The Last Year of My 20s

I feel like I have posted a lot about reflecting on my past – days, weeks or years – and over time I find that it helps me refocus on changes that I have said I would work on, or focus on what skills I need to improve on.

I write this today on my birthday – my 29th birthday, a.k.a. the last one before the big 3-0! I want to focus on the past year and all the changes that have occurred which bring me to where I am today – a nervous wreck half the time, and a well managed/organized pleasant person the other half! ha

Last year, Brian and I packed up our belongings and moved to California. A land we had never lived in before, where we knew no one. It is by a HUGE blessing from God that we landed where we are. The friends we have here are AMAZING and I’m so glad we felt the need to buy the house we did. We’ve been blessed beyond measure in both Brian’s career opportunity as well as our family’s well-being with this move and leap of faith.

We also had the pleasant (and some what scary) surprise of getting the chance to welcome a new baby into our family. Everyone says the 3rd kid is what did them in…so we welcome all the positive thoughts and baby wisdom you have! We are very excited, but at the same time a little nervous to see how this one goes.

Every time I feel overwhelmed, I think back to my daily scripture study and how that is helping reassure current decisions we make and my mothering skills. Through countless trials and tribulations, there are many examples of people overcoming these fears through trusting in the Lord. That is what I am aiming to do. I know there are feelings of insecurity throughout my daily life (in all aspects!), but putting my trust in Him is only helping me push through. This faith and hope of good is what helped us get to where we as a family are today.

If we hadn’t trusted Him with a move to California, the house and ward we are in, and the thoughts of adding another baby to our family I’m not sure where we would be. Brian and I have grown closer as a couple and stronger as parents. Our children have met some pretty amazing friends and found out what it is like to strengthen those relationships. We have been blessed beyond measure as a family and both Brian and my testimony have grown!

Even though I’m a bit nervous about this upcoming year, I am excited to see what it brings. Our new baby will be here in a month or so (OMGOSH!!!!!), a new sister (Cannot believe my brother is getting married! But so excited for their future!!!), and there is an upcoming BIG changes for our family – will give more details when we know more! Reflecting on the past year and seeing all the positives, blessings and joys we experienced only makes me that much more excited for the last year of my 20s!

~xo~

2 Kids + Airplane = Travel Chaos

To say that we travel a lot is an understatement. With all our family outside of California, holidays and other times throughout the year you can find us on an airplane or buckled up for a long journey.

I wouldn’t say we are “experts” in this whole traveling with kids thing, but I would say we are pretty good at it by now (ask me in a few months if traveling with 3 makes me change my tune. ha).

IMG_2520

Carson has been traveling back and forth to California since he was 7 weeks old ( I do NOT recommend traveling with a baby this small…or at least don’t expect to get much house hunting done with a baby this small. Their no-schedule phase is not a pretty one when trying to navigate a new area, with WAY more traffic than necessary, and “sight-see”). When it was just him and he was that young, I needed way less stuff than I do now. I could get by with the diaper bag, a carrier or wrap, a few changes of clothes (for him and I…just in case), snacks for me and a good book. Things have changed now that he is 18 months and Paisley accompanies us on all our flights!

In the past year visiting California and since moving here, we have flown at least 5 times with children. Typically with both children and a WHOLE bunch of luggage.

IMG_2389

Our last trip, we met up with our family in Las Vegas and spent a few hours driving to Phoenix for Spring Training (which was a blast, check it out here). We finally had an ah-ha moment when packing for this trip. Previously, we used a shuttle service, lugging all our bags and 2 car-seats from our car to the shuttle, from the shuttle to the check-in counter – which is a nightmare when you only have 4 capable hands to really do all the work. It is a miracle if we travel with less than 5 checked items (3 suitcases and 2 car seats), add in two kids and we definitely look like a hot mess. Brian came up with the genius idea to drop myself and all of our junk at the airport prior to parking the car at the shuttle company. That way it would eliminate the biggest hassle of 2 unnecessary loading and unloading of junk – and the balancing act of getting all that cargo from the shuttle drop off to the check-in counter.

This little idea has saved us so much stress. You do have to account for an extra 30 minutes or so in your travel time, but it is well worth the headache. Paisley, Carson (that way we can get car-seats out, too) and I wait at the curb while Brian  parks the car and hops on the shuttle. Once he meets up with us, we only have a short commute to the check-in.

