Baby Compassion Family Motherhood Parenting


February 5, 2018

My Baby,

As I write this letter, you are just seven months old. I feel like you were born just yesterday. Everything people told me is true – the time goes by so fast! I can’t believe you are already seven months old and crawling everywhere! You sure have kept us busy in these seven months. We are very tired but oh so happy to have you in our life. Right now, your dad and I both work at the same company in IT full time. Mama also started blogging to make some extra income to put in your savings account. We work hard for you and we want you to have the best life.

Your dad and I are very different. He is a bit more introverted and likes his quiet and alone time. He is extremely smart and can fix just about anything. He was scared when you were born. He didn’t tell me that, but I could see it in his eyes. Everything he knows how to do comes with a manual, but babies don’t. He was worried about knowing what to do when we brought you home from the hospital. He did a great job adjusting and he loves playing with you so much. His favorite thing to do after work or on the weekends is crawling around with you and making you laugh. He is so good at that. You just started saying your first word which is “Dada!” I was really hoping you would give me the honor of your first word. I even say “Mama” to you all the time but nope, you said “Dada” first!

I am more outgoing and love being social. I love to meet new people and talk a lot. I have been told I can be a bit dramatic and have lots of feelings. Your dad thinks you are going to be more like me. You seem to love daycare. You love playing with your friends and adore your teachers. You even have a few cute girlfriends. When Maria is in the room I don’t exist because you just stare at her. She is pretty cute though so I can’t be too sad about it. My hope for you is that you will be a little bit like both of us. I hope you inherit our best qualities and learn from our mistakes. One thing your dad and I both agree on is that we hope that you are hard-working, kind and considerate to others.

When I was pregnant with you, I imagined what it would be like meeting you and seeing your face for the first time. When that finally happened, you literally took my breath away. I couldn’t hardly breath or talk because I just couldn’t believe that I was finally holding you in my arms and you were so perfect. My life changed that day, June 18th, 2017. It was one of the best days of my life and you are such a gift. I am so lucky to be your mom and I hope your dad and I have showed you an abundance of patience and love over these last 18 years. I am sure I will remind you how much I love you quite often – you may even get annoyed by it 😊 Your dad isn’t as mushy as I am, so just know that he has loved you with all of his heart since Day 1.

I am so eager to see what hobbies and talents you have. You are so observant and aware of your surroundings. You love to explore and try new things. You are also quick to learn and almost always smiling. It’s exciting for me to think of the person you will become. If you ever feel like we are smothering you or being too nosey, it’s only because we care so much, and we want you to be safe and do the right thing. I know that sometimes I will have to let you make your own mistakes as that is the best way to learn.

Go out into the world and do wonderful things. Be kind and courteous to others and put others first before yourself. You may have heard the phrase, “work smarter, not harder”. Well forget that, Mama is telling you to work smarter AND harder. That’s what your dad and I have always done and we have been rewarded for that. There is always a smarter more efficient way of doing things but don’t cut corners and always be honest. Whatever job you have, work at it as if you were the business owner. Don’t settle for ANYTHING. We want the best for you in all aspects of your life. If you are unhappy at your job – then go find something else that you love. Set your goals and expectations high because I know you can reach them. If I don’t like they way something is – I fix it or change it. Don’t ever tell yourself, “oh, I will be happy when I can make this much money” – be happy always, in every moment. Life is too short. Enjoy each day, each milestone, each year. Love your life every day. I love you so much my baby Axel. Happy Graduation Day.

Baby Compassion Family Health & Wellness Motherhood


December 17, 2017

I wanted to write this post while I was at my lowest point and feeling all the weight of symptoms of postpartum depression weighing heavy on my heart. I simply couldn’t bring myself to do it at that time because I didn’t want to do anything. Not even the things I loved.

I am not writing this post as a cry for help. I am now taking the steps to get myself help. I am writing this post for two reasons:

  1. To remind myself to not be stubborn and know when to seek help.
  2. To show others that it is okay if you need help. You are not weak and you are not alone. If I can help even one mom be brave and admit they need help then I’ve done my job.

As I write this post now, I am back to my happy, normal self. Thinking back to the days I was struggling still makes me cringe. I didn’t know what was wrong with me at the time. I felt out of control. The best way I can describe it is…I didn’t feel like me. For those that know me well, I am a very positive and happy person. I am quick to make friends and get along with all types of personalities. For me to think I may have been struggling with postpartum depression was hard to swallow. I still haven’t said it out loud to anyone and it even feels hard to type the words.

“…I didn’t feel like me.”

Once I started looking up the symptoms I was feeling and it pointed to postpartum depression I felt ashamed. I felt like a weak person and a weak mom. I had so much to be happy about and thankful for so why am I feeling like this? I started to pray to God for help because I didn’t know who to talk to or who would understand. My first thoughts were my husband or my mom but I couldn’t bring myself to have the conversation. I will have that conversation before I post this. It’s not that they wouldn’t support me or try to help me because they definitely would. It’s more that I felt embarrassed and scared about it.

As I continued to research, I found that this can be caused by a hormone imbalance. There were streaks were I was getting little to no sleep caring for sick baby Axel. I was worried about his health and I wasn’t taking care of myself in a lot of ways. I think the combination of that and other factors is what caused me to not feel like me.

I have learned there is postpartum depression and baby blues. The two get confused quite often. I wanted to make sure I knew what I was dealing so I could figure out how to help myself. I found this helpful chart from a maternal mental health specialist, Rachel Rabinor. After reading the article and reviewing the symptoms from the chart, I realized I had experienced every single symptom on the postpartum depression side.

The worst symptoms are the insomnia and excessive worrying. I have thoughts throughout the day and bad dreams at night about baby Axel’s safety and well-being. My heart hurts in my chest as I separate from him when I go to work. I want to enjoy these milestones and moments with Axel not waste them with constant worry! I try to re-focus my thoughts and train my brain but I keep reverting back to the worry and anxiousness.

So You Think You Have PPD, Now What?

The breaking point where I knew something was wrong was when I was feeling very thin and decided to weigh myself. I thought maybe I was thin from being sick and power pumping to get a good milky stockpile for Axel. When I saw the scale I felt scared. I had lost 13 pounds from my already pre-pregnancy weight. I realized I weighed less than I did in high school. Again, I didn’t tell anyone (except my mom) because nobody wants to hear a skinny girl’s problems. I was also so exhausted to the point where I couldn’t think straight or sleep which sounds silly. I couldn’t sleep because I was so anxious and worried about Axel. He had been to the doctor three times in a week for a number of things such as ear infection, thrush, pink eye, etc. How could I sleep when my baby is miserable?

