Picnic Essentials

Picnic essentials

 

 

Olivia is obsessed with eating outside.  She will always go and get our blanket and say picnic outside.  It is adorable and I hope she continues to want to hang out with me all the time.  It got me thinking though of some things that are essential to have a great picnic and thought I would gather some of our favorite products.

Picnic essentials

top 5 picnic essentials

Picnic Essentials

  1. A great blanket
    We are obsessed with our Gathre mat and I highly recommend investing in a good quality blanket for any occasion.  This mat gets brought out on a daily and during the winter we use it for indoor picnic as well.  I love that it is waterproof so if the grass is wet we don’t get wet and you are able to wipe off anything easily that is spilt.  Lets be honest we are eating with kids- there is going to be a lot that gets spilt.  Olivia has gotten lasagna all over this mat and it never stained- just wiped right up.
  2. A picnic basket
    We have one similar to this one– that I got from my parents house- it helps to have all of your stuff together in one spot.  Plus I think it is adorable to have a picnic basket.
  3. Umbrella
    We bought a budget friendly $20 one from Target in their seasonal area and we use it all the time- there are often times we can’t find shade so its nice to have this to protect us some.
  4. Portable speakers
    We are a family that loves to always have music playing.  Olivia also loves to dance so it helps to entertain her while the rest of us are still snacking.  We have a small bluetooth one that we got from Amazon.
  5. Easy Nutritious Food
    Obviously a picnic wouldn’t be complete without the food.  I like to keep it simple when going on a picnic so that I am not juggling a lot of things and makes clean up easy as well.  I still want the food to be nutritious for us.  That is what I love about the Papa Johns ne w gluten-free crust pizza.  They use ancient grains making this a healthier option than your regular pizza.  Whenever I am breastfeeding I try to be a little more health conscience than I normally am.  I am also the mom that gives my child fruit & veggies while I am hiding eating fast food.  I like that I don’t have to hide while eating this meal.  Try it out tonight with this PROMO CODE for a small 2-Topping Gluten-Free Crust Pizza $9.99 : GLTN2T

gluten free

papa johns

gluten free

 

Probiotics for infants

Evivo probiotic healthy baby smartasamother

Evivo probiotic healthy baby smartasamother

As hard as breastfeeding is, because come on ladies lets face it breastfeeding can be a really hard journey, I was looking forward to it so much with my second.  I missed those tender moments of just the two of you cuddled up quiet somewhere while you provided life for this child once again.  Having them look up at you with this look (you know the one)  is so tender it just melts your heart. I missed those moments so much with Olivia and couldn’t wait to experience them once again with Ryan.

This journey has been completely different though.  Right from the start something just seemed off with Ryan.  She attached wonderfully and my milk came in great- that wasn’t the issue- but she was spitting up a lot.  The nurses kept telling me I wasn’t burping her hard enough which I probably wasn’t but I knew that wasn’t it.  Ended up she had to have her stomach suctioned out from possibly swallowing some fluid during birth.

So I thought everything would be ok after that, but it wasn’t.  The spitting up continued- which I know is normal for some kids but I just knew it wasn’t normal for us.  This calm and snuggly baby would start to get extremely stiff and get very upset.  We would have rough nights where she would just scream and the only thing that would calm her was to nurse her but than it was a vicious cycle all over again.  I started to notice that the spit up smelt acidic to me as well.

After the doctor finally realizing that something was probably wrong I was recommended to cut out dairy and to put Ryan on a probiotic.  I had never thought of putting my baby on a probiotic before.  I’ve heard of so many adults starting to take probiotics but for some reason you think infants should stick to breastmilk or formula and nothing else.  After looking into probiotics more I was contacted by Evivo to try out their probiotic.  These are some things that I have learned about their product after looking into it more.

