Archive of ‘mama chit chat’ category

Influence Conference 2014 – Experience


This past weekend I was away at The Influence Conference. It’s my second year going and I am already counting down the days till next year’s date! It’s incredible..I’m not even exaggerating. It’s a conference put on by the girls of The Influence Network.
It’s for women who want to use their influence to build HIS Kingdom… not our own.
It’s for women who seek community with women who get God and get the internet.
It’s for women who want to feel encouraged and uplifted and refocused. I always gain wisdom to take into my blogging and business life…but even more, I always gain wisdom as as woman of God.. as a mother and wife. I can’t speak higher about this conference.
If you are on the fence about going. e-mail me…check out the influence network..
and download the audio from this year. You won’t want to miss next year!

I love the community at the Conference. Loved hearing the hearts of these women.
the authentic deep conversations and the silly laugh so hard you are crying conversations.
I love the silent moments when we all sat and listened together to speakers…
all wanting to grow and learn. There is something very authentic about the conference..
the girls of course pull out their best outfits and trendy tops but they all have this
“I am not perfect I am flawed but I am perfect in his eyes and I want to work for Him….vibe.
They all totally jumped on board when Meg and I would be running
around doing silly videos and asking them to dance! haha.
Mandy and I haven’t seen each other since april so I was so excited to actually be in the same city! She’s one of my best friends and I love having her as my business partner for HAPPY MOMMY BOX but even more I just love doing life with her! Since moving to charlotte and becoming friends with Meg, I was so excited to have these two girls in the same room! So fun!! It was even more fun that Cheri, Mandy’s neighbor, came and roomed with us! Loved having this girls’ time…Our hubbies are rockstars doing kid duty all weekend!


Friday night was a talk by Lara Casey. I loved hearing her share her story and it was pretty incredible how God was able to move the crowd through her. It was seriously amazing seeing this room full of women… just rocked.. sharing their hurts and their desires. their brokenness and their dreams. I was sitting in the back of her talk and just taking it all in…. I was listening to her…but I got distracted by just seeing this room full of women so fiercely in love with the Lord and totally ready to stand up and be vulnerable and how they had this heart to be completely His. I started to cry and trust was an ugly cry I could not stop. It wasn’t a moment where everyone was tearing up.. It felt like I was just randomly..crying… and I had to leave the room and try to get it together. I just couldn’t even focus on the talk because every time I looked ahead and saw these women around me..I just kept thinking how I wished that Shannon could be here experiencing this with me. She would have loved this. she would have so been right there in the middle of these women… these were her kind of people. It made me sad…but it also was nice just letting her come to my mind. I had pushed her off more times than not these past few months. Ever since the final court date of her murderer. I had heard details in that court room that really wrecked me. And made my mind go places that I just didn’t feel strong enough these past months to go. But I felt stronger here. and I felt like I was surrounded by lots of shannons. lots of women who want to love the lord in all they do.. who mess up.. who get back up.. who have hearts for Him. It’s so important to surround yourself with women like that! I’m excited and hopeful for the things these women are going to do in our world! And love being able to tap into this community through The Influence Network.


