Mitchell Family Holiday Photos 2017

Photo shoots are HARD when you have a four year old and a nineteen month old. With Porter, we were dealing with smile refusals and attitude problems. With Preston, we were dealing with just general crazy behavior that mostly included running away when we put him somewhere to stand or sit or even heaven forbid we hold him and he isn’t diving head first to the ground. I tried bribing with food, but it was ineffective.

Somehow our photographer managed to capture some moments that made it look like we have our *ish* together, so thanks for that Jacki Raney. Hopefully we can fool everyone that’s on our Christmas card list. And thank the Heavens above for Amazon Prime’s free two day shipping for giving me something to wear. My outfit is linked below and I really think every girl should buy these shoes.

Sam Edelman Leopard heels (on sale for $119 from $140 – kind of a splurge for me, but I’ve been obsessed with these forever and plan on wearing the heck out of them)

Plaid Shirt (only $15 with a looser boyfriend-ish fit)

Tulle Skirt (Under $30 and comes in every color you could ever want)

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How MomFriends Make or Break your #Momlife

Momfriend: A friend you make with the common bond of both being moms

The term “momfriend” didn’t enter my vocabulary until I had my first baby. Before that, I just had “friends” or “girlfriends.” Fast forward four years and my “momfriends” are just my friends, because the only friends I have left are moms (with the exception of a few).

“A good momfriend is a lifeline when you’re drowning in a sea of crying babies, unfolded laundry and cranky husbands.”

It wasn’t until I became a mom that I realized the crazy bond momfriends have. I literally feel like I could not live without my momfriends even though I know I technically could, but it would really, really suck. Because mommin’ ain’t easy.

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A good momfriend is a lifeline when you’re drowning in a sea of crying babies, unfolded laundry and cranky husbands. A good momfriend is there for you to vent to whenever you need it and it’s judgment free; sometimes it’s via text, sometimes it’s a phone call, sometimes it’s over Snapchat with a funny filter. If you need her, she’s there. A good momfriend is down for a night out and sometimes it’s at a moment’s notice because you’re losing your sh*t and need a break. A good momfriend loves your child almost like they are an extension of their own kin – they treat them with genuine care and understanding. At a BBQ with a bunch of people and your kid trips and hurts himself/herself? A good momfriend swoops in and plays the mom role if you’re not around. Did your child accomplish something? A good momfriend is genuinely proud and excited for him/her – and there’s zero passive aggressive comments made about how their child did it earlier and is so advanced, blah blah blah because a good momfriend would feel sick if she knew she made you feel anything other than happy and proud of your child. Is your child struggling at something? A good momfriend finds the silver lining and helps you to see it in a more positive light. She encourages, supports and loves and you give all of that right back to her. Making a medical decision for your child? A good momfriend never ever criticizes it because she knows those types of decisions can only be made by the mother/father. She tells you to trust your mom gut – and she definitely does not send you links from .org websites to argue her point that what you’re doing is harmful to your child.

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You know what’s sad? Finding good momfriends like this isn’t easy. If you’re new to this mom life, don’t be discouraged! You’ll find your mom tribe, but you may have to weed out the not so great momfriends, or learn to tune out their garbage. But once you find even just one true and genuine momfriend, the amount of enrichment you’ll get from that relationship is immeasurable. Yes, husbands and family are super important too; not trying to belittle those relationships. I just want to spotlight the female bond of motherhood because is unlike anything you’ll ever experience. So let’s all strive to be the very best momfriends to each other: whether you work outside the home or inside the home. Whether you’re “just a mom” (that phrase irks me) or your child spends their weekdays at daycare. Let’s do less of the snarky/passive aggressive comments. Let’s do less Facebook posts of articles that say our way of mothering is the better way. Whether you get an epidural, have a home birth, elective c-section, breast-feed, pump and bottle feed, formula feed or a combination of both, let’s all be good momfriends and give nothing but support, love and encouragement. If moms were all besties, we’d take over the world. So let’s make that our goal, shall we? 😉

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How Momfriends can make or break your #momlife - tips on how to be a good Momfriend

A little House of Mitchells update

img_5842.jpgWe are officially Arden Park residents! After selling our Roseville house and then living with Ryan’s mom for 2.5 weeks, we pulled the trigger and moved into our fixer upper home in our dream neighborhood about three weeks ago — I seriously cannot even believe it’s already been that long.

