How to Work Your Curves


Newsflash!  The average American woman is a size 12-14, and sadly the average woman has minor body image issues.  Even women who are considered petite have days when a pair of super skinny jeans are not in the plans.  I’m here to tell you, that you don’t need to hide behind ill-fitting, boring clothing.  Sure, black is a sliming color to wear, but that doesn’t mean you have to look like you’re going to funeral every day.  Here are 5 ways to use your wardrobe to celebrate your curves.

First, patterns are still very much in style.  The key to making this look work is to find a dress with an allover dark pattern.  The darker the pattern the better.  Patterns keep the eye moving and take attention away from shape concerns.

Next, the easiest way to define your waist is to fake it.  Add a cropped jacket over a dress and voila, you’ve got a waist.  The jacket will hit at your natural waistline creating the illusion of a curve right where you want it instead of where you don’t.

In this warm climate, there’s nothing wrong with showing a little skin as long as  you do it tastefully.  As I tell my daughters, make sure you’re always appropriate.  I’m a huge fan of wearing layers, but did you know that when you wear too many layers you can end up looking larger than you actually are?  It’s true.  A great way to show more skin without showing more skin is to wear sheer fabrics.  Blouses with sheer sleeves as well as dresses and skirts with sheer hemlines will always allow you to suggest more skin without revealing too much.  And they’re much cooler during the hot summer months.

You’d be surprised to know that working your curves doesn’t only apply to what you wear, but also how you accessorize.  A bold sparkling necklace or dazzling drop earrings will draw attention where you want it.  The more spectacular the better.

Color is your friend.  I’m not sure who started the rumor that curvy women should not wear color, but that’s a complete and total fib.  Color looks amazing on curvy women especially in monochromatic tones deep blues and emerald greens, even a sapphire red.  This fall, think about pairing your solid monochrome dress with a dark colored pair of tights.  This combination will make your legs look amazingly slim and trim.

Here are a list of some of my favorite curvy bloggers to see how it’s done:

curvy bloggers


Bless me with Patience – Wednesday Prayer

prayer for patience

God deals with all of us in certain areas.  For me, it’s patience.  I try so hard to be patient and exercise grace when I’m being pulled in many directions, but boy is it hard.  I like this little prayer for patience and I try to remember it when those moments come.

In what area does God deal with you?



Lansinoh Signature Pro Double Electric Breast Pump {PRODUCT REVIEW}

lansinoh signature pro double electric breast pump

Research shows that breast milk is the best nourishment for your newborn.  Who can argue with that?  Afterall, there’s nothing more organic than mother’s milk.  Regardless of your choice, what’s important is that your child is getting the appropriate amount of nourishment and is growing, period!  The decision to nurse or formula feed is a very personal decision should be made solely by the parents.  So, here I’m just sharing a little about my decisions with my 4 and a very helpful pump.


With each of my 4 children, I started out nursing.  Although, when I returned to work from maternity leave I made the transition to formula feed.  I purchased a GRACO brand breast pump with the intention of pumping while at work, but the pump was so painful that I had to stop using it.  With baby #4, Jonny, I’m nursing primarily but also supplementing with Similac Sensitive Formula.  Because I’m no longer “on the leash” I have more flexibility to be able to continue nursing longer and to tell you the truth I’m very excited.  I don’t know how long I’ll nurse but as long as he’s getting the appropriate nourishment and is happy then I’ll keep it up.


There are so many great reasons to pump. For me, the greatest reason is the natural bonding experience. The other great thing about nursing, is it helps the baby weight fall off faster.  But, more importantly I’m beginning to realize that as parents we have such a short time to make meaningful connections with our children. My children are at a period in life when they want mom and dad around all the time. They want to play make-believe with us, read with us, sing and dance with us, tell us their fears and secrets and crawl into bed with us. In just a few short years, a lot of these things will be distant fond memories. The children will be finding themselves without mommy and daddy. We’ll be wishing we had those precious moments back and hadn’t shoo’ed the kids away to finish other meaningless tasks. For me, I want nursing to be the beginning of a life-long commitment to make a meaningful connection with my Jonny.


