Gift Guide from a Non-Gift Giver

Are you guys a little tired of seeing Holiday Gift Guides yet?

I have to admit – I kind of am. Honestly, I’m not a huge gift giver. My love language is least of all gifts, and so gifting over the holidays doesn’t come as the priority.

In fact, I’d much rather just drink wine and eat with friends and family, and just as well scratch the gifts altogether.

This, my friend, probably makes me a terrible person to take gift giving advice from.

So instead, I’m just here to share some of the things around our home that I’m currently LOVING, and would make phenomenal gifts if that’s your thing. It’s just cute and sentimental things I thought you’d love to.

If you’ve been following along on Instagram, Facebook, or the news, you know that our community has suffered one of the biggest natural disasters ever. Over 50,000 people have lost their homes due to the Camp Fire, and with that, most or all of their things they held dear.

So making a gift guide with “things” just doesn’t seem quite appropriate, so I wanted to be sure to include items I am passionate about, love and care for, and if I had enough time to flee my home in an effort to evacuate, would most likely grab alongside my family photos and pets.

Yes, still just things, but things that matter.

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JOJO

Yes, I would put the JoJo at the very top of the list, and here’s why:

It’s the most familiar and comfortable place for Joey that’s not in my arms. As if I was grabbing my own pillow, I would grab Joey’s JoJo for him. It’s safe, it’s his most precious belonging, and a sentimental token of our family’s passion and livelihood.

And if you are here looking for some gift giving goodness, the JoJo makes a great one for any family of babies.

SEE MORE ABOUT THE JOJO

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KANTHA BAE QUILT

Remember that big chunky pink quilt that my friend Krista sent me? That thing, let me tell you, is one of the most favorite things I own. I snuggle that quilt almost every day. It’s smell, texture, story and comfort provides me with so much peace, it’s unreal.

Anything from Kantha Bae is meaningful, beautiful and adored, but these one of a kind chunky knit quilts are by far a fave.

Head HERE to see all the goodies.

chatbooks

CHATBOOKS

So simple, so perfect, and if I wasn’t able to grab my hard drive or photos off my wall, I would grab these Chatbooks that contain the most vital photos of my family.

I personally have given, and will be giving, Chatbooks to most of my family and friends this year. Whether it’s photos I’ve taken, or ones I’ve stolen off of their Facebook, having these little books with life’s most memorable moments in your hands is the sweetest thing. I LOVE them.

RING SLING

Similar to how important the JoJo is to my family, so is the ring sling. It’s a safe haven for Joey, a comfort piece for me, and beautiful on top of all of that.

These slings are literally the PERFECT gift for any momma. If I hadn’t already bought one or encouraged people to buy one, I would be giving these slings to every mom I know. I love the Wild Bird (above) or the Kantha Bae (yes, they make ring slings!)

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LETTERBOARD

This letterboard brings so much joy to my home. It’s changed all the time, and each time it brings new laughter, tears or excitement.

There’s lots of letterboard options out there, and I have a few different ones in my house. My favorite is the Letterfolk Letterboard, but I also adore my white one I got on Amazon.



We did something scary.

Today, I want to use the reality of a new baby in a friend group to talk about something a little deeper.

I want to talk about how to make, foster and grow these friendships so that things like this even get to happen.

So often, the biggest struggle as a mom is the feeling of isolation, loneliness and the sheer act of being alone with non-adults all day, every day.

When I got pregnant with Joey, I had a group of insanely close and loyal friends. None, and I mean none, of which had babies or were planning on having them anytime soon. Adam and I were the first ones.

What followed this was as heart wrenching as it was a blessing – those friends faded, and fast.

Not because we didn’t love each other. Not because we didn’t still want to spend time together.

Simply because life as a mom completely negates the life you had before, in all the best ways.

You come home with a baby and you are new. Your life is new, and the old ways of doing things not only don’t work, but you have forgotten how they worked to begin with.

And so, those friendships change, at first. And then they start to feel distant and not as intimate. And not long after that, you haven’t done anything with them in months and they’ve only met your son once, and he’s now 2.5. 

We are put in this terribly scary place of not only getting to know this little 7 pound bundle of non-sleeping joy, but you’re alone while you do it. And no one else around you is going through the exact same thing. And you so badly want someone to know what this feels like, but all they can do is nod their head and offer you more water, or coffee, or to hold the baby you actually don’t want them to hold. 

Getting up and changing this place I was in was the hardest thing in the whole freaking world. 

I remember the day I did it. I remember packing up Joey, alone, and doing my freaking best to make it to the gym for our 9 am workout. I had been to this exact same class pregnant, just a few weeks before this day. I was entering to familiar faces, but none were “friends.”

It was so hard. I didn’t know how to put Joey in the carrier very well. He didn’t even really like it. He spit up the entire time. My whole body hurt. I squatted and thought my innards were going to hit the floor. He cried. I cried. I sweat through my shirt and through his shirt and sweat stung my eyes and dripped down on top of his head.

I could only lift a small sandbag. Nothing like before. Where had my muscles gone?

I bled. I remember thanking myself for wearing a pad, even though I didn’t think I would need one.

And when it was over, and I felt defeated and still alone and wondering why I left the house FOR THIS, she walked over.

“You’re Nicole of Nicole and Co, right?”

Me, trying to put Joey back into his carseat, fumbling with the straps and praying he stays asleep in the process. “Ya, I am.”

“I follow you, and I hope this isn’t creepy, but you’re amazing.”

You guys, she said these words. She made the first move. 

She was the most intimidating person I have ever known. I had watched her, for months and months and months before, in the advanced class, far from my beginner/intermediate class I stuck to. She did pull-ups unassisted and lapped me when we ran. She had the most gorgeous tattoos, and eyelashes that basically hit the sky.

And now she was 8 months pregnant, in the Moms class at the gym, no longer able to do an unassisted pull-up and getting ready to pop out a child soon. Just like I had done weeks earlier.

All this to say, 2 and a half years later, I watched, encouraged, and photographed her birth her second baby. 

Her love language is touch. She purple shampoos her hair once a week. Her daughter, Madi, wakes up every night between 1 and 2 and comes to her bed. James calls me a dork, and it means I’m in his tribe, now. Zoe is her favorite dog and Ashland once knocked over Madi and almost broke her nose. She has a mole in a place she won’t talk about and her elephant tattoo on her foot is named Fiona.

Tasha was the first friend from my mom tribe, and now, I have these things to say about Kasey and Amy, too. Because we all did the exact same thing:

Did something really scary.

I went to the gym that day. Tasha introduced herself. Kasey invited us on a hike (which I flaked on… I bet she understands now). And Amy gave us advice on how to navigate the newborn days. We all sat there, on the gym floor, with brand new babies, and just started talking. 

Kasey was leaving her job to stay home. Tasha was missing her husband who was gone fishing. Amy was trying to get pregnant again. I was trying to figure out how to work in the studio with a newborn.

We had different, very different, struggles. But we were no longer alone in them.

