Monday, November 20

Holiday Fashion - Jane For A Day

I am partnering with for this post. I was provided with product and compensation but as always, all words and opinions are my own.
   Hello loves. It's the start of Thanksgiving week and I hope this post finds you all well and keeping as calm as possible with the impending holiday! I've tried my best lately (but this month especially) to keep gratitude as a constant theme in our home and in our family activities, and it's certainly worked its way into my to-do lists and onto my social media and blog as well. So here today, I'm happy to share a little info about a great company with wonderful people that I'm very thankful for:
I've been close with the people at Jane since my very first blog conference ages ago, and I've used and included products I've purchased in giveaways and posts here on my blog for many years because I just love what they do and how they do it. Also, I have to add that right after my husband Martin passed away, the sweet people at Jane hosted a fundraiser at their headquarters to help the kids and I with expenses.  Their generosity and kindness meant so much to us.

    I say this all the time (because it's extremely important to me as a trusted source and as a person), but out of the hundreds of products that we all use in a day and all the businesses that contact me, I only choose companies and brands to partner with that either 1) I’ve personally used and loved for years, 2) have a great mission statement or way of giving back, 3) are run by people that I know and trust, or 4) are providing something that makes lives easier and more enjoyable that will bring my family and others closer together. meets all of those criteria for me!

    Basically, I think of them as a big online marketplace with hundreds of sales going on from other companies that range from fashion and accessories to furniture and decor to children's' clothing and on and on. The most exciting part though is that they're constantly adding new items from new online sellers as well as brick and mortar shops every 72 hours (and with prices that are just too great to pass up!). Just about every day, I find myself scrolling through the sneak peeks and saving items that I'd love for myself or for Richard or as gifts for others, and pretty much every order ends up including items for the whole family. :)

    One of the best things about in my opinion, is that because it's set up as a platform for smaller businesses to showcase their products to a massive audience, they're constantly helping to empower women by giving these passionate entrepreneurs some excellent visibility for their brand to a large audience. As a work-at-home-mom myself, I love seeing all the friends and family on my social media that are promoting a product they love while also hustling in so many other areas of their lives, and truly is an amazing vehicle for so many women (mostly:)) to encourage them and their brands to grow and flourish.


       It's really rewarding to scroll through the items on or on their app and think that each product comes from a different seller that has a passion for what they do (and probably a family to help support), and to know that every purchase made is going to ‘real’ people like me and my tribe.haha On my last purchase, I bought this beautiful lace dress for the holidays (not originally maternity:)) as well as the comfiest body pillow for my growing bump, a new pair of Bluetooth headphones (since mine broke recently), some shorts for my girls, a beautiful custom necklace with little peanut added to the family, a beard shaping tool for Richard, the best Friends shirt ever, a beautiful gift for the kids teachers, and a few other favorites!
Product photos courtesy of

Ok, so this is exciting too!  I’m honored that is featuring me and some of my favorite picks on their site this week along with the items chosen by from Classy Clutter, my girl Simply Sadie Jane and J’s Everyday Fashion. Now you can look through items I've chosen as well as others that I've been saving to my favorites.  (Don’t forget, these are only available for 72-96 hours depending on the item so, if you see something you like, carpe diem!)

    Oh, and one more fun thing -- you won’t want to miss out on joining in a big giveaway from They're giving away $3000 in shop credit (just in time for those holiday orders) to one grand prize winner and 25 runner ups.  Check out all of the details for the giveaway here.

    Alrighty I think that’s it for today? Haha Thanks so much for visiting and for reading, and be sure to check back in again tomorrow because I’m on a roll here lately! It feels great hanging out more regularly with you guys and to be able to answer more of your questions, etc. I love the feeling of things slowing down and getting quieter, and as this little lady and I enter our third trimester, I can’t think of a better way to do it than to commit to spending more time reclined back with my laptop propped on my lap, typing away:)

    Have a great rest of your week gang!

Friday, November 17

The start of a quiet Winter

     Oh gang, this is such an exciting and peaceful time. This is the week our quiet winter officially begins! I woke up this morning to falling snow outside with today being the last day of school before Thanksgiving, and once the older kids get home there will be a big deep breath and inner sigh of relief. 
     Our Summer was full and sweet, with just the right amount of traveling and exploring as a family, seeing new sights and old friends, slowing paddling down rivers, and sleeping under the stars. It was just enough that when the first chilly weather hit I wasn't sad, even though I love the warmth and freedom of Summertime. I felt satisfied and happy and ready for the next season ahead. 

