What's In My Diaper Bag? Feature with Bump Club + Beyond

What’s in my diaper bag? Well, that’s a loaded question. Because…… I load that thing up! I’ve found that there are some things I always need + I carry those. I try to be prepared to face the day + situation with ease the best I can. Diaper bag goals = ease. I’m sharing here what helps me find ease, peace in the motherhood moments + some happiness too. It’s all in my diaper bag.

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The Bump Club and Beyond interviewed me to find out What’s In My Diaper Bag. You can read the feature Here. And, you can enter the amazing Diaper Bag Sweepstakes Giveaway Here.

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When my son, Bowan, was first diagnosed with life threatening food allergies, I was so overwhelmed + honestly… depressed that I would now be responsible for always carrying epinephrine, everywhere. I’d also be responsible for choices that would keep him safe from his allergens. Talk about pressure. I remember crying for a few days when I realized I’d never be able to just run to the park again without a bag or purse, because I would need the epinephrine everywhere. Even in our neighborhood. I was. So. Overwhelmed. Over the years, carrying the epinephrine has become second nature + I’m so thankful that we have great products available to make managing life with food allergies a little easier.

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I’m always hauling around Stuck On You Bento Boxes + Name Labels on the kids things, especially water bottles. PediPed shoes are stuffed in my bag. And, so are Ergo Pouch layers.

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I love the Vilah Bloom diaper bag because it can be worn as a backpack, which makes the treks to the park so much easier. It’s also make with vegan leather + has a front dispenser for wipes.

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I love all of the California Baby products. They are top 8 free + cruelty free. The sunscreen stick + aroma sticks are some of my favorites, I’m always hauling them around. The first California Baby product I ever bought was 8 years ago, when I was pregnant with my oldest son, Breck. I was so excited to use the bubble bath with the adorable bubble wand. Still using it 8 years later!

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I love to carry around Janie and Jack bow ties, because…. Just in case! I also love the newsboy hats to help keep the sun out of the eyes.

I’m telling you, I load my diaper bag up. I’m known for hauling around trash trucks, mini garbage trucks + mini toy trash cans. Breck, Bowan + Bridger love the Driven Garbage trucks. I’m always carrying around a notebook or two, hoping I will have a few minutes to make a few notes or write a new list. I love the Rifle Paper notebooks, the beautiful patterns inspire me + my notebooks always seem to come complete with scribbles from my kids. I also love the Logan + Lenora wet bags, I use one to carry my camera. I love the Oh Joy! first Aid case for the epinephrine. Since I have to carry them around, I will do it with a happy pattern.


Photography by: // Lindsey Lee & Co. + Kathleen Peachey Photography





6 Tips to Create a Dapper Look for your Son with Janie and Jack

I adore their smiles. I cherish their hugs. I admire their hearts. But, most of all I love that they are my boys. I love these little boys with all my heart + the moments, memories + smallness of my little boys passes all too quickly. So, I love to get them dressed up + capture them in photos that will bring me back to these days once these moments are long gone. I'm sharing 6 tips to create a dapper look for your son with Janie and Jack.

Little boy dapper style with Janie and Jack
6 tips to create a dapper look for your son with Janie and Jack
little boy style: dapper outfits with Janie and Jack

1. Dress your son in a dapper hat.

Girls love to accessorize, But I always say, why can't we accessorize our sons? I love to dress my boys in hats. It's a fun way to add a finished touch to an outfit. And, they can take it off to allow for versatility in photos. They are also a great way to keep the sun out of their eyes so the smiles really shine through. I love hats on my boys + I love the selection of hats Janie and Jack has to offer. 

6 tips to create a dapper look for your son with Janie and Jack

2. Dress your son in a dapper bow tie.

I think a bow tie is my all time favorite accessory to dress my boys in. It's so much fun to see them all dressed up as a mini man. Bow ties are timeless and a great focal point for photos. The bow tie can be styled to bled in with the outfit or the bow tie could be a pop of color that makes a statement. I love that Janie and Jack offers bow ties for babies as well as my big boys. 

Baby boy styled outfit. Dapper boy outfit with Janie and Jack
dapper boy style with Janie and Jack

3. Dress your son in a dapper sport coat.

Can I just say that seeing my boys in little sport coats makes me so happy? The sport coats really complete the outfit + bring the outfit to more of a formal, traditional level. Seeing my boys all dressed up really is a special occasion that I treasure. I love that each of the sport coats really brought out each of the boys personalities. The sport coats are also so versatile that can be used for many occasions + can be dressed up or down. 

Dapper boy style tips
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6 tips to create a dapper look for your son with Janie and Jack

4. Dress your son in a pop of color.

Each of my boys had a pop of color in their outfit. And, each outfit had it's own color that tied the three outfits together. Breck and Bowan have similar outfits. Yet, Bowan's shorts gave it a pop of color. And, Breck's jacket brought variety. The three outfits were tied together with the shades of blues and oranges to bring more depth to the photos. 

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Styling a little boys outfit with Janie and Jack

5. Dress your son in dapper shoes

Well, baby shoes will always have my heart. And, do you see how adorable Bridger's shoes are? I could take photos of my baby just in a diaper and these shoes and love them. Janie and Jack offers adorable and delicate shoes for babies that become great keepsakes once they out grow them. I absolutely love the traditional look the shoes bring to Breck + Bowan's outfits. Plus, the shoes are very comfortable + my boys love wearing them. The shoes even work perfectly for Breck to wear to school with his uniform. 

dapper boy style
6 tips to create a dapper look for your son with Janie and Jack

6. Dress your son in mix + match styles.

I love that Janie and Jack provides collections of clothing. It's such a great guide to help style an outfit for your son. It's also a great starting point to help find additional pieces that can be mix and matched for additional outfits. You can find my boy's style collection here.

styling a little boys outfit with Janie and Jack. Lifestyle photography outfits
6 tips for a dapper look for your son
dapper boy style for family photos

This clothing was provided by Janie and Jack. I absolutely love this brand for dapper looks for my boys. I only share brands and items that I absolutely love + use for my family. Thank you for supporting the brands that support my blog to bring you helpful style posts like this one. 

What is your favorite way to style your son's outfit for photos?

Photography by: // Lindsey Lee & Co. 

10 Tips for Hiring a Family Photographer + a Giveaway with Kathleen Peachey

I'm sharing 10 tips for hiring a family photographer. It is so important to document childhood memories, tiny moments, family milestones + everything in-between through photography. The moments + stages slip by + they can't be re-lived but they can be captured in a photograph. Kathleen Peachey of Kathleen Peachey Photography has captured many special moments of my family. I'm sharing what to look for in a family photographer here. 

Lifestyle family photography
lifestyle family photography tips with Kathleen Peachey

1. Hire a family photographer that is a story teller. I love that Kathleen is a passionate story teller. She is an artist that tells stories through photographs. She captures emotions + lived-in moments. If these photos don't capture the true magic of childhood, I don't know what does. This is exactly how I will remember my children when they are taller than me + the small-ness of childhood passes by. 

