Hey everyone! Hope this post reaches you at a happy time in your day, I am certainly grateful you guys are here. I just put both babies to sleep and am finally reaching my computer, still in my pajamas! On days that we go, we go hard and the opposite goes for the days we do little! Side note, why is it that the second we acknowledge that our kids are asleep or leaving us alone… we are jinxed. I swear two seconds after I wrote to you guys that they were sleeping I heard a loud cry from sweet Rosie who obviously heard my sigh of relaxation and knew it was her time to shine. She now joins me on the couch… motherhood!!!!

Anyways, as I sat today I thought I would share with you guys 5 things I’m extremely grateful to have lately in life/motherhood! These days, I have been on a serious chucking spree of all the crap in our house that we don’t use. Man, it feels SO good, way better than I anticipated to be honest. When I only keep in our house what we use and need daily or weekly, I am reminded of just how much I love the products that WORK. I am going to link them below, but here are a few I’m super into right now!

 

BABY JUMPER

Being the second child, I’m certain Rosie spends too much time in this, but to be honest its been a total lifesaver. She jumps and jumps until she sometimes falls asleep and I feel like a horrible mom when that happens but she loves it! We hang it right next to our kitchen so she feels like she’s hanging with us all. Find it HERE

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MUNCHKIN FOOD TEETHER

You guys, these are like 3 dollars a teether and Rosie loves them! This morning I actually put a little banana in there for her and she gnawed on it for about 25 minutes. If her teeth are hurting I will put a frozen berry or something in there and she gets so excited! Plus it helps them with hand eye coordination! Find it HERE

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KIDS PLATES

Wyatt is getting better each day at eating off a plate with his utilises. These are the cutest and best plates I have come across! I wash them over and over because Wyatt will only eat off the blue plate and they retain the same quality and color.  have seen them SO many places way overpriced but Wal Mart has them in a bunch of different colors for 2 dollars a plate so buy them there!  Link is HERE.

 

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PASSION PLANNER

I recently started writing things out in my new planner and I can’t tell you how much better I feel about my life. I am 100% fly by the seat if my pants mom and not nearly as organized as I should be but I’m trying! When I’m able to look at my month on paper its much easier and really helps! This passion planner also includes areas where you can talk about your highlights/goals and reflections so it makes you stop and think! You can find it HERE or personalize your own HERE

 

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BEDTIME READS

Reading goodnight moon 173 times can get a bit boring so upon listening to Oprah’s Podcast with Maya Angelou, I decided to pull this book from our little library. Reading something written by someone who has such compassion, drive and determination to make this world a better place makes reading it really special. I like shaking things up and bringing in new, fun books and this is my current favorite. I found it on Barns and Noble, a hardback for just THREE DOLLARS! Find it HERE

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Hope you guys check these products out! I am going to try to do more posts about my favorite items whether it be motherhood, beauty, fitness or places to go! I am currently in the process of looking for summer bathing suits because we are headed back to Kauai and bringing Gavin’s family with us!

Have the best day!

Stephanie

 

I would be lying if I told you I was the type of mom who had to have the perfect, organic, local menu each night for dinner. In fact, I often fall short to Mac N Cheese and hot dogs more than I should. But when I get the opportunity to serve my family quality food, I never turn it down. Last week, Central Coast Meats took us on board, to a farm in the middle of nowhere, showed us their operations and completely changed my perspective.

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Ever reach your mid life crisis in your early twenties? Personally never heard of it until I met with  Kyle Clement, one of the founders of Central Coast Meats. That “early” life crisis led him away from a desk job at a software company and into the pastures and wide open spaces 24 miles outside Santa Margarita, California. I am always a huge fan of those who pursue their passions with heart and determination and Central Coast Meats is the perfect exmaple of just that.

 

Along with his co founder, Dylan Sweet and under the mentorship of Avenales Ranch sixth generation owner, Daniel Sinton birthed a company that believed in an alternative and different way to raise and sell meat. A way that I, as a mother and the cook in the kitchen am extremely excited to share with you guys today!

To reset the local meat standard through transparency, education, innovation, and integrity.

