Showing posts with label #NextGenerationSAHMBlog. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #NextGenerationSAHMBlog. Show all posts

Monday, April 17, 2017

My Baby Butterfly

My Baby Butterfly
Written By Renee Arbia

Last week we had a big thunder storm. Nothing that we are not used to, you see we live on the southern coast where we frequently get storms. There is the spring storm season, and hurricane season. The spring season is light rain and thunderstorms. In fact, I actually love this season. During storms, I love to open the window, and hear the rain on the porch. You hear it on the roof, on the chairs, and on the concrete. When the winds get heavy, I eventually have to shut the window, to keep the rain from getting in. 

We have been excited to get out more for family fun, now that Imogen is more alert. She has an excitement for life that is so amazing to watch. She loves to laugh and does so often. She is always smiling, so much so that we actually call her “smiles”. She adores her big brother, and Xavier adores her. I think my favorite thing in the world is watching them play together. They laugh at the same things. They love to be together, and they even get on each others nerves. They are buddies for life. I can already see them whispering and plotting together how to over throw us.

It is always challenging traveling with two kids. Trying to figure out who to strap in first, who to get out last, it can be confusing. Every time we go out it takes us a very long time to just “go”. Inevitably, someone still has to potty or a diaper needs to be changed, or it’s time to nurse again. We are just starting to get our time down and be able to take advantage of the beautiful weather and go on adventures outside. Imogen has such an amazing and infectious personality. She is incredibly rambunctious and does not like to sit still very long. She has figured out how to move and she apparently has places to go. Her Shakespearean name is very fitting to her seeing as “Though she be but little, she is fierce.” I have always known that she is a warrior. Her strength and determination inspire me.

We have received such a wonderful response from Imogen’s special Against All Odds. If you have not seen it yet here is the link. Against All Odds: An Inspiring Story of Hope and video

here is the link to Imogen’s Birth Story. Many of you have sent us amazing messages of love and light, and we could not be more thankful. This whole experience has been very amazing, and humbling to us. Imogen’s pregnancy was a big storm for our little family to go through. These past nine months with her in our arms every day, although tough and challenging, have only been a beautiful rainy season. We decided to do the news special for Turner Syndrome Awareness Month, it also aired on World Rare Disease Day. Turner Syndrome is part of the Rare Disease community.

When Imogen was diagnosed with Turner Syndrome I was only 18 weeks pregnant. We kept it a secret for many reasons, one of which was because I was afraid of labeling her, especially before she was even born. I could have used my blog platform to be an early advocate for Turner Syndrome, but I did not. When she was born we could not help ourselves from announcing our little miracle. In a time of negativity, sharing our story about our sweet miracle seemed the right thing to do. I wrote her birth story when I felt I had recovered my mom brain enough to write it. We then decided to do the news segment to help her future Turner Syndrome Community.

It is a hard decision when your child has special needs how to decide what to say. Do you stay quiet about your child’s diagnosis in hopes that they will blend in with the world? Or do you let them know all about their diagnosis and let it be a big part of who they are? Seems to me there are two very different decisions. I do not think either is right or wrong. I think each child is different, and their decision should be distinctly about them. We decided to tell because we feel we are advocating for her and being her voice. We are confident she wants to celebrate her birth. She wants to see and do so much, and she is such a strong personality, that we know that this little butterfly not only wants to find her other butterfly sisters, but she wants to help them out in any way she can so that they can have the most amazing journey together.

Butterflies have always been our family symbol of love. Every time we see a butterfly we are always saying it is a sign of love. When we learned of Imogen’s diagnosis and we searched Turner Syndrome, we immediately noticed that their symbol was a butterfly. We knew at that moment that we were blessed with a butterfly in our little family!

Since our story has been so public we have had the honor of meeting so many butterflies from right in our own town to even other countries. We really appreciate connecting with everyone and hearing your stories. We hope to be able to use our platform for the good and to help advocate for Turner Syndrome and the Rare Disease communities in any way we can. 

These past nine months with Imogen have taught us so many things but especially that the strong can weather the tougher elements and can see a more beautiful place.
We hope our story will inspire others to share their stories of love!

