Tall Mom tiny baby: 2016

BEING A PINTEREST MOM IS HARD - SO I'VE BECOME A RESOURCEFUL MOM

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. 
All opinions are mine alone. #TidingsAndTreats #CollectiveBias


You know, I really try.  I really do.  Being one of those Pinterest mom's is just not in the cards for me.You know the whole post about cookies I just did?  It came out ok, and it was all true - for the most part.

I wanted my own Stars Hollow, and I got it.

But what bothers me now is that I was wholly honest with you the reader.  Did I attempt making the cookies with my son? Sure. What you didn't see, however, is that it was a total disaster and that I will never make cookies with him until he's at least....oh, I'd say...eighteen.

Read on to hear about the cookie disaster of 2016, why I need to fess up, and why Rice Krispies treats saved my sanity...

During the baking process for my last cookie post, my kitchen was a mess, flour was everywhere, sugar ended up in places I'd rather not mention on the internet, my son had very little patience in mixing all the ingredients, he ATE all the frosting instead of spreading it on the cookies, and he was more interested in playing with the raw dough as opposed to cutting it into cute little shapes and baking them.

An activity that really shouldn't have taken more than an hour lasted for over four hours.  Yes, you read that right, four hours.

Despite my promise, I hid that from you.  I wanted it to look good.  I wanted to be a Pinterest mom for once in my life.  But give me credit, I'm coming clean now.

Although I may not be a Pinterest mom, I will tell you that I'm a least a resourceful mom.  So, instead of cookies, I made the best use out what I had in the cupboard.

Let me tell you, thank god for Rice Krispies...

MAKING CANCER PERSONAL

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and the American Cancer Society. All opinions are mine alone. The views and opinions expressed in this post are my own and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the American Cancer Society. 
#Th3Fight #ad #CollectiveBias


In one of my recent blog posts, I mentioned that our family motto is All You Need Is Love.

It was Tall Dad's and my wedding song, the lyrics are showcased in our new home, and we even say it to our kids almost every day. A new song by Taboo from the Black Eyed Peas, called The Fight, also has these lyrics, and after listening to the song a few times, I realized a lot of the lyrics in The Fight really hit home.

There's this line in the new song, The Fight, that really rings true for us. It's "The fight is never ours alone we're all in this together," and that's honestly how I've felt the later part of this year. Our latest move has put us closer to both of my parents, but especially my mom, and the help from our parents has been tremendous this year for our kids. They love our tiny family so much, and we love them right back.  Read on further, however, to see why the song's origin goes much deeper than just family sticking together. 

I GET BY WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY GILMORE GIRLS, COFFEE, SUGAR COOKIE CHEESECAKE DIP

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

This blog post about Christmas Sugar Cookie Cheesecake Dip has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #DelightfulMoments #CollectiveBias


2016 has been a rough year.  Between dealing with male PPD, an unexpected move, raising another baby, potty training and everything else in between, I think Tall Dad and I have had enough of our fill this time. So, we've decided - that's it. We're going to slow down, relax, and not have such big milestones anymore for quite some time at least. But, I will admit doing that is still hard for us because now we're in the new home and we're still getting used to it. There's so much to still put up, organize, and do around the house.  It feels like we can't relax. More importantly, it still doesn't feel like OURS quite yet. But, after a lot of thought - we just decided to MAKE it ours. Read on to see how we are making it happen with a little help of our good friends The Gilmore Girls, and some good ol' fashioned Christmas baking and cooking...

OUR FIRST YEAR WITH FELICITY

Friday, November 18, 2016

This post was sponsored by WaterWipes as part of an Ambassador Program for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.

I considered myself a messy person for most of my life.  I've had times when I couldn't even see the floor in my bedroom for over two months.  And, yes, it has always driven my husband insane.  But I realized very quickly that my messiness before my kids could be considered borderline OCD clean in comparison to what my life is like AFTER having my kids.  Especially during that first year of their life.  As I like to reiterate to my husband, however, our family motto has always been "Love Is All You Need." Well, maybe someone to help me clean too...and...WaterWipes...and a professional organizer...and a life coach....and a really good nanny...and someone who's really good at mani/pedis.

Ok so maybe Love isn't ALLLL you need - but it's pretty darn close.  Read on to see how my first year with Felicity can tell you why...

