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Grocery Shopping for Busy Moms

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. 😉

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A Little High Maintenance to Continue a Low Maintenance Lifestyle

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?

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Microblading: What You Need to Know

Last year for Mother’s Day I told my husband that I wanted eyebrows as a gift. You read that right. Eyebrows. Spoiler alert: I got a helicopter ride instead. Ahahahah. My husband the jokester.

Ok, so my eyebrows weren’t terrible but they didn’t have a great shape and were pretty scarce in some areas. I wanted more of a shape and for them to be darker. I could pretty simply achieve this look by filling it in with shadow or with a brow pencil. But as a pretty low maintenance person I wanted to eliminate those few minutes I would spend every morning to fill in my brows. I guess you could say that I have to do some high maintenance things at first so I can continue living a low maintenance lifestyle. That makes sense, right?! Continue reading Microblading: What You Need to Know

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Keeping Memories+ Freshly Picked Moccs Giveaway

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!
Freshly Picked Moccs via Brenda Bird

Freshly Picked Moccs via Brenda BirdI 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

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A Change from Within

Family outing in Seattle's Greenlake neighborhoodSometimes I open my laptop, open up a new post tab and just sit and stare. Feeling a loss for words while also feeling like I am being fed words is not what I expected when I started this blog. To be honest, I started the blog to supplement my design work. Now this blog is the main focus and sometimes I get around to designing. No bueno. Family outing in Seattle's Greenlake neighborhood

I have felt torn with my blog- is it solely business? Or can it also be just me, Brenda Bird? As much as I hate to think of it as a business, it has become one. And I am grateful for all the opportunities I’ve had as a result of it. Truly. And yet, I’ve also felt that I have to shield some aspects of my life as to not offend or to solely cater to brands and my readers. Continue reading A Change from Within

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Our Christmas and Holiday Card

Fun interactive Christmas and holiday card by Brenda BirdWith all the social media around it’s amazing to know what people DON’T know about your life, right?

I wanted to share snippets of our life throughout the year in our card with a fun True or False game. I remember receiving something like this years ago from one of our favorite families and thought it was a great idea. I love the idea of an interactive card, so we have tried to do things like this in our past Christmas/New Year’s (…or another holiday since we aren’t always on the ball!) cards as well as try to make it personal by sharing a message. Continue reading Our Christmas and Holiday Card

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Staying Organized When You Are A Hot Mess

Staying organized when you are a hot mess

Catchy title? Maybe? Or perhaps it made you think why on Earth would I take advice from someone who doesn’t have her crap together?

Truth be told, I wouldn’t consider myself a hot mess all the time. Perhaps my mind is more of a hot mess- so much going through it that I can’t keep it all together. As a mom of 4, I often feel like I am treading water. Sometimes, very rarely, do I feel like I am floating on my back sipping on some lemonade. Other times I feel like I am drowning- like, please don’t hand me another thing to carry. Those golden times when I feel like I could tread, sometimes enjoy my time floating is when I have taken the time plan. Steven Covey said, “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule but to schedule your priorities.”

Staying Organized when you are a hot mess. Organizational tips from a busy mom and small business owner.

I know I’m not perfect at remembering every deadline, what meals we are having every night, we may be a little late to some activities….oh to be a semi hot mess on the inside and be semi put together outwardly. People ask me how I function with 4 kids, run a business and stay sane. This is how.

