The Ultimate Summer Sale Guide

The Ultimate Summer Sale Guide

Who has time to hit the mall, par ooze the stores, or even sit and search for sales online all day?

This week I have been digging and finding the top trends and sales of Summer 2019 and with out further a due lets spill the secret sales and get prepared for an amazing summer of memories.

Shop for Mama here

Shop Little Girls Summer Essentials

Shop Boys Summer Essentials

Mama Don’t Lose Your Shit List

Hoping this takes some of the stress out of searching for the best deals on line and you find just what you need for an amazing Summer packed with fun!

Happy Shopping Mama’s.

How to Seasonally Spice Up Your Home.

How to Seasonally Spice Up Your Home.

Home Decor

Mom Life….Shopping with kids running through the isles, crawling in and out of the cart, and in fear of at anytime something breakable coming tumbling to the ground with a death shattering sound which for sure the entire store gives you the death glare. Then you walk out of the store with your tale between your legs and no mission accomplished.

The answer has been solved. Switch up your home decor for every season with out even leaving your house! No shopping, no brainstorming cute themed ideas, but experts that teach you how to decorate, offer inspiration, and custom tailor decor boxes delivered directly to your door. Let me introduce you to Decocrated

One day while strolling the gram I ran across an ad for this company and instantly thought GENIUS< GENIUS<GENIUS….I get to learn new tips and tricks to up my decor and home styling game every season, and was so impressed with the products which arrived in the box. High quality with a classic style.

The greenery, the crates, the inspirational farm house style sign, the beautiful clock…All just a fragment of what arrived in my Spring Box. It was as if they read my home style mind ya all!

Every season this company has a featured artist, Jazzdoodles by Jasmine Estrada was for Spring and she designed the art print, pillows and coasters. This is what makes Decocrated unique and adds a value that cannot be compared to running into Target or Homegoods. As an artist I am truly inspired by the unique touch of custom made items for the home. This is what makes the house a home. These fun prints you can mix and match with pillows you already have at home to create a fun inviting space. (Throw pillows are always a YES in my book! Even if they do end up on the floor thirty times a day by the littles.)

This box truly brings Spring Inside and makes me ready to entertain with some bubbly & my favorite girlfriends.

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So lets dive right into it…What’s in this magic box?

  • Free Gift: Frame that ships separately within 3-4 days of placing your order.
  • Interchangeable Décor: 2-3 pieces that go with the season on one side and are an everyday item on the other side.
  • Everyday Collection: items that can be displayed all year in your home
  • Fully curated seasons delivered to your door: collections that can be displayed together in one room or can be spread throughout your home.
  • Bonus content through blogs/social media: Downloadable content and how-to’s.

Who doesn’t love a good DIY?! I know I love to have a little inspiration and insight with a fresh set of eyes.

Just for fun and some extra DIY inspo here are the Spring 2019 Pantone Colors which have just recently been released and I am completely in love with these palette tones!

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Usually we are all about the pastels and lavenders but 2019 were coming in hot and vibrant! It must mean 2019 will be a strong and fierce years ladies!

For $10 off your spring home head on over to claim your box

Use Code: SWEEETESTLITTLELIFE10

xoxo Happy Decorating

 

Get Out Of Your Own Way

Get Out Of Your Own Way

How many times have you come up with excuses in the last month? How about in the last 24 hours?

“I’m too busy” “I have kids” “I’m a wife” “I can’t balance” “I don’t deserve it” “That could never be me”  the list goes to infinity and beyond. The fights we have in our own heads can be exhausting.

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You see my friend, so often we lie to ourselves or talk ourselves out of things because our subconscious is always saying these little comments in the back of our minds. I talk to hundreds of mompreneurs every month and the biggest hurdle I see women trying to jump is themselves standing in front of the jump with a big STOP Sign. Do we mean to? Of course not, but some where deep down we feel we don’t deserve to be successful, were scared to take the leap, were scared of feeling. It comes down to fear on so many different levels! The ugly beast!

So how do we beat it? How do we know we are good enough. How the heck do we get out of the way and let ourselves fly like the woman God made us to be?

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It’s simple. YOU LET GO OF ALL EXCUSES. I put together a list of the biggest hurdles I see myself and hundreds of other women fight daily and how to get to the other side. How to believe in yourself, because in the end you will always be responsible for your success or failure. No one else but you has the power to change it and LIVE LIMITLESS.

