Purge & Splurge | Spring Cleaning Your Space

blog dIf it doesn’t inspire you… ditch it. You should look around your home and love it. This might sound impossible, but I learned this idea six years ago, and every year has gotten better. Let your surroundings make you happy… because there’s enough around you that does not.

Walls | My affinity for photography is overwhelming. My walls are BLANK because I can’t decide WHAT to order and hang. Redic. Along with portrait adoration… is colour! SO much so, that I’m non-committal… I’m just deciding to choose pics and paint, knowing I can always change it, and loving it while it charms my home.

Clothing | I don’t own anything I don’t wear. IF you do… give and live, babe! Enjoy your day by letting go and bettering someone’s wardrobe. Be selfless and give that “oh! Totally forgot I have this!” to someone who will “I’ve ALWAYS wanted this!” blog eYour armoire should be an instant representation of who you are, who you love, and what you believe in.

Kids’ Space | If your kiddos share a space, coordinate their bedding… this creates the illusion that it’s a bigger space than it actually is. Keep pattern in framed pieces and touches, like an ottoman, rug, open-closet display. We make it a rule in our home to purge before every holiday, and at the beginning of every season. This keeps your babes tidy and always giving!

Romantic Space | Rich colors with whimsical touches, keeping with your beau’s desires. My husby can’t handle ”too girly”… so I keep that, and the like, in mind.

I truly believe the atmosphere you create sets the tone for your home. So if this seems too much, too fast… start slow.

*Burn a candle…. Use complimentary scents throughout your home. *Add drapery… A good pattern to reflect your family’s personality. *Have music lists… A company setting: full of tranquil, inspiring music. A party mix: full of fun and motion. A study list: complete with classical and spiritual. And, of course, the bedroom hits: John Legend-y and such! A personal fave… LC inspirational music for baby to sleep and play. *Commit to buying at least one item a month that you can’t imagine never seeing again. Buy it. Store it. And be inspired by it… help it create your room. One piece – one accent wall, can inspire your entire space. This might just be your splurge moment! #doyou [disclaimer: photos are from pinterest!]blog b

Hippity Hoppity Easter’s Gone Away…

meThe baskets are gone. The eggs are gone. The Easter Bunny is gone. The smiles are…. seemingly…… g o n e. Are you a Holiday lover? My four year old is all about everything celebration. It seems children don’t quite understand when a holiday is over… the tree they fervently decorated gets merrily thrown out, the endless supply of fireworks fizzle out after an evening, & the must-have costumes get masked by clutter. If I’m honest, I lean toward deflation myself when a much-anticipated holiday ends. I know many adults who thrive when it’s time to vacay- not that I fault you. HALLELU for beaches & barbeques!                            *almost 4 months!*}

…But what makes you happy? Is it living momentary excitement to momentary excitement? “It’s EASTER! That means candy, egg hunts, pictures with the bunny, matching Sunday best, overflowing baskets, candy, visiting with family, CHOCOLATE candy [!!] (you can clearly digest my momentary excitement) – It’s over?… back to the daily grind… BUT the weekend is coming!!!” If you can relate to this… you just hopped into my psyche. I’m hoping to challenge you with what’s on my heart… What if you were that excited about the day-to-day that seems so unfortunately mundane?! What if going to work made you smile? Going to the supermarket made you giddy? Potty-training made you smirk? Oh.emgee… I’m even perked to read what’s next…

kai and actual myIt’s possible. SO possible that joy can fill your heart, your mind, your soul, that you don’t even know otherwise. That Joy keeps you from anger when you get cut off AND the bird flown your direction; that Joy ensues warmth in your heart toward the unknowing stranger who so flippantly received your kind gesture without a simple “thank you” in return; that. JOY. pursues you daily & allows you the opportunity of freedom in contentment with today.                                                                        {*my festive four year old, Kai and three year old, Amiyah in their Easter best!

