In Travel

24 Hours in Washington, D.C.

24 hours in Washington DC, Family Trips, Vacation with One Child, Single Parent VacationA while back I had to make a quick trip to D.C. for work. I took the oldest with me for a short overnight trip. We arrived on a Sunday afternoon; most of the stores were closing by the time we arrived, with us leaving early the next day we didn’t have any opportunities to check out landmarks, but we did walk around Georgetown.

The drive up was pretty hectic, traffic, traffic and more traffic. But we eventually made it and even stopped along the way for a few pictures.

 

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How Self Discovery Led Me to Become A Better Mother

 

 

 

 

Growing up being a mom was something I looked forward to more than anything else. I couldn’t wait for the day to have kids of my own. When I had my first child there were days that were so beautiful that I knew being a mother was meant for me; then there were other days that seemed as if I had been thrust into the pits of hell and I couldn’t figure out what on Earth ever prompted me to have kids. I had one of those rough days last week where I was completely drained. I had a couple crazy days at work, my house was a mess, I had barely slept, B was whining over everything and I just broke down. I called Cody and was like I need you to take the kids – I need a couple hours to myself.

Even 13 years later I still have those pits of hell days. There was one day in particular last week where I just couldn’t pull it together no matter what I did. My house looked like a train wreck, I literally ordered take out all week long, and I was just over everything. On top of not being able to sleep because I was stressed out and overwhelmed, I finally cracked and had a complete break down in my husband’s arms.  It was then I realized that I wasn’t taking care of myself like I should be.

I know I have written about the importance of self-care before. This is such an easy and important topic to write about, however, making sure you do it is a completely different beast.

Pre-kids I would always set time aside for me. Even with the first couple of kids I always made sure that I took time for myself. Whether it was going to get my hair done or getting a massage. However, since #3 and 4, it has been very difficult for me to always get the time I need to take care of myself.

We often don’t realize that by not taking care of ourselves, not only are we hurting us, we are hurting our family as well.

12 Ways To Increase Your Happiness & Become a Better Mother

  1. GET ENOUGH SLEEP – If you aren’t getting enough sleep, you need to do everything in your power to ensure you start. This whole notion of “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” is absolutely ridiculous. Lack of sleep contributes to a lot of issues, but most importantly overall it just isn’t good in the grand scheme of things.  When I don’t get a full night sleep needless to say I my patience is short and my attitude is bad. Because of this I actively try and make sure I get as much sleep as possible. Granted I work between 6pm-Midnight, at the latest 1 am. And I will often sleep until 6 am. My kids will sleep until 8 am, so I can often sleep in longer if I have nothing to work on, but I like to get up before them and get in a bit of yoga and enjoy a cup of coffee.
  2. HAVE YOU TIME – You need time to yourself! I don’t always have the opportunity to get out during the day like I used to, so I have to get it in where I can fit it in. As previously mentioned that is before the kids wake up.
  3. DONT COMPARE YOURSELF – Social media has a way of making us feel inept or inadequate about our parenting. But the last thing we need to do is compare ourselves to other. As someone who has been in the blogging and social media game for a while, a lot of times these things are staged simply for social media. So just because a picture shows someone with a picture perfect home and Pinterest worthy cooking, that doesn’t mean they aren’t having a hard time.Remember social media is such a small glimpse of people’s lives!
  4. LEARN TO LAUGH – Parenting is tough, but instead of dwelling on how hard it is, learn to laugh. Even in the moments of chaos, a good laugh can make you feel better.
  5. GET READY FOR THE DAY – While it’s all good to wear the standard mom uniform (yoga pants and a tee), every now and then you want to actually want to get dressed. Do your hair and your makeup. It’s not about looking good for anyone, but getting dressed can instantly make you feel better. A good shower and a fresh look are all you need! Embrace the glow up!
  6. WAKE UP EARLY – Waking up early was probably one of the best things I have done for my well being. I absolutely need that time to myself before my kids get up. Being with them 24/7 literally is tough enough as it is, so I always make the extra effort to get in as much time to myself as possible.
  7.  BE GRATEFUL – As with learning to laugh, it’s also important to be grateful for all the moments, both big and small, good and bad that occur.
  8. GET OUT OF THE HOUSE – I am really bad at sitting in the house for days on end (sometimes weeks) with out going anywhere. But it’s important for your sanity and your kids to make sure you get out of the house. You need and the kids both need a change of scenery. Even if it’s just a walk around the neighborhood. You don’t have to drive somewhere, but it’s just important to make sure that you at least try to get out every few days.
  9. ENCOURAGE OTHER MOMS –It’s important for you to recognize you are not alone. If you have friends or family members who are young mothers connect with them and talk about what’s going on. Often times you will find that you are not the only one going through the pits of motherhood. It’s become so taboo that often times we hold it in, so that we can all pretend we have this picture perfect Pinterest-type life, not realizing that by not talking about it, we are doing ourselves and other mothers a disservice.
  10. LET IT GO – Don’t stress about being picture perfect. If something is a mess and you just aren’t feeling doing anything don’t stress getting it done. Whether it’s picking up the house, or finishing those emails for work, sometimes you just need to let it go. You don’t have to try and be super mom.
  11. DON’T FORGET YOUR SPOUSE – It’s important that the two of you continue to take time out for one another. Even if you can’t have regular date nights, try and have one outing at least twice a month. The rest of the time you can always have in-home date nights with one another.
  12. LISTEN TO THEM LAUGH – Embrace this time when they are little. Children grow up so quickly and before you know it they will be off to college. Have fun, get messy and laugh a lot!

