I have to say, Fall decorating is my favorite. I love the coziness it brings with it and all the colors are just absolutely gorgeous Our tree’s are starting to change here in Michigan and I have been enjoying my walks around the neighborhood even more these days.
I don’t go “too” crazy with Fall decorating 😉 but I love to add the colors into my home and touches of it here and there, so today I thought I would show you ways to add Fall into your own home as well, with it not being too overwhelming.
Fill Your Vases.
Vases are such an easy way to add touches of each season. I love adding a mixture of pumpkins, pine cones and other fun things to my vases that I leave out all year round and just switch up for the different seasons.
Another easy way to decorate and probably my favorite thing to decorate! You can stick a tiered tray anywhere and I think that’s why I love them so much. I used mine as my center piece for my kitchen table.
I love pillows, I might have a slight obsession with seasonal pillows but it’s ok. They are just so cute! I love to use pillows and blankets to brighten up a space and bring a cozy vibe to a room.
We all know pumpkins are Fall all the way. I have a questions though, pumpkin or apple? which one do you choose?? You can stick pumpkins wherever you want though and you already have a Fall vibe going in your home.
So many candles have such cute packaging and really bring a cozy vibe to your house. Plus the scent pots on the stove or crockpot are the best! Also, diffusing essential oils helps as well with bringing you Fall scents to bring you coziness.
I am so excited for this Fall season with my bub, he is at the age where we can enjoy more of the outdoor things our community has to offer. Here is a sweet picture of him helping me decorate outside over the weekend.
I hope taking a trip into my home has helped with coming up with ideas to add some seasonal Fall décor into your home without it being too much!
Now that I am a mom, I am excited to do more fun Halloween things though as well so I will keep you all updated on the new items I add over on our Instagram! Follow us if you haven’t already, quirkyworkmoms.
Let me know which pieces are your favorite and what your favorite things are to decorate in your home.
Creating a better quality of life for our families doesn’t have to be complicated. If you are ready to start on a path to cleaner living and whole-home wellness, you are in the right place.
You would be surprised at the number of harmful chemicals in the products that we breathe in and apply to our bodies daily. Literally hundreds before breakfast ALONE (especially women). We are exposed to chemical combinations all day every day and no safety data exist on these. It’s impossible to know how much damage we are doing to our bodies. Have you ever started coughing immediately after using a cleaning product? Yea, me too!
Even if we do not feel an immediate reaction, we are not in the clear y’all. Over time, these chemicals build up and create a toxic overload. Many of these chemicals are synthetic—that means they are FAKE. Our bodies do not know what to do with them. Our liver, our bodies filter is overworked, our hormones are out of whack and our body can be out of balance and cause a whole host of problems like eye and throat irritation, headaches, respiratory issues, allergic reactions, worsened asthma, and possibly even cancer. Yep, you read that right.
I was shocked when I learned what was being used in so many of my favorite products.. Don’t think that some brands that say “natural” or “toxin-free “are safe. Always check your labels. Here are just a few to look out for.
SLS—Sodium Lauryl Sulfate—cancer neurotoxicity, organ toxicity, skin irritation, endocrine disruptors (hormone/thyroid). Benzisothiazolinone—eye and skin irritation.
PEG-2 Cocomonium Chloride—evidence of cancer, developmental/endocrine/reproductive effects; damage to DNA.
Methylisothiazolinone—possible neurotoxicity, nerve damage, lung toxicity, and allergic reactions.
Fragrance—this is a BIG one y’all!! An undisclosed chemical cocktail—trade secrets.A WHOPPING 12,500 ingredients fall under the umbrella word, FRAGRANCE on a label.
Manufacturers are not required to list their fragrance ingredients on product labels.
Often only one-word ‘fragrance” or “parfum” is used on the label and can hide a cocktail of more than 100 ingredients.
75% of fragrances contain phthalates which have been linked to cancer, infertility, pregnancy loss, and birth defects.
Fragrances are common triggers of asthma, migraines, allergies, and sinus problems.
Fragrances are linked to so many profound health risks that avoiding them is probably the #1 change you can make to reduce your family’s exposure to toxic chemicals. It only takes 26 seconds for chemicals in your cleaners to enter your bloodstream through the skin, this includes EVERYONE in your home especially our kids since their little bodies are still developing. It is just not worth the risk!!
Why would companies do this? It’s called Greenwashing, they mislead consumers about the health, safety, and environmental impact of their products. They use those cheap synthetic fillers that we talked about earlier. Some popular brands in candy-colored bottles seem eco-friendly, quirky, hip, and homemade—but hold up check the label.
