Rainbows and New Souls

baby shower blessings

This weekend I will attend one of my oldest and dearest friend’s baby shower. The day will be extra special for several reasons, the main being what I’m about to write to you about .

My beautiful friend is expecting her rainbow baby.  For those of you who don’t know, a rainbow baby is a child born after a miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death or infant loss. The term has encouraged parents to share their stories of loss – and the babies that follow. My beautiful friend has suffered multiple losses over the years on her journey to get a  beautiful rainbow. Low and behold, someone above must have known she needed some extra sunshine. She is being blessed with TWO rainbows!!! Yes, TWINS!!!!

I wanted to share a few of my favorite items for celebrating Moms-to-be and their beautiful rainbow babies.

Rainbow mama bear

This beautiful charity t-shirt by my good friend Sarah from Loved By Hannah and Eli is perfect for remembering the journey to your rainbow baby. Proceeds of the tee are going to be donated to charities who offer grief counseling, healing assistance, emotional & financial NICU support, and educational information for all family members who have dealt with this type of loss, and their miracle baby after.

Rainbow Moses basket

This sweet traditional Moses Basket is perfect for those early days with your beautiful new soul.

Rainbow photo blanket

This gorgeous blanket by Little and Luxe Shop is perfect for capturing the weekly or monthly milestones of your rainbow baby.

New Soul Gown

I’m a tad partial to this newborn gown. It was inspired by my last baby and a song I used to sing during my pregnancy. The artwork is done by the lovely Tiny Mountain Studios (an exclusive for WeeStructed.com) “Behind a cloud there’s a rainbow waiting for your beautiful New Soul.”

New Mama care

Caring for a new baby (and in this case, two) requires lots of body TLC. One of my favorite natural product lines is by Tubby Todd. They recently launched this amazing  ‘HEY MAMA, YOU’VE GOT THIS!’ line of products perfect for baby showers, and gifting the mama-to-be with some self-love goodies.

Rainbow clutch

I was scrolling IG this morning (while sipping on my first cup of coffee for the day) and saw this perfect handmade clutch on @littlebitfunkysews feed. I instantly fell in love with it.  Side note: they are also home of the HoHos (the most adorable handmade lovey animals around).  This clutch is perfect for keeping almost everything accessible in your diaper bag; especially odds and ends like nursing ointment and Q-tips.

 Memory keeper

Time is a thief, as any seasoned mama will tell you. These ARE the best years and you’ll want to remember all the firsts for each sweet baby. This amazing baby book by Promptly Journals helps you do just that. From pregnancy to 18+, this book has you covered.  I had the pleasure of sharing a round table at an event with this maker and her heart and soul goes into this beautiful product. It’s truly a great investment and a perfect keeper of all your memories.

 Remember-

“The greater your storm, the brighter your rainbow”

Sending so much love, healing and happy vibes to all you mamas waiting on your rainbows to reveal themselves from the storm.

Xo,

SaraH

Perfectly Imperfect

10 things about me

My dear friend Sarah from Loved By Hannah and Eli gave me this shirt on our girls trip to Palm Springs last month, where we met up to attend the Alt Summit. This shirt pretty much sums me up, “perfectly imperfect“, and I’m perfectly fine with that.

I thought it might be fun to do a “10 Things You Don’t Know About Me” post.  I know most of you follow us on Instagram (@weestructed) and might have a good sense of who I am, but here’s a little glimpse behind the brand.

1.  I’m terrified to fly. Like legit freaking TERRIFIED to fly.  I do it but not often and honestly not without a cocktail or two or three or more…don’t judge.

2.  I collect butterfly things.  I have LOVED butterflies since I was a little girl. My entire teenage room and even my first adult apartment was covered in butterflies.  They now hold an even bigger special meaning to me. Back in 2001, my dear cousin passed away before her 18th birthday (I was 20). She told me she was going to come back as a butterfly and if I ever felt sad or lonely or missed her to look around for a butterfly.  Lets just say I do believe she kept her promise. During some of my darker times I’ve seen some very special butterflies watching over me. Thanks Nik for always looking after me.

