Let’s talk baby monitors. Sure, some people go without and that’s cool. Some people have the audio only monitors while others opt for the video monitors. Some people may be wondering why I even need a baby monitor anymore. My baby is almost 2! Two! I don’t even believe myself when I say that.
This post is sponsored by CocoonCam; however, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog.
The truth is- I have a little anxiety. I get a little nervous when my kids sleep longer than usual and if they are crying whether or not they are actually hurt or just want to get out of their crib. Sometimes I crack the door open to check on my baby and of course it creaks like the mother of all creaks. The baby stirs and jolts up because obviously when she hears the door creak that means it is party time! I don’t know why I do this to myself. My inquisitive mind needs to know she is safe. Plus, I really want to see when she starts climbing out of her crib so I can line the perimeter with pillows….or just get her a toddler bed. Continue reading Let’s Talk: Video Baby Monitors
I think there are only a handful of times when I am actively trying to get my kids to wear coordinating/matching outfits: Christmas, Easter and when we take family pictures. Any more and I’d drive myself mad! Running from store to store trying to pick out something that matches the other store’s outfit and the one in the closet…..ahhh it’s just too much. I rarely go to store anymore. I prefer to online shop and that makes things easier but after having to plan for multiple of these events for years already, I’ve learned a few things when trying to coordinate outfits for my kids for special days like Easter.
Try to shop from one store. Stores, like Carter’s, usually have a unifying color palette throughout their departments from babies to kids. I got shirts, shoes, bowties (the ones I got sold out but linked to similar one) and dress shorts for my boys that coordinate perfectly with the girls’ cute spring dresses. And if you can find shoes, bonus!
Pick a statement piece (like a bold floral pattern) for one or two people to wear. Then pick subtler (like light stripes or even a solid color) coordinating pieces for everyone else. For those wearing the subtler main piece, try to sneak in a little oomph with texture (like a crochet dress), a patterned shirt layered under, a patterned bow tie or embroidered bottoms. Alternating the patterns (within patterns and from top to bottom pieces) is important so doesn’t look cluttered and overloaded.
Know before you go. If you are planning on going to the physical store, then I say you have to do your research and check their online store. See what they have and see if it matches your criteria. It saves you from having to go from store to store to see what they have. When shopping for multiple kids I also look for coupons or promo codes because…ouch! Kids grow out of their stuff quickly (goodbye baby clothes) and it hurts to spend all that money! So if I can save some money I will look for it! Lucky for you I have a special 25% off Carter’s coupon promo code that you can use online or in-store when you spend $40. My kids just steal the show, huh? I can’t wait to take pictures of them all dressed up for Easter before we head to church…or maybe after because church is too early we are always rushing to get there on time.
It is still a little cool here but my kids are anxious for spring weather so they can stock up on some more cute and stylish tees and knit shorts so they can play in the sun comfortably and alllll dayyyy long! And can’t forget the swimwear….. my little fishies live in the water in the summer time.
I wish you well on your journey to dress your kids this coming Easter. Seriously, I know it can be a pain but it’s only a couple of times a year. Can’t wait to see all the kiddos in their darling Easter outfits. Tag me on Instagram so I can see!
I held my baby on one arm, held my daughter’s hand with the other. I asked my oldest son to hold his younger brother’s hand and asked him to hold onto my purse as we crossed the parking lot and towards the sliding doors. We headed towards the daycare, yes this grocery has a daycare for kids under 5, and I started to sign the kids in. My oldest couldn’t go in, the other one was on a clingy streak and my daughter wouldn’t go without her brother. I looked at the daycare worker and sighed. Guess we were all going grocery shopping.
My squirmy baby started wiggling out of her seat while another kid started grabbing snacks and putting into the cart. The other two started wrestling in the aisles. And then one started screaming and telling me he wanted another mom because I said he had to sit in the cart. I was at the end of my rope and told him that there were a ton of moms there so he could just pick any one! And then we left with only 1/4 of my list completed. I came home exhausted and vowed never ever ever to take my kids shopping again. And then it happens again because I need to get food. But for the past 6 months I have changed my ways.
This post doesn’t have pretty pictures but it’s a post to help other moms that may have had similar experiences or just would rather use their time better than to be at supermarket. I just want to share a list of services I use to keep myself sane, save hours of time and still get food into my fridge. I will go to the grocery maybe once a month with my baby to pick up emergency items like milk. Well, let’s include one picture of squirmy baby because she is pretty darn cute.