Central Coast Meats

 

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A Room With A View

When we drove up to the farm, we met Daniel Sinton who is the mentor and owner of the acreage where Central Coast Meats comes alive. Daniel shared stories of his six generation operation and instantly we were hooked,  Old school ways have always had our hearts and the combination of his old school ways and Kyle’s new ideas and energy made for quite a dynamic and innovative duo.

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They took Wyatt on the horses, let him ride on the tractors and gave us a tour of what felt like a mini slice of paradise. Daniel even graciously shared with us his wine, whose grapes were literally in sight of where we were standing. Gavin and I made eye contact about 50 times in agreement that we would do anything to live out in a place like that.

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After running around and chatting a bit, they took us to where the animals are raised. I was in awe. In the middle of a huge beautiful green pasture were the homes of the chickens. Talk about a room with a view. They were happy, healthy and Kyle showed us the ins and outs of raising them. The same went for all the animals there, as we drove in we were greeted by cattle, and as we toured the place we had Blue, Kyle’s Great Pyrenees by our side. This is how animals should be raised and treated regardless if they are family pets or livestock. Seeing how this company operated was awe inspiring.

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Enter the Box. Literally a box of fresh meat from this amazing little slice of paradise to your front door, all with an easy click of a few buttons. This meat box is my new obsession and it is FULL of goodies. The box we received today had steaks of all sorts and a beautiful full chicken. There is nothing fresher or more personal than Central Coast Meats, they do it how it should be done. Bottom line.

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“You and your family have the right to transparency and wholesome food. You also have the right to a damn good dinner on a Friday night, and a few beers to get you there, if you so choose. We are here to make sure that happens.”

Central Coast Meats

How do you get this box to your door? Order it HERE! Click of a few buttons and you’ll be right there with us! The prices are competitive to any organic and pasture raised meat and in my opinion, the quality is unbeatable! If you want to enter in my Instagram Giveaway, we will be picking one Lucky winner to receive a box of their own! CLICK HERE

 I can’t promise the days of Mac N Cheese will end, because I know I would be lying if I said that. However, now that I am more aware of the options I have right in front of me in Central Coast Meats, to provide my family with wholesome food, I will certainly be making the choice I know my family deserves

Have THE best week,

Stephanie

 

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You guys! Happy Hump Day, I hope this meets you at a happy time in your day and week. Life over here is dandy, we are slowwwwing way down this month and it feels amazing. Not going to lie I was feeling extremely overwhelmed in December so having nothing to do most days has been a huge blessing. Resetting is important! Anyways, I wanted to share with you guys some tricks and tips/what I use for taking my pictures! I have had inquiry about it and have sat on the idea of doing a post like this because I feel SO unqualified but hey… it works for me so it might work for you! I’m going to do my best at answering the questions I’ve received, and ill link the products I use!

MY CAMERA

I have this sucker to thank for everything, and my super talented brother in law  for telling me what to get. I have the Sony Alpha 3600, its pretty amazing. At this point, I feel like I’m driving a Ferrari in Automatic with little knowledge of the power of this little guy but I’m slowly learning! I usually shoot in Auto but I’m learning how to shoot in RAW form because I am starting to edit in Lightroom! You can check out my camera HERE! I love this camera so much, I have the very basic lens and I feel like it covers all my needs at this point but I’m looking to get another lens this year! This camera sends photos directly to my phone,it’s so easy to take multiple extremely clear photos, its smaller than you would think and lightweight so I’m not juggling around this massive camera in public. I HIGHLY suggest this camera to anyone looking for a good one!
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CAMERA STRAP

Best investment. As a mom my camera doesn’t stay in a pretty little case all day only to be taken out for photos. I am always on the go and I bring my camera everywhere because I’ve found the best photo opportunities come at THE most random times! Anyways, the camera strap is the best because the camera kinda just slings around my neck and I’m able to pick up and hold babies, juggle things and have it right there, safe on my neck! The camera strap I have is from one of my very favorite brands, Nena & Co. The camera straps are a hot commodity there and because they are all handmade, they often sell out soon after they post! So if you want one like mine, keep checking their site! I’ve also seen some cute ones on Etsy.com!LRG_DSC08745

TRIPOD / TIMED AND REMOTE PHOTOS

Literally before I realized a tripod is not that expensive and easy to use, I would stack my camera on my coffee table on top of like 20 books, looking back now it is comical. Gavin works and most of the time it’s just me and the kiddos so if I want to get a shot of us all I need somewhere to put my camera, I use the tripod. The one we have is adjustable and folds up super small so I can literally fit it in my diaper bag! HERE is the one we have! Two ways I take my photos are by timer and by wireless remote called Play Memories App. The Play Memories App is an application I downloaded for free onto my Sony Camera that allows me to see the image on my phone and literally press a button on my phone remotely and the camera takes the photo!

