Iphone Cases - The Perfect Stocking Stuffer

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Sure, it's November 8th and I don't have my obnoxious 20' Christmas tree up just yet, but it's never too early to start looking for stocking stuffers!

Since there are only 7 more weeks before the big guy comes to visit, I figured I would kick things off by giving you all my 5 favorite Etsy iPhone cases of the moment. I get lots of comments and questions on my phone cases and I typically get them from Etsy or here.

I feel like iPhone cases are always an easy gift that you know most people will love since the majority of people have iPhones and everyone uses a case. Why not put a little personality into it? 

There are a couple of things that I look for when purchasing a new iPhone case. Obviously, is it cute... but also is it functional? I love cases that have an extra hand strap so that my children can't pull it out of my hands easily or a case that has a cardholder on the back. That is where I typically carry my ID and one credit card just in case I forget my wallet. 

I know that sounds like it shouldn't happen too often but if I'm out with my son Jaxson and I have to carry his diaper bag with me, I ALWAYS forget to take my wallet back out and place it in my work bag. 

Here are some cases that anyone in your life should love! Click the photos below to shop! 


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Taunted At The DMV Like Fake Fall In The Carolinas

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Much like the fall weather teases Carolinians, I have felt taunted by our local DMV. I am yet to hear a good story come out of the Department Of Motor Vehicles, yet I find myself there more than most people. 

If you're new around here, welcome! If you've been a fan of our family's blog, then you know we host an Aupair from Colombia. An Aupair is someone from another country, between the ages of 18-26, who comes to live with you and attend school in exchange for room, board, and child care. They also provide your family with a great deal of culture in which to expose your children.  

Although hosting an Aupair is convenient and consistent care for your little ones, there is also a learning curve for the Aupair and the host family alike. This is our second Aupair (our first during COVID times) and we are still learning. 

Getting our new Aupair fully situated this time around has been a lengthy process. More specifically, getting her a driver's license. In my last blog, I told you all that she was about to take her written drivers test, and I am happy to report, she passed! So the next logical step for her was to take the road test. BOGEY! 

When I say, this has been the most challenging part of our journey, I speak the cold hard truth. I told you all on my Mommyhood 2 Menopause Podcast that her original driving instructor fell asleep in the car (among other things), and we had to start from square one. However, when we showed up at the DMV on-road course day, it seemed history was about to repeat itself.  

On October 11th, we were turned away from the DMV and told that they were not currently doing road course tests, even though we were able to secure an appointment online. Not only that but we were also informed that Aupair Laura would not be eligible for the road test waiver because she was not a US citizen. The reason we were given was because of Covid 19, which to me didn't make sense as just days earlier the government announced that it was going to open our borders to tourists. I questioned the man's knowledge of what he said was a recent email his office received from Raleigh and was completely shut down and told to leave. 

After hearing of other Aupairs who had no issue taking their road test later that week, I decided to call Raleigh to get some answers for myself. The woman I spoke to was lovely. She answered all of my questions and said that the man who gave me that information was incorrect. That in fact, the last email to go out to offices was reinstating the road course test as of Oct 1st. So she had no knowledge of what I assume the man made up. 

Luckily, after securing another appointment the following week at a different location, Laura was able to take her test! I remember walking in with her and saying "Girl, come hell or high water, you are taking your test today!" 

I am happy to report that Aupair Laura, not only got to take her test that day but... SHE PASSED!   
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STOP And Jump On The Bed

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As a Mom, we always want the best for our children. We want to give them the best, treat them the best and teach them the best. However, as adults, we often forget that children have so much to teach us. 

There are so many times while Elena was here that I got so wrapped up in work that I forgot to stop and take a little extra time to enjoy life with my kids. That was because Elena was so good at what she did, it was easy to get so much work done that I became a work-o-holic. Of course, our new aupair Laura is WONDERFUL, but she is still growing into her role with our family. Elena was here for 2.5 years and knew our children like they were her own, Laura has been here for 2 months. So naturally, there is still so much to learn. 

However, the silver lining in all of this is that Cash has reminded me to look up from the blog, take a "time out" from the station drama and jump on the bed. Watching Jax at MyGym every week makes me appreciate these tender moments and brings my attention back to how quickly time passes. I know that one day I will blink and these two precious little boys will be strapping teenage men before I know it.  

Today Laura is finally going to take her driver's license test. As you can imagine with COVID 19 still looming the process to get her settled has been a long one. Everything has been delayed, from opening bank accounts to social security appointments. However, this seems to be the last piece of the puzzle that will give Laura the freedom she needs to completely settle into her new role. 

Once that happens and things return to our new normal I will continue to try and find the balance between getting things done (work, the podcast, creating content, and blogging) and staying present with my family. I know that there is a happy medium, we just have to find it. I also know so many of you are eager to learn more about Laura and as I can devote more attention to this blog again you will get to do that!

So join me in wishing Laura the best of luck as she takes her driver's license test today for the very first time in the USA! 


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Dry(ish) January Is Over

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Dear god! Why do we pick one of the longest months of the year to withhold alcohol from our lives?!?!
Oh yeah, because the holiday drinking season pretty much ferments our bodies, and our livers need a break. Plus, it's nice to start off the year on the right foot. Sure, the first couple weeks are hell and there is lots of temptation to have a beer with NFL playoffs on TV, but once that detox kicks in, it's all worth it.

I recently read an article that said this was the largest group of Americans to try and concur "dry January" in years. In part because of the pandemic. Lots of Americans admit to overdoing the booze in 2020. According to Wine.com alcohol sales were up 217% last year. 

Of course, some hear "dry January" and automatically assume it has a negative connotation but in reality "dry January" has just as many health benefits as mental health benefits. And abstaining from alcohol even for short periods of time can improve your sleep quality 10 fold! 

Of course, when it comes to depression or alcoholism you should always seek help but for those just looking for a good detox it's okay if you didn't make it. Experts say just trying to get through the month can reap the benefits above. 

Now, I'm not gonna lie dry January was more like dry-ish January for me too. I must admit I did have 2 cocktails. One glass of Champagne when a friend's baby was born and a glass of red wine while out to dinner with my husband. Now, I can honestly say I feel so much better than I did on January 1. Not only have I been partaking in dry(ish) January but I have also recruited the help of a nutritionist at Profile by Sanford.

They customized a meal plan especially for me as a nursing mom and I feel amazing! Between abstaining from alcohol (for the most part) and taking control of my health, I have already lost 7 lbs. I am closer to my pre-baby weight than ever before.  

Sure, I will continue to have a glass of wine or a dirty martini here and there but I think I like this new feeling. When I do partake in happy hour I will be sure to try out these 3 tricks I found online. 

Stick to reds. Red wines contain resveratrol which has antioxidants. Stick to Pinot Noirs and Cabernets.

Go low sugar. Sure some wines have a lower alcohol content but that is sometimes a trap. Check to make sure you're not getting more sugar along with that lower content. Don't fall into the Moscato trap!

And finally, try a spritzer! Adding sparkling water to your wine can stretch the serving, plus it's more refreshing especially in the summer months. 

Cin Cin! That's Italian for Cheers! 

*** Remember you can always shop these deals by clicking the photos below****

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