Gorgeous Momma Giveaway

Happy Tuesday! I hope you had a wonderful weekend!

Did you catch my LIVE video on Facebook on Friday? If not, I wanted to share it here again so you can check out the Mommy Must Have products I’m sharing about!

I’m giving away items from LeTote, Bamboobies, and MomSense!

Check out these Mommy Must Haves!

Posted by Mommy’s Me Time on Friday, September 16, 2016

Be sure to enter the giveaway for these products as well! Available to U.S. mailing addresses only.

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xo,
Amber

I share many more “real life” mom moments on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. I’d love for you to follow along on our crazy, not perfect, incredible journey. Follow me on Instagram: (@mommysmetimeblog), Facebook (Mommy’s Me Time), and Snapchat: amberkuiper.

You can also follow my healthy living journey on Instagram: (@amberkuiperfitness) or on Facebook (Amber Kuiper Fitness).

This is a sponsored post through the Amplify Influencer Network. I was compensated for my work. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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If I Want My Kids To Be Successful In Life, They Need THIS

This past weekend I was at home in northwest Iowa at my parents’ farm. I got to spend some time with my two brothers, Joey and Jason, and whenever I’m around them I truly become the proudest big sister in the world. Joey’s 18 months younger than me and Jason’s 18 months younger than him, and they are some of the most solid men I know.

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As I was hanging out with them, I noticed that one thing we all bring to the table is a CAN DO attitude. We don’t pout and complain about what isn’t, but we generally focus on what IS!

As I go through life, I notice time and time again what makes people successful. It isn’t how much they know, or how much money they’re making. It isn’t having the perfect circumstances TO succeed.

The thing successful people have that others don’t is a successful MINDSET. It’s a mindset that says, “I’m not a victim. I’m not a product of my circumstances. I’m not defined by my income. I’m not defined by what other people think of me. I GET to work. I GET to face these challenges. I GET to create opportunities for myself! I’m not going to wait around for someone else to build something for me. I’m going to find the materials and resources I need to BUILD IT MYSELF!”

When it comes down to it, a successful mindset is determined by how GRATEFUL you are.

So why is it that my brothers and I all have a successful mindset? Why is it that we overcome our excuses?

I’m 100% confident it’s because of how we were raised.

Every day, we saw my parents working hard. We saw them wake up early and have coffee together at 5am before my dad headed out to work on the farm. (We lived in a small century old farm house when I was little and the upstairs was usually too hot to sleep in the summer and too cold in the winter, so we spent a lot of nights sleeping in the living room, next to the kitchen where my parents had their morning coffee. I remember hearing them get up in the morning and smelling the coffee brewing, while they did their devotionals and talked about their day. I was half asleep, but the impact of knowing they were in the next room talking filled me with security and has had a life long impact on me.)

We saw my mom tirelessly encourage my dad while she worked full time outside the home as a nurse.

We heard them affirm us OFTEN. They were constantly speaking confidence into us. They were constantly telling us how proud they were of us, even if it was just us putting the dishes away from the dishwasher.

Above all, they told us how much they LOVED US. Were they perfect? No! No parents are! But to this day they know how to UNCONDITIONALLY love and have taught us to do the same!

All this got me thinking. I want my kids to have that same positive mindset. I want them to be grateful! But what am I doing on a daily basis to encourage this?

I heard something a while back that said research shows that parents can play a huge role in hardwiring their kids to have a positive mindset instead of a negative one.

By simply having our kids sit around the dinner table every day and asking what they are thankful for, we can help them to focus on the GOOD, instead of the bad.

We started doing this a few months ago. At the dinner table we go around in a circle and ask each of them what they are thankful for. Baylen goes first, then Emersyn and Mckinley, then Case. They TOTALLY get it. We usually start by talking about each family member, and then they want to keep going around in a circle, and we end up talking about how we’re thankful for the grass, and for food, and for toys, and for rain, and for band-aids. My littlest guy just turned two and even he LOVES to participate.

The other morning, I put the kids’ breakfast on the table and went back into the kitchen. The next thing I heard was Baylen taking the lead and asking everybody else what they were thankful for! My heart exploded into a million pieces. Positivity is CONTAGIOUS. We LONG for it!

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I’m convinced it’s the little things we expose our kids to day in and day out that make the biggest difference. Sometimes I put all this pressure on myself to do all these amazing and complicated things as a parent to make sure my kids turn out okay, but really, it comes down to the simple things.

Maybe you didn’t grow up in an environment that fostered a positive mindset. Maybe you know your default is generally negative. It’s NEVER too late to start training your mind! Start TODAY! You are worthy of feeling EXCITED about your life.

The things we do today are going to determine how our kids act today. I’m so grateful my parents instilled an attitude of gratitude in me, and I pray every day I can do the same for my kiddos!

xo,

Amber

I share many more “real life” mom moments on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. I’d love for you to follow along on our crazy, not perfect, incredible journey. Follow me on Instagram: (@mommysmetimeblog), Facebook (Mommy’s Me Time), and Snapchat: amberkuiper.

You can also follow my healthy living journey on Instagram: (@amberkuiperfitness) or on Facebook (Amber Kuiper Fitness).

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My Side Hustle Saved My Life

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A year and a half ago I was a stay-at-home mom to four kids. My oldest was three, my twins were two, and my youngest was 6 months. I was drowning, my husband was working ALL THE TIME, and I was alone with the kids close to 24/7. I felt sorry for myself. I didn’t feel like anyone around me really understood what my days were like, and I honestly dreaded when Sunday night would come around knowing Jake had to go to work the next day.