TIPS FOR MOVING WITH CATS

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

This blog post has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. 
All opinions are mine alone. #OneStopKittyShop #CollectiveBias



So we finally did it - we moved into our new home. It's been about a week and a half and we actually are a lot more settled in than I would have ever thought possible. My kids rooms are put away, we built our brand new podcast studio, our home theater has been installed, and we just bought a brand new sectional that I may or may not have considered leaving my husband for :)  Yes, it's that good.

But as comfortable as we are, and how much our kids love a new adventure, there are still some members of our family that are getting used to the new digs - our cats, Sassenach and Kahleesi.

It's not that they don't like the new place - but they are still getting used to it's smells, new carpets, and the feel of our new home.  It's been a fairly long process for them to become acclimated, but I thought I would share with you seven tips that I have learned through the move with them.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN

Monday, October 31, 2016



My kiddos decided to skip their nap today...so instead we made a movie! Check it out below :)

RASPBERRY BAKED BRIE #ItsBakingSeason

Sunday, October 23, 2016

This recipe for Raspberry Baked Brie has been sponsored by Pillsbury - but all thoughts, photos and opinions are mine alone :) #ItsBakingSeason

It's the most wonderful time of the year...and one of the busiest! I love the fall and winter holidays because of decor, music, food and constant merriment with friends. My family LOVES to see people during the holiday season, and since we just moved last week - we are expecting a lot of visitors to our new home over the next few months...which will make this busy season  - even busier!

Having a warm home filled with delicious yummy smells is one of the ways I like to great my guests. A nice bread baking in the oven, or a seasonal pie - just makes a house really feel like a home, doesn't it?

But when life gets crazy, like a recent move (or just having a busy holiday season in general), I can't always find the time to gather a ton of ingredients, mix, measure and wash dishes. So that is why, my dear readers, I am going to share with you my favorite holiday entertaining hack. It's comprised of only three ingredients, all which are delicious even alone - but together they create a brilliant medley that will not only have your house smelling downright delightful, but will also be sure to get any guest's mouth watering. 

I introduce you to Raspberry Baked Brie.

PROMO - CARPOOLING WITH BEN

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

What have I been up to recently? Well, funny you should ask! 

GETTING DIRTY AND DOING YOGA

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser.
All opinions are mine alone. #HealthySkinSolutions #CollectiveBias



Healthy skin seems to still elude us...even though we have a bazillion options nowadays, it seems like we still haven't figured out the proper way to be clean. Ultimately, what I've learned is that bacteria isn't necessarily always the bad guy. It's actually a part of the human ecosystem, and sterility isn't natural for our bodies.

That's why I was really excited to try out the Mother Dirt products.

FALL CRAFTS FOR TODDLERS

Friday, September 23, 2016

Pumpkin flavored everything has arrived. Apple orchards are posting on their websites that the early crops are ready for picking, and I know quite a few people who are pretty pumped for boot weather!

Fall is here!

And with that, come a SLEW of cool crafts that you can do with your kiddos.  There are seriously THOUSANDS of craft ideas that you can do with your kids, but I wanted to round up a few that have really caught my eye.

AUTUMN TREE LIGHTS - TODDLER CRAFT

Friday, September 16, 2016

This post was sponsored by WaterWipes as part of an Ambassador Program for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own. 
I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.

I have a love/hate relationship with the fall season.

It's not completely magical like Christmas, but there's something different in the air when the crisp breeze, accompanied by the smell of fallen leaves, smoke from the first chimney fires, and the sounds of Patriots football - blows through your neighborhood.Oh, and pumpkin flavored...everything. 

But like Lewis Black famously says, "I hate the fall...  Oh the leaves change color! They change color for 2 days! Then a big wind comes and all you got are nothing but sticks for the rest of the year. And then the weather is completely nonsense...Nothing you wear is right...put a coat on...but the sun's out so you’re sweating...take your coat off, but there’s a breeze so your freezing. It's not weather, it's malaria!" All true.

But, ultimately I think I really do love the fall. The seasonal decorations are fantastic, and the amount of activities for kids to do are still plentiful.  Which is why I decided to go out of my comfort zone and do a really fun craft project with my kids and some of their friends....   

