minted.com giveaway

mintedgiveaway:radmomcoolkid.com

**this post contains affiliate links

Okay. Seriously, I am DYING over this giveaway today. I mean, check out this stuff.

mintedgiveaway:radmomcoolkid.com

So, when Sadie was born, I started looking for some sort of baby book. I didn’t want the typical fill-in-the-blank book.I wanted something a little bit more personal. I eventually found one on minted.com. I decided to buy one of their baby journals. It was completely customizeable and I was able to upload pictures and quotes that I liked. I wrote in it at least once a week for the first year of Sadie’s life. I wrote down things that happened, how I felt about being a new mom, recorded major events, etc. This book is one of my most prized possessions. One day I hope she will love it as much as I do.

mintedgiveaway:radmomcoolkid.com

mintedgiveaway:radmomcoolkid.com

Fast forward two years, we were approached by Minted to do a giveaway and I was ecstatic. I ended up ordering another one of their notebooks, except this one was a planner (I LOVE IT! I can’t wait to show you how I used it in another post!). I also had the opportunity to try out some of their personalized wrapping paper.

mintedgiveaway:radmomcoolkid.com

Okay, don’t think I am weird, but I love wrapping presents. It’s my favorite part of the holidays. So, when I had the chance to personalize my own… I almost died. Here’s what I chose. It has motivated me to get my Christmas shopping done early just so I can wrap up all of my gifts. Like I said… don’t think I’m weird.

mintedgiveaway:radmomcoolkid.com

So, here it is, folks. Minted.com is offering one of you lucky readers $75 credit to their site. Jaw-drop. That means you can order Christmas cards, stationary, planners, invites or score some of this amazing wrapping paper! Go crazy! Order whatever you want! The only catch is… you have to show me what you get so we can swoon over it together. Mmmmm k?

We have another giveaway just for our Facebook followers so be sure to check our page out! And don’t miss our Younique 3D Fiber Lash giveaway here!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I was compensated for this post with free product. However, I love this stuff! I wouldn’t post about it if I didn’t recommend it. 

get the makeup you love at a price you can afford

get the makeup you love: radmomcoolkid.com

**this post may contain affiliate links

So, let’s talk makeup. Did you guys know that the stuff you find in the cosmetics section of the grocery store is designed to make you go through it faster? It’s true. You might think you are saving money by using it instead of expensive stuff, but there is a good chance you are actually spending more just in smaller installments.

Here’s my first piece of advice. Take a look at how much you have spent on makeup in the past 6 months. Before I decided to invest in good makeup, I was buying foundation from Walmart every month or so. Guys, that gets expensive. I was paying $6 a month on something that wasn’t great for my face and that I didn’t love. Now, I spend around $24 for foundation that lasts me almost a year. Do the math. It’s worth it. The same went for mascara. I had to use twice as much to get my lashes to look like I wanted. Once I started paying a little bit more, I found myself using half the amount. My mascara lasts twice as long and I am much happier with the results. Good makeup doesn’t need to cost you a fortune and it should last you much longer than the cheap stuff.

Even though I have switched from Cover Girl to Bare Minerals and Urban Decay, I have made it a point to never pay full price for an expensive piece of makeup. I know that I am going to mention Ulta like a billion times in this post. It’s because they carry all my favorite brands, plus have a ton of coupons and perks floating around to get discounts. I’m sure there are plenty of other companies that have similar programs. Ulta is just my favorite.  Anyways, here are my top 5 tips to help you get great make up at a price you can afford.

