6 Tips for Packing for Kids

Hello I’m Jordan. And I’m an over-packer. I’ve always been this way; packing for every type of weather, taking full bottles of shampoo for one weekend, and having my suitcase bursting at the seams when I close it.

(Pictured above: Our trip to Texas the previous Summer where I thought packing a whole separate suitcase would be a good alternative. Try dragging that thing around airport after airport…)

The first trip we took after having our son was hard for me. Not because I was afraid he’d get cranky or because we’d be on a germ infested airplane, but because it meant I would have to pack both my things AND my son’s in ONE suitcase!
Continue reading

Nescafé Genio 2 Coffee Maker Review

The following products were gifted to me by Nescafé Dolce Gusto as part of a sampling activation for Crowdtap. I received complimentary products to facilitate my honest review. Target & Amazon links may lead to affiliate compensation. Thank you for your support!


Okay mamas, raise your hand if you love coffee! Did you raise it? Then keep reading. Do you not only love coffee but prefer to order specialty drinks when you go to your local coffee shop (i.e. macchiatos, lattes, hot chocolate)? If you answered yes, keep reading!

I would like to introduce to you our newest kitchen member, the Genio 2. Naturally my husband and I were excited and pulled it out immediately to try it. The first thing we noticed is the chic and futuristic look of the machine, the next thing we noticed was how compact it is! We live in an apartment so space is limited. I also cook a lot so I need my counter space. The Genio 2 fit perfectly in it’s own corner and that is where it continues to reside.
Continue reading

#RockingMotherhood Challenge


10 Ways That I’m Rocking Motherhood!

I say it all the time…”I’m totally winging this whole motherhood thing.” I spend half of my day trying to get my toddler to eat something other than hotdogs and cheese and the other half arguing about why he needs to keep his diaper on.

When my friend and fellow mom blogger, Little Bit Of Learning, challenged me to write out 10 ways that I’m rocking motherhood, I pushed it to the back of the writing pile. It’s difficult to boast about what you’re doing right when you’re constantly unsure of what you should be doing in the first place. Now with Mother’s Day here, I thought I’d give myself a little gift and brag away.

So here are just 10 ways that I’m rocking motherhood:
Continue reading

One Comfy Mama: Lularoe by Haley Watson Review


This is a sponsored post but all thoughts and opinions are my own and are an honest review of the products mentioned.

Since becoming a mom I feel like I’m constantly on the go. Our days are filled with appointments, grocery trips, play dates, or park trips. Even at the house we’re either playing or cleaning up!

I’ll be honest, I have a love-hate relationship with clothes. I want to look “put together” but I also want to be comfortable while I’m playing tag with my son or vacuuming the house.

I discovered Lularoe about a year ago and have been hooked ever since. My closet is currently about 80% Lularoe, making me one comfy mama!
Continue reading

Oven Baked Donut Holes


Binge watching The Flash last night, I realized (at about 10 p.m) that I had an Easter picnic/potluck with my running club in the morning. In realizing this, I remembered I hadn’t picked up anything to make. Sitting there kicking myself for forgetting, I briefly thought, I can just pick something up on the way in the a.m. Then I came back to reality knowing I would never get us ready and out of the door in time.

I would love to tell you all that this doesn’t happen to me often but that would be a lie. I am a last minute kind of girl…but I’m also the girl who loves to bring good food to the party.

So I opened my fridge and let the creativity flow. Noticing a can of biscuits (from a pack I bought in bulk, convinced I would put them all to use) I had an idea!

All I needed was that can of biscuits, butter, sugar, and cinnamon. I went ahead and preheated the oven according to the directions on the package (400 degrees in this case).

I melted the butter in a small bowl (heard it crackling and realized I needed to do it in 10 second increments next time).

In another small bowl, I mixed the sugar and cinnamon. Then set up the two bowls and my round cake pan station style for dipping.

Once I cut each biscuit into fours and rolled them each into little balls I was ready to dip and bake!




This was so unbelievably simple that my 18 month old was able to help! We baked the coated biscuits for 10 minutes (again each package may vary). Once baked they were good to go!


This was the perfect last minute treat to bring. Simple, easy to take along, and delectable; they turned out to be a hit at the picnic!

Do you have any simple recipes you use when you don’t have time to run to the store? Please share them in the comments below!


OVEN BAKED DONUT HOLES
Cook Time: 10-20 min.
Serving Size: 8-10


Ingredients


Refrigerated Biscuits (any brand/size works)
1/4 C. Sugar
1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
4 Tablespoons Butter

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 (or follow the biscuit package instructions).

2. Grease shallow baking pan (I used a round cake pan) with butter or cooking spray.

3. Melt butter in small bowl in the microwave (in 10 second increments).

4. Mix sugar and cinnamon in a separate small bowl.

5. Use a knife to cut each individual biscuit into fours and roll into small balls.

6. Place in your pan and bake at 400 for 10-12 minutes (or follow baking directions on biscuit package. Let them cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.

