Alternative Halloween Activities

Alternative Halloween activities |

Hey there mamas!

So it’s October, and for most families, that means getting excited about Halloween. But not all families celebrate Halloween or at least are not as into it as others.  In light of this, I will be sharing with you some awesome alternative Halloween activities that will leave you and your kinds just as happy and sugar induced as any ‘traditional” Halloween activity.

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My family and I have never really celebrated Halloween.  It’s something we feel as Christians is not appropriate.  Halloween has become way too commercialized and way too scary in very real ways.  People don’t seem to realize that dressing up as a gruesome monster or a devil, is not cute or innocent.  I have never been comfortable with the idea of Halloween, there’s just something wrong about the whole thing and I have never understood why people are so into it and act like it’s such a fun thing. I do not see the appeal of putting up ugly, scary looking decorations, having blood on things, chopped up body parts, and ghosts etc. These things are all too real in our world and the influences are just too much.  But since it is such a huge holiday and we can’t keep our little ones from being exposed to the ideas of it, finding other ways to celebrate the season and have some fun with snacks and costumes or other exciting things is a great way to go. Here is my list of the best alternative activities to do instead of a traditional Halloween.

  • Harvest Party. – This is my personal favorite, as you can invite your friends and family, have some good food, delicious desserts and decorate with pretty fall flowers and enjoy the crisp weather together. You can always do costumes too if you want! Make them more fun, and less spooky and gruesome.  When I was growing up, our community had a Hoe Down at a friends family ranch, we had warm apple cider, a bonfire, and great food and fellowship. It was a great way to spend an October evening. Some of the little kids would come in costume, usually Bible characters or simple things like a cowgirl, or a fireman. We had music and sometimes games like bobbing for apples, or pumpkin bowling.  You can get super creative and have lots of fun with something like a Harvest party. If you’re not up to hosting, take a look in your community and see if there is one you can attend!
  • Pumpkin Carving Contest –  This is a fun idea if your kids love carving pumpkins! Last year was our first year ever carving a pumpkin and it didn’t turn out very well, but hey, we tried! Turn it into an event by inviting your favorite people, having some coffee, cider, and pie having everyone carve their own pumpkins and holding a contest! It’s sure to be a blast!
  • Corn Maze & Hay Rides – One of the best things about fall are the simple things that bring joy to both us moms and kids. Going on a nice hayride or getting lost in a corn maze are classic fall activities that you can enjoy anytime in October or November. Places like pumpkin patches offer such adventures or you could really go all out and create ones yourself in your own backyard! That’s bound to impress your peeps!
  • Church Events – most churches usually offer some type of alternative Halloween event for local families.  Whether it be Trunk or Treats, or a harvest dinner, there is usually something fun to go do at your local church. Check it out and see what they will be up to this year!
  • DIY Escape Room – Have you ever heard of or been to an escape room? Do you or your kids enjoy thrills, puzzles and being tested on the clock? Then this might be the perfect activity for you! It may take some time and materials to put together, but with a little hard work and creativity you will end up with a really fun original way to get scared on Halloween that doesn’t involve anything creepy or dead! My friends and I are actually putting one together for the youth group! So exciting! If you don’t know what you need or know where to begin when tackling a project like this, Pinterest becomes your new bff! There are kits you can buy and put together, or you can start from scratch with a few sheets, maybe a wood board or two, props, lights and your own imagination.
  • Just For The Kids – If you’re a tired mama and not really feeling like getting too involved then just keeping things simply might be best. Letting your kids have a small sleepover where you let them eat lots of sugar, letting their imaginations go wild by having them build their own candy pizza, watch a fun movie and do fall-related arts and crafts! Take a walk outside and collect pinecones, leaves, twigs and whatever else they fancy and just let them have fun.  Make a wreath for the front door or let them come up with some ideas. Just have a simple fun night at home with some friends having some good old-fashioned fall fun.

If you are on the lookout for costumes because your little ones just can’t do this time of year without them, then you have got to check out this site! Click here

Inspired yet? I hope so! Now go have yourself a fun and fabulous fall!

Oh, and before you go, if you scroll through my blog you will see I have been awarded one of the top 50 mom blog spots from! I’m so honored and excited! Check out the site and support us mama bloggers!

