White Chocolate & Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

White Chocolate & Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

Ok, obsessed with these cookies.  Made them for a play date with some of our favorite people a little while back. My tin was empty upon leaving, which is always a good sign.  Then I doubled the recipe for a family day, cause well Steven pretty much wanted his own batch and I took some to my in-laws for dinner.

They’re light and fluffy with so much flavor. And I had to make them again (and again) just to take some pictures, well and getting to eat them is a pretty good reward. I’m sure my husband didn’t mind either. In fact, I mentioned keeping some dough in the freezer so that I can have these around more without having to bake a batch whenever we want some.

They taste their absolute best on day one and two, but not so bad on day three- if they make it that long. Steven started a trend of dipping the cookies in freshly made whipped cream, which was pretty delicious, y’all. This actually reminded me of a local spot that is probably my favorite lunch place, where they serve their large-fresh cookies with whipped cream on the side- yum!

I will alwayssss, always be an advocate for my KitchenAid stand mixer. I always recommend it to guys when they aren’t sure what to get their wives. Cause really y’all, it’s good for EVERYTHING. Since the day I got mine I would not choose a hand mixer again.  Now don’t get me wrong, I used a hand mixer up until the day my life changed, and it will certainly get the job done.

White Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

Prep Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour spooned and leveled
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 + 1/2 cup quick-cook oats
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Put aside.

  2. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (I love my KitchenAid), or an electric mixer, cream together the butter with the sugars for 1-2 minutes until well combined. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until fully combined.

  3. Gradually mix in the flour mixture and continue mixing until just combined, then mix in the oats, chocolate chips and cranberries until fully combined. It is important to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

  4. Cover the cookie dough and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

  5. During this time, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, then set aside.

  6. Once the dough is chilled, remove it from the refrigerator. Using a tablespoon, scoop the dough and roll into balls. Place on prepared baking sheet leaving a little room between each cookie. Gently press down to flatten just slightly.

  7. Bake one sheet at a time for 10-12 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are lightly golden and the top is set. Remove from the oven and cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring the cookies to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Recipe Notes

Before measuring out flour lay out some parchment.  Using a large spoon mix up the flour and scoop into measuring cup.  With the back of a butter knife level excess flour and add to bowl.  Then you can pour the excess flour on parchment back into flour container. 

Chilling allows for a fluffier cookie, if you prefer yours to be thinner chilling can be cut down or out altogether. 

Cookies store well at room temperature in an air-tight container, best when eaten in the first few days.

Here are the items I lalaLOVE to use when baking these cookies, among many other things at home.

These products make all the difference in my baking processes.

The cookies are great year round, but I really think they have some fall flavors in there. So I am happy to share them with y’all during my favorite time of the year!  I cannot wait to hear how they turn out for you!

Some of my Favorite Things- Prime Day & always!

Some of my Favorite Things- Prime Day & always!

Many links that I share are affiliate links, which means if you choose to purchase from a link listed on my site I may receive compensation. The items are the same price to you, but help support this blog and my family.  Being a mama is hard work. I specifically share only items I personally use and also love! 

Hey y’all! With Prime Day being today and tomorrow I wanted to put some things together that I lalalalove and use often- if not daily. Maybe you’ll find something for a friend that has a birthday coming up or start stashing gifts for Christmas, how about something you may need for yourself, mama?

I cannot tell you how often I find things online, sometimes such simple things and my husband is quite the advocate of cutting down errands and shoppings lists. But it really is a life changer when I don’t have to hit a bunch of different stores or spend nearly as much time in one— except Target, I could spend allll day there. It’s just not really ideal now is it? For many reasons, but I’ll stop that thought there, as you could probably imagine. So friends, feel free to look through here for any ideas. I am listing only things I love, and I mean reallly lalaLOVE.

OK, how cute are these notebooks?! I love the size of these and use them for keeping track of ideas, thoughts, goals, prayers, notes from church or bible study, etc. I also love to gift them, so I’m always happy to find cute ones like this. And come on, anyone else obsessed with florals like me?

This KitchenAid Stand Mixer, y’all.

