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Last Minute Halloween Decor

| On
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Halloween is not my favorite, never has been probably never will be. Christmas on the other hand, I'm pretty anxious to get into my decoration boxes, that topic is for another day or month haha. Earlier this week I went to the what I like to call the trifecta of craft stores (Hobby Lobby, Michaels, Jo-Ann's) bonus they are all super close to one another. Every store had Halloween items on clearance the best sale was in Jo-Ann's at 70% off. So I did what any non-loving Halloween person would do, I loaded up my cart and took it as a clear sign to get festive!

I found the most adorable Halloween banner letters for $3 and some fun paper to compliment and made a banner that says boo. Then I found some sparkly crows stick on crows for $2. Our matel looks pretty festive and M loves his Mickey pumpkin, which is a craft pumpkin $3 and and the Mickey kit is from Target. The large (craft) pumpkin was $8. The lantern is from Costco got it on sale for $7.50

I cannot carve pumpkins very well, I usually cut the wrong thing and end up with a gaping hole and have to use pins to keep my pumpkin together. So when I saw Kristi's post about decorating craft pumpkins I made it my mission to do just that!

I got 3 paper mache pumpkins for $15 (guys they were $11.99 each pre sale), I used up the last of my favorite craft paper from my wedding, as well as some leftover lace ribbon. I'm not going to lie and say that this was quick or easy to create. It is messy and time consuming but the end result is so worth it! I followed her instructions by paining sections of the pumpkin in Mod Podge then applying strips of paper followed by another coat of Mod Podge. Now here is where it gets messy, use gloves if you have any, smooth out the paper with your hands. It took me about 2.5 hours to make 3 pumpkins. They aren't perfect as you can see but I love them! I am planning on keeping them up through Thanksgiving since they match the decor in that room and switch out the Halloween banner for a Thanksgiving one.

Lastly M and I worked on our chalkboard and our house has a tiny sprinkle of Halloween for around $40. Nothing is perfect but much fun was had crafting! You should check out the craft stores in your area for there Halloween sales, you never know what you will find!

The Motherhood Battleground

| On
Wednesday, October 22, 2014

When did the motherhood community become so ugly?

Before I was mother I assumed motherhood was a community where moms would encourage, support and offer help to fellow moms. A tight knit sisterhood where the love for our children joined us together. Lifetime friendships would be formed on the playground while our children had fun together.  Judging didn't exist, well because we all have our own way of doing things.

The harsh reality of it is motherhood is a journey often traveled alone. A journey where you are judged for your every parenting decision big or small. You are questioned while pregnant if you are going to breastfeed. Some peoples motives pure and are just curious, others are ready to shove there opinion down your throat why breast is best. So many facts and questions are thrown your way. Are you making or buying baby food? Are you going to cloth diaper? That carrier is bad for their hips. Sleep training is bad or you aren't sleep training?

When did it become ok to publicly bash a mom? To make judgmental memes and share them for the world to see? Judgments are made in the form of "helpful" comments on photos when a child is strapped incorrectly, so now you see disclaimers made from mothers that she knows he/she is strapped incorrectly for a photo to avoid scrutiny.

Social media is a blessing and a curse for a mothers emotions. On one hand you feel love, support and encouragement from the snippets of someones life. On your worst days seeing a happy smiling face gives you hope that tomorrow will be better. But on the other hand that snippet into someones life can make you feel guilt. You find yourself questioning why your days don't go this way, why your house is not spotless like hers, why you aren't able to enjoy a hot cup of coffee while your kids play quietly or why you aren't making that amazing meal for your babe. What you don't see is the space beyond the parameters of that Instagram shot, you have no idea what is going on behind that mom. Her day may be in shambles but there was a moment of joy and she needed to share it to boost her spirits. I know I've had that day, that picture.

Want to know a little secret from a mother of a 19 month old? Motherhood is HARD. The sleepless nights wear on you physically and emotionally coupled with constantly being needed and you feel exhausted more days than you are willing to admit. Admitting to that can make you feel weak, like you have failed or that you are a bad mom. I have put on that happy face, pretending like my life is blissful, that it's easy and all comes naturally. When we gave birth we weren't given a manual how to live our the days beyond the hospital walls.

Seeing things online just gets me so fired up! Why has motherhood turned into a battle ground? Why do we feel so much guilt for not doing things like her?

Mama you are beautiful, you are strong, you are worthy! You are doing an amazing job raising your baby! No one knows how to care for them like you do because you know them like no other. You are their safe place, their everything, you are their mother! There is no need to feel guilt or shame for asking for help. I love this post that Andrea wrote, it truly does take a village. Not all days are picturesque or easy. Some days you feel like your on top of the world, buy maybe the next you are scrambling to keep things together. You know what? That is OK and completely typical of the day in the life of a mom.

