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In The Kitchen



Diaper and Wipes Gift Subscription with IncrediBundles


Holy smokes, I am so pumped to share today's blog post with you!!!! One of my favorite things to do (and a big reason my blog still exists) is to try and make daily life just a bit easier for you gals. Probably the biggest gift we can give ourselves and others is more time and I think I have found a way to help you mamas out with that: a diaper and wipes gift subscription service from IncrediBundles!!!

I think we can all agree that two of the most needed items for a baby are diapers and wipes. When I was pregnant with Knox, we were gifted so many diapers and wipes and it was such a huge blessing! In fact, we made it a full seven months using the diapers we were given before we needed to purchase any more. Virtually every time I pulled open the drawer for a new diaper, I found myself thinking just how thankful we were that friends gifted us such practical things. Don't get me wrong, the cute clothes are appreciated just as much! But there is definitely something pretty spectacular about being gifted the necessities. Add in a subscription service where the diapers and wipes are delivered straight to your door and you will surely make many mamas happy!

Do yourself (and any moms of babies) a favor and click on over to IncrediBundles right now. The next time you have a friend or family member who is expecting a child, don't fret over selecting a gift. Trust me when I say that gifting them a diaper and/or wipes subscription from IncrediBundles is the way to go. The only thing you will have to worry about is selecting which gift option to purchase.

IncrediBundles Wipe Subscription

As the purchaser, you select a subscription length (3, 6, 9 or 12 months). And then this is where it gets really good: the recipient gets to select which size and brand of diaper they want delivered straight to their door each month. I have learned that parents often become loyal to a specific brand, but it sometimes takes testing out different brands to find the right fit. With the IncrediBundles diaper subscription, the recipient can try out different brands each month or if they know their preferred brand they can select that. And you don't have to worry about buying them a diaper brand they don't like since they make the selections themselves.

Another fab feature to the subscription is that a monthly subscription doesn't mean you have to order consecutive months. Think of months more as installments. The recipient doesn't need to place an order request every month unless they need it. They can order whenever they need more diapers and wipes (this includes skipping months or ordering more than once in the same month).

When you purchase the subscription, the recipient will receive an Announcement package so they know that a subscription has been purchased. IncrediBundles can either mail the Announcement package direct to the recipient or send it to you so you can take it to a baby shower. The Announcement package is adorable and comes with the softest teddy bear ever - Knox sure likes the teddy bear he received! In addition to the precious teddy bear all of the information the recipient needs to redeem their diapers or wipes subscription is included in the package.

IncrediBundles Announcement Package

I'll continue my love letter to IncrediBundles by telling you that the ordering process is quite easy. The website tells you exactly what to do and all the recipient has to do is follow their simple instructions. Selecting the brand and size of diapers is a breeze as well thanks to the easy drop down menus.
IncrediBundles Order

I cannot wait until someone I know has a baby shower because I will most certainly be gifting this service to them. And I am thrilled to tell all of you that IncrediBundles is generously going to give one of YOU a 3 month diaper subscription!!!! All you have to do is head over to my instagram account, find the IncrediBundles picture and get entered! Don't delay - this is such an incredible prize!

If you have any questions about the service or entering the giveaway, feel free to let me know. I'm so excited for one of you to win this!!!!

Giveaway details:
-Enter by heading to my instagram account
-Winner will receive a 3-month diaper subscription
-Giveaway lasts 5 days
-Only open to US residents
-Entrants who have previously won a giveaway from IncrediBundles cannot win twice within a 12 month period.

IncrediBundles Gift
IncrediBundles Teddy bear
IncrediBundles Box

When God Speaks To You Through Your Words To Your Children

Isaiah 66:13

Four and a half years ago the life of my family looked much different than it does today. At that time, my husband had lost his job right after we made the decision for me to leave full time employment so I could stay home with our baby girl. We exchanged our big city life for small town living and the future seemed kind of uncertain. I was scared and nervous and not exactly a happy camper to be living in such a rural area. 
I'll never forget the first time we decided to explore town. I was silently crying behind my sunglasses. "Downtown" was certainly not a happening place, Target was 20 minutes away, the only people I knew were family and I felt completely alone in my situation. As we drove around town, our baby (who is now a Kindergartener!) started crying in her car seat. I reached back to rub her head and said "don't worry baby, I'm right here with you."


Did I just say that or did God say that to me? 

As soon as the words came out of my mouth, I immediately knew that they were not my words. God had placed those words in my mouth and on my heart to remind me that I was NOT alone - HE was with me.

