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The Night Before Kindergarten

Posted in Mom Life
on August 21, 2016

My sweet Wyatt,

Well, here we are. It’s the night before kindergarten and you’re fast asleep right down the hallway. While tucking you in we had yet another in depth talk about school. It’s your way of staying up later than you should. “Mama do you want to talk about something? We can talk about school if you want.”.

I didn’t argue with you.

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Freshly Picked Moccasins Review + Giveaway

Posted in Reviews
on July 24, 2016
Freshly Picked Moccasins

Freshly Picked sent me these moccasins in return for my honest and transparent review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Yes my friends, you’ve read that correctly! We’ve finally gotten our hands on the popular Freshly Picked moccasins. Let me start by saying, your kiddo needs these shoes in their life, and I’ll tell you why, duh.

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Freshly Picked was started by a mama who was fed up with the lack of well designed shoes.

Her dream is seriously my saving grace. Both of my boys have had chunky feet as babies and toddlers, and finding comfortable shoes that fit them properly is nearly impossible. Wyatt’s feet have finally thinned out, thank goodness, but Westin is still struggling with shoes.

Before Westin was born we started stocking up his closet with shoes, ALL of which never even fit him. Every where we went he was either barefoot or in slip resistant socks. So surely you can understand my excitement after working with Freshly Picked to find the right fit for my little man!

Shipping was super quick and within 4 days Westin’s first box of moccasins were at our door. I ordered him the birch in size 7, which retail for $60, and they fit LIKE A GLOVE. With the help of the elastic opening and a little cooperation from my son, he was ready to roll in his new shoes. These pictures were taken 20 minutes after they came in the mail, he was so thrilled!

Freshly Picked Moccasins

The color of these moccasins go with everything!

They are so versatile that I don’t have to worry about them not matching a certain outfit. I know these will come in handy when we are rushing out the door this fall to drop his big brother off to school. They’re so easy to slip on yet they stay on and don’t cause any discomfort for him whatsoever. He would sleep in these things if he wanted to.

As a mama I want to do whatever I can do to make sure my toddler is comfortable and stylin’. With Freshly Picked I did just that. He’s got this thing for shoes, and he gets it from his daddy, and out of all the shoes he’s been able to fit in these are by far my favorite.

Freshly Picked

Freshly Picked Moccasins

Don’t miss your chance to win your choice of a pair of soft sole moccasins for your little one! Click on over to my Instagram page, starting July 24th 7pm CST, to enter! The winner will be announced on the original giveaway post Sunday July 31st!

Getting Ready For Kindergarten

Posted in Advice, Mom Life
on July 14, 2016

Our oldest son is starting kindergarten next month!! I knew that these days would come but the past 5 years have flown by entirely way too fast. Wyatt will walk into those elementary school doors and I’ll have to leave him. I’ll drive home with his little brother in the seat behind me and we’ll be lost when we get home. When Westin naps I’ll be alone, with a lazy dog, until he wakes up from his nap or Wyatt’s day ends at 3:15.

I can’t even begin to think about it, or I swear I will bawl my eyes out.

We registered Wyatt in May and I quickly learned just how much work goes into preparing a child for the classroom. Since then I have been working non-stop preparing my “little” boy for school. I’ve put together my tactics, if you will, and passing them along for good use!

Preparing your child for Kindergarten doesn’t have to be stressful

Of course I say this out of experience. At Kindergarten Round-Up there’s a good chance you received a sheet of paper reiterating all the things your child should know before stepping into the classroom on the first day of school. If you’re like me, a heated ball of anxiety and sorrow, you quietly contemplated a summer program to get a kick-start on things. Obviously that’s not necessary.

After a little bit of research, and wine, I tailored a fun program for my son and I to do together this summer!

Printables

 

Kindergarten Printables

First up, we cracked down on writing his name correctly. Capital first letter, and the rest lowercase. I found these printables on PowerfulMothering.com. They are a free, customizable download and I’ve printed out many of these babies. All of which are pinned up against our fridge for the world to see. Powerful Mothering is filled with tons of learning resources and I urge you to subscribe!

Kindergarten Printables

 

Good ole flashcards

Kindergarten Flash Cards

Flash cards have always been my go-to. The simplicity of it reminds me of when I was in school, do you remember those long rectangular cards that were binded together at one corner? And you just flipped them around making one huge circle of cards?? Gosh, those were the days. Flashcards have worked wonders with my son. He’s a visible learner, much like I am, and we have fun with it.

