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Saturday, September 24, 2016

Motivational Workout Pointers

Need to motivation to start working out again? I was recently talking with Vanessa about how entirely unmotivated I become (and stay!) about developing a workout routine. Her words really helped me, and I encourage you to read them and get moving! Vanessa has an awesome blog, Fitfoodiemomlife, and I'm so happy we could have her posting here today!
By Vanessa G.

Exercising is one of those things that I absolutely LOVE! And when I say that I am definitely not over exaggerating. Putting in a good workout is something for this mama and I definitely need an avenue to escape every single day. I’m a fulltime mama (is there any other kind?) and I literally chase little feet, wipe dirty chins, wash peanut buttery fingers, and change poopy diapers all day long. I rarely have a chance to just breathe or sit down and when I do sit down it’s usually playing with my son. In fact, my son is the one who motivates me to workout. That little chubby 15 month old doesn’t even know it but he’s the one who literally kicks me in the butt every single morning. Many times I want to pull the covers over my head, throw the alarm clock out of the room, and go right back to sleep. But then I think, “I want to be a healthy mommy! I want my son to make healthy decisions!” And so I always get up and grab my shoes and kick butt in the garage.

I understand that not everyone grew up with a daily exercise regimen and so I have a few pointers and maybe motivational key points that might help you begin to move that beautiful body of yours!

  • ·         “I’m not a morning person!” This is perfectly okay and please, DO NOT beat yourself up for not getting out of bed before 7, or 8 or maybe even 9 (if you can sleep past 9am, please email me because I want to know your mama trick!). You don’t have to workout first thing in the morning, just start out with a walk or after brushing your teeth in the morning and evening time push yourself to do a 15-30 second plank. Those basic moves will kick start your body.
  • ·         “It’s too late. I will never be thin again!” MYTH! MYTH! MYTH! You can do absolutely anything you want as long as the mind is up for the change. Just by walking 20-30 minutes a day you will train your body to do some extra moving and you might be amazed to see how good it feels! Not everyone can start off with a high intensity workout. Start slow and gradually increase your activity. Don’t ever tell yourself you can’t because you better darn right believer you can!
  • ·         “Cardio is boring and too hard!” I agree. Cardio sucks! Try mixing up your workout routine if the thought of having to do cardio discourages you from even trying. Maybe do a high intense move (burpees, jumping jacks, high knees, lateral jumps, etc.) for 30 seconds and then move to the weights for 10 reps. This up and down heart rate interval training is super beneficial to weight loss.
  • “I get bored!” Okay, I can understand that. So maybe think of a friend or another mom who is in the same boat as you. Reach out to her and start a workout routine together. Doing this will force you to stick to your commitment because the other mama has a schedule to follow too!
I listed a few of the excuses most people seem to have (I’ve thought them before too!) but it’s now time to kick yourself in the butt and run after what you want most. If you want those slim legs or if the muffin top bothers you, then stop complaining about it and actually do something about it. You can’t complain about your issues if you never work against them. I know it’s so easy to tell yourself you’ll just do it tomorrow. Because who doesn’t have a baby who wakes up during the night? Or who doesn’t deal with the annoying bladder that screams in your face at 3am—just another one of the changes that occur after birth. I know. I get it all. But not doing anything for you actually discourages you more than you realize and moving your body 20-30 minutes every day will do lots for your mama brain!

Get moving mama. No workout will ever be a regret! 

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Vanessa is a mommy blogger, wife to a Naval Officer, and a mother to her one-year-old son. She loves everything fitness and health related and also enjoys cooking and baking. Motherhood is by far her most favorite and challenging journey and life task she has ever taken upon herself, but she would never trade it for anything in the world. Vanessa loves family, coffee, Jesus, traveling and good conversations.  

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Why It's Important To Check On Your Mom Friend

I have to start by saying that being a Mother is both one of the hardest, but most rewarding thing I've ever done. Did I mention it was the hardest?

Being a parent definitely isn't easy. But at the end of every day, we get it done. Some days are easier than others.

I think every new mom goes through those times, where occasionally they might think, "How will I ever get through this?" or, "Am I even doing this right?"

 I usually think this when Bruce is having a "no nap" day. Or is up all night teething, crying with pain at the top of his lungs. As a parent, I think those times hurt me emotionally more than it does him psychically, because I can only do so much to try to ease his suffering, and beat myself up more because I can't just make it go away.

