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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

 

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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!

 

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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!

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