Real Simple Mama

Real. Simple. Parenting.

Month: May 2016

Review: Chewbeads Teething Jewelry

Teething jewelry has to be one of the greatest parenting inventions since the sippy cup. It is fashionable, inexpensive, and super useful.

My husband got me a Bumkins Nixi teething necklace – you can see that review here. But while the concept is fantastic, that particular necklace left a lot to be desired. So I decided to get another one! But what did I think of this one – the Chewbeads Waverly necklace? Continue reading

This Is Why I Baby Wear

As a babywearing mama, I get a lot of different comments from people when I am out and about. Some mention how happy and cozy my baby looks, while others ask questions. It’s a challenge to answer them in a way which really explains and glorifies babywearing like it deserves. There are so many reasons why I enjoy wearing my baby, it would be impossible to explain them all to a complete stranger (although I’ve thought about making a pamphlet that I could just pass out as I walk away).

Here is a very honest list which hopefully will do justice to how wonderful it is to babywear! Continue reading

Liebster Award!

I’ve been nominated for a Liebster Award! Thank you so much to Lauren at Three Makes a Family for her gracious nomination. Lauren’s blog is a great balance of honest and kind. I find myself relating to so much of what she writes! I’m very honored that she saw something in my tweets and posts worth nominating!

The Liebster Award is given to newer bloggers, and is a great way to get more exposure as well as helping your readers learn more about you. The nominee, in turn, gets to “pay it forward” by nominating other new bloggers.

Liebster Award Logo

Firstly, let me answer the questions which Lauren asked me:

1. What inspired you to start a blog? I’ve been passionate about birth and parenting since I became pregnant with my first child, and wanted to make a hub where parents could find information which was factual and easy to understand. Any time I hear of a friend or loved one who’s pregnant, I think about how I can help. I love teaching and want to reach new moms and dads to give them the tools they need. It takes a village!

2. What are you passionate about? Natural childbirth, educating moms, and attachment/gentle/green parenting. I also am passionate about education (particularly music education since that’s my background), theology, nature, and charity.

3. What talents/strengths do you have? I’m extremely organized and forward thinking; I’m a very fast reader; I am comfortable leading a group; and I think I have pretty cool handwriting!

4. What is your favorite movie, tv show, or book? Movies include “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and “Love Actually”; TV show is “X Files”; and books would be Les Mis, Game of Thrones, or anything by Stephen King.

5. What is your greatest fear? A crisis or natural disaster harming my family. (Basically anything which I can’t prevent and is on a large scale).

6. What is one wish or goal you have? I would love to become a doula or Lactation consultant!

7. Who is someone you look up to or admire and why? My best friend Vicky. She’s so damn strong, as a woman and a mother. I try to emulate her steadfastness and her confidence. She knows what’s right for her son and she doesn’t let anyone push her around.

8. What is your favorite thing about being a mom? I see myself in the eyes of my children, and I’ve never looked better! They’ve taught me to love myself because of how they love me. They don’t see flaws or what society wants me to be, they love me for me. And I try to emulate that in loving them back purely.

9. What do you enjoy doing for fun? I love to read and scrapbook, garden or cook, sit outside and sip cheap wine.

10. If you could travel anywhere in the world where would it be? I’d love to go back to Mexico, but I’d also want to see Italy and the Vatican. So much history! And as a Catholic, there’s so much there for me to see and do!

11. What is one of your favorite childhood memories? My thoughts immediately go to my grandma Margaret. She was hilarious and never hesitated to help me, listen to me, or love on me. We laughed so much together.

Here are 11 random facts about me:

1. I am a music educator by trade, and learned how to play percussion, string, keyboard, and wind instruments by the time I graduated from college. Originally I was a piano player, and a clarinetist once I got to middle school. I’ve taught high school and middle school band, and most recently, elementary music.

2. I am right-handed, but prefer to do a lot of other things with my left hand, like shooting a basketball or driving.

3. Even though I do not get much time anymore, I consider myself to be an avid gamer. I grew up playing PC games like Diablo II, Wolfenstein and Guild Wars (and yes WoW in the good old days), and love our XBOX! My favorite XBOX games are Skyrim, The Long Dark and Viva Piñata.

4. I speak fluent Spanish and I am trying to learn ASL. I also am a bit of a grammar Nazi, and I love to do editing and transcription.

5. I absolutely hate being scared. I do not like scary movies or TV shows. I also hate roller coasters.

6. When I was younger, I wanted to be a stunt driver. I love anything automotive and would design cars or read automotive magazines in my free time.

