Earnest Mom x Sage Spoonfuls

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Guys!! I am so excited about this, earnest mom is OFFICIALLY a Sage Spoonfuls Brand Ambassador.

Okay, so what does that mean?? It means over the next few months I will get the privilege to share with you some of their brand new products plus awesome discounts!! Woo hoo.

I began using Sage Spoonfuls back in 2015 when I starting making baby food for earnest babe. (Check out my article here, An Earnest Attempt At Homemade Baby Food.)

In our earnest home, we used Sage Spoonfuls’ Baby Food Making System for making baby food, but once we were passed the baby food stage this system has been helpful for much more. The immersion blender has been used for shakes, soups and applesauce. The mini food processor has made pesto, freezer jams, breadcrumbs, cookie crumbs and chopping veggies. The glass jars (freezer safe) have served as Oriole jelly feeders, storage for home-made jam, tartar sauce and applesauce; stashing snacks in the diaper bag and even reusable wipes. This whole system grows well beyond the infant feeding years, definitely an investment. (Want more ideas? Check out Sage Spoonfuls).

Now that earnest boy 2.0 is 5 months, I am getting ready to start making baby food all over again. Sage Spoonfuls has a wonderful cookbook that gives delicious, fresh and healthy (and safe) recipes tailored to each specific baby food age/stages. I am excited to do it all over again, and with my mom brain forgetting all I did 3 years ago – this cookbook helps a lot.

That is my story on why I love Sage Spoonfuls SO much; go ahead, get your own Sage Spoonfuls and start your love story!! Want a discount while you shop?! Use SAGE25REBECCA at www.sagespoonfuls.com for your 25% discount today.

x. earnest mom

PS: Stay tuned for some new products from Sage Spoonfuls!

You Are Enough. Yes, YOU earnestly are enough. 

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This past summer these three words rang in my head as I read them on my little phone screen. You. Are. Enough. Before reading this post it never occurred to me that I was indeed, enough.  Usually late at night when I rock earnest babe back to sleep I scroll my Instagram and Pinterest accounts to keep me awake. This is the time when I realize that I need to be more, there are always tips and pins that tell me how to be more positive of a parent, more skinny, more happy, more successful, more pretty, more face contoured, more hard working, more, more, more!!  When everything I see is telling me I need to be more, it is REALLY hard to feel like I am enough. 

Then I turn this battle inward, I believe that once I get more I will be happy (SO NOT TRUE); but when it is in my face enough, I become so sure that once I have a thigh gap…I will be enough. Ugh. Seriously, I did not even know that was a thing until Pinterest told me how I could get more of it. 

Back to “You Are Enough,” I read this post on She Laughs Project’s Instagram account and I stopped in that moment, I read the words out loud to myself and I realized that I had never told myself I was enough. So to see it that once, I did not believe it.  With a whole world telling us how to constantly improve ourselves, the majority of the time outwardly it is hard to see that we are enough. Fast forward to months later, I am sitting in a MoPs meeting and a MoPs mama sharing her personal story asked us, “Who do you think you are? Who do you think you are to question God? He made you, exactly the way he wanted you. Who are you to question that?”  I swallowed back tears, who DID I think I was??! At 32 years old, I had no idea that I was made enough and in that very teary eyed, pride-swallowing moment I gave myself permission to accept that I was enough. My life changed. 

I was enough, and it was liberating. I believe that our minds are very powerful things and I made it my mission to repeat to myself to remind myself often that I was enough. I am beautiful enough. I am strong enough. I am mom enough. I am smart enough. I am pretty enough. I am enough and reader, so are you!! In seeing the beauty that I can see in myself and loving myself as I am, has opened me up to see the beauty and love in everyone else. It feels so free, so light and so kind – I look back and cannot believe at the ways in which I judged myself, the things I said to myself.  In place, I remind myself that I am my kind of pretty, my kind of strong and my kind of happy. All these which are evolving as I change as a person, but that is okay because people change. Now that I am here, loving me I refuse to turn back. 

I am so thankful for the She Laughs Project, and their three small words has changed me as a mom, a wife, a woman, a sister and a friend. I am enough and I want all of you to know that you are too!  I have stopped looking at “make yourself more” posting accounts to “love you as you” accounts on social media and it has helped me to keep my positivity. I needed to not only change how I was thinking about myself but also change how I allowed my outside world tell me who I was. 

