PlaSmart Happyville Smart Mat + Giveaway

Thank you, PlaSmart Happyville Smart Mat, for sponsoring this post, PlaSmart Happyville Smart Mat. I was selected for this opportunity by PlaSmart Happyville Smart Mat; the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

PlaSmart Happyville Smart Mat

PlaSmart Happyville Smart Mat

PlaSmart Happyville Smart Mat

Are you already shopping for Christmas gifts this year? I know I am. It is literally the only way we stay sane during the holidays and it allows me to space out our spending over a few months and not just all at once. I know we are just getting to talking about fall festivities and fun, but Christmas is definitely already on my mind.

As we are redoing our basement to make it more functional and play-oriented for Ollie and our new baby on the way, I have been on the hunt for something that would help encourage imaginary playtime. There are tons of options out there for girls. Tea sets, kitchens, dolls to place house, you name it… however, I sort of feel like the options for boys are much imaginary-oriented. I want Ollie to have all of the dreams possible at hand and truly believe that helping facilitate imagination at playtime encourages this.

The Happyville Smart Mat by PlaSmart was just the special toy that I had been looking for, and would make a great Christmas gift for someone in your family!

The Smart Mat is a soft multi-purpose play mat made from coated EVA foam, suitable for kids of all ages. The first thing that stood out was the Smart Mat’s large size. I was so excited to see in real life what ground an 78″ x 46″ play mat would cover. For a mom with one very active toddler and another on the way, this is great for the future siblings to share without climbing all over one another. It is also great for moms who want to keep their baby on a clean, defined area, because this serves as a great alternative to spreading out a blanket. It is also super suitable for playrooms, story time, snack time, picnics, the beach, backyard, and even classrooms.

PlaSmart Happyville Smart Mat

PlaSmart Happyville Smart Mat

PlaSmart Happyville Smart Mat

The play mat offers a fun colorful space for imaginary and small world play. There are roads, a school, a car wash, fire stations, hospitals, and PlaSmart’s headquarters to visit through the Happyville “town”. Ollie, who is 15 months now, is loving taking his trucks all over town for a little visit, and I am so encouraged to know that there is so many years of play with this mat. As he gets older, he will be able to create “worlds” of his own, with people and storylines to navigate through the “town”. He will also be able to work on driving on the roads… which is definitely something that we have not quite picked up on yet.

The great news is if you plan on taking the Smart Mat on the road with you this holiday season, you’ll be glad to know that it is durable yet light weight. Plus, you can wipe it down to clean after each use super easily. And with a little boy who always find a way to make a mess, spill water, or step on a puff and allow it to crumble all over, that’s a major plus! Also, because it is so lightweight, it is easy to roll up for storage when not in use, and I do not have to have the husband’s help carrying it from floor to floor in our home even with this growing pregnant belly, weighing only 2 pounds!

Enter to win one for yourself below!!

PlaSmart Happyville Smart Mat

You can purchase the Smart Mat on Prime to get it super quick and wrapped up already for Christmas straight on Amazon or PlaSmart’s website.

Connect with PlaSmart on social media to learn more: on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Google+, & Pinterest.

PlaSmart Happyville Smart Mat

Bump Date :: 17 weeks

Week 17 Bumpdate

size of the baby ::  White Onion

total weight gain :: 2 pounds

gender :: Again, you’ll know soon. I’m getting more and more excited about getting this nursery ready now that we know…

maternity clothes :: We are headed to Florida this week so I’m digging out some of my maternity shorts for the trip!

movement :: Nope.

sleep :: Just hormonal! The tears are easier this time around and I have been living in my head at nighttime which is making sleep more difficult.

missing :: I am sure I would normally feel a bit limited at Disney because of the ride restriction on pregnant gals; however, with baby Ollie this time around, we are fairly limited on two fronts. It will help, I’m sure.

craving :: Lobster. Weird.

symptoms :: Just these darn hips. I went back to the chiropractor last week and saw a new guy. I told him what felt like my life story and medical history with my back pains and hip issues inside and outside of pregnancy. His response? Yes, there are some pains with pregnancy… on to find a new doctor. Knowing what I know now, that answer will not fly.

duston is :: Ready for a vacation. This past week was long and lots of meetings for him. He’s just ready.

looking forward to :: Well, Disney! Duh. I also just got this new pregnancy specific workout guide from Expecting and Empowered. They launch last week and I could not wait to get my hands on it. Tone It Up is great but not so specific for pregnancy, and I feel like I am modifying everything. I also finally got my old Jawbone UP replaced with an amazingly awesome FitBit. It is helping remind me to stay active in spurts during my busy day on the computer for work.

best moments :: We had a great time this past week. A friend blessed us by trimming up Ollie’s hair for free, a visit with another friend, some borrowed items for Disney that we now don’t have to buy, a great finance meeting and conversation with the husband, a chili night, bonfire, and bridal shower. Busy, but great!