CREATING A CALM ENVIRONMENT WITH ESSENTIAL OILS

Monday, September 12, 2016

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. 
All opinions are mine alone. #StimulateTheSenses #CollectiveBias


Being a mom is hard.  Being a mom when you have to move and send the kids back to school? That's a whole new level.  I've been writing a lot lately about our impending move from our house and, honestly, I think it's a good thing because it helps me get the stress off of my brain.  I've got hundreds of checklists to complete in my head, Tall Dad is doing his best to make the transaction of selling our home, buying a new home and moving run as smoothly as possible, and my kids, well, they're doing their best to keep up with all the change happening around us.  I actually admire them quite a bit for how resilient they have been as they watch us pack up their stuff, transform their rooms, and be carted out of they house when a showing has to happen.  As such, I've been trying to keep as much control in the mood of the house as possible.  And this is where the essential oils come in...

Tall Dad's Top 5 Tips To Surviving A Weekend Without Mom (Pray For Me)

Thursday, September 8, 2016

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FormulaForHappiness #GerberTarget #CollectiveBias



Finally - the day has come.  The one day I have dreaded since Tall Mom gave birth to Felicity.  I knew it was coming, but pretended that it wasn’t there in the hope that maybe, just MAYBE, I wouldn’t have to deal with it.  What is the day I have dreaded for over a year?  When Tall Mom leaves me alone with two kids for more than a few hours.  What’s worse?  Not only is she leaving me alone with them - but she’s leaving for an entire WEEKEND.  Oh boy.  Luckily, I’ve got some ideas on how I’m going to survive the weekend with a one year old and a three year old.  Hit the jump to find out what I’ll be doing, and what I think every dad should be doing when this very special day inevitably hits you too.

PREPARING FOR PRESCHOOL

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Today's blog post has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser.
All opinions are, as always, mine alone. #FallIntoClean #CollectiveBias





Our once tiny baby is now a little boy, and is getting ready to head to Nursery School / Preschool in a mere 3 days! It will be our first time that "back to school" really applies to our family, and I'm incredibly excited!


Change, however, isn't always the easiest thing for little children like our three and a half year old son. And what with our impending move in a month, our family will be going through quite a lot of change! So I've done some research on how to make his transition to his new preschool a bit easier.




1. Read about Preschool



This was a nifty little trick I learned when I had my second tiny baby, Felicity.  In order to prepare Rhys for our new arrival, I bought a ton of kid books about babies and new additions to families.  It does seem a little foolish to read about new babies, or even preschool to a three year old.  But, it works - it takes the information that he needs to know and relates it to him in a fashion that a three year old can digest.  The book pictured above talks about teachers, how he can meet new friends, sitting down for story time etc. Like all things, repetition and hearing the same keywords over and over again promote a type of muscle memory reflex for the brain.  If I can get him to hear certain words all the time, and then hear them in school just as often, then he's already prepared for what's to come.



2. Practice making lunches

Honestly, I am not a cook.  I'm not even good at making peanut butter and jelly half of the time!  I don't even know how my kids have survived this long. BUT, I have become better with practice.  That said, this will be the first time that I have to make a boxed lunch since my days in middle school. It's been a fun give and take between my son and I, and I have been finding out what he likes to eat on a daily basis. So, the more I do, and the more I try to decipher his complicated little palette, the better off we will be. In the end, find out what your little one likes to eat that is lunchbox friendly. Practice making these lunches and bringing them to a park or playdate.






3.  Keeping the house clean



Adults need to get in a new routine as well. I know that feeding the kids and keeping the house clean is something that not everyone excels at - and I am first in that long line.  But, it is really important to our family because it keeps my house free of germs that my kids can get, free of clutter that can gather inevitably from having two children, and most importantly, free of that weird smell that wafts through every parent’s home which seems to be comprised of stale graham crackers, milk, and an ever slight tinge of baby poop.  My favorite product to use around the home is Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day® found at Whole Foods Market.




I love Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day® products because they are good cleaners which are chock full of great plant derived ingredients and essential oils.  It smells great, especially the Lemon Verbena Scent, and it really handles dirt and grime very well. I am a huge fan of the Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day® Multi-Surface Spray, Dish Soap, and Multi-Surface Concentrate.  If I'm going to have to clean, I might as well make the best of it, and at least enjoy how it smells.


What's more is that for every 25,000 bottles sold, Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day® will donate a dollar to the Whole Kids Foundation which is dedicated to helping kids eat better and enjoy it. Founded by Whole Foods Market, this nonprofit organization is guided by the same values, principles, expertise and standards for quality ingredients, food production methods and nutrition. They help support gardens at schools so kids can learn about how their food is grown, as well as creating salad bars at schools to give kids healthier options.


