My 5 Latest Obsessions!

1. Starbucks Tumbler

I was at the Starbucks in our grocery store the other day and this new pink tumbler totally caught my eye! Not ready to make the splurge I didn’t get it and thought about it all night so the next day I got one! Not a pink one since I decided it’s nice to be able to see how much is left in the cup. I got it filled for the first time and Oh My Gosh I am in love😍 If you’re an avid frappuccino drinker you know that the cup sweats as it melts and can make a mess and be annoying well with the tumbler this didn’t happen! Even while I was sitting at the park in the 105 degree weather my cup stayed cold but also dry – amazing!! I’m so glad I made the splurge! Head to your local Starbucks to check out the available designs and get a ten cent discount every time you use your cup!



2. Sweet Ava’s Paper

This ones for my planner girls! I have been ordering from Sweet Ava’s Paper on Etsy since October of 2016 and here’s why I’ve stayed a customer: 

  • Great original designs with the cutest brown haired girl named Ava (lots of other great characters too)
  • The colors are so vibrant and really pop in your planner
  • Always has a discount code for her Instagram followers ( @sweetavaspaper)
  • Quick shipping and super cute packaging

These are just a few reasons why I love this sticker shop. If you don’t use a Happy Planner or an equivalent but want fun stickers to use on a family calendar on the fridge definitely check out Sweet Ava’s Paper, place your first order and trust me you will be hooked!

Some of my favorites!

3. Sally Hansen Diamond Strength French Manicure Pen Kit

I’ve been neglecting my nails since we got to Arizona since I was constantly opening boxes and knew they would get ruined. Now that the unpacking is basically done I really wanted to give my nails a good French manicure but there was one problem, my nail polish was still in Pennsylvania. So I drug the kids along to Target, as if thats hard to do since they’re obsessed, to find a kit and to my surprise the only French manicure kit with everything needed for the perfect manicure was the Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Kit. I’m not going to lie I was hesitant because instead of a white nail polish bottle for the tips it included a French Manicure White Tip Pen.  I’ve never used the tip pen before but since the whole kit was only $9.99 I figured I’d give it a try. I did my nails last night and let me tell you the White Tip Pen is awesome! The instructions say to roll the pen along your tip but I did a dab method which worked really well. There are tip guides included if you arent comfortable doing the tips free hand. If you’re ready to conquer a French manicure by yourself this is the kit for you!

4. Cinnamon Roll Waffles

I was looking for some fun but easy 4th of July treats to make with my kiddos so I went to my Pinterest page to check out the boards I had created, you know the random things you pin then never look at again. Anyways on one of my food boards I saw Cinnabon waffles and they looked so easy I had to try it! All you need is a waffle iron and a tube of cinnamon rolls with the icing, preheat your waffle iron and separate all the cinnamon rolls from eachother.  Once the iron is ready place one cinnamon roll on each corner of the iron, close the iron and wait until it’s done and then take each corner off of the iron. Lather it up with some icing, which you don’t need to heat up because it melts as soon as it hits the warm waffle! They were so quick and easy to make that I can see this as a good school morning option to switch up breakfast. The only downside is you may need a few tubes of cinnamon rolls depending how many people you need to feed but if you get the store brand its still a really cheap option.




5. Outdaughtered
 

One night this week I was scanning the tv at night looking for something to watch and as typical summer tv schedules there was nothing so I clicked on TLC and instantly got hooked on the show “OutDaughtered”. Adam and Danielle are so normal and real that it’s enjoying to watch plus their girls are adorable! You get to go through their ups and downs with them and even though I only have two kids there are certain conversations between them that are so similar to conversations I have with my husband. If you are looking for a good real show head on over to TLC on Tuesday nights and hang out with the Bugsby’s!! 


If you already love or try out some of these obsessions let me know!

Happy Sunday!

Brittany

The Stay at Home Mom Stereotype

I need to take a minute to discuss the stigma/stereotype behind being a stay at home mom…


Quite frankly I’m sick of people asking what I do and when I say I’m a stay at home mom get this look of almost disgust. Now a days you hear great things about working mothers and they get all this praise because they work all day and take care of their family at night. This praise is rightly deserved as I’ve briefly been a working mom and I understand how hard it is to juggle it all. Now as a stay at home mom it so frustrates me that some how me staying with my children and taking care of my home has been so glorified that its not seen as a job. I may not get up and go to a 9 to 5 job but I can guarantee you I don’t spend my day sitting on the couch watching tv, going to the nail salon for a fresh mani and pedi, and having lunch everyday with my girlfriends.  Everyday I get woken up by my little bosses voices already making their demands. These little bosses don’t care if I need to pee or have to change out the laundry they want their juice when they want it and they don’t want excuses as to why they cant have it immediately. So as a stay at home mom not only are you acting as servant but you’re also the cook, the dishwasher, the cleaning service, the laundry service, the personal shopper, the taxi driver, the referee and most importantly the teacher and caregiver. Does it sound like a lot now? 

