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    Favorites, Must-haves, Parenting

    38 Must Have Summer Dresses

    This post contains affiliate links.

    Okay I went a little overboard with this one! I started looking for a couple dresses to get me through the next few months of summer. Dresses are an essential part of my minimalist wardrobe. One piece of clothing that you can dress up or down with a few accessories? YES PLEASE! 

    Here are my top favorites that can take you from a day at the beach to the perfect wedding guest look (okay not all of them are versatile but you get the point!).  

    Scroll down to see the 38 dresses that I fell in love with! I am only buying two but a girl can dream right?! If you see any you love, click on the link and it will take you directly to where you can purchase it.  Happy Shopping! 

    Which summer dress was your favorite? Share your summer wardrobe staple in the comments below <3 

    Favorites, Parenting

    Spring Styles with Janie and Jack

    It’s still winter here in Northern California.  The grass is sprinkled with rain drops and the fog slowly drifts in and out.  But spring is upon us and it was more evident than ever in our little adventure today. See below for our must have spring outfits by Janie & Jack

    Yesterday in eagerness to tire out the kids, I took them on an adventure! We hiked through the drizzly rain and the low fog all the while laughing and singing “she'll be comin' around the mountain when she comes toot toot’. Flashbacks of my nonnie taking us for ice cream flooded my brain and I was immediately brought back to those cool Spring days! As I marched along with the kids, we began to see flowers peeping through the bitter cold and we knew it was time for Spring. 

    As soon as the kids were home they threw on their new clothes from Janie and Jack

    Janie and Jack clothes left us craving more outdoor fun! Charlotte danced around in her comfortable pink dress.  She picked flowers with her new white purse and placed them perfectly inside. Austin couldn't wait to put on his anchor sweater which so perfectly reminded him of Zuma from Paw Patrol. He became inseparable with the sweet boat shoes that reminded him of his papa's big slippers. 

    It was fun to dress the kids up in new fresh Spring clothes and watch them dance all over. It was proof that Janie and Jack's pieces were not only stylish, but also comfortable enough for the kids to run and play in!  Be sure to check out Janie and Jack here.   In the comments below, let me know what your favorite Janie and Jack piece is! 

    This post is sponsored by Janie & Jack.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

    Favorites, Parenting, Uncategorized

    Mom Crush Monday: My Lovely Ohana

    Boy was I dreaming about that island life when I fell upon this mama and her adorable little one! Her Instagram is splattered with thoughts of love and sunshine. This cold weather has me wanting to jump on the first flight out of here. Next blog post brought to you from the beautiful islands of Hawaii? Hmm.. lovely thought but not as lovely as learning about Summer and her beautiful family! 

    Tell me about yourself & your blog...

    I’m a 24 year old military brat turned military wife, mommin’ it up on the beautiful island of Oahu.  In my free time, you’ll find me sippin’ on coffee (or wine!), dippin’ in the ocean, or hanging’ with my girl gang.  On my blog, you'll find a lot of “new mom- gone wrong” experiences, tips inspired by passion, and a million pictures of my beautiful daughter Teigen.

    Your favorite blog post...

    My favorite blog post so far has been a piece I wrote for called "Five mom expressions I finally understand".

    "It's my favorite because it's totally relatable for new moms!

    What is the most challenging part of motherhood?

    It's really challenging trying to keep your little one from every single danger day to day. And even more, realizing that they are going to fall down, bump their heads, or get bit by the dog a time or two. As mama bears we are extremely protective of our cubs and never want to see them hurt!!

    What is the best piece of parenting/mothering advice you have received?

    The best advice I've received has been from my oh so brilliant mother, "Don't sweat the small stuff!".

    "As mama bears we are extremely protective of our cubs and never want to see them hurt!!"

    Funniest thing your kid(s) have ever done?

    Teigen is a hilarious kid (she gets it from her mom of course). She has me cracking up all the time with her HUGE baby farts, crazy tongue that likes to lick literally everything, and super awesome dance moves. Just the other day she got a dolphin puppet book from her aunty. The second I put my finger in that puppet, she started laughing non stop! It's those kind of moments that really get me.

    Top 3 mom must haves:

    I could NOT live without my Infant Optics Video baby monitor to watch my snoozing babe from anywhere. I'm totally in love with my Baby Trend jogger, it's the perfect size and so fun to push T around in! And the Fawn Design diaper bag is my absolute favorite bag to take everywhere!!

    "I strive to get a workout in at least 5 days a week. Its a great way for me to get out some stress and keep my body healthy!"

    Share with us the social media accounts you love to follow...