I’d be lying if I said that nursing is a breeze. For me, it wasn’t. I gave a subtle reference in this post last week when I shared with you what to pack in your hospital bag and decided I’d share a little more. The downside of nursing is that it’s usually pretty painful at first.  Baby’s usually have a natural rooting reflex, which is to move their mouths to suck.  They also turn their heads to find your breast, instinctively.  While this comes natural, knowing how to latch on to my breast didn’t come as easily.  Early on, there were several times when I just had to ignore the pain so that my baby could eat.  It even got to the point when I dreaded the thought of nursing because the pain was so extreme.  It would eventually get better but it was a rough start.  The other low, which I can’t necessarily attribute to nursing, is engorgement.  When the breast become full with milk, the milk needs to be expressed or it will cause engorgement.  This is where a good breast pump comes in to play.


A few months into my pregnancy, I was surprised to receive a Klout notification that there was a Lansinoh perk waiting for me.  I checked it out and not paying super close attention, I accepted it.  A week or so later a Lansinoh Signature Pro Double Electric Breast Pump arrived at my front door.  I was super surprised and thought it was really cool for them to send it to me but to be honest I wasn’t looking forward to the “pumping process” again, but I’d give it a shot.  Fast forward to July 25, baby is here and I can begin using the pump.  My experience with this pump was nothing like my last experience.  What I love most about this pump is that it comes with a supper comfortable bra-like garment that allows you to multi-task while pumping.  Sure, it looks kind of silly, but I don’t care who you are, there’s no way to make pumping look glamorous.  You should have seen Jon’s face the first time I walked into the room wearing it, of course with a completely clueless look on my face.  He laughed.  My old pump was not hands-free so I was chained to my rocking chair with nothing to do but stare at the wall and pump, like some creepy old lady from a horror movie.  It was great to be able to control the suction level so that it wasn’t too strong.  Not to mention, it was also pretty quiet compared to the last pump which sounded something like a baby lawnmower.

Disclosure: I received this product free via Klout and chose to mention it on my blog.   Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255:


15 Things to Post {when you’re out of ideas}

15 things to post


Let’s face it.  It happens to all of us at some point in our blogging journey.  We get bloggers brain, when we can’t think of a single thing to blog about.  While some might suggest that it means you just sit it out and don’t blog, while the die-hard bloggers say you think of something and get to blogging.  For those die-hards, here’s a list of things to blog about that you might not have thought of before.

1.  Love story.  Tell readers about how you and your spouse first met.  Where did you go?  Were you immediately smitten by him or did he have to grow on to you?  How did you know he was the one?  Of course pictures of you back then are fun to share as well.

2.  Instagram.  I’m very visual as are most bloggers.  Share a few of your favorite pictures from Instagram and tell your readers the context of the picture.  Readers love to hear the back story to pictures.

3.  Personal favorites.  A round up of your favorites (bloggers, favorite places to eat, online stores, apps, etc.)

4.  Reader comment.  Dedicate an entire post to responding to a comment left by a reader.  You may want to keep the reader anonymous, but if you choose to share who the reader is for the sake of giving her a shot out, be sure and get permission.

5. Nightstand.  Your nightstand is usually covered with items you use or need before bed or when you wake up.  Take a picture of your nightstand and describe the items there.

6. A day in the life.  Your life.  Believe it or not, you’d be surprised to know just how many readers are interested in knowing the basics of what you do on a daily basis. Tell readers what a typical day looks like.  Include products you use, food you eat, etc.

7.  Recipe.  Share a recipe that you’ve successfully made, are planning to make, or only dream of making.  Tell readers why you like this recipe.  If you’re going to cook the recipe, be sure to take pictures along the way.

