What Mom REALLY Wants for Mother’s Day

It’s almost Mother’s Day in North America, and so you’re going to be seeing a lot of kitschy “I heart my mom” stuff all over the internet.  Please. Please. Please. Don’t buy your mom that crap!!  Here’s the deal. It’s so easy, and so much cheaper than what you’re even thinking.  Here is what mom REALLY wants for Mother’s Day:

01 // to SLEEP
Basically ask any mom how much sleep she’s getting, and she’ll probably laugh at you.  Especially when they have little babies and toddlers, but I’m told mamas of teens also don’t sleep.  The gift is, you let her sleep in!!  If someone else can get up with the kids, that would be perfect.  If the kids are old enough to fend for themselves for an extra hour or two in the morning, that’s awesome too! Just let her sleep.

02 // to NOT have to cook
My perfect Mother’s Day goes a little something like this: Wake up, eat food that is brought to me, drink coffee that is brought to me. Eat lunch that is brought to me.  Eat dinner that is brought to me.  Do 0% of the cooking all day.  Perfection.  If that means taking her out to eat because you don’t want to cook either, that’s ok! Just don’t make her cook her own meals.  It’s the least you can do.  And it leads us to…

03 // to NOT have to clean
All those meals Mama didn’t make? She doesn’t want to clean up after them either.  If someone else has made a giant mess making those meals, that someone should also clean it up.  Just saying.  Moms clean enough, they deserve a break.

04 // for NO ONE to be touching her
Space please! We love our kids, we love them a lot.. but especially when they are very little they want to be touching us all. the. time.  Can we have some space?

05 // to NOT have to plan anything
I know I have a mom, too, and I will be seeing her and giving her something… but I don’t want to plan anything. I want things to be done for me that day.  I want to go with the flow and have other people do things for me. It’ll be so nice!

xoxo,
Alysa

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Rachel’s Remedy: A Review!

Parenting, amirite?  It’s got some tough stuff.  Luckily, there are some amazing products out there to help make tough things a little bit easier, or in the very least, more comfortable.

When I first started breastfeeding Autumn right after she was born, it was P A I N F U L.  She had a bad latch (which I now know was due to a lip tie), and she wanted to nurse ALL. THE. TIME.  So it hurt. A LOT.

When Aiden was first born, he took to breastfeeding right away.  He ate like a champion.  And, it was basically painless!  I think because Autumn weaned so close to when he was born, my body was still used to it, so I didn’t have the initial pain that I had with Autumn.  It was lovely!  It’s been great breastfeeding him.

Fast forward to now.  He’s growing teeth! Yay! He’s sleeping through the night! Also, yay!  But….. he’s biting me. And, he’s not eating all night so I’m very often waking up engorged.  Boo.  Not to mention the fact that he’s got some lovely little nails that he likes to dig into me when he eats.

Enter Rachel’s Remedy Breastfeeding Relief Packs.  OH-MY-GOODNESS! Can I please gush? I need to gush a little bit.  Last night, Aiden decided that he wanted to bite me instead of sleep.  Super great, right?  I left his room a little upset, and in pain.  I plopped these packs in the microwave& heated them, slipped them on into my bra, and it was like instant relief.  It felt as though he had never bitten me at all!

And want to know the best part?  As if the sheer relief wasn’t enough?  These are reusable and washable!  I love it.  I can totally see myself just having them chill out in my freezer so I can quickly grab them when I need them.  Also, they’re the perfect size for bumps on little heads as they grow, so just because you’re done breastfeeding doesn’t mean they’re not still useful 😉

Overall, this was a lovely product to try, and I REALLY wish I had them back when Autumn was a newborn because these would have been SO much better than what I was doing at the time.

I receive free products from Guidance Guide for review purposes but my opinions are all my own.

xoxo,
Alysa

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Parenting with Grace and Truth: Book Review & Giveaway

I read a lot of parenting books. I really enjoy reading about different styles of parenting, and in each one I definitely take things away that I can use in my own parenting journey.  So when I was contacted to review Parenting with Grace and Truth by Dan Seaborn, I jumped at the chance of reading it!  I want to be able to parent in a way that is modelled after Jesus, and that is what this book is about.

As I say, I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for this review.  Everything said here is my own opinion.  This post also contains affiliate links.

When I start reading any parenting book, I usually start by looking at the author’s bio on/in the back of the book.  I look to see what their qualifications are.  Dan Seaborn mentions on the back of this book that he has four kids with his wife.  That makes me think, ok, so he kind of knows what he’s talking about!  I read a longer bio that also said that he has worked as a youth pastor, so he really knows what he’s talking about with regards to teenagers.  I think it’s important to mention this, because there have been books I’ve read in the past that the author didn’t mention anything about whether or not they were a parent.  I know there are lots of non-parents that are very smart and everything, but as a parent, I take the advice of fellow parents more seriously.  So, I really like the fact that he mentions on his bio that he has children.

