Posts in “Motherhood”

Baby Bump Style + Favorite SALE Picks!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

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(Beach bag from Abejas Boutique, similar here / Thin belt similar here)

I am soon reaching the end of my second trimester, and my baby bump has been showing a lot these past few weeks. I love this time in my pregnancy as I can still wear clothes that aren’t maternity clothes. Lately, I’ve been choosing dresses over tops and pants because I’ve been easily feeling warm. I know it’s only spring in Texas, but it feels like summer to me. That’s the pregnant life, along with chasing two toddlers around.

When choosing clothes while I’m pregnant, I like to get one size bigger than my usual and try to style it with a belt or other accessories.  I’m wearing an off-shoulder dress (in the images above) that I got from T.J. Maxx. It’s not a maternity dress, but it has a flowy style, so I thought it would be perfect to wear while I’m pregnant. It’s cute for springtime too! Here’s similar piece!

Don’t you think it’s cute to dress up with a baby bump? Here are a few of my favorite picks of dresses and accessories that are on sale! These are great, regular, non-maternity clothes that preggies like me can wear.

Reverse Flowy Dress

Mango Flowy Striped Dress

Mango Off-shoulder Dress

Old Navy Striped Dress

Steve Madden Thin Belt

Straw Beach Bag

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Hello baby bump #3

Thursday, April 20, 2017

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I’m finally excited to share with everyone that we are expecting our third child this year! We had told some people when I was in the Philippines (Brent and I decided to share the good news in-person first, then on social media), but I think now is a good time to officially share this blessing with everyone, and it’s my birthday week! I’ve been feeling great since I hit my second trimester. No morning sickness at all. Although, I still can’t stand the smell of coffee… Sorry, coffee lovers…

Was this planned or was it a surprise, you ask? I’ve been praying to God to bless us with another child to add to our family, so nope. It was not a surprise. Haha! Brent knows that two kids are little in number for me. 😉 Last year, was a challenging one with our second child because of his bad reflux, colic, and waking up before 6AM daily. It was also sometimes challenging to take care of a baby and toddler close in age, but it is true that these kind of challenging moments will disappear one day. When I try to look back and remember those moments, I honestly can’t remember the feeling. I know I was exhausted and I do remember it was so hard for Brent and me.  But here we go again, starting another chapter with a new addition to our family. It’s weird to me that I don’t feel anxious and nervous thinking about taking care of two toddlers and a newborn… Maybe I should be, but right now, I’m just too busy with my two boys and focusing on parenting them before the new baby comes. I also believe that all I can do is trust God and His plan for this new little one.

Happy weekend and happy birthday to me! I’ll be enjoying a piece of cake! Sorry, Baby!
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(Hello Baby book by Mem Fox / Motherhood Maternity Top (from a friend) / Jeans from thrift store but here’s the similar)

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” James 1:17


Flying With the Toddlers (Philippines here we come!)

Monday, January 9, 2017



I’m SO excited that we are going to the Philippines soon! I’ve been waiting for this moment for so long, to finally bring my kids to my hometown. They’ll be able to meet my family and friends there, eat the best mangoes, hear more Filipino words for them to learn, see beautiful coral and white sand beaches, and see… traffic. Haha! I am worried about a lot of stuff though, like with transportation. Normally, we use public transportation in the Philippines, but they don’t have car seats or seat belts (except for taxis unless the seatbelt is not broken). Anyway, I’ve been busy lately trying to finish a list of what things I must bring and plans for when we are inside plane for more than 15 hours! Here are some of the most important items on my list.


Choose Aisle Seats – I like to choose aisles, so it’s easy to get out if I need to go to the restroom or walk a little bit with kids.

Bring A Copy of Birth Certificate – They always ask for this in the airport so I’ll be sure to bring this along.

Use the Ergo Baby Carrier – At first, I thought this was only for babies, but turns out I can use this for my eldest son too! But for this trip, I’ll use this for my youngest son.  It keeps him close to me and prevents him from wandering or getting lost. This is SO helpful during travel especially if everything around me is getting busy.

Avoid Long Earrings and Necklaces – These are a big no-no around my kids! They might play with them and pull them. That’s why I just prefer to wear a watch around them, and that’s all!

Wear Easy On/Off Shoes (Similar shoes) – I would love to use flip flops, but it’s going to be cold in the airport and plane, so I better wear slip-on shoes that are easy to remove and put on.

Separate Snack Bags – My eldest son has a small backpack where I’ll put snacks in since they’re light enough for him to carry. I love to use ziplocks to separate snacks like cheerios, craisins, and fish crackers.

