Mama Made

It’s getting to be shopping season so I figured, what better time to introduce you all to some of my favorite shops! But these aren’t just any shops. Nope, these are mama made shops!

Mama makers have to be some of my favorite people. They’re creative souls balancing passion and family while following their dreams – it’s a beautiful thing! I adore being a part of their story as a customer, ambassador, Pinterest-er … you name it, I want to see these lovely mamas soar!

katie archer plus hare

Archer + Hare

Use code THATMAMALOVE for 20% off through November 15, 2014

I first met Katie Kelly on Instagram. I mean, isn’t that where all friendships are born these days? We commented back and forth and then she had a little sale and I bought a necklace for my sister. It arrived and I wanted it for myself – big time! And thus, my love for Archer + Hare was born. Ready to browse and find the perfect thing for your sister (or you?) … this matches everything and these are perfect for that rustic and cozy Fall and Winter feel I know we’re all stylin’. Oh, and all this!

jill brave sunday

Brave Sunday

Use code THATMAMAG15 for 15% off through November 15, 2014

Jill and I go way back – coffee slingin’ days. From the good ol’ coffee shop we went our separate ways and then had our babies and – BOOM! – friends once again! Right around baby time Jill launched Brave Sunday and friends, it’s all so lovely! Simple everyday sparkles and beautiful bling. Whatever you’re looking for – Brave Sunday has it! Oh, and she takes custom orders for weddings and all that jazz! Let’s face it, everyone needs sparkle in their life!

holly sweet ties

Sweet Ties Hair Ties

Use code Gift20 for 20% off through November 30th, 2014

Holly’s shop is special because it’s a touch more than just mama made – it’s mama daughter made! I’ve seen all Holly’s wares in person at a local market and my sisters and I near wiped out her stock of headbands, hair ties and accessories. It’s obvious that Holly and her girls put their heart into everything they make; I love it all! Especially this, this and this :) Can you say, stocking stuffers?

kathy heart of gold

Heart of Gold Princess

Use code PRINCESS15 for 15% through November 30, 2014

I saved my favorite mama for last – MY MAMA! She’s been sewing for decades now and has yet to say “no” to any projects I dream up. Most recently, she’s started selling her Disney princess inspired dresses on Etsy! Of course, Elsa is the most popular, but Anna has her fair share of fans too. My personal favorite … Snow White and Jemma has been “swimming” around in Ariel nonstop lately. Little girls love princess dresses and mamas love Heart of Gold because they’re sturdy and washable!

 Join with me in supporting these mama made shops this holiday season! Shop with them, pin items from their virtual storefronts and don’t forget to share with your friends … everyone loves buying gifts with a coupon!


{One Hundred Lessons} Push Me and I\'ll Hold You Closer

One Hundred Lessons is my story. It’s the heart of my experience in motherhood and all the things, well 100 of the things, I want my children to read and remember. These bits are my hope for the future and my cherished memories of the past. Most of all, they are the beautiful moments of today that I never want us to forget.

You can read all the post from the One Hundred Lessons series here.


I Believe-4

Hurt people, hurt people.

It’s true with little people. And it’s even more true with grown people. When you’re hurting, you push people away, because at the moment it seems like it would feel better to be alone. Or, to strike out and try to equal the pain you’re feeling.

Of course, in moments of sanity we know this isn’t true. Hurting someone else, whether physically or verbally, never makes us feel better long-term. It’s a short-term solution for something much deeper; something that takes time and effort to heal.

But time is rarely on our side and effort takes diligence many would prefer to ignore. And so, hurting happens. Over and over and over again. And the more we hurt inside, the more we will most likely hurt others. It’s a vicious circle that takes intentionality to break. 

So here’s the thing, my little ones, right now when you’re in the throws of tantrums and overflowing emotion, when you push and scream and yell, I’m going to hold you close. I’m going to help you tame those feelings and show you how to exchange them for love and kindness. 

It isn’t easy. It will take us many moments of practice. But I will show you. It’s something I’m learning and it’s something I want to teach you.

When you’re older know that you can always run to me when you’re hurting, no matter what. I’ll hold you in my arms, I’ll take your racing thoughts and hurting hearts and do my very best to guide you towards resolution – for yourself and for those around you.