The way Parenting with Grace and Truth is set up is each chapter is about a truth about parenting.  Some examples are, The Truth About Developing Good Character in Your Children or The Truth about Effective Parenting.  I found it really interesting that Seaborn talks about these parenting issues as basic truths, and not just any truth, but truth with a foundation in Jesus.  I really liked that.  Another thing he does in each chapter is, he finishes each chapter with a number of questions to consider.  I think that makes this a good book to read with a small group.  There are questions that would make wonderful discussion questions with other parents.  And finally, he has a little blurb at the very end called “Dan’s Reality Check” where he is real about the truths he just talked about in the chapter.

Reading through this book, I found myself nodding my head in agreement about quite a few things.  I found myself hi-lighting sections of the book because I wanted to remember exactly what it said, so I could tell other people about it later.  I think that this is such a great resource for parents!  Though I am currently in the baby/toddler stage of parenting, and he talks a lot about parenting teenagers, I still got a LOT out of this book, and there was a lot I could take away and use in my life right now.

One of my favourite chapters is when Seaborn starts talking about specific parenting styles.  So he describes authoritarian style parenting, helicopter style parenting, and the very best parenting style: Jesus style parenting.  The way he describes Jesus style parenting made it seem actually attainable.  Jesus style parenting is perfect, but the way we do it doesn’t have to be perfect.  If we’re striving for Jesus style parenting, that is enough.

Another thing that I really appreciate about this book is the fact that there is scripture throughout each chapter.  Seaborn writes about parenting in a way that is based in biblical truth.  I think that is the one of it’s huge assets.  You can read exactly which verse he means when he gives his advice.

Parenting with Grace and Truth by Dan Seaborn was a really great read, and I think it will be one that I go back to again and again as my children get older.  And good news, friends!  You have a chance to win a copy of your very own as well!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway open to US/Canada.  Good Luck!

xoxo,
Alysa

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Easy Advent Calendar for Toddlers

Toddler Advent Calendar Toddler Advent Calendar Toddler Advent Calendar

Over the last year (or so), I’ve been collecting Christmas books and putting them aside for the month of December.  Every morning, my children will come downstairs and find a different Christmas book sitting under the tree!  That will be the book we read all day, and then they’ll hear it before bed at night.  And the next morning, it’ll start again.  The final book will be Twas The Night Before Christmas, on December 24th.  On Saturdays, it’ll be a Christmas movie under the tree for us to watch as a family that day!

I’m super excited to get started.

If you’re looking to do something like this with your kids, here are some tips:
– Start looking in thrift stores
– Check out the dollar store
– Ask your thrift store loving friends to look for you!
– And if you don’t have enough in time, the library is a great place to get any extra books!

Do you do anything for advent with your kids?

xoxo,
Alysa

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Tea for Two – 2nd Birthday Tea Party!

My little girl just turned TWO, and to celebrate we threw her a tea party!

This year, we kept it on the smaller side, so we could have a sit down lunch.

Tea for Two, Second Birthday Tea Party

We set it up so that two tables could fit into our dining room, and then I filled each table with food.

Tea for Two, Second Birthday Tea Party

I put up a wall of pictures of Autumn from the last year.

Tea for Two, Second Birthday Tea Party

I made a big floral A for Autumn

Tea for Two, Second Birthday Tea Party Tea for Two, Second Birthday Tea Party

For lunch we had fancy sandwiches (cream cheese, egg salad, and chicken salad), bruschetta, and fruit skewers.

Tea for Two, Second Birthday Tea Party

Tea for Two birthday party

For dessert, I made cupcakes, and sugar cookies, and we had Polish candies, vinatarta, and cream puffs and nanaimo bars (not pictured).

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I decorated tea cups for everyone to take home with them!

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And, of course, a few different types of tea.

Tea for Two, Second Birthday Tea Party Tea for Two, Second Birthday Tea Party

It was an amazing day, and I’m so happy with how things turned out for my little girl.

Autumn’s outfit:
Dress: thrifted // shoes: Baby Gap // hairband: Little Stitches by Brandi Little

xoxo,
Alysa

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Supported In Breastfeeding: Book Review + Free PDF

It’s 3am, and I’m sitting in my son’s nursery.  It’s quiet, with only the small amount of light coming from a little owl lamp on his bookshelf.  My husband is asleep, my daughter is asleep.  It feels like it’s just us two.  I’m tired (exhausted), but I love this.  I love cuddling my little one and helping him fall back to sleep again.  I love holding him in his sleep, and I love knowing that I can give him everything he needs in this moment.  This is what breastfeeding looks like to us, right now.

But, breastfeeding didn’t always look like that for me.  It can be hard.  It can be painful.  It can be stressful.  Sometimes I accidentally flash an entire room of people without trying.  Sometimes, I don’t care because I need my baby to eat.  Sometimes it feels as though I am all alone in this.

