HAPPY MOMMY BOX, Motherhood + Friendship

thebusybudgeingmama-bff1This past weekend Mandy and her family came to visit for our HAPPY MOMMY BOX One Year Anniversary Event. I was counting down the days till we would all be together…
Ever since the 4 weeks previous when I threw this idea on Mandy and convinced her with my enthusiasm we could totally pull it off on such short notice…..haha.
Mandy and I met at a blog Conference in Dallas 18 months ago. Clicked immediately and I saw in her the same friendship I had with Shannon. She was an authentic and joyful person. It’s important to surround yourself with people who lift you up and help you grow. It seems crazy we’ve only been together in real life 6 times…but that’s the crazy thing about the internet. You can do amazing things through it. Our blogs brought us together and we both have used our passion to celebrate motherhood and encourage other women into a company that is bigger than all of the big ideas I initially started it with. I’m the wow person. Mandy is the how person. We even each other out well. She calls me out on the crazy.. and I call her into action when she might not otherwise jump at it. I love how we compliment each other in the business sense…
but even more how we fit together as friends.
Motherhood can be exhausting and overwhelming and I feel lucky to have
some pretty incredible women in my life. Mandy is one of them.

She is one of the most humble and genuine people I know. She never ceases to amaze me with how set on God her heart is. Before we went on stage to greet the women at our event, she grabbed my hands and prayed for the women out there. Later in the night she had gathered all the balloons and told me we were going to send them up for shannon.
I read on Mandy’s instagram that at the event my mom came up to her and hugged her saying, “I don’t know where you cam from but God just dropped you right down into our lives and I am so glad He did.” I love doing motherhood with mandy and sharing this experience of HAPPY MOMMY BOX with her. It’s been incredible seeing where it’s going and what it can do for our families and the women in our community.

It’s a lot of work and some days I can feel completely incapable, not business savvy enough and unsure if I’m doing any good for His Kingdom. Seeing this snapshot Karen snuck during our One Year Event makes my heart soar. Remembering that room filled with women wanting to celebrate motherhood and knowing their true encouragement and inspiration comes from Him gives me that boost. Working with eternity in mind makes all the crazy moments worth it. I don’t have to be perfect but just hands open to His will and taking those steps forward.

Everywhere I go people ask me about my tote bag and tee. (I wear it a lot because it’s so comfortable!! and the tote bag holds everything and a little more.
Moms always grab my arm and say yessss.. that’s what I say!
(In regards too when people see you with all your kids and say “wow you’ve got your hands full!” What exactly do they want us to say?? I have loved how HAPPY MOMMY BOX started as a way to connect with moms right at their door step and give them a boost through a care package…and now we are introducing our own shop items that help moms celebrate motherhood. It’s about more than giving yourself a boost.. it’s about encouraging other moms when they see your tote or tee.. about being that conversation starter and spark those mom friendships! I’ve already made new friends just over wearing my tote bag! haha.
We jam packed the weekend with fun. I wish they lived closer so we could do this more often! Micah was tuckered out with all the boy activity going on in our house. ;)

I can’t wait to share more about the event we threw…sooo many fun photos and videos to come! But I couldn’t let another day go by without sharing about having our families together. I LOVED every moment. even the crazy ones where we came home from a work “date night” and all our kids were up still ready to party…boycotting sleeping with the sitters on duty. I couldn’t believe how well our kids played together. mandy’s boys are all boy.. and my girls.. well they can hold their own with boys but they mix in elsa twirls when pillow fighting. They had a blast together. It was fun seeing the hubbies together too. We are a team. and it was cool being able to be together and do life together, not just work!

These sweet little faces… I could just gobble them up.

Sunday we went to the park to let these wild things get some energy out and ended up taking some fun photos and I LOVE how they turned out. Mandy and I took turns snapping away!thebusybudgeingmama-bff11

Sophia loved that we both had boots on ;)
She’s rocking her “cowgirl” boots that she wears for horse riding lessons.
I feel like I blinked and suddenly I have a toothless grown up girl
who likes to chat all day and all night. Love her so much.

These boys got a run down on ballet positions and elsa moves.
pretty good rose boys.. pretty good!thebusybudgeingmama-bff10thebusybudgeingmama-bff8

The kids LOVED being in the happy mommy box office together and doodled all over the “brown boxes” as the girls call them. (the boxes brand items are sent in)
We thought it was so cute seeing all the happy faces they were doodling.

