Category Archives: General

4 Easy Ways to Restore Your Soul

Motherhood is not easy. The early years can be especially tiring and isolating. As a stay-at-home Mom I live this weird oximoron where I’m never alone, yet always lonely. I’ve gone through periods that have been exhausting and overwhelming. Sometimes, in those hard weeks I start to go a little crazy, I lose my temper quicker than normal and pick fights with Nick. I’ve recently discovered, the best way to combat my bad moods is to make time for myself.

I’m not talking about a weekend getaway, with two little babies that’s definitely off the table. It’s more about finding small amounts of time throughout the day where I can be alone and restore my spirit. Sometimes I feel guilty doing something for me instead of doing dishes or washing the sheets, but ultimately if I don’t take care of me I can’t take care of everyone else. Here are some of my favorite ways to spend my time alone.

Read- I’ve always loved reading. Having kids makes it increasingly difficult, but setting a goal to read three pages a day is manageable. I like to read at night after both kids have gone to bed. It really helps me unwind and prepare for the next day. Right now I’m reading a book about Danish parenting and I really love it.

Listen to Podcasts- This is especially helpful on days when the kids don’t cooperate and I get no time to actually be alone. I will turn them on and listen while Eloise has tummy time. I also listen to them when I’m driving and the kids have fallen asleep. It really helps stimulate my brain, and I need that right now. Some of my favorite are The Dave Ramsey Show, The Robcast, Pod Save America, The Dollop, and Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations.

Take a Bath- When I was pregnant with Eloise I would put Emerson to sleep around 8:00 and take a bath every single night. I would use that time to be alone with my thoughts, or I’d take my laptop in and watch netflix.

Go to your favorite store/coffee shop- I’m trying to implement this in my house right now. Nick has committed to watching the kids for two hours a week so I can truly get away. Today was my first time leaving the house by myself and it was SO WEIRD. I didn’t really know what to do, but I sat at Starbucks for a while then walked through Home Goods. I know as the weeks go by I’ll get more comfortable being alone.

What are your favorite things to do when you get some alone time? Comment and give me more ideas!!

I’m a bad blogger

Okay… I’m worse that a bad blogger.

I’ve been seriously neglecting The Business of Blonde, but I really want to change that.
We’ve finally gotten into a little bit of a routine and I feel like I have a tiny bit of time to fully devote to this blog. I really want this to be a place where you can come to get encouragement and an honest look at motherhood.
What type of posts are you interested in seeing? I would love a little insight on why you’re visiting my page and what you’re looking for.
Right now my goal is to post once a week, I really think anything more than that would be too much.
A little update on life in AZ. Eloise is a sweetheart and has been such an amazing addition to our little family. I’m still contributing to North Phoenix Moms Blog, and have been writing about two posts a month for them.
I also just signed up with Dot Dot Smile so I sell children’s clothing, I have a Facebook page Here if you’re interested in the sweetest dresses and leggings around.

I think that’s all for tonight, but make sure you check back Monday for a new post!

Get To Know Me

Happy Sunday everyone!
I typically don’t blog on the weekends, but decided since this is a special post it could have a special day. Recently I found a really awesome group on Facebook called the Sensible mama Cha-O-Rama. It’s a super supportive mom group and one of the members suggested we do a little get to know me post! Most of the other moms are youtubers, but I decided to stick to what I know and write mine in a blog post! Thank you Nicole for suggesting this and thinking up the questions!