Love, Jess XO

Quick And Easy Recipes!

quick and easy recipes |

Happy Fall Mamas!

Today I wanted to share some quick and easy recipes with you that are perfect for this time of the year. The summer to fall transition can be a bit rough if you’re like me and enjoy the longer warmer days.  Having time to prepare meals when you’re a busy single mom is another struggle so to help with all this craziness, just follow the links to some absolutely delicious and easy recipe ideas to keep you and your little ones happy and healthy this fall!

quick and easy recipes |

Chicken Noodle Soup: As the weather slowly begins to turn cooler and colds are on the rise, having a quick and easy recipe for homemade chicken noodle soup is a must.  Follow the link to grab the recipe for this soothing 20-minute chicken noodle soup

Lazy Chicken Alfredo:  Since chicken is an easy and affordable option for mealtime, I thought this recipe for slow cooker chicken alfredo would be perfect. Only 5 minutes of prep time and boom, you will have dinner ready for you! Lazy Chicken Alfredo Recipe

Pizza Toast: We all know how much kids love pizza, and by kids I mean everyone. I love me some pizza…I could eat pizza every day for the rest of my life, mmm pizza…(ahem) sorry…so…yeah, this recipe for pizza toast is super easy and kid approved! Just throw a salad together and bam, perfect easy dinner! Pizza Toast Recipe

chicken noodle soup |

Meatball Parmesan Casserole: So this recipe is the perfect quick dinner. Lots of cheese and who doesn’t love meatballs? Right? Easy peasy, cheesy cheesy 😉 Meatball Parmesan Casserole

For more quick and easy recipes that you will enjoy making and your kids will actually eat, check out the Parents Magazine cookbook! Trust me, you need this! Parents Magazine Quick & Easy Cookbook    

Have fun with these recipes and I’ll catch you next time mamas!

Your Girl, Jess XO

Traditional VS. Natural Kids Vitamins

vitamins for kids |

Hey mamas!

So I think it’s safe to say that we all know the struggle of keeping our little ones healthy, getting them to eat their veggies and stay out of the cookie jar. Vitamins are perfect for getting that little extra bit of much-needed nutrition into their growing bodies, but sometimes…ok, most of the time it’s so hard to get our kids to want to take them!  When facing this struggle, it’s also important to know exactly what are in these vitamins we are trying to force into our kid’s mouths, so today I want to give you mamas the rundown on traditional vs. natural vitamins for your kids.

So, my son is the pickiest eater on the planet. No, really. He literally won’t eat anything unless it’s coated in bright colored sugar, so the nutrition struggle is real guys. I have tried pretty much every brand of natural vitamins out there hoping to find one my son will actually like the taste of and eat. Well, the hunt is over. After much research and trial and error, we have success! I have never tried the traditional vitamin brands you find at any drugstore or places like WalMart.  The ingredients lists are shocking! If you actually knew, like really knew what was in them, there’s no way you would let your kids have them.  So it’s time to realize that not everything claiming to be safe and healthy actually is safe and healthy. Here is a list of just some of the bad ingredients found in most traditional vitamin brands.

  • Fructose Syrup
  • Wax
  • Artificial Coloring (Dye)
  • Soy
  • Artificial Flavoring
  • GMOs

traditional vs. natural vitamins for kids |

With that in mind, we as moms should steer clear of these cheap vitamin brands containing harmful ingredients and look for something more natural and that we can feel better about giving our kids on a regular basis.  I have tried many natural and organic vitamin brands but my son just hasn’t liked the taste of any of them so far, so when I discovered VitaFive I was curious to see if my son would like them or spit them right back out. Low and behold at quite a surprise, he loved them! (Angels Singing)

So I am excited to share this brand with the rest of you moms so hopefully your little ones and you, (they have adult gummies too!) can try out the delicious vitamins from Vitafive too! What’s so great about them, is that you choose your own customs gummies, need better sleep? More vitamin D, more calcium? Just choose what you need and every 4 weeks your custom gummies in their own little daily packs will be sent to you! Awesome right? For kids, they have a healthy bones pack, immune pack, probiotics pack and essentials pack! All colorful and delicious using all natural ingredients! Everything from VitaFive is Gluten-Free, Allergen-Free, and Vegan!

