new way to journal: Journal 10

i'm terrible at journal keeping. 
every time i start one i am pretty good at keeping it up for a few days {maybe weeks if i'm really disciplined about it} and then end up throwing it by the wayside. you can find at least half a dozen [if not more] unfinished journals from the last few years alone. so all this to say... i suck at keeping a journal. 

my biggest obstacle with writing in a journal is that i have too much to say! 
[no surprise there.... hello rambling blog posts!] 
i feel like it's a shame to only write a short amount on a whole blank page. and then i have this whole thing about needing to tell a back story and go into my life history... i soon get exhausted and end up quitting. 

Journal 10 is the awesome solution to all my journaling woes! 
Journal 10 is a different kind of journal that works more like a 10-year time capsule to record your memories and milestones. 

each daily page has room to write about your day, anything momentous that happened, or just something small that made that day special. it also has sections to write longer posts if you have more details you want to remember, long-range planning, monthly overviews, addresses & phone numbers, and special dates. 

some other unique characteristics about Journal 10: 
:: no pressure to fill a blank page 
:: build over time into a family memoir 
:: as you make each entry, you see what was happening on that day in previous years & it can trigger special memories that would have otherwise been forgotten
:: and to top it all off, they upgraded their journals to have a new genuine leather cover
so you know it really will last a long time. 

as you can see, i really do love my Journal 10!
it's so fun to see where we were just a year ago and see how much Elijah has grown as well. 
it's a great way to write down those fun little memories that don't always get added to baby books
{not that i'm good at keeping a baby book either.... oops!}

Journal 10 it would make a perfect Mother's Day gift, great for mothers to record their children's special milestones each year and for grandmothers to write down their precious memories of their children and grandchildren.
i mean, what's a better gift than the gift of preserving special memories, right?? :)

you can find out more information about Journal 10 on their website
and on their Facebook page.
and you can see a review by the Bachelorette's Ali Fedotowsky here.

and just in time for Mother's Day, the people at Journal 10 are generously offering one lucky reader their very own copy of this unique journal. 

[enter below]


a Rafflecopter giveaway

use the code ROBINSON to get 10% off your new Journal10 now until the end of May!

:: and the giveaway winner for the KinderStuff giveaway is.... Jessica Sebastian!! Congratulations! i'll get in touch with you soon :)

PLUS Party Link-Up

Welcome to The PLUS Party #5!

Google Plus and Bloglovin are the definite hot spots for following and engaging with your favorite bloggers! At The PLUS Party you can link up your profiles and follow friends old and new!

The Plus Party will run on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month, so mark it on your calendars! We'd also love it if you could share the hop through your social media and/or post our button somewhere on your blog.

Want to co-host? Spots are open! Contact Megan at Shaping Up To Be A Mom for more info!

Make sure to follow the host and co-hosts, and then link up and party on!


Co Hosts:

confidence & red heels

top: thrifted / skirt: Forever 21 long time ago, clearance / shoes: Target, clearance / necklace: Caroline G. {you can get this necklace for free today on the Caroline G. Facebook page}

i always walk by the shoes in Target just hoping they miraculously have some fabulous ones for just the right price. so when i saw these beauties for only $10, i shrieked a little and threw them in the cart. 
they are my favorite! 

and right when i bought them, the first thing i thought about wearing them with was this colorful, thrifted shirt. i know there's no red in it at all, but in my mind i just thought it would the perfect combination of bold colors. i mean, in my head, red goes with everything. :) 
maybe it doesn't really, but i like it. 
and you can pull off anything with enough confidence, right?

at least, that used to be my mantra. 
anytime i wore something crazy and someone would say to me, "oh i could never pull that off!" 
i would say back to them, "you can wear anything if you just rock it with confidence!"
the funny thing was, i really am not that confident at all. 
i just kind of buy into the whole Megan-is-just-eclectic thing that people think about me and go with it, thinking that if people already think that way then i can probably get away with weird combinations of colors and clothes. 

and maybe if i work backwards, pretending that i have the confidence, i will eventually feel more comfortable in my own skin. 

and if i'm truly faking-til-i-make-it, then i think i need more red in my wardrobe. :)