This great video below helps describe the foundation better than I ever could --




4.  Establish a set routine for the child



It is truly difficult to get things to be the same way every day.  I get it.  But, the best chance you have for making his transition as effective as possible to create a routine for both morning and evening. Yes, the beauty of having them sleep in is that you get to sleep in too (hopefully), but, get their bodies used to waking up early when they would have to go to school.  Then set up parameters for them to meet in terms of getting dressed, putting on shoes, brushing their teeth etc.  Then, when they come downstairs, the first thing they do is go to the dining room table to have breakfast. Next, I like to fit in some early morning outdoor exercise time before school, shortly after breakfast. Do the same with your evening routine. Dinner, bath, brushing teeth again, and so on. Try to start these routines a couple of weeks before school starts so it is second nature to them.



5. Visit the Preschool together



While you're out on a drive, perhaps you should stop at the school so they get an idea of what it looks like as they walk up to it, or what the parking lot looks like.  Take them for a walk around the premises, and try to arrange a time with the school where you might even be able to visit and see the inside of the building.  I know for my son, just seeing a familiar setting (even if he has only seen it one or two times) is a HUGE advantage for us because his memory is uncanny.  Seriously, if he has been somewhere a couple of times, wherever it is, he will remember the place, why we were there, and when we went.  I think he's like Sherlock Holmes sometimes (Benedict Cumberbatch of course - not Robert Downey Jr.) Our Preschool actually had a playdate AT the school the week before school started. This way, all of the classmates saw each other, and became familiar with the school and playground.

Sending your child to school (even if it's preschool) for the first time is hard enough as it is.  Add in the fact that it upends their life for a little bit, and your home can be totally thrown into a frenzy if it's not handled with care, then we are really talking about some bad mental breakdowns here.  From the kid, sure - but mostly the parent!  


Finding what works best for them, what works best for you, and keeping your house in the clean shape you need it to be to best promote your routine is absolutely vital. Speaking of that, it's time to get break out the Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day® Multi-Surface Spray again - I think the stale graham cracker smell is rearing it's ugly head again, and I must vanquish it with some good ol' Lemon Verbena.  Once more unto the breach dear friends....

You can learn more about Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day® products by visiting their blog | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube  | Pinterest |  Instagram. I was able to purchase mine at my local Whole Foods Market in the cleaning aisle.




Best of luck to all of you with little ones starting off school!

Talk soon, friends.

-Mary

I BELIEVE IN FAIRIES

Sunday, September 4, 2016


Being a mom of two is super fun, but one downside is that I don't always get to have special one on one time with my kiddos. However, my little lad and I get to play every morning while our one year old lass takes her morning nap.

A couple of days ago, while he and I were sitting on a couch reading, he saw a bright light on the ceiling and asked what it was. I knew instantly that it was the reflection off my watch, but my magical mom brain decided to tell a fib and say that it was a fairy.

A fairy who liked listening to our stories and our songs.

SUMMERTIME AND THE LIVING IS EASY

Monday, August 29, 2016

Todays blog post about my love for cold brew tea, complete with raspberry lemon mint ice cubes - has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. 
All opinions are mine alone. #TeaProudly #CollectiveBias


If you have been keeping up with me lately, you know that the Tall family and I are moving out of our home.  Between cleaning the house, getting the kids involved in the process and everything else, it's been a real trying past couple of months.  There is so much pressure to have everything perfect for potential buyers, stay positive about criticism from the realtor, and, oh, have a life with the family all at the same time.

There are times, however, that I just need to be me.  Tall Dad refers to this as "Mary-time."  And "Mary time" often requires a good drink...

AN EVENING DRIVE

Tuesday, August 23, 2016


Some days are full. Full of needs and wants, so much in fact, that I feel like I have nothing left to give. It makes me think back to days of yore (aka before I had kids,) when I could call out sick from school or work. Or fake a headache, because in honesty, my head was just too full to hold anything more.

But now, with a home full of kids, and regular household stuff, bills, and life - I sometimes wish I could call my mom from the nurses office to come pick me up from school. I sometimes want a sick day. Yesterday was one of those days.

So last night, when my amazing husband came home from work, he could see on my unwashed-I-tried-to-take-a-shower-but-no-one-napped face, that I needed a break. I was full. My emotions were being pushed to the max.

He scooped up the kids after dinner, and told me to go for a drive.

So I did.

PURE LOVE

This post was sponsored by WaterWipes as part of an Ambassador Program for Influence Central. 
I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.


