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Posts in “Family”

Putting up Christmas tree as a family

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

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Brent and I agreed that we’d put up our Christmas tree after Thanksgiving. Although, I’ve been debating about putting it up since October (don’t judge, Filipino here ;)). What made this year’s Christmas tree different, was that our two toddlers were interested in “helping out.” That means they wanted to open and touch every ornament they could see, except we did not allow them to touch the lights. In the Philippines, it is common to use artificial Christmas trees since we don’t have fresh Pine trees there. This year, we are using an artificial tree (similar) that we bought from Lowes last year. We love it because we don’t need to spend money on a fresh one each year, though it would be nice to have one! I wanted to share some helpful notes about putting up a Christmas tree. This could be helpful for first timers… I wish I knew some of these before!

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ADD LIGHTS

It’s helpful and makes the process easier to keep the lights on while putting them around the Christmas tree. It is also easier if you put on the lights first before decorating. I like traditional white Christmas lights, but my husband Brent likes the assorted colors. I promised him that he could pick the colors next year. 😉

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ADD TREE GARLAND

Always make sure you have enough garland for your Christmas tree before putting it on. Try starting from the top and keep it loose, so it won’t look tight around the Christmas tree. We used ribbons last year (see here) and this year, I decided to try golden bead garland (similar) to drape on the tree.

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2016 ornaments – DIY photo ornament

putting up Christmas tree as a family

My eldest son’s ornament this year!

HANG ORNAMENTS

Hang the ornaments inside and outside to add depth to the look of your Christmas tree. Depending on your color scheme or theme, you can find out what to get for your ornaments. We keep our ornaments a simple mix of Christmas icicles (similar) and balls. We didn’t buy new ones this year except for our boys’ new ornaments.

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ADD GIFTS

Since we put up Christmas trees so early in the Philippines, my mom always loved to put gifts under it, wrapped with Christmas gift wrap. However, they were actually all fake gifts, just for decoration. 😉 So if you do your wrapping of gifts for your family and friends last minute, add a few fake gifts for under the Christmas tree for decoration purposes. It will finish up the look of your tree! I like to use simple Christmas wrappers or just kraft paper to wrap the gifts.

I love how each year, we let our kids pick ornaments that they will hang on the tree. My eldest son picked an owl since it is his favorite stuffed toy. Guess what my second son picked? A… Donut! It’s a sprinkle donut to be exact. We also let them hang their first ornaments that we made last year, homemade photo ornaments. I will have them create another one again since our newborn needs one for his first Christmas!

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DONUT eat kids!

How did you decide to style for your Christmas tree this year? Any favorite ornaments for your kids?

 

 

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When You Don’t Feel Thankful

Wednesday, November 22, 2017
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photo source @nellyfriedrel

Most days, I feel thankful and appreciate my life, as well as the things and people around me. But I’ll be honest, there are days where I compare myself to others and find myself full of complaints, frustration, and disappointment. We are now studying Romans at Bible Study Fellowship and I read a verse this week from Romans 10:11. It says, “Anyone who believes in Him will never be disappointed”. It lit my eyes up this week and showed me that no matter how we feel, the important thing is to trust Him and be thankful for what plans He has for our lives. It might not always be the way we want things, but it’s part of His plan for us. To keep myself from forgetting some of the things I am thankful and appreciative for, I made notes for myself. Here they are:

  • Having more time to see my kids as they grow up, and being able to be a stay-at-home mom with them.
  • Having helpful and generous parent-in-laws who help us.
  • Having good health insurance for our family.
  • Having enough money to buy our groceries every week.
  • Having a husband who helps out with the kids after a long and stressful day at work.
  • Having my sister, mom, and brother who take time for my kids by talking and entertaining them in video calls, even though they are thousands of miles away.
  • Having friends who encourage me in spirituality and motherhood.

How about you? What are the things you can forget to be thankful for?

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Halloween Costume 2017

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

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Just a quick post to show our Halloween family costume. Obviously, my boys love super heroes 😉

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Close up look for my makeup using lipstick sheer in “little black dress” from limited edition lip set and a last-minute DIY wonder woman costume. It was easy! For the headpiece, I used a headband from Dollar store, similar to my DIY golden leaf crown.

Happy Halloween!

