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    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


    Mom Crush Monday: Our Tiny Nest

    This week I am excited to introduce Nicolle from Our Tiny Nest. Her blog is about everything mom, including her journey to a chemical-free lifestyle, something we all could strive to be a little more like. We're so similar in the fact that we LOVE Target (who doesn't?) and coffee (again who doesn't?).  Follow along to learn about her sweet family and find some of her blogging favorites!

    Tell me about your blog....

    I am a wife to Rick, we met in college and have been together for 10 years this year! I am a boymom to my little Maxwell Henry, he is 15 months and a furmama to our puggle Lola. We live in upstate New York. When I am not at home, I also work as a labor and delivery nurse. I first became interested in the blogging community when my husband and I were going through our own struggles with infertility. I was overwhelmed by the amount of support in the online community and loved connecting with others who were experiencing the same thing. 

    Once I became a mom and while home on maternity leave I would scroll through my social media and search various mom blogs, and loved reading about what other moms were going through. 

    "I decided to start my own blog to share my experiences from breastfeeding, mom shaming, mom wins, recipes and as a way to connect. "

    Your favorite blog post...

    My favorite blog post has been "What I learned my first year of motherhood". Looking back as I wrote it, it was crazy to see how I have transformed and how my views on things have completely changed since I became a mother.

    What is the best parenting advice you have ever received?

    Go with the flow and don't take things too seriously. One minute your kid may love peas and then the next they hate it and they're spitting it out all over. They may sleep through the night in the crib and then the next they're up all night. One minute you're feeling like "yeah I've got this" and then they totally switch it up on you. Flexibility is key.

    What is the most challenging part of motherhood?

    The laundry! Haha it's never ending and I despise folding laundry and putting it away. Half the time I rewash the same load. No seriously, I think just finding time to fit everything in, between career, family life, household chores and me time. But I'm getting better at letting some of that little stuff go to make time for the important things. It's a work in progress. 

    Funniest thing your kids have ever done?

    We were at like an indoor activity gym for the afternoon just meeting some other moms and their kids. My son farted so loud and then just burst out laughing at himself so proud, typical boy. 

    Top 3 Mom must haves...

    "Coffee because otherwise I can't even function, yoga pants and a sense of humor."

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

    I love just getting up early in the morning before anyone else in the house and sitting by myself enjoying the quiet and a cup of coffee. I also love to read, and this year one of my intentions was to read more books so I joined a book club. 

    Social Media accounts we must follow…

    Scary Mommy because it just cracks me up!, And I love reading other mamas experiences on the Coffee and Crumbs Blog and Motherly. 

    For more of Tiny Nests journey...

    Check out her beautiful blog here  or you can find her on instagram @ourtiny_nest

    and don't forget to check out last weeks Mom Crush Monday : The Gray Ruby Diaries here.   

    House and Home, Recipe, Uncategorized

    Starbucks Copycat Vanilla Scones

    This post contains affiliate links. I make a small percentage when u click and purchase from that link.

    My toddler has been whining more and more lately about wanting to go to Starbucks. Wait hold on…my toddler?! Yup you heard that right. He loves Starbucks more than me and his love for scones has become quite the negative influence on my own eating habits because when he doesn’t finish his scones, who ends up eating them? ME!!!

    His favorite thing at Starbucks are the Petite Vanilla Scones. He always requests two for him and one for his sister. He holds his pudgy little fingers up and shows me two fingers on one hand and one on the other. How can I resist? Whenever we are on the way to see friends he asks if we can stop and get them for him and his friend. 

    There are two simple reasons that I despise these little scones.

    They are incredibly expensive.  Even when you order one you get greeted with the “you get a discount if you buy three”. These little babies are not cheap.

    They are not nutritionally good for you at all. Lots of sugar and obviously carbs. It’s a waste of food and something my little guy just does’t need. 