  1. Sign up to be a rewards member. This is should be a free program. If it’s not, don’t do it. Ulta’s members get a TON of awesome benefits.  You will get a ton of free samples and even a free Calvin Klein mascara on your birthday (score!). Also, you will begin to accrue points based on your purchases. The more points you accrue, the better your discounts will be in the future. You can eventually use your points to take cash off of your purchases.
  1. Shop NYX.  This has become one of my all-time favorite makeup brands. If there is a piece of makeup you have wanted to try, NYX has a knock off for it. And it’s a pretty darn good knock off at that. For example, Urban Decay makes a setting spray that will cost you about $25. NYX has a comparable one that runs about $8.

 get the makeup you love: radmomcoolkid.com

         

See those lips? What if I were to tell you that you could get that look for under $5? Check it out here. Awesome, huh. That’s less than what you would spend on a tube of Maybelline lipstick,ladies. Plus, the quality is 10x better. You can find it at a few different stores. However, I recommend buying it at Ulta. They frequently run 50% off sales on their NYX products. That means that a tube of lipstick could be as low as $2.50. Plus, you will accrue points! Free product, anyone?

  1. Stock up around the Holidays. This is my favorite thing to do for brands like Benefit, Bare Minerals and Urban Decay. Most companies start rolling out limited edition sizes of their products. This means you will get more product for the same price you would pay during the year. For example, check out this mascara that Bare Minerals is currently offering. It’s the same price that you would pay for one tube normally, except this one comes with a bonus.
  1. Shop the sales.  Sign up for emails and mailers from your favorite beauty stores. Ulta sends out a mailer each month explaining their sales. If you are a fan of Bare Minerals, check out the ‘Last Chance’ section of their website. That is an AMAZING place to get bundles of your favorite makeup.  Plus, many times there are free samples and gifts offered with the purchase of certain items.
  1. Stack the coupons. Ulta sends out emails weekly with a coupon attached to each one. Plus, if you get their monthly ads, you’ll have another one there. As a member, you will also get frequent 20% off your entire purchase coupons. Stack those babies. If you have points that have accrued, use those at the same time. Nothing is better than getting a huge makeup haul for half off. Most companies will offer discounts and coupons through their emails. Check out your favorite brands and see what they’ve got for ya.

Take the time to find makeup you love before investing. Go test stuff out and then figure out how to make it work in your budget. If you apply these 5 tips, I can promise you that you will be able to get what you want for good prices. Do you guys have any tricks to add?

 

Check out a few of my affordable make up favorites!

master muffler

master muffler

You know those necessary evils in life? Like, getting your teeth cleaned or replacing your furnace filter. For me, car maintenance falls into that category. I am not one of those people who gets oil changes at 3,000 miles on the dot. I push it until I can’t stand that ‘maintenance needed’ light anymore. I mean, my car should have been registered last month. Don’t arrest me officer, please. I just really hate taking my car in to get work done. I don’t like the dirty maintenance shops with the guys who are constantly trying to up-sell me. I don’t like being overcharged. I don’t like reading old copies of Car and Driver. I do not like it, Sam I am.

However, I recently took my lil’ Camry to Master Muffler in Provo to get the oil changed and emissions done.

This place is different.

First off, the building itself is clean. It might look like an ordinary shop on the outside, but inside it is clean and spacious. And, it doesn’t smell like stale popcorn mixed with tires. I like that. And the manager Eddie is super friendly. I took Sadie with me and she was his biggest fan.

Here’s the thing, when I try someplace new, I like to be there with other customers. It’s easy to be nice to a young mom who has a cute kid. I’m not one of those patience-trying type clients. The real test is seeing how the employees treat other people that are there. I had the opportunity to sit in the waiting room and watch how the guys at Master Muffler interacted with a bunch of different people. I have never seen such friendly customer service.  They treated every single person who walked through their doors like they were old friends. It blew me away. Eddie took the time to get to know each person and offer them his best advice. This is a far cry from the places I usually take my car to be serviced.

At the end of my visit, Eddie gave me a detailed receipt of what was done that day and then another paper explaining other services that would be needed on my car in the future. It included a quote of what he thought it would cost me and when he recommended it be done. Then, he took the time to explain it all to me. I loved this. He didn’t try and talk me into to a bunch of unnecessary stuff or push me in to getting it done that day. It was just to make me aware. For me, the vehicular impaired, it is good to know when certain inspections and tune ups should be performed. It helps me plan and budget for it.

