Arie’s Toddler Capsule Wardrobe

This post is part of a Show & Tell series of posts featuring TROG readers and the capsule wardrobe-inspired changes they’ve made to their wardrobes and lives. Read all the posts in this series here.

Rosina, my sister-in-law, creator of Tortoise & The Hare, and the one who first told me about this “capsule wardrobe thing” she had read about online, writes:

The image is terrible because it’s as dark as it gets in our house today, but here’s an image of my 2-year-old daughter’s wardrobe (minus about 5 dresses and her pajamas). I wish I would’ve known how to do a newborn wardrobe like this when she was born, but unfortunately or fortunately found out about this concept after she was born.

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I barely spend any time shopping for her. It’s just so easy. Tops and sweaters are all neutral or her statement color, as are her tights. The only pieces I purchase or make that have patterns or more adventurous colors are her skirts and bottoms. Hair accessories are all neutral as are her hats. Just so easy.

I think Rosina’s all-neutral-except-bottoms idea is a BRILLIANT strategy for an infant’s or child’s wardrobe. I can’t wait to implement something similar with our own wee one’s wardrobe!

If you found this post helpful or inspiring, leave Rosina some love in the comments below. And check out her Instagram, chock-full of delightful images of her beautiful heirloom-quality handmade children’s clothing line.

Guest Post | A New Mama’s Life-Changing Diet + Supplement Journey

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Photo credit to Lexarie Photography

It’s a privilege and honor for me to introduce to you today my friend Brittany Musser of Natural Wellness Mama. Brittany and I, though we’d mostly lost contact in recent years, go way back…we were two of about ten baby girls born during the space of about eight months within the church our families were a part of at the time. (As you can imagine, this made for some pretty epic birthday parties when we were little tots.) Fast forward nearly a quarter-century, and here we are starting our own families. Brittany has been an inspiration to me over the last year or so especially as I’ve followed her health & wellness journey, particularly with the Trim Healthy Mama eating plan and the growing Plexus trend. And since health and wellness are NOT my areas of expertise, but something I believe we’d all do well to pay more attention to, I’ve asked Brittany to share her story here today. I’ll let her take it from here!

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Life takes on a whole new meaning when you become a mother. You are responsible for this new little life that demands your constant attention and care. All your time is dedicated to the wellbeing of your child, and things get put on the back burner…and often times, they tend to be important things. Important things take time, dedication, determination, and energy. And those are exactly the things that I lacked as a new mom and I didn’t have any extra to spare. It felt like all my time and energy was being put into this new role of being a mom and I was VERY determined to be the best mom I could be. Motherhood is one of God’s greatest blessings, but the struggle is real. Motherhood is HARD. And in the midst of all the chaos there are many important things that can be put to the wayside, but one in particular is your health.

I found this out first hand in the weeks and months after giving birth. I knew I should be eating healthy and taking my vitamins to nourish myself and my baby, but cooking healthy takes a lot more time and preparation and energy, and taking my vitamins seemed to be the last thing on my mind when all I wanted to do was sleep. I quickly realized taking care of my health became much more of a challenge since becoming a mother. I would make excuses and tell myself that I am in a season of my life where it is next to impossible to take care of my health. But, we can NOT rely on our own strength or it may very well be next to impossible. Ask God to give you the desire to take care of your health and to walk with you on the journey. Your body is God’s temple, so let’s make taking care of His temple a top priority.

I have also learned that I owe it to my husband and my children to take care of myself. Our children deserve healthy, energetic mamas! We as mothers are not doing our families any favors by neglecting our health. Instead of using our children as an excuse for not having time and energy to take care of ourselves, let’s use them as our motivation! I like how Pearl Barrett and Serene Allison say it in their first book, Trim Healthy Mama:

Our body is not only our own. You are your husband’s investment and your children’s role model. Attaining a healthy weight and learning the art of maintaining that weight is not only a gift to yourself, but is one you keep giving your husband and children throughout the years.

I believe we can take this statement and apply it to general overall health and wellbeing. Maintaining our health and vitality is not only a gift to ourselves, but to our families and to God as well. Since becoming a mother and going through some struggles myself, helping mothers recover and maintain their health is a new found passion of mine and I would like to share with you a few of my favorite tools that I use every day.

Two years ago my mom gave me the book Trim Healthy Mama as an early Christmas gift. I was VERY skeptical at first, and thought it was just another unhealthy diet that promoted the use of toxin-laden diet foods. Yuck. But, it actually turned out to be one of the best gifts I was ever given and changed the way I look at food, and is hands-down my favorite tool for maintaining my health. I love how it is written from a Christian perspective, and chock-full of information. I am by nature a researcher, so I LOVE to read informative books, however long they may be.

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The “THM” way of eating is a family-friendly lifestyle change that was designed to optimize your health while keeping your sanity, which is especially important for all us mothers out there. It is low glycemic, protein-centered, and focuses on the importance of not spiking your blood sugar. Being gentle to your blood sugar is a must if you want to lose weight and is vital to your overall wellbeing. Too much insulin has an inflammatory effect on the body, and when you don’t have enough, your body’s cells begin to starve. A little bit of knowledge on how blood sugar reacts to different foods will make a huge difference in the way we look at “eating healthy.” Even healthy food can be dangerous to our insulin levels.

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In addition to the THM plan, I also supplement. To quote Pearl and Serene again:

It would be nice to say that a whole foods diet can give you all the vitamins and minerals you need, but this is the real world. Let’s face it, we need a few extras to keep our bodies protected and running at optimum.

