Find Your Tribe of Moms, They are Looking for Someone Just Like You.

Autumn is a second Spring, where every leaf is a flower. – Albert Camus

Fall is hands down my favorite season.  With school starting back up, the weather getting cooler (at least here in PA) and pumpkin spice everything is flooding us – let’s get out in the gorgeous Fall weather and make the time to  connect with other moms.  Find some moms that you can make your mom tribe with.  I know that as a stay at home mom, my life becomes filled with conversations, arguments and humbling grocery store trips with toddlers; only to overwhelm my husband the minute he walks in the door because I am craving adult interaction.

Early on when we decided to keep me home to be with our children, I stayed home (or went to local kid things) and my focus was kids, kids, KIDS.  Finally, last year I realized I needed to connect with other moms, other women in my community.  I began to look for local moms groups and even tried to kick up my own little group.  I did not have much success at all, but I knew that I could not sit at home and wait for my tribe to come and find me – I had to put myself out there, again.

Nobody enjoys being the “new” mom, or the one that no one knows, I know that being the newbie in the group is definitely my least favorite of places.  As a mom though, I was craving connection, mom conversation and a group that I had life in common with.  This is when I found my local MOPS group.  I was so nervous, what if I do not fit in (like other groups I had tried), what if I did not feel welcome, what if the other moms did not like me, what if, what if, what if?!  I had a whole list of ‘what ifs’ that could of just kept me home, kept me comfortable and kept me in my own little SAHM isolated bubble.  I knew I needed more, I needed mom connections, I had to get free from my staying home routine.

So I did it, I stepped out on my own, walked into a giant church building filled with beautiful new and intimidating (only to me I am sure) faces and got out there.  The first meeting I sat with a group of moms that were welcoming, chatty and kind.  They were interested in me, my kids and why I wanted to join MOPS.  I felt so welcomed that the quiet voice in my head that kept reminding me that I was a stranger among a bunch of new strangers slowly quieted and I kept going back.  I found an awesome group of moms that I have connected with.   I enjoy MOPS so much, I joined the leadership group and have the humbling privilege of planning, creating and making welcoming meetings for other moms new to the group of regular attendees.  MOPS has changed my mom life, it has given me a comforting place to go twice and sometimes three times a month where I am getting more familiar with faces and names, and making deeper connections each time.  Our MOPS group kicks off our first meeting of the season this coming week and I am so ready to get back to meeting with moms and growing my tribe.

So, if last Spring or the Spring before that you felt like maybe you were the leaf among the flowers of moms out there ( I know that I have felt that); let this Fall be your second Spring.  Let this Fall be the season where you find your group of moms that have been saving that seat just for you.  Sometimes, it is scary to just put ourselves out there but if we stay home and never get out there looking we may never find that perfect mom tribe that is out there looking for someone just like you or me!  As women and as moms, together we are always better, we need that emotional, social and loving support that can only be found in fellow moms.  Let this season be yours mamas!

x. earnest mom.

Interested in finding a MOPS group near you?  Search your zip here


Earnest Mom Squad Feature: Avoid Summer Brain Drain

Here is a great article from Earnest Squad Member, Kahentiiosta.  Enjoy, e.m.

With summer in full swing, it can be easy for the kids to get bored quickly, and run out of ideas for keeping their minds optimal and ready for September.  Even though summer should be a carefree time, we need to keep in mind, that children are continuing to learn and finding creative ways to prevent the dreaded brain drain, will ensure that.

Here are some ideas and activities that can help with avoiding brain drain over the summer.

No electronics day instead of spending hours aimlessly looking at electronics, try putting them away and play some board games outside. I keep a few board games in reach for my girls to choose from and rotate every few days, so that they don’t feel as if they’re always playing the same games. One of our favorite games right now is Frozen Candyland.

Heading to the local library in your area is another free option. Most libraries have books, movies and CDs. There may even be some activities that day for the children to participate in.

We recently purchased some 2 x 4 pieces of wood and have used it to make our own life size Jenga set. Adding a number on the board and then having a sheet of math questions or simple words they need to spell out with a missing word.

Making a game of seek and find out of the weekly grocery store flyers is another way to find. Having a sheet of words that you would find in the flyer and they can cut out the picture and glue it to the paper, then write the words. For older children giving them a set budget they can try and find the prices and add up the prices for a shopping list.  Giving them a budget of $25 and see how many items they can purchase with that amount.

Make a letter a sensory bin of or a plastic bin, rice and foam letters. Place double the number of letters in the bin and they can spell out simple words and for the older children they can try and spell out the longest word with the letters they find.

Stick art kit out of pre-made pictures of stick art and tooth picks, keep in a small tote, and change pictures as needed. Templates can be found online under Stick Art Kit.

Lastly, making a summer bucket list of various activities the children want to do at home or within the surrounding neighborhood. Check the local town hall for various activities being offered.

Engaging the children in the planning with keeping them interesting in what they like to do, and finding fun ways to spend their summer holiday.

I hope everyone is having a great summer so far!



