Tuesday, December 30, 2014

MOMMIEKNOWSFRESH: HAPPY NEW YEAR: WHY EVERY MOM NEEDS A VISION BOARD

My toddler's Frozen themed vision board, lol.
It's that time of year again where we make resolutions to be better versions of ourselves.  Not me though, I'm a mom, we're perfect! (Yeah right, lol)

Whether you want to lose weight, take up archery or run a marathon, January 1st offers up a fresh start.
One of the things that I always do is prepare a vision board. It helps me set personal goals for the upcoming year using photo clippings and quotes that have meaning to where I want to be in life.  I think they’re important because knowing what we want is good, but actually seeing it in front of us can be a great motivator.

Why I think every mom, no every parent should have one is because when you have a child you're not just living for you, you're living for them. So what better way than to create a visual plan for your best life!

Don't know where to start? Here three easy tips for making for very own vision board:


Write it down



Make a list of your goals for the upcoming year.  It's an easy way to plan what you'll put on board.

Get to clippin'


Now this is the fun part. You can use magazines, newspapers, computer printouts, whatever you heart desires to visually create your board. Get your kids involved by asking them to contribute, it’ll be fun for them and maybe one day they’ll make their own.  Once you pasted your images/words hang it in a place where you can see it every day for inspiration.

Now get to work

My pre-baby vision board





















Finally, a vision board without effort is just a grown up collage.  You've got to get out there and do the work. Focus on those dreams and do your best to make them reality.

Will you be making a vision board? Do you find them to be helpful?


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Monday, December 8, 2014

MOMMIEKNOWSFRESH: I'M A GOOD MOM, AND YOU ARE TOO.

What does it mean to be a "good mother"? As a mother I ask myself this question often. Before I became one myself, my idea of what constituted a "good mother" was a mix of the mothers I knew (including my own) and the fictional mothers I saw on television.   But what I realized early on is that motherhood is nothing like you what you see on TV, being a mom is hard work.  You have this child who you love so much that you feel like you're going to explode, and you wonder "Am I working hard enough?" "Do I spend enough time with them?" "Am I doing the right thing?" Mom guilt is enough to drive you head first into a pint of Haagen Daz on a daily basis.  Not that I know anything about that…

From birth it’s the love that makes you "crazy", that swells your heart, and makes you want to be the perfect mom.  I look at my daughter and the feelings are indescribable, she makes me want to be the best version of myself.  So I fuss, and I worry, and I want everything to be perfect because I love her so much.  And you know what? It’s not.  Sometimes I forget her favorite cup, sometimes I grab pizza for dinner, sometimes the spinach isn’t organic, and you know what? That’s all right, because I care and that’s what good mother’s do, they care.  I want you to think about that the next time you feel like you’re falling short as a mom, when the spaghetti burns, or you give them food from a jar.  

You’re doing your best and as long as it comes from a place of love, well that’s what matters most.


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Friday, October 31, 2014

MOMMIEKNOWSFRESH: IT'S HALLOWEEN, AND BEST ADVICE I EVER GOT


It's Halloween, and I figured it was the perfect time to share one of best pieces of advice I ever got.

My daughter is in LOVE with the Cat in The Hat. She asks me to read it to her every day and owns three different copies.  The one she sleeps with, the one she never touches, and the one she takes with her everywhere that is being held together by multiple pieces of tape.  So naturally when it was time to find a costume the choice was clear.  This Cat in the Hat costume from Pottery Barn Kids is the absolute best and she let out a squeal far beyond her years when she finally saw it.
So how does this fall into the best advice I ever got category? 

Let me explain.
It all starts with my pediatrician, who  thankfully understands my first time mom jitters and never makes me feel like any of my concerns are wacky, (like that funny squeak she made for two seconds while doing jumping jacks, is she okay, is she okay?)
When my daughter was a few months old he asked if I read to her as part of our bedtime routine "At two months old?" "It's never too early to establish a love of reading" he said. And he was right, she LOVES books!!! This was a proud mommy moment because as a child reading was my favorite thing to do.  Sometimes we read 2-3 books a night, though she may be stalling bedtime, it's still a lot of fun. 
Establishing a love of books early was one of the best pieces of parenting advice that I have ever got.

