Emma's New Name Labels - Label Daddy Review

A while back, I had an epiphany. Here, I was writing Emma’s name or initials on all of the toys she had chosen to take to school for “Show and Share,” when I could have been using labels! Duh!

I pondered getting a label-maker, but honestly, would I really use it for anything else? I don’t know how much they cost and it’s going to take up space in my tiny house with no storage, so is it really worth it? I kind of tossed it out of my brain until I found an online company called Label Daddy.

It was super easy to place an order online. I literally just picked out the size, the design and then typed her name. That’s it. Boom! I had labels.

When I got them in the mail, I opened them right away and I read the information on the package. What I didn’t realize when I was ordering (but it says it everywhere on the site now that I go back and look), these labels can be put on clothing and still washed! So no more writing on all of her school jackets and hats! Seriously, I’m so excited about this. I mean, I kept thinking to myself “How is Alice supposed to wear this later on to school when it already has Emma’s name on it?” Now I won’t have to scratch out and make it all tacky.

I showed Emma her name stickers and she was delighted to see Elsa on them. She’s all about Frozen.

She asked if she could put the sticker on the doll that she was taking to school, but like the instructions say, I told her “no baby, only a grown-up can.” So, I put it on the tag for her. FYI - These bad boys stick great!!! I'm not worried at all that it will fall off, or even be picked off by little hands.

And wouldn’t you know it, the sticker was the first thing she showed her teacher and friends at school. Hahaha, who cares about the doll, look at the sticker with Elsa on it!

Long story short, we got some awesome name labels and we couldn’t be more happy with them.

If you’d like your own labels, click HERE and use the promo code USFAMILY20 to get 20% off of your entire order!

*I was given the opportunity to blog about my experience with Label Daddy and their product(s). In this case, I was offered one free set of labels for my honest opinion in return. In no way was I swayed to give a positive (or negative) review. 


Some "No-Kids" People Just Don't Understand

Some days, things just get to me. Some weeks, things get even more difficult. Some months, I want to run away. Lately, I've been so frustrated with how difficult being a parent can be. And you know what, that feeling almost never goes away. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't change it for the world, but it's exhausting and most of the time I feel like I'm doing it all alone.

One thing that is frustrating to me about being a parent of two young kids while the majority of my friends don’t have any at all, is that “no-kid friends” just don’t understand. Simply stated. Friends who don’t have kids, don’t understand what life is really like with them. Some of them try to understand, or they might have an idea from a sibling having kids, but the majority just write it off as me just wanting to be a Mom and nothing else (totally not true), or maybe me not wanting to accommodate anyone else other than my family (also not true). Maybe I’m just not good at juggling what life throws at me, or maybe I move slower than other people, but regardless of why, it’s hard sometimes having two kids and friends at the same time. Let me break it down…


I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to remind people that I need advance notice for things. That doesn’t mean an hour, or even three hours most of the time; it means I need AT LEAST a day’s notice to get things in order. Why do I need so much notice? Well, what if it’s bath night (we do baths ever-other night because of eczema)? My husband almost refuses to give the girls their baths. Or what if I have special plans for a play date for Emma? I can’t just drop that… she needs time to play hard with her friends. So many things factor in – nap time, meal times, the time it takes to get Emma up and dressed, the time it takes to get Alice changed with matching socks, I have to check the diaper bag thoroughly if I’m taking Alice anywhere, and likewise Emma needs toys to play with in the car.


I will likely never be on time. I have a good chance of being someplace on time if I’m just leaving the house while the hubs is staying home with the kiddos, but if I have to take them anywhere (even if I’m just dropping them off), don’t expect me to be prompt. Even before I had kids it was a 50/50 chance if I’d be on time to my destination, but now with kids you can pretty much expect me to be at least 15 minutes late. Don’t get so upset about it, it’s just how it is. I can even start preparing an hour earlier than usual, and something will still happen to make me late (inevitably that something will be massive amounts of spit-up). So, if you need me to be somewhere at a specific time, be prepared for my tardiness.


A big one for me lately, is that people don’t seem to understand that my life pretty much revolves around my kids. I hate to admit it sometimes, but it really does. They are my whole world, and they need me too. What that means, is that no, I probably won’t care that someone’s birthday party is happening Friday night. I mean, I do care because I might really like that person, but I don’t have a sitter on weeknights, and I don’t trust the hubs to get everything done up to par. On a weeknight (including Fridays), we have to do dinner, sometimes baths, sometimes bottles can’t wait to be washed, Emma’s medications have to be given, Alice needs lotion on her face numerous times, bedtime starts around 8:30pm, Alice needs her bottle by 9:15pm, Emma needs a snack and to be on the couch by 9:30pm, and then you have to pick up (or at least move) the toys on the living room floor so we don’t trip through the night, Emma will need to be taken from the couch to her bed, sometimes laundry needs washed to have clothes for the next day, and then some nights there’s much more to do. For one person to do all of that on their own, it’s rough on them. The hubs is the type of person to just do only what is absolutely necessary, so I’m leery to leave him to fend for himself with the girls through the week (who am I kidding, at any time, haha).