::: p.s. also, in some really exciting news, BlogHer featured my article on their FRONT page {sidebar} as one of their Editor's Picks under Family. i would be lying if i said i didn't get tears in my eyes... as lame as that may sound. i am just really incredibly honored! please go check it out when you get a chance :)

linking up with The Pleated Poppy 


[this post is not sponsored by Expo nor do they know i'm writing it. i just really love the website and i wanted to share it with all of you. cause really, who couldn't use the extra rewards, right??]

have you ever heard of
my friend introduced it to me last year and i LOVE it!! 
{thank you so much, Jessica!}

ExpoTV is a website where you can review regular household products and earn points for rewards. most of the products they ask you to review are ones you already have around the house like your favorite shampoo, cleaning products, diapers, face wash, and more. 

you can also apply to try out new products that sometimes haven't even been released yet. i have been able to try new lotion, baby wipes, and cleaning products with their Tryology program

the way it all works is once you sign up for an account, you are eligible to receive invitations to review common products like Secret deodorant, Luvs diapers, or Lysol cleaners. when you get an invitation for a product you have used before & have on hand, you then make a short video (at least 1 minute long) stating your honest opinions about the product. within a little over 24 hours, you will then find out if your video was accepted (which is almost always is unless you don't speak up loud enough or you reviewed the wrong product) and you will receive your points. 

almost every video invitation is worth 500 points or more. there are some that are 300 but most of them you can earn 500 points. once you earn enough points, you can cash them in for rewards like Amazon gift cards, Visa gift cards, video games, restaurant gift cards, jewelry, movies, music downloads, luggage, and TONS more! 

to get an idea of how much points are worth, 3000 points = $25 Amazon gift card
(which is about 6 one-minute videos if they are worth 500 points) 
or 1200 points = $10 Amazon gift card (so about two videos). 

it honestly is so easy to do and rack up points to get the higher prizes!! you get invitations often and it doesn't take long to make a quick video. and believe me, i'm totally awkward in my videos. but i still have been able to save up a lot of points in a short amount of time to get a $300 Visa gift card. 

i know there are weird places out there that seem fishy when it comes to "get rich quick" stuff, and this definitely isn't a "get rich" kind of website anyways, but this one is legit and you can earn awesome prizes for just sharing your opinion. 

so if you're looking for an easy way to earn some spending money or get some awesome gifts, ExpoTV is a great website to join! 

things i'm loving lately

- all these cute pictures of a very happy/energetic Eli-boy on his birthday pre-death bed.
- this perfect quote.
this skirt because, really, can you have enough leopard print in your life? i say no but i'm just crazy like that.
- that we renewed Netflix, the wonderful gift that reminds us of how sad our life has become because we have nothing to do and yet we still are joyfully entertained by it all.
- these new headbands. neeeeeeeed!!
- i keep hearing how this book is amazing and i think i need to pick it up soon. heaven knows i can use the help!
- this blog is incredible. her story is inspiring and she gives me a lot of hope. definitely a new favorite!
- i'm a big fan of this blog series. it brings back all the feelings about why i wanted to start a blog. great posts!
- THIS TOP!! love love love love
- if you haven't seen this blog yet, you are sorely missing out. hyperventilating laughter will ensue.

and on a little more serious note/request. i wanted to bring to your attention a family that can really use your help. Derek Beach is a great guy, loving husband, and wonderful father to his 3-year-old son. he also is fighting stage 4 Hodgkins Lymphoma and is currently in the ICU on a respirator. he is battling a fungus in his lungs, the paraflu, and pneumonia. to make matters worse, his family was dropped from their insurance and they don't have any life insurance. i can't imagine what this family, especially his wife, must be going through and all the fear & pain she must be feeling.

if there is any way you are able to help them out during this time, i know they would greatly appreciate it! you can find information here on how to donate to their fun. you can also purchase a shirt in honor of Derek and the proceeds will go to pay for Derek's medical bills and to support his family.

please, any little bit, even just keeping them in your prayers, will help so much!

fundraising page
buy a t-shirt
Facebook page updates

National Infertility Awareness Week

Amanda is an amazingly strong & incredibly inspirational woman who i have had the pleasure of becoming good friends with these last 2 years. she is so kind, so genuine, and a huge example to me in my life. 

today Amanda is sharing something very important to her that i know many other close friends of mine struggle with as well. i hope you take the time to read her story today.