One thing that really helps limit either physical trips to the grocery store or ordering online frequently is meal planning. I will take about an hour every couple of weeks to plan out two weeks worth of dinners and special occasions like holiday celebrations or parties. Once I do that, then I order from Instacart for the bulk size items and Safeway/Fred Meyers.
Instacart: I order my Costco items from here about 2-3 times a month. I usually order that third time to get snacks for parties or for the kids’ classrooms. While I do pay a little extra for the items and delivery, it is worth it to me to spend about 30 min-1 hr ordering and putting stuff away when I would normally spend at least 2.5-3 hours driving to and from, shopping and putting it away. I get my bulk sized items here like bagels, fish, bread, fruits, cleaning supplies and snacks for the kids. You can get a yearly membership which gives you free deliveries over $35 and within 2 hours. I don’t have a membership so I just pay for delivery as needed. Oh and one thing I really like about it is that you can share your cart with a friend! That means they can add on to your cart and you just pay for 1 delivery fee. The other person will have to pick up their stuff but it is helpful if you only have a couple of items you need but can’t make it to the store or want to pay a delivery charge for few items. You can sign up using this link and this Instacart referral code: BBIRDFBE83 and you can save $10 off your first order + free delivery.
Safeway Delivery: I use this maybe 1-2 a month for things that I don’t want monster size of and any specialty items. I also get beef, veggies, cream cheese, etc. The price is the same as in store prices. You do have to pay delivery fees but it’s about $6 and I am totally down paying $6 for someone to bring me my groceries. They also have promo codes regularly so sometimes I don’t have to pay for deliveries.
Clicklist: This is a Kroger pick up service. You order online and schedule a time for pick up.I use this when I know I will be running errands around Fred Meyers. Not sure what the benefit is besides just knowing I won’t be home for deliveries but I buy the same things as I do at Safeway. And it is the same price and you can use coupons.
Prime Pantry: I like to use this on occasion, perhaps once every 3-4 months for items I can’t find at Costco. There is a small fee even if you do have Amazon Prime but it is only about $6 I think. I get specialty cleaning supplies, toiletries or snacks for kids. You can get free shipping if you buy select items though.
I know some of you more mature mothers may shake your head at how easy we have it with all these delivery services. While I know you all have done it with your own kids this is just what works for me. My kids aren’t savages rampaging around the grocery store. Not all the time. And I’ve done it years before but right now it isn’t feasible. I have limited time and I’d rather not be using that time trying to find the items on my list while corralling the children. I’d rather order it online while I’m waiting for the kids to get out of school or while my baby is napping so I can do other stuff with my time. So, I hope this helps! It sure has freed up a lot of my time to do the things I love like play with my kids and sneak in a design or blog post. 😉
This post was sponsored by Irresistible Me. I only partner with brands whose products and mission I truly believe in. All opinions are 100% my own.
Thank you for your support!
Last week I talked to you about microblading and how much I loooove my brows. Now I want to tell you about my clip-in hair extensions. Why you ask? Because I love them. Because I can have long hair and not actually have to do all that work to maintain it. I use it when I want that added volume and length but then I take them off and continue my mom-bun wearing ways. I first considered getting extensions a few years ago. I had just had a baby and my long hair was driving me craaaaazzzyyy. Like so crazy that I went and chopped it off to above my chin. I wasn’t brave enough for a pixie cut so I went as short as I dared. And I loved it. Until I hated it. That Christmas my husband asked me what I wanted. I told him I wanted hair extensions. Hahaha- oh my, do we see a pattern here? He must think I’m nuts to always be asking for hair for my head or eyebrows. Anyway, I chopped it off because I hated the maintenance of long hair because who has time to take care of all that and kids but I loved the look of long hair. And then when I chopped it off I couldn’t go back.With hair extensions, you can have your cake and eat it, too. And I did. I was so excited when Irresistible Me contacted me to do a review for their hair extensions. I’ve been wanting to get hair extensions for ever. But then I went back and forth always thinking that hair extensions were for high maintenance people and that is so not me. I’m pretty chill. But then it actually dawned on me that this would help me live my low maintenance life style.I went on the website and picked out my choice of the Silky Touch clip-in hair extensions. I went with silky chocolate brown 22″ hair extensions. I was so nervous about picking the hair color because you need it to match so it doesn’t scream “she’s