I will alwayssss, always be an advocate for my KitchenAid stand mixer. I recommend it to guys when they aren’t sure what to get their wives for Christmas or a birthday. Cause really y’all, it’s good for EVERYTHING. I make most of my baked treats with this thing as well as, meatballs, pancakes, deviled egg filling and so much more! So much good has come from this appliance that my husband gifted me SEVERAL Christmases ago. I use it so often and it really makes my life easier. There are also a TON of attachments too! Plus, I love the glass bowl option. This appliance functions as a display piece in your kitchen with so many colors to match or stand out!

This Azure Blue KitchenAid Stand Mixer is a HUGE deal through Prime Day! It comes in two other colors as well, friends.

Love this little Contigo Water Bottle. Recently got one for the mini since she loves the one I use during workouts. It doesn’t leak and she drinks much more water with it compared to other water cups and bottles we have used. I’d also like to try the kids’ cup with a straw, cause ya know, straws are fun and when you’re little they’re even more fun, haha. I lalalaLOVE all the color and design options too!

Anyone looking for some comfy pajama pants that are cute and cool enough for summer? Look no further than Amazon Essentials Women’s Poplin Sleep Pant. I REEEAAALLLY LOVE THESE. I wear them A LOT, y’all! Lots of different patterns available too. I may end up buying another pair today myself.

Looking for a new bible study to try? I have a couple of my top faves to share with y’all!!! One I did with our church’s Mothers of Young Children last year and the other is one I found through @christcenteredmama on Instagram, which is my current personal study. Bot are aimed toward women but could definitely benefit men as well.

Also, this is the Bible I currently use and have used for nearly two years. I love that there is room for notes and has beautifully highlighted verses throughout.

Do you have an Aromatherapy Essential oil Diffuser yet? If not, it is so great. If so, maybe another? We have three throughout our house and may even add another one. The natural smell can be so soothing, or energizing, even relaxing! Listed first is the one we have in our living room, plus there are many other options out there to look through on Amazon. I gifted this one to my dear friend for her birthday recently, and she LOVES it. I love mixing lemongrass with rosemary, or peppermint with lavender. What’s your favorite blend?

Not all the items I have listed fall under Prime Day Deals, so get to looking for anything you else you may need or want during this time (today & tomorrow). Happy shopping y’all!

Homemade Sweet Vanilla Cream

Homemade Sweet Vanilla Cream

If this title gets you excited, then we clearly would be good friends. Plus, Monday can really be tough, so if you need something sweet this is perfect.

A couple weeks back we had brunch with a friend, after picking my husband up from the airport. I ordered a cold brew coffee, cause obviously I needed it, then the server asked me if I’d like sweet vanilla cream. “Uh yes, definitely” was my response without any delay.  My coffee was cool and delicious, without being too sweet (nothing at all against sweeter coffee). I even ordered one to-go for our drive home.

After chatting with a friend about it that week it has been on my mind to make it ever since. In fact, I probably would have made some for her too, if we would have gotten a visit in this past week. I have heard of some people using sweetened condensed milk in their coffee and I have made that at home, so how hard could some sweet cream be? After looking around on Pinterest I decided to kind of wing it, and no disappointment here.  With it being my first try, I may try to mix it up next time- which I am almost out so that won’t be too far out.

I pulled some heavy whipping cream out, along with whole milk and poured those into a pot. With the heat set on a medium-low, I then added in some sugar and vanilla.  After giving the mixture a few minutes to cook down the sugar, while continually stirring, I lowered the burner to a simmer and allowed it to finish cooking. Then after removing from heat, I whisked it as it cooled. Once it was cool enough I transferred it to a mason jar to store in the fridge, and it has accompanied my coffee each day since. I just give the jar a little shake before pouring (while it’s still closed, of course).

You too can enjoy this sweet and simple addition with just a few basic ingredients and your stove. Don’t have heavy whipping cream? Try half and half or just milk altogether. You can also play with the type of sugar or try pure maple syrup- even honey. Like coconut? Try it with coconut cream and/or coconut milk, then please report back on that version! This Sweet Vanilla Cream goes wonderfully in coffee, but I imagine it would also be delicious in chai tea, anybody with me here?

Home Sweet Vanilla Cream

Cook Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Pour ingredients into a pot set on medium-low heat.

  2. Whisk constantly while sugar melts down 4-5 min.

  3. Turn heat to low/simmer for an additional 5 min, still stirring often.

  4. Remove from heat to allow to cool and continue to stir.

  5. Transfer to a mason jar or other airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week- if it lasts that long. 

sweet vanilla cream and cranberry white chocolate chip cookies

(Stay tuned for the recipe to these White Chocolate Chip & Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies).

