Raising Readers

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We’ve teamed up with IncrediBundles  to share our love for raising readers!  As a child I can honestly say, that I never had anyone sit down and encourage me to READ!  Reading has never been one of my favorite subjects, I was thankful enough that my high school had mandatory summer reading list, thank God for Cliff’s Notes (no judgment).  I’ve always known that I would make sure my kids loved reading and that I encouraged my little ones to become avid readers.  When we had our baby shower for Elle I remember asking for gently used books instead of cards so that I could start her library.  That was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, and it’s created reading monsters in the Harrell house!

Speaking of baby showers or gifts for babies in general, Incredibundles offers some pretty cool gift bundles for any occasion.  We were able to choose a bundle that best fit our family and since we’ve been collecting books for over 8 years, I decided to create a bundle for the kids.

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They offer a variety of bundles, anything from toys, books, diapers, bath products, and organic items.  My goal was to get as many new books as possible and I was able to throw in a teether and stacking cups for Axel.  I love that you can truly create cool custom gifts at any budget.  Free shipping is given for all bundles that are $49 or more so for me, it only makes since to start my budget at $50.   Check out all of the awesome bundles here .

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One thing I love about my mother in law is that she is a retired educator as well as an advocate of early childhood literature!  So of course she was thrilled when our new books from IncrediBundles arrived.

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Here are some tips that we feel are very necessary to help jump start your child to becoming reading machines:

  1. Start as early as in the womb.  Sing, read, talk to your baby!! This also helps with early language development.
  2. Make it a family endeavor, take time out for family reading together. 
  3. Utilize your public library, there are so many amazing toddler and preschool programs.  This is such a special trip for our kids with their Nana.  They also meet so many new friends at our local library. 
  4. Keep books available at a kids level! We like to keep them in the car, in baskets throughout the house and on their bookshelves.
  5. Utilize the art of story telling.  Talk about your childhood adventures, our kids get a kick out of this!  They always want to hear more stories of their Nana, Papa and Dad’s childhood memories.
  6. Talk to your child at dinner, yes TALK!! No distractions, ask open-ended questions and truly engage with them.

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Thanks to Incredibundles for allowing us to share our reading rediness tips!  Share the gift of reading with someone you love. Check out this awesome giveaway and enter to win by clicking the link below!

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Happy reading and until next time…

XO

Meka

 

 

 

#KidGoals with Gymboree

Summer’s officially OVER, and I don’t know about you but I feel like it really flew by.  I mean we are already wrapping up Elle’s first week of school.  I can hardly believe that Elle is in the 3rd grade.  This year Maveric will be off to Pre-K and since Jagger is 2, we are letting him attend preschool twice a week.  Although it’s only half days, I am all in my feelings about Jagger venturing off to school.  Yesterday, Jagger’s teachers came by to do a home visit and we discussed our goals for the year.  It really resonated with me how important it is to have attainable goals, not only with my self but with the kids as well.  .

 

We have been given the opportunity to partner with Gymboree and share our #KidGoals for the school year and Gymboree really came through with some cool gear just in time for back to school! Here’s a snap shot of a few of the pieces, each of the kids have their own style and especially since I have 3 boys, it’s so important to get durable staple pieces that will last and be able to pass down to the next “little bro”

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My little fashionista Elle, is all about the emjoi’s, currently her goals for 3rd grade are to knock those EOG’s out of the park! It’s funny we just started school and she’s already thinking about end of grade testing! My personal goal for Elle is to come out of her shell and show her secret talents of singing and dancing in  PUBLIC!  She’s awesome and we just want to support her dreams in anyway possible.

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Maveric is off to Pre-K and we are so excited for him,  if you’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting him, you know he’s a BALL of energy and one of his favorite places in to release energy is at the playground!  His goal for the school year is to play, eat lunch and go to music class!