That Joy is Jesus. He left a perfect home, to take every single stank eye you’ve given, slander you’ve hurled, degrading thought you’ve processed…upon Himself, to become it, to see you free. He has given it all…His holiday never ended. It is every single step you take & breath you breathe. Today is beautiful. Your co-workers need you, your HUSBAND needs kennayou, your babies need you, that stranger needs you. YOU…need you. Prepare for the unthinkable… & see how Joy can flood your heart. You can find joy in who you are… because you are His.                                            *Kenna Love at 16 mo.s!*}

xx. meg.

Superdads Solving the Diaper Bag Algorithm

diaper bagsThis one goes out to all the SUPERDADS out there!

Has anyone else had this conversation with their spouse?

SuperMom: Honey, could you finish packing the diaper bag before we go?

***DRUMROLL***

SuperDad: Um, yeah… I can totally do that… Can you just go over what that entails?

SuperMom: Babe, we’re going to be late! Ok, look. Put these 10 items in these 6 pockets. But make sure to pack double of Item X, unless we’re out, in which case please pack triple of Item Y. And check the weather report in case we need to pack rainy day items which are in the bag in the laundry room. But if it’s not rainy, we’ll need extra snacks and drinks because we’ll stay longer, in which case, could you also pack a second snack bag?

SuperDad: Riight… Ok, no problem sweetheart.

~~~~~In case you’re a dad (or know one) who’s not naturally programmed with the Mommy Diaper Bag Algorithm… We hope this video from Jenni June helps alleviate diaper packing stress!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XO4emJ9fi7c

Diaper Bag Selection: A lot of dads will still carry it for you if it’s pink, but… Why put them through that? I suggest picking a gender-neutral one, that he can comfortably carry even when you’re not around OR pick 2 – his and hers!

eddie bauer bag

March Madness!

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March was full of madness… Not just jacked up brackets, but the craziest weather ever. We midwesterners can’t always live the glam life of the east and west coasters. We are just begging for some warm weather and sun rays. Until spring truly has sprung…. I’ll strap on my kids’ “Tigger tails” and bundle them up for outdoor play – because we ALL need the fresh air.

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Enjoy your babies. Do you? Or did these snow days make you cringe? Do the winter blues make you want to pull your hair out? Are your kids your madness? People look at me like I’m crazy when I say “we are pregnant with our fourth.” Children are a blessing from The Lord. A gift! A joy! An honor to have.

I hope your March didn’t make you mad, but if it did…today is a great time to let the rest of April make you joyful.

Happy Spring!!

-Megan

find your ItFactor.

So what is it that makes that someone special? It’s that indefinable something that draws people in. Let’s inspire your thAng, and rock it out.

*Ham it up with him: A Sexy Wife

Playful banter seems to be a gal’s best friend. I enjoy getting a good grin out of my collegiate love… especially, those inside, unspeakable jokes in front of people. Fun little games make marriage enticingly sweet. So, don’t give up the sizzle. Have fun with him, and turn up the heat with class.

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What’s your child’s “Daily Affirmation”?

Most of us have seen this beyond adorable little girl, Jessica, recite her joyful, positive “Daily Affirmations” via YouTube or somebody’s Facebook page!  How awesome…. Jessica is the epitome of the confident kid, spouting out phrases like:

“I like my hair”

“I like my cousins”

“I can do anything”

Daily affirmations are amazing for adults, but really reaaaallllly build up our kids’ self esteem!  Studies have shown that kids who have some form of positive daily affirmations develop a stable, secure self-image as teenagers and adults, which lead to better choices.

 

What are some affirmations you say to your child?  What are some that you’ve taught them to say?  Share in the comments below, we’d love to hear your ideas!

-Lullaby Confessions TEAM

Beastfeeding – Better Make that BREASTFEEDING.

 breastfeeding google

No baby blankets. Back to sleep. Don’t wake up to feed. It’s ok to fly when pregnant – heck, it’s ok to leave your house (my sweet grandmother went grocery shopping at night when preggies!). So yes, just about EVERYTHING about raising babies has changed since the last group of moms walked in our shoes.