3.   I HATE celery with a burning passion, enough said. I can’t even type about celery, it makes me nauseous.

4.  I collect vinyl with my husband. It’s a hobby we picked up when I was expecting Fletcher.  We have a nice little collection built up from the last four years. I swear my husband always finds exactly what he’s looking for in the dollar bin and me… well lets just say my taste tends to be on the expensive side.  My scores have been known to range from $30 to $100 (don’t judge it was a Tori Amos sealed original people). Our favorite local spot is Spindles Music Shack in Temecula.

5.  I can’t cook to save my life….no joke if I didn’t have a crockpot my family would never eat.  I’m the queen of easy crock pot  meals. I have a slew of easy recipes I’ve perfected: salsa taco chicken, beans and pot roast, and everything in between.

6.  My first real job was at Johnny Rockets where I was a hostess with the mostess. No really, I literally had to dance and sing twice an hour, which is pretty hilarious because I can’t sing and mama don’t dance. But they paid me a whopping $6.75 an hour to do both and seat people.  Needless to say it was the best first job a girl could have. I loved working there and am so sad the Belmont location closed; I was a part of the crew who opened it.

7.  I have mad crushes on both Adam Sandler and John Cusack…. yes my husband is well aware. I’ve been up front about my love for them both since we started dating; he’s cool with it.

8.  I  was a hairdresser pre-kids.  I trained in Orange County under the amazing Janna Tipton and Vincent Vu of Triko Salon.  I loved doing hair, especially color. There was always something so magical about making a woman feel amazing about herself.  I left the salon in 2007 to become a mommy, and while I  did maintain part part-time clients until about 2012, having  three kids was enough to make me retire those shears and dryer for good. (No I don’t cut my kids hair it’s just not pleasant for either of us).

9.  Fun fact:  both of my boys are named after 80’s film and TV characters.  Remington is named after “Remington Steel” (husband’s pick but I loved it). Fletcher is named after Chevy Chase’s movie “FLETCH”. I have a thing for the 80’s.  My dear Lillian is named after the beautiful Lily flower of course.

10.  I’m still obsessed with “My So-Called Life”  I still hope and pray one day for its return; I need more Angela Chase and Jordan Catalano in my life. That show was life-changing.

So there’s 10 new (hopefully fun) facts about me and my perfectly imperfect self. I hope you enjoyed learning a bit more about me and my quirky nature.  I try to keep it light and real, because life is far too short to be fake. Don’t you think?

 

XO,

Sarah

 

 

 

Team Mom

Basketball

Okay, so I’m no stranger to sports. Our oldest son Remy, 7, has played several seasons of baseball, soccer and flag football. Since the age of 4 we’ve been doing the team sports thing, but this year was our first season coaching (ExhaustDad) and better, yet my first time as TEAM MOM.

Team mom duties were harder than I expected, and honestly, I wasn’t the best at it. @exhaustdad truly took on the majority of all things TEAM and I’m forever thankful to have him as my partner, especially when it comes to being overwhelmed.  I did learn a few good tricks, like using a Shutterfly.com where you can set-up an entire group page for the team, add all the parent emails (and contact information by player) and input the season schedule. Along with all of this, you can also share photos and even add a snack duty calendar. HELLO life saver….and it’s FREE.

Running WeeStructed during the basketball season was hard. we had our annual Black Friday sale which kept me hustling during a few of the boys very first practices. Then I did the Santa’s Secret Workshop event on their actual first game. Whoops. Needless to say, I wasn’t super active as a team mom for the first couple of weeks.  Thankfully we had a team filled with amazing, understanding and supportive fellow working parents so they took extra pictures and helped this mama keep it all going. GO TEAM!!!

For our team season end party I tried to keep it simple, parent friendly and easy. Our local pizzeria gives each team two free pizzas and welcomes you to have a season end party so we choose to host it this Sunday night. Hello no cooking or dishes for the night. Just go home with happy, fed kids and then straight to bath time and bed time routines. #parentwin

For player gifts, I had these awesome customized water bottles made for each boy from a sweet vendor on Etsy.com My Monogram Heaven. She will make them in any color combo to match your team colors, so check out her page!

