The Ultimate Baby Products List {favorites from a mama of 4}

Contrary to popular advertisers’ opinions, there are many, MANY baby products you can absolutely do without! This list, however, is not one of them. As a first-time mom, I was the ultimate sucker for a good commercial. I bought the Boogie Wipes (fantastic but not necessary), the wipe-warmer (my husband literally laughed me out of the room on that one), and the most expensive diapers…. for the first two weeks. Then I got smart and realized there must be a better way to be a good mom besides stocking up on every product that’s suggested on the registry website. There are, however, some major life-savers that I wish I had known about before I needed them! Now that I know, I keep these products in stock CONSTANTLY. I’m telling you, a few of them have literally changed our lives!

The Secret Weapon: Our Number One Baby Sleep Hack

If you would have told me 10 years ago that today I would have 4 kids, I would have laughed at you. What would have amused me, even more, would be to hear how we have struggled to sleep train every. single. one of them. I thought with number one I had it all figured out when I stumbled upon a way to get her to sleep on demand at 3 months. Nope. Thing 2 came around and blew that theory right out of the water. Then what worked on 2 didn't work on 3, and so on. I don't have schedules for you, a great revelation of how many months your baby should co-sleep, the best sleep sack (although I could recommend my favorite if you asked!), or how long is too long to 'cry it out'. They may still be sleeping in your bed by the time they're 4. BUT! I do have one little simple trick that may just get that baby to SLEEP, regardless of where they are. The answer? Music. Too easy? Maybe, but it might just change your life. 

Week One {5 Baby Must-Do’s in the First 7 Days}

The first week of your baby's life is perhaps the most amazing and awe-inspiring as you watch them slowing begin to awaken to the world they have arrived in. But let's be real - those first 7 days are perhaps the most intimidating, terrifying and ultimately the hardest you've ever experienced to date! And instead of getting easier things tend to get harder, at least for a time. Although my husband and I both came from big families and had lots of experience with babies, when we brought our firstborn home from the hospital, many nights I would begin crying as the sun went down, so dreading the long night ahead. True story. And, no matter what you do or don't do, transitioning into life with a newborn is as painful as growing a limb. Or so I can imagine.

Busy Mom’s Guide: DIY Cake Smash Photos {for free}

There is a growing trend in the mommy community that has gained considerable momentum in the past few years: the cake smash. This phenomenon has grown from letting a 1-year-old eat a piece of cake to spending enormous amounts of money on a cake for the baby to destroy, and a photographer to document the destruction. Don't get me wrong... I am a HUGE cake-smash fan! But there's got to be a way for us budget-loving-mama's to have our cake and eat it too.

A Daddy’s Heart {A Father’s Day Tribute}

Father's Day was always a very special day in my house growing up. All six of us kids would elbow our way into the kitchen to help mom serve up the best breakfast of the year and then fight over who got to pour his orange juice. Some lucky duck would think quick and race into the closet to deliver his bathrobe and slippers. I'm pretty sure he got non-stop back rubs from the moment he woke up until he finally peeled us off to put us to bed at night {enter the Velcro sound effect}. We would shower him with gifts, homemade cards with scribbled names and always - always - mom would initiate a craft (usually something he could wear) that had all of our hand-prints on it. If you peek in his closet today you can still see the ratty sweatshirts with fabric-paint hand outlines boasting 2, then 3, then 4 and 5 then 6 sets of prints, names and ages. He wore them proudly and we loved to go up and find out hands throughout the year and compare how they had grown. Needless to say, we loved our dad - adored our dad - and there was one very simple reason for that: he adored us.

Busy Mom’s Guide: 5 Family-Friendly Vacations {that aren’t Disney}

Now the real question: how (and where) to vacation on a budget, with kids? We love road trips, live for adventures, are suckers for tourist traps and - in a perfect world - would take a vacation at least once a month. But we also have two little kids who are allergic to their car seats after 5 minutes, want to touch EVERYTHING, and have attention spans that are about as long as their eye-lashes. So where do we go? Here's a few of our favorites! And the best part? They're not Disney!

When Mama Just Needs The Simple Things

I would like to state right off the bat, that this post is not a rant. I love {LOVE} being that crazy, frazzled, exhausted mama who hasn't showered in days and is missing an earring. No really, I do. But not because I'm a drawn to large amounts of laundry or enjoy self-imposed insomnia. I love my kids. I love being a mom and having kids. And I can't wait to have more! However, I also love things from my past life like naps, alone time, silence... some days you just need to have you some silence. So, to make myself feel a little better and to, hopefully, inspire a few tired mama's to laugh instead of cry at their current situation, I've made a list of my top 10 'simple' things that some days I would pay exorbitant amounts of money to have. It's kind of like searching Pinterest for deliciously sinful desserts while on a diet. Pointless? Yes. Dangerous? Probably. But we still do it and it makes us feel, if only for the moment, like we're in good company. {Did I take this analogy to far? Because if I lost you, you can find me getting chummy with a piece of red velvet cake.}