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My view for the majority of my vacation…yes please!

I just returned from a lovely kid-free weekend with my husband. We had an amazing time. We pretty much ate, slept and lounged our way through two and a half delightful Southern California days. But we have also been on a major health kick for the past two months and we didn’t want to blow all our hard work. Here are a few things that help us enjoy ourselves and stay on task.

1. Have an eating/splurging plan– My husband and I would try to think ahead each day about how we wanted to enjoy our meals. We knew we want to have a nice dinner with wine to celebrate our anniversary one night, so we had hard boiled eggs and fruit for breakfast that morning. Then the day we did the buffet brunch, we had salads for dinner.

2. Pick Your Poison- Decide what is important to you, then eat that. While my husband was looking forward to poolside cocktail service, I was looking forward to being a little looser with my food. I stuck with water at breakfast and thoroughly enjoyed 3 pieces of bacon, where as he ordered a Bloody Mary, but skipped the breakfast meats.

3. Drink More Water- If you are on vacation chance are you; flew in an airplane, drove a long distance, you are eating richer, saltier food, drinking more alcohol and/or are in a different climate than you are used to. All of these are reasons to increase your water intake. (Plus, water helps you feel full and sated and may help you from over-eating)

4. Wear More Sunblock Than You (think you) Need– I was wearing 45, but it was my first time in the sun since last summer and I still got fried!

5. Pack Healthy Snacks– An apple, a healthy bar or some nuts pack easily and can take the edge off until you make that later-than-usual dinner reservation. Then you don’t inhale the whole bread basket when you sit down.

6. Fit In Fitness– We were on a (delightfully) kid-free vacation, so we were able to make it to the gym both mornings. But even if you have the little ones in toe, try to take the whole family for a walk, or trade off gym time with your spouse, or a few laps in the pool. Or make your fitness FUN, my husband must have climbed the stairs to the resort’s waterslide 25 times in a row…that’s better than the stair master any day!

Way more fun than the stair master!!

7. Don’t fall for peer pressure– If you don’t want another drink, don’t have one, even if other’s in your party are. Or if the waiter asks if you want a second basket of chips, you can say no.

8. ENJOY YOURSELF– Vacation is all about having fun, relaxing with the one’s you love and enjoying a change of pace. I came home feeling like I enjoyed the food, the drinks and the lounging around immensely and was still proud of the steps we took to stay on our healthy track. But remember, your vacation will end and you will get back to your routine. So if you order a Bloody Mary AND the bacon, you’ll be fine…just be sure to enjoy every vacation-y bite!

ENJOYING date night!


I have a problem….Like I might need some sort of rehab kinda problem.

I am addicted to Pinterest.

I love Facebook, I do, but lately I can’t get enough of Pinterest.  It is a great place to procrastinate.  But I have also found some great ideas.  Like this Cauliflower Pizza Crust recipe that I made for dinner on Sunday night.  (Its turned out delicious, read about it here).

As I said yesterday, March was a busy month.  And when I get busy, I like to reorganized my ‘systems.’

Does anyone else do this??  A good friend and I joke that whenever we feel a little overwhelmed with all the plates we have spinning, it means time to go shopping for a new calendar!  Because the reason we are feeling flustered must be because our calendar is too small, or too big, or not blue enough.  Or we have the wrong pen.  I firmly believe that feeling overwhelmed is simply a matter of having the wrong color post-it notes!

So, Pinterest has been my go to place for getting some new ideas on how to streamline my to-do listing, my file system, my calendar, my post-it note system or day dream about an amazingly organized pantry.
Here are a few of my favorite organizational pins:

Visual To Do Lists:

I’ve become pretty reliant on my phone for my planning, calendar and list making.  (I personally love omnifocus)  But sometimes it is nice to just see something on front of you on paper.  Here are a few of my favorite ideas.


Source: via Megan on Pinterest

House Organization:

After Baby #2 came along, I lost my home office.  Now I do most of my work at the dinning room table, or at Starbucks.  But I daydream about a way I could carve out a tiny bit of space for myself.  I LOVE this idea!  But then again, I don’t really have a closet to spare either!

Source: via Megan on Pinterest

Source: via Amy on Pinterest

Maybe I need a office in a box???

Source: via Megan on Pinterest

This pin gave me a great idea to update my Ultimate Diaper bag list, especially now that my kids are a little older.  Stay tuned for a whole post about this one!

