Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Step right up to see the AHHMAAAAZING BROWN FAMILY CIRCUS // Halloween 2017

Happy Halloween friends!  I cannot believe it is already the last day in October and one of our favorite holidays is here!  We had such a great month, celebrating Halloween is like the cherry on top.  We made it to four pumpkin patches this year and the girls talked me into buying more pumpkins than I ever have before.  Our porch is overflowing with pumpkins and I love it!  Briar slept through pretty much every festive thing we did so I'm assuming that means he loves Halloween too ;).

We spent last weekend doing lots of fun and festive things like carving pumpkins with friends, stealing our kids Halloween treats, and watching Room on the Broom 83756 times.  Sloan had a harvest party at her preschool yesterday and said, "It was SOOOOO fun mommy!  I got the best prizes ever and everyone loved my beautiful dress!"  She chose to dress up as Elsa and I even braided her hair into an "Elsa braid".  Phayre chose to be her beloved Boo from Monsters Inc. and I kind of couldn't get over how cute she looked! I have a feeling she'll be wearing her Boo costume again and again.

For trick-or-treating, we are dressing up as a family and this year we went with a circus theme!  Let's be honest-since having our third baby, our life pretty much is a circus.  It felt like the most appropriate theme yet and I had so much fun putting everyones costume together!  Sloan was our ringmaster, Briar her ferocious lion, Phayre our silly clown, Eric the strongest man, and I have the most glamorous role-the bearded lady :).

My very sweet friend Lindsey of Lindsey Wiatt Photography took these darling photos, if you're in the Portland, OR area check her out!

I hope you have a fun and safe Halloween friends!


Marisa :)

Outfit sources:

Strongest man:  Strongest man shirt
Bearded Lady:  Beard (skirt is old from Shabby Apple)
Clown:  Long sleeve white leotard (I added pom poms I made from yarn), tutu c/o  Trevi Ave Co., hat c/o  Little Blue Olive,  yellow boots
Ringmaster: Hat c/o  Little Blue Olive,  black leotard,  jacket, tutu c/o  Trevi Ave Co. (tights and boots are old)
Lion: costume was borrowed from my best friend, it is a few years old

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

#THEMOMBLOGCOLLECTIVE // Balancing Blogging and Motherhood

If you're new here, here's the scoop. Once a month, a group of amazing and inspiring mamas will answer the same set of questions about blogging, Instagram, photography, collaborations, and much more. We each have different perspectives and opinions, so this is a fun way to learn from one another. We hope you'll join along! Check out the hashtag #themomblogcollective to see everyone on Instagram as well!

This weeks topic is about balancing blogging and motherhood.  Now I'm going to be real honest here-this post will be short and sweet because I think balance and motherhood are kind of like oil and water.  They just don't mix and anyone who is a mother and says that her life is perfectly balanced is probably also a big fat liar :).  Or she has several nannies.  And a maid.  And a chef.  Ok you get the idea ;).

I started blogging because I really enjoyed photographing my children, sharing about and documenting our life, and connecting with other women and mothers.  It started out as this fun little space to be creative and overshare photos, but it quickly turned into something much bigger.  Now, (along with oversharing photos-because I'll never stop doing that) I work with many brands and try to schedule blog content in hopes of staying organized.

Even when I'm in a good blogging groove, I don't take blogging too seriously.  You can make pretty good money blogging, but that's not why I do it.  My blog isn't paying our mortgage each month and while I enjoy it, I am also very aware of where it fits into my life and how to prioritize it with my other responsibilities.  I am very selective about the collaborations that I take on and am careful not to take on too much at a time.  

Before having Briar I posted on my blog about twice a week.  I found this totally manageable and usually blogged during nap time and at night when the girls were in bed.  Since having Briar, my blog has been the first thing to go.  I post infrequently and can't seem to stay on any type of blogging schedule even when I take the time to make a schedule.  Sloan has recently given up naps and Phayre and Briar almost never nap at the same time so that isn't a time I can count on.  By the time they're all asleep at night I'm too exhausted to put very many sentences together so that time is usually out too.  I'm in newborn land and instead of exhausting myself even further, I'm taking this time to just soak up my babies.  So the blog is quiet for now, but I know it'll be there when I'm ready to pick things back up.