8.  Workspace.  You’ve seen it before and chances are you love it.  Maybe it’s just me but I love to see how people organize their desks to optimize space and cuteness.  Tell what inspired you and what were absolute must haves with your workspace.  Include pictures.  If you incorporated any DIYs into this workspace, you can write another post on how you created the DIY.

9.  Goals. What are you goals for the rest of the year.  How close are you to getting there?  What are the biggest obstacles, and opportunities to reaching your goal?

10. Burnout.  How do you cope with blogger burnout or lack of inspiration.  Tell readers if there are other bloggers, networks or groups you go to for inspiration.

11.  Solicit feedback.  Tell your readers how much you value them and ask them to give you feedback on how to make your blog better.  Follow through with incorporating some of those suggestions as well as responding to comments.

12.  Why did you start blogging?  Tell readers what your blogging journey has been and why blogging is important to you.

13.  Superstars.  Be it Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter or Bloglovin we all have our favorite accounts to follow.  Tell readers who you’re following and why you love them so much.

14.  Road trip.  Okay, maybe you don’t do roadtrips, but what was the most memorable trip you’ve gone on.  Tell your readers about why this trip was so memorable and of course all the funny or enlightening moments that happened along the way.

15.  Casual conversation. Whether you know it or not, there are tons of blog topics found in the casual conversations we have on a daily basis.  Tell your readers about an interesting conversation you recently had.  It may be a challenge to find pictures that match the subject matter, but give it a shot.

Hope this is helpfu!


The Power of A Praying Mom – Wednesday Prayer

prayer god

Today is back to school day in the Young home.  I was really excited to celebrate it in a fun way {which I’ll share with you here in the coming days}. While I was able to pray with my littles and help get them dressed and have breakfast, I didn’t ride with them to school and walk them to class.  I’m still home with baby Jonny, but Daddy and grandpa {better known as Big Daddy} went with them.  I put Daddy up to the task of taking pictures of them and making sure they are settled and feel positive about the first day of school although we’ve been coaching them for the past 2 weeks.

If you follow me on Instagram you’ll see that we had a little of our First Day of School breakfast party.  Just wanted to make things memorable and special for them.  Of course, as soon as the garage went down, I cried like a infant.  My babies are growing up!

How are you dealing with first day of school meltdown?



Back to School

With school starting back up this week, I’m having mixed emotions.  All of the littles will be in school except Jonny.  Jaxon is going to first grade, Julia is going to Kindergarten and Jayde will be in preschool.  Being home with them this summer has given me the chance to see Jaxon and Julia develop their “negotiation skills” as well as their “leadership skills” and I’ve watched Jayde mimic their every move.  She’s growing so quickly and even tells us that she’s not a baby anymore.

Speaking of back to school I thought I would put together a short list of ways to celebrate the first day of school!

1. BTS breakfast party.  For 99 cents I put together a fun little breakfast party for the kids. 99 cents were for the balloons.  Everything else I had at home.  I spelled out “1st Day of School” out of regular 8 1/2 x 11 colored paper cut in half and with the scraps I made large confetti squares.  We had pancakes, fruit, powdered sugar and strawberry syrup in the fridge so that was easy.  The kids really liked it and were very surprised.  The best part was they went to school with a positive attitude.

first day of schoolfirst day of schoolfirst day of school
2. Lunchbox love. A special note like, “Hope you’re having a great day!” or a bite of your child’s gave candy {just a bite} with a note that says he/she can have the rest of his/her treat after school.
3. After school snack surprise. Granted I never need a reason to eat ice cream, the first day of school is a great reason to make a pit stop on the way home and discuss the first day over a cone.
4. Make a sign.  I found some really cute printable signs to send to Hubby for printing.  Here’s where I found them.

first day of school

Praying you and your family have a wonderful year!