Source: via Megan on Pinterest

While playing the his favorite game on my phone the other day, Brady figured out how to switch over to the camera.  Later, I checked out his shots.  I LOVE them.  The neat thing, when he and I were looking at them later, he told me he was taking very specific shots on purpose, of Violet’s nose, of her eye.  Perhaps a photographer on our hands!

self portrait

There is something else about that I learned about these pictures and this post.  I shouldn’t say learned, because its something we all know.  Something I was reminded of.  To slow down, to take time to enjoy the little things, the little ones in your life.  To really get on their level and see the work through their eyes. Brady probably took 50 pictures in this ‘series’  and then he and I sat and looked at them all.  He told me about them, what he saw, what he was trying to do…it was amazing.

Things have been busy around our house lately, lots going on.  Like everyone’s house all the time right?!?!  I haven’t posted as much as I have wanted to over the last few weeks and I haven’t done some of the other projects on my never ending list.  AND I had a classic Megan melt down feeling overwhelmed and questioning how are we going to ‘get to it all’.

I still don’t know.

But I can stop to appreciate Violet the talking dog’s nose, or eye or most importantly the little eye behind that lens.

What will you do today to appreciate the little things (that are really the big things) in your life??

(and any tips for getting it all done would be appreciated too!!!)

Clean your space, clean your thoughts

Guest Post By Sharon Lincoln

As Spring time rolls around and you are cleaning out the house, how about spending some time cleaning out some old thoughts as well? Did you know that your thoughts create your feelings?

How often do you find yourself saying things like:

  • I’m not skinny enough?
  • I’m a bad mom for working/not working/being too impatient/scattered etc.
  • I’m being selfish if I take more time for myself

It  is easy to default to negative thoughts about ourselves as old habits tend to die hard. Often these thoughts lead to negative results and behaviors. After awhile we simply start to believe what we think even if there is no real truth behind it.

This month as you are doing your spring cleaning, take the time to clear out some of the negative thoughts about yourself as well. Try this exercise:

Write down on a piece of paper all of your negative thoughts in one column. Next to the negative thought, write the opposite. For example, instead of I’m not good enough, try “I did my best” or “I’ll never lose weight” to “I ate a healthy breakfast that will help contribute to my weight loss goals.”

By being your own advocate you are creating new thought patterns. New thought patterns create new behaviors. This month, make the commitment to eliminate negative self talk from your vocabulary and become your own advocate!

Sharon Lincoln CPCC is a Certified Personal and Professional Coach and lives in Tiburon, Ca. She is a mom to a preschooler, Ethan and baby girl Maya and can be reached at

This post marks the 100th article I have shared with you, the Bump Life community.  And the fact that this also marks my 9 months in the blogging world, somehow also seems very fitting.

To write this post, I went back to the beginning and re-read my very first post.  It is still one of my favorites and still brought a little tear to my eye to remember where I was 9 months ago, how far I’ve come, and how I am still in the same place in so many ways.  In fact, I am quite literally sitting in the same coffee shop I sat in to write that first post and I still question my parenting decisions on a daily, if not hourly, basis.

I don’t think I am the only one who hopes they are making good decisions when it comes to raising her children.

In another early post I talked about parenting being this weird, isolating club.   There may be millions of women in this club with us, but at times, we feel so alone, like we are the only person who has ever struggled with whatever we are struggling with at the moment.

As parents and as moms specifically, it is so easy to feel judged by others for the choices you make as a parent.  And if judgment from the outside wasn’t hard enough, usually the toughest critic of our parenting decisions is ourselves.  Mother guilt is an ugly monster that rears its head, even when you least expect it.

But through writing these posts, I hope to provide education without judgment.

Bump Life, for me, has been about talking about the hard parts of parenting and sharing successes .  It has been about discussing topics and weighing out choices.  But most of all, I hope bump life has been about realizing there are many right choices out there and the choice you make for you and your family is the best possible decision.

Breastfeeding? Potty training?  Co-sleeping?  YOU are doing it right.  Having a hard time with something??  Someone else is having the EXACT same problem.

A dear friend of mine wrote a beautiful essay about finally feeling connected to her newborn daughter after three and a half weeks of life.  They struggled with breast-feeding and when she found out her daughter was not getting enough milk and was losing weight she said;

“Discovering this on day four of her life was a tremendous blow for me. I felt guilt, shame, and sadness, creating a further disconnect as I felt I had failed in my role of sustaining her.”

I wanted to reach through the computer and give her a big hug and tell her she is a wonderful mother.  I felt a bit of guilt as a fellow mother and a member of this community for not helping her more to see that she was not failing.