Does this Sweet Vanilla Cream go with your morning coffee? Yes, of course. How about that pick me up cup later on? Certainly! To accompany dessert or a snack? Yup!!!

I hope you enjoy this easy recipe for Homemade Sweet Vanilla Cream. As always, I’d love to know how it works out for you, so please share it up!

Don’t Let Your Stove Cause Mom Guilt

Ok y’all. It’s been a morning here. A day that started off nice and calm. I hit snooze wayyyy too many times but still managed to get up and wash my face before my toddler walked into my bathroom.  Thanks to my hubby for getting her out of bed and letting her just hang with you long enough for me to pee alone- seriously babe, thank you.

So anyway, she seemed content playing in the back while he worked a bit on his laptop. I jumped into the kitchen to cook up some scrambled eggs for her, thinking I could bring them to her and we can skip the whole breakfast fight that’s been going on lately.  Well this girl sneaks up behind me, just a bit after I took the pan off the burner to prevent further cooking and as I was also grabbing my coffee from the Kuerig, and then all I HEAR is screaming, “owwwie,” more screaming and crying. My heart is so hurt at this very moment. I know exactly what happened as she held her hand up saying “hurt.”  I grab her, turn the kitchen faucet on cool and somewhat calmly (in my mind anyway) tell Steven that this little sneak must have touched the stove as I run her hand under the water.  He walks up to help console her and offers an icepack which she refuses to take.  We sit on the floor and try to get a look at her hand that she does not want us to see. His next suggestion is to distract her, so yes what can we do? Do you want a muffin? Do you want to read a book? Ok, do you want to watch Elmo? Ok, TV it is.  Television is a great distraction and ALSO a TREAT.

My mind went from “Gosh, I feel bad” to “She is ok; she will be fine. I have told her the stove is hot. In fact, SHE has often told us how the stove and oven are both hot (in our real kitchen as well as her play kitchen).” Then while sitting on the couch snuggling her, this weight of guilt, disappointment in myself and just sadness came in like a fast-moving storm cloud. If you live in Florida, you know what type of storm cloud I’m talking about.  And then the rain came, in form of tears. I could just picture her crying and shouting in confused pain, it was playing on rerun in my head. While I did not cry for long, I was sad and at the brink of tears for a bit before getting to talk about it a little.  The reality is, I cannot see and stop everything bad from happening to her.  There is no way for me to prevent boo boos forever, and I shouldn’t want to.  This little firecracker has to figure it out on her own.  And you know what? Now, hot is some she knows “hands on” not just something we talk about.

She ate her eggs and drank lots of milk this morning. Then she went back to playing and I slathered some coconut oil on her hand, of which has some super super mild blemishes. As she naps, I am taking this time to reflect and heal from the guilt and sadness I felt.  I sat down with my second cup of coffee for today and opened up my Dwell Bible study journal by Sarah Liberty Hardee of Christ-Centered Mama (christcenteredmama.com).  I’m only a few days in but this one talks about being strong and courageous, which happens to also be part of the mantra that Rachel Hollis (@msrachelhollis) recited with her daughter, Noah, today that I happened to catch on Instagram.

 

 

It just really helped me feel God this day when I really needed to not feel discouraged or afraid. What are the chances this day I would read Joshua 1 and get to see some repetition from different sources of inspiration?  That’s God, y’all! I am so GRATEFUL for the moments I spent today reading his word so that I may dwell in that rather than how I was feeling before.

Mom guilt is real y’all. You can see my previous post about it. While, it is important to notice and be aware of it is even more important to find a way to get passed it. Talk to another mama, read your bible, pray, meditate, take a walk, snuggle your baby or your puppy. Be grateful, because when we are grateful we are not focused on the negative!

Scones that say “Thank You” (Chocolate Chip Scones)

Y’all! Life has been… well life.

Anyone that knows me, knows I love to bake, and that is something I do often. It is part of me and I love being able to share my baking with others.

My husband was trimming the trees in the back yard and really giving it a nice makeover for some future ideas we have, when he got to talking with a neighbor back there.  And y’all, we have a concrete wall in our backyard that separates us from a subdivision, so this is interesting. Nevertheless, they had a friendly conversation about trees, which led to our neighbor offering us one of his banana trees- that he would dig up specifically for us.  Like how nice, right?! My husband would never ask him to do this, but also this is a very nice gesture and heck yes a banana tree is awesome.

