Monday, October 16, 2017

Two Is Oh So Sweet

She's TWO!

I am pretty much in shock that my baby is two. She is not a baby anymore, and is turning more and more into a little girl. I'd say I miss her being a newborn (and somedays I really do) But I'm so in love with her age and it's just so fun right now. 

The biggest things that have just blossomed so much is her speech and personality. You can carry on conversations with her, and understand what she says. She still is figuring out how to put together sentences but most of the time she can get about a 5 word sentence together. It's pretty amazing! I love talking with her and just listening to her tell me stories. Oh and I love hearing her say "I love you mommy" as if my heart couldn't be melted anymore 😍 

She loves to sing and dance. As much as kid songs drive me crazy, hearing her little voice sing them makes up for it! 

Her personality is just blooming. She is so sweet and is so gentle with everything. Except when she gets mad (which I'll get to that) 
She loves to play with her babies and be their mom, or their doctor. She is constantly asking them if they're okay, are they hungry, or do they need a bottle. It's so cute. She will also cook for them and give them meals. Her imagination is starting to develop more and I love just watching her play because it's quite interesting to watch how her mind works. She is so observant because how she plays...she is mimicking what she sees me and others do. That certainly doesn't put any pressure on me at all 🤣

Even with her sweetness, she is still a toddler. And with that comes the meltdowns and tantrums. She does have them, and they can be pretty bad. But knowing she doesn't understand exactly why she feels such strong emotion is really sad to me so when she is in the middle of a tantrum I just hold her. Most of the time it does help her calm down. And then we will talk about what made her mad. Usually she can tell me and I try to help her through it. It is one of the hardest things right now is trying to get through these emotions. Some days she does well and will ask me for help before she loses it but other days it doesn't go over well. 
Toddlers are like ticking time never when they're going to be set off...
So I make sure that she is always fed because she gets HANGRY real fast. And if she's tired I just try to limit what I know will make her mad. 
But any tips on how to deal with toddler tantrums...I'm all ears! 
Except spanking or hitting, sorry but I don't believe hitting your child is ever going to teach them a lesson. Especially a toddler, they're too young to understand that. All it teaches them is it is okay to hit....

Ellie is growing into her name quite well. "Ellie" means "God is my light" or "light" 
Which I instantly loved because she has always been our little light. And the older she gets the more and more of a bright light she becomes, not only in our lives, but everyone who meets her can't help but light up. 

Her excitement about life is so contagious. She makes me so excited for anything. Which is something pretty crazy to me. Having a child really makes you appreciate every single thing. 

Ellie Skye, you make me one proud mama. And as you grow I will make sure you always know how proud I am of you and how much you mean to me ❤️❤️

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Grove Collaborative

Saturdays are usually the day I spend all morning cleaning and getting the house picked up from the previous week. Not something I do enjoy. But I do enjoy when I have products to help make the job easier, and my house smell amazing. 

Have you heard of Grove Collaborative? It is pretty darn amazing. 
If you are like me, then you hate going out and buying cleaning products, just to come home and have to clean. I much rather get them sent to my door. One less thing I have to worry about the better. 

Grove has SO many products. And everything is based off of being all natural and organic. Which is what I prefer to use when it comes to cleaning. Since I have a toddler, I don't want her breathing in all of those nasty chemicals that most cleaning products contain. Okay and I certainly don't want to be breathing them in either. 

Grove collaborative is a subscription based company, but you don't have to order each month. You can choose your delivery day and they will send you an email a few days before it ships to make you want to receive it. Also to update your cart and add or delete things you may or may not need. 

Also when you sign up, you are assigned a "grove guide" which is a real person who loves Grove and recommends products for you. Which is pretty cool. 

They carry popular natural products, and some products I haven't heard of yet but I can't wait to try! 
Want to try Grove Collaborative?! Sign up through my link and you will be given $10 to your account to use, just for signing up! 

I love it, and I know you will too.

Plus: I can't get enough of Mrs. Meyers Lavender scent...I have since bought the laundry detergent and dryer sheets. Smells so amazing and makes my whole house smell like a relaxing spa. 

Sign up here!

Friday, October 6, 2017

Choose Love

Today I decided to just let go and choose love.

Of course every day I spend with my girl I love her more. And I make sure each day she feels loved.

