• Childhood Unplugged

  • FEATURED POST: 52 Weeks of Toddler Experiences
  • FEATURED POST: OUR BREASTFEEDING JOURNEY
  • FEATURED POST: ARE YOUR BABY'S TOYS SAFE?
  • FEATURED POST: GET STARTED IN PHOTOGRAPHY

LATEST POSTS

GET FIT: Fitness Tracking

GET FIT: Fitness Tracking

Another post in this series that I am determined to push out. This time I would love to talk about tracking your fitness progress I have recently fell in love with a company called Withings through Daily Mom. You may or may not have heard of them. A really amazing brand that has innovative and technologically advanced products for your health. Up until recently, I have just been eyeing their products for their cool design and functionality, so finally I got a chance to test them out in real fitness situations. I am in love. WITHINGS ACTIVITE Let's start with a fitness watch. I have stayed away from fitbit type of fitness trackers because honestly they look ugly. I am not a watch wearer, but the idea of having a watch that is a fitness tracker as well was a lot more was acceptab[...]

BOOKROO SUBSCRIPTION BOX - FIND OF THE WEEK

BOOKROO SUBSCRIPTION BOX  - FIND OF THE WEEK

My new series- FIND OF THE WEEK. As an editor for Daily Mom, I get pitched so many products and as a natural mom, I spend countless hours researching for the best products for Lexi and I, so I end up having a lot of recommendations based on the research I do and the access I have to new products. So once a week I will continue introducing one cool product or service that I either use or think would be really cool for others. This week it's Bookroo, a monthly subscription service that sends you personally curated age appropriate books to foster a love of reading in your child. Once you sign up for a 1 month, 3 months, 6 months or a year subscription, you get a box shipped to you with two or three books depending on the age of the child. The books are unique, colorful and han[...]

"Inside Out" Scooter Birthday Party Recap

I seem to have this habit now: blogging about Lexi's last birthday party right before her new one. Probably because I am thinking about it, so it pushes me to talk about the last one. I already posted the 4th birthday photos we shot with the scooters here, now it's time to show what the party itself looked like. This was the first party where I did not focus on making sure I had the perfect decor and food. Probably because I am so much busier than previous years. The idea of the party came to me literally 2 weeks before the birthday. So we did the best we could with items in a retail store, rather than online which is where I normally search for and buy decorations for other birthday parties. We had a main Inside Out birthday party theme and the Scooter after party. Every guest re[...]

GET FIT: Essentials for your home gym

GET FIT: Essentials for your home gym

This post is sponsored by Kohl’s.  I was paid for this post and received the included fitness equipment as compensation. All opinions and routines are my own It's been a while since I wrote about fitness. Which is ironic because I have learned so much more about our bodies, nutrition and exercise this past year. I have never felt or looked better in my life than I do right now after having a kid and at age 32. Which again is ironic. You expect your fitness level to decline with kids and age, yet it's clear to me that what declines is your drive and time for it more than the actual ability. So, I have a whole series of posts planned for this, touching on every aspect of my fitness journey and my routine. Today I want to talk about building a home gym. And hopefully with it being[...]

Little Sneak Peeks of Lexi's New Room

Little Sneak Peeks of Lexi's New Room

Lexi has grown into a girl who appreciates beauty and order. That makes me happy because, for the most part, my life lacks order due to all the travel. When we are home together however, we love organizing and cleaning things up. Since moving to our new place, she has taken huge pride in her room. She periodically walks into it and makes sure that everything is nice and pretty. I wanted to post some photos of the main elements of the room. We have since moved things around and added a lot of touches which I will take pics of, but the majority of the room design was complete with these items. Her room is neon green and it is not something we are going to repaint at this time, so we made it work pretty well, I think, considering green (of any shade) is my least favorite color. R[...]

Bedtime struggles, the adult with kids version

Bedtime struggles, the adult with kids version

How many of you here are a work from home mom? What about major hobby at home mom (yes, I just came up with that term)? Or those who work outside of home and have to catch up on home stuff after bedtime? What I am trying to ask is, how many of you, when it's past bedtime and the kids are asleep, actually get up to go do something meaningful? And I don't mean to say that binge watching 16 episodes of Game of Thrones isn't meaningful... Ok I do mean to say that. We all need some down time, so I get it. I used to be a binge show watcher. Before Lexi, before I had 3685208605 things to fit into 24 hours. So if you have a hobby that you go to after kids are asleep, or a job/project/business that you work on, how do you manage the mental argument going on in your head? This is how[...]