Another one that is a sore subject a lot of times, is work. Before I had kids, I was all gung-ho about learning and knowing everything, moving up the corporate ladder, expanding my range of responsibilities, working additional hours as needed, etc. Then, once I had Emma, it turned into just treading water; make as much money as possible without having to forfeit my time at home with her. And then, along came Alice, and now it’s like “okay, I want more responsibilities now because I need to be an adult again, but not any more hours.” Yeah, if someone knows how to make that happen, let me know. Haha. Instead, I’m defending myself for not remembering each and every thing I’m supposed to do (um, hello, I forgot a bra one day so how am I supposed to remember every tiny thing), or for not putting in as many hours as other people do, or for having to leave early to go to kids’ appointments or pick up Emma because the hubs can’t leave work on time. It’s so frustrating getting to see people be managers and leaders and kind of suck at it, and yet I don’t even get a shot because I’m not going to spend all of my time working (which means I’m not taken seriously). It’s a rough world out there for working Moms… well, for the ones that WANT to see their kids.


I have not watched “Making a Murderer.” I don’t even have Netflix actually. We have Amazon Prime, but it’s used to watch cartoons while the kids are awake and ‘family friendly’ shows/movies for bedtime/winding down (we are currently on Season 4 of Andy Griffith). I don’t have time to really do anything at night through the week; sometimes we can squeeze in a trip to Target or some grocery shopping, but that’s about the extent of it. I start my blog posts over the weekend (most of the time on my tablet) and then I add to it here and there and post when I finish it, which is usually the next weekend (I actually have to schedule my posts because people don’t usually read blogs at 9pm on a Sunday night). My lack of non-parent-related activities really puts a damper on my conversation skills. But, that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to talk! Tell me what you’re up to, how’s work, how’s dating life, what’s the last movie you saw and was it any good? I’m all ears.


After the start of the new year, everyone is all talks about dieting and working out. Shoot, the girls I work close with are health nuts all year round. But, what people sometimes don’t realize, is that while I want to diet or eat healthier, I’m too busy making sure my kids get well-balanced meals and snacks to worry about what I’m eating. Take last night for instance – We had to eat quick because we had to go pick up Hubby’s car from the shop, so I had a bowl of cereal for dinner because I had to make sure Alice was getting her cut-up banana, some left-over carrots, a few cheerios and some water to keep her hydrated. No real nutrition for me, and who knows how many calories, but that’s okay because Alice had a balanced meal. And for lunch at work, I grab what I can which might be Pizza Rolls or sometimes I eat out (and yes, it’s McDonald’s a lot of times because $3 is a lot better than $10). I care, I really do – I mean, I don’t want heart disease – but at the same time, I care more about my kids. And let’s not even get started on the workout debate – I don’t have the time, and we can leave it at that.


That almost seemed like a rant, and I hope I didn't hit a bad note with anyone, but it’s just what I’ve been thinking about lately, spewed out into text. And then, I don’t know if any of this would even frustrate me, if it wasn’t for the fact that I’ve recently realized I don’t have a life of my own anymore (don’t go crazy here, I know I signed up for this, but sometimes it’s hard even still). Have you heard the saying “You have to take care of yourself, to take care of your family.” Well, whoever said that probably has a nanny. Hubs and I only have my parents for sitters, and they watch Alice through the week so I can’t ask them to watch the girls on the weekends. It’s not fair to leave my husband alone with the girls to do things like pamper myself or go shopping for new clothes when he doesn’t have alone time either (alone time is harder for him since he already sees the kids so little because of work).  My parents are nice enough to give us one date night a month where they will keep the kids all night and part of the next day, which is a welcoming relief, but what do we do? Do we go out and have fun? Or do we get all the things done that we can’t do with the kids (not to mention get some extra sleep). It’s not an easy decision.

I often talk to my Mom about giving up all of our extra money each month to put Alice in daycare so that Mom could go on days at work and watch the kids a couple hours on a weeknight and maybe every other weekend so that Gene and I could do more date nights and maybe even go out with friends without each other; more concerts, more home projects done, etc. But, that’s a lot of money to give up when I have a serious problem with buying too many clothes for the girls. Not to mention I want to enroll Emma in dance now that her age group is a later time slot. Plus, Emma had a lot of alone time with her Grandparents and I’d like for Alice to have the same opportunities. I keep telling myself, when Alice turns two, everything will change. Or, I’ll have to be one of those parents who takes their kids to bars. Hahahahaha. Just kidding. Kind of.