During Lara’s session, she had us write down answers to different questions. That felt like the hardest thing for me. It seriously hurt my brain and burdened my heart because for the life of me I did not feel eloquent in my thoughts..or even definitive in what I was feeling and thinking. But I just tried to keep myself open and focus. She asked us what we were most afraid of….It took me a while to write my answer down. She had already moved on to other questions… But I finally wrote… I’m afraid of being so busy striving but still not
doing enough to make a difference or to matter, before I leave this world.
I realized that I had been so consumed lately with feeling like I had to take I had to tell God, trust me..I got this. When in fact God wanted to say Natalie…trust ME. I got this. Jessie really hit that home to me during her session. Lately the lines of communication with God haven’t been as open as they should be. Back when I was in the hospital I felt God and the power of prayer so closely, it was easy to connect then… it felt so much harder now. I realized that I was trying so hard to do it all…comparing myself to others..and wanting to be loved by everyone but not thinking I deserved that love to begin with. When you are so consumed with doing things yourself, you can feel the pressure of doing it wrong or what others will think of you… you put that burden on yourself instead of letting that go and letting God carry that. He wants you to do things for Him.. but when you are REALLY doing it FOR Him… you can let go of that burden to be perfect. I’m saying no to comparison and being filled with striving and instead saying YES to His desires for me His hopes for me. I’m choosing purpose over perfect. And letting Him take that burden that I put on myself to be everything. He gives us grace and He wants us to rest in Him. I need to rest in Him more. I’m putting my bible on my desk. I’m not just going to pray when I’m sad or at night.
I really want to do things for Him…but WITH Him.

Saturday was really fun! Mandy and I were on the Strategy Panel. I was on it last year, but this year was even more fun having Mandy up there with me..and rocking our HAPPY MOMMY SHIRTS! :) Some super wise women next to me, honored to be in their company!


Spending time with these ladies was a good recharge!
So fun seeing what all of them are doing both professionally and personally!


While Mandy and I were in the same city, we snapped some photos for content and for our new HAPPY MOMMY shirts! We had fun goofing off and glamming it up with Christine!



Loved seeing some Blanqi love throughout the conference! My sister and Sabina started BLANQI and it’s pretty cool seeing my friends wearing their items
and also randomly coming across girls wearing blanqi!


It was SOO FUN bumping into HAPPY MOMMY BOX subscribers and followers!
So thankful for their support and excitement about our dream!
We also were able to connect with one of our Brand Outreach
Team Members, Kristi! (shown in bottom left!)


hmb tee

I’m still processing everything from the weekend, and I can’t wait to read all of the recap posts… but I can’t invite you enough! come next year! Huge thank you to the amazing team behind the conference… For their yes to working hard for this mission.
God is doing incredible things through it!

HAPPY MOMMY SHOP Launch + Giveaway!


I’m so excited to announce that Mandy and I are
Our items are there to help you celebrate motherhood!
Celebrate being a happy mommy!
WE ARE NOW SHIPPING TO CANADA!! We listened to our people.
Canada spoke via instagram..and we heard you! haha.
These items will be available for a limited time so be sure to grab
your happy mommy items before they are gone!
Be sure to enter the giveaway below to grab up all of these items for FREE!

Mandy and I were able to spend the whole weekend together in Indy for a
conference (The Influence Conference) It’s incredible.. and I want every woman I know
to go with me next year. I’m posting about it tomorrow! (with a video recap of all the fun!!) When Mandy and I are actually in the same city we get so much done!
Love spending time with this girl and hearing her heart! We squeezed in a fun
photo shoot with Christine while we were together. It’s exciting seeing our dreams
for HAPPY MOMMY BOX come to life…first with our monthly box… now the shop…
and soon we have another fun surprise to debut!


We designed our featured HAPPY MOMMY SHOP Print in hopes
that it brings encouragement to mothers!
Frame it. hang it with washi tape.
Let it serve as a reminder that you are enough!


We collaborated with the amazingly talented Brenda of Brenda Bird Designs
to bring you our HAPPY MOMMY BISTRO MUG!
This mug is perfect for you or the coffee and tea loving mamas in your life!
We chose a 16 ounce mug because we wanted you to be able to load it up in the morning ;)
It feels so nice and sturdy and shiny. LOVE LOVE it! and hope you do too!


I’m a sucker for a cute mug.
A mug with pretty font? oh man. I need it.
Tell me I’m not the only one! ;)


Start your morning off happy!


Our Featured HAPPY MOMMY SHOP Necklace is a pretty
mint statement necklace that will instantly style any outfit!


