Tuesday, June 30, 2015

How to Build a Personalized Command Center

Command centers are sort of a big deal today. If you go on Pinterest and look them up, there are so many different varieties. Some have color coordination, or chore charts, or flowers, sometimes there are mason jars, there are even chalk boards. Each one is uniquely made for the household using it.

When I set out to make a command center, we had just decided that we were going to get out of our apartment and into a house, we were sick of the place we were living (and the fifteen stinking apartments before that) and we wanted out. When my children napped, I planned out aspects of our house, including my children's rooms and my new command center that I so desperately wanted.

I don't think of myself as a particularly original or awesome decorator. I find things I like on Pinterest and I copy them. But this was my first truly original work of beauty, and I'm so excited to share it with you.

First, you'll need a plan. I looked at my entryway, and the clutter that had accumulated there over the week. What did I need a spot for, and what did I want to have available for ease of use. I encourage you to do the same. For a week let things clutter, after you come home look at what you have available, and what do you need?

Some things that I find command centers need are shopping lists, menu plans, calendars and a place to put your keys and mail. This is all unique to each person though.

My command center has a place for my recipes, which I want to put vinyl on, but haven't yet. It also has a clip board for the recipe for dinner of the day, a calendar for appointments and such, a set of mason jars to hold pens, stamps and receipts, and a mail holder. There is a clock because it's just needed something else, and a place to put my keys and the doggie's leash. Under here is also a place for doggy bags and wallets. Below all of it is a cute reading center we created for my daughter last year. I love that it's lime green, it really compliments the purple of this room!

I spent a few months picking out my perfect pieces, and even had my father help me out by making me a recipe box. I think it all comes together beautifully!

So here's the run down:

1. Watch your clutter in your entry way for a few days, and see what needs a home. If everything has a home, you have no clutter!

2. Make a list of all the necessities. Perhaps draw a little doodle of how you want things put. But remember that this will probably change before you find all the pieces you love and have to have. It's just a rough draft!

3. Measure your area, and buy pieces that will fit. After you have acquired everything you want, lay it on the floor and change things around until you have something you like.

4. If you move a lot, like us (which if you're reading this, you probably do too!) then some good command strips will hold all of this together happily! Also, if you use command strips you can change it around later.

5. Take pictures, and enjoy! Don't forget to share them with me! I love looking at command centers!

Thanks for reading, I hope you found this helpful! Do you have a command center? Do you need help deciding what you need? Let me know! I'm happy to help!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

How to Scare Your Children Into Listening (Green Tea Face Mask!)

Okay okay, so that's not really how we parent our children. They weren't really scared, they just looked at me like I was a lunatic. My daughter kept saying "we needa clean your face mommy! What do you have on ya face mommy?!" My son. Aw, my poor son. He was really confused and upset at first. Look at this face. But he was quickly eager to touch it once he got over the shock. 

This recipe is so easy you're going to be furious at me for writing a post about it, but I really do think it helps my complexion. After I washed it all off I had very smooth, happy skin. So here's the recipe:


Matcha Green Tea.

Go ahead. Slay me. Ha! I just put it on a plate and added some water, then slathered it on my face, and reaped the benefits. I let it dry, then washed it off. It's on my face for about 20 minutes. After that I added some vitamin C serum to my face, and had even more benefits! So where can you get a beautiful face like mine? Here are the links to the products I've been using:

Kiss Me Organics Matcha Tea Powder:here
Vitamin C Serum: here

Then I add in a moisturizer and get ready for my day!

Do you have a go to face mask?

I received these products in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Hey. You're Still a Good Mom

My son has eczema. I've spent most days since he was born feeling incredibly guilty and at fault for this. I blame myself for having children 15 months apart, for not eating good enough and probably what I beat myself up the most for is having two cesarean sections. I'm a crunchy mom, so that really hits hard. The people I surround myself with believe in the good of natural birth, and I do too. Before I had my daughter I remember thinking things like "why would that mother just give up and have a section? She's such an idiot! Of course the doctor is going to say she has a baby that's too big to birth!" . . . I would never say these things to a parent, but I definitely thought them. I was a young and stupid pregnant woman who totally believed if you just wanted natural childbirth enough you could have it.

My thoughts were incredibly offensive and I had no idea what I was setting myself up for. All these months of saying things like "well, she shouldn't have listened to her doctor" and "doesn't she know better??" led me to thinking that I was somehow better than these warriors who had been cut open for whatever reason and I hadn't even experienced one contraction!

With my first child, I picked a crunchy midwife, and a crunchy hospital in a natural birth friendly area to have my baby. My husband was supportive, and stood by me for every contraction. He held my hand, he did squats with me, he helped me breath, and he told me how incredible I was and that I was the strongest person he's ever seen. The other nurses and midwives and doctors all told us how wonderful he was for not only being there for the birth, but actively participating in it. I never ever felt alone. But I still had a cesarean. My husband didn't fail me. I didn't fail me. Things just happened, and we couldn't do it. I am not a bad mother for that. I am not a failure, and I'm still strong. I'm still a warrior.