Lifestyle photography Kathleen Peachey

2. Hire a family photographer that documents timeless memories. The little moments are the ones that will matter the most in the years to come. I love the candid portraits that Kathleen is able to capture. Photos like this one of Bridger at 9 months are memories that I am proud to display on my walls + in my baby books. The way his eyes are captured make me feel like my baby boy really is looking right back at me. His little calm yet vibrant personality is shining right through this image. This timeless portrait is something I will always treasure because this single capture encompasses so much about  a period of time in Bridger's life. 

Lifestyle Family Photography Tips
Lifestyle Family Photography Tips
10 tips for hiring a family photographer
10 tips for hiring a family photographer with Kathleen Peachey

3. Hire a family photographer that loves kids, makes them laugh + genuinely has fun with kids. My kids are used to being in front of my camera + I sneak it out when I can. But, something magical happens when someone else can capture your children from their perspective. Kathleen has the sweetest spirit + the kindest heart. She tells the kids funny jokes, knows their favorite animals + surely knows about their passion for all things trash trucks, trash cans + recycling. They love to take photos with her camera + they genuinely feel comfortable around Kathleen. 

10 tips for lifestyle family photography
10 tips for hiring a family photographer
10 tips for hiring a family photographer with Kathleen Peachey

4. Hire a family photographer that helps you feel calm + beautiful in front of the camera. Of course I am so self critical of myself. Probably no one else could be as hard on myself as I am. But, I value photos of my children with me in them. Because, I was here. I was in all these small moments with my children, day in + day out. I value this documentation of my of my motherhood journey + the memories I hope my children will grow to cherish + look back on. Kathleen is such an encouraging person, it's part of her nature. I don't think she even realizes how many compliments + sweet words that she gives out. I sure am thankful for them, her kindness helps give me the confidence to capture treasured moments with my children. 

10 tips for hiring a family photographer
10 tips for family photography
10 tips for lifestyle family photography

5. Hire a family photographer that creates art with black & white photos. Personally, I completely love a good black + white photo. I love to hang black + white photos on the walls in my house. I love the timeless look of black + white. I love how black + white photos can compliment each other when put together. I love how bringing a photo down to black + white strips some things down + brings out more raw emotion. I feel like black + white helps you to peek into someone's soul a little deeper. Clearly, Kathleen is a magician with black + white. She creates one of a kind miracle works of art through black + white. 

10 tips for lifestyle family photography

6. Hire a family photographer that loves to capture all of the family milestones. Kathleen is able to capture details + emotions from an event or time that help you travel back. She has preserved memories of my pregnancy, early days as a family of 5 + moments of my children growing. Her wedding videos make me feel like I know the couple. Her birth photos bring me right into the room. Details of milestones are so important to capture + she does so beautifully. 

10 tips for hiring a family photographer
lifestyle family photography tips

7. Hire a family photographer with an artistic eye. They say a photo isn't created by a camera, its created by the person behind it. I completely agree. Top of the line cameras can only do so much. The person behind the camera uses the light to create the image, chooses how to compose the images + ultimately has their own style of editing. I love that Kathleen has a clear artistic style that you know you will get so beautifully when you work with her. 

10 tips for family lifestyle photography
10 tips for hiring a family photographer
10 tips on lifestyle family photography
10 tips for lifestyle family photography

8. Hire a family photographer that is very patient. Patience is a virtue + it surely is when it comes to family photography. Especially when photographing families like mine- 5 people + all boys! Here you can see Kathleen patiently captured my boys starting a sucker war + playfully poking each other. Also, Bowan got a sliver + Breck was lovingly looking at his finger + trying to help. These are not the posed photos of everyone looking at the camera, but they are true reflections of their childhood. Kathleen has  been so patient with my boys as they've run around the house (sometimes naked), made furniture into garbage trucks, jumped off of things + eaten sticky suckers. Special moments can be captured when the photographer is patient + waits for the moments to come to them. 

10 tips for lifestyle family photography

9. Hire a family photographer that can gently direct + encourage you. Kathleen has a clear style + a clear goal to capture grace. She loves feedback + guidance on photos that you'd love to have. Yet, she is able to gently direct a photo session to a time where  moments can be captured even  if it's in a way you might not have expected. 

10 tips for hiring a family photographer
10 tips for family lifestyle photography

10. Hire a family photographer that believes in spreading the word of grace.  This is what Kathleen believes in: I believe in spreading the word of Grace. I believe in the truth of kindness. I believe in the depth of love. I believe that a single photograph gives our hearts and souls the purest gift we could ask for. A memory of this beautiful life we live. Her words are so true + I can see her words inside of each of her photos. 

I've loved working with Kathleen to capture moments with my family. I will always treasure them. Kathleen is based in Colorado , but can travel worldwide. If you would like to book her, she can surely come to you to capture your story with grace + kindness. You can contact her at Peacheyphoto@gmail.com if you would like to book her to capture your current milestones. 

You can also enter to win a free 1 hour session with Kathleen here. If you'd love the opportunity to win the session please tell us why below in the comments. 

 

Photography by: // Kathleen Peachey Photography

 

Related Posts featuring photography by Kathleen Peachey:

Let Them Eat Cake with Allergen Free Bakes

Our First Few Weeks as a Family of 5

Maternity Photos: Treasured Moments

The Heartbreaking Side of Life with Food Allergies

10 Tips for a Stress-free Family Picnic

Love quality family time that is low-key, low-stress + filled with joy + happiness? Me, too. It seems like events with kids typically include some level of chaos. So, stress-free plus kids is kind of like a unicorn. Rather than waiting for a unicorn I try to plan ahead to curb as much stress + chaos as possible. I'm sharing 10 tips for a stress-free family picnic. 

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1. Choose a location that is new or fresh for the kids. Maybe head somewhere with a great view of the mountains, trails, a lake, or river. A new place can give you lots to talk about with your kids. Maybe a geology or history lesson? Maybe clarity for mom? A new + beautiful place always helps for a clear head that can refresh mom + bring more patience + happiness to the day.

lifestyle photography picnic

2. Pack your lunch in a picnic basket that will keep your food cool. A picnic is best spent when some walking, hiking + exploring is done. That sure makes for hungry kids! Cold, cool food sure brings happiness to tired + hungry kids. Plus, it might give you all a little more energy to explore a little more before heading home. We love this adorable picnic basket from CarriEight + our food stays cool + cold. 

10 tips for a stress free family picnic

3. Pack healthy, nutritious food in your picnic basket. We all want our kids to eat healthy. When healthy food is the only option, the kids are more likely to eat it. No running to the pantry or fridge when we are on a picnic, the food that we brought is what our options are. Plus, if you hiked to your picnic spot, your kids will probably be hungry, maybe even hungry enough to try something new!