Except Breastfeeding.

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Assuming Eve didn’t dish out formula or operate a pump, nursing hasn’t changed since Cane and Abel were breastfed. Well, pumps and lactation consultants aside.

Some of you could have been Eve it comes so naturally. You’d excel without reading a single book or blog. For others, it CAN be a BEAST! In my 22 months of nursing experience, I have seen the good/ the bad/ the just plain painful, but I’ve learned a few ways to take the edge off.

cooper nursing pic

WHAT I WISH THEY’D TOLD ME: How to make it easier on you, so you can keep at it.

Be ready to hand the keys to hubs, crawl in the back seat, and nurse on the go.(If you’ve never dangled your bosom over a car seat while buckled in, try it! It’s fun. But I strongly recommend tinted windows).

Eating for two – STILL! My OB recommended I continue to take prenatal vitamins. Since breastfeeding burns an extra 500 calories a day, make sure you’re not under-eating because of this!

AAAHHHHH!!!! Apparently (thanks for the unpleasant surprise, people!) it is normal to be excruciatingly painful the first few weeks (usually just first child). Of course, double check with an expert that everyone’s latched on/ position is good… but yes, this is part of it. And after 4-6 weeks, one day, the pain will simply be gone. Poof.

Supply goes up if you start pumping as soon as you get home from the hospital (see photo). So with all your spare time (remember they are sleeping 20 hours/day at first), pump between feedings – even if just an ounce or two comes out at a time. And don’t forge to sock yourself with some breastmilk freezer bags.

Take a nursing cover everywhere you go. I have one for my purse (which is too frequently disguised as a diaper bag) and one for the house. Unlss of course, you’re braver than I am. And if so, you go girl.

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ABOUT TRACY VIDAL:

Tracy is a mommy of two precious boys, a 27-month-old, and a 9-month-old. She is a Mary Kay Sales Director, and her favorite part of her job is making a difference in womens’ lives, and the flexibility that this lifestyle affords her. Tracy is grateful beyond words that she is able to make an executive income while also not missing a single moment along the FAST track of newborn baby through childhood.To learn more about the Mary Kay opportunity, click here.

Tracy Vidal Biz Card

 

Baby Nutrition – Is My Baby Getting Enough?

Hey, LC readers! Did you know that March is National NUTRITION Month?

Fittingly, Jenni June - mother of four and certified family sleep consultant- is here with us today, to give us her advice on this hot topic of PROBIOTICS.

What do you think? Comment below to let us know your opinion!

A Baby Sleep Schedule that’s E.A.S.Y. Squeezy!

sleeping thomasI won’t even tell you what my family calls me, in reference to my “absolute silence mode” when the boys are napping. For many of you, no explanation may be necessary- this is the time of day I regain my composure. Whether you’ve figured out the perfect schedule for your baby(or babies!) or struggling to juggle all the things you need to get done before 7pm bedtime (totally recommend that, btw), I hope you’ll find some things in here to improve your smoothly running LLC – Lovin’ Life Crew!

1.  Get advice from a mom (but not your own). Love her dearly, but she has probably already dispensed her wisdom before you thought to ask. To avoid any outdated advice (“We always gave newborns tons of blankets!” Yikes…), do you know someone just *slightly* ahead of you in life, that could give you some new ideas? If not, what mommy forums could you seek out advice, from moms who have been where you are?

2.  Do the same’ol, lame’ol boring routine EVERY sleep time.  Activities that you do solely pre-bed will clue your bumpkin that it’s that time. Especially if you’re implementing a new schedule.

  • Go around the nursery saying “good night” to each object in the room
  • Sing the same baby lullaby (Lullaby Confessions CD is here to help). You may want to brush up on your favorite Christian lullabies, or ask Google, “What are the lyrics to Hush Little Baby?” if you can’t remember what all the things mama is going to buy.