Fashion For Your Fall Workout with prAna Clothing

Thank you, prAna Clothing, for sponsoring this post, Fashion For Your Fall Workout. I was selected for this opportunity by prAna Clothing; the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

prAna Clothing

* Use the code MMHBF17 to get 15% off your prAna purchases through 11/17/17 *

Working from home, I am all about comfy clothing. I know there is a ton of research that says you should wake up every morning and put on work clothes regardless of your working arrangements to keep you productive and active throughout the day. Honestly, this does not work for me. I like the idea of it, but the days that I put on my jeans, or even glance at a more formal attire, and then sit in my home office, I am uncomfortable and antsy the rest of the day. Do not get me wrong. I wake up and shower every morning before I even manage to drink my first cup of coffee; however, post-shower, I slip into a fresh pair of yoga pants as I am checking my first round of emails and hopping on my first conference call.

I also have noticed that the days that I put on my workout gear, I am 1000 times more likely to make it to the gym or complete that in-home workout. With this upcoming pregnancy, I am not only about comfort but something that I will feel pretty in to head to the gym, Starbucks, Target, and beyond. I also need something that looks fashionable for my video calls. I can definitely yoga pants all year around, but I want to make sure I am not frumpy on top for those chats.

That being said, I was ecstatic when I got the opportunity to try out some of prAna‘s new fall styles. prAna is a brand made for the adventurers and explorers of the world, which totally sounds like our lives. They strive for folks that lead active and sustainable lifestyles and hope to achieve the goal of providing items that you can put on in the morning and confidently wear all day long. Their clothes are versatile, stylish, and sustainable and they provide accessories that you can wear during every activity, every adventure, and every day.

I have chatted about how much sourcing your clothes are important before. It can make such a big impact to invest in sustainable clothing like prAna provides. It’s pretty inspiring that prAna maintains the integrity of its products by sustainably sourcing all the materials and being fair trade.

prAna Clothing

Deedra Sweater Tunic

The first thing I thought of when I saw this beautiful chunky sweater was sweater weather! I refuse to turn the heat and air conditioner off and on during the fall months. Being in the midwest, we could easily have the heat blasting in the morning with the air conditioning pumping at full force by the afternoon. It is something that really did not become an issue until I started working from home. I need something to throw on those chilly morning that would be comfortable to wear all day long.

The Deedra Sweater Tunic is so soft and warm! I think it’ll be the perfect cozy pullover to keep on hand for the entire winter when my house turns into Antarctica or those days when I head to the gym in a tank top but need something to keep me warm until I pop into the heated room full of treadmills. It is mid-weight knit which basically just means warm, but not too heavy, as it is woven from an organic cotton blend. It has a good sized v-neck to pull over my top knot that I live in in the winter time and dropped hem tail to cover my booty in my leggings. I also love the side vents as it will continue to grow with my pregnant belly without me having to worry about it stretching!

prAna Clothing

Caraway Tight

As you probably know by now, I am all about yoga pants of any shape and size. I really like how you can either pair them with fall and winter boots or throw on some tennis shoes and look stylish either way. So when I saw the option to try out these Caraway Tights, I was so happy to add them to my fall fitness wardrobe!

Theses performance tights have moisture wicking properties and are high-rise compression pants. I am still able to fit into them 17 weeks pregnant and they are super warm. As I get bigger throughout my pregnancy, I will be able to fold down the waistband a bit, and then reuse the high-rise part as we head into post-delivery recovery. The pants are also designed with a flat lock construction and a triangle gusset for added durability, complete with the wide waistband and hidden mesh pocket.

Even though I am a short gal, the length was pretty right compared to most pants. I have a bit of length at the bottom that I will be able to easily tuck into a boot or ensure my ankles are covered during a workout.

prAna Clothing

I am looking so forward to this season of pregnancy and working out. I am excited that these two pieces from prAna are going to keep me comfortable and warm. They are suitable for workouts and perfect for my work-from-home position. Like many other popular, high-quality active lifestyle brands, prAna is on the pricier side and, admittedly, my first thought was “this would be out of my price range”; however, I realized that the pricing is largely due to the that they are sustainably sourced material, and this is super important to me. I believe that the fair treatment and pay of those involved in the production process allows us all to make a difference in others lives. I like to keep in my mind that there seems like little we can do one a day to day to help make the world a better place. Choosing to invest in a few pieces I know will last rather than many that may not is worth it the ripple effect of others.