Bring Random Toys – I looked for random small stuff to bring for my toddlers so that I can distract the kids inside the plane. It really works a lot. I’m also planning to get new cheap toys (like $1) so they will get excited. Surprisingly, cheap toys are more entertaining for my kids.

Bring a Laptop/Tablet and Download Family Videos or Cartoons – Brent and I don’t let our kids watch TV or anything with a screen often, only for emergencies or for something special. However, since sitting inside a plane can be boring and tiring, I’m using our old family videos to show my kids if they are acting out of control. I also downloaded music videos and cartoons and fun games.

Bring a Bib – Bibs not only help avoid stains on my kids’ clothes, I use them to hold their snacks so they are hands-free. Brent and I LOVE this plastic bib that we have (similar to here), and have been using it ever since my kids were only 5 month old babies! 

Bring an Empty Water Bottle (with hook) – I always like to bring an empty bottle and hook it onto my backpack. I fill it up after the security check since they don’t allow a lot of water before security check.

Feed the Baby on the Way Up and Down – I’d like to save snacks for the times the plane takes off and lands since that’s time that my kids feel uncomfortable and scared.

Bring Favorite Stuffed Toys – I definitely cannot forget these! My kids love their OWL and FROGGIE. They make them feel secure and help them to fall asleep when they are holding them. I know what you’re thinking. Am I not enough? Haha kidding!

Bring a Toddler Neck Pillow (similar travel pillow)- My eldest son will have his own seat for the first time, so I thought I’d bring a neck pillow for him since it will be a long flight.


This picture is from the time I flew alone with them going to LA last year. It was tough, but not more crazy than I expected. Good thing this time, we’ll be flying with my mom, so she can assist me with our 15+ hour trip!


Any other things I should bring? Any advice and tips? Let me know. :)


Gift Ideas: What To Get Mom For Christmas

Saturday, December 17, 2016


If you are a husband, family member, or a friend who still doesn’t know what to give for the wonderful woman in your life called “Mom,” here are 7 great gift guides that I put together!

  1. Comfortable Sneakers –  Running and chasing after small kids is definitely exhausting, especially if Mom is with her kid/s in the park or doing errands. Wearing comfortable sneakers is a must, and a gift that will surely be appreciated.
  2. Classic Watch –  I love wearing watches all the time because I can track the time (I like old fashioned 😉 ) for daily activities with my kids. I have my black Swatch, but I think this brown classic watch is perfect for matching with casual outfits on a date night with husband.
  3. Liquid Lipcolor – As a mom, it’s hard to find the time to look in the mirror and put something on our face, just to look awake. I recommend this liquid lipcolor as a gift for Mom because it’s easy to apply.  I also use it as my blush for instant glow on my cheeks.
  4. Mom Mug:  This copper mug with the word “Mom” etched on the side is a cute gift for the mothers in your life.
  5. Inspiring Journal: I like this journal because of its cover which says, “‘Cast your anxiety on Him because he cares for you’ 1 Peter 5:7”  I would like to have this journal for writing down inspiring quotes or Bible verses, important happenings with my family or motherhood, or even for doodling and sketching.
  6. Wireless Bluetooth Headset: I think this is a cool and helpful present for mothers with little ones. I would totally love to have this so that I can talk on the phone hands-free while cooking, preparing meals, changing diapers, or even trying to remove koala bears from my legs. 😉
  7. Hello Fresh : I tried this when my sister-in-law sent me 2 meal plans. The ingredients and instructions will be sent to you in packages and all you need is to follow the instructions and cook what they deliver. No chopping needed! I love that idea! If you are far away from your friend who is a mom,  surprise her by sending a gift card!

What is the coolest, but also helpful gift you ever received as a mom? What do you like to give to other moms with little ones?



An Emergency Diaper Kit For The Car

Monday, September 12, 2016

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


As the mother of a toddler and an infant, I’ve learned to be ready with what I need to bring for my kids in our diaper bag. This includes items to pack for feeding, diapering, and extra clothing. But of course, there are days that I feel sleep deprived and forgetful; on other days, there are unexpected outdoor activities or restaurant visits.  No matter how well I’ve prepared, I sometimes forget to bring things like extra diapers. Today, I’m excited to team up with Huggies and Costco  to show you a step-by-step on how I packed an emergency diaper kit for my car. This is a life-saver and is super helpful for parents like me! Here’s how I created mine – it only takes 2 steps!

emergency-diaper-kit-for-the-car-6 1. Use a container that has a few inserts to help with organizing. This is an affordable bathroom shower container I used to organize the stuff I need for the car. It has a handle that is easy to carry if I need to move it around.


