styleberry BLOG » where pretty meets practical

Masthead header

stylebabyLOG Shipping Update | Domestic US only

Hello friends! I have so many comments to moderate and so many things to share, but my little people sure do need me right now. I know that I am going to be sending them both out the door to school before I know it, thus, I am cherishing this time with them.

I know, I know. Same old story. It’s true. My real life is getting my energy. Not my Internet life. Happy. Sad. (but mostly happy.) :)

I just want to alert you to a new stylebabyLOG update. With all of our major life changes ahead, I am streamlining some of my business practices. One of the decisions is to suspend International shipping of the stylebabyLOG. This may not be forever, but for at least the next year, I will only be shipping stylebabyLOGs to Domestic United States and APO addresses. A trip to the post office and customs paperwork may not seem like a big deal, but it takes away valuable time from my kids (and stresses me out!) every week. During this season, it’s just something that I need to take off my full plate. Thank you for understanding.

Should you wish to place one last International order, you may purchase here until Noon CST on Thursday, October 10, 2013. I will be making one last trip to the post office this week.

Thank you, again, for your incredible support of my business. I wish all you organized mamas lots & lots of SLEEP!

stylebabyLOG

San Antonio Mini Sessions with Gina Zeidler!!

Hey local friends–we are in for such a treat!! I have talked the amazingly talented Gina Zeidler into a trip south for a live in session with me…and she’s added some mini sessions so you can all enjoy the gift of her talents too! She’ll be here in November and will have mini-session images ready in plenty of time for your holiday cards. :) She is incredible–modern, vibrant, authentic. You know I won’t just recommend anyone. She’s only got a few spots left and I am sure they’ll be booked in no time–so hop on over to her blog for details. She’s got her current availability listed too–and the list was empty 48h ago. So if you are interested in this special opportunity (I know you’re always asking me for local photog referrals!!)–you’ll want to book quickly!

Screen Shot 2013-09-19 at 2.55.20 PM

CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

A Birthday Book Swap & Kiwi Favor Fun!

Yes, I fully realize that as I sit here & share this, I still have not finished everett’s first birthday images. Poor, sweet second child. I’ll share soon enough, but my first baby just turned FOUR! (sad!!) & we wanted to do a little something different for her this year. :)

My husband and I have decided that as we raise our children we want to make their holidays and birthdays about experiences, not stuff. Kids have enough stuff and birthdays, to us, don’t mean the accumulation of more junk. What do kids really NEED anyway? I have one answer to that question: BOOKS and FUN. Well, babies and blocks and trucks and crayons too, but mostly, BOOKS. & some fun as a family. At least in our household. So what we decided to do for caroline’s fourth birthday is to each give her some precious one on one time (in the form of a new experience) with each of us AND change it up at her birthday celebration.

My little bookworm started to read last spring, so we are constantly encouraging her love of learning through flipping pages. So how best to share our love of reading with our friends and nix the birthday junk? Enter The Birthday Book Swap! In lieu of gifts, we decided to ask each of our little party guests bring their very favorite book, wrapped. We asked for one for each child attending the party, so no one was left out. I bought a couple of our favorites to add to the swap and after cupcakes we confused all the kids royally, by handing them a gift. :) Each child opened a brand new book to take home and so did we! There were a couple of last minute adjustments (as a couple of kids got books they already had, so we swapped those out, WHEW for extras!) but overall, I’d say it was pretty successful! I went home with a couple of great new books and NO JUNK. Win Win! Cloudette (by one of my favorite illustrators) is a new fave. :)

On my continuing quest to ban the junk, we opted for these AMAZING Kiwi Crate Party Favors to send home with our guests. Again, gifting an experience! I had no idea these were part of what Kiwi Crate had to offer–but when they offered to send me some wings I jumped–because we adore all things Kiwi. & I kid you not, by the end of the day nearly every single guest of mine sent me a picture of their kids in the wings that they made together. They were a MAJOR hit. Totally better than a bag of junk.

I took my sweet girl to her first yoga class–so so fun. We do yoga together almost every day, but this was her first studio experience. She was smitten! We had a blast. I hope we can do this together for many, many years to come! :) Lisa teaches a great kids class at San Antonio Yoga Center, for you locals!

