Saturday, June 10, 2017


Just a small announcement to let you all know...

I am now an Usborne Book Lady! :)
I've created a Facebook group for it, but if you'd like to find out WHY I've joined Usborne and a little more about it, read on!!

I swore to myself I would never become a salesperson, especially with companies like Avon, Mary Kay, LuLaRoe, etc that require hosting parties and nagging your friends. BUT I attended an online Usborne party a friend hosted and fell IN LOVE.

Anyone that knows me knows I LOVE to read and I love books and am passionate about getting kids to read.

And the Usborne books are great! There are wipe-clean books for practicing writing and interactive books beyond the basic flap, tab, and popup books. There are board books and chapter books. There are encyclopedias, story collections, book series and more. There are books that are great for children with special needs, sensory processing disorder, autism etc. There are over 2,000 titles with new releases every season (and I am very excited about some of this fall's expected releases!)

Beyond that, what really helped convince me to sign onto the team was that there are NO quotas. I didn't want the pressure of having to meet corporate goals; I have a 3-year-old and an almost 3-month-old, am in my last semester of graduate school and will soon be a full-time Librarian! And you don't have to keep an inventory or make a large initial investment.

So by being part of Usborne, I get to not only grow my own kids' libraries, I can help grow others' as well. I can earn free books and anyone that hosts a party with me earns free books. Of course there are all sorts of bonuses and perks for selling over certain amounts, but that is not what I'm in this for.

I just want to have fun, make a little extra money, and introduce families and kids to some wonderful books and hopefully, create some life-long readers. :)

So, if you would like to see what it's all about, would like to check out the collection, host a party, or join the team, join my Facebook group

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Thursday, December 1, 2016

EarthMamaAngelBaby has a Support Breastfeeding with Integrity pledge and badge. The pledge is below. This is what I pledge!

The Support with Integrity Pledge

I PLEDGE to use my energy to help defuse dogmatic battles about what technique, position, frequency, equipment, duration or organization a woman chooses for breastfeeding. I affirm that my time is best spent directing my positive, encouraging support toward helping mamas successfully breastfeed.
I PLEDGE to keep my ego in check, while treating other breastfeeding boosters, lactation facilitators, breastfeeding organizations, and mothers respectfully, knowing that we’re all working toward the common goal of providing breast milk for babies. I also welcome respectful disagreement with my own opinions and accept that disruptive disagreement is counter to the goal of helping mamas feed their babies.
I PLEDGE to agree that there are many right ways to breastfeed a baby. A breastfeeding mother should not feel pressure or judgment to perform a specific way. There isn’t a “wrong way” as long as the breast milk is flowin’ and the baby is growin’.
By displaying the Support with Integrity badge and signing the pledge, I agree to hold hands and help mamas get what they need to make breastfeeding work for them, no matter how they choose to do it. If a mama and baby are making it work, I’ll stand and cheer them on from the sidelines.

Caveat: This is not a place to judge those who choose not to or cannot breastfeed. This is a pledge to be supportive of all those who choose to support breastfeeding.

- See more at:
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Birth Preferences Round 2

So I made a birth preferences infographic for my son's birth, but never ended up using it since we arrived at the hospital only half an hour before he was born! Some things on my first set of birth preferences are no longer a big deal to me though, so I decided to make another one, and found a set of icons that I really liked. I recolored them and added a preface, and I hope that I actually get to use it this time and hand it to the nurses at the hospital when I arrive!

You may have heard both the terms "birth plan" and "birth preferences" used when talking about what the mom/parents want for their baby's birth. But I do not like the term "birth plan" cause you really can't plan everything. You WON'T get everything you "plan" for. Life is messy. Birth is messy! ;) So I use "birth preferences" to show that these are things I'd prefer to have happen, but I make sure to add in a preface statement saying that I want my baby's health and my health to take precedence above all, and that these are my preferences for a NORMAL birth. If major complications arise, everything will probably go out the window because the medical team will be focusing on bringing baby into the world safely. And I am okay with that! 

Please feel free to use my birth preferences as inspiration to create your own! You can also find fill-in-the-blank birth preferences sheets online. Like this one at Pregnancy and Baby or this one at EarthMamaAngelBaby. They also have a customizable icon birth preferences sheet, or you can download their icon birth plan as a PDF.

If there's interest, I can make the icons that I recolored available for download. :)
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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

FYI: Saying I don't look pregnant is not a compliment

All throughout my first pregnancy, people repeatedly told me that I didn't look pregnant. The first few times, it was fine and I thought nothing of it. But it kept happening - even in my third trimester! And no one understood why I wasn't flattered by those statements.

I kept hearing it from my boss, which made me feel like she didn't believe that I actually was pregnant. And when I was about 35 weeks, I volunteered to do a maternity shoot with a budding photographer to help boost their portfolio - and they wanted someone close to their due date. Well, when I showed up, they couldn't hide their disappointment that my belly wasn't massive (but to me, I felt like a whale!)

Well, I thought with my second pregnancy, I'd "look pregnant" much earlier - and to me, I did. I never got rid of my little tummy pooch and grew very early in my pregnancy. However, I still keep hearing "you don't even look pregnant!" And when I try to politely say something to hint to them that I want to look pregnant, or that I don't find that to be a complimentary statement, they go on and ON about why it's a good thing that I don't look pregnant. HA! (One of peoples' favorite reasons is that I can wear regular clothes still. Um... no. Actually, I had to start wearing maternity pants in my first trimester).