  • Make a list the night before and stick to it. So often I find myself completely lost or talking myself out of things before two cups of coffee have me back at sanity. Have a plan and make a written contract with yourself the evening before.
  • Set goals that exceed anything you ever imagined, were talking fairy tale, happily ever after goals. If you had a PERFECT DREAM LIFE what would that look like? Then break down baby steps of daily, weekly, monthly, yearly goals to get there.
  • Watch your role models! Who inspires you? Who do you look up to in the niche you are in? Do exactly what they do with your own spin on things to get exactly where they are at.
  • Believe in yourself. Even if you have to look your self in the mirror and continually repeat I am amazing, I am beautiful, I am destined to live my dreams. Do it until you believe it. Fake it until you make it. What ever works for your personality and spirit do just that. It is so easy when first starting out on the journey to feel like a fraud or like you are still learning so you can’t possibly succeed yet, and I am here to tell you this will knock you down faster than anything else. Where you won’t do something someone else will and they are feeling just as you are. The difference? They fought through it and didn’t give up.
  • Live in the moment. Did you fail? What did you learn from it? What an amazing way to learn from experience and add one more tool for success in that beautiful belt of yours. Stay in the moment of what you can do right now for your dreams. Beating yourself up for past mistakes or panicking about never achieving your goals does no one any good.
  • Be a woman of your word. If you say you’re going to do something, than follow through. If someone emails you are text you respond back as quick as possible. Be engaging.
  • “I’m a mom I can’t possibly balance” is the number one excuse I see made. Throw this out the window. If the author of Harry Potter was a homeless woman living out of her car to now multi millionaire you can do it too. You never give up and persevere through any challenge life throws your way. Be a strong woman your children can look up too. Be a role model they can say wow she was a rock star when they look back on your deposition, passion, and desire to chase your dreams.
  • Use Mel Robbins 5,4,3,2,1 method. This changed my life. To cut an entire book down to a paragraph, quit simply put. It’s not letting you get in the way of yourself. It’s breaking the cycle before allowing the opportunity to arise. As soon as you set your mind to do something, it can even be as simple as the alarm going off and not hitting snooze. You say 5,4,3,2,1, and launch yourself to do what ever it is you don’t want to do at that moment. It’s re programming your brain for success not fear.
  • Batch Schedule. Once you get to a point of batch scheduling your life will forever change. It’s focusing on only one thing per day. For example…Sunday I write all my blogs, Monday I take my pictures for the entire week of content, Tuesday I respond to emails and monetize on my affiliate links, etc. etc. Its breaking down every task in your journey, realizing your only one person, and giving 100% of yourself to every small detail of your business.

Now go break that glass that’s been holding you in. Your worth it girlfriend. You deserve everything you’ve ever dreamt and more. Get out of the way and watch yourself sore

How to start a blog.

How to start a blog.

STARTING YOUR BLOG

Deciding your niche. This will be a fundamental step because we cannot pick an appropriate name for your website without first deciding what you will be writing about. The biggest hold back I see for writers is that they feel a niche can trap them in a box and by doing this step they will not reach everyone. YOUR NOT TRAPPED! I am going to let you in on a little secret. You absolutely do not want to reach “everyone”.

You want to narrow it down to a select group of people you are targeting. For me, its women 27-45 who are moms and aspiring entrepreneurs. There are so many people out there and so many ads circulating on social media that there is just not a true chance of being found if you do not get specific with this step.

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Let’s do some stats shall we? There are 2 billion users on Facebook, 1 billion on Instagram, 400 million on Twitter, 300 million on snapchat and 150 million on Pinterest. HOLY MOLY LADIES! That’s a lot of people. What if you had 200-500 people who purchased your products, read your articles, commented and interacted with you? Or you can try and reach 1 million that you will never get past a nice to meet you DM if you’re lucky. This lifestyle and career is all about connection. At any time, you can branch out on different topics, but you must first write about certain things to maintain a target audience and grow your following.

Will you write about parenting, makeup, your dog, traveling, business, or recipes?

Figure out where your passion is in creating content. You most likely will not make millions overnight and so passion will be what drives your writing.

What are you knowledgeable about? Where is your life experience? Start here. It only takes a starting point.

(Remember what we talked about earlier, you can always branch out later.)

Picking your website and business name. Spend no more than an hour on this step. You can get lost in perfection and then we are right back on that hamster wheel. Here are some example ways to start your brain storming.

Combining two words:

Curlers and Cupcakes

Beauty and Baking

Band-Aids and Books

Write down what your niche is and look at the key words from that niche to get ideas for a name. Will you be writing about Parenting? What is the tone? Are you funny, serious, a world changer, crafty, or cute? Try to combine your personality in with the name because this is what your audience will view first.

You can also list description words to get a head start on the perfect “Blog Title” for me they looked a little something like this:

  • Lifestyle
  • Mommy hood
  • DIY
  • Handcrafted Business
  • Mompreneur
  • Sweet and Inspirational
  • Motivating for Moms
  • Real and Transparent
  • Life hacks

From this list I started to pull words and see if I loved anything. “The Sweetest Little Life” covered exactly what my target audience was and my niche which I would primarily be writing about.