I am enough, just as I am. And I am happy, truly happy , it only took 32 years to get here but I am happier knowing that I get to be a better example as a self confident joyful woman to my daughter.  I want to be the change, any earnest readers feel the change too??  Let’s climb together because victories are way better when celebrated with those that you helped lift along the way. 

In closing, I want to tell you so you know, you are enough. 

x. earnest mom. 

Mommying is Hard. Earnest Support, and it’s Free. 

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There are a ton of books, experts and advice out there. Support and help to get us through the crazy yet amazing journey called parenting. Well, as a mom of two strong willed, messy, smiley and sometimes sticky kiddos I am always looking advice. Especially when it comes to the hot topics like discipline, eating and education.

I believe each and every parent needs love, support and guidance for parenting especially since most of it is ‘learn as you go.’  Since having both my little ones, I feel like God has given me the most profound job I could ever have – raising two tiny humans into *hopefully* kind, empathetic, honest, caring adults who also have the freedom to be who they want to be. At times I find myself stumped, and they are only 6 and 2. Knowing this is only the beginning, I search for parenting information and articles that I can sift through to make into my own parenting style that will be successful for this earnest little family.

In the past, I have attended and traveled to MommyCons, Gearapaloozas and local parenting events here in Erie that have all been at cost; as I was simply seeking advice, support and connecting to other fellow mommas.  I will tell you, these events are worth MORE than their weight in gold and I would recommend any parent that can attend, go; however, that is not always an option. Well this weekend I stumbled on a gem!! A FREE, seriously, a free mom conference.

The is conference called The Mom Conference and it is online from October 11-13, 2016. They will send you your special link every morning to watch the seminars for that day, at your own pace. The only catch, the link and seminars will expire after 24 hours.  I found this conference through Positive Parenting Solutions Facebook page, where I have often found very helpful FREE webinars.  I am hopeful that this conference will be just as helpful and informative.

According to The Mom Conference website,

The Mom Conference is three days full of fabulous online interviews with TWENTY of your favorite speakers, authors and bloggers.

Motherhood is hard. But motherhood is also beautiful. This conference is about helping you maximize the beautiful stuff while minimizing the hard stuff.

The Mom Conference will give you inspiration alongside powerful, concrete ideas to help you be the mom you really want to be.

Please know, this blog post is in no way sponsored, I earnestly am excited to try this free resource and hoping to get as many moms out there the opportunity as well. If you are interested, use this link MOM CONFERENCE REGISTRATION to register.

x. em

Day 1 of Child Passenger Safety Week. 

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Information and post courtesy of Ad Coucil.

It is Child Passenger Safety Week – Please join us in spreading this important message!

Did you know that every 33 seconds a child under 13 is involved in a car crash in the United States? That probably isn’t the first thing you think about when you are hauling your kids to school, the grocery store, or anywhere else around town. And really, you shouldn’t have to worry about whether or not your child is safely snuggled into the right car seat every time you get in the car. Instead, make sure your child is in the right seat from the get-go.
One of the goals of Child Passenger Safety Week is to encourage parents and caregivers to visit SaferCar.gov/TheRightSeat (or SaferCar.gov/Protegidos for Spanish-language information) to determine if their child is in the right seat for his or her age and size and to locate a car seat check station in their area. However – it doesn’t stop there. Parents and caregivers should be sure to register their child’s car seat with the manufacturer so as to be informed in the event of a recall.

Is Your Child In The Right Seat?:
• Your child under age 1 should always ride in a rear-facing car seat.
• Children ages 1-3 should be kept rear-facing as long as possible.
• Keep your child in the back seat at least through age 12.
• Be certain you’ve installed your car seat correctly by having it checked at an inspection station or by a certified child passenger safety technician. Bring the Car Seat Instructions AND the Vehicle Owner’s Manual with you to a seat check appointment!