And that is why Supported In Breastfeeding is such an important book for breastfeeding moms.  If you’re breastfeeding, or planning on breastfeeding your baby, you should read this book.  Because none of us are really alone in this.  We’re all going through very similar things with breastfeeding.  Whether your baby takes to it immediately, or you struggle with it.. we’re all in this together.  Supported In Breastfeeding has 20+ stories from real life moms who have been right where you are, and that was so encouraging to read.

As I read through this book, I could relate to so many of the different stories.  I found myself nodding along with all the struggles and triumphs that these breastfeeding mamas described.  I felt so connected to the women in the book, even though I’ve never met any of them.  Their stories are so similar to my story.  I would recommend this book to any woman who wants to breastfeed their baby <3

Supported In Breastfeeding book review

Are you currently breastfeeding, or about to start breastfeeding when your baby comes?  Check out this PDF – Essential Breastfeeding Guide – free just for you! <3

Find more information about Supported In Breastfeeding & buy it here!

xoxo,
Alysa

 

I was able to read this book in advance of release in exchange for this review, the opinions stated here are my honest ones.

 

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To My Daughter on Her 2nd Birthday

to my daughter on her 2nd birthday

My dear Autumn,

You turned two today! Which feels almost impossible because I’m pretty sure you were just born.  These last two years went by so fast, but especially this last year.  You’re growing up, and it’s much too fast.

This past year, you started walking, you started talking more and more, and your little personality is shining through even more.  It’s so much fun when you let us know exactly what you want, exactly the way you want it.  This year, you got your big girl bed, you got to go to Touch-A-Truck, you made so many new friends!

This past year, you gained a little brother.  He is one of your favourite people, and you love to bring him toys (and take them away), wipe his mouth, and kiss his cheek or hands.  He is totally captivated by you as well.  It’s amazing to see how much you two love each other.

You want to do and see everything, you just love to explore your world.  Whether we’re at the park, the library, or in our own back yard.. all you want to do is check everything out and see how things work.  You especially love walking around and around in our house.

You have so many favourite things right now.  You’re obsessed with anything that has to do with bunnies, or boats.  You love Disney, especially Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Beauty & The Beast, Zootopia and Frozen.  You love to sing “Let It Go” and “Beauty and the Beast” in your sweet little voice.  You love to take care of your baby doll, and you enjoy feeding her just like mama.  You still love books, and you love colouring at your little table in my studio.

I love you so much, and I’m so excited to see how you change and grow over the next year <3

xoxo,
Mama

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What I Love about Babywearing

sakura bloom love Babywearing at Assiniboine Park Zoo

It’s International Babywearing Week from October 5-10th!  And, as you can see, I am a big fan.  I currently have two baby carriers, and I love using them for so many reasons.  I thought I’d share them with you here in honour of this week!

Here are 5 Things I Love About Babywearing

01 // Instant Nap
For both my babies, babywearing was a great way to get them to actually have a nap.  Autumn always slept in my arms, and Aiden tries to.. but has a hard time sleeping in my arms due to chasing Autumn around… but when I plunk him in the wrap, he falls asleep right away.

02 // Hands-free
Babywearing is a wonderful way to be hands free during the day.  Currently, I babywear when I’m going for walks with Autumn in the stroller.  I have also worn my babies when I want to cook, or when I’m doing light cleaning around the house.  I also like to babywear at bigger events and parties.  That way, I’m able to enjoy myself and mingle without worrying about a little one getting cranky.

04 // Discretely breastfeeding
Babywearing is a great way to discretely breastfeed in public.  Others can’t tell what I’m doing, and I can walk freely around the grocery store while breastfeeding AT THE SAME TIME. It’s pretty much the best thing ever.

05 // The closeness
Above all, I love babywearing because of the extra cuddles I get.  I love having my little ones close to me like that, and the benefits of babywearing for the baby are HUGE.

What are your favourite things about babywearing?

xoxo,
Alysa

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Best Snapchat Stickers for Mamas

The Best Snapchat Stickers for Mamas

I love Snapchat.  I’ve been using it a lot in the last little while.  It’s fun to share little moments of our day in quick photos or videos.  I also LOVE to use the stickers and filters.  In my opinion, that’s the best part about this medium. It’s fun to kick up your snaps a little bit with stickers.  And as a mom, sometimes I feel like I need to add a little sarcastic or hilarious sticker!

Here are my favourite stickers for mamas:

For when your kids are finally asleep in bed and you get to spend time with your spouse!

When you’re not sure what your child is doing something weird, or throwing a fit, or getting into mischief

When you’re finally allowed that precious me-time… like at the grocery store :p

When your child is being adorable and precious <3

When your child is doing something they shouldn’t.. like taking all of the plastic containers out of the cupboard and leaving them in the living room…

What are your favourite snapchat stickers?

xoxo,
Alysa

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