Now here’s the trickiest part of this step. We must make sure the name you fall in love with is not taken already. Google can be a great way to see if 1. Its copyrighted and 2. It’s a famous baker out in London and you will never be found because they are all over the first 10 pages of google. After checking Google look up your name on all social media platforms and make sure that its available to use as your name. We don’t want to start out your blog swimming against the current. There are plenty of ways to get creative, make a few adjustments, and own your name like nobody else!

Purchasing Your Domain. You do not have to be tech savvy for this step. Trust me ladies, I am the most technology challenged woman you will ever meet for my age group. The minute I see coding is required or too many options I panic. For purchasing your Domain, I always advise to just keep it simple.

Pick your platform you will be blogging on:

Squarespace, Blogger, WordPress, Wix, Go Daddy, or Blue Host. There are plenty of platforms to choose from, but these are my favorites. WordPress.org is my jam. It gives me freedom to use ads if I choose, its user friendly, and I can do everything all on one website. This is huge. Bouncing back and forth between three websites during your set up process can feel a little daunting. I purchased the Thesweetestlittlelife right on WordPress and then just renew yearly as I build my blog.

What are we waiting for? Let’s do this – Get your computer out, pick a site that tickles your fancy and get that domain.

To recap, the sites most popular and user friendly are:

WordPress.com – Free

WordPress.org – more for long term and business (Will cost a little) but worth investing in.

Blogger.com – Free and great for beginners

Squarespace.com – Excellent for starting out

Wix.com – Very user friendly and Free

Setting up your Site. This should take no more than two hours. It’s an ongoing project that you will pour little bits of your heart and soul into as we go along over time. For now, let’s get it up, looking clean and legible, and live.

Once you have your domain you can pick through hundreds of templates and find what your style is. Take about 30 minutes to customize and create your pages. (About me, blog, contact)

If you are feeling extra motivated, you can start playing around with widgets and linking your social media pages to your site. You want to own this. Make everything you have created online link together in one spot.

(This creates more chances for you to be found.)

If you get jammed up at any time most of the sites I recommended have an online chat for help where an expert can walk you through any step of setting up and adding different items to your website.

Writing your first blog. EEEEEEEKKKKKK! Are you excited? Get excited? I am jumping for joy with you! Were less than five hours in and ready to start writing! Say what???? Picking a topic can be tricky the first go around, we want to make sure that we pick a topic that is trending and searchable by your audience. (Buzzsumo.com is a great resource for finding a topic already proven to be popular with your target audience) We are talking fail proof planning here!

The next step is a headline that crushes it! Did you know that research shows, readers will scan articles and in two seconds decide if they want to read your material or someone else’s. TWO SECONDS – This means we must make it count. Your audience needs to read the headline and say YES, I NEED TO READ THIS. What is the first thing they see on your blog post? The Headline.

We must nail this step ladies. A few tips when deciding how to create this is answering questions in five words or less. You want to deliver exactly what your blog is about in that headline. You do not want to leave people wondering if it’s about diaper rash or discounts. Think adjectives, feelings, and purpose. All these words can be included in the headline. Major magazines such as Vogue, Seventeen, and People all use a similar technique to create an amazing headline that has you begging for more. If you’re like me you scan the entire magazine while waiting in the grocery store line.

Here are some simple techniques to truly have an impeccable header.

How to + Benefit

How to save $200 on making your own ship lap bed.

How to + Benefit + Timeframe

How spending $40 on pinewood made me $1200 in a 3-month period.

How to + Benefit + Positive Motivation

How to crush blogging without being a writer.

Asking or Answering a question

Why most Mompreneurs quit before they even get started.

Taking lifestyle photos like a professional on an I phone – Are you in the know?

Listing what you’re all about

10 staycations for summer with kids.

 If you want what someone has. Do exactly what they do.

Creating Quality over Quantity. No one wants their inbox flooded with blogs your first week. The minute your site is set up, it’s easy to get over excited and want to write a new blog post every day and every night. This is where strategic planning is perfect. If you are in the mood to write and feeling inspired, write until your hearts content. However, save these awesome sauce posts in your drafts or as a scheduled post so your content is consistent and not overwhelming with a spam feel.

 Timing is everything. There are ideal times and days you’re more likely to get more likes, comments, and readers on your website. You want to utilize these time slots. For example: I post my blogs on Thursdays and Sundays between 6 – 8 p.m. because over time my stats on WordPress have shown me that’s this is when I have the most engagement on my site. Starting out it’s crucial to have the right set up so you are ready for success. CoSchedule Editorial Calendar is an absolute necessity on WordPress. This allows you to schedule every blog post and social message. It also enables you to collaborate with your content market and make project management simple.

What day is best for traffic? Monday around 9 – 11 a.m.

What day is best for comments? Saturday around 9 a.m.

Best Publishing Day for your blog? Mondays and Thursdays at 7 a.m.