I felt confused. Why didn’t being a mom feel like enough? Isn’t this what I was created to do? I should be so happy to be at home while my husband works as much as he needs to so he can provide for our family. I should LOVE my time with my kids.

As I thought about it more, I realized the issue wasn’t that I didn’t love the time with my kids. Because I did. I loved the ordinary moments with them, watching them grow and learning something new every day. I loved playing with them and reading to them. I loved watching them become best of friends with each other as they all became mobile and running all over the house. I LOVED being a stay-at-home mom.

The REAL problem, was that somewhere along the way I completely lost myself. I was so focused on my family and making sure that we were keeping our heads above water, that I forgot how to focus on anything else.

I reached a low one day when I looked in the mirror and asked myself who I was anymore. How did I get to this point? I didn’t have time for hobbies or anything that filled me up. Even my body didn’t feel like my own. I was carrying baby weight, living off my kids’ leftovers, and so tired that by the time I put my kids down to nap every afternoon, my head would hit the pillow and I’d be out too. I’d wake up feeling totally out of it, and the next few hours until Jake came home each evening felt like they lasted FOREVER. 

Sometime in there, Jake and I got to go on a trip just the two of us. I was in a swimsuit the entire week and it was my breaking point. I vowed that day that I would never let myself feel so low about my body every again. I’ve never been overweight, and some people would probably say I had nothing to feel low about, but the truth is, it doesn’t matter how we “look” on the outside. It’s how we feel on the inside that affects everything else, and I felt lousy.

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The rest is history. I tried the 21 Day Fix and Shakeology, and for the first time since becoming a mom, I actually felt like a piece of me was coming alive again. I had confidence, I felt sexy, I had energy, I saw myself in a positive light, and all I wanted was for other moms to experience the same hope I had.

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I was at a crossroads. I loved the 21 Day Fix and Shakeology, but did I REALLY want to join one of those “pyramid scheme” things? I was the biggest skeptic of network marketing, and would roll my eyes at my friends who did it.

At the end of the day, I decided that the only thing getting in the way of me helping a lot of people was my pride. In reality, after doing my research, I learned that it was the farthest thing from a pyramid scheme. I became a Team Beachbody Coach. At first it was just so I could get a discount on Shakeology. Then a fire lit inside me. I saw the potential to help thousands of people by building a team, far more than I could help on my own, and I decided to go for it.

Little did I know the decision I made that day would completely change the trajectory of my life.

Since I started as a Team Beachbody Coach in April of 2015, I have experienced many ups and downs. It took some time to transition from a stay-at-home mom to a work-at-home mom. It took some time to learn how to work the business in a way that felt authentic to me. It took some time to learn how to effectively lead a team and help my coaches start on their paths to success.

But man, I’m so glad I was willing to lay my pride aside. Throughout this journey, I’ve found myself again. I’m no longer the nagging wife texting my husband wondering when he’ll be home. I’m no longer the mom who has no energy to play with her kids. I’m no longer focused on myself and pouting in a corner about how hard life is. I have something of my own and it feels amazing.

I started thinking that it would be a passion project, and that if I made any extra money, that would be an added bonus. Today, it’s still a passion project. I coach because I truly love my clients and coaches, but I’m also building a business that will leave a legacy for my family. I’m sending my kids to private school with the money I’ve worked for. I’m setting aside money for their college education, and I’m teaching them how to be generous to others. I’ve been able to take some of the financial burden off of Jake, and our marriage is less stressed because of it.

Today, I’m still focused on being a mom and wife, but I’m also focused on people outside my family. I’m using the gifts that God’s given me to connect with others, to build them up, and help them rediscover who THEY ARE!

I thought this Beachbody Coaching thing would be a nice side hustle, but it has absolutely saved my life. I’m me again! My cup is filled up daily! There’s no greater feeling in the world than feeling like you’ve found your calling. Beachbody Coaching is the perfect fit for me. I’ve found my people, my positive community of like-minded Christian women who want to serve others. What a JOY it is to be on a mission together. The best part? We still get to be at home with our kids. We get to pick our work hours and have flexibility to enjoy the sweet moments with our growing children. I’m forever grateful for this opportunity, and I’m so confident in our mission. My heart gets so happy when I get to share it with others.

This week, I’m hosting a group on Facebook where I’m sharing what it looks like to be a Beachbody Coach on my team. If you’ve ever considered coaching, I would love to chat with you. Our team is amazing, and I know you would love the community. This is not about selling. It’s about sharing your journey and inspiring others. You should also know that everything you need to know to have a successful business is learned. What you need to bring to the table is a heart that wants to help others. I can’t teach that, but I can teach everything else! You don’t need a large social media following. You don’t need to be in great shape. You can start where you’re at! Oh, and you should also know that this is NOT old school network marketing. We have a unique and FUN way of doing things that isn’t spammy or salesy or requires you to pressure your friends and family. We do things very differently on my team, and I’d love for you to be a part of it!

If you’d like to learn more about what it looks like to be a coach on my team, I’d love for you to join this private Facebook group: A Behind The Scenes Look At Beachbody Coaching On A Top Team!

No strings attached, I promise! Not my style. 🙂

I’m excited to get to know you, and if it’s a good fit, welcome you into our tribe and mission!

If you have any questions at all, please feel free to email me at amber@mommysmetime.com.

Find what makes YOU feel alive and chase after it with your full heart!

xo,

Amber

I share many more “real life” mom moments on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. I’d love for you to follow along on our crazy, not perfect, incredible journey. Follow me on Instagram: (@mommysmetimeblog), Facebook (Mommy’s Me Time), and Snapchat: amberkuiper.

