How To Have At 'At-Home' Date Night (That's Actually Fun!)

This post includes affiliate links for Date Night In Box. As always, I am committed to ONLY sharing and promoting products I truly love and believe fit the mission of Everyday Kate. The opinions I express here are 100% my own!

     I don't know about you, but ever since Jack and I became parents, it's been more and more difficult to make time for ourselves, and to nourish our own relationship. Whether you're parents or not - sometimes life circumstances can change the way we operate within our relationships. Maybe your child is making us too exhausted to stay up chatting with your spouse at night. Maybe a new job is making it harder for you to visit your boyfriend, or even get dinner together once in a while. If you're engaged, sometimes even the busyness of wedding planning can make you forget to sit down and breathe for a moment. Regardless of where you are in life, I think we've all had moments where we think, "when even WAS the last time we spent time together & went out of our way to do something special just for us?"

Small Business Spotlight - Slouch Headwear

     I am so happy to be back with another small business feature here on the blog. Now that the holiday  season is officially upon us, I am even more honored to bring smaller shops into the spotlight for you to discover just in time for all of your shopping!

10 Unique Advent Calendars To Do With Your Kids (No Candy!)

     I'm SO excited for today's post, partially because I love the Christmas season, but also because I have such fond childhood memories of my sister and I taking turns opening the doors on our advent calendar. We were OBSESSED with Playmobil growing up, and for a few years my Mom got us the Playmobil advent calendar - one year it was Santa's workshop, and the next year it was a Nativity scene. We always looked forward to opening up the little door and gaining a new piece every day. Advent was started as a sacred tradition of reverence and reflection on Christ's coming to Earth as a baby, and the true meaning of Christmas. Whether you are a Christian like me or not, Advent can be a fun way to connect with your children and your family, whether you're opening a new door to reveal a fun toy or picture, part of the Nativity story, or a Scripture verse.

Loving Lately - October 2018

    Hello all! Before it gets too far into November, I wanted to make a short & sweet compilation post of things I loved in the month of October. I'd like to do this every month, so I can share with you some things I've tried, or products I've been using that I feel are worth mentioning to you!

Small Business Spotlight - The Rustic Twist

    Happy Saturday everyone! I am over-the-moon excited to bring you the very first of my Small Business Saturday series to the blog. It's not exactly a secret that I love supporting small businesses, and I couldn't be more thrilled to partner with some amazing, genuine and hardworking individuals, learn their story, and hear their heart behind their business - and on top of all that, get to share it with you! Corporate stores aren't going anywhere any time soon, but small online shops and locally owned boutiques are gaining popularity, and with good reason. Not only have they become more accessible with sites such as Pinterest and Etsy, but with unique products - many of which are hand made - they're able to offer a consumer experience that is unmatched by big, box stores. I love shopping on Etsy or through smaller online shops, knowing that I'm supporting someone's family, and helping to make their dream a reality.

Casual Fall Capsule Wardrobe

   I want to thank everyone who participated in my Instagram poll and who voted for this post! MANY of these type of posts seem to surface this time of year, with the weather changing and everyone gradually putting away summer clothes and bringing all of their fall and winter gear out of storage. It can be a little daunting (I know it is for me!) to scroll through Pinterest and Instagram and seemingly be bombarded with the seasons newest "must-have" items for fall. If you've been keeping up with me on Instagram, you know I put this capsule together inspired by my own wardrobe; I was a little nervous to put this post together, in fear of not having "enough" of the right things or articles of clothing (I specifically mentioned tall boots!). But in the end, I decided to stay true to my ultimate goal of the blog in general: to stay real with you all! I know the majority of my readers probably don't have the budget to go out and buy a whole new fall wardrobe (I sure don't!), but I wanted to create this capsule wardrobe out of few basic items from my own closet, hopefully to inspire your style and encourage you to be content with what you already own. Whether you WANT to go out and buy a few of these pieces, or stick what what you have in your closet, you don't have to have the EXACT colors or styles that I have - just be yourself! Hopefully this can serve as a template to help you create your own fall wardrobe, and give you a little peek into what I'm wearing this season!

DIY Fall Floral Hoop Wreath (Video Demo!)

     Wow, I am SO excited to finally be able to bring you this super fun and *different* type of DIY post today! I had been wanting to share a DIY on the blog for a while, but I was feeling a bit of creative burnout, and unsure of what to share. I had been browsing Pinterest and Etsy recently (honestly what else is new) and came across these truly gorgeous wreaths made with a few silk flowers and an embroidery hoop. As someone forever enamored by flowers and floral arrangements of all kinds, I wanted to try my hand at creating this unique & beautiful piece of home decor. And I told myself if I was successful, I would share it on the blog! BUT, *surprise!!* this isn't your old run-of-the-mill blog post - I turned it into a full video demonstration!