So, to all the people out there without kids: take it easy on us parents. I can tell you that before I had kids, I either ignored everything and everyone with kids, or I judged them for their craziness, or I thought that they just didn’t want to have fun anymore, and sometimes I even assumed that they didn’t know what they were doing or maybe that they didn’t care (this was mostly the shoppers whose crazy kids were screaming all through the store). I now know that it’s really hard no matter how many you have, and it may seem that the parents don’t care about their kids being crazy or loud, but chances are they are screaming for help inside or they are just trying to get through whatever they are doing to make it home and have a giant glass of wine before they reprimand their brats. Try not to exclude people who have kids, and maybe be a bit more accommodating for those parents with really young ones. We know that you’re living life care-free, but we are trying to raise little-ones up to be respectful and wonderful human-beings… just look at the world we live in and see that it’s not the easiest thing to do these days.


Valentine's Gift Ideas for Men

For years, I'd stick to the same old gift to give to Gene for Valentine's Day. A watch. Then once we had kids, we almost stopped with the gift-giving altogether (to save money); it's little things here and there, if we remember. Well, I think that's all due to change. We need to start recognizing each other again, as well as the kiddos. So, this year, I've been searching early for something new (and quite possibly unusual) to give to him. Here are five things that I came across while looking that I think might work for some of my readers out there. 

1 – The typical winner of the bunch, chocolate covered strawberries. I will probably try to make these myself for the hubs this year, and I’ll be using the Pioneer Woman’s recipe!

2 – A very attractive and manly bracelet perfect for the father of a little girl. If my husband and I ever did anything other than work or stay home all night, I’d totally get him this. Find it HERE!

3 – A funny mug for coffee drinkers. I just think this is hilarious! It’s totally something I’d use too. My hubs is a cold coffee drinker, otherwise I’d probably get him something like this for at work. Hahahaha, I bet is co-workers would question if there really was bourbon in there. Find it HERE!

4 – This is a cute card for a Doggie Dad from the fur-baby. If you’re looking for something unique and you have a dog or two, this might just fit the bill. Find it HERE!

5 – A token. This token in particular would be for maybe a wallet or briefcase, but I’d like it for the car as well. This is actually my favorite of all of the ideas, for more than one reason. The main one being that it’s a good way to show your husband that he’s needed by the family, and that you want him to stay safe when he’s away from you. There are multiple variations of course.  Find it HERE!

I hope this helped you in your journey for the perfect gift for the man in your life.

Happy Valentine's Day!


Valentines - For Kids

If you know me, you'll know that I'm a sucker for Valentine's Day. It goes right along with the start of a New Year, meaning, I get all the feels. And the closer it gets, the more intense it gets, and I just LOVE everything!

I can remember as a kid, picking out my pack of Valentine's Day cards, cutting them out, and filling in the "To" and "From" areas. Then, the daunting task of deciding who should and should not get one (okay, I never had to do this part because I always gave one to everyone), and more importantly who should get which because you didn't want to give a boy the wrong idea. Then you'd go through the cards you received and see who gave you one, what they wrote, and what kind of cards they chose. Or even better, if you got any candy with them! Back in my day, only the expensive ones came with candy, so they were few and far between.

Man was I sad when I got to middle school and was "too old" for all of that.

Then, in high school, it turns into something altogether different - who crushes on who, who gets the most Valentine's balloons and who gets none (I may have been the one to get none), who has a boyfriend and who doesn't, who has a secret admirer, and so on and so forth. Oh the drama.

Lucky for me it's all in the past now (okay, waaaaaaay in the past) and I have a daughter in preschool that gets to take valentines to school!

Now, as I'm sure you undoubtedly know, we live in a world of over-the-top and all things Pinterest. So that means that as a full-time working Mom of two, I have to get on the ball now! Otherwise we will have a repeat of last year where I just buy an old-fashioned box of Valentine's cards and Emma takes them to school with a big bag of marshmallows to share. Oh, the joys of NEVER having enough time. *Thank goodness I had planned on making rice krispy treats weeks before Valentine's Day and didn't get around to it!

If you follow me on Pinterest, you've probably seen me pinning for a few weeks now. I think I have found my course of action for Emma (shhhhhh, it's a secret), but I found so many cute ideas, that I wanted to showcase some of them in my blog just in case other Mommas out there are looking for a good idea.