You will get more engagement if you post in the mornings vs. at night when people are winding down and just scrolling to mind numb before bedtime.

 These times and days will vary with who your target audience is, what social platforms you are utilizing and overall strategy of what your individual goals are.

As a guideline watch Google Analytics to see where your standing in the online world with your audience.

Be Consistent. Once you find your groove make it consistent. If you choose to post Monday and Thursday, make it exciting for your audience to want to read those two days a week. Talk about what you will be writing about on social media, ask your fans what they want to hear about, start relating to your target audience on a creative and personal level. You have the world right at your fingertips. Most importantly know that establishing your blog and your personal brand takes time. Therefore, patience and passion are so important. You need to create this labor of love before you see profit. If you’re doing this just for the money, you will probably get frustrated and fail.

Let’s Rewind a Minute back to the basics. A niche you love will make you succeed.

Collaborating. An efficient way to start building your brand is to collaborate with other established brands that you admire and have a similar interest as your own. Be careful not to get to eager on this step though. You don’t want to waste your time promoting socks when your target audience is moms. Find something that works for your brand. Remember this is about reaching out, building, marketing, and branding. We want to network to get our name out there. For example: If you are a travel blogger, reach out to high end luggage companies, hotels, travel agencies and offer to promote their brand in exchange for product. You will not only gain some of their followers, but you will be able to enhance their company with free advertising in a “trade” style. Influence Marketing has never been at a higher point, it is amazing the amount of work out there if you just know where to start, and how to approach companies and brands which you admire.

The Power of Video. Video is everything. This can create instant connection with your audience. You do not need fancy cameras and a professional editor to make this happen effectively. When I first started blogging I tried to get an editor and a film crew just for these small snippets. It was time consuming and a waste of money. My audience wanted to connect with me and see my real day to day struggles and life accomplishments. Not some synopsis that was all scripted out. We can just go watch Bravo for that. Build a compelling story about your life that will attract your target audience and keep them coming back for more. Let people in to get to know the real you, get vulnerable, put yourself out there.

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The Last Time

The Last Time

Recently I read an article that just struck me. Not one of those aha moments but a life changing moment when I realized you never know when the “last time” may be.

Let me break this down a little. The last time you held you oldest did you really realize it was the last time? The last time they asked you to come console them for a night mare, did you realize it was the last time? The last time you took showers with them or had to bath them….did you think I am really enjoying this because its the last time?

Well of course not, were thinking I have to do the dishes, fold laundry, make dinner, run to this place, work….As mothers we are always on to what is next vs staying right in the moment and truly enjoying it for how special it is. It’s so easy in todays world to get sidetracked, overwhelmed, sucked into social media, instead of keeping your eyes on these tiny humans that are growing and changing every day right before our very eyes.

I started thinking back and for the life of me I can’t remember the last time I bathed him, napped by his side, or snuggled him to sleep. The last time I nursed my daughter, the last time she yelled with her cute little arms “I’m sooooo big.” All of these things that were just day to day activities were zoomed by and taken for granted. With my third child being my last it made me appreciate these small things. When I catch myself trying to rush bath, or beg him to go to sleep, or think that the 3 am bottle makes are horrible, I remind myself…This could be the last time. We will miss it. Dearly.

Think of it this way. Anxiety is worrying about something that has not happened yet. Constantly being so rushed to get on to the “next thing.” Depression is living in something which has happened in the past. Neither one of these two things can you control so staying present right where you are is where you have the control to make changes. You will be happier, healthier, your children will notice and though they may not recognize what has changed they will know in their hearts that you are right there in the moment with them.

How huge is this?

So today take the extra minute of snuggles, make that bottle with a pep in your step, let them splash and make a mess, because you don’t want to look back and not remember the last time.

xoxo

 

Finding Grace in Motherhood

Finding Grace in Motherhood

The hardest hood we will ever walk in. Motherhood.

Why you ask? Simple. None of us know what the hell we are doing. Motherhood comes with no handbook, no play by play for each personality you bring into this world, no direction pamphlet explaining do this or don’t do this. Just opinions. Everyonnnnnnneeeesssss Opinions. Yuck right?! Some are great. Some are horrible.

I am a firm believer we are given this amazing talent the second we become pregnant called a mothers intuition. With a clear head and loving heart we can feel that deep down wrenching gut feeling that sometimes we want to run far away from or not face, but dang it is always right and will never steer us in the wrong direction.

Being a mother of three very different strong willed little ones I have learned a patience and humbleness I never imagined possible.

Here’s how. Falling straight on my face again and again. Trying to be someone I wasn’t when I first became a mama, being picture perfect but falling apart inside. I then tried the whole guilt parenting thing for a while….that worked well (Insert major eye roll here.) Being strict and over bearing because their little and I’m big. Being passive with a ton of cuddles. Ladies I am telling you what I think I have covered all the basis’s of being every “type” or “label” of parent out there. Now ready for the real game changer…were talking the big aha moment.