If you are reading this post then you know that there is a beautiful blogging community among moms. I cherish this community so very much. We aren't alone in motherhood, we don't have to be at war. So today when you see a mama smile at her, lets bring back a sense of community in our real lives too!

A Mommy App Review

| On
Friday, October 17, 2014
I am so excited to share A Mommy App with you. I've had the opportunity to review this super cute and helpful app and I'm loving it. It can be used from pregnancy and beyond! Where was this when M was born?!

First off the app is really easy to use and has some great features to offer: 

| My Kids |
This is a fun way to keep track of milestones, appointments, and likes/dislikes with their own page. You can customize an avatar, set the scenery and add objects to make their page unique. There are add on packs if you want to change up the outfits. My favorite is the Batman outfit. 

| Mommy Quiz |
Test your mommy knowledge with a fun quiz. My score is nothing to brag about, I've got some studying to do haha. 

| My Pregnancy |
Choose an adorable baby bump to represent you to document your pregnancy. Keep track of doctors appointments, cravings favorite names and much more.

| Stress Relief |
Feeling stressed? Choose your escape to listen to 5 soothing sounds to put you at ease. Bonus: there are encouraging words too!

| 5 Minutes for Mommy |
Need a break? We all do, these 3 games are perfect for those times you need to occupy your babe. 

| Featured: Blogs, Shops and Instagrams |
Take a moment to browse through the featured section to meet some new mommy friends and find some amazing handmade items. 

Overall this app in a winner in my book! I am looking forward to using my pregnancy to keep track of future pregnancies. I highly encourage you to download this app, you are going to love it! It's only .99 and can purchased in the App Store AND the Play Store

Follow A Mommy App on: | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook
#amommyapp #themommyglow

Blogtober 14 | Catch Up |

| On
Thursday, October 16, 2014
This weekend I missed my day to schedule all my posts, my husband took that day off YAY! Then I got sick, booooo. So I'm 5 days behind on posting and instead of writing 5 posts I am going to do a little catching up....

| Best Advice I've Been Given |

Advice is one of those things that you have to take with a grain of salt. I feel as though a lot of people enjoy sharing their best piece of advice, I am just as guilty as the next person with this. During my pregnancy I got a lot of advice from random strangers, very interesting! The best advice I've ever been given was from my parents, it's simple and I'm sure we've all been told this a time or two maybe a 1000...BE YOU! This wonderful advice has carried over in all areas of my life, at some points in my life I got caught up in a trend and felt so out of place and time and time again. There is no one else in this world like you, so be you!

| Favorite Fall Recipe |

Stay tuned for this one. I have the recipe ready but my pictures didn't turn out right.

| Funniest Memory from Childhood |

I had a serious obsession with wanting to wear glasses. My mom took a pair of her sunglasses and popped out the lenses, I wore those all the time with a pair of her heels. Which by way I was told I walked perfectly in from a very young age. I cannot find the picture that descries this perfectly by trust me it is hilarious!

| Favorite Quote |

via Pinterest
This is one of my favorite quotes. I love cooking, it hangs in my kitchen and makes me smile every time I read it.

| Fall Fashion |

I'm not a fashion blogger, and I never will be :) So my inspiration comes directly from Pinterest. I love everything about this outfit. That sweater is so cute, love it and brown riding boots are my favorite fall accessory!

via Pinterest

And now I'm all caught up!!

Helene in Between Blogtober

Blogtober14 | If I were President |

| On
Saturday, October 11, 2014
Todays prompt is one that I am going to skip, but not with out a few words.

I love watching Scandal and all the political drama it makes for great TV. Random fun fact about me, I was the school president in high school it was fun!

To be honest, I have no interest in politics and I don't follow politics.

I have to be true to myself therefore, I have nothing to say on this topic. I will be back tomorrow :)

Helene in Between Blogtober

Blogtober14 | I Never Thought Blogging Would... |

| On
Friday, October 10, 2014

| One | Be so much fun! Call me crazy but I actually liked writing essays in school. Writing is fun and is the easiest way to express myself.

| Two | Allow me to make new friends. The blogging community is amazing. The idea of online friends seemed silly to me at one point, totally don't think that anymore. Being a SAHM keeps me pretty busy, but it can get lonely at times, I cherish the friends I have made through blogging.

| Three | Grow my interests. Photography and blog design to name a few. I always thought it would be fun to get into graphic design. With a little help from Google I figured out how to design my blog and truly enjoy it. I'm a bit of a perfectionist so it takes me a long time to settle on an idea.

| Four | Challenge me. Even though I really enjoy writing, sometimes you just don't know what to say.

| Five | Create new opportunities. Reviewing products is something I never saw self doing. Who knew it was so much fun! I have set some blogging goals for myself, looking forward to meeting them.

