Parenting, Pregnancy, Sponsored Posts

5 Ways to Enjoy Sending Custom Cards or Invites

Sponsored Post: This post was sponsored by Basic Invite, a company offering high quality stationery and custom invites and announcements for weddings, births, graduations, and all of life’s other special moments. I don’t post many of these because I only accept sponsored post opportunities from companies offering services or products I already use, and have an ideology I can get behind. 
My grandmother recently told me that if I can learn to weave spirituality into mundane tasks my life would grow flowers where there once was boring mud. Strangely, this made me think of the act of sending out thank you cards and “real” (versus digital) invites.
My son’s birthday is coming up, and I know that every aunt, granny, and traditional friend that gives a gift will expect a handwritten thank you note in response. My usual response would be, “ugh, do I have to?” But, what if I tried to weave spirituality into this task? What would that look like?
Here are some thoughts on how I’m going to make this task more enjoyable:
1. Find joy in seeking out a beautiful card: I recently discovered that I love navigating card designs on sites like Basic Invite until I land on The One. And then, I easily while away an hour tinkering with colors and fonts until everything is just right. 
When I begin to feel like I should be doing something “more important” I remind myself that I’m crafting something that will serve as a reminder to the recipient that I’m thinking of them, or want to share an exciting piece of my life with them. Speaking of which… my husband and I are thinking of creating baby number two, so I decided to begin manifesting that baby by ordering a sample of a baby shower invite from Basic Invite with her (I’m assuming it will be a girl) future name and potential birth date. Weird? Kind of – but it’s a fun and tangible reminder of the future.
And I don’t know why I left the time as 8:30 PM – I will not be awake at that time when pregnant. #GrannySleepSchedule 


2. Have fun with written messages: As easy as it is to scribble a generic message in cards that require a custom message, I feel the meaning and joy being sucked out of the card with every “Thanks for the birthday gift! My child loves it!” – blah.
I don’t need to wax poetic about the toy I’m sending a thank you for, but it can be fun to think of a quick anecdote or witty comment to share about the gift and how it’s being enjoyed. 
Basic Invite Stationary
3. Connect to how appreciated the recipient might feel when they receive the card: Although I don’t hold it against someone for not sending a thank you card (because I’m usually that person!) I always enjoy receiving a real-live-non-email message in the mail.
The card makes me think of the person who sent it, and evokes that warm and fuzzy feeling of connection. So, as I’m crafting a card I think about how the card will make someone feel, and use that idea to help me relish the process.
This little nugget is now a giant 4-year-old, but it was fun to go back in time and create this sample announcement.
4. Don’t burn out: I know folks who send a card to everyone down to their postman (or woman!) for every holiday, anniversary, or lost tooth (seriously) and then report a sense of resentment over this tedious obligation they’ve laid upon themselves. 
Instead of sending cards for everything, I’m going to hold out for the special occasions when I feel inspired to connect with loved ones via an aesthetically pleasing card and a personal note (in the case of a thank you or congratulations).
5. Have my son participate in the thank you card process: The first time my son cared more about the present portion of a package, than the cardboard or paper exterior it was wrapped in, he quickly ripped into one after the other with little regard for who gave it to him, or how special that gesture was. So, I’m now going to be one of those super fun moms who has my child pick out and write thank you cards with me so he can tune into the importance of acknowledging the love behind gift giving and receiving. You’re welcome son. 
If you want a feast of gorgeous card options, like chic baby shower invitations and birth announcements, check out Basic Invite. And, if you’re like me and need to see something from every angle before making a decision, you can order samples. 
Happy selecting, customizing, and sending!
Airplane Travel, Family Entertainment, Parenting, Travel

Top Family Friendly Hotels in San Francisco

A metropolitan tapestry woven with public parks, exotic curio shops full of kid-friendly treasures, and an eatery with dumplings on almost every corner (and what kid doesn’t love dumplings?) San Francisco is a natural choice when selecting your next big city family vacation.

But, the question of where to stay is often the stumper when trying to find well-situated and family focused lodging in the city.

Using my family as a metaphorical guinea pig, I’ve discovered five of the top San Francisco hotels that will set your family up to have the ultimate vacation in one of the world’s most cultured concrete jungles.

The Inn at Union Square

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Tucked between a fine art gallery and Morton’s Steakhouse, this hidden gem hotel is freshly renovated and less than a block from Union Square where your family can roam in the grass, inspect public art installations, or sign up for Emperor Norton’s Fantastic San Francisco Time Machine (a walking tour).