The only word of caution I can offer is this; plan for a longer visit. Because I am used to those large chain type places, I expected to be in an out within 30 minutes. That wasn’t the case. I was there for quite a bit longer. I didn’t mind terribly because of how nice everyone was and because of the great service.

All in all, I was extremely impressed with Master Muffler. I definitely recommend them and am actually excited to go back and see them! Thanks for breaking the mold guys! Check out any of their great locations located along the Wasatch Front here. 

 

**Although I was compensated with free product for this review, all opinions and thoughts are my own. If I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t write about it!

the best homemade halloween costume ideas

the best homemade halloween costumes: radmomcoolkid.com

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I love Halloween.  Dressing up is one of my favorite things to do. So, naturally, I have been searching and searching for the perfect costume for my family. I found some adorable ones, like this one and this one.  And even this one.  But then, I realized…. I don’t have that kind of money to spend on something my daughter will only wear once.; or that I will be bored with by next Halloween.  So, that’s when I started looking in to some homemade Halloween costumes.  Guys, I was blown away.  Never again will I spend my money on store bought costumes.  I’m sure I’m not the only one feeling this way.  So, I rallied some of my favorite bloggers to provide some of their DIY costume ideas. Check out what they came up with! Here are some of the best homemade Halloween costume ideas from around the web.

This adorable DIY Toy Story themed family costumes from Heart to Heart, Hand in hand.

toy story

 

Every little boy’s dream! Homemade TMNT costumes from The Princess and Her Cowboys!

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This no glue mummy costume from The Project Girl has my heart!  How cute is he?!

theprojectgirl-mummy-model

If you are looking for an easy family themed idea, DIY Scooby Doo costumes won’t disappoint!

 

scooby doo costumes

The Project Girl’s DIY Yo Gabba Gabba costumes! Amazing!

theprojectgirl_yogabbagabba

Ashlee Marie is a genius with her Lorax insprired Costumes!

onceler

 

Brit is rockin it with her little witch headband! So easy and so sweet.

the best homemade halloween costumes: radmomcoolkid.com

Check out this AMAZING  DIY Alice in Wonderland costume from Artsy Fartsy Mama!

Alice-Costume

This is an awesomely inexpensive idea for you and your kiddos.  Alvin and the Chipmunks by The Things I Love.alvin and the chipmunks

Have a little one you who wants a tutu this Halloween?  Check out a great tutorial here.
the best homemade halloween costumes: radmomcoolkid.com

This little scuba diving costume is easy to make and as cute as they come.

AFM ScubaCostume

What are your kids going to be for halloween?

10 tricks to a safe halloween

safer halloween:radmomcoolkid.com

**this post may contain affiliate links**

Halloween is around the corner.  I know I’m not the only one stressin.  I’ve been searching for the perfect costume while simultaneously trying to think of a cheap candy to pass out that won’t make me the suckiest house on the block.  I will admit though, that’s not what stresses me the most.  I feel like Halloween is the most unsafe holiday we celebrate.  Our kids aren’t dressed like themselves, they are knocking on strangers doors who probably dont look like themselves.  Then, to top it off, they are taking candy from those people and digesting them in record amounts.  It’s pretty much the scariest night of the year in more ways than one.

According to these statistics, only 1/3 of parents talk to their children about Halloween safety.  Even though over 3/4 of those parents admit to being worried for their child’s safety. That is not okay with me.  Especially because twice as many kids are hit and killed by cars on October 31st than any other day of the year. That’s terrifying.  Halloween is a blast when you are kid, it’s our job as parents to make the fun last as safely as possible.  Here are the top 10 tricks to a safe Halloween.