  1. You need to have the right tools.
    1. Planner: Having the right planner is crucial to your sanity. Some may scoff at a paper planner but I cannot survive without it. I like digital but paper saves me. Writing things down on paper helps me remember better. Having a planner that meshes my mom life with my business life has been really helpful. I use this one sent to me by Plum Street Prints. Having an hourly day to day schedule, a section for business collaborations, meal planning, a weekly list + a section for home to-dos helps keep all the ideas and things I have to do as a Mom and business owner in order.  I like the hourly scheduling because it compartmentalizes all the to-dos. I love the weekly and monthly inspirational quotes- they keep me motivated!
    2. If you use apps on your phone, this or this is a good list of helpful schedulers.
    3. Post-its: I use these to add into my planner…and to stick to everything else. I kind of need reminders everywhere. I also like writing on post-its because it isn’t permanent and I can move it around. With blogging and playdates sometimes I have to switch things around.
    4. Pens and pencils: Color coding may be going a little overboard but when I am managing 4+ schedules color coding things makes it easy to glance over and see who has what today and things don’t just mesh together.Sample cleaning schedule printable by Brenda Bird
    5. Printables: Along with the planner, I have a monthly printable, chore chart and menu planner on the fridge. I use my planner for my daily use but the printables are for everyone to see. You can download these free printables I designed:  menu planner printable and blank cleaning schedule printable. You can fill in which chores you want to do that day. That helps me with knowing what needs to be cleaned that day and what has already been done daily, weekly and monthly.Staying Organized when you are a hot mess. Organizational tips from a busy mom and small business owner.
  2.  Go through things right away. If I don’t everything piles up! When my kids get home we go through their paperwork. I have a folder for things to keep like their special artwork, a drawer in the cabinet for their homework and a drawer for things I have to take care of. I write down deadlines and pencil in special activity days on the calendar on the fridge.
  3. Repetition. Repetition is vital- especially if your mind has been altered by children. You know what I am talking about. I used to be pretty sharp and remember everything but I really believe pregnancy warped my brain cells. So I write things down a coupe of times in different places. I put it on my phone with reminders, I write it in my planner and I write it on the main calendar on the fridge. I figure if I write it down many times it will help me remember it better. It seems to be working. Staying Organized when you are a hot mess. Organizational tips from a busy mom and small business owner.
  4. Set up a routine. I pick one day a week where I sit down and plan two weeks of our meals. Mostly every night I take a few minutes to plan the next day. When I don’t, I don’t regulate my time very well. I run my errands/order online groceries the same days. Setting up a routine helps keep things running. We know when things will be completed and what to plan around.
  5. Lists. Make lists about lists. If you can’t tell, I really like lists. They keep me organized and my goals attainable. I stay away from general tasks like clean house. I like to make realistic small tasks such as scrub sink, clean out fridge, etc. Especially for bigger projects for my blog I make a list of what I have to buy, to photograph, to write, etc. Compartmentalizing my tasks makes the progress measurable and attainable for me. Key word- attainable. Don’t make these crazy goals that you know can’t be accomplished in one day. I make small goals that will help you accomplish the big ones. Plus I really like to cross things off my lists so making those small goals helps me check them off quicker. Staying Organized when you are a hot mess. Organizational tips from a busy mom and small business owner.
  6. Have a clean workspace. If my main living area is messy, I can’t function. I feel like everything is messy and therefore find it difficult to know where to start. If you ever come to my house you may find that the main area is mostly clutter free. Just don’t look in my bedroom! Or office- they say creatives are messy, hahah! I work in the dining room because it isn’t as dark as my office so I like to keep it tidy.
  7. Say no. This is a big one. If you are already over scheduled, busy or barely surviving, just say no. It’s ok to say no sometimes. If I can’t do something and give it my 100% then I don’t want to do it at all. I also don’t want to resent that or the person. It isn’t fair to them or to me. And when I say no to some things I am saying yes to sanity, more time with family and some tranquility.
  8. Schedule time for nothing. Sounds silly but sometimes I just want to have nothing going on. I don’t do it often but I want to give myself a break and not think about work or all the things due for the kids. I just want to relive Jim and Pam’s love story and veg out on Netflix. Or perhaps I want to take a nap. Maybe paint for the sake of painting. Giving and giving and giving is a recipe for a burnout. Take a few minutes for you to do nothing or do something for you. Close that planner and just be you.

Staying Organized when you are a hot mess. Organizational tips from a busy mom and small business owner.

I took this time management class a little bit ago and so many of the principles have stuck with me. I loved it and know it has helped me organize my time better. The truth is, there is so much I want to do that I love that I want that to take priority of my time. I don’t want my time to rule me. With so much responsibility to my family I need to make sure that that takes precedence and then the other stuff. It is like the rock and sand example. First put in the big rocks (big projects, top priorities) and then let the sand filter through (the little things that don’t necessarily need to be done right away.)