You can also follow my healthy living journey on Instagram: (@amberkuiperfitness) or on Facebook (Amber Kuiper Fitness).

*Beachbody does not guarantee any level of success or income from the Team Beachbody Coach Opportunity. Each Coach’s income depends on his or her own efforts, diligence, and skill.

 

 

 

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14 Things That Might Happen Before 8am When You Have Kids Under 5

 

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When I was in college you know what I hated? When I had to take an 8:00am class. That was SOOOOO early! Oh man, if only I could time travel back to that life and tell my pre-mom self to stop pouting and thank the good Lord above for the UNINTERRUPTED sleep I was getting.

Four kids later, life looks a little different. This morning I was standing in my kitchen and looked at the clock while little people crowded around me. It was 7:55am.

Have you ever stopped to think about all the things that happen before 8am with little kids?

Moms, we are legitimate rockstars.

14 Things That Might Happen Before 8am When You Have Kids Under Five

  1. You might wake up in your bed, or you might not. Most likely, you played a game of musical beds all night, tip-toeing from one to the next, doing whatever you could to keep them from waking each other up when they yelled “POTTY!” and “MOMMY!”
  2. You might go down to the kitchen to find someone fixing some cereal, and by fixing I mean pouring the entire contents of the Cheerios box into the back of his toy dump truck.
  3. You might get requests for milk, but only if you can manage to find the right colored cup. It MUST be the yellow one, but NOT the blue one. Not today at least, but be aware that by tomorrow morning, preferences will be different.
  4. You might make yourself a cup of coffee, set it on the counter, glance at it a million times, but never take a sip. As a result, baristas love you because you aren’t picky. Caffeine in any form at any temperature is your best friend.
  5. You might check your phone and within seconds it’s confiscated by your four year old, who NEEDS to watch weird videos. You might wonder why YOU didn’t come up with the idea to unbox toys, review them, and become a YouTube sensation millionaire.
  6. You might run upstairs to put a load of laundry in the washer, and come downstairs to find your two year old hanging from the refrigerator door, holding a can of beer, and yelling, “DAD’S JUICE!”
  7. You might simultaneously hear your three year old shout, “Mommy, I helping you!” and you find her in the bathroom with a toilet brush in hand, splashing and “cleaning the floor.”IMG_1656
  8. You might hear your other three year old yelling bloody murder from the basement because Netflix disconnected and she was frantically worried about what happened to My Little Pony.
  9. You might come back upstairs to find that your two year old unlocked the front door, went outside on the front porch, and is now completely naked and pointing at his diaper yelling, “Off! I did it!”
  10. You might run upstairs to help your husband find clean underwear, when you realize someone has taken your tampons out of the drawer, unwrapped them, and is feeding them as “popsicles” to their dolls.
  11. You might declare you’re taking a shower, and 30 seconds later, there you are with four little ones who want to take a shower too.
  12. You might be showering when one of your three year olds decides she’s going to use the scale in the corner for her stage so she can be Elsa and sing “Let It Go!” at the TOP of her lungs. You might be invited to share the stage with her, taking “singing in the shower” to a level you don’t know you’re comfortable with.
  13. You might get out of the shower and realize there are no towels in sight, but your little one really wants to get out. So he does. You run to get towels, and when you get back you hear him yelling, “POOP! I did it!” There it is, straight up on the floor.
  14. You might throw a diaper on him, and free him to run downstairs while you clean up his poop. Upon walking down the stairs, you realize that he’s taken the carton of chocolate milk and poured it all over the kitchen table. You go over to the sink, while everyone crowds around you. That’s when you look at the clock.

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It’s 7:55am and you realize that you’ve basically already put in a full day of work. At first you feel defeated. How in the WORLD are you going to get through the rest of the day? But then you remember something. You smell like poop, your house is a MESS, and your husband is STILL looking for underwear, but you are with your people, and there is no place in the world you’d rather be.

Chaos is your life, and your LIFE is blessed.

xo,

Amber

I share many more “real life” mom moments on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. I’d love for you to follow along on our crazy, not perfect, incredible journey. Follow me on Instagram: (@mommysmetimeblog), Facebook (Mommy’s Me Time), and Snapchat: amberkuiper.

You can also follow my healthy living journey on Instagram: (@amberkuiperfitness) or on Facebook (Amber Kuiper Fitness).

To join my mentorship community and learn how to grow on social media, you can go to amberkuiper.com and follow me at Amber Kuiper Inc. on Facebook and @amberkuiperinc on Instagram!

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I Thought I Was Too Good For Sunscreen. Then I Was Diagnosed With Melanoma.

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I’ve lived in the midwest all my life. By the time summer comes each year, and the weather finally gets warm enough to go outside without layers upon layers, I’m SO ready to soak in the sun.

I was born and raised on a farm, and was outside constantly. I’ve always tanned easily, and loved the challenge of trying to get as tan as possible. When I was in high school, I worked as a lifeguard. I rarely wore sunscreen even though I was teaching swimming lessons and lifeguarding 10 – 12 hours a day.

I’d see other people put sunscreen on, but frankly I thought most of the time it was lame. I didn’t need sunscreen.

I went to college in Minnesota, and come winter I’d go to the tanning bed to warm up and get a little color. I hated how I looked when I got to be pasty white!

After college Jake and I enjoyed a few years of kid-free married life. We took so many vacations when I never applied a DROP of sunscreen.

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When I started having kids, I started to think about sunscreen. I made sure to apply it on them when they were out in the sun, but still didn’t bother to put it on myself. In fact, if I got it on my hands, I might even wash it off.