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TAKING PHOTOS

I take a ton of photos, in fact I think I have like 24K on my phone that I need to go through as soon as I can! Anyways, whenever I’m shooting my kids or our family I shoot away and generally get anywhere from 40-70 photos before I even look back. Correction, I usually look at the first few to make sure it looks how I think it does, then shoot like crazy. Any of you know with kids, capturing that one smiling photo after saying “1..2…3” is impossible. Taking continuous shots allows me to then download the photos from the camera to my phone and keep the (usually very few) that turn out.

EDITING

One day I will go more into details on my editing because for right now I’m really just in the middle of learning! I use Lightroom only, no Photoshop! To be honest I’m a bit nervous to learn how to use Photoshop because I feel like I would create an obsession with perfection and I really like keeping our photos as real as possible. Just like anyone trying to learn something, I’ve watched a ton of YouTube videos to learn the basics. THIS is the one I watched first. HERE Is the Lightroom download, which is a program that must be purchased and I like this one because it’s a Cloud Program so I can use it on all my devices!

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Okay I think that’s enough information for now, I will happily go into more details on each topic another time because I feel like I hardly scratched the surface! Taking photos has quickly became a big hobby of mine and im excited to share with you guys more and more as I learn! Hope you all have a great week! Tomorrow we are literally headed to a FARM with our pals at Central Coast Meats… stay tuned to my Instagram for a killer giveaway and insight to a great company!

Hugs!

Stephanie

 

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I know, it takes a village to raise a child. I would be rich if I had a quarter for every time I have seen a quote on Pinterest or heard the wise words from a grandparent. What even is a village? Is it the grocery man, the local pharmacist, the grandparent, aunts and the milk man? Or is it the immediate family and close friends? I’ve always chopped it up to the people in your life that mold and shape who you are. The ones you can love and hate all at once but they generally have your best interest at heart. I never appreciated our village as much as I do now that my vilage is helping raise my child.

It’s taken me a lifetime to realize just how deep and far-reaching our village is, and children certainly have cleared the foggy window and allowed me to really focus on each and every person in it. Our village is more than just individual humans. It is deeper, full of different religions, nationalities, genders, ages, demographics and species, all working together to help me mold my children.

But Nobody told me.

Nobody told me how powerful, loving, thoughtful, and giving our village would be… to those in my village, I see you.

I see from a distance you squinting your eyes and wiping my kids boogers with your hands, and I know that’s nasty because I’m his mom. But I see you, I see you doing that because you care and you care more about them getting into his mouth than you do about your hand.

I see you tired on the couch, relaxing only to be approached by my child trying to show you his car. I see you sit up and listen, putting your tiredness aside to engage with my (what can be) annoying toddler.

I see you taking that extra five minutes to start-up the chainsaw just to see my child’s eyes light up one more time.

I see you bending over after a long days work only to push my child around on his favorite red car throughout the house just because you know it makes it happy.

I see you letting my kid drink from your water bottle 67 times, over and over and you gladly share.

I see you look my child in the eyes, listen to him and have a conversation. What you may not realize is that your conversation with him is our topic of conversation the entire way home. The energy you use, fuels him.

I see you throwing them up in the air five more times than you wanted, your arms are aching but my Childs smile is huge so you keep going. I see you, and I appreciate you.

I see you sometimes not letting my child have his way, taking a harder yet much appreciated route. That sacrifice you’re taking by teaching him fairness is one I am extremely grateful for.

To my Village.. here’s what you don’t know…

You don’t know that sometimes I reach my village tired, exhausted and hoping to just relax for a moment. You don’t know that by taking my child to play and introducing him to new things rejuvenates him, and myself. You give me the opportunity to reset and for that alone I’m grateful.

You don’t know how much it means when you show up at my house and take my child for a few hours while I clean the house and make a nice dinner. You don’t know how much sanity that brings into my life.