An Earnest Summer!

This summer is FLYING by!  Sorry the posts have been sparse – we are enjoying the weather and this hot season.  We have been keeping busy with our local zoo, libraries, bowling and even took in a movie.  I have to admit, with a school-ager it is tough to keep the interest, allow some boredom, all without allowing the craziness to take the days over.

This summer, we decided on a different approach.   Instead of trying to do BIG things like travel or get out everyday, we made a weekly schedule.  A schedule easy enough to change if necessary but also help with the dreaded summer “brain drain” (we have a great article on these tips coming up next week by one of our moms in the Earnest Mom Squad).  We decided weekends would still be the break so we assigned regular activities for the weekdays.  Mondays we have a fun class on self regulation and practicing hand writing, Tuesdays our local library has a free special event that we attend, Wednesdays are backyard days, Thursdays are baking afternoons and par kour classes in the evenings, and Fridays are science experiments day.

Tuesdays, our local libraries have been great.  We have seen magic shows, balloon shows, local baseball teams, the traveling zoo and bouncing play times.  All free and it is fun to get out and let the kids play in a new space with new activities each week.  Wednesday’s backyard day is literally time playing in the yard – nothing too special and sometimes we fill up the kiddie pool.  We usually get out everyday, at least the kids do but this is a special time where we all go out together and I may garden or rest my swelling feet and the earnest littles get to run and play to their hearts content.  All before rest time of course to help the nap process along.

On Thursdays when Earnest Babe takes her two hour nap, Earnest Boy gets up from his 20 minute rest and him and I bake together.  The first week was GREAT, we baked this Starbucks Copy Cat Banana Bread recipe (from with the bananas that my children will not eat once they have freckled, we substituted chocolate chips for the walnuts and enjoyed it for four or five days.  It was delicious.  The second Thursday, we tried our hand at strawberry jam with the strawberries we picked earlier that morning.  We made this recipe from  The whole process took a lot longer than we had thought but the result was yummy plus it did not use pectin, only sugar and lemon juice.  The last two weeks we had family in from out of town so we did not bake but today we are back in the swing of things with Organic Chocolate Chip Cookies.  We are using the classic Nestle Tollhouse Recipe (not my french aunt’s recipe for you Friends fans out there) and using all organic ingredients.  The baking day was created at the request of Earnest Boy, I was surprised he was interested in cooking but he is home with me all summer and I love baking and cooking.

Our Science Fridays have been so much fun!!  Once again, we wait until Earnest Babe is napping so we can focus on the experiments at hand.  Now before you get to thinking this Earnest Mom has crazy organization skills and creativity to plan and execute educational science experiments, hold on.  We decided to purchase a monthly subscription for the summer to The Spangler Science Club.  They send you 1-10 experiments a month that are focused on STEM and growing the curiosities of 7-14 year-olds.  So far we have grown polymers, experimented with the grown polymers, grown crystals and currently we are on a polymer alligator growth watch.  This post is not sponsored, we just are loving the Spangler Science Subscription and feel that you get a lot of bang for your buck no matter the price level subscription that is chosen.

This summer, I feel as though I am not feeling pressure any day or week to keep kids entertained – they know what to expect each day and we get excited for every activity we do together.  All days, the activity is not a full day event so we are able to spend free time together and time that is scheduled.  I feel a lot less stressed!!! Any earnest followers have some fun activities planned for their little or big ones this summer to keep the boredom and/or summer crazies to a low?  Please share.

x. earnest mom.


Earnest Mom Mompreneur Feature: The Amber Monkey

The Amber Monkey is a small business owned by a mom of three girls. The Amber Monkey was launched three years ago when Teresa sold her natural boutique to follow her dream to design and manufacture Baltic amber jewelry. We are proud to be currently carried in over 300 mom and pop boutiques around the United States. Teresa has now expanded The Amber Monkey line to include Baltic amber, gemstones, Hazel-wood and aroma diffusing necklaces. Teresa’s favorite part of owning the business is designing new unique necklaces and jewelry, working with amazing retailers and hearing stories of how Amber has helped young and old alike.

What is Amber?

Amber is a wonderful way to help with baby, kid and adult aches and pains. It’s amazing how the amber relieves colic, teething pain, migraines and arthritis. And when it’s time for braces, amber is there to help with that pain as well. The Amber Monkey has the highest quality amber and gemstones, which we back up with our warranty. Check out our basic and unique jewelry here:
How About a Giveaway?
The Amber Monkey is giving away one Polished Baltic Amber & Aroma Diffusing 10-11

Amber Giveawayinch necklace in Green Trio to ONE lucky  earnest mom reader!  The Giveaway will run from June 26- July 5th at midnight (EST).

x. earnest mom.



Earnest Mom Squad Feature: Making Time for YOU

Here is a feature from our Earnest Mom Squad member, Kate.  This one is all about you, yes, you mama – we see you, tired, working hard, hustling everyday.  This feature contains some great tips on how to make time for you, which will help you have a better time with your family.  x. em.

