Christmas with a toddler: Gift ideas

MondayNovember 28, 2016

I still can't believe we have officially kicked off the Christmas season, where did 2016 go? But if there is one person that is very excited for Christmas it is my 3year old. Literally every TV ad with a toddler related item she wants obviously, I haven't started shopping for Christmas just yet (I am usually late to the game) but at this rate I am hoping I get it right lol. So, if you are like me and still trying to figure out what you should get your little one, then this post might be of great help to you.

  • Clothing never fails, I honestly believe you can never go wrong with a clothing item. Whether it be a dress, shoes or even PJs. And I would recommend you add freshly picked moccasins to the top of your list. Most people automatically think the brand is geared towards infants and babies but their size range go up high. My daughter totally loves her pair, the leather is very soft so she can run around and do her usual everyday things. If you are not a fan of the soft sole, they also come in hard soles as well. 

  • Toys, I mean you can never go wrong with toys in a child's' eyes that's for sure. This year I felt there were so many amazing character movies that the choices for toys are endless. And the ever classic Frozen is still going strong. A little extra let it go never hurt lol
  •  Books are always convenient too, my daughter is getting to that point where she tries to read the book (completely wrong lol but she is trying) A few of her favorites are Cinderella and On the Night, you were born. I know a lot of parents are tired of the toys that end up laying around everywhere and of course clothes they will outgrow so books are always safe and it doesn't hurt that its educational as well. 
  • Educational electronics, face it our children are growing up heavily in the digital age and everything is powered by electronics. There are so many educational electronics out on the market that they list is endless. But my daughter has the leapfrog epic, and I think so convenient because for one she gives my iPad a break and secondly everything on there is geared towards kids so no worry of any inappropriate apps or videos.
I hope this helps you to start checking some items off your list for your toddler, and if you are like me and totally hate dealing with all the craziness of Christmas shopping and would much rather seat in the comfort of your home and take care of it all, then I bet you are very excited for Cyber Monday. One of my fave online stores FreshlyPicked, kicks off their 24 hours Cyber Monday sale today (Nov 28th) at 10am MST all seasonal at 25% off, so if you are loving these mocs on my little one as much as we both love them, then I wouldn't let this sale pass me by. What other items would you all recommend for a busy toddler, let me know in the comments. 

Our First Thanksgiving: Weekly Thanks

SundayNovember 27, 2016

This year we got to spend our first thanksgiving as an official family unit, and I just got to tell you it was very different (but in a good way too). I am used to holidays with my big family, all the noise and family friends constantly going in and out. But this year, it was just myself, the hubby, our daughter and a couple of friends. Sticking with the theme of getting used to new experiences (my new normal lol) we got to cook our own complete thanksgiving meal, turkey and all and lord was it an experience.  Won’t even lie I was quite nervous to be cooking my first thanksgiving meal, because in the past it’s not really something I had been involved in. So, I let my husband know from the start that we would either be ordering our turkey or he was the one in charge of that (haha). Being our first thanksgiving together we really under estimated, and didn't start prepping till 10 am Thursday morning (yikes! we learnt our lesson on that though). So, that delayed our cooking schedule and being the worrier I am I started freaking out internally just a bit. But God was on our side and everything was ready and done with by 6pm (we initially planned for dinner at 5pm) so we weren't too much off course. And just to toot my hubby's horn the turkey was probably one of the best I have tasted, to be honest I am not a big fan of turkey to start with, so that says a lot coming from me. I am very thankful for my little family, and even though I am still getting used to my new normal and all that comes with it, I must say I am blessed and grateful for God continuing to see us through. I always feel like after thanksgiving, that marks the official start to Christmas season so, I am super excited to decorate and have another first together has a family. Hope you all had an amazing thanksgiving as well? Any fun family stories?

Thanksgiving with an African spin lol

This week was also my birthday so, that was something to be thankful for. I love that my birthday falls so close to thanksgiving, almost feels like God did that on purpose (haha). It’s funny that morning when I woke up, Facebook had notified me about one of those memories thing it has now, I love looking through those because it’s so cool to see how much I have grown over the years. But in looking back on my page and statuses it’s so funny how a few years ago, I made such a big deal of my birthday and now that I am a bit older, of course my birthday is still very special but I spend most the time leading to my birthday reflecting more on how far I have come and goals I have set that are yet to be accomplished. Does anyone else feel that way, like the older you get birthdays become more of accountability and just making sure you are not completely sucking at this life thing. And being a mother its gone from not only sucking at my own life, but also making sure I am not completely screwing up my daughter's either. My 26th year was a year of spiritual growth, I really tried to focus, and grow my relationship with God so much this year and believe that he would handle it and there were so many times where I can say if it wasn't for God I wouldn't have made it through. As I look forward into 27, I am more trusting of God because there has been quite a bit of changes in my life and there are times when I am just like I don't know how I am going to make it through but I have been through it this far and I know I am only going to making it even further. I am excited to see what this new year in my life does bring though. Who else uses their birthday has a reflection point for their life?

