September Coffee Date

9.29.2016

*The format of this post is borrowed from Brittany's blog.

Hello! It's the end of September (how???), and I figured now would be a good time to take you all out for coffee. Or a pumpkin thing or a chai or just whatever suits your fancy. Me? I'll probably be drinking some hot water with lemon. I always thought my grandma was crazy for ordering that at restaurant, but never say never. 

I'd love to hear what you're learning, wondering, loving, reading, clicking, and writing in the comments!

WHAT I'M LEARNING

No matter how tired I am or busy I may feel, it's worth it to make time for girlfriends. Over the weekend, R and I flew to Saint Louis to get together with 3 college friends. We didn't do much, just hung out and drank wine and talked, and I loved it so much. I've really been trying to be intentional about keeping up with my friends lately. It's easy to use R or being busy as an excuse to not make time for my friends, but investing in relationships is important to me.

My kitchen counter will never be as clean as I want it to be. It just won't.

Losing your keys is expensive. I lost my entire ring of keys two weeks ago, and I've been holding out hope that I will find them, but yesterday I accepted my fate and took R with me to get them replaced, including my car key. It goes on my list of least favorite ways to spend $100. Ouch. (I mean we really looked everywhere they could possibly be and even in weird places they wouldn't be. They are gone. RIP, keys.)

WHAT I'M WONDERING

Why some people have no trouble getting pregnant and other people struggle. I have such empathy for those going through the infertility struggle. I know life isn't fair, but it just breaks my heart sometimes that there are people who get pregnant without even trying and others who would be wonderful parents who want it so badly and it just hasn't happened. You all are in my prayers, friends.

How out of millions of people in the United States, our choices for president has come down to the current two options. On the bright side, you should all get on Twitter during the debates for some fun entertainment and hilarious memes.

If I'll really be able to not post as many pictures of R on social media. The struggle is real, but I feel strongly about this.

WHAT I'M LOVING

My new coat/purse rack in my laundry room!

This Is Us. Unfortunately it comes on at 9:00, and that's past my bedtime (grandma alert), but I've been watching it online the next day and it's pretty good!

These banana nut muffins. I made them recently for a friend who had a baby, and I might have saved one for myself. YUM. I'm not saying I considered just eating them all, but I kind of did.

Carrie Underwood's latest single "Dirty Laundry."

WHAT I'M READING

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce. I saw a few friends recommend this on Goodreads, so I checked it out from the library. It's very interesting so far!

WHAT I'M CLICKING

Information about Noah's Bandage Project. I saw this on a blog a few weeks ago, and it's been popping up over the past few weeks on other blogs. I just love the hope and joy that has come out of a sad story.

This app, which apparently allows you to correct your friends' text messages. *insert evil laugh here* Buuuut.... people are already scared to text me. I couldn't do that to anyone. #editorproblems

WHAT I'M WRITING
Okay your turn! What did you learn this month? Have you ever had to replace all your keys?

Deciding How Much (and What) to Share about My Children Online

9.26.2016

Note: The following is my personal opinion regarding what I feel most comfortable with as it concerns sharing about my own children online. I realize everyone has different thoughts about this topic and many of those will differ from mine!

I came across an interesting article in USA Today recently about an 18-year-old in Australia who was suing her parents for posting baby pictures of her on Facebook without her consent. 

Now, obviously suing your own parents because they posted a few photos of you online is too ridiculous to even talk about (seriously, what is wrong with people?), but what I do want to talk about is that the article made an interesting point about what and how much we should or need to be sharing about our kids on social media. 

The article states that according to a UK-based site about parenting in the digital age, “The average parent shares almost 1,500 photos—mostly on Facebook—of a child before they turn five years old.” Regardless of whether or not that number is completely accurate, the point is the same: collectively as a society, we share a lot of photos of our kids on social media. 