1. Trick or treat in groups. Parents, go with your kids; especially if they are under the age of 12.  There is safety in numbers.  I don’t want to see 5 year olds out by themselves.  When they are old enough, make sure they are in a large group and that you know who they are with.  Make sure you know which route they are taking and what time they will be home.  If you are splitting up mid trick or treating session, set a meeting place and a designated time to reunite.

safer halloween:radmomcoolkid.com

2. Examine the candy. You know, to avoid all those razor blades and poison apples.  But for reals, just double check your kids haul.  Don’t trust homemade goods from folks you don’t know.  Stick to the well wrapped, factory produced candy.  Better safe than sorry!

3. Wear reflectors or brightly colored costumes. Little kids get excited when they are trick or treating.  It’s free candy.  We would be crazy to think that they would be watching for cars during all that excitement.  Help those babies out.  If their costumes aren’t bright enough to see in the dark, sew/iron some reflective tape on to them. Make them easier to see.  Check out these ones for your kiddos costumes.

4. Trick or Treat in neighborhoods you are familiar with.  If you know the neighborhood, chances are you know the neighbors.

5.  Never enter a home you don’t know. Never. Ever. Ever.

6. Opt for trunk or treat.  This is a great opportunity for your kids to get all of their candy in one fail swoop.  It’s a safe environment and will save those little leggies from getting tired.  If you are looking for some good ideas to dress up your trunk, check this out.

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7.  Choose face paint over masks.  Masks make it harder to see out of.  I mean, have you ever tried one on?  Whose eyes are shaped that way? I dont know about you, but I need my peripheral vision.  Try face paint instead.  A) less expensive B) you can get super creative C) You will actually be able to see.  Just make sure you test out the face paint early on; to avoid any allergic reactions.

8. Take flashlights. This will help you and your kiddos to avoid rocks (aka. ankle breakers, costume rippers and tooth chippers).  Let’s face it, our kids are all just one scraped knee away from a sugar induced temper tantrum.  Keep a flash light on hand to help light the way, and to make it easier for cars to see you and your littles.

9. Be a cautious driver. While doing the trick or treating can be a safety hazard, I think driving through the trick or treaters can be just as tedious.  Watch out for the little ones racing from house to house.  They most likely will not be looking for you.  While you might be tempted to drive house to house with your kids, choose walking.

10. Only visit homes that have porch lights on. Visibility is your friend.  In all senses.  Hence the flash light, reflective tape and lit homes.

safer halloween:radmomcoolkid.com

Have a happy and safe Halloween!

Love, Brit and Steph

27.

Guys.  I am 27 today.  I know that’s not incredibly old or anything.  But, it’s old enough to not understand SnapChat or care who One Direction is.  But, it’s young enough to not know any Donny Osmond songs or know how an 8-track works.  So, that’s something I guess?  I was planning on doing a giveaway today…. But, I am still a complete newbie at blogging and couldn’t figure out the plug-in to do it.  Yeah.  I’m sorry, friends.  It will happen.  Soon, I hope.  But, to tide you over and to celebrate a little bit of me, here are 27 things you probably never knew (and probably don’t care to know) about me.