3. It has to be YOUUU. If you are exhausted, tired mommyyour kids will be dealing with a tired mom. If you’re worried about a bill you didn’t have time to pay, your kids will have a distracted mom (not to mention the lights will eventually be shut off). So ultimately, to give your children YOUR best, you have to be good to yourself. And no matter how many children you have and what their ages, I solemnly swear IT IS POSSIBLE to create a schedule that is a hybrid best-for-mom/ best-for-children.

 

I swear by this schedule- which is more like a pattern: Eat –  Activity – Sleep + You-time.

Download and print the E.A.S.Y Cheat Sheet here (thank you, NoobMommy!).

 

easyEAT: Nummy-nummy-time fires off the EASY cycle with some energy!

ACTIVITY: Go for a walk, bath time, watch funny baby videos on Youtube, undo your nicely-folded laundry… whatever! My toddler sometimes enjoys a good “morning soak” (wherein he just sits in the tub and stares into space)… I wish that were my morning activity!

SLEEP: Start your baby bed time routine at the first sign of sleepiness

YOU TIME: While they sleep, it’s time for YOU YOU YOU.  My goal every naptime: do at least ONE thing that’s just for me.  Even if it’s paint one fingernail. You bet I smile every time I look down at my hand after that.

EAT: The cycle repeats as soon as they wake up.

 

ABOUT TRACY VIDAL:

Tracy is a mommy of two precious boys, a 27-month-old, and a 9-month-old. She is a Mary Kay Sales Director, and her favorite part of her job is making a difference in womens’ lives, and the flexibility that this lifestyle affords her. Tracy is grateful beyond words that she is able to make an executive income while also not missing a single moment along the FAST track of newborn baby through childhood.To learn more about the Mary Kay opportunity, click here.

Tracy Vidal Biz Card

3 Tips to The Best Baby Shower Ever: Going BEYOND a Unique Baby Shower Theme.

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“It’s A…. And You’re Invited!” You know the drill. Parents-to-be announce their news, and you’re invited to celebrate. Suddenly, you find yourself scanning pages of online registries. If there is no registry, you’re probably wondering, “What IS a good baby shower gift?” Or as the host– please tell me I’m not the only one– you are carefully balancing diaper-cake layers on top of each other. Wherever you are in the process, it’s time to take a step back and spend your time and money on what is really important.

1. MAKE THE MOM-TO-BE LAUGH. HYSTERICALLY.

pregnant-lady-tra-la-la-1Your pregnant friend will soon be in painful labor. Assuming you have her future in mind when getting her a gift, what if you lightened things up? Make her laugh so hard she cries.

  • Frame an inside joke. Attach a sticky note on the front: “Throw me in your hospital bag, in case you need to smile mid-labor!”
  • Arrange a group of attendees to show up with beach balls under their shirts (intro music and costumes can really drive this one home)
  • Serenade the new mom with some baby lullabies (have everyone join in, by passing out lyrics to baby lullabies)
  • Buy a card so funny you had tears running down your cheeks in the Hallmark store
  • Buy her a lighthearted parenting book (any title along the lines of “Sippy Cups are Not for Chardonnay” should make her smile)

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2. AVOID 2 HOURS OF GIFT OPENING.

(Special note: this hold-tiny-outfits-up-to-your-pregnant-belly ceremony MAY be unavoidable. Know thy audience!)

If you can politely skip out (or speed it up) remember that every moment at this party should be treated like rare currency. Quality solo time with the pregnant mom will soon be difficult to come by! So schedule the majority of the party to talk, sing karaoke baby lullabies, take goofy tummy pics… the Pinterest list goes on!

3. DO SOMETHING UNFORGETTABLE (even with Preggo-Mommybrain).

  • Since LC came into my life, I now skip the Baby Einstein and give the gift of lullabies for babies with a Lullaby Confessions CD. I believe the positive affirmations in these lullabies can make an amazing difference in every baby’s life!
  • Go off-registry for something totally over-the-top-chi-chi (would the expectant couple enjoy babymooning at the Ritz Carlton for a weekend?)
  • Have everyone sign a card, saying, “Your final gift is: no thank-you notes allowed! Instead, enjoy your baby or take some you-time!”

THE BOTTOM LINE: The most important thing to give an expectant mom is a reminder of your LOVE and SUPPORT from pregnancy through motherhood. Knowing you have her back is far more valuable to her than any diaper cake or Pinterest-inspired decoration could ever be!

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