We don’t typically bring our stroller, as it is one more thing to mess with, but on the Arizona trip, we had our BOB Double Stroller, which came in big time – carrying more than just Carson. We stacked both car-seats, clipped on our carry-on bags (using this handy Mommy Clip), and threw on a few other smaller bags, so we had more hands available for pulling the larger bags. Paisley is also a huge help and loves to pull luggage, so she gets a bag to take to the counter as well (always a helper!). Once bags are checked, the rest of the trip is easy-breezy.

IMG_2410

For the actual plane ride, Paisley again is a champ. Just give her an iPad  loaded with some fun games and she is set (not even embarrassed to admit that this is our go to!). Carson is fine flying as long as there are enough snacks to pass the time (seriously he might eat the entire time). My travel bag of choice is Stella & Dot’s Getaway Bag and here’s what inside (and yes it ALL fits in this bag!):

  • Snacks – I can’t say this enough. We as adults get bored and want to munch, so it’s no surprise our kids are the same way. Go with the most loved and least messy. There is nothing worse than gunk all over your pants or your stuff. We love applesauce in these reusable pouches made by WeeSprout (click here for my more in depth review). Throw in extra fruit snacks, crackers and always have a water bottle for each kid. We love this Munchkin Snack Container and this these Munchkin no-spill cups!
  • Books – Carson is in to textured books, flap books and interactive books. His favorites are First 100 Trucks and Things That Go, On the Farm , and Moo Baa La La La (really any book by Sandra Boynton, she’s amazing!)
  • LeapFrog LeapPad – Paisley refers to this as her “green iPad”, but it is full of educational games, a note pad and music player. Her favorite is the camera feature!
  • Color Wonder Markers and Books – These are super kid friendly and virtually mess free. They make a bunch of different character themed books and markers, so you can easily customize this to meet your kiddos loves!
  • iPad – This is easily Paisley’s favorite accessory we bring on the trip (Carson is slowly realizing it’s amazing power! ha). But we load it with some fun games and shows that she gets to control. I am sure to download a few of her favorite movies (just be sure you have enough storage) from the Plex app. Her favorite games involve puzzles, matching, sorting and coloring (and it makes this momma feel less guilty knowing they are “educational”…right?!?)
  • Pacifiers – I am admiting that our 18 month old still relies on his paci to self-soothe and relax. And I’m not ashamed of it. He is so much different than Paisley in that respect. Getting rid of the paci is just not a battle we are ready to fight yet…so we typically have 3 on us whenever we travel. It’s just a good rule of thumb!
  • Blankets – Each kiddos gets to bring a blankie with them, and both typically opt for their aden + anais muslin blankets. Huge perk for momma is that they weigh practially nothing!
  • Headphones – Nothing special for Paisley, just a set like this to help her hear her games and movies better (and it saves this momma plus the others around us from having to hear them!)

By the time we fly anywhere again, we will have 3 kids and Carson will have his own seat. This could be a game changer for us, so I’m anxious to see how that goes for the first time. All I know is I get my own row with the new baby and Brian gets to share the row with Paisley and Carson…what could go wrong?!? haha

I’d love to hear your tips and tricks for flying and/or traveling with kiddos. The more ideas we share the easier it will be for everyone!

~xo~

Our Life Lately

Everyone loves a good vacation. My least favorite part is returning home and getting back in to the routine. My motivation is lacking and my kiddos are a mess!

Today was a day like no other. Paisley woke up angry…pushing Carson, hitting, kicking and screaming. Seriously, this girl was from another planet today…and to top it all off she peed her pants outside. (Bath time for both kids! Yay!)

It has just been one of those days where I counted down the minutes until I could put the kids down for nap and cross something off my list that I’ve been meaning to do for a few weeks now!

If you guys follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you’ve seen our latest DIY projects and the finished outcome. My #handyhubby struck again in a HUGE way these past few months. He built me a console table, an entry way table, and helped paint our kitchen and kitchen cabinets (we had 57 cabinet doors to paint…he’s a real winner for real!) So thankful for this guy!

Not a long post, but one we’ve had people requesting since things have been done. So here ya go friends!!