     Fall seemed busier and a bit more stressful with a couple big trips and more deadlines to meet, etc, but it also brought many happy moments that are are happy memories now, and as I look forward to tonight I'm thinking of all the ways we will fill up this new season with rest and peace, investing more than ever in our family and our little life, and taking all the time we need to get things done.

     I know that many of you share my excitement for what's ahead, even if the chilly wind and dangerous roads, etc, can make Winter intimidating. But this season is really a period of time to slow down and shift our mindset to what's really important, and what we really want out of the upcoming year. We can take extra care of ourselves and our people, we can rest and recover and refocus on our personal well-being; mind, body, and spirit.
     Those are some of my plans and I hope you'll make some of your own:) Look forward to making this next season about building yourself up mentally, physically, and spiritually. Make less commitments, put the most important people in your life absolutely first. Read more, stretch every day, drink more water and make better food choices. Say no more often, it'll be fine I promise:) Stop making excuses. Think about December of 2018, instead of the coming January. Don't think about how you want to start out your year with unrealistic expectations of yourself, but think instead about how you want to end it. Plan to take it easier on yourself. Buy less and save more. Do more yoga this Winter. Listen to calming music. Take lots of deep breaths throughout the day, and just slow down. 

     Slow down.

     I plan on sharing how all of this goes for me. How I fit it all in, what my schedule is like, where I like to shop to save on groceries, and what traditions we're passing onto the kids through this time of gratitude and giving. I also want to share books on my reading list, what songs are stuck in my head, what words I tell myself in the early light of day to help me stay positive, how I'm working at staying active, and how I'm finally learning to love myself. I want to share more about pain and grief, and about mental illness, and I want to make typing a much bigger priority moving forward.

     So, join me in stepping quietly into this next season, and start moving your life towards what you dream it could be, one little step at a time. Investing time into self-love is telling yourself that you're worth it, and that you have more to give than you might have otherwise thought, and we all need that I think.

      Thanks so much for visiting friends,

Monday, November 6

Happy Birthday Lil' Darlin'

     Well, I never really know how I'm supposed, to sum up my love and pride for one of my babies in these birthday posts, so a few lines will have to do:)

     My fiery-haired Lydia turned four, and I am really excited about this next year for her. Her voice is still as high-pitched and soft as ever, and she tells me every day how much longer and prettier her hair got while she was sleeping:) She is definitely the girliest out of all the children, and loves to dance around the house singing her own made-up songs.

     Whenever I ask her what she wants to be when she grows up, she says "a nurse or a pwincess." haha and the way her whole body shakes when she is excited will always make me laugh.

     Richard and I took her out on the traditional date all by herself, and after lunch and a few fun errands, we had Martin's family over for some cake and games. She blew out each candle one at a time and wished out loud that she could be a princess:)

     There are so many things that I want to pass onto her, but I want to share it in a letter to all my girls. Having my 5th daughter on the way is pretty daunting in some ways, but I also feel so excited about the kind of warrior women that I can send out into the world when the time is right.

     We love you so much miss Lydi-girl!! You are such a sweet little light in our lives and I hope that you never lose your forgiving and kind spirit.

Happy Birthday lil' darlin',
    Love Mama

Tuesday, October 31

Happy Halloween, Twenty-Seventeen


                            HAPPY HAPPY HALLOWEEN! 

     This has been one of my favorite holidays to prepare for ever since I can remember, but it really does get more fun every year as the kids get older. 

     It was Evie's first real Halloween experience, walking up to the door herself and saying "Tick a teat!", and getting to sit and enjoy her hard-earned candy at the end of the night.

     All of the kids were so proud of their costumes and told everyone who would listen what they were going to be leading up to the holiday, which was great for me as I love having a family theme! As I spent time with each of the kiddos planning and executing their costumes, I just couldn't get over how cute they turned out! I mean I know I'm their mama, but they've got to be the sweetest Harry Potter crew ever.haha

Oldest to youngest we have:
Richard: A Deatheater
Me: Bellatrix Lestrange
Ellie: Luna Lovegood
Sophie: Hermione Granger
John: Harry Potter
Lydia: The portrait of the fat lady :)
Evie: Professor Trelawney

     This was the first time in a few years that I've been able to get out my sewing machine and put my fingers to work for the costumes, and it felt pretty good:) I was literally sewing up seams and such up until it was time to leave, but hey, baby-steps right? haha

    I hope you had a wonderful day with your favorite people and with plenty of yummy treats,