Mom Code

momcode

 

There is an unspoken code that all mothers should follow. Some things on my list should be no brainers and others are a little harder to accomplish. Regardless, this is a list of things we shouldn’t say to each other and things we should / shouldn’t be doing to ourselves.  Sit back, have some coffee [or wine]  and lets talk mom code!

  • A woman holding a baby may still look like she’s carrying a child. She may still have a “belly” forever after having a baby. Pregnancy does crazy things to our bodies! Never ask anyone when their due date is unless you’re 100000% you’re seeing a belly with a baby inside
  • Don’t lecture other moms on breastfeeding. Everyone has their reasons why they are doing it or why they aren’t. I don’t care why you chose what you chose, just feed your kid.
  • Sometimes after you have a baby you grow hair back a lot differently than before. I had some pretty noticeable sideburns after having both of my kids. They’re gorgeous. Don’t question a new mom on decision to now have bangs.
  • Don’t touch other people’s kids! You may see a cute baby and have the urge to snuggle and kiss it. STOP IT. You’re a stranger.  Hands off.
  • Speaking of touching, don’t ever touch a pregnant woman’s stomach. Believe it’s still party of her body and it’s not socially acceptable to just walk around groping people.
  • If you see a mother and her child has a dirty face, they’re both in pajamas, and she looks like she hasn’t slept in a month; don’t you dare judge her. Every mom has those days, weeks, and sometimes even years.
  • I know this is tough, but don’t compare yourself to other moms. Motherhood isn’t a game of who’s doing it the best; it’s a game of being the best mother that you can be. & Sometimes even harder, don’t compare your kids to other kids. You’ve heard it a million times, they’re all different. Every kid is different.
  • If possible, rely on your significant other and other people around for help as much as you can. It’s okay to need a break; ask for one!
  • Remember: It’s not good to wash your hair everyday and messy buns are totally in style.
  • Don’t automatically run and call child protective services if you see a kid with a few bruises and/or a black eye. My kids are extremely clumsy and are covered in bruises. Toddlers are destructive to everything in their paths including themselves.
  • Although you may want to feed your family (kids included) gorgeous and healthy home cooked meals, don’t be surprised if something like “eat your cheese it’s and then you can have a cookie” come out of your mouth *true story*

What kind of things are on your list of “mom codes?” 

Sewing as a Hobby; Sew Many Benefits

Some people may think the art of sewing is becoming a thing of the past. However, the benefits of sewing as a hobby are too great to be ignored. There are many ways that sewing can help to improve your life, even if you only make time to sit down at your sewing machine for two hours per week. Below, we will discuss the advantages of taking up sewing as a leisurely pursuit in your life!

Sewing Machine

Saves Money

Perhaps the most obvious benefit to learning to use a sewing machine is the money you can save. Rather than throwing out damaged clothing, you can use your sewing skills to repair tears or add patches to the garments. It is imperative that moms learn to sew, so they can mend their children’s clothing rather than always buying something new. Along with clothing repair, moms can also use the sewing machine to create new outfits for their kids, further saving on apparel purchases.

Improves Hand-Eye Coordination

Whether you are using a needle and thread or a sewing machine, this hobby will help you to promote hand-eye coordination. This skill is important in many areas of your life. Fostering this connection between your eyes and hands will assist you in a number of other tasks, including driving, sports, tying your shoes, typing, and cooking.

Supports Focus

Having to sit down and keep your attention on your sewing project, even if just an hour or two at a time, will help to improve your focus. This is very helpful in young adults that are struggling to concentrate on a task, such as studying, for a long period of time. The focus gained from sewing can also assist you in your work life, and makes it easier to read more efficiently to save you time.

Promotes Self-Confidence

Feeling good about yourself and having a positive outlook on life will allow you to thrive. The confidence you can gain from learning to sew and creating your own masterpieces with your machine may benefit you in ways other hobbies cannot. Sewing is also good for boosting your social confidence, especially if you meet with other sewing friends regularly. Additionally, if you decide to sew for others or sell your creations, you will be uplifted and feel pride each time you produce and sell a new piece.