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My personal goal for Maveric is to master his penmanship and continue to indulge in his love for music!  Music lessons are coming soon…. I love mixing classic looks with fun looks so pairing this cute monster button up with these awesome joggers just made sense!  He’s always running, jumping, and climbing so we need his clothes to be durable and functional.

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As I said earlier, Jagger is headed to preschool and we are thrilled!  Since he’s doing his  speech therapy he’s been having more phrases.  I am so proud of him so my personal goal for Jagger is to  meet new friends and use his words more.  We call him the professor because he’s so serious and extremely analytical.

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Boy moms know how much their boys loveeeeee trucks, so of course we went with the truck theme for Jagger.  My boys are absolutely obsessed with them, the joggers are so cute and I loved the yellow and blue details at the ankle.

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Last but obviously not least, was baby Axel.  He will still be home chilling with Mommy and Daddy so his goals are to stay cute and keep hitting milestones.  He’s rocking his awesome onsie because well he’s AWESOME! We are so excited about the school year and looking forward to all of the memories to be made.  And thanks to Gymboree our kids remain stylish!  What are your kid’s goals this year?  Cheers to a happy school year!!!

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Don’t forget to capture as many memories as possible! Stay tuned for a giveaway!!!

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Until next time….

XO,

Meka

Mommy Uniform

Mommy Uniform…. we all have them, weather it’s your favorite leggings paired with the perfect tee, your favorite workout gear that you wear when you’re not working out or it’s your favorite dress with your most comfy pair of flats.  Today I’m sharing my uniform for this weekend.

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A simple black dress paired with some cool kicks !  This bodycon is super comfy and what I love about it most, is that it’s easy access for nursing Axel! Snag one hereFullSizeRender (21)

I always love to wear a nice denim jacket or in this case a chambry because I am ALWAYS cold!  I found a similar version here  Some how I managed to pair an entire outfit from Forever 21… yes I still love finding pieces there regardless of my age.  Even the baseball cap and choker came from there.  Oh well I absolutely love cool caps, especially when you’re having a bad hair day!  In my case I just did a good conditioning last night and I didn’t want to put a lot of stress on my hair so I threw on a hat and pulled my hair through the strap.  Take your pick of cool satin baseball caps here 

FullSizeRender (25) Lastly a good mommy uniform has to have some cool kicks!  I was able to snag these for only $19.99 during a recent Reebok sale! Currently they are $39.97, still a good price in my eyes!  Check them out here

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My style is more about COMFORT! Weather I’m chasing after my boys, driving Elle to practice or hitting the road, this look will never let me down! Stay tuned for the next Mommy Uniform share.  What’s in your closet? Be sure to share you Uniform must haves below!  Until next time……

XO,

Meka

 

Cooking with Kids

*The following post is sponsored by KidStir, all opinions are my own*

This weekend the kids and I hung out at home for some much need “mommy rest”, however, we were able to have some fun thanks to Kidstir.  In case you’re not familiar with Kidstir, it’s a cool subscription box that sends kid friendly cooking utensils, as well as monthly recipes straight to your doorstep.  IMG_2681

Elle and Maveric were super excited, they scanned through the cookbook and agreed on making Watermelon Cucumber smoothies.

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I love that the recipes are so kid friendly and they really make it exciting for the kids.  Elle and Maveric really took pride in creating these smoothies without any help.  I was basically there to capture the memories and assist with the use of the Ninja.  First step was cutting 2 cups of water melon, Maveric of course was the first to volunteer to complete this task.

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Elle completed the second step of peeling and deseeding the cucumber.  This cute veggie peeler was a gift from kidstir and it’s so safe for them to use.  I couldn’t believe how easy it was for Elle to peel.

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After gathering all of the ingredients the kids were able to blend and taste!  The recipe took no more than 15 minutes and that’s with me taking pictures.

