Picnic Day with Healthy Times

 

Processed with VSCO with m5 preset Processed with VSCO with m5 preset

Motherhood is such a beautiful rollercoaster. One day we think we’ve got it all figured out, and the next day your kiddos have moved on to the next phase. It’s hectic and ever changing. They are growing, and we are growing along with them. And boy, they are growing so fast! It’s so easy to forget during the day when you are running around making sure that everyone is happy and healthy. That’s why it is so important to slow down and make time to enjoy them.

One thing I have been working on is making time to go on dates with each of my boys. It had been on my mind for a while, and I was finally able to go on my first date with Bryce. He chose to go to the park, and I decided that we should have a picnic as well! So I brought a blanket and some Healthy Times Hugga Bear Cookies along with us.

Healthy Times Hugga Bear Cookies have been our go-to snack lately. Not only do the boys love them because of their fun shapes, but I love that they have calcium, B vitamins, zinc and iron – all the vitamins and minerals they need in a cookie. They are also non-GMO Project verified, which gives me such peace of mind.

Processed with VSCO with p5 presetProcessed with VSCO with m5 preset Processed with VSCO with m5 presetProcessed with VSCO with m5 preset

It was such a perfect Fall day, and I was so glad I was enjoying it with my boy. We played in the leaves, took a walk, went down the slide together, had conversations about tractors, and enjoyed some Hugga Bear Cookies together. All of Bryce’s favorite things! Of course, we couldn’t end the day without a great big bear hug.

It was such a simple little date, but it made him feel so special. It doesn’t take much to make our little ones happy. These are the moments they will remember for years to come. I look forward to going on more dates with my boys!

Where is your little one’s happy place? And what are some of the special things you guys do together?

Thank you to Healthy Times for sponsoring this post! All opinions are 100% honest & completely my own.

 

Holiday Photo Tips – Peyton & Parker

IMG_5165_Facetune_23-10-2018-14-16-21

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! I absolutely LOVE the holidays. I love them even more now that I am a mother though. I get to introduce my boys to all of my favorite holiday traditions from picking out a pumpkin to picking out a Christmas tree. There’s so many special and exciting things that are going to happen within these next few months, and you know I will have my camera ready to capture it all.

Taking photos of/with kiddos isn’t always the easiest task, but it is so worth it! I always end up sweating, but I like to think it counts as a work out. Our babies won’t always be this little, and I want to make sure I remember every stage. Theres a few things I like to do to make the photo-taking process a little easier.

IMG_5274

Here are the steps I go through when taking holiday photos:

Location

I always think of where we are going to take the photo first. Will it be indoors or outdoors? What time will the lighting be best? Lighting is so important when taking photos. Natural lighting is always my go-to whether we’re shooting indoors or outdoors. It’s usually best to shoot early in the morning or in the evening to avoid direct sunlight.

Outfits

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I am a big fan of matching with my boys. I love coordinating our outfits, especially when taking photos. I like to mix prints and textures to make things fun and interesting. In these photos, we are wearing a new line called Peyton & Parker that is exclusively at JCPenney. I am obsessed with this collection because they mix prints and textures so beautifully. You can pick up anything from their collection for everyone in your family and it will match. Their collection is so affordable as well. It makes shopping for holiday outfits so easy!

Preparation

To keep everything running as smoothly as possible some preparation is needed. Lay out your outfits, pack your snacks, make sure everyone is feed and comfortable prior to taking photos. I take most of my photos in my home, so I am sure to have the room clean and decorated before taking photos.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Decorating my home for Christmas is something I look forward to all year long. It’s so much fun, and I even like getting the kids involved (it’s such a great photo opportunity too). Peyton & Parker has some of the cutest signs and knitted stockings for Christmas! I also love their throw pillows and blankets. I’m sure I will be keeping those items out all year round. I love how the whole collection coordinates, even the home decor. Perfect for that Christmas card photo!

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Tripod & Remote

I take most of my photos myself thanks to my handy dandy tripod and remote! It makes things so much easier. I used to use the self timer, and found that I would get tired faster. Isn’t running after the kiddos enough?!

Have fun

I love engaging with my little ones while taking photos. Not only do those tickle sessions make the best memories, but they make the best photos too. Candid photos always end up being my favorite.

IMG_5240

If they are having fun, you are sure to have fun too. This Peyton & Parker banner was their favorite part!

