Let Them Make a Mess

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Happy Saturday, y’all! This was a another busy week, and I didn’t get my post up yesterday. But, I did a little event introducing my mini-boutique — it was so fun! Thanks again to everyone that came out!

I wanted to talk about something I have encountered as a mom. What I want to talk about isn’t revolutionary. It’s not going to make in the pages of Parenting Magazine or mentioned on the Today Show.

I just want to talk about kids making a mess.

Why? It’s just part of having kids, right? We all deal with cleaning the house, laundry, and, picking up toys. I know sometimes I have bribed (yes, bribed. You have too, right?) my son to clean the playroom. I’ve said something like, “If you clean up the playroom, we can go outside.” Or, “If the playroom is cleaned up, we can have a friend over.”

As much as we have to clean, it’s easy to resent this daily chore. Anybody feel like this? Trying to maintain a house, especially when the kids aren’t cooperating (or following chore rules) can create a lot of frustrating. 

That’s why this play session was a lot different.

The other day I was wanting to snap a pic of my kiddos playing. In order for me to do this in my house, I have to move my kitchen table. I know, crazy! It’s the only way I can get natural light with a white background, ha! But, I wasn’t planning on my little picture turning into something that inspired me.

While the kiddos were in the kitchen, I ran into the playroom and grabbed a puzzle and a bag pom poms. My daughter is obsessed with pom poms! 

After making back into the kitchen and giving them their goods, playtime quickly began. At first, there were only a few pom poms puzzle pieces on the floor, but that soon changed. They ended up All. Over. The. Floor. As the mess ensued, I could feel my anxiety rise, but I also noticed something else. My daughter was so clam and happy. She teetered around picking up and dumping pom poms. My son, played with his puzzle and then (queitly) joined in with his sister. What did I do? I watched. I played on my stomach and admired their sweetness. I snapped a many pics as I could. I wasn’t going to miss this little moment. This memory will stick me. A simple memory of I time that I put my Mom duties on pause and let them just play.

I put aside all of the chores, to-do’s, and rules. I just watched them play.

 I don’t have a spick and span hosue, but I like to keep things picked up. I’m also not super super hard on my kiddos. But, I do quick a little worked up when my house gets messy. Why? My anxiety! I can control what chores get done. I can control the mess. Yeah, I’ll stop there. Another day, another post, ha!

Next time the kids want to make a mess, let them. It can always be picked up. I’m glad I let them make a mess in my kitchen. I second guessed myself, but I’m happy I flipped my “mom” switch off and just watched them play. It was exhilarating and motivating. Kinda like, “You got this girl!”

Oh, if I could bottle that moment!

Do you recall a favorite Mom moment? Please share below!                                                      I would love to hear you story.

Have a fab weekend, y’all! Hugs to all of you mommas out there! 

 ❤︎ ❤︎ ❤︎

XO

DIY Spider Headband

Hi y’all! As I always say, Happy Friday!! Have any fun Halloween plans? Just today, we’ve tackled two parties and several outfit changes, including a TNMT. Fun times!

Halloween is a very special day around out house, it’s my hubby’s b’day! We can’t wait to celebrate him. Aren’t birthdays the best?

Today, I’m sharing a fun and EASY diy project. After my last attempt a making caramel apples, I was a little weary of how this round of do-it-yourself would go. But, now that I think of it, everything probably went better because I wasn’t cooking. Ha!

Alright, y’all, fasten your seat belts for the easiest diy ever! 

Below is everything you need. I did add in some tulle! 

Hot Glue Gun
Headbands
Wiggly Eyes
Felt Squares
Pom Pom
Pipe cleaners
Tulle

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Love those little fingers!

I first used this cup to trace a circle. I ended up making the circles a little bit smaller. I recommend just cutting two small circles, it doesn’t have to be exact.                                        No measuring needed.

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Glue one circle on the headband and then sandwich the other on top.

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Next, grab four pipe cleaners and cut them in half. You will have eight pieces. 

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Apply a generous amount of hot glue to the felt circle.                                                                  Place four pipe cleaners on each side of the circle. I tried to space them out as evenly as possible. Ya know, like a real spider –wink, wink! 

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After letting the hot glue sit for a couple minutes, I cut a few scraps of tulle and twisted them together. I then applied hot glue on the tulle. No, this does get a little tricky. I had to use a pencil to push some of the tulle down. That being said, it sticks pretty well! 

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Meet the Spider Headband!