For now my littles, when you’re angry and pushing; when you’re trying to hurt me I’m going to wrap you in the biggest hug I can muster and let you yell and explode until my calm crosses to you. And then we can talk and cry and make things better. I’ll help you stop hurting so you don’t have to hurt others. It will be good practice, because in this life, hurting will never stop. The better we can become at processing it, the better we will ALL be from that point forward. 


A Question Birthday Cake

question cakeJemma loves to talk. Even more, she loves to ask questions. So, for her birthday this year, I turned the table on her and made her a question birthday cake. What is a question cake you ask? Well, here’s how it goes …

First, type up a list of age-appropriate questions and print them on card stock. Size and cut each question to be about 2 inches tall and 5 inches long.

Fold each question in half, hamburger style, and hole punch the open end. Secure with a curly ribbon or twisted wire wrap. Fold foil around each one.

question cake steps

Next, bake and frost a cake. I followed this recipe for sour cream banana bread and just baked it in two spring form pans instead of a loaf pan. 

Use a knife to cut a slit into the top of your cake and gently slid in your foil covered question. Post birthday (and the popularity of this cake) I think I may try using a thick lamination instead of the foil next go around. But for this year, this method worked just fine. question cake 2

Your question cake is now done! Get ready to present your cake to the birthday girl! She’ll squeal in delight when she discovers all the questions are just for her to answer :) Before cutting, we took turns pulling out a question and asking it to Jemma. I jotted down all her sweet and silly answers to type up as a little 4 year old interview. She’s already asked for a question cake for her 5th birthday so I’d consider it a success!


This Week

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Fall, in the form of buckets of rain, has forced me to slow down. It has been wonderful.

For the last two weeks our Monday-Wednesday has been empty. Other than school pick up for our high school girls, the littles and I have been home. We’ve accomplished a few projects, mostly organizing things, but for the most part have laid low – played, watched movies, cooked, napped. A mini hibernation if you will.

I have done some great sorting and prep for the upcoming consignment sale and I’ve got a running list of Craigslist and eBay items to send on their way. Do you resell stuff or are you a Goodwill dropper? For me, I’ve found it takes a good amount of time to resell, but when the checks come a rollin’ in I always determine it is worth it. 

Wednesday was my late grandma’s birthday which is always just sad because we were October birthday girls. Just another kindred connection between us. Instead of mope about I did what she would have done to brighten the day — brunch, sweets, presents, flowers and surprises. 

Jemma chose purple flowers from Trader Joe’s to place at the cemetery and informed me that “this place would be really fun for me and Max to run around when it’s sunny”. She also seems quite fascinated with the fact that her grandma lives in Portland, but mine lives in Heaven with Jesus God. Yep, Jesus God … because apparently we’ve got 2 of the 3 elements of the Trinity locked in tight!

I let her eat cookies for breakfast, because, why not? And both Jemma and Max accompanied me to the nail salon for my second ever shellac. I could have been a disaster, but wasn’t! Like, it went so smooth, I may try again some time! I opted for a cloudy gray because it, paired with turquoise via Archer + Hare and cozy mustard seem to be the perfect dose of fall. Use code THATMAMALOVE for 20% agates slices, quartz and all sorts of rustic beauties at Archer + Hare!

Today I’m going to a home birth support gathering quasi baby shower for a mama expecting her third. I’m such a birth junkie’ Really any kind of birth since I’ve experienced birth center, hospital and home between Jemma and Max’s arrivals. Which leads me to this 31 Day Series on Postpartum Health & Healing – AMAZING! And, the news that three ladies in my circle have recently found out they’re expecting twins, all naturally! WHAT?!? 

Family photos are in the final phase of editing. Which leads me to the dreaded and much anticipated holiday card selection and letter writing. I LOVE receiving them, and LOVE when I have it done. It’s just the process of culling addresses and highlighting the year that leads me to want to say “here is my blog address, that pretty much covers what we’ve been up to” :)

Oh, and this week I won a pair of Freshly Picked moccs. I polled ya’ll on Facebook about what color to choose and tuck away for someday baby #3. This is what I decided on.

Last, but not least, because I’m just about ready to soak in the tub with my book I might as well mention that I’m reading this, because isn’t everyone? And highly recommend this before it comes to theaters in February.