We’ve all used products that aren’t the best for us, but we can’t let old habits dictate our future. Companies are smart but WE are smarter and as the gatekeepers of our homes, WE get to decide what comes in. So, what can we do?
Thieves the Day my friend!
Thieves is an ultra-concentrated, versatile formula made with plant-based ingredients that can be used on virtually every surface in your home. Formulated with the power of Young Living’s Thieves oil blend, you can get a deep clean without dangerous or synthetic ingredients. Thieves cleaner also includes the scent of Lemon essential oil for an even more uplifting aroma. Infuse your entire house with the power of Thieves with a whole line of Thieves products.
Thieves contain no harsh or dangerous synthetic chemicals that need to be rinsed after use. Thieves is safe for septic systems, pets, and children. BONUS, you can have your kids clean safely and easily. Just one capful of Thieves Household Cleaner to 2 cups of water will cost you less than $1 a bottle making it a healthy, thrifty choice.
Using Thieves Household Cleaner is the single best thing you can do to reduce those harmful cheap synthetic chemicals that are so prevalent in most cleaners. This one step will lessen your toxic load allowing your body to function optimally, the way it is supposed to.
Thieves products extend into the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room where even more harmful synthetic chemicals are found. Dishwashing liquid, automatic dishwasher soap, toothpaste, mouthwash, cough drops, hand sanitizer, and more make Thieves versatile for any lifestyle.
Thieves dishwashing soap uses natural grease-cutting agents and essential oils. THRIFTY TIP>> I split my dish soap into threes, add a little Thieves Household Cleaner and baking soda, and stretch it even further.
NO SYNTHETIC PERFUMES
Bringing the power of Thieves to your laundry room with enzymes that combat dirt and stains. A highly concentrated formula so one bottle will last a good while. THRIFTY TIP>> I split mine into threes, add water and stretch it even further.
NO SYNTHETIC PERFUMES
NO OPTICAL BRIGHTENERS
Thieves toothpaste and mouthwash support healthy-looking gums and teeth with ingredients from nature and pure essential oils.
NO SYNTHETIC DYES
NO ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS OR COLORS
NO MINERAL OIL
Thieves essential oil can be used to make your own DIY cleaning and wellness recipes. Thieves essential oil blend is a powerful combination of Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus Radiata, and Rosemary essential oils that fills any space with a rich, spicy aroma. It is one of Young Living’s most popular essential oils so it’s no wonder that Thieves is included in so many of the home cleaning and personal care products. It is a key ingredient in Thieves Cleaner, Thieves Waterless Hand Purifier, Thieves Wipes, and Thieves Foaming Hand Soap. Thieves blend is your go-to for an invigoratingly clean and spicy scent that smells more like fall baking than harsh cleaning formulas.
You can become a Young Living wholesale member. What does being a member mean? Think Costco’s or Sam’s. That’s it, You never have to share with anyone if you don’t want to. ( There are two sides to Young Living. Over 80%of the wholesale members are product users only and approximately 8-10 % are members who have chosen to build a business with Young Living ). There are no monthly requirements or quotas. Your membership will get you wholesale prices on over 600 oil or oil-infused products like Thieves.
You can join Young Living’s Essential Rewards program and earn free products and reward points on every purchase every month. It’s like FREE money back every month to be used on future purchases. DOLLA DOLLA BILLS Y’ALL.
This is how I get most of my essential oils. I buy my household products, makeup, supplements that I am going to buy anyway. Then I use my points I earn to get the oils I want plus the ones I get for FREE every month. It’s a good deal but it’s also totally optional.
There are a few different options to start your wholesale membership. The biggest bang for your buck is the Thieves Starter Bundle. When you use my referral number at https://bit.ly/startYLNOW to start and choose a Premium Starter Bundle with Essential Rewards, you will get $25 cashback from me plus FREE SHIPPING and you will earn $10 in Rewards Points to use on future orders.WHOOP!!
We can also put together a customizable membership and I am happy to help you with that. Email me at email@example.com or comment here.
***Young Living just added on another Premium starter kit and it is not on my website yet. It’s called the ” Little Oilers Premium Starter Bundle” and it formulated for kids so it is already diluted so just add a roller to the top and start rolling. This starter bundle does qualify for the $25 cashback from me when you start with Essential Rewards plus the free shipping from Young Living.
I am happy to answer any questions you may have about Thieves, Young Living, or Essential Rewards You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below.
Avoiding synthetic chemicals in your home may seem daunting and overwhelming but the payoff will be worth it. Your body will function better without the toxic load that comes from using cheap filler synthetic chemicals. Switching to Thieves makes it an easy process to turn your home into a safer place for you and your family.
Pumpkins, apples, Halloween, THANKSGIVING! It’s my favorite time of year.