Hi there, have we met before? If not, let me introduce myself:
I am a country-living, ice tea drinking, good book reading, farming, ranching, Jesus-loving, curly-headed wife of a seminary professor.   He's a teacher, I'm a writer. He's a thinker, I'm a creative. Together we make our home on a small farm in Texas.

I'm so thankful that Megan is allowing me to share a little bit of my heart with you today. We've been following each other's stories for a couple of years now, and she is such an encouragement and blessing to me, as I'm sure she is to you.

So today I am here with a very specific purpose in mind. April 21-27 is National Infertility Awareness Week, and as a woman who is currently battling barrenness, I am trying to make the most of this painful journey by spreading awareness about infertility
A few facts about infertility:
  • Approximately 1 in 6 couples in the United States are diagnosed with some degree of infertility each year. 
  • "Infertility" defines the inability to conceive a child after one year of unprotected, well-timed intercourse for women under the age of 35. Women 35 and older may be diagnosed after 6 months of unprotected, well-timed intercourse without conception. (The inability to sustain a pregnancy beyond 20 weeks is also classified as "infertility.")
  • 30% of infertility is the result of an ovulatatory dysfunction (i.e. there is a problem with the woman's ovulation cycle).
  • 30% of infertility is the result of a problem with the man (i.e. sperm structure or production).
  • Women who face infertility often describe their situation as "lonely," "isolating," and "painful."
  • There is a large spectrum of treatments for infertility, with varying degrees of invasiveness and cost.
My own journey with infertility:
  • My husband and I started trying for a baby almost 4 years ago.
  • We were officially diagnosed with "unexplained infertility" in February 2012 (the same month our foster boys were removed from our home). 
  • We have tried various therapies and treatments, from "alternative" therapies to traditional western medical treatments, including Intrauterine Insemination (IUI).
  • In September 2012 we embraced a gluten-free diet, as gluten intolerance is closely tied to infertility. 
  • We've experienced the pain and frustration of two failed IUIs.
  • Until last November my husband and I kept our struggle to ourselves. We were completely unwilling to share our story, and to some extent we were unwilling to accept our diagnosis.
  • But now I feel called to share my story as a way to encourage others who are also facing this same struggle.

National Infertility Awareness Week:
This week on my blog, I will be dedicating the entire week to spreading awareness about infertility, offering encouragement for those battling the pain of barrenness, and providing resources for friends and family of those facing infertility. Topics will include:
  • Ideas for stepping up out of the pit of infertility and transforming negative emotions and energies into productive, worthwhile activities.
  • Collaborative efforts from women currently battling infertility, and how they overcame common lies women believe about being barren.
  • Online and print resources for those battling infertility as well as those who want to come alongside and encourage and support their infertile friends and family members.
  • How to encourage and support your infertile friends.
  • Owning your infertility + embracing the waiting period.
  • Collaborative efforts from women who have made it through to the other side of infertility straight to the hearts of those currently navigating the muddy waters of barrenness.
  • Infertility from the husband's perspective.
There will also be a giveaway during the week with items I've hand-picked to offer hope and encouragement to those battling infertility. My goal is to offer encouragement and inspiration not only to those currently facing the isolation and frustration of infertility, but for those who wonder how they can minister to their friends who are facing infertility.

I hope you'll join us, and help spread awareness about infertility. It is an isolating journey, but it doesn't have to be.

You can connect with me at my website, on twitterfacebook, and instagram. I'm also on pinterest and google. However you decide to connect with me, please take time to introduce yourself!

a Chuck E. Cheese birthday {or the germ-infested, money-suck that got my kid deathly ill}

we decided to take Elijah to Chuck E. Cheese for his birthday this last weekend 
and he was in HEAVEN!! 
all the flashing lights, loud games, and dancing characters were the best thing to happen to this super hyper, fun-loving, little boy. 

mom & dad on the other hand.... that place was seriously disgusting. 
and our biggest fears were confirmed when Elijah woke up late Sunday night/early Monday morning with a terrible stomach flu. 
{we are on day 3 now... yay...} 

i knew once he high-fived that dirty mouse costume it was going to be all downhill from there...  

 but when looking through these pictures at the smile on this sweet little boy's face, 
i guess going to the brinks of death to make his birthday memorable was pretty worth it. 

and now hopefully he'll be back to his energetic self in no time!

i always wanted to be a mother...

i always wanted to be a mother 

i always wanted to be able to take care of someone else, 
but i didn't realize how much i needed to be taken care of.