So, I really recommend you check prAna out! Now’s a great time because you can save 15% on you prAna purchases using this code:

Save 15% with MMHBF17

The code is good through 11/17/17 so get your orders in now and start looking fabulous!

prAna Clothing

Fall Inspirations from Kanndid Kreations

Thank you, Kanndid Kreations, for sponsoring this post, Fall Inspirations from Kanndid Kreations. I was selected for this opportunity by Kanndid Kreations; the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Fall Inspirations from Kanndid Kreations

We are headed to Disney this week! Hallelujah for some vacationing in our lives. The only part that I am bummed about is spending my limited fall days away from fall weather. I feel like it honestly has taken forever to get here and now we are jumping on a plane this morning to add more heat to our lives. Nevertheless, I am excited for some sunshine, relaxation, and all of the Disney feels.

Thankfully, we have been able to welcome fall with these adorable wooden block signs from Kanndid Kreations’ Etsy shop. You all know how much I love small shops and although it seems ages away from the Christmas season, I am already on the hunt for some good shop to support this upcoming gift giving time. These precious wooden blocks were my favorite from her shop and you can choose from seven different designs or mix and match. All of the blocks are stained in walnut, then handpainted in an array of acrylic paint. They are baby-sized, measuring at approximately 3 1/2″ x 3 1/2″, which I love! I have been looking for something to add to our mantle all season, but it seems as if everything has been too big. These were perfect! They can sit up on their own too which allows me to really place them anywhere in the home.

Kaitlyn’s shop is filled with adorable simple decor items for fall this season and beyond into the holidays. I adore these three pieces below. I am thinking of an upcoming wedding we have this winter and a few holiday gifts for myself. The best part about it all is that you have a chance to win these blocks from her shop for your home as well! Head on over to our Instagram in the next 48 hours to find out more. Keep it for yourself or gift it to a neighbor that needs a bit of happiness in their life. You will definitely enjoy it either way!

Fall Inspirations from Kanndid Kreations

Fall Inspirations from Kanndid Kreations

Fall Inspirations from Kanndid Kreations

Here is a little bit more about Kaitlyn, the owner of Kanndid Kreations:

How did you get your shop started?
I began by making items to decorate my own home on a budget. I was then sought out by friends and family to make pieces for them or gave them as gifts and before long was selling on Etsy and at craft shows around Florida.

What is the hardest part of owning a shop?
The most challenging thing about owning a shop is balancing it along with a full time day job and home life. I try to have a schedule and/or set days to work on each thing but unfortunately life sometimes throws you curve balls. I am still working to get the perfect balance and give enough attention to every area.

What is one thing unique about you?
All of my pieces are created free hand. I have always enjoyed handwriting and pride myself on being able to write neatly in a variety of styles. I have never used any stencils for any of my pieces and plan to keep it that way!

What is the best part of owning a shop?
The best part of owning a shop/small business is being able to create works of art for others special occasions. I have made a variety of signs for big events in others lives like birthdays, weddings, new babies, etc. I love the feedback and photos from others when they receive my signs!

How did you get your shop name?
I get asked this quite often, it’s a combination of my name Kaitlyn Ann and a nickname from my mom, Katydid. And then I changed out the c on creations.

What is one way that you keep organized?
I have always been very organized and I love to make lists. I do keep a day planner now and lists with all my orders, events and home activities.

How do you balance family life and work life?
Like I mentioned before its something I am still working on. I try to set specific days or time periods aside for working on orders or events and utilize time during the day like my lunch break to catch up on social media or update my shop.

Fall Inspirations from Kanndid Kreations

Fall Inspirations from Kanndid Kreations

Fall Inspirations from Kanndid Kreations

Fall Inspirations from Kanndid Kreations

Eating with Silicone Food Mats (A Comparison)

Thank you, Happy Monkey Mat, for sponsoring this post, Eating with Silicone Food Mats. I was selected for this opportunity by Happy Monkey Mat; the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Eating with Silicone Food Mats

A few years ago, I wrapped up my Friday Night watching Shark Tank when EZPZ debuted. I sat there in awe of the design but honestly, I did not know the reason why this was so important for moms out there with littles. Fast forward to our lives now, and Ollie loves picking up his plate at the dinner table. As we moved to solids, I purchased this thing called the EZPZ Mini Mat. Now, I’m obsessed with these silicone food mats and I tell everyone about them because they are life changing, at least they were for us.

Basically, the EZPZ mat, and many others like it, is a placemat and plate/bowl all in one. It is designed to make mealtimes easier, less messy and way more fun! It is made of food grade silicone that is BPA, PVC and phtalate free. It is dishwasher and microwave safe and super easy to clean. And, they come in all sorts of fun colors!

We own three silicone sticky-style tableware now for Ollie and I love all of them for very different reasons.

