Fitting in Fitness While Knowing Your Child is Safe

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Levana. The opinions and text are all mine.


It’s no secret at this point that Bryn gives us a run for our money.  I shared what happened at nap time as proof.  Needless to say we are always on our toes with our youngest!  One of the biggest dilemmas we have had since Bryn switched to a big girl bed is her newfound freedom.  You see, we have to put a child lock on her door for her safety.  If we didn’t contain her in her room she would be wandering downstairs in middle of the night.  But the problem with that is is that if we don’t get her RIGHT when she wakes up in the morning chaos ensues.  She frequently strips naked or dumps every article of clothing into her hamper.


Unfortunately right before switching Bryn to her big girl bed our video monitor kicked the bucket.  It had a long life between the girls and it’s time was up.  I had hoped I could rely on my supermom powers of hearing to notify me when Bryn was stirring but my powers were nothing next to her ninja skills of being silently destructive.  What was a mom to do?  I need to be able to work out early in the morning AND know that Bryn is safely tucked into her bed.  It was quite the conundrum. That is, until Levana offered to send me their Ovia video monitor to review.  Problem solved!

Levana Ovia Monitor


The Levana Ovia Camera Video Monitor is FABULOUS.  The 4.3″ LCD has fantastic and intuitive touch panel controls, 270 degree horizontal rotation capacity, and awesome night vision.  One of the most amusing features for me is the Talk to Baby™ 2-way communications capability … because we have been known to tell Bryn to “get back into bed!” on more than one occasion 😉  Also fun is that you can record videos and pictures to an SD card so you can capture those adorable moments forever!


Levana Ovia Monitor 3



I’ve been putting mine to the test during naps and early in the morning before work by taking the monitor with me to the garage to fit in a workout.  I can’t express enough how good it feels knowing that my little monster is in bed and not destroying her room for the 1000th time.  The second she starts to stir I know it and am able to get her up for the day.  So far I have loved everything about this monitor from its sleek design to the amazing features.  It makes fitting in fitness as a busy mom a LITTLE bit easier 😉

Levana Ovia Monitor 2


In fact, this is the workout that I did while Bryn peacefully slept JUST in case you need some inspiration for your workout today!


500 Rep CrossFit Workout


Because Levana is SUCH an awesome company they are also giving away three monitors with a giveaway!  Make sure you enter below 😉

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And if you aren’t one of the luck three who wins one of these super cool monitors you can also buy one by clicking the button below. It’s actually on sale right now for an amazing price so grab one while you can!

You can also check them out on Facebook 😉


Buy It Now

  Being a mom keeps us busy! What do you wish you could do more of?   

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Levana. The opinions and text are all mine.

Chores for a Three Year Old

For the last few months or so we have been implementing something new in our house for Emmalyne. For those of you that don’t know, Emmie attends a Montessori style preschool. One of the things I love most about Montessori is that they are big about enforcing independence as well as helpfulness. From an early age kids are expected to help clear tables, help the teacher, and learn how to become self sufficient in many ways. It’s unstructured, structured learning and it has been AMAZING for both of my girls.


So we wanted to continue that push at home as well in implementing a “chore” list for Em. Simply asking her to do things wasn’t cutting it so I knew we needed a method. When I saw my friend Kay post about chore magnets she got her son I knew it would be perfect for Emmie!

Emmie's chores


I ordered my set from UsefulButtons on Etsy. I was able to customize 25 magnets that fit our family. The owner made them quickly and I got them in less than a week!


Each week Emmie chooses three of the chores to do and when she does them she places them on this chore chart I made.  At the end of the week if she has completed her designated chores she will get a My Little Pony surprise bag. It works out well because the bag is $2 at our grocery store but Em is NUTS for them due to her obsession! Em has truly enjoyed being able to move the magnets to her chart and this method has made it a fun process for all of us!


There are a few non-negotiables though that she has to do every day. Bedtime had been a bit of a challenge so I added a magnet board in her bathroom with all the steps for bed on it. It has worked like a charm! Now she can visually see what tasks are left for her to do before she gets in bed and our nights are drama free.  Since picking out her clothes for the next day is on the list our mornings have seen an improvement as well.


bedtime tasks


I just wanted to take this opportunity to share with all of you what has worked for us since I know some of you have “spirited” children as well 😉


Do you have your toddlers/preschoolers help around the house?  What is your method?