I love waking up on a chilly morning with coffee in my hand, taking the pups out for a morning run (the dogs, not me!). I go check on the chickens, and Pauly our rooster let’s put his cock-a-doodle-doo!
Fall mornings seems like everything moves a little slower for me.
My youngest had me print out our fall bucket list! I’ll insert it below!
I created my own bucket list for fall. Mine is going to look a bit different.
Enjoy the little things. Enjoy the way the leaves turn, and enjoy how the air gets more crisp. Enjoy family time with the hubby and my daughters. They grow so quick, so enjoy the little moments.
Make time for my husband.
We get so lost in taking care of the kids. We do everything we can to make sure they are happy and healthy. We often lose sight of what started it all, our love. Making time to enjoy each other is essential. Wether it’s date night, or just a quiet night on the couch.
Prepare for Winter
Winter is dark and depressing, honestly. It is not my most favorite time of year. I’m going to enjoy and mentally prepare for the dark ahead. Start taking care of my body, and my mental health. Do things for me, to make winter a little more bearable.
Get more organized
I can’t stand clutter! My goal this fall is to get more organized. That should always me my goal, but like I said, I hate winter. Hopefully being more organized will make me enjoy the winter months a little bit more!
Little changes can make a big difference. Hopefully my bucket list for fall will help me enjoy it just a little bit more!
Don’t get me wrong, my youngest girls bucket list sounds fun too!
There is just so much to love about Fall. There’s cozy sweaters, the start of sweatpants weather.
Movies watched under your favorite blanket and candles smelling up your house.
The leaves are changing and the air is getting colder and you know what makes it so much better?
Snuggling up with a book that keeps you hooked from page one!
I absolutely love reading, especially during Fall and Winter. So I thought I would share with you the books that have kept me hooked from the start in hopes that you will love them too!
Plus my little one-year-old already loves flipping through books, so read until the end to see the Fall books I picked up for bub this season! I can’t wait to snuggle up with him and read them 🙂
Let’s get started with my Fall reading list for both you and the kiddo’s!
A 5-Star read for me! By far my favorite thriller of 2020.
Marin had the perfect life. Married to her college sweetheart, she owns a chain of upscale hair salons, and Derek runs his own company. They’re admired in their community and are a loving family. Up until the day Sebastian is taken.
A year later, Marin is a shadow of herself. The FBI search has gone cold. The publicity has faded. She and her husband rarely speak. The only thing keeping her going is the unlikely chance that one day Sebastian reappears. She hires a P.I. to pick up where the police left off, but instead of finding him, she discovers that Derek is having an affair with a younger woman.
Kenzie Li is an artist and grad student—Instagram famous—and up to her eyeballs in debt. She knows Derek is married. She also knows he’s rich, and dating him comes with perks: help with bills, trips away, expensive gifts. He isn’t her first rich boyfriend, but she finds herself hoping he’ll be the last. She’s falling for him—and that was never part of the plan.
Discovery of the affair sparks Marin back to life. She’s lost her son; she’s not about to lose her husband, too. Kenzie is an enemy with a face, which means this is a problem Marin can fix. But as she sets a plan in motion, another revelation surfaces. Derek’s lover might know what happened to their son. And so might Derek.
If you haven’t read a Ruth Ware book yet then you need to, especially during the chilly months!
When she stumbles across the ad, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss—a live-in nannying post, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan Caine arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten—by the luxurious “smart” home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.
What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare—one that will end with a child dead and herself in prison awaiting trial for murder.
Writing to her lawyer from prison, she struggles to explain the unravelling events that led to her incarceration. It wasn’t just the constant surveillance from the cameras installed around the house, or the malfunctioning technology that woke the household with booming music, or turned the lights off at the worst possible time. It wasn’t just the girls, who turned out to be a far cry from the immaculately behaved model children she met at her interview. It wasn’t even the way she was left alone for weeks at a time, with no adults around apart from the enigmatic handyman, Jack Grant.
It was everything.
She knows she’s made mistakes. She admits that she lied to obtain the post, and that her behavior toward the children wasn’t always ideal. She’s not innocent, by any means. But, she maintains, she’s not guilty—at least not of murder. Which means someone else is.
Bravo Megan Goldin! Another 5-Star read for me this year!
After the first season of her true crime podcast became an overnight sensation and set an innocent man free, Rachel Krall is now a household name―and the last hope for thousands of people seeking justice. But she’s used to being recognized for her voice, not her face. Which makes it all the more unsettling when she finds a note on her car windshield, addressed to her, begging for help.