Kitchen before:

Kitchen After:

We went with the trim color for the white cabinets (thanks Moriah for having a handy dad with a paint sprayer!), charcoal blue for the island, and grey for the walls. Every time we walk in it feels so weird seeing it so light and airy! Loving the change.

My hubs also went on a carpentry kick and busted out this TV console and Entry Table (both plans can be found at ana-white.com) in a weekend. Our living room finally feels complete and put together. Loving these pieces and the man who made them!

What do you guys think?? Who else has that #handyhubby who will do just about anything their crazy, hormonal, pregnant wives ask? ha. Love ya babe!

~xo~

SoulPancake – Advice

I stumbled on this video on SoulPancake’s Facebook page. Just felt the need to share it here. I love hearing from others and think you could benefit too!

If you have never seen a video from SoulPancake, then you HAVE to check out their page. They post the best “feel-good”, and thought provoking videos. I just love how they capture what truly goes on in every person’s head on a daily basis – and put it out there for the world to see.

I will start to regularly post some of their videos, just to break up the negativity I see throughout my daily life!

Enjoy!

~xo~

Valentine’s Day Gifting Round-Up

Quick little gift guide for all those who need it! Valentine’s Day is coming quickly. Let me know what you think!

For Her:

for-her

Diamond Initial Necklace: Gift her something she will love. White or black diamonds, 14k gold or white gold necklace. Get the first letter of her name, first letter of her last name, or a letter for each of her kiddos. These look great worn alone or layered.

Leather 3-in-1 Crossbody: Stella & Dot has been killing it lately in the bag department! This beauty can be worn 3 different ways, one of which converts to a clutch for those classier nights. I am also loving the new Sloane Bag. It comes in a fun spring mushroom color or a neutral saddle.

Engravable Bar Necklace: Personalization is the new ‘it’ thing these days. Engraving is included on this necklace and you can get kids names, wedding date or special coordinates. PLUS if you choose the gold finish, you can get it for $19.99 when you spend $50, now through Monday February 6th! Get her a $50 e-gift for later and the engravable necklace for now. Win-win!

Date Night Shoes: I just went to Target today and am LOVING all of the shoes they have out right now! If your date is more casual (ice cream and a stroll), you need to get her these Dolce Vita slip ons! I bought the pink suede version, but they have a cute black style too. For a more dressy date night I love these Journee Collection Peep Toe Pumps, these Merona Wedge Sandals, or these Dolce Vita Peep Toe Booties.

Planner and Pens: In my book, you can never have too cute of a planner or too many pens. Especially colorful pens! Target has a bunch of planners, but I’m loving this style. I also have a Mormon Mom Planner and like the way the daily calendar is laid out, the monthly planner and room for notes, budgeting, monthly goals. It is all in one place. My favorite pens are either Sharpie Pens or Staedtler Pens

Graphic Tee: I completely ruined my Valentine’s Day already and opened my present! Usually Brian ships gifts to his office, but he forget this time. When it arrived I didn’t recognize the sender and opened it! It was a sweatshirt from Saturday Morning Pancakes. Her graphic tees and shirts are amazing and this sweatshirt is SO soft! He got me a small and it fits over my prego belly! I’m loving this tee too.

For Him:

for-him

Jord Wood Watch: Unique wood watches that come in a variety of wood colors and watch styles. I am loving these two options the best tho! Frankie Series and Dover Series

Pocket Squares: If your hubby likes to show off in a suit, let him customize it a bit with a splash of color or pattern from a pocket square. Found these Pocket Squares these on Amazon and they offer a variety of color and pattern options.

Tie Clip: Finish off the chic suit look with some tie clips. Brian is gigantic, so a tie clip is an absolute must-have. I love these tie clips, that gives him some options.

Fit Bit: Brian is loving his Fit Bit Blaze. It is similar to the Apple Watch, but doesn’t have built in GPS. Easily syncs to his phone and app. There are a bunch of additional band options, as well. Found this one on Amazon, but the options are literally endless.

Date Night Sneakers: I am totally a Nike sneaker girl, but for a date night or something that needs a bit more class I love these Timberland sneakers I got for Brian. They go with everything. Saw this pair of Steve Madden’s that look great!