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The Little Guys

When we went to Arizona for Christmas my mom and stepdad introduced Emmie to Gru and “the little guys” came into our lives.  Ever since both the little guys” (Despicable Me) and “the little guys in the snow” (Despicable Me 2) have been on regular rotation for us.  Fortunately they’re hilarious and I actually don’t get tired of watching them.  So when the Minion Movie was announced I KNEW we had to take Emmalyne.  So this weekend Chris and I hired a babysitter for Bryn and headed out with our sweet Em for a private date.




We all had a blast watching Kevin, Stuart, and Bob’s adventures.  We collectively agreed that Bob is our favorite minion because he’s “so cute!”  I had almost as fun watching the movie as I did watching Em during it.  She laughed without abandon and absolutely loved it.  After the movie we headed to dinner and enjoyed spending time with each other.  This was much needed after working more than 60 hours last week and working a 12 on Saturday!


Father Daughter


I think it is important as parent to make individual time with each of your kids.  While I thoroughly enjoy spending time as a family of 4, spending time with each of my daughters one-on-one is something that is very important to me.  Emmie was so happy with us for those few hours!  I also knew Bryn was spending time with one of her FAVORITE people in the world and getting quality attention from our sitter.  Before we left her behind she and I spent about an hour playing in her room alone too.  I am heading into another crazy week with my soul soothed and my tank full!


Do you make one-on-one time with the people you care about?  Do you LOVE the minions?

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What to Expect

I have always been a planner.  Anyone that knows me knows that I am pretty meticulous when it comes to organizing things and getting things done.  When I am faced with something new I create a plan as to how I can best accomplish the task at hand or how can I learn something new about it.  So when I got pregnant with Emmalyne and I was in unfamiliar territory I reached out to my mom friends about what their favorite books were for pregnancy.  The #1 recommendation?  What to Expect® When You’re Expecting.  Apparently an insane number of people agree because the book has spent a collective 600+ weeks on the New York Times best seller list!


What to Expect


What to Expect® is one of the highest recommended books by moms and doctors alike for a reason.  It breaks down pregnancy into easy to understand language and answers pretty much any question you can think of.  There are so many “normal” things during pregnancy that just don’t seem normal!  This book helped me navigate those waters.


Now, as a budding healthcare professional, I can see why many providers enjoy and recommend this series as well.  Providing moms-to-be with a book like this is empowering!  It gives women an opportunity to find the answers to their questions without having to drag themselves into the doctor’s office.  It also is a very calming tool to potentially help ease some of the anxiety that comes with expecting for the first (or second, or third ….) time.  While it will never ever replace a healthcare provider it is a valuable resource that many of my patients on my OB/GYN rotation utilized!


The franchise has now gone further and offers a variety of titles.  I had the opportunity to review:


I have to say that I am really enjoying What to Expect® the Second Year right now with Bryn!  Bryn is SUCH a free spirit and I love the conversation that the book brings.  It helps remind me that even when she is driving me crazy she is acting like a perfectly normal 21-month old child.  Rather than pull my hair out I am given some ideas about how to manage her LARGE personality without putting out her spark!




I have been a huge fan of these books for literally YEARS now and remember my sister having her copy when she was pregnant with my oldest nephew 16 years ago.  However, the editions of the book are constantly being updated to reflect the newest literature and science so you can rest assured that you’re getting quality information.  If you are expecting or are a new parent I highly recommend this series for your bookshelf :)


Have you read the What to Expect® books?  What did you like about them?

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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

DIY IKEA Kitchen Hack

Since I shared my updated playroom with you guys last week I wanted to share with you our DIY IKEA kitchen hack today!  We bought this IKEA play kitchen when we initially put together a playroom for Emmalyne.  As our family grew and the new playroom took shape I knew I wanted to spruce up the kitchen.  After scouring Pinterest I finally came up with a look that I LOVED.  But first, here is a reminder of what the kitchen looked like before.



I loved this kitchen from the beginning because of its modern design.  And while it looked great before I knew we could take it to another level.  All it took was some paint and wood stain to transform it into this beauty.


IKEA Kitchen Hack


I love the mahogany counter and the gold finishes!  I kind of wish my own kitchen looked like this 😉  For the gold I simply used spray paint.  I removed the finishes and sprayed them with two coats in the garage.  The white paint I used was just plain old semi-gloss bright white.  For the counter tops I put on three coats of a red mahogany stain!


DIY IKEA Kitchen Hack


When I showed the kitchen to Emmalyne her response was the sweetest …. “for me?  you made this for me?”  Be still my heart!  She then told me how pretty it was and headed straight in to try it out.  Bryn loves playing in the kitchen too although I doubt she noticed the update 😉


The whole project took me about 2 hours one afternoon and that’s it!  I love the custom feel to it and really like how it fits in with the entire room.


Hope you have a happy Wednesday!  

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