I vaguely remember calling my mom with a shaky voice and trying to talk through tears. I just felt out of control and like I couldn’t even make a decision for myself. I have never felt like that before. Part of the problem may be related to comparing myself to the amazing moms in my life. My own mom raised four kids and just – did it all. My younger sister has two kids and always seems calm and together. I have one sweet, easy baby so why do I feel like I am falling apart at times?! Comparing yourself to others is never a good thing because what you may perceive might not be reality. I mean, yes, these moms are awesome but they had their struggles too! After the pep talk with my mom, I finally got some much needed sleep and by the next day I was feeling well rested and like myself again.

My mom said: “take advice from someone who was tired for 30 years. I wish someone would have told me it was okay to take time for myself.” 

The days following that I had ups and downs. Some days I feel on top of the world. I feel like super mom like I can conquer anything and so happy. Other days I begin to feel down and overwhelmed. Axel’s smile gets me through the hard times. Luckily, the good days outweigh the bad. I have only had a small handful of bad days.

The moment I realized I may need some professional help was when the girls at work told me I looked very thin and my pants were baggy. My response probably sounded flustered and defensive because I didn’t want to admit there might be anything wrong. These girls know me too well and finally flat out asked if I was okay. I admitted I was struggling and they encouraged me to make an appointment with my doctor and I did. Sometimes it just takes talking out loud with someone who cares about you for you to realize you need some help.

I have my appointment coming up tomorrow and I feel comfortable telling my doctor everything. She was with me throughout my whole pregnancy and delivery so she knows me well. One of my friends at work also told me our employer provides free counseling sessions for dealing with stuff like this which I plan on taking advantage of.

Even the happiest of moms can struggle with postpartum depression. I consider myself a positive and happy person. I have great, supportive people in my life and so much to be thankful for. Despite that, I am feeling these symptoms and now I know I need some help. I now understand that I’m not a weak person and I’m not a bad mom. I’m going to get the help I need so I can be the best mom I can be. I finally had the conversation with my husband and it went much better than I thought. I showed him the chart and let him read my symptoms. He is glad I am going to talk to my doctor and get the help I need. He also stepped up tremendously and helped me out with some of my chores which makes me feel less overwhelmed. I should have told him how I felt sooner! I just didn’t want him to think I felt this way because of him because that’s not the case at all.

One good thing this has taught me is that I am never going to pretend like I have it all together. When I first became a mom I wanted to maintain a spotless house, homemade dinner every night and always be positive and on top of everything. This may be reality for some, but it definitely is not my reality and I have come to terms with that. I take each day at a time and try not to get frustrated with my to-do list that I can never seem to tackle. My family comes first and my chores and need for achievement can wait.

Depression was an unknown territory to me. Sadly, I have had people I know end their lives because of this and it was something I could never fathom. I have never had suicidal thoughts but I feel I understand this at a level I never did before. If you feel you are struggling with baby blues, postpartum depression or any form of depression please talk to someone. Don’t feel ashamed or embarrassed like I did. Seek the help you need. You are not a weak person for seeking help.

This post may contain affiliate links meaning I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only promote products that I have personally used myself or believe in. Please see my Policies tab for more details.

Baby Family Motherhood Parenting Product Reviews

EatSmart Products Precision Baby Check Scale – Product Review

December 16, 2017

My husband and I became new parents this year. Sweet baby boy Axel was born this summer on Father’s Day so it was extra special for my husband. Before baby was born, my husband and I went shopping at a local baby store. We did one big loop and left with an empty cart. We were so overwhelmed. We had no idea what we really needed or what we even wanted!

On the way out, a cashier noticed the discouraged looks on our faces. She gave us a little pep talk and told us not to worry. She suggested just getting through my baby showers and then making a list of items I still need. That was the problem. I had read tons of articles and didn’t know where to even start because there are so many different opinions. I reached out to my younger sister and begged for help. I asked her what I really need now and what can wait until after baby comes. She is a mom of two and seems to always have it together! Yes, younger sisters can be role models too.

She emailed me an awesome, thorough list and included brands she loved. She shared with me the must-haves and the nice-to-haves. I have been a mom for six months now and I have been putting together a list of awesome items to have that nobody thinks to tell you. One item on my list is a baby scale! You wouldn’t think of this right away but there are so many reasons why this item comes in handy.

Where Can I Get a Quality Baby Scale?

You can get an amazing baby scale online of course! Thank goodness for Amazon! Check out EatSmart Products Precision Baby Check Scale, 9 Pound. We recently received our EatSmart Precision Baby Check Digital Scale and it’s amazing. It’s one of those items I wouldn’t have thought of but now that I have one, I recommend it to my fellow Mamas! It is reassuring to know that my little guy is growing at a healthy weight and it is fun to do weight checks at home. My husband and I have fun guessing how much he weighs each week. I thought for sure he would have gained some good weight after his calorie-rich Thanksgiving milk 😊

My mom loves the fact that baby Axel has his own scale because when I was a baby I would thin out quickly if I was ill because I had a crazy metabolism. My mom said she wishes she would have had a scale to make sure I wasn’t losing an unhealthy amount of weight in a short period of time. I am pretty sure Axel has the same metabolism as me because he has a big appetite and when he’s hungry, he lets everyone know. It is also fun to see the look on the nurse’s face when we take Axel in for his check-ups and we can guess exactly what his weight is down to the ounce. They are always very impressed and we never tell them how we know!

Why EatSmart?

Here are some of the many reasons why I love the EatSmart scale:

    • No assembly required
    • Batteries Included
    • The scale is light weight
    • One of the most user-friendly instructions manual I’ve ever seen
      • Includes guide that shows all functions with pictures
      • Troubleshooting section
      • Warranty and contact information
    • Digital easy to read
    • Easy to clean
    • Hold feature records weight
    • Easily converts from kg to lb
    • Accurate (matches Axel’s weight from doctor appts)
    • Available on Amazon, EatSmart Products Precision Baby Check Scale, 9 Pound
    • 2 year guarantee
    • Can be used for other purposes (weighing pets) 44 lbs capacity

I hate puzzles and dislike anything that takes thought putting together. My husband, on the other hand, loves assembly. When we received our EatSmart Baby Scale in the mail, I was pleased to open the box and find all I had to do was put the batteries in! The batteries that were INCLUDED I might add. Nobody likes to get a new, fun item and realize they have to make an extra trip to the store for batteries. This mom doesn’t have time or energy for that. Plus, I would probably go to the store and forget why I went due to severe case of mom brain lately.