7. I had five wisdom teeth removed when I was in college.

8. I have a very good memory, particularly with numbers or quotes. I also associate numbers with colors.

9. If we could afford to, I would totally buy some land and have a homestead. I love the thought of living off the land and getting rid of all of our modern distractions.

10. I absolutely hate beer. I think it is disgusting. I also do not like carbonation.

11. I try to always smile at strangers; if I find myself judging someone or thinking something unkind, I think “what if they are the Christ?” It helps me to be friendly and compassionate.

Now for the bloggers that I’ve nominated!

Marie at Create Balanced Life just has to be on this list!!! Marie was my first blogging friend and is such a selfless, helpful person. I value her friendship and advice, and you can too – she helps families find balance between work and home! She always brightens my day by being encouraging and sincere.

Morgan from Motherhood by Morgan. I really look up to Morgan a lot – she’s driven and brilliant, and she inspires me to help all moms and not ever be judgmental or closed minded. She empowers moms from all walks of life, and also has a fantastic Facebook community of almost 300 moms!

Jonathan at The Daddy’s Life was the first dad blogger I connected with. He and I see eye-to-eye on lots of things, and I love his approach. It’s obvious that he loves his family and he never hesitates to do the right thing, even when it’s difficult or involves sacrifice.

Kristyn at Everyone’s Sleeping But Mom – I relate so much to her. From unplanned cosleeping, to persevering amidst people who don’t support breastfeeding, to the woes of leaving your baby to go to work… she’s a fantastic example of a mama who adapts her life for the sake of her child, even when things don’t go as planned.

Ben at Hello My Name is Dad is another daddy blogger I love. I really feel that dad blogs are too rare, and it’s even rarer to find quality ones. His posts have a refreshing balance of humor and sincerity. And you can tell he works his butt off to give 110% at everything he does.

Jaclyn at Simply Jaclyn – I am so excited that Jaclyn is live! Her blog is gorgeous and I got so excited when I found a mama who thinks like I do. She’s one of those brave moms who is honest and true to her readers, even when it’s tough and lonely. I really feel for her in her tough moments, and cheer her on with her successes! She’s a mama of two littles just like me.

Ok guys, here’s what you do:

  • Write a new post
  • Link back to me
  • Display the Liebster logo
  • Answer my 11 questions
  • Tell us 11 more facts about you
  • Nominate 5-11 other bloggers with <1k subscribers
  • Give them 11 questions to ask!

Here are the 11 questions I would love for you to answer!

1. What is one quality about yourself that you admire?

2. What are the three most important possessions in your life? (Not people)

3. Who is your favorite celebrity, and why?

4. What is your hope for your blog?

5. In one sentence, describe your goal in life.

6. What is some music which inspires you?

7. When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

8. Name three books and/or movies which have influenced you.

9. What do you turn to when you are stressed out? How do you deal?

10. If you could go get a college degree, what would you be interested in learning more about?

11. What is the kindest thing anyone has ever done for you?

Congratulations again on your nominations! When you’ve published your article, please come back to this post and leave a link to it!

Review: Boppy vs My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow Comparison

The two most popular breastfeeding pillows are the Boppy and the My Brest Friend. I’ve used both for over three years and I write this to share my observations (and my top pick!) with you. Read on for the good, the bad, and the ugly of each of these two pillows: Boppy vs My Brest Friend. Continue reading

Home Buying Tips for Families with Children

We’ve just recently bought a new home after a long and tedious search. While we’ve owned and built homes before, this was still a fresh experience for us – this time, we have two kids to think about too.

Read on for my tips in regards to househunting, and picking the perfect home for your family for years to come! Continue reading

My Cloth Diaper Wash Routine

I think one of the most terrifying and intimidating aspects of cloth diapering was “oh God how do I wash these things?!” There was no way I was going to use a good ole fashioned washboard and kneel by the freshwater creek in my knickers to scrub pee-soaked fabric. But I had to figure out a solution that would work for our family.

I had nightmares of baby poop smearing over all our work clothes, the utility room forever smelling of pee and regret. I did lots of research and have printed this routine out, proudly displaying it next to the washer. My hope is that it will shine some light into the mystery of “wait, you wash those… where? And with WHAT?!”

New and improved: updated January 2017 with two wash options, one for hard water and one for treated water! Continue reading

What You REALLY Need To Do Before Baby Arrives

We have all seen the usual lists about “what to do before Baby arrives.” There’s the stock list of things like cleaning the house and assembling the crib; I’m sure you’ve read dozens of those on Pinterest if you’re expecting. And I made my own list after my first baby. But from a mom of two, let me give you the list of unique, obscure, overlooked and totally recommended things you should do! Continue reading

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