#TurnerSyndromeAwareness, #TSAwareness, #VIBImogen, #ShareLove, #Rare, #NextGenerationSAHMBlog

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Welcome 2017

Welcome 2017
Written by Renee Arbia

Xavier playing Legos with his cousin

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season. We had an awesome Yule and Christmas this year. We were excited to celebrate as a new family of four (See Imogen’s Birth Story) after the tumultuous year with Imogen’s pregnancy, and getting used to a newborn in the house. Imogen hit five months right in time for the holiday season. We had a parenting happy sweet spot that was best celebrated during the Christmas holiday. We were lucky to be able to have a lot of family visiting this year to see Imogen and get to know her better.

Xavier and Imogen had fun visiting with their cousins

I have to even admit Christmas is not my favorite holiday and sometimes I find it hard to get in the spirit. However, this year was really easy. Xavier is four now and loves everything to do with the holidays. He thoroughly enjoyed Christmas and showing Imogen everything there is to know about his favorite holiday. 

 We are excited for the New Year. We have a lot of fun changes in store, new things to do and learn about on the horizon. It is amazing to have my daughter finally here after so long. We are having lots of fun celebrating her. I love watching her and Xavier play together. She smiles and lights up whenever he is near. He simply adores her, and cannot stop smiling at her, or playing with her. I catch him making goofy faces at her, and she is laughing all the time. I have a hard time changing her diaper because he plays peek-a-boo behind me. She never naps, because the moment she hears or sees him she is awake and ready to play. It makes my body exhausted but my heart so very full. I have not written much lately because I have been soaking in my life. I love just breathing and watching my family. Since Imogen has been born even more people have reminded me that having two young children at home is a blessing and it is very short lived. I am making sure to soak up all the time I can with them.

I hope you got the New Year off to a good start. We look forward to bringing you more fun, inspiration, recipes, Green Living tips, product reviews, and tricks for your parenting life in the coming year! Follow us on all our social media channels to stay up to date!

Happy New Year!

#NextGenerationSAHMBlog, #inspiration, #2017newyear

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Transform Your Kitchen with Youcopia

Transform Your Kitchen with Youcopia
Written By Renee Arbia

Sponsored By: Youcopia
I wrote this post while participating in a campaign and received a gift to thank me for my time. All views and opinions with regard to the products or company itself are my own and were not influenced or reviewed by the company prior to posting. I am disclosing this according to the FTC guidelines.

It is the end of the year and we are cleaning out the old to make way for the new. I like to organize the kitchen in time for the holidays. It makes it much easier to cook and clean quickly, so we have more time with friends and family.

I really wanted to organize our kitchen cupboards. Now that I have a crawling and scooting four month old daughter and a happy to help four year old son I was able to get the cupboards organized and cleaned safely and quickly with the help of Youcopia.

Youcopia helps you simplify and enjoy your life with their line of home organizers that you can buy from Target. I decided to try out Youcopia’s new Store More Adjustable Lid Holder, Stora Stack for Drawers, and Spice Steps. They are great for organizing pot and pan lids, Tupperware and your herbs and spices.

I started organizing our spice cupboard.

The spice cupboard BEFORE Youcopia Spice Steps

I love how the YoucopiaSpice Steps are easy to use with no mounting or installation. The Youcopia Spice Steps lets you maximize space with four tiers instead of the standard three tiers. 

I also like that it comes with 48 pre-printed labels and 48 blank labels that allow you to label the bottle caps with the included stickers to quickly find your spices. 

The Spice Steps holds 24 standard size spice bottles. It also works great in your pantry for cans, jars and baby food.

The spice cupboard AFTER the Youcopia Spice Steps

The Tupperware cupboard BEFORE Youcopia Stora Stack.

The second cupboard I decided to organize was the Tupperware cupboard. It is always so hard to store containers and lids. I can never store them and still make them easy to find quickly when you need them. 

I was impressed with the Youcopia Stora Stack for Drawers. This also required no permanent mounting or installation. It even expands to lock into standard kitchen drawers. I do not have my Tupperware in drawers we keep it in the cupboard, but I was still able to organize with the Youcopia Stora Stack forDrawers by using it in the bottom of the cupboard. I stored the matching sets on the Stora Stack and the rest behind it. 

The Stora Stack comes with two clip dispensers that can be positioned as needed to hold two container stacks in place. The individual slots keep the matching lids upright so everything stays tidy and easy to find. You can organize twelve plastic food containers from top grocery brands on the YouCopia StoraStack

The Tupperware cupboard AFTER Youcopia Stora Stack.