So our kind neighbor, stops by a few monrings later with a light knock on the door. The dogs are barking, our spunky toddler jumps on the couch and is peeking out of the blinds all excited, meanwhile I’m in the bathroom and still in pajamas. Yes. It was before 9 a.m though okay! Well by the time I get to the front door, I see the tree in a bucket right outside and a car pulling out of our driveway and leaving the neighborhood. Oh gosh, I missed him. Steven is out of town for work.  I am thinking all day, I should go say thank you and not wait for Steven to get back cause waiting too long seemed rude. Then I immediately thought- well I need to bake something for them and I can deliver it.  Scones.  Chocolate chip scones to be exact.  Ever since having them at a tea room locally they have been on my list to bake, plus an awesome friend gave me a special baking dish. The next morning I bake up these delicious scones, even with a little help and cooperation from my mini.  I package them so nicely, tie a bow and write out a simple thank you note. I pop the kid in the strolled for a quick walk around the block to find no answer at the door. Ok. A few hours later, just after dinner we give it another try. No answer! Maybe they went out of town for the weekend, or have many errands… Fortunately, I run into the neighbor right next to them, and come to find out we just missed these guys on their way back up north for the summer! Ahhhh. I thought they were snow birds, but wasn’t sure.  You bet I am sure now, and now my scones… Have no mouths of purpose to enter. Of course, I ate two. I gave some to our fabulous neighbors across the way, but even then I had no dates with friends for now so into the freezer the rest went.  I will report on how they hold up.

But as for FRESH- they rock. I added a splash of almond extract which really stands out nicely. And as for my gifted scone dish- it’s nothing short of amazing.  Now, let me be clear, I have baked scones at least a handful of times before this dish was in my possession and had success at doing so BUT I lalalalove the scone dish- I do. See below for the full recipe and directions if you’d like to give it a go at home, please let me know how it goes!

Chocolate Chip Scones

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 8 scones

Ingredients

  • 1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp butter room temperature
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400° and line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat. Or spray your scone dish- if you have one.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, add flour, sugar, butter, baking powder and salt. With a fork, blend together while mashing the butter until you achieve a coarse-crumb consistency. Then add in the chocolate chips.

  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, milk and both the extracts. Then add to crumbly mixture while trying not too over mix. 

  4. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle flour on top and gently work the dough together into a large round disc 1 inch thick.

  5. Cut into 8 wedges and place on prepared baking sheet, leaving an inch of space between.  Or just scoop into the scone pan. 

  6. Bake for 10 minutes (possibly a couple minutes longer depending on your oven). Watch for the scones to brown just slightly. Transfer to cooling wrack. 

Two Cute Birthday Party

Hello all- and hello April… HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?

So, things have been crazy. We recently celebrated little miss Peach turning two.  We had a fun day at a local park and it worked out well. The weather was nice; it was perfect for the kiddos to run around the playground. My dear friend, Sarah, moved her work schedule around to help me prepare and set up for the party- while her husband helped mine by running errands for us.

The mini lalaLoves purple and elephants, really she loves colors and animals in general but those seem to be among her favorites. So I focused on those ideas when creating everything for the party.

The menu consisted of three different types of slider-style sandwiches compiled of hawaiian sweet rolls, sliced turkey, ham, or chicken with cheese. We also tackled cucumber cream cheese tea sandwiches, those came out great and were so refreshing.  I purchased individual bags of chips as well as a prepared veggie tray for convenience and made deviled eggs. For the sweets, mini gluten-free and peanut-free cupcakes with chocolate covered marshmallows. Now, while this may come as a surprise to you (as it did to many of my friends) I did not bake the cakes, instead I left the heavy lifting to Publix. The bakery at Publix never (and I mean NEVER) disappoints with taste. As for drinks we went with bottled water and juice pouches, this way no need for cups! I borrowed a gorgeous white cake stand and an assortment of platters.
As for the goodie bags, I purchased three-packs of small gift bags from the Dollar Tree and mixed between white and lavender. Using my Silhouette Cameo, I made white and purple elephant stickers from vinyl to give the bags a more themed look. Sarah and I stuffed the bags with elephant squeeze toys (that I ordered online from Oriental Trading), mini purple bubbles (also from Oriental Trading) and bags of animal crackers (from Target).

