February 19, 2019

Toddler Indoor Activities

toddler indoor activitiestoddler indoor activitiestoddler indoor activities
Playing dress up is such a classic and now my new favorite toddler indoor activity! Yesterday, Abby and I dressed up for the first time (yes all 5 months pregnant of me did too)  and I have to say, it  provided for some really fun and funny dialogue the rest of the day.  (I liked loved every minute of it). The girl mom in me was so happy.   : ) 

toddler indoor activities
toddler indoor activitiestoddler indoor activities

So let's be real. Yes, there are so many things to do on a rainy day and yet I found it very challenging as a new mom the last couple of years to find age appropriate ones for Abby as toddler online. 

The older she gets, the easier it is to do more with her! (like play dress up) So, the list of activities I pulled together below are for 1-3-year old’s (Abby is three in June! and saying this out loud hurts me inside a little). Only a few activities like dress up and building couch cushion forts are one's we've recently done due to her age. The rest however, are activities we have enjoyed over the last couple of years and hopefully, one or two will be new and helpful to you!

So here is what we’re loving for toddler indoor activities: ages 1-3 years

Couch cushion forts 

Make homemade play dough

Bake something sweet

Coloring books

Play dress up

Visit the library

Host a play date at home

Have a tea party/picnic inside

Create a mural (paper roll & crayons as shown below)

Make  and bake a homemade pizza

Rice box (cups, spoon, bowls,) sensory activity 

Play with a brown paper box (hello amazon)

Play kitchen 

toddler indoor activities
Floral Bows C/O Shoptahoom release 2/28/19
If I left out an idea you have, free feel to us know below! And as always, thank you for your readership! I'm so excited for spring to arrive soon. Along with all the tulips it brings to fill up our home. Soon, very soon! 

Warmly, Steph

If you liked this post, you may also like:

February 10, 2019

Daddy-Daughter Valentine's Day Brunch

SO excited to share with you the surprise Daddy-Daughter Valentine’s Day brunch I pulled together for Steve and Abby! 

They now need to make a heart eye emoji with happy tears. Because if they did, that's exactly what you’d see from me as I photographed them brunching. Especially when all 6’4” of Steve leaned in for a sip of milk as Abby copied him. I’m talking so many tears, we ran out of tissues. 

Most of the details you see are provided from my friends Jessica and April over at Modern Birch which is my favorite place to add that special touch! Like the love balloon placed between them and the heart cupcake toppers which I used to help stack pancakes. Yum!

The XO table runner is actually a paper roll. I just painted on the X and O's with black craft paint the night before. I love how it all came together!

This is the second year in a row I've pulled off a surprise for Steve and Abby right before Valentine's Day (first one you can see here) along with the DIY upgrade I did on her dinning set. However, I don’t think I’ve falling more in love with these two than when I saw them brunching over pancakes and clicking milk glasses together. 

The mama heart is full. 

So if you're interested in making a surprise brunch for your own family, I say go for it! Just be sure you have enough tissues in the house.   : )

Warmly, Steph

Sources & Links
 Black & White Ball Felt Banner C/O Modern Birch
Love Balloon C/O Modern Birch 
Heart cupcake toppers C/O Modern Birch
Abby's Dress
Abby's cream rose clip C/O Flora & Peg 

February 3, 2019

Gender Reveal

gender reveal ideasgender reveal ideas
gender reveal ideas
gender reveal ideas
gender reveal ideas
gender reveal ideas
gender reveal ideas
gender reveal ideas
gender reveal ideas
gender reveal ideas
gender reveal ideas
gender reveal ideas

We're having a girl!!!

I feel so incredible lucky and shocked! Yet mainly just SO excited! This little bundle of joy had me thinking blue for awhile because I was beyond sick up until 19 weeks. 

We are over the moon to learn this June two little girls will be in our house!! Two!! 

And I couldn't have had any more fun with this big reveal! It's all thanks to Jessica and April over at Modern Birch, two moms who create the most unique and creative things for every type of celebration we have in life! And on top of this, Jessica and April donate one tree for every order they make online to trees.org. It was because of them and what you they do, that I knew this was the only way I wanted to do our reveal!