During each of my pregnancies, I developed more and more moles. I’ve always been a moley person, but pregnancy gave me 20 times MORE! I had a few that I was worried about, so in June I went for a mole check. The dermatologist gave me a full body scan, and none of the mole I was worried about were concerning to him. The only thing he was concerned about was a tiny mole on my foot. I NEVER would have gone in to the dermatologist to get it checked. It was so little and not raised at all.

He removed it to be biopsied, and a few days later I got a call. It was him calling and not one of his nurses, so I knew it was probably serious. Sure enough, he told me the mole came back with a diagnosis of melanoma. Thankfully, it was still in the early stages, so they did a surgery on my foot to take out a large chunk of skin, and after a couple weeks, I was back to normal.

It all happened so fast, that it almost seemed like it didn’t happen at all. But it’s wild to think about what could have happened had they not caught it early. He said once melanoma gets into the bloodstream, there’s pretty much nothing they can do. He has several melanoma patients who he monitors regularly for a few months or years, knowing that there isn’t a cure, and that it will only be a matter of time until they stop coming to see him.

I’m 30 years old. I have so much life ahead of me. I have four beautiful kids. I have a wonderful husband. I have a career that I love. It’s crazy to think just how much I could have missed out on. I’ve always been insecure about my moles, but now I’m grateful because if I hadn’t gotten all the bigger moles, I would have probably waited a while to go in for a check. Within the next months and years, I’ll be getting several more moles removed as a precautionary step. He said we’ll remove ANYTHING that’s questionable.

I thought I was too good for sunscreen. That all changed the day I was diagnosed with melanoma. This summer has looked very different than most. I don’t leave the house without sunscreen. I’m white as white can be, and I’m okay with it!

My sweet sister-in-law, Madison, made this really easy for me. The minute she heard about everything she sent me a bottle of her amazing sunscreen and tinted moisturizer with SPF 20. She’s a Beautycounter consultant, and ever since this scare I’ve become much more open-eared to everything she’s got in her back pocket. All her products are natural and beautiful and I’ve loved every one I’ve tried so far.

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This week, I asked if she’d open up an online party for all of you. I’d like to give away the Beautycounter products I earn from this social back to you. I don’t care about making money or getting free stuff. I really just want YOU to have quality products, and truthfully, my sister-in-law does an amazing job taking care of her clients. She’ll be able to help you find exactly what you need.

If you think you’re too good for sunscreen, you aren’t. At the very least get yourself some of this Dew Skin moisturizer so you can put it on in the morning and not have to worry when you step outside. Did you know you should be wearing sunscreen EVEN when you walk to your mailbox and back? Yep. I learned that one from my dermatologist. While you’re shopping, grab some sunscreen. It isn’t greasy, which means even my husband will wear it. 🙂

Our party will only be open for a few days (through July 23rd) because I want you to get your products ASAP! You can check out all the awesome products here: Mommy’s Me Time Online Beautycounter Social.

Let’s take care of our skin. It’s just as important as every other part of our bodies!

xo,

Amber

I share many more “real life” mom moments on Facebook, Instagram, and Periscope. I’d love for you to follow along on our crazy, not perfect, incredible journey. Follow me on Instagram: (@mommysmetimeblog), Facebook (Mommy’s Me Time), Periscope (@AmberMKuiper), and Snapchat: amberkuiper

You can also follow my healthy living journey on Instagram: (@amberkuiperfitness) or on Facebook (Amber Kuiper Fitness).

To join my mentorship community and learn how to grow on social media, you can go to amberkuiper.com and follow me at Amber Kuiper Inc. on Facebook and @amberkuiperinc on Instagram!

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To The Thirtysomething Moms

 

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Dear fellow thirtysomething mum,

I see you in the supermarket, I see you at the playground. I see you at the school drop-off, I see you on the train and in the kid-friendly restaurants. Sometimes you see me too, and we exchange a little smile, an eye-roll, an “I get it” moment. More often you don’t see me – you are chasing your toddler down the aisles, watching your pre-schooler like a hawk as she climbs higher than you’d like, admonishing your kid for pinching her brother, reaching for a wet wipe, mopping up a spilled drink.

A few days ago I was at our public swimming pool, and if ever there was a stark metaphor for life as a mum in her 30s, the public swimming pool has to be it. There we all are – the stereotypes we swore we never would be – wading knee-deep in the kiddies’ pool, eyes locked on our littles – and genuinely delighted by their antics. Although we may be there in pairs or groups, our conversations are piecemeal, we cannot relax. Our focus is entirely on our children. We are tired. We are distracted. Our tankini-clad bodies are battle-scarred and utterly not what they used to be. 

Up on the hill are the shiny twentysomethings. They are flipping through magazines, chatting to their friends, Facebooking and selfie-snapping on their iPhones. They are rested. They are toned. They are magnificently oblivious to what is coming their way in the future. They don’t even see us. Or if they do, they swear they will never be us.

It’s okay. We were there once, and we know better than to be offended.

You see, the truth is, we thirtysomethings have let ourselves go. No. We have let our SELVES go. We have small children and for the next little while, our SELVES will not come first. We will be sleeping (or not) according to the timetables of our toddlers and/or newborns and/or a combination of the above. Our hair will not be washed as often as we’d like. Sit-ups? What sit-ups? We will be wiping noses and bottoms and messes from the walls. We will be cooking what feels like continuously from breakfast to supper time and not leaving the table until at least a forkful of peas have been eaten. We will spend hours a week kneeling by the side of the bath and then reading “just one more” bedtime story until we pass out on the edge of the toddler bed. We will be fluent in the language of Paw PatrolSofia the FirstPeppa Peg and Doc McStuffins, and will use said characters shamelessly as threats, bribes, or as digital babysitters so we can dash upstairs to grab a shower. We will find ourselves negotiating with terrorists even though we swore we never would. We will answer to “Uppy” and “More” and “I don’t want to”, and we will say “What’s the magic word?” more times a day than we ever imagined possible. This is thirtysomething. It’s not easy – and that’s the truth.