Counting sweets

 

 

Teachers expect your children to count to 80 when entering kindergarten, 30 at a minimum. (I’m sorry, but this one is absurd.) Any who, we’re still working our way up that ladder. Counting those little Lego looking cubes just aren’t my sons cup of tea. So, I had to break out the goods; marshmallows, M&M’s, cookies, and chocolate chips. All of which made him very eager to get his numbers in order.

Another idea would be to use big marshmallows and toss them into random things around the house, counting the winning tosses as they go.

Learning needs to be fun, and at times you need to get creative when teaching a first timer the ropes.

For bonus points, I’ve finally gotten my son used to the idea of trusting someone he’s just met; his teacher. If your child will be leaving their comfort zone, which is you, for the first time ever- try telling them that the teacher is your friend. This has helped my son tremendously. Especially since he knows mama has a couple of cool friends and in his own words, “they seem pretty cool.”.

If you have a first timer starting school next month what methods are you using to prepare your child?

On Finding Yourself

Posted in Advice
on June 16, 2016

When it comes to finding yourself the process can be pretty challenging. When you’re a young mother living for her family, that process becomes bewildering. I’ve never put much thought into who I was or where I’m going until I started writing.

To me, writing is a sure-fire way to determine who you are. (insert shameless selfie below)

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So there’s my face.. Moving on..

As of right now I know 5 things about myself.

  1. I am a homebody. I like keeping to myself and staying off the radar.
  2. I put others way before myself, and that’s not particularly a good thing.
  3. I can be extremely hard on myself, and I think that’s pretty normal.
  4. I believe I am a unique type of person but I cannot own it.. As I don’t want to seem conceded.
  5. I am NOT a ‘fall down, get back up stronger’ person.

So yeah, you may look at those things and think they’re negative. At first glance I’d think the same thing. My mind works in mysterious ways and I have yet to find another who can relate.

Here’s my reasoning behind those 5 things. I wish I was the exact opposite of each of them. I’ve been fighting a war in my mind for quite some time now, trying to overcome who I really am and shift into someone who is not me.

It’s actually made things much more difficult in my life. Let me break down my 5 things for you.

I like staying home because I am an introvert, being alone is my favorite time of the day.

I’ve never been one to chase the crowd and shine a light on myself, not in person anyways.

I put my family before myself because that’s the kind of mother I’ve always wanted to be. I want to be the backbone and the crutch, I want to be the one that they need daily. It gives me a sense of pride knowing I’m needed.

I’m hard on myself because if I’m not, I won’t strive to prove myself wrong. I constantly tear myself apart because I am so good at building myself back up, to the point where only I am my own worst enemy. No one can speak to me with words worse than I do to myself, and that’s okay. I make myself tough enough to handle it.

I know I am a unique person, but I don’t walk around flaunting it like a vegetarian announces they don’t eat meat. Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.

And when I fall down, I fall down hard.. Hard enough to bring myself back to reality and see things realistically, rather than irrationally. (around my parts they call me the queen of irrational thoughts.. well, if the crown fits, right?!)

I could go on and on justifying those 5 things, but what more would it change?

Everything, actually. I highly doubt you’re ready for a novel so I’ll spare you.

Right now, as I write this, my words are flowing. I am basically talking myself out of feeling sorry for myself.. for not knowing who the hell I am.

I obviously know who I am.. I proved that 60 words ago.

whoiam

You know who you are too, I can promise you that. You just haven’t quite accepted it.

In my opinion, I don’t think you ever have to fully accept yourself, as you are constantly changing. If you really wanted to accept every aspect of your being you’d be mentally exhausted your entire life. Now when you’re 80, sitting with your soul mate sipping coffee, I’m pretty sure you’ll know who you really are. However I cannot vouch for that.

Stop trying to find yourself and let yourself find you. During this process I am urging myself to make minor improvements; To get out and do things for myself every once in a while, to attend social events with mere acquaintances, to appear completely vulnerable at times, and to own what I am capable of and what I have accomplished thus far. Throwing myself into uncomfortable situations is the only way I know how to expect growth. And again, that’s totally fine.

I’m a journal keeper, turned writer, turned blogger, who just wants to morph into a socialite, and fit in with the inspiring entrepreneurs of Houston, Texas.. and Lord willing I will get there.