The more days and months that pass and the more I find myself deep into parenting, I realize that I am never alone. God is always right there with me and He often uses my words to speak directly to me. 

There are two things that Tolar and I will say to our daughter pretty regularly. I will tell her "remember who you are." I always want to say so much more; I want to tell her how kind and sweet and caring and helpful and amazing and awesome and talented she is. But I don't always have time, so I've shortened it to "remember who you are." This is usually the last thing I say to her as she gets out of the car for school. Tolar will tell her "to be a bit better today than you were yesterday." Through his words, he is telling her that we all fall short daily, no one but Jesus is perfect, but we are given this incredible gift of grace where we can learn from our mistakes and do better the next day (or the next moment).

Let me paint a picture for you:
It is 7:05 a.m. - you overslept - and you need to leave the house at 7:45 a.m. to take your kindergartener to school. Your schedule before you is cram packed with so many to-dos that you have almost lost count of everything on your list. Everyone needs to be fed, dressed and put together in a presentable fashion. You are one of those people who likes order and does not respond well to chaos and rushing around. And suddenly your kindergartener decides that she wants to pick out her own clothes and is taking forever. So what do you do? You yell at her and rush her around and completely forget the real you.

And suddenly God whispers "remember who you are." Do you hear it?

Maybe not. But I guarantee you will hear it when you get to school and say those words to your child as she heads into school.

Mamas, I think we have all been there. In a moment of chaos, we find ourselves acting like someone we don't even recognize. We allow the stress to overtake us and we forget who we really are. But here is the incredible thing. We have an opportunity to apologize to our children. To show them that we as moms are human too and that we need forgiveness and grace everyday. To show them that we respect them enough to admit when we are wrong. And if your child is anything like mine, your child may seem like Jesus to you in human flesh. Yes, those are huge shoes to fill, but it's true. My daughter sees me fail all the time and yet she listens to and accepts my apologies and she loves me all the same. She tells her friends that I'm nice, she tells me I'm the best mommy all the the time and she she showers me with love even when I don't deserve it.

So friends, know that I am with you. When you find yourself in those moments of chaos or stress...stop for a second. Remember who you are. Take a moment to pray. Allow God to remind you who you are and allow your child the opportunity to see you crushing satan in his tracks. One of my favorite verses is Isaiah 66:13: "As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you." God didn't use any other noun to describe the comfort that He can give us. He says that He comforts us the same way a mother comforts her children. Remember that! YOU were picked to be the mom for a reason. YOU can do this. You can do the hard things and conquer stress every single day. You have the power to comfort your children in an incredible way. Remember that.

Give yourself some grace, cut yourself some slack and be a bit better today than you were yesterday.

Aria Advanced Faux Wood Blinds

Thank you Comfortex for providing the Aria blinds for me to review. All opinions are completely my own.Aria Faux Wood Blinds Kitchen

Slowly but surely our house is coming along. The boxes have been unpacked, items are mostly organized, and I'm feeling a bit more settled. If anyone has ever built their own house, you know there are several things that you just don't think about adding until you move in. One of those things is window coverings. The options are endless, it seems, for blinds and window coverings. Luckily we discovered Comfortex Window Fashions and we couldn't be happier.

Comfortex has multiple types of window coverings to choose from including cellular shades, wood blinds, roller shades, roman shades and more. My favorite part about our new house is the grey wood flooring on our lower level. We decided on the Aria Advanced Faux Wood Blinds in Whitewash to go with our neutral color palette in the house and to complement our floors.

I'm a huge fan of faux wood blinds because I like how attractive and classic they look. Also, faux wood is necessary if you are going to have blinds in high humidity areas like the kitchen or bathroom. The Aria blinds resist warping, cracking, chipping and fading while holding up to the rigors of everyday life. In fact, the Aria blinds are guaranteed not to warp in temperatures up to 148 degrees.

We got two sets of Aria blinds, one for our kitchen and one for our living room. I took some simple measurements of our windows and our custom blinds were created from that. Installation was an absolute breeze (says the person who stood back and watched). Tolar and my dad put the blinds up in a matter of minutes - seriously. The included instructions were clear, thorough, well written and easy to follow. And the blinds themselves are lightweight, making them easy to handle and hang. Thanks to the simplicity of the design, the instructions are almost unnecessary. Though an extra set of hands is appreciated, one person could easily install these blinds by themselves.

Comfortex Aria Advanced Faux Wood Blinds

The Whitewash color has a greyish tint to it and we absolutely love it. I know sometimes the colors on websites look different than in real life, but I have to say the color of our blinds is almost identical to what you see online. I like having something different than just a basic white as it gives each room a little extra dimension.