The small town of Neapolis is being torn apart by a devastating rape trial. The town’s golden boy, a swimmer destined for Olympic greatness, has been accused of raping a high school student, the beloved granddaughter of the police chief. Under pressure to make Season Three a success, Rachel throws herself into interviewing and investigating―but the mysterious letters keep showing up in unexpected places. Someone is following her, and she won’t stop until Rachel finds out what happened to her sister twenty-five years ago. Officially, Jenny Stills tragically drowned, but the letters insists she was murdered―and when Rachel starts asking questions, nobody seems to want to answer. The past and present start to collide as Rachel uncovers startling connections between the two cases that will change the course of the trial and the lives of everyone involved.
I love reading Lisa Jewell books in the Fall, she always comes out with a great Thriller!
Soon after her twenty-fifth birthday, Libby Jones returns home from work to find the letter she’s been waiting for her entire life. She rips it open with one driving thought: I am finally going to know who I am.
She soon learns not only the identity of her birth parents, but also that she is the sole inheritor of their abandoned mansion on the banks of the Thames in London’s fashionable Chelsea neighborhood, worth millions. Everything in Libby’s life is about to change. But what she can’t possibly know is that others have been waiting for this day as well—and she is on a collision course to meet them.
Twenty-five years ago, police were called to 16 Cheyne Walk with reports of a baby crying. When they arrived, they found a healthy ten-month-old happily cooing in her crib in the bedroom. Downstairs in the kitchen lay three dead bodies, all dressed in black, next to a hastily scrawled note. And the four other children reported to live at Cheyne Walk were gone.
The perfect Fall books for your little ones!
It’s autumn in the Big City! Little Elliot and Mouse love the hustle and bustle of the city streets. But sometimes it feels like there are too many people, too many noises–just too much! The best friends decide to get out of town for a vacation in the countryside. There, they’ll discover the sights and smells of autumn in the country. Everything is more fun when shared with a friend!
Celebrate Fall in this adorable board book!
Fall is here! Discover colorful leaves, friendly scarecrows, yummy pies, and all the things that make Fall so special in this beautiful board book.
Beep! Beep! It’s Halloween! Little Blue Truck is picking up his animal friends for a costume party. Lift the flaps in this large, sturdy board book to find out who’s dressed up in each costume! Will Blue wear a costume too? With the delightful rhymes and signature illustration style that made Little Blue Truck a household name, Blue’s new adventure is full of festive costumes, fall colors, and plenty of Halloween fun!
This die-cut board book features adorable art and combines the popular bedtime theme with holiday placement.
Sleepy little Milo, in his oversized pumpkin costume, is making the rounds at the harvest party with his friends. It’s time to go home, but he wants to enjoy every game at the fall fair before the night is over! Crunching leaves, crisp breezes, mountains of sweets―celebrate the abundance of the harvest season through this bedtime book for children. Charming illustrations and a sweet story are perfect for young hearts.
Just writing this post has me so excited to cuddle up with a new book! Do any of the books above interest you? Have you read any of them yet!?
Plus, which book would you choose for your little?
Oh my goodness, look at what Target has out this year! If you get excited about making gingerbread houses like I do every Christmas then wait until you see these haunted house cookie decorating Target has this year for $10.00 and under!
You can find them here. Seriously though, I am obsessed! Which one will you be making this Fall? I am defiantly getting the haunted mansion!
Let’s chat about how to find 2 extra hours in your day! That is right, 2 extra hours! And you are going to be able to use that extra time to do all those amazing things you set out to do this week! These are 10 things that I do throughout the day that if you do a quick time audit, will easily save you 2 hours or more.
The #1 question I get asked is how do you fit in all the things. So I thought this would be a fun way to share.
STOP SCROLLING. Despite managing my business on social media, I am not online very much. I do it very strategically. I set aside time to connect on social media and then get off. And I do it in 20-50 minute increments. Otherwise, while I am working on other tasks my phone is in airplane mode! Crazy concept, I know. But it works. There are also a few browser apps that you can load that block you from social media sites after a certain amount of time. And most importantly, do not scroll first thing in the morning or right before you go to bed. Do you want others to influence the most important times of your day?
DO NOT HIT SNOOZE. Do not hit snooze. I repeat. Do not hit snooze. Snooze is the worst. And actually makes you MORE tired. (Because you aren’t getting into that deep restful sleep again). II know from prior experience this will save you 30-40 minutes alone! Go to bed the night before with intention. Map out what you want to do first thing in the morning and then do it! I heard a quote earlier this week that inconvenience exposes commitment. If you are committed as in truly dedicated. Snooze won’t be an issue. You gotta find something that makes you jump out of bed in the am!