Fall Mood board + Life Update

   Well shoot! It's been a minute, but here I am, back on the blog (I feel like I literally begin every post with that sentence, HA!) The last few months have been a whirlwind, to say the least. One minute we were visiting friends in Raleigh, North Carolina, the next minute we're moving into our apartment here. Ok, so maybe it wasn't THAT fast, but 4 months is fast, right? In terms of selling our house, packing up everything and moving to another state, it went by in an INSTANT. So, I've been a little absent from here, but I feel ready to pop back on here and keep this little blog humming along.

26 Things I've Learned In 26 Years

     Happy Monday everyone! I've got a little bit of pep in my step this fine Monday, and for a good reason: today is my 26th birthday! I'm not really one to celebrate my "birthday month" as some do (especially because Ezra's birthday is this month too, and my life is all about him now, so... 😜) But really, I usually just spend the day relaxing or spending time with family and that's ALWAYS a good day, in my book. Today I wanted to share 26 lessons I've learned in the last 26 years of my life: some are serious, and some are lighthearted and have to do with food or hobbies that I've discovered I love. Life has a way of moving so fast, it's easy to get so caught up with what's happening in the moment that you forget all of the things that got you 'here' - to this moment in time - or that made you the person that you are today.

Ezra's 1st Birthday Party Recap

    I can't believe our boy is ONE YEAR OLD!? There are a million cliché sayings about parenting and motherhood (and fatherhood), and about how time flies - but it actually really does, especially as a first-time parent. I still remember sitting on the couch holding Ezra during the first few days and weeks, feeling very unsure of myself and feeling like the difficult newborn phase and new-mom anxiety was NEVER going to end. Then somehow, before I knew it, it's already been one year - I'm more confident as a mom, the newborn phase is over, Ezra is happy, healthy, and learning something new every day. It's crazy to see and realize that so much time has passed when it really feels like a blink of an eye. Even though he won't remember his first birthday party, I still wanted to put a lot of time and effort into this party to make it as memorable and as perfect as possible, and I think we succeeded! It was an incredible afternoon spent with family and friends, and even though the heat and humidity were horrific, it was an amazing time!

My Trader Joe's Staples + 5 Quick & Easy Meal Ideas

trader joe's easy meal idea meal plan

       Today's post is all about Trader Joe's! I am surprised by how much I've grown to love Trader Joe's - I think the first time I ever went into one, I didn't really understand the concept or why everyone was wearing a Hawaiian shirt. Clearly I missed the point, haha. When we moved into our house in January of last year, we moved closer to Trader Joe's and my curiosity was peaked again. Long story short, Trader Joe's has become one of my most favorite places to buy groceries; the prices are reasonable, they have lots of fresh produce and meats as well as a huge selection of pre-packaged foods, dry goods, and even household products. Today I wanted to share some of my staples with you - things I always keep on hand - as well as a few meal ideas! If you don't have a Trader Joe's near you, all of these meals can be made with ingredients from other grocery stores, but these are some of my favorites to throw together from Trader Joe's that are simple and quick.

What Me & My (Almost) 1-Year-Old Eat In A Day 6/26

    Hey everyone! Today I wanted to do a more casual post taking you through my day & showing you what Ezra and I eat during a typical day. I feel like I am constantly on the hunt for new meal ideas for Jack and I, and I'm always looking to add new things to Ezra's repertoire of foods, so I figured if any of you are in the same boat, maybe this post will give you some ideas! I plan on doing these pretty frequently, so as always, let me know if you like these type of posts.

How I Stopped Using Traditional Deodorant & What I'm Doing Instead

deodorant antiperspirant natural clean

     If you've been following me or reading the blog for any length of time, you might know that I've recently been passionate about finding more natural options for things like household cleaning products, makeup and body products. I've shared a few of my favorites on the blog, and more recently I've been talking about some things like my favorite BB cream on my Instagram story (follow me there if you're not already!) I've been meaning to write this post for a while, because I've been keeping a bit of a secret: the fact that I detoxed my armpits and went without deodorant for the last 9 months before finding a natural solution I felt comfortable with. I wanted to share the process here, and hopefully encourage some of you to consider making the same change!

The New Mama's Guide to Baby Wearing: Safety & Basics

    Baby-wearing was one of those things I never really gave much thought to, until I was pregnant with my son. In fact, there's a LOT of things I didn't give any thought to until I became a parent (but that's a whole other post, haha). I knew baby carriers existed, but the only type I'd ever seen was the big backpack style with the metal frames, and when I found out I was pregnant, I knew the LAST thing I wanted to do was wear my baby if it meant having a big metal contraption strapped to me all day long.

