Christmas cards in one click with PhotoMania

Christmas cards with PhotoMania | neveralonemom.com

Hey mamas! I hope you’re all having a wonderful Holiday season! This week I wanted to bring to you all the classic joy and memories of Christmas cards  and the easiest and best way to create this  years   Christmas cards  in one click with PhotoMania!

Christmas cards with PhotoMania | neveralonemom.com

As single moms, we don’t always have the time to do things such as send out cards, whether they be via snail mail or online. Also, the cost of having professional pictures taken to cards created is just too much for our tiny single mom wallets. Well, this will all change for you! I am excited to show you how amazing your Christmas cards will look using a simple click! With PhotoMania , you get to choose the effects, backgrounds, and fun editing of your own photos! Just choose your favorite photo of your little ones or whatever you think will make the best card and upload the photo to their site. It’s fast, easy, fun and FREE! 

To make it even better, PhotoMania has an app and a Chrome extension so you can add some personality to your favorite photos any time you want! Once you’ve created your Christmas card masterpiece, just save it to your phone or computer and send it out to all your friends and family! Booyah! 

Christmas photos with PhotoMania | neveralonemom.com

So what are you waiting for? Go right on over to PhotoMania  right now and start creating!  Have fun! Don’t forget to share and subscribe to my single mom tribe!

May your Holidays be wonderful!

Love, Jess XO

This post was proudly sponsored by PhotoMania 

 

 

The Ultimate Kids Gift Guide

The Ultimate gift guide for kids | neveralonemom.com

Ho Ho Ho!

It’s nearing that special time of year when we moms shop for the perfect gifts for our kids and I am here to make this year a heck of a lot easier! I am gifting you with the ultimate kid’s gift guide! Merry Christmas mamas!

My guide has everything from babies to teens, toys, clothes, games, books and more! Just shop on through the post, everything is below! Some things will be in shoppable guides directly from the shops or links to specific items will be included as well. Ready? Let’s dive right in!

This post may contain affiliate links*

Toy Guide 

Here is one of the best places to shop for toys this year! Shop their site to find deals on the best of this year’s hottest toys!

Hasbro Toys

Hasbro Toys | neveralonemom.com

Clothes

If you’re looking for the cutest, & trendiest clothes that are great quality for amazing prices then you need to shop Pat-Pat! Right now that are having sales up sales upon sales! Check out their clearance section for up to 90% off and more fabulous deals! Take an extra 15% off your order when you use code XMASPAT  at checkout! Shop all the latest kids fashions here!

They also are offering up to  65% off matching Christmas outfits for the family! Shop the looks here!

Pat-Pat Christmas | neveralonemom.com

Kids Christmas gift guide | neveralonemom.com

Creative Gifts

If you’re looking for something more on the creative, unique and original side,  check out these eco-friendly subscriptions boxes that your kids are sure to love! Each box comes with fun science or art crafts that use only eco-friendly ingredients.  Gift your kid’s something extra special this year with a gift that will keep on giving! Green Kid Crafts

Green Kid Crafts | neveralonemom.com

For more ideas on creative and original gifts shop books, educational games and so much more with the gift guide from Educents!

Some of my favorite items are this adorable scented cupcake pillow!

scented cupcake pillow | neveralonemom.com

And this learn to code with Minecraft game!

Minecraft | neveralonemom.com

The Best From Highlights

Do you remember Highlights? I used to love the scented stickers and fun activity books that would come in the mail when I was a kid. Well, they are still around and better than ever! This year, gift your little ones with the fun, adventure, and learning that comes from one of the best and most loved kids subscription! Right now try Highlights club FREE through 12/16! click here!

Highlights | neveralonemom.com

You can also shop their stocking stuffers and other gifts under $10! Shop here!

Personal Picks!

Here is my list of personal picks that I think your kids would love! Scroll through to find the best that I have personally chosen just for you!

 

This Lego Space Shuttle Explorer is a hot buy for the young boy in your life! Find it here!

Zoomer- Interactive show pony is the perfect gift for any girl! A must buy! Grab her here!

Who doesn’t love dancing baby Groot? Get Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy dancing Groot at a great price here!

This adorable LeapFrog stack & tumble elephant is perfect for the littlest of your wee ones!

And if you are a Target lover, you will be ecstatic to know that when you shop online you will get free shipping returns now through 12/23! Shop the best deals at Target here!

Target | neveralonemom.com

Well, that’s my guide! I hope you have found the perfect gifts for your kids and saved some $!

If you need more gift options then please check out my last minuete gifts post from last year for more super awesome gifts that are sure to go over big! Click here to check it out!

Also, don’t forget to comment, share and subscribe!

May all you mamas have a beautiful bright and very merry Christmas!

Love, Jess XO

 

Single Mom Instagram Accounts You Need To Be Following

single mom Instagram accounts you need to be following | neveralonemom.com

Hey mamas!

So this week on the blog I wanted to give shoutouts to my top single mom Instagram accounts that I think you need to be following! These ladies are rockstars and as my main goal for my blog is to bring you all support, advice, and fun  I thought this would be a great way to share some of the places I find this for myself. So without further ado…

single mom Instagram accounts | neveralonemom.com

@daisharenee_blogs

This chick is a pretty awesome single mama who blogs and rocks it as a mompreneur. I love the simplicity and everyday aspect of her content, there is just something so refreshing about her account. Plus she has a really amazing blog! Give her a follow by clicking here

@single.mom.life

Ok now, this is probably one of the best single mom-centered online accounts I have yet to come across! There is no lack of realism, support or faith to be found on single.mom.life. I absolutely love the content shared here and a huge bonus is the mama behind it has her own radio show! You will fall in love with this account, to follow go here 

@esilejoy

This beautiful mama has a really fun account and I love her content! She’s a gamer and single mom who co-hosts her own gaming show and shares some really great stuff! I only just discovered her and am super impressed! she’s a must follow for sure! Find her here

@peacefulangstymama

This single mom has an anxiety and personal strength centered account which I adore! This mom of 2 motivates and inspires others who may be struggling in areas of anxiousness and her content is just so fantastic! I highly suggest giving her a follow! Follow along with Jennifer here

@angelathomasphoto

Last but certainly not least is Angela, who is her own words is an “all around badass” She is a photographer, single mom and more and she totally rocks it! I have loved looking through her content and am thrilled to see such an incredible single mom thriving! Her young, fun and hip account is sure to brighten up your day! Give this mama a follow here

Oh, but wait! Don’t forget me!

@JesseJaneVA10

If you are not already following me on Instagram, then what are you waiting for? Give me a follow and show your support to me and all these other totally tubular mamas! You can find me here

Thank you so much, I hope you love all the new content in your Instagram feed!

Until next time,

Love Jess, XO

 

Alternative Halloween Activities

Alternative Halloween activities | neveralonemom.com

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.

This post may contain an affiliate link. *

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 http://www.feedspot.com! 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 | neveralonemom.com

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 | neveralonemom.com

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 | neveralonemom.com

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 | neveralonemom.com

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 | neveralonemom.com

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 | neveralonemom.com

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 | neveralonemom.com

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.

 

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.

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 BetterHelp.com for information.

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. Much love & warmth…

Jess XO