I didn’t HAVE to be anyone other than myself. My best self.  

There is a time to be a listening ear. A time to be understanding. A time to lose your shit. A time to go cry in the bathroom. A time to put your military hat on. A time to sit and hug them. A time to giggle and be silly.

That’s what’s so beautiful in parenting. There is a time and place for everything. It’s not right or wrong we’re just LEARNING. We are all taking this mama hood one step at a time. So let’s not judge or push our advice. Let’s just love another mom for exactly where they are at in the stage of growth the universe has put them on. Everyones learning manual and step by step guide is different.

Grace is something so important to allow ourselves in motherhood. I feel so often especially in todays controlled content world aka social media, we put expectations on ourselves of perfection. Let me be the first to tell you…Throw that idea out the window. Perfect is boring and does not exist.

So how as mothers do we bring our self grace, forgiveness, and love to show up as our best self for our families?

  1. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Pick your battles. The silly fights over toothpaste or wedgies……These we will look back and laugh.
  2. Remind yourself you are human and it is okay to make mistakes. One of my favorite quotes from Maya Angelou is “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”
  3. God does not make mistakes. He gave you your exact children for a reason. Quit simply….You need them and they need you. Its a match made in heaven. (Literally.)
  4. Do not compare yourself to anyone else. Your journey is beautiful. No one is perfect. Not their looks, not their house, not their life. NO ONE.
  5. Give yourself the same grace and love that you would offer another mom in the same position you are in.
  6. Set an example for your children on self love. You absolutely have to have your cup at least half way FULL in order to pour into everyones cup.
  7. Do not feel guilty for chasing your goals while parenting. Just because you gave birth does not mean….”welp now I have to do nothing for the next 18 years.” Show your children how to chase passion, or hobby, or career. (What ever your thang is then girl do you!)
  8. Remember this in the rough moments…Your children do not want perfect. They want PRESENT you. Stay in the moment, no matter what the situation.
  9. Cry, Laugh, Growl….FEEL. In my experience shoving things down only end in the Armageddon.
  10. Celebrate the small victories. Always eat the cake.
  11. Do not torture yourself or feel guilty for taking time for yourself. Again, we are human and need to allow ourself that long stroll through target, massage, or walk by ourselves to re center every once in a while.
  12. The biggest thing I have learned in grace and my passionate pursuit in it lately as a mother is Forgiveness. Forgiveness: The action or process of forgiving. In the Bible the word also means to remit, to allow an action, to leave something or someone alone, to send away or to desert.

Woah chills right? In this moment, allow yourself grace. Maybe tonight reach out to a friend and tell them how awesome sauce they are. –

This week I have some EXCITING things in store for you all. Our new blogging schedule is Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 7 p.m. Stay tuned for some amazing mompreneur education, momlife advice, and home diy ideas. Heres to new beginnings….and grace lots and lots of grace.

Self-Care is Critical for Health & Happiness

Self-Care is Critical for Health & Happiness

No matter how busy you are in your day-to-day life, it is important that you take time for yourself.  Spending the day focusing exclusively on potential stressors, like your commitments at work and chaotic schedule at home, without providing time to allow your mind to rest and recharge can cause you to develop dangerous conditions, like high blood pressure.  Neglecting your care routine can make it more likely that you will catch a cold.  It can also lead to severe anxiety, depression, and low self-worth.  Self-care is the term generally applied to the process of taking time for the simple things from day to day — even things as simple as getting enough sleep and reducing your stress can have positive consequences for your physical and mental health alike.  Here are some of the easiest ways you can start to incorporate self-care into your daily routine.

 

How to reduce stress

 

A huge part of self-care is reducing stress in general.  Since each piece of self-care works closely with the others, reducing your stress will make it easier for you to sleep, which in turn will reduce even more stress.  There are two major ways you can cut stress out from your life. First, if you feel yourself being overloaded with things to do, whether they are in your professional or private lives, practice saying “no.”  Your friends will understand if you miss an engagement or two, and the quality of your work will increase if you aren’t constantly worried about the amount of work that’s still on your plate.

 

Another way you can reduce stress is by making your environment as relaxing as possible.  At home, this means cutting out clutter. Clutter significantly adds to stress and reduces your home’s relaxing qualities — but a clean home helps foster calm moods.

 

How to fix your diet

 

Kicking bad eating habits isn’t as easy as some people might initially believe.  When it’s easier to swing by a fast-food restaurant on the way home from work than it is to spend an hour in the kitchen, convenience often trumps health.  However, there are several ways you can defeat those bad habits and embrace a healthier lifestyle. One way is to subscribe to a meal-delivery service, which will provide you with the ingredients you need to put together delicious dishes with little fuss.  And when you add an electric pressure cooker to the mix, which can make cooking food much easier, eating a homemade bowl of chili at instead of heading to the closest restaurant suddenly became much simpler — not to mention a lot healthier!

