Stepping out of your comfort zone can be hard and scary, but I am so glad I did it.
For a long time I have wanted to get together with a bunch of women and treat them with food, laughter, prizes and hopefully create new friendships!
Why? Because we as women, especially moms, tend to forget to treat ourselves every now and again! We are so busy loving and taking care of others that our own needs tend to slip away. I was so honored and happy when Duo contacted me to host an event at Noah's event venue . It took me a while to get my ideas in place and when my friend Alicia (who was my partner in this) suggested to call it "treat yo self" I was all about it.
I'm going to let the pictures speak for itself, because this venue is absolutely GORGEOUS! Everything from the venue, linens, tables, amazing lighting, centerpieces were all provided to us by NOAHs and I was one happy woman because decor is not my best talent haha.
Olive garden in Chandler provided us with their amazing breadsticks and salads.
Kneaders, more specifically my favorite family the Toa's, provided desserts.
Sodarush did a soda bar and we got to make new drinks! So next time you go, ask for "the Fatty".
Ripe Ice Pops brought their darling truck and provided us with the yummiest gourmet pops.
Raffle prizes were provided by companies that I have worked with and built friendships with. I truly love each and every one of them and so grateful for their support....
Aliceandames, Senita, Sodashop, AlbionFit, Made by Mary, Wildbird, Petunita pickle bottom diaperbag (we had a dance off), This & That, Kortnijeane, Cozys, Tubbytodd, Journeyfive, hellohoney, The Silverloft (who made bracelets for each attendee that said "treat yo self".
HUGE shoutout to all of YOU who made this possible! I cannot thank you enough, and I'm so excited to host my next treat yo self event coming in MAY :)
This post was sponsored by Chicology, however, all opinions expressed are 100% mine.
If you know my kids, you know that they are crazy BUSY!!! They love to climb, jump, run and do all the things typical kids do, but 24/7!! When we lived in our old house, our blinds (like most of them) had cords. Cords stresses me out. Ben and I would always tie them up and put them on top but somehow our monkey would still get to them. One day, I walked into a scene no parent want to walk into and luckily we had a happy ending. Ever since then, I have been even more paranoid when it comes to cords. Now that we moved into our new house we were introduced to Chicology , they make cordless blinds for your home and they are BEAUTIFUL!!
My pictures definitely don't to its justice, so you need to get on their website h e r e , and check for yourself! They are having a huge black friday sale, take advantage of that! We got the adjustable sliding panels for our living room and the roman shades for the kids playroom and bedrooms! Honestly, I think every household should have cordless blinds, not only do they look good they also decrease the risk of potential cord accidents.
The installation was pretty easy and it was so fun to put together with Ben. They also have easy installation videos.
Encouragement from moms for moms is like the air we breathe:
We need it,
It fills us up,
it allows us to do what we do everyday.
"It takes a village to raise a child!" This phrase is as old as time and at one point or another we have all heard it. To me, a village is being surrounded by family/friends that are there through thick and thin. So if you think about it, you've most likely been surrounded by a village at least once.
When I moved to America from Sweden, as you can image that was one of the hardest and most terrifying things ever. I didn't know a single soul. At 19 years old, I had to step out of my comfort zone BIG time and speak a language I hardly even spoke. My BYU family became my village. They helped me in ways I didn't know was possible. Then I got married, and we had Noah a year later. I was so lucky to be surrounded by family and friends so I hardly felt alone. I had my friends but I quickly realized that I also needed mom friends.
Noah needed kids to play with, I needed to have adult conversations besides my husband. As a first time mom, I had no idea what I was doing so what better way to learn, than from moms. To feel like you weren't the only one that had a fussy kid, or that wasn't getting enough sleep at night. What better person to ask about breastfeeding than a fellow mom. Now that I have three, it has become even MORE important to me to have mom friends.
When we moved to Arizona, we moved to an area with people who had lived there for years. I assumed most of these moms had their own "village", and some did but a majority did not. Here is the thing, we often assume that we know what other people have/need. We psych ourselves out before we even know, thus, we miss out on major opportunities.
Momming is hard, whether you're a new mom or have 5 kids, it is still hard. Do not be afraid to reach out, step out of your comfort zone and do not assume you know other people's stories. Finding a mom village does not have to be difficult, I think we are the ones that make it hard. We live in a digital word where we can connect with other moms through FB groups, Instagram but also neighborhood groups. These places help us connect with people we probably never would've met. I am a living example of that, a lot of my close friends that I've met since we moved started online. And I am still alive haha :)
The next time you see another mom with the baby item you’re thinking about buying, or their child who looks to be the same age as your little one, go over and say hi, because I am sure that they are hoping that they have the courage to do the same…
If you know me, you know I'm a big believer in the importance of drinking water, and living in the mid-west definitely requires you to stay hydrated! Carrying bottles in my hands can be difficult because I've got toddlers to hold and some of my bags don't have extra pockets for them.