That day and that decision haunted me for over a year. I hated myself and my body (you know, for failing me) for months and months. I did everything right, and I still failed. My husband did everything right, and we still failed. I wanted my children close in age, so we tried again after careful consideration and lots of crying and feeling like a complete train wreck. He said to me "why should we let one stupid surgery stop us from having more children?" and we agreed that it was more important to us to have babies close in age then to have a VBAC. I tried and tried for that VBAC, and "failed". I did all the right things again, I hired a doula . . . she was amazing and everything I needed. I had wonderful people to watch my daughter that I trusted completely. I refused any type of induction, I watched my weight, I spent over ten hours working through labor without pain meds . . . again. I thought I could do it, we KNEW we could do it. Eventually, my son's heart rate dropped and we couldn't get it back up, so I went in for an emergency section. He came out and needed immediate attention. He was going to die if I did not make that decision.

It completely changed my perspective of child birth. I stopped blaming myself for the battles I had lost, and commended myself for the battles I had won. I had two beautiful children, I was alive, and I could raise my babies with my husband. I wasted over a year of my life hating myself for something that I had no control over, and having my second child healed that for me. Having my second child showed me that my first child birth was still a miracle, and it wasn't something I failed at. It ended with a beautiful daughter who has changed my life for the better in every way. These are things that people told me every day when I would cry and hate myself, but it finally really sank in after I had another baby, and the healing birth experience I so needed.

So hey, cesarean section mom. You're a rock star. You are every bit as incredible and strong as any other type of mom. You are amazing, and you have nothing to be ashamed of. You have nothing to be ashamed of. 

I'm sorry moms before me, who had cesarean sections. I'm the idiot. Not you.  

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Summer Cloth Diaper Giveaway Hop (ends July 6)

Welcome to the 4th annual Summer Cloth Diaper Giveaway Hop hosted by Heather from Mommy's Favorite Things and Mama's Baby Cupcakes. This hop is focused on items you'd want/need for everything cloth diaper related! After visiting my giveaway, make sure you use the linky below to take a look at the other 20+ blogs and see what they have to offer for you and your little one! Each blog has a minimum prize package of $25 per winner. 

Be sure to enter the Grand Prize as well where one lucky US winner will receive the $152 prize. With great sponsors like Best BottomPlanet WiseButtonsBabyKicksWinning Colors Baby and Little Bear Bums this package offers a little something for everyone or a great package for someone wanting to start cloth. 

I'm really glad you're here. I have a great prize pack from Bow and Sparrow Shop on Etsy.  The winner will receive a cloth diaper and wet bag, valued at $30. I've been very excited to give this away! I hope you enjoy entering and checking out her shop! Check out the review here!

Most of these entries are things you can repeat every day, so be sure to return and pick up some extra entries from the dailies!

Disclosure: Mommy's Favorite Things, Mama's Baby Cupcakes and the Summer Cloth Participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who don't provide prizes.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Bow and Sparrow Boutique Cloth Diaper Review

Bow and Sparrow Boutique is a cute little store on Etsy (but she also self hosts her own) I found while looking for a very specific type of pocket diaper for my son. The owner, Ashley, has so much more available than just diapers. The prints she has made available have a unique whimsical feel, giving the whole store a free spirited feel that is very in right now. The more I look at her products, the happier I get! I also really love that she is also a military spouse. She will always have a special place in my heart because of that.   

I received this cute little owl diaper to review and share with my readers. Isn't is so adorable? I picked it because my daughter loves owls, and I love when she helps me pick diapers. She loves getting packages in the mail, and I love buying things, so it all worked out great! After opening it up and looking at all the features there are a few things that set this diaper apart, and why I think they make a great fit for my readers. 

First, each of the diapers you get from Bow and Sparrow come with a long prefold style insert. I've always been a huge fan of prefolds, both of my children wore them exclusively as newborns, and I still stuff them in pockets for nighttime. They are extra absorbent and they are not static, you can move them, fold them, squish them, and squeeze them into whatever area you need. There is no better way to get a customized fit than with a prefold (or flat). Since my son is a boy, he needs the absorbency in the front, so we folded it up in the front and didn't put much in the back. 

There are two sets of rise snaps, one on each side. This is a great feature that I'm a huge fan of. If you watched my video about GroVia all in ones last week on YouTube then you'll know why! If not, I don't mind sharing-- I love two rise snaps! That provides a little extra protection against leaking in the front. My son has notoriously had a difficult time with pockets because of their signature three sets of rise snaps. Since this diaper has two, on the sides instead of one in the middle, the front is still solid, with no holes that could potentially leak. No leaks for us with this diaper! 

I had the great opportunity of talking about this diaper with Ashley, and how excited we both were to be working together, and she decided she wanted to share a coupon code with you! This code will work in both her etsy shop and on her self hosted shop! The code is navynukewife10! So go get your 10% off of these great products! It's good on more than just diapers, here are a few other things she has available:

Have you had issues with front leaks with your boy children??
Or, do you need a "outta my way" shirt? :)