All in all the kids gave it 3 thumbs up!  I have to say I truly enjoyed watching them work together creating these smoothies.  I personally look forward to making the next item on our list.  Stay tuned for S’mores Shakes! IMG_2684

Be sure to snag a subscription box for your family, trust me you won’t be disappointed.  It’s totally worth the $15.95!  You can easily choose from 3 options: 1-5 kits: $15.95/kit,   6-9 kits: $14.50/kit or 10-12 kits: $12.95/kit.  Click the link below to get started.

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Until next time,

XO,

Meka

1 bag 4 kids

So I’m sure many of you read my last post about our staycation and as we all know at the time I took 3 out of the 4 kiddos, however this amazing bag from Birdlings can actually hold clothes for all 4 kids and myself for an over night staycation!  “How Sway? you might ask, well let me tell you below…..28

I currently have the grey weekender and I LOVE it!!! Seriously it sucks to have to pack 5 separate bags for myself and the kids.  This bag makes quick trips with a big family a total breeze.  23The weekender has three interior compartments, six interior mesh pockets a key clip, seven exterior pockets as well as a removable shoulder strap.   gweekender7 I don’t know how I managed to go this long without this bag.  We are going to visit family in Baltimore this weekend and we are totally packing this 1 bag for our clothes and possibly a smaller bag for shoes… hmmmm  *runs to the Birdling webpage*

51 I love the classic color combo with the leather and metal details.  I know without a doubt this bag will be a family favorite, the only thing it’s missing are wheels!

Here are some other bags that I am totally loving :

I’m crushing on the mini day tripper  for Elle I think she would absolutely love it especially during road trips to keep all of her art supplies, American girl dolls and snacks organized .  And the  day tripper for me would be perfect when we are flying with the kids to hold snacks and activities on the plane as well as road tripping or daily park trips.  So if you’re looking for an amazing quality bag  you’ve found it and it’s Harrell Approved.  Get used to seeing this weekender  because it will be in heavy rotation throughout the year and years to come.

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Until next time…..

XO,

Meka

 

*The following post was sponsored by Birdling Bags, all opinions were my own*

11 things I’m doing this summer

For the past week and a half I have been asking myself “What season is THIS?” We have literally gone from fall, to spring, summer sun and back to monsoon week just recently.   With all of this bipolar weather I haven’t even had a chance to think about the fact that my favorite season is right around the corner! _MG_1113

School is about to be out for SUMMER!!!!  Seriously in a matter of days we will be halfway through the year.  Time is moving by and this makes me want to hold on to as many memories as possible.  Just thinking about how fast my kids are growing makes me so emotional.  I want to share 11 things I’m doing with the crew this summer:

  1. Strawberry picking
  2. Enjoy a Staycation
  3. Visit the Zoo
  4. Sit on the porch and indulge in a fruit salad
  5. Enjoy a movie outdoors
  6. Take a trip to the beach
  7. Have dinner at the park
  8. Plant flowers
  9. Visit the farmers market
  10. Make your own lemonade
  11. Make tie-dye tees

Well this is my to do list this summer! What plans do you have for the family?  I try to set small goals and anything else is icing on the cake! In the mean time I’m enjoying these pictures to remind myself of how much I can not wait until summer is here!

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Until next time….

XO,

Meka

Let the Church say…..

Sunday I was on a mission to make it to church on time!  I haven’t been to church since having Axel so Saturday night I made up my mind that we were going to church in the morning.  I set my alarm clock so that I had enough time wake up, nurse Axel, do my hair, do Elle’s hair, get all 3 boys dressed, grab some breakfast on the go for the kiddos, hop in the car and make it to church ON TIME!  That was my goal Saturday night… fast forward to Sunday morning!

I woke up at 7:30 and drifted back to sleep some how then I woke up again at 9am, thanks to my back up “get yourself together so you can leave the house” alarm.  Church started at 10 and by the time I did everything I mentioned above it was 10:10.  Ummmm I’m not sure how that happened but I told the kid’s there was no point in going to church now because we would get there at 10:30 and that’s not cool.  But for some reason I decided to look on Instagram and there was my sign… Church didn’t start until 10:30!!!!!