VitaFive Vitamins |

Let’s get our kids on a healthy diet of yummy gummies! You can get some for yourself too!

To make this even better, how about taking 25% off your first order? I think yes! Just follow this link and help yourself to 25% off of healthy & happy! VitaFive

I hope you mamas enjoy your families new gummies and a confidence in knowing what’s safe and what’s not in your vitamins!

Much love, Jess XO

The Struggle Of Post-Partum Depression

Postpartum Depression |

Hello my dears, welcome to another post brought to you by yours truly.

Today on the blog I want to talk about something pretty serious, post-partum depression. The struggle is very real when it comes to things like depression, anxiety, and other similar mood disorders. Take it from me, I know the challenges they bring as I have suffered from depression and other issues my entire life.  It’s not fun, it’s not easy and it’s definitely not something to be ignored. But in this post, I want to talk specifically about post-partum depression and it’s struggles.

The Struggle Of Post-Partum Depression

I too went through a nasty deep depression both during and after my pregnancy. Already having depression and other issues it hit me hard and there were quite a few days I literally couldn’t even. More on that in a bit. So to answer the question I bet you’re thinking, yes you can have pregnancy-related depression during your pregnancy too, not just after giving birth.

These during pregnancy emotional rides are referred to as ‘perinatal mood disorders’ and affect around 20% of pregnant women.  Symptoms such as feelings of deep sadness, anxiety, sleeplessness, lack of focus, energy and of dread about motherhood are common.  Many things can bring this about during pregnancy, stress, poor diet, lack of sleep and most importantly emotional trauma and personal struggle. For me, already having depression it was probably inevitable for it to only increase with my spike of hormones when I became pregnant, but that was not the main reason I feel like it hit me so hard.

During my very complicated and stressful pregnancy, I was going through the hardest time of my life.  I wasn’t one of the lucky moms who felt joy and excitement when the pee test showed pink lines. I was 21 years old, still living with my parents, no job, had just been kicked out of college and had a very difficult and complicated relationship with my boyfriend.  Being raised in an extremely strict Christian home my parents were less than overjoyed at the news. In fact they were heartbroken and at first wanted nothing to do with the child I would be having. My father wouldn’t even look at me for months following the news. It was a very painful time. I had no support, help, money, encouragement, or even the slightest clue of how to actually take care of a baby.

During my pregnancy, all of the stress also caused physical complications, and I was in and out of the hospital constantly, even spending my entire 6th-month bedridden and all alone in a cold hospital room. Daily stress tests were part of my routine and eventually, I went into a very complicated and difficult labor weeks early resulting in having an emergency c-section before my little preemie baby boy came into the world. I wasn’t the first person to see him or hold him and had no idea if he was even ok as I spent hours all alone in the recovery room.

When our meeting did finally come, I expected to feel emotional, cry tears of joy and the feeling of knowing that all of that drama was worth it. Instead, I wasn’t even given the chance to see my baby boy’s face before he was literally shoved into my breast immediately after being rolled into my room where my baby was being held by a total stranger. That was the onset of what then became post-partum depression for me.  I was alone and deeply felt it.

There were days I would wake up to my son crying in the morning and I was so tired and depressed I would start to cry myself and just keep laying there…..usually for hours. I am ashamed to admit that, but it’s what depression does to people. It stops us from being the best versions of ourselves.  Almost 2 years later, however, the post-partum symptoms began to fade and my “regular” depression settled back in, but since he and I were such close buddies already it was no big deal….I guess. But motherhood became something I fought to be better at, and it was much easier to find little bits of joy in it.  I suffered alone, but no one should have to.

How to manage post-partum depression |


1 in every 8 women suffers from some form of post-partum depression. With a wide range of symptoms such as feelings of inadequacy, anxiety, harmful thoughts, and lack of motivation for self-care and or caring for the baby it is so hard to understand what’s going on and ask for help.  It’s more common than people realize and it’s high time we acknowledge that it happens to even the best of us.  There is no need to go through it alone like I did so if you are pregnant or recently had a baby and feel like you may be suffering from something you don’t quite understand, talk to someone today. A parent, friend or even your doctor.  Especially us single moms who don’t have partners to help with raising a child, it’s so important to not deal with these issues on your own.

