fitness. motherhood. life & style.

Diary of a Single Mom

Let me preface this by noting that when I say "single mom" I mean I'm raising my daughter alone, I'm not a single woman looking for love. (lol) Just so you know what this post is about before you start reading.

It's taken me awhile to write this post because being a single mom isn't glamorous or easy but I don't want this to come off as a pity party. There are a lot of single moms (and dads) in this world and I believe it's actually something to be proud of. So I wanted to come on here today and re-introduce myself because a lot of my new readers probably don't know some of these things about me.

I'm twenty six years old and I am a full time account manager for a wonderful company in town. I have been with this company for almost six years and they're my second family. I graduated with my Masters in Business Administration in 2017 and I actually love to work. I thrive on having a full time job that keeps me very busy and gets me out of the house. I started to blog in 2015 when I was struggling with an eating disorder because I wanted to share with other women who may have been struggling with the same issue. Finding someone that I connected with over my eating disorder is actually what helped me over come it. I've continued to share my life and thoughts over the years to hopefully inspire other women that need an average role model, not someone with some ridiculously lavish/unattainable/instagram perfect lifestyle. I hope to be that same inspiration for my own daughter.

Photos by the lovely Maura Jane

Mia was born September 2017 and last year I became a single mom. Single mom was not in the bio that I dreamt about as a little girl. Honestly, that's a shame because it's very empowering to be a single mom and know you can do this on your own. It took me being a single mom to understand the value in it. When I became a single mom, it was by decision. Wedding Save the Dates were sent and all. I won't go into detail out of respect for those involved but I will say it was the best decision for all of us involved, including my daughter. I know a lot of people that struggle with these tough decisions and all I can say is go with your gut. Sometimes people aren’t meant to be and that’s okay and I believe "staying together for the kids" is not always the best answer either. I had a rough year emotionally last year. I had days where I blamed myself and days where I felt like a total failure at life. But regardless of those feelings, I would not take any of my decisions back. I am much happier and stronger today because of all my past decisions and Mia gets to see a better me. She helped create a better me. I have created a special home for my little family (I am also a basset hound mom) and I refuse to let any negative people in my life. I still have days where I struggle but seeing Mia and Leo in a positive environment helps make my bad days less and less. I once hit a point where I thought I couldn't do this alone but then I remembered that when I was younger, I had promised myself to become an independent woman so that I would never have to rely on someone else. I didn't break that promise to myself and I will raise miss Mia with that same mindset.

Even though I'm writing this on an open forum, it feels good to be honest. Writing has always helped me whether it's about fun things like fashion and organization, or tough subjects like eating disorders. So I decided to share today. I'm writing so other moms (or dads for that matter) know that they aren't alone or if they are facing the hard decision to be alone- go with your gut. I understand it's different for everyone and there are a lot of single parents that really struggle day to day but there is always a way to find a better life. Don't ever give up on living your best life even if it takes a few tries. Even on my worst days, I still don't regret being a single mom.

Fun fact: Mia was a chunker as a baby and I strained my neck after this shoot, haha but look at those cute squishy cheeks!!


Toddler Room Organization

I have been putting off organizing Mia's room for way too long because it just gave me anxiety, haha. Finally, after Christmas I decided I couldn't stand it any longer! I also still had items in her drawers like burp cloths and swaddles (haven't used those in a LONG time). So first we went through everything and decided what to store and what to donate (because I still can't part with some of her things). I say "we" but really it was me while Mia made more of a mess out of her room. Sharing my tips below!
Oldie but goodie, photo by Maura Jane, I just love these pictures!

Below, is just one corner of her room!! We would pick up at night but everything was just being shoved into one corner or another so it looked semi "neat" aka I could enter the room.

1-I started by going through everything and clearing out items not needed anymore. I made a pile to store and a pile to give away. Then I took toys she doesn't use as often anymore to the living room cubbies and her books are also in the living room. She likes to bring me books when we are all in the living room together.
2-I have all of her clothes organized by size and I've done this from the beginning because it makes for an easy clean out.
3-I did have to move the room around for optimal storage which also makes it feel larger. I measured everything before so I could maximize this space.
4-I bought one of the cube systems from Target and I LOVE it. Between the six cubes and three baskets, it was less than $60. I have one in my living room but it has the cloth cubes which are harder for her to pull out. Also, plastic baskets are way more kid proof. I categorized the baskets and I put heavier toys on the bottom so she doesn't hurt herself. These systems can be nailed to the wall for safety too!

5-I also love cloth baskets like the one on the left. I found them at Walmart for a great price and they're easy to move, she can crawl in them and not hurt herself, and they fit stuffed animals perfectly or odd shaped items.
6-I re-organized her dresser making more room for blankets that were just laying on her chair. You can actually see everything in these drawers now too, (wow, amazing concept). Folding things differently really helped to maximize her dresser space. Then I stored her large toys in the corner so they are somewhat hidden and out of the way.
7-I also have a narrow three drawer nightstand that I keep diapers, wipes, lotion, etc. in. My mom found this at an estate sale (BEST place for well priced, good quality organizational items) and I like that it doubles as a nightstand and storage.

If you're feeling lost on how to organize your little one's room, I hope this helps! My biggest tip is take all the storage you can get- skip a nightstand without storage for one with drawers, get a bench that has storage, etc. Maximize your space! Linking some great kids/storage items below. Right now Target has a 25% off online home sale going on as well! I always like to create a home with purpose and love and I hope this inspires you!


American Eagle Try On

January always brings the best sales and it's a good time to stock up on some last few winter items. I actually did this try on in December and now all of this stuff is on sale! Most of it is under $20. I love all of their cozy sweaters and the Aerie line. Enjoy!

This fits true to size and would be good for leggings too!

This I actually sized down one in this because it's pretty long.

This I also sized down one because it's long.

I love this it's so cozy and TTS!

This is also TTS and very cozy

I have this and love it! Sized down one.

This is sold out :( but I found some similar items and they are all TTS.

This is my favorite sweater! I sized down one and you can dress it up, wear it to work, or with leggings- the best!

Here are a few other items on sale that I love!


Why I Gave Up the Gym and 2019 Goals

Starting 2019 with a snow day and by sharing some of my own fitness goals for the year! I’ll be honest, working full time, being a mama, going to the gym, having time for family and friends, taking care of a home, and sometimes blogging-was a lot in 2018. I had promised myself I wouldn’t give up doing a few things for myself and one of those was working out. While I didn’t give up working out in 2018, it was always quick gym trips that actually caused me to lose motivation. I was just in there to get a quick workout in and get out. It wasn’t really “me” time anymore, it was just another chore. While I love the gym, I finally decided at the end of 2018 that it was time for a change. My life had changed and I just had to roll with it! It's all about a healthy lifestyle, not just "going to the gym". So, I decided I was going to invest in workout equipment and start working out at home. So far, I love it because I don’t have to rush through a workout to make it back home and it’s becoming my “me” time again. I feel rejuvenated because of this decision and I’m sharing my 2019 goals below! 

-I would like to work out at least 4/5 days per week (more if possible with at least one rest day)
-I would like to really push my workouts and take my fitness to the next level
-I need to stretch with every workout and work my core at least 1 to 2 times per week (core is everything)
-I want to keep my motivation up by taking breaks when I need, continue doing workouts I enjoy, and switch it up when needed- aka making sure this is my "me" time and not just a chore
-I want to cook more at dinner time instead of quick meals and start sharing recipes again
-I also want to make sure I continue drinking enough water and adding lemon, drinking apple cider vinegar when needed (read up on these health benefits, so good!)

We're so ready for 2019!!

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