It’s alright if the donut holes are touching in the pan while they bake. They will be easy to pull apart. 


 


Breastfeeding Diaries: Nursing Essentials

This post may contain affiliate links that result in my compensation. These links are for products/service I would or do already use. Thank you for your support!

No matter what project you take on you need the perfect set of tools. You get a manicure and you have nail polish, a file, clippers… you paint a picture, you have a paint brush and a canvas. To me, breastfeeding was no different. Of course nursing a baby is much bigger and more important than painting your nails or a picture, but it does require a certain checklist if you want to do it efficiently and comfortably.

Of course your breastfeeding essentials may vary from my own but if you’re just starting out or preparing to nurse and have no idea where to begin, feel free to check out my list!

1. A good nursing bra.
One that clips in the front! This will save you from a lot of fumbling as your baby quickly grows hungry. They’re also incredibly comfortable and you may find yourself wanting to wear them for months AFTER you’ve weaned the baby from the breast.
Found at: Target
Tip: Wait to be fitted until after the baby is born and your milk has come in then buy the bra. 


2. Tank Tops.
If you’re more on the modest side and don’t want to lift your entire shirt up in public then this will be a staple in your closet. Layer it under your shirt and simply pull the top down for the baby to eat (this will help keep your tummy covered).
Found at: Old Navy or Target
Tip: Don’t pay for overpriced nursing tanks; instead buy some simple tank tops that are big enough to pull down!

3. A good cover.
Blankets will work for this but I recommend using a light weight, breathable one. I personally decided to invest in an Udder Cover and am so glad I did! These not only come in some extremely cute prints but they are light and airy with a little plastic insert that allows you to see the baby as your nurse. Each one also has a strap that’s acts almost like an apron keeping the cover securely attached to you. This provided a huge peace of mind and made it much easier to maneuver the baby without letting the cover slip.
Found at: Uddercover.com
Tip: use the code 767593 at checkout to save $35 on yours today!


(using my Udder Cover after crossing the finish line at a 10k)

4. A reliable pump.
Whether you plan to go back to work or just go out to see a movie, you’ll want a good pump you can depend on. My recommendation is to use one that is easy to travel with. My Medela came in a backpack so it was great on the go.
Found at: Target
Tip: Check with your insurance..they may cover some or all of the cost of a pump!

5. A bottle you’re comfortable with.
As a mom who felt strongly about breastfeeding it was very important to me that I find a bottle that would be as similar to the breast as possible. There are a variety of options. Do your research and you’ll find one that you’ll feel comfortable with. We used bottles very seldom but when we did we used Munchkin Latch bottles.
Found at: Target
Tip: Keep in mind that many bottles have “stages” based on age/size of baby. Don’t get one that is too big or small for your little one. 

6. Nursing pads.
A Breastfeeding mom’s worst nightmare…leaking! Chances are, the leaking may begin towards the end of your third trimester. Having nursing pads on hand will save you some discomfort and a lot of embarrassment. They tuck securely into your bra and are comfortable enough that I had no problem wearing them for the entire 12 months that I breastfed!
Found at: Target
Tip: if you’re leaking and using these, I recommend also getting a “sleep bra“. It’s a thin cotton bralett type of bra that will help jeep the pads securely in place through the night. I found mine at Here at Target as well.

 (Picture via www.breastfeedingmamatalk.com)

7. A mommy-worn teething necklace.
These adorable accessories come in handy for much more than teething! During my breastfeeding experience my son would paw at me like a puppy. To be honest, being scratched and pinched by little baby fingers isn’t ideal. Wearing a teething/nursing necklace will keep those little hands busy while nursing. It allows them to grab and hold onto something other than your boob or shirt (which you are probably trying to keep up and off of the baby’s face!). My absolute favorite nursing necklace is by The Vintage Honey Shop. They’re absolutely beautifully handmade and they offer a variety of styles/patterns. Best of all, I’ve teamed up with them to GIVE one lucky reader a $25 gift card to their shop in an INSTAGRAM GIVEAWAY!

To enter:
1. Visit our Instagram @beautifullyimperfectmama and follow us!
While you’re there, like the giveaway photo for an entry!
For more entries tag a friend (1 entry per friend) or Share our post (be sure to tag us so we know!)
2. Head on over to @thevintagehoneyshop and follow their page as well!
Giveaway ends Tuesday April 11, 2017!

You may find that you need some or all of these items but either way I definitely recommend checking them out. Life doesn’t give you a checklist for motherhood and winging it can be tough. I hope my Nursing Essentials here at least gave you an idea of what to look for!