27:radmomcoolkid.com

  1. I used to want to be a motocross racer.  I dunno.  Thought it would be cool, I guess.
  2. I love writing research papers.
  3. I don’t like ham sandwiches.
  4. I would eventually like to start an after school program for at risk kids.
  5. My favorite foods are spaghetti  and tacos.  But not together.
  6. I rarely drink soda.  (but when I do, I prefer Dos XX. …Jokes, jokes.)
  7. I love reality TV. Yes, even the Real Housewives series.
  8. I was scared of the dark until I was 13. My mom used to have to sit outside my door until I fell asleep, every night.    27:radmomcoolkid.com
  9. Sadie and I dance in our pajamas at least twice a day.  To Taylor Swift.
  10. I really want to skydive someday, but I’m scared of heights.
  11. I was a ballet dancer for 8 years.
  12. I’m trying to grow my eyebrows back in from years of over plucking.  It’s not going well.
  13. I can’t go hunting.  Or fishing.  It makes me sad.  If I start thinking about where chicken and beef come from… I can’t eat that, either. 27:radmomcoolkid.com
  14. I think my husband is the wittiest person I know.
  15. I am always late.  Always.  It’s one of my biggest flaws.
  16. My parents thought about naming me Melody or Tiffany.
  17. I am really bad at budgeting.  I’m getting better but it has been really, really hard for me.
  18. I have never been in a car accident.  But, I have hit stationary objects.  3 times.  My poor Camry.
  19. I am the oldest of 4 kids. And I come from 3 generations of oldest daughters.
  20. I hate getting up early.  Sadie does too.  We both sleep until at least 9 AM every morning.
  21. I wish I could pull off  wearing hats and headbands.  If anyone knows any tricks, let me know.
  22. I’m an ugly cryer.  Think Kim Kardashian.
  23. I hate spiders but love snakes and lizards.
  24. I like Disney movies way too much for an adult.
  25. I once had my belly button pierced.  Worst mistake of my life.  Pregnant bellies+belly button scars=stretch mark city. I discourage all others from making the same horrible decision.
  26. If I could live in a house with all of my siblings and my parents, and Lane’s family; I totally would.  I think it would be amazing.
  27. I love sugared cereal.27:radmomcoolkid.com

sadie’s fall faves

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A while back, I posted my fall wish list.  Now it’s Sadie’s turn.  In my perfect little world, Sadie would be quite the little fashionista.  You know the type.  Perfectly dressed in put together outfits all the time.  I try.  Really I do.  Unfortunately, my baby girl is… well, a baby girl.  So, by the end of the day, we end up somewhere around this look.

sadiestyle:radmomcoolkid.com

 

With fall here, I have all sorts of high hopes of how she will look.  Lovely little top knots.  Chambray shirt.  Leggings.  Boots.  Never ever dirty.  Yeah, right.

But, I have found a happy medium.

Here are a bunch of cost friendly (Okay, most are cost friendly; a couple are splurges.), fashion forward items that Sadie can still look cute in.  And that can probably get dirty without me losing my mind.

So, even though she might end up still lookin a hot toddler mess by the end of the day, her out fit will definitely be on point!

 

sadiestyle:radmomcoolkid.com

Shop the look:

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get your child to sleep through the night without the tears

sleepthroughthenight:radmomcoolkid.com

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When I found out I was pregnant with Sadie, I had a pretty clear idea of how I wanted things to be.  I was not going to co-sleep.  She would sleep in her own room and in her crib from day 1.  I would put her on a schedule and she would be sleeping through the night by week 6.  I would let her cry it out because in my ‘soon-to-be’ mom’s eyes, she needed to learn how to self soothe early on.

And then she was born.  Everything that I thought I wanted changed.  I couldn’t bear the thought of her sleeping in that big room all by herself.  She had been so close to me for the last 9 months.  It didn’t make sense to be apart now.  So, our plan changed.  Sadie slept in a bassinet right next to my bed.  Sometimes we co-slept during naps.  I let her determine the schedule.  And I couldn’t let her cry it out.  I just couldn’t.

sleepthroughthenight:radmomcoolkid.com

That’s the way it was until baby girl was about 4 months old.  Sadie was an OK sleeper. Bed time was normally around 9:30 and she would sleep until midnight, wake up and eat and go back down until 3 AM.  She would wake up again and eat and then sleep until 7, eat and then go back down before waking up for the day at 9 AM.  I was exhausted but I was used to it.  I was working part time as a nanny and didn’t start until later in the day; so her schedule really didn’t matter. But, we eventually realized we needed to transition Sadie to her own room.  Honestly, this was more for my sake than for hers.  I was getting way to attached to having my little family all in one room.  If I didn’t move her then, it would have hurt so much more to do it later. Okay, that and we were desperate for a full night’s sleep.