For her real birthday, my sweet girl requested a trip to the Children’s Museum and a sweet treat at her faaaaaavorite place, Bird Bakery. I surprised her with a special mini cake in her favorite color. We LOVE Bird! It’s the cutest place in San Antonio. It’s a good thing I don’t live closer. ;)

Those baby blues take the cake…

Ah, so much fun. Now hopefully I can share some of the fun BOY details from everett’s first birthday soon…seven months later. HA! :)

Hope you are having a great back-to-school week!

-shawna- - The DK books that start with “my first” are huge faves! As are the slider DK books & brown bear, brown bear. & any truck book! :)

[Reply]

Courtney Reeves - Hi Shawna! I absolutely love your blog and all of the beautiful pictures you post! I was just wondering if you could share some of your favorite book titles. I feel like my son, Jameson and I are in a book-rut. He will be 18 months in two days, so he and E are very close in age. Any recommendations would be great!
I also love the birthday book swap, such a great idea!

[Reply]

Ann - I love everything about your blog. LOVE it. I’m not a mother right now but have been reading your blog for over a year., You offer such great ideas, advice and honesty that I can’t help coming back and reading more from your archive. Thank you for all that you do! You are an amazing woman. :)

[Reply]

Ashley - Sorry if this has already been asked before, but do you have yoga DVD recommendations to do with toddlers? My little girl is only 15 months old – when did you start with Caroline?

Thanks!
And love the party pictures!

[Reply]

Lyndsey - Love love love the book swap!! Cloudette is such a sweet book!! what an awesome post!

[Reply]

Emilee - I love the book swap idea. I haven’t had a birthday party with friends for my daughter yet because so far she doesn’t like a lot of attention focused on her. But if she ever wants one, I’m going with the book swap idea. So much better than worrying about her getting presents that I don’t want her to have. And making a birthday more about fun and giving than just getting stuff.

[Reply]

Kirsten - Shawna, I totally agree with you! And I wanted to share with you some other fun giving back ideas that I’ve recently encountered. A couple families I know set up a donation to help orphans in Africa instead of presents. And another family has set up a link to donate money to a little girl who is currently going through treatment for kidney cancer. I love seeing these different ways to teach our kids that life isn’t about stuff or ourselves. It’s about giving back and loving on others.

[Reply]

lindsay - what a lovely idea! i’m trying so hard to be intentional these days and i love looking to your blog for inspiration to what family should be about. i love the direction you are going these days, but i do have to admit i miss see your dreamy IG feed and frequent blog posts ;) however, i understand why. can’t wait to see e’s birthday post. would love to see how you party for all things boy :)
lindsay recently posted..rawley is now in a TODDLER BED!

[Reply]

nicole - Such good ideas all around! Love it. I NEED to do this kiwi crate deal! love the goodies!

[Reply]

Jessica - So sweet! I love the idea of the book exchange. When I first read about you gifting an “experience,” I told my husband and we’re totally doing the same thing this year. Thanks for sharing :)
Jessica recently posted..Orange Cookies with Sweet Glaze

[Reply]

Marie - i love this idea! thank you for sharing. totally going to do it for my kid’s birthday! =)

[Reply]

Jenn - You are so right in this. I’ve asked for years that people not bring gifts to our children’s parties and instead make a small donation to the children’s hospital where my son was treated, and they STILL bring gifts! I realize it’s very sweetly intended, but it’s not the message we want to send. Glad to know we aren’t alone here :)

[Reply]

The Best Headphones for Kids | FAB 50:13

I purchased ours on Amazon for $20 each, here: Kidz Gear Wired Headphones for Kids. I also have the Belkin RockStar 5 Way Splitter–(each listener gets sound in BOTH ears!)-so we can all enjoy the same movie on the plane. I have each kiddo’s iPad loaded with different movies since neither of theirs can hold all of the movies in our library. For more on our mini iPads and the cases above, see The Best Mini iPad Case for Kids.

Seriously, the only headphones my kids have ever kept on, and we’ve tried a bunch!

Jeff N - Thanks for the recommendation, Shawna. The headband on these look to be perfect for the kids. Some of those plastic type earphones are way too tight on their heads. I’ll give these a try!

[Reply]

Ingrid - Hi Shawna! want to thank you for recommending a great product. I just got this for my 28 month old and he loves them. I will be flying alone with him and my other 5 month old son soon. Do you have any tips for traveling solo with 2 little ones-I would greatly appreciate it. it is totally stressing me out and you have a way of making things work so thought you could help this mama out! TIA!