But you see Mom life isn't just about caring for your littles. It's cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, being a wife, working, and everything in between. Life changes so much when you have a baby. Your mind is filled with so many to-do lists that you can sometimes  forget to just stop. Look around. And be thankful for the life you have in the moment.

I'm guilty. So guilty.

I'll get so stressed and tense because the laundry needs folded, kitchen is a mess, groceries need bought, and a million other things need done.
All while feeding, caring, and playing with a little one.
Sounds impossible doesn't it?  I never realized how much time I had in a day before Ellie, but some days there's still not enough time to get everything done.

Today I choose not to worry. Because those dishes will get put away, laundry will get folded and put away.

But Ellie, she's only this little once. She's growing by the hour and every time I blink she looks a little bit older.

Instead of worrying how am I supposed to keep up with everything. I just let it go. I'll get things done, but maybe not in the time frame I had planned. Because what is most important is I focus on being a mom and creating special moments for my little girl. I want to create a life for her that she doesn't feel the stress I feel, and that she knows she's always the most important.

Is it hard to let go of things and go with the flow?

Yes. This is something that I struggle with constantly. I like to be in control and control how things go. But sometimes I need to just let everything happen and relax.

Everyone needs a day where they worry less about how they are ever going to get everything done. And just focus on their children.
Play any game they want, study their little faces, take in all their giggles, and let them tell you stories their little minds have created.

Because tomorrow, they will be older and want to play a different game and their little face will look just a little bit different.
I can promise you, you will never regret stopping and pausing your busy to-do list, to play, snuggle, or just talk to your little one. You will be amazed how full your heart feels afterwards.

So make a promise to yourself, spouse, and children to at least take one day(or more) out of each week to just let go of everything and spend quality time with each other.

And choose love, because without we have nothing. And the world needs more love.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Living Proof Hair Care

Being a mom, I know it can be hard to take time for yourself. But it is something pretty important to do to feel "normal" 
For me I make sure I get up before Ellie does to get myself ready for the day. And I usually have a few minutes to myself (which this is usually on the weekends since I work during the week) but even if I stayed at home I would still do the same thing.
I get a lot of questions regarding my hair and what I use in it. So here I'll answer the top ones. 

Is your hair color natural? YES. YES. YES. Seriously people ask me this...there is no added color to my hair. It actually can get quite annoying that people think it's dyed... 

Is your hair naturally straight or curly? It is naturally straight/wavy. 

Is it thick or thin? It's pretty thin, and the texture is fine. So I'm limited in what I can do with my hair. 

How long does it take to curl? About 10 minutes.

Those are the main ones I can think of. If you have any others feel free to message me! I'll add them in.

I'm always on the search for new products and products to help my routine of getting ready faster. 
Lately I've been loving the Living Proof hair care line. I wish I found this sooner because my hair hasn't felt this healthy in between trims. 

I go between loving the Timeless and Frizz collection.

One product in particular I'm obsessed with is the In Shower Styler. This is a brand new product from Living Proof. I was so scetipcal that this would do anything. Like how could something work in the shower and you just let your hair air dry? Please...if I let my hair air dry I'll look like a poof ball. 
With a bunch of skepticism I tried it anyway. 

OH MY GOODNESS. My hair dried, and there was no frizz it was soft and had a slight wave to it that actually gave my hair body which is something else my hair lacks. How amazing! And even more amazing that all I have to do after my shower is brush my hair and that's it. 
I'm completely sold.

 I did receive this as a free product to review and this post is sponsored by Living Proof. I do buy Living Proof products but the In Shower Styler and Perfect Hair Day Shampoo and Conditioner I received free to review. But I completely love these products and will continue to buy! 

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Making Mealtime Fun

How many of you have a toddler or child who is a picky eater?
Is mealtime stressful because of quickly trying to get food on a plate and worrying the whole time if they'll eat what you just spent an hour making? Or as soon as you sit down, take a bite, your child decides they don't like the food and spit it out and throw everything on the floor?

My once amazing eater has turned into a picky toddler. Don't get me wrong, she loves food but she decides what she likes and when. One day she loves chicken, the next day she hates it.

I think I have found a solution to overcoming those picky days, And making mealtime more fun and less stress.

My solution: Dylbug
Dylbug is a company created by a stay at home mom who wanted to help her children, and others, eat healthy in a playful way.
Seriously...I cannot handle the cuteness of Dylbug mealtime plates, bowls, cutters and placemats. Mealtime has been SO fun lately. I don't know who has more fun, Ellie eating the creations or me putting the creations together!