 It felt so incredibly special to watch that pink confetti float to the ground with Steve and Abby by my side. The joy, excitement, and adrenaline in that moment right before you learn the truth is something I'll never forget. I'll always treasure that feeling. That, and the moment I held up our beautiful wooden sign saying, "Baby Girl!!!

Our Gender Reveal Video

Sources & Links
Gender Reveal Props:

February 1, 2019

DIY Heart & X Garland

After my friend Melissa gave me the challenge to make a DIY Valentine’s Day décor under $10, I had a ton of fun coming up with this heart and X garland for Abby’s reading nook. Although XO’s is a typical Valentine’s Day statement, here in our home we call it, Happy Heart Day. Hence the heart and X instead. 

I also decided to make two versions. Larger sized for our living area, and a small version (shown above) to hang around my all time favorite quote as a girl mom.

“Being yourself, is the prettiest thing you can be.” 

I found this graphic print in the 70% off bin during my last month of pregnancy with Abby and immediately fell in love. That quote has become something I intentionally strive to model in myself daily so that Abby will grow up with this idea and confidence within herself.  

Adding a little love around the graphic print helps it come to life that much more for me.  

This is my first handmade garland and I’m sure there are tons of ways to make them!  I’m just happy to share what I did and the two versions I made. Both large and small.

Large Version 

Small Version

If you’re interested in making either sized garland, you can subscribe to my email list (located on the bottom right hand side of the side bar) and be automatically sent the cutout images for both. I know! Something new and fun from me to you!

I’d be happy to have you join! As I like to treat my email subscribers like my girlfriends in making sure we stay connected and give them first access to when new blog posts go live and other fun things like big announcements (such as…..our gender reveal!!!)

Here are the 3 Steps I did to make them.

||  1  ||
Print out the heart and X shapes, then trace however many of each you need. 
(Small version I made 16 of each, Large 8)

||  2  ||
Cut out all X’s and hearts
 (Time saving tip: I placed two cardstock sheets on top of each other so the front and back could be cut out at the same time.)

||  3  ||
Last, I laid string out flat and glue gunned about every 2 inches apart the X, then heart.
(Same for the larger version, I just cut the center string when done.)

Hang and enjoy!

I have lots of fun things headed your way the next couple of weeks to help make Valentines Day special, yet simple. A motto Mama Jots blog (ok me!) is proud of. 
This is just the start!

Warmly, Steph

January 24, 2019

Bump Style || One Piece, Four Ways

In 2018, style blog posts were one of the most viewed and pinned categories I shared on here. So for our first round in 2019, I'm sooo very excited to include the bump!

With my first pregnancy, dressing the baby bump always felt like a tug-a-war between the body and brain because 1) comfort is king, and 2) feeling pulled together was still a daily goal when walking into the closet. Which is why I’ve secretly challenged myself this last week on...

How to style one piece, four ways that I LOVE! While also wanting to create outfits that used the least amount of "maternity" pieces possible to help stretch my wardrobe. It's an added bonus that everything is under $50! Like the cowl neck sweater I'm wearing however, the Hunter boots are the only thing not under $50 of course.  ; ) 

There are some "non-maternity versions" listed by clicking on the (pink highlighted links), everything else is baby bump friendly. 

I hope these ideas help stretch your pregnant and non-pregnant wardrobe for winter-to-spring months. And as always, thank you for your readership!! I SO appreciate you ladies! 

We have some fun things coming your way in the next few weeks, like a few Valentines Day inspiration ideas and a gender reveal!!!

Warmly, Steph

January 10, 2019

Getting Abby Ready For Baby

Emotionally and physically we have a few things to do for Abby before baby arrives! 

In the beginning we didn’t really say anything to her about me being pregnant until 2 months in and when we finally did, the news went straight over her head!

Every child is different which means reactions to pregnancy and change vary, as Abby has really surprised us lately!  However, when I think about the last 3 months of implementing our warm hearted intentions (listed out below) I'm not at all surprised to see that she gets it, and is VERY excited about BABY! 

To START the conversation, we read books on what becoming a big sis is all about. So instead of changing things, we just adding something to her already schedule routine. Which is reading! Seeing her family and herself in the photos (a mom, dad, sis and baby) while I read the words was key in getting her to understand. We really like Little Miss, Big Sis and Becoming A Big Sis. Everything else we’ve done and plan to do, is listed below.