Our HAPPY MOMMY TEE is super soft and comfy!
Wear it and celebrate motherhood!
We can’t wait to see you guys in this shirt…
Be sure to tag us so we can share it!


We are total goofballs. can you tell?


This is the softest shirt you will ever wear!
It’s the perfect shirt to be a busy mommy in but still look cute and comfortable.


I’m all about wanting to feel slim in the tummy area…this is just the right blend of material to make it fit you and not stretch out..without being too restricting and show every bump!


The light grey goes great with everything. Dress it up with a blazer or statement necklace…
or dress it down with your yoga pants and sneakers!


We are excited to be giving away a complete HAPPY MOMMY SHOP Package!
The winner will receive the Print, Mug, Necklace and Tee!
Be sure to confirm your entry through the link sent to your email!


You can check out all the items on HAPPY MOMMY BOX.COM!
They will be available for a limited time so be sure to hop over and grab yours soon!
Thank you for your support and for being a part of the start of HAPPY MOMMY SHOP!


The 2014 Conference Meet + Greet

This time next week I will be giddy and delirious from late night packing and excitement for the Influence Conference put on by The Influence Network in Indy!! I’ll be counting down the hours till I get to be surrounded by my people!! And by my people I mean EVERYONE going to the Influence Conference. Everyone that is there, I consider my people. I went last year and shared my experiences HERE…but there is just something amazing about that environment and community. It’s such an inspiring and encouraging conference. The tone of authenticity and faith filled sisterhood is set by the great team that puts it on. They are fantastic. This conference is the one you go to and leave wishing you could all move into the same neighborhood and have girls’ bible study and dessert nights one night, family movie nights in the backyard with a big sheet the next night, pot luck dinner the next night in the cul-de-sac while the kids play….see what I mean..I have our whole life and friendships laid out ladies. haha. These are my people…they are women wanting to use their influence for good.. wanting to use their platforms and voices to enrich those around them. They are going wanting to learn and grow and connect. Most of us are nervous to put ourselves out there but ready to take that risk of feeling awkward and go for it. They sound like your kind of people too right? Yes. Follow my social media feeds and shares next weekend and then go buy your ticket immediately for next year. We’ll go get coffee in indy!

The Conference ladies are doing a fun Meet + Greet where you link up on their site HERE.. and then can go around to all the blogs and say hi and see who is going! Thought it would be fun to introduce myself here and share some fun random facts about me that my readers might think are fun too!

I’m Natalie. I’m 28 and married to my college sweetheart.
He was a youth minister for the first 7 years of our marriage and is now rocking it in the business world. He still acts like a youth minister though and is goofy and knows all the cool lingo and trendy you tube videos.
We have three kids. Sophia (6) Sienna (4) and Micah (2 in november.)
They are pretty much scrumptious. They have taken over my INSTAGRAM.
I’m homeschooling my sophia this year.  My wonderful mom is helping part of the day. She tutors my nephew a year older than sophia and the two have “grandma school” for part of the day. Sienna is in PreK at a local church and loving it. Micah is a little wild man that eats runs arrrgs and sleeps for very short periods of time.

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I have been blogging here since wayyy back when I had my first baby and was nursing my sophia and wanted to share my heart and creative ideas!
I blog about how I’m trying to live a family centered, creative, faith filled + JOYFUL life…
even without a lot of time or money to spare.
I try to celebrate motherhood on my blog! I love being
able to document it’s my love letter to my children!
You can read and watch more about my blog HERE.

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I started a company called HAPPY MOMMY BOX with my
best friend Mandy of House of Rose.
We are trouble together. Good clean eat all of the ice cream in the house when we are together kind of trouble. We met at a blog conference and have been friends ever since. We both wanted to take our love for motherhood and encouraging other moms to the next level by creating a care package service. It’s been one of the most amazing challenging awesome things things I’ve ever done. To quote my daughter from last month’s boxing.. “there’s gonna be a wat of happy mommiesss!!” o yaaa.

hmb boxes

My favorite dessert is apple crisp. You need to make this recipe.
And then tag me on instagram so I can drool over your photo.