What’s the best piece parenting of advice you've ever received?






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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

MOMMIEKNOWSFRESH: WHAT MY 2 YEAR OLD TAUGHT ME ABOUT GRIEF





When we lose someone we love sometimes it's hard to understand why. I thought about this poignantly when Joan Rivers passed away. I thought to myself how hard it must be when you lose a parent you love so much.  That was a Thursday, my father died on Friday.

I was shocked. I was hurt. Here I was thrown into grief and not really knowing how to deal with it.  I usually find myself on the other side, giving hugs, condolences, and tuna casseroles. But here I am dealing with emotions that volley between sadness and anger. I heard myself saying why, why, why, literally becoming a broken record of grief.  I cried for all the times we had, and the times we didn't.
The finality of his death hasn't really hit me yet. I keep replaying our conversation over lunch about his upcoming retirement, and spending more time with his granddaughter. What saddens me the most is that for her memories of her "Pepaw" will consist of family stories and well-worn photos. 
There was a time for a few years when we didn't speak, me caught up in my “absentee dad” history and him with his guilt.  
As I got older I realized how much I missed him, and when we reconnected we were stronger than ever.  He was present for every event, every party, and the first person to visit me at the hospital after my daughter was born.



As I deal with the loss of my father I find that it is my two year old who has taught me the best lessons on handling grief.  It is she who saves me from sadness with her frequent dance party requests. Times I want to lay down she pulls me up, wanting me to read Green Eggs and Ham...again. And when we're on the couch watching “Finding Nemo”for the millionth time, she hugs me close and I hug her back, hard. 

Because one day it won't hurt so much and while we wait we must be like Nemo himself, and just keep swimming.



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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

MOMMIEKNOWSFRESH: MY EIGHT FAVORITE MOMMIEKNOWSFRESH MEMES




The joys of motherhood can sometimes leave me at a loss for words....thankfully I have memes! Memes are a combination of funny photos and quotes that perfectly describe life moments. Memes came into my life after a particularly colorful day with my toddler where I looked to sky and literally thanked The Lord that it was time for bed! For me memes have become the icing on the cake of my #momlife, and by the number of likes many of you guys agree with me.

 

Here are eight of my absolute favorite "MomMemes":
 
 
 1) Thank you Lord it's bedtime!!
 
     2) I woke up like this! #flawless

3) My face when I tell my kid to get down before they get hurt....
     4) We've got a babysitter!!!

 
5) I'm just resting my eyes!!!!
 
 
    6) What time is it? Naptime!

     7) Somebody's sleepy?
 8) This could be us......

 
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Thursday, July 24, 2014

MOMMIEKNOWSFRESH: 7 PHRASES I CAN'T BELIEVE I SAY SINCE BECOMING A MOM



As a mom I find myself repeating a lot the same phrases.  Things that I never thought I'd hear myself saying are now a part of my daily dialogue. They may sound absurd to other people, but to moms they make perfect since. Here are 7 phrases I can't believe I say since becoming a mom:

1) What is this life!!!!

I find myself yelling this in a Woody Allen type voice, usually after some small catastrophe like baby powder falling everywhere.

2) Where is my.....?

Insert keys, wallet, and bra. I put it down an instantly forget where it's at, and when it comes to finding it no place is off limits, including the fridge...

3) Walk it off

They will bruise, scrap, and sometimes break. Anytime they are less than vertical your heart leaps into your throat. I have to catch myself from going hysterical any time she falls, so as long as she's okay.....walk it off.

4) Please don't eat the crayons

They won't eat veggies, but they're curious about what those crayons taste like?

5) Sit down please!

All day long I'm like "sit down" "sit down" I'm like the James Brown of motherhood. Appropriately this statement is usually followed by #3 on the list (See: Walk it off)

6) What is that smell?