That's why I was totally thrilled when I found out about the Closca bottle, because it is beautifully designed for every lifestyle. They just launched their kickstarter h e r e , and have already got over 495 backer in less than a week!!
The first thing I love about this reusable water bottle is that with its handy strap, I can attach it to my bag or stroller very easily. Not only is the design sleek and innovative, but they also have a Closca Water app that will help you locate where to get refills for free.
Each bottle is made with something called borosilicate glass, which makes it very durable and 100% BPA free. Another feature that I love is that there are two openings, which makes it easy to clean and allows me to fill it up with ice, fruit or whatever you'd like!
Closca's goal is to educate and inspire others to build a healthier planet by reducing the amount of plastic that ends up in landfills and oceans. I love eco-friendly products like this that make my life a little easier, so be sure to check out the Closca Bottle!
This post was sponsor by Aveeno, however, all opinions expressed are 100% mine.
Couples that have eczema together, stay together!
Ben and I both have eczema, but our kids do not. However, their skin tend to be on the sensitive side. I've briefly mentioned in the past that my eczema gets really bad in the sun. So you can imagine how hard it is for my skin living in Arizona. As a result of that, my skin gets really itchy at times.
Ben tends to wash his hands a lot, specially at work so the Aveeno eczema therapy hand cream is perfect! Did you know that oatmeal is the number 1 natural ingredient most recommended by dermatologists? The Aveeno Eczema Therapy collection, has the best ingredients to care for ; itch, dryness, roughness and irritation. When used as a regimen, they help break the cycle of irritated skin. We started about two weeks ago, and I can honestly tell you how much better my skin feels. My favorite is definitely the Aveeno Itch relief Balm and it has been amazing on my feet!!! My feet get so dry, rough and they ITCH like crazy and I am so happy that I have found something to soothe my skin (insert, happy dance).
The Aveeno® Eczema Therapy Collection was developed with leading dermatologists and awarded the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance for providing gentle, superior ingredients to soothe skin with eczema. They are steroid ,fragrance-free and non-greasy. Get yours at Walmart !
I have gotten so many questions about the dockatot, so I figured I might as well write a post about my opinion.
Is the hype about the dockatot real? Does it really work? Is it worth the money? Those are the common questions I get.
I blogged about it when O was born. We used the grand size and it worked wonders! I love that you can use it for sleeping, lounging, playtime, tummy time etc. It is perfect for any parent who has already decided to try co-sleeping. Although they're in your bed, your baby has their own little bed as well. They are lightweight and portable which makes traveling a lot easier or just moving from room to room. My only regret with O is that I wish we would've gotten the "Deluxe" instead of the Grand. She was so petite when she was born, so she had more room to move and wasn't as snuggly as I had hoped. She didn't seem to mind though, because she would still sleep in it for 6h straight and nap 2-3h. Needless to say, this is definitely my number one favorite item that I tell everyone about. This doesn't mean that every baby will sleep like a dream right away, it might take some time but I promise it is worth it. Lets be real, sleep deprivation is awful so anything that can help is totally worth it!
I hope baby brother will love it just as much as O did. We will be using it as soon as we get home from the hospital. Writing this just got me super excited, we cannot wait to meet you little one.
"Family is the center of life, it is the key to eternal happiness"
- L. Tom Perry
As far as I can remember, I have always wanted to become a Mother. Never once did I think about the fact about my body changing. Growing up, I watched a whole bunch of women including my mother and sisters give birth. Never once did I look at them and think about their postpartum bodies. Maybe I was too little to understand, maybe I didn't get it because I wasn't a mother, maybe I didn't notice or maybe I was too busy snuggling babies. Either way, it was never about their bodies.
Fast forward to when I had Noah. One of the first comments I got, mind you I just birthed a baby, was "wow fatty, let me see your belly". At the time I didn't think much about it, but looking back that bothered me so much. All of a sudden I started stressing, I needed to be back to my fit self instantly! All of a sudden my thoughts shifted and for a time I wasn't myself. My thoughts were consumed with "how can I get my pre-baby belly back??". I remember poking my belly and I am pretty sure my finger touched my back. After a good meltdown, or several... I thought, "Forget about that comment Fatty, you just had a baby...that is freaking amazing."
We live in a world were we are being told to be perfect. To look flawless during and after delivery, to have a videographer and capture every moment of that day, to have Pinterest worthy photos. Because if we don't, we "missed" the point or we aren't keeping up with the Jones'.
Why why why?
Instead of women being hopeful of one day being able to carry a child, some are too scared to give up their bodies. Scared because they have heard horror stories.
"You will never be able to hold your pee again. You will never have abs again. Your boobs will hit the floor, etc."
Let me tell you something, forget about all the horror stories you've heard! There's nothing more incredible than holding your baby in your arms. The moment you have longed for, for 9 months, enjoy it to the fullest. There's nothing more special than watching your spouse become a parent. Let that be your focus, not what your body looks like the day after.