So, for example, my son has a soccer game right after ballet but kids haven’t had their snack yet. What do I take care of first? The stacked up dishes in the sink? How about their bowls from this morning that they left on the counter? I leave that and grab some snacks and rush to their activities. Because sometimes you just have to let things go. And it’s ok to not have everything perfect. That’s the life of a mother. My kids know I am not a perfect Mom but we work together and try not to make it a big deal when something doesn’t go as planned. Imperfections make us human. Just carry on and do the best you can. I hope these tips can be of some use to someone or perhaps you want to share something that helps you. We mamas have to help each other out!

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Cycle of Motherhood

  This post was sponsored by WaterWipes as part of an Ambassador Program for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review. Thank you for supporting my little space on the internet. 

Back and forth. Back and forth. I glance outside for an indication of the coming dawn and the end of this fretful night. I’ve sat in this rocking chair before, swaying back and forth. The first time was a little over 8 years ago with my first baby. Those sleepless nights seemed as if they’d never end. Would this be my life forever- a half asleep mombie yearning and grasping for just one more minute of sleep. Yes, I still wish for one more minute of sleep. But as I rocked my 4th baby in this chair, the sentiment “the days are long but the years are short” rings more true.Madeleine's-Birth-Story_9

My littlest one is just over a year old. Those newborn days seem so vivid- her tiny hands grasping my finger, her little body swaddled in her crib, her squirrel like eyes trying to take in her new world. I remember the moment the nurses placed her on my chest and I met her for the first time. She was perfect. She is perfect- even now as her tiny hands are slightly bigger and she pulls herself up in her crib when she wakes. Her eyes continue to soak in her world and her siblings make sure she experiences the very best.

Brenda Bird

Mom-ming is magical. Mom-ming is hard. It is thankless, exhausting and messy. It is exhilarating and rewarding and it is the absolute greatest thing I will ever do. Everything is more magical with children. While it does take more work to do anything with and for kids, there is a magic in their eyes when they experience something for the first time. Like chocolate!

WaterWipes- best natural wipes for baby

WaterWipes- best natural wipes for baby

WaterWipes- best natural wipes for baby

A lot of people say that my kids look like their Dad. That may be true but they sure inherited my sweet tooth. For those messy moments, and there sure are lots of them, I like to have WaterWipes on hand. They are a chemical free baby wipe containing only two ingredients: Irish water and 0.1% grapefruit seed extract. These wipes don’t contain harmful chemicals that are found in other baby wipes so I feel quite confident using these on my precious babies.

WaterWipes- best natural wipes for baby

WaterWipes- best natural wipes for baby

So we get messy, clean up and start all over again.

WaterWipes- best natural wipes for baby

photography by christina judd

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Family Travel: Peru Part 2- Andahuaylas, Peru

Family friendly trip to Andahuaylas, Peru- Brenda Bird

As we, two kids per grandparent and me with the baby, boarded the tiny plane I couldn’t help but feel butterflies in my stomach. One part of that was the uncertainty of handling the cold nights, cold water and very very rural area we would be staying in. The other part focused on seeing family I hadn’t seen in 25 years and seeing where my Dad grew up. His older sister inherited the family home and her children built their homes along side that home. It’s almost like a compound with the kitchen outside, a common area for all the children to run around in and connecting yards for the children to roam as they please. It’s always a little nerve wracking to immerse yourself in a new location with new people but it felt a little different since we were staying with family.

It was very much like we traveled back in time. Sheets hanging up on clothes lines, animals running around, water shut off at 7, very very limited hot water, kids playing outside, hardly any screen time…we did have wifi though so I was happy to be able to talk with my husband!  Family friendly trip to Andahuaylas, Peru- Brenda Bird Family friendly trip to Andahuaylas, Peru- Brenda Bird

We flew from Lima International Airport into Andahuaylas, a province in Peru, which was a short flight, just shy of an hour and a half. The drive to our family’s home in Talavera was about an hour….if you get car sick pretty easily I’d suggest taking a dramamine and altitude sickness medicine with the winding roads and high altitude. I also would carry small bills or coins because your heart will ache seeing all the young children shining shoes or trying to clean your windows for very little money.

