All posts by boldlybravelyyou@gmail.com

A May Birthday And A Dragonfly Nursery

Photo Credit: Colette Brockman Photography

If you have been with me from the start, then you know I am a planner by nature. I am always thinking ahead – to the next occasion, the next milestone. I spend months prepping and planning every detail to emulate the vision in my head.

Unfortunately, we can’t always plan ahead. We can’t always prepare ourselves for what is to come. Life is a journey, filled with both immense  joy and deep sorrow.

In 2012, I was pregnant with my first child. I was basking in the joy of this new chapter in our lives. This new journey I was about to embark on, when tragedy struck. I lost a very dear friend. A childhood friend. We had grown up together during those very awkward high school years. Although college lead us down separate paths, we were able to stay consistent in our friendship and when I married my husband in 2009, she was right there by my side.

I like to think that each friendship we have brings something different to the table. A unique social quality within our own inner circle that no one else could possess. She was a straight shooter. Meaning, she always told it like it was. No sugar coating or dancing around a hard topic. She wasn’t mean or harsh. She was incredibly thoughtful and wise. She was the perfect person to talk to when you were trying to sort through something. That’s what I tell people. That’s what she brought to the table.

Since her passing, I have never meet another person who possesses the same quality. Something that is both wonderful and extremely frustrating all at the same time.

Sometimes when I am driving somewhere by myself, I will talk to her about everything and nothing. Wheeling her to help me sort through things or give me a sign as to which path I should take next. Often times, just telling her how much I miss her…

So I thought, what better way to celebrate my dear friends birthday today, then by talking about the inspiration behind my second daughters nursery.

A Dragonfly Nursery

After her passing, I found a necklace she had given to me as a birthday gift one year. The stone was a lavender hue, with metal dragonflies surrounding the top. In that moment, it occurred to me that this would make the perfect nursery theme for a little girl.

While pink is my signature color and I had already settled on butterflies for my daughters nursery, I knew if I ever had a second daughter, this necklace would be the inspiration behind her nursery. And three years later, it was meant to be.

So as you make your way down the hall, you will find a small nursery donned in her signature color. Complete with lavender sheets, curtains, a changing cover, and crib quilt. Beyond the colorful accents of the room you will notice something else – dragonfly’s all a flutter.

Nursery Decor

  • Dragonfly mirrors I purchased from Amazon.
  • Purple and gray dragonflies cut out of card stock, so friends and family could write well-wishes to baby “A.”
  • Dragonfly digital art piece from ArtsyTypeShop on Etsy. She was wonderful about changing the font to a lavender color!
  • The most important piece of decor – The Dragonfly Necklace. 

**Frames, hook, and mirror purchased at Hobby Lobby.

Happy Birthday my friend. I have yet to meet anyone who can match your qualities. As you peek in on each of my girls, I hope your heart is full.

But most of all…

“I hope you touch dragonflies and stars, dance with fairies and talk to the moon.”

Love always,

Nikki

A Story For Mother’s Day

*This is a sponsored post by StoryWorth. All opinions are my own.

Our memories are the threads with, which create the fabric of our lives. Sewn together from birth to death. Creating this metaphorical quilt. A quilt that transcends time. Those threads and fabrics are the pieces that pull together our story. Our life story.

Think about it. I mean, really think about it. When a loved one passes away, how is it they are remember? How is it possible for their story to stay alive? To keep the threads of their quilt from unraveling, like aimless strings just dancing in the wind? From being forgotten?

Sharing our story.

As a kid, I lived for those family gathering! The ones that included ice cream, volleyball, water balloon tosses, and stories! Those were the best part! My cousins and I would always sit quietly during those picnic lunches. Listening to the adults recall the stories of their past. Or good ‘ol days, (as they so vibrantly put it!) Of course the stories themselves, were always up for debate. Once a story was told my mother or one of her siblings would quickly chime in with, “No, no, no! That is not how it happened! I will tell you how it really happened!” After about two or three family members debated the original story tellers account, they moved on to the next one. You never heard the same story twice or least in the same way.