These 5 Digital Habits Are Rapidly Aging You

 

 

 

Instead of holding a phone or tablet in your face, sometimes you have to keep it old school and read a newspaper. 

Social media is a gift and a curse. I often find myself spending hours on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, simply chatting with others (it’s kind of my job). However, the hours that I spend in front of my laptop, iPad, or on my cell phone, are doing some serious damage to my overall well-being. On top of that, it is also ruining your skin. Read more

6 Ways You Can Improve Your Health Right Now

20 Ways To Improve Your Health Right Now

I am always looking for ways to improve my health.

This post is kind of a motivational kick in the pants for me. As I am typing this, I am eating a bowl of pasta and drinking a Coca-Cola. While not the unhealthiest combination, it’s not the healthiest either. I’ve been a kind of a rut lately, and while I generally try and stay cognizant of what I put into my body, this summer has been a little different.

The stress of life and the ends and outs of my being a chauffeur (yay summer break) has taken a toll on me. Although there are days where I am able to actually take my own advice and make sure I am implementing my self-care practices regularly, I will be the first to admit that there are weeks that go by when I don’t do it at all. Read more

4 Ways Busy Couples Can Make Time For One Another

4 Ways For Busy Couples To Make Time For Each Other

Busy couples are nothing new. It seems that more and more, I read about how difficult it is for partners to fit in enough time for one another, without taking away time from something (or someone, i.e. kids) else.

If I’m not working on one of my two blogs or handling 1983 (my small shop), then there is the never-ending duty of being mom and wife. My husband’s super busy 70 hour week work schedule, frequently keeps him away from home. All of this means that it is often little to no time for him and me to spend together. Some weeks we are lucky if we can even sit down and enjoy a movie together. Read more

The Best Etsy Shops for Handmade Princess Dresses

my favorite etsy stores for princess dresses

Over the years Audrey has acquired a lot of princess dresses. I started finding dresses on eBay, then one day while planning a shoot for a client I came across an amazing vendor on Etsy Heartfelt Costumes. She made some amazing dresses for my client’s fairy tale shoot and since I have ordered several more dresses from her.

Unfortunately, she’s on hiatus until next year (sad face), but there are a several other amazing Etsy vendors I highly recommend that I want to share.

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Mitchelville Beach Park: Hilton Head Island Hidden Treasure

Mitchellville Beach Park aka Freedom Park is located in Beaufort County on Hilton Head Island. This beautiful beach is definitely off the beaten path, with its undisturbed beach charm and nature trails, this is one place your family needs to visit.

With sweeping views of the sea and its abundant wildlife, we know why the locals have kept this place a hidden secret for so long.

FACT: The island’s slaves were freed in 1861 long before the Civil War ended. That’s right, this area was the very 1st free slave town in the United States. Hilton Head Island has a history as a safe haven and refuge for freed slaves before and after the Civil War.

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