   It wasn't until a friend of mine tagged me in an Instagram giveaway on the Solly Baby page, that I realize baby-wearing was actually SO much more than just convenience and frame backpacks. In today's post, I wanted to create a guide for new moms, addressing not only the different types of carrier and their uses, but also the maternal (and infant) benefits that come from wearing your baby. I have two types of carrier myself, and I plan on writing a follow-up post on each of those specifically, so stay tuned!
baby wearing guide pinterest

     Other than the obvious convenience of being hands-free while keeping your baby close, there are actually several benefits for mother and baby when it comes to baby-wearing. For instance, this study  published in the Pediatrics journal in 1985 found that babies who were carried more throughout the day were 43% less fussy during the day and as much as 51% less in the evening. Every new mom is familiar with their baby's "witching hour" - usually a time of evening or night where baby seems inconsolable and irritable no matter what you do! Thankfully, baby wearing has been proven to decrease crying and increase contentment in otherwise fussy babies.

    Although there's no magic woven into the threads of your favorite carrier, there's a reason your baby feels more calm when close to you. You may have heard of what many people call the "fourth trimester" - the first three months of your baby's life outside of the womb - which is an extremely trying time for your baby, where he or she is rapidly developing and experiencing all sorts of new things that didn't exist in the comfort of your womb. Carrying your baby against your body, where he or she can feel your heartbeat, and the warmth and smell of your skin can not only make baby more calm, but it can even help balance baby's blood sugar levels, according to this article published by The Cleveland Clinic Foundation.

       Although baby-wearing isn't JUST for moms (dads and other caregivers can wear baby too!), this infographic from the Baby Wearing International website gives lots of great info on how baby wearing can actually help make moms and dads more confident, and decreasing the impact of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.

baby wearing international

    When I realized there were a few different carrier styles to choose from, I reached out to my friends in a Facebook post asking for advice, and as you can probably imagine, I got a TON of feedback in regards to type of carrier, different brands, different materials, weight limits, the list goes on and on. Although most of my friends had recommendations, a lot of them agreed on one thing: that there was no "right" or "wrong" carrier for me and my baby, and that I'd just have to figure out what worked for us. I started doing a little bit of research on each one, and learned that most carriers fit into one of five main categories of carriers:
(including the Ring Sling and Pouch Sling)
Soft-Structured (a.k.a Buckle Carriers)
Mei Tai
Frame Backpack

    My first thought was "gee, I hope I don't need ALL of these, and surely they can't all be that different" - but they are! I will go over how to choose your carrier in the next section, but for now I wanted to give a brief overview of each type.

     Wrap carriers are exactly that - a woven piece of material which is wrapped around the caretakers body in such a way to properly support and carry an infant, or even an older baby or toddler. Depending on the length of the fabric, this wrap can be worn by multiple caretakers. Wrap carriers come in a huge variety of colors, lengths, and materials, such as cotton, wool, bamboo or linen. The idea of a wrap might seem daunting at first, but most wraps come with instructions on the best way to wrap your baby. The Instagram page for SollyBaby wraps (shown below) frequently posts tutorial videos on how to use their wraps, which are very helpful!

every day kate wrap carrier
Bethany carrying hew newborn in a SollyBaby wrap.
Click here to visit Bethany's blog!

     Ring slings are another type of woven carrier which are worn diagonally across the body, and secured at the shoulder with a pair of rings. The fabric is woven through the rings and pulled tight by the weight of the child being carried. The carrier can be adjusted to fit multiple caretakers and different body types. Infants and toddlers can both be carried in this type of sling. The pouch sling is also a one-shoulder carrier, in which the child sits in a "pouch" against the caretakers body. This type of sling is not as versatile as the ring sling.

every day kate sling carrier
Sarah carrying her infant in a ring sling
Click here to visit Sarah's blog!

      The soft-structured carrier is probably the easiest to use, and can be used to carry infants and toddlers. While these carriers offer a couple different carrying positions such as front, hip and back, there is no fabric to tie or wrap, but instead there are straps and buckles that secure the child into the carrier while being worn. Most of these carriers can be adjusted to fit multiple caretakers, and are definitely user-friendly for even brand new parents. Many soft-structured carriers on the market come with additional accessories such as rain guards or breathable mesh material, that make baby wearing easier throughout any season of the year.

every day kate lillebaby carrier
Danielle carrying her older infant in a soft-structured LILLEbaby carrier
Click here to visit Danielle's blog!

      The Mei Tai (or mei dai) is a Chinese style carrier that is somewhat of a cross between the wrap and soft-structured carrier. This type of woven carrier involves straps that are tied together to secure the carrier, and does not solely rely on wrapping the fabric or securing buckles. Infants and toddlers can both be worn in this type of carrier.

mei tai mei dai
Sarah carrying her older infant in an Infantino mei dai

    Frame backpack carriers are most likely not a carrier that would be used for everyday use, but are popular among families who do lots of walking, hiking and traveling. The frame backpack is not ideal for small infants but older babies and toddlers can be carried easily as long as they are within a specific weight limit. Most frame backpack carriers are built for carrying the child as well as other supplies; the frame of this carrier is typically made of metal, and helps to evenly distribute the weight of the child, as well as any other gear stored in the backpack portion of the carrier itself.

every day kate backpack
Maci (left) wearing her newborn in a Lenny Lamb wrap
Kali (right) wearing her toddler in a phil&teds frame backpack

    As with any product being used by infants or toddlers, there are a few important safety guidelines to follow when baby wearing, to ensure that your baby is kept safe and comfortable.

