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A Perfect Mother In Law Gift Idea

January 16, 2019

 

Perfect Mother In Law Gift

Do you struggle (like me!) to find a perfect gift for certain people in your life – IE: mother in law, sister, aunt, etc?!

Well, I received the sweetest, coziest, comfiest gift from my parents over Christmas – The Giving Shawl. And so now I just have to share with you, because I feel like it makes an amazing gift for that someone in your life (sister, mom, grandmother, aunt, friend, sis-in-law, MIL) that you adore, but maybe live far away from. Or maybe this person is difficult to shop for…either way, it’s a lovely present!

Enter, The Giving Shawl

They call it a “gift-able hug”, which I find so perfect. The point of the shawl is that it is supposed to make the gift-ee smile every time they wrap up in it. It reminds you that somebody loves you, that somebody is giving you a big ol’ hug right then and there.

And trust me, this shawl is so cozy! It’s unbelievably soft and comes in a few different colors. I just love it. Every time I put it on, I feel soft and fuzzy inside.

In fact, I may be gifting this to my mother-in-law sometime soon. How cute would this be from your kiddos? A gift for grandma? L-O-V-E!

PS: I forgot to tell you the most important part. It has pockets. Mic. Drop.

Want more gift ideas? Check out our gift guide for Every Mama and our guide for the Pregnant Mama.

Mother in law gift ideas

3 Inspiring Books to Start 2019

January 11, 2019

 

Inspiring Books For 2019

Ok, real quick I wanted to send y’all my favorite 3 books I’m absolutely devouring so far in 2019. These are perfect for you, mama, because the first 2 are super short passages and/or chapters that you actually can find the time to read because it takes about 3 minutes! lol!

First up – The Daily Soul Sessions books (obvi!)

If your pregnant – get The Daily Soul Sessions For The Pregnant Mama. If you’re not pregnant – get The Daily Soul Sessions For Every Mama. The short, daily inspirations are so refreshing and comforting. I’ve loved diving back into my pregnancy book. It reminds me that I’m not alone in my feelings (hello hormones!) and that it’s ok to miss the woman I used to be. She is still there. I just have to work a little bit harder to honor her, remember her, and bring her back by being creative, positive, and inspired!

Inspiring Pregnancy Book

Second – Maria Shriver’s “I’ve Been Thinking”

This book is just awesome. Short chapters with titles like “The Power Of Faith”, and “I’m Who I Choose To Become”, and “The Power Of Letting Go” to name a few are incredibly inspiring and encouraging. This woman has been through a lot, and she’s come out on the other side with so much wisdom and kindness that I’m simply devouring her words. You will too, I know it!

Maria Shriver book I've Been Thinking

Third – Lysa Terkeurst’s “The Best Yes”

Lysa Terkeurst is a Christian author and I really enjoy her writing style. She tells inspiring, real stories that help me relate to my every day problems and concerns. This book is all about “making wise decisions in the midst of endless demands” which LORD knows I need help with! I get paralyzed with indecision – do you? Lately I’ve been realizing that when I’m stuck in that limbo of not being able to make a decision, it’s because I’m letting myself be led by all the noise and chaos and media and social media around me. Instead of quietly going inside of myself and letting spirit lead me. This book is helping me take ownership of that.

Lysa Terkeurst The Best Yes

There you have it, lady! Curl up with some coffee and take those 5 minutes for yourself. Or if you’re like me, you have 2 kids in your lap while you do it – but still! It’s the thought – and the inspiration – that counts!

 

 

5 Things You Must Have When You’re Pregnant

January 10, 2019

 

5 Things you must have when you're pregnant

Well, third time must be a charm, because here it is, mama – the 5 Things You Must Have When You’re Pregnant. It’s only taken me…ohhhh, 22 months of pregnancy (I have 2 kids, and one on the way) to whittle this list down to my favorites!

1.) An Inspiring Pregnancy Book

The Daily Soul Sessions For The Pregnant Mama book is the one thing I read every single day to get my mind and my heart right. I want to feel connected to my little peanut inside, but I also want to remember the woman I was before the label mom took over my entire existence! And this book does that – it’s short, inspiring messages for each day of your pregnancy. It helps you stay positive, stay mindful, and stay creative during these most creative and amazing 9 months!