New + Improved Just Between Friends Seattle

jbf

Just Between Friends Seattle just got a facelift! A new owner, a new location (Metropolitan Banquet Hall in Renton Highlands) and you guessed it, a TON of new consignors. This sale is shaping up to be the perfect pre-Christmas shopping event to stock up on gifts and the necessary winter clothing. Here’s the thing about consignment sales … you find awesome deals, usually 60-80% off of retail, and therefore are able to purchase all the basics you need and some for less. It’s a win for everyone.

I’m thrilled this sale is happening in November. I have my Christmas budget ready and have a rough idea of what I’m watching for in regards to toys and winter essentials. And, it’s before Black Friday, so, if I don’t find something, I’ve still got time to cover my bases.

So, my friends, mark these dates on your calendar – NOVEMBER 13th and 14th.

There are other shopping dates (see the full sale schedule here) – but of course, those who shop first get first choice on the racks, bins and shelves of deals! Ideally, you want to be there early in the sale, then, it’s always helpful to return for a second round on 50% off day! This, I know from experience :)

You can purchase a Prime Time Shopping Pass online for $10 to shop at 5pm on Thursday, November 13th. This is a fabulous opportunity to be one of the first in the door! Grab those tickets here.

Even better, if you’re a special kind of parent (first time, military, foster or even a teacher!), you get a free pass to shop early too – 6 to 10 pm on Thursday, November 13th. You just have to register

November 14th is open to the public and for $2 anyone can shop from 10 am to 8 pm!

Stay tuned for a giveaway and take a moment to comment and answer one of these two questions, I’m curious …

  1. What has been your favorite consignment sale purchase?
  2. What are you hoping to find at this sale? Is it part of your Christmas shopping?

This post is sponsored by JBF Seattle. All opinions are my own.


Style File /// Two Generations of Stitch Fix

I don’t know if anything will ever beat my 3rd Stitch Fix shipment – the one where I kept everything, but I do know that I truly love Stitch Fix and can’t wait to share what came in fix #4!

More exciting is that my mama jumped on the Stitch Fix wagon and is sharing her 2nd fix today too! So, if you ever thought Stitch Fix was too hip or too young for you or your mama, get ready for a real treat! Stitch Fox covers the generational gamut!

For a little refresher, here is how Stitch Fix works …

  1. Complete a style profile here, it takes about 15 minutes to notate your size, style preferences, budget, lifestyle, etc. You can even submit the link to a style board on Pinterest! 
  2. Schedule the date you want your fix to arrive – depending on how busy they are, it’s usually about a month out from when you complete your profile.
  3. A Stitch Fix stylist reviews your profile and hand selects 5 pieces just for you!
  4. Your fix ships, you get to try on each piece in the comfort of your home and then return whatever you don’t like or doesn’t fit. They even include a styling guide for each piece to give you ideas on how to put together outfits with your fix items.
  5. Once your box ships you’re charged a $20 styling fee, but that fee is applied to anything you choose to keep so you really don’t lose.
  6. After you make your final decision you complete a simple checkout online – marking what items you are keeping and giving feedback on everything you received. Was the price right? The size? The style? And then a blank box to add specifics like “too tight on the tummy” or “how did you know this color would look perfect on me!?!” If you keep everything in your box you save 25% off everything! Cool bonus, right?

And now, onto the 5 surprises of my 4th fix and my mama’s 2nd fix!

stitch fix cords

Top /// Cynthia Graphic Print Mixed Material Tank by Collective Concepts, Pants /// Jonathan Corduroy Skinny Pants by Kut From The Kloth, Jean Jacket /// 2nd Fix and one of my forever favorites of all timestitch fix green dress

Dress /// Andee Printed Tie Waist Dress by Ezrastitch fix tops

Left top /// Stella Colorblock Dolman Sleeve Knit Shirt by Pomelo, Right top /// Praxton Pleat Detail Split Neck Blouse by Skies are Blue

stitch fix mom 1

Left Sweater /// Corinna Striped Dolman Top by Market and Spruce, Right Top /// Kellen Split Hem Space Dye Knit Tee by RAG , Pants /// Duboce Straight Leg Jean by Margaret Mstitch fix mom blouse

 Top /// Beckett Graphic Print V-Neck Blouse by 41Hawthorn

We left out one of my mama’s pieces – a less than flattering sweater cardigan that just wasn’t worth documenting. So don’t worry, you do know how to count to five :)

Overall, we loved our pieces – they were the perfect assortment of summer to fall transition. Just what we needed! I had specifically asked for a tunic type dress that could be layered for the fall. I even went as far as sending my stylist this pin for inspiration. I think she did marvelously with the little green number! I even wore it for my birthday earlier this month, summer-izing it a bit since it almost hit 80 that Sunday!

