No Sweat Sunday: Keep Stubborn Lashes Curled


Welcome to week #2 of no sweat Sunday, a weekly feature where I will highlight a parenting or life hack to make your life easier. 
Live smart, not hard. 
This week we are tackling eyelashes. I have sad, straight, Mr. Snuffleupagus lashes. No matter what I did, they wouldn’t hold a curl. 
Until now. 
My secret is SO easy. Here we go:

1. Curl your lashes. 

2. Apply one coat of WATERPROOF mascara. (I swear by Ulta Waterproof Amped Lashes but you can use your favorite.)

3. Let dry and apply any mascara of your choosing over the waterproof coat. 

4. Bat those curly lashes. 
This seriously changed my lash game. I discovered the trick when I received a sample of the Ulta mascara and noticed that every time I used it, my lashes stayed curled until I washed it off. 
After some reading of beauty blogs and watching of YouTube channels I found that others had discovered the magic of a waterproof mascara base. So magic!!
I hope you found this little lash hack helpful. Have a life/parenting/beauty hack you’d like me to share? Just let me know in a comment below and I may feature your hack right here!

Sharing To Heal Myself

Sharing to heal

“You don’t LOOK depressed.”

“Chin up, it’ll get better.”

“Count your blessings, you didn’t think you’d ever have another baby!”

“Keep a stiff upper lip.”

“But you have so much to be happy about. Cheer up!”

The well-meaning words bounce around my head until I feel like screaming. The guilt is thick and I am the one who has laid it on. I know I should be busy counting my many blessings but the darkness is too heavy. I can barely breathe let alone count anything.


To read more head over to Mamalode, who I am honored to be published by, once again.


Sharing to heal

Dragons, Wolves, and Her Beautiful Mind


The smile on her face was bigger than I had seen at school pick up all year. I breathed a sigh of relief. It had worked. The note in her lunch box, the family photo in her cubby, my scarf, securely knotted around her neck for her to snuggle into. They all worked to make my highly sensitive kindergartener make it through a full day of school without her 2:50pm meltdown.


We started Elsa with half days at her school. This was her first year ever attending any sort of school and her first time regularly being away from us. We figured it was best all around.


Within six weeks she was begging us to let her stay full days. We agreed. We knew the transition would be hard. We prepared and waited. Most days she would walk out of school, arm around her beloved teacher, with big fat tears streaming down her cheeks. She would run to me and throw her arms around my neck and sob. She would either tell me stories of loud noises, funny faces from her peers, imaginary dangers, or, more simply, that she missed me.


It would take between ten minutes and two hours to calm her enough to have her stop tearing up. We would talk about her feelings and how we could work to make her feel better. After bed I would sit with my husband and brainstorm how to make our sweet girl worry less and laugh more. At school pick up, on the days she wasn’t crying, I would discuss tactics with her teacher.


We all agreed Elsa is very bright and extremely creative. This intelligence and imagination would serve her well eventually but right now, it feels a little scary. She worries about things other children may not even think about. She lives so deep in her fantasy worlds, at times, that it can be jarring for her to transition out of them.


First and foremost, I didn’t want her to feel like crying when she is sad or scared is wrong. I wanted her to continue to feel free to express her emotions. I want her to hold onto that authenticity for as long as possible. What I wanted to focus on was making her feel less scared and sad in the first place. I wanted to acknowledge her fears and worries, not dismiss them. I wanted to make sure she felt heard. Really heard.


So, every day we talked. I listened. I listened when her stories went in and out of reality. A fire alarm set off by burnt popcorn very quickly became a worry that the alarm was because her school was set on fire by a dragon.  We talked about the dragon. We discussed his motives and why it would be near her school. Together we decided that it made more sense that the alarm was because of a popcorn mishap and that the dragon was of no threat to her or her school.


I allow her to be herself. Some days it tests my patience. It would be so much easier to tell her that dragons are not real and that fire alarms are necessary and she should just let it go. But she can’t just let it go. And to her, dragons are real. (As are the wolves she is currently luring onto the playground with her classmates. They want to pet the friendly grey female one. They have heard she is super soft. They left treats and water…) So, instead, I take deep breathes and discuss the best tactics in dealing with dragons or fairies or friends who make scary noises and faces she doesn’t like. We practice breathing and I send her to school with something of mine that she can turn to for comfort.