 

How to get enough sleep

 

Another critical step in your new self-care routine is getting enough sleep.  While it may seem trivial, getting a good amount of sleep each night is crucial because your nightly rest sets up the pattern of your entire next day.  If you wake up refreshed and energized, you will be able to jump into the tasks of the next day with more fervor, performing more efficiently, with heightened mental abilities and a greater ability to reason your way through and past potential problems.  However, if you did not get enough sleep the night before, it is likely that you will wake up feeling groggy or achy.  This inhibits your ability to get a move on in the mornings, which – in the short term — may make you late for work, but will also greatly affect your ability to process situations and be aware of your projects in general.  Even if you end up working at a decent pace throughout the day, it is likely that the quality of the work you produce will not be as high (or as quickly created) as if you had gotten a good night’s sleep.  

 

This is why sleep is so important, but an increasing number of adults say they have difficulty sleeping through the night.  There are several things that you can do that will help yourself fall asleep at the end of the day.  First, make sure that your bedroom is cool and dark.  Cover up your windows with blackout curtains if you need to (just remember to be diligent about setting your alarm in the morning!), and turn your thermostat down if the outdoor temperature is 70 or higher. If your bedroom is too dry, considering getting a humidifier because dry air can cause cold-like symptoms which can disrupt your sleep. You should also try to foster as quiet an environment as possible — turn off the television and don’t listen to music or a podcast, even if it helps you sleep.  If external noise typically interrupts your sleep, you may want to use a sound machine or a similar type of app on your phone to create a cushion of white noise.  

 

No matter how chaotic your schedule, it is important that you find time for self-care.  By getting more sleep and making your home more relaxing, you will help your physical and mental health.

Guest Article from Stephanie Haywood

Post Partum Care

Post Partum Care

As mama’s it is so natural to be constantly concerned while we have our babies in the womb.

Are we eating well? Are we obtaining enough calories? Are we keeping up on the best multi vitamins? Are we drinking enough water? Are we resting enough?

We are constantly in a state of fear to make sure we are doing the absolute best we can to provide a healthy and happy start to our new little bundle of joys.

The problem is, we are so obsessed with making sure our babies are okay that once they come out often times our health concerns turn from ourselves and the baby inside of us to the baby outside in this big world and the mammas needs and health often times get put on the back burner.

I’m a total facts type of girl, and wanted to share with you my personal experience and what I have researched in postpartum and how to continually care for you body to give your baby the best experience of this big new world as possible.

  • Don’t stop taking your prenatal’s…This is so crucial to your bodies after care for nursing your baby. Here’s the deal…EVERY baby is different, and your body is going to react so differently to every labor. My first two were easy breezy, scheduled c sections, no hormone fluctuations, no icky feelings, no troubles breast-feeding. Then my third came along and threw me for a loop. I completely had a hormone crash from having a preemie, I had no idea what to do, if I was going crazy, or how to balance out my body. I found the company “intimate rose” and tried their Prenatal’s which within one week helped to start and balance me out. I combined with Morinda, Fenugreek, and 5HTP. Within two weeks I finally started to experience some normalcy in my body again. Remember to take the best care of your new baby you also need to take care of your body. If you are not 100% you will not be mommin at 100%. Right now the company has offered to give 25% off for all my followers Get yours here
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  • Let’s talk hormones my friends…..I always thought PMS and hormones were an excuse to act like a total crazy until I personally experienced a true hormone crash after my delivery over a month early. Let me be the first to say I am sorry I was wrong HORMONES SUCK AND ARE SO SO REAL…… Okay back to the facts. Much of the imbalance is caused by estrogen dominance. During our pregnancy the placenta produces progesterone at such an extreme level that when we deliver our estrogen physically can not normalize for 6 – 8 weeks after a full term delivery.
  • When you are not producing full amounts of milk to breast feed solely another huge hormone crash can combine with what is already happening to your body… In our case Baby Tristan had to be put on Neo Sure which is a 22 calorie formula to ensure he gains weight at a healthy and steady speed so he can catch up to a “normal” weight for his age. With the amount of neo sure he had to obtain, the stress my body was under while he was in the NICU, and how busy I am with the other two littles at home it was next to impossible to sit and pump 5 hours a day. I nurse about 3 – 5 times in a 24 hour period and this was all I was able to provide but I know at least he is getting the extra nutrients for a healthy long-term effect. When you are breast feeding your body allows for prolactin – this hormone also helps release oxytocin which is your “let down” feeling. Oxytocin is the euphoric happy and magical hormone which makes the new-born phase seem like the happiest phase of your life. When mama’s are not producing enough milk or can not solely breast feed you get a whole new set of hormone crashes with the lack of oxytocin being released in your body.
  • DO NOT BE AFRAID TO TALK ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS….ladies we are married for a reason. We have a partner for a purpose…To help us through times when we are struggling. Mommyhood is hard, hormones are real, and it is OKAY to reach out for help when you need it. The best quote I have heard all week is “It does not make you Super Woman to say yes to everything, this just makes you Super Worn Out.” Remember that you deserve grace and ease through this period. “