Is Your Seat Installed Properly?:
Installation Resources: If a car seat is not installed correctly, your child’s safety could be in danger. Every car seat has different installation instructions. You can find resources and tips here to help you get “the right fit” on your car seats: http://www.safercar.gov/parents/RightFit.htm
Free Car Seat Checks: During Child Passenger Safety Week, there will be more than 600 events in 45 states across the country, where certified child passenger safety technicians will inspect car seats and show parents and caregivers how to correctly install and use them. In most cases, this service is free of charge. Locate a car seat check event here:http://www.safercar.gov/cpsApp/cps/index.htm

Car Seat Safety Tips:
• Find a car seat that fits your child. As children grow, how they sit in your car will change. Make sure the car seat you purchase is designed to fit your child’s current size and age.
• Not all car seats fit in all vehicles so test the car seat you plan to buy to make sure it fits well in your vehicle.
• Before putting your child in a car seat, read the manufacturer’s instructions so you know how your car seat works.
• All-in-One car seats offer you the advantage of using the same seat for the following positions: rear-facing, forward-facing with harness, then booster. These seats typically have higher height and weight limits for the rear-facing position, allowing you to keep your child rear-facing for a longer period of time.

Remember, the best car seat is the one that fits your child properly, is easy to use, and fits in your vehicle correctly.
Get this message out to your friends and family!
• Twitter – Many parents do not realize their child is in the wrong car seat. Visit Safercar.gov/TheRightSeat and make sure your child is riding safely. #therightseat.
• Facebook – Storks know how to keep kids safe. Do you? Visit safercar.gov/therightseat to know for sure that your child is in the right seat for their age and size. #STORKS #TheRightSeat

** Follow along all week as I post tips and information about Car Seat Safety. x. em. **

Murad. A Sampling Review. 

I recently received a sampling of the Rapid Lightening System created by Murad, through BeautyStat.  Murad was founded by board-certified dermatologist, trained pharmacist and pioneer of the Inclusive Health movement, Dr. Howard Murad, and is dedicated to making beautiful, healthy skin attainable for everyone.

  
The product looked really nice and the pamphlets that came with the system were quite informative. That being said, there are a lot of chemical ingredients that I was not comfortable putting on my skin everyday. I was grateful for the opportunity to try a brand new formula, however I do not feel the need to lighten my skin nor was I wanting all of those chemicals on my skin. This Rapid Lightening Regimen has a full 90-day supply to treat skin discoloration from the 4 major causes of hyperpigmentation: sun, genetics, hormones, and inflammation. Each product in the 90-Day Rapid Lightening Regimen treats hyperpigmentation at the source so you can start seeing brighter-looking, more even skin tone in as little as 7 days.

The Vitamin-C rich Essential-C Cleanser removes skin-dulling impurities to renew skin’s radiance. The Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum contains 2% Hydroquinone which lightens dark spots and skin discoloration. Our Essential-C Day Moisture Broad Spectrum SPF 30 | PA+++, rich in Vitamin-C and antioxidants, revitalizes and protects your skin from further damage. 

I often turn to the trusted site, ewg.org to look up the ingredients of cosmetics to see what I am putting on my skin and essentially into my bloodstream. One of the worst ingredients listed in this skin care regimen was Hydroquinone which is a known toxin in relation to cancer, allergen and a reproductive toxin. There are also many synthetic ingredients listed such as artificial coloring and perfumes/fragrances. All of which are toxic to organs, reproductive systems and have be linked to cancers. 

Although I am extremely thankful to have been chosen as a product influencer, I must say that I am quite dissapointed in the ingredients used in this regimen. Ladies, spots on your faces or uneven skin tone is as beautiful as you feel and if you can love what you see in the mirror, you can save yourself from major chemical exposure when using products like this one to “fix or repair.”  The only way to truly “love the skin we are in” is to see our differences as beauty no matter the color or tone. Please consider the toxins that the cosmetic companies expose us to, KNOWINGLY expose us to on a daily basis. They are selling us “beauty” at the cost of our health. Be informed, be healthy and be safe. 

x. earnest mom. 

Earnest Dad, Happy Valentine’s Day. 

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, I wanted to express my gratitude towards Earnest Dad. When I first brought Earnest Boy home from giving birth, I often took the time to tell Earnest Dad how much he helped me and how much I depended on him. He was such an amazing help, I was falling asleep nursing and he was bringing me water. I was crying and hormonal, he was being my shoulder. He did so much and I realized early on how blessed I was to have him. 

For Valentine’s Day, I want to give him a HUGE thank you. Thanks for being my crutch when I couldn’t steady myself, for being my voice when mine was lost; thank you for changing diapers when I could find the energy and for being patient when I could not keep it all together. Thank you for being so loving, forgiving, honest, kind and strong. Thank you for going out of your way for making this Earnest Mom feel special, beautiful and loved. 

