Staying Connected to Your Kids While You Travel: Face-to-Face Time

I can still remember the moment my small girl asked me if I chose my job… My thinking? She was proud of her Mommy, proud that her Mommy was completely in charge of her days, where and when she traveled and how often. Instead, her little girl heart was hurting, sad that I traveled as much as I did, heart-broken believing that I was choosing to be away from her as much as I had been.

Eye-opening for me.

Traveling is part of my job.

And I love it. But having a parent away can be hard for small people. Let’s face it – it is hard on moms and dads too. We miss family dinners, helping with homework, sporting events, prayer time, school functions and most importantly – hugs and kisses.

The good news is – in our house, we have found a way to juggle the travel and family time by staying connected face-to-face. Even from a distance, my husband and I both participate in baseball and softball games, prayer times and don’t miss plays and practices. (I swear!) And there are other steps we take to ease the traveling transition as well. This picture below was from a recent trip to Costa Rica – I was never so happy to see their sweet faces.

Skype Costa Rica

I’m excited to have partnered with Skype and SheKnows to share my best ways to stay connected while I travel as a SheKnows Expert. (there are a few.)

I’d love for you to head on over to see how my family tackles travel and then I would love to know how you do it in your world.

Disclosure: Thank you so much to Skype and SheKnows for working with me on this conversation. As always, all thoughts and opinions are mine and mine alone.

Top Beauty Trends for Spring

With the start of Spring, your wardrobe isn’t the only thing that could use a little refresher. It’s time to breathe a little color into your beauty routine as well! So what trends are big in beauty this season?

top spring beauty trends

1. Bright Lips

Adding a punchy lip color is any easy way to channel Spring. From creams to mattes to glosses, there is surely an option that will work for you! Feeling adventurous? Go for a bright coral! Or play it a bit safer with a classic red or pink.

 

spring beauty trends

 

Sephora / Revlon / NARS / MAC / NYX / NARS

2. Bronzed skin

Who doesn’t want a little sun-kissed glow? Try dusting bronzer under your cheekbones, along your forehead, and down the bridge of your nose. Be sure to stay away from super-orange shade or shimmer for the most natural look.

makeup trends for spring

 

Covergirl / Physicians Formula /  Lancome / Bobbi Brown

 3. Lilac shadow

Pale purple shadow was big on the runway, and is very wearable on all skin tones!

spring makeup trends

 

Clinique /  Estée Lauder / Almay / Maybelline / Bobbi Brown

 What beauty trends are you look forward to trying this Spring?

Simple Steps to Teach Your Children To Cook: Plus a Meal They Will Love

As I write this, we are off to yet another sporting event. It is not unusual for us to be juggling practices and games for softball, baseball, basketball and soccer in any given week. I would love to tell you the cape I wear makes it possible for me to single-handedly clean house, assist with homework, confirm sports bags are packed, chauffeur to events and make meals simultaneously, but alas, I have my limits.

The good news is, my small people are getting bigger and are happily learning to be far more self-sufficient. They can get themselves ready for practices and games. They remember water bottles and second uniforms (most of the time). And even better they can now make themselves simple meals. I cannot tell you how beautiful it is to not only see their independence develop, but how helpful it is on our busiest of weeks. (Confession: Spring is our busiest season.) I love to watch them play, but watching them grown into strong, functioning young people is ALSO so rewarding.

Horizon Kids in the Kitchen1

Because we have had such success in the kitchen, we wanted to share our tips for teaching the kids to cook. We are excited to have partnered with Horizon to share not only how to make one of our favorite meals, but the snacks they added to the meal. The best part about this video? It is almost entirely my small people….I make a cameo only at the beginning – they walk you through the rest as they wanted to tell you just how parents can help kids in the kitchen.

Enjoy!

So what did you think? My small people had so much fun cooking one of our favorite meals for you…we certainly hope you enjoyed the video.

Here is a recap of the basic tips just in case:

Simple Tips for Teaching your Kids to Cook

Teach Your Kids to Cook

Let Your Kids Choose the Meal they Want to Make: Your small people are far more likely to not only be excited about cooking, but will ask to do it again and again if they are learning to making a meal they love.

Let Your Kids Decide Which Side Dishes to Add: Let’s be honest, vegetables aren’t always a favorite, but feeling like you are in control and getting to choose your LEAST favorite vegetable AND they other sides you love is a bonus.

