our latest family adventures

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So I don't know about you but family time has always been a struggle for us. Well, intentional, quality family time, that is. We spend most evenings together, an hour or two in the morning before Matt leaves for work, so we definitely had time together.. but we never were super intentional about doing things with all four of us. Going somewhere, making memories. That kind of time together. 

When Matt switched careers from teaching to real estate this past summer, family time was one of our main goals. The school he was teaching at had forced him to coach 3 sports every year, which meant he was gone from 7-7:30 every day, plus tournaments on the weekends. For FIVE years. It was awful and so hard on all of us.

Real estate lends itself to a much more flexible schedule, and while the stress of being self-employed is high sometimes, it's an entirely different type of stress. We actually prefer it. Haha. Anyways, back to family adventures. Awhile back, we had talked about being more intentional about trying to get out of the house and do more things as a family. Matt still works most Saturday afternoons and some Sundays (just the name of the real estate game - some people can only look at houses on the weekends!), but we are trying to keep Saturday mornings for us and our adventures together.

So far, it's been amazing! We never would've said this out loud but we had somehow subconsciously come to the conclusion that we needed an entire day and lots of money in order to have a good time with the kids..and that's just not true! The more I've researched and googled and found events and activities near us, the more I've realized just how easy it is. You don't need a ton of $$ or 12 straight hours to have fun. Be creative! Just get out of the house and do it! Especially with young kids... 2-4 hours is about all you'll want to do anyways ;)

Here's a little list of fun adventures we've come up with - obviously you might not live in Houston but hopefully these spark some ideas for you, too!

- Donuts and the park

- Zoo (if you get there right when it opens, it's way less crowded)

- A local farmer's market 

- Beach trip 

- Froberg Farms (a farm near us where you can pick strawberries, do a corn maze, etc. depending on time of year)

- Wildlife park

- Brunch downtown 

- Hiking at Brazos Bend State Park

There are so many options, so many fun things to do - I just had to look a little harder and adjust my expectations a bit. Anyways, we usually get the kids up around 7:30 (when they normally wake up), pack a bag of snacks and diapers/wipes/changes of clothes, etc., load them up in the car and head on out!

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One of our favorite snacks right now is Welch's new 100% juice with coconut water! It has the amazing taste of 100% juice with 30% less sugar than normal juices, which means it's something I feel comfortable giving my kids (no added or artificial sugar)! We love having Welch's juice on hand for our family adventures.. especially when we go the beach and go hiking! We all tend to get pretty thirsty when we're out in the sun! It's yummy, and refreshing and just a super easy way to stay hydrated on the go.

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Anyways, we're usually home by noon every time, which works out great for us - just enough time to give the kids some lunch and then put them down for a nap. We have found that those 4-ish hours really seem to be the perfect amount of time to do any of the things on our list.

I hope this inspires some of you to get out with your families and make some memories! 

 

Love, 

B

breastfeeding and probiotics

This post is sponsored by Evivo; however, as usual, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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There are so many things I wish I knew about breastfeeding before I started my journey, almost 3 years ago. No one warned me how painful it would be or how many times I'd want to quit along the way.. because my goodness. It was TOUGH. With both of my kids! For entirely different reasons... but that's a whole other story. Breastfeeding is so complex, physically, mentally, emotionally, and everyone's story is so personal and unique. 

But while my breastfeeding journey was incredibly difficult at times, it was also incredibly beautiful. Nourishing my babes with my own body was surreal - knowing that *I* was keeping them alive?? The weight of that was both heavy and heartwarming and I'm so grateful I was able to breastfeed not once, but twice. It was such a gift. 

Like I mentioned above, I do wish I had known of several items that would've made my life easier and set my mind a little more at ease. One of those things are basics, like a comfy robe, nipple cream, a water jug (because nursing thirst is like NO OTHER THIRST EVER), etc. Those things would've physically made the experiences better!

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Mentally, I wish I'd known about Evivo Probiotics! Evivo is the only probiotic that is clinically proven to restore a baby’s gut microbiome to its original, natural state, transform special carbohydrates found in breast milk to promote the growth of B. infantis and defend from potentially harmful bacteria linked to eczema, allergies, diabetes and obesity.

