You Know You’re a Mom When…

Sure, you technically become a mom at the moment of conception. But you don’t really know you’re a mom until a little later…when the dust settles…and you realize those are stains on the floor…and your hair stays in the shape of a ponytail even after the hair tie is removed. All those times people joked about that you didn’t really understand because your newborn was just so darn cute.

If it hasn’t happened yet, it will.

Here are just a few of the times you’ll get that little reminder that you have in fact become a mom… (more…)

What You Need to Know Before Changing Your Name After Marriage

What You Need to Know Before Changing Your Name After Marriage

I knew when I was 10 that I was going to change my last name after marriage. I was going to marry a man with a simple last name and no one would ever mispronounce my name again. I would be just like everyone else.

As luck would have it, I did marry a man with a simple last name and I did take that name after marriage. The process of changing my last name was not necessarily very difficult, but there are some big lessons that I learned that I wish someone would have told me.  One in particular that still keeps me awake at night.

So here we go, my lessons learned: (more…)

The Must-Have Beginner Books for Toddlers

For my baby shower, my sister had a brilliant idea idea to ask for a baby book instead of a card.  So with each gift, I received a children’s book with a note in it for the baby, and I now have an awesome collection of books for my son that will last him years.

I’ve sorted them out by age so some are still a little old for him, but at just under 1 year old, he has clear favorites.  In fact, some he loves so much that he’d prefer it over a toy.  We joke that his lovey will end up being a book instead of a stuffed animal.

So if you’re looking for some great beginner books for your little one (or an awesome baby shower gift!), these are the winners in my house: (more…)

A Babywearing Warning to New Moms

Babywearing is not a new thing. It’s been around since the dawn of time, but over the past few years it’s popularity has grown. All of a sudden, it’s everywhere.

There are tons of benefits tied to it, most notably the increased amount of bonding. Every now and then you hear about a few risks to the baby, but for the most part those can be easily addressed by just using carriers properly. What you rarely hear, however, are the risks to the mother. (more…)

How to Make Money by Designing Wedding Invitations

One of my all-time favorite ways to make money is to design wedding invitations! It's easy, fun, and an amazing way to get the flexibility you crave. Here's how to do it!

I am the last person in the world you would ever peg as someone that designs and sells wedding invitations, but it’s true. In fact, it’s one of my favorite hobbies. And not only does it earn me some extra money, but it is pretty easy and extremely flexible – you can work on them anytime, anywhere (which I’m always a fan of).

If you read my posts regularly, you already know I’m a huge fan of Zazzle and once again, that is the resource I use for creating and selling wedding collections. I love, love, love Zazzle, so I use it for all kinds of creations, but wedding collections are really popular there and for good reason.  There are so many great ideas and you’re able to customize everything.  I actually used Zazzle products for my own wedding.

So here’s how it happens. (more…)

8 Secret Tricks for Getting Things Done with a Baby

For the most part, we’re all forced to come up with creative tricks for getting things done once a baby has entered the picture. Eating with one hand, sleeping while standing, sleeping while sitting, sleeping while singing…you get the picture.

I come across great ideas all the time that make my life so much easier. So I thought it was high time I shared my secret tricks for getting things done with a baby.

Here we go: (more…)

A Creative Solution for Toddler Safety in the Kitchen

When my son was 4 months old, he reached out with the speed of light and grabbed my piping hot cup of coffee, pouring it all over himself. He had just started using his hands and it was the first time he had grabbed anything.  It was an awful experience and we ended up spending the weekend in the ER.

Luckily, he ended up being ok with only small scars that will eventually fade. Ironically, that incident was probably a blessing because it showed me just how quick those little hands are and has made me way more paranoid about where he is, particularly when we’re in the kitchen.

Unfortunately, he always wants to be with me when I’m cooking. I have tried distracting him with his favorite toys in the dining room, but he insists on being as close as possible.

So here is my latest attempt at keeping him safe and I’m in LOVE with it.

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Ten Minute Toffee

I don’t know about you, but over in my corner of the universe Fall is in the air. Autumn crafts are filling up my Pinterest feed, boots are lining the store shelves, and I’m finally able to leave my windows open all day. And when the jeans come out, so do the extra-special goodies that bathing suits just don’t allow for – like one of my ultimate favorites, Ten Minute Toffee.

This recipe literally takes just 10 minutes. And it is SO GOOD. I mean… butter, sugar, chocolate, saltines??  Come on. It’s a dream. And it is so, so easy to make (plus only needs 4 ingredients).

So without further ado, here is my recipe for Ten Minute Toffee: (more…)

12 Ways to Make Co-Sleeping Safer

Co-sleeping is a beautiful thing - it just needs to be done safely! Follow these tips to make sure you're doing everything you can to make your sleeping arrangements safe and comfortable for everyone.

Throughout my pregnancy and even after my baby was born, I had no plan or intention of co-sleeping. In fact, my baby had two cribs to choose from and a variety of other cozy devices at his disposal.

But as his 4-month mark rolled around he started to get fussier and fussier.  When I put him in his crib, he would wake after only an hour of sleep. But if I let him curl up with me in bed, he would sleep for 6 hours straight.

So….yeah….we became co-sleepers real quick. And I’ll tell you what, I’m so glad I did it. In fact, it’s one of the things I’m most grateful for when I look back at the past year.

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Picking the Best Baby Carrier for Your Baby

Before I was even pregnant I knew I was going to carry my baby everywhere. Like Pocahontas, we would run through the wilderness together. Singing, dancing, and laughing.

I know, I know. Pocahontas didn’t have a baby – and God help the woman that runs through the wilderness with a baby strapped to her.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love, love, love carrying my baby. It is my favorite thing to do. If I didn’t have the body of a human, I would do it 24/7. But my body – strong as it is – needs help with the task.

Thankfully, brilliant parenting innovations have made my pursuit for the best baby carrier fairly painless. And I’ve tried a bunch, trust me. Some were ok, some were life-changing.

Here’s what I found: (more…)