This is what I am here to tell you.


So what’s next??

What is the next parenting hurdle we will have to jump over?  I have no clue., but we’ll talk about it here.

What is next for me and for Bump Life?  Well, if these first 9 months have been Bump Life’s “pregnancy”, than I am SO excited for the next phase- “birth”

Bringing this little thing out into the world and watching it grow and change and become its own little being.

I have so much planned for this little one.  From a new design and layout, to lots more posts, more videos and more guest experts.  And new additions like downloads, webinars and newsletters.

Most of all, for my 100th post, I want to thank you.  Thank you for being MY community, for being my sounding board, for being the voice that tells me and tells each other; “we are all in this together”

In those early days of parenting two kids, I found I had lost my groove a bit.  Starting Bump Life has helped me find my mommy groove and I hope it has helped you find yours.

here’s too the next 100 posts….

Nothing like a party to motivate you to finish a long procrastinated project!

Over a year ago, I took down the few photos we had hanging over our dining room table to paint the wall a fun accent color.  Well, a full year later and I hadn’t gotten around to rehanging any of the pictures or updating the photos in the frame to include our newest family member.

SO for her first birthday party last Saturday, I was determined to get them hung!

Here is the step by step directions on what I did:

Step 1: The blank wall

Step 2: Layout the frames

Step 3: Make Paper Templates

Step 4: Arrange the templates on the wall

Step 4: Hang the Hardware (with a great helper!)

Step 5: The finished product!

I love, love, love how it looks and so glad I can cross another house project off my list!

with friends I have made through volunteering in my mother’s club

Making new friends is EXACTLY like dating.  For better or for worse.

We wonder where we will meet quality friends who share our same interests.  The nerves of that first date? What do we say when meet. Will she like me?  Who will call the other first?  Does the 3-day rule apply?  We don’t want to seem to eager, but we don’t want to blow off a potential new friend.  And when you add the time consuming demands of now being a mom too.  Making new friends is hard.

But friends are essential for surviving motherhood, so here are a few tips to make new friends and make the friendship work.

Where to meet mom friends

  1. Join a mother’s club-most organized moms club will connect you with a playgroup with kids your kids age.  Make an effort to go to a few of those get togethers.  Even in a large group, your bound to meet one person you connect with.  Also, moms groups often host bigger activities that can be great “date” locations for new friends  “Lets meet up at the Mother’s Club Carnival this weekend?”
  2. Talk to the moms at your kids school or activities-it is hard to put yourself out there at first, but this is a great place to meet other moms, because you’ll automatically see them on a regular basis.
  3. Join a mom friendly volunteer organization-If you are passionate about a cause, you’ll probably meet someone else who shares that passion.
  4. Meet other women through your current friends– Don’t be shy about letting your other friends know you are ‘looking’ for new friends.  Suggest to a friend that you set up a get together and each bring one other friend.

What to do on that first “date”

  1. Take a chaperone-And by chaperone, I mean your kids.  Your kids provide an instant connection and an instant distraction.  You may totally hit it off with your new friend and want to meet for coffee or a glass of wine kid-free (yes, please!) But save that for once you know each other a little bit better and have more to keep a kid free conversation going!
  2. Go somewhere with a built-in activity.-meeting for coffee sounds great, but if you are both a little shy or don’t hit it off, sitting across from each other in silence can get a little awkward.
    • Farmer’s markets-
      Our farmers market has a bouncy house.  The kids can jump while you chat
    • Library story time
      Most libraries have children’s room.  After enjoying the story time, your kids can look at books or play with the toys and puzzles and you can get to know each other
  3. Somewhere where the kids are somewhat contained
    • Enclosed play ground-
      Don’t choose the biggest playground around.  If your child wants to swing and hers wants to climb on the play structure, you may never get to talk.
    • Mall play space
      Most malls tend to have children play spaces, and coffee shops.  You can get to know each other over a cup of coffee while the kids are entertained (and contained)
    • Walk with kids in the stroller
      If your children still will ride in a stroller, this can be a great way to meet up.  But unless you KNOW you both are avid hikers/joggers just stick to a stroll around town so no one feels uncomfortable or out of shape
  4.   Do something connected to something you two are already doing
    • Meet at preschool drop off and go straight for a walk.
      You both have to be there already at a certain time and you’ve already parked your cars.
    • Take the kids to the park or to get ice cream after soccer practice.
      Again, you both have to be there to pick up your kids, so half of your ‘date’ is already planned

Topics to keep the conversation going

  1. Ask about her background
    • Where did she grow up?
    • Where did she go to school?
    • When did she move to the area?
    • What hospital did she deliver at?
  2. Ask for parenting advice– Kids are an easy topic and most moms love (and need) friends to bounce parenting ideas off of.  I also think we all love to feel like we are helping someone else out
    • How do you get your kids to eat veggies?
    • How do you help your baby sleep?
    • Do you know where I can buy my daughter new shoes?