We have not been apart since this day, and it’s the best thing that has ever happened to me (and them, I assume).

And then, after the third one of us had her second baby (I’m next, and the last one, apparently), we all gathered around and cheered her on, in the room, together, with her husband.

Because if we are honest with each other, the bond the four of us share is that close – husband kind of close – and it’s the most intimate relationships we have.

We share bodies, sometimes. In the gym, during labor, getting our eyebrows waxed and holding hands at the pumpkin patch. We know each others’ love languages and DO THEM. 

Watching Tasha give birth was the most intimate experience of my life. Even more than my own birth. The vulnerability that comes from birth now matches the vulnerability we all have together, as friends. We were, and are, raw, exposed and vulnerable, and were, and are, there for each other in every single moment of it.

This is something that, as it seems, cannot exist without having children together. At least for us. Our children, the seven of them, is what ties us. Growing them, birthing them, and raising them – together.

Tasha’s birth story is for her to tell, but she blessed me beyond words with the privilege to document the process, and share it with you. 

Scroll through the whole gallery for the sweetest little glimpse into Sawyer’s first moments earthside.

Traveling with a family

Let’s be super honest - traveling with family is a feat. Traveling with family AND small children is a bigger feat.

I’ve been brainstorming for a while about how to write a blog post featuring all the travel tips I have for families, particularly with infants, but then I had this revolutionary idea.

I should not only feature someone who knows it better than me, but we should also probably give away a family vacation.

Oh, you think I’m joking?

NOPE

I’ve partnered with a bunch of badasses this month to not only give you the need-to-know deets on how to travel with a family (internationally, mind you!), but to also give you (yes, could be you!) all the things you need to have a family vacation of a lifetime.

As we work to plan for next year, and hopefully aren’t getting toooooo caught up in the bustle of holiday season yet, something we are making a priority as a family for next year is travel.

And then I realized, I am no travel expert. Not even kind of. In fact, Joey has never been on a plane, but he rocks road trips. And I’ve only been overseas once.

So, I needed to learn. And quickly, so I can plan accordingly! Cue, my badass friend Rachel, who is not only a super seasoned traveler, but a fellow mompreneur and expert in how-to blogs, if I do say so myself.

Not long ago, her and her husband, along with her parents, and Knox (10 months old) on a excursion to Italy and it was pure EPIC. And of course, in true Rachel style, she wrote an amazing blog about it with so many tips and tricks, that I found myself taking notes faster than I could even read. She’s that good.

You can read her whole post RIGHT HERE, but here are the need-to-knows for those skimmers out there:

airplane and airport tips:

  • Depending on the age of your babe, bring lots of snacks and toys.

  • Fly an airline that helps families (KLM was amazing).

  • Make friends with the people around you.

  • Chill out and let them roam as much as they can in the airport and plane before take off.

  • Wear comfy clothes.

  • Have lots and lots of wipes.

  • If you are bringing a stroller, make sure it’s easy to fold down so it can go through security.

  • Make sure your carry ons are organized and you know where everything is.

  • Be prepared to not sleep.

tips for busy sight-seeing days

  • Be willing to take breaks

  • Wear lots of sunscreen

  • Buy Gelato

  • Have a stroller and a carrier

  • Have a blanket or something to use for diaper changes

  • Snacks, snacks, snacks

  • Bring lots of wipes

  • Have a plan for your route

general tips

  • Know that things will not go as planned, so be flexible.

  • Our child was very active, but not yet walking when we were gone, so I had to let him crawl in public places. Gross? Yes. But, I had to let him move and crawl at some point.

  • Always have snacks, diapers, and wipes. Always.

  • Have a good baby carrier that can be used for front and back carry.

  • Bring a small, compact stroller.

  • Make everything you need for the baby easily accessible and organized.

  • Ditch the schedule of naps and bedtime and just enjoy your time.

  • Stay at hotels vs. airbnbs because you are more likely to be able to get a crib and also have a bigger bed.

  • Naps: all of his naps were either in the car seat or Ergo.

  • If you’re going to Italy: Italians love babies, use it to your advantage :)

  • We packed all the diapers and wipes we needed, so we didn’t have to be stressed about buying them there.

  • We packed everything in a very organized way to make sure we both always knew where everything was.

  • If you don’t have access to laundry, make sure you bring enough clothes. We went through 2-3 outfits a day.

  • Use sunscreen!

But without further ado, I know you want to win a family vacation so you can put all this to use!

I’m excited to announce that I’ve partnered with these amazing brands to give you so many tools, gift cards, CASH and style must haves for travel. And of course, a JoJo because as we all know, you definitely need one of those for travel (more on that next week!)

Here’s what you can win:

01. $300 hotel voucher from Triphop
02. JoJo Infant and Toddler Lounger (perfect for travel) from Nicole&Co. ($119 value)
03. 3-month subscription to SCOUTbox ($114 value)
04. $250 Amazon gift card from Project Mom
05. $300 shopping credit to DiscountGlasses.com
06. Five pairs of Fuzzy Babba slippers! ($90 value)
07. A watch and bracelet set from Mon Amie ($125 value)

Giveaway closes November 17th, just in time for holiday gift giving, too!

How I consolidated 3 weeks of work into 1 day | creative biz client management for dummies (like me)

Own a creative biz? Want an easier client management solution? 

Ok, let’s start here.

I bypassed Honeybook more than a few times. Somehow convinced myself that it wasn’t for me. That for some reason, my creative biz didn’t fit in the Honeybook box because it wasn’t wedding based.

This, my friends, made me a fool. A F O O L !

Here’s how my normal workflow would go:

  1. A potential client would email me through my website. I would have to check more than one email address daily, making sure nothing was missed. And even then, I missed them due to spam. Stupid spam folder.

  2. I’d write back, ask about what they are interested in, and how can next connect.

  3. We’d then schedule a time to chat, which would take a few emails back and forth.

  4. Then we’d decide to work together, and then the real work on my end started.

  5. First, send a proposal. Open Word, find a past client’s proposal that was most similar and customize for this client. 

  6. Find which email address I communicated with this client from. Send proposal via email. 

  7. Wait for response.

  8. “Looks great” response would come through, then I do this all over again with a project agreement. Open Word. Customize an old contract, send it off.

  9. “Snap a photo of the last page signed and send back to me!”

  10. Ugh. Seriously. Face palm.

  11. Draft invoice for deposit in Quickbooks. Download. Save. Send. Wait for check to be delivered via snail mail. 

  12. And then, finally, we’d start the project.

I’m tired already and we haven’t even started.

But here’s the thing. As a small business owner, I don’t have the funds or the brain space to use another, and yet another, app for these things. Just e-sign contract agreement apps can cost a minimum of $15 a month and that’s just for e-signatures. I still have to draft the contract myself.

Then we get into payment processing, digital proposals and email management galore. 

I thought this worked.

And honestly, it did work. But little did I know that there is such a better, and so much easier way.

On my IG story today, I’m going through a simple Honeybook overview and how I was able to get each and every one of these steps, the initial client onboard particularly, into one simple place.