I started asking friends and family for advice about how to get Sadie to sleep through the night and how to do it in her own room.  Most of the responses I got were to let her cry it out.  She would eventually figure out how to soothe herself to sleep and sleep in a room by herself.

Disclaimer: I completely understand that many people love the cry it out method.  I know plenty of ‘Baby-Wise’ and ‘Ferber method’ kids who are well adjusted with wonderful parents.  But, it wasn’t something that fit my personality.  That is the beautiful thing about parenting; it can be tapered and adjusted to become what you want it to be.  However, I did not want to let my child cry it out.  I wanted my kids to know that if they needed me, I would be there.  I felt like crying is a call for comfort, no matter the age; and I wanted then to know that I will always be their comforter. I was torn. I wanted Sadie to sleep through the night.  Heck, I wanted to sleep through the night.  But, I didn’t want to let her cry it out.  So, I decided to go against the grain and find something that worked a little bit better for our family.

I researched quite a bit and finally landed on a book by The No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley.  I was blown away! I devoured it within a day and immediately went to work. The reason I loved it so much was because it was flexible.  It literally had ideas for any style of parent that you might be.  If you want to be a co-sleeper, no problem!  Have your baby sleep with a pacifier?  No big deal! Nurse to sleep? Great!  It didn’t matter what choices you make for your child, there was zero judgement.  AND, they could help you get your child to sleep with out letting them cry.  They also take in to consideration your child’s age.  They had a specific section for kids under 4 months old, under 1 year old and over 1 year. It not only outlines how to get your child to sleep through the night, but it teaches you how to transition your child into a new sleeping situation (bed, crib, etc.).  It helped me realize that one plan does not fit every child. And, that it doesn’t matter if you started your child on a plan at age 2 months or at 2 years, its never to late to change your child’s patterns with out tears.

Our goal was to get Sadie to fall asleep on her own, not in our arms, not nursing, and to stay asleep.  We wanted her to sleep in her own room and in her crib; and we wanted her to do it with out crying it out.  This book gave us some great ideas and in the end, our goal was accomplished.   Here is how we did it.

1.  Track your baby’s current schedule. For a week, I made a record of Sadie’s schedule.  I wrote down when she woke up, when she ate, how long she ate, what we did activity wise and when she slept.  During the night, I kept a pen and paper on Sadie’s dresser and wrote down the time for each of her awakenings.  Because we did this, we were able to see exactly what we wanted to change.  For example, it helped me to see that Sadie was waking up at least once a night to ‘comfort feed’.  Which meant she was waking up to nurse for about a minute and then going back to sleep. She had so many habits that I had never caught on to until I was recording everything. This will also help you to make subtle changes instead of huge drastic changes, which will make your baby much happier.

2. Establish a routine. After we had tracked her schedule for a week, it was time to make changes.  Establishing a set routine is key.  Write it down and stick to it. We decided that bed time would be at 8:30, sharp.  We began our routine at 7:45 with a bath.  After the bath, we put lavendar lotion on her and got her jammies on.  We read a book, sang a song and then snuggled.  Afterwards, we let her nurse and then it was time to sleep.  That was our routine EVERY night.  We made the commitment to never deviate from our routine. If we got home late, we still did the routine.  If we were at my parent’s house, we did the same thing. Nap time was a shorter version of the same thing.  After about 5 days, Sadie started catching on.  She knew that the bath meant it was time to settle down.