What to do to keep the friendship going

  1. Send her a text– Texting is a easy, no pressure way to say thank you and stay on the other persons mind.  Let her know you and your child had a great time and hope to get together soon.
  2. Friend her on Facebook–  Facebook is such a great way to get to know someone from a distance.  You’ll learn more about her, you can “like” status updates and comment how cute her kids are in photos.  You’ll feel so much more connected and it will be easier to get in touch for a second “date”
  3. Let her know what you are up to– This is another great way to use texting.  Send her a message that you and your son are heading to the park if she wants to join you.  This way its no pressure, you are going anyway, she can join you or she can decline and maybe suggest another time to get together

Things not to do:

  1. Don’t feel like you have to be BEST friends with everyone– That mom from your preschool might be a great walking partner or your kids might wear each other out at the park (yeah!), so do those things.  If you don’t feel like meeting her alone for wine, that’s ok too.
  2. Don’t push a parenting agenda– parenting is hard, and especially on a first “date,” try not to judge.  If she shows up at the park with a McDonalds Happy Meal, don’t tell her you never let your kids eat fast food.  Just feed your kids their apple slices and see if you connect on a different level.
  3. Don’t talk politics or religion– even if you met at a venue that you think puts you on the same page with that person (like church).  Save the weighty topics for date 3 or 4.  Just talk about baby food and sales at the GAP for today.
  4. Don’t ignore her if you see someone else you know– remember we are all trying to build a stronger community. If you run into someone else at the park try to include everyone in your conversation.  Or even help connect the other moms.  “Oh hi Jane! Have you met my friend Lisa?  You both have kids that go to Miss Sarah’s ballet class”  or “Hi Jane, this is my friend Lisa, we were just lamenting how hard it is to get our babies to sleep at night, do you have any good tips for us?”
  5. Don’t be offended if she doesn’t get right back to you. – We are all so busy and kids get sick and it is hard to maintain friendships.  So if you called her to set up a playdate and she didn’t get back to you, give her the benefit of the doubt and try again, maybe she just got busy.  If she still blows you off, that’s ok too, get back out there and meet someone new!

Why is it so easy to be so hard on ourselves??

I was spending time with a very good girl friend of mine yesterday.

She was lamenting about her daughter still not sleeping thought the night. She had tried various methods from the no-cry solution to full cry it out, and her daughter is still not getting the hang of settling herself to sleep. She and her husband are exhausted

“I feel like I must have done something wrong, but I don’t know what it is or what to do.” She worried

As she said this, she settled into the couch with her daughter to breastfeed, and my heart sank just a little bit.  Our babies are the same age, but I had given up on breastfeeding a few months ago after I just wasn’t producing enough to meet her needs.  I am bummed that I did not make it to a year and feel guilty that I couldn’t.

While I was feeling bad about my ability to feed my daughter, my friend asked about her sleeping.

“Is Rylan, sleeping?”

Well…I thought.  Yes.  She started doing 8 hours stretched of sleep at 7 weeks old and was sleeping through the night at about 4 months (6:30-6:30). She had never even really needed sleep training; she just sort of figured it out.

We had used the cry it out method with my son and he had the hang of it  in 3 nights and has been a great sleeper ever since.

SO, I have good sleepers.

She continued, “I don’t hear other people talking about this, I must be the only one who kids don’t sleep”

“But,” I reminded her, “she is a great breastfeeder!”

“True” she replied, somewhat dismissively.

And that is exactly it!  It is so easy to focus on the challenging parts of parenting while sweeping the things that came easier aside, thinking they are easy for everyone.

In fact, as I started to write this blog post, I thought…haven’t I written this before??

This having kids thing, that bonds us together, can also feel really isolating.  It is so easy to feel like you are the only parent in the world to go through whatever you are currently going through.

I challenge us ALL to take a few minutes and think of the part of parenting that have gone well for us.