Comfortex Aria Faux Wood Blinds

We are very pleased with the blinds. The quality is amazing, I would even use the phrase top notch. They raise, lower, open and close with ease. As Tolar says "the gear mechanisms are fluid." The blinds are so durable; we never fear that we might break them or pull the cord out whenever we raise them. With everything being so fluid, when you open and close them you can make minor adjustments and don't have to yank on the cord to get the blinds to move. They also keep out quite a bit of light. We lived in our house for a couple months without window coverings and the day we installed them it made such a difference.

One of my favorite features is how the cords are contained. I don't have to worry about excess cords hanging out for my little ones to grab and all cords are high enough and out of their reach. Scroll to the bottom of this post and I'll share Comfortex's child safety tips with you. You can never be too careful where your children are concerned. So please be aware when you are installing your window coverings to install them properly. I would even recommend if you are looking for window coverings for your children's rooms that you look at installing the cellular shades from Comfortex (they come in over 800 colors!).

Be sure to check out Comfortex if you are looking for new window treatments, I cannot recommend them enough!

Comfortex Aria Faux Wood Blinds hanging
Comfortex Aria Faux Wood Blinds in Living Room
Comfortex Aria Advanced Faux Wood Blinds Living Room
Comfortex Aria Advanced Faux Wood Blinds Kitchen
Comfortex Aria Faux Wood Blinds in Kitchen
Comfortex Aria Faux Wood Blinds
Comfortex Aria Faux Wood Blinds Living Room

Child Safety Tips
1. Be sure all window treatments are properly installed and compliant with current safety standards.
2. Always keep windows closed and locked when small children are in the room.
3. Do not place cribs or other furniture near windows.
4. Never allow anything to dangle in a crib or bed.
5. Never allow long window covering pull cords to “puddle” on the floor next to the window.
6. Choose the cordless shades option whenever possible.
7. Hang stylish crib comforters or other bedding items on the wall, instead of placing them in the crib. Fluffy comforters or pillows, while adorable, have the potential to smother or suffocate a baby.
8. A spring-loaded lid-support device for toy chests is useful to prevent the lid from falling on a child’s neck or from trapping a child playing inside the chest
9. Changing tables should always have safety straps.
10. All electrical outlets should be covered – in every room, not just the rooms you think children are most likely to be in.

7 Months Old!

7 Months Old

Suddenly we have a seven month old. Wasn't Knox just born last month? Where has my little newborn gone?!?! Even though I'm sad my baby is getting so big, I am loving this stage of life with Knox. He is so much fun right now. His mind is taking in so much and I love watching him change, grow and develop every single day.

Stats: We won't get the "official" measurements from the doctor until 9 months, so we have to settle with our measurements at home. I measured him at 27 inches and 18 pounds.

Development: Be on the lookout for an official crawler any day now!!! Knox often gets on his hands and knees and rocks; I can tell he wants to take off so badly. When he gets on his hands and knees he will launch himself forward in kind of a belly flop motion, get back up on his hands and knees and do it again. When something he wants is out of his reach, he tries so hard to reach it. His belly flop motion gets him to where he intends to go for now.  Knox has mastered sitting up! He loves to sit up and play with his toys. If he falls back, he isn't able to set himself back up so he will just flip onto his belly and roll around. This boy is always on the move. He also mastered the jumperoo in the past month and a half. The jumperoo is a new favorite thing and we are all thrilled. It is awesome to watch him light up with joy when jumping! I also love the jumperoo because he is contained for at least 30 minutes. Up to this point we have not dealt with any separation anxiety from him. He is perfectly content having any of our family, my friends and any of the girls in the nursery at church hold him. He's a social baby and loves people already!

Loves: He has developed some new loves recently. Number one is TAGS! Yes, if there is a large tag on anything, Knox will find it and put it in his mouth. He loves the big tag that comes on the boppy or his playmat. It is always funny to see him playing with something, look away and then look back to see he has found the tag. He also loves his feet! His feet end up in his mouth a lot.

Dislikes: The boy still doesn't like to wait on food. If he is hungry, he wants to be fed immediately!

Sleeping: His naps have somewhat improved. I've gotten more consistent naps out of him lately, but every so often he still throws me a curve ball with a 30-40 minute nap. His napping has also improved when he stays at my mom's house. Sleeping through the night is still happening and he has gotten much better about going to sleep. It is very rare that he will cry when we put him down each night, I think that is because his napping has also gotten better. He normally goes to bed between 7 and 7:30 p.m. and will usually wake up between 6:30 and 7 a.m. Occasionally he will wake up around 5 a.m., but he can put himself back to sleep after "talking" to himself for a bit.