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A few thoughts…

You may need to trim the legs. Depending on who is wearing it, the legs can be a little long for a young child’s head. 

Also, you don’t have to use a headband. You can use this same method, without using a headband. Placing a spider on a solid colored cap would be a fun alternative! 


Ok, just like every parent, I wanted a cute picture. I actually made a headband for myself (minus the pom pom), and I wanted to get a picture of us today. And, well, you can see how she felt about that. 

It’s like she was saying, “Ain’t got time for that, Mom!” 

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I was amazed at just how easy and fun these were. Plus, I had a sweet little helper! Even though she had a melt down, she did enjoy helping me. If you have young ones, I recommend letting them play with the pom poms. I gave Camila a baggy and she enjoyed picking the pom pom ups. I mean, if she wants to help clean up, I’m not going to stop her!

I hope y’all have a super fun and safe Halloween. Chat soon!

❤︎ ❤︎ ❤︎

XO

What’s in your diaper bag?

Hey, hey! It’s the best day of the week! I hope you have had a great week, and have an even better weekend planned. I currently have a baby in my lap who is coming down with a fever. Oh my, my kiddos! My heart is breaking for them. If you’re dealing with sick babies, sending prayers for a quick recovery.

Speaking of kiddos, today I’m sharing my diaper bag essentials. If I could show y’all what my diaper bag (not to mention me — total hot mess!) looked like for my first outing after having my son, you would you get a really good laugh in. Seriously! My mom walked into my house and said, “Tori, do you need all of this?” I frantically replied, “Yes!” We left the house and hour and half later. An hour and a half. Being a new mom is no joke! I totally sympathize and appreciate new moms, and that’s what motivated this post. With the help of my sweet photographer, I wanted to share the items that are necessary versus the things you “think” you will need in your bag. For instances, a burp cloth is a staple item, not a finger nail file. Let’s face it, you just brought a new human into the world, the last thing on your mind is your nails.

Also, I’m sharing two fabulous items from one of my sorority sister’s baby line called Yellow Button Baby. I have known her since 2005 and she’s a doll! I’m showcasing her super soft, double sided baby blanket and bib. Both are machine washable and in colorful patterns. In fact, the bib is a brand new pattern for her fall collection. Check out Yellow Button Baby and pick up a few essentials for baby!

Enter thegalnextdoor at checkout to receive 15% off of your order!

Now, time for my favorite diaper bag items.

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Pacifiers

Oh, the Wubba Nub. These infant passies are perfect for not only soothing baby, but for keeping little hands busy. Available with many different animals, these passies are great for the new mom! Although, my kiddos didn’t use the Wubba Nub, I have met countless moms who swear by them. I tried to introduce them, but by the time my kids would take a passie, they were passed the infant stage. So, we use the MAM pacifiers. My daughter is enjoying one as we speak!

Both are great, both will soothe baby! 

Toys

Also, we can’t forget about the toys. I overloaded my bag with toys. Like, a new toy for every hour I was going to be out. Eek! Overload. What I’ve come to realize, is kids that don’t need that many toys. 1-2 is great, but more than that is just going to take up space in your bag. Not to mention, observing their surroundings can be fun and help them develop.

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My top toy for my kiddos was the Sofie. I don’t know what kind of magic they put into these little squeaky giraffes, but they are kid magnet. For real. They are also perfect for teething! 

Yellow Button Baby — Toddler Blanket & Bib

Yellow Button Baby’s Travel Blanket is amazing! It’s handmade, machine washable, and super soft! Perfect for the mom on the go. And how cute is this pattern? YBB’s blankets are available in three sizes. This is the travel blanket and I love the portability!

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Yellow Button Baby’s toddler bib is perfect for a busy mom. It can be attached to the outside of your bag, is thin enough to roll up ( and not take up a bunch of room), and snaps behind baby’s neck. When your child can remove their own bib, things can get a little yucky. That’s one more reason I love this bib. I know my daughter can remove it mid-meal.

Made of quality fabrics, including cotton and bamboo, these bibs are colorful and can be personalized. How fun!

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This bib is so versatile — it snapped perfectly on to my diaper bag. Of course, with a yellow snap button!

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Feeding

Have you tried an EZ PZ mini matt? These are life changing. As soon as baby starts to pick up food, I recommend you get one! They are dishwasher safe, free of any harmful extras (ya know, like BPA and PVC), and promote self feeding. Plus, they are perfect for eating out.