  1. Your child is overall healthy
  2. Easy pregnancy
  3. Uncomplicated delivery
  4. No problems getting your baby to latch
  5. Abundant milk supply?
  6. Your baby took a bottle with ease
  7. Your baby is generally happy and not fussy
  8. Your kids are great sleepers at night
  9. Your kids are great nappers
  10. Your kids transitions to childcare easily
  11. Your baby liked solid foods when you introduced them
  12. Your baby has met developmentally appropriate milestones
  13. Potty training was relatively easy
  14. Your child rarely through a full blown temper tantrum
  15. Your child is sweet and funny and silly

For me, I can say YES! to 10 of these for my older son and 11 for  my daughter (we haven’t gotten to all of them with her).  So those are pretty good odds!! I think I am going to write, “my kids are good sleepers” on my hand…

Take a few minutes write now and write out a parenting mantra for your self.

MY KIDS ARE REALLY GOOD AT_________________



Any time you start to feel unsure of yourself, read that mantra.

And call a friend, because, I promise, you are not the only one going through what you are going through.

I have been feeling really good lately.  It is the Year of the Dragon, supposedly an exciting year for big things happening, we just had a lovely family vacation, I have a wonderful group of girlfriends and the sun is out today!  I am feeling especially lucky, I am feeling like my cup of life is full and filling up even more.

Today’s 10 minute challege is all about YOUR cup and filling it up.  Filling it with appreciation for those you love, filling it with newly acquired knowledge and literally filling it with water.

So, take 10 minutes right now and make a few small changes that WILL change your life.

*If you’ve missed the last two 10 minute challenges, check them out here and here.

Minute 1-2:  Make a List of the 10 Things You Love and Appreciate About Someone

Remind yourself why you love someone

The last two 10 minute challenges had us outwardly telling an important someone that we were thinking of them.  Today’s assignment has you privately reminding yourself why you love someone.

I think it is easy, when things get tough, to take out our frustrations on those who are closest to us, both physically and emotionally close.  I find that when one of my kids is crying, that’s when the dog also annoys me the most.  Or if I had a hard day, it’s easy to get frustrated with my husband when he comes home.

So, grab a piece of paper and list 10 things you love about someone special, or reasons you appreciate them.  It can be little things or big things.  You can, of course, share this list with that person.  Or just fold it up and put it in your wallet or medicine cabinet.  Open it up and read it whenever you need a little reminder of the good people in your life.

Minute 3-5: Stretch and Get Some Water

Keep that water close by!

If you are reading this, my guess is you are either slouched over your computer or squinting at your smart phone’s small screen.  Everyone just sat up a little taller, right?  Good!

Sit up tall, roll your shoulders 5 times to the back.  Take a few deep breaths.  Tip your ear from shoulder to shoulder and roll your shoulders back a few more times.


Now get up and go get a big glass of water.  Most of us are guilty of not drinking enough water throughout the day.  So go fill a big class with water or dig your water bottle out of you bag.  If your water is easily accessible, you are more likely to drink the recommended amount.

Minute 6-10: Learn Something

“successful people learn something every day”

Many of us spend many minutes (hours?) killing time on the internet.  We get caught up on our friends vacation photos, on the latest celebrity gossip (Seal and Heidi…really?!?!) or what’s on sale at GAP.  But the internet is a wealth of valuable information right at our finger tips.  Go google something right now that you are curious about.  I recently read that successful people learn something every day.  So why not start now.  Here are a few ideas;

What is the difference between complimentary and complementary?

Who was the 27th President?

How do I start a Blog?

I missed President Obama’s State of the Union Address

Which book is the current NYT best seller?

Good job, 10 minutes later and now your cup runneth over too!

The year of the Dragon is going to be a GREAT year!

Gung Hay Fat Choy!!

I have never really gotten into Chinese astrology before, but I have to say, I am excited about this year, the Year of the Dragon.

According to astrologers, The Dragon stands for everything on a grand scale; big ideas and extreme ambitions.   This is supposed to be a huge year for great deeds, innovative ideas and big projects.   It’s also supposed to be a good year for social connections, relationships and family.

SO I predict BIG things this year, big things for myself, my family, my career, my relationships.  And big things for all of you too!

What are your extreme ambitions for this year?

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About Bump Life

Bump Life is a place to support moms and families across all aspects of our lives. A place for tips, expert advice, parenting resources and entertainment. A great place to come for information, support or just a break from our crazy lives. From fitness to finance, from diaper bags to diaper duty, for everything bump, babies and beyond, you'll find it all here at BUMP Life!