But there is another truth. Up there on the hill, nestled subtly amongst the twentysomethings, are the fortysomethings. They too are rested. They too are toned. They are alone, quietly reading a book. They see us, and they are sympathetic but also a bit smug. They’ve been there and done it and they know it doesn’t last forever. Girls, fortysomething is the holy grail. Fortysomething is coming.

The decade we get our SELVES back.

Not that I want to wish away the time. Although thirtysomething so far is a bit of a blur, it’s also a kind of magic. Never again will I feel a squidgy cheek rest on my chest in the middle of the night. Little arms reaching up to me after a fall. The delicious baby smell and the little pairs of skinny jeans and sparkly trainers. The scooter rides and monkey bars and the bed time stories with a small person in the crook of each arm. Hearing “I want Mummy,” and “Please can you help me?” and “I want to huggle you.”

Yes, fortysomething is coming, and it’s going to be bliss. But don’t let it come too fast. If I’m to lose my self for a decade, motherhood sure is a delicious thing to lose it to.

Love, Catherine

This was originally published on Littles, Love, & Sunshine

About the writer

Littles Love & Sunshine Catherine

Catherine’s a wife, tea drinker, stay-at-home-mum to two girls, and blogger behind Littles Love and Sunshine. Right now, home is beautiful Switzerland, but she counts herself lucky to have lived in Cape Town, London, the Isle of Man, and now Nyon – a beautiful medieval town outside Geneva – so she supposes that officially makes her an expat. She’s left a piece of her heart in every place she’s called home and learned a lot about herself with every move.

In a past life, words were how she made her living. She started her career in book publishing and then moved on to magazine journalism, where she worked with the ad team before becoming the resident “how to” girl, Features Writer and Digital Editor at Shape South Africa, a women’s health and lifestyle magazine. She can confidently say that for a twenty-something girl in love with writing and shoes, there was no better job in the world – she worked with incredible, powerful women, got to tell inspirational stories, traveled, and shared a desk space with the fashion editor – so that was pretty much all her dreams come true right there.

A few years later, she talked her eventually-to-be husband into moving to London, as it had always been her dream to live and work there. She fell head over heels in love with the most exciting town on earth, took a corporate gig in The City and continued her love affair with footwear.

Fast-forward to now… one husband, two baby girls and three homes later, more often than not her days are a treadmill of busy nothings punctuated by the beautiful surprises of motherhood.

You can follow Catherine on Facebook: Littles, Love & Sunshine and on Instagram: @littlesloveandsunshine.

If you’d like to submit a piece to be published on MommysMeTime.com, please send your work to submissions@mommysmetime.com. As always, please follow Mommy’s Me Time on Instagram: @mommysmetimeblog and on Facebook: Mommy’s Me Time

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We’re Out Of The Baby Stage, And It’s Pretty Awesome + FLYJOY Giveaway

At the end of August our fourth baby will be two years old. TWO! How in the world did that happen?! Honestly, there are days and nights when I just long to go back to the days when I could hold each of my babies in the rocking chair again.

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BUT, I have to tell you, there’s something pretty special about the stage we’re in right now. My oldest is four, the girls are three, and my youngest is almost two. They’re busy, running a million miles a minute no matter what they’re doing, the best of friends, and worst of enemies. 😉

The last few summers have been tough, because I always had at least one or two who were in that awkward crawling/almost walking stage which made it difficult to enjoy parks, pools, splash pads, ect. We’d usually end up leaving because I just got too frustrated trying to keep everybody happy and not eating rocks or wood chips.

But this summer, life is pretty awesome. All the kids are walking, talking, and they LOVE to go on adventures. While their favorite spot to go is still Target (can you blame them?) we’ve been making a point to take them somewhere fun each weekend that’s focused on something they’d enjoy.

A few weeks back we took them to Valley Fair. It’s funny, because for so long leaving the house with all of them made me break out in a cold sweat, and I find that it’s still my default reaction when I think about going somewhere. But usually I’m pleasantly surprised by how much easier it’s gotten.

They were so excited to go on rides at Valley Fair. They were limited by their height on a lot of them, but it only took a few for them to feel like they got the full experience.

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We ended up spending the majority of the afternoon at the water park and it was perfect.

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When it comes to our adventures, I’ve learned that the most important thing is to just be prepared with a few snacks and some juice boxes, because you never know when hunger’s gonna strike, and it’s best if you have something on hand that you KNOW they’ll like. It’s nice now, because I also don’t have to worry about bringing along baby food. Everybody can eat and drink the SAME thing!!!

I’ve mentioned our love for FLYJOY bars before, and they continue to be a big hit. When they arrive at our house I literally have to hide them and take them directly to the pantry or the kids will eat them ALL immediately. 🙂

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One thing I love about FLYJOY bars is that they travel extremely well, and specifically in the summertime, I like that I don’t have to worry about them melting in the heat. I’m all about products that make life simple, and along with FLYJOY I’ve really enjoyed this Kammok bag and this Sup insulated water bottle as well! The bag is super lightweight, and cleans easily!

The other day I had one of my friends reach out to me who orders FLYJOY regularly asking for a coupon code, and the very next day I received an email from FLYJOY telling me they want to give away a couple boxes to some lucky MMT readers!