Not to mention those days, where even if the baby is happy and all smiles; you still may fall behind on chores and errands, and become so busy with other things, that stuff that you really need (or want) to do just isn't accomplished. And stressing out about these things can really take a toll on you, both mentally and physically.

Shoot, even just a normal day can leave you exhausted and even feeling a bit down.

Postpartum depression affects an estimated 10-15% of new mothers (This is a number going off those who seek treatment). It is treatable, and important to know the signs and talk with your Doctor when you feel you may be experiencing it. However, I am not a doctor, so I won't go into the details of the condition itself. Instead, what I do want to mention, is just how important it is that you connect with the Mother's in your life and see how they are doing.

Call your friend who has just had a baby. Take her a hot meal, clean up the kitchen, run a load of laundry for her. Play with the baby while she gets a shower. Talk to her. When you're cooped up with a newborn all day, you don't get much adult interaction, and you need to be able to have a conversation outside the realm of dirty diapers.

This not only applies to mother's or newborn's, but all really, no matter what age of their children. Humans are social people, and sometimes we don't even really know how much we require the interaction until we haven't had any in awhile.

And like all habits, once you've fell into a routine of just taking care of the homefront and the littles, or even just working a job all day and then running the household at night - you become used to it. Reaching out for another adult to conversate with can be so out of the ordinary, that you never think of it, or even actively seek it.

But I think we need to start checking up on our friends and family who have children. Stop by the house and see what they need help with. Go out for coffee (or better yet, take them coffee!). Plan shopping trips. See how your friend is doing. 

Because the sad fact is, and the reason it fell on my heart to write this, is because some of our fellow mothers are suffering from this condition. And losing their battles.

And no, having coffee with a friend and discussing how the baby may have kept them up all night isn't the end all cure for PPD...but it's a start. Because first, we need to be able to talk. And realize that maybe something isn't quite feeling okay with ourselves. We need to find someone to talk to...and listen.

A really good quote that I have found that I think applies well here, is that,

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” ― Stephen R. CoveyThe 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

In other words, most of the time, people don't ask "how are you doing?" to find out how your day is; it's just a precursor to informing your of how their day is going.

My belief is that, as women and fellow Mothers, we need to check on our Mother friends to make sure they are ok. We need to help them. We need to listen. 

So check on a mom friend today. If she's stressed with a chore list, go help her. Take some of the pressure off by eliminating an item off her to-do list. And have a conversation with her. By listening, instead of just talking. 

Because we all need support. And you just might save someone, someday.

If you suspect you might be feeling depressed, or someone you know might be suffering from Postpartum Depression, there is help. Check out Postpartum Progress for more.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Meadoria Teething/Nursing Necklace Giveaway

I am so excited and happy to announce that I have teamed up with Meadoria for a giveaway!

From Meadorias Facebook page - so pretty!

Do you remember the review I wrote for these awesome nursing necklaces? Well, you can still check that out, but I'll summarize here: They are comfortable, all natural, and so cute!

My own necklace I received is Royal Blue, and I love it!

Bruce is a big fan as well!
I've been wearing it since I received it last spring, and it's such a life saver when Bruce needs to be distracted, especially when nursing. It's safe and non-toxic, so he can suck and chew to his heart's content when standing in line at the store, and I don't have to worry.

I wear my often when out and about, even if Bruce isn't with me. I think they are very stylish, and let's be honest, not a lot of practical baby products are!

So I teamed back up with Meadoria to put together a giveaway for a free nursing/teething necklace for my readers! Hosted through Rafflecopter, one lucky winner will be chosen at Random to receive this beautiful, gender neutral necklace in a lovely Gray color.
What do I have to do to win?
First, you must complete the 3 main requirements on the Rafflecopter Form to enter, which are:
Follow me on Instagram
Follow me on Twitter
Follow Meadoria on Instagram
...and that's it!

The Giveaway will end Friday, Sept.23rd at 12:00am EST.  You will also have a chance submit additional entries for a higher chance of winning, by completing other tasks in the Rafflecopter form. Winner will be announced via Instagram & Twitter. 
Giveaway is for US citizens only, please.

So enter below, and may the odds ever be in your favor!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Great Blogs I'm Reading...