EZPZ Mini Mat


My first purchase was the EZPZ Mini Mat. It fits perfectly on Ollie’s high chair tray and is great as Ollie is learning how to use a fork and spoon. He grasped the concept of the fork/spoon really quickly but as the traditional plate would slide around his tray, he would inevitably knock food on the floor. He would try so hard to put the food on the utensil and you could just see the mass amounts of concentration he was using. The EZPZ Mini Mat helped us with this!

I was highly disappointed that it wasn’t but seconds before my child realized that he could pull up the sides of the Mini Mat and release it from the table. But for the most part and as long as we are at the beginning of dinner time, Ollie is not necessarily tempted to pull on the plate, and does not lift when suctioned to the table properly. You do have to make sure that the edges are all on the table – if a little is hanging over, it won’t stick well. To help with suction, I have learned that by wiping the table and bottom of the mat with a damp cloth before putting it down and pressing along the edges, the suction is better.



Happy Monkey Mat

Happy Monkey mat

Since the release of the EZPZ mats, others have been popping up everywhere. When I saw that Happy Monkey mat on Facebook, I knew I wanted to try this one out. It is larger than the one we own from EZPZ, similar in size to the original EZPZ, and had more and bigger compartments for food and seemed like a good investment to “grow into” as Ollie eats more and we add another addition to our family soon.

When we got it in the mail, I was a bit disappointed by the size. Not that the product description was wrong, I just did not read it carefully and I instantly realized that this mat would not fit on our high chair tray. Regardless, we busted the Happy Monkey mat out for dinner time, opted for a no-tray dinner, and pulled Ollie up to the table with us.

He loved it! He looked like he felt so much more included at the table and did not once drop any food or utensils on the floor. It has honestly been an even bigger game changer. This top notch baby placemat tray is made of premium quality, 100% safe silicone (FDA approved, BPA free) as well. It is thick and sturdy, but a very flexible premium quality washable placemat can be easily cleaned with warm soapy water, while you can also place it in the dishwasher.

Most importantly, because the mat is larger and heavier, Ollie has not even attempted to pull up the sides of this mat! The large bowl features a 11 oz. capacity is perfect for serving the main meal as Ollie grows. The 3 other, separate compartments feature a 4 oz., 4 oz. and 3 oz. capacity are ideal for serving fruits, vegetables and desserts alongside the main course! This is huge compared to the EZPZ Mini Mat with a 4 oz. main tray and two 2 oz. side compartments!

Happy Monkey mat

Happy Monkey mat

Happy Monkey mat

Nuby Easy Go Suction Bowl with Lid and Snap-In Spoon

Guidance Guide :: Real Reviews by Real Parents

Finally, I found Nuby Easy Go Suction Bowl with Lid and Snap-In Spoon on a clearance special at Aldi’s a few weeks ago. Although the silicone mats are great, I really needed something that helped me out with a quick snack that didn’t get our dinnerware dirty during the day. Something that would be great for chopped grape or oats or other small snacks/creamier mixtures.

The Easy Go Suction Bowl and Spoon is perfect for daycare, travel, or any on-the-go occasion as well. The bowl is conveniently sized just right for dry cereal or other baby foods and features a suctioned base that keeps the bowl in place during feeding. It also features a lid that seals tightly to keep food fresh during storage. The spoon makes a perfect travel companion because it snaps onto the lid of the bowl for easy storage. It is dishwasher/microwave safe and can stand up to the rigors of everyday use.

Because of the smaller base, Ollie figured out how to pull up this one the easiest. The suction does well, but really is designed for smaller fingers. Both the bottom of the bowl and the tray needs to be super clean and I have even found that it works better on our wooden table than his plastic high chair tray. On the plus side, it is still serving our purpose of no-sliding plates and bowls. It is helpful for Ollie to keep his plate in one place when using utensils.

Guidance Guide :: Real Reviews by Real Parents

Guidance Guide :: Real Reviews by Real Parents

Although I like each one for different reasons, I honestly believe that the Happy Monkey mat has been our favorite of the three! This surprised me as popular as the EZPZ mats are, but it goes to show you that regardless of the popularity, there may be others out there that work better but cost less. Now does this mean I wouldn’t like the EZPZ mat in its original size? I don’t know, but why pay $10 more for a mat if I am happy with the one I have!

15 Fall Family Activities

Oh my goodness! I still cannot believe that it is finally fall. Although I am super sad to say good-bye to pool days and the warm sunshine, I cannot wait for fall season and all of the fun events that come with it. I have been spending my days dreaming about the cool crisp air, pumpkins, crunchy leaves, Halloween, chili… all this fall. Not to mention, around the corner is my favorite holiday: Christmas!

This fall, I am strapping on my Women’s Nike Zoom Winflo 3 Running Shoes, because I know it is going to be a busy season. With a baby in the oven and a semi-toddler all over the place, we are in for lots of fun. I really want to do a lot of fall activities this year since Ollie is older. He is at such an exploratory age right now and I love watching him learn. Here are 15 fall family activities I am looking forward to:

Pumpkin Patch
If you don’t have a pumpkin patch near you, you can even just all go pick out your own pumpkins.