Here's a glimpse of our most recent meals.

Breakfast: Pancake Princess- Gluten free pancake dress, egg crown, and strawberries.

Lunch: Garden Kitty- Gluten free chicken nuggets, cheese, Harvest snaps sticks, peas, fruit

Dinner: Floral Bunny- Chicken, veggies flowers, fruit bow

If you follow my blog, you would have read that Ellie HATES spaghetti. I've never met a child who didn't like it. But mine does. Well did. I tried ONE more time using her "Ellexia" plate and making a tutu out of the noodles and just letting her dip the noodles into the sauce. At first she was hesitant. But then she tried it and ended up eating all of that and asking for more! I didn't put to much on her plate to start (so no, I'm not depriving my child) but I wanted to just see if she would eat it.

You want to know the best part since we switched all of Ellie's plates and bowls over to Dylbug? She eats EVERYTHING and she has such a fun time eating too. Mealtime has been less stressful for me (unless she starts yelling at me because I'm taking too long making her plate) but I will let her pick out her plate of choice and that usually helps the process.

Dylbug has so many plate and bowl options that you will find a few that your little one will love. One of our favorites is the girl and you can customize the person to resemble your little one! And add their name on the plate as well.

The placemats have come in handy so many times. I never thought about using one until I bought Dylbug’s placemat and it has saved so much from going onto the floor or table. My little girl likes to pull the placemat as close to her as possible so she can see it.
The back of each placemat has the alphabet and even though Ellie isn’t two yet, we go over the alphabet and we point to each letter. So from catching food, to helping your little one with learning their letters, a placemat is a must!

There is also food cutters, to help make a dress or shirt and pant set for your little plate character!

Head over to Dylbug now and get your little one a new mealtime set!
Use code: friendsandfamily15 for a discount off your order

I can promise you, mealtime will be so much more fun for the whole family! I can't wait until Ellie is old enough to make her own creations!

Friday, June 16, 2017

18-20 Month Update


18-20 months


In just 4 months I'm going to have a TWO year old. 

But each month brings something new. I am really enjoying her age right now. She is so fun, and funny. And her imagination seems to be developing even more because she is starting to play by herself and make her animals & people "talk" and walk.

But this age seems to be challenging as well. It seems like she is just trying to figure out how life works and she pushes her boundaries. Often. Although she has her share of meltdowns and whines, she does understand that no means no. And that’s the end of the story. Of course this will make her upset and cry but after she gets over it she won’t come back to it or if she does she will “no no” haha ohh..toddlers…

Weight: 27 lbs

Height: For some reason her doctor didn’t measure her height the last time we were there. 

Hair Color: Blonde, very blonde. And it is growing! I am able to do the tiniest little ponytail now!

Diaper Size: Size 5. Even though they are big, I rather her wear bigger diapers.

Clothes Size: 18-24 months. 24 months is a little big on her. But for the summer months I am buying 24 months in case she has a growth spurt!

Eats: Picky, picky, picky. I have learned that if I just put her plate in front of her and basically ignore her. She will eat everything. But the second I try and help, she's done and wants nothing to do with food....
Current favorites: Pancakes, fruit, peas, chicken, quinoa, green beans(I call them green French every time), hummus, yogurt, cheese and crackers. She still eats almost everything. But has her days where she won't eat much.
Least favorite foods: Spaghetti...what child doesn't like spaghetti?! Mine. I've tried multiple times and she just plays with it and spits it out. She actually doesn't care for noodles in general. Rice is also another thing she doesn't like. And she won't eat meat unless it has ketchup or bbq sauce on it.

Stay tuned for an extra special post on how we like to make meal time more fun!

Personality: I hope one day this girl is an actress because she is so dramatic and can go from one mood to the next in a second. But most of the time she is a big sweetheart, and is pretty silly as well. She's constantly doing things to make us laugh. Like the other day she kept “falling” off of her little ride on car because we kept saying “oh no! Ellie you poor girl!” She loves to do things that really get our attention and she makes sure we are watching her. She is also momma’s little helper and shadow. She wants to see everything I’m doing and help in her own way. When I’m folding clothes, I’ll look over and see that she is trying to fold too. (oh my heart!) Or if I say I need to clean and vacuum, she runs over pulls all of her toys out because that’s what I do and grabs her vacuum.