If you feel like you need to talk to someone about your depression, head over to   


I hope this has shed a little extra light on the subject matter for you and you feel encouraged to either help yourself or help other moms around you. Please share this post to keep the information going and subscribe to my blog for more posts like this!

Much love & warmth…

Jess XO

Beauty Hacks For Moms

beauty hacks for moms |

Hey there mamas!

Today I will be doing a quick post featuring my top 5 picks for the best beauty hacks for us busy moms. I don’t think I need to add much more than that, so if you’re ready to begin, then lets’ jump right in!

beauty hacks for moms |

  1. Winged Liner Tricks: Do you love the look of winged liner or shadow but hate how much time and effort it takes to create the look? Well, I just learned some tricks that will save the day and our fabulous eyes! Using a bobby pin, place the pin right on the corner of your eye where you want your wing to be, then just draw your wing inside the bobby pin making an almost perfect base for a dramatic wing! Then just fill it in and bam! You can also use a clear piece of tape to create flawless winged eyeshadow! Just place the piece of tape right under your eye and create the look you want, then gently remove the tape for a perfect line!

2. Egg Whites For Your Eyes: Here is a perfect little hack for those crazy mornings where you look like the busy stressed out tired mom you are.  For a quick all natural fix you can do during breakfast, just whip up some egg whites and place them under your eyes for a few minutes to get rid of those under eye bags! So next time you’re making breakfast for the kids, remember to save some eggs for yourself for a fresh looking face!

  1. Rubber Band Manicure: Love the look of a french manicure but don’t have the time to go to the nail salon or have the money to pay for one?  Well, here is an easy way to get a perfect salon look at home! Using a rubber band, place it around your finger near the top of your nail and paint the tip of your nail and then remove the rubber band! Boom!

4. Overnight Hair & Body Mask: As moms, we don’t always have time for self-care, so this overnight trick is perfect for giving silky soft hair and skin with almost zero time! Simply slather on some coconut oil all over your body, right after a bath or shower would be best, and don’t forget to slather your hair in the stuff as well. Then go to bed as usual and wake up to the softest hair and smoothest arms and legs! Good deal right?

5. Set Your Hair: My last pick is a hairstyle hack that I do allllll the time! Straight after washing your hair, whether it be AM or PM, just twist your hair up all around your head and pin with bobby pins. You can also use a headband and just twist your hair and tuck it under the headband. Leave for an hour or two while you finish getting ready, or you can blast it with the blow dryer to speed things along if you have less time. Or sleep on it overnight.  When you let your hair down, you will be left with perfect waves or bouncy curls, depending on your hair type and how tight you twisted your locks.  Run your fingers through it and set with a styling hairspray and there you go! Easy peasy way to style your hair without damaging your hair or taking, even more, time to dry and use a styling device.  Thank me later you gorgeous thing. 😉

And that’s all she wrote! I hope you enjoyed my quick fix beauty hacks and that you have found a new way to keep yourself looking amazing even when you feel like crying on the inside.  Admit it, all of us moms feel this way….no lie.

Much Love,

Jess XO

How To Overcome Single Mom Guilt

how to overcome single mom guilt |

Hey hey there mamas!
It’s me again, your girl Jess and I have come with some solace for that heavy guilt we all deal with daily as stressed-out single moms and how to overcome.

single mom guilt |

Being a single mom is tough, tougher than most of us like to admit, and it comes with guilt over things like the feeling we are not enough for our children, or we can’t provide enough for them on our own. Then there are other things as well that cross our minds as we try to sleep at night. But don’t worry momma, I am here to help you…and me to overcome that guilt because it’s not necessary.

When someone says to you “I’m sorry” or makes you feel shame for being a single mom, just take it stride. Many people out there still throw judgment, and criticism towards us for raising our babies on our own.  Don’t let their ignorance or lack of understanding make you feel like you’re doing something wrong or bad. You are so strong, brave and doing what is best. You are doing your job as a mom and you know what? You’re a superhero! Don’t let anyone take that truth away from you.