Being a mom is BEAUTIFUL, Being a mom is HARD and most of all being a mom means you join this amazing tribe the minute that amazing little being is welcomed into the world. Know that new mommies often can experience “baby blues” this does not mean you have postpartum depression but means you are a women and experiencing a totally normal hormone inbalance. This can feel like sadness, mood swings, crying, sleeplessness, confusion, headaches and all of these feelings are NORMAL!!!!! In 6 – 8 weeks everything should start to blanace out…. I promise we are all in this together. I just love being vulnerable in subjects like this because so often we try to stay strong and “pretend” our lives are perfect and okay.

It’s okay to have periods of being not okay.

This is mother hood.

This is amazing.

This is the truth.

This is a bond.

 

Baby Tristan’s Birth Story

Baby Tristan’s Birth Story

After over a year of trying for Baby Tristan, we succeeded in February of 2018. I will never forget the day I found out. We had been trying so hard with no success and decided to just take a break and go on a vacation to Mexico…(Just the two of us) We had never vacationed kid free before. Our tickets were booked, the hotel paid for, and then I was packing and picking out outfits for our trip and felt a sudden rush to head to the bathroom. When I was done throwing up I figured I was coming down with some stomach bug from my son’s school. I had my ovulation and pregnancy test all laid out on the counter and thought “what the heck” I set the test down on the counter and went about my business. I ran back to the bathroom forgetting I tested and saw this teeny tiny faint line that would confuse anyone. I then proceeded to take the remaining 12 test I had in boxes stuffed away. I was PREGNANT.

With every mindset and intention of having this glorious and happy ever ending type of pregnancy I endured quit the opposite. My first two I was the glowing, perky, and barefoot pregnant lady everyone expects in their mind. This pregnancy was different in every way. The nausea did not subside for 7 months, the energy and “nesting” never surfaced, I had to completely stop working for six months and go into a survival mode to mom with my other two littles. It was like having a seven month-long flu with no control over my emotions.

I worried every step of the way, every doctor appointment I just had a strange feeling something was wrong. It was horrifying as a mother to feel these feelings and something I never wanted to voice out loud with fear of being judged or mocked. Mom guilt snuck in so hard…Am I over doing it? Do I not nap enough? Am I not eating healthy enough? Why is he not kicking as much as my other two? Did I lift up Audrey and hurt something?

On October 14th I woke up like any other day and got out of bed to get dressed to pick my son up from a slumber party. When I woke up I felt this weird trickle down my leg and thought “DANGIT I just peed myself.” I walked to the bathroom and while walking a trickling line of what looked like pee dribbled behind me. There was no blatter control but it didn’t feel like pee. The strangest feeling ever. When you think of your water breaking you think of a dam breaking loose and Niagara Falls flowing out in full effect. This simply was not all the theatrics I had imagined in my mind. My first two children were scheduled c sections so going into an actual labor was something I’d never experienced. After calling labor and delivery they wanted me to head down and just get checked out. I picked up my son from his slumber party and threw my daughter in the car. We cruised down to the hospital and I told my husband (who works over three hours away) to just stay at work because I was just going to get sent home. When I arrived to labor & delivery my nice little trickle trail continued all the way to the room they checked us into. I never saw a doctor or nurse…A surgeon came in with an ultrasound machine and asked how soon my husband could arrive to the hospital. My children were in the corner trying to play doctor while destroying the room and fighting. I thought “NOT TODAY” he can’t come today…I have a plan. I have a plan. I have a plan.

This was notttttt the plan.

After calling my friend who was taking the kids overnight and my husband who was over 3 hours away they took me to the room to prep for an emergency c section. My dear friend arrived within 20 minutes and helped calm me down and took the littles. My husband arrived in less than an hour (we will never know how he managed that.) They immediately took me for my epidural which has also changed extremely since my other two. They took me alone without my husband and the epidural was completely painless a little pinch and I was laid down on the table ready for surgery. I still had this feeling inside that something was not okay but they assured me Baby Tristan was healthy and ready for his grand arrival.