For That Little Girl:

for-girls

Necklace & Bracelet Set: Paisley loves this set. It’s her “long necklace”. Bright coral beads with a sparkly flower brooch and grey ribbon. Matching stretchy bracelet finishes the look.

Earring Trio Set: Silver ribbon earrings, pearl and heart earrings set. Perfect for a girl with new ear piercings or to add to her collection.

Friendship Bracelet: This cute adjustable bracelet comes in silver or gold, with braided string and a fun tassel. Wear it alone or stack it with other pieces. Get one for you and one for her for a matching set!

Notebook: Get her a fun and stylish notebook for all those doodles, homework or notes! This one from Amazon is super cute and holds the staple girl anthem! 😉

Love Tee: I love finding shirts that not only fit holidays, but that Paisley can wear year round. This one looks great with jeans or leggings (because that’s all Paisley will wear!).

Kid Safe Knives: Paisley has asked me daily to help cut veggies in the kitchen. Meal prep can sometimes be a hard time to keep the kids happy and get dinner ready. I found these knives from Amazon and we had the chance to test them out tonight! She chopped carrots (with a little help from me making them skinnier) while I did the onions and broccoli. It was SO nice to have a helper and keep her occupied.

~xo~

A New Direction

These past few weeks I have been focusing on what the emphasis should be for my blog and instagram account (@momontrend) for this year – I should probably say that from the beginning of this adventure I have been trying to focus what the main point should be, finding myself struggling to find a consistent and satisfying path. This is where my brain is going and the path I want to venture down…stay with me…and let me know your feedback!

With so much focus on social media and the “perfect” family or “perfect” life, there is a lot of pressure on all of us to achieve these expectations. Brian actually shared a post with me about Lifestyle Porn (check it out here), and I feel that it is pretty spot on. The author relates the pornography epidemic to the obsession that women and men feel looking through Facebook or Instagram daily.  I’m not sure about Utah being the sole area where it is found, but the obsession with others’ lives, their fashion or fitness level, the need to check in on people multiple times a day, etc. is spot on – just like someone’s addiction to pornography for sexual gratification, it truly is an obsession. One that makes us feel inadequate in our own lives, and leaving us with a desire for more.

With so many gorgeous women with perfect makeup, seemingly perfect children, immaculately clean houses and gorgeous clothes, it makes it hard for “plain Janes” or us “normals” to feel complete. Brian recently mentioned that, he too, had to unfollow a few fitness bloggers due to the feelings of inadequacy he felt about his own image, time management and food choices. High, usually unrealistic, expectations are all around us. Tempting us to lose focus of what is really important: our family, our faith and our friends.

I find myself falling into this trap over and over. Just the other day I told Brian about Rodan + Fields Eyelash Serum and how I would love some for my lashes and eyebrows because “that’s what everybody is doing now, longer eyelashes and fuller eyebrows”. He just turned to me and said “Why do you have to be like everybody else? I married you and I love you the way you are.”

Thanks for the reality check babe, again! There it was, that daily struggle I go through scrolling my instagram or Facebook feed. I got suckered again! ha. That’s when I figured I needed to find my purpose, find my focus, find myself.

This in turn means finding a path for this blog and my @momontrend instagram account. I find myself shifting from what I think other people want to read or see, and instead focus on what I want others to see or read (even if you don’t want to. haha!).

So here it goes…this blog is going to be about: my family, my failures/successes, putting my best foot forward (and hopefully by sharing these, it will help someone else, too), my somewhat new love for fashion and mom-style, and my views on parenting.

I have made it a goal this year to stop comparing myself to what others have/do and be thankful for the things I can do, the blessings I have. Sitting in Relief Society yesterday, we heard a lesson about sisterhood; what it means, how to strengthen it, and why it is important. In it was a quote from a talk given by Sis. Bonnie Oscarson (read the whole talk here) that truly hit me. Nothing too profound, but just enough truth to make me stop and think:

“The adversary would have us be critical or judgmental of one another. He wants us to concentrate on our differences and compare ourselves to one another. You may love to exercise vigorously for an hour each day because it makes you feel so good, while I consider it to be a major athletic event if I walk up one flight of stairs instead of taking the elevator. We can still be friends, can’t we?”