    @gparrish @memoirsofmotherhood @diaryofafitmommyofficial

    For more on Summer and her adorable family, check out her blog here or find her on Instagram @mylovelyohana

    Favorites, Parenting

    Easter Basket Favorites

    Something I am super excited for this year is Easter baskets! It goes without saying that we LOVE holidays. We love to decorate and give practical gifts. It’s not the receiving that is fun, but more so the giving and the excitement of surprising someone. I love surprising my kids with fun things here and there.  We are looking forward to decorating eggs and celebrating all together this year. Find out what we will be filling our baskets with this year! 

    Special Easter shirt

    It has become quite the tradition to give them a special shirt to wear the day of!  We usually find one with quirky little characters for whatever they are into at the moment. This year I'm getting them cute little tractor shirts because they both love digging. You can find our favorite Easter shirt here.

    Make Up and Nail Polish
    Our kids love nail polish and make up. Each time we trim their nails, they ask for us to paint them too. It’s their reward for sitting patiently for a few minutes and having their nails clipped. They love any bright and fun colors.  My selection has been pretty boring to them (not to mention all the horrid ingredients) until we received the most adorable package from Prim and Pure. They have the purest of ingredients and are made of vegetables. The colors are sweet and perfect for little fingers and toes (maybe for mine too)! Best part is you can get 10% off by telling them that I sent you, just type in THISMOMLIFE at check out!  You can find their shop here.  


    Yes we also are huge bow fans. Honestly it started out because my daughter had no hair but now she grabs them each morning! Austin loves bows too. This year I’m putting matching bows in their baskets. Check out our favorites here and for a code to get 10% off from my favorite 5 bow companies!  

    Moon Lite

    I bought this for the kids for Valentines day and it was a quick grab from Amazon. Little did I know the excitement it would bring. You hook it up to the back of your phone and songs plays while you read a book projected on the wall to the kids. It’s magical and exciting. You can get your own here. So far we have Curious George, Good Night Moon, and Uni the Unicorn.  It is the perfect activity to wind us down from a crazy day! 

    Craft Supplies

    I always throw in something that is extra useful. The kids LOVE to craft, so anything art related make them happy. This year we are going to work on our garden so I am going to throw in some cute pots for them to decorate. You can find the sweetest little pots and paint set here

    Gardening Supplies

    Along with the crafts, I am going to throw in the supplies they need for gardening. They love to copy mom & dad as we pull weeds and plant seeds, so this year they get their own seeds and gloves. Click here for some kid friendly gardening supplies. 

    Rain Boots

    This year we are stuffing everything into our rain boots instead of baskets! The kids have fallen in love with their London Littles and have worn them every single day. We decided to grab them the next size up for some fun summer adventures (splashing in the river all summer long!).  You can get a pair of our favorite London Little rain boots here

    Now it’s your turn! Tell me the one must have Easter basket item in the comments below! 

    LOOKING for more ideas? Check out our Favorite Stocking Stuffers here

    Favorites, Parenting

    Mom Crush Monday: How We Do

    This Mom Crush Monday comes as a duo and they have a total of 7 kids! They are professional moms! The two friends, Angie and Karlie, cover everything "mom" on their blog, from beauty to travel. They share all their favorites in instagram stories and always leave you wanting more. 

    Tell me about your blog.. 

    We are friends and neighbors who happen to love a lot of the same things! We’re both moms, wives, and professionals who love to travel, workout, shop, and spend time with our families. Something we’ve noticed the past few years is that we often get asked “how do you….?”. So we decided to create a blog with helpful tips! We cover anything from fashion and beauty to grocery deals and travel tips. We love to try new products and share our results. Basically we love to share everything with our followers!

    Angie: I'm a professor at our local College where I specialize in Health and Human Performance. My husband, Chad, is a police officer in our community. I have four amazing kids: Boston (8), Jade (6), Cash (4), and Lux (2). I love spending time with them, especially if it involves watching them in their sports and other activities. I enjoy any form of working out, whether it’s running, lifting weights, or playing sports with my family. I love to travel and explore new places and find all the must dos and must sees (my nickname lovingly given by my husand is “Trip Advisor Angie”). I'm a perfectionist naturally and have an eye for fashion. I love to shop and score a good deal. And when I get the chance to relax, I love to sit down with a good book.

    Karli: I'm a dental hygienist for a local general dental practice. I love nothing more than spending time with my husband, Jud, and my three amazing kids: Jaxton (9), Halle (5), and Lola (2). Our favorite thing to do in the summer is going boating on the lake with family and friends. Baseball, boating and beaches are some of our favorite things to do/see. I love to wake-surf and even though I HATE cold water, I’ll jump in for a good surf session if there’s glass! My family and I enjoy traveling together as much as we can. I've always loved to play sports and workout, but I've also developed a love for Crossfit in the last several months, thanks to my sister. I'm close with my mom and two sisters that live nearby.