  1. What is your age? 
    I turned 24 a couple months ago
  2. How many children do you have and how old are they? 
    I have two babies. Emerson, my son,  is 18 months old and Eloise will be two weeks old on Wednesday.
  3. Would you like to have more children? 
    I would love more children, but not sure if I will have more. Nick and I have talked about potentially adopting or fostering kids in the future. Right now the plan is to enjoy the kids we do have, and pray about the future.
  4. If married, for how long? 
    Nick and I are celebrating four years in November! Honestly I can’t believe it, sometimes it feels like no time and sometimes it feels like it’s been 25 years. You can read more about us here.
  5. Where do you live? 
    We live in Phoenix, AZ. I was born in San Diego, but my family moved to Arizona when I was in jr. high. I definitely miss the beach, but I prefer the cost of living here in Arizona.
  6. Are you a SAHM, WAHM or do you work outside the home? 
    I consider myself a stay at home mom and left my corporate job when I had Emerson. However, I do still work a little bit. I teach dance on Saturdays during the school year at a local youth theater. I also sometimes choreograph musicals for youth theaters, schools and summer camps.
  7. What are your favorite mommy product brands and why?
    I could write a whole post on just mommy products, but I’ll try to keep it simple. My favorite diaper bags are ju-ju-be because you can wash them and they’re super high quality. I love water wipes because I’m not putting chemicals all over my kids, I love Aden and Anais swaddle blankets because they’re light weight and very soft. I love love love shopping at Carters for clothing because I think it’s adorable and I can always find good deals at the outlet.
  8. What are some of your hobbies? 
    Blogging, teaching dance, planning parties and decorating my house. With two kids under two years old I don’t get much time to myself so the idea of hobbies is kind of abstract right now.
  9. Is there anything you wish you could tell your pre-mom or new mom self? 
    Just that you get used to it. The lack of sleep becomes normal and eventually you don’t get scared every time you have to drive your child somewhere. People will always have an opinion, but if you listen to your mommy instinct you won’t regret it.
  10. What is your least favorite chore? 
    Taking out the trash. Especially when it’s 115 degrees outside. No thank you.

 

Well that’s it for the ‘get to know me’ Thanks so much for reading! If you want to watch all the other awesome mom’s  you can find the playlist with all their videos right here 🙂

Family of Four

One week ago we finally became a family of four! I use the word finally because anyone who has ever been pregnant knows that it’s the longest ten months ever.


Our last picture as a family of three!

Big brother meeting little sister
The first of many Target trips!
Blended frozen milk as a special treatEloise Marie was born on May 31st with probably the easiest labor ever. It was less than two hours from the time my water broke until I was holding her in my arms. We are just so in love with her and we’re having so much fun comparing her to pictures of Emerson.

The week has been almost like a dream, except to dream you actually have to be getting sleep. After getting Emerson on a sleep schedule I got used to 8 hours of sleep every night, now I’m back to 5-6 hours a night if I’m lucky. Thankfully Emerson has continued to sleep for around twelve hours each night. It’s nice to have the night alone with Eloise and be able to give her my undivided attention.

Today is Nick’s first day back at work so I hope I can keep both kids alive. The day we got back from the hospital I remember looking around and thinking ‘Okay now what?.’ We were so excited about having Eloise home, we never really thought about what it would actually be like to have her. We’ve already been taking her out and about, the day after we brought her home we went on her first Target trip. We also got Emerson a little treat at Starbucks for being a big brother. Emerson seriously has been the sweetest older brother. He loves to pet her head and tried to give her the pacifier if she starts crying.

Overall everyone is happy and healthy and I can’t wait to watch my babies grow and learn together!

Preparing for Two Under Two

I can’t believe that in a few weeks we’re going to become a four person household. I’ve been preparing mentally since I saw that positive pregnancy test. Recently we’ve actually started getting the house ready for another baby!

Double Stroller: We purchased a double stroller from a friend. You can find it here — and it came highly recommended to me. We’ve been practicing taking Emerson on walks in it and I have to say it’s easier to maneuver than I thought! We also took it out to the botinical gardens and had Emerson ride in it with his friend. They were so cute face to face!

Car Seats: Emerson got a new big boy car seat. His old car seat is an infant seat so we are reusing it for baby number two. The infant seat is the Chicco Keyfit 30. We love love love it and all we did was order new fabric since Emerson spit up and spilled lots of food. His new seat is the Graco Extend2Fit. We chose the graco because it was affordable, we paid $160 at target. It also will allow us to keep Emerson rear facing until he is two, which is what the AAP recommends. So far he seemed to like it. It has cup holders for his sippy cup and will go forward facing once we’re ready to make the switch.