 

ACS_0076

Thank you to JCPenney for sponsoring this post! Be sure to visit your local JCPenney store to get all your holiday needs or click here to check out the full Peyton & Parker line.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

 

Sharing Is Caring

Gavin has graduated from the “newborn/sleep all day” phase and is now moving on to the “crawling/getting into everything” phase. He is growing so fast and learning so much! He is now interested in pulling himself up on ALL of the things, interacting with us, and playing with toys. He recently said his first word (it was mama!) and loves to clap. He especially loves to play with his big brother, and that entails sharing.

Bryce has been the owner of all the toys in this home for about 3 years, and hasn’t had to share his toys very much until recently. And well, it has been a bit of a challenge for him. Changes are always challenging. I’m an adult, and they are even hard for me!

IMG_4299 2

So I’ve been teaching him that sharing is fun, and he has been seeing this sharing business in a new light. He usually claims all of the toys as his, but when we opened up this package from IncrediBundles they were immediately having a blast together. We got the Toddler Play & Learn Bundle, which includes a set of classic wooden ABC/123 blocks for stacking, a colorful wooden shape sorter toy, and a wood tone slit drum. They were making music and building block towers (well, Gavin’s job was actually to knock them over) most of the day.

Processed with VSCO with m5 preset

I love to tell Bryce how smart he is. He really is such a smart cookie. So I’ve been telling him to teach Gavin everything he knows. He sure loves to share his knowledge! He has been using the toys from this Toddler Play & Learn Bundle to teach Gavin about the different shapes, colors, letters, and numbers. He’s even getting him ready for their future garage band! Bryce plays the drum and Gavin just bangs his little hand on whatever is in front of him. Bryce seems to be doing an excellent job at teaching his little bro the ropes!

Processed with VSCO with m5 preset

I love seeing my boys play together, and I love how much this Toddler Play & Learn Bundle from IncrediBundles has helped them bond. Everything in this bundle is educational, fun, and colorful. These toys came in a cute, reusable container, which has also been so much for them to play with. I know my kids aren’t the only ones who are fascinated with boxes! This box is perfect for storing toys and books too.

Processed with VSCO with m5 preset

We still have our “mine!” moments, but we’ve been making so much progress. So how did you you teach your little ones to share? And what things do your kiddos like to do together? I’d love to hear your experiences and tips!

Thank you to IncrediBundles for kindly sponsoring this post. All opinions are 100% honest & completely my own.

When the Baby’s Asleep, the Mom will Drink her Coffee

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

I’m sure you’ve all heard of the saying “when the cat’s away, the mice will play.” Well for moms it’s “when the baby’s asleep, the mom will drink her coffee… or clean, or shower, or watch Netflix, or do whatever keeps that mom sane!” And all in peace!

Oh but even when the baby is sleeping, we are always thinking about them and wanting to keep a close eye on them. One thing I’ve found to be so important is to have a video monitor. I’ve owned several video monitors in my day, but none of them have been as amazing as the Summer Infant Baby Pixel™ video monitor. This monitor has so many cool features that make it a keeper!

One of my favorite features is the SleepZone™ Virtual Boundary. This feature senses your baby’s movement and alerts you when the safe boundary is breached. This boundary is displayed as a red box around your baby on the monitor (you can check it out on the photo below). It will alert you if your baby moves or tries to escape, or even if a sibling or pet is trying to get into the crib. This feature really gives me peace of mind, and I love that it gives me the freedom to look away from the monitor.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Another one of my favorite features is the 360Tilt™ Camera Steering. This feature allows you to move the camera by tilting the monitor up, down or side to side. So convenient, right?! I can’t tell you how many times I have had to go into ninja mode to go fix the camera while the baby is sleeping. Sometimes my ninja skills would fail me, and I would wake up the baby. Cue the face palm. Now I don’t have to worry about that thanks to the Baby Pixel™!

IMG_3161

And just when you thought the Baby Pixel™ couldn’t get any better, IT DOES! I haven’t mentioned it yet, but the Baby Pixel™ is a touchscreen video monitor. It is the first touchscreen monitor I’ve ever owned, and it makes it so much easier to navigate. It also has a feature called the Moonlite™ Night Vision Boost, which can be activated to see the baby more clearly. With my ex-monitors, there have been times when I have had to turn on a light (which would wake up the baby) because the night vision was poor quality.  With this feature, the room can be completely dark and I can still see my baby in color if I wanted to.