My first project through Honeybook, the client on boarding took 1 day. Deposit paid and everything. Versus the weeks it used to take me. In fact, I’ve been able to onboard almost double my normal client load in the same amount of time, simply because of this simple process.

The important pieces are this – I was able to send the proposal, contract, and deposit request IN ONE EMAIL. No more back and forth. 

I got paid the day after I talked to the client, and their project got started the day after that. We just took 3 weeks (or more) off the books that would have been complete wasted time.

Basically, what I’m trying to tell you is that there is no other software or platform out there that does this for creatives. And frankly, I’m not even taking advantage of everything I COULD be doing.

Book keeping, calendar syncing, analytics and reports, client inquiry forms, time tracker, referrals, and file library.

Features I’m currently loving:

TEMPLATES

I am able to upload contract and proposal templates (Honeybook even took the ones I had and input them for me!), so all I need to do is click SEND and it customizes itself to my new client and project.

Speaking of project, I can upload, make and/or customize project templates using a list of services I already offer. So. Simple. It makes me feel stupid for not doing this before.

Emails - I can customize email templates for each stage of the client management process. No “generic” emails ever sent again, and I feel so confident that I won’t forget something, because it’s already done for me!

REMINDERS

I am an accountability rookie. I do not like accountability (for myself or others… freedom lovers unite). But Honeybook reminds me all the time when something is due, or someone needs something, or I said I would do something. No more missed deadlines or slacking on response times.

PAYMENT

You guys, it is the easiest thing in the world. I don’t even need to create an invoice. Just a *templated* payment schedule for projects, and viola. Payment made and money in my bank account. Simple as pie. Actually, easier, and much faster, than pie. Pie is hard.

50% OFF

Because I love this software so much, and feel like such a fool for not utilizing this sooner (like, wayyyyyyy sooner), I want to offer you other creative biz bosses (or even if you’re not creative, but like, a bookkeeper, this could still totally work fo you… seriously), access to Honeybook for a major discount. 

First of all, get a trial period for absolutely free. And if you don’t like it, ditch it. But you’ll love it. So I’m so excited to be able to partner with Honeybook to give you 50% off your year of Honeybook. 

I know that you will love it as much as me, and I wouldn’t tell you to go for it if I thought this was a waste of your valuable time. Because let me tell you – just in time saved using this little but very mighty app, I’ve TRIPLED what would be the cost of Honeybook is clients booked and deposits paid in ONE MONTH. 

That’s a lot of money that I would not have made otherwise, or it would have taken me A LOT LONGER to make it.

Anyway, I really would love to offer you this as a gift from one overworked and overwhelmed biz boss to another. 

Kantha Bae

Becoming a mama has not only given me the incredible opportunity to share about my own journey as a mom, but I’ve been lucky enough to have connected with so many other amazing humans I would have never met otherwise.

One of them being Krista, owner and designer behind Kantha Bae.

Like many brands I love, Kantha Bae serves a deeper purpose and has a business heart of literal gold.

 
 

Kantha Bae, and their partner Basha Boutique, supports Bangladeshi women coming from at risk and trafficking environments to find a home, a job, and safe care for their children. Each piece of Kantha Bae goods is hand made by one of the these women, and let me tell you, holding these pieces in your hands brings the spirit of them right into your own soul.

Every single piece of Kantha Bae and Basha Boutiques goods is ONE OF A KIND. Meaning, no one else in the whole world has this. 

Krista, owner and founder, is a mom to 5 and an amazing inspiration. I am lucky enough to be able to call her an Insta friend, and real life inspiration behind my own work as a mompreneur.

I am so excited to be a brand partner for Kantha Bae, and share these incredible pieces of one-of-a-kind fabrics with you.

You can head to the shop and see all the amazingness yourself, but here are some of the pieces I am lucky enough to have.

Kantha Bae restocks the first Monday of every month at 5 pm (that’s today!).

The baby slings are of course my favorite, but now that Joey is almost 40 pounds and doesn’t sit still, I’m not in a place to use one. I am, however, planning to order another chunky quilt for Joey’s room and head wrap because I think, maybe, I’m cool enough to pull one of those off… maybe.

How to be a mom...

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Let’s start with a story.

When we were trying to get pregnant, I envisioned myself as totally ready to handle this mompreneur thing.

Like, totally ready. 

I was going to work while the baby napped. The end.

You guys, that was my plan.

I was so naive.

I was working 60 hour weeks, easy, as a freshly married, young and vibrant creative business owner. And I loved it. 

Sure, it was crazy stressful. I was pretty much working myself into the ground, but I loved every second of it. I was busy and overwhelmed and wondering how I was going to get it all done. I had a team of people, jobs out my ears and dreams galore.

Looking back, bringing a baby into that mix was a recipe for disaster, but whatever. I totally had it all together, and I had a plan, obvi.

Needless to say that plan blew up, and in a hurry.

I told myself 3 months. Three. And I would get back to work. But listen, my business didn’t wait for me. It moved on, even though I set an out of office reply email, had someone doing my book keeping and website that ran themselves.

No, my business still went on. And I wasn’t there to catch it.

Something funny happens when you don’t run your biz, and it’s running you. You lose it.

It’s kind of like the refrigerator running away from you joke. Except it’s not a joke, it’s real life, and your livelihood.

The money went down, the work went up, the email went unanswered and the clients found someone else to do the work sooner, and cheaper.

My ideal client before I was a mom was no longer my ideal client.

And I didn’t have any clue when that shift happened. I was probably on the couch nursing a newborn, wondering when the fog of my head of hormones might lift so I could see straight.

Once I got here, I started Googling. 

I was coherent enough to know I would look back on this time with humor, so I wrote down in my journal what I was Googling. I knew this blog would matter one day.

  • How to be a mom

  • How to run a business as a mom

  • How to make money fast

  • How to work with a newborn

  • When does my body come back to normal?

  • Why do my boobs hurt from nursing?

  • Best way to nurse a baby, hands free

  • Do laptops emit radiation on my baby?

  • What do I ask the daycare?

  • How do I find a nanny?

  • Do babysitters carry liability insurance?

  • Can I sue my husband for not having lactating breasts?

  • Is there a course on being a working mom?

  • Self employed mom decision making matrix

  • How much is a laundry service

Seriously you guys. I actually Googled these things. I’m not kidding.

Now, I’m over two years into this mumming and running businesses thing. In fact, I’ve launched two businesses since Joey’s been born, and another while I was pregnant with him. 

I’ve completely changed my existing business to better serve our life now, and I’ve generated more than a few revenue streams to serve our family.

It’s not perfect. Not even close. But here’s what I know:

If someone had just told me how to do it, and I had done it, I would not have had to figure it out on my own and I could have been thriving during mompreneurship RIGHT AWAY and not two years later.

There is no one size fits all way to make mompreneurship successful. But there are some core principles that carry over from mom to mom, from biz boss to biz boss, and once we put them together, it’s like a huge weight is suddenly lifted and we all can fly a little bit higher.