You are such an amazing father to our children, you take each diaper change in stride and when it is your turn to take the kids you are such a champ. You are such an amazing husband, you take my desire to be a better person and help me grow it. Honestly and earnestly, this whole life that we go through I could not imagine going through it without you. Thank you for being my partner in life, in parenting and in love. 

x. 

earnest mom. 

Earnest Advice. Things I would tell my first time mom self 6 years ago. 

I cannot believe that earnest boy is turning 6 this April, it has literally flown by!  As a first time mom, I read all the books a first time mom should read, went to all the classes and tried my earnest to be as prepared as possible. I thought I did a pretty good job of it too, right up until I became a parent two times over. Once earnest baby joined the equation, my earnest mom eyes were opened. Here are 5 pieces of advice that i would go back and tell myself 6 years ago. 

  1. It’s Okay! This one changed my life the second time around. Too tired, it’s ok. Not enough milk, it’s ok. Messy house, it’s ok. If you are happy, baby is happy, then it is ok. We as moms put so much pressure on ourselves to do EVERYTHING that those first few months can become overwhelming when our main focus should be recovering and baby!
  2. Accept help. Similarly to the above mentioned, with my first I had to do it all. Cloth diaper, exclusively breastfeed, work full time, keep a pristine house and make sure laundry never built up. On top of it all, as I said before I felt I had to do it all. And when I didn’t, or actually couldn’t I felt like I was failing. Asking for help from earnest dad and sharing the pressures I was feeling was such a blessing and relief all at the same time. 
  3. Read the car seat instructions. Until my second child, I did not really focus on the car seat. The one thing that would save the life of my child if ever needed. Seriously, install with both car seat and car manuals and if you aren’t sure call the car seat company. NEVER buy a used car seat as accidents comprise the safety of seats and a used one cannot be guaranteed safe. Also, check expiration dates as the safety standards change and an expired seat is no longer safe. 
  4. You are enough. I am enough. I may not always have everything together and I know I am often scattered or do not meet all goals in one day, but I have learned to take things one day at a time. As long as I have done my best at being the mom I want my children to have, then I am enough! 
  5. Last but not least, take time for you. Whether it is a twenty minute shower when daddy gets home, a coffee and solo trip to the book store or a date night…take time for you. Do not let yourself get lost in all the mommy things that can quickly take precedence. I know that once I stopped feeling guily about not being with my child every moment of the day, I was able to feel a bit more myself by having some time with just me or other grown ups. Set time aside, once a week, once a month or evey other month; whatever time you can spare, do it! You will not regret it. 

Any tips you could share with your first time parent self? Please let us know!

x. 

e.m.

Happy New Year! Earnestly not intended to be a cliche! ;)

The holidays have been a whirlwind in the earnest household. We have had our share of travel, feasts, laughter, desserts, and even the current fun of coughs and colds!  New years always brings in time of reflection on the passed year; I too found myself looking back, what a difference a year makes!

Over the passed year, the earnest family has moved TWICE, lost a dear loved one, made new friends and family, had tough times and amazing moments, all while getting through the day to day with one another.  We have had a lot of fun during our transition from selling, moving, renting, buying and moving again. Now that we have found what we feel to be our forever home, we are feeling more settled and looking forward to making the house our home. 

I am super blessed by all the support and love I have found as a blogger and looking forward to another earnest mom year with all of you! Thank you, thank you for your support, for reading each post and for all the follows! Without you guys, I would really just be writing to myself, (lol) and I earnestly enjoy connecting with all of you. 

x. 

e.m.

‘Tis the Season! Keeping it Cool in the Heat of the Holidays. 

Christmas is hands down my favorite time of year. Snuggling, firelight, hot cocoa and glorious displays of blinking, twinkly lights. One of my least favorite parts though is the stress, the mad rush of shopping, and traffic; I avoid the mall at all costs from Thanksgving until after the New Year. It stresses me out!!

As much as Christmas is a time to celebrate and gather with loved ones, many people feel the stress too. From worrying about finances to get the perfect prezzies, to finding the last on the shelf (fill in this season’s hot new thing) and getting it all wrapped before the big day.  Then add in coordinating family outfits for pics and choosing the perfect turkey for Christmas dinner.  Too much to worry about!

Well, I would like to request that we destress this holiday season. Let’s take a step back and remember what it is all about, it is definitely not about being “first, biggest or most”but finding time to enjoy one another, and maybe even giving back. 