  1. 97% of North American babies are born with out B. infantis- which are the good bacteria. 
    why is it important to have this B. infantis in your babies gut- when present your babies gut is in its best most natural original state.  They help to keep harmful bacteria from growing.  With this high rate of babies not having it present they believe that is why there has been an increase with eczema, allergies, obesity, and diabetes in babies.
  2. Evivo is the first and only product of its kind, clinically proven to restore a healthy gut.
    Evivo is a daily probiotic powder with activated B. infantis- once mixed with breastmilk and given to baby- helps to release nutrients in the breastmilk creating an internal environment in your babies gut, developing the immune system and creating a foundation for good health for life.
  3. Maximize every bit of your breastmilk
    Evivo captures all the special carbohydrates from your breastmilk which are called HMOs (human milk oligosaccharides) that might be otherwise lost.  Evivo consumes these HMOs in a unique and superior way to grow and protect your babies gut microbiome.  Evivo than converts the HMOs into important nutrients that feed your baby and enriching gut microbiome.  This significantly reduces the potentially harmful bacteria in your baby.

 

Evivo probiotic healthy baby smartasamother

After finding all of this out I wish I would have discovered this product sooner.  What parent wouldn’t want to support a healthy gut environment setting their child up for a long and healthy life.  I highly encourage you to at least go to Evivo’s website and read about it for yourself.  Educating ourselves will only benefit our children one way or another.  If you are interested and want a promo code for $10 off your starters kit copy and paste ev7-d68aft59 exp: on 9/30 or after first 50 readers

Evivo probiotic healthy baby smartasamother

Daddy Daughter Date with Jord Watch Giveaway

wood watch, jord, mens watch, daddy daughter date

Olivia loves her dad, which I don’t blame her, I do too. Often times they go out in the backyard and will hit golfballs around together. While we were on vacation we thought it would be fun to plan a special evening where we took Olivia to the putting green and had her actually trying to hit the ball into a hole. So we got her all dresses up and ready to go on her daddy daughter date.

Now we had a little surprise for daddy too. She had in the backseat a Jord wood watch waiting to give to him. She was so excited she could hardly contain herself in the backseat and daddy thought she was just excited to go golfing.  Thank goodness for diaper bags cuz I had her put it inside and while he was getting out some balls she sat down on the grass and just waited for him admiring the watch.

wood watch, jord, mens watch, daddy daughter date

Luckily I guessed his wrist size correctly and it ended up fitting perfectly. What we both commented on was how the watch came in a beautiful wooden box with a humidor compartment below to keep the wood from drying out. I think that is important to point out because I don’t know if other wood watch companies do this and since we live in Utah (the desert) this is very important to do.

wood watch, jord, mens watch, daddy daughter datewood watch, jord, mens watch, daddy daughter datewood watch, jord, mens watch, daddy daughter datewood watch, jord, mens watch, daddy daughter date

While we were on the putting green four deer came up and were eating quietly next to us. I was shocked that they would even attempt to be near us with Olivia running around all wild. Once she spotted them she did try to chase them away. Sadly I didn’t get a photo of how beautiful it was with them in the background.

We stayed as long as we could without getting eaten alive by the giant Montana mosquitos that started to swarm us but I would say that this daddy daughter date was a success. Olivia ran around having a blast and actually hit the ball in a few times and my husband not only got to make memories with his daughter but got a timepiece to remember the memory by.  If you would like to surprise someone special with a Jord watch or just spoil yourself click here to enter a $100 giveaway- GREAT NEWS!! Everyone is a winner for entering because you all will receive a $25 code that will expire October 29, 2017.

wood watch, jord, mens watch, daddy daughter date

wood watch, jord, mens watch, daddy daughter date

wood watch, jord, mens watch, daddy daughter date

wood watch, jord, mens watch, daddy daughter date
Luxury Wooden Watch

 

 

Top 10 Parenting Advice with Mocktails

Ocean Spray Mocktails, Mocktails, Alcohol free drinks, non-alcoholic

Ocean Spray Mocktails, Mocktails, Alcohol free drinks, non-alcoholic

Lets face it- there are times that we need to turn to our mom tribe for advice.  I not only have amazing friends that I can turn to but I feel very fortunate to have an amazing mother, mothers-in-law, sister and awesome sisters-in-law that I turn to more often than not for advice.  I was so excited to partner with Ocean Spray® and try their new Mocktails while sitting down with my mom and sister in law and get some parenting advice from them. Here are some top tips that I’ve been given over time.