2.) Comfy CUTE Shoes

Ok, so as we keep growing and growing with each passing day – ahem – month, it’s important to hold onto a few things from our previous life. Or even add something amazing to our previous life – and the easiest way to do this is with shoes! lol – I know, it’s a bit vain, but when we have some cute shoes on, it makes the bump feel even better! The key is comfort, as you know, and these wedge sneaks are AMAZING! See the pic above – Supes cute. And I can wear them literally all day long without my feel hurting.

3.) An Amazing Blender

Yep. An amazing blender is for sure a necessity! So go ahead and ask for that Vitamix for your birthday or whatever holiday is fast approaching, because smoothies are the best when you’re preggo. A couple of my favorites are the Glowing Green Smoothie and the Almond Milk Breakfast Smoothie. 

4.) Pillows. And Then More Pillows

There comes a point in every pregnancy when you simply need all the pillows. Seriously – I bogart every single pillow from all the unused beds when I hit, ohhhh about 12 weeks! I now sleep in a throne-like position. This means I have the large Euro pillow in back, then 2 normal queen pillows piled against that, a 3rd queen pillow propped up above the 2 other queens (for my head, obvi), and THEN I have 2 king pillows – one on either side of my body. These are for propping up my arms, or for placing under my bump and between my knees when I want to be on my side. Yes. It’s a lot. Yes, it sounds insane. Yes, my poor husband has to climb over a mountain of pillows any time he wants to kiss me good night. And Yes, I need them all. So do yourself a grand favor, and just accept the pillows. Zzzzzzzz.

5.) A Great Lipstick – Color, color, color!

You need to head to Sephora and have an expert help you find the perfect lip color to add to your daily arsenal. And go bold, my bump sister, go bold! I find that when I’m feeling exhausted (pretty much every day), or I’m feeling a bit blue that nothing fits (hello boobs!), or I just need to feel a little oomph of fertility goddess-ness, the perfect lip color helps me get there. I adore this one from Milk Makeup – color “Wifey.”

So there you have it, friend. My list of the 5 Things You Must Have When You’re Pregnant. Next up, my 5 Maternity Clothing Essentials!

Cheers,
Kate

PS: Enter our monthly Mama Care Package giveaway below! We pick a new winner every month – and this is also something you’ll want to feel comfy, cozy, and cared for each day

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Weekend Roundup and Smelly Stuff :)

December 3, 2018

We have been BUSY here at The Daily Soul Sessions, ’tis the season, right?  Kate spent the weekend in New York, on a trip she has been dreaming of since she was a little girl. A weekend filled with Christmas Magic…..FAO Schwartz piano playing, an afternoon with The Rockettes, Rockafeller Center Tree and the broadway musical The Lion King! A dream come true and she got to bring Sloane, her oldest daughter, along for the fun!

Plaza Hotel

Kacey spent a busy weekend singing with their band Three Daughters (and missed Kate tremendously!) at a TED conference, what an opportunity! She then had Kate’s youngest babe and her dog, while they were out of town for the weekend, and you know how adding a kid or two to the mix can be-can anyone say chaos?! lol

Three Daugters

I (Kara) started the weekend with an ornament exchange party (a tradition that a good friend hosts), followed by celebrating a dear friend’s 40th birthday, a surprise that was a complete success, and then decorating my house with the family (with a small headache along for the ride-I’m too old to be celebrating past 10pm-lol-not great at a 5 year old’s basketball game-ha). So needless to say it was busy weekends all around! What fun, holiday adventures did you experience this weekend?

ornament exchange

We wanted to share one of our favorite little things we do make our homes feel cozy during the holiday season-we like to call it Mom’s Smelly Stuff-haha. But seriously it’s amazing and makes your whole house smell so festive and fun.

Holiday Smelly Stuff

  • The peel of one large orange (or 3 small cuties)
  • about a tablespoon of cloves
  • 2 Cinnamon Sticks

Place all ingredients into a pot filled 3/4 of the way with water and turn on to high, bring to a boil.  Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and enjoy the most delicious smell filling your house with cheer.

Happy Monday Mamas!

xoxo

Buffalo Chicken Salad

December 2, 2018

I can’t tell you how many days of the week lunch rolls around, and I am at a loss for what to eat.  I’m usually in a rush for preschool pick up or fitting my workout into the nap time window, so I end up grabbing something fast or skipping lunch and snacking…..never a good option!