As someone who is pretty active on multiple social media channels and writes a lifestyle blog, this is definitely something I’ve thought about a lot over the past year since R came along. I knew from the start that I didn’t want to share her full name in public, online spaces. Unfortunately, the world and the internet can be a scary place, and I was not comfortable with the idea of random strangers knowing my daughter’s full name.

Food for thought: anyone can go to Google image search, type in a name, and pull up any picture on the Internet of that person. The thought of anyone being able to do that with my child just doesn’t sit well with me. Even when I comment on other blogs, I don’t use her name. It at least makes me feel like I can maintain some privacy for her and for our family, and for an added bonus you can’t easily search for her online. 

When it comes to photos, I always want to be protective of R’s body and her privacy. For me personally, that means no pictures of her without clothes on, including pictures of her just in a diaper. That means no pictures of her in the bath, on the potty, etc. 

You have no doubt also noticed that on the blog and on my blog’s Facebook page, I put my blog name as a watermark across her face. I don’t want to be an alarmist, but I have heard too many stories about crazy people stealing photos and using them for strange purposes like pretending to have a fake family (yes, it happens!) or making a meme out of it (also happens) or whatever else. Sure, someone could probably Photoshop the watermark out, but at least I’m making it harder for them.

Before R was born, I considered only posting pictures of her on social media that showed her when her face wasn’t directly facing the camera or when her face wasn’t showing at all. Clearly that isn’t a rule I ever implemented (because, hello, she’s adorable), but now that she’s a bit older, I am rethinking how much I want to share moving forward. 

I loved writing monthly updates for R. I know they aren't going to be interesting for everyone else, but it’s fun for me to look back on them and remember different milestones and see pictures and things she was doing. I would not have been that detailed or diligent about recording things if I hadn’t for the blog! But as she gets older, I do realize that these moments are hers to have and hers to share (or not share) as she wants. 

I really enjoy reading the baby book that my mom kept for me, but I don’t know... would I appreciate having my baby book online for anyone to read? I’m just not sure, and since R can’t answer that question yet, I want to be careful about how much I post. 

Moving forward, here’s what I feel the most comfortable with as it concerns sharing about R on social media:

-No naked/diaper pictures, pictures in the bath, etc. 
-I will share pictures, but I will continue to watermark her face, and I probably won’t be posting as many straight-on face pictures of her in general where she is by herself. 
-I will be careful of what I write about her life in terms of potentially embarrassing or unflattering stories.
-I will most of all just be aware of what I share on social media, recognizing that R is her own person who can’t yet make the decision of whether or not she wants her life posted on the internet, and I want to remain respectful of that.

I know this is a personal issue and is different for everyone, so I’m interested to know: What are your thoughts on this topic? Do you have any “rules” for posting about your kids online?

p.s. You might find this article from the New York Times interesting while we're on the subject.

Links + Loves vol 4

9.23.2016


The Cubs won the NL Central Division, in case you didn't know. This postseason hype video gives me all the chills. Is it October yet? #LetsGo


A pretty amazing fact about the English language you didn't know you knew.


One of my favorite places to shop online. Such cute stuff all the time, and I have a hard time resisting buying one of everything. (Not an affiliate link. I just love them.)

This YouTube video came out in 2008, and I remember watching it way back when. I had forgotten about it until for some reason recently I thought of it and went back and found it. It's quite literally one of the funniest videos I've ever seen. I just can't. It starts out slow, but I promise you will not be sad you watched it.

I updated my "motherhood" page so that it is a list of all the posts I've written specifically about motherhood. Hopefully that makes it easier if you want to go back and find an old post!

I've mentioned my dad's podcast before. This series of interviews are so interesting. My dad is talking to a guy who is currently walking around the world. Crazy!

Happy Friday and weekend! 

Tomorrow R and I are leaving Jordan to fend for himself while we head to Saint Louis for a girls' weekend with my college friends. This will be her tenth plane flight! I'm hoping it goes as smoothly as the others have. Wish us luck!

p.s. links + loves vol 3 //  vol 2 // vol 1

I went to Lowe's and bought lumber and everything

9.20.2016

^^^ Staining!