[Reply]

Carrie - We bought these a few months ago for a road trip with our three year old – he loves them. I love that they are such a good quality product and not some cheapo headphones. I’ve used them, too and the sound quality is perfect!

[Reply]

The Best Mini iPAD Case for Kids | FAB 50:12

I purchased my cases for about $20 each on Amazon, here: The i-Blason ArmorBox Kido series for apple iPad Mini.

& a note on the iPads:

My parents bought these for my kids as a gift and I wasn’t sure how we were going to like/use them. We use them every so often right now as I put major limits on my kids’ screen time. Everett (18 months) isn’t really into his at all. I use it as my Kindle more than he ever has–it’s the perfect size! I’m sure someday he’ll enjoy it as much as his sister.

Caroline (4 years, as of last week!) uses hers mostly for her Pandora station, which she sometimes gets to listen to during quiet time. I set up a Pandora station with all the Disney songs and she’s in heaven. :) I also created a gmail account and added iMessaging to her iPad–which has been this device’s biggest [smashing] success yet. Since we have no local family, she keeps in touch with our loved ones using her iPad. I enabled the emoji keyboard for her and she sends emojis, pictures and all the words she knows how to spell. I am so impressed at how she has used the keyboard to advance her spelling skills. She is curious and interested (asks me how to spell things and remembers!) and there is definitely some value in learning to spell and read words that help her communicate. She has started reading and those skills are translating into her messages to our family–it’s so neat!!! I do have a couple of movies on hers and her favorite [only] TV show, Team Umizoomi. She’s not a huge app lover right now, but we have nearly everything from Montessorium and Duck Duck Moose. I don’t like junk apps, even if they are free, so I try to only have mentally stimulating apps for her to play with. Nook also has a kids ebook app, where you can get digital versions of some of the classics/our favorites. It’s pretty fun! Though nothing beats the library. :)

Oh, and I created their home screens using the BubbleFrame App. Super fun!

More on the awesome & totally useful headphones next!

-shawna- - She has her own account! :)

[Reply]

Amber H - I love this idea! Thank you.

[Reply]

Jenna - Glad to see you are getting some time to blog. I have missed reading, but most certainly understand why. My son is almost 2 and uses my ipad occasionally for a few cute learning apps like peekaboo barn, and watches a few shows on PBS kids app. He loves music and I would like to make him a Pandora Station too. Just wondering if you just added a station on your pandora account for her, or if you made her a separate account? Thanks :)

[Reply]

The Best Headphones for Kids | FAB 50:13 » styleberry BLOG - [...] I purchased ours on Amazon for $20 each, here: Kidz Gear Wired Headphones for Kids. I also have the Belkin RockStar 5 Way Splitter–(each listener gets sound in BOTH ears!)-so we can all enjoy the same movie on the plane. I have each kiddo’s iPad loaded with different movies since neither of theirs can hold all of the movies in our library. For more on our mini iPads and the cases above, see The Best Mini iPad Case for Kids. [...]

[Reply]

lindsay - so fun! my little boy {will be 2.5 in october} still doesn’t show much interest in the ipad or iphone yet, but i put this on my amazon wishlist for once he shows more of an interest for it. so fun to see how much e has grown! sorry to hear all about the negativity coming your way at the moment, but you still inspire me by making positive changes in your life. you have inspired me to start clearing the “junk” in my life right now and focus more on myself, my family, husband and home…right where it should be. love seeing your updates and posts! :)
lindsay recently posted..our week through the phone lens

[Reply]

Kirsten - Shawna, I’m so glad to see you blogging more! And I’m glad you are staying busy and positive. Sorry to hear about all the negativity from people. We definitely need less of that. Excited to see where you and your family go in the next couple years. :)

[Reply]

kelly rae - that case looks awesome! Montessorium looks really cool too. We haven’t dived into the apps for kids yet but there is definitely so many cool things nowadays.
kelly rae recently posted..Happy Weekend

[Reply]

The Point.

You know, every time I log on to Facebook I’m reminded of exactly why I very intentionally have signed off. It’s just not the healthiest place for me to be. It serves its purpose of staying connected and picture sharing with loved ones far away, but is best kept as a very limited part of my life.