We had originally planned on doing major renovations prior to move-in, but plans changed for various reasons:

  1. Living with Ryan’s mom proved to be less comfortable than we had originally envisioned; if we are going glamp, may as well do it in our own house
  2. We were naïve thinking we could find a contractor and get the projects rolling at light speed – everything is taking way longer than we thought it would
  3. When we really thought about it, we knew we could make the house livable by having all the carpet removed (exposing the original 1950’s hardwood, which is in very good condition) and having the entire interior and exterior painted
  4. Waiting on construction will enable us to move-in with my parents, who will finally be in their new house (in Arden Park) – Added bonus is that we will have an entire wing of the house all to ourselves.

A little about our new hood…

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For outsiders, sometimes it can be confusing about what the exact bounds of Arden Park consist of so here’s a clarification: Sacramento’s Arden Way, Fair Oaks Boulevard, Eastern, and Watt avenues bind the neighborhood.

Arden Park reminds me of something from the past in the very best ways – or at least something that’s not typical in California. I’ve had probably 10 neighbors stop by to say hello/bring treats, as well as multiple neighbors on the NextDoor app send me a greeting. If you enter Arden Park in the mid-morning or dusk, you’ll find gobs of people walking their dogs, kids riding bikes, families walking their babies/kids and they will all likely smile and greet you. I’d say probably 85% of the homes in Arden Park have a front patio where people actually spend some time and everyone proudly flies the American flag. The culture here is friendly, extremely neighborly and there are parks and kids activities galore within easy walking distance. It’s common to see people cruising the neighborhood in their golf carts or beach cruiser and if you don’t feel like going to one of the parks, there are a handful of quality restaurants and bars nearby. Oh, and the large trees will keep your kiddos nice and shaded during your journey, which is one of those perks that come with buying into an older, well established neighborhood. We are stoked to be here.

On the flipside, it’s kind of unsetting moving into a house when you know the entire kitchen/bath needs to be gutted and you desperately need an add-on. Homes in Arden Park cost more per square foot because the location/neighborhood is so desirable – you pay more money for less house and they were all built in the 1950’s. If you’re looking for newish large tan stucco house, don’t look in Arden Park lol. The homes here are all about the mid-century charm.

It does suck that we can’t fully unpack our things because we would only have to repack them for construction. I’m not complaining – it just is what it is. We knew what we were getting ourselves into (for the most part) when we put our house on the market.

The good news is that Porter and Preston seem to have settled in quite well. We have an awesome “water thing” we call it (this) from Target and the kids have been having a blast having such a big yard to play in. We live a stone’s throw away from some of our best and oldest friends – and more keep trailing in! I don’t know if it’s like this everywhere, but there’s a major pattern of people who went to my high school where we all leave the area, but once we start popping out kids we all move back to our little Arden bubble.

Despite the chaos that is moving/renovating, I truly believe in my heart that this is where we are meant to be. We prayed for guidance throughout this whole process and feel we were lead to be here.

Now we wait for the next phase – finalizing construction plans and temporarily moving in with my parents. Once it’s all said and done, I’ll be sure to post some entertaining before and after photos haha.

Cheers,

Bethany

 

SOLD: My Feelings on Selling Our First House

IMG_5671.JPG.jpegIf you follow my Instagram stories, I’m sure you’re aware that we sold our home and are getting ready to move. I have mixed feelings about this, but I’m surprised at how numb I’m becoming as the move out date gets closer. Is it an emotional defense mechanism? Will it finally hit me as we drive away for the last time?

After all, this is where I brought my babies home from the hospital; it’s where they both took their first steps; it’s where I learned about all the intricacies of motherhood. It’s also a project that Ryan and I worked our butts off on for four years, completely gutting and updating it from top to bottom. As I look around, all I see is stuff we did to transform the once dated, popcorn ceiling little home that could.

It’s just a structure, but it was a place our family called home through crazy high fevers, pregnancies, dinner parties, birthday parties, arguments, apologies, Christmas mornings, laughing, loving – the list goes on for infinity. We moved in just the two of us (with Porter in my belly) and we are leaving as a family of four. The most life changing thing we’ve done in our lives is become parents – and this is where that crazy adventure went down.

This house saw life lessons TO THE MAX. We learned so much about ourselves, each other, our marriage, how to communicate with one another, our strengths, weaknesses, fears, dreams, unique needs, etc.

This sounds so cliché but I think it’s because of where we were in our lives when we moved in, vs. where we are now as we say goodbye. Four years ago we were newlyweds with no kids and now we will be celebrating our six year wedding anniversary in a few months and are responsible for meeting the needs of two crazy boys…and man are they needy at times haha. This house is where we learned that huge life lesson of how to put other people’s needs before your own, and we have grown wiser as a result.