Over the past week, I completed a project! I'm typically not very handy with DIY-type stuff for our house, so I am really proud of myself right now. I actually went to Lowe's by myself and bought wood and stain and sandpaper and everything.

I repeat: I did this all by myself.

One of the selling points of our house for me was the laundry room. It's a good size with built-in cabinets and storage space in the back, and I'd never seen anything quite like it before. I knew the back wall would be a good place to put some kind of coat/purse rack, but I couldn't figure out exactly what I wanted to do. (Related: See our house tour here!)

Right now I have my lunch bag, R's lunch bag, R's diaper bag, and my purse that I just pile on the floor, which obviously looks cluttered, not to mention we keep tripping on things, and R wants to dump out the contents of all the bags and put anything she finds into her mouth and draw with pens all over her face.

I pinned this forever ago and finally decided to try and make something like it.

It was a Saturday afternoon and R was sleeping, and I really wanted to get started on this project, so I asked Jordan what I needed and drove over to Lowe's. I found a worker and said, "I need to buy a one by four." And he said, "You just need lumber?" "Yes I do! I need lumber." And then I proudly marched around the store with my 1x4 over my shoulder like I was a member of Swiss Family Robinson going to build my tree house.

You think I'm kidding.
I need to get out more.

So I bought a 1x4, a small can of "Dark Walnut" stain, and some fine-grade sandpaper. I already had a paintbrush and a can of Polyurethane for our outdoor bench, so in total everything cost me about $10! I painted two coats of stain (letting the board dry in between), then painted polyurethane, let it dry, sanded it down, painted another polyurethane coat, and sanded it one final time.

*I normally do not condone apologizing for pictures I post on my blog, but I feel like I should tell you that the lighting in our laundry room is terrible and I wish there weren't such a yellow tint to these to really show off my project! Alas.
We added hooks I found at Hobby Lobby (they were half off and only $1.50 each!), and Jordan helped me find studs and hang it on the wall. (Side note: What is it with guys and stud finders? They all seem to like to say stuff like, "You don't need a stud finder. I'm right here." Good grief.)
The laundry room still needs some organization, maybe a cubby kind of thing like this? But for now I am in love with my new coat and purse rack! And it's even better because I made it all by myself for a total cost of less than $20! I don't know whether or not this is true, but I'm telling myself that something like this would cost double that at the actual store. It makes me love it even more.

What do you think? Have you ever made something like this before? 

Today, I'm Loving Monday

9.19.2016

>>>I'm closing down my reader survey in a few days, so if you haven't taken it yet, you can by clicking here.

In this current season of life, I have been taking extra joy in my weekends. I’ve really been focusing on making the most of Saturday and Sunday and not taking for granted the fact that I have two full days to spend with R.

If you’ve been around this blog for any length of time, you know that being a full-time working mom has not been easy for me. Some days I drop her off and go to work, and I’m okay. I miss her of course, but my day goes quickly and is filled with projects, and it’s not that bad. Other days I’m a mess with missing her, and I basically sad text Jordan all day about how all I want to do is go pick her up and kiss her chubby cheeks.

Mondays have started to become my favorite day of the work week. 


A lot of people complain about Monday, but I’ve found that Monday is actually one of my better days. I feel refreshed from the weekend and excited about the possibilities of the new week. I have just spent my weekend with R and fill up on kisses and hugs and giggles. We play with puzzles and blocks and go on runs and play at the park, and I fill my R tank as high as it will go.


On Mondays, I feel full. As the work week goes on, my tank gets lower and lower. Usually by Thursday and Friday, I’m really struggling hard. I feel like I have barely seen her all week, and I’m low on snuggles and kisses from my girl.