If you aren’t familiar with FLYJOY bars, they are superfood energy bars made with Quinoa, oats, flax, and chia. They’re made with all natural ingredients AND my kids love them. A win-win for sure.

Enter for a chance to win a box of FLYJOY bars below! U.S. mailing addresses are eligible only, and I’ll pick a winner on Friday, July 8th!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

xo,

Amber

I share many more “real life” mom moments on Facebook, Instagram, and Periscope. I’d love for you to follow along on our crazy, not perfect, incredible journey. Follow me on Instagram: (@mommysmetimeblog), Facebook (Mommy’s Me Time), Periscope (@AmberMKuiper), and Snapchat: amberkuiper

You can also follow my healthy living journey on Instagram: (@amberkuiperfitness) or on Facebook (Amber Kuiper Fitness).

For business tips, you can follow me at Amber Kuiper Inc. on Facebook and @amberkuiperinc on Instagram!

This post is sponsored by FLYJOY but all opinions are my own.”

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5 Things I Love About My Bugaboo Runner

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A year ago, I couldn’t go anywhere without my huge triple stroller! It was a necessity to keep everybody contained. Now, I really don’t need a stroller most places we go for anyone except my 21-month-old. He is the biggest wiggle worm EVER, and cannot be trusted to walk anywhere on his own. He’s also a TANK, which means I can’t carry him for long distances. Problem is, I got rid of all of our single strollers as soon as we had the twins! I didn’t think about the fact that I might need one again someday!

As we’ve been enjoying the warm weather here in Minnesota, I’m realizing just how necessary it is to have a single stroller again. The older kids want to ride their bikes and scooters, but my little Case can’t quite keep up yet. And truth be told, I’m not ready for him to be on a big boy bike. I’ll keep him in the stroller for as long as I can!

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When I heard about the new Bugaboo Runner, I immediately requested for more information. I’ve had several friends who’ve had Bugaboos in the past and have been in LOVE. By the way, if you do already have a Bugaboo, you can actually purchase the runner as an extension to your existing stroller without having to purchase the whole thing! Since I love to run, this option seemed perfect because it would allow me to push Case while keeping up with the other kids on their bikes!

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You guys, I have to tell you, after using it for the past several months, this is the BEST jogger I’ve ever driven. If you’re in the market for a HIGH quality and well made stroller, don’t overlook this option. It would be a great item to put on a baby registry, or a great gift to give to an expecting mom. My parents gifted us with a stroller when we had the twins, and it was such a blessing to know we were going to have a safe and high quality way to cart them around.

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If you’re considering the Bugaboo Runner, I’m excited to share with you my top 5 reasons (there are SOOOO many more!) that I love it!

1. This has got to be the smoothest ride on the market. I’ve had jogging strollers in the past that made running with a baby feel like a major chore, but the ease at which I can push Case (don’t get me wrong, it’s STILL a killer workout) makes me EXCITED to break a sweat with him in tow.

2. The reversible and reclinable seat. This feature is amazing because my babies have all gone through stages where either they really like being in a stroller because they can see the world, or they really like being in a stroller because they can see Mommy. It takes about 30 seconds to switch the positioning of the season, AND if baby is about the snooze you can recline the seat so their little neck doesn’t get uncomfortable!

3. I wasn’t sure about was the fact that it had a front fixed wheel. However, it’s actually kind of nice. It’s one less step to worry about before taking off from the garage, and we all know that when kids want to get outside they want to get outside NOW. It also makes the ride that much smoother, plus my kids aren’t constantly messing around with the settings. To turn a corner, I simply lift up the front wheel (which Case thinks is SO fun) and turn with the back wheels.

4. The height adjustable handlebar makes it easy for Jake, myself or our nanny to drive with ease. Sometimes I’ll even put it low enough so that big brother can push little brother. It’s the CUTEST thing.

5. The option to have a SUPER compact fold. For quick storage you can simply fold it up with the wheels in tact, but if say you’re going on a trip and need to conserve some space, you can very quickly take off the wheels and fit the stroller almost anywhere in the car. We’ve opted to not take a stroller along on trips so many times simply because we didn’t have space, and I love that we no longer have that issue!

Here’s a quick video to give you an idea of how smooth it operates!

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If you have a Bugaboo or are interested in one, what are/would be your favorite features of the Bugaboo Runner?

Share below for a chance to win a Bugaboo Wool Blanket ($110 value!)

XOXO,

Amber

 

Bugaboo provided me with free product for this post. All opinions are my own.

 

I share many more “real life” mom moments on Facebook, Instagram, and Periscope. I’d love for you to follow along on our crazy, not perfect, incredible journey. Follow me on Instagram: (@mommysmetimeblog), Facebook (Mommy’s Me Time), Periscope (@AmberMKuiper), and Snapchat: amberkuiper

You can also follow my healthy living journey on Instagram: (@amberkuiperfitness) or on Facebook (Amber Kuiper Fitness).

For business tips, you can follow me at Amber Kuiper Inc. on Facebook and @amberkuiperinc on Instagram!

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A Chance For YOU To Be On An Infomercial!

Hey everybody!

I have a pretty cool opportunity to share with you today, but before I do, I wanted to share my backstory in case you haven’t heard it.

A little over a year ago I was at a point post baby #4 when my maternity clothes were too big, but I still wasn’t fitting into my pre-baby clothes comfortably. I didn’t feel my best and it was affecting my mood toward my husband and kids. I spent most of my days wearing yoga pants and baggy shirts to try to hide my problem areas. We had been so busy with the kids that we weren’t prioritizing nutrition. We’d order in take-out several times a week and our diet was pretty heavy in carbs. We were operating in survival mode, and I was sick of it. I reached a low after we returned from a trip to Hawaii. Spending an entire week feeling self conscious in my bathing suit was my breaking point.