Ocean Spray Mocktails, Mocktails, Alcohol free drinks, non-alcoholic

Ocean Spray Mocktails, Mocktails, Alcohol free drinks, non-alcoholic

Ocean Spray Mocktails, Mocktails, Alcohol free drinks, non-alcoholic, top 10 parenting advice

TOP 10 Parenting Advice

  1. Say I love you early and often.  Mean it as well.
    We have had several people hear my family members talking on the phone to each other and whenever we get off the phone we ALWAYS say I love you to each other.  They often are amazed that we speak to each other this way and complete on that we do this.  I can honestly say that I love knowing that my parents and siblings love me. You often hear people say they regret not expressing their love for people more often.  I know that my family will never have that regret & I hope to continue that tradition with my little family.
  2. Agree with your spouse in front of the children and be a united front- don’t make one parent the bad guy all the time.
    My mother has such a tender heart- whenever we misbehaved and she tried disiplining us she would often go into her room and cry about it.  It was always harder on her than us so she started using the phrase- wait till your father gets home.  She tells us all the time that she regrets ever doing that.  Not only did it not work- we would still misbehave until our father got home- but it made my dad out to be the bad guy.  Now I never thought of my father as bad but man when we got home and we were bad we would all run for it.  What kind of greeting is that a father after a hard days of work.  Come up with rules and how to discipline together and than each hold to them.
  3. Don’t Compare yourself to other parents- each child, parent and situation is different. We each come with different skills & personalities-find what works for your family.
    Easier said than done- especially with social media thrown in our faces at all times but we don’t know what is truly happening in everyones homes.  Those parents might seem to have it all together at all times but lets be honest none of us do.  We all lose our tempers, burn a meal, leave our house or chores a mess at times.  Some people are great at crafts while others are great at cooking.  We each have different strengths and weaknesses so use what you have.
  4. Be open to advice- read lots of different parenting books and articles.  You never know what might work for your child and family. 
    I use to hate when people would try giving me advice- I knew my child and that was it.  Than my child started to grow and change and I realized that being open to advice wasn’t such a bad thing.  What works for me might not work for my daughters.  Just because someone gives you advice doesn’t mean you have to follow it but one day you might use one of their tips and be grateful you were open to advice.  I also learned this with books, while pregnant I didn’t want to follow one way of parenting so I didn’t ready any books, but once I had my daughter I realized that I needed some knowledge at parenting.  I started reading all sorts of books and realized it didn’t have to be one style or the other, you pick things that work for you and your family and develop your own style.
  5. Have a family dinner daily with no technology.
    There have been studies done about how important it is to sit down as a family and have dinner together.  Not only does it get the family together on a regular basis but it gives everyone a chance to talk to one another.  It gives everyone a chance to talk about their day as well.  There are so many cute traditions that I have heard of- letting everyone talk about a high & low moment that day, talk about what they achieved that day and plan to achieve the next day.  One of my good friends that is from Central America told me that at dinner her father would quiz all of them about cities, countries, spelling, anything and everyone in her family is so smart and knowledgeable.  I know I looked forward to our family meals together- I loved sitting down and listening to my older siblings talk about their day.  This is a tradition I plan to do.
  6. Clearly define limits and expectations.
    I always knew what was expected of me growing up and at times I felt like the expectations were too high but now that I am older I respect that.  I love that my parents had high expectations of me- it means they knew I was capable to achieve them.  I also knew what was expected of me when not around my parents and I think other families appreciate that.  My parents have several friends that have commented about how much they enjoy being around not only them but their children.  I never want someone to avoid spending time with us because I don’t have my children under control.  I think this tip can relate to a lot of things as well, school, hobbies, behavior, etc.
  7. Be patient and understanding.
    One thing I have learned since having a child is to be patient.  There are times that I know it will be so much easier for me to do something on my own but that wouldn’t be teaching them how to do it.  We not only need to be patient with them growing up and learning but being patient and understanding when they make a mistake in life.  I always knew my parents loved me no matter what I did and knew I could go and talk to them about it.  It was so comforting to know they understood even if they weren’t happy with me.
  8. Don’t over structure their lives.
    This seems to be a big problem lately.  It is a competitive world and as a parent you feel that if they don’t have every second scheduled with an activity than they will fall behind.  Again there have been studies how this is hurting our children.  They need time to be bored so they can learn how to entertain themselves.  They need time to be creative and discover what their true talents and passion are.  With packed schedules they never learn these skills.
  9. Learn to say NO- what a child wants isn’t always what they need.
    I know not everyone is not going to agree with me on this one but at least hear me out.  I know there is a parenting trend that says that the word no can be damaging to a child.  I don’t agree with this because in life you are going to hear the word no at times and we need to prepare them for that.  Life is not always going to give them what they want and they need to learn to either do without or learn to work towards getting it if they really want it.  I believe that hearing the word no teaches boundaries at times as well.  Now I do agree with that we should learn to answer at times with a different word- for example if a child asks for a treat we don’t always have to say no- we can give them options or other alternatives.  “Mom can I have a treat” “right now I would like it if you had some crackers or an apple, which one would you like instead”  This technique has helped in our family so far but I will admit I am not perfect and the word no still comes out often.
  10. Give them a chore at least once a day.
    Chores teach our children how to work and be responsible.  It also gives them pride in the work that they have done.  A child will appreciate a meal so much more when they have helped prepare it.  They feel apart of the family when given family responsibilities.  It also teaches them to work at an early age. There are a lot of good lists that I have found on Pinterest that talk about age appropriate chores.