1. Be sure to keep baby's head tilted up so their face is towards you, to ensure their airway is open. Their face should not be against your body or their chin to their chest. If you are using a fabric carrier such as a wrap, be sure that the fabric is not covering the baby's face. If your carrier comes with accessories such as a sleeping hood (such as some LILLÉbaby soft-structured carriers), be sure to follow the instructions on proper use, to be sure the additional fabric does not obstruct airflow.

2. Be sure to carry your infant or toddler in such a way that is appropriate for their age level, and level of head and neck strength. Most carriers will come with their own set of instructions on which carry is correct/best for each stage. In general, baby should be secured in an upright position. Some wrap carriers give instructions on how to properly tuck an infants feet into the wrap, but if the child's legs are free the fabric or material of the carrier should extend to the knee, supporting the baby's weight and protecting the hips and spine by bringing the baby's knees above his or her bum.

3. All carriers go through some wear-and-tear as they are worn throughout the years, but be sure to periodically check for damage to your carrier, such as fabric tears or loose straps or buckles that will endanger the safety of your baby.
The Baby Wearing International website has a few amazing printable graphics about baby wearing safety, including information about winter wearing and layering your baby's clothes appropriately when they will be worn in a carrier.

    As I said in the very beginning of this post, when it comes to choosing the right carrier for you and your baby, there really is no "right" or "wrong". One factor to take into consideration is you and your family's current lifestyle; do you travel often? Do you have other kids to keep after? Do you plan on wearing your baby on outings such as hiking trips, or just to the mall and the grocery store? Are there any instances where you might need to baby wear for an extended period of time? Another factor might be the climate where you live. If it's typically cold or cooler for most of the year, it might be better to invest in a warmer carrier that will allow you to keep your baby in light layers while still keeping him/her warm. If you live in a warm climate, a lighter carrier might be more comfortable for you and baby, such as a pouch or ring sling.

     I personally have a wrap and a soft-structured carrier, and I have gotten great use out of both. The wrap was difficult for me to get used to as a first-time-mom, but it was more comfortable for me when Ezra was a tiny newborn. When he was a few months old, I invested in the soft-structured LILLÉbaby carrier, which was very easy to use and allowed me to wear Ezra for an extended period of time. One of the first times I wore him was on our trip to the pumpkin patch last year, and I was so thankful to have this carrier during the several hours we spent walking around that day. It's all personal preference! So talk to your friends, family members, and do some research online. The Baby Wearing International website is a wealth of information for all-things-baby-wearing and they even have information available as to where you can find a lending library in your area. The lending libraries are a great way to test out different carriers before investing in one of your own!

every day kate pumpkin patch
Ezra in our LILLÉbaby All Seasons carrier at the pumpkin patch last year.


SPRING UPDATE: Where Have I Been?

     Hey, Stranger! It's no real secret I've taken quite the hiatus from blogging over the last two-and-a-half months, but I'm making my way back here to say that I'm picking up right where I left off, and moving full-steam ahead! There are a few changes coming to the blog and my social media that I think will be more beneficial for me, as a person, and help me connect more with my "audience" - although honestly, I hate that word. One of my new, main goals for the blog and my social media in general is to make real connections with those of you that follow me and read the blog. I hope to engage more with you all one-on-one, instead of letting my voice echo throughout the internet, wondering if anyone can hear. In a day and age full of "social media influencers" and celebrities, I realize that for most, I will be just another face in the crowd, and that's fine by me. BUT, my original purpose of the blog stays the same: to foster community among other new moms who are navigating some of the same waters that I am in right now.

DIY Spring Place Setting Ideas for the Hostess On A Budget

DIY Spring Place Setting Everyday Kate
This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you purchase something within this post, I may receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you. I will only ever link to products I believe fit the purpose and mission of Everyday Kate. Thanks for supporting Everyday Kate! Read the full disclosure policy here.

      As spring creeps around the corner for most of us in the U.S., I am immediately inspired to bring fresh, spring florals and colors into my wardrobe AND into my home. The temps have dipped back down into the 30s this week in Pittsburgh, but they sure aren't stopping me from entertaining daydreams of breezy, sunny days on the patio, and the scent of fresh blooms emerging after a long winter's nap. I wanted to create a simple, beautiful and easy DIY place setting idea that is the perfect addition to any spring dinner party, family meal, Easter Sunday or girls brunch. Now that I'm a mom, I don't have TONS of time or opportunities to host elaborate parties or pay for expensive florals or dinnerware. But I wanted to find a simple way that I could bring some spring beauty to my home without breaking the bank, or requiring hours of prep time. Some of the elements were things I already had, but I did purchase a few things to complete this picture-perfect place setting, all while spending around $10 per plate.