So I'm super late linking up today but better late than never :)

Happy Friday!!

Helene in Between Blogtober

Blogtober14 | TBT Halloween Memories |

| On
Thursday, October 09, 2014
I am not super into Halloween, I hate scary things and I haven't dressed up in a long time. As a child my mom made all our costumes and they were awesome. My favorite was when I was Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz. I loved that movie so much I broke the VHS tape. I'm sure there were tears and I got another one. Last year we attempted to do a family themed costume and failed, M was the star of our Halloween for sure.

For as long as I can remember I have always helped my church put on a Halloween event for kids. It is a lot of fun and by no means scary! Now that I'm a mom Halloween is more important to me. My husband is really into Halloween so I'm working on getting into it as well. This year we are going for another family theme and I think we will pull it off :) I am looking forward to it!

Helene in Between Blogtober

Blogtober14 | A Letter to Myself in 10 Years |

| On
Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Dear Ileana,

The past ten years went by incredibly fast. I'm sure you say that all the time. You are near the end of your 30's and slowly approaching 40. Please don't say you feel old, 40 is not old haha!

I know that you are still very happily married to Richard and have just recently celebrated 15 years of marriage. As a joke a while back you said new rings at 15. So, did you upgrade your ring??

Thankfully all the home projects that were left unfinished are finally complete. There was talk about possibly moving, did it happen? If not I'm sure the master bathroom was renovated and you finally have a shower larger than the ones on a cruise ship!

M is 11 now. So full of personality, he makes you laugh all the time. Definitely athletic, no surprise here as a toddler he was into basketball, soccer and baseball. Although I'm not sure right now which sport he chose to play, I know we are there as a family cheering you on.

M is a big bother! Do we have another little man or is there a little lady to even the numbers out in the house? Those two have so much fun together and make you and Richard so proud to be their parents.

Comgrats on opening the Montessori Preschool! I know it was a lot of planning and hard work to get it up and running but you did it!

I look forward to what the next 10 years holds for this family in the meantime enjoy every day, we know how quickly time passes!

Helene in Between Blogtober

Blogtober14 | Best Vacation |

| On
Tuesday, October 07, 2014
The best vacation I've ever had was our last trip before having my son. We went to Europe, it was something I really wanted to visit before starting a family. We took an Eastern European cruise and visited Italy, Turkey, Greece and Rome. We got to see the Coliseum, went to Ephesus and walked streets that Jesus walked, we went to Athens and the Vatican. I know we saw more but I cannot remember the details. I joke with my family all the time that when I had M I lost a part of my memory because I find myself forgetting things often. On that vacation we found is when I found out I was pregnant (on my birthday!!!), which was so exciting. Europe is so beautiful, I would love to go back but this time to Paris. Ok now for some pictures....

Helene in Between Blogtober

Blogtober 14 | 10 Things I'd Tell Myself When I First Started Blogging |

| On
Monday, October 06, 2014

First off, it took me a really long time to make a blog. I wanted to make one for years and was really nervous then one night I figured out a name (which has changed) and I just went for it. I had no idea what I was doing, I am by no means an expert but I have learned a bit in my (almost) 2 years blogging.

| One | It doesn't matter if no one is reading your blog. Don't focus on page views or how many followers you have it will drive you crazy.

| Two | Not everyone is going to like your content. You may loose followers and that's ok, no need to feel bad.

| Three | Be honest. People want to relate to YOU, share the good and the bad moments.

| Four | Social media matters. I didn't start using Instagram for my blog until a couple of months ago, I wish I would have sooner!

| Five | Blogging is time consuming. Plan ahead, set aside time to sit down and write.

| Six | Sponsor a blog or swap buttons. You have to get your name out there.

| Seven | Join link-ups. I have met so many of my blogging friends through link-ups!

| Eight | Pictures/Graphics make your posts more appealing. Sure a nice camera is ideal but there isn't always time to get it out. If you are using your phone take good pictures. Make sure they are in focus, get creative with the composition take advantage of editing apps.

| Nine | Read and comment on other blogs. You will make relationships with other bloggers that can turn into friendships.

| Ten | No need to post if you have nothing to say. It is better to think a post through then to just post for the sake of posting. I've taken my fair share of breaks blogging!

Helene in Between Blogtober

What do you wish you would have told yourself when you first started blogging?