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Expresses Creativity

In our fast-paced world, creativity can sometimes be left on the back burner. We have so much to do, who has time to sit down and enjoy a hobby?! Someone with an abundance of creative talent may never unleash this trait due to other commitments like work or family life. However, if you take up the hobby of sewing, you can transform your life and release that pent-up inspiration in the designs you create. By allowing yourself to be more creative, you can reap the benefits of a more relaxed mindset, decreased stress and anxiety levels, and reduced negative emotions in other areas of your life.

Produces Unique Items

Your family doesn’t have to “keep up with the Joneses” when you learn how to use a sewing machine. Getting to create one-of-a-kind designs is just half the fun! Seeing the smiles on your children’s faces when they have a costume or outfit you can’t purchase in stores is sure to have you returning to your hobby again and again. Additionally, if you want to make money with your hobby, creating unique designs is very essential – you want to stand out from the crowd and have everyone rushing to get sewn articles from you!

Fights Mental Issues

It is vital that we use every area of our brains regularly to keep them sharp and working properly. When you learn to sew, and do it often, you will be keeping your brain active. Doing the small tasks required to sew clothing or a quilt helps to ward off dementia and other mental conditions.

Getting all the Right Sewing Machine Supplies

By now, you probably see the many benefits of sewing as a hobby. It’s time to get yourself stocked with the right sewing machine and other supplies. Founded in Atlanta in 1983 as Southeast Sewing Products, SewingMachine.com now offers a virtual home for all the sewing machines, parts, and accessories you need to thoroughly enjoy this creative hobby.

Steve Tramell Sewing Machine

Offering a range of products, SewingMachine.com has been recognized as one of the South’s leading dealers and authorized servicers for Brother, Singer, Consew, Juki, and Pfaff products. The company, founded by Steve Tramell, has two locations: Atlanta and West Point, and you can also browse their selection of products at SewingMachine.com. They also offer classes at their locations for those wanting to learn more about sewing, embroidery, and other creative endeavors.

First Friday Favorites {April 2017}

It’s sure been a while since I’ve done one a First Friday Favorites. It’s not because I’ve been having a lack of finding awesome things but because I’ve had a lack of time to share them with you guys. I have a running list of things I’ve been meaning to talk about but they never could make it off that list, until now.

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1 // What Do You Meme // If you’re into memes [guilty] than you need this game. It’s quite possibly one of the funniest things I’ve played in a while and totally rivals Cards Against Humanity. While it’s pretty close to the same concept, the cards are possibly even funnier and more screwed up.

2 // Apple TV // We just cut the cord [look for post on our experience soon] and couldn’t be happier with the Apple TV.

3 // Wine Aerator // If you’re a wine drinker and you haven’t been using an aerator, seriously, get one now. We just recently got one and started using it and the difference is astounding. I thought it was all hype until I did a little taste test with and without aeration. Profound difference.

4 // Ever Lasting Treat Ball // I always have such an issue with dog toys because I have strong chewers. They destroy everything. Dog toys aren’t cheap and I was sick of spending a decent amount of money on something that would last them 30 minutes. This treat ball keeps them busy and they really can’t destroy it.

5 // Bio Silk Hair Serum // I recently went seriously blonde and with bleach usually comes some damage. A co-worker of mine recommended this product in which I totally forgot existed. I used it years and years ago but i’m so glad I re-discovered it. It totally tames my frizz and smells unbelievable.

 

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*note: this post contains affiliate links.

The Hardest Part of Being a Vet Tech

When I was in tech school, on one of the very first days, a professor said to us, “If you’re doing this because you love animals more than people and you think you’re not going to have to deal with people, get out now.”

Holding onto every leash is an owner.
Holding every carrier is an owner.

The owners are the hardest part of my job.

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I am totally a people person. I have no problems starting conversations and am the type of person who can walk up to basically anyone and make small talk. When I started in this field, I never thought I was going to be one of the people that had problems communicating. Then I quickly realized that my clients were going to be one of the hardest parts of my job.