10 tips for a stress free family picnic

4. Pack re-usable cups + plates. We love our planet + we want to help keep in clean. Re-usable cups + plates are sturdy enough to not blow away in the wind. They are also perfect to pack out so you have less chance of trash blowing away out in nature. We love these adorable + re-usable cups from JJ Rabbit

family picnic food

5. Pack naturally snack-able foods. It's important to plan + prepare a fun picnic for our family, but it's most enjoyable when we aren't cooking up a storm for our picnic. Pack naturally stackable foods like: blueberries, tri-colored carrots, sliced melon, cherry tomatoes, raspberries, strawberries, raisins, dried cranberries, celery, cucumber slices + pepper slices. The more variety of color the better! Plus, remember to sneak something new in there to see if they will try it! We love these stackable containers for travel. 

10 tips for a family picnic

6. Pack a bottle of cold juice. You'll thank me later! Don't forget the ice packs!

10 tips for a family picnic

7. Pack a blanket or mat for the picnic that will make the trip comfortable + easy to clean up. We love the Gathre mat because it is thick enough that sticks don't poke through. Happy little campers are the best kind of campers. Plus, it completely wipes clean. Hey, one less day that I'm not sweeping up crumbs in my kitchen is totally a win for me. 

10 tips for a stress free family picnic

8. Choose a shady spot for your picnic. Sometimes the top of the mountain or right on the beach seems like a fun spot for a picnic. But, staying out of the sun gives everyone a little refresher, helps to reduce the sunburns + gives a cozy feel to the day. 

Family picnic photography

9. Pack a first-aid kit. Bites, stings, pokes, slivers could all make an appearance at a picnic + it's better to be safe than sorry. We always carry band-aids + antihistamine cream with us because they are always in our EpiPen case + our EpiPens are always with us. But, the top of the CarriEight picnic basket has a small mesh pouch inside, the perfect place for some small first-aid supplies. Bowan got a sliver on this outing. Slivers are no fun! At least we had a band-aid on hand.  

10 tips for a stress free family picnic

10. Pack a treat for a surprise at the end of your picnic. We like to eat healthy, but I am all for treats, too. Plus, nothing makes a mom happier than seeing her kids excited about a fun surprise! Plus, if you hiked into your spot the surprise can be a fun motivator to hike out. Here Bridger is trying his first taste of a brownie bite. 

10 tips for a picnic
10 tips for a stress free picnic

I know, maybe it seems like a lot of things to think about + plan for a picnic. But, just repeat to yourself: I will not have to sweep my kitchen floor... I will not have to sweep my kitchen floor... I hope these ideas are helpful! Let me know your favorite idea I shared or your favorite thing you love to pack for a picnic below. 

food to bring on a picnic

10 Places Bird Rock Baby Moccasins Have Traveled with Us

Motherhood sure is a wild ride. But, there is no other ride I'd rather be on. The days are long, but even the tiniest moments make it all worth it. Oftentimes, the days with no schedule are filled with the most fun + joy. Little Bridger baby has been wearing Bird Rock Baby moccasins since he was a tiny tot + they have traveled many places with us. Here, I'm sharing 10 places Bird Rock Baby moccasins have traveled with us.

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10 places Bird Rock Baby moccasins have traveled with us:

1. Bridger wore BRB moccs to the allergist for skin testing to confirm that he does not have life threatening to food allergies like his older brother, Bowan. It sure is a heart wrenching thing to have a baby skin tested. But, I'm thankful we were able to be proactive in this circumstance, since Bridger was considered high-risk for food allergies. Luckily, Bridger took a pacifier + nursed while at the allergist, so he seemed much more comfortable than Bowan has been at recent visits since he now knows what to expect. Bridger got lots of cuddles + kisses while in his moccs at the allergist. 

2.  The moccs go with us to the grocery store. He rides in our baby carrier, looking out, learning about the world, with the cute little moccs on his feet. Sometimes he falls asleep. Sometimes he reaches for all the new + interesting things he sees in the store. He loves to smile at all the new people he meets. And, of course he loves to giggle at the silly things his brothers do while we are out + about. 

Lifestyle photography

3. Bridger wears his little moccs while we are at home playing, cuddling + nursing. The moccs are made of the perfect material to stay on while he tries to crawl + pull up onto toys + furniture. His little feet stay cozy + warm. And, Bridger gives us his big, happy smile that just brightens all of our days. 

4. The moccs are on Bridger's feet when we are gardening in our backyard + out at the garden center. They are easy to slip on + off + a fun way to add color to any hand-me down outfit he might be wearing. 

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5. Bridger has worn the moccs many times while eating in his high chair. Lots of food has spilled on the cute little things. Luckily, they wipe clean very easily. He may have many Onesies + bibs with stains, but his moccs are still holding up to the messiness that goes along with baby led weaning. 

6. The moccs have gone with us on hikes out in this beautiful state of Colorado. Bridger has been to Loveland Ski Area, Castlewood Canyon, Rocksborough State Park + many other trails with the little shoes protecting his feet from the sun, wind + snow. 

kathleen peachey photography lifestyle photography

7. Of course the moccs have been on Bridger's feet while he's played garbage trucks with his brothers. Big brothers, Breck + Bowan LOVE garbage trucks! They love filling the trucks up with paper scraps, little toys, legos + anything that may come to mind on that particular day. Bridger loves to roll the trucks. Now, he's trying to stand up on them + he loves being right in on the action with his brothers. 

8. The moccs are on little Bridger's feet when he's out + about in the stroller in our neighborhood. He rides to the park. He loves to swing on the big swing with me. And, he loves to slide down the little slide with Breck. Now, he comes along for runs with me. He  loves the fresh air + the sense of adventure. Even the most mundane + average little outing seem so bright + fresh to little Bridger + his brothers. 

Baby shoes

9. The moccs have been on Bridger's little feet while I've held Bridger around our house, doing nothing in particular. One of my most favorite things to do with my little baby is to run my lips over his soft, bald little head while doing my best to be present in the moment. There's always a long list of things to do, but this little boy won't be able to fit in my arms forever. 

10. Bridger has worn theses adorable moccasins while Kathleen Peachey has taken lifestyle photos of our family. She's caught some very real moments I'm so happy to have frozen in time, that I can re-visit when Bridger is bigger + no longer a baby. The days come + go + the messes pile up + often  times I feel like I may not have a chance to come up for air. But, with two older boys, now 3 + 5, I surely know these baby days are fleeting + I'm beyond thankful + forever grateful that someone so talented as Kathleen Peachey has recorded some of my most treasured moments with my little baby has outgrown his moccs.  

baby moccasins lifestyle photography

We've loved these little moccs so much that we want you to win a pair! Head on over to Instagram to enter the giveaway. 