When all was said and done I only kept the green dress. The cords didn’t fit quite right and the black and white and green top weren’t as flattering as I’d hoped. I was super on the fence about the navy/cream/teal top, but in the end I determined I felt a little self conscientious with the cream stripe across my boobs. I wish the cream stripe would have been on the top!

My mama kept the green striped sweater and the sleeveless blouse – doesn’t she look stunning in both!?! The grey top had odd slits up both sides to which we determined it wasn’t quite age appropriate. And the eggplant pants were amazing, just the same style as the green pair she received and loved from her 1st fix so when it came down to packing up our returns she decided she didn’t need two jewel tone skinnies for the fall. 

We have another mother daughter fix scheduled for November 13th! Can’t wait! One of these days we may try to loop in my sister too – a Stitch Fix trio!!!

If you haven’t already signed up for Stitch Fix, give it a try! My fixes just keep getting better and better and Stitch Fix would be the perfect service if you’re wanting to add something new to your closet for the holidays :)

SIGN UP HERE


Links included in this post are my referral link and I earn a credit when you sign up through them. And, I give you a big ol’ virtual hug because you allow me to keep the occasional Stitch Fix coming my way. THANK YOU!


Salish Honey + Goat Cheese Toast

IMG_9998Remember my trip to Salish Lodge & Spa?

I left with more than lovely memories, I left with honey! Real, true, amazing honey from Salish’s bees. There is nothing better than local honey. It has immense health benefits and is delicious to boot and so, I add honey to lots and lots of things.

I learned about goat cheese and honey from this awesome mama. She visited us this summer and we picnicked with our littles and she brought a bevy of treats. One being goat cheese, honey and crackers. Oh yum!

It’s sounds weird. But, really … it’s perfect. And if feels very French. 

So, my friends, toast that whole grain bread – slather on some goat cheese and drizzle a touch of honey. You can thank me after your first bite :)

What are your favorite goat cheese or honey recipes? I’d love to learn how to incorporate more of each into our weekly recipes!

 


The Everyday List

High five to Cottonelle for sponsoring today’s post. Read on to grab your free printable and click here to snag a coupon!


Happy Monday morning!

I really love Mondays as a stay at home/work at home mama. When Jemma was a baby and I was heading out the door for 4 long days away from her, I hated them. But now, they just feel like a fresh start. I get all Cinderella where she opens all the windows and pulls back her hair and sings with the birds … because today? This week? It’s mine for the taking!

My Cinderella aspirations don’t always last long though. I’m summoned for breakfast and begin flitting about from fire to fire. Returning phone calls and the inevitable Facebook abyss, dressing the littles and debating whether or not stick with my plan to run.  That’s why “The Everyday List” was born.

The Everyday List is my ongoing to do list. The one I do every, single day no matter what. Well, the one I STRIVE to do every single day. It keeps me on track – with my mornings especially. 

It’s a wee bit embarrassing that I actually need a visual reminder for these things, but … such is life. Such is mom brain! Without a visual, I end up skipping most/all of these things and I just don’t want to! They’re all priorities I need to keep on top of! This is what I track on my daily list:

  • Morning vitamins + supplements — I bought a grandma pill counter to keep me organized
  • Bible study — The littles watch Daniel Tiger and I hide away at the dining table :) If the morning is busy, I try to do this first thing once they’re in bed
  • 100+ ounces of water — My best trick is starting the day with a large mason jar tumbler and drinking that 20 ounces before eating or drinking anything else
  • Jem’s lesson — We’re working our way through Teach Your Kids To Read In 100 Easy Lessons every other day and doing various activities on the flip days
  • Exercise — Walk, run, yoga – gotta keep moving!
  • Evening supplements — Right now it’s a dose of Mag Calm and Serenity essential oil on my feet to ease me into slumber

Jemma is now at the age where she can direct many of her activities. So this month she gained her own check list! Her list is focused on morning to dos; all the things she can accomplish solo right when she wakes up —> potty, tell Mama you’re awake, turn on music (she listens to Barry Manilow or Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake!) and independent play. Then, once I’m up, she spear heads brushing teeth, getting dressed and helping prepare breakfast.

