02/ 04/ 17
You don’t realize how far down the rabbit hole of parenting you are until you tell your spouse, “Babe, that was an awesome horse sound”, or you walk into you room and you watch your husband hold out your kid “Simba style” and say ” Look Simba, everything the light touches is our kingdom…to the fence line”.
In the daily buzz of parenting, making baby food may not be on the top of your priority list. I want to change your mind and show you how easy it is. You don’t need special tools. If you have a blender/food processor, large pan with a lid and something to mash foods with you’re already set.
1. It’s simple. Steam or bake veggies, slice and diced fruit and throw them in the blender/food processor. Puree and serve. Easier yet, smash a banana or avocado. Making it in bulk is your friend.
2. Introduce family meal time at an early age. By pureeing the same foods you’re having for dinner, you can start the family meal time culture early on. Unplug, talk and eat. Even with your infant.
3. You have control. By making your own food you can control what they are eating, where it is coming from and the consistency. If you think baby is ready for something between purée and solid, make it the way you want it. Want to introduce a seasoning? You can add as much or little as you want.
4. You don’t have to worry about the food you’re giving your child if you see it first. Homemade baby food smells so much better than the jar variety and nothing extra is added. Unless you want to add extra.
5. Save money. It’s a cheaper option. Treat yourself to that extra coffee. You deserve it.
6. Homemade pouches can be achieved. Mix and match your own combinations. This is not always an option when buying off the shelf. Be warned though, pouches are best in small amounts. Kids need to experience being messy when they eat, it’s vital for their sensory system.
7. Control your portions. You can thaw/make your servings fit you and your baby. Don’t waste an entire container, thaw out a few options at a time and increase as they grow.
We should be able to make better food choices for our babies, and it should be simple! In closing words, as Mufasa said. “And so we are all connected in the great circle of life.” Connect with your local farmers or grocery for fresh produce, make some baby food and keep it easy!
29/ 03/ 17
DIY. It’s such a refreshing sound to some and daunting to others. Whichever person you are, this new series is for you. 20 Minute DIYs has been born and nothing is more festive for Easter than bunny ears.
You will need the following:
Trace your ears, cut and hot glue the felt pieces to the front.
Cut your elastic to desired length. Use another headband for reference if you’re not sure. Take your flower, pull off the parts that stick out in the back and glue on a small circle to the back. (This will help everything hold together.)
After you have the circle placed, glue your elastic to the back of the flower in overlapping fashion.
Glue the burlap ears the flower as desired. I place one ear in the middle of the flower an the other off to the side. Glue to the elastic to back of the other ear so it’s not showing when you flip it around.
Cut a small rectangle from the felt and glue it to the back of the ears for stability.
Chic Easter Bunny Ears!
Click for EzPz Coupon!!
19/ 03/ 17
It’s your sink.
My house is a huge joy in my life. It’s not the structure necessarily but all of the memories that it holds. We built our house right before we got married, it’s the metaphorical and literal foundation to so many things for me. I love getting to work from home a few days a week, there’s no stress and I have complete control on my environment. I love the feel of coming home after being gone for the day and getting to sit on the front porch and rock. I love to watch the chickens and cows. Home really is the beat that keeps me going.
Now, the pleasant vision I gave you above isn’t how it is every day. Some weeks feel like a revolving door. I constantly fight dust and dog hair. I have a husband and a 6 month old. Maybe this is what makes the simplicity balance so perfect?
I was recently reading the Magnolia Journal about simplicity. Joanna was discussing what helped simplify things in her life. Clean closets, etc. This inspired me to, yes, clean out closets and donate. I even cleaned out from under the beds.
After this euphoric feeling of organized and clean, I was on a roll. I finished off with whole house and realized the one focal point of my simplicity. The kitchen sink. I truly cringe writing this thinking about anything laying in my sink. I honestly can’t remember a time growing up that my mom left anything in the sink over night.
Now, this internal drive to keep my sink clean causes some conflict between Joel and I. It’s mostly a battle he doesn’t know he’s participating in. However, at the end of the day, regardless of how tired I am or what went on I try to make sure that sink is empty and clean.