Several days ago I shared this article about the drug-free birth of Kate Middleton. I was, and still am, thrilled at the media attention this might stir up for those of us who are passionate about drug-free birthing. It is always great to normalize what some people consider an “out there” choice. But…some nastiness arose. Now, those of you who read my blog have come to know where I stand on a lot of topics and know the tone I bring here. I welcome other opinions and love sharing for the sake of learning but I will never tolerate judgment or negativity.

But I got to thinking about what happened and what the core of the problem really is and I’ve come up with a question that solves my own question. If that makes any sense at all. & that question is:

Why do we share information?

At the heart of most internet conflicts, I think this question is of paramount importance.

What is the intention of the writer?

Now here, I share to inspire. I share because I am passionate. I share because I want to help you or encourage you, by giving you insight or tools or new ways to solve problems. A different way to think, based on experiences I have had or things I have done or made.

When I write anything here I make a very deliberate choice to share the positive perspective. For example, “I like green.” I don’t say that I hate red and red makes me angry and I’d really not care to ever look at it again (partially true, but I digress). I choose to share that I like green. That I like green because…blah blah blah. Taking the positive perspective completely sets the tone of the discussion. My intention is never to say I like green and you should too. And if you don’t you are wrong and further, you should feel bad because you like red and I don’t. Such a simple analogy, but it is exactly what happened over on my styleberry facebook page. & it makes me just want to shut it down because I just don’t like the internet behavior sometimes–I give respect and expect it back. I have good intentions.

But I’ve learned, not all women are like me. & I am pretty naive if I think that this kind of courtesy is the norm. It is probably not their fault–there are a lot of places on the internet where you can find judgment and criticism and nastiness. My site is not one of those, and never will be.

If I have learned anything since I have tried to figure out how to minimally incorporate facebook into my life (both personally and professionally) it’s to ask myself this question again & again: Why do I share information?

On my blog, as stated above, it’s easy to share because I know exactly what I aim to do with the content. My styleberry page is no different than my blog, I share to educate, inspire, inform etc. & that is that. You’ll notice I’ve dropped off managing it a bit because the conflict that arises is just not worth my energy. I’m fairly certain that a lot of people over there never come here. & that is fine, but I hold myself & those around me (and those on styleberryBLOG and the styleberry facebook page) to standards and I will not compromise them. We will be kind and supportive and helpful. Period.

So maybe this is a learning experience for all of us. I’ll think even more before I share stuff. Personally and professionally, and decide what it is, exactly, I would like in return for what I share. I also know that I cannot control how my well intentioned information is going to be received, and that is part of what I have to expect when I choose to share so much. So if you’re with me in this well intentioned journey, I am thrilled to have you. :) The internet just needs to be a nicer place. Dammit.

& then, moments after I finished this article, I read this one: I support you. EXACTLY. As it applies to any mommy topic. Enjoy. :)

Images from a recent trip to the amazing San Antonio Botanical Gardens, my favorite place in the city!

-shawna- - Hey! I recently went back on base for our care, but I previously saw Dr. Lee at Westover Hills Family Medicine. She’s not a ped, but she was great!

[Reply]

Lindsay - I want you to know that I wholeheartedly agree with you on this post. I love what you write, and like you, I understand that this is YOUR blog and what you write is a record of what YOU do. I agree with you in thinking of why the internet can bring out the nastiness of some people and I just don’t understand why people do this? I have been brought up that “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” Your blog along with others, is a personal reflection of you, and it is so touching because there are women out there, like myself, who are alone in their homes, trying their very best to be an amazing mom in the eyes of their children and an amazing wife in the eyes of her husband, and sometimes, life is just plain hard. Hearing what you have to say, helps me to realize that I am not alone in my quest in trying to do my very best. Thank you, for opening a window to your life, home, and heart, because you help us all realize, that when life gets hard, we can follow your example and realize that yes, we can do this!

[Reply]

Kristen - What the heck? I guess I missed all the controversy! I saw your original post on the Kate article.. and actually reposted on my own fb page, since I as well had a natural drug free childbirth. I guess I haven’t checked in since then. Its kinda hard to find computer alone time being 8 months preggo with a 19 month old! People keep asking me if I will “just give in already and get the drugs” with this one. Like there was something I had to prove with the last baby?! People are nosy and pushy with ALL things baby. Please don’t let some negative viewpoints influence you to stop sharing – I love coming to your blog for inspiration! Its what momma does during naptime! :)

[Reply]

ashley - I love your blog and find it to be inspiring and I did not have a natural child birth and only breastfeed for 6 weeks. I understand where you are coming from and wish things had gone differently than me. I am very sensitive about those things, because I wanted to breastfeed and to have a pain free birth but have never felt judged by you. Keep up the good work and inspiring me. I refer to your blog often for recipes, it helped me make my own baby food and I agree with the loosing the baby weight article. I respect mothers who share their postive experiences in order to inspire mothers.