If there can be all these courses on how to run a badass business, I thought to myself, I know there must be one on how to be a badass mompreneur.

Well, friends, there wasn’t one. So we made one.

Mompreneur : the Course is simply that – a compilation of lessons learned, tools invented and resources found in order to be a badass mompreneur without the overwhelm, guilt or loss of time.

So I, along with the help of all the other badass mompreneurs I know, put it all down on paper, in videos and podcast episodes and blog posts, and made it a course.

And after 10 weeks of beta testing on a group of badass mom bosses, we are ready to get this thing into the hands of every mompreneur amidst the chaos and mess and overwhelm of everyday life.

Stop Googling these things like I did. There’s no good answer to any of them. 

Cue, the only course you’ll ever have to take, every again. Ditch the grind and welcome to the new, glorious space of mompreneurship.

Home Office Magic

Moving into a home office was an emotional choice more than anything, and one that took me almost 9 months to make.

You see, I’ve had an out of home studio my entire career. I never, and I really mean never, worked from home. Not even on weekends.

I always have had a really strong work/life boundary. I had to – I am terrible at compartmentalizing and when I do, it’s because if I don’t, it’s a disaster.

This really stems from the fact that my work and life has always overlapped for my entire childhood. My family – in construction for the first 10 years of my life and then full time cattle ranchers ever since – has always overlapped work and life. Work was life, and visa versa. And it worked! We built custom homes on land my parents owned and lived, so it just worked. We raised cows at home, and there were no “I’m off now so we aren’t going to go get that cow that got out on the side of the road” moments. It was more like, “Nicole, wake up. We need to go get the cow” and hope that we got to sleep at some point the rest of the night.

My life is full of work and home overlap – Adam works part time as a fishing guide after his day job, and that means he is gone on weekends, most evenings, and if he’s home, he’s out in the boat or shop working for the next trip.

This has always been my life, and I’ve loved it. Every second. But there was a time, when my family was grieving and recovering from tragedy and the line had to be set between work and life. Work waited, for the first time in my entire existence, and not just for me. Everyone I loved put work on hold, and came to live. It was temporary, and it was magical, and it was the hardest season of our lives.

This season, which we reflect on as “January 4th”, is the season when I found that I cannot compartmentalize. And that meant, I can’t really enjoy either piece of my life to its full potential, because my attention was never undivided. 

Don’t even get me started on how motherhood affects this – we’ve all had this conversation and Lord knows we’ve hashed it out quite a bit.

My point is – working from a studio helped me, made me, have that line. The no work at home, no home at work, line. And I thrived in that space.

My relationships were either work or friends, and when they overlapped, it normally ended in some sort of disappointment and I hated that. 

My work was work, my life was life, and I adored that balance.

Until, yes you guessed it, motherhood.

After having Joey, this balance worked for quite a while. He went to daycare at 8 months old, and for the next year, it was almost bliss. I dropped him off 2 and half days a week, and I worked SOLID during that time. When he was with me, I was with him and him only. 

But then, something in me shifted. Majorly shifted. I was yearning for him, and for Adam. My work suddenly contained a lot of life – aka, the blog, my IG, the JoJo, Mompreneur Course and ALL THE THINGS. 

The balance suddenly was off balance. And I was rocking, big time. The girls in the office were all in different life and business places than me. I was out of time, most of it spent in the car to and from home and work and daycare and gym. I was hungry and rarely had a moment to shower. I was living in work out clothes, and Joey was crying when I dropped him off.

And one day, with no alternative plan, I picked him up from daycare and told them we weren’t coming back. 

Four months and a whole lot of Joey and Nicole time talking about soul searching and big plans and dreams, I moved out of the studio I used to call my other home.

I did it alone, and I cried the entire time. I packed up my Jeep with what had been my entire career, and it all fit into one load. I moved from a 1,000 square foot studio space with dear, dear friends, and moved home to my family and into a corner of the living room with extremely slow internet.

Friend, I have never been happier. 

Instead of feeling like I’m missing out on my family, I almost feel like I want to get away. And I know, I know, that sounds terrible, but it’s blissful. Wanting to get away is so much better than wanting back in, knowing you can’t. I have finally made my home my true home. My work is my life again, and it’s a welcome addition.

But since that corner of the living room was definitely not enough for this big dreaming, career driven mompreneur, Adam graciously gave up his hunting room and helped me put together a tiny little studio, all to myself.

It’s a mere 200 square feet, and all mine.

And just as an update, I left every piece of furniture I had for the studio, at the studio. I’ll grab it whenever the girls decide to leave, but for now, it’s better loved there than in a storage unit down the street.

I did the entire home studio for under $300, and it’s just magical. Take a little tour and I hope you love its cozy, modern vibe as much as I do every single day.

And because I know you guys will want to know some of these things…

JoJo

 
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I’m Nicole, and this right here is JoJo. Or Joey, as we also call him. And this little man is the reason the JoJo exists.

Adam and I prayed for a long time for a family, me especially. I dreamt of being a mom and a biz boss my entire life. Luckily for me, biz bossing came charging into my life in my early twenties and hasn’t subsided since. 

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Joey, on the other hand, didn’t make his appearance until about 7 years later. By the time JoJo became an addition to our chaos of a life, we knew he, and we, were in for a wild ride.

You see, Adam and I are both business owners. Adam, an outdoorsman through and through, is a hunting and fishing guide. Me, well, I am a designer by nature and a writer by heart. Between the two of us, we own a total of 4 different businesses, from the outdoor world to the graphic design world to the blogger world to the world of the JoJo. Which is most likely why you are here. 

The JoJo was designed out of pure necessity. Joey, unlike (or similar to, you decide…) most newborns was a hard one to get comfy. Meaning – naps and restful sleep were a no go for ALL OF US. 

And as business owners and a family with an incredibly active lifestyle, restless-resting was not something that we wanted for our baby. Or us.

At the risk of going broke, we ran the gamut of every newborn product out there in an effort to get the baby to sleep restfully. Swings. Pillows. Swaddles. Bassinets. You name it. We tried it.

Aside from babywearing, which is how we got through almost all our days until he was too old to carry that way, Joey, and us, could not get restful, satisfying sleep.

After watching Joey grow into a great sleeper in his toddler years, and after watching every single one of our friends struggle with the same battle, we decided to create a better way.

Something to comfort baby that didn’t inherently create dependence. Something that was as natural to lay in for a toddler as it is for a newborn. Something to hold them while they rested awake AND something to soothe them while they restfully slept. Something that would help them through their startle reflex. Something that would keep them safe and parents unworried. Something that was portable, pretty and pristine. Something that could be used on the floor, on the bed, on the plane. 

And though there were products that fit some of this, nothing fit it all. And minimalistic families unite – we don’t want to buy ANOTHER thing.

One evening, Adam and I sketched up what we thought would satisfy all these things, and contacted a friend that could help us get a prototype made. And Lord behold, IT WAS PERFECT.

