Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Must Do Activity - The Mom Made Market


While I am a self-proclaimed "explorer", my lack of involvement on Facebook (I tried it for about a month and it just wasn't for me) and as an active member in any mommy groups, my knowledge of fun and amazing things to do is sometimes...well, limited.  Thank G for Nic who is always informed on the "must do" activities and always includes this Thriving Wife. When she asked if I wanted to join her at The Mom Made Market in Carlsbad last weekend, I of course said, "YES!"

The Mom Made Market has one main goal, to support moms in business. 

"By hosting markets, we offer #mommade shops a platform to sell their goods and services, network with one another create new friendships, come meet their followers/supporters in person and to have FUN! We believe that in supporting mom businesses, we can help keep more moms home with their kids, hep mothers contribute finically to their families, and encourage creativity and entrepreneurship. IN addition to hosting the markets we are passionate about supporting the mom community in general and do this through fundraising at our events for deserving mom focused non profits. We hope that will you join as as a vendor, or come ship on of our markets! 'Shop local, shop small, shop MOM MADE'". - The Mom Made Market.com

Since my Thriving Mommy and Thriving Husband were both occupied that day, the boys and I were taking on this adventure solo.  Should #totalchaos ensue, so be it. I was locked and loaded with extra clothes, water, toys and enough snacks to sink a ship. I had set my mind to accept the insanity and should s&*^ totally hit the fan, I would allow them to scream their heads off while I briskly walked to the car. Alas, we 3.5 loaded in our minivan and headed to San Diego nice and early to avoid the inevitable beach traffic.

Since I already loved the destination name, the Flower Fields, I was pretty excited to see what the day ahead had in store. Sure, the boys were missing their nap time, but they would sleep in the car...hopefully.

When we pulled up at 10:30am I secured a safe, secluded spot for my new minivan and noticed the long line of mamas and strollers waiting to get in. WOW! This was going to be much bigger than I thought! We loaded up in our own stroller, used the restroom, grabbed a snack and waited until the gates opened at 11.


Then, we were IN! Unfortunately, Nic was stuck in beach traffic so we had to go in solo and check things out...it was like a crowded version of heaven....



The first vendor to catch my eye, Five o'clock Jelly. Anything with wine will usually make me pull over...pregnant or not. I had a few samples (of course making sure baby Mac was safe) and was thrilled when the owner said she lived on her jelly when pregnant...I immediately bought two bottles. It was amazing! So "robust" and delicious. I mean, if I closed my eyes, savored the flavors and had a cup in my hand, I would have sworn I was reunited with my love, red wine. Head over to her website and secure some of your ow. Reds, Whites, Sangria and Mimosa...she has it all! I am so excited to share these as gifts and have her appetizer suggestions be a staple at my "close-to-the-wine-country" home!


With my first purchase in ten seconds locked down, I kept on the graveled path. As a lover of wood art, I was drawn into the creative (and sister owned) designs of Mulberry House. As I approached to take a closer look, I prepared myself for what had to be an incredibly high price tag and nearly fell to the floor with how affordable their prices were! From home decor, to CA love and the adorable nursery main pieces, you can guarantee I will be adding a few of these cuties to my home very soon!


While trying to concentrate on shopping for myself and picking out some Mulberry House peices, I noticed my kids screaming "doooooogggg", "ttrrrruuucckkk", reaching out of their stroller and desperately trying to make a run for it...what on this Earth are they looking at...oh Lord. A balloon farm. You can guess where we went next...


Bashabaloo features what are called "surprise balls". These fun, activity centered gifts are the coolest thing! Kids slowly unwrap the ball finding small trinkets inside leaving them wanting more and more. The brilliant creator Katie, designed quiet ones to take when traveling (I mean, she is a genius), ones for seasons with appropriate toys...and all you do is "unroll and enjoy"! You can bet I will be ordering some of these to give away as I love anything that keeps my kids entertained for more than 5 seconds!


We finally were able to move on (and stay entertained) playing with our new "walking balloons". Clarkey-puss grabbed a little dog while Peanut of course went for the red truck. At least they were happy...and only cost me $10 so far!


We continued to explore and caught one of the stages featuring a fun line up of family entertainment. Man this market had thought of everything!!  Had I brought backup, we would have surely hit the dance floor!



With the boys attention now concentrated on their balloons, I continued to make my rounds. I was surprised to happen upon a booth that had no moms at all...but rather two daddies!  Papasakz is a "daddy made" design by three childhood friends who decided the ordinary diaper bag would just not do. So when I clarified, "You mean like this adorable Vera Bradley floral pattern I have? You aren't in to this?", they both replied, "Exactly".  I love that these dads got together and decided to make a bag that was man-approved, yet more functional than the standard backpack most men grab to avoid carrying the large diaper bag their wives drag around.

Made with high quality nylon, these bags are easy to clean, have tons of great storage, feature an insulated bottle pocket (or as my TH said, a beer holder...classy) they are stylish, mannish and definitely worth checking out for the Daddy in your life. Backpack, messenger or duffle bag, can store an iPad/laptop...this is the man bag of the year for sure!