[Reply]

Emilee - I am grateful that you share your opinions so openly. I cloth diaper because of you. I always find the things you share interesting and thought provoking, even if I don’t adopt those ideas myself.

I know some people who like to read reviews and comments posted on blogs and articles. I don’t because they are so often negative. Both in the virtual world and the real world, I don’t why know some people get so angry with a point of view that is different than theirs. You don’t agree with a drug free birth? Okay, don’t do it.

I also think that people are more likely to post negative than positive comments. Which is something I’m trying to work on in my virtual and real life. If I appreciate or admire something someone does, I try to tell them.

Thanks for sharing the link to the article. I had heard that Kate Middleton was going to try a drug free birth, but hadn’t seen any references to it afterward. With someone high profile doing it, it helps more people know that it is in an option–whether they choose it or not.

[Reply]

Kristin - Love your website! I am also in SA and wanted to see who your pediatrian is. You mention you have one who is into nutrition and not into over medicating. I am having a hard time finding one with this mentality. Thanks in advanced for your help!
Kristin

[Reply]

Lindsay - Ahhh…the Internet. Life must have been friendlier back in the days when my mom was raising her children (I am 32). I don’t understand how it’s became okay to say something to someone on the Inernet that you wouldn’t say to someone in person. If someone doesn’t like your blog or FB page, why do they read it? Don’t us moms have better things to do then bully other moms? Is this how we are raising the next generation? Sad. If people have a problem with you, they should click that little “x” at the top of their screen and move on. I’m sorry you have to read and deal with this negativity. Life is too short. I just hope this doesn’t make you go away, because I would miss you. :)

[Reply]

Tara S. - I am with you, Shawna. Don’t ever stop doing what you believe in & sharing it. You will never make all the people happy all the time. I support you 100%.

[Reply]

Ingrid - Keep staying honest and those of us who appreciate such candor will continue to follow. I don’t agree with everything you write but I love your honesty and passion. It intrigues me to know more about something you write about because you ARE so passionate.

[Reply]

Candace - Keep blogging please! The site is beautiful and I love all the great ideas. I used the ideas for making baby food, though I sometimes buy jarred or ‘pouches’ for my twins ;). The ideas are great and photos are beautiful. I personally believe you have every right to delete negative comments to keep a positive tone. Some people seem to be bullies online and I think its because they feel safe to do so because nobody knows who they really are and feel removed from the other person so some human compassion is lacking. It’s probably the same reason as people have road rage, there is a lack of that personal human connection that creates the opportunity for issues to arise.

[Reply]

Lisa - Shawna, I would like to apologize for my previous comments. I just read Sara’s comment and she hit the nail on the head. No one should make me feel bad, guilty, etc. without my permission. That is definitely easier said than done, but it is true in theory. So with that, I am sorry that I allowed anything you have ever said make me feel like less of a person and that I took those feelings out on you. I do understand your intentions for sharing and your blog has inspired me in many ways. As of late though, it doesn’t and I now know that is because of me and not you. I hope you can accept my apology. I am a people pleaser and want to make everyone happy (hence my rant that you should as well). My intention was not to make you feel bad, but rather to show another perspective; however, you didn’t ask for my opinion and I should have kept it to myself!

[Reply]

Cristin - Thank you for the post and the comments ; )

[Reply]

Sara - I have thoroughly enjoyed your blog & writing style for about 18 months. I found it when my daughter was a newborn and have checked in periodically since. While we share similar viewpoints on many things, there are others that don’t resonate with me. AND THAT’S OKAY! I have taken a few suggestions from your blog & implemented them in our lives and passed on others. For the life of me, I can’t understand why people insist that a writer “made them feel” a certain way. No one can make you feel guilty, bad, like a bad mother, etc. without your permission. I can appreciate (and share in) your enthusiasm for natural childbirth, even though I had to deliver via emergency section. I share in others’ passion for Breastfeeding, even though I’ve had to supplement with formula since she was 9 months old. I think too many people want to play the victim. You are right, Facebook & the Internet in general could use some positivity and some lessons in manners.
Keep on keepin’ on. :)

[Reply]

Heather F. - People who are so negative or get sensitive so easily are typically defensive because of a guilty conscience. Or they’re bored. If something about what you say is bothering them, they need to look within rather than pointing fingers at you. WE as individuals have the power to control how we take news or deal with emotions or information. Why can’t people just work on educating themselves or work to make themselves better without being accusatory? If you’re not happy with yourself or your decisions, either suck it up or change it! Do with information what you will, or don’t read it at all. Sheesh!

