Cooking Tips and Tricks for Young Moms or the Not So Kitchen Savvy!

 

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As a young mom one of my biggest struggles has been adjusting to being independent in the kitchen and learning how to cook actual tasty food for my family. At this point I still have a lot to learn and a lot more to create, but I feel so much more confident in the kitchen now. I take a great amount of pride in being able to cook for my family and it is a skill I want to help other young moms to feel more secure in learning.

I am going to share with you my top 5 kitchen tips and tricks as well as present you with some tips and tricks other moms have suggested in my Facebook group! I hope this will be super helpful and allow you to branch out and be creative in the kitchen. If you have any awesome kitchen tips/tricks feel free to share them in the comments!

MY TOP 5 COOKING TIPS AND TRICKS:

  1. Read your seasonings! If you are unsure on how to season something or you are looking to step out of your comfort zone with seasoning, take a look at the labels on your spices and seasonings. Most of the time they will have suggestions on what types of meats and dishes to use it on as well as what seasonings it pairs well with!
  2. Invest in a crock pot or slow cooker! This will help you save time, as well as make your food super tender, juicy and flavorful. Almost all crock pot recipes are just dumping all ingredients together and then setting it to cook on high or low for a certain amount of time.
  3. Set timers! If I am cooking in the crock pot this is usually already done, but I have made it a habit of setting timers for myself to check my food as well as take it out. As a mom you can become easily detracted and this is a simple way to remind yourself of steps that might come in the middle of cooking, as well as making sure you don’t burn your food!
  4. Taste as you go! Of course you only want to taste if its safe, don’t go tasting raw meat. You can however taste your marinades and seasoning mixtures before you put them on raw meat to make sure that it will be to yours and your families liking. Don’t always trust a recipe, if you don’t like the taste of something then don’t add it!
  5. Measurements are relative! To some extent of course. I remember how hung up I would get on making sure everything was exact, when I first began cooking. Since then I have learned to add what is called for, do the tasting trick listed above and then adjust accordingly. Not everyone likes salt or pepper, and some people prefer more. If you use tips 4 and 5 together your meal will taste how you and your family want it to which in tern will give you more pride in your cooking skills!

MOMS FROM FACEBOOK GROUPS TOP 5 COOKING TIPS AND TRICKS:

  1. “My best tip would be when meal planning always plan a few quick/easy meals because it’ll help keep you from eating out…some days you don’t want to take a long time to cook so it’s nice having those options” – Submitted by Abby Stebbins

  2. “When you take the time to make lasagna or something labor intensive, make a double batch and freeze one tray. I do the same for apple crisp too. When I buy meat for a pot roast, I buy 2 and freeze one for later in the month. It’s easy to throw in the crock pot with the rest of the ingredients and takes less than 15 min of prep.” – Submitted by Sarah Mahan

  3. “Before you go to the grocery store, make sure you have a list for that week or month and don’t go shopping when you’re hungry to avoid purchasing unnecessary items.” – Submitted by Chelsea B.

  4. “Use cute resealable containers to store staple items such as flour, sugar, coffee, etc. because it keeps everything fresh, makes your kitchen look nice, and is less messy compared to scooping out of bags.” – Submitted by Clarissa Henderson

  5. “Create a recipe board on Pinterest, a recipe book or binder to organize all your favorite recipes. Pinterest is also great for finding simple recipes for beginners.” – Submitted by Keira Addams

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Check Out Whats Happening in Week 30 of my Pregnancy!

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This week has been super crazy! We officially put in our notice to move, Halloween of course came and went, I am testing out a new product, we launched the mommy care and wellness page, and there is just so much to do before baby comes! We are super excited about all these new things taking place, but also a bit overwhelmed. I will be posting a new schedule on the welcome page of this site soon so that you are able to know when new posts and guest posts will be happening.

Anyways! Lets get to the fun stuff! Week 30 is here and that means only 10 more weeks to go give or take, until we meet little Declan!! According to my pregnancy app little man is the size of a cabbage and weighs approximately 2.75 lbs He has been getting the hiccups more often now and his kicks are stronger and stronger. So far I have gained about 18 lbs and haven’t experienced any other symptoms that I haven’t mentioned before. I got the results back for my Glucose screening and my doctor will be explaining them to me at our next appointment. From what I could tell it was in the normal range though.