Teach Your Kids to Cook

Allow them to Make Mistakes (or a mess!): First of all, making a mess is fun. Second? Not getting in to trouble for making a mess is AMAZING. 

Stay Close By Just in Case: Since this is new territory, your kiddos will likely feel more comfortable knowing you are close ‘enough’ in case they need a little help or have a question.

And, of course…enjoy that meal with them.

Horizon Kids in the Kitchen

Is there anything you would add? Do you spend time with your kids in the kitchen?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Horizon Organics. The opinions and text are all mine.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Horizon Organics. The opinions and text are all mine.

How to Travel Cheap through Europe

The opportunity to travel is a gift. There are so many countries and cultures out there just waiting to be discovered by you (and me!) However, I know often real life gets in the way of real dreams. We might only ever get one dream vacation abroad. It’s important to make the most of it. As I’m having the time of my life living abroad, I wanted to talk about visiting multiple countries in one trip & the best ways to travel cheap throughout Europe.

How to travel cheap through Europe

travel cheap through europe

 Plan ahead

We’ve talked about this before, but it’s best to book the major flights in advance so you can take advantage of the best deals. Check any airports in and around the countries you want to visit. Be flexible: you can check into one airport and out of another if you’re going to be visiting quite a few locations. Plan the bulk of your adventures in advance.

Check all avenues of transportation

Planes, trains, automobiles: it’s hard to know which is going to be the most affordable. It’s best to look explore all options. Sometimes you can take an overnight train to your destination. That way you don’t waste valuable day-time traveling. Ride-sharing is also an option. In France it’s called covoiturage. You pick a starting point and join in with a group in what feels much like an organized hitch hike. This is obviously not much of an option for families, but for singles or even couples looking to save money traveling in Europe, it’s a good option to check out.

Seek alternative lodging

This might not be the popular opinion, but there are other places to lay your weary head than an expensive hotel. I recently took a trip to Prague, Vienna, Bratislava, and Budapest and other than staying with friends in Vienna, we booked hostels. Now, I was traveling with my brother which made me feel a ton safer, but it can be an option for everyone. We even met an older couple as we were checking in. The price difference will astound you. Both hostels in Prague & Budapest were smack in the center of the city and in Budapest our lodging felt like an apartment. It’s worth exploring as even with a family you can book a whole room to yourself. It’d be quite the experience.

Have a path

Start in London, end in Venice and see Paris, Barcelona, Nice, Monaco, Genoa, then Venice. You’ve seen 5 countries and you could certainly do it in a 10-day span. Or you can start in Berlin and see Prague, Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest, and Bucharest and maybe even head down to Istanbul all in the same trip. That’s 6 countries! I did almost the middle part of this trip in 6 days. It was glorious. If you plan a starting point and ending point you will be able to see quite a bit. I think for Americans especially, we are used to everything being so far apart, it seems crazy you’d be able to see so many countries in such a short period of time, but trust me, it’s doable. Plan the path and you’ll get it done.

Make Friends

This might sound a bit odd, but one of the cheapest ways to travel in Europe is to stay with friends. If you know a friend of a friend living abroad for some reason, hit them up. I know that I would gladly host someone trekking across Europe. It might seem far fetched, but the European mindset is quite different from that of Americans….they are often happy to welcome newcomers to their home city. It’s always a good option to have.

As you may have noticed if you’ve read my articles here for a while, I want to encourage people to get out there and travel! If you don’t have the funds at the time, make some adventures at home! I think it’s important that we explore the world any way we can to open our eyes and broaden our views.

To quote Mark Twain:

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.

Hope you’re inspired to explore today!

3 Things Preteen Boys Need From Mom

I remember being twelve. Full of youthful confidence, I believed I knew everything, and it never dawned on me that I could be wrong, or unlikable, or really anything but sheer perfection. This was that blissful time between childhood and those ugly self-conscious teenage years when I felt I could do no wrong.

Now that I have a preteen of my own, I would like to publicly apologize to my parents and any other reasonable adult who had to endure those insufferable years with over-confident me.

Between ten and thirteen, a lot of developing occurs. No longer children, but not quite teenagers, kids in this age group are stuck in the twilight zone of growing up. I didn’t realize how hard it was until I found myself parenting a preteen.

For preteen boys, this time of development brings on new challenges as their bodies grow taller, their appetites grow larger (sweet mercy, the grocery bills will bring you to tears), and their ability to control impulses seems to die out completely.