People wonder why I have my planner and believe in it so much and it’s because setting goals for yourself even when being a stay at home mom is so important. How am I going to get anything accomplished if I don’t have a plan? It is so easy to get sidetracked when you are constantly being asked for something or just simply being followed around that knowing what you want to get done keeps your day moving forward in a way that you ‘should’ feel accomplished when its over.

Planning aside its not easy.  The other day in one of my mommy Facebook groups a mom asked if any stay at home moms resent their husbands? I have nothing to hide since its a conversation my husband and I have had before and yes there are the occasional days where I resent that he gets to go have adult relationships and he can stop for his morning coffee without having kids in the back yelling that they want their own frappuccinos, yes I’ve created mini Starbucks addicts. On those days my husband likes to tell me that those adults he deals with act like children so really it’s the same.  I have to be honest and say its not because you arent wiping those kids asses, maybe kissing them but not wiping them (insert giggle). Sometimes the longing for adult interaction can leave you feeling lonely and sad, I cant wait for sports and school to start so we all can start meeting people in our new state. 

Not only does my husband get that adult interaction but he also gets to leave his job! He may get the occasional email which warrants a quick reply but as a stay at home mom my job never ends. Even after the kids are asleep I still usually have to pick up toys or wash dishes and make my husband lunch, the job is never over.

Another thing that frustrates me about the perception of stay at home moms is this expectation that everything should always be perfect. Like what makes anyone think that staying home with children ALL DAY will result in a perfectly clean home? I will never forget one of my fellow Heart mommies saying “I have kids and my house is lived in” which was in response to a negative comment about her home not being perfect. That’s the thing people forget we are home with our kids and we are living! We are playing games and doing crafts and occasionally mommy gets daring and tries to bake something cool, yes we have household chores but we also play entertainer most of the day and sometimes cuddling with your babes and having movie day is what everyone needs. 

In reference to cleaning today I had written in my planner that I wanted to; finish organizing the playroom, clean the floors and the bathrooms, and finish laundry plus whatever school worksheets I picked out from the kids workbooks.  I spent the morning with the kids and doing some laundry and then after lunch I started my tasks. It took me 5 and a half hours to do the playroom, bathrooms and downstairs floors because I got asked for juice 4 times, a snack 4 times, had to break up 6 fights, change the tv channel 3 times, wipe 1 butt, pick up toys I already put away twice and ignore the door bell because I was in the middle of Swiffer Wetjetting my floors and I just didn’t have time to deal with anyone. By the time I was done my husband was walking through the door I had to start dinner and never made it to the kids workbooks. Luckily this was a day where I didn’t need to run errands because then I would have been lucky if half of this got accomplished. Adding in 2 different school drop off and pick up locations and times and the kids dance and football schedules will have these tasks I accomplished in one day feel impossible in three weeks when chaos ensues. So for those thinking houses with stay at home moms should always be perfect need to reevaluate what actually has to be dealt with besides the cleaning itself and remember our kids are living and making memories.

And here’s another thing, at work when you do a good job you usually get acknowledged maybe by an email or in a meeting and on those special occasions recieve an award at an event and heck even sometimes its with a raise! That acknowledgment is good motivation to pump you up and keep you going strong and focused on doing a good job. All I want is for my kids to realize I cleaned all day and that when I ask them to pick up their toys before bed that the world isn’t going to end and mommy is just trying to make sure they have a clean place to play tomorrow – appreciation. Or how about instead of fighting with me over what I made for dinner (which you had no problem eating two weeks ago) you say thank you and just eat it – appreciation. It’s not hard to say thank you and give your wife a kiss on those days when you do walk in to a sparkly clean house. If you really want to blow her away surprise her with flowers or her favorite pastry and drink just because – appreciation. Feeling appreciated as a stay at home mom really is a feeling equal to getting a raise, especially when it’s a thank you from your child accompanied by a hug.