Emotions run high for pet owners when they’re in the clinic. They’re often scared, angry, or confused as to whats going on with their animal. It’s very difficult to communicate with owners when they’re emotions are getting the best of them. I have had circumstances where the owner was so afraid, over what was basically nothing, but it’s impossible to tell them that. It’s very hard to get someone to calm down when they’ve worked themselves up so far.

Then there are the situations where the owners fears are valid. There is absolutely no easy way to go tell an owner that their pet has a serious illness/injury and there’s a good chance they make not make it through. Or worse, they haven’t made it. 

Adding the financial aspect of the situation makes it even worse. It’s often my job to let the owners know what treatment is going to cost. It can be heartbreaking to give an owner a number that is out of their reach and watch them have to make the decision of euthanizing because they can’t afford treatment. This is often where anger some into play. It’s so hard to convey to them that you’re sympathetic, you really do care about their pet, but you can’t do treatment for free.

Lastly, we have the education part of my job. I take pride in the fact that I’m making these animals lives better because I’m educating their owners on how to properly take care of them. It can be a lot of information and sometimes it’s hard to get it all across without confusing the owner or having them shut me out because I’ve lost their attention. There are the clients who will do everything we recommend and then there are the clients who want the bare minimum. I try to be grateful that those clients even cared enough to bring their pet in but it can be hard to watch them walk out the door knowing I could do more for them.

I could go on for days on reasons why it’s hard to deal with clients but to sum it up… 

  • Emotions run high and it’s hard to communicate with them.
  • Sometimes they care more than words can describe and I have to give them bad news.
  • Sometimes they don’t care enough and there’s nothing I can do to make them.
  • Financial restraints get in the way of treatment.
  • Letting them know that treatments aren’t working despite all the money in the world.
  • Helping them to understand what is wrong or what they need to do.
  • Trying to educate them on the best way to care for their pet but having them not listen or just not caring.
  • Trying to give them comfort in the wake of tragedy

So regardless of all the sadness I see, the euthanasia, the injuries, and the unexpected illnesses… Communicating with the clients is still the hardest part of my job.

Mommy & Me {a photo post]

A few weeks ago I noticed that a local photographer was doing some “mommy and me” mini sessions. I got to thinking about all the pictures that I really don’t have with my kids. I’m usually the one taking the pictures or things are just going by so fast that I don’t stop to photograph anything. Any of the pictures that I do have are really just made of snapchat selfies.

I decided it was time to change that.

These are the results. 

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My kids can be quite hams in front of the camera so a couple of solo shots were taken of them as well. I wasn’t about to complain because really, there are never enough pictures taken, they grow way too quick.

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I absolutely adore how they came out and feel like the candid shots really capture some of the fun times we have. They’re something that I’m going to be able to look back on and squeal “HOW’D THEY GET SO BIG?!”

I urge every mother out there to go out and do the same. Get some professional pictures done of you and your babies while their still your little babies.

Fresh Water Design Co. [+ giveaway]

Fresh Water Design Co. is a brand new business that I’ve had the pleasure of watching launch and hit the ground running with growth. I’m so excited to be able to share the talent the girls behind this company have with my readers. I’m even more excited to show you guys the gorgeous new art I have hanging in my house.

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First off the owners are two of the most genuine people that I have the pleasure of knowing. The drive and talent behind of the two of them is just astonishing and I truly admire their entrepreneurism. I work as a vet tech with Dani and after our long shifts, she goes home and creates these amazing pieces of art.

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“I Love You A Ton” Elephant

"Lost in the Right Direction"

“Lost in the Right Direction”

Since I’ve been watching the business grow, I’ve seen so many amazing pieces that Freshwater Design Co. has created. I knew that I had to have some of it in my home. I had so many different ideas floating around in my head and they completely made it come to life. Freshwater Design Co. has an option on their site to create your own piece. You have an idea, they’ll make it happen.

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This is my gorgeous piece. My husband is from outside of Chicago and I’m from a town near Detroit; These are the coordinates of our home towns. It makes an amazing addition to my living room. It’s personal with just the right touch of sweetness. I’m just beyond smitten with it. freshwatercocollageThe quality of the burn is perfect. There is truly not one single flaw. The stain is perfect. Freshwater Design Co. has several different stains to choose from so there will be one that fits your decor.