With my next Father's Day gift in mind, I moved on. Then, I saw the rack. Anything embroidered and in a Mexican style must be mine!! Wild Sunshine had the cutest dresses (whhhhyyyy can't I have one girl, just one?!) for little ones. I wanted to die. And that is just the beginning! Hats, headbands, scarves, so much cuteness! Head over to her site to check out more of her adorable designs.



With my daughter dreams crushed for the moment, I moved on and spotted...Wait, does that say what I think it says?! YES IT DOES!!! B-Line to the NBT Threads booth to get my hands on some mermaid gear! I love a good statement tee, you know ones that make a statement...I guess you would call that a graphic tee, but whatever. If it says mermaid, I usually have to have it.


Or this shirt which was really made for every Chico Alum Mom who walks the planet...am I right girls?!

I walked away with not only a little something for myself, but also with a new Mer-Friend! Love this shop and look forward to purchasing more of her designs for friends soon! If you aren't already a fan, become one now!


After I made my way through half the market, yyyaaayyy, Nic arrived! I regrouped, gave my kids a snack (the balloon novelty was wearing off), and we continued on.


Sure enough, something Mer-ish caught my eye yet again....


This (almost) mother of three boys (she is expecting her third, like myself) had some equally amazing trinkets. It's like The Market just didn't stop giving! Check out her Etsy shop, Chazing Arrowz to see more tops and follow her to see more of her great designs!


I fell in love with this sandy-sparkled wine glass saying what we are all thinking...."Mama needs some wine"...yes, yes she does.


While Nic, BK2, the boys and I wandered around, I was very excited to see one of my favorite items ever...a Mason Jar being used as a centerpiece on so many amazing art pieces! Not Just A Mason Jar nails it with all her creative ideas on ways to truly utilize the amazingness that is the Mason Jar. The above, bottle opener/cap saver was one of my favorites!



As Nic is currently a lactating mommy and I am going to be one again very soon we had to stop and sample these tasty lactation cookies...especially when they were proudly hanging one of their custom shirts, "Breastfeeding is my Cardio"...Nic was immediately drawn in. The Bent Elbow has delicious cookies that are sure to keep that milk production going strong. Not to mention their beyond perfect logo of a breastfeeding mermaid... I mean really?! Obsessed does not even begin to describe my feelings on that one. Not to mention the sample cookie was my fave (oatmeal chocolate chip) and they had a coozie, "M is for Mermaid"...ugh! LOVE!

After a solid two hours of strolling/shopping and meeting talented mommies/daddies, I knew I needed to let my dudes burn off some steam. Thankfully the venue had a perfect one entry/exit play area with all sorts of slides, jungle gyms and even a team of HUGE bubble blowers! Nic decided to brave the food truck lines as I parked my stroller, pulled my hair back, grabbed my water and let loose the beasts!

Clarke being creative going down the slide...who wants to go on their tushy anyway?!
Oh wait...Peanut does!!!!


They went up and down the slides (and climbed back up again..clearly), chased bubbles, hung from bars and had a grand ole' time until this mommy couldn't keep up anymore. Covered in sand, sweaty and oh so tired, we decided it was time to get to the van, get cleaned up and head home. 

Since Nic was baby wearing a sweet cuddly Henry, she was ready to set out on her own and cover the territory I had already hit before she arrived. We were sad we didn't get to spend more time together, but as a fellow mommy she understood the ticking time bomb that is an exhausted/hot/hungry toddler.

All in all, my final review on The Mom Made Market was it is an absolute diamond. I loved checking out and supporting all these local mom shops and SO look forward to going again next year. I even hope to become a vendor with my own Thriving Mommy as we set out to sell our homemade, all natural candles. I am hoping to even make the trip to Arizona and see my non-bio sister KK and go to the Market out there too! As there are only currently five Markets, I want to go to them all! Especially the one in Hawaii... That is how much I loved it!

Well done Mom Made Market, this Thriving Wife is hooked! 

Strive to thrive, 
Em

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Get Excited for MommyCon OC - Giveaway


If you didn't catch that we are excited about MommyCon coming up in less than two months, then let us again share our joy!

If you too are in the Orange County area (or want to be for the day), then this isn't an even to be missed. Simply because we are so thrilled, we decided to put together a little giveaway package for one lucky Thriving Mommy to win. Not a mommy quite yet? Not to worry, you can still totally enter and give the baby goodies away to a friend or family member. There is no shame in that game!


