What She Really Wants For Mother’s Day + $100 Giveaway

This post is in collaboration with JORD Watches

My first real mother’s day is coming up… It won’t be the first celebrated – my dogs (AKA my husband) have gotten me cards for years and last year I was pregnant… but this is my first real mother’s day of having my heart live outside of my body. What do I actually want? I know the answer is supposed to be “nothing” or “I have everything I’ve ever wanted” but those would be lies. What I really want for mother’s day is time.   

We want time to soak in every milky smile, every uncontrollable laugh, every open mouthed beso, and every time we see the light bulbs go off in in their eyes when they grasps the meaning of something for the first time. We want time to save them from every fall, to calm down when they are frustrated, to figure out if they need Motrin or gripe water or something in the cabinet to ease their pain. Sometimes we want time to wash the spit up out of our hair. Sometimes we want time to just laugh at ourselves for going the whole day without noticing it was there.

We want time to sob over how much our babies change daily. We want time to pray over them as they grow from babies to kids, kids to teens, teens to world changing adults. We want time to figure out how to explain the birds and the bees – then some years later explain to them how to change our first grandchild’s diaper. We don’t want time to stop or rewind – but to be able to see these moments happening and be aware that this is what life is about.

Joy is found in the seconds and minutes and hours. Joy is not limited to just our vacations and weekends. All we want is more time to soak in this joy called motherhood. Every mother, like every child, is unique in her own heavenly way. If it is being a mother through pregnancy, fostering, adopting, or simply loving others as if they were her own – she deserves a timeless gift that is just as unique. This year I am honored to wear my first wooden watch from JORD.

If you’ve been subscribed to this blog for any amount of time, you’d know that I am passionate about my vegan lifestyle. I love animals, I love our planet, I love my body that God has given me. Not only does being vegan mean I don’t want to eat animals, it also means I don’t want wear them. Most luxury watches are made with leather, so for someone to gift me something vegan shows me that they are beyond thoughtful. These wooden watches are a true piece of art, and a reminder of the unique mothering role God has given me. Every day I can rest in knowing that joy is welcomed in these messy seconds.

I am blessed and excited to pass on a $100 gift code for a cruelty-free, sustainable, durable and timeless watch from JORD. One lucky person will win, but everyone will receive a small gift once the contest is over. To enter, fill the form at this link*.

|| Men’s Watches  || Women’s Watches  ||

*The contest will close 05/13/2018 at 11:59pm CST. 

*Both the $100 and gifts will expire on 06/10/2108.


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Shopping Haul + How To Run Errands w/ A Newborn

 

I wish I could say, “I’m never too proud of myself.” But you guys, I am not the one to learn “how to be humble” from. One of the things I am most proud of was managing a couple weeks solo with a newborn under a month old. Ya girl was all by her lonely self. No family – thanks military. No husband – thanks military. No friends that were around to help (I’ll let that one slide, BUT THANKS MILITARY.) In fact, I spent a lot of time solo. My husband returned to work to help with hurricane damage on base when Anakin was just three days old and also left for training when he was two weeks old. I’m not even going to play it cool, ya girl was frightened.

Having to bath a rubbery, limp noodle of a baby solo – not fun. It happened, and it ended up being fine, but FRIGHTENED.

Having to go to check ups solo? What is the doctor said he was dying – FRIGHTENED.

Having to do any sort of shopping? NO PROBLEM.

 

 

You know, it’s funny. For someone who LOVES being at home, I sure do LOVE shopping. We’ve cut back on unnecessary, but shopping for the sake of survival is actually exciting to me. If my husband doesn’t ask “where can I go sit down?” then it wasn’t a good trip, DO YOU FEEL MY LOVE FOR SHOPPING YET? I’m the annoying person in front of your pasta reading every ingredient of every brand. I’m the one that has coupons AND cartwheel. I’m the one looks like I’m doing “the father, son and holy spirit” hand signs before squatting to see the bottom shelf of the clearance section. I know someone out there feels me on a spiritual level…

Anyways, I got asked often by new moms, “how are you doing it?” How are you managing a stroller, car seat, AND cart or basket? Well, easy… I didn’t. I am the mom that knew life went on when there wasn’t a husband in town to help. My son needed a healthy mom to make milk, and in order to do that, I gotta eat! I am so thankful for brands like Binxy Baby that keep solo parenting in mind.