Blogtober 14 | Fall Bucket List |

| On
Sunday, October 05, 2014
Day 5 of #blogtober14 and I'm super late posting today. 

Time to make some fall plans!! I failed at making my own bucket list in time so I cannot take any credit for this cute fall bucket list I found on Pinterest, I like it a lot :) 

What are your Fall plans?

Helene in Between Blogtober

Blogtober 14 | Insta Favorite |

| On
Saturday, October 04, 2014
I really love Instagram, it is such a fun way to connect with other moms. If you aren't following me on Instagram you can do so here.

Now as far as my favorite picture I've shared....

I know you've seen this picture before, hence why it's my favorite! I have been wanting to decorate our room since we got married and it always got put to the side for another room. This year I made it a priority to work on our room and it is almost done. This picture makes me really happy, I love going in our room, makes me smile every time. I love seeing our wedding and engagement pictures up that were previously not on display, so sad! I am on the hunt for new bedding and have one wall and our close to finish. Then on to another room :)

Helene in Between

Blogtober 14 | The Thing I Can't Live Without |

| On
Friday, October 03, 2014
Of course I cannot live without my family, friends, FOOD- quite literally but I just love it a lot and Jesus. But we are talking about one single thing so I narrowed it down. This is an easy one and I'm sure most would phone! It is so much more than a phone though, it is my camera, my e-reader, my way of keeping in touch with others.

Lets talk about pictures, I have literally thousands of pictures on my phone and have such a hard time deleting them, I know it's kind of ridiculous. There is a little part of me that feels so wrong deleting sweet newborn pictures of M to make space for new ones. Wanna know the most ridiculous part of this whole picture problem? I have them ALL backed up on my computer.

Since having M I have rediscovered the Kindle app and frequently rent e-book from our local library. It is so much more convenient than an actual book as I can take it with me anywhere and not have to lug around extra stuff. I also read lots of magazines on the Zinio app. No extra papers lying around my house? Perfect! Most of my blog reading is done right from my phone too.

Lastly the main purpose for the phone is keeping in touch. Texting is my main way of communicating unless you are willing to listen to my toddler running around or wait until nap time (he has not mastered the art of staying quiet when I'm on the phone. Is that even possible? If so I'd love to know your tips, kinda seems like the most chaos occurs when I'm on the phone-moving on....) My family loves getting pictures of M (and' we've come full circle) and I am a big lover of social media.

I know I could live without my phone, but I wouldn't want to!

Helene in Between

Blogtober 14 | My Dream Job |

| On
Thursday, October 02, 2014
When I was younger my first dream job was to work at a department store. I really wanted to be a cashier! As I got older I wanted to be a pediatrician not taking into consideration the emotional connection to my patients and the occasional blood which I do not have the stomach for. I went to college with my heart set on becoming and elementary school teacher. After I graduated I was ready to apply for the credential program only to find out that due to funding issues I would have to wait 6 months to start in the winter. Well, I didn't wait and quickly realized that teaching elementary age kids was not my passion. Preschool is where my heart is at!

So that brings me to my current dream job. Yesterday I told you if I won the lottery I would open a Montessori school, my dream job.

I L O V E the Montessori philosophy, have an insane passion for teaching and thoroughly enjoy creating curriculum. Having my own school would be amazing!

My current "job" as a stay at home mom is pretty awesome, I won't be opening a school anytime soon. In the meantime, M is going to be my one and only student in the at home preschool I'll be started in the near future. Time to start gathering materials and making some pins come to life :)

Helene in Between

Blogtober 14 | If I Won the Lottery, Part 2 |

| On
Wednesday, October 01, 2014
Today is day one of the Blogtober challenge. Lucky me, I actually wrote a post like this before, here. Since I haven't won the lottery that list is still current! My husband and I are very humble people, we wouldn't let the money get to our heads. He is a big saver, so a lot of the money would go straight to savings, college funds would be plentiful, our families would share in our newfound wealth and first and foremost we would tithe.

Here is a summary from my first lottery post:

| One | Pay off our house, rent it out and buy a bigger house. I'm dreaming up a big master bathroom with a rain shower head, soaking tub and his and her sinks.

| Two | Buy an SUV. Having kids = so much stuff in the car. Our carseat alone takes up part of the middle seat and the stroller in the trunk makes for a fun game of Tetris when we make a Costco trip. I wouldn't mind driving a Range Rover.

| Three | Lavish vacation first class please to Paris or Fiji.

| Four | New wardrobe. I love shopping!

| Five | Open my own Montessori Preschool. That would be put on pause until my kids are older, lots of time and dedication.

Helene in Between

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