Because all rooms are situated off the street, and look out onto a small courtyard-esque corridor, you can enjoy the convenience of being in the heart of downtown, without hearing the constant beat of that heart: traffic. But, even if quiet wasn’t readily available you’d still settle into serenity as this hotel features the most comfortable beds I’ve ever sunk into, and a nightly wine and cheese reception that does wonders for that fore-mentioned serenity.

A short walk to Chinatown and a hop, skip, and a stroller push to just about any culinary option your child’s particular taste buds might desire, this hotel will pour a large helping of simplicity on your trip.

Read more on Vagabond Family!


Busy Moms And Dads Share Their Favorite 20-Minute Dinners For When Life Is Totally Nuts


As a small business owner, Bailey Gaddis often hauls out this family favorite come dinner time. To make, she says, “spread organic refried beans on a whole wheat tortilla, sprinkle on some cheese, and cover with 8-10 pieces of spinach. Fold into a burrito. Then, heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a pan and cook for about 4-5 minutes on each side. Let the burrito cool, get out the salsa and tortilla chips, and enjoy!”

Read full article here!

Childbirth, Parenting, Pregnancy, Reviews and Giveaways

Want a Free Book?

Hi friends!

So, something super exciting happened this week… my book baby was listed as the #1 New Release in the Pregnancy and Childbirth category on Amazon! (Insert spastic happy dance here!)

To keep this momentum goin’ I would love to get some reviews for the book. If you would be willing to write a quick Amazon review (if you like the book!) I would be happy to send you a complimentary copy. Just email your name and mailing address to

Thanks for being you!


Childbirth, Parenting, Pregnancy, Self Love

Interview on Moments with Marianne Tomorrow!

Hi friends! Tune in to my interview with Marianne Pestana on her radio show tomorrow – info is below 🙂

Click here to listen LIVE on Friday, June 9th & Thursday, June 15th at 5am & 5pm EST!

Childbirth, Mind-Body-Spirit, Parenting, Pregnancy

Be the Master Guru of Your Emotions by Managing Them With Color

There are a ton of tools the savvy parent can use to combat tantrum-induced doom. Deep breathing helps. Calling in backup helps. Exercising helps. I use all of these, but I’m always looking for more ways to stay balanced.

That’s why I reached out to Bailey Gaddis, author of the new book Feng Shui Mommy: Creating Balance and Harmony for Blissful Pregnancy, Childbirth and Motherhood. Bailey is a childbirth prep educator and birth doula with experience as a home organizer in Los Angeles. She uses an emphasis on feng shui and has worked a great deal with the emotions and energy that various colors produce.

She has been kind enough to provide the color guide and an excerpt from her book to help me (and every other parent) use the color we bring into our environments as a source of positive energy.

If nothing else, arming yourself with this info is a great reminder of the mood you want to be in, and as a result you will likely get there faster.


Career, Family Entertainment, Parenting

We’re the Moms That Closed the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus

After 146 years Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey took its last bow this May. Feld Entertainment, the owners of the circus and other popular family entertainment shows, like Monster Jam and Disney on Ice, made the historic decision to close the show when ticket sales declined, a direct result of moving their pachyderm performers to the Center for Elephant Conservation.

The decision to retire the elephants—the beginning of the end—wasn’t easy for the Felds. In many ways, the animals were the core of a show that has been an American family tradition for as long as the institution of baseball. The childhood of the Feld sisters, Nicole, Alana and Juliette, was built on that show.

The closure announcement was met with mixed reviews—a sense of victory from some animal rights groups, loss from families that enjoy the circus, and an amalgam of nostalgia, heartbreak and hopefulness from the three Feld sisters. Along with their father Kenneth, they ran the day-to-day operations of the third-generation family business, and were the ones tasked with making this challenging choice.

Read more on Working Mother

Childbirth, Mind-Body-Spirit, Parenting, Pregnancy, Self Love

How To Dissolve Your Fears Through Acceptance [Step-by-Step Exercises + Action Steps To Overcome Your Fears During Pregnancy]

Fear can be a catalyst for growth only when it is acknowledged and accepted, then shown the door.

When it becomes a festering guest it begins swallowing up your reserves of health, happiness, and sanity, sticking you in a “what-if” paralysis. The oftentimes-falseillusions that give birth to fear (e.g., a misconception that your body doesn’t know how to build and birth a baby) are frequently left unchecked in the vulnerable heart, mind, and body of the pregnant mama.

You may believe the fears are there to protect you, maybe to “prepare you for the worst.”

But instead of helping you prepare for an unlikely and unwanted outcome, the stress produced by these fears often creates the unwanted outcomes, like pregnancy complications, medical interventions, or postpartum depression.

Read more on Learn Evolve and Thrive