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When I started to get out of the house more, especially with my son, I struggled with ways to carry my formula. Eventually, I found the Munchkin Formula Holder, but do I wish I one of the Mixie baby bottles. My photographer shared this fabulous product with me and I had to share it with y’all!

The Mixie bottle stores a serving of formula of in an extra compartment on the bottle of the bottle. You can fill the bottle with water before or when baby’s hunger strikes. Next, pop of the bottle of the bottle and shake. How genius is that?

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Diaper Ointment

Of course, Destin is always an essential. Blow outs and nasty diapers happen, that’s where this stuff comes into play. I also love A + D because of it’s waterproof consistency. unnamed-2

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Other Essentials

Some other great items that aren’t shown would be Infant Tylenol and Johnson & Johnson Cleaning Wipes. I’m constantly wiping my kiddos down. Germs everywhere, ha! 


I hope you find this informative and helpful. I’m my no means a mom genius –just simply sharing some of my favorite items in hopes of informing new moms. 

Feel like this would help a friend or family member? Share away! Motherhood is all about community. 

Have a great weekend y’all and I’ll see ya next week. 

❤︎❤︎❤︎

XO

* The Gal Next Door is a part of several Affiliate Marketing partnerships. I may make a percentage per click/purchase. All opinions are my own. Thank you! *

Bath time with Grace Mabel

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Hey there, y’all! I hope you are having a great start to the week!

Today’s post is dedicated to all you mommas out there. I’ve partner with Grace Mabel to share their Cuddle Collection body wash and lotion. Their products are plant based, hypoallergenic, and free of phosphates and formaldehyde—just to name a few things. We’re in love with the body wash. Not only do we use it to wash, but we use it for bubble bath. The lotion is moisturizing and smells perfect!

Grace Mabel is made here in the U.S.A. and is created by the adorable, Amanda. During her teaching career, Amanda couldn’t help but notice the acceleration in disabilities in young children. When she gave birth to her sweet baby girl, she knew that it was time to create a safe, natural product line for children.

When you buy something from Grace Mabel, you’re not only getting a high-quality product, but you’re taking a step towards a healthier, more natural lifestyle for your family.

Check out Grace Mabel here. When you shop, enter grace15 at checkout to receive 15% off! 

Also, I’m hosting a giveaway for the Cuddle Collection. This kit includes:

Delicate Mint Cuddle Rub
Tender Tulip Baby Cream
Tender Tulip Shampoo and Baby Wash

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This is such a fun gift set! If you’re a mom, I know you will love this. Did you just find out one your friends is expecting? Grab this for her and her new bundle.

Comment on this post to be entered. Contest ends Friday, September 16th!

Don’t forget to head over to my IG account @toriparmer to comment on my Grace Mable photo. If you comment on both the blog and Instagram, I will count both entries.

Better odds, better chance of winning.

Have a great one, y’all! 

❤︎❤︎❤︎

XO

 

 

 

 

Just Say “No” to Mom Guilt

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Hi y’all! Yay, the weekend is almost here. I’m ready for to chill time with the fam. This week was exciting and fun, but this momma is tired. 

I hope you have a fun holiday weekend ahead!

As I mentioned yesterday on IG, today I’m talking about one of the complexities of motherhood.

For me, I have always had huge dreams. Through out college and after graduating, I have tried several different ventures. While some weren’t as successful as others, I grew from them. Fast forward to today, I’m still a big dreamer and I always will be. 

 It’s taken quite some time for me to understand how to balance being a mom and wanting to achieve my goals. I by no means have it all figured out, but I’m becoming very comfortable with the idea that I can keep striving for my goals and be a great mom. The kiddos are my life, they’re my everything, but I still have dreams. I want my kids to know that no matter how many times they may fail, they should never give up. I want them to learn from their mistakes and keep pushing.

While I understand that I can strive for my goals, I still feel mom guilt.

How well are the kids eating? Is the house clean? Did I return all of those emails? Who’s birthday is it again? Oh, and I still need to lose 10 pounds. Agh! Moms, is this a similar stream of thought for you? The never-ending list of to-do’s can be overwhelming and agitating. Many, many times I have felt the guiltly for not completing everything on my list. What’s the point of beating myself up when I’m trying to be the best mom I can be? I still don’t know the answer to that. I think it’s very common in most moms, and that’s what compelled me to write this post.

While I still struggle with guilt, I know that I can only take one day at a time. I may not have completed all of my tasks, but that’s doesn’t make me a bad mom.