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 This is Val, by the way. She's an avid JoJo sleeper and cutest doll of a baby we ever did know. Also, her mom is cool.

This is Val, by the way. She's an avid JoJo sleeper and cutest doll of a baby we ever did know. Also, her mom is cool.

Joey crawled into it on the floor in the living room and rested, awake, while we stared in awe. We took it over to my best friend with a 2 week old baby girl, who hadn’t slept in weeks, and rejoiced as she slept through the night the very first night. We watched as our girlfriends bickered over who got to take the one and only JoJo on which night, because they needed sleep the most.

One JoJo, obviously, was not enough.

We are so excited to get the JoJo toddler and infant lounger into the hands of every active and tired family in the world, who knows that there is a better way to rest.

We believe that rest means more than sleep. We believe in restful sleep and restful rest. Like us, babies need a place to seek comfort, solace and recognition in order to get rest. We, as adults, like our beds or our sofas or the arms of our loved ones. Babies, of course, love our arms. But a rested family is a happy family. And we all need restful sleep.

The JoJo is a lounger made for children and parents who are seeking restful sleep.

Made for baby, the JoJo comforts and relaxes baby by providing a familiar and tranquil environment for baby to sleep. Its barely padded center makes it incredibly safe but also incredibly comfortable, no matter the surface underneath. Its raised and padded perimeter prevents rolling for infants and keeps baby in place. The egg shape allows the JoJo to be used for babies as small as newborns or as big as toddlers. Made to be used as long as baby needs.

Predictable and routine sleep environments are not always available. The JoJo provides a familiar and serene rest environment for baby, anywhere, anytime.

Keep the lifestyle, but don’t lose the sleep. 

Calling All Product Shop Forces

 
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Do you guys know my friend Rachel?

I feel strongly that you must. I pretty much talk about her every day and she’s also pretty much the best.

Well, here’s the thing:

Rachel and I are biz besties, but she’s also a life bestie. And she’s really really good at what she does.

For the last 15 weeks, Rachel has been hosting a “test” mastermind group, per say. However, we all know that anything “test” from Rachel means that it’s full blown amazeballs and she has put everything she has into its creation.

So this mastermind, specifically for product shop owners, has been something I’ve watched from a little bit of a distance. You see, because Rachel and I are besties, and now she’s besties with these ladies in her mastermind, I’m not besties with these ladies in her mastermind.

Seriously. The internet is so amazing. I’ve been able to curate these incredible relationships because she has shared me with them and them with me, and now I have this little group of fab biz ladies that I don’t really know what I did before I knew them.

Part of me feels a little FOMO because I don’t have a product shop, hence I don’t qualify for this particular mastermind group. Not to say that Rachel probably wouldn’t let me in it anyway… but that’s neither here nor there.

The point is, is that I know a ton of you ARE product shop owners, and are at so many different stages of your business. Many are thinking about starting but don’t know where to start. Some are seasoned and want to take it up a notch. Some are right at the beginning and thinking about growth and a steady paycheck. Whatever the place or season, I swear, Rachel has been there and is eager to share the wealth.

Rachel is one of the most selfless women I know, making this mastermind group a solid endeavor and investment for anyone in the industry.

Anyway, I get asked all the time about what kind of business tips and tricks I can offer someone who is wanting to further their business online. And this my friends, is my recommendation.

There is one catch, though. As of right now, Rachel only has ONE SPOT left. Ya. Because she is that awesome.

So if you want to apply, head to the link below, and get your application in ASAP. 

Anyway, ciao for now and may the product shop forces of nature be forever in your favor.

What kind of mompreneur are you?

 
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So, two weeks ago I get this email.

"Hey, we've noticed you have quite a cool mompreneur following. Are you interested in partnering with us to create some cool quizzes to engage your audience?"

Ummmmm, yes please.

Interact is a pretty awesome software that enables you to make all those cool-ass quizzes you see all over social media. I most commonly frequent the "How well do you know FRIENDS" and "What kind of donut are you" and "How excited are you for the Spice Girls reunion tour." But that's just me.

Anyway, the point is, Interact thought that all of you guys somehow made me cool enough to be a partner, and they have given me access to this software in exchange for sharing it with you!

I haven't dove super deep into all the features yet, but here's what I know:

It's crazy easy to use. It acts like Zapier, if you're familiar, and basically allows me to add anything I want, anywhere I want.

I love that I can brand it for myself, and I'm not restrained to anything at all. Fonts? Here's all of Google. Colors? Give us an hex code. Photos? Use our stock of you want, or upload your own because we know you're awesome.

Make it a "how well do you know..." type, or a "what kind of..." type and so much more. 

integrate with any email or lead collection service. Literally. Any.

Add calls to action for every single response. Know you want to take people to a download? A blog? A podcast episode? A webinar? Whatever you can dream, you can send your potential client to.

I could go on, but basically, I want to say THANK YOU to all of you who have made Interact think I'm awesome, because now they are awesome and now we can all be more awesome.

The end.

Oh! Want to see how this works?! I created a super fun, casual quiz below to find out what kind of mompreneur you are. I'm not totally sure my questions correlate, but it was an experiment so just roll with it.

Love you, mean it, and have fun Momma!

Yes, Interact did give me free access to their software in exchange for this post, but trust me, I only promote brands and business I think are great. You'll enjoy them, too. Thanks for supporting me and the brands I love! 

It's Fine. Totally Fine.

 
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I’m calling you out, girl.

You haven’t watched Mompreneur Masterclass. 

I hear you. That’s ok. It’s fine. 

Really, it’s fine.

First of all, if you’re a woman, you know that when another woman says “It’s fine,” she’s lying. And also, it’s not fine. 

The only valid reason for not watching Masterclass is if you are completely and totally content with the way your life as a mompreneur is going, and have no complaints, don’t need improvement in any area of your life and think that every single day is a freaking ray of golden sunshine.

I told you, I’m calling you out.

I KNOW that this isn’t true. Girl, it ain’t true for ANYBODY. Including me, you, my mom and your mom and even those perfect looking moms on Instagram.

Listen, we all need help. We all need someone to tell us that we aren’t alone, and that we aren’t perfect, and that we don’t need to be.

The only true way to become better humans is by WORKING to become better humans. Self improvement, happiness, contentment and education don’t come to us because we sit and let the world pass us by. No, these things come to those who put their own self-care ahead of other things. Ahead of client work, ahead of Bachelorette, ahead of story time.

I know. I just touched a nerve, right?

That’s ok. Do I have your attention now?

When was the last time you put yourself first? The last time you said, I’m going to spend my day working on improving MY OWN LIFE, and not someone else’s?

The ONLY way to be there for our families, for our clients, for our teams, for our God, is to be the best version of ourselves ALL THE TIME. Or at least, as often as we can.

Don’t get me wrong. After two glasses of wine, I’m not the best version of myself. I’m not my best version when I forget to take my anxiety medicine, or when I don’t go to the gym, or when I choose to watch Friends all day instead of the other things I should be doing.