Each one was filled with themed color candy from Partycity.com. They have everything you could dream of to throw a team party, including these mini basketballs.

Using team buttons for bag tags was the perfect touch, especially when it came time to hand them out tonight and present their game trophies.

A tip I received from a fellow seasoned team mom was to keep dessert simple. Cupcakes are the easiest thing to pass out quickly (no cutting involved). Off to Sams Club I went for a sports themed platter. The price is amazing too…$14.98 to be exact, so its super budget friendly!

I had leftover black plates from last weeks Batman birthday party so that was a WIN too!

Team mom doesn’t get a jersey, but wearing the husband’s vintage Jack Ramsey camp t-shirt was pretty perfect for the occasion, if I do say so!

All and all, I enjoyed my first attempt at Team Mom duties. It was amazing to see my husband take these little babes and turn them into killer basketball players. To see our son light up having that extra dad one-on-one time was worth it all.  After chatting with our parents, I realized keeping it simple really was the best way to go about it. No crazy pressures, just good communication and a simple party really was the winning ticket to this season!

XO,

Sarah

 

 

Girl Gang

Happy International Women’s Day to all you rad mamas and lil’ ladies!

International Women’s Day, originally called International Working Women’s Day, is celebrated on March 8 every year. It commemorates the movement for Women’s Rights.

Today I sent my wee babes Lily off into the world filled with pure girl gang power and confidence. My goal is to be a strong role model for her, and in turn, raise her to be strong and confident in this world. I want her know her rights, her worth and the fact that she can achieve anything she wants to work hard for in this life.

Her amazing tee is from local California-based husband and wife duo Tiny Whales. Their entire line is manufactured and made right here in Los, Angeles CA (which is a pretty rare find these days).  MADE IN AMERICA: so cool. Did I mention they are also raising two strong girls as well? P&H, you are lucky girls for sure. #radparents

Her necklace is from the amazing father daughter duo Gunner & Lux. All designs are from Little Lux and flawlessly executed by Dad. It’s a pretty amazing company. #girlboss is in second grade, no less. How amazing is that?!

Girl Gang : those fearless ladies who exude self-confidence and help build their fellow sistas up, not tear them down!

XO,

Sarah

My Birthday Boy

My dearest Fletcher tonight I tucked in my sweet little three-year old and tomorrow when you wake up you will be FOUR.  I still can’t believe how fast these past four years have flown by with you.   I knew they would go fast just like they did with your sister and brother but with you its been like warp speed.

My pregnancy with you was anything but easy.  I suffered daily with morning sickness that lasted well past the normal range…. 36 straight weeks to be exact I threw up daily.  I tried everything under the sun and yet only minimal relief from acupuncture would help on occasion.  I had awful pains that could never be explained but were later labeled as irritable uterus, a bout of flu that landed me in the hospital with pre term labor contractions and then three false labor visits…… for a non rookie mom that was fun times NOT.

On the day you were born I was done I had been sick and miserable for so long I couldn’t even officially tell I was in labor I refused to go to the hospital but Daddy finally said that’s it I think we should go.  From the time we got to the hospital to the time you were born it was under an hour in a blink you were here.  Much like carrying you things didn’t go as planned there were issues with your delivery and lots of not so fun medical stuff had to occur but I’m not going into that tonight it’s for another post and another time my love.

After recovering from the complications of your birth I had to take stock of my life and what was truly important.  I believe everything does indeed happen for a reason I believe I had to experience the trials of carrying you to truly appreciate life and you.  The strength I gained from this experience helped me to let go of things I couldn’t control, I learned to say NO, I let go of a bad relationship with a close family member, I held you more and did dishes less, and I was finally brave enough to follow a dream that ended up becoming  WeeStructed.

You have been such a breath of fresh air to our family these past four years.  You have the sweetest nature the most infectious laugh and deep voice that is kinda just amazing, you are funny, kind , loving and you have made both Mommy and Daddy better parents.  You love life are happy everyday have simple wants and needs never complain and have been one of the easiest babies ever!