When you have kids, making time for yourself is hard…how do you think of yourself when you’re kids need you 24/7? I always remind myself that in order for my kids to have me 100% I need me.  Even if that time is only 10 minutes of showering ALONE, or a bubble bath while my husband takes our son.  Sometimes I put our little man to bed, and as exhausted as I am wanting to sleep, I light some candles and draw a nice warm bath with my favorite country music.  Of course right next to the tub I have the video monitor, because lets face it as much as we say we want to unwind and step away we think about them constantly, what are they doing, are they sleeping, are they hungry, are they crying for me.

Then there are the nights that ME time is holding my son while I put him to sleep and instead of putting him in his crib right away I hold on tight for as long as I can. These cuddles to bed won’t last long so I will enjoy them as long as I can as much as I can.  My heart melts when my son knows it’s bedtime and he rests his head on my chest on his own and puts his arms around me, he doesn’t know but those are the moments I live for. In those moments, I flash back to every second with him, from his first cry, to the first time he rolled to when he learned to talk and say “momma” and “dadda.”  A lot of the time, my ‘me time’ is mostly with my son.  I am the person I am for my son it only makes sense for me to make my me time us time for as long as I can until the day he thinks spending time with his mommy isn’t cool anymore.



Zika and Pregnant Women

Note: There is some sensitive nature in the content listed below, for medical purposes body parts have been referenced by their medical names for the sake of avoiding ambiguity about the Zika Virus and how it can be passed during pregnancy.

As a woman who is expecting my third child this fall, I had little to no concern about Zika even though I will have a summer pregnancy – that was until I joined a Twitter Party hosted by What to Expect and the CDC.  During the party, I realized that even though I am living in the Midwest, Zika is still a risk for me.

Here are some Zika facts from the CDC:

What We (The CDC) Know
1.  Zika virus can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus.
2.  Infection during pregnancy can cause a birth defect called microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects
3.  Zika primarily spreads through infected mosquitoes. You can also get Zika through sex without a condom with someone infected by Zika, even if that person does not show symptoms of Zika.
4.  There is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat Zika.

What We (The CDC) Do Not Know
1.  If there’s a safe time during your pregnancy to travel to an area with risk of Zika.
2.  How likely it is that Zika infection will affect your pregnancy.
3.  If your baby will have birth defects if you are infected while pregnant.

CDC recommends these special precautions for pregnant women:

Do Not Travel to an Area with Risk of Zika
1.  Pregnant women should not travel to areas with risk of Zika (i.e., with documented or likely Zika virus transmission).
2.  Pregnant women should consider postponing travel to yellow cautionary areas in the United States. For information on domestic travel, see CDC’s guidance.
What to Do If You Live In or Travel to an Area with Risk of Zika
If you live in or must travel to one of these areas, talk to your doctor or other healthcare provider first and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites and practice safe sex.

During travel or while living in an area with risk of Zika

1.  Take steps to prevent mosquito bites.
2.  Take steps to prevent getting Zika through sex by using condoms from start to finish every time you have sex (oral, vaginal, or anal) or by not having sex during your entire pregnancy.

After travel

1.  Talk to a doctor or other healthcare provider after travel to an area with risk of Zika.
2.  If you develop a fever with a rash, headache, joint pain, red eyes, or muscle pain talk to your doctor immediately and tell him or her about your travel.
3.  Take steps to prevent mosquito bites for 3 weeks after returning.
4.  Take steps to prevent passing Zika through sex by using condoms from start to finish every time you have sex (oral, vaginal, or anal) or by not having sex.

NOTE: If your partner travels to areas with risk of Zika the CDC recommends, if you have vaginal, anal, or oral (mouth-to-penis) sex, use a condom from start to finish, every time you have sex during your pregnancy; OR don’t have sex with your partner
during the remainder of your pregnancy.  Even if your partner does not show any signs or symptoms of Zika or mosquito bites, Zika can still be passed on during sex; and Zika can remain longer in semen than any other body fluid.

Be safe.  Be informed.  Please see more information at

Also, a map of the current areas that have risk of Zika can be found at the link below. Note, Zika has been reported in the USA in both Texas and Florida.

x. earnest mom.


An Earnest Postpartum Recovery Kit. 

Have a friend or family member who is due to give birth and looking for something to get her that will help in those first few weeks of recovery?  Try a PP Recovery Kit. 

Here is a gift I recently put together for a new mama in my neighborhood. 

Some essentials for a new mom those first few days: DIY padsicles because swelling and soreness are REAL. Soothing breast pad application and an all natural (non lanolin) nipple cream, because nursing may not always be easy. Water and some snacks because I know that I have NEVER experienced thirst and hunger like breastfeeding thirst and hunger.  Then add any other mommy pampering you think a new mom may like. Pop then into a basket or gift bag (I used a $3 wire waste basket from Target) and there you go! A great, useful and thoughtful gift to help any new mom get through recovery after delivery.  

Any other items you may add to a Postpartum Kit? Please comment below and let us know!

x. earnest mom.