You love them, they're cute, but my goodness those poopy pampers are smelly!! Want to end a hostage situation swiftly? Toss in a poopy pamper. World. Peace.

7) I think I'm going crazy...

Finally, you may find yourself uttering this last one multiples times a day. Like recently when I poured water in my hand thinking it was lotion. You're not crazy, you're a mom.  
Which can make you a little crazy, but that's totally normal.



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Friday, July 11, 2014

MOMMIEKNOWSFRESH: 10 THINGS I'M PLANNING TO DO WHEN MY DAUGHTER BECOMES A TEENAGER


 "A two-year old is kind of like having a blender, but you don't have a top for it."
Jerry Seinfeld

When my daughter turned two I jumped for joy.  Milestones are like parent drugs, we need them, we love them, and we can't get enough.  Our celebration included cupcakes, she had 1 I had 11 (it's my "birth “day too!!), and Doc McStuffins reruns.

When you meet the parents of other two year olds there's a wide eyed, weary bonding thing that happens.  You understand the sleep deprivation, the mini tantrums, and the "please God get down from there before you break something!!!" stage of toddler life.  We know it will pass; soon they will be teenagers who sleep late and think everything we do is annoying.  Thinking fondly of the revenge I'll get when the time comes here are 10 things I'm planning to do when my daughter becomes a teenager:

I'm going to wake her up in the middle of the night and ask for coffee.

I'm going to wake her up on Saturdays at 4:45am and ask for coffee.

I'm going to ask her for cookies, and when she says she doesn't have any cookies, ask her again.

I'm going to make her watch the same episode of Grey's anatomy over and over again; you know the one when George died?

I'm going to teach her how to cook, have her make dinner, take one bite then spit it out and ask for cookies.

I'm going to make her read me my favorite bed time story over and over. Who doesn't like War and Peace?

I'm going to wake her up at 3am, and make her watch TV Land till I fall asleep in her lap. Oh but first I'll want cookies.



I'm going to go shopping with her, pull down all the clothes on hangers while dancing to Beyonce classics in the aisles.

I'm going to have her make me breakfast, then smear oatmeal all over the table while laughing hysterically.



Finally, I'm going to climb into her bed while she sleeps, curl into a ball, rest my foot on her face, and sleep like a baby.


I can't wait.
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Thursday, June 26, 2014

MOMMIEKNOWSFRESH: SAY CHEESE


I love taking pictures, and when I became a mom this was amplified by a million. I've literally got three hard drives of pictures of my daughter and she's only two. As a parent you just can't control the urge to snap a pic of every moment.  First words, first steps, first messy spaghetti dinner.
Enter Mommie AKA cook, boo-boo kisser, and now professional photographer. Armed with my trusty DSLR from my fashion blogger days I used the park as my backdrop, and a glitter gold crown made for the most perfect pictures I could ever ask for.  
           Who knows, maybe if this writing thing doesn't pan out I'll open up a studio of my own. :)


All pictures are the property of MommieKnowsFresh (Me) and may not be reposted or copied without my permission. Thank You!







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Friday, June 6, 2014

MOMMIEKNOWSFRESH: AM I ONE AND DONE?


It's a question I often ask myself, will my daughter be my only child? 

At birth we were bonded, and though I was terrified, what developed can only be described as amazing.  She is my whole world, the wind beneath my wings, my forever love, and every other sappy 80's song you can come up with.

And how could she not be? When she was a baby she'd fall asleep in my arms while I sang the theme to Golden Girls.  We’d play the silly face game, evoking uncontrollable fits of laughter, and when it was time for her first shots we both cried "like babies". She is indeed the most amazing little person I have ever met
.
So when people ask me "Do you want to have more?"  I always answer with a profound yes, but there was a time when I really don't know.  It's not because I don't love my daughter, it's the opposite; I love her so much would I feel the same about her siblings? Do I have enough love in my heart for two?

My mother never made my sister and I feel as if she loved one of us more than the other, no matter how hard we proclaimed favoritism (She has more fries than I do!) Growing up with a sibling is something I've always wanted my children to experience, for when I’m gone from this world they’ll have each other.