My husband is a big advocate for reading and saving manuals. I have maybe looked at five manuals in my life. I started using our EatSmart Baby Scale before reading the manual because that’s how user friendly it is. I did read the manual afterwards to make sure I wasn’t missing any cool features and I am glad I did! There is a function where you can record and save weight and also a weight compare function.

This scale is light weight and has a sleek design that’s easy to store. EatSmart stands behind their products so if there is any sort of defect (other than damage caused by misuse) they will work with you to service/replace the scale.

It can also be used to weigh items or even pets under 44 lbs. Unfortunately, we will not be weighing our Great Dane, Quinn, as she weighs in at a whopping 120 lbs. I am very excited to use this scale for my online business as well. We sell a variety of handmade and vintage items on Etsy and it helps my customers get a better idea of the item they are receiving when I include the weight. I can also use it to package items and estimate shipping costs by weight before heading to the local post office.

Interested in learning more about EatSmart products? Visit their website at and be sure to check out their blog! You can also follow them on their social media platforms. They are on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

Thank you so much EatSmart, we love our scale!

This post may contain affiliate links meaning I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only promote products that I have personally used myself or believe in. Please see my Policies tab for more details.

Baby Family Motherhood Parenting Product Reviews

Wawita Baby Bottle – Product Review

November 21, 2017

I am very excited to share with all my fellow Mamas out there this new baby bottle I got from Wawita Baby Products. I am a first time mom and my little guy is five months old. He is just starting to hold up his bottle on his own during feedings, what a big boy! I am still nursing and just starting to add a tiny bit of rice cereal to his bottles because he has a good appetite.

When I was in the market for baby products, I was overwhelmed. There are so many products out there. What is safe and right for my baby? I remember standing in the bottle aisle at Target for several minutes with a blank stare. I was kind of hoping another mom would walk by and help me. I ended up doing some research and ordering a set of glass bottles online. These were nice but our daycare center told us it is a safety hazard if they were to drop and shatter. Boo.

Product Overview

It was like Christmas morning came early when I received our Wawita baby bottle in the mail! Keep in mind that I only promote products that I personally use and/or believe in. If I wouldn’t recommend the product to my family or bestie, then I am not going to recommend it to my readers. These bottles come in a variety of fun colors and you can choose the nipple flow. Funny story, I just learned about nipple flow sizes a few weeks ago when daycare told me Axel was spending a long time trying to finish his bottle. Poor baby had the smallest size. I had no idea that was a thing.

While I was on maternity leave I didn’t even want to think about bottles because I wanted to be the one that fed baby boy. I also thought that if he got used to a bottle then he wouldn’t want to nurse. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case and having bottles available allows Daddy to do some feedings. This is good father/baby bonding time. Let Daddy help whenever he can and make sure to encourage him in his efforts. Daddy goes through a lot of new changes too!

Why Wawita Baby Products?

So, what makes Wawita baby bottles stand out among the rest? Here are a few reasons why you should snag one:

  • Made of shatterproof glass
  • Hot fluid technology – changes color if contents is too hot
  • BPA free
  • Wide neck nipple – anti colic system
  • Vacuum-free which simulates breastfeeding
  • Safe, lightweight & comfortable for baby or parent to hold
  • Leakproof – cap and lid secure tightly
  • Awesome color variety
  • Different nipple flow options available
  • Available on Amazon Prime, yay!
  • They have a 5 star rating and fast shipping

Why does shatterproof glass matter? Some daycare providers won’t allow glass bottles as this can be a safety hazard. My daycare center will let me bring this Wawa bottle in since it is made from shatterproof, borosilicate material. I also appreciate the shatterproof aspect because my morning routine is a little chaotic these days and I am constantly dropping things. Being a mom has made me a bit clumsy. It’s not easy to get myself ready, eat breakfast, pack my work bag and breast pump, get Axel fed and ready for daycare, and leave the house all by 6:30am!

This hot fluid technology is AMAZING. I actually thought about this the first time I gave Axel a bath at home. I didn’t know how hot the water was supposed to be! I remember thinking, it would be cool if there was some color changing toy or device to help me know. So cool that they have this technology in a bottle!

Why should you care about BPA free? BPA stands for Bisphenol-A which is a chemical used in plastic manufacturing. This chemical very closely resembles the hormone estrogen and is not good for our system or baby’s system! Try to avoid it as much as you can.

The fact that they strategically designed this bottle to imitate breastfeeding makes me happy. As I mentioned earlier, I fear the day that baby boy no longer wants to nurse. I love feeding him and it’s our special bonding time. I don’t want him to get confused by using a bottle that is a much different feel and then he doesn’t want to come back to nursing. The less confusion the better! I am happy to say that Axel loves his new bottle and still loves nursing too – win!

All the other reasons I love this bottle speak for themselves. I even went to Amazon and read all the customer reviews. I even read that some people tried several of the big name bottle products out there and their little one loved Wawita the most.


  • How do I know which nipple flow my baby needs?
  • Where are these products manufactured?
    • These are made offshore but are carefully inspected and packaged in the US to ensure safety and quality.