    Today was a rainy day, and I decided we were going to stay inside today. This coupled with my New Years goals fresh in my mind, I couldn’t imagine making a trip to Starbucks without ordering something delicious for myself too. I decided why not make the scones ourselves and let the kids have fun with it? We made do with the ingredients we had in our kitchen and they turned out divine. Such a scrumptious little treat and I think my little guy liked them better than the real thing. The best part about these scones - they are gluten free, dairy free and PALEO! So they are healthy in small doses.

     A few notes..

    We didn't have baking powder so I created a substitute. For 1 teaspoon of baking powder, combine 1 tsp of baking soda and 1/2 tsp of lemon juice. 

    The dough is supposed to be thick! Keep mixing and it will form. 

    What's your favorite guilty snack?  We would love to try to make a copycat for you! 

    Favorites, Parenting, Uncategorized

    Our Favorite BOWS

    If you’re friends with me on Instagram or have seen any of my posts, it's easy to see that we love bows!  My sweet little girl has yet to grow any hair so instead of throwing a wig on her we resort to bows. And I’m talking bows on bows on bows. It has gotten to the point that she wakes up in the morning and cries till I put a bow on her. She obviously loves them as much as we do! Since we have become bow experts I thought I would share my favorite Bow Companies with you!

    The most important things I look for when purchasing a bow is its’ stretchy power. She isn’t an infant and most bow bands are made to fit infant-sized heads. Charlotte needs a good band that isn’t going to be too tight or dig into her head. All the bows on my top favorite list have bands that are made from nylon material and have max stretch power! The second thing I look for is damage power. The bow has to be able to be stepped on, chewed on, pulled and yanked and still look new. I have gone through so many bows that just fall apart.  I don’t mind retying them but some have crazy stitching and there is no fixing them once they get destroyed. I also like that I can throw some in the washer. See our list of our top 5 favorite bow companies below. 

    The Darling Bow Company This lady knows how to do business. She is kind and sweet! She is a mom, science teacher and a small shop owner.  She sent her son off to college and the following year her twin daughters left for college too, which left her with an empty nest and time to create her Etsy shop, The Darling Bow Co. She creates hand made hair bows, headbands and blankets. My favorite from her collection are her mini hand tied suede bows.  They are delicate, dainty and durable. I love them! You can find The Darling Bow Company on Etsy and Instagram! 

    Visit her Etsy shop here.  Use code “10thismomlife” for 10% off.

    Minted Tulip This company is owned by Cara, a sweet mom who has 2 adorable daughters. She started making bows as a creative outlet and the business took off. I found this company when a dear friend of mine was struggling with life and motherhood so I decided to order her girls something special. They love unicorns and mermaids. I found Cara’s gorgeous leather unicorn bows on Etsy and couldn’t resist. I have continued to be a loyal fan of hers and order bows for every occasion. You can find her leather bows in our family photos throughout my posts and you can find Minted Tulip here. Use code “10thismomlife” for 10% off. 

    Vanaguelite I first found out about this company on Amazon. I wanted to get Charlotte some new bows for Christmas and I was ordering things last minute. I loved her tiny bows. They go with a lot of her outfits and they are very soft! I constantly get asked around town where I get her Vanaguelite bows and I know just where to send people now that they are on Amazon.  You can order directly from their site here and if you mention “10thismomlife” they will include a discount! 

    Lola & Louise Firs of all, how cute is that name? This is the newest company that I have become obsessed with.  Emily has a 20 month old daughter, with another baby girl on the way in March. She started her business after she too realized she was buying bows left and right, just like me. When I received her bows I was blown away by their cuteness and how perfectly they fit Charlotte's head.  You can find her Etsy shop here and don't forget to use code “10thismomlife” for 10% off.

    Tribe design handmade This next shop has one of the most beautiful handmade items made by a sweet mom named Brittany! She specializes in beautiful bows that are made with love and her goal is to create styles and pieces for every little one out there.  She started this business so her girls could have a bow to match every outfit. With her being the shop owner she is able to accomplish that. She looks forward to sharing this happiness and love with other moms and their babes!  You can find her shop here and when ordering don’t forget to mention “thismomlife” to receive a discount! 