Your body may not look the exact same, it will be even better! You carried one/multiple children, that is freaking amazing. You discovered strengths you had no idea even existed. You can now carry a carseat, grocery bags and talk on the phone at the same time. Skills! You can change a diaper in record time with no skid marks down your finger. You can sleep with one eye open, literally. You can prepare a bottle in the dark. You can read a bedtime story by heart. You get countless of kisses and hugs every day. Each day you keep your kids fed, happy and safe.
I can go on and on... because you my dear, YOU ARE AMAZING!
Your belly is beautiful because it created life. That is hard work.
If you are worrying about getting "back" or you're currently in that phase, my advice to you is- enjoy the journey, and know that your fit self will be back. Be patient with yourself, a lot happens with our bodies during pregnancy, so let your's take the time it needs to adjust back.
Learn to love yourself in every stage, and you will learn to appreciate what you've done so much more.
We were compensated with a free one night stay at Stein Eriksen Lodge, however, all opinions are my own.
Love is also spelled T-I-M-E
After Ben graduated PA school, we packed up our house and drove to Utah! Since we were staying with my in laws, we took advantage of that and had a mini stay cation at Stein Eriksen Lodge. You guys, it was absolutely BEAUTIFUL! I had never been up there nor seen that side of Park City and we loved everything about it.
This sure was a luxurious resort, we felt like royalty haha! From the moment we stepped out of our car, to being greeted by vale and the receptionist and the staff that took us to our room. Everyone were extremely friendly and the hotel was so cozy. There were lots of different buildings, a spa (that I wish we went to...next time).
Main street was so cozy, live music, people everywhere and a happy vibe! We met up with Cecilia and Daryl later that evening. Had some desert and did some window shopping haha :)
that is when you start to lose confidence in yourself.
- Will Smith
The comparison game on social media is so toxic, and has been weighing heavily on my mind lately. I was sitting on the couch, scrolling through my Instagram feed (waisting time) and I automatically started wishing I had "this and that". Comparison truly is the thief of joy. Insecurities are developed because we compare our "behind-the-scenes" with everyone else's "highlight reel".
A lot of the time when we start comparing ourselves with someone else, we don't realize how that person worked HARD to get where they are. It is so easy to look at people's highlights and think that their lives are perfect. I promise you this, everybody has trials, big or small.
Here is the thing; just because someone has reached certain milestones before you did, doesn't mean you won't get there too.
Your worth is not measured by likes, comments, notes or followers; but in your ability to love, support, encourage, take note and lead.
What should you do when social media gets under your skin?
DELETE DELETE AND DELETE!!!
Seriously, it's that simple. There's no need to follow someone that makes you feel bad about yourself. Nobody wants to be friends with someone that doesn't bring positive thoughts to the plate. Remove all that negativity from your feeds and fill it with inspirational, fun, motivating, whatever it is that you like fill it with that.
Before you continue to read, know that I am by NO means saying that watching tv makes you a bad mom.
With that said, summer is here in full force! Ben is busy with his rotations and studying for his boards. Noah has his summer break from preschool, and I found myself almost panicking because I have been dreading the summer. I have been dreading not being able to go to the park whenever we wanted, and basically being stuck inside. When you're stuck inside for so long, it is very easy to let the kids watch a movie or a show so we all get a "break". I mean who doesn't love watching movies? In our home, with my kids it became a little too much. I've discussed with other moms about screen time and ours wasn't anything crazy. Yet for my kids, it made them a little crazy.
I had been praying so much for help and guidance. How can I teach them better? How can I be more loving? What do I need to do to keep our home at peace? How can I be a better mom? All those questions, and you guys it has been HARD! Many prayers, many tears, feeling defeated and not feeling an answer to my prayers. I felt a couple times how I didn't deserve to be their mom because I wasn't doing a good job. I was feeling real low and stressed because I knew we needed to do something... I just didn't know what yet.
My mood consisted of easily becoming irritated, no patience and no fun. It came to a point where the kids would wake up WAY early, and the first thing they would ask for was to watch a show. We'd say no or not right now then (insert mega tantrum). That is when it hit me, we needed a break from the tv. We needed to stop with the shows and the movies and just let them be creative. I needed to be more involved with them, play with them more, laugh with them more, create more memories and not let the tv be an option. I needed to be more present with them.
The first three days were the hardest, I had to say no a lot. I had to come up with different things to do that N & O would enjoy. But you guys, it has been the best change and decision we have ever made with our kids. It has been over 2 weeks now, and we treat them with a movie on Friday night. You should see their faces, they get SO excited and actually appreciate watching the movie. The kids wake up and they want to play with their toys, play with each other, help me make breakfast, and go play with their friends. I have seen such drastic change with their attention and mood. They get excited about simply coloring. Noah is so fun and his imagination is so exciting to watch.
These are the kind of memories I want them to have. There's nothing more enjoyable then the sound of my children's laughter. To some this may sound drastic, but this has hands down been the best decision ever.
Happy Hump Day
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