Other Happy Customers Share Why They Love Wawita:

This is the first glass bottle I have bought for my baby and I am very pleased with my purchase. The bottle is very easy to take apart and wash. I enjoy the feature that tells the temperature of the formula when is too hot because that way I can leave it on the counter for a few minutes and check on it after. Overall very satisfied with this bottle.” – Sara (October 24, 2017)

“I bought this bottle for my nephew and he loves it. He looks really cute with his blue bottle :). I like the design and the technology behind it. I would definitely recommend this bottle to friends and family.” – Kayla (October 16, 2017)

“I bought this baby bottle for my friend’s baby as a gift because I like that it is made out of glass and the color is really cute! My friend loves the feel of the bottle and says it is light weight and very easy to handle.” – RR (October 13, 2017)

“My wife and my son love this bottle. My little one is 16 months old and has been using Dr. Brown’s since he was born. We were tired of cleaning the extra parts so we decided to give this a try and we are glad we did. They are easy to clean, they don’t leak and I don’t need any extra parts when traveling. And the best of all is that is glass!” – Francis (October 16, 2017)

“This bottle is exactly what I was looking for. I’ve been using plastic bottles for far too long and wanted to make the switch to glass but was worried that the weight would be too heavy for the baby. Pleasantly surprised with how light the bottle is. The nipple worked great for the flow of the formula and the bottle changes color when the formula is too hot for my baby, what a nice feature! I’m very happy with my purchase and will be making Wawa bottles my glass baby bottle preference.” – Michelle (October 13, 2017)

Check out more reviews here!

Interested in learning more about Wawita Baby Products?

Follow them on Instagram at wawitababyproducts

Check them out on Amazon:


This post may contain affiliate links meaning I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only promote products that I have personally used myself or believe in. Please see my Policies tab for more details.

Holiday Spirit Home & Living Motherhood Parenting


October 26, 2017

My husband and I love Halloween. Every year we watch Hocus Pocus and my brother in law will carve our pumpkins because he is so good at it! Each year he does something different and the neighborhood loves it. Baby Axel is too young to go trick or treating for his first ever Halloween so this year we are staying home to hand out candy. We will definitely be in costume too! He is going to be the greatest lumberjack, Paul Bunyan and I will be Babe his blue ox! I think Andrew agreed to wear a flannel and will also be a lumberjack.

Every year, I have to save Andrew from a belly ache and hide all the Halloween candy. He always seems to find it and then he hides it somewhere else so he has a secret stash. I usually don’t keep a ton of candy and sweets in the house. I told him that he is basically stealing candy from children but he doesn’t seem to care! I am convinced he is a 5 year old trapped in a man’s body.

I was recently reminiscing with my sister about our trick or treating days. I have three younger siblings and we loved laying out our candy collection after trick or treating and start trading! I ALWAYS wanted all the butterfingers, yum! We always got so much candy. I wonder if our parents ever took any from us. Mom & Dad, if you’re reading this – you owe me some candy! 😊

I started to think about baby Axel getting big enough to go out trick or treating. What the heck am I going to do with all that candy! I’m sure he will have a sweet tooth like his mom and dad so I’ll need to help ration his candy collection – and I can definitely help out with the butterfingers. 😊

Kids don’t need that much candy! I’m sure baby Axel will be wild enough without excessive amounts of sugar. I came up with this list of fun ideas of items to hand out that kids will LOVE besides candy! When you hand them something they are not expecting they are mesmerized which is fun to see!

  1. Stickers
  2. Glow Sticks
  3. Temporary Tattoos
  4. Coloring Books or Activity Books
  5. Mini pumpkins
  6. Vampire fangs
  7. Packaged Snacks
  8. Packaged Drinks
  9. School Supplies (fun pencils, crayons, erasers)

My two year old niece is OBSESSED with stickers. You can buy a book of stickers and cut them out into individual sections so they can grab a little sheet to use for later. I don’t know any kids who don’t LOVE glowsticks. You can string them and make a little necklace or get the tube kind that connect and make little necklaces or crowns. There are all kinds of fun temporary tattoos you can order online (check out Amazon or Etsy). I grew little sugar pumpkins in my garden last year. Some of them were to small to actually carve or harvest so I gave them away to my friends with kids. They are fun to paint or have as a cute decoration. Vampire fangs – enough said. Be careful about giving these to really little ones as they can be a choking hazard. Packaged snacks or drinks is a fun way to mix things up.

This list is geared more towards younger children which makes up most of the trick or treaters that come to our door. I did once have some teenagers come to the door. I don’t discriminate! If you are in costume, you get a treat from me! As I was complementing their costumes I said, “And you’re dressed up as…marijuana, okay!” Yes, one of the teens was literally in a pot leaf costume. They had a good laugh at my reaction. They probably needed that candy more than anyone.

If you are handing out candy, here is a list of things to avoid handing out:

  • Anything homemade – most parents are paranoid that these things could be tampered with so don’t waste your time because the parents may just toss it.
  • Anything store bought that is unwrapped or easily accessible – again, parents may think you are poisoning their children. I know people who throw this stuff away.


Parents, if your children are going out trick or treating this year PLEASE:

  • Go with them or make sure they are with an adult who can supervise – keep them safe!
  • Follow your neighborhood guidelines and trick or treating hours (typically between 4pm – 8pm)
  • Check what time the sun is setting in your area if you want to avoid trick or treating in the dark with little ones (sunset in my area is 6pm)
  • Go up to the door with your little trick or treaters. Sometimes, people have signs that will say Take 2 but your little one may not be able to read yet so help them out. I totally let my trick or treaters take a handful because it keeps them coming back and less candy I will be tempted to eat at the end of the night! 😊
  • Sort through your child’s bag to make sure there is nothing dangerous or inappropriate for their age
  • Ration their candy for them, don’t let them get a bellyache! If you know they can’t eat it all, donate it or bring it to work to share. Your co-workers will love/hate you for it.

Have a Safe & Happy Halloween!

This post may contain affiliate links meaning I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only promote products that I have personally used myself or believe in. Please see my Policies tab for more details.

Blogging Faith Marriage Motherhood


October 21, 2017

I have put a TON of effort into launching my blog. I spent 60+ hours just researching before I even purchased my domain. So why on God’s green earth would I pray for God to let my blog fail?!

My prayer went a little something like this:

…Dear God, please help me on my blog journey. Please help me to find the right tools and meet the right people to grow my blog and inspire others.

Please let my blog FAIL if:

  • Let my blog fail if it starts to negatively impact my marriage or child
  • Let my blog fail if the money I could potentially make changes my character for the worse
  • Let my blog fail if I start to praise myself for my “success” instead of You


Shortly after launching my blog, I listened to a sermon at church about how people strive to be GREAT in many aspects of life. People want to be great in school, work, sports, parenting…you name it. You’ve seen the mugs or T-shirts – “World’s Greatest Dad.” People strive for greatness! Now, in my opinion, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I think it’s awesome when people work hard and desire to be great at what they do! I am one of those people and I love working towards goals. But how we define success and how our successes can change us can be dangerous.