The remaining details consisted of items from Dollar Tree and Hobby Lobby, which includes letter and number-shaped balloons in gold, table cloths, plates, napkins, etc.  I did grab a roll of craft paper from Dollar Tree that I used to cover the top of one of the picnic tables for the kids to color on (crayons provided) and some of the kids had fun. The guys kindly picked up a selection of flowers to put at each table in large (64 oz.) mason jars. I lalaLOVE fresh flowers, they add a really nice touch.

I still cannot believe that our girl is two, and I realize I may not get used to this feeling anytime soon. haha. Wine please.

Looking for some birthday party inspiration? Have any useful tips, tricks or ideas- share for all the mamas out there!

Salt Dough Heart Magnets for Valentine’s Day

Salt Dough Heart Magnets for Valentine’s Day

Well hello, February! Delayed, I know… I have had a few ideas for posts and have had a hard time nurturing just one idea -or- been doing mom stuff. So with yesterday being Valentine’s day we got busy this week.

February is a little hectic around here.  There is Valentine’s day, my birthday, little Peach’s birthday and my mother-in-law’s as well.  Lots of birthdays, throw in three close friends who have birthdays too. We don’t usually do anything too big for Valentine’s day, maybe a good homemade dinner or take out. With the mini approaching two and so interested in everything,  we did a fun holiday inspired craft.

After spending some time perusing Pinterest I decided on some salt dough magnets. Hearts are incorporated, because DEFINITELY necessary- for real dough. I found a simple recipe at Red Ted Art and cut it in half since I knew we wouldn’t need them as thick or too many. I also added some red glitter for extra fun and it did not end up everywhere so that is a WIN! I have had heart shaped cookie cutters for at least 8 years, if not longer, so we used those to make these meet our heart requirement. Little miss was happy to lend a hand in the mixing and cutting.

We ended up with six hearts, could have gotten at least two to three more from the dough. They baked at 215° fahrenheit for 3 hours then I shut the oven off and took them out after running a couple errands.  They were firm and cool at this point.  And just in case you’re wondering they do not shrink or puff up, they stay the same.  I had to phone a friend on this one, because I wanted to be prepared and didn’t see any detail about it from the original recipe.   Now we can paint these anyway we’d like, sign/date/title them and add our magnets to make them fridge worthy.

Salt Dough

Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1/2 cup water add gradually as you may need more or less to get the right consistency
  • glitter
  • cookie cutters
  • paint of markers for decorating

Instructions

  1. Mix dry ingredients together. Then add water starting with 1/4 cup, then add more gradually.  You likely will need a little extra water, but be careful not to make they dough too sticky.

  2. Roll dough into 1-2 mm thickness. If you make it too thin it will be more fragile. Cut the hearts out, or whichever shape you choose, rework and roll out dough to use up however much you need until you finish. 

  3. Bake at 215°F for 3-4 hours. I let mine cool in the over, but you can remove and allow to cool on the counter as well. 

  4. Finish off however you like, decorate with marker or paint and seal will some Mod Podge. 

Recipe Notes

Adapted from: Red Ted Art

What I love about this is you can let your imagination run wild, there are sooo many options.  You could cut a smaller heart out in the middle as an easy change up from this.  Obviously there are tons of cookie cutter designs out there, and then painting them is another level or custimization. The mini had a blast helping paint these, it did get a little messy though, as to be expected. 

You can add a stamped design before baking and then color it in to showcase the different levels of dough. It was easy and fun plus not too much of a mess (aside from painting with a toddler of course). If you check out Maggie at Red Ted Art you’ll also find some ideas of how to use salt dough and many other great ideas!

Please share how yours turn out or any ideas you may have so others can enjoy as well. Let’s stick together mamas, this way we might keep our sanity while raising these little ones!

 

Mom Guilt- Let’s face it

Mom Guilt- Let’s face it

 

I met a few new moms this past weekend. It wasn’t long before #momguilt was mentioned. A question posed at me was, do you get mom guilt too?

YES. And yes, I am a stay at home mom. It’s a mama thing, y’all! There will always be someone thinking you aren’t doing it right, or that you must have it easy.  I am truly blessed to stay at home, and so happy too.  I remember when I first became a stay at home mom after our Precious Peach arrived; I was just so overjoyed, I couldn’t believe it to be true. And here I am, almost TWO years later {gasp}.