wearing fake hair!” Ya know? I mean you are wearing hair that isn’t your own but no one needs to know. Ha. So something that eased my mind about choosing a color is that if it doesn’t match, you can send it back.The hair comes sealed in a package that is divided into two compartments. One is the sample hair. You only open that side to make sure it matches your hair- just don’t clip it in or use any products on it. If it matches your hair and you are happy with the length, open the rest. If it doesn’t, DO NOT open the rest or else you can’t send it back.Full disclosure, when I ordered my hair it was lighter since it was ombre. But then I went crazy and bought some hair dye at the drug store because it was so outgrown it looked horrendous. Well, it picked up the darkest color ever even though I picked a medium brown color to match my previous color. I just wanted it all to be even but it was a botched job. I had already opened my hair and it didn’t match. My hair also hadn’t been cut in about 6 months so it was just a hot mess. A mess. I ended up going to a salon where they fixed my botched hair dye experiment and where she put in my clip-ins and cut my hair with them in. I think that is the best way to do it so it flows naturally with your hair. I’ve watched a million you tube videos where girls just clip them in without getting them cut and it must be black magic or something because they make it look easy and amazing. My hair did not blend magically with the extensions so I had to get it cut. One reason may be because I have extremely thick hair and it looked so top heavy so she also thinned out my hair a bit so it wouldn’t be so top heavy. This hair is real hair so you can use heating tools and styling products on it just like you would with your normal hair. This hair looks best when it is curled or braided, which is my favorite thing to do to it when I go out. It also comes with A LOT of hair. Like 11 pieces and included in that is a super thick weft. Here’s the with extensions and the without. It adds a good 6 inches or more to the length. I’ve worn them at least 3 times a month for various parties or dates and I just like how much I can do with them. And at night I just take them off, brush them and slip them back in the pouch until next time.So what do you think? High or low maintenance? Would you get extensions for the sole convenience of not having to deal with long hair on a daily basis and just as needed?
Lice. Anyone else get the chills just thinking about it? While my kids have never had lice (knock on wood times a billion) there have been cases at school of kids having lice. When I hear that my mind starts to go wild and my heart starts to race. Why why why are they just so creepy???? I’ve never had to deal with lice and I hope with these tips we won’t have to. Prevention doesn’t mean it is 100% effective but it is better than nothing. And no… you won’t have to resort to this:
This post was done in partnership with BrandBacker but all opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog.
Keep hair up or braided. Lice don’t jump. They crawl and when hair is accessible they will crawl up and try to get as close to warmth (scalp). Lice don’t prefer short, long, oily, clean hair. They will just find a way to crawl onto their food source. Keeping hair tied just limits accessibility.
Resist sharing hats, helmets, jackets, hair brushes or accessories. Lice can live up to 2 days on objects so if you use or have contact with those items then you may contract lice as well. Store hats and such in backpacks or jacket pockets for having less chance of contact.
Avoid close contact. Like wrestling, head butting….should I have to say that? Haha my kids often engage in rough and tumble play so it has to be said. Say you are rubbing shoulders with someone who has lice, it crawls from his sweater to yours. And then up your hair. And then it all begins….. ahhhh.
Use tea tree oil sprays, shampoos or conditioners. For some reason, lice don’t like the smell. We have been using SoCozy Boo! We love it because it is non-toxic and free of alcohol, gluten, wheat, peanuts and tree nuts. It smells amazing and doesn’t really require any extra steps. We use the shampoo and conditioner at bath time and use the spray on days when their hair hasn’t been washed. Both my boys and girls use this product and it is easy enough for them to use on their own….sometimes Mom and Dad forget. And if you buy this look below for an awesome sweepstakes! **
Regular check ups. Regular hair and scalp check ups may not prevent lice but you’ll catch it sooner. Check for eggs near the scalp- I think those are better than finding full grown infestation. Cue the heebee jeebees.
This isn’t a tip on how to prevent it but more of a “breathe in breath out” tip. If your child gets lice don’t feel like you need to burn the house down. I know I’d want to but it is treatable just incredibly annoying. There are lots of treatments available, even hair salons dedicated to treating lice for you! I read about using Coke to douse your head. And why not take a sip or two to take the edge off, haha!
Do you guys have any tips or tried and true ways to get rid of lice? I am seriously hoping that I won’t have to ever have to smear mayo on anyone’s head.
