So you’re pregnant for the first time. You think registering for a baby shower is going to be great, right? Well I’m going to be the first to admit it: I thought I knew what I ‘needed;’ but experience has taught me something entirely different. I thought I needed to have the crib put together and the nursery painted. I spent hours and hours organizing his clothes and his changing table. In truth? I changed him on the changing table once. ONCE. Cause it turns out you can change a baby anywhere. The easiest place? On the floor of the living room. It’s just easy to set him down, take off the diaper real fast and put a new one on. Taking him all the way upstairs to his changing table? That wasn’t going to happen.

But you’ll figure that out. In time.

Another thing I didn’t take into consideration is that there are plenty of ‘Must-Haves’ that I didn’t realize were essential in our day-to-day lives. Some of these items were gifted to me without them being on my registry; others were acquired the hard way — with blood, sweat, and lots of tears (let’s face it — mostly tears).



1. Munchkin Easy-Close Safety Gate // Sure, your child won’t be able to walk right away. But it happens before you know it. Bonus of having it at the beginning? If you have pets, it will keep them away from you when you have visitors coming by (visitors + new baby + pets wanting attention = the worst).

2. aden + anais Burpy Bibs // These burp cloths double as bibs that are perfect for nursing and bottle feeding! They are soft and hold up after many, many washings. We had two of these bibs — one for immediate use and the other was usually in the wash. We still use these on occasion, but they are much harder to clean with solids versus liquids.

3. Summer Infant Tiny Diner // This was one of those things I received as a gift and thought “Really?” But it has been a lifesaver! Having a baby/toddler has not slowed us down and we still find ourselves going out for lunch & dinner semi-frequently. We just put him in his high chair, put the tiny diner mat on the table (it stays secure with suction cups), and eat! It wipes clean so it doesn’t make a mess in my bag; and then I throw it into the dishwasher. We get asked about it all the time in public. Lifesavers!

4. Floating Bath Thermometer // I underestimated the anxiety how difficult it would be to figure out the ideal bath temperature. It turns out I like really hot showers/baths; and Chad prefers them way cool. So that little green “perfect temp” light is a lifesaver!

5. Bath Support Sling // Space is a huge commodity in our house. I just couldn’t justify purchasing a giant plastic tub — we would have no place to store it! So I went out on a limb and registered for this item without any advice from anyone. And it has worked perfectly for us. First we used it in the kitchen sink. It just fit right in! Let’s the water run over him and the mesh sling is perfect for getting him acclimated to the bath water. Bonus? It fits perfectly in the bathtub sideways… for those first few months of baths in the tub, this is how we did it. 

6. My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow // This nursing pillow is the most highly recommended by lactation consultants. I had a lot of trouble nursing. The boppy didn’t really help because it’s not made for a child to lay on his side on the pillow itself; but this flat pillow has a headrest and a space in it for the baby to comfortably lay. Save your money on the others; this is the only nursing pillow you need!

7. Day Dreamer Infant Lounger // The only way Ari would sleep. Also known as the most expensive piece of foam I hope to ever own. But colicky babies prefer to be held while they sleep (and scream); and that’s because they should be sleeping on an angle. And this provides the perfect angle, the perfect support, and safety straps to make sure your child stays in place. So register for it and pray someone buys you one. 

8. J.J. Cole Bibs // Some of the wipeable bibs can be so stiff from the plastic that they just aren’t even practical. These bibs are not at all like that. They’re completely practical, wipeable, and easy. Sometimes you get what you pay for!



Yesterday marked the 10-day countdown until the Akron Marathon — my first ever half marathon race! I’m officially a nervous wreck! Especially after last week — I pulled a muscle in a serious way. Like, it’s preventing me from walking normal. So I haven’t fit a run in (short or long) in a WEEK. I will likely not get a run in before the big race.

Looking for advice from runners on two things:

1. How do I calm my pre-race day nerves?

2. How do I recover from an injury in time for the race?


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I’m just a few weeks away from my thirtieth birthday. This list has certainly presented a few more challenges than I thought it would. There are certain things that I can confidently say, will not happen. There are others that I can MAKE happen.

01 // Become a mom. Hey! I did this! :)

02 // Run a half marathon. Registered for the Akron half — ONE week before my 30th birthday! And just ONE week from now!

03 // Go on a family vacation to the beach. We did this over last summer! :)

04 // Participate in a yoga workshop. While technically not a ‘workshop,’ I did participate in several Yoga Rocks The Park and Believe in CLE events!

05 // Go to a professional sporting event. Three Indians games during Summer 2013.

06 // Learn something new by taking a class. Another unexpected surprise was surprising myself with going to Wine & Canvas painting events. It feels good to make it a regular practice to be crafty.

07 // Spend an entire day paying it forward. I can do this. I have 2.5 weeks to get this done. Let’s do this! :)

08 // Visit Niagara Falls. Loved that we did this as a family in April.

09 // Visit Denver. My plans for this fell through :( The plan was for me to go with Chad & Moosh to Denver; but the tickets to Denver were far too expensive to make this a reality. Frown face. But it’s OK because it will happen again soon (we have family in Denver so we will definitely be there soon!).