Family Walks
This is one of my favorites. The weather is so nice in fall and I just love having evening family walks around the neighborhood. We did this with Ollie last year and he loves it!

Pumpkin Painting
I am looking forward to letting Ollie paint on a pumpkin. I’m sure it will be a big mess, but he will have a blast.

Trick Or Treating
We are honestly probably doing more than Ollie cares for this year, but heck, you can’t just wear those cute costumes just once. We are headed this weekend to a local trunk-or-treat at the YMCA that our church plant hosts out of. Next week, we are off to Disney for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and then we will be passing out candy in our costumes on our front porch for our neighborhood this Halloween night. So much fun!

Fall Craft
Think out of the box, maybe a craft with leaves or something of that nature!

Hayride or Festival
There are so many great festivals and events going on during this season, find one near you. We love anything with food… so chili or bbq will be in our future.

Fall Family Pictures
We are doing ours later this year to help incorporate the new baby belly, but I love doing this every year.

Jump in Leaves
There is nothing better than playing in a big pile of leaves when you are little.

Make Candy Apples
I think Ollie will love this as well. Let’s face it, he loves anything that involves food. I am thinking I will cut the apple into pieces and then make candy apple pieces just his size.

Visit Farm Animals
Think petting zoo. It will be such a fun day!

Visit a new playground
Find a new playground in your area and spend some time exploring and swinging!

Make Pumpkin Pie or Muffins or Cake
Really, pumpkin anything.

Cook S’mores
Fire. Blanket. S’mores.

Read outside
Ollie loves to read all of his books right now, so I think this will be a really fun outside activity.

Movie Night with a fall or Halloween theme
I love movie nights and halloween movies are awesome! Nothing scary but definitely seasonal.

We are in for a busy fall, but I am so excited for all the fun family activities. I left it off the “list”, but finding out the gender of our little babe and announcing it to everyone will be a fall activity for sure! With such a busy season in front of us, I am going to soak in every moment of these new beginnings!

Bump Date :: 16 weeks

I have been getting so many texts and messages around our pregnancy lately. We cannot wait to experience our newest addition to our family in the spring. Two years ago, I started snapping away our week by week updates with baby Ollie. We could not wait for him to grow and join our family.

These past few weeks have been more bitter sweet. Although we still have the anticipation of meeting the newest family member, we also are attempting to savor every last minute alone with our little man. We are also sitting along side those in our local community who are either struggling with pregnancy, or trying to make sense of pregnancy loss. After dealing with a miscarriage a few years ago ourselves, we have truly grieved with those around us as of late.

With that being said, we are still overjoyed with our upcoming babe. We will probably squeeze that little nugget even more so when the baby arrives knowing the sadness that so many have and will endure. On a final note, some folks have asked about what fruit/veggie I am this week, and although I have no desire to scour the countryside for fruits and veggies over the next few months, we will be doing updates throughout! I enjoy the moments and memories from our last pregnancy and cannot wait to do the same.

Week 16 Bumpdate

size of the baby :: Avocado

total weight gain :: 1 pound

gender :: Uh, we may know. I’m not going to 100% lie about that. Do not worry. You’ll know soon.

maternity clothes :: Just hanging out in my maternity jeans. I can still stretch into some of my old jeans as well, but I feel like I look more fat than pregnant so maternity jeans it is.

movement :: Nope.

sleep :: It’s so-so. Dusty has been doing a lot of the nighttime feedings with Ollie these days but I am still having trouble sleeping. Either it is crazy weird dreams or not being able to get comfortable. My hip issues have returned in full force from last pregnancy and by the end of the night, I am really sore even laying down.

missing :: Nothing really.

craving :: Donuts. Pumpkin things. Nothing beyond a standard basic white girl in the fall time…

symptoms :: Like I said, my hips and ligaments are not the greatest. I ended up with 8 months of physical therapy post-birth last time, so I am up-ing my chiropractic visits and walking early on to help minimize the damage and rotating that happened last time. I am also starting Tone It Up’s 21 Day series today (yay!) in hopes to help my soreness.

duston is :: busy. We have taken on the basement as a side project this fall. He’s looking into grad school… oh, and we have a full blown toddler. That’s pretty much enough right now.

looking forward to :: We are headed to Disney next week! It will be Ollie’s first trip and I cannot wait for all of the excitement and rest that this vacation will bring.

best moments :: This past weekend we had such a fun-filled time. We had our annual yard sale in the morning on Saturday which brings out the entire community. We finished the day with a food truck festival and rounded off our weekend with church and housework. Dusty even finished a great storage area in the basement for me. It is amazing.

