5 Tips for an Efficient Laundry Routine for Moms

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I’m going to share something that I am a tad embarrassed to admit…that for some time, even with just two kids, the laundry situation in our household was severely out of control. It seemed that the pile of dirty laundry would grow until it was overflowing out of hampers. The washing, then drying, the folding, the putting away – it was my most dreaded household chore. When I did get around to putting a load on, the clean laundry rarely got folded which meant it ended up in a gigantic pile on the bed (and then pushed onto the floor) and we would just get dressed from the pile of clean clothes on the floor. And when I did take the time to fold and organize the laundry, the clothes rarely made it back into their proper drawers and closets and instead we just had a overwhelming amount of folded clothes sitting on the floor that would end up becoming a mess when the boys decided it was a mountain they had to climb or decided to toss pieces all over the room and all of the clean clothes would eventually just get mixed with the dirty clothes. Please tell me I am not the only one that has lived like this?!?!  Well, I finally decided to get our laundry situation under control and these are a few habits that have helped us create an efficient laundry routine. And guess what, since implementing these tips, I don’t hate laundry anymore!

Do a load every day. By doing one load every single day, you avoid the massive pile up that can easily accumulate over a few days. This way you won’t get behind and end up feeling overwhelmed.

Fold immediately. I’m usually taking a load out of the dryer to exchange it as I am running out the door for an adventure with the boys and before, I would just toss them into the laundry basket and promise myself that I would fold them when the boys went to sleep that night. Well, that night-time folding party rarely happened because I would much rather relax, catch up on emails, or spend time with the husband. Tackling the folding right away only takes a few extra moments and made staying on top of the laundry so much easier.

Put a load in before bed every night. Putting a load of laundry in the washer before going to bed every night has become a ritual that helps me stay on track for a load a day. When I wake up, I switch it to the dryer and then after breakfast and before we head out for the day, I fold the laundry and put it away. This has been working really well for us because doing laundry after the boys go to bed is really the last thing I want to do at the end of the day.

Get the kids involved. My boys LOVE helping with laundry. There’s something about pouring in the detergent and throwing in the dryer balls that is just so exciting for little ones. Both the boys also love helping me move the wet clothes from the washing machine to the dryer…Holden likes to pretend it’s a contest to see how strong he is (since the wet clothes can get so heavy). It has become something fun to do together!

Use the right products. Both the boys have really sensitive skin and we have always been really careful about what we use to wash and dry their clothing. There really is nothing worse than washing clothes in something that doesn’t work or results in rashes or feels stiff or doesn’t smell good and having to redo multiple loads of laundry. We use and love the Babyganics Fragrance Free Laundry Detergent and the Babyganics’ 100% natural wool dryer balls. We just recently added the Babyganics dryer balls to our laundry regime which eliminate the need for conventional fabric softeners and dryer sheets, resulting in less static and softer clothes naturally, and we love them! They are non-toxic, non-allergenic, biodegradable, compostable, and free of chemicals, PVC, fragrances, and dyes. Growing up my mom always used dryer sheets, but I’ve avoided them because of the boys sensitive skin and so we were always battling a lot of static in their clothing. These dryer balls have solved all of our static issues and make the boys’ clothing so soft! The dryer balls also reduce drying time up to 25% and last for up to 1000 loads of laundry!

And to make things even better, they are now sold at Babies R Us!! They also just launched a diaper subscription on Amazon to make life even easier on us busy mamas.

 


Third Pregnancy Announcement

Bel & Beau pregnancy announcement/pregnancy reveal

Photography: Michelle Roller

I can hardly believe that my third trimester is upon me and that my due date is less than 12 weeks away! It seems like it was just yesterday that we were wrapping our heads around the fact that we were having another baby and now suddenly here we are moving into the final stretch of this pregnancy. With this belly of mine seemingly growing inches by the day, I have started planning out some of the details for my maternity photoshoot and I couldn’t help but look back on these photos taken at the end of my first trimester for my pregnancy announcement/pregnancy reveal that were shared over on 100 Layer Cakelet and my instagram feed (but somehow never made it here which I’ll just blame on pregnancy brain).

It’s crazy to me how much younger the boys look in these photos that were taken just a few months back. We had embarked on this crazy travel adventure up the coast of California at the time and I suddenly decided that I needed a beautiful and unique way to announce my pregnancy. I explored instagram and reached out to several amazing vendors in the San Louis Opisbo area (where we were staying at the time) and threw this pregnancy reveal photoshoot together in two days time. Of course it was a whirlwind of emails and phone calls and driving all over town to pick up pieces for the shoot, but I couldn’t be happier with these photos. Mr.B thinks it’s quite silly the extent I go to for our family photos at times, but I am so grateful to have these moments in our life documented forever because man does time move fast when you’re chasing after two boys.