 

This shopping hammock took the dread away from running the simple, everyday errands. It has grown with us from newborn to seven months old! Although we’re about to retire it since Anakin can sit up by himself, it is a nifty tool that would make a genius gift for any upcoming baby showers.

Thankful for Binxy for giving my followers   10% off all products! What are you parenting hacks for shopping?

 

3 Easy & FREE Postpartum At-Home Workouts

Post in collaboration with The Mint Julep Boutique.

“If you breastfeed, the weight just sheds off.” Raise your hand if you heard this myth. Here I am, seven months later, and still a chubby-cheeked, chunky vegan. If the weight came off for you with no diet change or exercise, WOW. You are so blessed, but I’m not impressed by genetics. I am however impressed by those who choose to take care of their temple while also chasing around demon possessed tiny terrorist calling out “MOMMOMMOMMOMMOM.” I like to think your reward will be in heaven for your patience and discipline!

Motherhood is fun for me; I get to learn how to navigate life a whole new way while also raise a tiny man (the first of hopefully many.) I must admit, going to the gym is not fun OR cheap for your average new mom. The price of gym memberships = price of formula or diapers or toys or you get where I’m going… Something for baby. While our gym membership is free on base and super close, I just can’t bring myself to leave Anakin yet. I want to include him in everything we do! Some may need the mental and physical disconnect from their babies just for an hour, and that’s okay. For me, the opposite happens – I get anxious and just can’t enjoy my workout being away from him or I feel like I should be spending that time with my husband since I CAN NEVER SEE THAT BEAUTIFUL MAN ENOUGH (I’m obsessed with him.)

At the same time, I can’t be a bum. Anakin needs a quick mom to get the dog food before he does. He needs a mom strong enough to do a thousand squats a day when he army crawls to my feet and cries. He needs a mom with endurance because nap times are just long enough for coffee (and, on a good day, blogging.) So let’s snap on our high-waisted leggings, squeeze into a nursing sports bra, and rock these mindless three beginner postpartum workouts with our terrorist- I mean tremendous babies!

Wear Baby

When I baby-wear: the commissary, going for a walk, busy markets, cleaning the house on a fussy/ clingy day, in airports.

Wearing Anakin has been a great way to strengthen my back and core! Early postpartum I struggled with back pain and numbness (I’m assuming from the epidural.) Now I can feel a huge difference in my energy and back strength! Just make sure you’re following the company’s recommendations to safely carry and not just going off a rando on YouTube; not all carriers are made the same.

Floor Workouts

This was MUCH easier before Anakin started power crawling and standing up, but my tip is to do this while baby is awake! Use a DockATot, jumperoo, or a chair to entertain them and do what you’re comfortable with. Yoga, planks, push-ups, sit-ups, and any body weight movements. I personally don’t want him near weights (he’s an adventurous spirit) just because it’s one less safety hazard. When he’s older, ya girl is going to weights!

Walk The Dog(s)

Maybe you don’t have dogs, but spend time outside! You can use a stroller or a carrier, just go outside around the neighborhood, a trail, a track, or a plaza. I need to go outside to just disconnect from the endless to-do list at home. Anakin loves to watch his dogs, checking out the lighting in stores, or see colorful produce. Going for a walk can boost your energy, relieve stress, and be a great form of exercise!

These are my tips to sneaking in some muscle and tone during the postpartum season of life. Thanks to The Mint team for partnering in today’s post! They make these workouts easier with comfortable and practical leggings. Plus their tees are SO SOFT and COMFY! This is my second top from their site, and I’m obsessed with it (even for those bum days). Here’s a last tip: if you sign up for their e-mails, you’ll receive $10 on your first order! As always, you are so loved and are doing great mama!
What are some ways that you keep your strength up? Comment below!
Like this post? Here are some others you may enjoy today!

|| STAR WARS NURSERY TOUR ||

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Hey y’all! I finally got around to showing more of Anakin’s Star Wars nursery here in Florida. He’s growing like a weed so everything in the room changes monthly, but here are some photos from the early newborn days and what it looks like now seven months later! Some of my favorite details are the paintings we did while waiting for him to arrive and our custom made waddle from Blush and Blue (a fellow military family business that we adore!) All of his furniture are from different stores and brands, so if you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comment section!