Anywayyyy. With a growing life (and you growing as well as an individual and new mama) things are always changing, whether you stay at home or go to work. And it is HARD, but oh so important. Let me say that one more time, being a mom is IMPORTANT. It is work and it matters, so remember that- put it on a sticky note, write it on your mirror.  As I tell you to remember, I also need to do so too.  Why? I often forget the importance of my job between all the picking up and cooking, while drowning in laundry.  It is so easy to get wrapped up in daily tasks, so much to the point you might forget how important it all is and start to feel bad. Once, I start to feel bad about one thing, that leads to others.  I’ll feel bad {often} that I do not provide any income for our family, or I am not doing enough to make our budget work better. Do I take the mini to the park enough, or read enough, etc?  A rabbit hole of guilt.

Then there are days when I’m like YES, I am doing this right, this is meaningful. I teach her a lot, look at all she has learned. Wait, am I teaching her enough? Is she exposed to a variety of activities throughout the day/week that stimulate her little brain? And just like that, here we go again- mom guilt strikes again. Bring me all the wine, maybe coffee too. Mom guilt is like a bomb, and you must decide which wire to cut. BUT what if the wires aren’t universal, oh gosh!!!!

 

thinking mama howthismamadoes.com

 

Where does mom guilt come from?

BabyCenter compares mom guilt to PMS.  I can totally see this. We all get it- moms that work and moms that stay home, cook verse order take out, etc. But ultimately it is the feeling of shame and then letting it take over. We compare ourselves to others, or set unrealistic expectations. Don’t get me wrong, expectations can certainly be good; however, if we really don’t know any better we may have set them incorrectly and if so must learn and adjust rather than feel guilty. Mamas, we are all different, just because we may admire another or appreciate a motherly path does not mean it will work for us.  Mamahood is not a one size fits all.  Not to mention, the difference between each child as well! More wine, please.

How to conquer mom guilt: 

If only I had more money, resources, etc. Does that matter? Of course more money or resources could be helpful but mom guilt shows no pity and it runs deep!

Support Newtwork:

Let’s be real, we can be a MAJOR support network for one another, mamas. It is so important to have someone or a group to be able to ask questions/have conversations with.  Talking to another mom that gets it, helps me calm down- every single time. My little Dare Devil climbed out of her crib at 16 months. She was fine and recovered within minutes, me I was a mess for most of the day.  I even talked to TWO close friends that have two or more kids, so you know- they have more experience. These ladies really helped me chill out. I am also so grateful for my Mama Tribe at church and our bible study group, I know these ladies will drop what they’re doing to help, listen and/or pray for me and my family.  All of your friends do not need to be moms, and just because you know a mom doesn’t mean you’ll become friends but you do need at least one mom friend.

Show yourself grace:

Accept it and learn from it.  Realize that guilt shows you care and are aware; now that you know, you can reflect and make whatever changes may need to be made.  Maybe you don’t have to change what you’re doing but stop comparing yourself to some other moms, remember we are not all in the same boat just because we have had babies. As mothers, we must find peace in the fact that we were created for this, there is great value in motherhood.

 

perhaps this is the moment for which you were created esther 4:14 howthismamadoes.com

 

Think Positive:

Let it go- sing the song if that helps, too. Pray and give it to God. Then focus on positive things.  We have much to be thankful for, it is just sometimes difficult to remember when we are consumed with negative thoughts and emotions. Anxiety can prey on us, but when we set our sights on what is good we can overcome weakness.

Now with many things in life, this is all much easier said than done. We are not perfect, nor were we meant to be, we must TRULY absorb that knowledge and be okay living that way. But hey, I’m just a mama living day by day. Have any useful tricks up your sleeve that help combat mom guilt? Remember the whole support network thing? Sharing is caring, ladies. Less judging, more understanding and helping!

 

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year y’all!

I’m slightly delayed on “starting” my New Year.  My husband took some extended time off for Christmas & New Year’s, and it was really nice. Between the two holidays, we traveled to see my mom in North Carolina. It was a new experience as a family of three as well as our first time up there since they moved. We had a nice time visiting and were blessed to see some beautiful views on our way out of town.