Our Fixer Upper :: Ollie’s Nursery

As we prepare for our next little one in this house, I wanted to show you my favorite room today as part of our Fixer Upper series, Ollie’s nursery. When we purchase the home, this was an immediate — “This has to go” — moment. The walls were so bright and loud, and definitely against my style. Although I am sure the older owners loved the bright and cheerful Barney-inspired paint, my inner self just cringed every time I walked past this room.

It honestly took us the first 9 months to invest in the first floor of our house, so the purple stayed well into our time of moving in. Once we found that we were pregnant, I could not wait to redo this room. Once we dove into it, however, we quickly discovered that bright purple paint took a few more coats than normal to cover up… and on the simple removal of a tiny wall paper border was a nightmare to remove. After the fact, we found a bit of left over wall paper in the closet next to some Gorilla Glue… I would have to assume Gorilla Glue is not what the sales associate at Lowe’s recommended, but it made much more sense why we were struggling not to remove the wall along with the paper.

Although they are hard to see here, there was also a bit of love that had happened over the years to our carpet. And by love, I mean, a few little girls that called this their previous bedroom may have attempted to paint their own finger nails bright red. There was actually multiple nail polish-like stain through the upper level, and so we had to invest in new flooring as well. We also did some little things like swapped out the light fixtures, painted the baseboards, and all of the outlets were originally different shades of white/painted. So we changed every outlet and outlet cover in the entire room. It truly made such a difference.


Our Fixer Upper

Our Fixer Upper


Adventures Awaits Nursery

Adventures Awaits Nursery

crib | dresser | bookshelf | crib bedding | pegboard inspiration | end table | rocker | baskets | laundry hamper | pillows | adventure prints | peter pan quote | adventure awaits sign

Our first purchase for the nursery was this “Adventures Awaits” sign from Hobby Lobby. Pairing that with Oh Joy!’s crib bedding and a few extras from some of my baby showers, Ollie’s nursery came together so amazing! One of my favorite pieces in the room was this hand crafted pegboard that hangs above Ollie’s dresser and changing station that Dusty made for me. Inspired by Shanty2Chic, it turned out perfect.

Another one of my favorite pieces of the nursery is this Peter Pan quote by Ever N After, an Etsy shop that I stumbled upon during my pregnancy and fell in love. Each design is handmade and made to order. Brittany’s wooden signs are beautiful hand lettered calligraphy on stained wood and she never uses any stencils! How talented!!

The quote “Little boys should never be sent to bed, they always wake up a day older” in Peter Pan allowed me to have a bit of Disney in Ollie’s nursery without having a Disney-fied room. I sprinkled a few other Disney items throughout including an Oliver & Company Oliver plush toy, Disney Mouseketeer hat, and Mickey and Minnie, of course. However, this rustic wooden sign is by far my favorite. It is truly something that you cannot get from a store.

It is amazing to see where this room was originally with its “Barney-purple” and wall paper border that took weeks upon weeks to remove, but I am so grateful for how it turned out. We have spent so many hours in the midst of these four walls, and I cannot imagine Ollie in any other space in our home. It was those hours of nursing, millions of diaper changes, and book after book reading to him that really has made this area special, and I love it.

Adventures Awaits Nursery

Adventures Awaits Nursery

Adventures Awaits Nursery

Adventures Awaits Nursery

Adventures Awaits Nursery

Adventures Awaits Nursery

Adventures Awaits Nursery

Adventures Awaits Nursery

Adventures Awaits Nursery

Adventures Awaits Nursery

Adventures Awaits Nursery

Adventures Awaits Nursery

Happy Fall Y’all

Thank you, The Rustic Nest, for sponsoring this post, Happy Fall Y’All. I was selected for this opportunity by The Rustic Nest; the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Happy Fall Y'All

Happy Fall Y’All Sign | Pumpkin Lantern

As we headed home today from our travels this past weekend, I cannot be more ready for fall. It is finally starting to feel and look like the seasons are changing. I anticipate seasons a lot, but typically fall and winter are not as highly anticipated in this house. We do not like the cold all that much; however, this season has been different. I could not wait for our upcoming weeks, and the activities that they hold. Quickly we will be surrounded by our neighborhood with our annual yard sale, trick-or-treating, chili cook offs, and more. Fall is so great for us to be outside with our neighborhood and loving on each other well.

So today I am embracing the fall season. I have a few key essential oils in my diffuser and the whole house smells like Apple Pie. I am giddy with my fall decor this season as well. My newest addition is this lovely sign from The Rustic Nest.