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Freshwater has decided to also do a giveaway for one lucky reader! Browse the site and pick out something special for your home; or create your own! Enter to win in the rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Road Trip With Toddlers

I’m beyond excited that I even get to write this post. Bringing two children across the country in the car sounded like a nightmare but I was beyond pleasantly surprised with how it went.

In February we decided that we wanted to go up to Detroit for a hockey game. It was going to be a quick trip so spending literally $2000 on four airline tickets was just outrageous. We were leaving on a Thursday and coming home on Monday. I couldn’t justify that kind of money for just a few days. Our only other option if we wanted to go to this game that badly [trust me, I did] was to drive.

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The drive, according to google maps, was going to take 13 hours and 10 minutes. I was anticipating at least 6 hours of straight crying each way from my 4 year old and 2 year old. Instead I got about 30 seconds on the way there and about 5 minutes on the way home. WIN.

Here’s what we did.

  • Mentally prepare the kids for the drive. A few days before I started talking to them about how we were going to their “GiGi’s house” but we were going in the car. I told them it was going to be a long drive but if they tried to sleep and were very good then they would get there faster.
  • Leave super early in the morning. We were on the road by 5 AM. It was awful for me since I despise waking up so early but the kids were so tired that they fell asleep within about 30 minutes.
  • Don’t stop for breakfast or potty breaks until they wake. I was starving by 7 AM and had to pee like a racehorse but the kids were still sleeping. There was no way I was chancing them waking up because the car stopped moving until they were done sleeping.
  • Fill them with a big breakfast. They didn’t wake up till almost 5 hours into the drive. We all got out of the car, went to the bathroom, and got breakfast to be eaten in the car.
  • Bring lots of snacks. As soon as someone started to get a little crabby I would offer them a new snack.
  • Limit drinks. This is obvious to me but I don’t want to be stopping with a toddler that has to pee every hour because I’m filling them with drinks.
  • Keep them engaged while they’re awake. I would keep asking them questions about things we were seeing outside. Asking them colors of things, asking them to find certain types of cars, ect. I feel like this really kept their minds busy.
  • Tablets / Screen Time. I think this is really what saved us but I did it in a way that’s probably a little different than what you’re thinking. I brought the kids tablets but didn’t give them to them right away. I did it once they were really getting restless and almost ready for nap time. It was almost like the tablet reset the time that they were in the car. I put some movies on them, turned them on, and they seemed to forget they were in the car.

So what I think really saved us was the fact that they continued sleeping as soon as we got into the car and the fact that they were mentally prepared for the fact that it was going to be a really long ride.

Now, we’re doing it again over Christmas so I can only hope it goes as well as this trip did. Wish us luck and if you have any other tips or experiences with long road trips with kids; leave it in the comments!

Custom Shampoo { Function of Beauty }

I finally can say that I’ve fallen in love with my shampoo. 
Let me start this off by saying in no way was I paid to write this review on Function of Beauty. I paid full price for my shampoo and conditioner and was not solicited by the company to write anything. I’m simply sharing for anyone struggling with finding their soul mate of hair washing products.

I spent a few weeks reading reviews and contemplating purchasing from Function of Beauty. I have a few hair issues (dry scalp, dry hair, breakage) that I am always looking to improve. I normally just shopped Target to try to find what I was looking for.  I decided to take the dive into the personalized approach a few weeks back and couldn’t be more glad that I did.

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I’ve been washing my hair with this new formulation for a few weeks now and am already noticing a dramatic difference. It smells amazing, it styles easier, and I am going more time between washes. I’m not going to lie, I try to go as often between washes as I can because 1) washing my hair takes forever and 2) I’m lazy. This shampoo and conditioner are saving me time and I’m forever grateful.

So, how do you create a custom shampoo and conditioner? Simple.