Shawna, you’re awesome! You’ll never make people happy 100% of the time. So just keep doing what you’re doing!

[Reply]

Jenny busbey - All I have to say is YOU GO GIRL!! shawna, you are a huge inspiration to me and do an amazing job on your blog and Facebook page. Don’t let any negativity or judgement bring you down. You rock sister. Keep your chin up… Delete any and all negative comments… And keep on keepin on. Cause you are appreciated by many moms out there. *hugs* to you!!

[Reply]

Kate - Shawna,
I’m so sorry that the internet world is causing you strife at the moment (but can understand why!). Just to say, I’ve loved reading everything you’ve broadcast so much over the past few years all the way in the UK. I, like other commenters, can’t profess to having managed a natural birth or to have ever even touched a CD (took me a while to work out what that meant!!), but I miss your beautiful photographs on IG since you had to add safety there, and I’m super sad that you’re now having to watch what you say on FB too.
I like to think that when I don’t find parity in someone’s blog that I come across, I leave it for others and move on. There is not much to be gained by trying to change that person, or their writing, just for ones own benefit – just like we wouldn’t (shouldn’t?) try and do the same to someones behaviour when we don’t bond with at the school gates or wherever.
I wish you and your very beautiful family even more positivity and a happy weekend after what must’ve been a frustrating week x x

[Reply]

-shawna- - Lisa, I think you missed the entire point of this article and I’d guess that we may never speak to one another in a way that the other understands. My delivery is something that I am confident in, and it is with the best intention. It is also clear that you have no idea who I really am, based on some of the assumptions you have made. Clearly, this blog is not a place for you. I cannot please everyone! Best wishes.

[Reply]

Lisa B. - I guess I just don’t understand people in general sometimes. If I read an article, blog, or FB post that I don’t like or agree with, I just chose to not read content from the author again (after enough chances have been given). I’m not ever going to agree with everyone 100% of the time – and you know what, that’s ok. If you don’t like Shawna’s blog, articles, or FB posts, then don’t read them, unlike her FB page, unfollow her blog. It’s not any of our places to try and change the way she (or anyone else for that matter) writes, thinks, feels, or believes. And I can already hear some of the responses to my comment, “But aren’t you trying to do the same thing with what you’re saying?” The answer is no – I can’t stop you from writing negative comments to a blogger you don’t know personally and I’m not trying to convince you to do so. Do as you please, but I don’t blame Shawna for one minute for not wanting to deal with negativity in her life. The world in general is a pretty cruddy place most of the time, filled with people just looking for an argument. I, for one, appreciate anyone who wants to focus on the positive and leave the negative for someone else.

[Reply]

Joy @ Caspara - Well said! I first saw your blog on Pinterest — the famous losing baby weight article. And I really appreciated all that you *share* (even if I still 21 months later haven’t lost all my baby weight from my last baby). I work out diligently and eat very healthfully, but still am hanging onto about five pounds. But that’s okay! You have a lot of great info here which is why I follow! Please! Ignore the chip-on-their-shoulder people and keep it up!!
Joy @ Caspara recently posted..Five Favorites: My Hawaii Five (oh!)

[Reply]

sara - I could say a million reasons why I love this blog & even though I dont always agree with what you say or do I STILL LOVE this blog. We are all mothers and should support each other, and if you have nasty things to say just keep it to yourself!

[Reply]

Julie - Shawna,

I love your blog I have from the moment I found it almost 2 years ago. I loved reading how you cd your babies, while mine were in disposables. I loved reading about how you made your own baby food, while mine were fed from jars I bought at the store. I loved reading about both of your birth stories even though two of mine were induced and all three involved epidurals. I loved reading about your weight loss, even though I am overweight, and struggle.

I find your information inspiring and it gives me a can do attitude and a sense of hope. (For example, my 4 month old is in cd and I love it!).

