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I’m partnering with Bayer on today’s sponsored post as a part of their company-wide, award-winning initiative Making Science Make Sense® (MSMS).

Bayer Making Science Make Sense

Summer has been amazing with our two boys. Ezra is at a very interested and curious age. I constantly say to my husband “This is my favorite age” about both of our boys. There is something special in every age and stage of childhood from my experience.

But, I will say that Bodhi’s age (he’s four and in preschool) is amazing. The curiosity, growth, learning and development that happen are just mind-blowing for me as a parent of a little boy who was just my baby.

He loves to do things. From cooking and baking to exploring and creating, hands on activities are where it’s at for him.

Making Science Make Sense

Bodhi’s main interest is animals. He has loved them for years. Every birthday party has been about animals (or dinosaurs) and his preference is to read animal books and watch animal documentaries. When we traveled to Sri Lanka, his favorite part was definitely visiting the elephant orphanage and feeding the elephants. Every interest, mention and question he has is an opportunity for learning and growth.

Bayer’s Making Science Make Sense® (MSMS) initiative is amazing. It allows students to learn science by doing science through hands-on, inquiry-based experiences that involve observing, experimenting, hypothesizing, analyzing and testing. Bayer creates exciting, hands-on lessons for kids starting in elementary school to ignite their scientific curiosity at a young age. Studies show that this timing is the best chance to get students interested in the subject and to foster their science literacy skills.

Bayer Making Science Make Sense (1 of 5)
As a mom of a preschooler, I wanted to share five ways to get kids excited about science during the summer. There are so many wonderful options all around us. Read More »


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I am writing this post in exchange for a discounted conference ticket to SoFabU on the Road; however, all opinions are mine and mine alone. #CollectiveBias #SoFabUOTR #Ad

Blogging as a career

As a fairly seasoned blogger, I love to share resources with others who would like to turn their blogs into either a part-time income or even a full-time career like I have. If you are not a blogger or not interested in becoming one, check back again tomorrow for a post relevant to all. :)

A Coffee Date: Monday morning ramblings

One hugely important aspect of blogging is education. Technology changes quickly and so does blogging. I have found that attending conferences is a great way to get up to speed on new technology, ideas and is the way I get re-energized about my career and about creating the best blog possible. For those of you who are newer bloggers or even those of you who have been doing it a while, I have to share about a blog conference that is coming to Minnesota (and for my non-Minnesotan readers, the conference is in several other cities as well!).

From Social Fabric comes SoFabU on the Road! The Minneapolis conference is Aug. 29 beginning at 8:30 a.m. at Mall of America, Executive Center. Local bloggers Marybeth Hamilton and Sarah Mock are the keynote speakers. I attended a very small happy hour with Marybeth recently, and besides being incredibly charming, she is a blogging for income expert.

SoFabU on the Road is a unique event that allows influencers to take advantage of educational opportunities that will help set them apart from the rest. SoFabU on the Road features hands-on, interactive sessions for influencers to implement what they’re learning on the spot. The sessions are paired with fun city-specific adventures where attendees get to practice their newly learned skills. Events are open to all bloggers and influencers! And be sure to let me know if you will be there! Read More »


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A list of the best Audiobooks for women

I’m publishing this post today to share my favorite audiobooks with you. I mentioned last week that I have transformed my commute by listening to audiobooks during my long drive times.

These are the audiobooks I consider to be the best audiobooks for women and parents as I read (listen) them over the next few weeks/months. I have found audiobooks to be a great way to “read” the books I’ve had on my night stand, Kindle or on my list for a long time. I also find that I’m learning, developing and growing by listening to audiobooks on my long commute each day. For this, I’m very thankful.

I will update this post frequently so feel free to check back for more recommendations. I will also link over here from my Coffee Date series. If you don’t already have Audible to listen to audiobooks, consider a free trial. You can try Audible and get two free audiobooks.

Audiobooks I love for women (most of them are completely appropriate for men as well)

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. See yesterday’s post for details on this.

Better than Before: Mastering the Habits of our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin. This one really helped me get in the habit of running again and a few other positive habits. I shared more about this one here.

Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin. Another great option with a focus on making small changes that make everyday life at home simply better.