I know that it’s not the same for everyone, of course. Depending on your job, your schedule, and your family’s needs, everyone gets full and depleted on different days. It’s good to recognize when you feel more full or empty so that you can properly recharge and also appreciate those days that allow you to step back and look around at all the things you have to be thankful for.


I also think it’s important to remember that when you’re feeling full, someone else might be feeling empty. Just like when you’re feeling empty, someone else feels full. I want to be intentional about spreading some of the love around so that I can be an encouragement to others and also allow others to be an encouragement to me. What I'm saying is, don't keep your fullness to yourself! Spread the love around, and let others fill you up too.


Today, I’m loving Monday.


I hope you feel inspired and refreshed to start off the new week with its hundreds of possibilities.

When do you feel the most full?

What’s one thing you are excited about this week? 

Related // Full
p.s. Linking up with Emily.

How I De-Stress

9.16.2016


Linking with with Blogtember again! We are sharing how we de-stress. Here are just a few things that I can usually count on to help me de-stress, in no particular order. I'd love to hear what things work for you!

1. Prayer/Reading My Bible

I've talked about prayer a few times on the blog lately, and I highly recommend this book if you are interested in learning more about prayer. But of course, the best book to read to learn more about prayer is the Bible.

2. Cooking & Baking

Sometimes cooking or baking really relaxes me. After R goes to bed, I put on some music or Netflix and have some alone time in the kitchen. (Maybe making these freezer muffins for R's breakfast!) 

Of course, then the dishes pile up and I get all stressed out again, so I don't know how effective this strategy is. And sometimes the thought of cooking anything at all totally stresses me out, so I really have to be in the mood.

3. Blogging

Blogging is a fun, creative outlet for me, and most of the time it's a de-stressor if I make sure not to think too hard about (un)followers or page views and that actual mechanics of blogging.

4. Scrapbooking

As I've mentioned numerous times, I love to scrapbook! It's very relaxing for me to get out my supplies and get creative with photos. Here is the Project Life scrapbook I made last year.

5. Running

I didn't start to love running until I'd been doing it for about three years. Before then, it was something I had to force myself to do, and it wasn't very fun. But now running is a release and definitely something I use to de-stress. A few people commented on my reader survey that they want me to write more about running, but I don't know what to say about it since it isn't happening nearly as often as it used to! Maybe I'll try and think of something for a future post.


How do you de-stress?

p.s. Things I Enjoy Doing (When I'm Not Blogging)
^^^someone on my reader survey asked about my hobbies, so here you go!

We Still Do

9.14.2016

*Note: Jordan read this post before it was published and approved. Nothing I say here was written without his okay.

I have always hated plot lines in books and movies where a couple got divorced. Whether it happens after one year or twenty, it deeply saddens me. I do not believe couples get married thinking their relationship will end with divorce. We aren’t lying when we promise to love “until death do us part.” But at some point we get tired of fighting, tired of forgiving, tired of loving, and we start to drift apart. It becomes easier to give up than dig in.

In May, Jordan and I celebrated our five-year anniversary. Year five was, for both of us, the hardest of our marriage so far. It was a tough transition adding a baby to our twosome. Obviously having a newborn is stressful, but weeks of late-night feedings and early mornings wore us thin, and we were on edge with each other constantly. We drifted past each other in a constant stream of “I’m sorrys,” which had started to lose all meaning. I don’t mean that to sound dramatic, but the truth is, neither of us were happy. 

I remember going into the room where he was sitting at his computer and asking him, "Are you happy? Happy with us?"
"No," he said. 
And I replied, "I'm not either."

Our anniversary in May came at the perfect time to hit the reset button and helped us both to realize that we want to be intentional about the health of our marriage.

Since then, we have both seen a vast improvement. Not that we haven’t had an argument or two (or ten) in the meantime, but we each recognize that our marriage is something we want to fight for, that we love each other, and that love sometimes isn’t all hearts and butterflies but that it actually takes work.

One thing we started doing is praying together every single night. 