I remember when I started reading blogs…I would see blog ladies connecting and
forming friendships and meeting in real life and throwing parties or events and I just loved it.
all of it. I wanted that for me but didn’t see how that could happen.
The crazy thing is… most of my really close friends I have either met through
my blog/instagram… or because we had mutual friends and they knew more about me
from my blog and thought we would be great friends..and they were right!
At first I didn’t realize this common ground…but then when I would be hanging out
with friends and introducing them to other people…I realized most of my answers to
“how did you guys meet”…was..”through my blog I guess!?”

I’m thankful for these friendships. And encourage anyone who is feeling isolated and wanting
a true friend…. don’t give up. don’t turn in and close off. Sometimes you have to put
yourself out there to find these great friendships. Doesn’t mean you have to start a blog
and share your life in that way… but go to that moms’ group you have been avoiding going to. Go up to that lady in target whose kids look crazy like your kids. go up to that lady in the
back of church because she is probably feeling the same way…….
“I want a true friend.”
I learned to make the conscience decision to start a conversation with other women
I see when out, even when It might feel awkward..because I’ve had moments I
wanted someone to reach out to me. Women desire community. we want more than
chit chat about how old your kids are. We want to share our hearts and learn and build
each other up. So maybe this weekend… take that risk and put yourself out there.
I flew to Texas knowing barely a soul in real life attending…
and one of the greatest friendships I’ve had, came through it.

iPhone Home Tour- Charlotte Townhouse Edition

We moved to Charlotte this past spring.
We loveee it and even though this townhouse isn’t our forever home it’s been
great for us and HAPPY MOMMY BOX! (The first floor is all for storage and
the packing team!) We’ve only painted one wall but I
like the white walls in the space too..
Thought I would share, via phone photos, our space and how
we made this place home for us!
No time for fancy photos and staging…
Here’s real life minus the shoes I kicked out of the way + piles of clean laundry
I need to fold upstairs. that’s a whole’nother day ;)

Come on in!
I hung frames we had and got a “tv stand” from IKEA for the kids to sit on for shoes.
The key chain/prek tote bag/purse hooks are super handy. (target)

The most lived in space of our house is the family/dining room space.
Kids rule this place. (cousin party below) I decorate my house using a lot of stuff that was in other rooms in old houses… mix it all together…
add in one or two new things and make it work!
IKEA: sofa, pillows, banner, picture ledges, curtains, curtain rod
light fixture, table and chairs, kid table and chairs, place mats. high chair.
TARGET: light blue pillows.
TRASH: Coffee Table
AMAZON: Map (38 bucks or something crazy) eventually want to DIY frame it.

Sometimes it’s clean….and sometimes it’s not.

Best seat in the house is the dumpster dive coffee table.
Couches are regularly the doctor’s office for Doc McStuffins.IPHONEHOMETOUR8-THEBUSYBUDGETINGMAMA

Doesn’t everyone have a play kitchen in their dining area??
IKEA: Frames. Shelves. Tables. Light fixture. play kitchen. pots
LOWES: Plant pots
PIKE’S: succulents
Dishes are a mix of Pottery Barn Wedding Gifts + Marshalls + IKEA.

I hung some frames in our hallway that we used from our last house!
They were part of a basement makeover I did with IKEA PIttsburgh.
SO CHEAP.  I did a whole gallery wall with 6 of them for $40 DETAILS HERE.IPHONEHOMETOUR13-THEBUSYBUDGETINGMAMA

This is my “office space” in our family room!
There is usually a feast of play food next to me. mmm felt donuts.
FROM IKEA: Shelf, desk, magnet board.
Cute tote from US! ;) HAPPY MOMMY TOTE.

One of the most functional spaces in our house is the kitchen nook turned headquarters.
IKEA: Shelving unit, kid table, magnet boards. bulletin board.
white boxes. paper holders. shelves.
TARGET: cream bins
Right is the kitchen area… but left is the kid’s room. I’ll share more of that space another day!
Used the flowers from the girls’ Fairy Birthday Party. VIDEO Tutorial here.