 

Photography by: // Kathleen Peachey + Lindsey Lee & Co.

My Motherhood Motto + a Giveaway

I'm sharing my motherhood motto with you along with the motto's of my blogging besties. I actually have a lot of thoughts on motherhood, so I'm summing up a few thoughts that I think are important + valuable. Plus, my friends share amazing advice that I'm sure will encourage you this Mother's Day. 

honest motherhood

We long to be mother's. The road to motherhood is different for everyone, but an honest answer from many moms is that motherhood is more difficult + trying than we ever imagined. We also often loose ourselves along the way, or we need to redefine ourselves at some point along or motherhood journey. 

My motherhood motto that I share below centers on finding our identity as moms + women. We have voices everywhere telling us everything we should do + can do. But, it's not realistic + it doesn't lead to happiness. If we are pushing ourselves to do + be everything. We won't be happy. And, our kids won't either. Some moms like to be homebodies (I mean, getting the kids into carseats is more work than it's worth sometimes) + some moms enjoy being on the go. Some moms enjoy art projects with their kids, some would rather send them to art class. Some moms love baking + some know where the best bakery is in their area. Some moms enjoy a workout in their home with chaos around + some need the space to workout outside the home. Some moms love traveling + globetrotting with their children + other moms like staycations + adventures within driving distance. 

I'm trying to share encouragement with you to listen to your gut. That still, small voice. I surely know that sometimes that voice is lost + it's a heart breaking struggle to find it again. But, I promise you it's worth it. We can't be everything to everyone. But, we can be healthy, whole + seeking the best sense of balance we can find. And, I think our kids will thrive on it. 

motherhood motto

Motherhood for me is complete selflessness. I'm not the focus, my children are. Motherhood is all about never giving up the struggle. It's a struggle everyday but a beautiful and fulfilling one. When you tell yourself never to give up that's when the real beauty of a mom is shown. We fight the good fight of surviving the hard days and the good days. It's the only job in the world I never want to quit! Alia of Little Mrs. Priss

For me, motherhood is about balance, grace, and love. Raising tiny humans is so hard and not at all glamorous, but it is also beautiful, amazing, and so rewarding. At the end of the day you just have to see the beauty in it all, give yourself grace, and embrace it. Amidst all the chaos, motherhood is a joyous journey.  Jessica of Mama Essentials.

Motherhood is a marathon not a sprint.  I've learned to just do the best I can and to not be so hard on myself.  There is no such thing as a perfect mom. Andrea of With love... Andrea

Motherhood is so many things, but the one word that encompasses it all for me is selfless. A mothers life is dedicated to loving and raising her children, often with little concern for herself. It is a crazy, fun, busy journey and there is nothing that has brought me more happiness in my life than my children. Kaycee of Cordially Kaycee

Motherhood is a personal journey that looks different for everyone. It's important for women to learn what their core beliefs are so they can incorporate them into their parenting style + daily routine. My motherhood motto is find who you are as a mom and be that, everyone else is already taken. Find your top 5 parenting values, thrive on those and don't fret too much about the rest. Lindsey of Lindsey Lee & Co.

Motherhood to me is trying to be present in the wonderful moments + the chaotic moments. Whether you're present or not, time will slip right through your fingers. #YouHaveMyWholeHeartForMyWholeLife Stefanie of What's Up Buttarcup

Motherhood Motto

Motherhood Mottos:

Motherhood in the last two years has taught me strengths I didn't know I had, fears I didn't know I could have, but most of all a love that I didn't know existed!! Motherhood is a wild and crazy ride that I feel so blessed to experience. Kayla of A Darling Dream

For me, being a mama is all about doing whatever it takes. Whether it's figuring out how to survive with a baby who doesn't sleep, or balancing work and motherhood, we all have to do what works best for our babies and our families. We are all doing the best we can, and no one is ever going to agree with everything you do (and that's ok!). You do you mama! Lindsay of Middle of Somewhere

I've only been a mom now for two years, but it has been the best two years of my life so far. Everyone always tells you when you're pregnant that your life is going to change once a baby comes, and it does, but for the better. You see this little person that you created growing each day and experiencing things for the first time and it brings you an indescribable joy to your life. Being a parent is the hardest thing I've done so far, but it is the most rewarding job I've ever had. I've had moments in my life where I wasn't sure if I wanted a child, and now that I have one I can't imagine not being able to experience such a crazy type of love for someone.  Does becoming a parent change your life? Absolutely, but I wouldn't  trade it for the world! Sarah of Sew Sarah R

My motherhood motto is support and patience.  It's about allowing your tiny human to find their own way, while guiding them down the right path.  Then to not lose your "you know what" when they don't make the right choice. Megan of the Fashionista Mama

Your greatest contribution to this world may not be necessarily what you do, but someone you raise. Changing the world starts with within your household. Hannah of brave Blonde

Motherhood isn't about having a picture perfect home with spotless floors + perfect little ones running around... Motherhood is about loving on your crying baby at 3am, changing the millionth dirty diaper, + enjoying the sweet and very real moments that come along with being a mama... I'm just enjoying the journey of motherhood because these babies of ours sure won't be little like this for long. Kasey of Thee Girl in Yellow

 

motherhood motto

These lovely ladies + I are excited to be teaming up to giveaway the ultimate mommy + me prize pack. Be sure to enter via the Rafflecopter below. Also, remember that the more entries, the better your chance of winning is! The giveaway is open to US residents only. It will run from 12am MST on 5/10 until 5/17. One lucky winner will receive the following:

A $150 giftcard to Target

A $50 giftcard to Incredibundles.com

A set of 6 supersized bath bombs from Sky Organics

A Mother's Day gift set from All In the Cards

A $50 gift card to Miss Match

A 5mL bottle of Lavender essential oil from Young Living

A diaper caddy from b.box for kids

A pair of boy or girl shoes from PediPed

A ergoPouch ergoCocoon swaddle to sleep bag

A $40 gift bag of assorted products from MAM

A $30 gift package of assorted GoSili products

  aRafflecopter Giveaway

Safety + Quality Time with Ring

Safety + quality time don't happen by accident. We need to plan for it + structure safety + quality time into our lives. I'm home with my kids during the week. It sure can be chaotic + busy. But, I do my best to spend quality time with my kids in-between all the cooking + cleaning. We recently installed the Ring Video Doorbell + we are loving it! Ring has given us safety + privacy that has improved our quality time at home. 

Lifestyle photography

Recently, I was cooking lunch for the kids. Breck noticed someone at the door. He called me over to answer it. So, I left the quinoa cooking on the stove, picked up baby Bridger, while Breck + Bowan came to the door with me to answer it. I forgot the quinoa was cooking until a few minutes into our conversation. By then, a second salesperson came to the door. So, it was super chaotic. I was trying to listen to two people at the same time, the kids needed me + I ended up having to cut-off the conversations to semi-save our lunch.