9 reasons to book a Disney Dream cruise

9 reasons to book a Disney Dream cruise

It's no secret I love cruises. I don't really know of a person who has cruised on a good ship and did not fall in love with this mode of travel. Aside from the fact that it's an all inclusive vacation, your stateroom moves from one destination to another. I have traveled a lot in the last few years. Half of that travel was with Lexi, so I am no stranger to traveling with a kid. When it comes to cruises, I am less experienced, but I have been on enough cruises to know what I am doing and to be able to compare those experiences. I have gone on a cruise alone, as a childless adult, I have gone on an adult cruise with Lexi and my whole family, and this time we got to experience a Disney Cruise. So here are my 9 reasons why I would book a Disney Cruise again: Convenient locat[...]

Biking Vs Riding a Scooter

Biking Vs Riding a Scooter

Who here has a child who absolutely loves to go scooter, but doesn't seem to have any interest in biking? She will bike if she has to. At school she chooses a bike over a scooter, but whenever we go out, she reaches for her scooter. Is it more difficult to ride a bike for a child? Scooter recommendation: Micro Kickboard hands down Bike recommendation: Cleary Bikes   First time learning how to ride a bike without training wheels. (kills your back btw lol ) [...]

Sit straight, girl!

Sit straight, girl!

This post brought to you by ALEX Wearable Posture Tracker and Coach. The content and opinions expressed below are that of The Art of Making a Baby. As the tallest girl all my life (for the most part), I always struggled with my posture. I am not sure that I was exactly being self-conscious about it, because I never really was. I think it's just probably really hard to stand tall when you have so much more of your body to keep upright. You just get tired. Tired of carrying so much more above your torso, so you slouch. I know girls who would slouch because they wanted to appear shorter. Eventually you grow out of that and realize how important posture is. Aside from the health implication that bad posture presents, slouching makes you look worse than if you stood up straight in all you[...]

Micro Scooter Party

Micro Scooter Party

Who is here a fan of scooters? What about your kids? If so, you would have loved Lexi's last Birthday party. I've talked about how much we love scooters here. We ride adults scooters along with Lexi. So for her 4th birthday (which was a few months ago but of course I am just now writing about it, because, damn, I took lots of pictures and had to edit them and also... LIFE), we partnered up with Micro Kickboard to do a scooter birthday party. The theme of the party was actually Inside Out and the next post will be about the party, but the activity theme was SCOOTERS. We had a scooter for each invitee and since MicroKickboard has some amazing colors, we even managed to tie in the Inside Out theme with the scooters. Red- Anger. Purple-Fear. Green-Disgust. Blue-Sadness. [...]

A closer look at Sprout baby food

A closer look at Sprout baby food

This post brought to you by Sprout Organic Foods . The content and opinions expressed below are that of The Art of Making a Baby. My friend, Kristen, wrote a guest post here a couple weeks ago about how she uses Sprout baby food to simplify her morning.  I love discovering new products that make it easier to raise healthy kids so I decided to check out Sprout Organic Foods myself. Lexi still eats fruit pouches especially when we travel, so I wondered if Sprout really is as healthy and as different as it says it is and I am super excited to share what I found out so those of you expecting or with babies (or older) can try Sprout out with your little ones. Why Sprout is Better So the claim is Sprout Organic Foods have nothing to hide. What you see is what you get. Reading the ingredient[...]

Fall Clothes Photoshoot in Minnesota

Fall Clothes Photoshoot in Minnesota

So I was sitting here sorting through and editing the photos I took for Melody Lane and a few other brands while in Minnesota last week, because this is the kind of relaxing, up at 1 am night I like to have. No really, I edit photos to relax, because at this point in my life, the only way I can relax is if I am actually doing something useful and productive that isn't what I have time to do during work time. So anyways, I was editing photos and thought "Hmmm, maybe I should post about these. It would only take me half an hour at most to write this up, the pics are ready. Why not?" It is my new/old motto to write things out as they happen, otherwise life happens and I never get to it. And I always write best at night, which is precisely why I haven't been writing, because having a ful[...]