Preteen boys teeter between sweet and sensitive, raucous and rough. They are learning the art of sarcasm, and filters seem to be washed away with the hormones that are coursing through their lengthening bodies.

Also, they start to smell…different. Where once they came in from playing outdoors smelling like sweet little dirty boys, now they smell like the inside of a locker room.

This can make a mom’s head spin.

There are three things your preteen boys need most from you in these changing days, Moms. These are the things that will protect your relationship with your little men while also allowing you, and them, to maintain a little sanity.

PreteenPost

1.) Patience. Unending patience.

It’s important to remember that these years are as confusing for your boys as they are for you. When they walk through the room and scream FOR NO REASON AT ALL, they are as baffled as you are. Asking them why they did that will do you no good, because they don’t know!

Gentle reminders of appropriate behaviors are key. Don’t chastise them for being twelve.

2.) They need a male role model.

I’m sensitive when I write this because I know that everyone has a different family dynamic. Not all of you have the blessing of a stable husband who can guide your boy into manhood, and I understand the heartache that such a thing may cause. So hear my heart here.

It is key that boys in these preteen years have a stable man they can talk to and learn from. If your husband is there and involved, wonderful! Do everything in your power to point and direct your son to him. Let your husband dole out the discipline. Send the boys out for breakfast on a Saturday morning, and let dad tell your boy how important it is to shower and wear deodorant every day.

If your boy’s father isn’t involved, look for someone who can fill this gap. A grandfather, a neighbor, a youth leader at church, or a good teacher. If it’s in your power to get your son in front of a man who will show him how to navigate these changing years, then do it. You won’t regret the decision.

3.) Give out hugs, and lots of them.

Your boys may not be little anymore, but they are still yours. Hug them often. Tousle their hair, and give little pecks on the cheek, even if you have to sneak them in when they least expect it. Find ways to identify with your boys, and let them know that you’re still on their side, and that you have their backs by speaking their boyish language.

As they grow up, they will begin to pull away from you. Dear Mom, this is okay. It can be painful to watch, but as they drift toward manhood, your influence on them will be that of supporter, cheerleader, and chronic hug-giver.

The preteen years are new waters, and navigating them can be difficult. You remember the little guy who snuggled up for extra kisses at bedtime – the boy who called you his girlfriend and promised to stay with you forever and always as he sipped his chocolate milk.

Now he’s taller, and he smells different and acts different, and as he spreads his wings your heart will hurt. It’s okay to embrace that pain, but then you have to move past it and enjoy the journey of watching your boy become a man.

And seriously, brace yourself for the grocery bills.

There is No Substitute for Showing Up: Head to New Media Expo

I first entered this space close to eight years ago.  In that time, I have learned a few things (many via mistakes) that I believe have made me better at my craft and stronger – both professionally and personally.

It is crucial to be true to yourself. It sounds cliche, I know. But it is so easy to fall into an attempt to mirror another’s success. Is ‘funny’ getting attention, page views and partnerships? Then be FUNNY. Is Pinterest an incredible traffic driver for people you know? MASTER PINTEREST. Is success buried in short posts? In long form memoirs? In video or podcasts? In webinars and affiliate marketing?

Yes….for all of the above, but that doesn’t necessarily make any of those paths are the right one for you.

Which is why I have but three pieces of advice:

  • Continue to be open to learning. Every week. Every day.
  • Surround yourself by people who make you better, smarter, stronger and supported.
  • And most importantly: Show Up.

I have found the people I most admire in both the social and digital sphere and those in lifestyle and parenting (a bridge I regularly trudge back and forth upon) are those who consider themselves perpetual students – of work, of life, of relationships. They love to learn, try new platforms, experiment with the work they adore. They recognize they make mistakes, they learn by ‘doing’ and always pick up the pieces to start over.

I can’t stress enough the importance of having a tribe of people who will give you sound advice, support your work and dreams and be honest enough to let you know when you are on the wrong path.

Show up. Meet your people face-to-face. Exchange ideas. Sit in a room surrounded by your peers and soak it all up. I’ve been attending conferences since 2008. Some blogging. Some social media. Some advertising and marketing. Some think-tank-motivational. Yet every one of them has allowed me to improve, has lead to invaluable partnerships and has continued to build this business I enjoy.

So… I’m doing it again…heading to New Media Expo in Las Vegas and April. And I think you should join me.

NMX/NABShow

Because you will learn from brilliant minds – more than 175 of them will be present teaching, coaching, motivating and reminding you (and me) why we do this work every day.