    ​"We are moms that like to have a good time, our families come first, and we love sharing helpful tips! When we find a good deal we want everyone to know about it! Our goal is to be as helpful as we can!"

    Your favorite blog post...

    Honestly, it's hard to pick a favorite! Our posts are filled with everyday tips we've learned along the way. We actually love doing videos even more than we love writing blog posts! We do live videos a few times a week on our Facebook and Instagram pages.

    Best parenting advice...

    Say yes as often as you can. There are lots of times when no is necessary and you start to sound like a broken record. A yes means a lot more to our kids than a convenient no means to us as moms!

    What is the most challenging part of motherhood?

    Knowing when to step in and when to step back; you want your kids to be independent and learn from their experiences, but it's also hard to watch them fail. Having patience, day in and day out. Finding and keeping a balance, especially as working moms with multiple children. Basically EVERYTHING! But you just do the best you can each day and try to be better than you were the day before. 

    "You never stop learning and being challenged as a parent!"

    Funniest thing your kid(s) have ever done?

    Our kids are always cracking us up! They have such different personalities and unique quirks, from their dance moves to their outfit choices to their one-liners, every day is comedy. If you want to see what we're talking about, check out our Instastories!

    Top 3 mom must haves:

    Dry shampoo (a must!), comfy and cute mom clothes (we have these jeggings that are to die for that we wear on the daily), and chocolate! 

    What is something you do (or strive to do) just for yourself?

    This is something we probably don't do often enough! We both love to workout and are very health conscious, so that's probably the most consistent thing we do for ourselves for our 'me time'. Other than that we try to squeeze in some girl time when we can, but that's rare. 🙂 

    The social media accounts you love to follow...

    There are so many great accounts, but a couple that we love are @tarathueson and @healthybeatskinny. 

    Check out Angie and Karlie on Instagram @howwedo and find out more on their blog here.

    Favorites, Parenting

    Mom Crush Monday: The Unfiltered Momma

    This next mama I was incredibly lucky to have met. Haley is filled with knowledge and has been a good source of support while starting my blog.  Her instagram pictures are beyond dreamy and I have always loved browsing through her page.  I feel like I am tagging along on her fun, adventurous trips! Did I mention that she has the cutest little babe?!      

    Tell me about your blog...

    My name is Haley and I am a SAHM to my six month old son, Grayson. We use our blog and social platforms to document our gnarly adventures! We absolutely love to travel by both car and plane. We spend many of our weekends at local parks and use any time my husband has off work to go on mini-vacations. Just recently, we rented a camper and stayed beachside. It was such a blast and more cost effective than a hotel. Of course we made sure to bring our pup and camera along to document some of the precious moments.

    "I adore this adventurous and spontaneous life."

    Your favorite blog post...

    My favorite blog post is my positive labor story, because it is one of my first personal entries. I was hesitant to discuss some of the nitty gritty details, but figured if I was going to remain “unfiltered”, I wanted to put it out out there. I am so glad I decided to be raw, because the feedback I received was so uplifting. Sometimes it’s ok to get out of your comfort zone! 

    What is the best piece of parenting/mothering advice you have received? 

    “You can never spoil a newborn”. I heard this from multiple people and actually read it in one of my books. I totally smothered Gray with my love and I was worried he was going to be “spoiled”, but in the newborn stage it is psychologically important for them to know you’re there for them and can attend to their every need. 

    What is the most challenging part of motherhood?

    One thing I struggle with most is self-care. I rarely get myself fully ready or put aside time for relaxing. I am constantly in motion or not allowing my brain to just calm down. I am definitely working on this everyday. My husband also reminds me and helps with this by sending me to do stuff for myself, while he watches Gray. I am so blessed to have him. 

    Top 3 mom must haves:

    Boppy: I use mine for every feeding! I even wish I would’ve brought it to the hospital after delivery. I remember my arms being so sore from holding my legs up and this would’ve came in handy! 

    Sound machine: We have always made sure that Grayson can fall asleep to noise. In the hospital we would play music. Shortly after, we purchased a portable sound machine and it’s been so convenient. We use it for every nap and bedtime. He loves the ocean sounds! 

    Baby carrier: I am obsessed with baby wearing. There is something about it that just makes you feel so connected, almost as if you were still pregnant! We use ours quite often. It is perfect for grocery store trips and beach walks. I even have bottle-fed him in his carrier while pushing the shopping cart. I definitely felt like a super mom the first time I did this. 

