Son, I Know Your Soul So Well And Here’s Why

It’s pretty common for people to say they see their mom, dad, grandma, etc. when they look at their own child. But with our son Garrett – it goes way beyond just a physical resemblance (although he definitely favors our Sicilian side 😉). When I say I see my dad when I look at him – I mean, I see his soul. I see past those warm and compassionate dark brown eyes right into the soul of a man stuck inside of a little man I call my son. The soul of a man who was also an old soul, and who left us all too soon.

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Mom Jean Confessions: Hosting for the Holidays with Kids

This post is sponsored by Red Baron but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

This Thanksgiving marks two years since we’ve been in our first house, aka our little fixer upper house baby 😊. Call me crazy, but I love hosting family for the holidays. Bring on the drama, food, and kids running all over tarnation – I love it. I really, truly love it. 😉 I think it all started when we lived in NYC. It was just the two of us and I was bound and determined to learn how to cook a real Thanksgiving meal – just like mama used to make. Fast forward, and I now have nearly a dozen Thanksgivings under my belt and still going strong. Except these days I’m catering more towards tiny humans with very particular taste buds, rather than cooking a gourmet meal for people who will actually take more than three bites of their food before declaring “I’m donnnnnne!!” So this “Mom Jean Confessions” is all about hosting for the holidays with kids, and surviving thanks to Red Baron pizza 😉

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CH2T Covets: Holiday Mocktails x Sparkling ICE

This post is sponsored by Sparkling ICE but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

Crazy to think the holidays are already upon us. I swear it was just Halloween, and now I feel like I’m gonna blink and Christmas is tomorrow. So before the panic of the holiday season takes over, I’m enjoying some down time with a couple mocktails I was inspired to create using my favorite Sparkling ICE flavors – Black Raspberry and Ginger Lime.

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3 Tips to Surviving Solo-Parenting x Beech-Nut® Naturals™

This post is sponsored by Beech-Nut® Naturals™ but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

Solo-Parenting. Safe to say it’s something you don’t include when you daydream about that perfect family, with the two kids you’ll have some day. But then again, there are a lot of things I left out – mounds of laundry, toys e-ver-y-where, screaming kids boycotting bedtime, etc. etc. You get the idea 😉 So when my hubs told me he’d be taking on essentially a second job that would allow me to keep working from home and growing my business, yet it would mean it would have him traveling more (correction, a whole heck-of-a-lot more), I told myself – I got this. I mean, c’mon, if anyone can parent around a crazy work schedule, I can. We used to live in LA and I worked full-time at a magazine while the hubs worked nights mostly, and just generally random hours. We made it through that, so we can make it through this. Prepare for rude awakening, where I forgot one very important detail. We had one kid, and not just any kid – the best, most well-behaved child ever. My mom was also a five minute drive down the road and pretty much our full-time nanny…Now enter Cha Cha. The easiest baby ever, but let’s just say she’s making up for it in toddlerhood. So now I’m not only juggling a kid who’s 5-going-on-40, but also a very strong-willed 1 year old who thinks “No” is code for “Smile at mom and do it anyway.” With all that said, we’re now coming to the end of our “solo-parenting saga,” and I felt like it was the perfect time to do some reflecting and also share some of my top three tips on how to survive if you find yourself in a similar situation. Read on and prepare to be enlightened 😉

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Ghostbusters Halloween-Themed Birthday Party

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission if you make a purchase using the links in this post.

Glow in the Dark Acrylic Paint for Slime

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man DIY | Slimer Cake DIY | Monster Crown Craft Kit

Striped Paper Straws | Popcorn Boxes & Paper Bowls | Decorative Ghost Plate

Playmobil Ghostbusters Ecto-1 | Playmobil Ghostbusters Firehouse | Playmobil Ghostbusters Stay Puft Marshmallow Man

Boys’ Ghostbusters T-Shirt | Ghostbusters Jumpsuit (thrifted by my mom – similar here)

To say I’ve had the Ghostbusters theme song stuck in my head for a solid month is not an exaggeration. I’ll also be so bold as to say that Garrett’s Ghostbusters bday party may not ever be topped. I can still remember the first time the hubs and I (total ’80s kids btw) showed Garrett the original Ghostbusters movie. We could literally see his mind being blown and ever since he’s been completely obsessed. So much so that we bought him the entire Playmobil Ghostbusters set with the firehouse, Ecto-1, and all the Ghostbusters. p.s. can I just tell you how stinkin’ adorable it is to hear a little boy voice pronounce “Eeegawn Spaaangler” and “Doctol Venkman” 😂 So when he asked for his party this year to be Ghostbusters themed, I knew we were gonna have some fun with it – and that’s what it’s all about right? 😁