Re-branding and new life questions

Re-branding and new life questions

If you missed this post on my life changes, Andrew and I are no longer together. I am contemplating writing more about it, simply because it's a part of my life and because many people have emailed me with their own issues they are going through, so I think it's helpful. I am just worried about doing that in a way that would still keep it somewhat private and won't hurt the feelings of the other person. But in the meantime, I am trying to wrap my head around this blog in terms of single co-parenting. Is that the right term? I still don't know how to define this. Single mother? No. I am not single. And we have a co-parenting schedule. Single co-parent? Again, not single. Am I just single in terms of parenting? But I am not single even then, because we co-parent. Confusing, huh? [...]

Simplified Mornings from another mom

Simplified Mornings from another mom

This post brought to you by Sprout Organic Foods. The content and opinions expressed below are that of The Art of Making a Baby. // Hey, guys! Sprout asked me and one of my friends to discuss how their food pouches (and we both use it for different reasons) make our lives easier. Kristen and I have traveled together (our last trip was Gulf County you can read about here), we are both messy moms ( those moms who don't seem to like to take the time to clean up and instead go have fun, guilty!!!! So our kitchens are always a mess), we both love writing and photographing, and we both work at Daily Mom. So Kristen is joining us today to talk about her breakfast and morning routine. My name is Kristen and I am one of Elena’s friends. We work on Daily Mom together and I am excited to [...]

Why we travel so much and on missing out

Why we travel so much and on missing out

Do you know what I love about this age the most? The Joy. That adulterated, uncontainable joy that Lexi experiences. I've never seen anyone's eyes sparkle so much, anyone smile so passionately and so authentically. Sometimes my head is buried in the phone answering 456 emails for the day or replying to a text that I have to reply to urgently. Or just in thought. And then I miss those moments of joy.  I hate that. I have to actively work on being in the moment, seeing the joy, experiencing it. My life is so incredibly busy, I have to make a conscious effort to do that. But when I do it, it is the best thing in the world. It is amazing to go out on our own, just me and her, and pay my full attention when she talks, tell her about maps and streets and blocks and why blocks are call[...]

  New school year, New outfits

  New school year, New outfits

This post is sponsored by Kohl's. I was paid for this post and received the included Carter's clothing as compensation. Lexi is becoming more independent and with that independence I see a lot of specific preferences. Some I know she will grow out of and others that define her tastes and personalities. One of the big changes is her preference in her wardrobe. She was never a picky "wearer", so up until recently she would just wear whatever she was given. She still is very compliant, as long as we cater to her preferences. One specific preference is NO PANTIES. This has been really hard because, you know, it's not like she can just go commando all the time. Has anyone had that problem before? She hates underwear with a passion. I get it, no one likes a frontal wedgie, but we deal wit[...]

5 things your preschooler will LOVE at the Mall of America

5  things your preschooler will LOVE at the Mall of America

Towards the end of winter, I decided to take Lexi with me to Minnesota for a week. I wasn't sure what we would do there but I wanted to go somewhere with her and since I was already planning a trip there, I took her along. My one goal for the trip was to show her snow. She had been asking about it and we just hadn't had a chance to make it to the north that winter, so this trip came in handy. She did see snow and actually managed to get on skis and do some snow tubing which was an absolute blast, but the most unexpectedly memorable experience was Nickelodeon Universe at the Mall of America.   I am not sure what I was expecting... I guess being spoiled by Disney just three hours away, I didn't think some indoor amusement park was going to impress me. Or Lexi, for t[...]

Chattanooga, TN as a family destination, a travel story

Chattanooga, TN as a family destination, a travel story

When I first heard the name Chattanooga, I didn't think anything of it. "Ah, Chattanooga Choo Choo"- someone said. "Huh?" I replied. Where is it? In Tennessee? What's there to do? Sounds like a middle of nowhere. Oh boy was I DEAD WRONG! I laugh now. Seriously, I laugh out loud when I think of my first reaction to the name and its location. It shows you how our preconceived notions of things (based on lack of experience) are often very wrong. Chattanooga, TN blew my mind. It blew Lexi's mind. It impressed everyone who joined us on that trip. I am still in touch with the locals there and every time we speak, I long to go back there. I want to visit it again with Lexi, I want to go alone, I want to go with friends. I want to see it in the summer, spring and fall (we went durin[...]