That’s where grace comes into play.

Grace. Can we talk about wonderful grace is? God’s unending grace is a special gift that I’ve grown to appreciate more and more everyday. But grace doesn’t have to come from only God. Give yourself some grace, momma. Cut yourself some slack. When things get super overwhelming and you feel like you’re failing, stop.

Take a deep breath.

 Find a quiet place and stop, even if it’s the bathroom. Moms, you totally get me, right? Dial back the pressure to be perfect. Don’t compare yourself to other moms. No one is perfect, and no one has it all together. You don’t have to be perfect to be a good mom. 

Say a prayer.

When the guilt is becoming unbearable, say a little prayer and give yourself grace. Pray for the grace to do what’s most important, and God will pave the way for everything else.

So, to all you moms out there, keep going. You can achieve your goals and still be a mom. With God’s grace, you can do it all. 

Celebrate the Super Mom that you are! 

What’s the best mom advice you’ve ever received?

❤︎❤︎❤︎

XO

LWD + Collab with Mom On Point

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July 21, 2016

Hey there! Thanks for stopping by! The weekend is almost here and we’re hitting the road tomorrow. What are your weekend plans?

Today, I have a little something different for y’all. I’ve collaborated with a sweet gal, Caroline Moore. Her blog, Mom On Point is stylish, fun, and a one-stop-shop for all things fashion. Caroline is a mom of two and lives in Dallas. As a working momma, she balances finances (during the day) and motherhood effortlessly.

We decided to talk about the Little White Dress (LWD). Fresh and extremely versatile, a white dress can easy take you from day to night. For me, I styled my LWD with a denim shirt, my favorite Carolyn Hearn jewelry, and lace-up flats. Side note — the pair I’m wearing here are sold out, but I’ve linked a similar pair. Caroline styled a fabulous fit-and-flare dress with nude pumps and Kendra Scott earrings.

Check out her post here.

As I continue to blog, I keep learning and meeting new people. When I launched TGND I had no idea that bloggers helped each other out so much. My mistake! Caroline is a new blogger like me and has been helpful during our collaboration. She’s the sweetest!

Although there are bloggers scattered all of the globe, there is a close knit community that binds us together.

By the way, the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale  is still going on. If you are a Nordstrom cardholder, I’m sure you’ve already enjoyed the sale. If not, the sale is open to public starting Saturday, the 22nd and things will go fast! I’ll be sharing some of my favorite picks here.

I hope you enjoy this post and I can’t wait to hear from you. Have a good one!

❤︎ ❤︎ ❤︎

XO

Sunflowers and a Fresh Perspective

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July 18, 2o16

Hey there! I’m so excited to be seeing some new readers. Thank you!

For us, things have been a little different lately. As some of you may know, my daughter picked up a virus last week. We were hopeful that our boy wouldn’t get it but he did. Even though they are “sick”, they don’t have any symptoms–so strange, right? With that, we have not been able to get out much or play with friends. Let me tell you, this has made me a little crazy. I hate to admit it, but it’s been hard. Being stuck in the house with two active kiddos can be a little overwhelming. 

While we’re dealing with the bug, we’re going to have to make our own fun. Normally, we have school three days a week and play dates with friends. We’re constantly doing something on-the-go. But, being restricted has made things more challenging. It’s forced me out of my comfort zone–it’s making me break my “Mom Rut”.

So today, we did something different.

We walked around the neighborhood and explored–even saw a lizard! My son was very intrigued, my daughter was smiling, and I felt invigorated. Why? Because I felt like a Mom. Showing my two kiddos God’s great creation (even the normal, everyday stuff) felt different. We had a task, a goal–it was just a change of perspective. Now, I’m not saying everyday will be like this. We may not be able to carve out two hours to play outdoors, but I want to maintain this new perspective. My eyes felt open to the world around us–the world the way my kids see it. Exciting, new, and beautiful. Why can’t I always have this perspective?

There are many, many layers to motherhood. What I realized today is that sometimes I lose that zest of life. Like every other adult in America, there is life to worry about. The bills, relationships, daily tasks–it can weigh you down. Seeing the sheer enjoyment in my children’s faces during our nature walk was so refreshing. A breath of fresh air!

After today, I want to keep pushing myself to stop and, here it comes, smell the roses! 

Today, what’s your perspective on life?

❤︎ ❤︎ ❤︎

XO