3.  Decide on a sleep queue. A routine will let your child know that its time to wind down.  A sleep queue will tell your child its time for sleep. It’s something you will do after your routine, right before you put your baby down in their bed.  You want to avoid letting your child fall asleep in your arms.  The point is to teach them to fall asleep on their own in their own bed. To do that, you need to prepare them for bed.  Like the routine, you will want to choose it and keep it consistent.  The book presented many different options for getting your child to sleep with out letting them cry.  There were ideas like playing certain music, letting them nurse to sleep, making shushing noises, saying certain phrases.  There were literally tons of different plans.  After you have selected a different ‘queue’, you apply it right after your bed time routine.  For us, it was a shushing noise.  After Sadie nursed, I would gently make shushing noises and lay her down in her crib. I would make sure to put her down right as she was starting to fall asleep, but still slightly awake.  If she started to cry after I laid her down, I would pick her up and comfort her and then do the same shushing noise and put her back in her crib once she stopped crying.  We would repeat that same pattern until she realized it was bed time and would fall asleep.  Each night it took a shorter amount of time for her to fall asleep.  When she would wake up at night, she would eat and then we would do the same shushing noise while putting her back in her crib. Since Sadie had the tendency to ‘comfort feed’, I slowly started shortening the amount of time I let her each during her night time feedings. She started to realize that she really didn’t need to eat.  In time, her night time feedings decreased to only once.

4.  Track your baby’s sleep. Through out the whole process, continue to track your baby’s progress.  Write down the times she wakes up during the night and how long she is awake for.  You should begin to see some positive change.  If things don’t begin to change after 3-5 days of your new routine, try something new.  Different babies like different things.

5. Keep at it. This is definitely not a quick fix.  They say the cry it out method works with in days.  This will probably take longer.  It took Sadie a month to be able to go down without any fuss.  That means that bedtime took almost an hour.  It was a constant marathon of picking her up, comforting her, and putting her back down.  But, the first night she went to sleep on her own was amazing.  Ever since then, all we need to do is put her in her crib or pack n play and she goes to sleep with out a peep.  Now I know, if she ever does cry, something is really wrong.  She has learned that if she cries, I will be there.  If she needs me, I won’t just let her cry it out. We were able to get her down to 1 night time feeding until she was about a year.  Then, all of a sudden, she stopped needing that, too.  She now goes to sleep at 8:30 PM and sleeps until 9 AM.  Every day.  And takes a nap.  She is a champ.

6. Make changes as necessary. Be flexible!  This is a baby.  You aren’t breaking a horse here.  If you don’t like something, change it!  It’s not a race.  Chances are you will start the process out one way and end it completely differently.  That’s the beauty of recording your progress; it makes it easier to change things.

sleepthroughthenight:radmomcoolkid.com

I know this might not seem like a straight forward plan.  That’s the thing though, there is not a quick fix or a one step solution.  If you are dedicated to a non cry it out method, it will take some time.  There will be some trial and error, and that’s okay! Figure out what your goals are for your child and then establish a plan to make it happen.  It worked for us, but it took work.  In the end though, it was completely worth it!

What methods have you used for sleeping?

soul searching

I had planned to post the recipe to my home made spaghetti sauce recipe today.  I really did.  But, life got away from me this week.  Well, more like for the last couple of weeks.  It has been a crazy summer here at the Alo household.  Honestly, it has been the busiest one I can remember.  In May, I was looking forward to all we had planned.  But, as the weeks went by I found myself thinking more along the lines of  ‘Ugh.  I am so ready for summer to be over.  I’m tired.  I just want it to be fall already.’  And, now it’s fall.  You know what? I wish I could go back and do it all again.  I wish I had spent less time wishing for the end and spent more time soaking up the sun.

I did some soul searching this week.  I thought a lot about my experiences in high school, my mission, my marriage, and I realized something.  I never enjoyed those moments while they were happening.  I enjoyed them afterwards.  I lived in Argentina for 18 months.  Argentina, guys.  That’s insane!  A 3rd world country with a completely different culture than what I was used to.  I had the opportunity to learn new things and savor every last bit of the latino style.  Did I? Somewhat.  But, I also spent a lot of time looking forward to going home.  I spent a lot of time missing Burger King and peanut butter.  I spent a lot of time worrying about what I would do after my mission and looking forward to my next steps in life.  Now when I look back, I kick myself for not living in the moment more.  Worrying did absolutely nothing for me, except cheat me of the experiences I could have been having.