10 // Pay for the person behind me at StarbucksI’ve done this — THREE times! :) And it feels fantastic each and every time.

11 // Go on a wine tourCheck! Girls wine tour, 2013, in the books! It should have been called “Moms Hot-Mess-Express 2013.” Oy.

12 // Try a new [to me] exercise classI tried a new cycling class. But I feel like this only half counts. I’ve also been doing

13 // Visit an apple orchard as a familyMy sweet family of three visited an apple orchard just a few weeks ago!

14 // Participate in the Warrior DashI haven’t done this exact race, but I did participate in Pretty Muddy — which was an obstacle course women’s mud run. Sooo basically the same thing. And to be honest, I probably will not do a Warrior Dash. The Pretty Muddy 5k was super rough on my body and I don’t think I’ll do the WD.

I’m also doing Foam Fest in a couple weeks! HOW FUN!! Use code FF5352 when you register!

15 // …and the Color RunDoes Color Me Rad count?? I think so!

16 // Go kayaking — and finally put our kayaks to use! We’ve officially had our kayaks for 5 years. We have YET to use them. Fail. Fail, fail, fail. 

17 // Have professional family pictures takenThank you, Justine Johnson, for taking our first family photos!

18 // Ride a roller coaster. This probably won’t happen. We aren’t going to Cedar Point anytime soon. And to be honest? If I had a full day to spend away from Moosh with the Mister? I would spend it doing something other than riding roller coasters. True story.

19 // Make bread from scratch. There’s still time! Let’s do this, bread!

20 // Live a more sustainable lifeWork in progress!

21 // Eat at Mighty Taco in Buffalo, NY againMy Buffa-LOVE trip completed this in April!

22 // Get a massageI’ve had FOUR!! Look at this mama go! HA!

23 // Visit the Horseshoe Casino in Cleveland. So far, not so good. We’ll see if we can swing it.

24 // Attend a social media gatheringCheck! #VitamixCLE AND the Mitchell’s #SweetUp!

25 // Feel comfortable in a bathing suit. This will continue to be a work in progress. I’m not there yet.

26 // Visit the zooWe visited the Akron Zoo on what seemed to be their busiest day of the summer! But it was fun.

27 // …and a museumOur Fathers Day weekend 2013 was spent at the Akron Art Museum! And Ari & I have gone again and again ever since!

28 // Take an aerial yoga class. I’m still hoping to fit this in…

29 // Have a successful no-spend monthDone! But I’d like to do this again. Here’s looking at you, July 2014!

30 // Play in the snow. This past winter certainly wasn’t ideal with playing in snow. There’s talk of a freak snow storm over the next couple of weeks, so perhaps this is still a possibility? Perhaps.

I’ve learned something about goals over the last couple of years.
I’ve learned that they are great to keep you on your toes;
but that you have to cut yourself some slack due to circumstance.
Ya know? Have a goal, but keep moving on.


Urban Farmer // #BloggerRoundup

September 16, 2014

It’s been nearly three weeks since my Single Week; and just as long since I had a meal where I wasn’t eating as quickly as possible to keep a toddler from begging me for whatever it is I’m scarfing down. While I’ve learned that this is now the lifestyle I prefer (competing with a toddler […]

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weekly mantra //

September 15, 2014
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Everyday we make a conscious decision on whether or not to be happy. I can tell you that I do NOT always make the right choice. I have to remind myself that we choose to be happy or we choose to be unhappy. And after spending time with family this weekend I’ve been reminded that […]

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Saturday Randoms //

September 13, 2014

I was included as part of Dude Mom, Amanda’s, blog post on Everyday Family about Dude Mom Life! A subject near and dear to my dude mom heart! Today is my sisters Bachelorette Party in Columbus! Crazyness and sillyness is sure to ensue. We’re going to start by hitting up The Candle Lab in the Short […]

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Dinner Made Easy with HERDEZ Cocina Mexicana Frozen Bowls //

September 12, 2014

If your family is like mine, dinner time is often the most hectic time of day. Everyone is rushing to get home to perform their chores and nightly parenting duties and unless we’ve planned dinner ahead (which doesn’t always happen), we’re often scrambling for something quick, easy, and healthy to feed Moosh before it’s time […]

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long overdue update on life lately //

September 11, 2014

Guys. Life has been crazypants lately. Complete and utter crazypants. Wasn’t it just my super single week while the boys were in Denver?? Seems like it, but time is flying by. In fact, I spent most of my super single week cooped up at home with a stomach bug. It was the exact opposite of […]

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AMRAP Nutrition Bar Giveaway //

September 9, 2014
Almond Honey

One thing I’ve noticed since I started 1/2 Marathon training is how much my body craves food as fuel. Don’t get me wrong, I know that food is fuel; but I also know that food is really, really good. It’s nice to see my body crave fuel versus crave food. [Yes, there is a difference.] […]

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weekly mantra //

September 8, 2014

Because I need to be reminded sometimes. I’m guessing one of you may need to be reminded, too. Last week didn’t go as planned. That’s what happens when you have a house full of sickies! So I’m forgiving myself for a crazy, hectic, and survival-mode week of few workouts and not-so-clean eating. And I’m moving […]

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