The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You by Jessica N. Turner. I just started this one, but so far I really like it. I’ll remove it if I change my mind but as of now this one is a winner.

Audiobooks I love for parents

No Bad Kids, Toddler Discipline Without Shame by Janet Lansbury. This is a great book if you want to take a new approach to discipline. I’ve found it to be incredibly helpful with Bodhi and the approach is starting to come into play with Ezra as well.

Hands Free Mama: A Guide to Putting Down the Phone, Burning the To-Do List, and Letting Go of Perfection to Grasp What Really Matters! by Rachel Macy Stafford.  This is another one I just started but it gets rave reviews and I like it so far.

I’ve listened to a few others, but they weren’t worthy of a recommendation. This list will be frequently updated and shared. Let me know if you have favorites I should consider.

Affiliate links included. 


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Decluttering your closet

I recently listened to The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up on Audible. At first, the book wasn’t all that impressive but when the author got to the heart of the method of tidying/decluttering/discarding, it hit me! It was exactly what I wasn’t doing and what I needed to do. If you don’t currently feel like you have time to read, consider trying audiobooks. I’ve had great success and have “read” five really helpful books since Ezra started childcare simply by listening while driving. Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks.

Without giving away the method, I wanted to share that I was able to finally truly go through all of my clothes for the first time, possibly ever. The author’s method really helped me to let go of memories, of the “maybe I’ll wear it” excuses, of the “it’s fine even though it has a hole” arguments or “I’ll wear it to garden or lounge around.”  Read More »


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Coordinating kicks and summer fun with my kids

I’m a shoe lover through and through. I love getting the boys matching shoes and even enjoying coordinating a bit with them myself. I recently picked up a few pairs of Converse shoes at Famous Footwear, including my favorite summer shoe, the women’s Chuck Taylor All Star Shoreline Slip On Sneaker. I own two pairs and LOVE them. Comfy. Adorable. Easy. And the best part: They don’t let sand in at the playground. I’m so excited to be partnering with Famous Footwear on today’s sponsored post.

Summer fun and matching kicks with Famous Footwear #OhSoFamous

My boys love going to the park or playing on our playset. Bodhi is older and climbs, runs and practices the monkey bars. Ezra loves to go up and down the stairs over and over again. He also really enjoys the sand. We spend at least an hour every afternoon after childcare playing actively as a family. We check out new parks, find new ways to play at home, invite friends over, go to friends’ homes and more. It is my favorite way to spend Summer afternoons. And I’ve learned that playing is such a great way to be in the moment with our kids. Ditch the phone. Ditch expectations and just enjoy!

Summer fun and matching kicks with Famous Footwear #OhSoFamous

And while I love dressing my boys up, I find that for our every day lives, simple style is best. A cute T-shirt, shorts and a great pair of shoes is all we need. These kid and toddler Converse options stand out and make a simple outfit a stand-out outfit, in my opinion. Read More »


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Planning for Alyssa's wedding

I am one of two Maids of Honor (technically Matron, but we’re going with Maid) for my cousin Alyssa’s upcoming nuptials! In the photo above, I am laughing at her AMAZING speech at our wedding. It was the perfect mix of hilarious and touching. I have a lot to live up to at her wedding.

She and I grew up just blocks apart so she is what we call my “sister from another mister” for sure. We spent nearly every day together in elementary school and high school. We spent at least a couple nights a week at each other’s houses and we have always been incredibly close. She now lives just a few miles away. Alyssa has been engaged for a couple of years and decided just a few weeks ago to have a New Year’s Eve wedding. I think it’s going to be magical, incredible and just perfect. But, we only have about six months to pull it all off.

Middle Sisters Wine and a porch wedding planning date (3 of 5)

Alyssa, her sister and I have been having many long conversations via text to sort through details, but we recently decided to get together for wedding planning regularly. My task is to help get bridesmaid dresses ordered, figure out what the two cutie ring bearers are going to wear (B is one of them!) and help with a “photo booth” backdrop as well as a dessert table backdrop plus with general layout. It’s SO MUCH FUN!