So, it was back to the hustle this past week. Honestly though, it was a little bit of a rough start. Trying to get into a groove has been tough. Around Thanksgiving I became consumed with preparing for Christmas. Then after, I feel burnt out just in time to clean it all up and try for a fresh start. And while trying to set goals and get a good schedule going, I am also starting to plan a birthday party for our soon-to-be two-year-old! How is this happening already?

With this New Year, it is clear we need to refresh our home, and declutter. We, like many, have a spare room that is mostly a storage space. I have a desk filled with paper work, my craft stuff and other miscellaneous items; there is also a full size bed and baby items we are keeping or only use sometimes. This room has been worked on a many times, but never quite reached its full potential. It has been my goal for since last week to get it closer to a guest/craft room. Next housekeeping goal: toys and outgrown clothes.

And YES, we have watched a couple episodes of Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, not entirely into it but I do like her folding techniques! Definitely worth a watch, y’all!

Do you agree it’s time for some cleaning up to start this new year off fresh? I am also excited, because I finally bought new sheets for our bed and am looking forward to a new design. What are some new things your are working on, mama? Let me know, I’d LalaLOVE to hear about it all!

Christmas Gift Ideas that are STILL an Option and EASY!

Christmas Gift Ideas that are STILL an Option and EASY!

Why hello, four days until Christmas! Or as parts of our family would say, three days and a wake-up.  Anyone still struggling with gifts? Well that was me, but now I’m all set, minus a quick errand.  This is the last “regular” day before Christmas.  Y’all know this weekend is going to be complete HAVOK and even though Monday is a business day, it’s partial in a lot of eyes (half days, the day off completely or even a day requested off, but there is mail everybody).

So I have some ideas for you, since there is STILL the option to order online, you’ll probably just be paying a little extra. A lot of stores offer order online- pickup in store and I also LaLaLaLOVE that.  I actually pickup in store often at Target.  I mean, come on, Target has nearly everything you could want or need.  Old Navy has this option too, so if clothes are on your radar they have what you want.

I ordered this photo puzzle from Personalization Mall for some family members:

If you’re an Amazon Prime Member like us (or check out the free trial) then there are LOTS of options left from there. Any ladies that like Alex and Ani bracelets? Then check out Amazon’s selection- still an option to get some of these by Monday! I love these bracelets personally, but for other too because there are so many options. One for your sister, mother, daughter, aunt, godmother, monogrammed, birthstones, etc.
Have a craft-lover on your list? Well PERRRFECT. Michael’s does buy online pick up in store. Amazon also has A LOT of craft materials. So stay home, or go to that party/get-together instead and have Amazon deliver it for you.  I have ordered materials for my silhouette on here many times as have some of my friends. Here is a link for tons of Silhouette related products and materials 🙂

How about an Oil Diffuser, that was actually on my wish list. Amazon has tons of those too! We have family that uses a couple throughout their house, and I lalalaLOVE it.  I also went to the Spa at the Gaylord Palms Resort in Orlando and they had them which was AMAZING. I have purchased essential oils on amazon in the past as well, they have quite the selection.

Is there someone you like A LOT? Maybe they are a gadget person, or an Apple fan? How about the new Apple Watch or even a previous model? I realize this is not in everyones budget of course, but Best Buy does do same day pickup, so it will depend what you’re looking for and what your store has in stock.

Ok, who doesn’t love jammies or cozy blankets? Haven’t met anyone. I’m sure they exist, but we’re not focusing on them. Old Navy and Target have a lot to choose from for those snugglers in your life, and HEY- same day pickup!

There are soooo many great gifts out there that you can totally make yourself too. We usually make at least one gift for Christmas, if not more.  It’s such a great way to really give someone something special. I’ve made mugs, ornaments, plaques, monogrammed vases, etc.

Wanted to get these ideas out sooner, but you know how life goes.  I hope you still find it helpful and get to finish up your shopping! We have something going on each night through Christmas so we will definitely not have much time to do anymore shopping. Enjoy the rest of Christmas time, the events, the giving, the true meaning- JESUS.  It is a time to be grateful and spend time with those we love most, even during the craziness that goes along with it.

 

Merry Christmas!

 

*I have not been paid in anyway to share any of my ideas here, maybe next year- Mama can always use a couple bucks. This post as with all my posts are based COMPLETELY on my own opinions and ideas. You are free to shop wherever you like.