So just what is in this lovely package you want to know? Well...let's see!
  • Silibib. This 100% silicone bib is designed to lie flat, but also has that amazing hidden pocket to catch the food that always seems to miss your little one's mouth. This bib is dishwasher safe (thank G), hypo-allergenic and can even be boiled to sterilize...say whhhattt?
  • Evenflo Advanced Milk Storage Bags. Still trying out different milk storage bags? Well here is another brand to add to your lineup. These bags boast being made with a highly durable material to ensure that mommy's milk stays extra safe. With a double SafeZip track zipper and a pour spout to minimize possible spillage of that liquid gold..these are a must try!
  • Munchkin White Hot Safety Spoons. These BPA free, dishwasher safe spoons are perfect when starting solids. If you want to warm up that fresh puree you whipped up last night, don't worry about the temperature, let the spoon do it for you. If the tip turns white, it needs to cool. Once the tip of the spoon remains its cute, bright color you are good to go!
  • Re-Play No-Spill Cup. Ready to take a sippy cup for a test drive? Well then, Re-Play is the best way to go. Made from recycled plastic, complete with silicone valve, this cup is easy to use, easy clean and you can feel eco-good about it!
  • Munchkin LATCH 4 oz Baby Bottle.  Take the stress out of bottle feeding with this LATCH bottle from Munchkin. With so many bottles on the market, why not try them all? LATCH bottles mimic mommy's breast, reduce colic and are BPA free. What isn't to like?
  • Mama&Little Linda Silicone Teething Bracelet. One thing is for sure about littles...they need something to chew on...constantly! Why not look good while having your sweet angel get the relief they need on their aching gums. Great to pair with any outfit or accessory, safe for baby (made from 100% silicone) and super easy to clean. DONE!

  • Gentle Baby Roll-On. Em swears by her Gentle Baby Essential Oil Roll-On and shares it as much as she can.  Let the soothing, natural scent of this oil absorb through the bottoms of baby's feet for a good (long) night's sleep. A mommy must have for sure!
  • 100% Soy Homemade Candle. Em and her Thriving Mommy love to share the gift of a homemade candle...made by them of course! Nothing helps a busy mommy wind down faster than a Tuberose candle in a vintage glass, sitting bedside...don't forget your wine!


Now how to enter? Well that is easy! You can visit us on Facebook (we would love a like and a share too) for a single entry. You can kick it up to two entries by liking one of ourThriving Wives Mommy Moments on Instagram  and tagging a friend.  Or you can go all in for three entries by posting a Mommy Moment of your own using the #TWMM and tagging us! The choice is yours, but it can be done as much as you want...so go nutty!

We start today and end on July 7th, so don't waste a minute. We look forward to sharing in your #TWMM and will make sure to keep the posts coming!

Good luck and let's get excited for MommyCon!



Strive to thrive, 
Em

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Get Excited for MommyCon OC!!!


MommyCon is coming back to Orange County (hoooray!) on Saturday, August 20th and we SoCal mommies are puuummmppped!  This year, the Hilton in Costa Mesa will be hosting and we hope you buy your tickets soon so we can meet you and share the love we have for this Mom-Tastic event!

Nic and I always make a point to go to this event and we are honored once again to be a part of the Media Team bringing you the latest and greatest. During our trip last Fall we found so many amazing products we surely didn't walk away empty handed!

Em choosing her favorite stainless steel products for her family!
As always, she made a friend along the way...and got two eco snackers for her boys!
Love these little chairs so low to the ground...way easier to fall off and not get hurt!
We just can't get enough Re-Play products! ALL These for $5?! Get outta here!
Obvi, Nic took a bag of goodies home...
How about some Silver Nipple Soothers?! Well, why not!

Not only are there great vendors to check out, but all your questions/concerns can be met in one place! Trying to find the best carrier for you and baby? Stop on over the the Baby Wearing lounge to get one on one support and try all sorts of different carriers. This is just the type of location Em learned to tandem baby carry her twins. Ah-maze-ing.


Still unsure if cloth diapering is for you? Why not get more information, ask questions and learn about the variety of options available to you and baby?!


Heck, do a little advertising on your super cute preggo belly while you are there...Thanks Nic!
Disposables still the only thing you can handle? No problem, you can learn more about eco-products and even get a free sample of the newest disposable diaper trend on the scene!


Just when you thought you couldn't shop one more minute...the MommyCon Shoppe is waiting to be hit! We always purchase a shirt or two because they always seem to say exactly what we are thinking...weird we know.


You can even pick up a good book!

We love to leave our mark (TW) before enjoying a light lunch and heading in to check out the excellent speakers that are featured throughout the day. Our top picks last time around were potty training and tantrums.



Not only does MommyCon have amazing, experienced and certified speakers, but hands on training too! We learned how to utilize two different baby wraps and had a grand ole' time trying them out on our sweet little baby dolls.


Even Nic managed to get a good wrap over her then-belly!
MommyCon is always an event we look forward to each year and are gearing up for another amazing experience this August. The first time we went, Em had just had her twins. Last time, Nic was pregnant with BK2. Now Em is expecting her third...WOW, do we Thriving Wives ever stop?!


We want you to be just as excited as we are about MommyCon which is why we will be hosting a giveaway to share some of the amazing treasures we happened upon at our last visit! Stay tuned Thursday for information on how to enter and be our big winner!

Strive to thrive, 
Em