What was your MUST have product when you breastfed? Do you have a concern and need a product to help? Comment below and maybe we can find an answer for you!

Don’t forget to check out the rest of our series. This includes product recommendations for breastfeeding for the first time and tips on nursing in public!

**Still need to create your baby registry? Click here to create yours today!

Breastfeeding Diaries: Nursing in Public

This post may contain affiliate links and result in my compensation. These links are true recommendations for products that I would or do already use. Thank you for your support.


Nursing in public was once one of my BIGGEST fears about breastfeeding. There are all sorts of stories about women getting dirty looks, lectures from strangers, or even having an accidental slip of the cover! As if I really needed more pressure as a first time mom right? But I did what any overwhelmed mama would do and pushed those fears aside, figuring I’d cross the bridge when I got there.

That bridge appeared one afternoon two weeks into my postpartum adventure. My husband, my mother in law, and I took the baby to a store on base to browse around (really I was just getting cabin fever from being stuck at the house). Things we’re going smoothly as we wandered the store then the inevitable happened… the baby got hungry. In a panic I debated going to the bathroom (gross) or the dressing room (awkward) to feed the baby. Instead I settled on the car.

Continue reading

Breastfeeding Diaries: The First Time

 

featured

This article contains affiliate links and may result in my compensation. These items are true and honest recommendations for things that I would or do already use. Thank you so much for your support.

   If you’re reading this then you have likely decided to breastfeed or are seriously considering it. Now, I have to tell you that I am not writing this to talk you into it one way or another just as it is not meant to freak you out. I am however, here as your friend, to be honest; the first few times nursing can be TOUGH. Again, I am here as a friend. I am not a doctor, nurse, or breastfeeding expert. I am here to give advice from my own personal experiences with breastfeeding. Always consult your doctor or an expert should you have any continual difficulty. 

   Let me start by painting you a little picture: you’ve just given birth, you’re tired, emotional, and probably very sensitive (both emotionally and physically). They hand that sweet baby to you for his first feeding, you don’t even have time to think, you’re just so in love with the little life you’ve create, he latches to your nipple and OUCH!

   That was not what you were expecting. The nurses will of course explain that it’s perfectly normal, that your breasts just need time to adjust and they’re right. Breastfeeding in general should not be painful but those first few times (when you and your breasts are new to the game) can be difficult and uncomfortable. Here are some tips to help you push through those first few days:

  1. Ask for help.
    Simple and very true. Breastfeeding can be tricky and you need to listen to your body. If something doesn’t feel right, you need help getting baby to latch, or just need some encouragement, don’t hesitate to ask for your hospital’s lactation consultant. If they are unavailable you can call the Le Leche League helpline (visit llli.org to find a local chapter in your area or call 1-877-4LALECHE). Many hospitals are now offering classes as well.
  2. Be Prepared.
    There are a few items that I wish I had known about from the very beginning. I recommend looking at the following list and deciding which items to stock up on ahead of time, or even register for! (Haven’t created your registry yet? Click here to begin!)

    Lansinon Lanolin Cream This cream will both sooth and protect dry, sore, and cracked nipples (eek the truth hurts I know!). The best part is that it is a 100% natural product, meaning it is safe for both you and baby.
    Found at: Target
    TIP: some hospitals will provide you with samples but to be safe I recommend having a tube on hand.

    Disposable Nursing Pads These won’t help with pain but they will save you a whole lot of embarrassment when your milk comes in! Simple to use and comfortable to wear, I used them the entire year I breastfed.
    Found at: Target

    **These last two items are for extreme cases (I personally used BOTH of these those first 2 days at the hospital)

    Soothies Gel Pads These provide instant cooling relief and are even reusable for up to 72 hours.
    Found at: Target
    TIP: You can also use cabbage leaves (cooled in the fridge first) or you can even put a (unused) diaper in the freezer and apply directly to the breast when needed!

    NUK Nipple Shields These are basically armor for your nipples. Just because your nipples are sore doesn’t mean baby will give you a break and stop eating. These provide a great break for you while still giving baby what he/she needs.
    Found at: Target

  3. Remember it will pass.
    Yes, it hurts and yes, it’s hard; but so was childbirth and you got through that right? Be patient with your body. If breastfeeding is something you truly want to do then remind yourself of the reasons and remember that you will be happy you stuck with it in the long run.
  4. Look at your baby.
    A big reward of breastfeeding is the connection it gives you and your baby. The endorphins nursing releases may just be the ultimate helping hand in sticking with it. So just take a deep breath, look at that beautiful baby, and enjoy the moment.

I hope this helps! If you have decided to nurse, please just remember that breastfeeding should not be painful. Remember that you are not alone mama and please take advantage of some or all of these tips. You will survive those first couple of days and it will be smooth sailing from there!