In the world of blogging, there are literally blogs for everything imaginable out there! I've been finding some really great ones lately, so here's a list of a few I've stumbled across, that I've been reading for fun!

The Smart Lad
In one of my other lives (Not necessarily a past life, but another part of this life, a long time ago) I enjoyed indoor Bouldering. That's when I wasn't organizing and going on Wild Boar hunting trips (yes, wild stuff, but that's for another blog post). I was excited to come across this blog, as there's a lot of useful info about Rock Climbing and Hunting. My husband enjoys boar hunting as well, so he's been reading too. So whenever your significant other is wondering what blog's you're into lately, send him here!

Mommy Tries
This blogger actually just stopped writing, and I became so upset-because this is a really funny blog! Full of posts from parenting, travel, reviews, children...and all so hilarious! The archive is still u and not going anywhere, and no matter my mood, the posts always put me in a better one. So if you need a good laugh, check it out!

Now That I Can Do, Mama!
I love fashion, even though it's one passion I don't actually blog about (yet), so I do stalk this blogger's site for outfit inspiration. Succumbing to the pitfalls of "Mommy Frump", I need a little help to ensure that I don't just stay in yoga pants all the time. Not That there's anything wrong with that. I love her style, and highly recommend this for her Fall wardrobe selections alone.

Sometimes, it's nice to see things from another perspective. Enter this blog, from a Stay At Home Dad. As a SAHM, I really enjoy his posts and take on things. Not many posts and hasn't been updated in a while, but who knows, maybe we can initiate a comeback!

I could spend all day and night on this Beauty blog. Hair, skin, nails, makeup, tutorials,'s all here. I find it all informative and inspiring! The reviews are honest, so you don't feel like you're being sold anything. And the tutorials are very easy to follow, even for someone like me with limited hair experience. There's enough content here, you can't possibly get bored. In fact, I'll bet you try everything!

So be sure to check these out - and if you are a blogger, comment below with your link!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

How I find motivation (when feeling unmotivated)

Being a wife and mother to the most important of two (well, 1.5)men, takes a lot of energy and time. By the end of the day, I'm usually exhausted, both physically and mentally.

I wish I could say every task on the 'To Do list' is accomplished, but that's not being honest, or realistic.

After the day is finished, there's always a few things that you end up missing: a load of laundry in the dryer, forgetting to pick up onions for tomorrow's stew, and then there's the dinner dishes that need to go in the dishwasher...

It's easy to want to ignore some chores when you're overwhelmed, or just plain tired from all the other stuff you do every day.

And raising a child is hard work enough - I rarely have time for anything extra. And when I do, I find myself playing games with my son, because this really is more important than mopping.

I'll even admit that I have a few projects lying around that range between nearly completed to 'haven't - even - started' and it's usually because by the time I remember them, I'm just done. Done with the day, or totally lack the motivation to work on them.

But, here's a few tips that do help me build up the necessary motivation to hack it out, and get it all done. Starting with...

I am a big checklist person. Somehow, seeing things on paper, keeps everything in a very cut-and-dry perspective for me. Just making a list of everything you want to accomplish for the day, keeps you on track and it won't matter if you forget anything. You can always go back to the list. Best part? If something isn't crossed off, you just move it to the next list.

I write two lists for the day; My 'Must Do' and my 'To Do'. The 'Must Do' is pretty self explanatory, it's the things I have to get done that day. Laundry, mop the floors, go to the know, those everyday tasks. Then I have my 'To Do' where I list those extra projects that I need to have the time set aside for, and opportunity. Printing wedding pictures for our frames (I still have three to fill). Replacing the elastics in a few Flip Cloth Diaper covers. Painting my toenails. Basically things I want to do, and need the reminder to help me remember to do them. If I can get one extra project a day crossed off that list, it's a good day. And I only start that list when my 'Must Do' is at a point of completion. It's my motivation to get the 'Must Do' list done - I'll be able to paint my toenails! I can work on that scrapbook I've been wanting to start. I can do something both fun, and that needs to be done. Even if I only get around to finishing one thing on that list, it's my motivation to finish all the necessary tasks of the day first. Kinda like my own, "Do your homework before you play videogames."