I am almost my first month into blogging and there have been days where I feel like I could explode with excitement with how things are moving forward. Some days I will receive approval emails from affiliates, positive comments/emails from followers with encouraging words and see my page views and earnings increasing! Sometimes, I feel I am running on so much adrenaline and excitement that I could stay up all night working on my blog. I recently realized that I was spending almost all of my free time working on it. I was accidentally ignoring my husband and missing my baby boy’s smiles. Ironically, I started this blog for baby Axel! Yet, I am spending so much spare time in the evening ignoring him! Yikes!

This type of stuff is exactly what I don’t want. Having goals and growing my blog is so fun but I don’t want to look back in a year and think of how much time I spent ignoring my family! I don’t want to be so distracted by blog stats that I am completely oblivious to my family’s needs. In the last week, I have made a conscious effort to check on my family before I start my blog sessions.

  • If baby Axel is awake – does he need milk? Diaper change? Can I play with him or walk him? Can I give him a bath?
  • If baby Axel is asleep – can I spend some quality time with my husband? Give him a shoulder rub or make him a snack?
  • Does our pup, Quinn, need a walk? Does she look neglected? Can I throw the tennis ball in the backyard for her or give her a belly scratch?
  • If the family is all doing well and doesn’t need Mama – then time for some blogging. Mama gets some time for herself, yay!

Balance is hard. At the end of the day, if I don’t have all the laundry done or I didn’t publish a new blog post – oh well. I work full time, I have a husband who needs me and a baby boy growing up way too fast. Fortunately, I switched my diet over to a more natural and organic one a couple years ago which gives me much more energy to get all my tasks done! One of my favorite quick, easy meals is a smoothie because it’s easy to toss in energy-boosting ingredients. I was nervous to try the below Super Greens powder but if I do a small scoop mixed in with some fruit, you can’t even taste all the greens. I have to hide the “greens” in my husband’s food because he is naughty about eating his veggies! 🙂

My husband knows that if at any time he feels neglected because of this new endeavor then I am taking a break or letting it go. I did the same thing when we opened our Etsy shop in 2015. I think this is how a lot of career-driven individuals push their family away without knowing it. Most people are driven to work hard for their families, yet they are neglecting them! One great thing we have found with our Etsy shop is that my husband and I get to work on it together! We love going to flea markets and antique shops and picking out interesting items. It’s quality time AND side hustling all in one! Check out my post on how our Etsy shop funds our hobbies. Lately, as I am sharing all the exciting blog news with my husband, we discovered that we can do some of that together as well! We both work in IT and are tech savvy so when I was sharing with him my web design vision, he helped me create it and it was fun! He also does woodworking on the side and asked if I could do a post with instructions and pictures of his next project. Um, YES! Of course I will!

I have seen money change people. I have seen material items impact relationships. Money and Greatness can ruin peoples’ lives. So, I want to be very careful on how I define success and where I attribute this “Greatness” to. I believe that God gave me the personality, education, relationships and parents that made me the person I am today. I like who God made me and where I am at today. Whether my side hustles make me lots of extra income each month or I just make back what I invested – I want my character to remain and remember who I attribute the greatness or success to, which is God.

Want to know how I earn money blogging? Check out my blog category for all my posts on how I started my blog, how I earn money and helpful tips. I share EVERYTHING. What’s in it for me? I could potentially make affiliate commissions on products and services I recommend at no extra cost to you but I share everything I learned about blogging because I found all of this information for FREE from other bloggers! Pay it forward, right? The world of blogging is full of encouragement and support. You will struggle if you try to do this all on your own!

My Affiliate Marketing portfolio currently consists of:

Amazon Associates


Cate & Chloe


Tactical Dad

The Spoiled Mama

This post may contain affiliate links meaning I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only promote products that I have personally used myself or believe in. Please see my Policies tab for more details.

Baby Marriage Motherhood Parenting


October 16, 2017

I’m starting to feel it. The tension in our marriage. The impact that others warned me about. I am writing this post for three reasons:

  1. I want to remember how I feel in this moment and give advice to my future self
  2. If my husband reads this post I want him to know my internal thoughts (sometimes it’s easier to articulate in writing than verbally)
  3. I hope to encourage others and help keep their marriage strong

My husband and I were married about 3 years before we had our first child. We are one of those adorable, annoying couples that never fight. Really, we didn’t fight. There were never any big disagreements, no raising voices and we never went to bed mad. I’m sure there were a couple times we irritated each other here and there but I can’t remember specifics. We even work together and often commute together. Don’t worry, this isn’t a post where I am bragging about how we are such a perfect couple. This is actually quite hard for me to share. Nobody likes to admit when they are wrong.

When sharing my fairytale marriage to others, they would tell me “Oh, just wait until you have kids.” That kind of scared me a little bit but I wanted children and I was determined to not let it impact my marriage. Here are the main things I noticed once we had a child:

  • Less alone time with your spouse – you know what I mean. After baby, you need time to heal and you are extremely tired. And of course, newborns are demanding!
  • Less patience – I can function pretty well on little sleep but when you go months with little to no sleep and all your energy is going into taking care of your baby, you don’t have much patience left for your husband
  • Date night? Don’t count on it. Our families live a few hours away so orchestrating a date night takes extra effort – we need to get better at this.
  • Decreased affection – My husband has literally walked up to me to give me a hug and I didn’t know what he was doing or what he wanted. He looks at me like a crazy person and explains that he is simply trying to hug me. My first thought is – but I don’t have time for that. Woof, what’s wrong with me.
  • Snapping at my spouse – I am so mad at myself for this. Things were going so well and on multiple occasions I have found myself raising my voice or getting irritated for no reason. I usually go buy Andrew a coffee drink and deliver it to his desk (we work together) because I feel so bad – he likes that 😊

Now, we love our new life with baby boy but I miss the old “us”. So, what can I do?

  • Prioritize together time – when baby goes down for a nap, all I want to do is tackle my chore list but I have been intentionally thinking about my husband. Baby nap time = us time
  • Work on having more patience – your spouse is there for you to make your life easier so remember that. Check out my recent post on how sometimes Mama needs a minute.
  • Ask for help – you have friends and family that are willing to help. Plan a date night and do it. You’ll be glad you did.
  • Take a second to hug your spouse – sounds easy right? But if you think of your crazy busy week, do you remember the last time you took a moment to give your spouse a hug and kiss?
  • Don’t take things out on your spouse. If you are feeling overwhelmed then communicate that.