How well do you think you know yourself? Write down 5 things you’re sure of and elaborate why in full sentences, no lists, just as I did up above.. You’d be surprised with what your mind brings to the table.

Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Loose.

Posted in Inspiration, Mom Life
on May 26, 2016

What do you do when the weight of motherhood sits down on your shoulders? When its so heavy that you want to fall, when it feels like theres no where else to go but down.

Where do you go?

I usually go to sleep.. but that’s beside the point.

Disclaimer: Its about to get real deep up in here. Bear with me.

This past month the events in my life were like a domino effect. Something would go wrong, leading to another thing, and another thing, so on and so forth. It was all happening so fast that I couldn’t even stop to catch my breath, or to gather my thoughts even. Being positive in a moment like that is almost impossible, for me at least. So I’m not going to sit here and tell you to just breath, and that everything will work out in the end.. or to let go and let everything take its toll.

That’s crap.

Realistically, your life is just as happy and joyful as you make it. I know this firsthand, you hold the key to your own success and happiness.

Use it.

A month ago, when it seemed the world was against me, I couldn’t quite grasp that key. You see, I’m one of those “complain about it and you’ll feel better” types of people.

No, don’t worry, I sometimes hate myself too. It’s a problem and I realize that. Please see Emma Stone for reference.. Gosh, I love her.. Moving on!

Eventually, things will keep getting, for lack of a better word, bad, and you’ll find yourself at a crossroads. Shut it out, or do something about it.

Most things will be okay eventually, but not everything will be. Sometimes you’ll put up a good fight and loose. Sometimes you’ll hold on really hard and realize there is no choice but to let go. Acceptance is a small, quiet room. -Cheryl Strayed

Mental note.. I feel like I’m writing up one of those infomercial scripts for workout equipment or something. The ones you see late at night, so incredibly corny but still convincing.

My point in all this is to tell you that I have bad days, heck, bad months even. Every mother needs to endure them, you need some lows to truley enjoy the highs. As much as it sucks.. thats life, its never fair.

When laundry piles up. When dinner itself is a battle. When housework is never-ending, and when you start to forget who you are, remember that I’ve been there. Hey, Im still here.. I write my way though moments like this. Almost the entirety of this post is my ramblings that are locked away in a draft.

I’m not a speaker, I don’t do therapy, and I can’t hold meaningful conversations to save my life. So I write.

I write my way to clear eyes.. to the clear eyes that show me I have a full heart. When you have a full heart, the last thing you’ll ever do is loose.

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Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t loose. 

[NEW] Nuby Keepeez & 2 Stage Busy Sipper // Review

Posted in Mom Life, Reviews
on May 17, 2016

These products shown below were gifted to me in return for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. I’m keeping it real!

Nuby has always been a part of my parenting essentials, literally since day one. Now, as a Nuby Parent Blogger, I am excited to bring you an inside look at some of their new products and share my personal review of them!

Nuby5

First up I want to share the Busy Sipper with y’all! I absolutely loved this cup! I mean.. my son absolutely loved this cup. The design made it super easy for him to grab and it made him feel like a big boy by the look of it. I was pretty impressed with the no spill silicone sprout, which is step 1 to this 2 stage cup. My son gets irritated being in a car seat, always has and probably always will be, I am able to keep this cup in my purse, covered with the travel cover, and when he gets fussy I can toss it back there and not have to worry about it leaking all over the place. It’s also BPA free, which makes mama happy!

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You can pick up your own 2 Stage Busy Sipper at Babies R Us or on Amazon right now!

Step 2 is a pop up top that flows freely, like a water bottle.. We definitely aren’t ready for that kind of trust yet but I love knowing that I’ll get all the use I can out of this one cup. For now I’ll just be able to occasionally let my 5 year old use that feature!

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Next up is the Nuby Keepeez, also BPA free. This one is seriously such a life saver. My toddler loves to throw cups and he’s not about to stop any time soon. The Keepeez is a harness that effectively keeps cups from dropping on the ground. One end has a buckle lock that fits on buggy handles, some stroller pieces, and high chairs. The other end is equipped with an adjustable spring powered push button lock, that loosens and tightens around a sippy cup.

The Keepeez comes in many colorful and fun patters and you can grab yours on Amazon, launching this July!

Nuby7rs

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I used the Keepeez with the Busy Sipper because of the sippers attached clip, It made the Keepez baby proof and impossible for my toddler to figure out.

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