MOMMY 101: Coping with New Baby Jealousy

fighting kids


[image via]

Anyone with a sibling can attest to having “disagreements”.  It comes with the territory.  In some homes more than others, but disagreements none the less.  I have two siblings, both male.  Our disagreements were usually over the remote control, who got to sit in the front seat of the car, or who got to be player 1 on Super Mario Brothers {did I mention I’m old}.  I’d say that all of our disagreements were rather minor.  No one ever grabbed a knife, no one ever used a curse word and mom never had to “pull the car over”.  I’d also say, at least from my perspective, that there was never any jealousy among us. I’ve mentioned before that I come from a very humble upbringing and what we had we shared.

As I watch my family grow and the unique personalities of each of my children develop, I am beginning to see power struggles that were not there before.  Jaxon and Julia may as well have been twins because they match each other tit for tat and neither likes to go down without a fight.  There are times when they’re in the heat of a battle {usually over who gets to use the blue Power Ranger action figure} and I watch and listen, of course pretending to be completely oblivious, to how one of them skillfully tries to convince the other to give in.  When the disagreement turns into one or both of them screaming for mommy, that’s when I tell them to come up with a “win-win”.  A “win-win” solution is something that Jaxon’s Kinder class focused on last year and I try my best to pull that out of my bag of tricks every time they disagree.  There’s something about working together to come to a conclusion that makes the solution much more enjoyable.  Not only for children but for adults as well.  No one feels slighted or taken advantage of each party can move on.  9 times out of 10 Jax and Julia able to negotiate something and everything’s right with the world again, but there are times when it doesn’t go down exactly as I hope.  That’s when it’s time to turn out the lights and go to sleep.  What is it about bed time that makes kids flip out?  It’s like you’re sentencing them to death.  It’s worse than a spanking.

Not only are there power struggles between the children, but now that we have another little one at home, I’ve been praying that the older children don’t begin to feel jealous of the new baby because he’s getting so much of my attention.  The other night, at bedtime, Jaxon dropped the bomb.  “All you care about is Jonny!  You don’t love me!”  His words penetrated my heart.  I tried to tell myself that he was very sleepy and so he was just being overly dramatic.  Didn’t work. I knew he felt and meant what he said.  What’s worse is I couldn’t console him at that moment because I was nursing Jonny.  All I could say from the other room was, “That’s not true, Jaxon.  I love you very much!”  I couldn’t help feeling like I was failing my child.  No mother ever wants her child to feel unloved.  When I was done nursing Jonny, I put him down and went to Jaxon’s room but by then he had cried himself to sleep.  I got in bed with him and woke him up so that he knew I was there.  I reassured him that I loved him and made clear how important he is to me.  He was mumbling “okay mommy” between snores.  Part of me wants to believe that an episode like this won’t happen again, but I know how smart my children are and I know that they have a tendency to say whatever it is that’s on their minds.  The question is how will I respond.

I’ve been thinking about a solution ever since this happened and I feel like there really is no quick or single solution.  Assuring my children of how much they mean to me is a daily task that must be carried out in actions, not just words.  Getting back on track with one/one dates are a must.  And regardless of how tired I am, when Jonny’s asleep or with Daddy I have to turn that time into quality time with the kids.

In my online search for solutions, I found several tips for coping with this very common syndrome and how to give children the reassurance they need.

1.  Allow your older children times when they can be a “baby”.  For families with very young children {2 years old}, it’s harder for parents to expect the older children to be “baby’s helper”.  Afterall, this older child is still a baby as well.  It’s important to snuggle the now big brother/sister like you used to when he/she was the baby.

2.  Reinforce good behavior.  Everyone likes to be affirmed when they’re doing something good.  We like it even more when someone else is told how great we are.  When caring for the newborn in earshot of older children, tell the newborn how thankful you are that he has a great older brother to help take care of him.  The older sibling will hear this and feel good about himself and the baby.