I don't know why I don't "look pregnant" to some people. I'm not wearing super tight tops and prefer looser shirts, and maxi skirts, and leggings - it's just so much more comfortable than my maternity jeans. But I think I look pregnant, and I see nothing wrong with that.

Repeatedly hearing that I don't look pregnant has me questioning... is there something wrong with looking pregnant? Are you insinuating that it's better to look flat-tummied than to have a glowing baby belly? I know it's undesirable to look pregnant when you aren't actually pregnant... but what's wrong with looking pregnant when you actually DO have a baby growing inside you?

I love my belly, and I love seeing it grow, because that means that my baby girl is growing too. Sure, there are things I don't like about my belly - like the lovely growth of dark hair that has sprouted in a line below my belly button. And of course there are things I don't like about pregnancy. The heartburn and back pain being the main things. But I love being pregnant.

And I love the way I look. 

True, I may gripe at times to my husband about looking larger or not feeling attractive, but who doesn't? Yet, overall, I am happy in my body. Pre-pregnancy and during pregnancy. And I will aim to love my post-pregnancy body too!

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Friday, October 28, 2016

DIY Toddler or Preschool Activity Calendar Magnets

I made an amazing little activity board for my 2.5 year old this week and so far I'm loving it! Also, now I'm kind of addicted to creating these little magnets and coming up with new activities or events to include on his board.

Right now, I've created all his standard daily and weekly activities: school, gym, laundry, shopping, family outing, family night in, etc; and magnets for Today, Tomorrow, and Yesterday as well as weather icons, holidays, doctor and dentist appointment icons AND stars to use for a star/behavior chart.

Click here to see how I made my activity board.

I am in love with some of these little magnets.

I mean, how cute are these?!

*Please disregard the dog hair in the star magnet... no one is perfect! :P

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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

$10 DIY Magnetic Activity Calendar

I saw the cutest activity calendar on Pinterest and was inspired to create my own. I didn't do it exactly the same way, though.

My son is now 2 1/2 years old, and we love planning different things to do. He goes to daycare 5 days a week and a fun little gym on Saturdays. We always talk about what we're doing and what's coming up, but it's a hard concept for little ones to grasp! Visuals always help. And of course, toddlers love to help and do things themselves, so what's better than little magnets for all the different activities that they can help put onto a magnetic calendar?

I started with a 14"x14" dry erase board that I found for less than $7 at Walmart. It's similar to this one pictured here:

Then I used my Silhouette Cameo and some scrap vinyl to cut out letters for the days of the week, a thin stripe, and the words "This Week" and "Coming up..." I hate measuring (*gasp!*) so just eyeballed the placement of all my vinyl lettering, and placed my little stripe approximately halfway down the board. (If you don't have a vinyl cutter, you can get alphabet stickers or make magnets with your days of the week and phrases on them to match the icons!)

I thought it'd be nice to have activities for the current week and then for next week and the near future. I didn't want to limit ourselves to only showing activities for the next week, because sometimes we talk about events a few weeks in advance - like for holidays or birthdays. I like to get the excitement started early!

I drew various little icons and colored them, then cut them out and "laminated" them. Each icon is about 1/2" to 3/4" - I figured for a 14x14" board and 7 days of the week, I needed to allot slightly less than 2 inches per week, so there would be space between. I thought about putting grid lines down between each weekday but liked the openness of the board without.

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Monday, October 24, 2016

Full-Time Mom, Full-Time Employed and FULL-TIME PREGNANT

I know my blogging has been slow. (Understatement). I've just been out-of-my-mind busy with my now 2.5 year old, with being a part-time grad student pursuing my MLIS (Master of Library and Information Studies), working full-time at a University Library (and prior to that at a public library and at a daycare), and with our recent move. PLUS, being pregnant of course is exhausting enough on its own.
That's right!! We're expecting baby number two! This wee one is a girl and she is due 2 days before her big brother's birthday! That means that as of this writing, I am about 20 weeks along. Half-way there! This pregnancy is going by so much faster!

Well, I plan to get back into the blogging thing - I have a few posts in mind. To give you some clues and some heads up...

  • How to take 6 weeks of leave when you don't qualify for paid maternity leave. (stressful and a lot of planning, to say the least!)
  • DIY activity calendar for toddlers, kids, or the whole family. Plus I'd like to have downloadables available...
  • Daily routine for a 2-year-old
  • Planning for DISNEY WORLD - with a 3-year-old and 8-month-old (next November - I'm so excited!)
  • Crock-pot meals and one-pot meals (I've been doing a lot of these since I work nights and am not home for dinner most days. I try and start something before I go to work so that my DH - that's Darling Husband - can just serve it up, or throw everything I've prepped into a pan to make dinner easier on them)
So hopefully, I'll get back into a routine posting schedule soon - so keep on the lookout for some new content! :)
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Thursday, February 4, 2016

Adieu to some websites... dead and defunct links

It appears that Mommy Hot Spot and Family Culture Magazine are both no longer active. I had a few articles published with each of those, and so only put snippets of those articles here on my blog.
I have updated those posts with the full article now, and here are the links to said articles.
My apologies to anyone who was interested in those posts!

Tips on Flying With a Baby

Drama Queens and Kings

Unique Father's Day Ideas

Why I Call My Baby Names

How Having Dogs Prepared Me For a Baby

Things Your Babysitter Wish You Knew

Sun Safety for Summer Fun
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