Why I Cherish Sundays as One Happy Family

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

There are few things I love more in life than spending Sundays with my family. It’s the one day of the week I know I can look forward to the hubs being home. He works an erratic schedule most days, but we can always count on at least having Sundays at home together. Our favorite thing to do is sit and eat a big breakfast in our sunny dining room, where Grant loves to serve up his famous blueberry and cinnamon pancakes.

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Goldfish Crackers

How to Win the Snack War with These 5 Types of Snackers

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

We’ve all been there. You just finished putting together a plate of 52 different snacks, and it never fails – two minutes later you hear, “Mommy, I want another snaaaaaack.” If you’re one of the lucky ones, you’ll even get a “pleaaaassseee” thrown in there. But either way, I’m convinced there’s not a hungrier person on earth than a kid who’s just been told they can’t have another snack. I mean seriously, cue the overly dramatized “NBA basketball player” flop. Every. Single. Time. Because I know you know what I’m talking about, mamas – I’ve decided to have a little fun with this dilemma of ours and I’ve partnered up with Goldfish crackers to create a fail-safe plan to tackle even the pickiest of snackers. I’m calling this particular war plan “How to Win the Snack War with These 5 Types of Snackers.” Here goes:

1) The “Purist” Snacker

You may not have one of these, so allow me to elaborate. This snacker wants one snack, and one snack only. Once said snacker has finished one snack, then and only then is it acceptable to introduce another one. I know this because I tried making one of those cute little “baggie o’ snacks” that I saw a mommy friend of mine make for her daughters for them to enjoy on the way from school to gymnastics. Sounds harmless enough, right? Wrong. I dared to try my hand at making one of those “poisonous snack mixes” for my son and he all but threw it back at me. Not really, but he totally turned his nose up at it, and this is how I knew I had a “snacking purist” on my hands. Now I don’t mess around, cuz I know a Goldfish crackers multipack bag is all he wants. And honestly, it saves me a lot of time anyway when I’m just lucky if I manage to get out the door with my 8 month old in time to make it for pick-up.

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Top Three Reasons Why It’s Cool to be a Mom – Because, Science

 

Before I had kids, I always knew I wanted to have lots of them – kids of my own, adopted kids, heck, even fostered kids – I wanted them all. Fast forward twenty-some years and I realized “adulting” wasn’t as easy as I thought it was gonna be. Funny how much things change, even when you’re so sure of yourself and your future. The same can be said about the way we think we know everything there is to know about having kids. In fact, I remember hearing years ago about cord blood banking and stem cell research – and thinking that it was only for people who had a first child with leukemia, but had a second so they could use their cord blood to treat their sibling. While this is still very true, I’m learning as a parent of two now that there are so many more new advancements in science and more research using cord blood than I could have imagined. So here are my top three reasons why it’s cool to be a mom in this day and age:

 

1) Sibling love is adorable

Unless you’re an only child, chances are you grew up with a sibling either in your shadow or vice versa. I for one, had two older brothers that I royally annoyed every chance I could get, and yet they still loved me for it. I see the same dynamic already with Garrett and Charlotte – he absolutely, and for the most part unconditionally, adores her. In fact, when people ask him if he shares his toys with her, he tells them that he’s given her all of his old baby toys, which is true, and he’ll literally spend hours just playing with her on the floor in her room (you can see proof of their sibling love I captured below 🙂 To tell the truth, I was so against having a third because I was one of three and fully believe in the “middle child syndrome.” But if these two keep up this sweetness, they’re gonna have mama rethinking things…

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Vionic Shoes - Discover the Secret

Mom Jean Confessions: Subliminal Messaging

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission if you make a purchase using the links in this post. I received a complimentary product in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are 100% my own.

If you follow me on Instagram, then you’ve already had a sneak peek into what the last week and half has been like for our little Murray clan (oh, and for the foreseeable future I’ll be referring to my family as “The Murray Clan” – not because we’re part Scottish, but because that’s what happens when you binge watch Outlander for the first months of a child’s life). So long story short, my mom (who stays with us and helps me with the kiddos a couple times a week), ended up going to my oldest brother’s in NC to help out with his little one the week after Easter. I kid you not. It never fails. Anytime she’s gone, Grant gets told he has to travel for work. The first time it happened actually spawned my very first ever “Mom Jean Confessions” post where I so lovingly referred to myself as a Momaholic. But you wanna know the even more ironic part – it was literally three years ago to the day that they both left me hanging 😯. I’m convinced it’s a sick joke they like to play on me, just to test me. Not funny guys, not funny. Especially because this time around, Garrett and Charlotte both came down with the stomach flu – need I say more? No, but I will for entertainment’s sake. Oh and just in case you’re wondering why we all look so happy in these photos – this was literally the one day of reprieve we had. The hubs had just gotten back into town the night before at like midnight, Garrett had finally felt good enough to go back to school that day, and little did I know Charlotte would come down with what Garrett had exactly 24 hours from the moment these were taken. Hence, the title “Subliminal Messaging” 😉