I don’t know what next year will bring, I don’t even know what tomorrow will bring, but I do know that, with any luck, it’ll bring more days with smiles and less tears. It’ll bring laughter and wolf fur and friendly dragons. And if all of my tactics fail and tears happen, I will scoop her up and we will talk until her beautifully creative mind quiets enough for her to know that she is safe and loved. So very loved.



No Sweat Sunday: Big Kid In A Shopping Cart


Welcome to the very first installment of No Sweat Sunday, a weekly feature that will showcase my favorite parenting (and life in general) hacks.

“Live smart, not hard.”

For our first hack we turn to the shopping cart. My five year old always wants to ride and my back can’t always take the constant lifting in and out.

Easy solution! Lift the flap under the handle (is there a technical term?!) and let your big kid crawl in and out.

Bam. Done without so much as breaking a sweat.
What are you favorite life/parenting hacks? Do you have shortcuts that make life SO much easier? Send them to me and I may feature them (and you!) on the blog!




Squeaky Cart Wheels and the Opinions of Strangers

Squeaky Wheel

Let me set the scene.

It was 5:15pm in a bustling grocery store. People walking up and down aisles, filling their carts with last minute dinner ingredients. The air was full of beeps from the registers, humming of freezers and refrigeration units, conversations, laughter, and squeaky cart wheels.

I had run in with my two girls for a handful of things. Being a small town it was almost a given that I would bump into someone I knew. So, when I saw a friend and her two young sons at the end of the frozen food aisle I was not surprised.

We pulled our carts next to each others and started chatting. Elsa stayed in our cart while my friend’s boys stood next to mine. They were chatting and laughing, as you would expect from a six-year-old, five-year-old, and two-year-old.

After about five minutes of conversation an older man slowly walked by us. I saw him glare at the kids but didn’t pay a lot of attention. Not everyone loves kids as much as I do. No big deal.

Until he decided to speak.

“EXCUSE ME. While you two are gabbing, the entire store can hear your children. We are trying to shop.”

I blinked thinking maybe if I blinked enough he might wipe the Grinch-esque look off his face and start laughing or smiling OR SOMETHING BECAUSE HE CAN’T BE FOR REAL.

Oh, but he was.

“They are just being children,” I said, still wondering who this person was and why the hell he was speaking to me.

“Oh, I have raised children,” he said, shaking his head.

I found his choice of words to be very telling. He said “raised children” kind of like one would raise cattle. He did not choose to say that he was a father or that he had children. No, he had “raised children.”

I nodded and smiled at his ever growing scowl, “And I am sure they are lovely, just like ours are.”

He scoffed and muttered something as I turned my back, no longer interested in what he had to say. You see, my kids (and my friend’s kids) were being very well behaved. Was their volume louder than ours? Sure, but most children are stuck at an 11 while we typically speak at a 5. But, were they whining and crying? No. They were talking about their day and laughing, just like their moms who were standing right next to them.

I was pissed. My kids have just as much right to be able to talk to their friends in the grocery store as I do. I refuse to subscribe to the thought that children should be seen and not heard. I want to hear my kids. I want them to express themselves and be social. I want them to laugh freely and enjoy life without worry that some grumpy man is going to chastise them just because he wants to buy his frozen food in peace and quiet.

Shop from home on Amazon if that is what you want because the world, it is loud. There is laughter and beeping registers. There are old friends catching up and new friends getting to know each other. There is Muzak and squeaky wheels. If you want to shop in silence, buy some ear plugs. Otherwise, enjoy the sweet cacophony of life around you.

My friend and I said our goodbyes and I pushed my cart two aisles over. With every step I took the sound of her boys’ voices faded. Not a single other shopper so much as hinted that they may be disturbed by the sound of our children.

I sighed to myself, feeling bad for the grumpy state that man lives in. I paid for my groceries and headed to my car.