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That's AMAZING, right?? Such peace of mind! I don't think probiotics even crossed my mind while I was breastfeeding and I SO WISH they had - breastmilk is already incredible but being able to add a probiotic in to make it even better? Well, that's just the coolest. Haha.

It's super easy to use - it comes as a powder that stays in either your fridge or freezer. Mix the powder with 3-5ml of breastmilk and syringe into baby's mouth. That's IT. I love how simple yet powerful it is!

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I'm grateful to know about Evivo now because Matt and I have gone back and forth on having a third and if we do, I'm sure I'll breastfeed again (at least for a bit). I would LOVE to be able to incorporate Evivo products in my milk and provide an even better start for the next babe.

You guys can go here to learn more about Evivo products and all of the benefits of this incredible probiotic!

XO,

B

our cleaning schedule + toddler chores

This post is sponsored by The Libman Company but the content and opinions expressed here are my own, as usual. 

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Alright friends, let's talk cleaning. If you're anything like me, schedules are a way of life ;) and cleaning is no different! If I don't have a plan, it just won't happen. So, here's what our week usually looks like:

- Monday: Mondays are laundry day. All laundry. All on one day - I like to just get it over with and this way it feels like there's actually an END to the laundry.

-Tuesday: I vacuum the carpets, rugs and wood floors. With an almost 3-year-old and almost 1-year-old, our floors get so ridiculously messy. Not to mention, the almost 1-year-old LOVES to find every tiny (or large) speck and put it directly in her mouth rolls eyes. So ready for THAT stage to be over hah. I also try to lightly mop the laminate wood floors - milk spills, cooking spills, you name it. Our favorite mop is the Libman Wonder Mop (gets those floors squeaky clean) and is so easy to use - which is a huge plus when you have a toddler begging to help! I want to encourage him to serve and have a helpful heart as much as possible, so I love including him. We bought our Libman Wonder Mop at Target but they are also available at Lowes, Walmart and Home Depot.

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- Friday: On Fridays, I try to do something like clean out the car (HOW DOES SO MUCH CRAP ACCUMULATE IN LESS THAN A WEEK?!), vacuum the car, declutter the kitchen table (which also accumulates enormous amounts of crap), etc.

My bathrooms get cleaned like.. every 2 weeks. Maybe. Okay, let's be honest. They get cleaned when we have guests. HAHA. Bathrooms are my WORST nightmare. I genuinely hate them. If I could hire someone to just clean my bathrooms.. that would be a dream come true. Soo until then, they get done when they get done. And we use the Wonder Mop for those floors, too ;)

Clutter and messes seriously stress me out, so our house is decently clean most of the time simply because of that. We try to wipe the kitchen counters down, put toys away, load the dishwasher, etc every night after the kids go to bed (coming out to a dirty house in the morning just starts my day off on the wrong note). But anyways, all that to say, Mondays and Tuesdays are my major days for other stuffs. And it helps me not to feel like I'm cleaning nonstop all week!

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Silas has started helping me clean (he's my little neat freak - LOVE IT SO MUCH). These are the ways he helps right now:

- Transferring clothes from the washer to dryer (as I hand them to him)

- Loading clothes into the washer and pushing start

- Vacuuming (he LOVES to vacuum and does a great job! Plus we have a Dyson cordless one, so he really can do it all by himself. I typically just give him a room or direction for where to vacuum and he goes for it!)

-Mopping (as long as it's not too wet, he does a great job! And I love how easy it is for him to use the Libman Wonder Mop). It's lightweight AND I can toss the head in the washer - how stinkin' easy is that.

- Picking up toys

- Helping me cook (we use his Little Partners kitchen tower and he loves to help stir and bake and saute. My fave).

Anyways, I hope that's insightful or helpful to someone out there! What does your family do? Do you have a cleaning schedule? What are some of your favorite products?

PS - you can sign up here for The Libman Company's newsletter to get a $3 off coupon for a Wonder Mop of your own! Click here to enter a sweepstakes (where 20 people will win a Libman prize package comprised of some of your favorite Libman products)!

Love,

B