New Media Expo #NMX

Because you will be surrounded by people – in sessions, in the hallway, in the expo, at the events – who not only make you better, but are excited to do so. Just think of how many people you can meet for the first time, or take the opportunity to reconnect.

Screenshot 2015-03-03 12.05.42

Because showing up makes you memorable, it pushes you to engage, to ask questions and seek answers. Because showing up helps you to connect with your next partner, your next client, the next person to be in your tribe.

In only a matter of three days, more than 140 sessions will educate you about content creation, distribution, monetization and so-very-much networking. There are conversations about podcasting and web TV, search marketing and syndication, affiliate programs, direct marketing and ad networks, and SO. MUCH. MORE.

NMX Video

I’ve attended New Media Expo in the past and have always walked away more prepared to tackle my business.

This year, as an extra bonus NMX will be co-located with NABShow. For those who don’t know, (the journalist and broadcaster in me is giddy) NAB Show is an annual collective for the  National Association of Broadcasters. This event draws some 97,000 attendees. More opportunities to learn and network with bothtraditional and new media content creators. Brilliant.

Excited? Ready to register? Good. Since I have partnered with both #NMX and Type-A Parent to attend, I’ve been given a little fun to share with you: a 20% discount code. Head here and when you register, enter dsmith20. 

And when you do register (or if you are already registered) make sure you let me know you will be there. I’d love to connect.

Essential Oils – What’s the Big Deal?

Hi everyone! Kasey here from All Things Mamma!  This month I’m here to tell you all about essential oils ~

Essential Oils – What’s all the talk about?

If you’ve been anywhere near a blog, Facebook or any other social media site, I’m sure you’ve seen posts about essential oils. Someone is using them to help them relax.  Another person is using them to help fight off colds. And someone else is inviting you to a class. You might have wondered if they are a viable option for your family.  My opinion is YES!

Essential Oils - What's All The Talk About?

My experience with essential oils has been nothing but wonderful over the past couple of years.  They’ve completely changed how I live my life. I use them to make Diaper Wipes, as air fresheners and even in my food.  I use them to diffuse in the air, to clean, and I even rub them on my children – YES – I am treating my kids naturally whenever I can. Instead of grabbing over the counter medicine first – I go to my cabinet and grab a bottle of essential oil.

Essential Oils - What's All The Talk About?

People are using essential oils to replace everyday items in their homes for cleaning, laundry, headaches, stress and so much more and they’re doing so without harmful chemicals, additives and side effects.

So what exactly is an essential oil? 

Essential oils are natural aromatic compounds found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. They can be both beautifully and powerfully fragrant. They are very clean, almost crisp, to the touch and are immediately absorbed by the skin. Pure, unadulterated essential oils are translucent and range in color from crystal clear to deep blue.

Essential oils are used for a very wide range of emotional and physical wellness applications. They can be used as a single oil at a time or in complex blends depending on what you need. Essential oils are usually administered by one of three methods: diffused aromatically, applied topically, or taken internally as dietary supplements.

Let’s talk about the differences.

Aromatic
Certain essential oils, when diffused in the air, can be very stimulating, while others can be calming and soothing. Beyond emotional benefits, diffusing essential oils can purify air of unwanted odors and some airborne pathogens.

Topical 
Application of essential oils can have immediate, localized benefit to the target area of application. They have restorative and calming properties and can be used effectively with massage and beauty therapy. They are also natural disinfectants.

Internal 
Essential oils can also be used as dietary supplements supporting a variety of healthy conditions. Some essential oils have powerful antioxidant properties while others help support healthy inflammatory response in cells. Many essential oils are generally regarded as being safe for dietary use, but some oils should not be taken internally.

If you want to learn more, I suggest doing your research and even checking in with someone you know and trust (or me!) and have them point you in the right direction for information.  Remember – not all essential oils are created equal and you definitely want to use one that is safe for you and your family!  I have a ton of information on my blog, along with my own story on how essential oils have changed our lives.  Head over to check it out or let me know your questions in the comments below!  I’m happy to help!

Introducing Bevy – Collect, Protect and Share Your Digital Photos and Videos

There are a few irrational things that make me panic: Subzero temperatures. Running out of wine. This screen on my iPhone when I’ve taken TOO MANY PICTURES.

Cannot Take Photo IPhone Screen

And the thought of losing my photos. All of them.