One at a time...
The checklist also keeps me from feeling overwhelmed throughout the day. It's daunting to think of everything that needs to get done in one day - suddenly once naptime hits, snuggling with the baby and watching Grey's Anatomy seems a lot more appealing than vacuuming. It's a lot less stressful to focus on one task at a time, and I personally get a lot more done when I can say, "For now, we do the floors. Ok, floors are done-now I can start on the breakfast bar." I don't even think about anything else on the lists, or look at the massive pile of towels on the laundry room floor. I'm not focusing on that - I'm focused on the breakfast bar.

Browse for inspiration
Yes, this seems counter-productive, but it really can motivate you. When I browse Pinterest for organization and decoration ideas for the closet, I'm reminded that first, before I can do anything new, I have to do something with the piles of folded laundry on the floor. Installing hooks on the cabinet doors for my pots and lids are a great idea-and will force me to pull everything out to prepare for it. When I want to recreate a flower bed by my front door, it will require pulling all the weeds before planting the flowers. I think it helps to see a picture of completion that I can think of and work towards, when doing unappealing tasks like cleaning the garage. We have a storage closet under our stairs that has now become the "stuff away area for everything we don't want to look at. It needs to be gone through, so I'm looking at a lot of new ways to organize everything in there, and how to turn some of the clutter into something useful. So while I don't even want to think about going in and decluttering, I know I have a stack of wire baskets that could be put to better use, and a great bathroom deco/organizer idea. The baskets are in the back of the closet, so I'm forced to finish the cleaning task before the fun part. It's all in perspective... and at the end of the day, if I don't get around to it...

It's ok to leave for another day...
If you absolutely have to, just abandon the lists for a little bit-snuggle with the baby, or play on the floor with the toddler. Call a friend! Take a few minutes to recharge so when you do tackle chores and projects again, you'll feel more energized. If you don't get around to it, it will be there tomorrow. The goal is to find motivation, and if you really aren't up for it today, the worst you can do is overwhelm yourself so much that you can't do anything tomorrow. So don't stress!

This is just how I find motivation to get me through the days when I really don't feel like doing much. How do you find motivation when feeling completely unmotivated? Share below!

And If you're looking for more motivation and inspiration, check out some of these other Blog Posts from this fun Link-up Party I participated in this week!

Friday, September 9, 2016

5 Favorite Fall Scents (That Aren't Pumpkin!)

This page contains affiliate links, via Viglink, for which I receive a very small amount of compensation. . However, all views and opinions are 100% my own. I only recommend products that I use myself and absolutely love!

That time of year is nearly upon us. Changing leaves, crisp cool air...the overwhelming stench of pumpkin infiltrating everything in sight.

Can you tell I'm biased?

I'm one of those rare people that don't care for pumpkin flavored/scented anything...unless it's actually pumpkin.

Pumpkin belongs to be eaten in a pie with icecream on top...not put in coffee, cookies, car air fresheners, or feminine products. I'll never forget the first time I saw Pumpkin Spice scented Always Pads. That was crossing a very defined line! But, my pumpkin lovers adore them, so c'est' la vie!

But, if you're like me, and Pumpkin Spice just isn't your thing, you don't have to feel left out this time of year, because believe it or not - there's actually a lot of fall-related fragrances out there that don't contain the stuff! Here's 5 of my top favorites from Bath & Body Works that always get me in an Autumn kind of mood! As soon as these hit the store, I went a little overboard and had to get them all!

5: Leaves

Although we haven't hit the first day of Autumn yet, once I saw the nasty Pumpkin Spice had invaded the local Bath & Body Works, I began the quest to get the smell out of my nose. I bought this in candle form, and it's strong-but not overpowering. This one candle is enough to fill my living room with a wonderfully earthy scent that can only be described as "Fall." This could probably transcend into winter as a seasonal fragrance, but for the start of the season, I love it! It's available as a wallflower and room perfume, but I like candles for larger areas, so it works great in our house.

4: Mahogany Teakwood 
Because my husband is a man, and enjoys manly things (Like the smell of leather-bound books and mahogany) I picked this out specifically for his office. It's very light and comfortable, and while I would categorize it for Fall, it's also something you could use year round. And you will, because as we all know, men don't like change. I use the wallflower, but it actually comes in a car freshner too!