SAY NO. UNLESS IT IS ONE OF YOUR TOP 3 PRIORITIES.Only say YES, to what is going to support your goals. My girls and I use this when it relates to healthy choices. All the time (eat your veggies). Cupcakes (sometimes). Netflix at 9pm? Maybe a sometimes task instead of all the time? See what I am saying? I talk about this a lot in my podcasts, but you should only pick 1-3 priorities a day. And sometimes even that is too much. If you know your priorities than it is way easier to say no to something that doesn’t support them.
As an example, on Friday nights we have a family movie night. So when a friend asks me to a girls night on the same night, I typically will say no, OR I will make adjustments so that movie night is on Saturday and my priorities are intact. Use your schedule to your advantage to help you make decisions.
SINGLE TASK WITH A SINGLE FOCUS. Don’t multi-task. This one is pretty straight forward, but the days of multi-tasking are over. Even if you are just focused on one thing for 10 minutes, you will get WAY more done in that 10 minutes than you will be doing 3 different things at one time.
I also use this to set boundaries. As an example. When I am in my office, my kids know that I am working, so, for the most part, they are aware that it isn’t time to ask me a million questions. When I am in the kitchen and trying to work as an example, they think I am available. So I try to focus my work time on one task in one area where I can knock it out and be done. It isn’t to say I don’t check my phone while in other areas, but when I am in “shared” areas, it isn’t my priority.
TIME BLOCK – You guys. I chat about this EVERY DAY. It works. And it works. I have a template in my WFH guide that is attached and also in my Systems Shop. You have to do it.
One thing I will add is to watch your energy levels with this. As an example, I come out the gate strong on Monday but I leave time for planning and strategizing. Tuesdays are almost interview and podcast days along with other meetings but by Friday. I try not to schedule meetings so I can “catch up”. I know I will be tired. And ready for a break. So don’t save your biggest task for Friday night! Just as your energy fluctuates throughout the day and week so does your attention.
I also almost always schedule a “maintenance” day, which is usually Friday or Saturday AM depending on the week. Clear out your inbox. Review your projects. Re-look at your to-do list. Do the laundry 🙂 Clean house. Organize. It helps. And sometimes is my most creative time. As a note, you don’t want to have your “maintenance day” on the same day you have 5 meetings.
In addition to time blocking you can also do a few fun things to motivate you to be super focused during the day by bookending your day. I pick the first two hours of the day to focus on my self-care and my VIP tasks as I call them. Don’t leave the hardest tasks for when you are the most unproductive. Then at the end of the day, I block out time for family and a least one hour before bed relax!
DON’T COMPARE. Your schedule isn’t going to look like anyone else’s. Just because I get up at 5am, doesn’t mean you need to. You have to play around with what works for you and when it feels good and you feel fulfilled, stick with it!
BLOCK TIME TO CHECK EMAILS. Only check email 1-2 times a day. This will probably save you an hour alone!! You want to say NO to busy work as much as possible. And if possible even automate repetitive tasks. As an example, when I have a new client sign up for our wellness package, I have a welcome email I send. I tweak it a little for each client but it is the same information. I don’t need to re-write it every time.
STOP EATING LIKE CRAP.Don’t eat sugar. Or at least limit it when you are trying to knock out some deadlines. Fuel your body with nutrients that are going to help you thrive!
SET ASIDE TIME FOR YOU! Reward yourself at the end of the day for working on those goals! (Or the beginning! Move your body. Meditate. Take a walk. Give yourself time to think! Your best ideas will come from this time and save you more time later!) And you know I am going to say this. But block off your calendar. Hit pause right now. Block out “ME TIME” for 30 minutes every day for the next month. See how it goes.
DO MORE WITH LESS. CLEAR YOUR SPACE. Work from a state of inspiration! Clean your desk. Go work in a coffee shop. Surround yourself with an environment that supports you!
Think about where you can outsource! I recently started a whiteboard in my office where I write down all the tasks weekly that I could outsource. Some of these are business tasks but some of them are basic tasks that you might not think of when you think to outsource….Outsourcing is really just saving you time!!!
Dry Cleaning pick-up
Meal kits / delivery
Outsourced Shopping (Such as Stitchfix or other services)
Proofreading (I use an app on my laptop)
Other apps that help with Time Management – Asana, Loop Habit Tracker, Trello, Calendly, Google Keep etc.
So tell me. Which one are you going to do this week? Or are you going to be a rockstar and do them all?
In my last blog I shared that my husband and I shared our 10 year wedding anniversary.
I cannot believe it has been 10 years.
August is a big month for weddings in my circle of family and friends. I know of at least 5 who have gotten married in August over the past 10 years that we’ve been married. Another couple we are great friends with is getting married this weekend, so I thought I would share some things I’ve learned this past decade.