To be clear I love being able to be home with my kids and being able to be the one to teach them things like manners and to watch them grow a little bit everyday. I am blessed to have such a hardworking husband that I get to be in the position where I can drop off and pick up my kids from school and to be able to take them to their activities without having to worry about a work schedule. I love those days where we can get out of the house and go on fun adventures and make new memories. So yes being a stay at home mom has its perks but don’t think its a stress free easy life because I am here to tell you that glamourous perception you conjured up is wrong.

Keep it real,

– Brittany

PS – think before you speak 😳 


Should you join the planner community?

Let me start by saying regardless of your profession or how big your family is (aka how many kids you need to keep track of) there may be a form of planning for you. It’s a common misconception that because I’m a stay at home mom and don’t work a typical 9 to 5 job that I have no reason to plan the way I do. What could I possibly be keeping track of? Well here’s a list of the things I write in my planner:

  • My babysitting schedule
  • Kids school schedules
  • My daughters dance schedule
  • Dinner plan each night
  • TV show schedule
  • Fitbit steps
  • Household chores – vacuuming, laundry, dusting, clean bathrooms, etc.
  • Birthdays/anniversaries
  • Drs appointments
  • Typical family events
  • Sons sports schedules
  • Husbands coaching schedule
  • Basic list of tasks – phone calls that need to be made, things to be done on the computer or bills to mail
  • List of things we need at the store
  • Notes
  • Date nights!

For a stay at home mom I have plenty to keep track of! There are a lot of other ways to use a planner though. Some people use them for journaling while others use them as memory planners where they put in pictures and captions to remember their day. If you have fitness goals you might want to look into the specific fitness planner or there are free printables online that you could add to your everyday planner. Other people use them as faith planners where they keep track of bible studies and put the scriptures they may be specifically focusing on.  Then there are the students who use them for school and activities. Professionals even use them at work to keep track of tasks, deadlines and meetings. If you fall in one of these categories planning may be for you. Remember planning doesn’t need to be as creative or decorated as I make it. I choose to make my planner fun and set aside “me” time to decorate it but again that’s not necessary. 

Still not sure you should join the planner community? Think of the things you could keep track of and write them down. Remeber there are different size planners so if your list isn’t real long there can still be a planner for you! Just for reference I use a Big Happy Planner, there is also a Medium and a Mini which is great to keep in your bag while on the go!


Happy Planning!

          – Brittany

Why I Became a Planner

     Last July our schedule was crazy. The baseball team my husband coaches survived playoffs and extended their season by two weeks which meant an additional two weeks of snack stand food, driving, and sitting in the heat. By the time the season was over the list of things to do was growing. Next on the list was getting our son Brayden ready for 5 day preschool and figuring out how adding another babysitting family to the mix would work with the already 5 car seats in my SUV. Soccer registration was starting, my husband was deciding whether to coach or not, it was time to register my daughter for her first dance class and get her leotards, tights, and shoes and in the midst of it all we were planning a weekend trip to New York to visit family. Needless to say I was overwhelmed. I couldn’t get a grasp on everything going on.
Throughout the summer I had taken occasional trips to Michael’s and always stopped to check out these cute planners called Happy Planners. Not wanting to commit to the $35 expense I always just moved on and shopped for other stuff. Then one day I got an email that the planners were 40% off and I decided maybe this would make a difference in the stress I was having about our schedules and the mounting lists of things that needed to be done. That day I went to Michael’s bit the bullet and bought the big Happy Planner! Later I joined a Happy Planner group on Facebook and realized it was so much more then just writing my families schedule in the squares! Ladies made their planners beautiful with scrapbook paper, stickers, and washi tape, which I could never figure out the purpose of before! This would turn out to be the perfect creative outlet all while getting my family organized!
Later that weekend while we were in New York I spotted a Michael’s near the restaurant we were having dinner. After dinner we parted ways from our family members and we headed to Walmart to grab a few things for the night. Since we weren’t in a rush to get back to the hotel I expressed my desire to go to Michael’s (because now I knew I needed all the awesome extras) and before I knew it I was in the store picking out washi tape and stickers, my obsession had officially begun.
My Happy Planner has been a great outlet of stress and a perfect excuse for “me” time. Since my Planner purchase my family’s schedules have been organized and I feel like I have a good grasp on what I can accomplish in a week by seeing everything laid out. I know that planning may not be this awesome creative experience for everyone but if you’ve ever scrapbooked or just want to get your life more organized and under control some parts of Happy Planning may be for you and I hope throughout my blog you will find helpful tools and tips to get started!

Happy Planning!
Brittany

img_2557
My family on our New York trip at the Cornell Bird Sanctuary