When I haven't had a candle burning, a few sprays here and there, and the visions of cool air and warm toastyness fills the room with "Sweater Weather!" It has a very nice blend of berry and apple, the perfect combination for a nice, warm Autumn day. Not overpowering at all, and very pleasant. I think this would go well as a wallflower is you really enjoy the scent, and don't want to spray a lot. It's perfect for those unexpected visitors and you haven't anything nice burning. I probably get more compliments with this one on average. It's just between 'masculine' and 'feminine'!

I put a bottle of this in our guest bathroom, and a wallflower in the master bath. I love the citrusy tones with this one, and it's a nice change from the earthy, woodsy scents in the rest of the house (although it does have cedarwood, so it's not too far away from the theme we have going). Living in georgia, we don't really have the color changing leaves or incredibly cool days that most other areas have with Fall, So I personally think this scent compliments that actual weather we have outside. I could even see using this for summertime as well, so I'll probably be stocking up soon!

I fell in love with this long ago, and this year, I actually bought the 3-wick candle, wallflowers, and room sprays for it! It's my absolute favorite Fall scent! It's musky, woodsy, and an all around pleasant change from the normal fresheners on the market. My husband enjoys it too, as it's not too overwhelming or "girly". It actually reminds me of a Lumberjack...but not a smelly, sweaty Lumberjack. More like if Fabio were a Lumberjack, and was hanging out in your hallway. Wile I don't think it could transcend into other seasons, it's definitely worth getting for a nice Autumn feel in your home or car! Well, maybe early Winter...or maybe I'm not ready to let it go, even just as this season has started!

An honorable mention, the Glade Blackberry Jam room I miss you so! I found it a few years ago and haven't been able to find them for the last few seasons. but, they were sold as a limited edition scent, and if you do find them somewhere-grab them! I don't know if I would classify it as a "fall" scent, but I loved it back in 2012, and would pay anything to get it back again!

So I do hope you'll look into these for freshening your home with a nice Fall theme, and let me know how they work out for you!

What's some of your Favorite Fall Fragrances (That aren't Pumpkin related)?

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Giving Grace

Sometimes, we need little reminders to give not just ourselves, but our partners, a little grace when it comes to this parenting thing.

As I've said it many times before, I'll keep saying it. Being a parent is hard. You spend nine months (or less, depending on when you found out you were pregnant) reading every book, article, and blog post - watching every discovery channel special and youtube video from reputable sources - on how your baby is developing from conception to the point they move out and go to college. You try to mentally prepare for every imaginable scenario, so if anything happens, from a cold to a broken bone, you'll be able to handle it. You strive to know the most about the human body possible, so you can recognize early onset of anything possible, to ensure that nothing will ever happen to your sweet, precious baby for the next 18+ years....

That's if you're a mom. I'm sure there's some father's out there who read all the pregnancy and child rearing books with their partners too, so they could be just as well prepared. However, mine was in Russia for his study abroad program for college during my pregnancy. And I'm pretty sure he was only worried about teaching our little boy how to hunt and fish once he's old enough.

So it's probably more natural than not to feel uneasy when you see your husband pushing the baby a little too high on the swing (for your over-protective preference), or sneaking him french fries because "he's had a whole pile of blueberries, baby wants a french fry"(yes, that happened). 

It's also ok to feel angry when you catch your toddler standing on the coffee table while Daddy is playing on his phone.

Feelings are valid, especially when it comes to your child. But it's important to give not only yourself grace for the little things, but your partner as well. As mothers, we beat ourselves up enough worrying; is my child getting enough exercise? Are his meals perfectly balanced? He only had one nap yesterday, and hasn't slept today. Is he getting enough rest?

It doesn't do anyone much good to bless your husband out for giving the baby too many cookies, and allowing him to watch Wrestling, a few minutes over bedtime.

As long as there isn't any actual abuse taking place, the next time you catch your husband doing maybe the exact opposite of how you would have handled a situation, remember this: Everyone's parenting style is different. Including your partner's.  What may seem like a big deal to you, might not be to them (and vise versa). Allow Dad to handle things as he see's fit. It's all a learning process, and no one - NO ONE - is absolutely right.

And honestly, I can almost guarantee you that as soon as you leave, Dad and Kids are going to do exactly as they want. Especially if they know it's something you really don't like ( like say, letting the baby eat espresso flavored ice cream...yes, that happened too).

You are a good Mom. And your child has a good Dad. As long as the family isn't in danger, then show your partner - and yourself - some grace when it comes to the small details. It's worth it in the long run.