The surgery went perfectly smooth and I heard my sweet baby cry for the first time and all just felt right in the world. I was expecting them to put him on my chest for the immediate skin to skin while my surgery was wrapping up and minutes went by and my baby was nowhere to be found. I looked over and saw him under a monitor with doctors and nurses surrounding him. The doctor continued to reassure me everything was fine but he was having trouble breathing. My husband talked them into giving me one  second with him and as tears were streaming down my cheeks and he was taken away to NICU. I had no idea what was going on, what was wrong with him, when I could see him. I just sat on this ice-cold table unable to do anything. They transferred me to recovery and as I sat in this room by myself I have never felt such an emptiness in my life. The sobbing was so out of control after thirty minutes my eyes were literally swollen shut. The nurse just sat with me while my husband went to go check on the baby. The nurse informed me that I most likely would not see my baby until the next day because I needed to recover. After demanding to see my baby we came to an agreement that if I could wiggle my toes she would sneak me down in a wheel chair. Within 30 minutes after surgery I was wiggling my toes, and after an hour I was walking to the Nicu to meet Tristan.

When walking in the fear that overcame my body made me feel like I could just collapse right then and there in the middle of the NICU. Baby Tristan was attached to every cord known to man. He had a feeding tube up his nose, a breathing mask on so I couldn’t even see his little face. My husband and I just sat there while I sobbed. He had to leave after 24 hours of being at the hospital with me to be with our other children and explain why baby brother was not coming home just yet. Every care hour I could, I was walking to the NICU to sit with Tristan by his POD. (The first couple days we were only allowed to hold him once a day.)

After day four I was allowed to breast feed  but was also being discharged on day four. The walk of leaving the hospital was probably one of the hardest things I had ever done. When you walk to your car with no baby it is the emptiest tunnel vision feeling ever. My body kicked into survival mode. We live over 40 minutes from the hospital so we drove down to be with Tristan for every feeding for the remaining week he was held in the NICU.

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Once all of his tubes were removed the wanted to monitor him for another full week and I begged the doctor to let him come home. I knew we were capable of doing what ever it took to ensure his health and safety at home. The feeling of being RELEASED was the happiest day of my life. My children were jumping up and down when we came home with him and our party of five was officially complete.

Having a preemie baby is a completely different experience then having a full term baby. After thinking I was a professional at this mom thing, I had to relearn everything in a new way. The way they eat, the way they sleep, the way you burp them. Everything is different. You can only imagine the caution and concern coming home had for my husband and I.  We  began researching every product known to man to help us transition with ease. The doctors had  recommended after a couple of months that Tristan nap in his crib or play pen vs. co sleeping so he can sleep better and get on a consistent schedule early on. My children have always co slept so this was all a new experience for me. I found a product called Levana Oma Sense and it was the most genius product for babies which I have come across yet. Instead of your traditional baby monitor this clips on to the babies onsie and monitors the breathing. If you are like me I am paranoid of SIDS and if my baby is breathing during naps so I am constantly running over touching their tummies while they sleep. The peace and ease this product allows me to feel through nap times is priceless. Get Yours Here

We now are celebrating month two of Baby Tristan and he is happy, healthy and thriving. We even went to a baby party last weekend where he was the chunkier one of them all! I hope this gives your some ease and grace if you’re an expecting mama or a fellow NICU Graduate yourself.

Cheers to healthy mommin & support!

Black Friday Round Up – Early Bird

Black Friday Round Up – Early Bird

Happy Thanksgiving Ladies!

I hope everyone had wonderful food, delicious drinks, enjoyed their families and made new traditions! What it’s all about right?

Who else is whipping out elf on the shelf tomorrow? One of my favorite traditions we started when my eight year old was two was the elf on the shelf. Every thanksgiving we read the story and watch the dvd before bed and wake up to that mischievous Charlie back at his job! Tonight I put him in my daughters doll house bath tub topped with marshmallows and a scavenger hunt for the littles to explore in the morning!!!! Eeeeek so excited! I’m a total sentimental holiday junkie –  no shame.

If you missed yesterdays post, just let me re cap! We have compiled all the best deals on home & family for Black Friday to take the stress off of the constant commercials, emails, and advertisements flooding your inbox and social media.

I have compiled list of the best deals each day from different businesses with links attached for easy browsing and buying! Okay mammas lets save some money and get some deals!

Happy Shopping – Tonight I am doing bigger items which are on crazy sales for all under $200! SAY WHATTTTT????? You better believe I am hopping on these as well!

All Things Home – Shop Here

Okay now lets dive into clothing! Mom life – Yoga Pants!!! Am I rightttt?? All though that can get expensive!!! I swear every time I shop during the year I spend $30 – $40 on one pair that is either going to get covered in paint, spackle, or baby spit up! This Black Friday I found all name brand deals such as Nike, Adidas, Etc. for under $20! Helllloooooo my friends! Can I get an amen!

All under $40 – shop here

Baby Extravaganza all 50% off

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Stay tuned for day three, now lets get our shopping out of the way and enjoy a good ol fashion Turkey Coma!