This is the pretty list we track everything on! I made a blank copy for you to download and plan out your own list!

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Download the printable PDF here

I want to briefly zone in on my favorite thing about Jemma’s routine — THE SOLO POTTY STOP that happens first thing in the morning! Without being asked or reminded, my little love goes about her business all on her own. This is such a huge accomplishment in the milestone of potty training, amiright?!?

I don’t really think the independence would quite be there if it wasn’t for Cottonelle’s Clean Care System. The wet+dry combo gives that extra boost of confidence that has turned 4 year old potty time into a private affair. A little tissue paper, a little flushable wet wipe and done! Woohoo! cottonelle collage cottonelle

In true Jemma fashion she chose to decorate her flushable wipe dispenser with some princess flair. An old baby wipe box seemed to work easier than the chic box Cottonelle has available for her little hands so that’s the one we keep near the potty. Mostly, I conceded to her sticker plan since it was a better deal for me to purchase Cottonelle’s refill packs. Plus, this coupon took another $1 off my total! 

Have you used the Cottonelle Clean Care System? Jemma is a big fan, and frankly, I am too since it gives me some extra sleep and provides such a fresh and clean bathroom experience for our whole family! Keepin’ that wet+dry combo in stock, yes, yes I am. Screen Shot 2014-10-19 at 11.35.57 AM

Grab a $1 off coupon to try out or refill your Cottonelle Clean Care System, you won’t be sorry! And you’ll laugh too! I found mine Cottonelle basics at Rite Aid :)

Am I the only one who needs simple reminders to take vitamins and drink water? How do you organize your day to keep daily activities a priority?


Good Moms

Lately, I’ve been reflecting quite a bit about what it takes to be a good mom. I haven’t come to a conclusion, I doubt I ever will, but I have traipsed my way through a few ideas that were in need of some organization. And thus, this post has been born – mostly with thanks to today’s sponsor, MassMutual, who forced me to sit down and write everything out in a timely manner rather than letting it sit in my drafts for weeks on end :)

I have a really good mom. Probably a great mom in the line up of all mamas. She often tells me I’m a good mom too. But I find myself questioning her affirmation. I don’t feel like a good mom most days. I have moments, maybe even hours of good mothering, but overall? I’m not sure if I totally own that. I yell and shuffle the littles in front of the television for some peace and quiet, I ache for bedtime when the house is quiet and I countdown to my few and far between “escapes” whether it be to the bathroom (which is usually an interrupted escape) or the grocery store or the rare night out. Those, those are not things that embody a good mom. 

I do snuggle my babies and facilitate story time and crafts. We go on walks and I aim to prepare wholesome meals. I tell my littles ones that I love them each and every day. So, yes, my moments of good mothering exist, but I have much to learn; much to grow into and become during these influential years that will forever shape my little people as the people they will become.

That’s what is scary. You hear all the time how crucial early childhood development is. Safety and security, boundaries, independence, quality nutrition, exercise, spiritual awareness … the list is miles long. It’s no wonder I feel inadequate in my goal of becoming a good mom. And what if I mess up, what if these influential years are tainted and I forever mark my children with troubles they’ll battle in the years to come?

I just started reading The Happiness Project and it’s compelling me to reflect on some aspects of my life. I want to solidify my priorities and outline an action plan. Reflection is nothing without action. And so, this is part of my reflection phase – to identify attributes of a good mom and take achievable steps in moving that direction.

I want to be better – for me, for my family. I don’t want to be perfect – Lord knows that will never happen. And truly, I want to teach my children that perfection is NOT something we’re striving for. Rather, a balance of refinement and perseverance. 

