Chats? Let’s chat about that.
Hello, friends! I want to start doing something new on the blog. One thing I’ve had to realllllly work hard to find balance in is parenting while having a career in blogging. Because it’s a work from home job and I’m also a stay at home mom, the two get muddled sometimes, and it can be really challenging to figure out how to do both well and not sacrifice one or the other, even though my kids come first for sure.
One thing that’s changed since having kids is that I don’t have the ability to spend quite as much time on each individual blog post. I keep it pretty simple and just about the food, sometimes throwing in a little life tidbit. I do miss being able to include so much personal life in each post, so I figured a good compromise was to dedicate one post a month entirely to that! I’m calling them my “Chats,” and it’ll be like sitting down with a cup of coffee and catching up on what I haven’t really had time to delve into in my bi-weekly blog posts!
What I’m LOVING
Transitioning to non toxic. We transitioned all our cleaning products, cooking products, health and beauty products, and stuff for the kids to all natural, non toxic products that are low on the EWG scale. It was a big transition that took some time, effort, and $$$, but it feels great and we are loving it! I’ll link to some of my favorite products we switched to below (none of these are affiliate links, just sharing the products I love!):
- Face cleanser: Primally Pure Cleansing Oil (ABSOLUTELY OBSESSED – fave product out of any of these. My skin has never been clearer!)
- Branch Basics Cleaner – it’s one concentrate that you use for everything – EVERYTHING. The only thing I don’t love it for is laundry. It’s fantastic for everything else. It’s fragrance free, so I add orange and peppermint essential oils, and it smells better than any product I’ve ever used!
- Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant – I’ve had bad experiences with natural deodorants in the past, but I love this one! It works great. Just as well as what I was using before. They sell it on Amazon (linked), but I got mine at Marshall’s.
- Green Pan – This is a great non-toxic non-stick pan. It’s pretty inexpensive, and I’ve really liked it so far! I can’t speak to how long it holds up because I only got it a few months ago. I use this, my cast iron, and my dutch oven for almost all of my cooking.
There are a lot more, but those are my favorites!
Mom Set Free. This is a Bible Study I’ve been doing for the past few months, and I absolutely LOVE IT. If you are a mom of any aged kids – babies, toddlers, teenagers – you need this in your life. It’s all about setting yourself free from the pressure of trying to be good enough and break away from the impossible standard of “perfection.” I can’t recommend it enough, it has been life changing for me!
Food Blogger Pro Podcast. Again, finding that balance I mentioned earlier is hard! It’s hard to stay motivated with blogging sometimes when your life is SO busy parenting your adorbs little kiddos. I like to find little ways here and there to stay inspired and motivated, and THIS has helped with that so much.
You can access this podcast for free on Spotify, and it’s LOADED full of hundreds of absolutely fantastic podcasts on every topic of blogging. SEO, social media, motivation and inspiration, content, EVERYTHING. Love, love, love. Check it out if you’re a blogger!
What’s been a STRUG fest
So we went on an amazing vacation this month to Alaska for a week long cruise. More on that later, but getting back into the real world after that vacation was tough. It was a full week of relaxation, zero responsibilities, and just the BEST break. I was absolutely dying to get back and see my kids, and it’s been wonderful to be back with them, but the week after getting back home was rouuuggghh.
Ford (our two year old) was insanely, never endingly cranky (maybe struggling with the transition back from staying with his grandparents?), I got super sick, and our 8 month old was (and is) going through what we think is a sleep regression. Anyway, it was a tough week, fam.
Through all that, staying motivated towards blogging was very hard that week, and I definitely let it fall to the wayside. Which, in my opinion, was fully necessary that week to salvage my remaining shred of mental health 😂. Parenting is my favorite part of my life, but man…on the hard weeks, it can really knock you sideways.
Cruiiiisin’ Through Alaska!
Y’ALL. If you want one heck of a vacation, I’ve gotchu. Alaskan cruises are where it’s at. Even if you aren’t really “cruise people,” which Seth and I aren’t really, it’s the perfect vacation. The cruise ship was amazing for the food, private views from your balcony, and comfy place to rest after a hugely active day at port, but the cruise itself wasn’t necessaaaarily our cup of tea.
However, I think it’s a great way to explore Alaska because it takes you to so many different and amazing ports.
We went to Ketchikan first, Juneau second, Icy Strait/Hoonah third, and Victoria B.C. last. It was a WONDERFUL adventure full of sea kayaking, whale watching, hiking, exploring, and breathing in allllllll the fresh air. It was a reset in the best way possible. I can’t recommend it enough! Here’s just a few pictures 👇🏼
The Big Move
If you follow the blog, you know we just moved to North Carolina in January. Guess what we’re doing again right now? MOVINGGGGG!! Seth and I may as well be professional movers at this point between all our military + personal moves in the last nine years.
But this move is different and extra exciting! We decided to buy a house, and we close on Thursday…as in the day after tomorrow! We are super excited about being able to officially settle in somewhere as our home-home. Bye bye rentals!
Here’s a picture of the outside 👇🏼
How cute?! And the kitchen, because obvi that’s the most important 👇🏼
So we are starting the move the day after tomorrow and we have until the 8th to be out of our current rental!
The Boys ❤️
My beebees. Like I talked about earlier, Ford had a ROUGH week/week and a half when we came back home from Alaska, but he’s making up for it right now, because he has just been the cutest.
- His dancing – if you drop a beat, that little boy goes to town, and it’s probably one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen.
- Words on words on words. His language is just exploding, and it’s so fun to begin to have real “conversations” with him. He will tell you about his boo-boo, or about how mommy spilled coffee on the couch (whoops), or about how he wants to put his teddy bear to bed.
- Trying to find people when they leave. “Dadddyyy, yayyooo?” “Mommy? Mommy yaaayyooo?” (Yayoo = where are you.)
- Cooking! Ford LOVES helping me cook. Add chopped potatoes to a bowl, season things with salt, hand me stuff, stir things in a pot or pan. If I’m cooking, he’s up there with me, and it’s been so sweet. My mother and father-in-law bought Ford a little cooking stool for his birthday, and it has been a life saver. This is what it looks like, but it’s not this one exactly.
Two year olds can for SURE be challenging, but oh dear GOD THEY ARE ALSO THE CUTEST. It’s almost painful…like I can’t physically handle the adorableness.
And then there’s Colt! He’s our 8 month old. He has recently mastered sitting up for extended periods of time all by himself, he has invented his new form of crawling that looks more like an alien worm than a traditional crawling baby, but it does the trick and gets him where he wants to go 😂.
He’s struggling a bit right now – we think he might be hitting the 8 month sleep regression, but even through that, he (for the most part) is still just the happiest, sweetest little boy! He has a passion for hair grabbing, so my hair is in a bun at. all. times or his little hands will grab and hang on like his tiny little life depends on it.
Love, love, love them. Let’s be real, parenting isn’t all roses and rainbows, but there’s nothing better.
July Recipe Recaps
Sooooo few recipes this month because of cruise craziness and post cruise sickness and craziness. But here’s what we’ve had goin’ on:
Lemon Garlic Salmon and Asparagus Packs
Blackened Grilled Chicken with Peach and Radish Salsa
THE CHICKEN WITH PEACH SALSA, thooooo. Please, if you value your own happiness, make it. K?!
What to Make Next Month
What’s in season in August:
I hope your July has been wonderful and your August is even better!
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