Friday, October 31, 2014

five things friday: momma favorites

Good morning, ladies. And gents? Or ladies and my Hubs? *wink*
Join me for my Five Things Friday featuring current Momma favorites!

I may or may not still be in this same outfit as yesterday...which was the same outfit as the day before...and it is possible the day before's outfit as well. But I can't really remember that far back. I'm just keeping it real here.

For this Friday's edition, I am sharing five of my current faves as a mom.

1. Enfamil to go. If they had these when I had the boys I totally did not know about them! It makes life on the go, especially with my hands full with two toddlers as well, so so much easier. I don't have to worry about lugging along icepacks to keep formula cold, which then also makes for an unhappy baby girl, who prefers warm drinks. I can fill her bottles with pre-warmed water and then just pop in a packet of her formal already measured and ready to go! It's a mini lifesaver!

2. I never go out on my own, without the Hubs or kiddos in tow. That's not a complaint, it's just a fact. I am a homebody and most of my friends don't live nearby so I'm usually enjoying time at home with the fam. But this one particular night I needed to get out and I had errands that had to be run. The Hubs happily offered to watch the three littles for me while I headed out. So, out I went. One of my stops was Home Goods. While I was there I perused through the children's section and I found a little goodie to bring home to my little ones; the book Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You. I had seen this book before, but never opened it. Y'all, I'm in love. It is the sweetest book by Nancy Tillman. I can't wait to get my hands on her other books.

3. I have worn these bracelets for each of my kiddos almost every day since they were each born. I love them. They are thin and simple and each gold disc has their initials on it. I may have to think of using names that start with G, W, or Z again so I don't have an armful of bracelets. ;) I gave my best friend one with a J on it and she is able to use it for both of her little guys, and maybe her third too! She's having baby three and I am oh so excited! When I was pregnant with Zelie, I knew I loved that name, but it wasn't something we decided 100%, but one day while I was walking by the store I bought the G and W at, I thought I'd pop by and see if they just so happened to have a Z. When I went in to check, they didn't, but they offered to check all the other stores in the country and only one store had one Z left. I had them order it via phone for me and it was at that point that I was certain we'd have a Zelie. I love these bracelets because they are constant reminders of my little loves. 

4. These magnetic locking devices are fabulous. I wish I had just invested in them from the get go. I cannot stand those regular cabinet safety locks you put on drawers and cabinets. Whether it be the exterior slide locks on double cabinets or the little hooks that you slightly open doors and drawers and then have to stick your finger in to push down. We have both of those everywhere in our home and they are the death of me. But now the boys learned how to open those so I was desperate for a more toddler proofing option and that is when I discovered these. I am a much happier and frazzled momma knowing my cabinets are still safe and in turn, the little guys are safe. We only have locks on places they can harm themselves, like knives, chemical detergents, etc. Do yourself a favor and just get these from the start! You'll save money and work in the long run by not having to buy two different sets. 

5. When Gus and Will were born we did everything to get them to both sleep and stay asleep. They were swaddled, held a certain way, rocked... you name it. They also slept with a sound machine. It would help when one boy woke up at random so the other baby had a chance of not being disturbed. It has really helped even to this day when they sleep, at nap time and overnight. As it turned out, it has helped their sister very much too. Since the boys use our only sound machine, I decided I'd try out an app on my old iPod so I didn't have to bother buying a new machine and it also is a lot more convenient since it is portable and can go anywhere. I can bring it in the car with me which has been a great lifesaver at times on longer drives or long days of errands. I also have the app on my phone in case I need it while out and I don't have my iPod on hand. This is the one I downloaded, but any sound app would work. Zelie's favorite is Calm Rainfall. 

So, these are some random current faves that revolve around my life as Momma to my two little men and sweet baby girl. What are some current momma musts in your life? Or, if you aren't a momma, what are some of your musts that you love on a daily or regular basis?

And, Happy Halloween everyone! I will be back with a little recap on our little's first Halloween!

Friday, October 24, 2014

thrive moms

Have you connected with the Thrive Moms community? If you are a momma, and you haven't, you should. I'm loving it. I'm loving a lot of little blogs lately that inspire moms and wives. We have a very important role in our family and in society and receiving inspiration and boosts from other women like ourselves is a great encouragement. Something I would really love to do is be a part of a community with other ladies to use my gifts to encourage others. Today I found out about an opportunity to be on the team of photographers at Thrive Moms. I am far from professional in my photography, but I put my heart into it, just like I put my heart into being a momma. I am not a professional at that either, even though I have three littles. I still have a lot to learn, but I hope to always grow in both mothering and photography. Here are a few photos I am sharing with the team at Thrive Moms. And, you can follow me on Instagram @ciaomarezy to see more glimpses at life our little life!