Now lets talk about how much I enjoyed these Ocean Spray® Mocktails– they seriously do taste like cocktails.  What I like is the many options you have with these drinks- you are able to drink them as is, add some sparkling water in them, or add in some alcohol to make it a true cocktail.  After us moms got together and talked about a few things the kids joined in to taste them- we all agreed that the favorite was Tropical Citrus Paradise Mocktail but I really enjoyed them all.  The Cranberry Sangria Mocktail seriously tasted like a Sangria.  These Ocean Spray® Mocktails would be perfect for hosting a baby shower, those times that you’re craving a cocktail while pregnant or just can’t/don’t drink.  I highly recommend trying them.  I am already planning several other parties that I know these would be perfect.

Ocean Spray Mocktails, Mocktails, Alcohol free drinks, non-alcoholic Ocean Spray Mocktails, Mocktails, Alcohol free drinks, non-alcoholicOcean Spray Mocktails, Mocktails, Alcohol free drinks, non-alcoholic

How Huggies & Family Dollar Empower Me to #HugTheMess

Huggies at Family Dollar, Huggies Snug & dry, Huggies One & Done Wipes

Huggies at Family Dollar, Huggies Snug & dry, Huggies One & Done Wipes

Huggies at Family Dollar, Huggies Snug & dry, Huggies One & Done Wipes

Huggies at Family Dollar, Huggies Snug & dry, Huggies One & Done Wipes

Olivia is loving being a big sister- almost too often at times.  Any of you with two kids probably know that they often want to help out which is amazing but sometimes their help isn’t very helpful at all.  But one thing that I love having help with from big sister is diaper changing.  No I don’t make her change diapers- yet- hehe but she helps me change diapers by getting me a new diaper for Ryan and grabbing the wipes.

Huggies at Family Dollar, Huggies Snug & dry, Huggies One & Done Wipes

Huggies at Family Dollar, Huggies Snug & dry, Huggies One & Done Wipes

What cracks me up is while changing a poopy diaper she always goes yuck, ewhh- it totally cracks me up every time.  I always reminder her that her poopy diapers are yuck too.  She always sticks it out though and will still help me out which I appreciate.

Now having two kids in diapers can sure add up at times but what helps to lower those costs is shopping at Family Dollar and using the Family Dollar Smart Coupon for $2 off Huggies.  Family Dollar even carries Huggies Snug & Dry which comes with new FOUR layers for reliable, long-lasting protection for up to 12 hours.  What else helps to cut some costs is the Huggies one & done refreshing wipes.  They are designed for only one wipe to come out at a time & they are also thicker.

We all know those wipes come in handy for more things than just wiping our babies cute little bums.  I am always pulling out wipes to clean Olivia after getting sticky or dirty.  She is such a girlie girl in not wanting her hands to be dirty, so being able to wipe her completely down with just one wipe is saving me money or should I say is adding towards the cute baby clothes fund.