Communication is honestly the biggest thing about marriage. There are so many arguments that I could’ve avoided by simply communicating my feelings. When we attending our pre-wedding marriage counseling, that was a huge focus.
We are not perfect, and have to continuously remember “communicate like two lovers, not two lawyers.”
Yes, you may have been married for 1 month or 35 years, but you have to continue to date your spouse, and keep learning about them. I still learn more about my husband everyday. You don’t have to “go out” to have a date night. Just turn on a good movie, or have a quiet dinner after the babies go to bed at night. Just keep dating your husband.
Never stop trying.
Marriage is hard. Especially if you have kids, careers, bills, etc.
You just have to remember the reason you fell in love with that person. We can’t ever go back in time, but I am a firm believer that marriage is forever, for better or for worse. Love your partner the way you want to be loved.
Enjoy your life.
Life is always changing and evolving. I am so lucky to have found my partner when I did. We have had so many good years, and are continuing to build a life that we enjoy. Our kids make this, life so much more enjoyable.
I’m still in shock it’s been a whole decade, and I’m so excited for what’s to come.
It’s crazy how some days you wake up and are like wow, I’m 27, married with a child. Dreams really do come true!
I’ve always been a hopeless romantic.
My life has changed so much In the past couple of years though. My husband and I have always been home bodies but we loved our concerts, trips away for the weekend and going out with friends whenever.
We still did those things of course once we had bub but the feeling of wanting to stay home became stronger. There’s just something about laying on your own couch with a glass of wine and your fav show that make Friday nights so appealing these days!
But now the concert we had set for September is cancelled, thankfully our vacation for the year was in January so we still got to do that but it’s just so different. Even celebrating my birthday yesterday has just been so different.
I’ve learned so much In my 27 years. I’ve always had such a big support system growing up and it’s even bigger now that I’ve gotten married and I’m so thankful for all the family and friends that help guide me through this journey of life.
My biggest lesson and the thing I try to always enforce is “Always be Kind” which it can be such a small gesture but it’s so important. Kindness is everything and I wish more people knew that sometimes!
There’s a few other things I like to live by as well.
Just because it’s a bad day or a bad week doesn’t mean it’s a bad life. Things are always changing and it can always get better.
Family comes first.
A good cup of coffee can soothe the soul.
Put your phone down. The best moments aren’t looking at a screen. It’s what’s behind the screen that matters.
Sometimes you just need to stuff your face with Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and watch Sweet Home Alabama. Or at least I do!
Life goes by so fast, spend it with the people who matter most.
Your thoughts and opinions are your own, don’t force them on others.
Love yourself, flaws and all.
There’s so much else I have learned over the years but for right now those are the most important to me.
With everything that’s happening it’s just the simple things that matter the most to me and just trying to be the best wife and mother I can be for my boys!
I did have a fantastic birthday though! Majority of the day was spent with my bub and he just fills my heart up with pure joy.
I Lost count on how many times a day I say “what’s in your mouth” “come back here please”, “no get down.” It must be enough because my toddlers favorite word is NONONO now…oops! (She’s a week shy of 17 months by the way.)
Yet still my baby who likes to be rocked and cuddled to sleep and is still so so sweet. I miss the baby stages I really do, but this new adventurous toddler stage is so fun and so exhausting.
How does one have enough patience in the day without full break down and exhaustion… the answer is.. well you nearly don’t.
I became a “stay at home mom” the week my daughter turned one and this pandemic shut down began. I was and am SO excited to stay home and spend more time with her but it was so draining to not see any friends or family or basically the outside of our house since it was still cold out.
Now that we are looking at this being the new “normal” for a while here are some tips that have saved me!
Tip 1: The mom guilt! Don’t feel guilty about napping when they nap. Or even to binge watch TV all day. There’s so many expectations that the house should look immaculate if you’re a “stay at home mom”, but let me tell you, its just going to be messy in 5 minutes again, so TAKE THE NAP! Or do something for yourself mama.
Tip 2: Make mommy friends! It can be the most uncomfortable feeling putting yourself out there to make mommy friends but its been so worth it for me AND my toddler! Find a local group if available and reach out you never know you might have a reply within 5 minutes (I did!) Pre Covid we attended a weekly music group and newborns support group and I’m so thankful to have met some lifelong friends from those groups, so it’s never too late to find mommy friends! I also used the peanut app briefly when my daughter was first born, it’s a great way to connect with other moms either in your area or not in your area.
