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

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

Super Cute Shirt Under 15 Dollars

I stumbled upon the cutest shirt yesterday while shopping at H&M and I just had to share.  It’s so convenient being able to go to ONE STORE and buy stuff for my boys and for me. Plus, everything is so reasonably priced!

I’ve been known to find a top and buy it in every color, so I stayed true to form and did that yesterday with this shirt (I only bought three though). I’m rarely able to shop for myself sans kids and I rarely find a top that is all encompassing in cuteness, cost effectiveness and versatility. Dress it down like I have here with leggings and sandals on those #momlife days with school drop offs, errands, sports events, etc. Or, dress it up for a night out with a cute pair of distressed black denim jeans (tuck the front) with some cute wedges. I’m wearing a Kendra Scott Rayne necklace with my mom outfit because sometimes wearing that and putting on some bright lipstick is all I need to tackle my Momday (besides coffee).

I recently donated a CRAP TON of clothes to the Goodwill, so my closet is pretty empty and I have to admit I’m kind of loving the simplicity of getting dressed in the morning, so I love a versatile blouse that can be worn in various settings. Capsule wardrobes still give me anxiety, but I’m sort of starting to see the appeal.

Sorry for the photo quality. I’m a stay at home mom and my three year old can’t quite take pictures yet so I resort to mirror selfies in the office because my room is covered in mounds of clean laundry waiting to be folded. I’m actually avoiding it right now as I write this blog post.

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Here’s a direct link to buy it; I also got these two below. For some reason the red color isn’t available online! HOWEVER I noticed a striped one online that I didn’t see in store. Gonna need to get that one too haha.

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Hope you all think this top is cute too and I’m not totally losing it!

xo,

Bethany

 

**This post is not sponsored; I just really like H&M and this top!**

How I got my Baby to Take Naps

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I cannot believe I went through one full kid without knowing about these magical inserts that make babies sleep. I’m legitimately amazed at how it has transformed my afternoons. A couple of weeks ago, Preston would NOT take two naps and honestly, I was lucky to even get one (besides the lame 30 minute cat or car naps all moms just love).

Fast-forward to today and he’s a napping pro and it really did change as soon as this bad boy arrived; the DockATot Grand. You might be rolling your eyes at the fact that this is clearly a sponsored post, but guys I swear I will not put a product on my blog without really believing it’s cool or worth your while.

As soon as we put this thing in his crib, he instantly started napping two times a day – and he puts himself to sleep with ease. I’m not saying this is guaranteed to happen with ALL babies, but I do know two other mama’s who have had similar experiences.

I think there’s something about them feeling a little more secure while laying inside a DockATot. Cribs can seem a little large for babies; even a 12 month old like Preston. Also, crib mattresses are kinda hard (I’ve always thought that) and I think the DockATot provides Preston some comfort and a snuggle-factor that a crib mattress and sheet cannot.

If your baby already sleeps great, how nice for you. If you’re struggling to get your baby to nap (or even sleep through the night), I highly recommend you giving this product a try! It totally worked for us!

Xo,

Bethany

 

 

Hey Diddle Diddle 1st Birthday

First birthdays have always been a big deal, but millennial moms have taken it to a whole new level if you ask our Baby Boomer parents. What can I say? That’s just how we roll…

Preston’s first birthday was definitely not as detail oriented as his big brother’s was because it’s just harder to plan parties with two kids in tow (second child syndrome) and also, Preston had Croup just one week earlier so we were a little distracted.

Still, I wanted Preston to have a special first birthday.

I decided on a Hey Diddle Diddle theme because Preston gets particularly excited whenever he hears that nursery rhyme. It’s pretty adorable :).

I didn’t find a ton of Hey Diddle Diddle party ideas on Pinterest that I liked, so I sort of just threw this together. I picked some colors and ran with it — I threw in some Hey Diddle Diddle references here and there, but it was definitely understated because I just couldn’t spend the kind of time on this that I would have liked. I kept the menu easy by having a sandwich bar. The smash cake and cupcakes were made by my favorite Sacramento bakery, Freeport Bakery. Here are some pics for inspo in case you ever want to use this party theme!

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Hair Care Routine

IMG_3865.JPGI was hesitant to do this post because I don’t like to come across as braggadocious. Bragging about stuff just isn’t my style AT ALL, but as a blogger, I have to work on getting over that and being open regardless of how it comes across.

My hair is something I’ve always been complimented on, and it’s one of the few things about myself, appearance-wise, that I have zero insecurities about. When I get compliments on it, I often say “well it’s all I have going for me” because that’s my way of basically admitting that there’s a lot of things I don’t like about my appearance, but my hair isn’t one of them.

Since I was a teen, I’ve had people (even complete strangers) ask me if I have extensions and also what it is that I use that makes my hair so long and healthy. I’m sure there’s a good portion of this that is attributed to genetics, but I also think I’ve discovered some pretty great hair products over the years. So here we go…

Shampoo’s on Rotation

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I LOVE this shampoo because my hair changed when I started using it – it just makes it feel smoother and it protects against damage caused by coloring your hair.