Now that my cousins and I are all off leading our own lives, those stories are no longer told. Pieces of the past are drifting away, as the fabric begins to unravel…

I am lucky though. My mom is one of the most vibrant storytellers of the family. So I was fortunate enough to hear the stories of her life year round. In fact, she still shares the threads which bind her life quilt together on a regular basis.

As Mother’s Day approaches, I am reminded just how lucky I am to still have those daily opportunities. This won’t always be the case. Someday my sister and I will be tasked with the responsibility of recounting the stories of our mother’s life, so her quilt does not unravel. So she is not forgotten. As a daughter, this feels like a momentous task.

Luckily, with this in mind, a company has created the perfect product. And on the heels of Mother’s Day, is the perfect gift.

StoryWorth

StoryWorth is a company dedicated to collecting family stories and placing them in a beautifully bound keepsake book. How is this done, you ask?

Choose a storyteller. A person whose stories will mean the most to you. Ensuring their legacy will live on for generations to come. Then, purchase a one year subscription from StoryWorth. What does a one year subscription include?

A one year subscription gives the storyteller of your choosing a years worth of story prompts to be bound in 1 hardcover book. StoryWorth gives you the option to choose your storyteller’s questions from their library or you can simply write your own. It’s entirely up to you!

What if your storyteller isn’t computer savvy? 

This is my FAVORITE part! StoryWorth has an audio option. The storyteller can simply click the link in their weekly e-mails, signaling the system to call the phone number saved in their file. They simply pick up the phone and share their story. The audio file will save it. It’s so easy!

Nick Baum is the mastermind and creator behind StoryWorth. He created this company in 2012, because he wanted to build a space that was easily accessible for his father and others like him, to record their stories.

So, as Mother’s Day approaches, whose stories do you want told? Whose life quilt do you want to remain intact for future generations- your mother, grandmother, aunt, or someone else? Make today the today, to give the best Mother’s Day gift to yourself and your loved ones. Make today a day StoryWorth day. Simply click on the link below to get started!

  • Preserve your mom’s stories for the next generation with a beautiful book!
  • Weekly story prompts make it easy.
  • Mother’s Day special: $20 off!

https://www.storyworth.com/boldlybravelyyou

 

 

 

 

 

When Everybody’s Watching: Handling a Toddler Meltdown in Public

As moms, we are all just doing our best to raise happy, competent children. Some days are filled with immense joy and others are inundated with speed bumps. Sometimes those speed bumps come in the form of toddler meltdowns. It’s something that plagues every parent. This phase is anything but easy. That’s why I am pleased to have Jenny from MomLovesBest, on the blog today. She is sharing her tips for how to handle those toddler meltdowns in public, while keeping your cool.

When Everybody’s Watching: Handling a Toddler Meltdown in Public

It’s happened to the best of us: our toddler loses it right in the middle of the grocery store. Or public park. Or any other place where the eyes of strangers are on you. But when it happens, you can’t lose it yourself.

I know it’s easier said than done, but you must keep your cool – even when everyone’s watching. Though it may feel like you’re being judged by the slew of onlookers, it’s important to focus on the task at hand. And you may be surprised to learn that task is NOT to get the tantrum to stop at all costs.

It’s to parent well in the midst of the meltdown.

So take a deep breath and get ready to tackle your mission. How you handle this situation will have much more far-reaching repercussions than whatever insignificant opinions strangers may have of you.

Here’s how to parent well in the midst of a public toddler meltdown.

1. Be empathetic.

Let’s be honest – it’s hard being a toddler. With little control, wild emotions, and few words with which to express them, situations can become overwhelming quickly. The truth is that toddlers don’t yet have the capacity to truly manipulate you and while tantrums may be a genuine expression of displeasure, it doesn’t mean they’re doing it on purpose just to give you a hard time. Most likely it means they’ve got some powerful feelings and they don’t know how to manage them.

Evaluate the situation and see if you can identify the reason for the tantrum. Are they overdue for a nap? Hungry? Antsy after a morning of running errands and need some exercise? Need a diaper change? Just plain mad that they aren’t getting their way? After you have identified a reason, it’s easier to respond appropriately.

2. Speak calmly.

Get down on your child’s level so you appear as non-threatening as possible. Speak calmly; a child overwhelmed with their own emotions will also be overwhelmed by yours. Look them in the eye and validate the reason for their tantrum.

“I know you’re very angry that you can’t have a snack right now. We need to finish shopping, and then we will get you a snack in the car. The faster you can calm down, the faster we can finish. Can I rub your back to help you feel better?”

Sometimes, just feeling like they’re heard is enough to stop a child’s tantrum.

3. Be consistent.

If the tantrum continues, handle it in public the same way you would at home. This teaches your child as they grow that causing a scene does NOT let them get their way. Because even though they’re not manipulating you now, you’re laying the groundwork for the future. Moreover, being consistent (regardless of the locale) provides a level of security and predictability for your child. They need to know that you are the same parent in every situation, whether at home or out and about.

4. Don’t make promises (or threats) you won’t keep.

I know. You just want it to STOP, especially in public. But that can cause you to make wild promises (or terrible threats) to coax your child into submission. Taking grand steps to get the tantrum to end may solve the immediate problem, but it can begin to develop a host of new, larger issues in the future.

It can teach your child that your words are meaningless, or that your follow-through is poor. Children may begin to believe that humiliating their parents in public will help them get their way. As children grow, the stakes become higher. The foundation is laid early on.

5. Don’t give in.

Sometimes it takes awhile for the situation to resolve. Once you’ve begun the battle of wills, you can’t back off. You’ll need to put on your patience and see it through to the end. Stay calm, stay firm, and – above all – stay empathetic. If your child continues to cause a scene and you’re concerned about the comfort of others around you, simply pick them up and remove them from the area. Continue the conversation outside or away from eavesdropping ears – but make sure you do see it through to the end. Don’t give in.

6. Make reasonable adjustments.

Let’s be honest – sometimes the tantrum is our fault. We neglected to meet a need our child had, pushed them too hard, or crossed our fingers as we blew right through the warning signs that a meltdown was imminent. If that’s the case, make the adjustments your child needs – even if that means creating an inconvenience for you. Take a time out to nurse your child or get them a snack. Sit on the floor and snuggle them for a few minutes. Leave your cart and head home for a nap.

Remember, while public tantrums are one of the hardest things to deal with as a parent, you are still the adult in the situation. Don’t worry about what others think of you; instead, worry about what’s best for your child. And what’s best for your child is to know that you are there to be loving, consistent, and help them learn to regulate their emotions effectively. Using these techniques will help to effectively diffuse the situation and allow you to parent your child well through an event that is just as stressful for your child as it is for you.

Jenny is just another Mom trying to do her Best. She loves organizing things into lists and helping others find what they are looking for. When she’s not using her powers to find her kids missing socks, you can find her giving parenting advice & tips at MomLovesBest.com or on Pinterest.

Amara Organic Baby Food : {A Review}

*This is a sponsored post by Amara Organic Baby Food. All opinions are my own.

If you have followed my blog for any length of time, then you know I love to be in the kitchen preparing food with my girls. Now that my youngest is over 6 months old, I have been able to see the excitement on her sweet, little face as she begins to explore a new taste of life. In a previous post, I wrote all about how I create my own nutritious baby food.

While I love preparing healthy food for my children on a daily basis, it’s not always a realistic option. In fact, we are constantly on the go! Sometimes being on the go means forfeiting those healthy options for a processed jar of baby food. Yep, that’s right. We always keep a few jars in our cupboards and the diaper bag. Those jars definitely aren’t my first choice, but are sometimes necessary.

Insert Amara 

Amara wanted to create an organic baby food without using any additives. In order to make that a possibility, Amara uses a drying technique. They dry their food using pressure instead of high heat. This technique allows their baby food to be preserved without losing key nutrients.