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I sat on my daughter’s toddler bed, with stacks of clothes and shoes at my feet. Do you know the feeling that you get as you methodically go through the clothing that your kids have abnormally quickly have outgrown? Holding, smelling, examining them trying to grasp the memories that they hold? And then having to choose which bag they will go in: to keep or donation. I always have such a hard time with that part so I put it off as long as I can. Moving usually forces me to downsize and the declutter bug hits. One thing I have never given away are the heirloom quality items like pretty Christmas dresses, special blankets friends have made, their blessing outfits and their Freshly Picked moccasins. Look, you can even see the start of her little footprints on the toes!
I remember telling my husband I couldn’t get rid of the kids’ baby clothes (among other things…) because they hold too much sentimental value. He jokingly explained that that kind of thinking was akin to a hoarder’s mentality. I laughed it off and made a note to myself that I could only keep what was truly sentimental and loved -not just because it was something someone gave me. I went through each item carefully and put it in a pile. And then I let it sit. And sit. Just so I could be sure. I kept what could be passed down to a younger sibling, items of sentimental value and heirloom pieces. Continue reading Keeping Memories+ Freshly Picked Moccs Giveaway
Scroll. Scroll. Scroll. Select. Add to cart. And repeat. My husband looked over my shoulder and asked, “Do we really need all this stuff?” I rolled my eyes and kept reading reviews. I asked my friends, sisters in law…facebook for their advice on all this baby gear. It was my first baby after all and I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. So many different freakin car seats. I need different strollers for different things?! They need warm wipes?! So much stuff!!
So after a few babies…and then a baby after we got rid of all our baby stuff…I compiled a list of things we knew we needed and a few things we didn’t reallllly need but made life a little easier! If you are looking to get a baby gift or need things for your little baby take a look. Just FYI this post does indeed contain affiliate links (where if you purchase using my link I make a tiny commission) and some items were given to me by companies to review. If I am posting about it, I actually love this product and use it- if I don’t like it I don’t post about it. Promise. Continue reading Modern Baby Essentials: Want or Need
As we walked to our departure gate I could feel my phone vibrate. My heart skipped a beat as I saw the alert from my security system: motion was detected. Already? Really?! We’ve been gone for 2 hours at the most and someone is already breaking into my house?! We really don’t have much of value in there anyway. Hahah. Luckily, I was able to watch the video and saw that the motion it detected was the wind that knocked a branch into the window. Continue reading Keep Your Home Safe While Away for the Holidays
I received complimentary products from Springfree Trampoline to facilitate my post. Thank you for supporting the brands that support my little family.
Thanksgiving break is here. It has only been one day but boy, it’s been quite a day! I mean, it isn’t like I haven’t entertained all 4 kids at home before but there is something about being on vacation that brings a whole other side to the kids. Perhaps it is knowing that they have time to do everything so they want to do everything but don’t even know where to start! The thing is, I have gotten used to my routine with them in school. I have time to clean, work and run errands. It’s only been a few months of flying mostly solo but doing those things have become habit. So what do you do when you have to entertain all your kids at home? Going out is the obvious answer but I have a napping baby and also had a sick child. Going out wasn’t an option. Staying home was the difficult to accept answer but it really wasn’t too bad- just long. And of course when they are home they want to play on the ipad or watch a movie. I’m ok with those but I really want to use them sparingly and when I really need it- like when I have to shower! Haha! Mom life, right? Continue reading How to Keep Your Kids Outside
We spend most of our time in the living room and the playroom. I think we all prefer the living room because we crave that natural light. Having wood floor throughout the main floor can make it seem a little cold and not so cozy. Seeing as we spend lots of time here we needed to add cozy which means we needed a rug. Most of you know my kids are allergic to dust mites and other allergens so we have to be super careful with rugs. I could only get synthetic rugs due to the fact that they do not retain allergens like wool does. I searched on and partnered with PlushRugs.com.I found that I could search materials and could select the specific material I wanted. Having eliminated a huge load of rugs, this narrowed my search significantly and less overwhelming. We found the perfect black and cream plaid nylon rug (courtesy of PlushRugs) from Safavieh that cleans pretty well and has resisted the normal wear and tear of a household of 6. It added that coziness and warmth that we needed in the living room as well as the padding needed when we stay indoors away from another day of rain.
We lived in the desert for 8 years- hardly any rain. And then we moved to the rainiest city where sunny days in the fall and winter are scarce yearned for. Our first summer here we stayed indoors for a couple of days before we got cabin fever. This cannot be my life! Then I soon learned that life goes on here- rain or no rain. We even play and cheer on soccer games in the rain. It is what it is. But day after day of rain can get a little depressing so once in a while we will stay in and have lots of fun indoors. Staying indoors doesn’t have to be confining.