Bel & Beau pregnancy announcement/pregnancy reveal

Bel & Beau pregnancy announcement/pregnancy reveal

Bel & Beau pregnancy announcement/pregnancy reveal

Bel & Beau pregnancy announcement/pregnancy reveal

Bel & Beau pregnancy announcement/pregnancy reveal

Bel & Beau pregnancy announcement/pregnancy reveal

Bel & Beau pregnancy announcement/pregnancy reveal

Bel & Beau pregnancy announcement/pregnancy reveal
Bel & Beau pregnancy announcement/pregnancy reveal

Bel & Beau pregnancy announcement/pregnancy reveal

Bel & Beau pregnancy announcement/pregnancy reveal

Bel & Beau pregnancy announcement/pregnancy reveal

Bel & Beau pregnancy announcement/pregnancy reveal

Bel & Beau pregnancy announcement/pregnancy reveal

Bel & Beau pregnancy announcement/pregnancy reveal

Bel & Beau pregnancy announcement/pregnancy reveal
Bel & Beau pregnancy announcement/pregnancy reveal

Bel & Beau pregnancy announcement/pregnancy reveal

Bel & Beau pregnancy announcement/pregnancy reveal

Bel & Beau pregnancy announcement/pregnancy reveal

Bel & Beau pregnancy announcement/pregnancy reveal

Bel & Beau pregnancy announcement/pregnancy reveal

Bel & Beau pregnancy announcement/pregnancy reveal

Bel & Beau pregnancy announcement/pregnancy reveal
Bel & Beau pregnancy announcement/pregnancy reveal

Bel & Beau pregnancy announcement/pregnancy reveal
Bel & Beau pregnancy announcement/pregnancy reveal

Bel & Beau pregnancy announcement/pregnancy reveal

Bel & Beau pregnancy announcement/pregnancy reveal

 

Photography: Michelle Roller / Location: Cass House Cayucos /

Florist: Edens Floral / Dress: Blackwater in San Luis Obispo


Everyday Fall Maternity Style

shopbopsale

Black peacoat (or similar here) // Black Booties (or similar here) // Striped Maternity Dress (or similar here) // Cateye Sunglasses (or similar here) //  Red Wireless Maternity Bra (or similar here) // Oversized Tote (or similar here)

Black Beanie (or similar here)// Glitter Phone Case (or similar here) // Pink Sunglasses (or similar here) // Leather Backpack (or similar here) // Oversized Sweater (or similar here) // White Sneakers (or similar here) // Black Maternity Bra (or similar here) // Maternity Leggings (or similar here)

Shopbop’s Event of the Season is going on now until Saturday morning! So now is the perfect time to stock up on your fall wardrobe staples. I’m sharing a few of my favorite maternity pieces (or pieces that can be worn during your pregnancy) to create two everyday fall maternity looks that will take you through your entire pregnancy, allowing you to be both comfortable and stylish at the same time! A few of my favorites fall maternity pieces are comfortable maternity dress that show off your bump (you can find some here), fun sunglasses (a few options here), a pair of booties (a must for any fall wardrobe) and a pair of sneakers for those later months of pregnancy (these ones are classics and affordable), maternity bras (because comfortable undergarments are a necessity during pregnancy!), and an oversized sweater (love this one).  Happy shopping!!

Spend up to $500, get 25% off your entire purchase. Spend over $500, get 30% off your entire purchase.


Goodbye, California. Hello, New Zealand.

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SHOP MY MATERNITY LOOK HERE:

Raincoat: H&M (similar here, here, and here); Dress: ASOS (similar here and here); Bandana: Zara (similar here and here); Boots: old (similar here, here, and here

So if you’ve been following along on Instagram, you know by now that we have made a huge move across the world from California (the only home my boys have ever known) to New Zealand. A few months before the move, I began mentioning often that we were moving, but rarely alluded to when and where because I wanted to make sure that we had everything set before officially announcing everything (getting the boys visas in order, letting Dustin’s job know, telling family and close friends, etc.). And then the months turned to weeks and the weeks turned to days and we were suddenly boarding a flight to New Zealand and I hadn’t even mentioned where we were going or what was happening. I’ve been getting lots of emails and comments and messages asking us what motivated our move to New Zealand and well, there are lots of reasons, but I’ll do my best to explain here.

Dustin and I have talked about living in another country (literally for over five years) – wanting to experience life outside of the United States and to let our children experience another culture – but we have been too terrified to actually take the plunge, constantly discussing the possibility and then just as quickly dismissing it as we came up with a million reasons why it couldn’t be done (financially, jobs, family, etc.). So it has been something that we have wanted to do for a long time and we finally just decided ok, let’s do it.