 

 

NEWBORN MUST HAVES

If you’ve wandered to this blog post, it is most likely because you or someone you love is expecting… CONGRATULATIONS! Pregnancy is an exciting time to prepare for a new family member, and if you’re like me, you searched high and low to make things perfect. As much as I love sharing products, it is vital to look you dead in the eyes and say: YOU DON’T NEED ANY OF IT. Yes, things are helpful, but a newborn just needs a fresh diaper, some boob juice, and loving arms to sleep in.
If you are in a stressful financial situation, BREATHE. We live in a time where marketing is so intense, the sellers low-key shame new parents into thinking they will fail without their products… so STAY WOKE LADIES! All a baby needs is a tribe to look at it with heart eyes, and an occasional giggle when they fart. Don’t do anything just because it’s what’s trending on social media; invest in items that work best for your family.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, here are items that were most loved by us during the fog that is newborn-ness. Even though those first couple months flew by, these are the items that were useful and registry worthy!
*discount listed at end of post
Dock A Tot*
I’ve talked about DockATot maybe once on the blog (here.) It was the only way Anakin would sleep in his bassinet and made transitioning to the crib a breeze. The design is comforting for baby, and easy on the eyes. – We still use for occasional naps in our bed and the office room
Swaddles*:
I wish we had our Ollie swaddle since the beginning! Anakin was so snug and happy in his. It was the only swaddle he couldn’t break out of and is a great transition swaddle. The price is not astronomical for how great it is, but some more affordable ones that last: copper pearl and target muslin ones. We still use all of ours to use as a mat on our dog hair infested home, a light blanket strolling through the grocery store, nursing covers when feeling creeper vibes, and entertainment producing man-made breezes.
PackNPlay:
I swore up and down that I did not need a pack n play… My sister kept telling me DON’T RETURN IT, YOU WILL USE IT. We had a crib, bassinet, and changing table, WHY DO I NEED IT? Well, it came pretty handy when we left the hospital with an hour to evacuate for a category 4 hurricane. Anakin’s first couple days were spend being changed in and sleeping in the PackNPlay accessories. We didn’t use it again until he started rolling, and it is the only way I can pee or vacuum peacefully nowadays. The once ugly PackNPlay has it’s beautiful home in our living room, praise God.
Carseat + Stroller:
It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyways: you need to go places.
Boppy:
This is one of the multipurpose items that is always our go to! Nursing? Boppy. Bottle feeding? Boppy. Tummy time? Boppy. Resting? Boppy. Catching flights? Boppy. This is truly our most used item, and it is still in great condition.
4moms Bathtub:
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Something that I did not think we needed was this fancy tub. My tub is not as luxurious or safe as this amazing must-have (does it come in my size?) Anakin is almost too big for the sink baths, but it still is a favorite with the immediate temperature readings. As a military wife, there has already been times where I have no choice but to give him a bath solo (as early as three weeks old), so it was an amazing experience to have the relief of a calm, comfortable, and safe baby!
Zipper Pajamas:
After trying every type of pajama you could possibly try, any that zip from the foot to the neck are our favorite! They are easy for quick changes and keep baby warm up top as well. It was frustrating during middle of the night feedings and changes to turn on the lights because you can’t find which snap snaps where! We found ours at Target.
I hope this post was helpful for buying a purposeful gift for a loved one or registering for yourself! Below are a few coupons you can use, but please remember, everything is just a tool to make things easier. Babies need love and cuddles, not just things. You’re going to do great!
$10 off all DocksATots!– see full review here.

Guilt-Free Self-Love

 

 

 

When I was a child, I would dream about my life now. I prayed so hard to God, to the moon, and my dead grandpa for love and to become a mom. I wanted a baby Simba or a Barbie in my arms at all times. I wanted to comb it’s hair, dress it up, and push the belly button to hear a Spice Girls single. Since then, every complaint that came out of a mother’s mouth translated to ungrateful… I WANTED WHAT THEY HAD! I wanted to lose sleep, I wanted to change poop-y diapers, I wanted to stress about finances if it meant I had a baby to love. Still, I am careful to not complain about any part of motherhood, because I am living my biggest dream. This is my purpose; maybe that’s not enough for others, but this is mine.