I turned an old estate sale frame into a chalkboard for our family room.
Working on my chalk art skills……lol.
We have a picture ledge across one of our walls in the family room and I love mixing up the prints and art! I made the map art using a $3 map from Target discount bin area..going to add some stars to our fav cities (atlanta pittsburgh philly and charlotte)
The Love others well print was from one of our past HAPPY MOMMY BOXES. love it! IPHONEHOMETOUR2-THEBUSYBUDGETINGMAMA

Our house is not perfectly decorated…and I’m constantly changing it up.. but it’s lived in and loved and bright and cheery for our kids. Thankful for this roof over our heads and being all together. Love the memories we are creating here in Charlotte! 
With HMB needing more space.. our rental/office isn’t as ideal. So we will be moving and trading in more bedrooms instead of the connected office space come next year!
We are loving this rental right now though and it’s bright open floor plan!
Thanks for stopping by :) I’ll share more spaces another day.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK GIVEAWAY!

Today’s post is sponsored by Barnes + Noble. I’m so excited about teaming
up with them to give away a Samsung Galaxy Tab® 4 NOOK®
Just in time for Christmas Gift planning….
A perfect gift idea for YOU or someone you love…
I love mine and one of you can win one too!

This is a snap shot of my recent “mommy time”…
Micah’s Halloween Candy…
and reading a book or magazine with my new NOOK from Samsung.
(side note: Have you read this book? I saw the movie and it was so good!)
I love how with the new NOOK from Samsung, you have access to the NOOK Store!
It has over 3 million best-selling books and the largest digital collection of TOP 100 Bestselling U.S. Magazines through NOOK Newsstand®

The NOOK Store has more than 9,000 of the best-loved children’s books with
really cool interactive experiences. My girls loveeee using my NOOK and
sing and read along with the stories.

And I love using it with them. THEBUSYBUDGETINGMAMA-THENOOK3

It also has these awesome features!!
For the first time ever, NOOK customers can enjoy a full suite of tablet
features: built-in front and rear facing cameras, WiFi functionality, built-in GPS and
Multi Window capabilities. 
Not only can the new NOOK by Samsung users access
great reading options, interactive content and games, but with everyday tablet tools they
can video chat/take pictures, explore the web, check email and use more than one
app simultaneously. 
It is sleek, ultra light, and has all of the essential tablet tools
that we need in everyday life.  (Available in black and white) The size is perfect to be
comfortable and easy to hold. (9.74 oz. and .35 inches thick.) 
The new NOOK by
Samsung is $169.99 after a $30 instant rebate and comes with more than $200
in free reading and entertainment content.

Love how convenient it is to read magazines and books, on the go, all in one place.
This is awesome in the preschool Carpool line!
It’s nice being able to sit on the couch and read the different magazines I like.
Sienna loves looking at the HGTV Magazine with me. She points out projects we should do ;)
CLICK HERE to see the Details then Leave comments
answering the following question:
(multiple entries accepted. answer each question in a new comment.)
+Do you have a favorite book, genre author or magazine?
+What do you love most about visiting a Barnes + Noble Location?

*Giveaway Offered to US Residents ONLY, 18 years or older.
*Winner will be chosen on November 20, 2014.

You don’t have to try so hard

I know a lot of people have heard the song, ‘Try’ by Colbie Caillet.
I was on Shannon’s facebook page tonight…
sometimes I end up there when I’m missing her.
I guess it makes me think of when she was still here and I would be all the way up in pittsburgh and she would pop up on my screen and we
would exchange baby and life updates, miss you’s and call you laters.

‘Try’ came on my spotify playlist. Tears starting rolling down my face.
“You don’t have to try so hard…” Today on the drive home from church I was talking to God.
I told Him how I feel this burden to DO. and to TRY. and I just need Him. and I know He can
do everything better than I ever could. I wanted to give Him all of these things on my heart.
The busy I feel. The sadness I feel.

I remember going to see a movie with Shannon and Cassie back when
we were in high school. a very popular girly chick flick.
I remember all of us sitting in the car in the parking lot..and Shannon started crying.
She started sharing her heart and she summed it up by
saying, “I just want to find real love. I want to be loved.”
And I’ll never forget that conversation. It’s the reality of what all of us want.
How often do we try so hard to be loved, to be approved of, to be admired…
and we are…
You don’t have to try so hard.
That love we want is only going to come from one place.
otherwise we’ll keep on looking and striving and not feeling fulfilled.
Shannon found that love. She is with Him and He loves
her in that most complete and fulfilling way that she desired.

As I drove home from church tonight…
the song Oceans came on.

I loveee this song.
it makes my burdened heart find some peace as I sing it and pray it,
“I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves.
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine.”

I hope you find some comfort tonight in those words…
You are His. Give Him your burdens. give Him your sadness.
Don’t worry about chasing your dreams.
Just say yes to HIS dreams for you.

You don’t have to try so hard.

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