We have begun to track baby’s kicks once a day usually at night before bed. So far it hasn’t taken more then 5-6 minutes to get 10 kicks/movements out of him! In the tracker we got from the doctor it says to be concerned if you don’t feel 10 kicks or movements withing 2 hours so I think we are good there! Our next appointment is scheduled for the 11th of this month, we are now seeing doctor every two weeks!

Thanks for staying up to date and reading along! I really appreciate my readers and please go ahead and leave me a comment if you’re pregnant and let me know how its going for you, or just reminisce on your pregnancy! I would love reading about it!

Halloween Adventures! Trunk or Treating and Candy Fest

During the week of Halloween we did quite a few festive activities, but the two main events for Braydon were trunk-or-treating, and a candy fest at a local church! A couple days before Halloween Daniel and I took Braydon to a Church here in town called Morning Star Community Church. It was super cute and all the volunteers had their trunks decorated in different themes. If you don’t know what a “trunk-or-treat” is, it is basically trick-or-treating set up in a parking lot out of peoples trunks. It is meant to provide easy and safe trick-or-treating for neighborhoods that are dangerous, secluded, or have a harder time trick-or-treating.

Braydon’s favorites were the trunks he got to “fish” candy out of, and my personal favorite was the Snow White trunk! They had a cute little photo booth set up and they were all dressed in costume. They had a Ducks and Beavers trunk, Buzz Lightyear trunk, etc. We liked it so much Daniel and I were talking about volunteering next year, it seems like so much fun!

We also Stopped in at Target and checked out their trick-or-treat event, they had four booths set up throughout the store so we got to take Braydon to trick-or-treat while we shopped!

On Halloween we took Braydon to another church event at the West Salem Foursquare Church, called “Candy Fest”. It was definitely and awesome event! It is a very large church and it was super crowded for good reason. They had numbered booths set up everywhere for you to collect stamps and participate in games and activities. Braydon only did a few of the games including a basket ball toss, fishing for candy, and a cup shooting activity. His favorite thing seemed to be the bounce house they had set up as well as the very large slide he went down with Daniel!

As we were getting ready to leave I started feeling sick and tired and Braydon seemed tired and overstimulated as well. (He hadn’t had a nap of course and had been loading up on candy all day!) We decided to call it a night and hand out candy to trick-or-treaters instead of taking Braydon trick-or-treating like we had planned. Braydon enjoyed getting trick-or-treaters and would repeat “trick-or-treat!” everytime we got a knock at the door.

How did your Halloween go? Events with little one’s can be sort of stressful at times but at the end of the day, if your child had fun that’s all that matters right?

Check Out Whats Happening in Week 29 of My Pregnancy!

This pregnancy is flying by so fast! I only have a couple months until we get to meet this little man! I still have a lot I need to do to prepare for his arrival, and I am super excited!

For symptoms this week I have noticed an increase in Braxton hicks contractions and a lot more pain after laying down for a long period of time. I’ve started wearing my belly band for added support because it hurts my back to even walk around or bend over.

At my doctors visit this week, the baby measured at “28 weeks” which the doctor said was normal. She surprised me with a tdap vaccine and the dreaded hour long glucose test! I am super excited because she gave me the hospital paper work as well as some info on recording, picture taking, and what to bring to the hospital! I will be seeing the doctor every 2 weeks from now on. She also wanted me to start doing a kick counter to make sure baby Declan is moving okay in there.

I feel like this pregnancy is going by so quickly! I only have a couple short months left! I hope to have my baby shower soon, get moved, pack our bags and tour the hospital very soon! We decided that we wouldn’t be doing birthing classes this time around but I do want to see a lactation consultant beforehand.

Thanks for reading my update! Hopefully we will have visited the hospital by next weeks update and get the paperwork going on baby’s birth certificate!

 

Organization for the Unorganized Mommy

If you ask anyone that is close to me you would quickly find out I am not the most organized person. In fact I am a procrastinator at heart and quite lazy! 😉 Since I started Blogging I have quickly realized this is not the way I want to be anymore, and I want to make a real life change! It’s a work in progress and I am going to really try to stick to this lifestyle change but so far it has been for the better. I want to share with all you hot mess mommies like myself a few things I have done to ease myself into a more motivated and organized lifestyle.