We used to pray together, but it was never on a consistent basis. We fell out of habit because when you’re not getting along with someone you really don’t want to talk to them, much less pray with them. We have also been recognizing triggers and ways that each of us react to the other, often without even really thinking about it. And we have been intentional about communicating with each other well.

Writing about marriage struggles is not necessarily something I want to plaster all over the Internet, and of course I’m only giving you the most basic of overviews. Jordan and I have only been married for five years, so I definitely can’t claim to have decades of wisdom on this topic, but I wanted to share our story so that if you find yourself in a similar boat, you can know you aren’t alone! Satan is the great destroyer of families, and we have to be on guard. We have to be intentional about our relationships with our family members, especially those we live with and see every day.

I do think it is good to acknowledge that marriage isn’t always full of heart eyes. Sometimes it’s just plain hard work, especially when there are stressful factors involved like a crying baby or a new job or a big move or just the daily grind of regular life.

It’s okay to admit that your marriage is not all that it could be. It's okay to admit that you're in a rough patch. The important thing is to decide how to move forward together once you realize this. I also suggest you start praying for each other and praying together about your marriage. This will help you grow closer to each other and closer to God. Finally, tell someone. It’s never a good idea to bash your spouse to other people, but it can be very helpful to share your struggles in a supportive environment so that your close friends and family can be praying for you. Maybe some of them have been there too and can offer helpful advice.

I know that for me, I am very thankful to have wonderful examples of godly marriages from both Jordan’s and my parents and grandparents. I hope Jordan and I can be that kind of example for our children one day.

I hope you will excuse a lengthy quote from C.S. Lewis, but I thought this was too good not to share. And let's be honest, any time is a good time for C.S. Lewis.

“Being in love is a good thing, but it is not the best thing. There are many things below it, but there are also things above it. You cannot make it the basis of a whole life. It is a noble feeling, but it is still a feeling. Now no feeling can be relied on to last in its full intensity, or even to last at all. Knowledge can last, principles can last, habits can last, but feelings come and go. And in fact, whatever people say, the state called ‘being in love’ usually does not last.

"If the old fairy-tale ending ‘They lived happily ever after’ is taken to mean ‘They felt for the next fifty years exactly as they felt the day before they were married,’ then it says what probably never was nor ever would be true, and would be highly undesirable if it were. Who could bear to live in that excitement for even five years? What would become of your work, your appetite, your sleep, your friendships? 

"But, of course, ceasing to be ‘in love’ need not mean ceasing to love. Love in this second sense — love as distinct from ‘being in love’ — is not merely a feeling. It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by (in Christian marriages) the grace which both partners ask, and receive, from God. They can have this love for each other even at those moments when they do not like each other; as you love yourself even when you do not like yourself. They can retain this love even when each would easily, if they allowed themselves, be ‘in love’ with someone else. 

"‘Being in love’ first moved them to promise fidelity: this quieter love enables them to keep the promise. It is on this love that the engine of marriage is run: being in love was the explosion that started it.”

C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

p.s. Click here to take my 2016 blog reader survey if you haven't already!

2016 Blog Survey

9.12.2016

I really enjoy putting together blog surveys every once in a while. It lets me hear from you guys about what you like/don't like about this blog. There are only 9 required questions, and it's completely anonymous. I would really appreciate it if you took a minute and filled this out! It should be embedded below, but if not, you can go here.

Blogging is a lot of fun, but it is also a lot of work. While I do make a small amount of money off it from Google ads and the occasional sponsored post, money is not my motivation. My purpose is not only to use this as a creative writing outlet for me and a way to share parts of our life with friends and family, but it's to hopefully to be a place where I share honestly about real life in a way that encourages and inspires you.

I don't drastically change the content of my blog based on the answers to my surveys, but it is helpful in letting me know what kinds of posts you all are interested in reading. It makes me excited to write about something I know you will be excited to read! That said, I know my blog has been baby heavy over the past year, and I know that's not everyone's favorite thing to read about. Now that R is older, I'm trying to figure out what I do and don't want to share about her on the blog. Your feedback on what kind of posts you enjoy reading will be helpful for me as I think more about what I want this blog to look like moving forward.