Andrew and I had our set chores and everything just worked smoothly. When baby came along – I took on a lot. He took on more too but I wasn’t paying attention to that. I was paying attention to the constant night feedings, bath time, stocking the nursery with diapers, daycare drop-off/pick-up. It takes a lot for me to ask for help. I like taking on the world and pretending I’m super woman (probably get it from my mom). So when I asked Andrew for some help with baby the other day, I was shocked when he was resistant. I couldn’t believe he wasn’t ready to jump at the opportunity to take something off my plate. I instantly got defensive and started raising my voice.

As I began to shout, “It’s not a competition!” I HEARD the words I was saying. And I was silent. In that moment, I listened to my own advice. It’s not a competition. It’s not about who does more, whose tasks are more tedious or who is more tired. Because if you think of it that way, you will start to build up that ugly resentment that can quickly deteriorate a marriage. If I start thinking to myself that I do more because I am up feeding all night then it could lead me to also think that Andrew does less and is lazy. That is not the case. If I let those thoughts creep in, I could give Andrew a little glare the next time he is relaxing on the couch. How dare him sit there and relax while I only slept 4 hours.

  • PLEASE, be careful of your thoughts and communicate your feelings
  • Switch up tasks once in a while so you can genuinely appreciate each other’s efforts

New Mamas go through a lot. I get it. I’m there right now. But don’t forget this is a lot of change for new Daddy too. Check out my recent post 9 ways to encourage new dads. If you are looking for a fun gift for a dad, check out Tactical Dad. They have the below patches including “Dad on diaper duty”. They also have top quality dad packs which are basically military style diaper bags! A bag daddy will be proud to carry!

I am really not fond of reading books because I get easily distracted or my eyes get sleepy but back in the day I read the 5 Love Languages book. It’s about understanding how your partner feels most loved. My love language is quality time meaning I feel most loved when Andrew makes an effort to spend quality time with me. His love language is words of affirmation meaning he feels loved when I verbally acknowledge what I appreciate about him or what he does for me. It’s important to know how to make your spouse feel loved and appreciated!

So whether you are newlyweds, thinking of children or have been married with kids a long time – it’s not too late to patch things up and work on each other. Don’t let yourself have negative thoughts. Don’t think of it as a competition. Remember you are on the same team and CHEER EACH OTHER ON! Encourage each other, thank each other and love each other. That’s where it all started anyways right? Two people fell in love.

This post may contain affiliate links meaning I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only promote products that I have personally used myself or believe in. Please see my Policies tab for more details.

Baby Home & Living Marriage Motherhood Parenting


October 16, 2017

Have you ever dreamt of a day where you could do whatever your heart desired, uninterrupted? I would like to begin by saying I absolutely adore my baby boy and husband, don’t get me wrong, but ever since getting pregnant and becoming a mom, I have daydreamed about the days where I could take a long shower and finish my coffee while it’s still warm. You know, the little things.

So recently I was thinking, can’t I have both? Can’t I have this amazing life with my family and also take some moments for myself again? The answer is YES and here is how I did it.

I took a day off work from my full time job in IT. I asked my husband if he could do the daycare drop off/pickup that day (I usually do it). I planned an entire day of things that I wanted to do and it was AMAZING. This is what my day looked like.

  • I slept in until 6:35 am, WOOHOO! Yes, that is sleeping in for me
  • I took a long shower and was able to wash my hair and even shave my legs – WIN
  • I made myself eggs toast and coffee and enjoyed it, uninterrupted
  • Did a whole bunch of chores – cleaning relaxes me (laundry, dishes, sweep, dust, etc.)
  • Got to snuggle with my pup! I feel like I have neglected Quinn since baby was born
  • Listened to Classical music on our Amazon Echo
  • Watched lots of FRIENDS (my husband gets sick of my re-runs haha)
  • Worked on my Etsy shop
  • Worked on my blog!
    • Wrote new posts
    • Created pins
    • Checked stats

Within the first hour I was having a blast but also ironically, missing my baby! I even asked my husband if he would take my jeep to work so I wouldn’t be tempted to go pick Axel up early haha (I can’t drive Andrew’s car since it’s stick shift). But Andrew didn’t want me to be stranded so the Jeep was home with me, tempting me all day.

The thing is, it is not selfish to need or want time to yourself. You are not selfish. You are not a bad mom. My only complaint about my own mom is that she didn’t prioritize herself, like, EVER. She has always put others’ needs before herself.

Taking time for yourself is healthy and good for your mental health. It actually helps you to be a better mom and spouse. My mom always worked AND was the homemaker so she was tired, a lot. Dad worked and was the “fun” one. Always making up games and playing with us. It was always such a special treat when mom had an ounce of energy left in her body to play with us! One of my fondest memories is when my dad and I went night crawler hunting. This is where you go out in the night to catch giant worms for fishing. That night, we invited mom to join us, assuming she would say no. But she said yes! It was so fun. My mom is always “extra” (as the young folks say these days) so she was diving on the ground for these crawlers and at one point she stood up with 4 giant crawlers in her hands. It was hilarious.

When my boy, Axel, is grown he is not going to think back and say, “wow, mom always took care of the dust in the house” or “I’m glad mom always pulled the weeds”. He is going to remember how I was patient with him or how I took a break from cleaning and helped him with a school project. Now, my little day off extravaganza isn’t going to be a regular thing but I now have more clarity and will be able to know when to ask for help and when Mama needs a minute.

So whether you have one baby, multiple babies or you are a dog mom, treat yourself because you work hard and you deserve it. Looking to treat yourself or give a gift to another hard-working Mama? Check out The Spoiled Mama. They have a ton of safe & organic beauty products like sugar scrubs, nipple cream, body wash, stretch mark oil and more! When you take care of yourself, you have more energy to enjoy life’s precious moments.


This post may contain affiliate links meaning I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only promote products that I have personally used myself or believe in. Please see my Policies tab for more details.