Words: She is now to the point of trying to say small sentences and putting words together. It's pretty surprising when she will say "I want drink" or "Thank you Mama" We have please and Thank you down pretty well. She is so polite and always asks please and says thank you when needed. She will even make sure she tells ME to say Thank you to her...
The more words she learns, the more demanding she has gotten. It's nice knowing that she can now tell me what she wants. But at the same time she will get frustrated if she can't have what she is asking for. I guess she just doesn't quite understand that she doesn't get everything she says. 
Her most favorite is “why”
She will want us to explain EVERYTHING to her. Sometimes I get a little annoyed, but I know she is just a curious little thing and wants to learn.
But seriously….why “why” already?!

Favorite Activities& Toys: Anything that involves being outside. This girl will grab her sunglasses, hat, and tell me to put on her shoes because she has had enough of being inside. So outside she loves to push her baby in the stroller, play with chalk, bubbles, run freely, play at the park, and I could go on and on. 

Since it is finally warm we let her play in a baby pool at my parents’ house and she loved it. We certainly have a water baby! I think she played in it for an hour. Completely content.
Inside she still loves her kitchen and will cook for me. And make me coffee....this girl knows the way to her mama's heart. She takes care of all of her babies and kitty cats by feeding them. She really loves any toy that captures her interest in that moment. She is also obsessed with her Little People Barn. She loves all of the animals and will sing E-I-E-I-O pretty much all day.

In just a few short months we will be celebrating her second birthday. I’m already in the process of planning and I CANT WAIT! Since I’m doing it a theme of one of her favorite things, I know she’s going to love it.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Hope Anchors The Soul

Did you know May is Postpartum Depression & Anxiety month?

It's taking me a lot to publish this post. This is something I have had written up and saved until I felt like it was the right time. But with May being Postpartum Depression & Anxiety Awareness month, I felt like it was a good time. I feel like no one really talks about it because when you are a new mom you are flooded with so many emotions. Which is completely normal. What isn't normal is that you can't seem to pull yourself out of those emotions or are having really bad thoughts.
Fortunately I didn't deal with severe Postpartum depression, but the postpartum anxiety part is what got to me. And unfortunately it STILL gets to me. Most people will say it's not classified "Postpartum" after your baby turns a year. But I have to disagree. As your baby grows and enters new stages, you will always have so many emotions and it might bring out fears. Which can turn into anxiety and sometimes depression. For me, I keep all of my emotions bottled up so no one can tell how I'm feeling. Not that I want to hide them, I am just the type of person who rather not talk about things. Which is a no-no. If you are a new mom, please don't avoid talking about your feelings. You just went through SO much and it's okay to feel down. And it's okay to seek out help. Most moms are put up on a pedestal and we are supposed to be so strong and the glue that holds everything together.....ummm that's way to much for one person to take on. Especially a first time mom. No wonder so many moms deal with some kind of depression or anxiety because we are wired to think we have to live up to certain standards. 

I can remember the first few weeks I could not hold in tears. I would just look at my daughter and start crying. No reason, just happened. Being a new mom you really are just thrown in motherhood and there isn't an exact guideline as to what will happen and how you will feel. 
Of course this is such an exciting time and you shouldn't be worried about developing depression or anxiety (because that will ruin your excitement) I honestly didn't even think about any of that happening, especially I didn't think it would happen to me. When I was pregnant I barely dealt with crazy hormones and I was pretty calm. But then I went through labor, delivery, and recovery. Which at the time I didn't think anything of it, even though it was really hard on me physically and mentally. But through that I developed postpartum anxiety. I was constantly anxious and fearful. I always felt tense in every situation. It effected a lot, and I was always in a constant state of worry.  I have so many supportive and caring people, but it took a long time to talk about how I felt, or ask for help. Because I felt like I should be able to handle it on my own. 
I can't quite explain how or when I started to come out of it, but the more open I was with my husband and close friends, the better I started to feel. 
For every new mom out there. I want you to know that there is always hope. Seek it out. Ask for help. Don't bottle your emotions. And you aren't in this alone. You may feel alone, but I can promise you, you are not. Don't feel embarrassed or ashamed because you feel like you can't handle being a mom. Because you can handle it. You just have to believe in yourself. 

Mom life is tough, but I have found who I want to be, being her mom. She is my hope that anchors my soul. 

Matching shirts: Little Blessing Co 

Ellie's ruffle bow: Glow623