitely to be drunk in moderation, but a Coke here and there helps my pregnancy induced nausea and headaches everytime. Worth a shot! ;)

5. Sometimes a little flavor actually helps.

I know the general thought with nausea is to stick with bland food. However, I found that sometimes a little seasoning I like (nothing spicy) helped a lot. I also got some veggies in when I mixed them with a carb that is pretty "safe" like potatoes or rice.

6. Avoid cooking and dishes with freezer meals.

When you feel awful, being in the kitchen to cook and clean for your family is rough! It was making me feel so much worse and miserable to cook (especially meat) for Wes and Jos. And the clean up was so dreaded! I knew they couldn't just live on potatoes though! Wes and I decided that buying a few frozen already prepared meals for them would be worth it. We tried to stick to healthier options, but they also ate a fair share of hot pockets, let's be honest. Your family rather have you in their lives rather than a great meal then mom outta commission for the evening, I promise! Besides, its a temporary season, so resist the mom guilt if you're not cooking as much. ;)

We found that frozen veggie and chicken/shrimp stir frys were great for our crew to still get some nutrients in!

The first trimester is also a good time for paper goods to make less dishes! We used lots of paper plate s and cups, but even disposable bowls and silverware too! :)

7. Give yourself some grace.

Just remember, it OK to give yourself a break! Additional rest and couch potato-ing is totally acceptable and doesn't mean you've suddenly turned into a sluggard. You're just growing a human! It's ok to take on a smaller work load and less responsibilities where possible, you'll get back to superwomaning soon!

Sometimes when something's gotta give, it ends up being the house and the mess can get discouraging. Just remind yourself that you'll get your groove back, take one day at a time, and you're NOT a failure. :) Asking for help is also ok to do!

8. Spend time with others.

Sometimes you just need some company. Asking a friend to come over or you know, your mom, can be just what you need. Talking to a loved one about how we're really doing  helps to feel so much less alone.

Speaking of support, I'd love to hear what's worked for other Mamas. Having a community of friends even through the internet is such a blessing!

Friday, April 13, 2018

Summer Staple Dress for all "4" Trimesters

The 2 hardest things I've found when it comes to maternity clothing is finding pieces that fit well and are flattering for the entire pregnancy, as well as what to wear for dressier occasions during the "4th" trimester.

There are many pieces I've found that I love during the first half of pregnancy when that bump is small and cute, but then by the end, everything seems too tight, too short and uncomfortable. It's such a temporary season in our lives, but going months without comfortable clothes and the ability to still feel pretty can be can be pretty disheartening. I feel like having a few items in your wardrobe that I can still feel confident and functional in, give me the encouragement I need to hang in there during the last stretch of a growing bump and anticipation for the baby's arrival!

This dress I found at Figure 8 Maternity is so comfortable and cute, but definitely also has room for me to wear it through out the entire pregnancy. I will be living in this during my hot summer months 3rd trimester for sure!

The other challenge can be dressing up once you have the baby and your body hasn't gone completely back to normal yet. After Joslynne was born, I kind of felt like hiding and avoiding anywhere I'd have to wear something besides yoga pants. My waistline wasn't ready for most skirts, but many dresses are impossible to nurse in! A maternity dress that is nursing friendly is just right! Another point for this dress. ;)

Pregnancy is a temporary stage of life, but one that comes with so many changes for a woman not only physically but also emotionally and even logistically. With so many moving parts and unknowns, I am a firm believer that feeling great, and taking the anxiety out of getting ready during pregnancy makes such a difference!

This post is sponsored by Figure 8 Maternity. All opinions are my own. 

Monday, March 26, 2018

Meaningful & Practical Easter Basket Gift Guide for Toddlers


Bunny Toys




Bunny Ears


Bunny Hat

Bunny Treats

We love giving Joslynne meaningful gifts that will last forever or become keepsakes for holidays! Easter is one of my favorite times of year too, so making her a basket of treats is so fun to me. 

I compiled some ideas while I was shopping this year for special gifts and also some practical things we needed anyways! I linked girl items since I was shopping for Josy, but most of these sites have boy versions of the same items. ;)

Swimsuits: I remember receiving a swimsuit as a little girl from my mom for Easter, and I just loved it and always remembered that day! We will need one soon anyways, so its a fun addition to a little girl's basket. Hope & Henry is a gorgeous children's clothing line that is new to me and available on Amazon! 

Bunny Stuffed Animal: Sweet bunny toys are some of my favorite types of stuffed animals. 

Sandals: We started the tradition of buying sandals for Josy at easter time last year. Its the perfect time of year to stock up! ;)

Books: Books are always a good idea! I love taking the opportunity to show Josy how different cultures do things like in Rechenka's Eggs

Sunglasses: Josy is getting to the point where she'll keep sunnies on if the sun is in her eyes while we're out and about! 