As I walked out the automatic doors an elderly man and I made eye contact. He smiled at me and said, “You are doing a great job, mom.”

“Excuse me?” I said, unsure I heard him correctly.

He smiled even bigger and gestured at my cart with Elsa in it and then at Aria, in the carrier on my chest, “You are doing a great job, mom. Look at those girls. The proof is them.” He winked and walked into the store.

I blinked but this time it was to fight back tears.

Balance, it is an amazing thing.

Squeaky Wheel

My Truths and Confessions of Motherhood


Sometimes we eat dinner in the living room because our table is covered in the day’s debris and I am too exhausted to put it all away. My daughter calls it a “floor picnic” and we treat it as a special event. (Even though it happens with more frequency than any special event in history.)


Some days my patience is low but my love is always high; even if it is buried under a mountain of frustration.


I am not sad about my oldest stating school like I thought I would be. Instead, I enjoy the fact that she has some time independent of me. I am enjoying the ability to focus solely on the baby for a few hours a day. I refuse to allow myself any guilty feelings over it.


My laundry is never done. Sometimes a load has to be re-washed a couple times before it finds it’s way to the dryer.


We don’t have a dishwasher and our sink is rarely empty. Dishes are washed daily but also dirtied just as frequently.


The four walls that make up my house contain chaos and happiness. The rooms may not always be tidy but you can always find what you need and hear laughter.


Every day feels impossibly long but without enough hours.


Kids music drives me crazy. My oldest is more familiar with Taylor Swift than she is with Teddy Bear Picnic.


Sometimes while learning to speak, my kids have pronounced things wrong. Very wrong. Hysterically wrong. I don’t correct them. (They will and have figured it out eventually, meanwhile I enjoy the adorable mispronunciation.)


I am wearing a pair of leggings that are 7 years old and have a hole in them. I just wear a shirt log enough to cover the hole. I would rather shop for baby clothes than find new leggings.


The speed at which my children are growing makes it hard to breathe. Every time I blink they have conquered a new milestone or grown an inch. Sometimes both.


I crave silence all day. I am surrounded by the many varied sounds of life with two small children. Not only does this mean that there is rarely quiet it also means that the moment silence falls on my house I panic. Two kids and a quiet house only mean one of two things. They are either sleeping or getting into something.


My kids don’t sleep.


For every complaint, for every snark laced comment, I have four incredible things I can say about motherhood.


Just because I complain doesn’t mean I am not grateful. It means I am a human trying to raise tiny, messy, loud humans.


My breakfast is often eaten while driving in the car. More often than not it was bought via a drive-thru window.


My kids feet are always dirty. It doesn’t matter if I just bathed them or if they have been wearing socks all day, at bedtime they are always dirty.


At any given moment approximately 14 out of the 20 tiny fingernails that I am tasked with clipping are fully trimmed. It is an on going project.


Me time consists of an extended bathroom visit with my iPhone and a locked door.


I used to dream of a car with a good sound system and a leather interior. Now I dream of finding that mystery smell and having a popcorn free backseat.


I am a good mom. It has taken me five years and two children to be able to say that. Even if I fail at laundry and have a messy table. Even if I complain to my husband and feed my kids fast food. I can tell that I am a good mom with just one glance at my incredibly happy and healthy children. One look in their eyes as they squeal, “MOMMA!” and you could never convince me otherwise.


I would not trade any of any of this for the world because they are my world. My loud, chaotic, messy, beautiful world.


Tomorrow she will turn five.

tomorrow she will be five

Tonight I rubbed my four year old’s back and tucked her into bed. I read her On The Night You Were Born. I fought back tears.

Tomorrow she will turn five.

Right at this moment, half a decade ago, I was being admitted to the birthing center. I was in a daze, overwhelmed with emotions. I couldn’t believe my pregnancy was about to end, even more so, I couldn’t believe motherhood was about to begin.

Ten hours later I held the most perfect little girl in my arms. I was her momma, she was my daughter. My husband and I had made a family.

Tomorrow my sweet girl will be five years old.

What an amazing five years it has been. I am not sure who has grown and learned more, her or I. The progression of newborn to infant to toddler to now has been amazing to watch.