When we got back I realized that I had to make a lifestyle change. I wanted to kick the extra baby weight and flab to the curb once and for all and needed something to give me a little extra motivation. I saw several friends on Facebook talking about the 21 Day Fix and Shakeology, and for months I’d ignored it. I figured it was probably just another one of those schemes for people to make money off me. But when you’re desperate for change, you’re willing to try just about anything.

I told Jake I wanted to try it, and to be honest he shot me down. We already had a gym membership and he wasn’t excited about spending more money on fitness than we already were. I may have pitched a little bit of a fit, and later that week I placed my order.

When I got my box in the mail I was giddy and slightly terrified. I ordered the 21 Day Fix Challenge Pack which came with a 30 day supply of Shakeology, seven 30 minute at-home workouts, a nutrition plan with portion control containers, and a free 30 day trial for Beachbody On Demand that allowed me to stream the workouts online.

Even though I had been going to the gym regularly, I went through a round of the 21 Day Fix and got my butt kicked in the BEST kind of way. I learned how to eat whole healthy foods in the right portions, and worked muscle groups that I don’t think had EVER been worked before! I was loving my results and for the first time since having my kids I felt like my body was starting to feel like my own again.

{21 Day Fix + Shakeology results – 21 days between photos}

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After a few more rounds my body needed another challenge, so I ordered the 21 Day Fix EXTREME, which is an entirely different series of workouts that are even more challenging.

The 21 Day Fix EXTREME contains more plyometrics and more intense circuits. When Jake and I went to Vegas in July I felt SO different than I had when we were in Hawaii in February. I actually WANTED to be in a swimsuit!

{21 Day Fix EXTREME + Shakeology results – 21 days between photos}

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Since last summer, I’ve tried several other Beachbody programs, and I’ve loved them all for different reasons, but the program I keep going back to again and again when I want to feel REALLY toned and defined is the 21 Day Fix EXTREME. It’s hands down my very FAVORITE Beachbody program at this point. I love the workouts and the celebrity trainer, Autumn Calabrese, who leads them. When it comes down to it, I’ve realized that in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, you have to find your soul mate workout. Something that you actually look forward to, otherwise it’s far too easy to come up with an excuse to skip it!

The pictures below show the progress I’ve made since I started last year. Why do I share these photos? If you know me personally, you know that it isn’t easy for me to put myself out there like this. But I still do it because taking care of my physical body has impacted every other area of my life. I have more energy for my kids, I feel sexy and actually want to be intimate with my husband, and mentally my stress and depression level is kept to a minimum because of the amazing endorphins our bodies were designed to release when we break a sweat! Working out has become a time of worship for me, to reconnect with my Creator and remind myself that I was fearfully and wonderfully made. In the chance that my results inspire you some of you to carve out some time for yourself, sharing them is completely worth it to me, despite what other people might think of me for doing so.

I haven’t been perfect along the way, and I’m definitely still on my own journey, but that’s the beauty of life, you know? Walking alongside each other, recognizing that none of us have it all figured out, but that by leaning on each other we can accomplish amazing things.

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On July 5th I have an opportunity for you to join me so we can accomplish something AMAZING together. I’m a Beachbody coach, and Beachbody is getting ready to create an infomercial for the 21 Day Fix EXTREME program, and they are going to be using raw footage from those of us who go through the program in July! That means if you get awesome results, YOU could be the one on TV inspiring millions of people!

I’m excited about this for a few reasons. One, I’m ready to challenge myself. Typically in my boot camps I preach the 80/20 rule. We try to eat healthy 80% of the time, and then realize that 20% of the time life happens. It’s all about balance.

But once in a while, it’s necessary for me to go ALL in to make sure that I’m not letting that 20% to become 30 or 40%. During the July 5th challenge, we will be going ALL in, to break through plateaus, and push our bodies to see just HOW much we can do in 21 days!

If you’ve done the 21 Day Fix and need a challenge, then this test group is for you! If you want to get ripped, toned, or chiseled, this test group is also for you! If you want to get bikini ready, this group is for you. There are just so many reasons I want you in this group because I KNOW you are going to come out the other side feeling like you’re in the best shape of your life!

Here’s how it’ll work:

  • We’ll be in a private Facebook group together where I will post encouragement and motivation THREE TIMES A DAY to keep you on track. A week before the group starts, I’ll give you all my tips and tricks for success! We’ll make sure you feel super prepared for the start date!
  • You will track your food and workouts via an app to make sure you have PLENTY of one on one accountability!
  • You will be assigned an accountability partner with the same goals you have!

If you’re interested in joining me for this 3 week adventure that can transform your body and life, I would absolutely LOVE for you to email me to get signed up. Normally the 21 Day Fix EXTREME Challenge Pack is $160, but through the end of June it’s $140. I have an even sweeter deal to offer you if you email me! Shoot me an email at amber@mommysmetime.com and I’ll get you all the details!

I’m SO excited to help you feel confident in your own skin! We’re going to have SO much fun holding each other accountable! Several of my coaches will be co-leading this group WITH me so you will have every opportunity to get the BEST RESULTS of your life!