i always wanted to raise a child & watch them grow, teach them how to be the best they can be,
but i didn't know how much i needed to grow & constantly be pushed to be a better person.

i always wanted to be the one who can make someone else happy, be the reason why they giggle & smile all day long, 
but i didn't know how much i needed someone to make me the happiest i've ever felt. 

i always wanted to feel needed, to be relied upon for another,  
but i didn't know how much i needed to rely one someone else. 

i always wanted to make a positive influence in a little person's life, 
but i didn't know how much i needed to have that positive influence in my own life. 

i always wanted to be able to show care & affection to a precious spirit child of my own, 
but i didn't know how much i needed to have that care & affection reciprocated back. 

i always wanted to be looked up to, 
but i didn't know how much i needed to look up to a little someone else instead. 

i always wanted to be the one who comforts another, who kisses their boo-boos & mends their broken hearts, 
but i didn't know how much i needed comforting of my own. 

i always wanted to be able to feel powerful, overwhelming love for another, 
but i didn't know how much i needed to have that kind of love given back to me.

i always wanted to be a mother,
but i didn't realize how much i needed Elijah more than anything. 

"Do the best you can through these years, but whatever else you do, cherish that role that is so uniquely yours and for which heaven itself sends angels to watch over you and your little ones." 
-Elder Jeffery R. Holland 
from one of my absolute favorite talks

motherhood is the most challenging and most wonderful thing i have ever done in my life. 
it stretches me, humbles me, strengthens me, encourages me, and pushes me more than i could have ever imagined. 
it is not anything i expected. it's better in ways i can't describe. 

to the little boy that made me a mother, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! 
i love you with all my heart & more. i am a better person because of you, i am happier with you in my life, and i need you more than i think you need me. [well, emotionally. physically you need me more so i can feed you and stuff...]

there is no one else i would rather share this mothering journey with than you. 
i have waited so long for your sweet spirit to come into my life. 

Happy 3rd, little E-Rock!!


Easter pictures. he thought the pumpkin was needed for Easter cause you know, they both get candy i guess.

this cute little heartbreaker will be THREE on Sunday! 
i can't believe it.
how did he get big so fast?
and how has it only been three years since he entered our lives when it feels like he's been with us forever?

little not-so-much-a-baby E is a CHAR.ACT.ER!!
this kid makes us laugh every day.
here are some of his most recent funny Elijah-isms that i think are pretty hilarious.

me: "Elijah, are you my best friend?"
E: "yeah!"
me: "am i your best friend?"
E: "no!"
me: "who's your best friend?"
E: "chocolate cake & candy"
of course. 

E: "Mama, just go to sleep. shhhh...."
then proceeds to rub my hair and "sing" to me
sweetest moment of my mothering life.

me: "Elijah you're going to be 3!!"
E: "i have a birthday?"
me: "yeah on Sunday it's your birthday"
E: "oh, we'll see mom? we'll see?"
sure... we'll see if you have a birthday.

and since "we'll see" is Eli's new favorite phrase, here's another one: 
E: "mom we go to da park?"
me: "no not now."
E: "oh, okay we'll see??"
me: "no we aren't going today."
E: "oh we'll see, we'll see."

lately when i ask Elijah to do something, he does this crazy grin, puts his finger in the air and says,
"of course, mother!!"

me: "Elijah are you a sweet boy?"
E: "NOOO!!"

yeah... that last one sums up a lot of our days.
but really Elijah is a very sweet boy.
he's my best friend, my little boyfriend, and the absolute love of my life even amidst all the screaming matches that are thrown down around here.
{him screaming that is.... and maybe me too especially into my pillow}

can't wait to see more of his little personality come out as he continues to grow.
lovin' that little boy of mine!

White Cloud Diapers Play Date

this post is sponsored by White Cloud Diapers where i had the opportunity to try out their products. however, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Kara + Owen and me + Eli, picture stolen from Brittany (doesn't Elijah look HUUUGE in this picture?? not a baby anymore i guess...)
last week Elijah and i had the fun opportunity to go on a play date with other local blogging moms sponsored by White Cloud Diapers by Wal-Mart. 
{as you possibly noticed as i blew up your Twitter and Instagram feeds} 
it was a beautiful day and it was so fun to go an event with Elijah and other moms. 

we were all completely spoiled by White Cloud Diapers with lots of delicious treats, fun games, & amazing company. 
and i'm pretty sure Elijah alone ate half the box of cookies... 
and when you're just trying to make sure you're child doesn't run away to follow the ducks in the mud & puddles, you just kind of let them eat almost half the box of cookies. 
[i mean, other people do that too right?] 