CATEGORY Family
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Our shared room with baby + organic baby mattress

Sunday, October 22, 2017

This post is sponsored by My Green Mattress, but all opinions are honest and my own. shared room with baby organic crib mattress (8) shared room with baby organic crib mattress (3) shared room with baby organic crib mattress (4)

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Brent and I always wanted to sleep close to the new baby, before he turned one year old. Our first two sons slept in a bassinet as babies, during the first few weeks after I gave birth to them. I found it easier to get up and feed them, most especially when they were still waking up at night frequently. When I gave birth to my third son, I really didn’t expect that he would be the biggest baby I have ever had. He weighed ten pounds at birth! See my birth story here. Just imagine how much he weighs now, after a couple of months… He’s a big baby indeed, and cute!

We are thankful to have found a place in Galveston that has much more space for us. It has bigger rooms that work perfectly for our shared room with a baby crib. We are using an Emily Natural Crib Mattress from My Green Mattress for our son’s crib, which fits perfectly. I wish I knew about this baby crib mattress back when my two eldest boys were babies. They have sensitive skin and one of them has eczema and allergies, so this would have been great. My Green Mattress is a family business located in LaGrange, Illinois. They use organic cotton and 100% natural eco-wool quilted covers. You can tell that the quality of this mattress is astounding since it is hand-crafted. I like how this company prioritizes offering all-natural mattresses that are non-toxic, soft, and comfortable for babies.

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I can’t wait for our little son to use this mattress, all the way until we transform his crib into a toddler bed! shared room with baby organic crib mattress (11)

Are you also sharing your room with the baby? How does your little one sleep?

 

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Memes for Moms Who Need to LOL

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

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My sister and I are now both moms and we like talking with our own mom and sharing our everyday lives with our kids. We’ve been saying this to her lately, “Ma, ang hirap mag-alaga ng bata…” (Translation: Ma, it’s hard to take care of the kids.) She teases us and says “Now you know.” 😉 Yes, now I really appreciate how my mom worked so hard for us, her three kids. I still remember that she had a full-time job and woke up before sunrise just to prepare our lunch, prepare us for school, and a lot of other things! Brent and I have been experiencing a lot of craziness in the house lately. This led me to browse for mom-related memes, just for laughs. I thought to share some that made me L-O-L. 😉 It’s true that good laughter is the best (and a free) medicine, especially for parents.

 

Memes for Moms Who Need to LOL (1) Memes for Moms Who Need to LOL (2) Memes for Moms Who Need to LOL (3) Memes for Moms Who Need to LOL (4) Memes for Moms Who Need to LOL (5)

(I hope Brent reads this 😉 ) Memes for Moms Who Need to LOL (6)

Which one of these memes do you relate with?

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These shirts are the cutest! They were made by a good friend of mine Ashli, who owns a shop called Christian Grace Embroidery. She’s a stay-at-home mom, like me, with 2 little children of her own. I love supporting mom entrepreneurs like her! I hope you will too. :)

P.S In case you missed my post, I joined Beautycounter as a consultant, to promote safe, high-performing makeup and skincare products. Read more here.

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Carter’s Big Baby Giveaway!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

This post is sponsored by Carter’s; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. #lovecarters

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I’ve been a fan of Carter’s ever since I had my first baby boy, up until now, with my newborn third son! Their baby clothes always have cute designs, so I often end up taking photos of my baby wearing them! Today, I wanted to share an exciting, big giveaway that Carter’s is having this week in celebration of “The Original Bodysuit Day.

The Original Bodysuit Sweepstakes

If you are on Instagram and/or Twitter and love to take photos of your little ones, join the Original Bodysuit Sweepstakes on September 14th 10AM-6PM EST. All you have to do is post a photo of your baby wearing a bodysuit, using the hashtag: #bodysuitsweepstakes, on Instagram or Twitter from 10AM – 6PM EST. There will be five (5) winners to be selected to receive a $100 gift card from Carter’s, each hour from 10AM to 6PM EST. AND… (drum roll please…) one lucky winner will be selected to win the grand prize of Carter’s bodysuits for one year, in the form of a $625 gift card!