You don’t know but I see it all, I notice the details, i’m a mom. I am trained to watch how people are with my children, and there is no better feeling in the world than to feel my child is truly benefiting at the hands of someone else.

You don’t know that I’m okay with you making mistakes, you’re human. You love my child and just like anyone, you won’t be perfect either. So when my child falls in your care and cries, know that it’s not that big of a deal. What you don’t know is that I know it tears you up inside  because you love them, and that to me means more than any bump or bruise they get.

You don’t know that I appreciate you doing things your way with my child, they usually only see my way and my way isn’t always the best. That way you showed him how to put his thumb up actually worked, and you don’t know but I’ve been trying to get him to do it for months. You don’t know, but I appreciate you teaching my child the way YOU know how.

I get it, its fun. Its rewarding and you want to build a relationship with my child, and I appreciate that. But what you don’t know is I see those moments where you push a little harder, joke a little longer, take the extra time that you normally wouldn’t take and treat my child the amazing way that you do. Sometimes as a mother we can get caught in our comfort zone and want everyone to do exactly as we do, but I’ve learned in 2 years just how much I appreciate the exact opposite.

Having my child in the hands of someone who loves them, is wiling to put in the effort and help me raise them, is the greatest gift of all.

To my village, you definitely know who you are, and I’m incredibly thankful and blessed to have you.

 

xoxo,

Steph

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Hey everyone, hope this post reaches you well on this happy Sunday! We cannot knock this dang plague that has hit everyone we know, just when we think we are better.. boom right back down! Anyways, all this time indoors has really given me an opportunity to think about what 2017 has meant to me, and what my hopes are for 2018!

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I could redo 2017 over and over again and be thrilled, it was filled with a ridiculous amount of joy and happiness. We found out we were expecting a little girl, took our first trip to Disneyland, vacationed in Kauai, took on Charleston with my girlfriends, went back to College 7 Months pregnant, Celebrated Wyatt’s Second Birthday, was in my best friends wedding, and most importantly met our sweet Rosie girl on August. We had a year full of family and joy, and for that I’m extremely grateful.

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With every great year comes its down moments of course and one hit us surprisingly hard. Our hometown hero, Ryan Teixeira passed away after an intense battle with cancer. As a family we followed along his Caringbridge and were extremely impacted by his resilience and character despite the fact we didn’t know him near as well as we would have liked. His family continued on a charity, 17 Strong,which grants victory trips to those 18 and over and has already impacted lives for the better.  Check it out.

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So what about 2018? Will it be a year of the same happiness and joy?I would like to hope so but the realist in me says anything can happen so for now I’m just grateful for the wonderful year we have had! What I do know is this year ahead is full of LOVE! My baby sister and older brother are both getting married, we have some fun vacations planned as a family, my sister Mimmish and my cousin Macy are both having babies and our crazy family always has a few good surprises so I’m certain there will be more to celebrate!

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With the new year comes the obvious. Goals. I love goals, I love setting them and reaching them although to be honest I often fall short. This year, I’m setting one goal and one concept that will take me through 2018. I call it, 8 minuets for 2018.

Like everyone, I want the cleaner car, the spotless home, the extra time to spend reading to my children, the extra couple minutes at the gym to get me to my goal weight, I want to call my grandparents, write more letters, do nicer gestures for my friends and have plenty of good genuine face to face conversations. A couple of days ago sitting on the couch I couldn’t help but realize all the little things I want to do take such a short amount of time but have such a heavy impact! I came to the conclusion that if I just kept the motto “8 More minuets for 2018” then I could accomplish so many of the little things I want to accomplish. Eight extra minutes is doable. It’s two and a half songs on the radio, it’s not going to drastically change my day but it will help me create habits of taking that extra time. I’m going to set the alarm on my phone, title it 8 for 2018 and turn that sucker on as many times as I can during the day! I know this will help me create a life with a little more organization, little less stress and a lot more mindfulness.

 

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I will certainly be letting you all in on how this goes, I have a good feeling it will work out and be a game changer for me and quite possibly, you too! I hope you all have a great day soaking up all that 2017 was for you and head into the new year with a positive mind and spirit! 2018 will be another wonderful year, I can’t wait to spend another year sharing our highs and lows with you all!

Happy New Year!

Stephanie