3.  Talk about it.  I was surprised to see there are a number of children’s books that deal with newborn baby jealousy.  Angelina’s Baby Sister by Helen Craig is a book about a girl who is excited about the arrival of her little sister but quickly becomes jealous once the new baby begins receiving all of the attention.  There is a House Inside My Mummy by Giles Andreae and I guess the title is self-explanatory.

4.  Recruit the extended family.  Grandparents love nothing more than to love on their grandchildren.  This is the perfect time to plan some special bonding time with the grandparents and older siblings.

5.  Introducing baby.  When the siblings first meet the new baby, try allowing someone else to hold the baby or placing him in a crib so that when you make introductions you can hug and cuddle the older siblings at the same time, reassuring them that you still have time for them.

6.  Picture time. It’s inevitable that you’ll want to snap as many baby pictures as you can.  Try making sure the siblings are in as many of those pictures as you can.

One thing I know for sure is no matter how many blog posts I read, books I scan or advice I receive, nothing beats prayer and hearing from God.  In every challenge I have, I trust that God will work it out sooner or later.  In the meantime, I’m exercising my God-given wisdom and learning as much as I can about this issue.  Anyone struggling with this challenge, I encourage you to take it to God.



MOMMY 101: 20 Items to Pack in Your Hospital Bag?

I’m going to be completely honest.  With Jaxon, I was super prepared way in advance of my due date.  It almost became an obession.  The nursery was done, the closet was organized the diapers and wipes were in size order, everything was perfect and like I said, way in advance of my due date.

All of my deliveries have been a breeze so consequently, I started to get more and more lax with the hospital prep, namely my hospital bag.  With Jonny, I prepped my bag about a week before his due date, which in normal people’s time is cutting it very very close.  It’s not that I had been procrastinating it was that I kept getting distracted, which happens so easy to a pregnant brain.  I had everything I needed except for JONNY’S CLOTHES!  #FAIL  How do you forget to pack your newborn baby’s clothes?  Hello?  Someone…Bueller?  Just completely and totally forgot and didn’t even realize it until we were about to head home from the hospital.  Thank goodness for a sweet and understanding husband who puts up with my blonde moments.

For those of you who are much better at life than me, here’s what I packed in my hospital bag and of course something very important that I didn’t pack.  Make sure you get your bag packed at least 2 weeks early.

Coming from a lady who’s had 4 children (wow, it’s crazy typing that) here are the must have items for your hospital bag.  You don’t have to run out and purchase these exact brands, but just make sure you have these items in your bag.  Got it?