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4 Ways to Pretend It’s Fall in the South

This post is sponsored by Celestial Seasonings but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

It’s no lie y’all – if fall were a joke, the South would be the butt of it. Especially here in Texas where you get one, maybe two, solid months of “fall-like weather.” Texas – where every person and their mom rushes to the pumpkin patch the minute the calendar hits October 1st. Where the first sound of a leaf dropping, is actually your cue to layer every fall piece of apparel you own for fear that you’ll have to wait 10 more months before you can wear your coveted Uggs again. I don’t know why (yes I do), but I get the feeling that all the other states are just laughing at us on social media 🤔 Well have no fear, if you or someone you love happens to reside in the unfortunate “fall-barren” territory of the South – here are some tried & true ways to at least pretend to enjoy the holiday everyone else actually gets to experience for more than 2 days. OH, and did I mention it involves tea? Lots and lots of tea 😬

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Mom Jean Confessions: Bye Bye Baby

This post is sponsored by Evivo but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

It’s been exactly one month since Charlotte decided to stop breastfeeding. And when I say she “decided”, I mean – one minute she’s happy nursing, and the next she’s like “meh, I’m over it.” 😕 Girl has a mind of her own that’s for sure, and I’m just thankful I got to nurse her for longer than I did her big bro. It’s never easy letting go of that “baby phase” though and watching them go from being so dependent on you, to all the sudden over night gaining this new found independence. I can’t tell you how many times I get asked at the Chick-Fil-A playground how old she is, followed by “Wow, she’s a climber.” Uh yah, tell me about it – you ain’t seen nothin’ dude. I love her curiosity, but sometimes I just want her to slow down just a tad – because before I know it she’ll be talking, and then going to school, and then graduating, and…ok, deep breaths.

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How to Throw a RAWRsome 5th Bday Party

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PlayWithPlaymobil #CollectiveBias

I don’t exactly know why, but I’d been secretly waiting for the day my little monkey Garrett finally decided dinosaurs are cool. In fact, I may have been even more excited than he was. One of my first loves as a kid were dinosaurs. My parents even had a personalized book made for me when I was about Garrett’s age called “Cammeo’s Dinosaur Adventure.” That’s how geeked out about dinos I was – and it didn’t stop there. Triceratops was my all time fave pretty much my whole life (aka present day). Probably because she (yes, it’s a she) was a herbivore so I knew she wouldn’t eat me – yet she had those killer horns which made her super cool, but not as scary as T-Rex 😉 Well, Garrett happens to be a big T-Rex fan and he also looooves PLAYMOBIL Toys! We themed his whole 4th bday party last year around the PLAYMOBIL Ghostbusters™ Firehouse, Ecto-1, Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, etc. He plays with them everyday and we love them too because of how well they’re made, and how it encourages creative play. Well this year for his birthday, we were so excited to surprise him with the PLAYMOBIL Hidden Temple with T-Rex!

Think your kiddos would love PLAYMOBIL toys? Just hover over the image above and click thru to Walmart to shop!

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CH2T Styling: Hattie Now x Brave Boutique

This past week I had the exciting opportunity to partner with one of my close friends, an extremely talented jewelry designer, to help launch her fall line. My friend Hattie launched Hattie Now Designs earlier this year, and it’s been so awesome to see her creativity come to life. She creates custom handmade jewelry that truly makes a statement. From stunning druzy necklaces and bracelets, to fun tassels and bold leather earrings – people are raving over her designs! I recently shared a fave “burnt orange” Longhorn-inspired pair on my IG that’s become my lucky tassels on game day 🙂 But her new blush colored teardrop tassels (pictured below) are my current obsessions 😉

Teardrop Tassels in Blush (also available in brown and camel)

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14 Ways to Honor the Loss of a Loved One

14 years ago today on September 14th, we lost a very special man – my dad. And honestly, special doesn’t even describe the man that meant so much to so many people. He was truly one in a million, which is no wonder heaven called him home early. Although his time on earth was a mere 46 years – it was as if he’d already lived ten more lifetimes than the rest of us. He was just that kind of old soul and I am so lucky to have had his love and influence in my life for as long as I did. I still miss him like crazy and that will never change. But what has changed is the way I choose to honor him on the anniversary of his passing. Some years are harder than others, especially the early years, but what matters is how you use this time to move forward. So I decided to list out 14 ways that have helped my mom and me honor my dad each year his anniversary rolls around. I hope these help you if you’re in the same situation, and I know we’ll be swapping stories, looking through old photos, and reliving our favorite memories all day because that’s what he would have wanted.

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