White, empty and a clean slate. It makes me happy, less stressed and ready to start the next day. So, I challenge you in the midst of everything that goes on in your life to clean your sink each day. See how it makes you feel and if it adds some simplicity.
27/ 02/ 17
Kids were always in my future. The future…back of my mind…distant thought future. However, GI Joel and I started the “Let’s just start trying ” conversation and two months later I had a positive test.
I am a very prepared person. I was thankful, excited and joyful for that positive test, but I don’t think anyone is truly ready if they’re honest. I wasn’t expecting to have little jeans on my clothesline so soon. I didn’t have a checklist prepared and my Type A self hadn’t meticulously organized everything.
It didn’t matter though. We we’re having a baby and it was the role I never knew I wanted to play so badly.
We publicly announced we were expecting a year ago and this tiny bit is 6 months old on Wednesday. We love watching her personality blossom everyday.
…to this in the blink on an eye. From wife to mom in what felt like a blink of an eye.
02/ 01/ 17
Our diaper bag is a bottomless pit of fun and functional baby products that make our lives easier. I thought it would be helpful to compile a list of my favorite things to keep in the diaper bag here on the blog!
Our diaper bag is the Skip Hop Forma. You can purchase it here. I love using a backpack because it leaves my hands free and it’s easier to position Waverlee. This diaper bag includes a changing pad, mesh removable storage pocket as well as an insulated one. There are plenty of pockets to keep us organized and it’s easy to clean. Check Amazon often for a good deal.
1. Swaddle blanket: The one pictured above is from Flamingo Baby Co. A Canada based shop, all swaddles are handmade from the softest organic cotton. Surprisingly warm for being so thin, they roll up easily into our diaper bag.
2. Sophie the Giraffe rattles: Waverlee got these for Christmas and she loves them. The rattle part is pretty subtle as far as volume, and as an added bonus she enjoys chewing on them. They’re hard plastic with bright colors.
3.Skip Hop Hedgehog Rattle: The upper portion has a rattle and the belly area is really soft silicone similar to O-balls. We love all things Skip Hop! It’s easy for her to hold and shake.
4.Covered Goods Cover: These are fantastic (the black and white stripe item rolled up) not only for nursing in public but as a car seat or high chair cover. Made from jersey cotton, they are easy roll up and store. Check out their store here.
5. Boogie Wipes: These grape scented (or unscented depending on your preference) wipes have saline in them helping with stuffy noses. The saline is the same stuff in nose drops to help loosen up mucous. They are really big so you can also use them to clean a pacifier, wipe off your phone, etc. Visit the website for a coupon.
6. Busy book: Why do babies love t hat crinkle sound so much? This “Guess How I Love You” busy book is a life saver for us during church service.
7. Teether & holder: Love the wooden teethers from Bannor Toys.
8. Reusable wipes/burp rags: I really love the reusable wipes we have (also from Flamingo Baby Co.) because they’re small and absorbent.
9. Wet bag: Great for dirty clothes or diapers when you don’t a have a trash can near you. I found this one on Zulily.
18/ 12/ 16
Those of you who follow my Instagram feed (@morganaliana) have inevitably seen all my brand rep search posts by now. I stumbled across the world of brand repping on maternity leave and fell deep into the addictive repping universe. (Disclaimer: If you’re just here for cute pictures of my kid then don’t read…just view 🙂
For those wondering, brand repping is a way for kiddos, adults and even pets to represent items from small shops in exchange for discounted or items given to you. I don’t want to say “free items” because you do work for them.
Most searches are looking for well lit photos that highlight a shop’s products. It’s fairly simple and can be accomplished with your camera phone with the right lighting.
I’ve learned a few tips as a beginner rep and thought I would share if this interests you.
1. Only enter searches if you actually like their stuff. Really, you’re going to have a “they really like us” beauty queen moment when a shop picks you. It’s exciting, however if you don’t like their product and you sign a contract you may be obligated to buy items you don’t want.