No matter what the commenter Lisa says you will NEVER PLEASE EVERYONE. No matter how positive or neutral you are someone is going to read it wrong, or find fault, or try something and it won’t work for them. People just need to learn to be comfortable in their own choices, instead of instantly becoming defensive.

I have huge struggles with fB, and have been seriously weighing the pros v. cons of it in my life. If you want the truth, it is this, I do not have enough confidence in the strength of my relationships to risk leaving fB.

Maybe you could add an articles section on your website and use that to share?

I hope you will continue to share what works for you!

Much love!

[Reply]

JamieA - Well said. I’m sure you already know this, but I would venture to guess that a large portion of negative responses to your content have a lot more to do with personal struggles the reader is going through and a lot less to do with you. :) Also, do you read the Momastery blog? If not, she had an excellent post about criticism and cruelty on the internet not long ago and I loved it.

http://momastery.com/blog/2013/07/01/momaquery-on-criticism-vs-cruelty/

[Reply]

Gut check. | styleberry INSPIRE

School notices are coming in the mail and it’s hard to believe that summer is winding down (wahh!!) but it is! Time for a gut check. Can you put your phone down more & play with your kids? We’ve only got a few more weeks. I’m up for the challenge. Are you with me? I have been trying very hard this summer to just BE with my kiddies. Their behavior is SO much better when I choose to put my phone down.

Here are a few of the things that I have been trying hard to implement during the last few weeks:

  • No instagramming while the kids are awake. Take pictures? Sure. But nothing gets uploaded until naptime or bedtime.
  • No facebook on my iPhone. Period. FB checking allowed at naptime/bedtime. Limit status updates to 2/3 times per week to cut down on notifications/checking.
  • No facebook inbox. I recently shared that I would not be checking my FB messages & wrote in my profile to contact me by email. I will log on once a week or so to see if there is something pressing or if that is the only way I can communicate with someone I care about, but beyond that, I’m free of that obligation.
  • Lock my phone in the locker at the gym. I try to do this if I am not expecting any important phone calls/messages–those close to me know exactly when I am there so they can call the gym if there is an emergency. I will get it out if we are heading to the pool and I might have a photo op.
  • Texts get returned when no one needs me. I try very hard to ignore them (turn off sound) and they do pile up. Then I will respond when I can. I treat it more like email than instant messaging. It doesn’t need to be instant!

So tell me your tricks? How are you successfully turning away from technology this summer? Surely you’ve done something smart that I need to know about! Please share! I am always looking for new & encouraging ways to break the screen addiction!

Leslie - Ah! The battle with technology is such a big one for me. I almost wish I did not have an iPhone. I am trying to make it a point to completely separate myself from my phone as well – it does not sit on my nightstand during the night. It goes on or near the charger during the day (and on silent). In the car, the phone is in my purse. I love the notion that text messenging doesn’t have to be INSTANT. Thanks for sharing these!

[Reply]

Sara - This is fantastic. I’ve been working on this for a while. I deleted a bunch of apps off my phone so I would be lest tempted to use it. I don’t get many calls or texts, so I can happily say my son knows the phone is for fun and not an extra limb on my body. My only problem is I put the phone away and then forget to take photos, or even forget to take it with me sometimes!

[Reply]

angie - I struggle with this on a DAILY basis!! I often catch myself pressed to my iPhone while my daughter is in the background asking me to dance with her.. overload of emotional quilt and disappointment in myself as a mommy!! Facebook, Instagram and Email can quickly capture my focus too often. This post truly brought the reality that I NEED to join your challenge!! THANK YOU!!

[Reply]

Sabrina - Very interesting post!
I wrote a comment (answering your questions), but it became so long that I turned it into a blogpost.

Btw, I like your new lay out! I’m a quiet follower, but still love to read your blog. Keep up the good work!
Sabrina recently posted..How I keep myself sane with an iPhone.

[Reply]

Becky - I had facebook on my phone when my son was first born. When he was 6 weeks I was disgusted with my addiction to checking it all the time. I deleted it from my phone and save the internet for when I’m actually at a computer (when he’s asleep or I’m at work). All notifications other than text and calls are turned off.

[Reply]

Kendall Stoy - I keep my phone on silent almost always! And we have a cute little tray on the counter with the chargers. When we get home- that’s where they go!