My mom is a good mom. The more time I spend with her, the more bits of wisdom I gain from her and her mothering journey. I’ve watched her relationship with each of her three daughters evolve as we’ve moved from infants to adults. She has modified her role in our lives countless times and yet, has somehow figured out how to be consistent in her caring and nurturing. She is mentoring me in motherhood and I’m learning from her successes and her failures. Her life is living proof of good motherhood and I’m studying, watching and asking questions to learn from her experience. She is teaching me to be a good mom. mom and g 2014IMG_0287 IMG_0293jem oct 2014

Through her, this is what I’m finding. Good moms raise good moms. And good moms encourage good fathers. Good mothers and fathers who partner together build strong families. And strong families produce good children who them become good parents. It’s a generation of love, and it goes on for as many generations as we allow; as many as we persevere. 

This cycle sounds simple. We all know it’s not. There are many bumps and obstacles along the way, we live in an imperfect, sinful world and ultimate goodness is nothing anyone will ever achieve. But, I think the principle remains the same. Moms who are actively committed to improving themselves and therefore becoming better mothers WILL impact their children positively and that has generational reprecussions. Mistakes can come full circle with forgiveness and reconciliation, children can stray and still become good in the end, parents can fail and still teach their children invaluable lessons.

And with that, this love, this striving, is the ultimate gift of motherhood. It’s never-ending and tiring and so incredibly worthwhile I would never dream of being called to another task in this life. Love is truly a sacrificial gift and one worth giving over and over again. 

MassMutual has sparked a social initiative on this though of love being a gift. You can learn more it about by watching this short video

No doubt, Love Is A Gift and I’d be thrilled if you choose to participate in identifying and virtually high 5-ing those in your life who exemplify this. Here’s what you do …

  • Find or take a picture of you and the people you love.
  • Upload it to your personal Instagram account with #LoveIsAGift or log onto  LoveIsAGift.com and add your photo there. You can include a few words about your loved ones and why they matter most. Your Instagram must be public for the # to be located and to trigger the donation linked to this initiative.
  • Once the photo is uploaded, you can share your photo and details about the initiative with your friends on Facebook or Twitter.
  • Each upload triggers a $1 donation from MassMutual to Easter Seals, up to $50,000.

love is a giftAs a little extra, there will be a #LoveIsAGift Twitter Party on Wednesday, November 5th  between 8:00 am – 9:00 am PST/ 11:00 am – Noon EST – plan to join in! I’ll be there! There will be prizes :) One little note, the Instagram photo upload and the Twitter party are separate projects within this hashtag campaign – Instagram triggers donations and the Twitter party allows you to join in with possibly winning a prize. Make sense? 

Now … tell me, who do you love most and why? I think it’s obvious that my dear Mama is my #LoveIsAGift front runner! Also, I’d be curious to read your thoughts on this whole idea of good mothering … chime in, friends, I love having conversations on topics like this!


This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the MassMutual.

Oh, and see my necklace? It’s from Archer + Hare and you can save 20% on any purchases through 10/31 with code THATMAMALOVE. Think ahead for Christmas and surprise those you love with something beautiful and mama made!


This & That

 IMG_9986Bead Bar Bracelet, c/o Brave Sunday /// Chain Bracelet, Sweet Ties Hair Ties /// Spoon Bracelet,  Urban Xchange

Thursday has been a real treat thus far. Littles slept in until 8:45 – yes, eight forty five! I can hardly believe it! I skipped my run because … sleep. And then we had a play date. The dishwasher is currently running, one of my favorite sounds of all time and the floors are freshly vacuumed. I’ve been slowly prepping for Jemma’s friend birthday party all week and continuous pick-up is part of the game. I’ve also been on a mass sort/cleanse and have sold 2 things on Craigslist and am prepping a whole other lot of miscellany for the Seattle JBF Consignment Sale next month. My closet also got an overhaul this week and I’m so pleased with the paring down. Less is truly more.

Now, a lunch of leftovers (this) and naps before I head out on a belated mama date with a dear friend – our favorite Thai and Gone Girl are on the agenda. Hoping I don’t get too frightened!

I’ve been gathering a few links to share, here’s the round up …

And that’s a wrap! Wish me luck as I frost a billion cupcakes inspired by Rainbow Dash, Apple Jack, Pinkie Pie and Twilight Sparkle :)