2. Pack what your child needs. As a mom of a toddler and infant, here are the things I put in my emergency diaper kit for my car:


  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Ready-to-go Bag
  • Extra Bag
  • Extra Clothes
  • Bib
  • Snacks (these get eaten very quickly!)
  • Toy and a book
  • Plastic Bags
  • Diaper Cream
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Moisturizer
  • Teething Toy

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Parent tip: Have a ready-to-go diaper bag in the emergency diaper kit which can be easily taken with you when needed. Fill it with only the basic things you need: a diaper, wipes inside a small ziplock, and a grocery bag for dirty diapers or clothes. You can also use a large ziplock as the bag to carry everything in.



My eldest son, who is two years old, knows how to use the potty now, so I pack extra briefs and bottoms. However, we still have him wear diapers during bedtime and long drives since he can fall asleep in his carseat. So having extra diapers inside the car is a must! Our youngest son, who just turned one year old, is wearing a size 5 diaper! I know, what a big boy! He has been much more active since he started to crawl, walk, and climb. I love how Huggies Little Movers Plus diapers (Size 5) absorb so well, protecting my son from any leaking. I used to use  a different diaper brand in size 6 for him for bedtime since he often leaks at night. However, since using Little Movers Plus diapers in size 5, I have not had to wake up and change his diaper due to leaking. The Huggies Little Movers Plus diaper also has comfortable grip straps, a perfect fit for on-the-go movers like him. These Plus diapers are only available at Costco.



Make sure to check out these discounts with free shipping below.

Little Snugglers Plus (Sizes 1 & 2) – regularly $37.49, $31.49 after $6 discount and free shipping. (Offer valid 9/1 to 9/25)

Little Movers Plus (Size 3, 4, 5, & 6) – regularly $42.99, $36.99 after $6 discount and free shipping (Offer valid 9/1 to 9/25)

Also, Little Snugglers Plus diapers are now available in size Newborn starting at $29.99. You may purchase them in select warehouses and online at




Are there any items you always forget to pack for your child that you need inside your car?



What To Give For First Birthday

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

What gift to give for a first birthday? Check out these 5 real moms who shared their favorite first birthday gift ideas!These gifts are not only useful, but appreciated by both the parents and their children.  WHAT-TO-GIVE-FOR-FIRST-BIRTHDAY-GIFT-IDEAS

There are so many toys, clothes, and other items out in the market that it can be hard to decide what to give as a first birthday gift. Today, five real moms share items with my readers who are looking for that gift. Whether you are a first-time parent, grandparent, sister/brother, relative or a friend, these featured items will surely be useful and interesting to those little movers!

ruby-mother-of-5-gift-ideas-first-birthday “I bought these shoes for Mila for her first birthday and I have been so happy with them. She literally wears these little Adidas Infant Shoes every single day. They are extremely quick and easy to put on a moving toddler. She can wear them without socks for hot, sunny days and there is plenty of room for socks on chilly days. What I love most about this product is that they are machine washable! Making life easier for mommy. I also appreciate the price point and not to mention having a stylish little tot!”
lindsey-mother-of-5-gift-ideas-first-birthday “Kai loves playing with his Noah’s Ark set that features various sounds, animals, and a simple piano. Together we use it to identify animals and their sounds, sort shapes, and retell the biblical account of Noah’s Ark. I love most that it is a toy that serves multiple teaching purposes and can be played with independently.”


denise-mother-of-5-gift-ideas-first-birthday “My favorite 1st birthday gift is a baby board book with big images of everyday things that they see. It was perfect for both my little ones because they recognize the images and it peeks their interest to try to name the images, and also encourage them to try to speak and talk!”
allison-mother-of-5-gift-ideas-first-birthday “All my kids have loved Fisher Price “My Little People Farm A lift-the-flap playbook. It works on something different every page, counting, colors, shapes, opposites, and sounds. We read this book probably more than any others. It’s a time that you can spend with your child reading but it is also teaching them to understand certain commands. Whether it’s a touch and feel, flip the flaps, or pushing buttons at correct times in the book, we love them all. We are big story book readers so it’s definitely a gift that is always welcome here.”
ara-mother-of-5-gift-ideas-first-birthday “We like this toy because it serves many purposes. It has buttons that make sounds which Neon finds very entertaining, it also serves as a walker, and it has a detachable seat which Neon can use later once he perfects his balance.”


As for me, I love the Mega Bloks that we received for my eldest son, on his first birthday. He still uses them and plays together with my youngest son. Our favorite things to build include a tower, airplane, or Noah’s Ark where we can put their little animal toys inside. These Mega Bloks keep them busy too, which is truly helpful for me when I need to clean or prepare meals.  


Comment below to share your child’s favorite gift she/he has received. Or do you have any suggested items for the little movers?



Hello Island Mama is a makeup, DIY, design, and lifestyle blog by Em Smith. She is the mother of two 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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