Baby Motherhood


October 6, 2017

If you are about to be a first-time mom and have great expectations for what you can accomplish on maternity leave, let me try to bring you back to reality (other moms tried to warn me and I didn’t listen). I had a lot of expectations for what I thought was my “time off” for maternity leave. I shared my bright ideas with my co-workers who were already moms. I remember getting little smirks and they would make comments like, “oh that’s cute” or “well, that’s ambitious!”. I was ready to prove everyone wrong. After all, I’m driven, hard-working and an early bird! I was going to accomplish so much. Newborns sleep a lot right? I would have tons of time, right? I started compiling a list of all the things I wanted to get done on maternity leave:

  • Ramp up my Etsy shop
  • Keep the house spotless
  • Lots of meal prep and planning
  • Small house projects
  • Take baby and dog for a walk almost every day

Within a few weeks my big dreams were shattered as I realized that taking care of a newborn baby is life-changing and demanding! Big shout out to all the moms out there! It made me want to give my own mother a hug just thinking of all she did and sacrificed for me!

Once I came to the realization that I needed to rethink my expectations of what I could accomplish, I started to feel better about what I was and was not getting done. I am extremely goal oriented so I started giving myself small goals to work at. First and foremost, baby is always my number one priority each day (obviously). I would then pick a couple small tasks or chores to do each day and if I could at least accomplish one of those, it was a good day!

My husband was so amazing and understanding. Before baby we very much had the stereotypical gender roles going on in our household and it worked for us! I would make his meals and do dishes. He does the home, lawn and auto maintenance.

The first two weeks after we brought baby home was kind of a blur. I remember I was still recovering from labor, trying to keep this tiny and fragile human alive, and getting maybe a few hours of sleep a night in chaotic intervals. Andrew, without being asked, stepped in and took on many of my normal tasks. He made me meals and brought them to me. It was so wonderful. He cleaned up so much around the house. He did anything he could think of to try and make my life easier. Not sure what I would have done without him! So once I realized what I was capable of doing with a baby and he got into more of a routine, I was able to do some fun things! Here are some of the things I did that you could try too:

  1. Take baby grocery shopping: babies love exploring new things around them so taking him to the grocery store was fun! He would either be looking all around or sound asleep in his car seat. I would just put his car seat right in the cart and put groceries around him or on the bottom of the cart. It was a good feeling to watch him explore and get some errands done!
  2. Visit with friends or family: If this is your first baby, or even your second, you will likely have friends and family that want to visit. Setup a visiting schedule that works for you. You want to also spend adequate one on one time with your new baby so you can build your confidence as a new mother. Also remember to take the help that is offered to you. Your hands will be full with a new little one. Let people come over and hold the baby so you can get a few things done.
  3. Get outside: Depending on the season and your climate, get outside and enjoy some fresh air. If you have been used to going to work for years and are now staying home way more often, it can be nice to get out of the house for a little bit.
  4. Meet your spouse for a lunch date: Depending on how far away your partner works from home, set up a lunch date. My husband works 10 miles away so we met up a couple times and had a little picnic at a park behind the building with our new baby. My husband was really happy to take a break from the office and see his baby boy.
  5. Research how to make money online: During the times when Axel would doze off in my lap, I would research all about blogging and making money online with a variety of side hustles. I probably spent a good 60+ hours researching blogging! Check out my page dedicated to how to start a blog. Many moms have anxiety going back to work and sending their little one to daycare. A blog can be turned into your main source of income. I am back to work now and still work in IT full time but have made over $1200 from my blog within just a few months. A lot of my income came from networking through social media and directing people to check out my contact me/hire me page. I now get to write guest blog posts for an amazing baby company.
  6. Keep your spouse in mind: If you are first time parents, you are likely extremely tired and trying to figure out a new routine. You may find that you are so focused on the new baby or trying to get some rest that you are forgetting about each other. Try to think of small gestures to share your significant other that you care about them and appreciate them. Maybe pack their lunch with a love note or offer a back rub when baby goes down for an evening nap. Trust me, it is so easy to forget about each other but it is so important to keep your relationship strong.
  7. Create a workout routine: When babe goes down for a nap, get out your yoga mat and have some time for yourself! I really enjoyed a free moment when I could do yoga, although Quinn (our Great Dane) thought my downward dog was a game and she would try to knock me over. 🙂 There are also really great routines you can do WITH baby! I did a ten minute session where I would do a mix of jumping jacks, lunges and sit ups and I held/played with Axel while I did it. Obviously, be careful not to use weights while working out with the baby as that can be dangerous!
  8. Meal Prep: While Axel napped, I would use that time to make grocery lists, lookup healthy recipes and chop and prep food for meals. Never cook while holding baby as hot oil could splatter and there are too many sharp utensils!
  9. Organize the House: Start in small sections. Take EVERYTHING out and make piles (donate, garbage, keep). Take trips to the donation drop off location. You can organize while baby is napping or awake! It’s a little slower when they are awake but they like to see new things and hear new sounds so make a game of it. It will feel good to remove clutter your home.
  10. Sleep or rest: Yep, you heard me right. I know moms get so riled up when they are told to sleep when baby sleeps and I get it. All the things that I need to get done race through my mind when I am trying to relax but honestly, in order to function as a new mom, you do need SOME rest. So take it when you can get it and don’t feel guilty! Trust me, you will be wishing you did when you go back to work and you’re exhausted!

Going back to work after maternity leave was way harder than I thought! I love my job but after bonding with baby boy for 12 weeks, I did not want to leave him! My first week back to work was a huge mess. Check out this post on how I handled it!

*Bonus Tips*

  • To be honest, the last thing I wanted to worry about on my maternity leave was bottle feeding Axel or even attempting using my breast pump. The reality was that I would have to go back to work at some point and baby Axel needed to get used to a bottle. One thing I wish I would have done sooner was introduce him to a bottle and take my pumping more seriously to have a better stockpile for daycare. It took us 5 MONTHS to find bottles that we loved. They are shatter resistant glass, they change color to warn when the liquid is too hot, and there is no leaky mess! We exclusively use Wawita baby bottles now.
  • When friends and family were asking what I wanted for baby shower gifts I was so overwhelmed. I had NO IDEA what I needed or wanted. I ended up texting my little sis (who has 2 babies) and asked her for help! I asked what I really need as a new Mama. She gave me an awesome list which included the Phil & Teds stroller. She has this brand and she loves it. It can be adjusted to fit your family’s growing needs and has lots of awesome attachments. My parents gifted us with this stroller too and my husband and I love it! My favorite things are that it can be adjusted as Axel grows and the stroller itself compacts nicely and fits in the back of our Jeep. The only thing it’s missing is the cup holder attachment which my sister has! I might just have to steal hers 🙂 If you are one of those people that need to test it out before buying (like me) then go to a local retailer that carries it and check it out. Just be sure to do a price comparison so you are getting the best deal! I usually always end up going for the deal on Amazon. Check it out using the link below.