My hesitation lied in my complete adoration of my baby girl and the fact that we've grown together. Our late night non-slumber parties, our early morning dance parties, and milestones like first steps, first teeth, and first words.  Will those "firsts" feel the same the second time around?

And then I realized what I learned from my mom, that a mother’s heart is big enough for all of her children. This one came out awesome, so why not try again?


Besides by then I'll have this mom thing down right? :)
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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

MOMMIEKNOWSFRESH: 9 THINGS I'VE LEARNED ABOUT MYSELF SINCE BECOMING A MOM



9. I can sleep standing up.

 

8. I can sleep sitting up.

 

7. I can and will eat half eaten nuggets for dinner.

 

6. I can turn any task into a song. This includes cleaning up, waking up, and washing up.

 

5. I can smell a poopy pamper from three rooms away.

 

4. I can halt any tantrum with a hand full of cookies.

 

3. I can shower and dress myself in less than 60 seconds.

 

2. I can count to three, but usually two is enough.

 

And finally,

 

1. I can pee, wipe and flush in 60 seconds flat...
 
 
 
 
 
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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

MY HEART: 5 PROMISES TO YOU ON YOUR SECOND BIRTHDAY





Sweetie, this is your mom. You're two years old now and I couldn't be more proud. I consider it to be my second birthday too, because when you were born in a way so was I. I was reborn as your mom, or as you know me mama, and it's been the best time of my life.

Every year I strive to be a better version of myself, for you, for your dad, and for me. So in this new year my love here are my promises to you:

I promise to play more and clean less. I'll get on the floor with you and we can play roll the basketball under the couch as many times as you like. Sweeping can wait.

I promise that no matter how tired I am at the end of the day I will dance with you to the "Happy" song, over and over again. Because afterwards I am indeed Happy.

I promise to never let you go to bed without reading a bedtime story. Oh and I know that you're stalling when you ask me to read every book you own, it's okay I like spending time with you too.

I promise to go easy on the kale and let you have a cookie or two. I want you to learn early that life is about balance. Just eat a bit of broccoli for me every now and then, okay?

I promise to always foster your dreams no matter what they may be. You want to be a soccer playing, gymnast, flutist? Let's do it!!! Because you are my heart, my love.

XOXO
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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

LINK LOVE: BABY BROWN SUGAR'S GUIDE TO HIDING THAT BUMP


Pregnancy is your time to shine and Christina of BabyBrownSugar shows you how to look fabulous in every trimester! Check out her post on how to hide that bump in style:
 
 
 
So it’s your first or second trimester and you’ve definitively decided that you don’t want people to know you’re pregnant until you’re ready. Perhaps you’re working on a big reveal or maybe your job security depends on you keeping it under wraps? Don’t fret. Even the style novice can finesse their way through at least the 4th month of pregnancy without anyone noticing, with a slight shift in wardrobe. Below are the top fashion items you’ll need in your closet to pull it off:
 
 
1. Peplum Tops
peplum-top
This was my saving grace towards the end of the first trimester when my belly bump started to poke out a bit. Peplum tops are designed to flare out right above your waist, exactly where the baby bump would begin. They give a little extra volume to that area so that nobody will notice if there’s actually something growing under there.

Check out the rest of Christina's fabulous MommyWear here





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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

MOMMIEKNOWSFRESH: EVEN SUPERMAN HAD THE JUSTICE LEAGUE



There have been times when I've felt completely overwhelmed by motherhood.  Like pull my hair out burst into tears kind of overwhelmed. She won't eat, she won't sleep, and she’s got a cold....again. At these times I become a tears time bomb ready to explode at any moment. So you know what I do? I let the tears fall. I go into to my bathroom and I cry out my frustrations. I let it out and let it go, realizing that my emotions are out of love. Remember, you're doing a better job than you think. Matter of a fact you're awesome.  Here’s some other things I've learned along the way:

There will be mess, get over it.
Motherhood is messy.  Finding one or two smashed up Cheerios at the bottom of my purse is life.  Milk stains on my shirt before 8am? You better believe it, especially when I was nursing.  You never knew when those things would go off.  At home you may find that keeping things in order is harder than it ever was before.  It's okay; you do what you can and save what you can't till later.   This means that dust on top of the TV can wait till tomorrow.