    Be sure to check out our top 5 favorite companies and follow us on instagram @thismomlife_ to see Charlotte in some of her favorites! Our next craft to try, bow making. What is your favorite accessory? 

    (Besides of course your cute babe!)

    House and Home, Minimalism, Uncategorized

    How to Enjoy Christmas as a Minimalist

    With Christmas eve upon us and the anxiety of last minute baking and gifting setting in. I thought what better time then now to work on my minimalist lifestyle. I am so lucky that I am constantly surrounded by “things” but the clutter gets overwhelming at times. I find clearing out clutter has allowed me to be more carefree and relaxed. My home is slowly becoming one that I dream of and my husband has stepped up too and helped me with this transition.

    I found that the best way to stay true to my minimalist lifestyle during the Holidays is to simply let things go. There are so many thoughts going through my mind that I often forget to truly enjoy the meaning of Christmas.  I have been blessed with the most fun loving family around. I look forward to seeing each and everyone of them every year. So this is a promise to myself to let things go and to enjoy the moments that I get with them. To remember that minimalism isn’t just about clearing out items, but also about clearing your mind. 

    • Don’t add to your “things” - My rule -One item comes in the house and three must go out! Amazon has made this incredibly easy to follow by sending me loads of boxes. You order 5 small items and get 5 large boxes? Each time I get a box I set it up in the garage and slowly fill it with Knick knacks. If you fill a box you can go online and they will print you a free slip to mail it to the closest goodwill. How easy is that?!
    • Let Routines Go - We work and work and work to get the kids on the most perfect routine and we try so hard to stick to those routines. During the holiday I have learned to let those routines slip.  Our kids want to stay up and spend time with everyone and they can’t nap because they are having too much fun in the snow. These memories won’t be here forever. Pretty soon they will be grown up. So this year we’re throwing routines out the window and adding to the memory book instead.
    • Stop Trying to do it All - Along with routines we are trying to squeeze in the maximum amount of  events and visits to friends that we can. We end up carting around cranky crying kids all the while tying to please everyone. This year the schedules are focused on the kids. If they need to rest and pop in a movie then we will do that. Having fun isn’t so fun if everyone is having a  fit. Happy kids = Happy parents! 
    • Eat Healthy, but don’t Make that the Focus - Each year I set this big ultimatum for myself. I always fail. It seems more realistic to enjoy the flavors of the Holidays, but don’t eliminate them. I am excited about this approach mostly because it means I won’t be kicking myself if I indulge in some of my favorite Holiday foods. 
    • Prep - This has been the number one way I have been able to cut back and feel more relaxed. If I plan ahead with snacks and things we may need then I spend less and we have more time for memories! Of course things don't always go as planned, but it is always better to be over prepped then under, especially with toddlers! 

    I am excited to have a clearer mindset as Christmas approaches.I have already started to let things go and just simply be me. Be in the moment and with those I love. Wishing all of you a carefree and magical Holiday!

    How do you plan to take on minimalism in this new year? 

    Favorites, Parenting, Uncategorized

    Trick or Treat Smell My Feet!

    Austin is 3 and trick or treating is his world right now. He talks about it day and night.  I finally took him to get a costume yesterday. We contemplated making our own and searched for the perfect outfit. He had his heart set on being Marshall from Paw Patrol so we finally “bit the bullet” and bought him a REAL costume. He even picked out a matching one for his sweet sister.

    Year 1, we were cops and robbers. Austin was the cop of course. Year 2, Austin was Buzz Lightyear and I was Woody. Year 3, We were all Ninja Turtles!  Now that I have Big and Little Marshall, I am trying to scramble and figure out what Eric and I will be. I LOVE to dress us all up, even if we just sit at home and pass out candy. 

    With Halloween on Tuesday this year, we had the weekend to dip our toes into some Halloween fun. I pulled my favorites from some sites I adore and had fun trying them out!

    I’d love to know your favorite last minute Halloween ideas! Post in the comments below.