You see, I’m not a professional photographer by any stretch, but you know what I am?

A moment lover. A memory catcher. A ‘remember-when-er’. And all of the pictures I have allow me to do that. A million years ago when I was little, my mom used to take pictures on a camera, take the film to be developed, wait a WEEK for that to happen and then have the pictures in hand to place in an album, a frame or to pass on to my brother and I.

You see that right there? This is a picture my mom took of me (a hard copy) at my First Communion wearing HER First Communion veil (which, incidentally was ALSO my grandmother’s First Communion veil AND my great grandmother’s wedding veil.)

DanielleFirstCommunion

Want to know what happened when my small girl wore that SAME veil? (a MOMENT, you would agree, right?)

Delaney First Communion

I took a picture of her in it.  And left it hidden on my computer. *sigh*

Now…like you, I imagine…I snap hundreds of pictures every week – from the monumental moments, to the mundane…. from First Communions and first days of school to soccer and baseball, to vacations and snow days, from holding hands and helping with homework…I have to confess, I don’t want to forget any of it….but I am morbidly disorganized and these moments are locked away – some on my computer, some on my phone, some on hard drives and until now – they have been close to impossible to access at a moments notice.

Bevy Collage

I say ‘until now’ as there is a solution. Today.

I have been lucky enough to have known that this solution was in the works and it launches now.

I am thrilled to introduce you to Bevy. Start here by watching this video and then I’ll explain a little more.

Bevy is both a small in-home device and a mobile app. They work together.

Bevy3- Timeline - App

It is designed to be both a photo and video experience not only for YOU, but for your entire extended family.

Bevy - In Home SystemThe device collects, protects, and stores photos and videos that are taken on any device – phone, tablet, or camera. It can happen the second you capture those moments or later. Any number of family members can access the Bevy device via the free mobile app based on their personal preferences.

Additionally, Bevy isn’t limited to wireless devices. As an in-home device, you can utilize Bevy to store and protect your images and videos from digital cameras, USB flash drives, computers and SD cards.

Since all your content is stored within Bevy, you and your family can readily access all of your content – photos or videos at any time. You can cuddle up and watch on your TV (you KNOW your small people will love to watch themselves on the big screen – as my kids can barely get enough of flipping through pictures on my phone) or simply find the pictures you need from a specific event – as they are all organized for you. With Bevy, all of your moments are safe and secure in one place – either with in-home USB back up  – which is free, or you can utilize a secure cloud back up for an additional fee.

You and I both know that the proliferation of constant moment and memory capturing means we MUST have a way to collect these photos so that we can look back on them – whether that is tomorrow – from our couch or five years from now when we want to honor someone at a special event.

Bevy is the solution: it is a secure, organized collection of all of our beautiful moments right in one place.

Can you tell I’m excited? I cannot wait to hear what you think.

Bevy was developed by Lineage Labs, a Boston-based firm founded in 2014. Are you ready for this? Bevy is available TODAY for preorder at www.bevy.us. Lineage Labs expects to begin shipping to pre-order customers in October 2015. Also of note – Ordering before May 1st will give you $100 off the $349 retail price as well as access to a special Referral Program for anyone who Pre-Orders AND pays a $50 deposit.

Here’s how it works: You will be given a unique referral code to share Bevy with friends and family. This means ANYONE who uses your referral code will receive a discount of $25 as will the additional referrer – this program makes it possible for you to receive your Bevy for nothing but your original $50 deposit. 

Disclosure: Because I believe so deeply in Bevy and the great minds behind it, I have partnered with them as a Consumer Advocate and have been working with them behind the scenes for many months now (and will continue to do so.) However, as you know, all opinions I share are mine and mine alone. (And for reference – I am not part of the Referral Program)

 

3 Simple Winter Braids You Can Do By Yourself

Winter can be a tough season. Yes, snow can be beautiful, but the cold weather can take its toll! It dries out our skin and can leave our hair brittle and breaking. Of course it’s important to take care of your hair to lessen the damage, but besides deep conditioning and using great products, protecting your hair is also a great option. So today I’ve got 3 braids that are perfect for winter.

Why are these braids perfect for winter? Because they keep your hair wrapped up and not blowing around in the elements and yet they are still stylish and beautiful!