2. Learn the lingo. Enthusiast is more “B” team status. They enjoy your feed, want to give you a nice discount. Reps are “A” team status where you typically are given items or a better discount. Both are good, Wave does both.
Terms usually last for 3 months or so. If you agree to rep you are to follow that shops rules during that time. Repost sales, sent pictures to them by a certain date, take so many pictures with the product, etc.
Loops are giveaways that followers like and follow an account making a full circle or “loop” to be entered for a drawing. A brand rep can pay a small fee to be part of the loop to boost followers. More followers helps in a rep search but be warned, some people will unfollow you quickly because they just wanted the prize. ? Dont be upset.
Hashtags bring people to your page but also group similar photos together or help you find things. #brandrepsearch is a great way to find searches and shops. It also lets you find other accounts for inspiration.
A lot of times you will see features. This is when a shop shares a photo a brand rep or customer took. Features are what you are shooting for. It shows that the shop owner likes the way you styles their product and increases your chance of staying on for future terms.
3. Look at the shops whole newsfeed and store before diving in. How many followers do they have? What kind/style of photos do they post? How much do the items cost? Are they made by hand or retail? Are the terms of the search resonable?
4.There is a community for brand reps. We are part of @igbrandreprefferal. They offer features on their page that a ton of small shops follow so it’s an easy way to be noticed. You’re also placed into a group where you can swap ideas, learn about searches and grow as a rep. Very very helpful and knowledgeable.
We didn’t magically get a ton of new shops right away signing up, however I’ve learned from the community, my photos are better and it helps shop know you’re professional. Think of your feature as a digital resume where people can go and state how great you are, strengths, etc. Check out their feed.
I’m sure you’re thinking, “Isn’t this just modeling?” I don’t see it that way. Some accounts do use backdrops and lighting and have more of a studio feel. I personally am taking the photos anyways so getting to dress Wave in cute outfits and support small businesses is a win win. I try to keep my Instagram feed clean and lifestyle themed. Some photos are a little staged but we live in the moment and I want to capture that.
Ready to dive in yet? Follow us on Instagram @morganaliana for more info!
09/ 10/ 16
It’s not a secret, I haven’t stayed home much since having the baby. I’ve been enjoying this season and sharing it with baby Wave. From festivals to the smells of the season she’s been well cultured the past few weeks.
We hit up the the pumpkin patch and snapped a family photo.
We’ve visited the local orchard and picked up a few apples and some cider. I’m not a pumpkin spice fan but give me apple cider any day, hot or cold!
We’ve hit up several festivals like the Ozark Craft Fair, Apple Butter Making Days and Farm Fest. These are all local to our area.
But this is how we spent most of the time at all these festivals.
We’ve decorated the shouse for the fall season, I’ve already managed to kill a few mums so nothing new there. Aren’t they supposed to be hearty?
Waverlee and I have played around with some fall pictures too.
04/ 10/ 16
Clever name isn’t it? When researching for baby products for baby Wave, I stumbled across this beauty on Pinterest. Yep, leave it to Pinterest for baby research.
I honestly scoured for bad reviews on this thing. Want to know why? Because I knew I really wanted one but the price had me a little hesitant. I couldn’t find a SINGLE bad thing said about this product. Nothing. I looked. So many moms and dads gave testimonies of how awesome this item is. And I was sold.
So, months ago this beautifully packaged co-sleeper arrived at our door. Waverlee is 5 weeks old now and we’ve used it every single day.
So let me break down how versatile this little genius invention is. It’s designed to make baby feel comfortable, like still in the womb comfortable. Like there’s no crying in the Dock A Tot comfortable. It’s won numerous awards and passed above and beyond safety testing. You can read all about it on their website.
So far I’ve used it for her naps and sleeping next to our bed at night (we aren’t co-sleeping with her in our bed). The convenient handles on the side allow for easy access in the middle of the night while nursing.