The survey is totally anonymous, so feel free to also leave constructive critique or feedback for me if there's something you think I could get better at.

At the end, I ask you if there is anything I can pray for you about. This is not a required question, so don't feel any pressure to put anything! But as I've shared before, this year I have been trying to be more intentional about prayer, and that means praying for the needs of others. If you write something down, I will commit to praying for you.

Thank you in advance for filling this out!
p.s. If you want to see results from my last survey, go here.

3 Books: Recently, Currently, and Future Reads


Hello hello! Did anyone else notice that in my post on Friday I started numbering my ten things I don't care about and stopped after #2? I noticed it later on and cracked up! I guess I should have added that clearly I don't care about numbering.

I'm joining in the Blogtember Challenge today to share three books: one I just read, one I'm currently reading, and one I want to read.

1. Recently Read - Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave

I wasn't in love with this book, but it wasn't terrible. It's a WWII novel from the point of view of people in London during the war, both those who stayed behind and one character who enlisted. I did enjoy reading about the war from that perspective, but I just felt like the story was slow, and although things happened, I didn't actually feel like anything happened, if that makes sense. The writing was lovely, though, and the characters and plot were interesting; I just thought the execution could have been better.

For me it just wasn't the kind of book I stayed up late reading because I couldn't put it down. I still recommend All the Light We Cannot See if you are looking for an excellent WWII read.

2. Currently Reading - The Midnight Dress by Karen Foxlee

I'm reading this as part of a Goodreads book club with Victoria. It's about a girl who disappears, and it's not blowing my mind so far, but it is interesting and creative. I'll wait and see what I think after it's over!

3. Want to Read - City of Thieves by David Benioff

Of course, I have a lot of books on my to-read list, but this is one I recently added after seeing it on a list lately. It's another WWII novel, so I might take a break and read something else before I get to this one. I've actually added a few WWII books to my list lately.

I also recently bought God in the Dock and am looking forward to going through it. It's a book of C.S. Lewis essays.

Have you read any of these? What book is next on your to-read list?

p.s. You might also like: Reading Habits // Unpopular Book Opinions

10 Things I Don't Care About

9.09.2016


Happy Friday! 

I thought I would keep it short and sweet today and just share a quick list of ten things I don’t care about. And of course I shouldn't have to say that I’m totally not judging anyone who does care about these things. This is just for fun. We all have different preferences, and that’s great! Feel free to share what we have in common or what you disagree with me about in the comments. Have a great weekend, and see you back here on Monday, friends.

1. The Bachelor. 
Let’s just say I try to avoid Twitter on Monday nights because I have no idea what anyone is talking about.

2. Foundation. 
What’s the best foundation for my skin tone? Don’t know, don’t care. Hashtag low maintenance.

Stranger Things. 
I watched the first two episodes with Jordan, and it’s too scary for me. Yes, I am a total wimp, and I don’t care about that either.

Pumpkin spiced lattes.
I’m sure PSLs are good and all, but I don’t get the intense obsession people have with these.

Nutella. 
See above. The Internet is obsessed with Nutella and I don’t get it. I prefer to spend my time obsessing about things that really matter. Like the Oxford comma.

New Apple products. 
I own a Macbook and an iPhone, so I'm not an Apple hater or anything, but standing for hours in line for a new gadget seems absurd to me.

Owning a pet. 
Jordan and I have said that we would at some point like to have a dog, but right now, owning a pet is way down on our priority list. So far down it’s not really on the list. Because after daycare and diapers, who has spare money to spend taking care of a pet? Not us.

Pop. 
I will drink a Sprite every once in a while, but I drink water or milk 98% of the time. I cannot relate to people who have diet coke (or insert pop of choice) obsessions where they have to drink one every day.