Huggies at Family Dollar, Huggies Snug & dry, Huggies One & Done WipesHuggies at Family Dollar, Huggies Snug & dry, Huggies One & Done Wipes

Now what I like about the Family Dollar Smart Coupon is it’s so easy to use.  I will go through and pick coupons I want to use either ahead of time or while in the store- once I’ve clipped them into my account by just clicking the add button- they are all together- every coupon I have clipped. Once at check out you will just enter your phone number that you used with your account and it will automatically work at the register.  No more searching your purse for coupons and holding up the line at the register.

Huggies one & done wipes

Huggies One & Done wipes

So if you are a Huggies fan and want to pick up a $2 off coupon click here.  Family Dollar has a Family Dollar Smart Coupon that can save you all year long and they have the products for the everyday low price as well. Click here to find the nearest Family Dollar Store near you.

Huggies at Family Dollar, Huggies Snug & dry, Huggies One & Done Wipes

Rocking Bench

childrens rocking bench childrens furniture

Who hates putting furniture together? Most people do right, it is very frustrating & time consuming.

I am kind of weird and I often find it enjoyable but the last few pieces I had to put together I was really frustrated with and my hands were killing me afterwards.  Thats why I was thrilled when I heard about this local small business “A Perfect Playhouse” that makes the cutest rocking benches and playhouses that requires NO screws & tools.  Everything interlocks together.

childrens rocking bench childrens furniturechildrens rocking bench childrens furniture

When my rocking chair arrived it came in 5 pieces total.  It took me a total of 1 minute-maybe 2 tops to put together.  Which honestly was a good thing because once Olivia realized what it was she wasn’t being patient with me.  She literally clapped with joy when I finished and sat in it instantly.

childrens rocking bench childrens furniture

 

 

I find her often lining her stuffed animals on this bench or reading books.  It has honestly been a great addition to our home.  My mom noticed it instantly when coming over to visit and commented how beautiful it was.

If you like to support small businesses and you hate to assemble furniture than A Perfect Playhouse is perfect for you.

 

childrens rocking bench childrens furniture  childrens rocking bench childrens furniture childrens rocking bench childrens furniture childrens rocking bench childrens furniture childrens rocking bench childrens furniture

Rocking Bench: A Perfect Playhouse c/o :: Top: Target :: Jeans: Gap :: Socks: Old Navy :: Jelly Sandals: Old Navy :: Books: Amazon :: Bunny: Jellycat from Peekawho c/o

This post was sponsored by A Perfect Playhouse. Above is my honest opinion and thoughts.

Mom and Tot Box

Momandtot monthly subscription

Hey I have mentioned before that I am obsessed with monthly subscriptions and so here is another one. Mom’n’Tot Box

There is just something about always getting happy mail and it being amazing that makes it that much more fun.  I think Olivia must agree because her face is priceless when opening up her box this month.

Momandtot monthly subscription

What is fun about this box “which the name says it all” It has something in there for your baby or toddler as well as for yourself.  We all like to get presents at times.

This month we got a wooden toy camera, non toxic crayons made from beeswax, a first aid kit that fits into the diaper bag, nail polish for me, and little shorts for Olivia.

That is a lot of things in 1 box.

Momandtot monthly subscription

Momandtot monthly subscription

You can tell by her facial expressions she was thrilled.

Momandtot monthly subscription

Her favorite things are obviously the crayons and the wooden toy camera.  She thought it was so funny to see me hold it up and look through the hole.  I kept showing her that she now has a camera just like mommy does.  My favorite items are her new cute blue and white polka dot shorts (perfect for summer), the first aid kit (I am one of those over prepared people so this was perfect to have it all in a hardshell case, and of course my nail polish. It was a gorgeous light purple- also perfect for summertime nails.

Momandtot monthly subscription wood camera

Momandtot monthly subscription

Momandtot monthly subscription nontoxic crayons

Olivia loved the items so much that she insisted on bringing them outside with us to color.  She was also caught chewing on them which made me feel at ease knowing they are safe for her.

Check out these monthly subscriptions at MomandTot

Bookroo monthly subscription

baby board book

I have a passion for reading. Growing up I loved coming home, grabbing a great book, cuddled up on the couch and seeing my dad on the other couch doing the same. I also loved discussing the books we were reading.  I wanted this love for reading so bad for my daughter so I was thrilled when I would catch her playing quietly in her room flipping through a book.  She will bring me books, sit on my lap and point at things while turning the pages.