I am not the best version of myself when I tell my husband, “not tonight, babe.” I’m not the best version of myself when I put my toddler down for a nap he may not need because I need some alone time. 

But working daily to be BETTER than we were yesterday is the only way I know how to be my best version. 

Are you sitting here now going, “Well, shit. I’m not working to be a better version of myself at all right now.” Are you still in your sweats and had your husband drop off the kids at school and having your third cup of coffee and thinking about stopping reading this and scrolling Facebook instead?

Told you. Calling you out hardcore this morning.

What if you took the next hour, or your lunch hour, or your hour before bed or the hour that you feel like your husband spends on the toilet (ya…), and watched something that would help you to become a better version of yourself TODAY?

Would you watch it?

I think you should. And not because it’s my Masterclass. But because I want you – beautiful amazing capable Godly momma – to be happier WITH YOURSELF. To feel accomplished, to feel valued and valuable. To not go to bed tonight, dreading the fact that you have to do this all again tomorrow, and already tired. 

I want you to live in joy EVERY SINGLE MOMENT. To eliminate guilt, overwhelm and time loss. I want you to feel better about yourself, TODAY. 

So, you haven’t watched Mompreneur Masterclass.

That’s ok. It’s fine.

Sparkle in Madewell

 
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So, if you know me "but at all!" (cue, Phoebe voice), you know I'm slightly obsessed with Madewell. A majority of my closet is Madewell, Gap or Free People. Occasionally it overpopulates with Target, but eh. Who's doesn't?

But this weekend, my friend, and through the 5th, Madwell is offering 20% off all the favorite summer stuff, and you can bet I made an order.

What was in my cart (and now on its way to my house)? Well, looksie!

Get 20% off through July 5th with code SPARKLER. I mean, I did. So you should, too.

xoxo
Nicole

Hustle Season - OUT

 
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Hustle season – OUT.

Thank goodness. It was long. And hard. And so wonderful. But I’ve been tired…

As Adam and I were driving home the other night from dinner, the moment I realized my hustle season had officially ended, he asked me if I could list off all the things that we did during Hustle.

And as I did, I realized that I really needed to write them down, solely so I could look back on this one day and know, “Yes you can, Nicole. Yes you can.”

I kept talking, like normal, to Adam, and when he pulled into the driveway, he looked at me and literally dropped his jaw.

“That’s so much. Even I had no idea you did that much.”

No wonder I’ve been so freakin’ tired.

But as I transition into this season of Rest, I’m feeling so excited and relieved and rested already.

Earlier, during Hustle, I reached a tipping point and almost had a burn out, but made it through. I was so disappointed when that moment hit me, and I realized I wasn’t done with what I wanted to do during my season. I felt angry, disappointed in myself, and tired. I didn’t want this to be over. 

So I kept going, and friend, it was so worth it. Because this time, when I realized I was ending Hustle, I felt HAPPY.

I felt proud and accomplished and relieved. Much better emotions than before.

I am so looking forward to this season of Rest. I have some projects, soul projects, for this season that I’m excited about. Like painting the kitchen cabinets and cooking and reading and moving my office home.

But as I wrap my own brain around all of this, I realize that there is so much I haven’t really shared with all of you, my amazing tribe! 

And while this little list doesn’t contain the entire hustle, it’s the big ones, and I’m so excited to officially share most of them.

We launched The Mompreneur LLC!

 

And though this is basically just a name for legal purposes, The Mompreneur LLC is going to be doing some pretty amazing stuff. Such as:

The JoJo infant and toddler lounger and cosleeper.

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Adam and I have designed a brand new, and pretty perfect, baby sleeper! Designed right here in our living room and inspired by Joey, of course, the JoJo is the baby sleeping secret. Similar in purpose to the renowned DockATot or SnuggleMe, the JoJo is meant to provide a safe and secure, and most importantly effective, place for baby to sleep. More details to drop soon, but this is what you need to know right now:

The JoJo will be launching next month, and will be available on our own site as well as Amazon! 

We will be giving a way a whoooooole bunch of them right off the bat in exchange for some verified reviews on Amazon, so if you want one for free, you should jump on the bandwagon HERE.

The JoJo is a safe and perfect sleeping space for newborns up to over 2 years old. We have had babies on day 1 fall asleep and stay asleep wonderfully, all the way to toddlers (Joey still sleeps in his, and our friend’s 3 year old sleeps in hers too!)

Mompreneur : The Course!

 

This is my favorite, you guys. Mompreneur : The Course is now available, and I swear, it’s the best course out there. Here’s why:

I made this course myself, from scratch, and from experience. 

I’m working with the first group of mommas now to create the rest of the course to fit exactly what every mompreneurs needs are. Nothing, and I mean nothing, will be left out.

It’s a do-at-your-own-pace, but an entire YEAR’S worth of content, of course, broken down by mompreneur seasons – Hustle, Rest, Growth and Pruning.

I am moving out of the studio in Chico and working from home full time.

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I’ve never done this working from home thing, but I’m feeling so at peace about this decision and timing. We are working on making a little office in the house and getting it all together as a serene place for me to do my thing. 

The Mompreneur Podcast

If you have been living under a rock, you may not know this. But nonetheless, it's true! Sweet Rachel and I have a podcast and it's awesome. You should listen every Monday. We're pretty funny if I do say so myself.

So, friends, that is the gist of it. And there’s A LOT of little things within all those things, but these are def the top badass things we’ve been able to do in the last 3 months.

I’m so excited to take you all on this journey with me and my little family! What a total honor.


And in case you’re a skimmer, and looking for quick links, here ya go friend ;)

Influencers

Boss Moms

Friends

Summer Reading List

 
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I am totally the kind of person that goes through stints of reading and TV. And I don’t really like doing both during the same season. And recently, this has been the season of neither, for the most part.

FRIENDS reruns and an occasional classic movie (Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood and Meet the Parents have been on repeat) have graced my TV screen on a low volume for weeks now.

But as I transition out of hustle and into rest, books will come back into play in a major way.

Here’s what’s currently happening for our reading and listening pleasure!

Podcast: For the Love by Jen Hatmaker

I love Jen. She’s my spirit animal. The end.

Paperback: The Perfect Stranger

I read Miranda’s other book, All the Missing Girls, in two days flat. I started this one about a week ago and haven’t picked it up again, but only because of time. I can’t wait to start again.

Business: 4 Hour Work Week

My insurance guy told me I had to read this book when I told him about our new Amazon venture. I know he’s right, so I got the paper version instead of audio and I’m diving in, notes and all.

Audiobook: Girl, Wash Your Face

Rachel is such a great spirit. I started listening from bed this morning and anticipate I’m done by tomorrow.

Parenting: The Awakened Family

This one is a longer investment, and I’m listening on Audible. It’s a 14 hour listen, and there’s so many good tidbits, I’ll have to take my time.

Joey

Joey’s reading choices are much simpler, but I have to admit, I like them more ;)

Mighty Mighty Construction Site

Bright Baby Trucks

Bear Snores On (still a fave)

St. Christopher | Jan.4th Series, Part 5

 
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There’s no such thing as moving on.