Weekly Meal Plan 2/26 - 3/4

       I'm just a tad behind on this weeks blogging schedule, obviously since my goal for these weekly posts is to put them up on Monday. Ah, you can forgive me, right? :) I feel like I'm constantly saying this exact sentence, but I cannot believe February is almost over already. January lasted a literal eternity (okay, not literal, but you know), and now we're about to be in March in just a few short days. Not to mention Ezra will be turning 8 months old - now THAT I literally cannot believe! It's so strange how time seems to move faster and faster as the months and years go on. I remember when I felt like my high-school years lasted an eternity, then college went by a little quicker, and the clock keeps on ticking. Anyway, I came up with some yummy breakfast, lunch and dinner ideas this week as we leave February behind.

The New Mama's Guide To Breastfeeding (50 Resources & FREE Checklist!)

mom breastfeeding mobile

This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you purchase something within this post, I may receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you. I will only ever link to products I believe fit the purpose and mission of Everyday Kate. Thanks for supporting Everyday Kate! Read the full disclosure policy here.

       I definitely want to start making these New Mama's Guides a regular thing on the blog. As a new mom, there was so much information I was gathering AFTER the fact - I wish I would have had a comprehensive guideline to refer back to, before I was in the midst of the struggle, frantically researching online. I am obviously a new mom with only one child, so needless to say I don't know EVERY thing or have EVERY resource. But I wanted to create these in hopes of providing some helpful information to other new moms who might be feeling lost or unsure. The New Mama's Guide to Breastfeeding includes a list of 40+ online breastfeeding resources of all types (including anecdotal posts by other moms), plus a checklist of items that you'll want to have on hand from the get-go.

       I never really gave much thought to breastfeeding while I was pregnant with Ezra. Jack and I took a breastfeeding class, which was very informative and gave us a basic understanding of what to expect. But to be honest, I didn't really think it would be that big of a deal. I thought it was pretty self-explanatory, and besides, it was our natural human instinct, right? How hard could it be? Fast forward to Ezra's birth day, and right from the get-go we had issues. For someone who just assumed breastfeeding would come easily to me and my baby, needless to say I was discouraged and a little bit overwhelmed.

A couple of weeks after Ezra was born, I finally connected with a lactation consultant through a breastfeeding-focused Facebook group that I'm a part of, and she was able to make a house call to help us work out our issues. It made SUCH a huge difference, and without her knowledge and assistance, I don't know if I'd still be breastfeeding almost 8 months later! It's so easy to throw in the towel, which is why it's so important to know what resources are available, and how to get help when you need it. Many issues can be easily remedied with help of a lactation consultant, or even just by gathering more information for yourself online.

mom breastfeeding infant

       I wanted to quickly make it clear that this post is NOT meant to diminish or invalidate formula feeding itself or moms who choose to formula feed. My personal feeding experience has been with exclusive breastfeeding, so that's why I compiled this resource, for other moms who are choosing to do the same. There are different types of challenges that come along with each method of feeding, but from mom to mom I want to say: there's nothing wrong with however you choose to feed your baby, as long as baby is happy, thriving and fed. If you are an expectant mother who hopes and plans to breastfeed, a currently breastfeeding mother, or a mother who has previously formula-fed and is now breastfeeding, I feel you will benefit most from the below resources! Don't forget to download your free checklist!

breastfeeding guide new moms essentials checklist
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The following resources are intended to provide guidance & direction for moms looking for basic information on breastfeeding and how to overcome most breastfeeding hurdles. If you and your baby are seriously struggling in any area of breastfeeding, it is ALWAYS best to contact a lactation consultant or seek other professional help. You got this!

Online Resources

General Breastfeeding Information/Resources

Breast Pumps & Exclusive Pumping
Long-Term Pumping, Article by Linda J. Smith, BSE, FACCE, IBCLC

OTC/Prescription Drugs & Breastfeeding

Finding A Lactation Consultant

United States Laws Regarding Breastfeeding Mothers

Nutritional Information for Breastfeeding Mothers

Special/Specific Needs (Cleft Lip/Palate, Premature Infant, Etc.)

Milk Banking/Donating Milk/ Receiving Milk

Print Resources

Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers by Nancy Mohrbacher, IBCLC, FILCA and Kathleen Kendall-Tackett PhD., IBCLC
LATCH: A Handbook For Breastfeeding With Confidence At Every Stage by Robin Kaplan M.Ed., IBCLC

Anecdotal Resources

**The following are personal accounts, opinions and experiences only, and are not meant to replace medical advice or professional help.**

Facebook Groups such as Badass Breastfeeders of *Your City Name* search FB to see if there is a group in your city/region.