Rules: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. The Original Bodysuit Sweepstakes is open to legal residents of the 50 U.S., DC, U.S. territories and PR, 18 yrs. and older. Void where prohibited. Sweepstakes begins 9/14/17 on or about 10:00 AM ET and ends on 9/14/17 at 6:00 PM ET. For a copy of Official Rules visit the www.carters.com/originalbodysuitsweepstakes. Sweepstakes is sponsored by The William Carter Company, 3438 Peachtree Rd. NE, Ste. 1800, Atlanta, GA 30326.

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Double Points on Bodysuits

If you are a Rewarding Moments member, you can earn double points when you purchase Carter’s  baby boy bodysuit and/or baby girl bodysuit  on Sept. 14, open all day, in store and online. * Some exclusions apply. To learn more about Rewarding Moments, please visit here.

Bodysuit Day Twitter Chat Sweepstakes

Love Twitter chat? Follow Carters on Twitter and join Bodysuit Day Twitter chat on Sept. 14th from 1-2PM EST using #cartersbodysuitsweepstakes for more chances to win big! RSVP today!

Which bodysuit/s is your favorite for your little one?

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Mom life with 3 boys under 3

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

mom life 3 boys under 3 mom life with 3 boys under 3

Soothe Shirt from Lalabu

It’s been a month now since my youngest was born and today I wanted to share few things that have helped me survive my days with 3 boys under 3.  Everyday is different: sometimes my kids are easy and they play so well together that I think “Ahh, they are so cute, I want another one!” (kidding Brent!)… but sometimes they are NOT.  I’ve made many mistakes being a mom, but these mistakes allow me to make things right afterward and to learn to forgive and even ask for forgiveness. Being a wife of a child psychologist, I often wish my husband would be around to guide me on what to do/ how to handle the situation, or even just to remind me “Em, take some deep breaths” (kind of like being in labor, right? lol). So here are a few things so far that have helped me to survive so far:

Sit and relax

My boys love for me to read books to them and I find it not only makes them calm,but I feel relaxed as well because we get to sit down and have time together. Since I have a newborn, I simply ask them to turn to pages for me so I can read while I’m feeding the baby.

Clean up

Now I understand why my mom always asked us to clean up and get organized,: it feels relaxing and I love to see everything in place. Although I have lowered my expectations now since I have kids, Brent and I still try to teach our oldest kids to pick up toys before naptime and before they go to bath/bedtime. I also ask them to pick up toys before they get another toy out to play.  This not only helps to lessen the chaotic surroundings around here at home, but also teaches them to learn how to clean up.

Separation

My boys are close in age and that makes them play good together most of the time. Of course, they also argue about simple things sometimes, which can lead to fussiness or fighting. One of the ways to survive getting through this is to give them time to go to separate rooms to calm down.

Snack it out

Food saves a lot of fussiness and even grumpiness. Even just a few crackers will help a lot to give my toddler boys time to sit down and have few minutes of quiet.

Circulate the toys

Right now the kids have their own area to play and I find it helps to keep them occupied when I put out toys that they haven’t seen for few weeks. They get excited and have something to do while I’m busy with the newborn.

Diaper box

I just made a diaper box that I put in the living room so I don’t need to change my baby’s diaper in our room. It’s a big help and saves a lot of time!

Do you have other ways to survive taking care of multiple kids? I would love to hear them in comment box below!

 

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Welcome to Galveston Island

Friday, September 8, 2017

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Last month a lot of things happened, from the birth of my third son, to Hurricane Harvey. The latter urged us to drive down to Dallas and move to our new place in Galveston sooner. If only my eyebags could talk, I think they would ask to take a break! But who am I to complain… My family and I are safe, and I have a handsome newborn. I am also thankful that my husband can spend more time with the boys, since we moved here to be closer to his work. Did I mention we are close by the beach?! It already feels like home. :-)

I’ve been to Galveston a lot, but when we went in the past, we would mostly go to the beach or The Strand. There is also a Filipino store and restaurant here called “El Pinoy.” I will be going back there to grab some Filipino ketchup and Mang Tomas sauce. 😉

Have you ever visited Galveston? What kind of fun things do you and your family love to do here?

Galveton island home

Baby wrap from Solly Baby Wrap. (It’s sold out but you can try these other pretty colors.) #partner

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Hello Island Mama is a makeup, DIY, design, and lifestyle blog by Em Smith. She is the mother of three boys and a wife, who loves to inspire and encourage others through her works and stories. Originally from the Philippines.

"I can do all things through him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13

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