I would relive all the struggles of bringing you into the world over again a million times for even an ounce of your daily sunshine my son.

Cheers to you and being FOUR it’s one of my favorite ages and stages of childhood and I’m excited for all this year brings for you my little sunshine.

XO,

Mommy

 

DIY Chokers: The Second Generation

Mommy & Daughter Craft time

Chances are you were a kid of the 90’s and chokers were a must have in your daily stylish life. From the mood changers to the yin and yang symbol, you likely had one for every day of the week (am I right?).  I had a pretty epic collection that would have even given Drew Barrymore a run for her money back in the day….  Sadly, I don’t have a single one left, but I sure wish I did. Don’t worry if you no longer have that junior high choker collection from Wet Seal or the local dollar store (used to score the best ones there, I swear). We’ve got you and your crafty lil’ ladies covered with this quick, easy and inexpensive DIY!

Supplies needed:

  • Velvet ribbon (colors of choice)
  • Lace ribbon or decorative ribbon
  • Stick on velcro
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Charms (Optional)

chokercraft1

Step 1

Measure your little ladies neck for the perfect fit.  We did 12″ for my 9-year-old and it fit great (comfy enough to wear all day).

chockercraft2

Step 2

Cut to size (make sure you leave enough room to overlap the velcro)!

chockercraft3

Step 3

Apply stick on velcro to the ends of your cut piece of ribbon.

chockercraft4

chockercraft5

Apply second piece on the opposite side to make a closure.

chockercraft6

Step 4

You’re DONE!

chokercraft7

Repeat with as many ribbons, colors and styles your heart desires. Add charms to jazz them up; or make them extra special and use as a gift to friends.

chokercraft8

Last but not least, show off your new fashions with a couple of quick pics!

chokercraft10

chokercraft9

chokercraft11

From my little lady @rainbowdesignsbylily to yours, we hope you enjoy this 90’s inspired fun craft and quality girl time!

XO, Sarah

Founder of WeeStructed

 

Being a Wife and Mom on Valentine’s Day

I don’t know about you, but people were asking my (now) husband and I about babies before we were even married. And lucky for them, not long after we were, the babies came. And two at once that first time around. As soon as we announced that I was pregnant, the advice began to flood in. You know what I’m talking about: sleep when they sleep, breastfeed if you can, don’t let them sleep in your bed, blah blah blah. Advice can be helpful, but can also be frustrating. And the piece of wisdom I always found the most curious was “if your marriage can survive the first year of parenthood, you and your husband can get through anything.”

I remember fearing what that first year would look like, and especially with twins. The number of times I heard statements like that had me convinced that our marriage was going to have us in the trenches there for awhile. My husband and I sat down and talked about how we wanted to approach this crazy journey called parenthood. All we knew for sure was that we knew nothing for sure. But in that very moment, we promised each other that we would always keep each other first. First wife, then mom. First husband, then dad. That may sound crazy, but hear me out.

Before I knew it, the twins were here, and we were in the thick of it. Nursing, pumping, bottle feeding, burping, changing diapers, repeat. Every three hours. I say “we” because it was absolutely a team effort. We did everything together. Every feeding, every middle-of-the-night diaper blowout, all of it. And as you can imagine, some of those 3:00 am interactions brought out the worst in us: first-time, frustrated, and flat out exhausted parents.

Over time, things got easier. We learned to communicate better through our frustrations and even made a pact that whatever was said at 3:00 am would be forgiven by morning. Things weren’t perfect, but we made adjustments to be the best version of ourselves we could be in this season of life.

Life has been crazy since our first babies were born, and then we added another little one into the mix a few months ago. As you can imagine, the chaos has only increased. And let me just paint a picture of what life is like with three tiny humans two and under. Wake up, breakfast, madness, chaos, lunch, tantrums, diaper changes, naps, laughs, cuddles, dinner, bedtime. Notice that between those commas, there isn’t a lot of room for mom and dad to enjoy some solo time, let alone cuddle.