Ring video image

If I would've had Ring installed for that situation, it could've saved all of us the hassle of chaos + miscommunication. When someone walks up to your front door, the video senses motion + sends an alert to your phone. Through the App, you can also talk to the people outside through your phone! So, I could've set-up a new time for them to come back, or I could've asked them to leave the information on our front table, or I could've just not answered at all. I love this feature + I will surely be using this when this situation comes up again, because I know it will. Here's a photo of Me + baby Bridger ringing our Ring doorbell + my husband checking who it is on the App on his phone. 

Another amazing feature of Ring, is that it saves videos of motion or people at your front door. I was thinking this could be very useful if we ever have our own emergency at home. My kids understand how to push the button + talk into it. This could be a great way to set-up an emergency action plan for help if we ever need it, as my kids do not know how to use my phone + we don't have a landline. Here's a quick video the was saved to our App. You can also download and send videos if you'd ever need to make a police report. The video recording feature of Ring is only an extra $3 a month, and it'll save an unlimited number of videos for up to 6 months. 

We love that Ring is easy to use + was easy to install + came with everything we needed to hang it up quickly. You can also set the doorbell to chime inside your house or to remain silent. Perfect for nap times! Then, you can just answer through your phone. 

Ring Video doorbell

I also love that both my husband + I can see when a package has been dropped off to our house. We order what we can online. Because, it's hard taking your kids to the store with you! It's really helpful to know if something has arrived + we need to bring it inside. My husband can even see that something has arrived from his office. 

lifestyle photography

Just in time for Mother's Day, Ring is sharing a $25 discount code with me that's good for the purchase of any Ring device, valid now until May 14th. If you have a momma in your life, this would make a great gift for her for Mother's Day! Simply make your purchase through this link + use code THANKSMOM at checkout. 

Cheers to more uninterrupted time with our kids! I do what I can to not let the tiny moments slip by. Now, we can at least have fewer interruptions with help from Ring.

 

This post was sponsored by Ring. #AlwaysHome

 

Photography by: // Kathleen Peachey   +   Lindsey Lee & Co. 

Go Organic for Our Environment + Our Kids with Finn + Emma

Organic cotton is better for our kids + our environment. When I can, I go organic. I love the organic clothing line by Finn + Emma. It's adorable + environmentally friendly. Plus, turquoise.... It's my color!

organic baby clothing

Organic farming has lots of benefits for our environment. At times, it can be hard to remember our clothing actually is derived from plants or crops. Organic cotton is grown alongside food that feeds our farmers + neighbors. Planting, growing + harvesting organic cotton produeces up to 94% less greenhouse gas emissions than conventional cotton. 

Newborn photography

Three reasons to choose organic:

  1. Save precious water.
  2. Combat climate change.
  3. Help farmers feed their families.

Read more reasons to go organic here

organic baby clothing

Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better do better. -Maya Angelou

finn and emma
Organic baby clothing
Organic baby clothing
Childhood photography

I love cuddling little Bridger, the days are long + the years are short. Holding him + wearing him in soft clothing makes the moments even more special. Finn and Emma's® garments are made with buttery soft, G.O.T.S. certified organic cotton + non-toxic, eco-friendly dyes. The adorable garment snaps are lead + nickel free + feature real coconut inserts. The clothing line is made to accommodate cloth diapers + they fit so well on Bridger with a cloth diaper. 

 

Photography by: // Lindsey Lee & Co.

The heartbreaking side of life with food allergies

My heart is broken today. Sometimes I feel like my heart breaks so far apart I may not be able to put it back together again. Sometimes it hurts so much, I don't want to put the pieces back together. Sometimes I wonder if this is just how life will always be with food allergies? But, I was given some wise advice: Be the person you needed when you were younger. So, that's what I'm going to be right now. I'm going to be honest + lay my heart out here for all the internet to see. Because these are the words I needed to hear two years ago. Honesty, I still need to hear them today.

food allergy diagnosis

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you -Maya Angelou. I realize that some people in my life may think it revolves around food allergies. But, honestly, I hold the pain + sadness in so tight that it hurts. I try to bear the pain + responsibility of managing a child with life threatening allergies. But, days like today, I just can't carry that load anymore. It's like I walk around with a plastic bag over my head + I'm getting just enough oxygen to survive, but sometimes that bag gets really tight + I start to suffocate. That's today. 

food allergy diagnosis

My middle son, Bowan, has multiple life threatening food allergies. We get by + we deal with them. But, it's hard. Sometimes it's just completely overwhelming. What always overwhelms me the most is when he has an allergic reaction in my own kitchen. Our house is supposed to be a safe space. Our happy place. A place where my three kids are loved, encouraged + feel safe. But, there have been times when I've unknowingly bought, stored + fed my son foods that could kill him. I know I sound so overly dramatic. But, this needs to be said for my fellow allergy moms. This is the reality we face. This is what I needed to relate to two years ago. I still need to relate to other moms that struggle with the same complex issues of life with food allergies as I do.

food allergy diagnosis

Back to the feeling judged piece that my life revolves around food allergies... Feeding kids? It's a lot of work right? I mean, even for the family with no food restrictions, it can feel all-consuming at times. There's the grocery shopping. Researching prices or couponing. Spending time to shop, or ordering online. Either meal-planning or winging it. Then there's the snacks. I mean, that can feel like all day, everyday. There's the messes. I've never met a kid that can eat without making a mess. Have you?! The non-messy eaters I know don't make messes because the mom's spend time to feed them + make sure the food ends up in their mouths. My point is as moms, food is a huge part of our lives wether we like it or not. 

food allergy diagnosis

So, food is a big part of motherhood. But, no one really talks about this. The responsibilities relating to food are high. But, what about trying to feed one child one food + the other a different, allergenic food? What about preparing a safe + an unsafe food? To me, it's like having a loaded gun in the house. Not just in the house, but on the kitchen table, or on your child's hands, or spilled all over the floor, or wiped all over the wall, or all over your non-allergic child's face. I just can't live that way. It sucks all the joy out of motherhood, out of my life. Maybe this will be easier when my kids are older, but I'm not going to spend my days wishing their childhood away. This is a complexity of mothering a child with food allergies. Some families may be able to graciously navigate this complexity of safe + unsafe food, but I just can't do it. Honestly, I don't want to think this hard about every move I make in my own house. Living with only safe foods in our house brings a sense of normalcy to me. I love that little bit of peace. It's a ray of sunshine to me. 

food allergy diagnosis

Thank you for taking a peek into my heart + kitchen +  our life with food allergies. We all face challenges + difficulties + hardships. But, I think we really do each other a disservice when we don't share them. I hope that by sharing this small piece of my story, that your difficulties feel a little more validated + seen. It's hard for me to walk around with a plastic bag over my head + I don't want you to be doing that, too.