All these things, they are carried with us.

We step forward. We move toward something else.

But we don’t move on.

What we have had, it’s carried with us to the next thing.

Like baggage we can’t lose.

Like the piece of gum in the bottom of your purse, that you leave there each time it comes up to the surface.

Like the potatoes in the cupboard or the mineral tubs in the barn or the collar from your first dog, still hanging on your review mirror.

We never move on. We just move forward.

The sock doesn’t get thrown away after it’s lost its mate. It stays, in the drawer, with all the other socks, waiting until its day when it will yet again be worn, with another mismatch. 

What I would give, some days, to lose that baggage. To get off the plane and leave the airport, with no obligation to pick up the bags stored underneath.

Let them go round and round and round, until a stranger picks them up and looks for a belonging name.

What I would give, to have not written my name on those bags.

But we do. We do write our name, whether we mean to or not. We make alliances and share blood and tears and sweat and wine. And suddenly, our name is written on their luggage tag, never to be removed.

You can store the blood stained shirt in the drawer. You can wear the locket. You can put it all in a box and put it under the bed.

But someday, somewhere, it will haunt you.

It was a Saturday, and I took it off, and lay it on my nightstand. And I will wonder if something bad will happen that day. 

But my black dress’s neckline does not work with this necklace. And it’s been five years. My neck is stained from the chain, the clasp has been fixed three times, and I waited in the store while they welded it all back together each time. I cannot, would not leave it there.

And later, the dress was off and my face washed and the darkness of yet another night, safe in my home, washed over me, I did not put it back on. 

But I did not move on. It’s baggage now, that I can’t wear. Can’t touch. Can’t fathom throwing away. So it sits. On the dresser. Collecting dust and taking my attention each time I dress.

I pray over it. I pray that St. Christopher will keep me safe in my travels. That what happened to him won’t happen to me. Won’t happen to Adam. Won’t happen to Joey.

And I realize. I will never move on. It’s baggage I carry, though no longer around my neck. But the 14 karat gold pendant, I will forever bare its weight. 

Mompreneur Manifesto

 
 

We’ve got dreams. Purpose. Like, wake you up in your sleep-type goals that when you think about them, give you goosies and a mental high similar to that after finishing a badass workout.

These dreams are big. These dreams speak truth about you. These dreams are part of your human existence, your spiritual existence. In fact, they’ve become something that your nightly prayers revolve around.

These dreams, they speak to your children. Your business. Your health. Your home. Your husband. Your dogs and your cooking skills and your capsule wardrobe.

Raise your hand if you’re tired of hearing, “You can’t do it all.”

I call bullshit.

Sure we can, we just might not like it very much. And frankly, we will suck at a lot of things.

Here’s what the proverbial “they” forgot to say:

Striving for perfection and striving for excellence are two VERY separate things.

Sure, we can’t do everything. But why do we want to?

What if we could do everything, but on our own terms? What if we could everything WE WANTED to do, and put the rest to bed?

What if we could do everything we wanted, and do them WELL?

What if we could dismiss all the noise, the chatter, the judgement and the self critique?

What if we could put an end to feeling like we are not enough, and end the ridicule and guilt that comes along with that?

What if someone you loved, trusted and believed told you that this WAS POSSIBLE?

Ya, I dismissed it, too.

“It gets better. Easier. More possible”

Such a common statement that it started to become routine, and with routine comes a loss of value. And with a loss of value comes ignorance.

Mom told me, “I promise it will get better.”

I looked at her, and though it hurts to say now, I said with no hesitation, “We made a huge mistake. My life is over and this is my new normal. My business and my dreams and my goals have to leave now, so I can be a mother.”

I was. So. Wrong.

What if I told you that in fact, everything you dream of, is not only possible, but feasible? Something you can realistically achieve, right now.

Would you believe me?

Why would you. Who am I to tell you?

But here’s what happened.

I believed me.

Because the other option scared the living crap out of me.

There was no way this is what God wanted for me. I have purpose, and only part of that purpose is raising children to be good humans. It’s a big part, but it’s not the only part.

If that was my only purpose, what did I spend the last thirty years doing?! It certainly wasn’t preparing for motherhood. Or wifehood. Or how to correctly clean my house for company or to get a friend’s baby to stop crying.

No, I had spent the last two decades of my life, learning and educating and absorbing everything bit of information I could, while spending every spare minute of my time becoming an excellent entrepreneur.

Why? So I could someday teach, and show, my children how to do the same. And provide for my future family in a way that left me available to them, and under no one’s thumb.

This was my dream.

And motherhood, it seemed, had ruined it.

Our purpose is more. Our goals are more. Our lives are more.

I believed me, and it worked.

I hit the road running, striving for excellence in the things that mattered most. Feeding and loving my newborn baby, making money for my family doing something that made me happy, treating my postpartum depression and living a healthy lifestyle.

None of it was perfect. But never, ever ever, did I settle for less than excellent.

We can’t do it all. But we can do all the things we want, and we can do them well.

What would happen in your life, if you believed that in your deepest darkest places?

Would you do it?

The Story Behind the Podcast

 
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This podcast could be like a real thing. Apparently, it is a real thing. It’s out there, in the world, for all to hear. As of today.

And after listening to it, here’s what I know.

  • I say “like” way too much.
  • I kind of sound like a valley girl, which makes me sad for my friends who have to listen to me everyday. I’m sorry.
  • Rachel is so poised and comfortable in herself and organized. I, however, am not those things.
  • I’m late to everything. Literally everything. I’m not sure why or how this happened. But I am. And frankly, this is really hard for me to swallow.
  • Rachel asks wayyyy better questions than I do. 
  • Never in my whole life have I been more thankful for technology than I am right now.
  • Never in my whole life have I been more terrified of technology than I am right now.

The podcast has always been on the to-do list, for both me and Rachel. And when Rachel told me last year that we should do one, and call it Mompreneur, I about died.

You see, for almost a year, I was really truly the only mompreneur I knew in person, my age. I was InstaFriends with lots, and many had told me their stories of “back when,” but it was pretty lonely there for a while.

And then Rachel got pregnant, and Knox was born just a short year after Joey. And suddenly, I was not alone anymore.

And though we are going through different stages of motherhood currently, it won’t always be that way.

The first few years, we know now, are so volatile. Every day, month and season is different from the last. And I feel honored that I could help Rachel prepare for what’s next, and that Rachel could simply remind me of what had already passed. 

When our boys are older, and maybe going to the ranch together, attending school together, or practicing their fractions together, we will not feel like we are in separate seasons. We will be in the depths of whatever mompreneurism is holding for us right then. And for that, I am excited, and thankful, and so so so honored.

The term Mompreneur for me is so deep. 

Mom. Relationship first. I am a mom first.

Preneur. Wealth. Business. I am a successful business owner second.

This is the premise of my life, and the premise of the upcoming Mompreneur : the Course, but that’s another story altogether. 