Since starting Keto I’ve been much better about my lunchtime options and this buffalo chicken salad does NOT disappoint. It’s quick and easy and you can have it ready in about 15 mins or less!

Buffalo Chicken Salad

Ingredients

•Lettuce-your choice of what kind!
•Spinach
•Diced Red Bell Pepper
•Two Chicken Breasts (you can also buy precooked chicken which cuts the cook time down to nothing!)
•Frank’s Red Hot Original Sauce
•Ranch Dressing
•Shredded Cheese
•salt and pepper
•EVOO

Instructions

1. Dice chicken in small chunks
2. Drizzle EVOO in pan, turn heat to medium/high
3. Place chicken in to pan and salt and pepper generously
4. Sauté chicken until cooked through about ten mins or so
5. As chicken is cooking put lettuce, spinach and red peppers together on plate/bowl
6. Place cooked chicken on top of salad
7. Drizzle with Frank’s Red Hot and Ranch Dressing-I don’t use much ranch, just enough for flavor.
8. Sprinkle with cheese if desired.
*note* you can make up a bunch of cooked chicken for the week and this salad will take less than 5 mins to make!

DONE-enjoy!

The Spirit of The Season

November 27, 2018

Happy week after Thanksgiving, Mamas! If you are anything like me, the holiday season is already in FULL swing around here.  Decorating, parties, baking, kid events and a packed schedule can sometimes dull the brightness that surrounds this beautiful time of year.

Spirit of the Season

We have a few ideas that will help you slow down and enjoy the magic of the season with your family and friends. None of us need the stress and anxiety that can sometimes surround us throughout the month of December.

Here is a short list of things to help you navigate the crazy 🙂

  1. Wake up a half hour earlier than you normally do. Give yourself that time to do whatever it is that makes your soul happy. Is it sitting in the quiet by the fireplace enjoying your coffee? Do that. Is it a workout before the rest of the family is awake? Yes Mama. Is it sitting down to journal or read your favorite devotional in the blissfully quiet morning? DO IT. Anything that gives us a few minutes to focus on ourselves will help us keep the stress at bay throughout the day.
  2. Purposefully plan out your day. There is nothing that makes me feel more frazzled than a long to do list that has no direction on how to get it all done. Take a few minutes and look at the week ahead. Make a schedule that maximizes your time, and makes you feel good as you get everything checked off that list!
  3. Start your gift list NOW. There are SO many amazing bloggers out there sharing fantastic gift guides ….take advantage! I find that if I wait until the last minute the stress level just keeps getting higher and higher. How great would it be if this year, we had everything done in advance and we could relax and enjoy the season?! One of my favorite bloggers has an amazing gift guide-check it out here. https://www.livingwithlandyn.com/holiday-gift-guides-1/
  4. VOLUNTEER! Nothing feels as good as giving back to those in need.  There are so many places you can do this.  My son and I are going to be volunteering at an event this year for families who need a little extra help around the holidays.  The parents get to “shop” donated items for their families’ gifts and we get to help kids do holiday crafts and projects while they do.  I am excited to do this with our son, so he can experience helping those a bit less fortunate than we.

These are just a few ways you can combat the chaos and stress of the holidays.  We’d love to hear your ideas as well-share them below!

Spirit of the Season

Our wish for you this holiday season is to slow down and enjoy the magic with your family and friends. Hopefully these tips will help you out just a little bit along the way.

xo,

Kara

Easy Banana Muffins

 

Please tell me I am not the only mom out there who ends up with over ripe bananas almost every week? I always have good intentions to make banana bread or muffins, but somehow too much time passes and I end up wasting them.  WELL, not any more mamas! I found the easiest 5 ingredient banana muffin recipe, and I have to share it with all of you.