The pot and pan cupboard BEFORE Youcopia Lid Holder.

The last cupboard I organized was the hardest and turned out the best in my opinion. I never can find a good way to store pot and pan lids. They take up so much room and finding the lid you need in a hurry was always hard to do. I love the Youcopia Store More Adjustable Lid Holder. It was so simple to use with no mounting or installation. It saves a lot of cupboard space by storing your lids vertically. It comes with seven coated steel secure wire dividers with a U shape to accommodate different types of lid handles. 

They are easy to use and divide up according to how your pan lids fit. I found it so easy to use and I can even store the extra large lids behind it! 

The pot and pan lid cupboard AFTER Youcopia Lid Holder!

I really love how all of the kitchen cupboards turned out. It is easy to find things quickly, and it has made things go much more smoothly in the kitchen. I really enjoy organizing and home improvement projects. I was very satisfied with the sophistication, durability and how easy the Youcopia products are to use.

Youcopia definitely helped me simplify my life by helping me keep my kitchen organized so this holiday season I can spend more time with our friends and family, and focus on what really matters.

You can purchase the Youcopia products at your local TargetStore to find out more visit or

Enter to win our Youcopia Product Giveaway!
Please note that the giveaway will end on the 21st of December. Full terms and conditions can be read, it is open to USA residents only. The prize is a product of choice from the Youcopia range for a value of $40.00

Win a YouCopia product of your choice #9

#Youcopia, #review, #sponsored, #NextGenerationSAHMBlog, #homeorganization, #kitchenorganization, #ad, #Target, #TargetHome

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

A Room for Imogen

A Room for Imogen
Written By Renee Arbia

Story Book Ad Campaign Sponsors:
I wrote this post while participating in a campaign and received a gift to thank me for my time. All views and opinions with regard to the products or company itself are my own and were not influenced or reviewed by the company prior to posting. I am disclosing this according to the FTC guidelines.

Our sweet girl is now four months old. She is growing up so fast already. She rolls from side to side and can even scoot herself on her back. She loves being around her family and she adores her big brother. At four months Imogen still sleeps in a number of different places and positions. We decided it was time to get her room finished so that we can start to get her to nap in her crib during the day.

We only cleaned out her room when I was pregnant with her. We were too afraid to get her room ready for her when her arrival was so unclear. (Read Imogen’s Birth Story) Now that she is here and very strong and healthy we decided it was time to give Imogen a place of her own. Rather than doing a set theme with matching curtains, crib and d├ęcor I instead decided to just have an overall idea and make her room more of a vintage nursery. I had a lot of items from when I was little, like pictures and blankets so it made it very personal and much more unique.

We ended up with a sort of vintage butterfly garden theme. I pretty much tried to keep a color palette for everything as well as anything you would see in a garden. (Ok maybe not the ballet slipper painting, but that is a special picture that used to be mine so it was more sentimental).

I really like the decorative wall hooks we got for her. They come in blue, yellow and pink and are screws. You stick them to the wall and screw them in. It was so easy Xavier was able to screw them in and they are super strong hooks that do not damage the wall.

I also had to have blackout curtains for Imogen’s room. I love the soft, silky texture of these Luxury Home Blackout Curtains.

All the baby toys were easy to store in the adorable and durable Jute Storage Bins by Ziggy Baby. I like these bins because they look like burlap, but are not, and are easier to clean. They also say “Toys” on one side and “Storage” on the other. We used them for Imogen’s toys. They are really big and hold a lot of toys. 

Imogen is extremely sensitive to smells and for a while we were debating about painting her room. We decided against it as it is winter time and it would be too hard to air the room out. Instead we decided to get flower and butterfly decals to spread around the walls of her room. We used 3D decals of butterflies and flat decals. Of course, this was Xavier’s favorite part of decorating Imogen’s room.

We think it turned out beautiful and Imogen loves it. It is nice for her to have her own space and we enjoy showing her all the love we put into her room. We hope she enjoys it for years to come!

#Storybookadcampaign, #sponsored, #NextGenerationSAHMBlog, #Imogen, #butterflygardennursery, #vintagenursery, #vintagebutterflygardennursery, #turnersyndrome, #specialneeds, #review, #adcampaign, #decorativewallhooks, #ziggybaby, #jutestoragebins, #LuxuryHomesBlackout, #blackoutcurtains


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