 

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Now that I’m a mom, I’m lazy about going to specific salons to buy my hair products because I always feel like there’s way more important things to get done, so I like to have this giant bottle of affordable Pantene Pro-V on hand because I’ll likely use this for a solid month before finally buying a new Bumble and Bumble. Can’t beat the convenience of Costco

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Now that I’m back to being blonde (I have hair color ADD) I’m back to using a purple shampoo once or twice a week. Here’s the one I use because I didn’t want a super expensive one, but I wanted sulfate-free

 

The Best Conditioner EVER

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I don’t remember the exact year that I discovered this, but I’ve been using it for a decade at the very least. I’ve tried different conditioners here and there, but NOTHING ever compares. If anyone really wants THE SECRET to how my hair isn’t super damaged, this is it. Since I sometimes neglect to brush my hair and opt for a mom bun, I will usually brush my hair in the shower after this conditioner has set in for a few minutes – this helps me avoid breakage.

 

Hair Product (for people who hate hair products)

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I HATE hair product – I always have to tell a new hair stylists not to put product in my hair because I hate the way it feels. It makes me feel like I need to go home and wash it again. Ladies, this one is the exception. It gives my hair just a tiny bit of extra something so that when I dry it, it responds better to styling (usually waves for me). This stuff is amazing and I’m totally addicted.

 

The Hair Spray that changed my life

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For YEARS I tried various different hair sprays at various price ranges. For YEARS I either had something that made my hair feel sticky and crunchy (hello Big Sexy Hair) or something that just didn’t hold or help my do. Discovering this hair spray changed how my hair looks when I actually do it – and I immediately started getting more compliments on my hair.

 

The all-natural hair mask, found in the cooking aisle

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One day I asked my hair lady (who is very seasoned I might add) to do some sort of a hair mask on me because my hair felt dry – I told her I was willing to pay.

Her response: “No way I’m taking your money for that. Just go to the grocery store and buy some extra virgin coconut oil and soak your hair in it; start doing that every couple of months and don’t ever waste your money on hair masks.”

This stuff is legit ya’ll (I’m not even Southern). Go try this if you haven’t already

 

As I mentioned in my Insta post, I also try and stretch my washes to every 3-4 days if I can- it def helps that I HATE washing my hair. Also, thick hair runs in my family so at the end of the day, some of this stuff is just genetic, but I still wanted to just share some of my fave products with you all.

Xo,

Beth

California Mom’s guide to Gibson Ranch Country Park

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“We passed through Sacramento on the way to Tahoe” was a statement I heard often during the six years I lived in Orange County and later, Los Angeles. It was said innocently, but it always kinda irked me because my hometown has so much more to offer than your average passer through town and I never understood why more people couldn’t make the distinction between Sacramento and say, Modesto (no offense to Modesto). Home to over a million residents, the Sacramento region has an NBA team, a United Soccer League team (there’s talk about them becoming an MLS team) and a minor league baseball team, which is a Triple-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants. It also has a lengthy history dating back to Sutter’s Fort, The Gold Rush and the Central Pacific Railroad. It’s home to the Crocker Art Museum which houses internationally recognized art pieces, not to mention our rich pool of local artists. We have endless nightlife options and a booming restaurant scene (even according to our Bay Area frienemies). PLUS, we’ve been declared the ‘Farm-to-Fork’ Capital of America, which means you can rest assured that your food is most likely sustainably sourced from a nearby farm. I should probably also mention that Sacramento is the Capital of the sixth largest economy in the world, but I’m assuming you already know that.

californiamomsimage-1Hopefully all of this info has drawn you into visiting if you haven’t already, because I’ve teamed up with a group of California Mom bloggers (check out their links at the end of this post) and we are spilling our local knowledge of places to take your kids throughout our beautiful state. I decided to share about a less obvious spot, Gibson Ranch Country Park, about 20ish minutes outside of Sacramento, because it’s a destination you wouldn’t easily find just by googling.

Located in Elverta, CA, this 30 plus acres park is still within Sacramento County lines, but you’ll feel like you’re out in the country. When you enter the property, you’ll almost immediately see horses peacefully grazing, as well as endless natural fields, heritage oak trees and a pond filled with fish, ducks and geese. I immediately feel a sense of tranquility when I enter; I roll down the windows and let that clean country air blow through the car.

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Here are a few activities you can do while you’re there:

Feed the Ducks

I’ve been reading more and more about how feeding bread to ducks is bad for them, so here are some alternative options, or pick-up some duck feed

Have a Picnic

There are shaded picnic tables all around the pond, near the playground

Let the Kids Play

There’s a large playground close to the pond

Go Fishing

The pond is stocked with catfish and trout

Fly a Kite

The park’s wide-open fields are the perfect spot

Run Around

Just set the kids loose! There are acres of fields for them to run around and wear themselves out

Visit the Stables

You can see the horses close-up, or you can call ahead and see if there are any horses available to rent for a little ride around the property

Hike

There are five-ish miles of trail

Host an Event

Gibson Ranch accommodates parties as large as weddings and as small as family BBQs – I’m thinking this could be a good spot for my son’s 4th birthday in September 🙂

Go Camping

You can reserve a campsite or even a rustic cabin

 

This park is seriously cool – it’s a must see if you’re ever out this way, even if you are just passing through on your way to Tahoe 🙂

Be sure to head over to these other California moms and check out some of their favorite spots: