I mean, really, look at the smolder...
As most of y'all know I was sick for about 3 months straight at the beginning of this year. It was exhausting to say the least. Once it was all behind me I couldn't wait to start refining my nutrition. nourished babe has been such a motivational and educational tool! Unlike most nutrition trackers it didn't put all the focus on the amount of calories you have eaten in a day. It is so much more than that! It focuses on the quality of the food you are consuming and helps you stay on track with vitamins and minerals. I have always struggled with drinking enough water. Some how I am always behind. (Maybe it is living in Alaska, I am cold so I don't want to drink more cold water...) nourished babe has my water intake front and center on the app allowing me to quickly and easily see if I have gotten enough water for the day.
Now, I did not know about this wonderful tracker while I was pregnant but I know it would be a huge blessing to any expecting or nursing mother! Nutrition is so incredibly important when you are growing and sustaining the life of your child. I read this on their website and it stopped me in my tracks:
44% of pregnant women do not reach key nutrition requirements during pregnancy. That’s a scary stat when you consider that nutrient deficiency can have lasting negative effects on health and wellbeing for both you and baby. We’re here to empower you on the journey of involved and impactful parenthood throughout every stage of baby’s development.
I am so proud to be working with a company that is striving to change this and create a better future not only for pregnant mother but for the wonderful babies they are carrying.
To get started on a healthier you is very simple, just go to the app store and download the nourished babe app, use invitation code NCL and you will be off and running!
I am very excited to share with y'all that if you download the app you will have the chance to win a $100 gift card to Pottery Barn Kids. The person that uses this app the most in the next 30 days will be the winner and nourished babe will contact you directly!
Let me know on my recent Instagram post if you are going to give it a shot, I would love to keep in touch and have some friends to help keep me accountable!
Ever since moving to Alaska I have been looking for some kind of bean sprouts or micro greens. Unfortunately they don't sell them in the store up here. Maybe it is weird of me but I would look just about every time I went in hopes that the all the sudden started carrying them. No such luck.
Now enter Hamama Greens.
I was so stoked to find their company and learn how I can easily grow my own! I'm pretty sure I did a happy dance right then and there when they arrived. They are so easy to grow and even my youngest daughter was able to help me set it up. (Check out my Instagram Hamama_Greens highlight to see how it is done)
The micro greens come in this really cool seed quilt, all you have to do is add water to the tray and watch them grow! It is so fun to watch them get bigger every day.
There are different greens you can choose from. We have tried a few and love them all! I seriously put them on everything! They are such a perfect topper and are packed with so much goodness.
To get started with your own mirco green goodness click here. I hope you love it as much as we do!
Since the beginning of January I have gotten strep 4 times and a stomach virus. This has meant a lot of time stuck in bed while my husband takes care of the kids. At first I'm not going to lie, being trapped in bed watching tv and sleeping whenever I felt like it was kind of nice. Weird, but nice. Then the days wore on and it happened again and again. As I am sure you can guess the "nice" wore off really quickly. My baby decided his Dad was his world, the girls learned to use the microwave, pack their own lunches, and even put themselves to bed. (insert my heart litterally breaking) The next huge change was not nursing Wyatt anymore. After going to the hospital once and almost landing there again it was very clear to us that nursing just wasn't an option anymore. It was r.o.u.g.h
BUT a surprising blessing came from it all.
I was blessed with the testimony that I love being a mother. I love being surrounded by my children no matter how messy, loud and overbearing they can be. I love that my life right now is spent raising them, loving them, and being immersed in their spirits. I love that I get to wake up every day and help them learn and grow. They teach me to be more patient, care free, flexible, protective, compassionate, and confident. Through teaching them I am learning to be the best version of myself that I can be.
Honestly, what an amazing and divine calling it is to be a mother. We are raising the next generation of adults. It is just amazing to me. I hope if you have lost that flame of excitement for motherhood you can take a step back for a moment and see the reality of your calling in life right now. I hope you can see those sweet faces of your children and remember that you are not just mom, you are their rock, they comfort, their support, and their haven. YOU are there to catch them when they fall, lift them when they struggle, and celebrate with them when they soar. You are not just mom, you are their world.
If you are a mom you probably know that a key component to finding a good hotel is whether or not they have a pool. My kids go NUTS over a pool. Maybe that is just because we live in Alaska, or many it is a universal kid fascination. This past weekend we went on a stay-cation to Seward and stayed at the Harbor 360 Hotel. We passed so many cool things on the drive, endless mountains, the ocean, wildlife, etc. but what did we hear the entire drive? "Can we go to the hotel now?!" "I want to swim" "Where is the hotel?!" Lucky for these kids they had a pool AND a hot tub. Basically everything we needed for a good weekend.
With our "big" family we have decided to start getting joining rooms instead of all cramming into one room. Perk for the parents is getting to watch tv or talk easily after the kids go to bed and perk for the kids is they feel awesome having their own room. Right when we got to our rooms the great freaked out because there was a dresser with "three drawers just like there are three of us!". I love that it is the little things about hotel living that kids get excited about.
In the past when we have gone to hotels we let the kids stay up late, eat snacks and watch a movie. This always sounds like such a great idea before-hand but by 11:00pm my husband and I are frustrated that the kids haven't "peacefully fallen asleep while cuddling each other".
We finally wised up, brought books with us and decided to treat bedtime like we do every night. Honestly, it made more of a difference than I was expecting. We all cuddled on the queen beds, read books, said a family prayer, tucked each of the kids in then my husband and I crept into the other room to have some adult time. When morning came the kids were refreshed, excited for the day and my husband and I had the energy we needed to be good parents.
Something else that I love about the Harbor 360 hotel is it's location, it is right on the water so when the kids get a little wild we can go out for a walk along the harbor and look at all the cool boats. The last time we were here we lucked out and got to watch an otter playing in the water about 20 feet in front of us.
The Harbor 360 isn't in "downtown" Seward which is something I really like. There are still plenty of things to do and places to eat but it feels a little more connected to nature. Not far from the hotel is a really great beach you can play at and find all kinds of cool sea life. Things like this are wonderful for families because it is free and you don't have to worry about your kids are being too crazy. Really it's a win win. If you are more into shops and indoor activites it is just a short drive to the heart of Seward where there are plenty of stores to walk around and a really nice Sea Life Center.
If you are planning a trip to Alaska or live in the area I would highly recommend planning a weekend trip to Seward and the Harbor 360 Hotel is a wonderful place to call home on your stay-cation.
Also, I am a sucker for murals and looks how amazing these two are on the outside of the hotel. Swoon!!
This post and our hotel stay was compensated by Harbor 360 Hotel but all opinions are mine.
This is our second year as Yukon Charlie’s ambassadors and it has been so rewarding seeing how much the girls have grown in just a year. Last year our 18 month old would try to walk in the snowshoes but she had a really hard time keeping up with sisters, this year she was trucking right along side of them!
With three little kids to get in and out of snowshoes it is really important for the process to go as smoothly as possible. The tightening system is so smart, with just one pull of the straps we can have their shoes secured to their feet! I always knew this was a great system but it wasn't until this week that I learned just now much it sets Yukon Charlie's apart from other brands. We went snowshoeing with my daughter's kindergarten class and my job was to help the kids get in and out of their shoes. The system on the school's shoes had three different straps you had to tighten like a belt buckle. After doing 25 pairs it was extremely clear to me how much easier Yukon Charlie's has made my life!
The other day my girls we out in the back yard to play and asked to have their snowshoes on. It was so funny to see the winter version of games they play in the summer. I was a little nervous that my 2 year old would get frustrated with her snowshoes but she had a blast and exceeded my expectations!
It didn’t take long for them to outlast me in the cold but even after I headed inside they happily played in the yard for a very long time. I had to laugh because at one point I looked out the window and my two year old had climbed, in her snowshoes, on top of her play house. I honestly would have never guessed that she would be that agile in snowshoes. Yukon Charlie’s has really done a wonderful job of making their youth snowshoes light, secure, and functional for even the youngest of snowshoers.
My husband and I have been using our Pro Series II snowshoes this year and they have really been great shoes. I have not had any problem with them slipping off my feet or loosening while walking and they have been light weight so I am able to easily run around with the kids while we are out. These shoes have the same fastening system as the kids shoes which is so helpful. I love being able to quickly pull the on and off while we are on the trail. As a hidden bonus the kids really love that we all have shoes that match.
We are far from extreme snowshoers but I am so grateful to have good shoes that allow our family to get out and enjoy winter in a new way.
I have big news for y'all. When you go snowshoeing with little kids they sometimes want to be entertained by more than just walking out in nature. What the heck, right! Okay, actually that isn't a surprise at all, just like when we go hiking we have to be prepared with an arsenal of fun games. Right now we are kind of in an interesting spot because our oldest is about to turn 6 but our youngest walker/hiker/snowshoer is only 2. They are not only on different levels skill and endurance wise but they are on different levels with games. At first this fact made me a little nervous but then I realized the wonderful side of it; our younger kids get to push themselves to hang with the older girls and the older girls get to be little for that much longer. Lucky y'all I have teamed up with Yukon Charlie's to spill the beans on our not so secret games we play while we are out snowshoeing. (can I get a whoop whoop)
1. Follow the leader: I know it sounds pretty basic but think about it, kids spend just about all of their day being told what to do and following adults around. When we notice that the kids are starting to get antsy we change up who is in charge. The kids get super excited to tell us what to do and where to go and we get to experience walking through trees and over bushes. (because I think it's in the kid rule book that you can't stay on the trail)
2. The Alphabet Game: That's right. the ever famous car game where you have to find something for each letter in the alphabet. This one is a favorite for our girls and honestly I like it to. You can make it as complex or simple as you want. Our two year old gets to just spout off anything that starts with a certain letter but our older ones have to think of things that apply to our category. When we are out we like to have it relate to what we are doing or seeing, this gives us a great opportunity to really pay attention and learn about what is around us.
3. Duck Duck Goose: Our kids are actually the ones that came up with this one and it has been a hit. It is a little hard to play with snowshoes on so this is a great game to play when you are at the half way point in your hike or if you can tell your kids need a little break. And really, what's better than "gently" tapping each other on the head then trying to tackle your sibling as they run away?
4. Contest time: Okay, maybe this isn't technically a "game" but it a one of my favorites. I think it is so fun to challenge the kids and see their competitive side come out. We will do silly things like who can jump the highest or run the fastest and the fact that we all have snowshoes on just makes these simple contests that much more funny. Seriously, next time you snowshoe with your kids have a jumping contest, I don't think you will be able to make it one round without busting up laughing.
So there you have it; a brief look into how the Murdocks keep their littles going even when they start to loose steam. These are not all the games that we have played while out on our adventures but they are definitely our go-tos. Snowshoeing is such a great way to explore during the winter and with the right tools your kids will love it just as much as you do.
So Wyatt still has a really hard time breathing in any kind of wind or in really cold air, for a while this slowed us down big time because we just simply couldn't take him outside. Make My Belly Fit swooped in and saved our winter; their BellyFit Zip-In Jacket Extender and the BabyCover Carrier Cover are two of the best baby products I have tried. I didn't have to buy new jackets or only wear certain jackets, they adapt to the jacket that I want to wear and keep Wyatt so warm & toasty.
The BellyFit jacket extender has become a go to for me. It zips in perfectly to my Columbia jacket and keeps Wyatt completely covered. Something that sets this extender apart from others is the fact that there is no weird hole to stick Wyatt's head through. I can either zip it part of the way and fold it down so he can see or I can zip it all the way up to shield him from the wind and give him extra warmth when he falls asleep. This extender can also be used during pregnancy. There are snaps on it so that you can cinch in certain areas so that it forms to your growing belly. I am not sure I will be testing out these features but it sounds like such a great idea and so perfect that it can seamlessly follow you from pregnancy to having your baby.