Cable. 
Jordan and I haven’t had cable for about four years, and the only time we miss it is during certain sporting events that are only shown on ESPN, but if it’s something we really want to watch we just go over to a friend’s house.

Weird flavors of Oreos. 
It seems like every other day I hear about a new Oreo flavor. Why mess with the deliciousness of the original? Is nothing sacred anymore?

What is something you don’t care about?

Iconoclast Dad Bag: A Diaper Bag for the Modern Dad

9.08.2016

This is not a sponsored post. I contacted this company myself to review this product on my blog because it seemed like something we would enjoy using with R.

A month or so ago, I met up with a friend for a play date, and she had a diaper bag backpack. I told Jordan that was a really cool idea, and I wanted to try and find something like that. We have loved using our Vera Bradley diaper bag for the past year, but I think it's time for something slightly more portable. 

He asked me specifically to find something "manly" (his word). I remembered hearing about the Iconoclast Dad Bag, and so I contacted the company and asked if I could receive a bag to try out in exchange for a review on the blog. So while I am not getting compensated to write this, I did receive a product. All opinions are 100% mine. You know I wouldn't lie to you. There is a discount code for 15% off anything on their website at the bottom of this post good until October 7!
What I love about this bag and why it was the first place I went when Jordan asked me to find him a manly diaper bag is because it's created by a dad for dads. Their philosophy is all about breaking out of the mold of childcare being a woman's job. When a dad is watching his kids, he isn't babysitting. He's being a dad. You can search the hashtag #BreakTheMold and #IAmAModernDad to find out more. The materials are all made in the USA too, which I love!
Okay, so let's talk about the actual Iconoclast Dad Bag. I asked Jordan what he thought of it, and here's why he loves this bag. Read more on the "about" section of their website too!

-The one-strap feature of this bag is so that you can easily swing the bag around to the front to get something out. You don't have to put the bag on the ground or take it off to get inside.

-Ambidextrous Straps: The strap to go over your should can clip to either side, which is great because Jordan likes switching sides every so often if we are going to be out for a long time.

^^^ R told me that when she's out in public, she needs a hat and sunglasses because she's starting to get recognized.

-The Iconoclast Dad Bag comes with a changing pad and special zippered section on the side to hold it. It also has a few different mesh sections on the inside for diapers, and on the left are two mesh pockets that have velcro to keep them shut. The interior section is large enough to hold a tablet or laptop, and the back of the bag is sturdy.
-You can also buy accessory pouches that attach to the outside front of the bag using their patent-pending Vertical Integrated Molle System. And can I tell you? I had no idea what that even was, but Jordan saw the bag and immediately said, "Oh, a vertical molle. That's cool!" So there's that.
Can we talk about price for a second? An Iconoclast Dad Bag is a very comparable price for this type of quality bag. I know this because Jordan bought a backpack a few years ago to take on our missions trip to Nicaragua that is similar in material and size, and it was around the same cost. The bag is made of quality materials (made in the US!) and will last well beyond the diaper stage for years to come. 

This would make a fantastic gift for a new dad, a fun Christmas or birthday gift, or a creative Father's Dad present! It currently comes in three colors: black, gray, or camoI highly recommend checking out Iconoclast Dad Bags

Use the code LADYOKIE to get 15% off your purchase! 

Make sure to visit them on Instagram to see more pictures and get info on preordering their newest dad bag: fire engine red! And just for fun, check out this picture of Mario Lopez rocking his dad bag. Thank you to Iconoclast Dad Bags for letting us try your bag! We love it.

#BreakTheMold #IAmAModernDad

5 Healthy On-the-Go Breakfasts for Toddlers (and Adults too!)

9.06.2016


I will spare you the long version of why I do this, but the end result is that I bring R's breakfast to daycare every morning. I know she probably doesn't actually care what she eats as long as I'm giving her something (she loves food!), but I know that I wouldn't want to eat the same thing day after day, so I'm always looking for healthy breakfasts that I can easily pack her in the mornings.