Exercise. Have your kids tried kids yoga? My kids love it. LOVE it. We do it at lease once a week and not just on rainy days. It is great for everyone. We love Cosmic Kids Yoga because she tells a story while they do coordinating poses. The kids are very eager to find out what happens next!
Look at photo albums. We always joke that our kids are vain because they love looking at themselves on the phone and in our photos. I have been pretty terrible about making scrapbooks for my kids but a couple of years ago we started using Chatbooks. They print all of our instagram pictures into an album. It’s perfect because it’s a subscription- one less thing I have to keep track of. I get one automatically after every 60 pictures posted. If you haven’t tried them you can use this Chatbooks promo code: 4T2YPUYK for your first book free: The kids love seeing themselves as babies and love hearing stories about themselves even more!
Play games: Some games can be complicated for little kids. We like tic tac toe. It’s simple. And my kids don’t even care if they lose- they just like putting the pieces down. I have a DIY of our last tic tac toe board– I got a new one because our old one is out of commission. It was loved a little too much. Once it is fixed (I know, I’m a procrastinator) we will have two and kids won’t fight so much over taking turns. This one I got at Ballard Consignment. It’s virtually unbreakable and the pieces aren’t that small for baby to choke on.
Puzzle time! We did lots of puzzles a couple of years ago but they always took up the whole floor and it started to bug me so we cooled off on the puzzles. Then I saw this wood coffee table puzzle. This & That Etc. was kind enough to send this to us to play with. It is compact, a beautiful design and educational. My 4 year old can put it together. Granted she can’t read the states names but she knows where they all belong! My 5 year old and 8 year old put this together at least once a day. Proud mama moment.
Build a fort. My kids love building forts and castles. We used to build them out of blankets and books and pillows. They’d fall apart and the kids wrath was heard loud and clear. We got this fort building kit (two actually) for the kids last Christmas and it has been very well received. It’s pretty sturdy and holds blankets without it slipping off.
Get crafty. You know me. I like anything crafty. And thankfully my kids also love creating. One of our favorite things to do is to create artwork inspired by famous artists. The more abstract the better- kids don’t have inhibitions so they create from their heart.
Play and learn with play-doh. I have a love-hate with this. The meshing of the colors gives my OCD heart a mild heart attack while my creative side says “just go with it and see what happens!” Taking a little bit of control of the activity can save the headache like printing out letters and having them make a copy with play-doh. Dried beans also work well with tracing letters. Can get messy but it’s ok for the sake of education, right?
Build masterpieces. My son is super into building with the mega bloks. We have a couple of sets so he can build pretty complex edifices and I love his attention to detail and his creative uses of ordinary items to add on to the building blocks. Castles, forts, super hero homes, silly forests, etc. are no strangers to the playroom floor. Our new favorite toy are the magnet building and constructing sets given to us by GeoSmart. These magnetic shapes are perfect for creative imaginations. My son likes to build what he sees on the cover of the game but then also likes to experiment with the strength of the magnets to see how high they can go. Being able to build sideways and almost defy gravity is what keeps him interested. We have the Lunar Rover which has 30 pieces including 2 sets of wheels. I’d recommend buying a larger set like this one so you can create larger things as well as let brother or sister play.
Bake or cook yummy treats. Entertain the kids while making something delicious. Win win in my book. We love making pizzas and chocolate chip cookies. Those are pretty simple and not super messy with kids. Plus I think they appreciate the hard work put into that single cookie!
Have a puppet show. Don’t you just love the crazy and incoherent stories kids come up with? They are so funny. Give them a few key objects and they come up with quality material. Just go with it I say. Let their creativity roll. If you want to have your own show I’ve included these Free Christmas puppet printables. All you have to do is print, cut and tape on a Popsicle stick. Fun doesn’t have to be complicated.
Go outside anyway. Put on some rain pants, coats and boots and explore. Jump in puddles. Get a little muddy. And then come back home for some hot chocolate. A little rain never hurt anyone.
Tell me one thing you like to do on rainy days!
Hi! My name is Brenda. I'm a mommy to 4, wife to the best laundry folder and husband, graphic designer/hand letterer and bilingual blogger. This is my little space of everything I love: diy + crafts, motherhood, family friendly travel + activities, simple recipes, modest + practical outfits and my latest design projects. My hope is you leave this site being inspired to create- whether it's a fun party for your child or memories of a weekend getaway with your family!
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Updated April 2017.
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