Hospital Bag



1.  Bath Robe – Bring at least one robe {two is better} that you don’t mind getting soiled.  Some moms don’t like to wear the hospital gown at all and prefer their own garments, which is totally your choice and if that’s you, then bring two.  I don’t mind the hospital gown because it gives you the easiest access to taking care of your business if you know what I mean {you probably don’t but you will}.  Be aware that your robe could get blood on it, and whatever robe you bring it should allow you to nurse {if you plan to nurse}.
2.  Skid-Free Socks – Be sure and bring a pair of socks with the rubbery bottom to prevent skidding.  Once you’re out of the bed, you don’t want to worry about possibly slipping on the hospital floor.  Some moms also opt to walk the hospital halls while pushing their baby in the crib so skid-free socks are important.  If you don’t bring socks, ask the nurse staff if they have socks you can borrow.  The last thing you want is to catch a cold or bring any more germies home with you.  PS. the hospital will give you a plastic bag to put your belongings in when you arrive.  Use this bag to put your soiled garments and make sure hubby dumps then in the washing machine as soon as you get home.
3.  Nursing Bra – There’s so much I can tell you about nursing, but we’ll stick with the bra for now.  If you plan to nurse, this is a necessity.  Nursing bras come in all kinds of designs.  I personally like the one above that allows you to snap and unsnap the breast flap.  It makes things so much easier.
4.  Comfortable Sandals – Be sure to bring a comfortable pair of slides or sandals that you can wear home from the hospital.  Again, make sure they are comfortable and non-slip.  After giving birth, your lower extremities are usually pretty week.  I’ve personally made the mistake of underestimating how weak my legs are and the fact that my body is still recovering and could have almost taken a spill a time or two.
5. Duffle Bag – If you want to bring a big cute bag, bring it.  Since the hubby was lugging everything into the hospital, we opted to bring a manly Nike duffle bag.  Make sure the bag is not overstuffed as there are typically items you’ll bring home with you from the hospital {for example, formula, feminine pads, disposable panties}.
6.  Phone + wallet + ID + Insurance Card + Hospital papers – Seems like a no brainer, but it’s so easy to forget to bring these very important items.  When you know it’s time to head to the hospital, ditch the purse and just put these 4 essential items in the duffle.
7.  Eyeglasses – If you wear eyeglasses, bring them.  You want to see what the bun in the oven looks like dontcha?
8.  Sponge/Washcloth – Hospitals usually don’t provide toiletries.  Take your shower sponge and/or washcloth.
9.  Soap – While I don’t recommend that you applying lotion or any other moisturizer, since your baby is still so fresh, I do recommend bringing a fragrance free soap for showering and wash-up. You might even want to bring the soap you’ll be using to bathe your baby and use that.
10.  Brush – Take only your essential hair products like a brush. You want to look at least halfway decent in your pictures?  Trust me bring it. Otherwise, in 10 years when you’re looking back at these hospital pictures you’ll be blaming hubby for “not telling you” that you looked a mess.  I learned the hard way. LOL
11.  Baby Layette – Bring at least 2 pairs of baby clothes including a head beanie and blanket.  Since baby’s body is learning to regulate it’s temperature he’s going to need your help to keep him warm and comfortable.  Even if it feels warm out to you, it’s good to keep a light blanket on him over his clothes.
12.  Book/Kindle – Especially if you’re being induced, bring a book or something to keep you entertained as labor can take a while.  I had an epidural with all 4 of my children so literally once it kicked in, I either fell asleep or watched TV.
13.  Toothbrush + Toothpaste – because no one wants to smell stinky breath, not even baby.
14.  Nursing Pads – These guys come in all kinds of varieties.  I use the disposable kind from Lansinoh and I love them!  Even if you’re opting not to nurse, you’ll still need nursing pads because your body naturally produces milk, if you don’t pump or nurse you’ll have leakage, not to mention painfully engorged breasts.
15.  Nursing Cream – The fact that nurses and doctors sometimes don’t tell you is that nursing is painful at first. If nothing else, it’s uncomfortable.  Not all women, but some women have a difficult time nursing which leads to dry, cracked and even bleeding nipples.  If this is you, ALWAYS consult a lactation specialist first.  When choosing a cream to use, make sure you select a product that is 100% pure lanolin.  This will heal your nipples the fastest and is the safest for your baby.
16.  Chapstick – The whole process of delivering a baby is dehydrating.  Once baby is born, you’ll want to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water, of course. Chapstick is also important.
17.  Deodorant – Another item to make sure and pack.  It’s just as important as the toothbrush and toothpaste.
18.  iPad – Another device to divert your attention while waiting for baby to make his debut.
19.  Comfy Go-Home Outfit – Because your luxurious stay at the hospital has to come to an end eventually, be sure to pack  a lightweight outfit for the ride home.
20.  Charger – You don’t want to miss any of those precious moments so make sure you have all of your necessary gadget chargers.
I pray that your pregnancy and delivery are all that you want it to be.

MOMMY 101: Stuff for Baby

If you ask me, it’s a conspiracy.  There are tons upon tons of cute thingamabobs and whatnots for baby girls but when it comes to baby boys, you can hardly find a stitch of cuteness anywhere.  Granted, Jonny won’t be leaving the house for the first two months of his life, but it’s the principle, right?

While Jonny was napping a stole a few minutes and found some really cute boys stuff for the little mister.  Take a look.