Hell Week Challenge: Moving Forward, Lessons and Recap

Hell Week Challenge: Moving Forward, Lessons and Recap

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Erik Bertrand Larssen for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine. I hope you've been with me for the last week as I took the Hell Week Challenge based on the book Hell Week Challenge: Seven Days to Be Your Best Self by Erik Bertrand Larssen. If you want to get caught up with how the week has been, I wrote 7 posts, with this post being the 7th. If you haven't already, take a little time to read the other posts as well: Hell Week Challenge: What It Is and Why You Should Do It, Hell Week Challenge Prep, Hell Week Day 1: Habits, Hell Week Day 2: Get In the Mode, Hell Week Day 3: Planning, Hell Week Days 4 & 5: Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone and Rest. I hope you will strongly considered doing your own Hell Week Challenge. Just o[...]

Hell Week Day 4 and 5: Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone and Rest

Hell Week Day 4 and 5: Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone and Rest

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Erik Bertrand Larssen for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine. I am entering into the second half of my Hell Week challenge based on the book, Hell Week: 7 Days to Be Your Best Self by Erik Bertrand Larssen that can be bought on Amazon. I think everyone needs to take this challenge and I have been writing about it all week. I introduced the book and the challenge, I wrote about how I prepped for Hell Week and I have given a play by play for each day here: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3. Each day has presented a new focus and a new way to stretch myself and Day 4 was no different. Day 4 started exactly like its name. I woke up to no Internet. No internet means no productivity and working. It seems like every little thing that could go wrong to sab[...]

Hell Week Challenge Day 3: Planning

Hell Week Challenge Day 3: Planning

This post brought to you by Erik Bertrand Larssen. The content and opinions expressed below are that of The Art of Making a Baby. This week, I am taking the Hell Week Challenge based on the book Hell Week: Seven Days To Be Your Best Self by Erik Bertrand Larssen that can be bought on Amazon . If you haven't already, go back and catch up with my other posts. I explained what the challenge is about and why you should do it. I walked through my preparation for the Hell Week Challenge and I showed you how Day 1 and Day 2 went for me. I've completed Day 3 and here is what happened. Ok, maybe this isn't exactly hellish but life makes it hard to stay on top of things. It's no wonder most people can't stick to a diet or exercise plan. This shit is tough. Luckily, I already had diet and ex[...]

Hell Week Day 2: Get in the Mode

Hell Week Day 2: Get in the Mode

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Erik Bertrand Larssen. All opinions are 100% mine. I hope you have been following along with me for my Hell Week Challenge based on the book Hell Week: Seven Days to Your Best Self by Erik Bertrand Larssen. I introduced you to what Hell Week is all about, I talked about how I prepared for this challenge and I share how Day 1 went for me. If you want to get ready for your own Hell Week Challenge, order a copy of the book from Amazon. Use the hashtags #hellweekchallenge and #hellweektaomab to share your experience. I would love to follow along with you. Hell Week Day 2 Wow this was rough! Not because it's Hell Week, but because I was feeling sick. It started last night after I played 2 hours of volleyball. I just felt nauseous, so I le[...]

Hell Week Day 1: Habits

Hell Week Day 1: Habits

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Erik Bertrand Larssen for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine. If you have been reading my latest posts, you know I am participating in the Hell Week Challenge based off the book "Hell Week: 7 Days to Be Your Best Self" by Erik Bertrand Larssen. I explained what Hell Week is all about and shared about my experience preparing to take the Hell Week Challenge. If you want to join me or start your own Hell Week Challenge next week, grab a copy of this super helpful book from Amazon.   If you are completing the challenge with me, be sure to use #HellWeekChallenge and #HellWeekTAOMAB so I can follow along with you! So the Hell Week has started, and it doesn't feel that hellish...YET. There is not much that I had to change to adjust[...]

Hell Week Challenge Prep

Hell Week Challenge Prep

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Erik Bertrand Larssen for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine. This week I am taking the HELL WEEK challenge from the book Hell Week: Seven Days to Be Your Best Self Now by Erik Bertrand Larssen that can be purchased on Amazon if you'd like to participate with me. I introduced the book, why I am taking the challenge and what I hope to achieve through the challenge in THIS POST. I hope some of you are going to join me in the challenge and have ordered your own copy of the book. You can grab it on Amazon if you have not already. Before HELL WEEK can start, there are some preparations you have to do. This is laid out in the book and I want to share how I prepared for my HELL WEEK challenge that starts on Monday. I am so excited! [...]