Having recently relocated and finances being super tight, we set price limits on what the earnest kiddos were getting this year. Matter of fact, earnest boy being all of five years is excited for anything from a sucker to a used bike and so we took advantage of that innocence – we cut his budget in half and spent it on another child who would have gone with out presents this year. Earnest boy loved picking out the toys for him, and we feel great learning to give back as a family. In turn, I garage sale shopped online and got some great steals for both kiddos (mainly using my local Varage Sale sites). The rest of my shopping was all done local at small local shops to help support our town’s little commerce. 

Here I sit, a week before Christmas Eve with all presents bought and trying to focus on family for the next week. It feels pretty nice to have it all done. 

We have a HUGE family and will be in and out of town over the next few weeks and since we will not be in our home Christmas Eve and Day, we have decided to lay low before we leave and have an earnestly intimate Christmas as a family on a different day from December 25th.  We did not want for our earnest little household and traditions we do to get lost in the travel and busyness getting to see all of our family across the country.  I am so excited to get in our jammies on our “Christmas Eve” together with hot chocolate and popcorn to watch our annual movie, Elf and all snuggle as a family. 

By getting all my shopping done and knowing that we will be focussing on family the next few days has really helped me to stay stress free this season – maybe it may even help some of you find some peace this season too! 

How do you stay stress free and focussed during the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season? Please share with all of us because I would love to hear more ideas!

x. 

earnest mom.  

To Plan or Not to Plan? Earnest Thoughts About Birth Plans.

To plan or not to plan? Earnest mom says PLAN!

Okay – so I have to admit, a year and a half ago while chatting with my sis-in-love about her delivery she said the mysterious words “birth plan.”  And my earnest brain thought, “pfft, I planned on having a birth so I had a birth plan right?!”…guess not.  If you are just as mystified as I was, I will earnestly try to help!

A birth plan is something that you write out BEFORE you go into labor, you then make copies and give it to your practitioner, partner, hospital when you register and anyone else that will be supporting you while you experience the delivery of your child.  The purpose of having a birth plan is so when you are in the middle of such a life changing event you will not have to be bombarded with questions like – if you want aromatherapy, or music, would you like a birthing ball or an epidural, etc.  It may not seem like a big deal now but when you are in the middle of a contraction or the doctor is checking dilation – trust me when I say the last thing you want to be doing is making what will feel like, a million decisions.  Your birth plan is a simple plan that is well thought out to communicate how you desire to experience the birth of your child. Flexibility is a must though, life can be unpredictable and so can child birth, so know that depending on how things go, be prepared in case your plan may need to be modified.

I can only speak to my own experience having delivered earnest boy five years ago with no birth plan and delivering earnest baby nine months ago with one.  I had no idea that going into labor I had so many options, and most with no previous patient instruction, are choices that will be made for you. My hospital provided a concise template for my birth plan (was available for my first born but like I said I was CLUELESS) which can be found here at Birth Plan – Beaumont Hospital.  I printed this plan out, filled in my preferences and gave copies to the hospital when I registered, when I was admitted, then to my practitioner, while keeping the original for earnest dad and I.  Because of my birth plan I was able to immediately have access to lavender aroma therapy, a Jacuzzi tub birthing suite and dim lighting (all were arranged prior to my earnest arrival).  I was also able to plan to have limited visitors during labor, have earnest baby placed on me immediately after delivery for skin to skin bonding (no bath until first feeding was established), wait to clamp the cord until it had finished pulsing, of course to have earnest dad be the cord-cutter, and to have earnest baby room in with all procedures (bathing, assessment and tests) while remaining roomed in for the duration of my stay.  I felt so in control with my delivery, especially knowing we were going to do everything that had been planned, it was earnestly liberating and comforting, and I loved knowing that I made my own decisions.

If you are currently pregnant or trying, earnestly consider making a birth plan to keep you, your partner and ultimately that tiny little baby stress-free during what can be the most stress your body and your babes may ever experience.  Below, I have included some easy, some lengthy and very informative birth plan templates to help you on your way.  Happy planning earnest followers!

x.

earnest mom.

The Bump Magazine’s Birth Plan

The March of Dimes’ Birth Plan

Earth Mama’s Birth Plan (which I actually would have used had my hospital not provided one)

United Health Care’s Birth Plan