Lynzy & Co. Nursing Friendly Fashion, Thrush Remedies, Tips & Tricks

"Pumping Mom Academy" E-Course by Marianna Chambers, Find Your Mom Tribe blog

Born & Fed Blog by Jessica, an IBCLC - Offers in-home consultations & e-mail service packages. Blog offers tips and tricks.

Traveling with Breastmilk by Tavia Carslon, Big Brave Nomad blog

How to Breastfeed Twins: The Logistics by Kim Cartwright, Team Cartwright blog

The Scoop On Nursing Bras by Naya, Lactivist in Louboutins blog

Breastfeeding...The First Five Days by All Things Mom with Aly Tyghter

Breastfeeding A Baby With Downs Syndrome, by Hayley Balozi, I Am River blog

10 Tips for Pumping at Work, by Shannon, Mom Without Labels blog

     I hope you found these resources helpful! If you have any questions about additional resources or breastfeeding in general, you can comment below or reach me through the Contact Me page. 
What's ONE thing that you wish you'd known about breastfeeding beforehand?

Don't forget to download your FREE checklist by clicking here!

Weekly Meal Plan 2/19 - 2/25

weekly meal plan february

      I took a little break from the weekly meal plan last week & asked you guys on Instagram if you'd rather read the weekly meal plan posts on the blog, or have them directly delivered to your inbox. The majority of you said you'd rather read them on the blog, so here it is! Not going to lie, I worry that these posts are redundant, so I try to spruce them up by adding in some different topics here and there - next month I have a series planned focusing on weekly meal plans for different budgets. So, stay tuned for that! Also, for those of you that DO wish you had something delivered right to your inbox, click the link in the sidebar to sign up for my newsletter! It's so much more than an RSS feed...I have so many fun & exclusive things to share only with my subscribers, you don't want to miss out.

How To Survive Your 9-5 As A Work-At-Home-Mom

work at home mom tips and routine
How To Survive Your 9-5 As A Work At Home Mom #wahm #homeoffice 

     A while back, a reader requested I do a "day in the life" type post about what I do on an average day as a work-at-home mom. As most of you probably know, blogging is not a full-time gig for me - more like my favorite hobby! I work 30 hours/week from home while also being Ezra's sole caretaker during that time. Today I wanted to walk through my day with you, and share some of my organizational and time management tips for balancing work life and mom life at the same time.

Valentines Day Recipe: Delicious Strawberry & Cream Cheese Crepes

recipe strawberry cream cheese crepes

Today on the blog, I am so happy to welcome a long-time friend of mine Danielle! Danielle is a wife and mother of 3 & blogger/owner of Simply Splendid, a food blog dedicated to sharing delicious recipes, from sweet to savory and everything in between. For more of Danielle's recipes, make sure you check out her blog!

       I know it’s SO cliché, but when I think of Valentine’s day I think of romance, and when I think romance I think Paris. So what better way to start the most romantic day of the year than with some crepes?  The truth is, I’ll find any excuse to make this amazing recipe! I mentioned that you could start your day with these crepes, but they don’t just make a great breakfast, you can have them for dessert as well. If we’re being completely honest, I’ve even eaten them for dinner a time or two, because #adulting! And I KNOW crepes can seem kind of intimidating to make. Believe me, I’ve only just recently discovered how easy it actually is! Trust me, as long has you have a good nonstick pan anyone can make crepes, and I’m here to walk you through it step-by-step! So let’s get started.

5 Must-Have Skincare Items for Mama & Baby

vegan skincare natural body mom baby
This post may contain affiliate links & referral links, which means if you purchase something within this post, I may receive a small commission (or store credit) at no additional cost to you. I will only ever link to products that I truly love, and that I believe fit the purpose and mission of Everyday Kate. Thanks for supporting Everyday Kate! Read the full disclosure policy here.

       Today I wanted to give you guys my top FIVE skincare must-haves for mama and baby! Whether you're a mom or not, it's safe to say that all of us have some skincare staples that we swear by. Hormones are a crazy thing for women (and men!), and during pregnancy and postpartum they only get crazier. It's so important to be consistent with a good skincare regimen in order to match wits with your skin when it seems to have a mind of its own. I am lucky to have never struggled with acne or any other skin condition other than hormonal breakouts, but I still wanted to find the best possible products to combat these while I was pregnant and even during my postpartum period. Pregnancy changes every part of your body - including your skin! If you've read any other post of mine on the blog, you know that I try my best to find gentle, natural and non-toxic products to use on my own body - and I am committed to the same standard for products I use on Ezra as well!