[Reply]

Shannon - Yes! This is a great post! I try to do the same with Instagram. Just shoot during the day and make a few edits and post at night. I am not perfect though.
Shannon recently posted..How to do a fun project with your kids.

[Reply]

HOMEMADE ICED COFFEE | FAB 50:11

Recently, a friend of mine (ahem, Ashley) introduced me to iced coffee at our brand new Dunkin Donuts up the road. I had never been to a DD but I had heard excellent things about their super strong coffee. & if you know anything about me…you know that I have one vice and that is coffee. I drink water & coffee. STRONG coffee. So I gave it a whirl one hot summer day & was she ever right! YUM! But I knew I could do it better myself. It was a wee bit bitter for my taste and still cost me a couple of dollars per cup. Way better than pricey sugarbomb frappucinos, which I am not entirely fond of, but still not perfect. So I hopped to figuring out how to make my own.

WHAT YOU NEED

  • coffee. preferably something strong & robust. (I used my faaaaaaaavorite Philz coffee, a cult classic home in the Bay Area. I’ll head to Local here in SA when I run out)
  • cream
  • flavoring (if you wish, I like mine with a dash of coconut. YUM)

HOW YOU MAKE IT

  • I used the Pioneer Woman’s Iced Coffee recipe but I upped the coffee to water ratio on my second batch. Like I said, I like it STRONG. Be sure to steep it at room temp and definitely overnight, or it will be bitter.
  • Since I don’t mess around with the strength of my coffee (I call my dad’s version “coffee flavored water”…yuck) I freeze some of my concentrate in my old baby food cubes (remember those?!) and use them as the “ice” in my coffee. I recommend filling each cube only half full, or they will not thaw fast enough to melt into your drink.
  • After I pour the concentrate in, and add the cubes, I add a splash of cream and a little less than one pump of coconut & then it’s bottoms up! HAPPY NAPTIME.
  • I enjoy mine in a starbucks tumbler & use the lines on it to measure out the amounts of liquid in my drink so I have consistency. :)

& that is all!! Yummmooo. Just the perfect perk for a hot summer’s day!

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Graig Harries - Sounds awesome, thanks for that and keep up good work!

[Reply]

Colleen S - I LOVE iced coffee. It has been my favorite for about 4 years now and I make my own a lot. Look I to getting a Toddy Maker. Total time saver. I think William Sanoma carries them.

[Reply]

Anne - I LOVE iced coffee but hate paying for it at DD. THANK YOU for posting this!!! Definitely gonna give this a try. :)

[Reply]

Moriah - Just made another batch of our iced coffee last night. I am crazy about it. I love the convenience. We store ours in a beverage dispenser so I just open the door, and fill my cup. Way too great!! I add a splash of half & half, but nothing else. Thinking I will get some of the coconut flavor. Where did you find it? And now I have to make those ice cubes, what a great idea!!

[Reply]

Emily W. - This sounds great! I have just been doing iced lattes all summer with espresso. I have discovered that a honey latte is really tasty (adds just a tiny amount of sweetness with the lovely flavor of good honey). I’ll have to try a dash of coconut next time.

[Reply]

Sara - Oh THANK-YOU!! I am in the early throws of pregnancy (fingers crossed this one sticks). A cup of hot coffee will not stay down! It won’t even go down. (Sobbing) then I had an iced coffee & it was my hallelujah moment. It actually settled my stomach! I’ve been trying to replicate it at home with limited success. So I know what I’m doing today!

[Reply]

Jessica - Ahhh….I miss Local coffee. I was so excited by all the little places that popped up in San Antonio in the past year or so. Anyway, we make our own coffee at home too – but I’ve never made iced coffee. Maybe we’ll give it a go. After all…it’s already reaching 80 degrees in Orange County ;)
Jessica recently posted..Roasted Eggplant with Feta & Tomato

[Reply]

Erin - My husband has gotten way into making HUGE quantities of homemade coldpress coffee – his last batch was 3 GALLONS. We go through a lot in our household! He uses beer brewing equipment (but not used for beer ever) and puts them in growlers or beer bottles to store them, they keep for about a month in the fridge. He actually has discussed this at great length with people at local coffee shops around Minneapolis/St. Paul, the favorite being Dunn Bros :) I really need to bring some into work but need to find a more work-appropriate container than a beer growler…
Erin recently posted..Cabin Relaxation

[Reply]