Baby-Doll: We haven’t done too much research on introducing Emerson to baby girl, but he’s so young it’s not like we can have a conversation with him. He does notice my belly and I talk about how there is a baby in there. He will kiss and hug my belly which I think is so cute! My grandma also bought him a babydoll to play with. Sometimes Emerson will hug her and kiss her, other times he throws her. Obviously we’re not going to let him get too close or be with her unsupervised.

New Diaper Bag: Okay, actually two new diaper bags. What can I say, I have a problem. When we first found out we were having a girl I ordered a super cute bag from Vera Bradley. I’ve been carrying it for a few months and I realized it won’t be convenient for two kids. After tons of research I decided on the Jujube BRB. I wanted this bag mostly because it is a backpack style. With two kids I really need to be hands free. Jujube also uses teflon in the material to repel stains, plus all their bags are machine washable. Also they’re just beautiful. I owe a gigantic thank you to my mother-in-law who bought me this bag as my baby shower gift. I was so excited that I packed it up right when I got home. 

Sleep Training: I knew that having a toddler and a new born in our queen bed would not fly. In January, when Emerson was 13 months old, we made the decision to move Emerson to his crib in his room. It was not an easy choice and I did tons of online research to try to make it an easy transition for Emerson. I ended up mixing a few sleep training methods and after one very long very sad night he was in his bed. Since January Emerson has slept virtually every night in his crib from 8:00am-8:00pm with minimal crying. I’ve talked with so many mamas who are struggling to sleep train so I really want to write a post about how we did it.

There are still a lot of little things that need to get done. I’m sure not everything on our to-do list will get done in the next month, but that’s okay. The big stuff is done and honestly I just can’t wait to hold that little baby.

Stitch Fix Review #1

So today I’m doing something a little different and blogging about fashion. I’m not a fashion guru and that’s actually why I love the company i’m talking about today. Just an FYI this is not in any way sponsored, I’ve just been using this service for a couple years now and thought it would be interesting to share it with you guys.

What is Stitch Fix? It’s this awesome company that picks out clothing especially for you and sends it directly to your house. You can try it on, keep and pay for what you like, and return what you don’t want to keep.

How does it work? So you go online here and fill out their style survey. They show you some different looks and ask you to rate them. Then they ask what you do for work or what you do during the day to make sure they send you what you actually need. They also ask you to link your Pinterest board, if you have one dedicated to fashion, and they’ll use that as well to see what you like.  Once you’ve completed that you can schedule your fix, there is a $20 upfront fee, but that gets credited to your fix so you automatically have that $20 for clothing. One of my favorite things is that it’s not a subscription, you can set it up to be every month if you want or you can set it up one at a time. For the past few years I’ve gotten a box every six months or so. (Side note, I’m literally so sick of companies that force you to buy something every month to get the good deal…) Anyways, once your box arrives it has five pieces hand selected by your stylist. The box also contains; a letter from your stylist explaining the pieces they sent, a card showing some ways to style the clothing and a prepaid return bag so you can send back what you don’t want. You normally get a few days to decide what you want to keep and what you want to return. If you decide to keep all five pieces there is a 25% discount. That’s pretty much it, I hope I didn’t miss anything!

I’m going to share all the pieces that were sent in my latest fix and tell you guys if I kept or returned them. I should mention that the prices are on the higher side, but the quality is amazing. This is not a place to go for cheap fast fashion I only keep investment pieces I know I’ll wear over and over.