Friday, October 17, 2014

five things friday: meet marisa

Today I want to introduce you to my friend, Marisa, owner of Griffin Family Farms. I'm really not sure where I'd be as a mom without her. Honestly. She has helped me get through the little and the big and she is always always there for me. She's crazy generous. No lie. And, to make her even better, she has the greatest line of homemade organic products for your family. Shampoo for you, moisturizer for your sister, salve for your baby's bottom. Heck, she even has laundry detergent! Do yourself a favor, and check her product line out on Facebook

As a momma to three little ones, I use her products daily on them. I use them for myself as well. So does my Hubs. And I'm here to share my five most commonly used products from Griffin Family Farms. 

1. Lavender Rose Lotion: I use this for myself and for my baby girl. Great smell, fabulous texture and amazing results.

2. Teething Oil: No one likes a hurting/teething baby. This stuff goes a long way and will do wonders for those sore little gums.

3. Gripe Water Tea: This has helped my littlest one with her tummy tremendously.

4. Elderberry Syrup: Hello cold season! This is a must have in our house. The kids (including my oldest 30 something year old) all love it and constantly ask for more. 

5. Miracle Salve: I saved the best for last. We all use this. It is amazing for diaper rash, or just rashes in general, cuts, bruises, burns. Oh burns. I'm telling you, I am blonde in the kitchen and always end up burning myself. And this salve is It helps quick healing and the pain! 

She has a wonderful little business going and I am happy to watch it blossom. She has helped so many people through her products and her kindness, including myself and many of my friends. You won't be disappointed. And she is always willing to answer your questions, gives great details and instructions on using her products and she will ship to your house so you don't have to be local!! Now go check her out!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

ten truths tuesday

I don't know if this will become a weekly topic or not, but for this Tuesday, here are ten truths about myself. Feel free to join along and share ten truths about yourself!

1. I have a slight obsession with handbags. I have had to really detach and clean out. Simplify. There is still a little way to go to lose the obsession, but at least I’ve admitted it. That’s the first step, right?

2. I’m not a slob, but I am not the neatest person either. I can keep the house neat and tidy, but my bedroom is the catchall, specifically my dresser. Whatever hasn’t gotten done, needs to still be done, you name it, it goes there.

3. I don’t shower every single day. I would LOVE to. But these days, even a quick 5 minute shower with a shower cap so I don’t even wash my hair (dry shampoo is a must in my routine) is a luxury.

4. I am a HORRIBLE meal planner and cook, except if I have a great recipe, all the ingredients and the time to prep/cook. Then I do an okay job. I wish I was better at it and I am working on compiling a binder of all my go to recipes that I know are either good or I am good at cooking. - If you have any fabulous, easy recipes, send them my way!

5. I am guilty of letting my kids watch too much tv. I am very selective in what they watch, but sometimes I need time to get things done without a baby in my arms (she doesn’t watch the tv) and two two year olds hanging off of me. They don’t watch hours upon hours a day, but I’d rather keep it less than it is. Hopefully in a few months when the baby is a little older and I’ve figured life with three out a little better, it will lessen.

6. I am not good at finishing projects. I get tired, distracted, and bored. I’ve been known to paint pictures, but not finish them because of the above reasons or because I am not happy with how it’s coming so it just gets put aside.

7. I’m incredibly forgetful. Now even more with three kids. I write EVERYTHING down in my planner. I cannot wait for January to roll around when I can start using my new Simplified Planner from Emily Ley.

8. I wish I had a talent or knew how to do something to have a little side job/etsy shop to bring in some extra money. Any ideas?

9. I’d love to be part of a joint mom/life blog. Where you take different topics and share days to write. That way I feel like my blog isn’t so neglected, yet I could still blog. We’d share stories, frustrations, inspiration, DIYs, recipes, etc. I’d SO love to do that! Anyone want to join me? :)

10. I fall asleep during movies, even if I love them. My poor husband. It drives him crazy and he totally does not get how I can fall asleep during certain movies. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