3 Perfect Braids for Winter

3 winter braids

Simple Side French Braid – with Braided Bangs

simple side french braid

Let’s start with the simplest one. I know bangs can be a total hassle and they drive me crazy when they’re blowing around in my face. So with this braid, just do a simple French braid to the side and secure with a small elastic. Then do a big side French braid down the back, incorporating the small braid you did as you go. Then you can tug on the pieces a little bit to pull out the braid so it’s fuller and you’re done!

Topsy Turvy “Braid

winter braids - topsy turvy

Can’t braid? No problem! Remember the ’80’s topsy turvy ponytail? Well, that’s a simple way to get the look of a braid without actually braiding anything at all. Start with a section of hair like you’re going to wear it half up – secure and twist it under. Then gather the next set of hair into a ponytail and twist under again. Continue creating the twist all the way down securing with  small elastics each way. Done!

4 Strand Braid

winter braids - 4 strand

This looks so much more complicated than it actually is, promise. It’s like a basket weave. Take your 4 strands and start with the one on top. Put it behind the second strand, then in front of the third strand, then behind the last strand. Start over with the top strand of hair again. Repeat until you get to the bottom! Does that make sense? If not, leave a comment with a question, I’d be happy to help!

So that’s it! Three cute winter braids that will look beautiful while keeping your hair somewhat protected from the elements. They’re also very quick and easy, and I don’t know about you, but I’m always looking for hairstyles on the go.

Have a great day!

Body After Baby: The Postpartum Dance

“Mom, are you having another baby?”

I get asked this question by my nine and seven year olds at least twice a week. Three times if I’m lucky. Our fourth born arrived four months ago, and the children are certain that something is terribly wrong with me since my body hasn’t immediately bounced back.

Tact. We’re working on it in our home. Clearly we need some practice.

Dressing your postpartum body can be quite the chore, particularly in those in-between months when you’ve finally (blissfully) gotten to the place where your regular clothes fit again, but they don’t fit…well. What to do when you want to wear something besides yoga pants, but you don’t want to purchase a whole new wardrobe? I have one word for you:

SPANX.

The modern day girdle, Spanx are a gift for those living in that transition between almost there and finally made it back to pre-baby weight!

It’s true that Spanx make you feel like you might die a slow death of midsection claustrophobia. Just pulling the body-shaping undergarments on is a workout in and of itself, so basically when you wear Spanx you’re killing two birds with one stone: Workout, and completely eradicate the flesh over your abs.

I am now at the point that, with the help of my trusty Spanx, I can fit into almost all of my regular jeans. No, I don’t think I get the full amount of oxygen that I need to fully function while wearing Spanx and jeans, but I do get my kids off my back about having another baby. So I consider it a win.

So for you moms who are trying to get your body back after baby, here are a few tricks (to go along with the Spanx, of course).

Postpartum1

1.) Maxi skirts are your new best friend. Paired with a cute t-shirt, or a tank top and jean jacket, the maxi skirt masks the problem areas while showing off the fact that you have a waist again! Way to go, new mom!

2.) Maternity pants can still be your friend, too. Let’s face it – the elastic waistband is ridiculously comfortable, and with the right shirt no one will ever know you’re still in maternity pants unless you tell them.

Don’t tell them!

3.) Scarves and lots of them. It’s winter time so I can write that now. It’s harder to pull off a cute scarf in summer, but not impossible. You’re a new mom, for heaven’s sake! You can wear what you want!

Scarves are effective for two reasons: First, they help mask the midsection, thereby saving you from the remarks of young children and older men who seemed to have lost their filters (I’ve been asked twice by older gentlemen in the grocery store when my baby is due). Second, scarves are a safer accessory than necklaces when holding baby, who will grab hold of anything around your neck and pull with all her superhuman baby strength until she cuts off the blood supply to your brain.

Postpartum2

4.) Cute shoes. You just can’t go wrong with a pair of cute shoes. They beg people to stare at them. Am I right?!

5.) Finally, confidence. Listen, the fact is this: Whether you had a baby a month ago or a decade, you have to remember that you grew a human inside your body! You carried life, and you brought it into this world. What you did, Mom, was nothing short of miraculous, and the after effects of that miracle may mean you hold on to a few extra pounds for a while…or forever. And that is okay.

Dress your body as it is now and stand proud and confident in the sacrifice you made to bring life into this world. Don’t worry about your jeans fitting perfectly, because I can guarantee the baby that nuzzles against your neck doesn’t care.

And your older kids will learn tact. Someday, they will figure out it’s best to not say anything at all. For the time being, you will just have to offer them grace. And maybe wear your Spanx.