Amara Organic Baby Food is committed to creating a healthy product that is perfect for those busy parents on the go. So, when I learned I would have the opportunity to work with Amara and try out their baby food, I was thrilled! I was sent one pouch in every flavor for my sweet baby girl to try. There was nothing she didn’t enjoy!

Amara is –

  • ORGANIC
  • NON GMO
  • GLUTEN FREE
  • SIMPLE

As a mom, I couldn’t be happier. I can finally ditch the jars, for a healthier, on the go option. These pouches fit easily into the diaper bag and are quick to prepare. Pouring the contents of the pouch into a bowl, while stirring in 4 to 6 tablespoons of water. WALA! Instant, organic baby food!

Amara offers five flavorful options: Banana, Potato & Kale Mash, Tropical Mango, Apple-Maqui Berry, and Oats N’ Berries.

I love that these pouches have a long storage life and are small enough to throw in the diaper bag and take anywhere! More importantly, I can feed her something quick and simple without any of the guilty! Those jars of processed junk are officially in the trash. Amara baby food is now part of our daily routine!

What are your favorite baby foods?

Copyrighted By: Boldly Bravely You

 

 

Update : {7 & 8 Months}

Oh sweet baby #2, here we are again. Doubling up on your monthly updates. Remember my darling, I love you more than you could possibly know. And I love making memories with you. Sometimes I get so caught up in the present moment, that I forget to jot everything down. But truthfully, it doesn’t bother me. I would much rather spend my time bonding with you and your sister, than doing anything else! So here it is baby girl, your highlight reel of months 7 & 8!

<3 Mama

Photo Cards – Milestone Baby Cards

Monthly Stickers – AppleEyeBabyShop

{Update 7 Months}

  • February 9th you had your first solid food – avocados. You didn’t seem thrilled, but food itself was a new concept to you. It took an additional two weeks to get the “eating concept” down.
  • February 10th the 3 of us went for a walk in the late afternoon. You and big sister enjoyed the stroller ride!
  • February 11 was your first library movie night! Once we arrived you had a bottle, then slept through a majority of trolls.
  • February 14th was not only your first Valentine’s Day, but also your six month check up. (Although you turned 7 months, these reviews are technically from the month prior.)
  • February 15th you slept hardcore on the living room floor. Falling asleep for nap in the afternoon and again in the evening close to bed time. Later in the evening, I held you for a while as you slept! Your rolls are adorable! <3
  • February 17th was one of your first six week baby story time sessions. At the end of the six weeks your were gifted two books “Yummy, Yucky” and
  • February 20th was your first time using the Boon Pulp to eat Bananas! Your expression said it all! <3
  • February 26th you started to army crawl! It’s your current mode of transportation and boy are you fast!
  • February 26th you tried carrots for the first time. You seem to really like them. Although you did finally warm up to avocados as well. Partly because you have the whole eating thing down now.

{Update 8 Months}

  • March 10th you and I hung out all night! After you threw up your bottle all over your sleep sack and me, you were bright eyed and bushed tailed until 3:30am. I loved the way your big eyes started happily up at me, as we caught up on the Ellen Show. It was a party of epic proportions!
  • March 12th was your first time having oranges. Holy Cow! You went to town on the Boon Pulp!
  • March 16th you hung out in your crib while I cleaned. Big sister kept you entertained, as she often does. 🙂
  • March 17th Boon Pulp and green grapes. You were in love! <3
  • March 18th you didn’t want to nap. So you got some one on one time with Mom and Dad!
  • March 20th was the start of napping in your crib on a daily basis and at the same time as your big sister.
  • March 24th was a blow out of epic proportions, which resulted in an immediate bath.
  • April 6th was your first “BABABABA” babble. I am desperately trying to turn that B to an M, while dad is pushing hard for D. Who will win the battle of the first word?

Copyrighted By: Boldly Bravely You