Something else that I also love are subscriptions. Seriously, I was signed up for a monthly 3- bow headband subscription, weekly meals from Blue Apron, toys subscription, diapers, magazines, you name it.

So when I found a monthly subscription of books for my daughter I was thrilled.

I can honestly say that one of our favorite books has come from the Bookroo monthly subscription too.

The Biggest Kiss by Joanna Walsh & Judi Abbot she thinks it is so funny to give me kisses throughout the book. What more could I ask for.

Olivia has so many books but I had never heard of this one.  It is her favorite book and mine as well.  She will honestly give me kisses throughout the whole book and I have noticed that she will continue giving me more kisses throughout the day.

One of my favorite quotes is “I do believe something magical can happen when you read a book” J. K. Rowling

I love seeing that Olivia sees the magic in books already and I hope to continue that love.  Having a monthly subscription from Bookroo will help to continue her love for reading.

bookroo

Bookroo monthly subscription

monthly book subscription

book subscription

board books

baby subscription

baby board book

reading book

book monthly subscription

bookroo monthly subscription

excited about reading

board books

Olivia: Top: BabyGap :: Pants: Janie & Jack (smilar) :: Hair Bow Clip: Haley Crochet Creations

Sheets: Cariloha :: Duvet Cover: Cariloha :: Blanket: Cariloha

This post is sponsored by Bookroo.  All opinions and thoughts are honest & my own.

Cariloha Bamboo Bedding

cat in the bed, cariloha sheets, bamboo bedding

My husband and I have been in our home for almost 4 years.  It is an older home & we love it for it’s character & charm. It needs a lot of updating so we have been getting bids therefore so many people have come into our home & even asked us if we just moved in.  We always thought that we would get to the remodel sooner so we had avoided decorating, buying new furniture, & being actual adults, just living with our mix matched things.  It’s embarrassing explaining to people that nope we have been here for quite a while but have been living like 19 year old college students.

Anyways one thing that needed major updating was our bedding. I’m almost embarrassed to say this but I know my bedding followed me from pre-college days. It was old, outdated, and wasn’t very comfortable.  The white sheets were looking grey and yellow.  I thought that one of the first things we needed to invest in was some adult bedding. I have always been curious about this trend of bamboo clothing, beddings, just anything bamboo. (We have even been looking into bamboo flooring).

Honestly I can now say I know why everyone is talking about it.  The first day I took the sheets out & washed them I couldn’t believe the difference in feel once pulled out of the dryer.  They were so soft.  I even made my mom come in and feel how soft they were when she came to visit.  I’ve also noticed that I seem to sleep more comfortable with them.  You know how sometimes you can get too hot or too cold during the night, I seem to keep a good neutral temperature while using these sheets.

I use to travel a ton (pre-baby) & I felt like I was sleeping in an expensive hotels bed.  You know the feeling, soft, fluffy, & you don’t want to leave.

If your shopping around for new bedding I highly recommend going the eco-friendly route & getting bamboo sheets & better yet check out Cariloha sheets.  You, your partner, & your pets wont regret it.

 cariloha sheets, bamboo bedding

cat in the bed, cariloha sheets, bamboo bedding

cat in the bed, cariloha sheets, bamboo bedding

cat in the bed, cariloha sheets, bamboo bedding

cariloha sheets, bamboo bedding

cariloha sheets, bamboo bedding

cariloha sheets, bamboo bedding, woven pear cat socks

cariloha sheets, bamboo bedding

cariloha sheets, bamboo bedding

cariloha sheets, bamboo bedding

cat in the bad, cariloha sheets, bamboo bedding

Sheets: Cariloha :: Duvet Cover: Cariloha :: Blanket: Cariloha  all c/o :: Decorative Pillow: Sweet Sugar Beets  c/o

Pajamas: Cariloha c/o :: Cat Socks: Woven Pear c/o

O’s Outfit: Jumpsuit: Everly B c/o :: Mouse Socks: Harper’s Chic Closet :: Hair Bow: Harper’s Chic Closet 

This post is my honest opinion on product.