Diapers: Knox is still in size 3 Pampers. We might be switching his nighttime diapers as they run a bit smaller, but his daytime diapers fit nicely.

Eating: The boy can eat!!! He loves food and never refuses anything we give him. I can tell that he doesn't really like green beans, but he still eats them. He loves sweet potatoes, oatmeal, pears and carrots. Since he is eating more purees and real food, he doesn't need tons of extra milk. But he still drinks four 8 ounce bottles of breastmilk each day.

Clothing: He consistently wears 6-9 month clothing.

Miscellaneous: Knox is a great traveler and does great in the car. In fact, it is pretty much guaranteed that if we are in the car he will fall asleep. He is still in the infant carrier car seat, but we think we will switch him to a convertible car seat soon.
He's got a terrific laugh and he squeals with delight over lots of things. I love to make him giggle because it makes my heart so happy. We are very lucky that he is a relatively easy baby. He's calm unless he is hungry or tired. I don't know how we got so lucky to have a calm baby, but I'm so thankful.

The Podcast Post

Favorite Podcasts

I've been a podcast listener for about three and a half years now; I started listening back when Serial first took over the world. Tolar and I discovered Serial when we were driving home on a long car trip and we were hooked from episode one! Since then, I've enjoyed adding podcasts to my life as often as I can. 

You can listen for entertainment, for spiritual growth, for business advice, for encouragement and on and on. If there is a topic you are interested in, I'm sure there is a podcast devoted to it. Every Wednesday I am in the car BY MYSELF for two hours (and it is glorious!) and I fill that time with podcasts. I've compiled a list of my all time favorite podcasts below. 

The beautiful thing about podcasts is that you can listen to them just about anywhere! Of course I love to listen to them in the car, but I also enjoy listening while I fold laundry or make dinner. With a podcast, you can work on something while you listen and you don't have to worry about missing something important because you couldn't look up at a particular moment. Turn that idle time into time for YOU and find a podcast that speaks straight to your heart. The opportunities for growth, just by listening to a podcast are endless.

The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey - Quite possibly my favorite podcast. Jamie talks with guests about anything and everything and she does it in such a natural, relaxed way that you feel like you are sitting around a table with your girlfriends. I've felt deeply when listening to the stories shared and laughed quite a lot. Such a feel good, encouraging podcast to listen to. If you want to start anywhere - start here.

Rise - If you aren't a fan of Rachel Hollis, I'm not sure we can be friends. Seriously, anything this gal touches turns to gold. She's witty, she's a fabulous storyteller, she makes you feel, she gets you fired up for your dreams...just check her out. (And also buy her book "Girl Wash Your Face." If you listen to it on audible, it's just like a podcast)

For The Love with Jen Hatmaker - Similar to the two podcasts above, this is an excellent podcast to catch that brings so much truth and realness to the airwaves. I'm all about Jen Hatmaker's vibe lately - which is to love EVERYONE.

Goal Digger - Have you heard of Jenna Kutcher? She's a beast when it comes to running a business and she will inspire the HECK out of you. She's been podcasting for awhile and has quite the library of episodes banked. Want to know about building a social media presence? Listen to her - she knows her stuff.

Coffee + Crumbs - This podcast is put together by moms who share all sorts of stories about raising little ones. There is plenty of practical advice, awesome episodes on how to talk to your kids about tough subjects and lots of encouragement. Make sure to listen to the episode titled "Talking With Kids About Tricky People with Sam Sutherland" from July 2; it is chock full of awesome information.

True Crime 
Up and Vanished - Hands down one of the best podcasts I've ever listened to. The second season just started and I haven't yet listened to it, but the first season is incredible. Everything is done by a filmmaker and his storytelling is captivating. The first season unfolded as he was putting the podcast together, so don't google anything or you will find spoilers. 

Serial - If you don't know what Serial is, I'm sure you have been living under a rock. Check it out, get hooked and decide for yourself if you agree with the outcome.

Pop Culture
The Morning Toast - The hosts, Claudia and Jackie, deliver celebrity gossip and news every weekday morning. They are funny, quite witty and have some killer fashion sense. 

Off The Vine - If you are a Bachelor/Bachelorette fan then you will probably want to catch this one. Kaitlyn Bristowe is the host and she often has Bachelor cast members on to spill the beans. She keeps things real and her banter with her guests is the best.