This week I decided to take a step back and focus on getting a schedule in order, from blog scheduling, guest post scheduling, promoting, along with all my household duties, and doing actual things in my actual real life, I have become overwhelmed and quite busy! I’m sure this is the norm for more seasoned bloggers and work at home moms, but incase you are thinking about taking the plunge into adding on extra activities, a job, a blog, etc. These are a few things I have done that actually help me.

  1. GET A PLANNER!! I am a very visual person and it immediately makes me feel better to be able to open up my planner and see a spread of my month laid out before me. I personally prefer a monthly/weekly combo planner because I find it less time consuming to be able to write everything out for the month or week and refer back to it throughout. I don’t like writing a daily plan because as most of you busy moms know, things dont always go as planned each and everyday so it works best for me to simply have a monthly/weekly guideline.
  2. CREATE A SPACE FOR YOURSELF!! This is very important to me because I feel the most overwhelmed when I don’t have a place to sit down and do my work, or just have a place to go that I can relax and take some of the anxiety edge off! I recently reorganized my vanity into a desk so that I don’t have to do things on my bed or in the living room with the TV and a screaming toddler.
  3. SOCIAL MEDIA SCHEDULING!! This tool has helped me so much be able to participate in social media for my blog while still spend time with my family. This may not apply to every mom out there but it is especially helpful if you work from home doing direct sales or blogging.  After starting my facebook page I learned about the scheduling feature which is super awesome! I am able to schedule out posts for as long in advance as I would like with anything from sharing links, vids, my blog posts, etc. Sure I still participate on real time every now and then but its one less stress if I don’t have to! I also write out multiple blog posts at the beginning of each week and schedule them out throughout the week as well! This saves me so much time its crazy, I also have my blog posts automatically set to share on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr. A lot of people find this kind of thing to be unauthentic but I have to say it is very necessary if you want to live real life while also blogging or working from home.
  4. LISTS, LISTS, AND MORE LISTS!! Although I don’t write out a plan for each day I do create plenty of to-do lists and just lists in general for everything! Each day I decide how many things I am going to do on my list, not committing to anything specific then at the day I usually check off what I did and surprise myself  with what I am able to accomplish. This is like a fun treat for me at the end of the day too and allows me to go to bed feeling accomplished.
  5. WORK AROUND YOUR CHILD’S SCHEDULE!! If you’re a mom of little ones like myself then you probably already know they pretty much run the show when it comes to you getting stuff done. My advice is to just embrace it and work around it as best as you can. That is why I strongly agree with not writing out a “daily schedule” at least not one that includes you getting all your work done! I have found that the best times for me to get things done are nap time (a good 2-3 hours) this is usually when I shower, clean the house, and do some face-booking; early morning (when Braydon is occupied with his morning cartoons or playing) this is usually when I plan our meals, engage in more social media, do laundry, and send out emails; after Braydon is put to bed (his bed time is 8:00pm so this gives me several hours in the evening) this is usually when I do most blog writing, respond to emails, write out my lists, go over all my to-do’s and spend time with Daniel.

I hope this helps you to make a few changes in becoming more organized and motivated. These changes are small and I don’t do all of this every single day but it is becoming more and more consistent and is helping me quite a bit! Share some of your scheduling and organizing tips in the comments! Thanks for reading!

Labor and Deliver Story: Baby Braydon

It was 4:00am January 24th 2014, exactly one week before my due date (February 1st). I got up for one of my many frequent trips to the bathroom and as I had finished up and went back to bed, I noticed I was still leaking fluid. I thought I might have peed a little, but as I got back up and out of the bed to go check a huge rush of water came pooring out. The only way I can describe it is a sense of warm liquid and pressure, a continuous flow.

I woke Braydon’s dad to tell him it was time, my contractions had not yet started. We first called my aunt to tell her what was going on and then Jake’s (Braydon’s dad) sister. We called the maternity ward at my local hospital and they suggested we come in right away instead of waiting for my contractions to start since it sounded like my water had fully broken.

Jake’s sister picked us up and we headed to the hospital! I started having mild contractions in the car on the way there and they steadily increased from there. When we checked in, it was nice to see that we were the only ones there. Our hospital was super small and I was the only mommy admitted at the time. Since it was Flu season the nurses informed us that who ever was accompanying us in the delivery room would be our only visitors allowed while we were there. I chose to have Jake, my mom, my sister, and Jake’s mom in the delivery room.