Respect your lane: Beating insecurity in our social media world

WednesdayNovember 16, 2016

The other day I was watching a video on Patricia Bright's YouTube page, she spoke on how the internet has made her insecure and made her doubt herself on things because she compares herself with others and questions herself on certain things. As I watched the video I literally felt she was speaking to my soul, I did a post last year called keeping up with the gram and how much our lives have become so focused on social media, and pretty much a lot of things people shoot for these days is based on what they see on others social media pages. Insecurity is something we all deal with, even the most confident person has something they are insecure about but, with the new age of social media and the internet those insecurities are put on display for people to dissect and nitpick at even more.

 I have always had my insecurities but, prior to being a mom it wasn't something I focused on or allowed to impact my life because prior to being a mom I was a carefree twenty-two-year-old that didn't have real worries. But when I became a mom life changed, its stopped being about me and instead about this new life that I had to nurture and protect so all my insecurities were pushed to the forefront. And with the help of social media it was a thousand times worse. I would spend so much time and energy looking at people's pages that I didn't even know, comparing what they were doing for their child and how much their child was developing and just beat myself up because I felt oh their daughter is the same age as mine so she should already be crawling and as a first-time mom it made it much harder to be the best mom I could be. Even now I still beat myself up, and just constant comparing and just not letting myself enjoy my life for what it is, not going to lie there are plenty of things I want to do and I feel like I have missed out on somethings just because of where my life is now doesn't necessarily align with some of the things I want. But if there is one thing I have learnt through all this, and just in growing up is that everyone's life is different and everyone's path isn't aligned the same way so instead of focusing on the things I don't have or can’t do instead focus on the blessings I already have because the things I have now are what others are wishing for and I can't even enjoy it because I am too worried about the little part of someone's life that they choose to share on snap-chat. Lets' be real, no mom is ever going to show you when their child has a poop explosion, or has a full-blown tantrum in the middle of target, and you are never going to see the videos of those horrible fights with their loved ones or the unfiltered real “no-make-up” pictures when they aren’t looking fly because who honestly wants to see that.

So a new practice I have started is instead of picking up my phone first thing in the morning and scrolling through social media and just entering those negative voices and feelings into my day, I instead start my day reading some devotionals and then listening to uplifting music, I have noticed the difference in the tone of my day and also in my outlook of the day.  I start the day feeling so much better about my life and my day because, I didn't start my day in someone else's life but instead mentally preparing MY own day. I would love to hear about your experience with insecurity, and learning to live in this social media driven world of ours and not letting it have so much power over your own life. What are some good habits you all have picked up as well let me know in the comments 😊?

How I have a (semi) successful flight with my toddler

MondayNovember 07, 2016

I have been traveling with my little one since she was about 3 months old, granted we are no jet setters but we do go on our occasional family trips and traveling with a child honestly can be a pain. When she was younger and didn't really do much moving it was actually pretty easy to fly with her. The minute she started moving and being more independent then a lot more was needed for flying and making sure she had a pleasant flight. Would hate to be that mom with the toddler that  is screaming her head off. So I thought I would share some of the tips I use today to make our flights a little comfortable for not just myself and her, but everyone else on board.

  • Her Leap-Pad Epic is on the top of the list of things packed, this goes everywhere and its honestly one of the best things ever invented for kids. Before we got her the leap-pad  she would always want to play with my iPad and it got so hard trying to control what she would view and do on there. With the leap pad its all kid focused with videos and games made for kids only so I like that and its just a lot more comforting for parents. 
  • Her favorite book is a must, my daughter really loves reading and being a toddler her attention span is about 2 seconds and she is ready for something else so I always carry along a book or some type of physical activity outside of the pad just in case she needs something else to do.
  • A snack, especially with airlines charging so much for in flight snacks these days I am not trying to spend all my money to buy something for my kid to eat on the plane so we pack a pretty good amount of things to snack on. It all just depends on how long the flight is. Also water or juice. 
  • And it all goes in her favorite backpack
What are some ways you moms make flying with your toddler a breeze?