Kid’s Canvas Art

cover

This article may contain affiliate links and may result in my compensation. All recommendations are products that I would or do already use. Thank you for your support.

I love canvas painting! Give me a blank canvas and some acrylic paint and I will be in heaven. There are endless possibilities for what you can do with it (even if you don’t consider yourself an artistic person). 

Since having my son I haven’t had much time to pursuer this hobby of mine (surprise, surprise). However, now that he’s 1 and showing interest in things like coloring, I figured it was time to introduce him to the big times.

So for my little Picasso in training, I bought a 5×7 canvas (most of the time you can find these in 2 packs so you’ll have one for yourself or if you have more than one little painter then it works out great!). I also picked up some paint MARKERS (non toxic and washable of course). I chose paint markers to avoid a large mess. A tiny mess I can handle, but putting a jar of paint and a cup of dirty paint water in front of my paint brush wielding toddler did not sound like a good time. Instead I went with the markers that were easy for him to grip and control while painting.


Now since I’m realistic I didn’t expect my 1 year old to do much more than scribble on the canvas (he’s smart but hasn’t quite mastered his shapes yet). However, the crafter in my needed to somehow help make the painting into something.

This part was simple. I took some masking tape from my husbands tool box and placed it onto the canvas in the shape of a “W” (for our last name).

Now it was ready for the little artist. All I had left to do was give it to C and let him go Wild. He loved mixing the colors and scribbling all over the canvas. It was especially fun when I had to convince him that it was okay to have paint on his hands…he didn’t believe me. 


So after pausing to wash his hands off every few minutes (hahaha what can I say, my kid likes to be clean) we made sure that all of the white canvas around the tape was colored. I (with the help of my apprentice painter), pulled the tape of to see our finished result!!


If you think your own little artist in training is ready for a project of their own try this one out!!


Supplies

5×7 canvas (Hobby Lobby Or Amazon)

Masking Tape

Non Toxic/Washable Paint Markers (Hobby Lobby or Amazon)

Directions

1. Choose a design (initials, shapes, numbers, etc.) then use the tape to create that design on the canvas.

2. Let your little one go to town on the canvas. Help guide at the end to make sure no more white is left visible.

3. Once dried, gently pull the tape off (my little one enjoyed helping with this part too).

4. Enjoy your little prodigy’s work of art!


Do you have a little artist in training at home? I’d love to hear what your little Picasso’s first art project was!

Upcycled Happy Planner Frame

This post may contain affiliate links that lead to my compensation. Each is an honest recommendation for products/service I would or do already use. Thank you for your support.

I recently caved and joined the Happy Planner craze. I’m a note taker and list maker (really I just like the feeling of acomplishment when I get to check things off!).


So I found a sale and got my first Happy Planner! It’s beautiful with flowers on the cover and pretty inspirational sayings on the inside, things like:

“Savor the small things.” And “Focus on the good.”

It’s even packed full of pages with fun and chic designs.


So each month as I went to empty out the previous section I found myself setting aside the decorative pages. The thrifty side of me said it would be a waste to throw such pretty pictures out. While the crafty side of me said there has to be SOMETHING I can do with these. Eventually I had a nice little pile sitting on my desk. My husband finally insisted that I stop hoarding them or finally do something with them.

I decided to start by upcycling an old picture frame using a quote and a design page together. This project is really so simple you’re going to think I’m crazy!

I began by gathering my supplies:

Glue, scotch tape, or scrapbook tape (depending on what you have laying around)

Scissors

Happy planner pages (1 quote, 1 design that compliment one another)

Dollar Tree Frame or any old Frame you have laying around


Directions:

1. Match a quote page with a patterned page. You want them to compliment eachother not clash of course. The pattern will be acting as your background.


2. Now, my Frame was a little big so I had to use black construction paper as a second background (to put the pattern on). This acted as a filler between the Happy Planner page and the Frame. If you use/buy a smaller frame this step won’t be necessary. You may also have to trim the construction paper to fit into the frame.


3. Trim your pattern page so the hole punched edge on the left is no longer there. Tape pattern page onto the middle of the construction paper.


4. Now you’re ready to trim down the quote page. I wanted a good portion of the pattern to show behind the quote so I cut close to the words. You can allow however much or little of the pattern page to show as you’d like.



5. Next you will want to position and tape the quote onto the pattern page. (If you’re not using glue or scrapbook tape, you’ll want to fold the scotch tape to be double sided..so it won’t be visible)

6. Last, place your newly designed, upcycled page in the frame and do what you’d like with it! I placed mine on the kitchen bar but you could hang yours in another room, give it away as a gift, or even do a few more and try to sell them on a craft page!

I often find that we buy things and let them go to waste but if you stop and think you will find ways to upcycle and reuse them! Be creative and make something beautiful.

What are some items around your house that you’ve successfully upcycled?