My birth plan was set up to be a “lets see how it goes” kind of thing. I didn’t want to commit to a fully natural or medicated birth, I just wanted to see what my body needed. As my contractions progresses I walked around the hospital a couple times, used a yoga ball, and tried the Jacuzzi tub to labor in. The tub I felt made my contractions way worse and I didn’t stay in there very long. At 7cm I asked for the epidural, and it only worked on one side of my body until they came in to fix it.

Around 1:30pm it was time to push! I don’t recall the specific number of pushes it took but he arrived at 1:59pm so about a half hour of pushing and my baby boy was here! They placed him on my chest right away as Jake cut the cord and I had my skin to skin with him. I can’t tell you what I was thinking or feeling other then full attention on him and an overwhelming sense of happiness. My little man weight 6lbs and 14oz and was 19 3/4 inches long. I was able to breast feed him in the hospital which was super awesome and the nurse was aggressive but super helpful.

I had to have stitches as Braydon’s elbow tore me up towards the front. I don’t recall the stitches as I was too busy admiring my baby at the time. I remember being in such a focused state throughout my pregnancy that I honestly didn’t pay attention to anyone or anything. I really couldn’t tell you what the other people in the room were saying or doing. After I had fed baby and had substantial skin to skin with him, Jake gave him his first bath! The hospital staff were so caring and helpful, I will only go to a small hospital for future births!

We stayed two nights in the hospital and then took our sweet baby home. Before we left the hospital provided us with a celebratory breakfast that included mimosas, Belgium waffles,  and fruit! It was probably the most significant experience I have ever had and I can’t wait to do it all over again with baby number two this January! (Yes, thats right two January babies!)

 

Check Out What’s Happening in Week 28 of My Pregnancy!

This update is coming a couple days late because we’ve been super busy with Daniels new job, me adjusting to being the only parent at home, all our fall activities we’ve been doing, and all the stuff I am doing for this Blog! I didn’t want to just skip this though because I am excited to be able to look back at these memories and share them with my kids when they’re older. I look at Braydon’s memory box and baby book about once a week thinking back to when he was just a little fragile thing! This time around I am going to include some short video clips from my 20 week ultrasound, when we found out baby Declan would be a boy!

Video Clips of 20 Week Ultrasound:

This week in my pregnancy:

Baby Declan is up keeping me up most of the night with his flips and tricks in my belly! I have been having more charlie horses and leg cramps and it’s so terrible! Other then that I haven’t noticed any changes in symptoms other then the waddling and trouble breathing. Since I am officially in my 28th week now, After I see the doctor this week I will be seeing them every 2 weeks. I still haven’t taken the glucose test yet! (yay!)

My pregnancy app says that baby is approximately 2.25lbs this week and is the size of a Chinese cabbage. My app also says that baby’s brain is developing more tissue and baby is developing a sleep schedule. I am officially in my 3rd trimester, this week I received my samples from the Honest Company, and it came with some really cute patterns! I talked about this a little bit on my facebook page already, but I will be doing a review of them after Declan is born and can try them out!

Thanks for reading guys!! Make sure you subscribe to my email list and stay up to date with our newsletter and post updates!!

Name Announcement: Baby Number 2!

 

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It took us such a long time to come up with baby number 2’s name. I am now in my 3rd trimester and I am so excited to announce that we have decided on a name! Baby brother will be named… Declan Daniel Kim!!!

Declan has a good name meaning that Daniel was really happy with it means, “man of prayer”. I like it because it sounds cute and its unique enough but not super out there. I am so happy to be able to refer to him as something other then just “baby” “little brother” or “little boy”. His middle name will be Daniel since this is Daniels first born son, and I wanted him to have a middle name, where as Daniel didn’t care either way!

 

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Thanks for reading! We are so excited Baby Declan will be here before we know it! Leave me a comment and tell me your favorite baby names!!

25 Ways to Combat Top 5 Pregnancy Symptoms!

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As the title suggests I’m going to be presenting you pregnant mommies with some different ways to combat some of the most experienced and unpleasant pregnancy symptoms! These ideas came from real life mommies that submitted their suggestions and ideas via Facebook. Remember to always check with your Doctor, primary care provider, or OBGYN before trying any of these or taking any supplements/vitamins!