Here are my top faves (besides what I'm making of course):

Awesome Sauce - Strawberry Applesauce - Easy, Healthier and Super Cute!
BEE My Valentine - Burt's Bees Lip Balm - Cute and Practical!
Tic Tac Toe - Tic Tac Candy/Mints and a Game - Great for Older Kids!
Punny Fruit - Fruit and a Clever Card - Parent Approved!
Hugs & Kisses - Candy Kisses & Hugs in a Baggie - Easy and Kid Approved!
Rawr - Dinosaur Toy - Great Non-Food Choice, Minimal Work, Great for Boys!
Melted Down Crayons - Great Non-Food Choice, Multiple Options, Little More Time-consuming.
Kool Drink - Koolaid Jammer - Different idea, Easy to do, Kids love these!
Cookies & Milk - Oreos and Swirly Straw - Little more money, Hit with the Kids!
 You can find all of these and more on my Pinterest Page! *You'll be able to view the steps and how-tos for each of the ones listed above, and then some.


Are You Feeling the New Year Feel???

I don’t know about you, but every year, starting the day after Christmas, I get so excited for what the new year brings. No, not New Year’s Eve, or having New Year’s Day off work (although that’s great and all), but it’s just this feeling of starting over. Isn’t that weird? I mean, even the air smells different to me! “Air of new things to come” I guess. ;-)

You’re probably thinking “She can ‘start over’ any time of the year, so why only now?”

I’ve thought a lot about why I feel this way, and I think it’s just all of the hype pulling me in. “New year, new you. Get organized! Lose weight!” Your Facebook feeds are undoubtedly flooded with posts about it, as well as Twitter, Instagram and even more so your Pinterest pins. I take the time to read a lot of them, some of them I even read the full article behind the link, and I think to myself “oh, the possibilities!”

But then I’m slapped in the face with real life. Ouch.

Take for instance, the recently popular Konmari method – it was revamped to include “Konmari with kids.” Or something along those lines. I got all excited by the message it was giving, and the pretty picture on the link; I’m pretty sure I had big Power Puff Girl eyes all in awe and excitement when I was looking at it. When I clicked on it though, I think I read the first four of fifteen methods, and I gave up. That quick. Honestly, my three-year-old isn’t going to help me with this… she’s not even going to give me the time to attempt it by myself! Lol. I guess I’ll stick to throwing all of her toys in a toy bin in the living room for now.

I see all kinds of “Ikea hacks” for getting organized as well. Basically it’s telling you how to fit additional storage spaces into your tiny living quarters. Great ideas actually! I’ve looked at a lot of these, and I’ve been to Ikea recently to figure it all out on my own… but I’m not rich enough to fulfill what is required for these hacks. Yes, Ikea is inexpensive for most things, but when you have to buy ten things to make one “hack,” you’re not really doing yourself any good. I did buy a lovely hallway shoe organizer/hider since all of us are notorious for not putting our shoes away.

And the most popular one I see (I’m sure you’ll agree) is about losing weight and getting fit. I’m not a dieter. I hate restrictions. The worst thing about being pregnant was not being able to eat and drink what I wanted, IF I wanted to eat or drink it. Just that fact that I couldn’t eat lunch meat made me crave it all nine months. And exercise? Who has the time for that? I know I don’t right now. So for me to go on a diet to lose weight, I’d only crave the things I couldn’t have and continue to sit on the couch watching Andy Griffith with the girls (okay, so this part isn’t really true because I never get to really sit until 9pm). I’d probably end up gaining instead of losing!

So then, what’s left for me? A new hair do? A new outlook on life? Puh-leez. Haha! Even if I had my hair done, I’m probably not going to keep up with it or do it daily, and will wear it up to work the majority of the time. And to have a new outlook on life, you’d have to get over the fact that the world is getting more crappy by the day – I could probably do this if I cut off all forms of social media and unplugged from the internet (trust me, I’ve thought about doing both of those things). *This makes me sound all Negative Nancy, but I’m really not!

So, I guess my feeling of “New year, new possibilities, fresh new start” will stay just that – a feeling. I’ll continue to look forward to Valentine’s Day as I always do (I just love Pink and Red this time of year), and I will try to stay as organized at home as I possibly can with two little ones. I’ll also make sure that we continue to play and have as much fun on the weekends as possible instead of catching up on house chores. Kids are only kids for a short amount of time, am I right?

Oh! I did make myself a New Year’s Resolution – to take more pictures of people and things other than my children (or in addition to I should say). I don’t want my friends, family and readers to think I’m only about my kids (even if I AM only about my kids, rightfully so, haha).

So tell me, are you feeling the “New year, new you” vibes? Are you changing up anything for the new year? Do you have a resolution? I want to hear! Don’t be shy!