There has been so much laughter and some tears. There have been ups and the unfortunate downs. There have been moments that have taken my breath away and moments that I have held my breath. Joy and sorrow, good and the necessary evil.

I still remember driving home after her birth. I was gazing at her tiny beautiful face when it hit me. She was ours. There had been no recruitment, no background checks. Just a few forms to fill out for a birth certificate and we were on our way with this brand new little person.

She has been my favorite adventure.

When we wake tomorrow morning, she will be five. Her round toddler face is being replaced by one more delicate. Her clumsy chubby limbs have become willowy and graceful. She is growing and tomorrow she will be five. She will wake us up with the sunrise and jump on our bed proclaiming that it is her birthday. She will eat her birthday cupcake for breakfast and she will be five.

Tomorrow my sweet girl will be five years old.

tomorrow she will be five


This post was part of the Use Your Words writing challenge facilitated by Karen at Baking In A Tornado. Each blogger who participates submits 5-7 words. We are each assigned a set of words, no one knowing who received ours, until now. Please join me in reading the rest of the posts for this challenge!

Use Your Words

Baking In A Tornado

Spatulas on Parade

The Momisodes

The Bergham’s Life Chronicles

Stacy Sews and Schools

Southern Belle Charm

Dinosaur Superhero Mommy

Sparkly Poetic Weirdo

Someone Else’s Genius

Never Ever Give Up Hope

Confessions of a part-time working mom

The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver 

Searching for Sanity


Cluttered Genius

The Angrivated Mom


And then, she was five.


My dearest Elsa,


My sweet girl, in a week you will be five years old. I can’t believe it was five years ago that I last felt your tiny foot pushing out from under my ribcage.


These days your feet are busy running and dancing and exploring. They have come a long way since they pushed against my hand as your daddy and I watched and rubbed my belly as it moved over you.


The day you were born was a beautiful one. I still remember seeing your face for the first time. You took my breath away. I gasped for air as I said hi to you and welcomed you to the world. If I close my eyes I can still feel your tiny hand reach up and touch my face, like you had been waiting forever to be able to.


I remember the feeling of having you in my arms. I remember how warm you were and how it felt to have your weight on my chest and not in my belly. I remember breathing you in wanting to pause time for a while.


But time flew forward. Before I knew it we were driving home as a family of three. Daddy and I alone were responsible for you. I remember whispering to you a promise to always do my very best and to take good care of you. I hope I have done a good job so far. If how amazing you are is any indication, I know I am doing just fine.


I could have spent forever lying with you next to me continuing our rhythm of eat, sleep, snuggle. I remember your tiny baby noises and how they evolved into the most beautiful babbling we had ever heard.


And your smile. Little lady, your smile melts me and lights up the entire world. The first time you smiled at me was right after you had just filled your belly with my milk. You were starting to drift off, your tiny head resting on my breast, when you looked up and smiled. I cried. It was everything.


You grew fast. So fast. Before I could catch my breath your infant days were over and you were heading straight for toddlerville. I didn’t have time to be sad about not having a tiny baby anymore because you had found your footing and were running everywhere.


I loved following you on your adventures. Seeing things through your eyes, for the very first time, made me realize how amazing this world is. Thank you for reminding me that we live in a pretty incredible place and are surrounded by pretty incredible things.


You would take my hand and off we would go. When your little legs got tired, I would pick you up and wrap you on my back. I would carry you and we would talk about what we saw until you would eventually fall asleep, snuggled into the crook of my neck.


So much has changed in the 60 months since you made your debut. You have learned so much and taught me even more. You can express yourself in a million ways and do so with great enthusiasm. You have become so much more adventurous and are one of the most outgoing and friendly people I know.


It is even more amazing, though, how much you are still the same. Your smile still lights up the world and melts my heart. You love bigger than I ever though anyone could. You still grab my hand and lead me on the most amazing adventures. You still reach up when you are sleepy and touch my face.


In a few short days, my sweet girl, you will be five. I am not sure you are able to understand the incredible honor I feel to be your mom. I don’t know if I have words to describe my love and adoration for you.