Monday, September 5, 2016

5 Cloth Diapering Stereotypes, As Told By A Cloth Diapering Mom

I have really enjoyed reading this guest post from Shannon, at Traditional Mom, Modern World. I have definitely been at least one, if not several at the same time, of these Mom's at one time or another. It's a funny look at the Mother's who live in the cloth world! Be sure to check out Shannon's awesome blog, and thank you Shannon, for sharing with us today! This is hilarious!

By Shannon Walters | Traditional Mom, Modern World

Cloth Diapering is all the rage.

You see parents from all walks of life showing their support for reusable, eco-friendly diapers. Personally, I’m fascinated with the variety of mothers I’ve seen in the cloth diapering community. Just for fun here’s my list of 5 mothers you’ll probably meet at some point in your cloth diapering career.

The Non-Committed Mom

These mothers can’t decide what kind of diapers they like. One day it’s all-in-ones the next it’s pockets. You can spot these moms by how many different brands and styles they have. Testing all your options is great, but do you really need to have 11 different brands that are interchangeable? On the other hand...

All In

The All-In mom, she has read all the reviews online and is absolutely sure of what she wants. So, She buys a complete stash right away. Whether it’s BumGenius, Thirsties, or Grovia, this momma knows what she likes. Beware! Buying all of your stash without knowing how well they will fit your baby can be dangerous! I myself have two different styles because I have two different kids. Each baby is different- don’t be afraid to diversify.

The Penny Pincher

To be honest- this was me when I first started my cloth diaper journey. Penny pinchers look for the cheapest solution with the greatest value. Sacrificing convenience for savings; prefolds and flats are the diapers of choice for this category. Meticulously folding each and every diaper. It gets a little old, but that’s the price you pay to save a little extra cash.

Hardcore Hippies

Let me start by saying, I have a lot of hippy friends. Hippy moms tend to lean toward the organic and sustainably sourced diapers. Organic fitteds and wool soakers are what comes to mind. Wool soakers? Yes, it’s sounds absurd but believe me these things work. I am not however going to talk about people who harvest moss to use for diapering, so forget I mentioned it all together.

The Mailman Stalkers

These moms have an obsession. They literally stalk the mail couriers waiting for their fluff mail to arrive. Fluff mail? It’s what they call cloth diapers. If you’ve been waiting for a new print to become available, get in line because these moms will do almost anything to get their hands on the brand new Thirsties or BumGenius prints. Really, I think someone needs to host a fluffy bums anonymous for these ladies…

Before you get all defensive…

Remember, I’m just describing the moms I’ve seen and myself for pure fun. There’s no right or wrong way to cloth diaper. Everyone is different. What matters is we love our babies enough to put cloth diapers on their fluffy bums and set ourselves apart from the mainstream. So go on mommas, keep diapering those babies.

How do you cloth?

If you enjoyed reading this little list of stereotypes, be sure to share it with your friends. A little laughter can make all the difference in someone’s day!

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 Shannon is a SAHM who researches the chemicals found in the every day products her family uses, and warns others of the dangers found in a lot of household products with these harsh chemicals. You can read her blog, Traditional Mom, Modern World, for great alternatives to common products!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Why your husband should be your best friend too

I am a firm believer that your husband should also be your best friend.

A best friend is who you share secrets with. You call them when something exciting/scary happens, and you go to them when you need advice.

Why can't our spouses be just like our friends?

I can tell my husband anything. And I tell him everything. He is my biggest supporter, but also my most honest feedback. If something great (or even terrible) happens, it's not real until I tell him. Activities are automatically more fun when he's involved, and he is the biggest stress-reliever. That's not to say occasionally he isn't the cause of stress, but when I need things put into perspective, my husband is there.

So many qualities that my husband possesses, can also be found in a best friend (if it isn't a prerequisite).

And realizing that, got me to thinking about this; how do we choose our best friends?

Well, similar interests, sense of humor, goals...all those things fall into what makes a Best Friend-category. Someone who will support and encourage you, falls into that as well. But, they must also be willing to be completely honest, even if it means saving you from yourself.

So, if your husband, (or fiance, or even boyfriend) isn't doing any of these things, shouldn't they be?