Having courage does not mean that we are unafraid. Having courage + showing courage mean we face our fears. We are able to say, I have fallen, but I will get up. -Maya Angelou

 

Photography by: //  Kathleen Peachey Colorado + Worldwide

 

Related Posts:

Our First Few Weeks as a Family of Five

A New Allergy Diagnosis: The Emotions it Brings

Ten Tips for the New Allergy Mom 

 

 

 

Our first few weeks as a family of 5

Our first few weeks as a family of five were beautiful, loving, chaotic, busy + messy: food + toys + kids, always equals a mess! Kathleen Peachey captured photos of our family in our first few days after Bridger's birth. They are beautiful. They are truthful. They are graceful. And, the photos captured some of our mess, too!

Newborn photography Kathleen peaches

Let me love you a little more before you're not little anymore. -Michelle Thevenot. Kathleen captured beautiful moments with our brand new baby, Bridger Lee. She also captured some 'behind the scenes' photos when the big brothers decided to create some mischief while Bridger was having precious photos taken.

newborn photography

Well, big brothers Breck + Bowan are completely obsessed with garbage trucks. And, their imagination was sparked when they decided Bridger's crib was a garbage truck. They decided everything in the nursery was 'trash' that had to be dumped into the hopper of the garbage truck. I mean everything. They are hard workers, they did not want to overlook any trash. They surely did not want to create any pollution. Every book, diaper, decoration + each piece of clothing that was neatly folded + arranged on the shelf by size for our little newborn.... It was all dumped into the crib...

newborn photography
Newborn photography kathleen peachey

Bridger's swaddle blankets were displayed on a blanket ladder in the nursery. But, those blankets were added to the garbage truck hopper. And, that ladder sure was an important part of the garbage truck operation. Sigh...

Newborn photography Kathleen Peachey

One of the blessings of having a third child, is that I know I must enjoy the moment + treasure it for what it is. Things sure aren't easier with three kids. There's more to do, more to clean, more to remember. But, so much more to love + treasure because I know for sure how fleeting these moments are.

Kathleen Peachy

The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things. -Henry Ward Beecher.

lifestyle photography

So this is love.

Newborn Photography Kathleen peachey

When I found out I was pregnant with a third baby, especially a third baby boy, I couldn't help but think... How will I manage? Can things actually get more chaotic?! Well, yes, yes they can. But, Bridger has been an incredible blessing to our family. He is loved beyond measure + his sweet little soul already shines so brightly.

Nursery photography

Back to reality here. It was like the Grinch that Stole Christmas. Breck + Bowan made sure not to leave one little thing behind. They even took the hanging toys off of the baby gym. Just like how the Grinch even took the Christmas ornaments. They sure are detail-oriented trash guys in training.

Newborn photography
lifestyle photography

Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we're supposed to be + embracing who we are. -Brene Brown. Back five years ago, when Breck was a newborn baby, I had expectations of what I thought motherhood would feel like. I had expectations about what I thought I would be like as a mother + how I could 'balance' everything. Well, balance is kind of elusive + the more I embrace the reality of my day to day + the limits of what is true in our life, the happier I am. The happier all 5 of us are. We try to have it all together, but honestly this is what our life is really like most days.

newborn photography kathleen peachey

In raising my children, I have lost my mind but found my soul. -Lisa T. Sherperd

newborn photography kathleen peachey
lifestyle photography
Newborn photography kathleen peachey
lifestyle family photography

We chose this photo for our Christmas card this year because this so beautifully displayed our family. A little messy, a little chaotic, really tired parents + big smiles. Oh, and can you see the wheels turning in their little heads on the next mischevious thing that they are planning?!

christmas card minted

I love printing our special moments with Minted. Minted is the ultimate source for unique holiday card designs + birth announcements from independent artists. The gold foil brings a special touch to every piece. The unique designs are so memorable. I love printing ornament cards for our family + friends because they are so much fun to hang on the tree. I love it when our family lets us know that they got our ornament out again from last year. One of our little cousins even hangs our cards on her bed so she can see her cousins + it's just the sweetest thing. It warms my heart so much that the cousins are connected even though we are separated by a thousand miles. You can see our previous cards with Minted here. And, our Valentine's ideas with Minted here

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These wild kids sure know how to make anything an adventure. Whether it's an empty nursery or an empty bedroom. There is always an adventure to be had. I'm also convinced that they can't wait to train their youngest little brother. I will surely be outnumbered then. I sure hope my coffee will always be stronger than the will of my toddler. 

kathleen Peachy
kathleen Peachy

Motherhood is a choice you make everyday to put someone else's happiness + well-being ahead of your own, to teach the hard lessons, to do the right thing even when you're not sure what the right thing is... and to forgive yourself, over + over again, for doing everything wrong. -Donna Ball

If you're looking for a photographer in the Denver area or worldwide, Kathleen Peachey aims to capture grace + I sure think she captured grace so well for my family. Mention Lee when you contact her for your photo session for 10% off. You can see our Maternity session with Kathleen here.

 

Photography by: // Kathleen Peachy Denver + Worldwide Photographer

Destroyed Crib + Nursery Photography by: // Lindsey Lee & Co.

Printed Cards: // Minted

Non-toxic Kitchen Organization with The Baby Cubby

An organized kitchen is a dream come true for busy moms. That dream can become pretty elusive when you throw in all of the baby + kid supplies into the cupboards. Recently, The Baby Cubby helped me solve one organization problem I had + now I couldn't be happier. Organization isn't about perfection. It's about efficiency, reducing stress + clutter, saving time + money + improving your overall quality of life. - Christina Scalise

Kitchen organization

My family lives with multiple food allergies, so I am always in the kitchen cooking. That means I'm also in the kitchen cleaning + washing dishes. I mean lots of dishes. I was getting really frustrated with the plastic cups that crept into our kitchen. They aren't the safest option for my kids, with the leaching of chemicals. So, I wanted them out of our kitchen.  I also found the plastic difficult because I like to wash plastic by hand rather than place in the dishwasher at high heat. The kids often broke our glass cups that we had, so that was a whole other difficulty I faced. Nothing like sidelining a day with cleaning up broken glass.  Also, I did I mention water bottles? Can I say ten thousand pieces?! That is a lot of washing. The water bottles are great for soccer practice, but not for everyday in the kitchen.

Kitchen organization sippy cups

I found the Boon SNUG Spout at The Baby Cubby + I thought what a great idea! I got rid of all of those pesky plastic cups + I also bought a case of Ball Mason jars at my local craft store. The glass cups are thick + hearty. Perfect for the dishwasher. Perfect for everyday use + the perfect size for the SNUG Spout. Also, kids + adults can use the Mason jars as cups, so no special cups for anyone, completely interchangeable. Also, if any of the glasses do break, it is easy to replace them so we always have matching cups. We also had the problem that many of our glasses broke so everything was mis-matched. Now we are much more organized + streamlined with one set of matching glasses.