Weekly Meal Plan 2/5 - 2/11 + FREE Meal Planning Printables!

free organization resource meal planning weekly meal plan

     Another Monday, another weekly meal plan for you today on the blog! Are you still in a junk-food induced coma after yesterday's Super Bowl festivities? Thankfully Jack and I didn't indulge too much, except for some spinach artichoke dip, but I am more than ready to start fresh today with a new week of healthy meals! It's so cliche to say, but I truly do feel so recharged at the beginning of a new week - if I failed in some way over the weekend, whether it be eating too much junk food or not meeting a specific goal, I always feel like Monday always brings a clean slate and a chance for me to get back on track and moving forward. Does anyone else feel that way?

The New Mama's Guide to Diaper Bag Must-Haves (+ Free Checklist!)

diaper bag amazon

This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you purchase something within this post, I may receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you. I will only ever link to products that I love and believe fit the purpose and mission of Everyday Kate. Thanks for supporting Everyday Kate! Read our full disclosure policy here.

       It is FRIDAY, YA'LL, finally. I am so guilty of being that person who works for the weekend - I definitely need to work on slowing down and not wishing the work-week would hurry up and move a little faster. Although, as a mom I already feel like time is moving way faster than it should. Ezra turned 7 months old yesterday! It's so cliche to say, but time has literally flown by, I thought he was just a newborn like, last week. I shared a video on my Facebook page (follow me here!) which expressed the sentiment that "the nights are long, but the years are short", and it's SO true. Although I may be guilty of wishing time would move faster, I will NEVER wish the same for Ezra's babyhood. I struggled so much in the beginning as a new mom, which made it easy to say things like "ugh I can't wait until 'blank' ", whether that'd be getting a full night's sleep, or something like being able to go out in public without Ezra getting too fussy. But now looking back, I wish I would have cherished that newborn stage a little bit more.

        Today on the blog, I wanted to get in touch with my fellow new moms out there who need one less thing to worry about, while you're trying to savor every moment with your tiny newborn babe, and that is: what you're going to put into your diaper bag. There are a zillion checklists out there, and a million different diaper bags to choose from, so believe me, I know it can get overwhelming. But today I wanted to share some of my absolute favorite things to keep in my diaper bag and give you the scoop on what you really need - for the first 6 months anyway. I touched on my favorites below, but I also provided a FREE checklist for you, so you can stay organized and not get too overwhelmed. Even better, everything in this post can be purchased right from Amazon! Amazon Prime has seriously been the best thing to have as a parent, because we can order diapers and whatever-else and have it delivered the next day.

diaper bag essentials guide


The Bag // This lovely maroon backpack by Kute N' Koo is actually the second diaper bag I've used since Ezra's been born. The first one was one that I'd picked out while still pregnant and was a gorgeous, grey, over-the-shoulder bag - monogrammed and all - but the only downfall? It is HUGE. It has a zillion pockets and will be great for our family vacation this summer (and any subsequent trips with babies/toddlers), but as Ezra grew, the size of the bag became a nuisance, and I needed something that could let me be hands free, yet still still be practical.

maroon backpack diaper bag

diaper bag backpack pocket

maroon backpack diapers wipes diaper bag

     I never thought I'd want a backpack for a diaper bag, but oh boy was I so wrong. This bag is big enough to fit everything I need, yet it's not bulky or heavy in the slightest. It even includes a changing pad, which can be stored in a discreet side pocket. You're given five stylish colors to choose from, which all have the signature teal interior. There are LOTS of interior pockets, as well as two exterior on the front of the bag, plus two insulated side pockets. Seriously, you can't go wrong with a bag like this, and bonus: it can even fit a 13-inch laptop. Uhhh #MomBoss anyone??

Wet Bag //  Whether you choose to use cloth or traditional diapers, a wet bag is always a good thing to have in your diaper bag, for those occasional blow-outs or spit-up mishaps that leave you with a pile of dirty laundry. Throw it all into the wet bag, and worry about it when you get home! We have this one from Bum Genius! It's seriously been a life-saver.

Boogie Wipes // One of those things I always saw on store shelves and thought to myself "what a gimmick, why can't you just use a tissue." Well everyone, I'm here to say that sometimes you, in fact, cannot just use a tissue. Boogie Wipes are moistened with natural saline & are perfect for face and nose wiping. I use these at home and on the go!

Toys & Books // For distracting baby the old-fashioned way, amirite? I always keep a couple small books and some of Ezra's favorite teethers in our bag. He LOVES these Sugarbooger Happy Cactus teethers right now. He literally gnaws on them. The textured cactus feels good on little teeth and gums, and the handle at the bottom makes it easy to grasp. Not to mention they're SO dang cute. I originally found these in a small, local shop, so scoop these up on Amazon while you can, as they might not be available in a store near you!

cute baby teethercute baby cactus teether toy

Snacks for Mom & Baby //  Another no-brainer, right? For when your child starts throwing a fit just as you're about to bite into your delicious lunch. Snacks for baby can be any number of things, based on the age of your child. I haven't given Ezra any snacks yet, but I have a few of those teething biscuits in my bag for now. For me, I love the Enjoy Life Baked Chewy Bars in the caramel apple flavor (this link takes you to a multi-pack but you can get these at Sprouts or on Vitacost if you want to just try one box to start!) They are free of the 8 most common allergens and gluten-free. These would actually make a great snack for an older child as well!