My son JJ had a play date this afternoon and ALL THREE KIDS approved…..if that isn’t a reason to make these I don’t know what is! Whip these little muffins up for your family, and you will get all the love. 🙂

Easy Banana Muffin Recipe

Banana Muffins
recipe adapted from my Betty Crocker Cookbook
 
Ingredients
1 1/4 cups mashed rip bananas (3 Medium)
3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1 large egg
1/3 cup of Sugar
2 cups Krusteaz Pancake Mix (original recipe called for Bisquick but I couldn’t find any at the store-which I thought was strange?)
____________________________________________
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper baking cups.
2. Beat bananas, oil, egg and sugar in large bowl until well blended. Then stir in Krusteaz mix until everything is just moistened. (Batter will be lumpy). Divide batter evenly between muffin cups.
3. Bake about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Let muffins cool and remove from pan.
DONE! Easy Peasy and a hit with the kiddos!
Mangia!
Kara

Thanksgiving Appetizers “Turkey” Veggie Tray

November 20, 2018

 

Thanksgiving Turkey Veggie Tray

Are you still looking for something you can make to contribute to all the Thanksgiving events this week? Try this Turkey Veggie Tray. It is fun and festive – a great project to enlist some little ones to help assemble as well!

Here is how you assemble this bad boy: Lay out butter leaf lettuce on the bottom of a large plate.  Then add your veggies: A row of carrots, broccoli florets, thinly sliced red and yellow bell peppers, and zucchini.  Save the top of the red bell pepper to make the turkey’s face, and slice up some zucchini to make the legs.  Add 2 little eyes (from some cauliflower) and you’re done!  Pair with homemade hummus or your favorite dips.

And be sure to let people know it’s ok to “ruin” the turkey – it’s almost too pretty to eat!

xo,
Kara, Kate, and Kacey

Be sure to check out our Thanksgiving Table Decorations:
Moss Green + Cobalt Blue Thanksgiving Table Decorations
Classic Fall Thanksgiving Table Decorations
DIY Thanksgiving Gratitude Quotes
DIY Fall Indian Corn Wreath

Classic Fall Thanksgiving Table Decorations

 

Classic Fall Thanksgiving Table Decorations

This is one of my favorite Thanksgiving Tables we have done. The idea started with the colors dusty turquoise and burnt orange. And it quickly spiraled in to this!

For this table top, we laid a runner of burlap down and layered a narrower runner of dusty turquoise on top. Both pieces of fabric we purchased at Hobby Lobby. Then the fun part begins – scavenging for candles, fruit, nuts, candle holders, leaves in burnt orange, rusty red, yellows.

Classic Fall Thanksgiving Table Decorations

We gathered leaves and branches from my parents’ yard that we placed in different vases and urns. As you can see, we used some antique brass and some turquoise sea glass for vessels.

Classic Fall Thanksgiving Table Decorations

Classic Fall Thanksgiving Table Decorations

Apples made an appearance too! We filled bowls and scattered pretty apples all across the table. Then we included burnt orange candles and cream colored tapers to set the mood.

Classic Fall Thanksgiving Table Decorations

We decorated each place setting with a real, fall leaf from outside. You could even write each guest’s name on the leaf with a ball point paint pen.

Happy Thanksgiving!

xo,
Kate

Check out our other Thanksgiving ideas through the years:

Moss green + cobalt blue Thanksgiving table decorations

DIY Gratitude Quote Place Cards

Thanksgiving Fall Wreath

Thanksgiving  Appetizer “Turkey” Veggie Tray

DIY Thanksgiving Table Place Cards: Gratitude Quotes

November 19, 2018

 

Thanksgiving Table Decorations

Did you see our “how to” for this gorgeous Moss Green and Cobalt Blue Thanksgiving Tablescape decor? It’s so rustic and home-y feeling!

As we said then, candles and colors aside, it’s important to remember why we all come together on Thanksgiving. Last year we tied quotes of gratitude and thankfulness onto sprigs of rosemary and stems of pears and set one on each plate. Every quote was different – some funny, some serious, some famous, some unknown. Each person read their quote out loud during dinner. It was a lovely way to celebrate the season and be ever mindful of the spirit of Thanksgiving.

Gratitude Quotes DIY

Google “thankfulness quotes”, “thanksgiving quotes”, “Gratitude quotes” or any combination of the above and pick out your favorites.
Hand write or print out the quotes (in small text) on paper.
Roll up quote in a scroll-like fashion.
Tie scroll onto a sprig of rosemary or a stem of a piece of fruit with colorful ribbon.

We are celebrating Thanksgiving all week long – check back for more inspiration!

xo,
Kate

Also, take a peek at our Classic Fall Thanksgiving Table Decorations and this adorable Thanksgiving “Turkey” Veggie Tray, too!