I should also mention, I am currently accepting NEW coaches onto my team! If you want to start with the 21 Day Fix EXTREME, you could hop into this test group, get amazing results, and start your coaching journey! I LOVE mentoring women to grow successful businesses where we serve other women!

xo,

Amber

 

I share many more “real life” mom moments on Facebook, Instagram, and Periscope. I’d love for you to follow along on our crazy, not perfect, incredible journey. Follow me on Instagram: (@mommysmetimeblog), Facebook (Mommy’s Me Time), Periscope (@AmberMKuiper), and Snapchat: amberkuiper

You can also follow my healthy living journey on Instagram: (@amberkuiperfitness) or on Facebook (Amber Kuiper Fitness).

For business tips, you can follow me at Amber Kuiper Inc. on Facebook and @amberkuiperinc on Instagram!

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Relax Momma Friend, You’re Doing The Best You Can

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We have a dog named Mabel. If you live in our neighborhood, you know her. She’s the crazy puppy who constantly runs away and goes on to roam without any intention of listening to us as we chase, yell, and bribe her to come back home. Most of our neighbors are very gracious, and often help us track her down while mentioning that they’ve been there. They too, endured the puppy days, and completely understand.

The other day, though, I was working in my office which is in the front of our house, when a teenage girl brought Mabel to the front door. She must have run away when our nanny and the kids went outside. She handed her to me, and bluntly said, “It’s fine if you want to have a dog, but you need to take care of it.” I explained that we have four little kids who like to open our door, and when they do, Mabel runs out. She went on to say again, “Yeah, I understand, but if you’re gonna have a dog you need to take care of it.”

Clearly she didn’t understand. Whatever I told her wasn’t going to change her mind, she felt extremely entitled to her opinion. So I replied with as much kindness as I could muster, “You know what? We’re doing the best we can. In life, you don’t expect the worst out of people. You assume they’re doing the best they can, and extend grace.” She walked away.

My heart breaks to think about the damage that happens when we look at someone else’s life from the outside and feel entitled to have an opinion on it. This girl saw my situation in black and white. When you have a dog, you take care of it in a certain way or otherwise you aren’t a good dog owner. I have to be honest and say I thought of her in no better light. After all, when I was her age, I would have NEVER had the audacity to walk up to a 30 year old and say something like that! Quite frankly my first thought was to overgeneralize the next generation.

See? It’s so easy. It’s so easy to pick each other apart. It’s so easy to give ourselves permission to cast judgment on someone else just because their story isn’t quite like ours.

I don’t quite know why we do this, but I think it might have something to do with how we protect ourselves or justify our own lives. I think it also can has to do with our own insecurities. In the situation above, I felt attacked. Every time our dog runs away I already feel embarrassed, so having someone at my doorstep calling me out made me feel extremely insecure and inadequate.

I realize the example with my dog is a bit trivial. But I’m guessing if you thought about your own life you might be able to think of a recent example when you too felt misunderstood.

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For me, it happens in motherhood all the time. I feel like I’m constantly the “hot mess” mom. I look at the lives of other moms (which I know, I know…I shouldn’t do) and the voice in my head wonders how it can be so easy for them? The photogenic pictures, the perfect decor, the cute clothes, the clean house, the well-behaved kids who actually listen and practically know how to read by age two. The lovey dovey Facebook posts about their spouse (eye roll). Jake and I can rarely keep our crap together during this season of life!

The truth is, though, NO ONE else on the planet has the exact same story. NO ONE! The truth is, by the time we reach this point in our lives, we’ve been through a lot. We’ve been through good, and we’ve been through bad. But we haven’t been through all the same things. The way we see the world and interact in the world is likely a direct result of the experiences we’ve had. So the next time you feel judged by someone else? Remind yourself that it’s okay that they don’t get it! There’s no way they COULD or SHOULD get it!

The truth is, we are all doing the best we can, and our best is good enough.

The truth is, we need to be surrounding ourselves with REAL people, who give us the freedom to be us, without feeling like we need to perform. Here’s why. When we feel supported and affirmed by the people who matter most to us, the outsiders can cast judgement all they want, and we’ll be able to remain confident that our best is enough.

Momma friend, if you read this whole post and only remember this next part, I’ll be forever grateful.

Your best is enough. Even on the days when you feel misunderstood, when the world doesn’t seem to have any idea what you’re going through, your best is still enough. When your kids are well-behaved and when they’ve pitched fit after fit, your best is still enough. When you showed patience to them and when you didn’t, your best is still enough. When your marriage is on cloud nine and when you’ve had a string of arguments, your best is still enough. When your house is spotless, and when you haven’t cleaned the bathrooms in a month, your best is still enough. When you had time to make dinner and when you ordered take-out, your best is still enough.

Life isn’t rainbows and sunshine all day every day, but you are strong. You are fierce. You will persevere and come out on the other side even stronger. You, my friend, are beautiful even when that little voice inside you tells you you’re a failure. 

My sincere desire for all of us is that we would truly expect the best from each other. That we would look at our friends, families, neighbors, and acquaintances, and assume they’re doing the best they can. When we expect the best from people, without judgment, there’s space for freedom and unconditional love that can move mountains. Our minds can be focused on things that actually move the world forward.

Cheers to you and me, rocking the life that we’ve been given.

xo,

Amber

I share many more “real life” mom moments on Facebook, Instagram, and Periscope. I’d love for you to follow along on our crazy, not perfect, incredible journey. Follow me on Instagram: (@mommysmetimeblog), Facebook (Mommy’s Me Time), Periscope (@AmberMKuiper), and Snapchat: amberkuiper

You can also follow my healthy living journey on Instagram: (@amberkuiperfitness) or on Facebook (Amber Kuiper Fitness).

For business tips, you can follow me at Amber Kuiper Inc. on Facebook and @amberkuiperinc on Instagram!

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