These are just a few of my must-have items, but I've put together a whole list that you can download for FREE here! I even left some spaces at the end of the list for you to add any additional things specific to you and your baby, that you would NOT want to forget in your bag. Enjoy!

What are some of your diaper bag must-haves? Leave them down in the comments!

Marley Spoon Meal Delivery Review - Is It Worth It?

      I have had this post sitting in my drafts for like FOUR months now, and I am finally getting around to posting it! As someone who loves cooking and trying new recipes, I was excited when my wonderful mother-in-law gifted me with three free meals of Marley Spoon, Martha Stewarts' meal delivery service. This was before Christmas, and I hadn't gotten my hands on any cookbooks recently, so I was really excited to receive my box in the mail and try some new recipes!

Weekly Meal Plan 1/28 - 2/4 (+ My 3 Favorite Kitchen Gadgets)

This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you purchase something within this post, I may receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you. I will only ever link to products that I love and believe fit the purpose and mission of Everyday Kate. Thanks for supporting Everyday Kate! Read our full disclosure policy here.

Last week on Instagram, I asked you all if you'd rather see weekly meal plans every week or every other week, and the overwhelming majority of you voted for every week. So, here I am again! I'm so glad you enjoy seeing and following along with my meal plan, hopefully as much as I enjoy making it. Along with this weeks plan, I wanted to share my top three kitchen gadgets that I couldn't live without.

My Favorite Gluten-Free Snacks

      Happy Wednesday friends!! Today I wanted to share some gluten-free snacks I've been loving lately. I'm not gluten-intolerant, but ever since I cut out grains during our few weeks of the Whole30, I've realized that my body just generally feels better when I'm not consuming so many grains. Don't get me wrong, I DEFINITELY still love me some pasta, but I want to try and limit my intake to once a week, or even less! My sister has been gluten intolerant for a few years now, and while it seemed impossible to find gluten-free substitutes for her in the beginning, over the last few years SO many companies and brands are creating gluten-free options for pretty much everything.

Weekly Meal Plan 1/22 - 1/28

       Happy Monday, friends! I've decided to start posting my weekly meal plans at the very start of the week - hopefully this makes it easier for some of you to follow along and get ideas for your own weekly meal plan! Before I go in-depth with this weeks plan, I wanted to highlight some of my favorite tips and tools that help me stay organized when it comes to meal planning.

5 Healthy Lifestyle Habits You Can Begin Today

Always full disclosure here! Some products in this post were sent to me for free to try and review. I did not receive any compensation for this post or my product review, and all opinions are 100% my own. For more information, you can view the full disclosure policy here. Thank you! 

      What's the first thing that comes to mind when you try to define a healthy lifestyle? Is it physical fitness and regular exercise? Healthy eating habits? Maybe emotional and mental health define a healthy lifestyle for you? Regardless, sometimes when we hold our own lives up next to a picture of what we think a "healthy lifestyle" looks like, all we see is a bunch of unobtainable goals, restrictions, and limitations that - lets be honest - nobody has the time OR the energy for. As a working mom, my time during the day is extremely limited. I am definitely still growing into the role of being a "work-at-home-mom", so things like finding my routine and prioritizing things on my to-do list can be straight-up overwhelming and very frustrating at times. I feel like I'm being stretched in 8 different directions, and along with that comes the mom "guilt" for having my attention be divided all day long. Needless to say, I hardly give much thought to exercise and physical fitness. I know it SHOULD be a part of my routine, but I just cannot find adequate time for it at all during the day!

Weekly Meal Plan 1/15 - 1/21

         Hello everyone, I'm back with another meal plan, although this plan comes with a bit of a confession on my part. Jack and I discontinued the Whole30! UGH! Notice how I'm avoiding saying the big "Q" word? I hate being a quitter, I'm always so hard on myself when I quit something, because it feels like I failed. Can anyone relate?

Weekly Meal Plan 1/8 - 1/14

Happy Tuesday everyone! Are any of you changing your eating habits in 2018, or at least for the month of January? My husband and I are starting off with a nutritional "reset" by doing the Whole30 Program! I am a lover of whole foods: fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, and natural sweets, and I try to incorporate all of the above into the meals that I make for Jack and I on a regular basis. Although, there's always room for improvement - and for us that area is "snacking". We can be big snackers: for me, that means an afternoon pick-me-up of cheese and crackers or granola, for Jack it looks more like ice cream or M&M's (he's got definitely more of a sweet tooth than I do!)

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