You made me a mom. No one else in the entire world can say that. Only you.


Here are to a hundred more years of Elsa Mae Day. The world is a much much more beautiful, kind, and awesome place because of you.






Still, here


I have been on a self inflicted hiatus of sorts. I have had the hardest time writing and was struggling with my voice, my identity, and my direction.

So, I stopped. I stopped writing for myself, I stopped posting to social media, I just stopped. I let myself, for the first time in a long while, be still.

I listened to the sounds of my children playing. I absorbed their laughter and did not document it on my Facebook page. I went camping with my family and did not worry about having cell service or about what I should post. I stopped going through my day searching for little vignettes of my life to share, looking for the most entertaining sound bite.

I just observed and enjoyed. I let myself be me. I let go.

It. Was. Amazing.


I am back now, but with a firmer grasp on who I am. Who I have always been, really. I am going to allow my thoughts to flow organically onto paper and if something worth sharing comes out, I will do so. If not, so be it.

This week I have been teaching the writing half of a writing-photo intensive at the photo project where my husband works. I have been working with a group of 8 girls ranging in age from 10 to 18. I am trying to help them find their voices. I am trying to show them the tools they already possess and how to use them to be heard. I am helping them to tell their stories. It is an amazing experience and I am humbled by their kindness and beauty and immense talent. It is a privilege to work with them.

During today’s writing time I finally broke through my own block and wrote my first poem since last year. I posted it on my other blog, the one no one knows about, Still, here. It is my blog for me. A place for my mind to be still.

I have no idea what the future holds for the Juicebox Confession blog. I will never stop writing, that I am certain of. I just feel a disconnect to the “brand” that rose out of JbC. I will always love it but don’t know if I want it to be a part of my identity.

Either way, I am, as always, so grateful for you all who read my words. I don’t know if I would have continued any of this without your encouragement.




Poe Wovens: Spangled Glory


Hi all! As part of my plan to refresh and change up my blog I have decided to create a new feature: Juicebox Obsessions. I will share and review some of my most favorite of things for you all.


I figured the very best place to start is with one of my absolute favorite companies, Poe Wovens. Poe is owned and run by a U.S. Marine Corps veteran/mother of five/kickass woman from my home state of Vermont. From start to finish their wraps are all made in the USA with sustainable fibers while being socially responsible and effortlessly beautiful.

I got to play host to a brand new design a few months ago. Spangled is an Americana themed, red, white, and blue wrap. Woven with a 100% cotton warp and a TENCEL weft this wrap is beyond soft. (It puts marshmallows to shame, I SWEAR.)


To be honest, I wasn’t super excited for a USA flag inspired wrap. I have nothing against Old Glory, I just prefer not to wear it. The first photos I saw made me rethink my stance. The moment Spangled arrived at my door, my mind was completely changed. This wrap was cushy and soft as a dream in loom state. The colors were bold and the contrast striking. After it’s first wash and dry, the colors bled ever so slightly and the contrast faded slightly. This made the wrap look beautifully worn in, rustic, and subtle.

A quick front wrap cross carry with this cushy beauty and I was hooked. Wearing this wrap felt like slipping into my favorite jeans and tee. It molded to every curve. It was supportive and soft. It made my baby feel weightless and cozy. This wrap is amazing. The baby fell asleep before I could finish wrapping her.

Needless to say, when pre-order for Spangled was announced I jumped at the chance to own one. I am now patiently awaiting it’s arrival. You KNOW I will be rocking this wrap all summer long. I already have it booked solid for the 4th of July. (I mean. C’MON! How am I NOT going to wear this at the parade and fireworks?)

Nancy and her team at Poe Wovens really hit it out of the park with this wrap. I could not be more excited or happier for my fluff mail to arrive. Check them out on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Interested in finding out about new designs and promotions before everyone else? Join the Facebook Group: Poe Precinct.

JbO-poespangled**In the interest of full disclosure I am a Poe Wovens brand ambassador. HOWEVER, I was not paid or otherwise reimbursed for this review. The thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own and my own alone. I am a brand ambassador because of how amazing this company is.**