Tip 3: Get adventurous, and don’t be afraid to get dirty ! Check out the site “busy toddlers and beyond” on Facebook it’s been a lifesaver. Parents/caregivers provide pictures of activities to do with your toddler or any age! Some favorites for us have been sensory boxes, water activities, or using recyclables.
Or another way to get adventurous is to try out a new park and have a picnic! I know for a while the playgrounds were closed down, it was even refreshing to go for a daily walk or two to a local park and just let your toddler RUN!!
I hope my three tips helped you maybe get out of a funk of feeling like you’re going crazy or out of ideas and remember YOU’RE NOT ALONE, and THEY ARE ONLY LITTLE ONCE!
(The following is not advice, I am not a doctor or a dietician, these are only my personal views/experiences)
Weaning – What the fuck?
Ok can I just say the following may be considered a rant, it may be considered off loading or a touch too honest, but if you have a child, especially a fussy arse child with reflux and a CMPA then YOU my friend will probably relate to the following!
So I had my baby in a stressful environment, it was stressful due to the fact the kid was trying to but his way out of my bumhole for the best part of 12 hours before the midwives realised he didn’t know what the fuck he was doing. But when he was here, I had flashes of this spectacular duck to water situation where all this motherly wisdom would wash over me like a waterfall on a secluded pond, but let me tell ya… I was wrong!
I trust my gut 99% of the time but dieticians, anxiety, GOOGLE SEARCHES, drs, lack of health visitors and friends personal worries unfortunately have their effects. If you know you know.
Now I started weaning my terror tot at just over 5 months, no I didn’t have drs say so, I didn’t have health visitor or dieticians agreement but let me just tell you, I’m his mum. I told the dr he had reflux, I told the dr he had a CMPA, and I’M the one who kept in touch with the health visitor who, once COVID hit, quite frankly couldn’t give a shite, so instinct is all I had, back to the caves we go! At first he was brilliant, he LOVED the purees, however my son is the type of child who learns fast but then gets bored quickly. So two days in and the refusal started, in all honesty look at my site the kid picks things up at the drop of a hat, masters them and then thinks sod it I know I can so lets stop.
Changes. People have said ‘oh soon as you feed him you’ll notice he’ll sleep better’ well, what a lying sack of shit that was. Soon as he started weaning BAM the mid night feeds came in, and I don’t mean feeding at midnight, no no, I mean 2,3,4,5am you name it we’ve had it! My son was sleeping 9/10 hour nights through, I look back on them times fondly. I thought shit, have I done the wrong thing, have I broke my baby? So I did what every good mum does with a good internet connection, I hit Google. And you know what I found? It’s NORMAL! Normal! Not to mention he’s at prime sleep regression age, like we just got over one what did I do in a past life to deserve this
. So now he’s slamming his legs in the night, he’s waking crying and he’s desperate for a feed. I know you’re probably thinking ‘are you sure it’s nothing else?’ Well, slap on your I’m sorry smile, because trust me he’s perfectly fine. Oh, other than teething, out of nowhere the little shit bit me last week and I realized he had sprouted not one tooth at the bottom front but two! My 5 month old now has 2 teeth, beats me on the regular and refuses to sleep. Can I sue him for this? Like if this was a relationship and it was his dad doing this it would be out and put abuse, but when it’s a baby people say it’s CUTE! You know what I’m saying if you have kids. They scream ‘aw the baby’, they rag your hair with their tiny raccoon hands ‘haha ohh he’s a cheeky one, but look how cute’ HE shit on ME and my friend goes ‘aw it’s cute though’ SQUEEZE YOU! How is walking round smelling like a soggy nappy cute? I digress…
So weaning, as great as it is it’s not as easy as people make it out to be. Reflux = a lot of research, dietician appointments (via phone atm, fuck you Rona!), and major guess work. We have now realised blueberries are a no no, with in 10 minutes he had launched them back up, but as many with a child with reflux know, it’s as if it’s perfectly normal to throw it back up. Mums on the case. Pears and apples are his absolute favourite but I still find myself eye hawking my son like a food stalker, because that’s kind of what we are. Also I have tried him with free from bread, this means free from gluten, soy and dairy, and whatever other ingredients they can’t have, I also used dairy and soy free butter to taste, for those who are so fast to say ‘you shouldn’t do that’ he had been weaning for 3 weeks and I had hold of it, and you’ll be pleased to know he licked it, took it off me and squashed it into his jumparoo whilst smiling, sooo, more fun for me. Nothing says piss off with your shitty fake food mum, like having to clean greasy crumbs from underneath a plastic monkeys arse
How did I know he was ready to wean? I did my research, I also got the dietician sheets from my friend whose daughter is 5 days older than my son and has exactly the same dietary needs as him. My son can hold his head up with ease, he was fully sitting up and rolling over. He was always reaching for our food and trying to bite it. He was also mimicking us chewing our food and on top of all of this, when we had food and he had a bottle he would completely lose interest in his bottle and throw it and go for our food. He has a brilliant appetite so I knew what was going on there, but as always you know your baby best I will NEVER tell someone how to parent, I’m not you and your child, every need and dynamic is different.