This is so cliché, but it’s truly how I feel:

 

“Home is wherever I’m with you”

 

As special as these past few years have been, we are ready to move on – we took a hideous house and made it beautiful. We made a family. We learned SO MUCH. As we drive away from our first home for the last time, I hope I only glance for a moment and appreciate what it gave us, but look forward excited for our next adventure.

10 Dollar Summer Dress

IMG_5377I’m sure you all know by now that I love a good bargain, so when I saw this ten dollar dress at H&M I thought it was almost too good to be true. I had Preston with me, so I just took it home and hoped it would work and it did! The temperature has been pushing into the 90’s in Sacramento lately, so this was the PERFECT date night dress. I paired it with a blazer and wedges since I was out at night, but you could easily dress this down with some sandals sans jacket for the daytime. I think I may have to go back and get it in bright pink now too. Side note, I realized on this night that I REALLY need to put on some self tanner, or maybe even use that gym daycare to go lounge by the pool haha. #ghostlegs

Dress: Jersey Dress

Wedges: They are sold out at Nordstrom, where I bought these last season, but this year’s version is in stock and super cute! The pair I have on are insanely comfy so I’d absolutely buy another pair of ugg brand wedges http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/ugg-reagan-sandal-women/4505218

Blazer: Mine is from 2010 so it’s basically vintage Nordstrom, but it’s super similar to this one 

Necklace: Kendra Scott Rayne

 

 

Treat Yo-Self this Mother’s Day with JORD

Giveaway Alert: see at the bottom of this post

Mother’s Day is around the corner, as you’re all well aware. While I typically do not expect any sort of Mother’s Day gift aside from a card that talks about what a fantastic mother I am (Ok, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t also want a pretty bouquet), I was wanting to treat myself this year since being a mom of two has proven to be much more of a challenge than I anticipated – so much so, Ryan and I have both agreed that we are waiting A WHILE before we even consider trying for that third and final baby. Can anyone relate? I’ve been such a stress ball lately juggling life; I just want to be out of survival mode for a while!

You might remember me telling you all about my husband’s Valentine’s Day present, the JORD Wood Watch. I never knew about these chic watches until then and I have honestly sort of fallen in love with the brand, which is why I was so excited when they reached out and wanted to team up with me again. I remember when I got Ryan’s watch, I peeked over at their women’s shop and was a little jealous he was getting the watch and not me. I know, such a nice wife haha. But in all seriousness, I couldn’t be more excited to have one of my own. I got the CORA Series in Koa and Rose Gold and I’m totally obsessed – it’s such a unique watch and it goes with so many outfits.IMG_2774

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I love that it’s a little more low key than my gold watches that you always see people wearing. It’s fun to style it with cute bracelets too – you really can dress it up or down depending on your outfit. They have endless options as far as wood and face colors go too – check out their entire women’s watch line here.

Another thing I should mention is its packaging – it is LEGIT. It arrives in this gorgeous wood box with its own little burlap pillow. It’s the kind of packaging that just adds that extra level of chicness and that nice presentation just makes me happy.

JORD has also been kind enough to sponsor a giveaway in case you’re still looking to treat yourself to a Mother’s Day gift, or if you want to drop a hint to your hubby that you’d really like one of these cool watches. A lucky reader will receive a $100 credit to use towards the purchase of a JORD watch, but everyone will win $25 to JORD just for entering!

Enter the giveaway here: www.jordwatches.com/g/houseofmitchells

This post was sponsored by JORD Wood Watches, but as always, all opinions are my own.


Luxury Wooden Watch

Girl Boss Feature: Home Décor Signs by Sarah Phulps

Sarah Phulps, aka @shes.scripty (go follow her!) makes and sells the CUTEST décor signs for your home and recently ventured into drinkware. With a million little shops out there, I felt it was my moral obligation to share her with you all because there’s something special about her lettering that sets her apart from the rest. I’m not even kidding when I say that looking at her handwriting puts me in a good mood. Is that weird? Her lettering is like art so I feel like it’s not THAT weird.

Plus, I love supporting other women (especially moms) and her story hit home when she told me “I needed something to do outside of burping babies and changing diapers.” Can I get an amen? That is exactly why I started this blog after realizing PR freelancing made me want to jump off a cliff.

She has a bunch of stuff available at shesscripty.com, but when my friend got this personalized sign I knew I just HAD TO HAVE ONE for myself. I hung it over the hallway entry. IMG_2754.JPG

Here’s another one I have that I love because I was tired of annoying solicitors waking up my kids, but I hate the ugly standard “no soliciting” signs.

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And here are a few more for you to see here before you check out her website and buy some for yourself or a friend 😉

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xo,

Bethany

 

 

*photo cred of the last 3 pics: Sarah Phulps