I am a complete goof ball.
I like to lipsync and dance and laugh.

My spice cabinet is a danger zone where I seriously think I’m
going to get a black eye every time I reach up and open the door.
I have this desire to be super organized…
but motherhood and netflix keep that from always happening.

I love to be creative and I love to throw parties!
We had a fairy birthday party for the girls this year.
You can check out more of our parties HERE.

fairy party-thebusybudgetingmama

I love to do DIY projects and make our house a home.
I recently made a cardboard fairy house for the girls’ party…it was so fun for them!
Most of what we own is from IKEA or Target.


It’s been a while but I love playing with our food.
We started a happy food series.

I had a serious health scare earlier this year that was a big cross for my family but really taught us and especially my children how to suffer and love others. We grew a lot through the whole thing and were able to see right in front of our faces the power of prayer.


I’ve shared my heart over the years, of the loss of my best friend, through an act of Domestic Violence. I haven’t shared a lot lately… The grief and desire to put it all down into words goes in phases. Lately I’ve felt like when I think about it..what happened.. I have anger towards him, and I just don’t want to go there. God gives peace and comfort and I think right now that has been my strategy even though it’s not the best. My girls talk about her every week. Either through their drawings or random questions about heaven. Even though they were barely old enough to remember her, they think she was the most beautiful person ever and they are right.


I usually have a mountain of clean laundry on my bed that turns into a castle for my girls who are hiding from the monster micah. I tell them every day he can’t always be the monster when they play..but he roars and gets into character and I can’t stop it.

I take photos. A lot. My husband jokes if he doesn’t remember what
we ate the other day he can just look at my instagram feed.
Here’s a video tutorial on how I edit my phone photos!

phone photo editing-thebusybudgetingmama copy copy

I’m SO excited to meet you guys at Influence this year.
I’ve been praying for those organizing it and attending… see you soon!

Capri Sun – New CLEAR BOTTOMS!


We are a busy family, on the go a lot, but I still try to give my kids healthy options! We use juice drinks for snacks at the park/backyard or when we are on the go! My kids’ favorite on the go drink is  Capri Sun! We’ve tried other juice drinks and my kids never end up drinking them! Great for road trips… these babies are soft so I can softly pass them back to the kids. They are super handy when the kids get thirsty! I love how the pouches are easily portable and convenient for the kids.There are days we have a full morning of errands and end at the park or splash pad. Having drinks on the go is important… toddler meltdowns from being hot and thirsty are not fun to experience. haha.

capri sun2 -thebusybudgetingmama

They love the taste of Capri Sun… and I love how the Juice drinks are made with no artificial preservatives, colors or flavors. The pouches are convenient for the kids and the straws actually work! You know you’ve gotten those other juice boxes and couldn’t get the dang straw to work… no good.

capri sun -thebusybudgetingmama

I recently came home from the store with the normal flavor they love, the Capri Sun Roarin’ Waters Flavored Water Beverage… but with their new CLEAR BOTTOMS! (and all the kids say: “coooooolllll”) I also saw a new kind I wanted to try, Super V Fruit and Vegetable Juice drink. It was a hit!

capri sun7 -thebusybudgetingmama

capri sun6 -thebusybudgetingmama

There were two other varieties that I saw are available – Capri Sun 100% Juice Capri Sun Juice Drink

capri sun3 -thebusybudgetingmama

Micah was loving being a big boy and drinking a juice drink pouch with his sisters!Of course the girls break into twirling… a good juice box deserves a dance party. You can check out Capri Sun on Facebook!

capri sun5 -thebusybudgetingmama

Do you use Capri Sun? Have you tried the new flavors? Our new favorite is their Super V Fruit and Vegetable Juice drink! Thanks Capri Sun for sponsoring today’s post!

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