Kitchen organization sippy cups

I love that our new sippy cups are spill-proof, 100% silicone, BPA, PVC + Phthalate free. There are many health concerns over the use of BPA in products, especially in products used for children. To learn more on the effects of BPA, you can read more information through The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

BPA free kitchen organization

The Baby Cubby has a great selection of the best products for babies + children, I'm so thankful I found these safe + stylish sippy cups in the shop. The Baby Cubby is for every parent out there who has ever felt overwhelmed or discouraged about becoming a parent. The Baby Cubby team is made up of parents who have been there. They know what it's like + they are passionate about encouraging, reminding + inspiring parents how amazing they are + how important their role is. They find the best + safest baby gear. They price match everything, even Amazon. They offer free shipping nationwide at Babycubby.com + discuss some difficult parenting topics on the Baby Cubby Community Blog. The blog is a great place to find encouragement + inspiration!

mason jar kitechen organization.jpg

Encouraging words to organize your non-toxic kitchen:

A good system shortens the road to the goal. - Orison Swett Marden

For every minute spent organizing an hour is earned. 

Growth comes from setting your goals high + reaching for the stars. - Spencer W. Kimball

Your home is LIVING SPACE, not storage space. - Francine Jay

People with clear, written goals, accomplish far more in a shorter period of time than people without them could ever imagine. -Brian Tracy

This post was sponsored by the Baby Cubby. We love our safe + curated items that the Baby Cubby carries + all optnions are my own.

non-toxic kitchen organization

Photography by: // Lindsey Lee & Co.  

Rainbow Baby: Bridger Lee

Bridger Lee is our rainbow baby. "Rainbow babies" are starting to break the silence surrounding miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death or infant loss.  Here's our rainbow baby story.

rainbow baby

Bridger Lee is our rainbow baby.  Actually, our oldest son, Breck Andrew is our rainbow baby as well. But, 5 years ago when I miscarried my first pregnancy; my first baby, I did't know any personal stories of miscarriage, other than of my Mom's miscarriage, before my brother was born.  Every Christmas, my mom would hang an empty cradle ornament on our tree to remember the baby she miscarried.  The empty cradle was a powerful visual message for me, even as a young girl.  Miscarriage can be a very isolating experience.  And, very spiritual + painful all at once.  During my miscarriages, I found myself quickly processing deep + extreme emotions of both life + death.  But, these emotions weren't exactly tangible.  These emotions were something I had to process alone, as my pregnancies were not far enough along for other people to be on the journey with me, other than my husband.  I've found that being open about my loss has helped me heal + it's helped others along their own journey as well.

rainbow baby photography

My first miscarriage was on Christmas Eve, in the Rocky Mountains.  It was devastating to loose my first baby on the night of such spiritual significance, the eve of our Savior's birth.  It was physically + emotionally painful to wake up on Christmas morning with such a big loss to face.  We hadn't told any friends or family about my pregnancy.  We thought it would be the best surprise to call our parents on Christmas morning to tell them that they would become grandparents in just a few short months.  Instead, we called Christmas morning in tears letting out families know of our trip to the hospital in the mountains the night before.

rainbow baby

A few months after my first miscarriage, I became pregnant with my first son, Breck.  I hadn't heard of a rainbow baby back then, 5 years ago.  But, if this conversation of rainbow babies would've been started, I know my healing could've come much sooner.

In July of 2015, I miscarried my second baby.  All the emotions came flooding back.  But, because I had worked through my previous loss, I was able to cope much better.  I was able to tell close friends + talk through it with my husband. The silence was broken. 

newborn photography Bridger

When I look at my children, Bridger Lee, Bowan John + Breck Andrew, I see the depth of life, the joy, the hope + the pain we all experience.  I know these emotions will all come at different times, some will stay longer than others.  We often hope for + live for the joy.  But, since pain is part of a full life experience, we might as well start talking about it to help each other through it.  Did I mention my rainbow baby has dimples?

rainbow baby

Did I mention my rainbow baby has dimples?

Photography by: // Lindsey Lee & Co.

10 Tips for the New Allergy Mom

If you're a newly diagnosed allergy mom, my heart goes out to you.  Just over a year ago, my son was diagnosed with multiple life threatening allergies.  I felt so overwhelmed with all I needed to learn + all I needed to do to keep my baby safe.  An enormous amount of new responsibility was placed on me with the weight of my son's multiple food allergy diagnosis, he was only 15 months old, so I needed to care for his allergies.  His allergies were completely out of his control + purely my responsibility.  Kids often seem to be diagnosed with allergies as babies + toddlers, so the responsibility placed on the new allergy mom is incredibly high. I completely understand + hope to help you.  

Here are 10 tips for the new allergy mom:

1. An EpiPen case or bag

EpiPens need to go with you and/or your child wherever you go.  They are a lifesaving device + emergencies are unexpected, so the EpiPens always need to go with you + your little one, even if it's just a quick trip to the park down the street.  You just never know.  The EpiPens are also heat + cold sensitive, so having the EpiPens in a specific bag helps to easily bring them with you when you leave the house + then, hang them on the same hook by the door every time you come back home.  It also helps to hang the EpiPen bag up high so the little ones don't accidentally get into the EpiPen bag.  It helps to always use the same bag + hook so other caregivers always know where to get and replace the EpiPen bag.

Food Allergy EpiPen Bag

We just got this new EpiPen case at Target.  It is so fun + cute.  I'm the one carrying it, so it's fun for me.  This week these Oh Joy! cases are free at Target with the purchase of 3 first aid items.  Hey, we needed more band-aids anyway.  

2. An action plan + informational sheets to hang on the inside of your pantry door or cabinet door in your kitchen

It is so helpful to have information printed out about food allergies that are easily visible in your kitchen.  Your kitchen is the primary place your child will be eating.  So, reactions are most likely to occur in our own kitchens.  If an emergency does happen, it's helpful to have all the information readily available.  Also, we never know when we might have a babysitter + it's so helpful to have all the necessary information available to go over with them + for them to check if needed.

An Action Plan for Anaphylaxis   

Epinephrine Myths + Facts 

Be Food Allergy Aware 6 That Save Lives 

Facts about Food Allergies, listing mild symptoms, severe symptoms + ways a child would describe a reaction

3. A backpack

The days of just running out of the house with a cell phone + keys quickly faded.  So, I decided that I wanted to carry a backpack with the kids + my necessary items.  It's helpful to put your EpiPen bag right in the backpack with your safe snacks, water bottles, diapers, keys, wallet, cell phone, etc.  One additional thing that helped me decide that I'd rather carry a backpack over a purse or diaper bag was that I could just wear it over my shoulders + it wasn't as cumbersome or worrisome as having a diaper bag that I'd set down + maybe need to leave somewhere as I chased my little ones around the park or museum.  