You guys are like, "I was really hoping for some sound advice and this lady clearly doesn't have her shit together..."  And you're probably right :).  When it comes to motherhood, it's all about prioritizing your time and energy because there will never be enough of you to go around.  For me, my husband and babies come first.  I will sacrifice the blog and my own wants and needs (for now) because I have babies and babies don't keep.  Our daily life is very scheduled, usually revolving around Sloan's school schedule and all of the girls activities and play dates.  Each day I map out our day in my mind and try to figure out where I can squeeze in other responsibilities (grocery shopping, prepping dinner, cleaning, etc).  Being on a schedule that everyone can count of really helps me stay organized.

Do your best and give yourself some grace.  Truly think about what your priorities are (and they may change from day to day or week to week) and do your best to check them off one by one each day.  As long as you get the most important ones checked off, you're doing an amazing job.  And sometimes, every once in awhile, just be a yes mom and have fun with your kids.  Throw your priorities and responsibilities out the window and just be.  Make memories, laugh, and really be in the moment.  

I exhaust myself daily trying to love on my kids, make it to school and activities on time, breastfeed, make meals, clean my house, etc., but I can't find the time to workout or write a blog post.  I'm in a season of life where it's just not about me and I'm ok with that.  As time goes on, I know I'll be able to find a better balance because my babies won't be babies anymore.  I'm really in no rush to get there!  As long as my husband and kids go to bed feeling loved by me each night-the rest can wait.  

I guess the message I'm trying to convey is to embrace the season of life that you're in.  If that allows more time for you and your passions, run with it!!  But if it doesn't, that's ok too!  Our lives as mothers are going to continually change, be present and find joy in every single day you spend with your family.

If you're looking for some practical tips on how I manage our days-check out this post!  



Here are links to the other #themomblogcollective contributors posts, definitely take a look!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Easy and Practical Halloween Costumes with Mini Boden

This post is in partnership with  Mini Boden, but all thoughts and opinions expressed are 100% my own!

I loooooove October.  For all the basic girl reasons like pumpkins, crisp fall air, and chunky sweaters-but mostly for the costumes on Halloween!  I love planning my kids costumes and having reasons to let them dress up.  I try to choose costumes that I know the girls will be able to reuse because they both love to dress up.

Leading up to the big day, I love dressing my kids in Halloween themed outfits and pajamas.  Mini Boden has the absolute cutest Halloween collection this year.  This Halloween cat dress is probably my favorite ever.  They also have darling pajamas, oh how I love holiday themed pajamas!

Mini Boden has so many fun themed goodies right now, I decided to make each of my kids a Halloween costume using items that they can reuse year round.  It was SO much fun choosing their outfits!  I asked the girls what they wanted to be and Phayre said she wanted to be a purple kitty cat and Sloan said she wanted to be a princess.  We chose darling outfits and added some fun handmade goodies to finish off their costumes.  We even found a little frog sweater so that Briar could be Sloan's frog prince!

For Sloan we chose a pink swan sweater (it's super soft and warm!) and the most darling sparkly shoes.  We added a pink tutu from Trevi Ave Co. and a glitter crown from Presh Toast.  For Briar we chose the sweetest little knitted frog sweater and I kind of can't stand how cute the hood is!  They were the cutest 'princess and the frog' I ever did see.

All of Phayre's purple kitty cat dreams came true when we found a purple velvet dress with dancing cats on it (thank you Mini Boden!).  We added some ballet slippers, little kitty ears from Zozu Baby, and a simple nose and whiskers with a little eyeliner and her outfit was complete!  She twirled and twirled as soon as she put the dress on, it was so sweet!

We had so much fun creating these costumes with Mini Boden clothing!  Their clothing is so unique and the quality is superb.  If you're looking to create a fun costume with items that your child can get use of year round, check out all the fun styles over at Mini Boden!

A few of our friends are sharing some frightfully good fun on their blogs along with more Mini Boden Halloween styles.  The Chirping Moms have Spooky Ghosts made from paper plates and toilet paper plus easy costume ideas.  For a delicious fall apple recipe for kids, visit Love You More Than Carrots.  Head to The Southern Mama Guide for Non Candy Treat Bags for Preschoolers. You must see how The Love Designed Life has created Goldilocks and the Three Bears costumes. If you loved the Mini Boden Halloween pajamas, be sure to check out Momfessionals Sweet and Spooky Halloween book suggestions to read at bedtime this Halloween season. Trick or treat!

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