So relevant to my life lately. The adversary is so smart and has quite the grip on me these past few months. It made me slow down and think about how I can start to work on this change. There is no reason to be so critical of ourselves, especially since we are all daughters of a King. We are different for a reason. If the world was made up of millions of Kallies, it would be a pretty boring place! Embrace each other’s differences and empower each other.

I have a quote on my mirror that I see every day to remind me of this. YOU ARE ENOUGH. We all are. Remember that!

you-are-enough

From a daily mantra, to tying in my instagram ;). I have struggled to figure out how my @momontrend would flow. I originally started it to relieve my close family and friends from Stella & Dot overload, as I know how many social selling companies are flooding our Facebook and other social media feeds. This account has and will continue to blossom (or at least I hope) into a page where you can see pictures of me, my family and my mommy fashion, with Stella & Dot mixed in. I am a basic tee and jeans girl that has grown to love adding flair with accessories. This is COMPLETELY out of my comfort zone, but something I’ve been wanting to do and share. So I am going for it. All out. No more excuses. No more hiding behind someone or something else. I am doing it for me. To grow. To share my story. To share my joy.

The parenting advice piece comes from a need to re-establish a healthy boundary for myself. I have a background in social work, particularly with little kiddos and their families and parents. I love sharing my knowledge (and a lot of failures and lessons learned along the way with my own family), and feel that not having practiced in almost 18 months I am losing my techniques. I am losing my patience with my own children and husband. I am miserable to be around. By committing to writing posts and reviewing articles, I will force myself to crack open my books and re-learn best practices. Will that make things perfect, no, but it can only help. Applying these techniques in my own life and family is what I need to do to make myself a happier mom and wife. For these two things, I am committed and willing to change!

So in a crazy nutshell, this will be the new focus for the blog and my instagram. Putting myself out there will only help with accountability. I want to be the best version of me and by hashing things out through this blog I can only make myself better.

So get ready for daily (or at least I’ll try my best!) pictures of my outfits and jewelry pairings/my kids/my #handyhubbys projects, bi-weekly posts on here about life happenings/reviews of articles/current DIY projects, and a whole lot of fun. I’m excited and nervous for this new turn in life. I have said this multiple times throughout the past year, but feel I now have a direction and plan.

Here goes nothing! I hope you enjoy the ride!

~xo~

2016 Wrap-Up

In true Kallie fashion, I am about a week or so late to posting my 2016 year in review page! If I was given a dime for every time I was actually on time or early in my life…I might have a dime! ha!

The biggest problem I have with this time of year, is that I do the same thing EVERY YEAR! My January goes great, by about March I start to slip and by June it’s all down hill. I have great intentions to follow through on my goals and resolutions, but often find myself with a lack of internal motivation to stick to it. This year is going to be different. (it has to be right?)

The biggest thing I learned in 2016 is to follow promptings, you know, those small intuitions that come in your head about someone, something. It doesn’t matter how small or large they seem, just act on them. I started this last year with hopping on the social selling team with Stella & Dot. The biggest and scariest decision ever. Many of you have heard my story (if not check out that post here!), and know how much of a fun rollercoaster it has been. By starting this gig I have tried to develop a better attitude about life and the things that happen in it. I have begun to realize that I have the power to change my own attitude and life path (for the most part). The most important thing that has happened is I have made a commitment to live life with intention.

This is my big goal for 2017: Live daily with intention. I have a nice and shiny reminder of that I wear daily (also thanks to Stella & Dot). For some it’s a daily mantra, for others it’s a daily routine. I plan on doing a bit of both.

2016 was filled with a HUGE cross-country move that landed our family in Concord, California. We celebrated Carson’s 1st birthday and Paisley’s 3rd birthday. We also received the news that we’d be welcoming another blessing into our family May 2017!

We’ve made some amazing friends, which has been a great blessing for us (me, especially). Paisley has a good group of friends who she loves to see at the park, have play-dates with and do dance class with.

We also had a blast at the church Halloween party, as well as the friend Halloween party! Paisley chose to be Batgirl for Halloween and family costumes were a huge hit!

We ended the year with a full dose of family and friends. We seriously have made some great connections here and are doing alright!

christmas-party

Here’s to a Fabulous 2017 filled with goal-setting and goal-completing, more family and friends, living with intention and another addition to make this crazy whirlwind called life a little more exciting. Couldn’t be happier for this organized chaos of life I get to have.

~xo~