Hell Week Challenge: What it is and why you should do it

Hell Week Challenge: What it is and why you should do it

This post brought to you by Erik Bertrand Larssen. The content and opinions expressed below are that of The Art of Making a Baby. I have been SO GIDDY about participating in the Hell Week challenge since I found out about. I don't think I have ever been so excited to write a late night post about anything ever before. If you follow me on Instagram (and you should), you have seen me sitting around with a book. Not just any book. This one: HELL WEEK: Seven Days to Be Your Best Self by Erik Bertrand Larssen I would like to talk a bit about what this book is about, why I am reading it and participating in the challenge and why I think you should join me (if not for anything but for the fun of doing a challenge together) ABOUT THE BOOK Hell Week is a best selling book in many cou[...]

Sometimes it's better to just part ways...

Sometimes it's better to just part ways...

I wanted to wait to write this post until things were closer to being final... As some of you have noticed, Andrew and I have not been together for quite a while now. And while I do not think it is fair to him for me to discuss specifics on the internet, I wanted to wait until the divorce was close to final to let you, guys, know about it here. Partly because many of you have followed our lives from the beginning, partly because I know many families are going through the same thing and most importantly because it's not a subject widely discussed or talked about. And it should be. No decision to separate a marriage or a long term relationship is easy. And I have to say that I agonized over it for months, if not a year. That consume most of the year 2014 and a bit of 2015. I know many [...]

SEE KAI RUN STYLES SPRING SUMMER 2016

SEE KAI RUN STYLES SPRING SUMMER 2016

Given how much we love See Kai Run shoes, Lexi and I went out with some of our favorite styles and did a little look book for the blog featuring spring/summer sneakers, sandals and water shoes. Now that Lexi is older, I can actually ask her for a detailed opinion on things she wears and plays with, so I think from now on, I will include two sections: mom's opinion and Lexi's opinion. Mom's opinion: See Kai Run have always been one of the two brands that I got for Lexi because of the good fit and comfort. However, I am also incredibly impressed with original designs they come out with every season. My biggest soft spot is for their sneakers. The combination of patterns and colors is nothing that you normally see in footwear. I would personally wear them if they came in a larger size ( [...]

Our Morning Routine

Our Morning Routine

I have not written about our morning routine for a while now, I think since Lexi was a little baby, so when I was asked to do a post on what my morning routine looks like on behalf of bare Minerals , I figured it would be a good opportunity to update your guys on it and see what your routine looks like. Waking up I wake up when Lexi wakes up. As much as I would love to be up at 5 am in the morning and get everything in the world done, I really love my sleep. Really do. And I am not a morning person. (which I am going to be changing doing a little challenge in June that I will be blogging about). So I sleep as long as I can, which in my case would be until I hear a little voice call out "Mommyyyyy, boobie!" Yes, she still breastfeeds in the mornings and evenings. She rolls over to[...]

My new business, Melody Lane, and how it started.

My new business, Melody Lane, and how it started.

THE WHOLE STORY Some of you who follow me on IG might have noticed me mentioning Melody Lane  a few times and I am sure you saw the announcement  and I have finally found the time to talk about it and give you some background information on how it came to life and what it is. ( and a coupon just for my readers at the end) A few years ago when I was pregnant, I was going through different stages of dealing with how my newly expanded body was going to fit into clothing. I started with the resolve that I was just going to wear normal clothing that is stretchy or flowy rather than resort to God awful maternity styles. After a few months of that I realized that while wearing non maternity clothing is nice, having to figure out what is going to fit you and what isn't, whether the material [...]

Controlling Your Electricity Bill Budget

Controlling Your Electricity Bill Budget

This post brought to you by IGS Energy. The content and opinions expressed below are that of The Art of Making a Baby. I have been learning about this in the past month and have teamed up with IGS Energy to let me readers know how they can use it to their advantage. The Issue There are expenses that you can predict pretty well every month and budget for those expenses. Unfortunately, some expenses aren’t quite so predictable like your electricity bill. It is so annoying how electricity expenses go up and down. And it’s not like you can shop around for your power. If you don’t like where you are grocery shopping, you go to a different grocery store. The Solution I did just learn about something pretty cool though. In some states, you can shop around. You can have a choice about[...]