Those of you who are avid Tall Mom readers know how tough my son was on Tall Dad and I. Between the colic, early morning/ late night/ all day screaming sessions, and the subsequent postpartum depression I suffered from, Rhys gave us a good run for our money.  The only thing that would calm him down, and I mean ONLY thing, would be when one of us took him in our arms, and bounced on the 60" yoga ball we have.  We had to do it for hours, just to get a little peace and quiet in our tiny apartment. 

But not only would Tall Dad have to bounce on the ball, but Rhys required that he be held skin-to-skin the entire time.  It may have been annoying, but WaterWipes has put together a little video highlighting the importance of skin-to-skin contact, and why Rhys potentially preferred there be no barrier between he and his parents.  But they also back up the video with some pretty solid scientific evidence.  Here's what they have to say...

DAILY CHORES: HOW TO GET YOUR KID INVOLVED

Monday, August 15, 2016

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.#ScotchBriteSponges #CollectiveBias


Moving stinks.  There's just no way around it.  But moving with a toddler and a baby?  Well, that might just be the real reason why Dante wrote the "Inferno."  At least, that's what I think to make myself feel better at night.

They toys are endless, the clothes are overwhelming, and they are never in their homes.  Ever.  I often look around my abode and ask myself, "when the heck did we actually buy all this junk?!?" It's like Santa stopped by my house and dropped off three years worth of free freakin' samples.

But then you have to add selling and staging your home into that awful mix.  Ugh - honestly, I think  I'd rather be waterboarded.

Regardless, it's a task that must be done because people don't buy houses that are dirty, cluttered, and or overtaken by kid stuff.  Although the ultimate irony is that all of our houses look like this, but we expect a house to appear utterly perfect before we even *think* about buying it.

So, cleaning is a must.  But how do you do that with a toddler at your feet who is intent on running through your house like a tornado in a small Oklahoman town? Get him involved in the clean up of course.  Here are a few tips how...

SELLING AND STAGING YOUR HOME WITH A BABY OR TODDLER

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Today's post, which is all about selling and staging your home with a baby or toddler, 
has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. 
All opinions are, as always,  mine alone. #FreeToBe #CollectiveBias
I've officially decided that selling your home whilst taking care of children, may in fact be the worst thing on this planet. The mess is the mess. That happens. I mean, you can put toys away and figure out where all the junk goes eventually (even though this process is cumbersome and time consuming at BEST.) 

But, I sometimes think a kid's job is to make a mess of everything. Seriously...

Everything they touch, mirrors, walls, couches, whatever - there's scuff marks, food stains, hand prints, marker streaks etc. You name it, a kid has touched it and ruined it somehow. You add all of that, in addition to all the toys, the mad-dash one hour before the showing that it takes to get everything to look at least half way decent, and then interrupting meal/nap/ everything else time in their lives - and it's a huge boiling cauldron of terrible. 

But, I've become a pro at this lately and I think I have some tips to help you sell your home even if it is, the "worst thing on this planet."

Yes - everything needs to be in tip-top shape -- and sometimes at a moment's notice. To be honest, it can get really frustrating, tiresome, and discouraging. Buyers don't care if your kids nap, or one of them had an ear ache, or your babysitter called out the day before. 

They want to see your house and they want to see it ASAP. It's hard to blame them, they're excited and they got the cash to burn. So, you have to make due. But here are some steps to help you out...

CELEBRATING OUR 6TH ANNIVERSARY

Sunday, August 7, 2016


6 years ago, I married my best friend.
It was the best decision I ever made, and am in awe of where life has already taken us!

Watch the video below for a quick recap of our wedding day :)

RHODE ISLAND ROAD TRIPS: EAST PROVIDENCE TO BRISTOL

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Today's post about one of my favorite scenic road trips in Rhode Island has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are, as always mine alone. 
#RoadTripOil #CollectiveBias


Being a stay at home/work mom means that I, obviously, spend a lot of time at home. Somedays I feel like the soundtrack of my life should begin with Etta James singing Don't Get Around Much Anymore.

But when cabin fever strikes, or my kids are having a no-nap day, I have begun a new tradition. I take the family on a Rhode Island Road Trip.

Growing up, my family didn't have a lot of extra money to spare. Birthdays were frugal, big nights out for us meant we could go to a local pizza house, get a big pie and play a few songs on the jukebox. So quite frequently, on Sunday afternoons, my parents would take us on a road trip.

We would pack up in our station wagon or minivan, take a few snacks and drinks for the ride, and go explore parts of our state. Believe you me, the Ocean State has some gorgeous drives.

