February 26, 2019

Tips For Flying While Pregnant

Tips for Flying While Pregnant

I must admit, leaving my family for the first time (for an entire weekend) was not exactly rainbows and sunshine. Truly and deeply love my girlfriends and always enjoy having a break like the next mom! However, It was a major challenge for me as a mom, and as "Steph."

I’ve honestly truly never struggled with saying goodbye to Steve and Abby for a day trips with friends, a lunch meet up, girl’s night, or even just a trip to the mall by myself. Those are always really refreshing! However, this round, while being very pregnant and hormonal (5.5 months going on 6!) meant I would not be returning home or sleeping with my beloved body pillow and instead, I'd be walking around an entire city all weekend long. I was so scared about not being comfortable (physically) and then (emotionally) knowing I wouldn’t be able to tuck my little one in at night for the entire weekend made me lose it at departures. Full on ugly tears. Pregnant lady crying on display. 

However, I knew (once I walked into the airport) that deep down like everything else in life, once you do it, it’s so much easier the second time around. I don’t have any other trips planned to be away from Steve and Abby soon however, if I did, I know that I can do it now! Yes, it was very tough leading up to my trip (emotional) and even tougher to actually leave however, I had a blast with my girls!! So-so-so glad I went! Staying up until 12:30am talking and laughing with my girlfriend as we shared an Airbnb, felt like we were 25 again!

I’ve only flown once before being pregnant and that was for a babymoon Steve and I took to Kuai. For last weekend’s trip, I was so busy and consumed with our day-to-day life and responsibilities that I completely forgot all the things that helped me travel during my first pregnancy. Luckily over in Instagram when I asked all of you to share your advice, I got some amazing responses!! 

So, I decided to compile your advice and my personal experience with flying (physically & emotionally) to come up with a list we made together. Super fun, yes?! Flying solo or with family, all of these have been super helpful to me for both situations!

Tips for Flying While Pregnant
Tips For Flying While Pregnant

Water bottle and drink lots of water
Book an aisle seat
Compression socks
Walk the aisle 
Dress comfortably
Fly in the second trimester
Figure out how long your comfortable being away
Try to plan your return in daylight if away from family (to see them before bed!)

I hope by giving you my personal experience on flying and traveling while pregnant (both emotionally and physically) will helps those of you who are thinking about making your own trip! Like I said earlier, it was SO worth! Even though the first time is the hardest I truly believe like anything else, it’s much easier the second, third, or forth time you do something.

So I wish you a happy, comfortable, and safe baby bump travels! You can do it mama! You SO can!

Warmly, Steph

February 19, 2019

Toddler Indoor Activities

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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, please feel free 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

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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