momma mondays: naptime

Whether you have one little one, three, or seven, what do you do during nap time? Do you take that time to rest, exercise, eat, shower, get housework done? I was talking with a friend of mine a few days ago, sharing our thoughts on this. A momma's time is truly not her own. I wake up between 4-5:30 with Z to feed her, go back to sleep for 1-2 hours and am up with the boys for the day. They nap for 1 1/2-2 hours in the early afternoon, but on most days, Z is up at that time and needs to be fed or held or loved on in some way. If they are all sleeping at the same time, the question comes up of what do I do now? Sleep is precious to me, but I also have housework that needs to be done, a shower that would greatly be appreciated by myself and the Hubs. It's no pretty sight coming home to a tired wife still in her pjs, when you can't tell if I just woke up or am dying to get to sleep. I try to plan my day out that most of the chores are done before the boys go down for a nap. Make our bed. Undo last night's dishes from the dishwasher and put them away. Put any breakfast dishes rinsed and in the dishwasher, make sure all the counters are clean. At least one load of laundry is in the washer. Hopefully, if it is a good day, a second load can go in, the first load can be dried and folded. The putting away waits until the evening. So I know by nap time, the kitchen is tidy, laundry is on its way to being done and then I tidy up the boys toys with them before they head for their nap. If all of that is done, and nap time either falls at the same time for the three littles or the boys are down and Z is quiet, then I use this time to try to make phone calls (so I don't have a little boy making animal sounds in one ear and another making car sounds in the other ear), pay bills (so the companies don't get bills with crayon drawing on them as well... Though if I was a worker at one of these companies and received a bill with a drawing by a little one, I think it'd make me smile!), and tidy up anything else that needs to be done. I like the house to look clean by the time the boys wake up from their nap so the second part of the whirlwind day is off to a good start. Usually in the time the boys are napping I also get lunch ready for us and the Hubs if he can make it home. And all in between this time of the boys napping, there are always interruptions to love Zelie when she needs or wants me. Once the boys are up from their nap, that is it and it is go, go, go until bedtime. For all of you mommas of multiple little ones, how you juggle and manage it all? How do you find balance in getting it all done, while showering love on your littles?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


Three years ago at this time, I was up bright and early. Like before the sunrise early! I was hoping and praying with every bit of me for a beautiful day, but instead I was looking at facing a cold, rainy day. The extreme early hour wakeup call and the nasty weather were not going to take over my excitement though! I waited for this day for a long time and finally it was here, rain and all.

I was about to go from a Miss to a Mrs. and that is all that mattered.

I have a million pictures I could share, especially on our anniversary (but really, I'd post them all the time without an excuse since I love them so much!)

I don't need pictures to remember the sweet moments of our wedding day, but they are wonderful to have. I do love to look back at them often and see our loved ones in the pictures, catch our expressions, and remember the really small but special moments that were caught on film... like this one. We were both so, so happy!
 I do! And, "I do" again, three years later!
 Between being excited and giggling that I slightly messed up my vows, I had a real smile on my face!

The new Mr. and Mrs!
 I loved my dress so very much. I wish it wasn't packed away so well so I could take it out often and even put it on... not that it would fit me anymore!
 I love these people! As it was we had a huge bridal party, but I still wish I could have added a few more special people.
 I like this picture because it reminds me of the ease of the day and the comfort and happiness of being married to his cute guy.

 Here's my dress again. I had to post another picture of it. If you live in the South, or are willing to make a trip, definitely head for The White Room Bridal Salon in Birmingham, Alabama. They are amazing! Really. Trust me.

This one is special for the Hubs! He loves nothing more in the world (other than the obvious things) than milkshakes. I had a whole milkshake bar set up at our wedding for him as a surprise. So this one is for you! A great moment, a milkshake in one hand and I am happy to be holding your other hand! I wish I could treat you to an extra large milkshake today, but we will celebrate with one... or maybe two, as soon as this diet is up!

So, now that I've shared a few of my favorite pictures, now here are a few thoughts. Just like with wine, life with him gets better with time. Our life has been wild, WILD since we got married. How can it not be wild with three babies in three years?! Marriage is not always easy and being a parent, especially to two two year old toddlers and an infant, certainly comes with very difficult days, but at the end of the day, they are all so wonderful. Some days are better than others, some crummy when we just want to get to bed to start fresh and be rejuvenated the next day, and others (most days) nothing short of being great. 

I am blessed to be married to a man that loves me no matter what. 

On shower-less, bad hair days.

On days when my dresser looks like a tornado dumped everything it sucked up and plopped it on there... and this says a lot. The Hubs is an incredibly organized, neat and clean guy. I'm pretty sure I've never seen someone like this, especially a guy! Some days I wonder how he chose me knowing that I'm not like that!

On the most difficult days being a mom, when my patience level is negative 20.

On the days where I have gotten nothing done around the house and dinner is not ready, yet I've some how been busy

On the nights that I want to watch 7 episodes of HGTV shows or a chick flick that he can't stand.

On the nights that I just want to take a nap on the couch as soon as the kids go down for a nap.

On the days I make him do the many messy dinners from my meal prep that piled up.

On the days that I make him run endless boring errands with me, many of which he has to stay in the car with sleeping kiddos.

He loves me even when it doesn't feel good.

He works hard for our family so I can stay home and raise our little ones.

He even gives up his favorite football games knowing how much I want him with me on an outing... now that's love. 

Our days aren't always easy and it isn't always easy to show love, but no matter what our days are like, he is always there, he is always faithful, he always loves me. And for all of that (and more), I am grateful and blessed.

Happy Anniversary, Love!

 And the pictures are thanks to this talented and lovely lady. Do yourself another favor (besides going to The White Room for your dress) and hire Megan as your wedding photographer. You won't be disappointed!