So I wanted to take you on one of my favorite Rhode Island car rides that I've been doing recently. It is pretty anytime of the year, but I prefer Spring, Summer or Fall, so you can roll down your windows and breathe in all of the different scents.

TELEVISION APPEARANCE TIPS

Monday, July 11, 2016

Today's post where I share some TV appearance tips has been compensated  by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. 
All opinions are, as always, mine alone. #MyBoldMoments #CollectiveBias


As a lifelong musician, I've been performing since the third grade. Being on stage never seemed to shake me. But when I landed a gig on television as a morning television host, my eyes were opened to a whole new dimension of confidence and performing. For when there is a camera in front of you, and things are done LIVE, a whole lot more feels like it is at stake.

I'll be honest with you guys. I'm truly a leggings or jeans wearing/flip flops over kinda woman at heart.

But that all had to change once I started my job as a television host on The Rhode Show. Suddenly I was googling things like "What do I wear on TV" or "How to Prepare for a Live Television Interview."

Some tips worked for me, and some really did not.

I studied the videos of myself after each show, and can honestly tell you that my best days were all thanks to being very well prepared before I even sat down on the set.

I still am frequently on television here in Rhode Island, and have often shared some of my TV tips with friends who have been interviewed. I realized, however, that these tips might be something YOU would like to know. Because, who knows, maybe you too will one day find yourself in front of a camera! And hopefully after reading this blog post, you will feel prepared, bold and confident!

A WEEKEND AWAY - INN AT MYSTIC

Wednesday, July 6, 2016


Parenting is really hard.  Especially when you have two kids that are ages 1 and 3.  Of course, people tell you how hard parenting is, and you never listen.  You think it'll be different for you.  You've got it under control.  Well, you'll find out just like I did, that assertion is 100% completely and utterly incorrect.  And here's the real issue, if you and your spouse don't make time for ONLY each other, no only will parenting become even harder, but your LIVES will be that much harder too.  Which is why we decided to finally get away for a weekend.  Just us.  No kids. No diapers. No potties.  No whining. Just two people in love who needed a break from everything that happens every single day.  Let me tell you, it was heavenly - like, I wish we never left and somehow the kids just grew up and were able to take care of themselves in one day heavenly.  And it was all thanks to The Inn At Mystic.

HOW TO MAKE A TREAT CAT TOY WITH A TOILET PAPER ROLL

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. 
All opinions are mine alone. #LitterOdorRevolution #CollectiveBias


The longer I have children and pets, the more I appreciate the similarities of being a pet owner vs a parent. Both kids and pets have abundant unconditional love, can cheer you up on your most low days, are dependent upon me for things like food and water, and both (as of this moment) need our assistance when it comes to cleaning up after they do their business.

Being a parent and fur-mommy has made my heart swell in ways I never new possible. I love spoiling my little ones with treats and toys, and I also love photographing my children and fur-babies.

But children and cats have also put pressure on my relationship with Tall Dad.

You're probably sitting there, reading this, saying "How can cats put pressure on a marriage?"

I've got one word for you.

Litter.

That's right. Cat litter.

Cat litter boxes, the clean up, and worst off, the SMELL, absolutely drives me B-A-N-A-N-A-S.

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy Fourth of July!

How are you spending the day? 

Tall Dad is working this morning, and took our little lad into work to munch on some red, white and blue sprinkled donuts! 

My little lass napped this morning while I tackled some much overdue work, and I got to tune into some of the Bristol Fourth of July Celebration!  (ps -- it was established in 1785, and is the oldest continuous celebration in the United States, and takes place in my home state of Rhode Island!)

I'm *slightly* jealous that I'm missing out on the live parades and live fireworks... but I know that my kiddos need their naps and sleep. Otherwise, they turn into Gremlins. Honestly. 

TALL MOM AND TINY FUR BABIES

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Muse Cat Food. All opinions are 100% mine.

It's funny. Some couples choose to have fur babies in their lives before they think about having human families. The opposite was true for us.



After I gave birth to my first tiny baby, now my little lad, our household was flipped upside down. Months of agonizing colic and then my postpartum depression really put a ton of stress and difficulty on top of our family. There were some days that I couldn't even shower or fathom making anything to eat. I drastically lost weight, stopped communicating with most of the outside world, and retreated into our tiny apartment. 