Well needless to say Momma we MADE IT, on time and the kids enjoyed themselves.  See I almost gave up, but this time social media came through in our favor.  We even managed to have an impromptu photo sesh afterwards #winning. 18595415_10156050503858368_2679487757354792922_o

Well that was my Sunday summed up! How do you get your squad ready, out the door and on time?  Until next time…

Meka

My first YONI Steam

Hey Momtourage!

Friday I had the opportunity to experience a Yoni Steam, if you haven’t heard of this it’s pretty much a steam treatment for your vagina.  As a push gift, my husband purchased the steam at Ma’ati Spa you can learn more here .  I headed to the downtown location and was greeted by Martha, she was super sweet and welcoming.  IMG_8463

Things started off a little rocky, for some reason the spa had me down for a massage instead of the Yoni steam ( no sweat, a simple mix up) this actually gave me an opportunity to check out the herb garden where she picked the herbs for my steam.

I even spotted a few yoni eggs during the brief tour.  This was pretty cool, being able to see first hand the actual herbs being used in the process.  Once everything was set up she explained the process and offered me a rob as well as a blanket for the experience.

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The process was quit interesting, the most important thing about it is making sure you find your “sweet spot”  you have to remember just how sensitive our lady parts are so sitting right on the bench is not the best thing to do.  I recommend you slowly lowering yourself over the center of the bench to allow yourself to adjust if needed.  Once you’re comfortable you need to trap in the steam with the blankets for the next 30-45 mins.   This experience was very relaxing, I even did a live Instagram story during the process HA!

The steam has so many benefits such as cleansing, assisting with menstrual cycles, fertility, anxiety the list goes on and on!  Even though this seems to be a new trend, it’s actually been around for centuries.  I personally plan on getting another steam as well as trying some DIY techniques.  I would recommend you experiencing a spa service as well as trying a DIY steam which you can find on Pinterest.  Have you incorporated yoni steams into to your self care regiment?  If so what herbal blends do you use?  I’m thinking a quarterly steam will do my body good!  Until next time…

XO,

Meka

S.S.L Giveaway

Hey hey hey! We are excited to team up with the Greensboro Coliseum for a fun filled family night out.  We are giving away a family 4 pack to see Sesame Street Live, and we can’t wait to share the love.  IMG_1382

Our family LOVES Sesame Street so when I shared the news, the boys were thrilled.  Jagger was actually Elmo for Halloween and Elle’s 2nd birthday party was Elmo themed.  I know that Mother’s Day is only a few days away but hey we all know Momma’s love anything that will put a smile on their little ones face.  Be sure to enter here for your chance to win!

Spring Contest

If you don’t win, no worries just head here to purchase tickets for your family.  See you at the show!

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XO,

Meka

Bringing Home Baby

*The following post is a sponsored blog post with Dock A Tot, all opinions are my own*

As you all know we have been excepting the arrival of the newest member of our family.  It’s my pleasure to introduce our little guy Axel Roman.  After being induced and having a delivery au natural (which I plan on blogger about very soon) it’s great to be home with the rest of the kiddos adjusting to life.

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My goal for Axel is to nurse more, as well as pump once I head back to the workforce.  Currently Axel has been sleeping very well and I seriously want to thank Dock A Tot for helping with this transition.  Being a breastfeeding mommy of 4, it really helps to be able to safely co-sleep.

There are so many other great benefits of the Dock A Tot as well such as:

  • Lounging
  • Tummy Time
  • Bed Transitioning
  • Play Time
  • Diaper Changing

The safety features will surely win you over as well! Seriously, it’s 100% breathable, machine washable, hypo allergenic, harm and substance free, as well as having temperature control.  Not to mention safe for co-sleeping, I call this a total WIN!