The same goes with my marriage.  I look back on the past few years and think…’man, i am so lucky’.  But the thing is, through the last few years, I have spent the majority of my time wishing the next step would come faster.  Wishing that we had more money or that we could build a house.  I look through Anthropologie magazines and can’t wait until ‘we have enough money to buy all those things’.   How insane is that?  I have this gorgeous little girl, a wonderful husband, we have a steady job, good cars, a roof over our heads, loving family and friends.  But, all I can do is wish for other things.  Instead of being grateful for the things I have or the place I am in my life, I live for this imaginary perfect world that I have made up in my head.  The best part is, that world doesn’t exist.  There will never be a place that will make me happier than I am now.  There will never be a salary or money in the bank that will make me happier than I am now.  Why?  Because I determine my happiness.  I determine what my life is.  It isn’t dependent on a job or a home.  Its dependent on me.  *Queue epiphany*.

I don’t want to live like that anymore.  I don’t want to live for the future.  I want to live for the little moments like this and cherish them.

soulsearching:radmomcoolkid.com

So, instead of working on my spaghetti sauce post this week.  We did a whole lot more of this.

soulsearching:radmomcoolkid.com

And this.

soulsearching:radmomcoolkid.com

And this.

soulsearching:radmomcoolkid.com

And yes…. that is Lane dancing the Haka at Chalk the Block.

soulsearching:radmomcoolkid.com

So, even though I may not have it all, I am okay with it. Alright, I am learning to be okay with it. My goal is to  live in each moment and love each moment, to stop comparing my life to others, to be grateful for all the wonderful things that surround me.  It is a super hard goal for me, but I refuse to stand in the way of my happiness again.

……But yes, at some point I definitely will post the spaghetti sauce recipe.  Don’t worry.

allcornhole.com

allcornhole.com:radmomcoolkid

Recently, we were approached by allcornhole.com about trying out some of their products. When I first told Lane, he was super excited. I had no idea what Corn Hole was. In my mind, it was just one of those bean bag toss games you play at the carnival. Let me tell you; that is NOT the case!

allcornhole.com:radmomcoolkid

Corn Hole is a game where you form teams, or play 1-on-1, while trying to throw bean bags into a board with a hole in it. Two boards are placed 27 feet apart from each other and each player must stand behind the board while throwing towards the opposite board. The objective is either to get your bean bag on the board (scoring 1 point) or in the actual hole (scoring 3 points). The first team/person to 21 wins! For more on Corn Hole, go here.

allcornhole.com:radmomcoolkid

We were given the opportunity to have some custom Corn Hole bags made for us. So of course, we chose BYU bags. We busted out the game at one of our family get togethers and it was a hit. After the numerous ‘corn hole’ jokes and innuendos, the tournaments of all tournaments ensued. At first we decided to play best out of three. Then, because people were having such a good time, we just kept playing. And playing. And playing. My brother was determined to keep playing until he won (Some of us are better at corn hole than others. I think it’s a gift.)

allcornhole.com:radmomcoolkid

I come from a family where badminton, croquet, and bocce ball are all normal activities for us. We love outdoor games. I don’t think any of us expected to like Corn Hole as much as we did. But now, we are all hooked. It is definitely one of our family favorites! We are already planning our next tail gate party, complete with Corn Hole tournaments.

allcornhole.com:radmomcoolkid

If your family loves out door games or even if you are wanting to try a new fun activity, I highly recommend looking up the guys at allcornhole.com. They will definitely hook you up with a good time!

**Although I was compensated by allcornhole.com with free product, all opinions and thoughts are completely honest. I wouldn’t recommend it if I didn’t love it!!

Rad Mom Cool Kid

Rad Mom Cool Kid