There are just SO many things I love about the Summer Infant Baby Pixel™ video monitor! It has so many features that I haven’t had in other video monitors in the past, and they make a world of a difference.

Thank you to Summer Infant for kindly sponsoring this post. All opinions are 100% honest & completely my own.

 

A Big Boy Bath With Summer Infant

Processed with VSCO with m5 preset Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Bath time has always been Gavin’s favorite time of day, and I think I’m switching my favorite from nap time to bath time thanks to the My Bath Seat™ from Summer Infant. He gets to play and sit up in his comfy seat while I have an easier time bathing him with both hands free. Everyone wins!

Processed with VSCO with m5 preset Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

He graduated from the sink bath and is now moving on to bigger baby things. It’s so bittersweet but also so exciting to see him growing and doing new things like rocking on all fours and sitting up. If your baby is at the same stage, the My Bath Seat™ is perfect for the transition to an adult tub. The 360 degree support allows him to be comfortable while playing. Gavin loves splashing around with both of his hands. I guess I’m not the only one who is hands free!

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Bath time is not only fun for him, but it’s pretty therapeutic for me too. I love playing with Gavin while I’m bathing him. I’m glad the My Bath Seat™ frees up both of my hands for this reason! Our days are always so busy, but bath time is such great time to slow down and connect with him.

Thank you to Summer Infant for kindly sponsoring this post. All opinions are 100% honest & completely my own.

Disclosure: As a parent, you should NEVER leave baby unattended and ALWAYS keep baby within your reach.

Our Mission To Find a Christmas Tree

72572227-B464-4BBE-8CB2-361C769C48A8

Our outing to find a Christmas tree sure felt like a mission with two little ones in tow (we’re still getting used to the two kid life), but we found the one! This is our first real Christmas tree! We were so excited to go real this year, and it has definitely been living up to the hype. Smells so good and feels like part of the family already. What will we do when Christmas is over?!

Processed with VSCO with m5 preset

As you can see, Bryce was much more interested in running around than choosing a tree. I spent most of the time running after him (he’s always making sure I get my exercise haha), but I’m so excited to make this a new tradition for our little family. I’ll treasure these moments forever, and I know he will too.

We recently moved to Petaluma from Modesto for my husband’s job (they are about three hours away from each other), and we are finally settling in to our new place. We loved visiting this Christmas tree farm! It was one of the cutest ones I had ever seen. We are loving our new town so far. We are close to lots of beautiful places like San Francisco and Point Reyes, and I can’t wait to take my boys out for some fun adventures. It’s nice to get to know the area more. It feels a little bit more like home every passing day.

Here’s a glimpse of our living room, and there’s our Christmas tree in all of its glory. We still have quite a few changes to make to this space: we’re waiting for a new sofa and planning on purchasing a new rug. I will be sure to show you guys the finished product, but here’s what we have so far. Do you guys have any suggestions on where I can find the perfect rug? I look forward to hearing them!

XO,

Marlyn

Sweet Sound

Outfit details: Dress- Sweet Symphony Dress c/o Paint the Town // Belt- Another Line // Shoes- Preview

Music has been a love of mine ever since I can remember. I especially love when a song comes on and it takes you back to a moment. I have lots of great memories that involve music. When I was about 9 years old, my sister and I would record ourselves singing on cassettes. My favorite recording was when we sang Every Morning by Sugar Ray. There were lots of laughs and goofy memories made during those recordings. I also love coming home to my guitar after a long day at work. Such a great way to wind down and just relax.
So when I saw this dress, I felt like it was made for me! I’m a sucker for cute prints, and Paint the Town totally nailed it with this simple yet playful print. This dress is so comfortable so it will be perfect for work. I spend most of my life at work, which is why comfort is such a priority for me. I also love that it can be fancied up with a pair of heels for a night out with my sweetheart. Oh and last but definitely not least, it has pockets! A dress with pockets beats a regular ol’ dress any day! I know all of you ladies can agree with me.
Well I am off to wait for the hubby to get off of work so we can go on a dinner date. We’ll probably come home and do some puzzles since that is what we’ve been into these days. Then tomorrow I plan on doing a whole lotta nothing and maybe some thrifting. This has been such a long week so sleeping in and doing nothing is much appreciated. Hope you all have a lovely weekend!