A best friend wouldn't discourage your goals and dreams. They wouldn't tell you things like, "That's stupid," unless it actually is a stupid idea. Like building a giant shoe rack that emcompasses the entire closet, knowing good and well that you are the type of person who will not use it and become frustrated when you have to sort 20+ pairs of shoes from the closet floor. This is what I mean by saving you from yourself. (Yes, this happened)

A best friend wouldn't tell you not to eat those tacos, "Because you'll gain weight". They eat tacos with you.  They don't demand that you not wear makeup, or dress a certain way, or need to know your every move. Best friends don't suffocate your personal space or try to control you.

Sadly, so many women I know have partners that don't do what their best friends would. What's the point of a relationship like that?

My challenge for women everywhere is to replace any statement, or thought, about a subject that their husband or boyfriend might not approve of, and replace "Husband/Boyfriend" with "Best Friend." If it sounds less than desirable, then maybe it's time to reevaluate things.

Don't think I'm secretly planning on breaking people up over this, but honestly; if you found yourself thinking, "Wow, my best friend would never say I'm not allowed to talk to my Mom!" and realized you were talking about your husband...and you find yourself might be a red flag. Just saying.

You should never feel afraid to tell your partner anything. Or fear they might be unsupportive. Or angry. Or jealous.

A husband needs to be the same as a best friend-to help you pick yourself up after a fall, to laugh with, to dream. If you can't spend the rest of your life with your best friend..who can you spend it with?

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Bum Genius Cloth Diaper Review

This post contains affiliate links but all views and opinions are 100% mine. I do not endorse products unless I use them myself and absolutely love them!

Today I want to do a review of one of the more popular cloth diapers on the market, and one I have quite a bit of in my stash: Bum Genius!

Bum Genius was actually the very first cloth diaper I had ever heard of. I marveled at the simplicity of the system: A simple pocket with snaps, or aplix (velcro), with an absorbent insert inside. Now, there are dozens of brands out there, but this name stuck with me, so when I had the opportunity to try them, I did, and here's what I like about the brand....
Bruce, showing off his "Jules" 4.0 print

Multiple styles to choose from
Bum Genius isn't just limited to simple pockets (which are their 4.0 Pocket which are still on the market, and the new updated 5.0). They also have two different styles of their AiO (All In One) diapers: The BumGenius Freetime and BumGenius Elemental . What's the difference between these?

The Pockets are lined with a stay dry fabric, and a inner pocket for the inserts. The Freetime however, has two over-lapping microfiber inserts that are sewn to the insides of the diaper, No stuffing! And they are incredibly trim, unlike pocket diapers (which tend to be a little bulky). The Elemental is made with all organic cotton materials, and the insert itself is part of the diaper. Both materials have their own unique absorption abilities-microfiber can absorb quickly (but not a lot of water after a point). Cotton hold's more water, but can take longer to absorb. The Elemental is also very trim for an AiO diaper. We use Elementals and Freetimes during the day, and 4.0/5.0 pockets at night (so we can double stuff them!)
A "Mirror" solid color Freetime
The inside of the "Freetime" diaper with the mircofiber flaps
inside of Freetime, properly folded and
ready for baby

The colors and prints are to die for!
Bum genius has a very unique color palette, and their shades do not disappoint! And their prints are super cute, and fun! Bruce has quite the little collection, and with so many to choose from, it makes coordinating outfits so easy!
He has gotten a little harder to manage for photo shoots - wearing this
limited edition Chelsea Perry print, "Eiffel Tower" 4.0
"Spencer" 4.0
At the Great cloth Diaper Change wearing a
White Elemental solid

He hates having onesies snapped - but it
matches this "Sassy" solid Elemental!

A "Grasshopper" 4.0
(that's Mommy's lipstick on his forehead, promise!)

The fit is great...
but my son has always been chunky. But with the snap rise adjusted, most babies 8-35 lbs can wear any style. The only thing I have noticed about Bum Genius brands, are that the elastics tend to wear out easier with my chunky butt, but replacing them are super-easy and they actually have refresher kits for them (as well as aplix if you have those!) at one of my favorite Cloth retailers, Nicki's Diapers! Nicki's Diapers also stocks Bum Genius, if Amazon isn't your thing...

I have a wide variety of brands within my stash, but I'll admit, I do like my Bum Genius when I need a trimmer option for going out, or a nice fit for nighttime solutions. And some outfits, just need that certain color or theme!

What's some of your favorites? Have you tried Bum Genius yet?