    What is something you do (or strive to do) just for yourself?

    My daily walks with Grayson keep me sane. I know it's not alone, but I sure do enjoy them! I also bring my pup along and put on my favorite Spotify station, "Hot Country". 

    "I run a Facebook support community for bloggers and I am always willing to help out new and fellow bloggers! I also just started coaching. You can email me if you have any questions about it. It is so uplifting for me to be able to help others grow!"

    @katierose4 @thismomlife_ @acesinsquares @withlovemama @ktnewms @daniellerbevens @ashreb91 

    To find out more about Haley, you can visit her blog here or check her out on Instagram @theunfilteredmomma

    Favorites, Parenting

    Mom Crush Monday: Mimosa Monday Mom

    Mimosa Monday Mom - If Amanda's blog name doesn't scream #mondayfeels then I'm not sure what does. This girl rocks Monday and her blog! She is a mom to a soon to be one year old and on a quest to document all her creative finds/coupon deals. She's sweet, fun and on top of it has an adorable family. 

    I'm Amanda and I blog over at Mimosa Monday Mom. I'm a mom to one sweet 11 month old baby girl. I am the (future) wife of a firefighter, and we live in a VERY small town in Florida, with our Doberman pinscher… who is also my baby! My fiancé and I have plans to have 5 children.. I know - we're crazy! I started blogging back in June of 2017, when my daughter was about 3 months old. We decided I wasn't going back to work full time at my day job, and I definitely needed a creative outlet. My blog focuses on all things mom, wife, & a frugal life. As a new mom, I felt like I had so much new knowledge piling up, and I needed somewhere to put it all! I've also been asked on many occasions about my couponing methods, and when & where the deals are for things that I'm purchasing, so I use my blog as a source to share those types of things as well. 

    I absolutely love blogging. It's opened so many doors for me so far, including writing my first book, "The Postpartum Party" and getting sent to Disney World this month.. just to name a few! It genuinely makes me SO happy to write, and connect with other people through my blog.

    Your favorite blog post...

    All of my blog posts have a lot of meaning to me, because they are always targeted at helping other new moms solve daily problems.While I love the problem solving side of my blog, I also love the deep story telling side that I occasionally wander to. My favorite post is definitely "Thank God for 3 AM Wakeups". This post focuses on how lucky we are to be waking up with our screaming babies at 3 AM. Although that sounds like a wild thought.. its so so true! You can find it here. 

    What is the best piece of parenting/mothering advice you have received?

    Honestly, I've never really gotten any crazy good advice as a mom yet. At least, nothing that really stood out. If I were to give any new moms any advice, though, it would be to do what's best for YOUR child and YOUR family. Don't focus so much on what everybody else is doing, or how they're doing it. 

    "Everybody parents differently, and the sooner we can accept that, the sooner we can start enjoying this crazy train that is parenting!"

    What is the most challenging part of motherhood?

    For me, the most challenging part of parenting has been the mom guilt. I endure this in all aspects of parenting. Mom guilt is when you basically blame yourself your everything, or feel guilty about being a mom. For me, this means feeling guilty about not working & providing financially, or feeling responsible every time your kid gets sick or hurt. So many moms struggle with this, and while it doesn't control my life by any means, it's always lingering in the back of my head! Although I struggle with it daily, I also overcome a little bit more, every single day!

    Funniest thing your kid have ever done...

    A provocative song (accidentally) came on the radio, and my, at the time, 9 month old starting breaking. it. down. Head bobbing, arms swinging, leg bouncing, the whole nine! It was HILARIOUS, and totally unexpected, because that was definitely the first time she had ever heard even a snip of rap music!

    "The best part of their funny moments is definitely how unexpected it all is!"

    Top 3 mom must haves:

    1. SwaddleMe sleep sac, which is crucial is my sleep training methods that you can read about here.

    2. Baby food pouches (best invention ever)

    3. Baby carrier or sling! I use ours for EVERYTHING! You can read more about why it's a necessity here

    What is something you do (or strive to do) just for yourself?

    I've learned that as a mom, self care is a HUGE deal! We so often forget about ourselves, while we take care of everybody else! In one of my favorite posts about self care for the new mom, I talk all about the importance of "choosing you". Everybody has their own way of expressing self care, and for me that's a hot shower. It's the little things in life, right? That saying definitely holds true for moms, especially! I do try getting my hair done 2 times a year, but as a DAILY self care routine, I ALWAYS take a hot shower to help unwind from the day!

    You can find more about Mimosa Monday Mom here and check out Amanda's Instagram @MimosaMondayMom