But we try. Man, oh man, do we try. Sometimes it involves a verbal reminder that we are husband and wife first. Sometimes it’s bribing our friends to watch our kids so we can have a date night (where we just talk about the kids anyway). But the point is, even if husband and wife time sometimes has to be scheduled, we make the effort, and we make it happen. We love our kids more than anything, that goes without saying. But at the end of the day, our relationship as husband and wife is a foundation of this home. 20 years from now when the kids are off doing their thing, it will be back to us, just how it started. Some people don’t love the concept of husband and wife first, and that’s okay. It’s just what works for us. And I’m comforted in knowing that my kids will be raised in a home where they see a husband who values his wife and vice versa.

Each relationship and family is different. I’m not suggesting that what works for us will work without fail (for our family or otherwise). What I am saying is marriages and relationships are important, so we make it a priority to make time for them. And let me tell you, it’s not always glamorous. Sometimes we go out to fancy dinners. And sometimes, like every Valentine’s Day, we order a heart shaped pizza and have a few beers together after the kids go to bed. Because, you know…balance.

We made it through that first year, albeit a blur. It was tough and we were tired, but we survived. And even though there were many sleepless nights (and a handful of snarky remarks I’m sure), we came out on the other side and we’re stronger together. So this Valentine’s Day, once all the tiny humans are in bed, we’ll bust out the pizza and cheers to another year of surviving parenthood and loving each other.


MARISSA ELLIS IS A WIFE, MOTHER OF THREE, AND ALL AROUND AWESOME HUMAN BEING. SHE RESIDES IN DENVER, COLORADO.

Guest Blog Feature: Brittany Shives

Mamas, meet Brittany. A teacher turned stay-at-home mom. Today, she’s taking over the blog with some brilliant (and easy) ideas for some toddler learning activities.

I grew up my entire life knowing I wanted to be a teacher. When I had my daughter I decided to leave the classroom and put my teaching career on hold. However, after I had my second baby, I realized that I needed to be more intentional with learning activities for my toddler.   We were spending more time at home because of my newborn’s demanding schedule and we needed a change of pace. After a quick search on Pinterest, I realized there were thousands of learning activities that brilliant moms had already come up with.

Obviously, I didn’t have a lot of extra time (or funds) to devote to planning any sort of elaborate activities. Research has shown time and time again that play is the very best type of learning for kids, especially toddlers. I decided to start out with just one intentional activity a week and slowly add in more if it was something that was working for all of us.

It turned out that these activities were a huge hit with the whole family! I loved getting to dabble in lesson planning again and both my girls loved the intentionality of our activities. My husband even loved coming home and seeing how much they were learning!

Learning at home is not just something for stay-at-home moms or former teacher moms. Anyone can plan learning activities for their toddlers! Here is my list of must-haves for any parents who want to be a little more intentional with learning at home:

A planner: I quickly discovered that if I didn’t have a plan for an activity at the start of the day, it was not going to happen. You don’t need anything fancy, even a composition book will do. You just need a place to collect your ideas and notes so that when the time comes you will have any necessary supplies prepped and ready to go. For me, it works best to spend a little time planning and organizing on the weekend so that everything goes effortlessly during the week.

Books: As a former teacher, I just can’t emphasize this one enough. Even in my fifth grade teacher days, my number one piece of advice for parents was to have their children read. Every single day. Books can be expensive so we put them on our wish lists for holidays. We go to the library every week. We check out used bookstores and garage sales. Our house is covered in books and it’s the best kind of mess there is. If the only learning activity you ever do with your child is read to them, you will have done your job.

Plastic storage bins: Another important element of learning in the early years is sensory play. I try and set up a sensory activity once a week. My grandpa built us a sensory table that holds two plastic storage bins. You definitely don’t need the table, but I would recommend getting one or two plastic storage bins for sensory play. Over time your kids will get better with keeping all the fun contained in the box and cleanup will be so easy. The best part of sensory play is that most materials you need, you probably have on hand or cost just a few dollars. Some of our favorite sensory bin activities are water beads, dried corn, rice, spaghetti noodles and plain old water. Throw in some different kitchen utensils and set your kids loose!