There’s no “but…. *insert complaint*.” I will still not complain about being a mom. Being a mom is hard work; that’s not a complaint, that’s fact. The work you put into it is what you’ll get out. What you water, grows. If you pour into your marriage, it grows. If you pour into a relationship with God, through grace, it grows. If you pour into your business, guess what… it grows! Growth doesn’t happen over night, even if you dump your whole pitcher of water in – you might drown it. Just building habits of taking care of what you’re called to will result in growth.

Where I’ve failed as a mom, is barely pouring into myself… and when I do, I feel guilty. I have been pouring into (managing) my businesses, marriage, child, occasionally pets, and friends – that when I stopped to look into the mirror, I couldn’t recognize the potato looking back at me. I am not a superficial person at all, but I should at least be bathed and groomed occasionally, right? Here are the simple, affordable, and quick ways I’ve poured into myself:

Learn something – read a book, read a blog, visit my favorite University AKA: YouTube. Learn something that will make you a better you. For me, it’s been listening to church services while nursing or playing with Anakin. I’ve also made a goal to read 18 books this year (1 book a month until June, then 2 books a month). I’m one book down, and have already read more books then I did last year! Learning more about Anakin also makes me feel more confident – checking in with developmental leaps helps me understand him better, and makes me less anxious about change.

Start something for YOU – for me, it’s been this blog. This blog is my space to choose my words wisely. Some blogs maybe for venting, some maybe to encourage. Maybe you prefer privacy – a journal would be great!

Change your look – y’all, postpartum hair-loss is real. Some things you can not dodge, no matter how many prenatal vitamins you take. I went to my hair stylist for just a haircut to reshape my mane. Yay, no mom bun on the weekends!

Buy new clothes for YOU – I’ve shared my nursing friendly outfits for just about every occasion, but Mama, get something for you. You don’t even need to leave the house. I now understand why my sister doesn’t try on clothes before buying – ain’t no mama got the time! Online shops have been my best friend. I know my staple pieces, and I want clothes that don’t have to be nursing specific or have milk stains. I want boots that are a new style for me, because I’m not worried about my big feet in pointy shoes. They’re cute, I’m cute, my baby’s cute – we’re gon’ be so cute and confident together. This camo tee and these pointy boots have been my weekend jam.

Save money – this last month’s read was one from Dave Ramsey, and Lord Jesus, thank you for him! The confidence and control over our money has blessed us. Our home (AKA: me) has been so much more efficient since making changes little and small! It makes buying a shirt and boots no big deal for our single stable income military family. Save where you can (make you own coffee and taste the $5 that you just saved), buy bulk, but don’t forget to bless others!

Go to brunch – you don’t have to actually go to brunch, but see someone in person. Ask them how they are, encourage them, and pray for them. Spend time having an adult conversation that isn’t gossip or mindless. Talk about Dave Ramsey because that’s where all my conversations have led to this month.

Try new recipes – browse through Pinterest or make something interesting with what you have left before grocery day. We fell into a pasta funk that left us feeling horrible. Thanks to new veggie filled recipes, we have gone a full seven days of no pasta!

Turn off your phone – or at least take a break from social media. The endless scrolling of other people’s seemingly perfect marriages/ children/ outfits/ homes/ etc. can make us feel like we aren’t enough. God did not overcome the world so we can compare ourselves to it. You’re enough. Your messy mom bun, milked stained nursing tank, and pasta filled body can rest in His peace today.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

Thank you The Mint Julep Boutique for partnering with me in a guilt-free reset so I can better serve others. Please note that most of these can be done during nap time or while dad’s home! I have extreme anxiety about leaving Anakin (it’s getting worse) so maybe something in your mind means taking a longer time away from baby (and there’s nothing wrong with that!) We’re all being the best moms we can possibly be, and that is more then enough.

Lazy Day Outfits

I’ve partnered with Pink Blush to bring you guys my super simple lazy day outfits for the winter time here in Florida. Today was one of those days where I just needed a mental break from e-mails, cleaning the house, and wrapping up the holiday chaos. All I wanted was to drink my coffee while driving on my own time, cuddle Anakin, and watch him learn today. Even if I caved  to do laundry, it was a successful lazy day!

Stripes & Cool

PinkBlush – striped top (similar styles here.)

Target – maternity shorts

Turtle Toes – slip ons

Athletic &  Warm

PinkBlush – Thermal long sleeve (similar top here.)