For this reason, ever since I began my THM journey, I have tried my best at keeping a supplementation routine as described in the book. I am so thrilled I came across Plexus products, because they work hand-in-hand with THM! Especially because it helps stabilize your blood sugar. This is my second favorite tool! My supplement routine has been greatly simplified, but at the same time, I feel like it’s more complete and effective. I was super skeptical when I first heard of Plexus. All I heard about was the “pink drink,” which I just assumed was full of junk. But I didn’t realize Plexus is a complete health and wellness company with numerous supplements and vitamins, and even a probiotic. So after researching the ingredients and discovering how nourishing they are for the body, I decided to give Plexus a try.

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At the time, I was also dealing with severe fatigue, yeast, and hormonal issues after having my baby. But after the blues and fatigue didn’t improve much even after my daughter was sleeping through the night and I was six months postpartum, I knew I needed to do something about it. A lot of people might say that is normal after having a baby, which is true to an extent. But just because something is deemed normal, does not mean that’s the way it’s supposed to be and that we just have to live with it.

I am happy to report that my health has greatly improved since starting Plexus supplements six months ago. The Slim has given me energy, cleared the brain fog and also boosted my milk supply for my still-nursing little girl. Our yeast issues have been resolved thanks to the probiotic, and to my delight, my eyesight has noticeably improved after adding in the XFactor as my multivitamin. All this combined with eating the Trim Healthy Mama way, and I have never felt better. Health is really such a blessing.

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Trim Healthy Mama is not just for crunchy mamas and health fanatics, and Plexus is not just for people with health issues or weight to loose. Both are beneficial to people from all different walks of life to help us maintain our health and vitality! So let’s encourage each other to make healthy choices for ourselves and our families, and to allow ourselves grace on the journey.

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You can get in touch with Brittany on her Facebook page or on Instagram (@thenaturalwellnessmama).

Have questions we could all benefit from hearing the answers to? Ask away in the comment section below! Did you enjoy this post? Let us know! I’m hoping this won’t be the last we’ll hear from Brittany here at The Realization of Good. Until next time…best wishes for your pursuit of health + wellness! ❤

Did You Hear Our Happy News?

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If you’re not following me on Facebook or Instagram, you may have missed our little “future potential blacksmith in the making” announcement last week. Caleb and I were overjoyed to get to see and hear a tiny heartbeat at just 5 weeks + 5 days gestation. To say that the first few weeks have been an emotional roller coaster would be putting it mildly! But the morning sickness and fatigue have now hit in full force and I rejoice upon waking each day at the physical reminder that our little blueberry is alive and well and growing as he or she should be. (I have a strong inclination that it’s a “he,” so I’ll be calling him such, but we don’t actually know for sure yet.)

So yes, the initial excitement of this precious, longed-for, God-given pregnancy has been quite the distraction for the last month or so. However, July 8 (give or take) feels quite far away at this point, and I have lots I want to accomplish before the care of a newborn takes over my life, and the mommy life takes over the blog. 😉 Exciting things are in store for the next few weeks, including a bunch of readers’ capsule wardrobe features and a guest post from Natural Wellness Mama.

Pregnancy has a way of making the world seem so much bigger, brighter, more beautiful, and full of possibility. Come along for the ride; it’s bound to be a joyous one!

Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness | Memories, Resources + an Invitation

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I’ve talked a bit about our little one, who we said goodbye to a little over a year ago, here and here. Throughout the past year, both kind friends and various sects of the interweb have introduced me to a plethora of resources for navigating the journey to healing that comes after experiencing such a loss.

With October being Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month, now seems an appropriate time to share the collection of resources that Caleb and I have found to be the most precious as we remember our beloved Freddie. My hope is that these links can be passed on to YOUR loved ones who have babies in Heaven and that they will help enable you to extend arms of compassion and care in those times when you don’t know what to say or how to help.

And if you yourself are one of the 1 in 4 who have a son or daughter waiting for you with Jesus, may these stories, resources, and remembrances touch your heart and remind you that you are not alone in your grief.

The cradle pictured above stands empty in our spare bedroom. We scored an amazing deal on it at an auction last summer, and my husband spent the entire day after we saw those two lines on that test refinishing and painting it. I may have only carried our baby for three months, but she turned our world upside-down. Our lives are forever changed.

We may not know the sleepless nights of the newborn stage or the messy days of the toddler years like so many of our friends right now, but we do know what it’s like to love someone who is a part of each of us more than we ever thought possible. And we do know the sometimes sleepless, sometimes messy ache of not being able to watch that child live and grow.

Raising awareness for the loss of human life, while still in the womb or not, is not about self-pity. Not only does it garner support and validation for the life-altering grief that yes, 25% of American women have experienced, but it’s also an effort for the advocacy of and education for safe pregnancy practices. To me it is one of the tiny slices of redemption that we have opportunity to participate in within this broken, weary world.

It’s for these reasons that I’ve gone pink and blue on social media this month, and that I’m looking forward to taking part in the International Wave of Light that will take place worldwide, in each respective time zone, at 7 p.m. tomorrow evening, October 15. If there’s a baby whose absence you’re feeling this year, I encourage you to light a candle in his or her memory, and let family members know that they’re thought of and loved. Ours will be lit for our tiny Freddie Joy, the luckiest little Fisher who got to be the first of our little family to meet Jesus face-to-face. ❤