Elijah playing some of the fun games at the party: who can drink the bottle the fastest and smelling the "dirty" diaper
it was such a fun afternoon and i was so grateful to be a part of it.
and i'm especially glad to be able to work with White Cloud and get to know their brand better.

White Cloud diapers are some of the most affordable diapers on the market and are exclusively found at Wal-Mart. and not only are they affordable, but they are great for sensitive skin like Elijah's.
Elijah gets dry skin and rashes a lot. but White Cloud diapers doesn't agitate his skin as much as other diaper brands and he seems to be really comfortable in them. they are hypoallergenic and fragrance-free and cottony soft inside and out.

plus can i tell you how cute they are??
polka dots, giraffes, stripes, and little alligators??
i was smitten when i first laid eyes on them. 
Diapering can be one of the biggest expenses in a family’s weekly budget and a great performing diaper is a must-have for parents. In order to make this affordable, Wal-Mart has reintroduced their premium line of White Cloud diapers to address the needs of today’s busy parents.

White Cloud Diapers provide your baby the highest quality diaper with superior leakage protection, exceptional softness and great fit. White Cloud Diapers are available exclusively at Walmart, where you can find low prices everyday on all your family’s needs. Check them out today!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of #WhiteCloudDiapers.

KinderStuff Giveaway

children's clothes can be a big investment. 
they grow way too fast for anything to fit longer than 2 months. 
and if your kids are on the tall end of the percentile like Elijah, the shirts and pants always seem to run too short for them. 

thankfully there are great companies like KinderStuff that are trying to solve the kids' clothes dilemma by providing affordable, economical solutions. 

what is great about KinderStuff that sets them apart from other children's clothing sites is that once your child outgrows their clothes, you can sent their used KinderStuff products back {with free shipping!} and get a discount on your future purchases. the returned clothing is then donated to charity, recycled, or resold at a discount. 

KinderStuff works hard to provide organic and locally produced clothing. 
their items great quality and comfortable for little ones. 

here are some of my favorite picks: 

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

they have lots of other cute items in their shop that you should definitely check out. 

and be sure to follow them on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest
and also you can read their feature on Babble

KinderStuff is generously giving one reader an item of winner's choice from their shop!
you can enter below.

and if you don't want to wait if to see if you won,
you can use the code GO-TEDDY324  to get 15% off your first purchase at their shop.

good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

:: and the winner of the Lil Blondie's Bowtique giveaway is... Luisa Madeleine! congrats!! i'll email you soon! :)


the story in this video is beautiful and powerful. 
to have to experience something so tragic and come out stronger is an amazing feat. 

but this video doesn't even tell the whole story of the incredible Ceran family... 

before this terrible crash, this family had already lost 5 other kids. 
fraternal twins who were born prematurely died after they were born, and then three other children died from a rare form of brain cancer. 
if that wasn't enough pain and agony for this family... their wife & mother and two more children were killed from a drunk driver on Christmas Eve. 

after reading more about the Cerans, i soon learned that the father unconditionally forgave the drunk driver who took the lives of his family that night. 
he said, " He'll experience the grief far more than mine, because I don't have to deal with being the cause of it."

knowing all of this and then watching this video makes this message even more amazing. 

i hope you take the time to watch it and remember that the Lord is aware of us, that He knows us and blesses us, even when it feels like all is lost. 
the gospel is real and true. 
Christ is our Savior. 
and we can live with Him and our loved ones again. 

$250 Cash Giveaway!

I’m excited to host this fantastic group giveaway with Camille from Friday We’re in Love and Katie from Some amazing bloggers joined up to give away $250 IN CASH!! 
(Who doesn’t want an extra $250 in their pocket?) 
 That’s right, cash, sent straight to the winner!

 Check out the awesome group of 25 bloggers who have teamed up to make this giveaway possible and then head to the Rafflecopter widget below to enter. 
You can earn up to 75 entries, so get crackin’!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 The giveaway closes at 11:59pm on Friday, April 26. Good luck to everyone who enters!