The second of their genius products is the BabyCover carrier cover. Let me get this straight, living in Alaska I have had MANY carrier covers. This one is unlike any I have used before though. It hooks to the straps of your carrier and has elastic on the sides so that you can cinch it around your baby, then on the outside of the cover there are clips to hold your jacket closed around your baby. It really is so stinking smart! I only wish I had this cover 5 years ago with my first.
I am so glad that I have had this opportunity to work with Make My Belly Fit and I am even more excited that I get to share my love with y'all through the giveaway on my Instagram page.
You know those clothing staples that seem to get you through everything? The ones that are there on your good days and on your bad days? The ones that you have been wearing for years now and still reach for them? Okay, hopefully it isn't just me... My wardrobe is kind of embarrassingly large, I am constantly changing size (thank you 4 kids in 5 years!) so I have sets of clothing for all seasons of my life (and all weather seasons). BUT there are some pieces of clothing that have become permanent staples, ones that, no matter how I am feeling about myself, look good on me and are easy to wear. Most of these pieces are from Aventura Clothing. I started wearing them before getting pregnant with Wyatt and the clothing has seen me through the entire pregnancy and is still going strong 3 months postpartum.
Something that I love about the Aventura clothing is that I feel put together but still able to run around after my 4 kids. For so long I was either wearing cheap clothing that didn't last or it was so nice that I didn't feel like I could wear it on a daily bases. Aventura has bridged that gap. My Kineta Leggings are worn more often than I should admit, there is a thigh pocket which is perfect for keys, phone or money! I was one of those girls who was awkwardly stashing my phone in my bra, but that is now (luckily) a thing of the past.
Above all my favorite part about Aventura is their partnership with Uncommon Threads. Each quarter they donate clothing to survivors of domestic violence. I urge you to read more about their mission and the good they are going, here. Join me and many others in their "giveback and feel good about looking great"
Okay, maybe everyone is tired of Halloween pictures by now, but I just have to share. This year was by far the most fun year we have ever had Trick-or-Treating. The big girls were really into it and Kate was so funny to watch! Every time she left a house with would come running, yelling in excitement, and holding up her bucket to show us the new piece of candy she was given. It's like it was a totally new experience for her every single time she went to a house.
It was a crazy foggy night which actually made it really fun. It added a creepy factor without being too scary for the girls. Wyatt, once again, was his usual chill self and just hung out in the stroller happily until he fell asleep. It is so crazy having a kid that is okay being in a stroller or bouncer. My life feels totally different because I am not doing everything with a baby on me. I love babywearing, but man, after 6 straight years of it, it is pretty nice having no one on me or in me! After we had gone down a couple streets the girls were ready to head home and they asked to watch Harry Potter. We just let them have free reign of their candy. They big girls were good about it and didn't totally gorge themselves, but sweet baby Kate, wow, she didn't have that same will power. At first we didn't really notice how much she had eaten then all the sudden she was literally bouncing all over the place. Constantly jumping on and off the couch, talking excitedly 2 inches from our faces, and running in circles in the living room. It was so dang funny to watch.
It seriously was a wonderful evening through and through. Kids are exhausting but holy moly our life is so much more fun with them in it!!
It has been a weirdly warm "fall" so far this year. When we woke up to a light dusting the other day we were all so excited and convinced that we just HAD to go play in it. Dad suggested sledding in the back yard and the girls were instantly sold. Luckily the ground was frozen enough that we were able to sled across the grass. As it turns out sledding on the grass is just as exciting and fun as sledding on snow! I am just amazing at how much they have grown since last year. They were running around in their snow gear like it was nothing and hauling their sleds back up the hill without any help. I hope this continues and our winter is filled with more snow cover adventures!
p.s. Wyatt was out with us but he only went down the hill once (which I didn't get a picture of) and slept in the bouncer the rest of the time! He apparently wasn't as amazed by the snow as the girls were!