During the midst of my postpartum treatment at the Women and Infants Day Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island, there was a three day weekend. It was Memorial Day weekend, and for someone who is suffering from a mental illness, to know that one needs to not continue with treatment for not just a weekend - but a long weekend - is incredibly scary.

I knew that my routine would be off. I would be missing out on my daily therapy sessions, and was afraid that no one would be monitoring me. 

I was afraid I would fail.

But my husband became my hero that weekend, whether he knew it or not. He decided to get our family a cat.

Saving Dad's Sanity #Garage Cleanup

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GarageCleanUp #CollectiveBias


Ok guys - REAL TALK here: I remember years ago when I got married, my dad, all his friends, and all the old-timers told me, "being married ain't no picnic.  You sure you wanna do it?"  Of course, I blew them all off and thought, nah - not me, it'll be different. Well, marriage is really hard.  Beautiful, amazing, but lots of work and really hard.  Then, when I told all the old-timers that Tall Mom was pregnant, they said pretty much the same thing, "kids change everything, and they make ya nuts."  Again, I replied the same, nah - not me, it'll be different.  Sure enough, two kids later, most everything has changed and my life is nuts.  And what's worse, if you had told me re organizing my garage would be the highlight of my Father's Day weekend 5 years ago, I would have laughed you out of my high rise apartment in downtown Providence.  But now, I own a house, have two kids, two cars, a mortgage payment the size of Laos' GDP, and reorganizing my garage was indeed the highlight of my Father's Day weekend. And I couldn't have been happier about it. Hit the jump to find out why.

Milk Nursingwear Review & Giveaway

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Adorable milk nursingwear breastfeeding top for moms who are nursing their babies.
My little lass turned one year old a couple weeks ago, which honestly blows my mind. This past year has flown by, and as excited as I am about her impending first steps and first words, I find myself begging time to slow down

I'm cherishing every special "baby" moment, even though I guess she can technically now be called a toddler. Her little babbles, snuggling together in bed after her usual 5am wakeup, and breastfeeding. 

You know, it's funny. I never really thought about breastfeeding that much until I had kids. But now that I've nursed two tiny babies, it comes as natural to me as breathing. I'm still nursing my little lass several times a day, and don't have a particular cut-off date in mind. She's already begun self-weaning a little bit, but still prefers nursing during times when she is sleepy or needs comforting. 

One of the quirky things about nursing a wiggly one year old is that she is easily distracted, and may beg to nurse, but once she begins, may quickly change her mind and pop off to go play with someone or something. 

This is one of the many reasons why I adore nursing shirts and dresses, especially from the brand Milk Nursingwear

My First "Dad Moment"

Thursday, June 2, 2016


I've been a dad now for just over three years.  It's been terrible, fun as hell, tiring, and my heart has expanded in ways I never thought possible.  Of course, the main love of my life has been, and always will be, my wife.  But, I've come to realize that even though I always put my wife first, there is something different and special about one's relationship with their own child.  That relationship is full of firsts, crying sessions (both adult and child), sleepless nights, booboos that need to be kissed better, and temper tantrums.  Well, come to think of it - relationships with your partner sound pretty similar to this too.  But you know what I mean.

While being a dad is a special privilege, and it's never been short of something new that happens every single day - I honestly think I had my first REAL "dad moment" a few weeks ago.  And, oddly enough, it was at McCoy Stadium.

Mom's Day Out at Mystic Aquarium

Wednesday, June 1, 2016





Being a life-long native Rhode Islander, I have had the pleasure of visiting Mystic Aquarium several times in my life. It first started off as field trips when I was in school, then visits with my family as a child, and in 2014 I went as a parent for the first time. Seeing my son's reaction to the beluga whales is still one of my most favorite moments, and I absolutely loved bringing my toddler to the aquarium.

However, I realized afterwards that there was still so much that I wanted to see at Mystic Aquarium, and I just never really had the time because I was with my son.

Playing in Puddles

Monday, May 30, 2016

It was a rainy Memorial Day here in the Ocean State, but when your toddler thinks he is a T-Rex, one finds ways to make the most of the rain!




Channeling our inner T-Rex in puddles
Posted by Tall Mom tiny baby on Monday, May 30, 2016

Q & A: CollegeBoundbaby Program

Friday, May 27, 2016


The saying “It’s the longest shortest time,” could not feel any more true a statement when you are a parent of a three-nager. Full of energy, wonder, emotions, and imagination, my once itty bitty baby boy turned three-years-old in April. It seems like just yesterday we were celebrating his first birthday.