Washable paint: Painting is so fun for toddlers! It also can be pretty messy, so washable paint is key. Honestly, you don’t even need paint brushes. We use all different objects to paint. We use our hands, toothbrushes, q-tips, leaves, feathers, and cotton balls. The possibilities are endless with paint and a little bit goes a long way with toddlers!

Shower liners: One of the biggest concerns parents seem to have with learning activities is that they can be a lot messier than your average toy play time. My secret weapon to combat messy play is my trusty 97-cent shower liner. I just spread it out before a potentially messy activity and then roll it up when we are done.

If I haven’t sold you yet, let me just paint a picture for you. Imagine that you set out a learning activity for your toddler and then you enjoy fifteen minutes of peace to drink your coffee hot, or start dinner or just enjoy the quiet. Planning intentional activities not only encourages learning for your child, but it also can save your sanity on difficult days. I hope you are encouraged to try out some learning activities with your child!


Brittany is a former fifth grade teacher and now a mother of two girls.  She spends her days reading lots of books, putting on an endless amount of tutus and hanging outside in sunny Southern California.

Our Raise Good Humans Celebration Continues!

When your baby turns one, you celebrate! Both for your tiny human’s birthday and 365 days of surviving motherhood. Today, we celebrate our baby’s birthday: the Raise Good Humans collection. Lots of love went into creating this line and to see how much you guys love it and the impact it’s had is better than birthday cake (okay, maybe it’s a tie. Because duh, cake is delicious).

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for being a part of this journey. We are happy to virtually celebrate together. And to make the day even sweeter, we’ve chosen eight ladies to gift with a $25 shop credit to say thanks!

Our winners are:

@llombardi2009

@ flipyeahandrea

@_paix

@emptycoffeefullheart

@lucajsek

@cheffy22

@samantha_ladale

@sheasmiller

*Please check your Direct Messages on Instagram in the next few hours. Sarah will provide you with your shop code!

We’re still obsessing over how you guys used our printable to show us how you Raise Good Humans. We love seeing your photos. It’s a constant reminder that we’re all in this together.

Thank you for the love. Happy birthday RGH!

Please use code: RGH25 now until January 24th to receive 25% any Raise Good Humans products!

Cheers,

Marissa

RAISE GOOD HUMANS IS TURNING ONE

Our Raise Good Humans launched on January 21st, 2016 with the hope to spread a common goal amongst my friends and followers to simply try our best to “raise good humans” together.

The response was incredible and we were blown away from the start.  We knew we must be on to something good from the immediate love it received. Our shirt even made its rounds during this years election with so many Moms showing their ‘I voted’ stickers proudly next to those three simple words (Raise Good Humans) I honestly think I cried like three times that day as each share popped up on our social media accounts.

Here we are almost a year later and the love has grown to include some celebrity fans like Eva Amurri Martino, Tori Spelling, Edy Ganem, Lisa Ling and Chudney Ross.  We were even asked to attended the Marque Communications Santa’s Secret Workshop a star-studded charity event hosted by the Guncles where every guest left with a Raise Good Humans tote bag and gear.

How do you Raise good humans?

As we prepare to celebrate this fan favorite we thought it would be nice to include YOU and your thoughts on how you try to Raise Good Humans….is it with a sense of community, do you focus on higher education, strong faith, a love of animals, or is it simply by giving your little ones all you’ve got TIME, LOVE and RESPECT?

We’ve put together a fun interactive PDF download you can fill out and tell us how you Raise Good Humans.  Simply download, print and fill out the “I RAISE GOOD HUMANS WITH” PDF.  Shoot a quick snap, upload to your favorite social media account and hashtag #raisegoodhumanswith.  We will select 6 lucky winners by random from social media on January 20th to each win a $25 shop credit to WeeStructed just in time for our Raise Good Humans birthday celebrations!

Some highlights from this year

DOWNLOAD A PRINTABLE PDF HERE…

 

Making a wish for the future and hoping the love continues to spread!

XO,

Sarah

Founder of WeeStructed