Bunny Ears: Obviously! ;)

Necklaces: Our little one absolutely loves dressing up and borrowing necklaces, so we're starting to build her own collection. 

Bunny Hats: Now's our chance while Jos is little to put her adorable floppy eared hats. :P

Organic Treats: Joslynne's absolute favorite thing on earth to eat is Annie's Fruit Snacks! Haha But, I love that they don't have things like corn syrup, so that's what we'll fill her eggs with instead of candy.  

What are your favorite Easter goodies? 


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Exciting News!

So, we have something to tell you! I've been a little MIA around here lately, hopefully this will explain why. ;)

We couldn't be more excited for our little addition coming in September! I can't wait to see Josy become a big sister.

The 1st trimester was a little intense, but I'm feeling much better now. Now that I have a little more energy, we're starting to prepare to add another kiddo to our home!

Can we just talk about this PinkBlush Sweater for a sec?! Its seriously the softest thing ever! I love maternity clothes that are so comfortable but still pretty. This has been the perfect Sweater to transition to spring!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Survey Questions Answered

A few weeks ago, our reader survey had an ask anything section! Today, I am answering those questions. :) 

What is your favorite project to make? 

I love making DIY's for parties! My favorite pieces in the shop to make are our wood burned signs

How long have you been doing this and what’s your inspiration?

I have been blogging for 9 years, and have had the shop for 7. I have been creating artwork since I was little. I was 11 years old when I sold my first piece. It was a hand lettered personalized sign on a sheet of paper for $5. ;)
I am inspired by special moments and memories. I love details that remind us of our loved ones and our most precious memories. Whether that's a painting of a home, a family recipe, or your child's name.
I am also inspired by special and pretty details. I love looking at weddings, florals, and pretty homes for inspiration.  I love adding beauty into our daily lives. 

How do you manage your business and also care for your sweet little girl? What's your schedule like? 

Figuring out how to balance work and mama life has been a learning curve for sure! I want to be present with my little one on a daily basis. What has worked best for us, is to work when Joslynne is either asleep or in her high chair doing a contained activity. When she is playing freely around the house I am available to play with her or stop any housework if she needs me. 

I will be doing a post more about our daily and weekly schedules soon, but roughly our schedule looks like this:

   Mom                                 Josy
Devotions                                  Blanket time (reading her books)
Work                                          Breakfast
Get Ready                                  Get Ready
Housework                                Playtime
Work                                          Naptime
Work                                          Lunch
Outside/Walk                          Outside/Walk
Housework/Dinner                 Playtime
Dinner/Family Time               Dinner/Family Time
Work                                          Bedtime

How does Wes help you with the business?

Wes manages the financial side of things. He also is a pretty great wood stainer. ;) 

What made you decide to start this business?

I started getting requests to create pieces for friends to buy, so I created the blog and the etsy shop soon after! 

How do you find the time??

Finding time to devote to our business takes some juggling, scheduling, and prioritizing. During busy times, we opt for quick dinners, work on weekends, and keep the house manageable instead of spotless. ;) I definitely couldn't do it without Wes being onboard, sweet, helpful, and understanding!

What's your Favorite tool to use?

My favorite and somewhat unexpected tool is chalk! I do most of my planning for pieces in chalk. 

I also love using salt when working with watercolor. Salt pulls up the color of the paint so it helps create textured effects!

What is your favorite DIY you've made?

My favorite DIY's I've done are probably the Baby Sock Corsages and Floral Initials

How do you determine what you are going to sell? 

Many of our best selling products have been inspired by pieces I made for our home or for gifts! When I create a piece I love, I usually make it one of our available products soon after! I often come up with ideas based on solving a problem or filling a void in the creative market, so I share them in case others are looking for something similar! 

Maybe not the type of question you were wanting.. but do you do "group discount" meaning if I wanted 5 of the same watercolor recipe would there be any discount? 

We can offer discounts for multiple orders! However, Multiples of the same product will still all be individually hand painted, not "mass produced".  If you're interested in multiple pieces, send me a message and we can talk about what you're looking for!

Was it hard to learn hand lettering? Is it just something that came naturally to you or did it take a lot of practice?

I have loved learning hand lettering! I have been drawing since I was very young, and started hand lettering in Middle School. I would just make signs with friend's names and quotes for fun! So, I did practice quite a bit, but it was mostly just through fun pieces and playing around with it until I got in my groove. If you are interested in hand lettering, my advice would be to try it for enjoyment and make your own style! The nice thing about modern calligraphy, is that it is all so unique and doesn't have to look a certain way. :)

Do you experience highs and lows of this business and how do you manage them?