WICKED TULIPS IN JOHNSTON RHODE ISLAND

Thursday, April 28, 2016


Fun fact: Tulips are my favorite flower. They are one of the first brilliantly beautiful flowers to blossom in the spring, here in Rhode Island it happens generally right near my birthday (which is a mere week away!)

I've always adored the gorgeous tulip festival pictures, and learned that there are even festivals like that here in the United States. The photographs that people are able to capture at these events are just breathtaking. 

Last week I learned that Rhode Island had it's very own pick your own tulip farm  - called Wicked Tulips - and I knew I needed to check it out!

BABY GEAR: BABY'S JOURNEY SMART SYNC MONITOR REVIEW

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

This post was sponsored by Baby’s Journey as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. 
I received complimentary merchandise to facilitate my review.


Right now, my husband and I are severely sleep deprived. My darling little lass, who is just shy of 11 months, has been teething for what feels like months on end. The latest tooth has been taking it's sweet time, and my baby girl has been drooling, miserable, and not sleeping well for about 2 weeks now. We are all exhausted, and I swear, if my head weren't attached, I would lose it.

I lose most things when I'm sleep deprived. Honestly I do.

HOW TO GET MOM IN THE PICTURE

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Tips on how to get Mom in the Picture has been written by myself, and all opinions are my own. 
My blog has been compensated for this post by Collective Bias, Inc. and it's advertiser. 
#MyMederma #CollectiveBias

One of the biggest tips I always suggest to fellow parents is to take pictures of their tiny babies - as frequently as they can.  If you have ever checked out my Instagram feed, you'll see that I practice this habit quite frequently.

Taking pictures of my little lad when he was a tiny baby battling wretched colic helped me greatly. I wish I could say it kept me sane, but I've already told you that I ended up being diagnosed with severe postpartum depression. One of the ways I healed was through photography.

I told myself that the memories of screaming fits, sleepless nights, and tear streaked faces would become a blurry memory one day. I also told myself, that if I photographed the GOOD times, the happy times, the precious times and the milestones - that THOSE would be remembered much more.

Those are the photographs that I can pass down to my children, and I am so thankful that I decided to up my photography game.  I have continued to take a great deal of photos of my children, and now have two beautiful babies to photograph.

But I've given myself a new challenge this year, not only to document my kids, but to start taking pictures of myself more as well.

HOW TO: EASY CROWN BRAID TUTORIAL

Monday, April 4, 2016

Today's Easy Crown Braid tutorial post has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. As always, all opinions are mine alone. #WholeBlends #CollectiveBias


There are certain things that physically stand out about me to people, besides being tall.

I have a ton of freckles, and even a big one on my nose. His name Spot.  (I wish I were kidding.)

My eyes seem to change color, and vary between blue and green, with either a yellow or orange center.

And I've had long dark hair.

A MOTHER'S PROMISE TO MY CHILDREN

Wednesday, March 30, 2016


I believe one of the greatest gifts I could ever give my children is a sibling. I am so fortunate to have two siblings myself, and I am thrilled that my little lad and lass will have each other in this crazy journey called life.

Having siblings can sometimes be difficult, as many of us know.

The rivalries, spats, jealousy, and other tough situations only siblings can truly understand can be taxing on a family. So, to set ourselves up for success, I've decided to make my children a promise.

I promise to help them have a strong relationship.

HOW TO COMBAT DIAPER RASH CAUSED BY ANTIBIOTICS

Monday, March 28, 2016

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Weleda. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for my participation.


We've had a rough week in the Larsen household. For some reason, my little lad, who is two weeks shy of three years old, has decided to bite his baby sister - twice.

POTTY TRAINING - WITHOUT THE STRESS

Friday, March 11, 2016

Todays post about my new approach to potty training has been sponsored by CVS Training Pants. 


Patience and humor.

And coffee.

Lots and lots and lots of coffee.

That's how I've been getting through potty training my toddler boy.

WHY BLOGS NEED SOCIAL MEDIA

Friday, March 4, 2016


Welcome to the next installment of the How To Start A Blog Series - if you haven't read the previous posts, I welcome you to check them out - here!

Once you have found a name, and the domain seems to be available - I'd encourage you to check and see if that name is available on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc.

If you’re not social media savvy, and want to skip to writing your blog, I understand and will not be offended if you put this task on the backburner for a moment.

But before you do, hear me out:
DESIGNED BY ECLAIR DESIGNS