I have lived in California (Santa Barbara, San Francisco, and San Diego) for over ten years and Dustin has lived in California his entire life. For the past couple of years, we have lived in Southern California, where Dustin has a huge family presence, and there were so many things we loved about living there – being close to family, the great friends we met, living by the ocean, the weather, and the California lifestyle in general.

But there were some aspects of our life that we weren’t loving and we started feeling like we needed to make a change with our lives.  One was the amount of time and effort Dustin was putting into work. During the week (every single week) he would be gone for three to four days in Los Angeles and I would be home with the boys on my own. Dustin was working around 65 hours per week (getting up in the middle of the night for a few hours every night even after a long days work and working on the weekends) with no vacation time, not many benefits, and still not living as comfortably as we would like. After two years of this endless cycle, it was starting to feel like he had his own life and the boys and I had our own life.

We really felt like we were stuck in “the ratrace” and we just couldn’t get out of it. Seemingly working harder and harder, but not really moving ahead financially or getting to where we wanted to be in life. We realized our family life and marriage life were suffering, and we really wanted to make a change that would put family life first.

We have also rented for many years as I have never been entirely positive of where I wanted to settle down and was always scared to buy a property and be stuck per say. But it was getting to the point where it was time to purchase a home for our family and choose a place to officially settle down for some time. With Holden getting older, it seemed like it was time to find a home and make it our own – a place where the kids could grow up. Yet, California property can be very pricey. I kept dreaming about a tiny house on a big chunk of land (so we could have animals) overlooking the ocean and to be honest, I’m not sure a piece of property exists like that in San Diego.

So when we decided that we wanted to find our dream home, a simpler life, and focus on our family and marriage for a little bit, we had to decide where in the world we wanted to move. Both of my parents are from New Zealand and I visited often as a child. As we seriously started discussing moving to another country, New Zealand was top of the list because of two things: (1) I have dual citizenship (which would make getting visas for the boys a little easier) and (2) I have a large family over here, both of which would make the huge transition to another country and lifestyle just a little bit easier.

So we finally applied for visas and said if we got them we would just go (we didn’t even buy our tickets until two weeks before we left, that’s how indecisive we were about actually taking the plunge).

It’s a new adventure and it can definitely be stressful thinking about all of the logistics when it comes to setting up a life here in another country, but we are also incredibly excited about the opportunities and adventures that lay ahead of us. It feels so good to finally be able to share this new adventure with you all and I can’t wait to share more!!


20 Week Bump Update

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I’ve teamed up with Supergas and Zappos to share my favorite shoes of the moment. 

We have honestly had so much going on ever since I found out that I was pregnant that I actually had to google my due date the other day just to find out how many weeks along I was and was completely shocked to discover that I had already made it to the halfway mark! Already 20 weeks into this pregnancy and I can barely believe how fast time is flying by. We are so excited to meet this little babe of ours, but there is also so much that we need with our move and settling into our new home in order to prepare for this new baby….so hoping that time will slow down just a little bit for the last half of this pregnancy.

  1. My belly officially looks like I smuggled a basketball under my shirt these days.
  2. Sleep is almost non-existent since I am up to pee every few hours or just awake with insomnia! This has never happened in any of my previous pregnancies so any recommendations you have are definitely welcome!
  3. The baby loves to kick every night after the boys are asleep. He/She probably senses the quiet (literally the only time it’s quiet in our household) and knows that its “our” time together.
  4. I oddly haven’t had any cravings this pregnancy. Except for steak occasionally which is weird because I’m a vegetarian!
  5. It’s getting much harder to carry Gray around all day…something that he suddenly seems to insist on…and my back knows it by the end of the day.
  6. I am definitely relying on sneakers or flats at the moment – kind of necessary when you’re carrying a basketball under your shirt and chasing after two wild boys all day long. These are my current favorites from Superga because not only can I chase down two crazy boys all day long in them without my feet hurting at the end of the day, but they have surprisingly surprised quite white despite the adventuring I’ve done in them. After loving my Supergas so much, I ordered Holden these ones because I just can’t help matching with this boy of mine. You can really never go wrong with a high-top sneaker for boys. With two boys, I honestly rarely ever make it into stores, so I almost always shop online, but sometimes it can be tricky when it comes to the boy’s sizing because it seems to fluctuate so much from brand to brand. We ordered from Zappos which was super easy and their customer service was super helpful when I was trying to figure out the best sizing for Holden. The delivery was also amazingly fast which you know is super important for little boys waiting for their presents.