I have a super handy Pack-n-Play, however if you’re fighting between purchasing one or the other, I might sway towards the Dock. It’s light weight, easy to clean, and you don’t have to worry about folding anything. It’s all one piece and easy to throw in the car or even take on a plane. The Dock A Tot Deluxe is designed for up to 50 pounds and the Grand is for kiddos over 50 pounds. I’ve taken our Dock to my parent’s lake cabin a couple of times instead of grabbing the Pack-n-Play or Rock-n-Play and it’s been flawless. Also makes it easy for going up and down stairs. You already have so many things to pack, why make it more difficult on yourself?
We also use it for our bath time routine. Since I use the kitchen sink right now, I can have her towel sitting on top of the Dock on my counter and transition her to something comfortable but easy for me to get a slippery baby dry.
So what about cleaning the thing? Because having a baby triples your laundry! I was pretty intimidated to wash the cover to be honest. It looked difficult at first glance. It wasn’t though, easy off and easy on. Just a zip and click of the snap. Just another perk. They have such cute cover options too if you want to buy a spare between washings.
*Dock A Tot generously gave The SLP Caravan a discount for an honest review.
17/ 05/ 16
Here’s a list of my recent favorite profiles I’ve found on Instagram that I love and you will too! Click on their handles below to follow. Photos are from their feed. Please click on photos for original Instagram sources!
I love this mom. Clean white photos of the daily ins-and-outs of her sweet girls. She has an online shop where she sells a few clothing items and baby bracelets. I’ve found the best baby products stalking her photos and blog. I appreciate that she tags everything in case I want to purchase the items. STALKING. Total groupie.
Such. Cute. Bows. Handmade, both trendy and classic. I am using a dream catcher as a mobile in the nursery, she makes some sweet ones too. Her new online shop opens soon.
I’m not wishing away time here, but when my kiddo is big enough for a sippy cup I will be all over these. They would make great gifts too. Two options include sippy cup or tumbler with straw. Makes it really easy to know “Whose cup is this?” since you can choose a personalized insert.
The photos alone are worth following over. Such cute baby pics in tropical and pool side locations. These hats are handmade and provide 50+ SPF for baby. She also has trucker hats available in her shop. Great accessory for boys and girls, however this is one shop in my opinion has more boy products. Rare, I know!
This shop recently had a big-o-sale and sold out of the necklace I wanted. Their Instagram account is an easy way to keep up with re-stock and future promotions.They offer teething necklaces and bracelets in both bold and neutral colors. The styles of the beads are also bold or subtle with a broad variety.
This a great resource for nursery inspiration. They feature designer nurseries and children’s rooms but they also have an online gallery for anyone to upload photos of their nursery projects giving you 100’s of pages of creativity and an easy to navigate filter system. Only want to see boy-sports nurseries? No problem.
I can’t say enough about these products. Waverlee has 2 teethers and a personalized push car and I love them. I’ve bought a few baby shower gifts from them too. Hand crafted wooden toys, rattles and teethers that will last. Ditch the plastic toys and buy a keepsake that will last. Bonus, they only make the creative noises your child expresses through their imagination.
Babylist is the only registry I chose so far. It honestly will probably be my only registry. I am a little nervous about only having a registry that is online, however I love that I can add anything to it, from any store. It shows the lowest price offered for the item and gives multiple store options where the item is available. They also have a section in the registry for friends and family to offer to bring meals, clean, do laundry, etc. This is a neat feature especially if family is wanting to set up a meal delivery.
Baby Moccs are very popular in all sizes, shapes and colors. Sweet n Swag just launched their newest styles on their site. They also offer little moccasin booties. If you are looking for moccs beyond the traditional “brown swede” color then this is your shop.
Baby swaddles are an essential for a new baby, however Modern Burlap blankets are off the map. They have scripture swaddles, calendar swaddles where you can track how old the baby is by month/week/year or buy one from baby’s birth month. I really enjoy the saying blankets too. They all have a minimalist feel.
08/ 05/ 16
Happy Mother’s Day to one hott mama!
We love your giving heart, your advice (even if we don’t want it) and your constant passion to care and encourage.
Thank you for sharing your decorating skills and love for Little House on the Prarie with me.
I’m so excited you’re going to be one hott Mimi soon!
Love you, Mo