  1. Head over to FunctionofBeauty.com. Using this link will get you $5 off your first purchase and will also give me $5 off my next one.
  2. Fill out a “hair profile.” The website will ask you some pretty general questions about your hair including hair type, hair texture, and scalp details.
  3. Choose a scent. I went with “essential oils” which smells incredible. If I could capture the scent in a blog post I would. You’re also able to choose how strong of a scent that you want. I went with “medium” and it still sticks around for a while. So if you’re sensitive to smells at all, I’d choose light. Screen Shot 2017-03-05 at 2.14.54 PM
  4. Pick your hair goals. This was the hardest part for me. You’re able to select 5 different things that you’re looking to get from your hair. There’s quite a few things to choose from as you can see. Screen Shot 2017-03-05 at 2.15.08 PM
  5. Name your creation! I went with “longstrong” because that’s a summary of what I’m looking for in my hair.
  6. Check out and get excited! You should have your new creation in about a week or so. They also have options for auto ship programs that give you a 10% discount. I opted for every 4 months.

Function of Beauty 100% guarantees that you’ll love the product you receive or you get your money back. I figured it was worth a shot and it’s one that I’m glad that I took.

The War Against The Toddler & The Tablet

I need to start this off by saying I used to be a huge fan of a little screen time for my children. I loved the fact that I could put on one of my kids favorite shows and I’d be able to get things done. That phase has passed and they’re not so much into watching 30 minute long shows anymore. They’ll watch a few minutes, need a snack, go play with something, and then come bother me for something else. That’s when they started to ask me to watch their tablets. I needed some time to get some things done so I complied. They were unbelievably entertained watching other children play with toys on kids youtube. Why they’d rather watch other kids open up eggs with toys in them than play on their own is beyond me; but I was getting things done.

That’s when the war began. ToddlerTablet copy

My children became addicted to their tablets; more specifically addicted to watching children play with toys and open random eggs with shit in them. They’d ask for them at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The first thing they wanted to do in the morning was get their iPads. The last thing they wanted to do at night was to go to sleep with the thing. They got to the point that they’d rather watch other people play than go outside and play themselves. We wouldn’t let them have it the entire day but then we started to see tantrums. When they’d ask for the dumb electronic device and we’d say no… It would get ugly.

Enough was enough. Serious limitations have been set and my children are now experiencing full withdrawl symptoms.

My two and a half year old doesn’t get hers at all. She doesn’t understand the time limits on it that I’ve set. She really has no concept of time which is understandable. I tried setting the thing to go off using “free time” and she had a complete meltdown when the screen displayed “times up for today!”  I decided I wasn’t even going to deal with it with her anymore.

My four and a half year old gets his for a total of about 30 minutes a day; 10 being before bed.  He is absolutely livid with me when I take it away but is starting to understand the limitations.

That’s all I think they’re able to handle at this point and even though I’m getting less things done around here that I really need to get done… I’m not going to raise children who are addicted to screens and literally have meltdowns when the batteries die. This is going to be one war that mommy chooses to battle and dammit, I’m going to win.

P.S. Screw the creepy adults who make those child addictive YouTube videos of opening eggs. You’re the equivalent of a drug dealer in my eyes and I’m not going to stand for it.

CP Slippers [+ giveaway]

Anyone who knows me knows that I have an obsession with shoes. I have more pairs than I’d like to admit and I’m always looking for something new. It’s an addiction and one that I’m okay with. My obsession doesn’t just stop at outdoor wear but it also includes slippers. Lets just say I was overly excited to work with CP Slippers to try out their handmade in Spain leather slip ons!

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They have tons of color options but I decided to go with the turquoise for myself and my daughter. They have kids sizing available too and there was no way that I could say no to matching Aria.

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CP Slippers are handmade in Spain and have been since 1981. They’re made from high quality leather than makes them as comfortable as they look. The simplistic design is what I really appreciate. They’re perfect to just slip on and go about your day.

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I also really adore the story behind the company. CP Slippers is a family owned business. The owners grandfather went to visit Japan and took notice of the tradition of leaving shoes outside and putting on slippers to avoid dirt in the home. He brought that tradition back to Spain with him and started creating these one piece leather slippers for family and friends. Years later the company was formed.

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Want to win a pair? You’re in luck! CP Slippers is giving away a pair to one lucky reader! Just enter in the rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Can’t wait to see if you win? Purchase now and use code “MOMTAILSXCPSLIPPERS” for a 15% discount!