No matter what, your kids will hate you or disagree on how you chose to raise them. It’s normal. It’s harsh but totally true. At some point, your kid/s will hate you. Or at least, say they do. So when your bratty toddler or teenager is making you feel like scum but saying or doing hurtful things and you feel tempted to believe that you are a bad mom and that doing this alone is just not working…it’s OK. This happens to every mom every day. It’s not you, typically it’s them and they will get over it and someday thank you and appreciate all your hard efforts. So go get a massage from a hot shirtless masseuse and remember that this is a normal part of parenting. Don’t let their snotty little attitudes bring ya down.

You can only do the best you can and that is always good enough. To further drive this point home, you really can only do so much and that is always enough for your kiddo/s. Whether it seems that way or not, it really is.  As long as everyone is provided for, happy and loved, then that’s what’s most important. You can do that, so don’t worry. They’ll be fine. 🙂

Find your strength as a single mom and let it empower you! You can do it and you will. Ready to wear your super mom cape yet?

Have hope that it will all turn out to be alright. Just trust yourself. You were made to be a mother and your instincts and heart will guide you.  Take it one day at a time if you have to, believe me, I do!  Focus on getting through today and let tomorrow worry for itself. No need to stress over things that haven’t happened yet!

Don’t blame yourself or feel any guilt over being a single parent. Most of us did not choose it, and if you did then hey, more power to ya mama! You got this girl, No worries! 😉

single mom |

Keep your chin up beautiful!

Love Jess XO

The Sunshine Blogger Award!

Sunshine Blogger Award |

Hey hey mamas!

I’m so excited and honored to be a winner of the amazing Sunshine Blogger Award!
The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to bloggers by other bloggers who are creative, positive, and inspiring.

Sunshine Blogger Award |

All winners of the award must answers questions given to them by the blogger who nominated them, so here are my answers Gemma!

  1. What made you choose your topic in blogging? As a single mom, I find support a very difficult and almost non-existent thing. So I wanted to write about things other single moms could relate to as well as offering advice, tips and support directly from my own experiences.
    2. What motto do you live by? I don’t have one.
    3. What is the biggest challenge you had to overcome while starting your blog? Making the time for it. Being a single mom who homeschools and manages an online business finding the time to write content has been really hard, but now that I have no clients in my VA biz, I am finding more time to write which has been great.
    4. If you had the opportunity to interview anyone you like and feature them who would it be? Johnny Depp. Because he’s a true artist. He has so much creativity and passion and he’s such an incredible man. I’d love to just listen to him talk, tell stories and answer questions.
    5. Who is your favorite blogger? I don’t guess I have one because I don’t follow any haha.
    6. If given the opportunity to mentor a new blogger, what single piece of advice would you give them? Be uniquely yourself. Don’t try to copy anyone else, or be fake. Just be you and if people follow then they will follow.
    7. What is something interesting that most people don’t know about you? I am an obsessive T.V watcher! Every evening and into the wee hours of the morning I am in front of my T.V with snacks and tea, either watching the latest episode of my newest show obsession or binging an oldie but goodie that I’ve watched a million times before.  I love my shows!
    8. You have a chance to replay your childhood game/video game. What would it be? I never really played games growing up, I wasn’t that kind of kid. But if I have to pick something, I guess I’d say Pogs. Who remembers those!?
    9. Name a blogger you would love to collaborate with. I don’t know any 🙁
    10. What would you like to achieve by end of 2017? Successfully earning an income. Try as I might, money just doesn’t grow on any of my trees. Also, I have a goal of finishing the first draft of the personal novel I have been writing for the last 3 years.
    11. What would you like to tell your readers? That even though times may be tough, and you may feel alone in your journey that you are never alone. I am here to be your friend and I hope you subscribe to my blog so we can stay connected!

Again a huge thank you to Gemma Horlock for my nomination! You should check out Gemma’s blog here!

If you are a blogger and you’d like to be nominated by me to receive The Sunshine Blogger Award then subscribe to my blog by putting in your email in the little subscribe box up at the top of this page! (or if you’re on mobile just leave a comment and include your blog URL 😉 ) All the details and instructions, if you are chosen, will be emailed to you! The 11 nominees will be chosen on June 5th!

Bloggers unite! Thank you and love to all you mommas!
Jess XO