The first day, we were greeted by many faces I recognized but hadn’t seen in ages- they looked the same. This family has some good genes! I saw the cousins I grew up with and the youngest 80 year olds I’ve ever met. They partied on while I slept with my kids- we cheated and brought a mini space heater. One thing you have to know about Latinos is that food is their love language. They sit, eat and chat and eat again. It’s my heaven. We did have to be careful about what we ate because we didn’t want to risk getting food poisoning or any intestinal illnesses.  Foods that are cooked and drinking/brushing teeth with bottled/boiled water, bottled drinks are usually safe. Also because you are so high up (9,600 ft!) food doesn’t digest as well. I found that out the hard way the last day we were there. I should have also avoided heavy fried foods. Drinking a hot herbal tea helps with digestion and it is custom to drink un mate along with every meal. Also, their gatherings always include loud music and dancing. They are a lively bunch! Family friendly trip to Andahuaylas, Peru- Brenda Bird Family friendly trip to Andahuaylas, Peru- Brenda Bird Family friendly trip to Andahuaylas, Peru- Brenda Bird   Family friendly trip to Andahuaylas, Peru- Brenda Bird Family friendly trip to Andahuaylas, Peru- Brenda Bird

On the second day we had an awesome breakfast consisting of rolls, the most delicious rolls that I am still dreaming about, butter, and other stuff but I just went for the bread and butter. Then we took off to Sondor Ruins. It is a realtively short hike up and if you are not living a 100% sedentary lifestyle, you can do it. I did it with a baby on my back- but take breaks (+ water)  because the air is thin up there! The views are spectacular. I can’t even describe nor show you adequate pictures of its beauty. And you can see the beautiful Lago de Pacucha from there. When we were there there was someone offering a guided horse ride for the kids. You may want to take that Dramamine with you as the drive down was a little curvy.

Family friendly trip to Andahuaylas, Peru- Brenda Bird Family friendly trip to Andahuaylas, Peru- Brenda Bird Family friendly trip to Andahuaylas, Peru- Brenda Bird Family friendly trip to Andahuaylas, Peru- Brenda Bird Family friendly trip to Andahuaylas, Peru- Brenda Bird Family friendly trip to Andahuaylas, Peru- Brenda Bird Family friendly trip to Andahuaylas, Peru- Brenda Bird Family friendly trip to Andahuaylas, Peru- Brenda Bird Family friendly trip to Andahuaylas, Peru- Brenda Bird Family friendly trip to Andahuaylas, Peru- Brenda Bird Family friendly trip to Andahuaylas, Peru- Brenda Bird

The family had packed a picnic of a special hominy soup (patasca) that needed to be heated up. An old friend of my family joined us on our trip and was able to speak Quechua to one of the villagers there. Actually, what happened was that we stopped at a random person’s house and built a fire. The owner came by and our friend asked if it was okay that we were heating up our food. Fortunately, these people are super friendly and gracious. She even built a bigger fire in her hearth and heat up the second ginormous pot of soup for us. She was an elderly woman but her skin was fantastic and her spirits high. She was lovely and humble and I just loved listening to her speak a language that many no longer speak. She smiled and was excited to show us her animals and her hearth. You would have thought we were part of her family the way she welcomed us. She even asked us to come back and she would cook us her finest hen. I could just hug her! After our food was adequately warm we gave this gracious woman a ride to her nephew’s wedding. We drove through dirt roads, passing these tiny brick homes with metal roofing, stray dogs running around and kids playing soccer.

Family friendly trip to Andahuaylas, Peru- Brenda Bird

We ended the day at Lago de Pacucha. We picnicked on the grass overlooking the eery lake. The story about the lake is that it is a female lake because apparently only men have died while swimming in it. It was too cold so no one went in the water. We did, however, have a great soccer match with the kids and some of the parents and some dogs ended up joining as well. We would have stayed longer but the wind picked up and when the sun goes down it is cold! I wish I had more pictures of this lake but my camera was on its last limb!

We took one day to explore the center of town. We found a park the kids could play in and of course there was a cart vendor selling some of our favorite peruvian candy and treats. If you ever find yourself in Peru and ask yourself what Peruvian candy should I get, try these: sublime, cua cua, lentejas, ole ole and besos de mosa. Also bring some for me- haha! You can also check out the Plaza de Armas which is the city center. It has a fountain and a couple of statues. When we walked by there were dancers performing typical Peruvian dances in vibrant traditional dress.