HEARTBURN

Heartburn is one of the most common symptoms during pregnancy, and one that I am currently experiencing. Remember to consult a healthcare professional before trying any of these remedies. Here are the top 5 ways to combat this symptom, that were submitted by real moms:

  1. Kombucha – This is basically fermented tea that originated in China. It is a probiotic drink that has many health benefits and many moms swear it helps them with heartburn.
  2. Calcium Soft Chews – This is great for people who hate the chalky aftertaste of tums. They pretty much work the same way but taste a lot better which is especially great for pregnant mommies!
  3. Pickle Juice – This one might seem especially weird, but many moms swear by pickle juice for heartburn! apparently the vinegar in the pickle juice helps some people relieve indigestion symptoms.
  4. Milk – For those that cannot stomach pickle juice, other moms suggest drinking milk. The milk can counteract stomach acid, at least for a little while and its healthy for you!
  5. Apple Cider Vinegar – This last one is a little less heard of but it’s the same idea as the pickle juice. Basically you mix 1:2 parts apple cider vinegar and water and drink! It’s not going to taste good but it might just do the trick to calm your stomach.

 

NAUSEA/ MORNING SICKNESS

One of the more common symptoms, and one I was blessed not to experience! Some poor mommies suffer from this all day long rather then just in the morning like the traditional name suggests. Remember to consult a healthcare professional before trying any of these remedies. Here are the top 5 ways to combat this symptom, that were submitted by real moms:

  1. GingerA classic remedy to this symptom is all things ginger! whether it be ginger ale, ginger pops, ginger chews etc. Lots of moms feel relief when consuming these types of things and its even been known to help with heartburn!
  2. Vitamin B6 – This supplement has been known to reduce nausea in pregnant women and many doctors do suggest it.
  3. Lean Protein – lean protein snacks are high in B6, so if you’re not wanting to take extra vitamin supplements this would be a great alternative for you! Also eating small snacks has been a proven way to fight against nausea as well as fatigue.
  4. Peppermint – Sucking on a peppermint is pretty much the same idea as sucking on a ginger candy. This is a long time used home remedy and even inhaling peppermint scent can help settle an upset stomach.
  5. Acupressure/ Pressure Points – Lots of moms are really into using pressure points to relieve all kinds of symptoms but its especially popular for morning sickness. There are even bracelets you can purchase that will apply the proper action. There are all kinds of internet resources and books on this as well.

MUSCLE ACHES/ CRAMPS

Now this one I have struggled with personally all throughout pregnancy. Its such a pain, literally! to carry a growing body inside of you, remember to consult a healthcare professional before trying any of these remedies. Here are the top 5 ways to combat this symptom, that were submitted by real moms:

  1. Epsom Salt Baths – Epsom salts are a common use in the medical field, particularly in retirement and care homes for people that suffer in old age from these bodily pains. Epsom salt can relieve muscle tension and relax joints, plus baths are super relaxing!
  2. Massages – One of the simplest and cheapest ways to help combat this symptom is to get a massage! You can ask your partner to do this for you, or another close family member or support person. This is a great bonding experience and a good massage might be all you need to get some relief at the end (or beginning) of the day. If you wanted to splurge and get a prenatal massage or maybe suggest it as a nice gift from someone, that’s always great too!
  3. Magnesium Supplements – You may be more prone to muscle pains and cramps if your magnesium is low, this is often the case with pregnant women and you should consult your doctor to see if taking extra magnesium might help you!
  4. Prenatal Yoga/ Low Impact exercise – My doctor had suggested to me doing some low impact exercise to help loosen my joints and relieve muscle and back pain by stretching. Luckily there are actual exercises and classes dedicated to pregnant ladies such as prenatal yoga!
  5. Swimming – Same idea as low impact exercise but this has the added benefit of taking that extra weight off you that you’ve been carrying around, its the perfect combo of a nice bath and some exercise!