Timeline To Help Adjust:

Read books on what it means to be a big sis
(1-2 months)

Start talking about where baby is and pointing to mom's belly.
( 3 months)

Made her part of the pregnancy annoucment
(3 months)

Referred to the big sis books and ask what she wants to do with baby
(3-4 months)

Gifted baby doll 
 (3 months, although anytime!)

Joined mom on doctor visits & listen to baby’s heartbeat 
( 4 months, plus get a treat after appointment!)

Timeline For Future: 

Potty training
(4-6 months)

Railing down on crib
(5 months)

Big girl bed
(5-6 months)

Pick out a gift for baby
(8 months)

Meet baby!!!
(9 months)

Ask for grandparents to come to take Abby out the week of baby’s arrival for some fun.
( 9+ months)

Overall What Really Helps
I truly feel because we are making Abby a PART of the pregnancy, that’s the reason she’s SO excited! She gets to be front and center with everything that’s going on around here and its all fun stuff! Which in turn gives Abby a positive experience and relationship to what this whole “new baby ”and “big sis” thing is all about. So, looking back on it now, I'm kind of not surprised to see why she’s so excited!

I’m by nooo means a parenting expert as these are just things we’ve done and also plan to do. I feel like this topic is very rarely talked about, if ever. And as always, I truly feel you know what is best for you and your little ones. I’m just happy to share! 

And I’m sure as we progress through these changes over the next couple of months, this topic will come up again. So I’m curious to know which one, two, or three of the changes  you’d like to see in more depth? 

Feel free to let me know below!

Warmly, Steph

January 8, 2019

Second Trimester || Bump Update

( 17  WEEKS )

Hello second trimester! The stage of pregnancy where laundry is finally folded and put away for the first time in months.  Energy is up, and nesting mode is in high gear! So much so, that I have both a boy and girl inspirational nursery board on Pinterest ready to go!

Gender Reveal Details

And yes! I will eventually be sharing a nursery tour on here, along with the baby's gender. We find out at the end of the month (20 weeks!).  Which means we are going to wait until that last weekend in January/February to do a gender reveal for friends and family.  How we do that exactly is a secret! You’ll just have to wait and be surprised. ; )

I promise … as the last week in January approaches, you’ll know exactly what day we are going to reveal! 

Bump Update ||  17 weeks

For the second trimester, a few things have helped me is this body pillow for sleeping at night. It’s the exact one I used while pregnant with Abby and I love these maternity jeans, as well! They are just as great for postpartum and I swear are the most comfortable brand and cutest pair I have yet to find! You’ll often find me after 7pm in these pants for Abby’s bedtime routine and lounging around the house.

I finally broke down about bought these B6 vitamin drops off Amazon via doctors order because I’m still feeling a little bit of nausea at night (nothing, however, like I did before!) and other than that, I’m starting to feel a few flutters in my belly. No kicks just yet, though little baby is certainly moving!

Hopefully I answered all of your questions! However, let me know below or over in Instagram via DM if you have any others!

Warmly, Steph

January 2, 2019

New Year 2019 || More & Less

new year resolutions

Still cleaning up pine needles and munching on candies and baked goods from friends and family. However, the smell of lavender moving throughout our home from fresh cleaned counter tops and floors provides that “new start” feel which I LOVE!

We have BIG goals coming up in 2019 which include painting and decorating another nursery! I'm so excited to say that in short 6 months we’ll have another little one under our roof!

So, in the spirit of transforming merry + bright to fresh starts and BIG changes in the new year as mothers. I thought I’d share what I'm intentionally working on getting “more of” and “less of” the next 6 months while I change from a mom of one, to two!! 

More new recipes made
Less eating out

More mother-daughter time
Less distractions

More travel and adventures 
Less mindless spending 

More vulnerability 
Less care of judgment

More risks in business
Less fear

More exercise in the morning
Less nap time hustle

 More reading & listening to podcast
Less internet 

new year resolutions
 I hope this helps inspires you to create your own “more of” and “less of” plan. 

May this NEW year be a great one! Because 365 days and 365 new opportunities sounds like a great reason to keep moving forward intentionally.

Warmly, Steph