Mom. Then Preneur.

And it’s an interesting place to be, let me tell you…

I’ve always been the Preneur first. The entrepreneur. Entering the business world from the ground up. Having ideas, running with them, making them matter.

And then I became a mom. And then Mom came first. And it was still this idea, this sprint to a finish line, but the finish line doesn’t exist. The race, the hustle, the steady jog to the end never actually ends. Because it’s motherhood. And we can’t ever, not ever, turn that off.

So yes. Mom. Then Preneur. 

I had questions. Questions like, how do I prepare for motherhood as an entrepreneur? Is there such thing as maternity leave? How do I help my husband prepare? How do I GET PAID when I don’t work? I have a service based business, but what happens when I can’t serve my clients? These are real questions, questions when you are expecting and have prepared but then suddenly realize that you haven’t so much prepared as idealized, dreamt or pretended to be ready.

And then you’re in the depths of it. Breast-feeding and nipple cream and hemorrhoids and stitches down THERE are real things, that MATTER. And friends MATTER. Even more than your mom might at that moment. Though we all know that mom matters. Big time.

So who is going to tell us? Who is going to help us? I needed someone to help me. Rachel needed someone to help her. And we had these talks, these text exchanges, that needed to be released to the world.

Things about songs by the Muppets that are making us cry and which iPhone apps I actually need and how to tie a Moby Wrap.

Things like what it felt like to birth a child one way, or another way. What it was like to have sex the first time. What it was like to have severe depression, and why we wanted to stay in it for just a little bit longer.

Things like how we want to go back to work, how we feel ok about leaving our child at daycare, or don’t. Things about how we miss our friends or freedom or WINE. 

Things that are taboo to say. Things that are hard to talk about. Things that go unsaid because it’s scary and vulnerable and TOO real to share. 

We are human, women, and mothers. And what are we going to say to our children when they ask us questions about their penis or the voices they may or may not be able to hear, or JESUS?! How will we choose to respond.

I will respond with the truth. Unfiltered, unafraid. And it’s time we did that for each other too, outside of the comfort of our nursery nursing chair. It’s time tears were shed and laughs were shared somewhere other than our dinner tables. Because we can. And you, momma, deserve it. And so do we.

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Mother's Day

 
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There’s a lot of really amazing moms kicking butt out there. I mean, almost a third of the world’s population is who I’m talking about. Moms in general, kick butt.

But in honor of Mothers’ Day fast approaching, I have rounded up so of my most favorite mommas to follow on Instagram.

I get asked all the time who I recommend for following along, for an assortment of reasons:

  • Momma mindset
  • Productivity and balance
  • Biz boss and momma workflow
  • Fashion and lifestyle
  • And so many more

But just a few of my favorite mommas on IG have so much more to offer than just those things. These mommas are hardcore dedicated, both to their craft and their offspring. Dedicated to their spouses and their families. Dedicated to building a community of like-minded friends instead of loyal followers.

These mommas are just a few of the many that I strive to emulate, imitate and eventually share life with.

Felica Allen

Reasons I love her: this boy mom is all things real. Felicia is the marketing director for Wild Bird, those amazing slings we all wear. But more than that, she’s a baby wearing lover, and advocate. Most of all, she has recommended some of the best books ever for parenting to me, and I love that we share a similar, if not identical, view of boy parenting.

Reasons you should follow her: the adventures she goes on with her boys, gorgeousness that is her life.

My favorite thing she’s said/shown/storied: Felicia shared Janet Lansbury with me, and for that, I am forever grateful.


Simply Sadie Jane

Reasons I love her: Oh em gee, Sadie is so freakin’ funny. Mom to three, the newest being baby Henry who is so chunky I just die. 

Reasons you should follow her: candy suggestions, health and fitness inspiration, realness

My favorite thing she’s said/shown/storied: watch the Henry Eats highlight reel in her IG


Chrissy J Powers

Reasons I love her: Chrissy’s honesty about life is unreal. Barely anything is filtered, she isn’t afraid to be real in any and all situations. All the while, her feed is gorgeous to look at and I wake up in the morning excited to see what she’s storied from the night before.

Reasons you should follow her: True biz boss momma. Mom to two boys and a girl on the way, and she has a killer business consulting, coaching and marketing. 

My favorite thing she’s said/shown/storied: Her gender reveal story for their baby girl. She and her husband could not wait until 20 weeks, so they had the early blood test and her reaction is so priceless. I cried for a whole day about it.


Rachel Hollis

Reasons I love her: Rachel took me a minute. She’s a lot to handle. And then I realized, that she’s basically me. She’s author and mom and big biz boss. I aspire to be her, like ASAP. 

Reasons you should follow her: Motivation. Real life moments and solutions. Because she’s been there and done it and if you follow her advice, you’ll make it, too.

My favorite thing she’s said/shown/storied: When Girl, Wash Your Face went onto the NY Bestseller list. It’s been there for three weeks, but the first day it did, her story and reaction was the most unfiltered, raw real you’ve ever seen. A little girl’s dream come true.


Against All Grain

Reasons I love her: My gosh, this girl is gorgeous. So are her kids and so is her husband. But that’s not why I love her. I love Danielle because she puts herself and her family in front of everything else. Author, blogger and basically a celebrity, Danielle still makes herself so grounded and accessible. 

Reasons you should follow her: Even if you’re not into cooking/recipes, she’s worth a follow. 

My favorite thing she’s said/shown/storied: The shooting of her latest cookbook. It was astonishing. 


Jen Hatmaker

Reasons I love her: Do I really even need to say? If you’re not following Jen, you live under a rock. Jen is just, goals. The end. 

Reasons you should follow her: Her Facebook posts are pure gold. 

My favorite thing she’s said/shown/storied: Her text conversation with Glennon Doyle about her girl going off to college 700 miles away, stating that she made a mistake in raising her daughter to be self-sufficient and independent. She should have taught her nothing and made her stay home forever. It’s the best. 


Anelise Salvo

Reasons I love her: Well, I know Anelise personally, so I’m a little biased, but I love her because she’s so raw. She’s a designer, like me, and does so by all means necessary while also being Mom of the Year. 

Reasons you should follow her: She and her husband spend two seasons a year in different places - one season traveling and the other in Tahoe. Their adventures are the most amazing you’ll find. 

My favorite thing she’s said/shown/storied: Last year, her and her husband and newborn baby boy, Costa, lived out of a van on the other side of the continent. She ran her design business, and they LIVED IN A VAN. It was the most amazing adventure I’ve ever seen. 


Shay Cochrane

Reasons I love her: Shay is queen. Shay works two days a week, and moms/wifes/lives full time the other days. I mean, goals. Queen of styled flat lays and all things pretty. 

Reasons you should follow her: Quirky authentic motherhood of two girls, all the while living in a gorgeous house with a hunk husband who also kicks butt in business. Also, she takes amazing photos. 

My favorite thing she’s said/shown/storied: I love her BTS of her photoshoots. She shares them all the time, and I’m sucked in every time.