 

FATIGUE/ SLEEP TROUBLE

I haven’t met a pregnant women ever that said she never had trouble sleeping during pregnancy, or trouble getting enough sleep! This is often because of other symptoms such as having to constantly pee, cramps, it being so hard to breath – that kind of thing. Anyways here are some ways mommies have found that helped at least a little with this, remember to consult a healthcare professional before trying any of these remedies. Here are the top 5 ways to combat this symptom, that were submitted by real moms:

  1. Cat Naps – Getting enough rest through out the day when you can and when you feel you need to will help you feel more rested when you do have to get up and get things done! Pregnancy is the perfect excuse to kick back, put on some Netflix and rest!
  2. Pillows – Lots of mommies find relief by using pillows to prop themselves and support their bodies. Make sure that if you invest in an actual pregnancy pillow you read your return policy as they are expensive, and try it out right away to make sure it works for you! Using several household pillows or a body pillow works just as well in my opinion!
  3. Stay Hydrated – Being properly hydrated is going to seriously boost your energy, its beneficial for many other pregnancy symptoms and all around health as well. I had a fainting spell with each pregnancy and one of the suspected causes was that I wasn’t properly hydrated so drink that water ladies!
  4. Relieving Muscle aches – One of the reasons a lot of moms are so tired or unable to sleep is because they are in pain from muscle aches and pains, so if you take care of those symptoms you can often have an easier time finding rest.
  5. Aromatherapy – I know a lot of moms use essential oils and there are several kinds that you can apply or diffuse that induse relaxation. I personally use a pillow spray from bath and body works that contains lavender and chamomile. I spray my pillow, blankets, and sheet with it and it will help me to feel more relaxed and fall asleep easier at bedtime.

STRETCH MARKS

This is a tricky one because I personally feel there is not much you can do to relieve this symptom. I think it is more genetics then anything and applying creams is mainly to make yourself feel like your fixing it. I feel it is a very common symptom though and one many moms wish to fix so lets address it! Remember to consult a healthcare professional before trying any of these remedies. Here are the top 5 ways to combat this symptom, that were submitted by real moms:

  1. Vitamin E – Taking a vitamin e supplement may help you with basic skin health and is proven to be good for anti-aging and skin care.
  2. Creams and Oils with Vitamin E – If you are going to use a cream or oil on your body to help with stretch marks, most moms and beauty gurus advise that whatever you use, make sure it has vitamin e in it. Again vitamin e is good for your skin and skin health so if anythings going to help this would be it!
  3. Drink Water – Making sure you’re hydrated will help with skin elasticity and your skin will stretch and snap back a lot easier!
  4. It Works! Products – I am not a distributor but I know a lot of mommies that use these products and/or sell them. The women I know that sell them I trust when they say something works. A lot of moms use their wraps and stretch mark cream and swear by it.
  5. Exercise – Wow exercise is good for a lot of things I guess! Toning your body after pregnancy and staying in shape while pregnant could reduce the amount of stretch you get/ have over time. if anything it will make you feel happier, healthier, and have better body image!

 

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I hope you took some great things away from this post today and I’m super happy to do the research and find some remedies to help us pregnant mommies to feel better! Leave a comment and tell me your favorite remedies for pregnancy symptoms! Don’t forget to sign my guestbook before leaving! XOXO

Mommy Faves! Month of October

I love reading other mothers recommendations for things that work for their families and what they’re enjoying, so I thought I would start a monthly favorites post to let you know what works for me and my family! I’m sure the categories will change month to month but this is what we are enjoying for the month of October. I hope you enjoy and thanks for reading! None of my posts are sponsored unless otherwise specified, I just enjoy sharing products that work for me and my family!

Movies:

  • Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest
  • Hocus Pocus (mommy fave)
  • Halloweentown, Halloweentown 2, and Halloweentown High

Books:

  • Ten Timid Ghosts (scholastic) By: Jennifer O’Connell
  • Llama Llama Time to Share By: Anna Dewdney
  • An Unfortunate Fairy Tail Series : Chanda Hahn (mommy fave! I am currently re-reading this series.)

Food:

  • Pillsbury Cookies
  • Apple Cider
  • Anything made in the Crockpot!

Braydon’s Favorite playtime activities:

  • Jumbo Coloring book (Braydon loves to color!)
  • Football (he just got this for football season)
  • Spooky phone (suppose to be a Halloween decoration, but its quickly becoming his favorite toy!)
  • Bath time art supplies! (we have been doing color baths and bath crayons pretty much all month!)