So whether you are going to be a new mom or you are in the middle of your maternity leave, just enjoy every day and every moment with your little babe! It goes by so fast – cliche but true! Having 12 weeks of leave was the most time I had ever had “off work” since age 14 (when I started working). Your 12 weeks will get filled up with friends and family wanting to visit which is great but make sure to have free time where you can just enjoy being a new family!

This post may contain affiliate links meaning I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only promote products that I have personally used myself or believe in. Please see my Policies tab for more details.

Baby Motherhood Parenting


October 1, 2017

When I found out I was pregnant my husband had never babysat, never held a baby and was slightly terrified of the idea. I had a pretty rough pregnancy and this was our first child. I got a lot of attention – people asking me how I was doing, making meals and throwing baby showers. My husband is a quiet person and doesn’t ask for much. One day he asked why the new mom gets all the attention and glory but nothing for him. I remember  laughing; I thought he was joking but he wasn’t! After some thought, I realized he was absolutely right! Yes, a woman goes through a lot of physical change and pain but that doesn’t mean it isn’t hard on the daddy to be. And it’s not a competition of who endures more. The bottom line is the new daddy goes through a lot and hardly gets any attention for it!

My husband gained a little weight during my pregnancy. How could he not when I’m chomping down tons of food and snack cravings all the time? My husband also dealt with a lot of turmoil with not being able to help me. There were many days where I would just cry from emotional or physical pain and he couldn’t “fix” things like he was so used to doing. And yes, even the labor and delivery took a huge toll on him! He expressed to me afterwards that he was so stressed and scared about the safety of myself and the baby. He couldn’t eat, sleep or even sit down. I’m pretty sure he stood or paced for 12 hours.

Yes, new mamas, we endure a lot but try to understand what a new dad has to go through too! So here are 9 ways you can encourage them in the life-changing transition into parenthood:

  1. Give them resources: you know that awesome app you downloaded that tells you what size your baby is compared to a fruit or vegetable? Encourage your partner to download it too. There are all kinds of helpful articles, tips, and symptoms to expect that could help them better understand what you are going through.
  2. Let him help: There were times during my pregnancy where I was going through physical and emotional pain and Andrew would ask over and over, “what can I do?”. I would always say nothing. It’s in his nature to take care of me and “fix” everything. Just let them know you could always use a hug or let them run out and bring you back a craving.
  3. Request a joint baby shower: Ask your partner if they would be interested in doing this (my husband doesn’t like parties and wouldn’t be into this).
  4. Talk about reasons why they will be a great father: Words of encouragement go a long way. Tell them all the reasons you know they will be the best daddy!
  5. Remind friends and family not to forget him: Friends and family will be looking to see how they can help you once new baby comes. They will send flowers or even make meals. Let them know the help is appreciated but to keep in mind new daddy too!
  6. Show them how to care for the baby: When our boy was born, I got 12 weeks of maternity leave. That was a LOT of time to be spending with the little guy. During that time, I learned so many tricks and could figure out exactly what he needed based on his cues and cries. Let daddy know these helpful hints! My husband went back to work after 2 weeks so he didn’t get to learn all the things I did.
  7. Let him bottle feed baby: If you are nursing then you get the wonderful feeling of bonding with your baby through breastfeeding. Your husband doesn’t get that so when the time comes to start practicing bottle feeding, let him do it. It’s a cool feeling to feed a baby regardless of if it’s from a bottle or boobie!
  8. Tell him he’s a great dad: I always like to tell Andrew that I think our little guy will be a daddy’s boy. I praise him for always being able to make Axel laugh and smile!
  9. BE PATIENT: Yes, I know you are going through enough emotions to make you feel like you’re insane. One minute you are laughing at something your husband said and the next you are crying at a pet food commercial. There is no rhyme or reason to it. But try to be patient with them. They are trying to understand and help you in all the changes you are going through and it can be frustrating for them too.

My husband had a hard time with the newborn phase because Axel always seemed to only calm down when in Mama’s arms. Now that Axel is almost 4 months, he’s wiggly, smiley and rolling all over the place! He will be crawling in no time. Andrew is having so much fun playing with baby and making him smile. He sure is good at it. He even bought him an adorable camouflage tent which Axel LOVES (see pic below)!

If you are looking for a daddy-baby bonding gift, check out Tactical Dad Packs! There you will find awesome diaper bags, baby carriers and more modeled after military gear! How cool is that? This makes me laugh because as we were shopping for a diaper bag my husband begged me not to get a “girly” bag.

Axel in his new camo tent from Daddy

Mamas, I know the last tip can be difficult. It’s hard to be patient when you feel like you haven’t slept in weeks. You are giving so much of your energy to your new baby and it feels like there’s none left for your spouse. I remember the first time I left baby alone with daddy. I was gone for exactly two hours. I walked in the door and Andrew had his first meltdown. I have never seen him so flustered. I could tell he had been completely overwhelmed with the fussy baby. I had no clue because baby was hardly ever fussy for me and if he was I could calm him by nursing. Andrew was trying to comfort the baby while warming up milk by running the bottle under warm water. The next day I started researching easier ways to warm bottles because I know you aren’t supposed microwave breastmilk as it breaks down the proteins.

I found Kiinde Kozii bottle warmer on Amazon which had great reviews and was very reasonably priced. We ordered it and Andrew LOVES it! It’s very easy for him to place the bottle in, set the timer and tend to baby while it quickly heats up. One of his favorite aspects is that it can heat up milk storage bags from the freezer, plastic and glass bottles. There is an easy to follow guide that tells you which setting to use. It’s also small and light-weight making it easy to travel with. Please follow the link below if you would like to check it out for yourself! They make excellent baby shower gifts! Especially for new moms who don’t even think of this kind of stuff, like me! 🙂


This post may contain affiliate links meaning I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only promote products that I have personally used myself or believe in. Please see my Policies tab for more details.