We definitely have our busy times! April and May are full months, and then our Christmas rush begins in October. During our slower months, we spend the time gearing up for the rush! We like to do as much as we can to prepare for the busy times so we can take on as many orders as possible. :)

What made you decide to start a blog? 

I started the blog as a way to share my art and ideas! 

Did you go to school for art or are you self taught?

I took as many art classes as I could as electives in High School. A few of them were college level.  My degree is in Elementary Education. :) The principles I learned have helped me a lot. I have taken that knowledge and use it when trying to learn new techniques I'm interested in teaching myself. 

Is your lettering done by free hand writing on your signs and child steps tools? 

All my lettering is free hand!

I’d love to know how much time you commit to your blog daily, weekly, etc.! I currently write for a mom’s blog in my city, but I’m thinking of starting up my own, too...but I don’t want to add something to my plate that I won’t be able to commit appropriate time to!

I work an average of 30 hours a week. I have a friend who helps with our marketing and she works 10 hours. So, our business is a full time job. :) I'd say the bulk of that time is actually doing the art work to complete orders. I work approximately 6 hours a day Monday- Friday. About 1 hour in the morning, 3 hours in the afternoon, and 2 hours in the evening, to fit it into my mom life. ;)

Blogging is more like 5-10 hours a week. Something that helps me fit in blogging is that I blog ideas, DIY's, and recipes that we actually use in our daily lives. So, while taking pretty photos of the process takes up extra time, the actual projects are ones that fit into my day and I would be doing anyways! 

Do you have a certain amount of work that you “have to” get done per day, like you’ll be seriously behind if you don’t/can’t get to it? If so, how do you handle mom life with that pressure?

There is not typically an order that absolutely must be shipped out each day. We have a 2-3 week processing time. That gives me time to make sure I can complete each other by the date it needs to go out. I definitely have goals of what should get done each day to prevent many orders becoming due at the same time and having to rush. A couple things that help keep me on track as a working mom are:

Only taking on as many orders as I can get done in a 4 day work week. I leave Fridays as a catch up in case mommin' takes over one of the other days. 

If I am going to take  on more orders than that, I check with a friend or family member to see if they can babysit for a few hours before agreeing to a larger workload than we've determined I can handle in a week. 

On Sunday nights, I map out the week and determine how much should get done each day to stay on track. 

Josy is my first priority during the day, so if its looking like I can't meet her needs, finish an order, and take care of the house, we determine what can wait. Those times usually mean the condition of the house might be less than perfect for a few days. This is something that Wes and I are on the same page on, or it definitely wouldn't go smoothly. ;)

Batch work has helped a lot as well. I have a different aspect of the business that I try to concentrate on each day of the week. I do blogging and photos, stools, signs, paintings, and packaging and shipping. It cannot always be done this way to a "T", but helps efficiency. 

I'd love to get to know YOU better! What is your typical week like?

Monday, November 20, 2017

Under $55 {+ a Group Gift Idea} Christmas Gift Guide for Him

I feel like the guys in our lives are the hardest to shop for sometimes! If you don't know much about the specific tools or equipment their hobbies involve, it can be hard to buy exactly what they like. To be honest, Wes usually has an idea of what I'm getting him because he sends me links to the tools or hunting gear he wants. ;) I try to get him a little something that is a surprise as well. ;)

I rounded up some Christmas gift ideas that could fit any kind of guy! I have seen several of these products before, and love these shops. Meaningful and personalized gifts are always winners for dads, husbands, boyfriends, brothers, grandfathers, uncles, or friends!

Almost all of these ideas are under $55! The exception is the Watercolor Home Portrait. I added it in anyways because its a favorite for Christmas, and a great gift to go in on with siblings or friends!

Scroll down for product links!

I love supporting other small businesses and makers! Many shops are hold big sales this weekend, so be sure to read the "shop announcements" of your favorite shops for coupon codes. ;) 

Happy Shopping! 


Monday, October 30, 2017

Under $50 {+ a Group Gift Idea} Christmas Gift Guide for Her

I rounded up some of my favorite Christmas gift ideas for Her to share! I have ordered from most of these Etsy shops before, and loved these products. I love giving meaningful, pretty, and personal gifts  for friends, sisters and moms. 

Almost all of these ideas are under $50! The exception is the Watercolor Home Portrait. I added it in anyways because its a favorite for Christmas, and a great gift to go in on with siblings or friends!

Scroll down for product links!

I love supporting other small businesses and makers! A tip to keep in mind: many small shop owners make their products themselves and can sell out quickly during the holiday rush. So, if you're looking at ideas from etsy or other handmade products order early! ;) 

Happy Shopping!