Target – maternity leggings

Nike – running shoes

 

Thanks again PinkBlush for collaborating on this post and having it all for my outfit needs!

Three Months of Motherhood

 

I have had a lot of time the past few days to reflect on the first three months of motherhood. If I could sum them up into one word, it would be “purposeful.” My young adult years have been full of championing others to fulfill their kingdom purpose instead of their earthly potential, yet I never knew exactly how much that would impact my view of God and motherhood.

I didn’t consider the sacrifice my body would have to make to give another person life, and it opened my eyes to the purpose of Jesus’ life (and Mary’s role in mothering him).

I didn’t consider that my spending habbits were unhealthy. How could I hold a baby wearing a sequenced PINK top? My belongings have been minimized to comfortable and purposeful.

I didn’t consider the value of fatherhood. The teamwork and communication that has to happen between two people raising a little is a part time job in itsself, but we keep eachother educated and at peace with prayer.

 

 

I didn’t consider the hope in tradition. That the making if tamales, lighting of a tree, or setting up the nativity would silence what was beyond our walls.

I didn’t consider the change in work flow. That when a new mom would reach out to me, I’d feel the same giddiness I feel with brides.

My body, habbits, marriage, traditions, and work have served a much greater purpose in the past three months. The heart behind motherhood can’t help but spill into every aspect of life, and I adore it. But even if I lost it all, being “Anakin’s Mom” is all I ever want to be.

Sweaters available at PinkBlush: grey sweater // Black cut out sweater

Nursing Friendly Outfits For Traveling With Baby

These will probably be my forever favorite travel outfits to share, because it was Anakin’s first two flight! Planning the trip was nerve wracking in it’s self, but the Lord provided the finances and flights all in perfect timing (as He always does.) While I have a million experiences I want to share about our first trip,  I am so thankful for PinkBlush for collaborating on this post to show y’all practical and cozy outfits for traveling with nursing kiddos!

OVER NIGHT TRAVEL

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  • Zip-up thermal hoodie – great for warmth and easy access
  • Nursing tank – great for discreetly nursing
  • Muslin swaddle – great for baby’s comfort and breathable
  • Basic black leggings – cool for when baby is sleeping on you during the flight
  • Converse – Lightweight for walking and flight

DURING VISIT (WEDDING)

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  • Off-the-shoulder dress- great for nursing and soft fabric to cuddle and comfort baby.
  • Flats – comfortable for carrying the weight of baby and dancing

Dress available at PinkBlush in plus-size!

EARLY MORNING TRAVEL

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  • Lightweight knit sweater and nursing tank – great for the pulling down / lifting up method to discreetly nurse.
  • Light pajama joggers – warmth for the early morning and chilly plane, yet breathable for baby’s body.
  • Converse (again)
  • Diaper bag

Similar knit sweaters are here at PinkBlush.

 

Nursing Friendly Outfits For Going Back To Work

Dun dun dun dunnnnn. The perk of working for myself: my maternity leave was my own call. The con of working for myself: I decided to pick up the camera for sessions eight weeks postpartum. Luckily, I have teamed up with PinkBlush to share my style in dressing for meeting new brides and how I would dress for an event this month. If you are in a strict office dress code, or casual artistic setting, we hope you can fit something in these outfits that help you incorporate a smooth transition from home to work (all while keeping your supply)!

Weddings and Events

 

  • Bell-sleeve blouse –available here at PinkBlush,  great for all seasons and all events!
  • Maternity leggings – great for covering tummy when lifting blouse to nurse
  • Over-the-knee boots – Comfortable for standing all day socializing or waiting for the perfect shot.

Casual Friday Meetings

  • Soft heathered blazer – professional for first impressions yet super comfortable for when meetings are longer then anticipated.
  • Nursing / maternity tank – available here at Pink Blush, has a flattering fit and is practical for pumping or nursing on demand.
  • Maternity jeans – over-the-belly band is great for feeling “together” when still recovering or working on maintaining weight.
  • Booties – for comfortable strolling through downtown for coffee.

 

I hope you guys have a smooth transition back to work, and if your work out of the home or work from home, like me, KEEP ON LOVIN’ THAT BABE AND ROCKIN’ LIFE! There’s never enough coffee but always more then enough Jesus to get us through these sweet days.