We have a “landing spot” in our kitchen. I think everybody does; however, our landing spot drives me nuts. The only thing that lives there, or suppose to live there, is our coffee pot. But when the area is cleaned up, it looks so empty. My goal was to find the perfect decor to place there so that it would no longer be a landing spot for pantry groceries that never made it to the shelves, mail, keys, and other mismatched things. I knew that my new sign from The Rustic Nest would be perfect.

We live in our kitchen. I am cooking something up constantly and beyond that, it is a place for us to chill in the evening. It easily flows into our living room where Ollie plays after he gets home from daycare and it is open to our dining room as well. I will show you the before and after on Friday; however, let’s just sit in how perfect our “landing spot” looks for now.

I found the pumpkins in the empty lantern for $7 at WalMart and matched with the wood grain of my Rustic Nest “Happy Fall Y’All” sign, it is adorable. We have been keeping a good effort to keep this spot clutter free and I cannot thank Niki from The Rustic Nest enough for helping with this.

Her shop is filled with adorable simple decor items for fall this season. I love the Pumpkin Patch sign and the quote from Anne of Green Gables. The best part about it all is that you have a chance to win a sign from her shop! Head on over to our Instagram in the next 48 hours to find out more. Keep it for yourself or gift it to a neighbor that needs a bit of happiness in their life. You will definitely enjoy it either way!

Today I had to go shopping with all 3 of my kids and my husband. 😩😩😩 It was awful but we survived and let's just say I'll never do it again. On a happier note, this sign is listed in the shop, link in bio @therusticnest13 or #falldecor #fallsigns #imsogladiliveinaworldwherethereareoctobers #anneofgreengables

It's Friday Eve guys! I'm celebrating with a little 🍹🍹🍹😬🤷🏻‍♀️ It's been a baaaaaaaad week. 1st I took my kids to the dentist only to find out they no longer accept our insurance. SERIOUSLY?! I think that deserves a little phone call BEFORE the appointment don't you 😡🙄 Then Max - my Kindergartener - decided he didn't want to go to school anymore. I had to force him to peel him off me kicking and screaming. Just rip my heart out and stomp on it okay?! So with all of that being said, I'm celebrating big time that this week from hell is just about over 🙌🏼🙌🏼 Who's with me 🙋🏻••• On to more exciting things like this sign, it's listed in my shop, the link is in my bio or head to #fallsign #falldecor #imsogladiliveinaworldwherethereareoctobers #anneofgreengables

NEW SIGN ALERT!!! I just listed this beauty in the shop 🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼•• #pumpkinpatch #thepumpkinpatch #pumpkinsign #falldecor #fallsigns

It's October already?! Time flies. Sign is listed in the shop! 🍁🍁 or click the link in my bio. #imsogladiliveinaworldwherethereareoctobers #anneofgreengables #fallsigns #falldecor

Here is a little bit more about Niki, the owner of The Rustic Nest:

How did you get your shop started?
I bought a Silhouette Machine in 2013 to make various things for my own home. I started putting sayings on vintage windows that I had found at flea markets to give as wedding & housewarming gifts for friends & family. That turned into signs for my own home as well as gifts for others. Everyone always said “wow, you should sell those” so I decided to open up a shop!

What is the hardest part of owning a shop?
The hardest part about owning a shop is all the “business” stuff like taxes and legal stuff. Not my strong suit because I just want to do the fun stuff like create the signs!!

What is one thing unique about you?
This is such a hard question! All of our signs are handmade from real wood! We do all of the work here from our home. My husband cuts and occasionally sands and from that point its all me! I design the signs, stain, cut stencils, paint, distress, wax and package up signs! I am also slightly obsessed with crochet lace and love to incorporate it into my signs whenever I can.

What is the best part of owning a shop?
The best part is that I get to be here at home when my kids get home from school, on their days off and when they are sick. I love being here for them whenever they need me.

How did you get your shop name?
When I was trying to come up with a shop name my best friend said she thought it just HAD to have the word “Nest” in the name because it made her think of home. I loved that idea so my husband and I brainstormed over dinner one night and it just came to us! All of our signs are rustic in nature so it fit perfectly!!

What is one way that you keep organized?
I have a list for everything! I am a total freak about being organized because I can’t function without it!

How do you balance family life and work life?
Up to this point I haven’t been very good at it! My youngest just started Kindergarten this year so I’m trying really hard to work all day while they’re in school so I’m not working as much while they’re home.

Preparing for Disney with Toddlers: Tips and Tricks from Real Moms and Bloggers

Preparing for Disney with Toddlers

We are headed to Florida soon for a much needed family vacation! With my work, I get the privilege of traveling here and there, and Dusty joins me a few times a year as well; however, it has been over a year since we have taken a full family vacation including baby Ollie. If you have been around for awhile, you know that the Bahorich clan loves everything Disney and we cannot be more excited to take Ollie on his first Disney adventure. We are also extremely blessed to have planned this at the perfect time before we were too far along in our pregnancy. This will be a great trip for us before turning into a family of four in the spring. It is going to be so much fun!