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CH2T Styling: ABC13 x Closet Cleanout

You might remember I filmed Wardrobe Transition Pieces for ABC13’s Mirror Mirror segment with Rebecca Spera back in January. Well I’m so excited to share the next feature we did for Mirror Mirror called “Closet Cleanout.” If you’ve been needing a little push to finally do some wardrobe spring cleaning, my favorite type of cleaning, then this one’s for you. For this segment, I’m talking about the four types of clothing you should get rid of to thin out your closet. Since I know it can be a bit of a painful process, I’ve come up with a fun way to make things a little easier on you with my “Closet Offenders” as I like to call them. You can watch the video below and read the full story here.

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Our Favorite First Foods & Easy Ways to Feed Your Baby

 

I’ve been itching to write a post for some time now with all the favorite first foods I’ve tried with both Garrett and Charlotte. I’ve also had several friends ask how I go about making my own baby food. Since I often feel like it’s something that can seem daunting at first, I wanted to offer up tips as well as some of my favorite foods (like HappyBaby Whole Milk Yogurt), and products to help when it comes time for you to wean your baby. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments, and I’m happy to answer or point you in the right direction!

 

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CH2T Covets: IncrediBundles x 4 Ways to Stimulate Baby’s Brain

Charlotte just turned eight months old and it’s as if a light bulb went off in her little brain. In a matter of days she started sitting up on her own, began babbling up a storm (mostly about dada, but I still claim she said mama first hehe), and grabbing at literally everything in sight – which can get interesting at times ;). I’m sure you’ve heard that the majority of a baby’s brain is developed in the first three years, but did you know that a baby’s brain actually doubles in size just in the first year? Pretty amazing, and to be honest, a little intimidating at the same time. All of the sudden you start to feel the pressure of making sure you’re challenging their little minds, instead of just stealing about 2,000 kisses throughout the day. Luckily, around this same time, I had the privilege of partnering with IncrediBundles.com to try out their awesome bundles specifically designed with a baby’s development in mind. I love that they make it so easy, since us moms have enough on our plate as it is, and you can either choose from one of their pre-made bundles (book, bath, sleep, etc.) or you can choose to create your own bundle which is what I did.

When creating my bundle, I thought back to the types of activities I remembered doing with Garrett and seeing how much he thrived from them. So I’ve listed below my tried and true ways to stimulate development in your baby, along with the IncrediBundles items I selected for Charlotte.

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The Perfect Spring Layering Piece

My Week in Style: Spring Break Mommy & Son Throwback

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

Spring break was gone in a flash, and before we know it, it’ll be Easter. Like one week from today to be exact. But when you have a kid, it’s almost like every holiday starts out like a cute little Mogwai, except you accidentally feed it after midnight and it ends up multiplying. Seriously, I feel like we’ve already celebrated Easter three times before the actual Easter, and we still have two more Easter parties this week. I kid you not, when it’s all said and done this kid will have had literally seven Easter egg hunts. Seven, people. I’m totally not complaining – hey, it takes the guess work out of what the heck to entertain a very, we’ll call it “particular” shall we, four year old who could attend a circus, while taking a karate class, while jumping on a trampoline and still ask “what are we doing next?” (cue collective mom eye-roll).

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Evivo Probiotics

The First 6 Months: Ups & Downs with a Breastfed Baby

 

There are always so many unknowns when you have a baby. But the biggest unknown for me, especially having gone through a lot of anxiety those first few months with a very colicky Garrett, was not knowing if Charlotte would have the same stomach and feeding issues. I remember vividly when they handed Charlotte to me in the hospital and asked if I wanted to try breastfeeding her. I immediately had flashbacks to Garrett and what a hard time he had latching. But I honestly have never breathed such a huge sigh of relief when I realized how much easier breastfeeding was with Charlotte, and I knew I wanted to do everything I could to keep her healthy and happy. Which is why I was so excited to learn about Evivo, a once-daily baby probiotic that is clinically proven to restore the good bacteria called B. infantis to baby’s gut, while reducing the potentially harmful bacteria linked to colic, eczema, allergies, diabetes and obesity by 80%. 

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Gerber Cereal

What I’m Feeding Cha Cha as a 2nd-Time Breastfeeding Mama

If someone would have told me – like, truly told me – just how different it would feel being a second-time mom to Charlotte (aka Cha Cha), I honestly don’t think I would have believed them. My first-time mom self was so sure of her sanctimommy ways, and yet at the same time so insecure. I guess that just comes with the mommy territory – we all try so hard to know everything for the sake of these little ones, that at times we forget that we’re grasping at the impossible. When it comes to feeding our babies, there’s so much information at our fingertips that it can seem overwhelming at times. Luckily, Gerber® Cereal gives your baby the perfect first food that helps you rest assured you’re providing them with the right nutrition, like iron to help support healthy brain development.

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