  1. Rune Maternity Leggings-
    When I saw the price ($53) I was like, oh heck no. I don’t think I’ve ever spend more than $20 on a pair of leggings, but when I tried them on I was totally sold. They are made of mostly spandex so their sturdy, plus since they’re maternity they cover my belly perfectly. As an added bonus I found out they are made in the USA and I’m always willing to spend a little extra to know they were made in America.
    Verdict: Keep
  2. Stich Fix brand Camisole three pack-
    Hello three for one! My stylist really listened when I said I needed basics. I also mentioned I would rather just size up in shirts instead of having maternity and she followed that exactly. These are super soft and really long so I can wear them under anything.
    Verdict: Keep
  3. Long Sleeve Flannel:
    I mentioned to Rachel, my stylist, that it’s already warm in AZ so I didn’t need winter wear. She explained in her letter that she sent this long sleeve because it was so light weight and thought it would look great unbuttoned over a cami with the leggings. She was so right. The shirt is super soft and I love that I can wear it whether I’m pregnant or not.
    Verdict: Keep
  4. Lace Kimono:
    My Pinterest board is covered with floral and kimonos so Rachel got me a little of both. She gave some great tips on how to dress it up or dress it down. I think kimonos are like the pregnant woman’s savior because you can throw them over anything and look put together.
    Verdict: Keep

5. Grey T-shirt:
I specifically asked for casual and comfortable and the box was spot on. This last item is by far my favorite. It’s made in the USA and super soft. I know it’s going to be my new go to shirt. I do think the neckline is a little plain so I’ll need a necklace with it, but it’s perfect for me to wear on any given day. It’s also nice and loose so I can wear it as I get bigger.
Verdict: Keep

This might be a little misleading, because in my past two years of receiving stick fix boxes I have never kept all five. Normally I keep two or three max. This box was just exactly what I needed plus I haven’t really updated my wardrobe since Emerson was born. Overall I spent $180.00 and even though that’s a big pill to swallow, I know I ended up with five quality pieces of clothing that are going to last me a very long time.

If you’re interested in trying Stitchfix you can follow this link to set it up. This is a referral link so I will receive a $25 account credit, full disclosure.

We’re Having a Girl


It’s official that baby Kennedy number two is a GIRL! Nick and I are so excited that Emerson is going to have a little sister, now if only we could agree on a name.

We had our gender ultrasound in January, the day we left for Hawaii. I was hoping to know before our trip so we could announce it while on the island and buy him/her lots of baby clothes. Well, the tech couldn’t give us a for sure and although she thought it was a girl she told us not to buy anything just yet. I was disappointed, but quickly reminded myself that waiting four more weeks to determine the sex is not a big deal and all that was important was that baby was healthy. Since we did think it was a girl I went ahead and bought this super cute pink necklace and I told some of our family that it might be a girl.

Now that we are the for sure from the DR I’m pretty much going crazy. I already bought her a few pairs of baby shoes, and a ton of onesies from Carters. Nick keeps telling me to wait until after I have a baby shower to buy things, but I’ve been waiting my whole life to dress a baby girl.

Where are your favorite places to find super cute baby girl stuff? Comment and let me know!
Onesies are all from Carters and the shoes are from Freshly Picked.

Hawaiian Birthday

     

Since I’m way behind on basically everything in life right now, it shouldn’t be a surprise that I’m almost two months late on talking about Emerson’s birthday. My poor baby was born on December 28th so this year with all the christmas and new years craziness we had to hold off a little on the party. We did however, take him on a very special birthday trip. When he was a few months old Nick and I started planning a trip to the Big Island of Hawaii, half for us and half as a birthday trip for him. Okay so mostly for us considering he won’t even remember it, but I promise he had a great time!

We stayed in a very secluded condo complex basically an hour away from any civilization. From our room we had a beautiful view of the ocean and the sun rising each morning. We were just a short walk away from Hawaii’s black sand beach so we tried to walk down there as often as possible. Emerson was a huge fan of the beach, specifically the sand. How do I know this? I could tell by the amount of sand we kept finding in his diaper. What is it was babies and eating everything? Everyday we were there he would try to stuff as much sand as possible in his mouth.

We went to a luau and again Emerson had a blast! He was such a good baby, zero tears the entire time. We were afraid maybe the loud noise or fire would scare him, but nope he actually fell asleep during the fire dance. We visited Volcano National Park a few times and although Emerson didn’t care at all Nick and I had a great time. We got to see the actual lava bubbling inside the crater which is pretty incredible.