Since we frequent Disney World and the Orlando area a lot, I have a good idea about what spending a day at the parks looks like but this will be my first trip with a toddler on board. My husband, Dusty, and I was able to have this trip in the back of our minds when we spent a week there back in May for my birthday and we were able to take lots of mental notes as we observed families.

However, being that we have not necessarily traveled with a toddler on our own, I reached out to some of my favorite bloggers and friends to gather their tips, tricks, insights, and everything else in between.

Some of the top things that I heard:

  • Start out early. If your child is an earlier riser anyways, leverage that with being at the parks at rope drop. Then head back to the hotel around lunchtime for a break at the pool or nap time. Round out your day back in the parks. This will assure there are no mid-afternoon meltdowns and a more enjoyable time overall.
  • Download the Disney Parks App. It will be your lifeline through your planning and during your trip. It has all your reservations, ride wait times, hotel information, and more. You can now order at some restaurants through this app as well as preview menus and make dining reservations. It is a must.
  • Pack your own snacks. You can take in your own snacks into the parks! Of course, you do not necessarily want some chocolate in your bag that may melt; however, granola bars, food pouches, Cheerios, and other grain-based foods are great for snacks along the way and help keep your daily food cost down for not only your little ones but also the whole entire family!
  • Thorough packing lists. Research a few packing lists out there. They are easily found on Pinterest throughout (and one that I made below). They are helpful for me to collect items that I would have never thought of and even forgotten from trip to trip!
    Because I found so many good resources on this topic, I have broken down some of my favorite posts that I discovered while researching for our trip to help make planning for Disney with a toddler easier! Enjoy!

Tips for doing Disney with a Baby or Toddler

“I would recommend going to Disney World during the Winter rather than the Summer but if you do go during the Summer avoid 4th of July weekend. It is so packed that lines for even baby rides are ridiculously long and it won’t be enjoyable to wait 2+ hours for a 5 minute ride.” – Sandra’s Studio in Disney World with a Toddler | Must-Haves & Tips

“This is a lovely relaxed whimsical indoor boat ride [It’s a Small World] that takes you past a collection of singing children from around the globe – there’s so much for the little ones to see on this one!” – Bump to Baby in What toddlers love at Walt Disney World

“Most people don’t know, but the Mickey at Town Square talks. It was really awesome and he even sang the Hot Dog song to Ricki. (If you don’t know what that is, don’t worry, you soon will.) I would 100% recommend doing this, it is more personal than breakfast and also free! One of the less crowded spots to meet Daisy, Donald, Minnie, and Goofy is at Pete’s Sideshow Circus. I have never seen a wait longer than 20-30 minutes (you can get fast passes for this also, if needed).” – The Crispy Mama in How To Take Your Toddler To Disney World (And Not Go Insane!)

“Any ride that a toddler can go on a baby can go on as well. You just can’t bring a stroller onto any ride or have one while standing in line. That’s where you’ll want to wear the baby. This will make your life at Disney World so much easier and free up some hands for toddler wrangling.” – Casual Claire in Disney with a Baby and a Toddler

“Basically everything in Magic Kingdom is toddler friendly, so your tiny human will have a blast no matter what.” – A Monkey and His Momma in Disney with Toddlers, What Not to Miss.

“If you are going to be using a stroller, find a way to make it your own because if you have a common stroller (especially Baby Jogger or BOB), it might be difficult to find yours in the sea of strollers after rides and shows.” – Simply Darring in Prepping for Disney

Park Secrets & Helpful Information on the Go

If you don’t have loads of time to weed through blog post after blog post, I highly suggest checking out a few of these resources to help you along your way!

Disney Every Week with the PassPorter Moms! is one of my favorite podcasts! They provide tips and tricks for all types of Disney trips. I love hearing their opinions on hotels, food options, transportation and more! They have episodes specifically on special events, must see’s and do’s at each park, traveling with kids with special needs, and so much more! Each episode is around 30 minutes and so easy to listen to while cooking dinner or on your commute!

The Bucket List Family is one of my newest obsessions. They are the most adorable family that sold everything (plus an app for a huge profit) and now is adventuring the world. They most recently spent 30 nights at 30 different resorts are Walt Disney World. Each resort has such unique and magical features and they really did a great job at capturing them all! I linked to their first video but make sure you watch them all to get the full recap of their adventures!

Disney Parks Moms Panel is the ultimate digital resource for you provided by Disney to receive helpful tips and heartfelt advice about Disney vacation destinations from real moms, dads and in the know family members. They have a search each year for new contributors and it is really hard to be accepted and approved to the group. This is a great place to go if you have a question about a theme park, restaurant, service, shop, hotel or activity!