So what I take from this weaning is, slow and steady wins the race, go in with an open mind your child may not like what you’re trying first off (my son likes avocado but not bananas the weirdo!) And make sure you do your research. Honestly we have all of these wonderful resources at our disposal to not make the most of them is silly to me. It’s hard work, but after my own health visitor telling me my son may ‘just have a bug’ when he was having a reaction to milk he had been put on and get his age wrong, I decided his well being is completely on me. I wont rely on strangers to tell me how to raise him. And to be honest, he is flourishing, he is doing brilliantly (our doctor told me I’m doing a great job so I’ll take that) and I’ll only try him on natural things (bar the bread and butter he didn’t care about). You do you but make sure you are safe and only doing what is best for your family.
I hope you enjoyed this post, I’m nothing if not honest.
Until next time stay safe and don’t be a stranger.
You know how when we were little and were playing house and you would dream of a beautiful picture perfect life with a spouse and 3 children living in a mansion just happy as can be? Cooking up breakfast, lunch and dinner every day on your little plastic kitchen set?
Well, all of that can defiantly happen but the reality of what your days are actually like vs. what you used to dream about??
Am I right?
Today I would love to talk about reality vs. expectation in the parenting world. I feel like we expect so much but then get disappointed when the outcome is different and it’s totally normal but we need to embrace the reality, because this parenting gig? Hardest thing in the world but it is just the best ever!
Expectation- My children will never throw a tantrum in aisle 5 at the grocery store.
My child will be perfect and never show their feelings or have a meltdown because that’s just embarrassing.
HA HA…..hahaha. The minute you said no coco puffs was the minute you lost that perfection battle. Tantrums are so normal and you just have to embrace them. Haven’t you ever had a meltdown in aisle 5? You might not have shown it the same way, maybe you had a quiet one because you were so tired from working all day but had to go to the grocery store anyway. It’s just how feelings are shown and kids just like us have every right to feel…even if it is embarrassing.
Expectation- Social Media.
I made this homemade perfect meal, I must post on Instagram. My baby just can’t stop smiling right now, always so happy! I cleaned the whole entire house, I need to show it off.
Bribing is just the best way to get great pictures I will tell you that! Oh and that perfect clean house? Yeah…that is just one area, you should see the rest of it! That perfect homemade meal I made? Only happens about once a week….if that. Social media can be so toxic, I promise you that all the perfect mama’s you think are on there all have the reality of daily life happening as well so remember…DO NOT COMPARE!
Expectation- What my kids eat.
All organic, no added sugar, fruits and veggies galore.
Oh my goodness, I thought I could be a total organic mom and I do try to as much as I can and my son does love fruit but I mean lets get real. This kid also loves French fries and popsicles and that’s ok too!
Expectation- I will not change after having children.
I will still have my social life and pamper myself and eat healthy and exercise just like I am right now.
Oh man this was a big one for me. More on the social life, I can’t believe how hard it is to keep up a social life with children. I feel like there isn’t even enough hours in the day to go to work and come home and be a mom and a wife! My body has changed, my thinking has changed, my whole life has changed and I am defiantly not who I was before having my baby and you know what? THAT’S OK!
Expectation- Being a mom.
I will have it all together all the time. I will be able to balance my life perfectly. I will find the joy in every situation and be the best mom ever.
Most nights I will cry with a glass of wine wondering what I am doing wrong. I will think, how am I supposed to handle all of this? Working and being a mom just aren’t doable and I just can’t stop feeling guilty all of the time!
The truth is being a parent is hard. I rarely go to the bathroom alone these days. I don’t get more than a quick 5 minute shower most of the time. I feel like I am constantly cleaning or washing bottles or doing laundry and most of the time? I am just exhausted beyond repair and when I wake up in the morning? I still feel exhausted but do it all over again.
All these expecations we put out there? They just aren’t reality. They shouldn’t be though. Life isn’t perfect, whether you are a mom or not. That’s what makes life with these little’s so fun though. Yes they deserve our best, but sometimes it just dosen’t happen and that’s ok! Give yourself a break mama, you are doing amazing and you need to remember that!
Give into all of those cuddles, all of the boo boo kisses and the giggles and hugs. Also give into all the cries, the tantrums, the feet stomping and the yells because this life we call motherhood?