We already can’t wait until our next Hawaiian vacation, especially since next time we go we’ll have our baby girl with us. Do you have a favorite family vacation spot? Comment and let me know! We’re always looking for fun places to visit!

Life Update

Today officially marks the end of my first trimester (according to the What to Expect app.) Thankfully over the past two weeks my morning sickness has all but disappeared. It was a different kind of sickness than I had with Emerson, but still just as horrible. I basically have been hibernating for the past three months, but I’m ready to rejoin civilization. Timing wise I’m pretty happy that I’ll be able to really enjoy this Christmas season, since it’s my favorite time of year. We haven’t been able to do tons of decorating because between the puppy and the baby, things tend to get destroyed. It’s pretty crazy that I”m spending two Christmas’s in a row pregnant. Last year I was right at the end of my pregnancy and was not able to enjoy the holidays because I was so uncomfortable. This year I’m hoping to at least get a tree up, but we’ll see.

A little bit about baby number two, he/ she had a strong heartbeat and seems to be growing just fine. I’m hoping we’ll get to find out if it’s a boy or a girl before Christmas, but this time I’m not as anxious. I don’t think I’ll be that upset if we have to wait until January.

As for Emerson he is very quickly approaching his first birthday. Truth be told I do not feel ready to have a toddler. As much as I miss my tiny little baby Nick and I are loving getting to know Emerson and his personality. He is such a silly baby. He loves to crawl around the house and have us chase him, he is almost always smiling and giggling and he is completely obsessed with peek-a-boo. He has so many toys, but prefers laptops, iPhones, and remotes to any baby toy. He is epecially enjoying ‘helping’ me to type this post. The pictures in the post are from last week the weather was perfect so Nick and I spent the day walking thru model homes and finding different small parks to play in with Emerson.

We have a few fun trips coming up that I’m really looking forward to. Christmas day we’re driving to California to spend some time with my closest friend and help her celebrate her engagement! Then beginning of January we’re heading over to Hawaii for a much needed family vacation. It’s going to be Emerson’s very first time at the beach and I really think he’s going to love it. I am super nervous about flying on a redeye with a one year old so any recommendation and tips would be greatly appreciated!

I think that’s enough for today, but now that I’m feeling better I do intend on posting regularly again.

Meet our Newest Family Member

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^^ Emerson loves eating Nala’s bones, I promise I took it away from him after I got some pictures.

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Last week Nick and I decided to add a new family member into our home. I’m so excited to introduce everyone to Nala. She is a nine-week-old lab and cattle dog mix that we rescued here in Phoenix. Nick and I have wanted a puppy since we were first married, but wanted to wait for the right time. We went from living in an apartment to a condo and never had a yard where a dog could run around. When we bought the house we knew it wouldn’t be long before we found a furry friend to join our clan.

Nala joined us last Thursday and the transition has been interesting. She is very sweet and calm for a puppy, but she still has her crazy moments. The funniest thing has been watching her and Emerson. They don’t seem to care about each other too much, except when I give Nala attention. Emerson will crawl up and push her out of my lap. They also both seem more interested in each other’s toys than their own. We have had to keep a close eye on Nala’s bones because Emerson wants to put them in his mouth.

The reactions were mixed when we announced we were getting a puppy, and most people were concerned about me since I’m the one who is home all day. It really hasn’t been horrible, but it definitely isn’t easy. Nick has been awesome about taking the pup out in the middle of the night, and I’m still up with Emerson every few hours. We’ve only has two accidents inside the house and Nick has cleaned them both up for me. If anyone is in the process of house training I’ve been taking Nala out every 45 minuets and giving her a treat every time she goes potty outside, so far it seems to be working.

Since I’ve been so busy chasing them around I’ve started listening to Ebooks on audible. I just started The Girl on The Train and I have credits for three more books so if you have any suggestions please comment below and let me know what I should download next!

Hope everyone has great Thursday! I”m planning some posts about our new home so make sure you’re staying tuned!