Middle Sisters Wine and a porch wedding planning date (1 of 5)

The best way to get together is to enjoy a glass of wine (or two) on my porch. Alyssa is the middle child of her family and has always felt that way. Middle Sister Wines felt like the perfect bottle to share with her as we went over possible bridesmaid dresses, invitation wording and the master wedding planning list. Read More »


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Minions movie prescreen and a giveaway with General Mills

Bodhi and I were invited to the pre-screening of Minions in 3D with General Mills this week. We had a great night. There is nothing quite as fun as getting alone time with my big boy. It’s rare and such a treat.

Minions movie prescreen and a giveaway with General Mills

I remember a week or so after Ezra was born, things were going really well, but I couldn’t shake this gross feeling of missing Bodhi so bad and wanting to hold him. I was incredibly joy-filled over the birth of our baby and was feeling really great but I almost grieved the loss of having only one child and having time with him alone, if that makes any sense. As weeks and months passed, things improved. And now that Ezra is one and I can leave him a bit more, I am able to get plenty of good time with both boys. I haven’t felt that loss in a long time, but it was something pretty unexpected for me.  Read More »


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Three ways to improve your commute

If you read yesterday’s post, you know that I am now driving the boys to and from childcare every day. I spend 25-30 minutes each way thanks to a major freeway nearby being under road construction for the foreseeable future, so that’s nearly two hours a day in the car. Obviously, the commute is better when I have a cup of coffee or a nice La Croix, but something just wasn’t right and I couldn’t imagine going on like this. Instead of just feeling bitter about the wasted time (as I did the first week), I finally found some ways to improve my time in the car each day.

Part of my problem is that simply listening to music, while fun, wasn’t productive at all and felt like a waste of time, just as much as driving did already. I’m a doer. I feel like I should constantly be accomplishing something. This trait can be positive (when on deadline) and negative (on vacation, for example or on the weekends when I should really just focus on my family). I can rarely stop checking things off of my to do list. It’s a bit of a burden, really.

After a week of frustration with the time spent in the car, I knew I needed to find something to make this time less of what I considered to be a waste. I found a few great ways to pass the time that were not only enjoyable, but were also productive in a way. Read More »


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A Coffee Date: Monday morning ramblingsIt’s Monday afternoon already after a lovely long weekend spent with my three boys and lots of friends. Grab a cup of coffee and take a break with me. I want to chat a bit about some changes in our lives plus how my days and weeks are as a freelance writer.

A coffee date: A day in the life of a freelance writer

Our lives have changed quite a bit in the past three weeks. It may not seem like a huge deal, but Ezra started childcare. Having worked with minimal childcare help for nearly the entire first year of his life, I’m honestly having a hard time adjusting. I got used to rushing to get anything done during naps and hoping for the best (a long nap). I still tip-toe through the house and only catch myself 20 minutes later when I remember that Ezra isn’t home napping. He’s adjusted really well and I love that I can focus 100% on my boys when I pick them up in the afternoon.

This has been a positive change for our family, although I had a massive amount of guilt and gross feelings during his first week or two of childcare. I now feel very content with our decision. Working is very important to me.   Read More »


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Tracking PixelWe hosted Ezra’s first birthday party Saturday with 30 or so of our family and friends. I’m partnering with Gold Toe Ultra Soft, Oh. So. Soft. socks on today’s sponsored post. I’m excited to share a few photos from the party and chat about taking a breather after a busy few weeks.

Relaxing with Gold Toe (1 of 4)

The party was so relaxing as it was outside… the perks of having a summer baby! We have the most amazing people in our lives and we feel so thankful for them all. While the party was cute and fun, the most important thing was having all of these wonderful people surrounding us and our sweet baby.

Ezra's First Birthday_preview5

And while the party was relaxing once all the work was done, parties are so much work! Even when I keep it “chill” as I like to say, I tend to go a little overboard. I really simplified food for the party but the decor and work leading up to it took a lot out of me.

Ezra's First Birthday_preview7

I spent this week so far just taking a bit of a breather. I’ve had work to catch up on and instead of sitting in my office, I’ve been working out on my front porch with 75 degree days and relaxing in my Gold Toe Ultra Soft, Oh. So. Soft. socks. Read More »

 
 
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