We were able to get the Mrs. Mighetto  night cover, I am in love with this design as well as the hues of blue.  IMG_0952I think it’s a perfect unisex cover as well.  I’m looking forward to watching Axel enjoy his Dock A Tot over the next several months, more sleep for Axel and a peace of mind for me.

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Be sure to check out more items from this amazing brand such as the Dock A Tot Grand for ages 9 months – 36 months, from what I’ve read this one is great for bed transitioning!

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Until Next time…

XO,

Meka

What’s in my Hospital Bag

Welp it’s about that time to head to the hospital and go from Mom of 3 to FOUR!  I am so excited about meeting the newest member of the #HWTH crew.  I officially packed my hospital back no more than a week ago.   Yeah a WEEK ago, pretty crazy but hey, I’m having number 4 so I am pretty much going with the flow at this point.  I’m using my Timi & Leslie bag that I got when Maveric was born.  Four years later it’s still going strong and it holds a lot of stuff! It’s very spacious and it’s a classic bag who would even think this stylish bag was a diaper bag?!IMG_0875

Here’s what’s in my bag:

Comfy PJ’s are a must and I always choose a dark color so I decided to pack a leopard night top, with a black robe and black leggings that have a draw string just in case God forbids I  have a C-Section.

Slippers and flip-flops are needed because I refuse to take a shower bare foot in the hospital.  Some people don’t like to bring their house shoes to the hospital which is also why I pack my shoe garment bag and throw them in the washing machine as soon as I get home.

Dark colored undies because we all know why…. even though you get the mesh ones during your stay, who really wears them home?

Body Care items such as a towel, wash cloth, facial creams, tooth brush, soap, deodorant, lotions and body spray.  I absolutely must have lip balm, I know this sounds funny BUT the Deraye and Co lemon lip balm is a game changer your lips will thank you .  I love to feel as comfortable as possible while I’m at the hospital,  it helps me to relax and enjoy the time with my new baby.

Baby Items include an outfit for pictures, as well as a going home outfit, I packed the new Freshly Picked Crib Moccs in powder blue and I absolutely LOVE them!! I always pack a blanket to lay over the car seat as we depart and don’t forget to have someone bring the car seat when it’s time to leave.  Remember you DO NOT need diapers, you will receive plenty at the hospital so leave room in your bag to pack those items before you go.

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Electronic Items include your camera to capture memories, Iphone chargers, Ipad and it’s  charger to catch up on your favorite Netflix shows while you rest.  It’s so important for me to have my chargers because FaceTime is how my husband gets to see his new son enter this world.

Last but not least.. in my books anyway!  I ALWAYS pack a wallflower from Bath and Body Works.  I love to plug these  in as soon as I’m settled into my room after delivery.  I absolutely HATE going to the hospital so anything that can keep my mind free and that smells good is needed!

Well I am officially ready to meet the last member of our crew!  Praying for a healthy and stress free delivery of Axel Roman today!  Chat soon…

XO,

Meka

 

 

S is for Spring & Soccer

*The following post is a sponsored blog post with Nuby, all opinions are my own *

Yesterday we started a new adventure with the #HWTH crew, Maveric started soccer!  I can’t believe my little guy is about to be 4 and he’s already into sports.  Currently the kiddo’s are taking swimming lessons and now we have soccer and next week Elle is hitting the pavement and starting out with the running club.  With all of these extra curricular activities, it’s so important to stay hydrated and thanks to Nuby’s new Thirsty Kids water canteen we are doing just that!

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This canteen holds 12 oz of water which has been perfect during breaks.  I love that it’s easy to grip and that the spout stays clean when closed.  The silicone band makes it easy for little hands to grip as you can see above, and it’s BPA free.

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With this durable plastic we are surly going to make it through the entire season with this one.  Be sure to snag one for your active little person from Target . What are some of the activities that you have signed your little ones up to start this season?  IMG_0855

I’m not sure what it is about kids, and new cups but this one has received two thumbs up.  Thanks to our friends at Nuby for the cool new canteen.  Until next time….

XO,

Meka