All of these are freezer friendly, meaning that on the weekends I make a batch or two and then freeze it. During the week I can grab one or two, put them in a bag, and off we go! What I love about these particular recipes is that they are pretty healthy and most include some kind of vegetable too. These would be great for adults to eat too! They aren't just for the little people.

1. Spinach and Sausage Egg Muffins (pictured above) -- I had a bag of frozen sausage that I had already cooked, so these basically took no time at all to make. The recipe only makes enough for 6 muffins, so consider doubling the recipe to make 12!

2. Vegan Blueberry Muffins -- These are vegan because you use an avocado to replace the butter. Great healthy fat for a growing little one. Just FYI, I used whole wheat flour and frozen blueberries, and they didn't "puff up" so much as sink in the middle, and a few of them came out kind of gooey. But the batter tasted so good and R seems to love them.

3. Carrot Oatmeal Greek Yogurt Muffins -- I love that this has greek yogurt and oatmeal and shredded carrots for my girl. I've made these a few times and they turn out great.

4. Sweet Potato Muffins -- These have actual chunks of sweet potato in them and taste really good!

5. Healthy Banana Bread -- I make a loaf, let it cool, then cut in slices and freeze. When you want to eat, just grab one slice out of the freezer bag!

Please share any easy, on-the-go breakfast recipes in the comments! Either for toddlers or adults. I am always on the hunt for new things to make!

p.s. Today I am guest posting on Kaity's blog while she's on maternity leave for Baby #2! Head on over to read about my 3 Freezer Hacks that I hope will make your life a little bit easier.

What's New

9.01.2016


TODAY IS THURSDAY. You don't know how excited I am about this. I thought Monday was Thursday, if that tells you anything about how my week has been. One word: slow. Another word: tired.

Speaking of tired, I should be sleeping right now, not writing this post. Anyway. 
I'm linking up with Shay and also Kristen for a quick life update!

What We Are Eating
Last week I was eating that bbq jalapeƱo chicken pizza up there from one of my favorite downtown OKC lunch spots. I don't even like jalapeƱos, but I looooove this pizza.

On the home front, last night (Wednesday), we had leftover baked ziti and leftover tacos from Monday and Tuesday. I had some interest based on my grocery budgeting post to share what we eat during the week, so in September I plan on keeping track so I can share our meals with you!

What I'm Loving
This post. Amen.

What I'm Dreading
The Toddler Years. I have no doubt R's meltdowns are going to be epic, and I'm already dreading it. (But I'm only dreading the meltdowns, of course. I am SO excited to continue to watch her grow and learn and be as cute as ever!)

What I'm Working On
A new blog reader survey.
A post about how marriage has been this past year.
^^^ Also, last week I was working on this gift for my sister-in-law. It's her first year as a teacher, and I made this to hang in her second-grade classroom. I put the R in a shadow box and wrote her last name underneath. I thought it turned out really good!

What I'm Excited About
Girls' trip (with R!) to Saint Louis in just three weeks! Taking my baby girl on plane ride #10 with some Southwest points I had saved up.

What I'm Watching
Nothing at the moment! We don't have cable, and honestly I am just not into watching a weekly show. I don't have the ability to be that committed to anything right now. We watch The Office on Netflix sometimes, but this week we really haven't had the TV on very much at all.

What I'm Listening To
I switch between KLOVE (no shame!) and country for my daily commute. I have a Bethel music CD in my car too that I love.

What I'm Wearing
Yesterday I rocked my rain boots because we had some thunderstorms. Best $20 I ever spent. Love those boots.

What I'm Doing This Weekend
Going to a 2-year-old's birthday party on Saturday and hopefully not a heck of a lot else on this three-day weekend. Taking naps as often as possible! Please and thank you.

What are you currently loving? What are you eating? What are you working on?

・ DESIGNED BY ECLAIR DESIGNS