Family friendly trip to Andahuaylas, Peru- Brenda Bird

Andahuaylas as a city is more low key. There are only a few key places to visit. Most people make this a stop on their way to or from Cusco. Since we were there with family, we spent lots of time talking, reminiscing and the kids loved being able to run around through fences, play soccer and learn a little español. What was beautiful to me was seeing the home my grandparents raised their kids in. Everything pretty much remained the same architecturally speaking. They made some additions but the original hardwood floors, furniture, doors were mostly intact. As I watched my dad look around at those familiar elements, I could see he saw his childhood- his parents. My paternal grandparents have both passed away so I knew this would be an emotional nostalgic experience for him. He was beyond thrilled to be sharing it with his kids and more so with his grandkids.

Family friendly trip to Andahuaylas, Peru- Brenda Bird Family friendly trip to Andahuaylas, Peru- Brenda Bird Family friendly trip to Andahuaylas, Peru- Brenda Bird Family friendly trip to Andahuaylas, Peru- Brenda BirdMy brother served his LDS mission in the Cusco area and my dad was overjoyed when my brother served in the area he grew up in. My dad is the only LDS member in his family however my aunt, uncle and cousins welcomed all the missionaries every Sunday to their home for delicious home cooked meals. Most of the time, these young missionaries rely on the goodness of others to be fed or else they eat very meager rations as they don’t have time to cook elaborate meals. Feeding several young men every week is an arduous task but they lovingly fed them all. They even threw my little Adelle a birthday party with a clown to entertain us all and all the works. I felt so loved and cared for- which is amazing since we haven’t seen each other in decades. But they are my family and that family bond is never broken.

Family friendly trip to Andahuaylas, Peru- Brenda Bird Family friendly trip to Andahuaylas, Peru- Brenda Bird Family friendly trip to Andahuaylas, Peru- Brenda Bird

We spent 3+ weeks in Peru. You can read about the first part of our adventure here. I will continue with part 3 next week. Going to this very rural part of Peru wasn’t exactly on my bucket list but I am so so happy we got to spend several days here, in spite of the cold nights and lack of showers, because my kids met their relatives and their bond transcended any language and cultural barriers. Kids will show you how pure their hearts are and bonded almost immediately. Do you guys know or have visited where your parents grew up?

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The Everyday Dress

  I received complimentary products to facilitate my review. Thank you for supporting the brands that support my little space on the internet. 
The perfect every day dress for motherhood.
Remi Swing Dress c/o Cents of Style | fringe loafers | multicolor scarf |non-toxic beaded necklace |initial necklace

I had some ideas on how to take pictures of this dress but then reality set in. I could be relaxing reading a book alone, prancing around downtown stainless and childless, exploring the forest in heels….you know, the normal stuff. Ha! My friend and I did plan on going out and taking these pictures, however we decided that staying home with the pseudo princesses was more of “our jam.”

The perfect every day dress for motherhood. The perfect every day dress for motherhood. The perfect every day dress for motherhood. Peek-a-boo with baby.

So we took pictures of motherhood. And motherhood brings us everywhere- from the kitchen washing dishes, to a walk to the car to pick up the older brothers, to the bedroom where we normally don’t jump on the bed… but it sounded fun, to the playground watching the kids climb to the top of the dome. In this dress, I did all of this. It didn’t limit me- it was part of living my normal daily mommy life. (This swing dress is on sale for $21.95 + free shipping!)

The perfect every day dress for motherhood.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my daily routine and my thoughts were so jumbled. Until I read this. My friend Christina is amazing. I have seen her through her journey of becoming a photographer and have just seen her blossom. I love the idea of living life deliberately…with intention. She says, ” I want to do that won’t fade.” So much of the daily can feel like it just fades. Like, what the heck did I do all day? I vacuumed 2940329 times and put 324 sippy cups in the dishwasher. BUT, we did jump on the bed. And we did have yummy chocolate cookies at bedtime. And those memories won’t fade. Not that I wrote them down anyway- haha.

The perfect every day dress for motherhood. The perfect every day dress for motherhood. The perfect every day dress for motherhood. The perfect every day dress for motherhood.

What won’t fade for you?

The perfect every day dress for motherhood. pillow fabric: brenda bird designs (dashed dots, roses)The perfect every day dress for motherhood. floral and modern pillows designed by Brenda Bird.photography by christina judd