I was a good mom, and then I had children.
Every mother has a picture in their mind of what motherhood is going to be like.  For me it was a child who ate and loved all types of organic foods.  She'd pass up those cookies for a handful of blueberries. I was so excited the first time I gave her a strawberries, and do you know what she did?  She took one bite and propelled it across the room.  Not quite what I had in mind. So I gave her a cookie and saved the strawberries for later because I realized it wouldn't kill her and I was still a good mom.

Even Superman had the Justice League.
You know that sewing, cooking, baking, cleaning, energetic mom? You know what she has that makes her look like she can do everything? She has help. A team of people who help her make it through the day. Who's on your team? I've got my husband, mom, sister, and a crew of aunties and cousins who keep me sane giving me breaks when even I don't know I need them. Even Superman needed Batman once in a while.

Cherish every moment because soon they will be teenagers.

You ever see a teenager in a baby carrier? When's the last time you rocked your teenager to sleep? That baby you're swaddling right now will be taking their road test before you can say "Sweet 16" There was a time when the only way my daughter slept through the night was in our bed, which meant I was wasn't sleeping at all.  I was crazy from exhaustion then one day like magic she slept all night in her crib, success right? Wrong, I miss her snuggled next to me!! My point is enjoy every moment, every tantrum, every mess, because life happens in a blink and soon they'll be teenagers. 
God help us all.


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Friday, April 4, 2014

MOMMIEKNOWSFRESH: IT'S NEVER TOO LATE


Motherhood has taught me an amazing amount of things, but what it's taught me the most is every day is a blessing, every moment is a gift.

Often times we get caught up in the "what ifs" or thinking that we missed our moment. I'm 34 years old and I used to think that I'd missed my time of opportunity, but when I became a mom it reignited my passions. It made me want to work even harder to be a woman that my daughter could be proud of.  Not because of any singular success, but because I never gave up on my dreams! I'm here to tell you it's never too late, you don't have to claim mediocrity. Be passionate, work hard, and have faith because you never know who you may inspire!

 
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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

FRESHLY PICKED MOCCASINS I ADORE YOU





  When I found out I was having a daughter the first thing I did was call my mom, the second thing I did was shop. I can't get enough of the little shoes, the little dresses, the little hats, it's insane.  With that being said and because kids grow up fast value is important.  When I got a chance to review a pair of Freshly Picked Moccasins I jumped on it.  I followed founder Susan Peterson’s story and was a huge fan of the brand.
  So on a sunny Saturday I took my little lamb out to try out her new gold moccs, I chose the gold because it's modest, right?  Anyway, as soon as I put her down off she went.  Have you ever tried to take pictures and chase a toddler at the same time? Not easy, but it gave me a chance to really see what these moccs were made of and I was not disappointed. Not only are they beautifully made, but durable!  If they can handle my track star toddler they can handle just about anything.  I'm forever a fan and I can guarantee you will be too.
www.freshly-picked.com

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Thursday, March 13, 2014

MY TEN MOM (MOMMIE) COMMANDMENTS


 1. I will make tacos for dinner whenever I feel compelled, whether it be Tuesday or not.
 2. If I don't put on lipstick before 9am then it's a wash, we'll try again tomorrow.
 3. My Friday work leggings will turn into my Saturday lounge leggings. Period.
 4. No matter what they say, cupcakes are not dinner.
 5. Unless you're a mom, then dinner is whatever I can eat in fifteen minutes while hiding in the kitchen.
 6. Injuries. As long as it's not broken you can walk it off.
 7. If I add a different vegetable it's no longer considered leftovers.
 8. Its baby weight till they're out of diapers. This. Includes. Pull Ups.
 9. I will always say my messy bun is intentional. Thank God for fashion.

 10. Finally, when in doubt give them apple sauce.


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