4. A water bottle with a covered mouth piece

Let's just say kids put their mouths and hands on everything.  There will be times when other kids reach their hands into your stroller or backpack even + having a covered mouthpiece on your little one's water bottle is so helpful in preventing them from exposure to different allergens.

5. Allergy awareness stickers

Personally, I think allergy awareness is key.  If others don't know about the peanut or dairy or sesame allergy, how can they help?  How can they be proactive if they don't know that a severe reaction is possible?  I personally love the stickers from Minted. They are adorable while spreading awareness.

Minted allergy label water bottles

6. The Complete Peanut Allergy Handbook by, Scott H. Sicherer, M.D., + Terry Malloy

This book was such a helpful resource in the early days of our peanut allergy diagnosis.  I highly recommend this book, as it is very comprehensive in managing food allergies.  Also, if peanut is not one of your allergens, you can just substitute peanut for dairy or fish or wheat, etc. as you read, because the principles outlined in this book really can apply to all types of food allergies.  The book includes five parts: An Introduction to Peanut Allergy, Getting Help for Your Peanut Allergy, How Peanut Allergy is Treated, Living with a Peanut Allergy + Looking to the Future.  This book was so helpful, I hope you are able to read it soon.  Also, if you have friends or family that are interested in learning about the allergy + supporting you + your child, it may also be a great idea to send them a copy so they can help support you + your little one.

7. SunButter

SunButter is free from the top 8 food allergens.  It is such a great alternative to peanut butter + other nut butters.  Plus, it is not made from a legume like soy or pea that can often cross-react with peanut.  An allergy to sunflower is possible, just as it is possible to have an allergy to any food. So, if sunflowers are safe for you, I highly recommend!  Not only is SunButter a great allergy friendly choice, but so nutritious as well.  SunButter has the same amount of protein as peanut butter, double the zinc, 1/3 less saturated fat, twice as much fiber + nearly triple the amount of iron.  Knowing that SunButter is so nutritious helps to make eating SunCups even more fun!

8. Journal

A journal dedicated to food allergies has been very helpful for me.  It still is.  An allergy journal was especially helpful in the early days when my little guy had reactions to foods that were not top 8 allergens (peanut, tree nuts, dairy, egg, soy, fish, shellfish + wheat).  So, things were surely more confusing.  It's been helpful to have a page with the diagnosed food allergies + the skin + blood results so I can compare over time.  I've also kept a page with suspected allergens.  It's also been useful to have a page with safe foods listed, they surely can change at anytime, but it is so helpful to come back to when feeling like so many foods have been ruled out.

food allergy journal

9. Extra supplies in your EpiPen bag

Your EpiPens will go with you wherever you go + your child go, so it's best to be fully prepared.  I personally feel best treating allergies in a proactive way, rather than a reactive way.  In that, I'd rather prevent or avoid reactions as much as possible.  Here are some things I carry in my EpiPen bag:

     1. Wipes (check the ingredients, some wipes can contain seed oils)

     2. Hand Spray (Buy one with safe ingredients or make your own: water + hand soap in a spray bottle)

     3. Happy band-aids (not necessarily allergy related, but you will surely need them at some point)

     4. Inhaler (if one is prescribed)

     5. Note from your child's allergist listing the allergies

     6. Allergy action plan

     7. Pre-measured Benadryl

     8. Anti-itch cream/topical Benadryl

10. SnackSafely.com

Did you know that the current U.S. food labeling laws make it very difficult to know if a packaged food is free from allergens by the label alone?  Snacksafely.com works with companies to verify that the products listed in the guide are free from specific allergens, including peanut.  This website is a great place to start if you feel overwhelmed with finding safe food for your little one.

I hope these 10 tips will help you to manage your new food allergy diagnosis a little easier.  I was there before + I know all the feelings + difficulties you are likely facing too.  Lives surely can change with a diagnosis.  I completely understand that + have lived it.  Up to 15 million Americans have food allergies.  Food allergies can be very isolating, yet many people live with them.  Keep reaching out, earning about food allergy management, new studies + treatments on the horizon.  I promise it does get easier as time goes on.

 

 

 

New Year + New Hope + Minted New Years Cards

New year.  New hope.  Same story + life I'm leading.  New dreams.  New beginnings.

For last year's words belong to last year's language + next year's words await another voice. - T.S. Elliot

Well, 2015 was a year with quite a bit of trials + heart break + huge life changes for me.  In April of 2015 my youngest son, Bowan was diagnosed with multiple life threatening food allergies.  He was only 15 months old.  As the months went by, + as I introduced more new foods to him the reactions kept coming.  So, the diagnoses kept coming.  My nerves were shot.  I was fearful of feeding him new foods.  The new foods in toddlerhood are typically such a joyful, silly + happy time.  I morned the loss of what I hoped my motherhood experience would be.  My patience was tested as I eliminated foods + slowly added them in one by one.  

My entire view of food + life + our true need for food all changed.  I never knew how much we truly needed food until I was standing in the grocery store reading each label through the tears running down my face only to find a couple things that were free of Bowan's allergens.  My stomach growled, I was in so much pain.  I'd never experienced hunger like I did that day.  My two sweet little boys were in the cart, in the middle of the wide grocery aisle, just as hungry as I was.  This memorable day was just one week post the initial peanut allergy diagnosis.  That day I broke.  I changed.  I decided I needed to do something, if I could just find a way to feed my family, I'd succeed.  But, really I was broken so much that I really wanted to do something more.  

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As the months went on, I learned more about life with food allergies.  As the new diagnoses came, there was almost a sense of relief.  Things fit together better.  The mystery reactions at home no longer happened.  Bowan was happier.  I was happier.  We were all happier.

I'm not the same person I was when this year started.

This past year surely was hard, but that made the special moments shine brighter.  I really worked on finding gratitude in the small things.  And, because of that I surely have grown.  In the midst of it all, I fought for a deeper happiness.  This December, I partnered with Minted to create New Years cards to send to friends + family.  I love the beautiful + unique cards by the independent designers at Minted.  It's something extra special to send to the people I love.

Celebrate the small things.  Give thanks for the here + now.

My Great Grandma would say, it is what it is.  I sure am doing the best to embrace her way of life that she so graciously modeled.  When our circumstances are what they are, sometimes we just need to roll with it + find all the happiness we can grab along the way.

The best time for new beginnings is now.  It's time for hope + joy + love.  It's a fresh start.  It's a chance to create new memories that were just "the little things" in the moment but turn out to have the biggest place in our hearts at the years end.  I'm so thankful for my friends + family that I get to share my life with.  These New Years cards are just a small way to say thank you for being in my life.  For being here in the raw moments + in the joyful ones too.

As the year comes to an end, don't look back on yesterday's disappointments.  Look ahead to God's promises yet to unfold. - Buky Ojelabi

Peace + Joy in 2016,

Lindsey

 

 

 

Photography by Lindsey Lee + Co.