Mom Talk: Balancing Career with Family Life

As mothers, our number one priority is our children. Yet, our careers require much of our time and attention. Both are very important. Here are our strategies for balancing career with family life:

Samantha

I work from home. So, I’m on the computer several hours a day while Josie is around. Needless to say, she doesn’t like the competition for mom’s attention. Not to mention it’s insulting that she can’t play with mom’s toy! It took a while to figure out how to juggle working from home and being an engaged mom.

At first, I tried to get all my work done in the mornings. That way I could play with baby girl all afternoon. Good strategy, right? Well, after I would push her away and ignore her to finish my work all morning long, she was grumpy and frustrated with me. I finally decided I would work strictly while she was sleeping. This meant before she woke up in the morning, during her naps and usually a little after she went to bed. This worked wonders in building our relationship back up. It was tough to resist enjoying some much needed “me time” during those quiet hours. But, I guess being a mom is about sacrifice.

Josie is becoming more independent now, and I’m able to work a little while she plays next to me. It’s been a challenge to learn to work from home. But it has been so worth the effort! As she grows to each new stage, I’ll just keep adjusting to find whatever works best for all of us.

Audrey:

Balancing family and career has been high on my radar for the past thirteen years. (That went fast!)

My career is a huge part of my life, and was there long before babies arrived. It has always occupied a good chunk of my attention, both on and off-duty. I love what I do, love the products we create, love the people I work with and the customers we serve.

But my children. They are pieces of *me*. Always on my mind, in my heart, always needy. They always will be. When I look to the future, it’s my family I see. I love them with every part of my soul.

So how do I balance? It’s more complicated than I’d like it to be. When school is in session, it’s fairly easy to compartmentalize my days. They go to school, and I go to work. When they get home, I am home. When school is out, I am home (I’m fortunate to be able to do much of my work from home when the need arises). This is a double-edged sword, however. Some days it is difficult to be able to focus entirely on one or the other, and my attention bounces back and forth. Some days I am able to keep firm boundaries on what absolutely must be accomplished, and we get it all done. I love those days!

Mostly, as time goes by I’m finding that it’s crucial to simplify: to choose to participate in fewer activities (only the most important ones!), to make time for looking my kiddos in the eye and really listening to what they have to share, to focus on here and now and let the rest go.

With that, here is my quick and dirty list of tips for balancing family and career:

1-know what’s most important
2-keep a schedule
3-make lists
4-focus on being present
5-allow for margin
6-don’t over-commit
7-be okay with less than perfection

Fresh ideas are always welcome! What are your strategies for balancing career and family life?

Paradise Sugar Cookies Recipe

Paradise Sugar Cookie Recipes

We made these delightful cookies for our Vintage Inspired Christening Party, and have to share: they are THAT good. The cookie is more like a melt-in-your-mouth shortbread than a traditional soft sugar cookie, and it is over-the-top delicious with the fluffy frosting. The recipe was found on this cooking blog via Pinterest, it’s touted as a copycat mish-mash of Paradise Bakery’s cookie and Magnolia Bakery’s buttercream frosting. Props to the unknown original creator, as it is downright yummy!

Paradise Sugar Cookies Recipe  | Ingredients

Paradise Sugar Cookies Recipe | Make the Dough

Paradise Sugar Cookies Recipe | How to Bake

Paradise Sugar Cookies Recipe  | Frosting

Cookie Ingredients:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 cups vegetable shortening
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3 1/3 cups cake flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 6 to 8 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cookie Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 375°.
2) In a medium bowl, cream together the sugars and shortening using an electric mixer.
3) Mix on slow speed 30 seconds, then scrape down the bowl with a spatula.
4) Increase speed to medium and mix for 3 minutes.
5) Slowly add vanilla and beaten egg while mixing.
6) In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the mixing bowl, mixing on slow speed until just blended. Do not overmix.
7) Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator to chill for a few minutes (if you’re going to roll it out to cut into shapes, chill for at least two hours).
8) Scoop dough with an ice-cream scoop, roll with your hands into uniform balls.
9) Place directly on cookie sheet.
10) Bake at 375° for 9-10 minutes. Cookies are done when small cracks appear and are pale golden. Ideally, the edges do not brown.

Frosting Directions:

1) Place the butter in a large mixing bowl.
2) Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk and vanilla.
3) On medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3 to 5 minutes.
4) Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency. (You may not need to add all of the sugar.)
5) If desired, add a few drops of food coloring and mix thoroughly.
6) Use and store the icing at room temperature because it will set if chilled. Icing can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Paradise Sugar Cookies Recipe

Fall Christening Ideas: Food and Decorations (Pinterest Roundup)

Christening Food | Cookies {Check out our Vintage Christening Party post for some fun fall Christening ideas from One Small Child!}

We love fall Christenings! There are so many fun décor options and delicious fall foods. Gorgeous gourds and plump pumpkins. Warm apple cider and rich spiced cakes. …Who wouldn’t want an autumn event? Let us help you plan your perfect party with a Pinterest roundup of some great fall Christening ideas for food and decorations. (Are you following us on Pinterest?) Check out our ‘Fall Christenings’ pin board for more awesome ideas!

Fall Christening Ideas: Décor

Fall-Christening-Ideas from www.OneSmallChild.com

{This green fall tablescape is so refreshing! Find the inspiration at the White Buffalo Styling Co.}

Fall-Christening-Ideas from www.OneSmallChild.com

{White fall Christening décor is super chic! We found this on The Sweetest Occasion.}

Fall-Christening-Ideas from www.OneSmallChild.com

{We adore these modern, simple place cards! A fun do-it-yourself idea from One To Wed.}

Fall-Christening-Ideas from www.OneSmallChild.com

{We love these gorgeous gourds for table scapes and other event décor-from Better Homes and Gardens. | Try gold-leafing mini pumpkins for a fun, modern place card. Check out this tutorial on Cupcakes and Cashmere.}

Fall Christening Ideas: Food

Fall-Christening-Ideas from www.OneSmallChild.com

{These look delicious! Salted Caramel Cupcakes from My Baking Addiction and Caramel Apples with a twist from Country Living.}

Fall-Christening-Ideas from www.OneSmallChild.com

{A chili bar is a great option for a simple event meal. See her entire fall party at Kara’s Party Ideas. | Serve a scrumptious moist pumpkin roll! A classic fall dessert. We found this one at Gimme Some Oven.}

Fall-Christening-Ideas from www.OneSmallChild.com

{We love the idea of caramel squares and caramel popcorn at a Christening event. Simple and tasty! Also from The Sweetest Occasion.}

Fall-Christening-Ideas from www.OneSmallChild.com

{Hot Spiced Cider from About.com.}

Interested in Fall Christening Ideas? Check out this post for more!

Baby Shower Gifts: Peek a Boo Rainbow Book and Blanket Gift Tote Giveaway

Baby Shower Gifts Giveaway

{Perfect Baby Shower Gifts}

Our brand-new book and blanket gift totes make awesome baby shower gifts! Each includes a darling baby book, a beautiful knit blanket, and a personalized gift tote to pull it all together. We love these new products, and we’re excited to send one Peek-a-Boo Rainbow Book and Blanket Gift Tote (a $75 value) to the lucky winner of our September Giveaway!

{How to Enter this Giveaway}

It’s EASY to enter! Just leave your name and email address in the form below. Giveaway ends Tuesday, September 30 at 11:59 pm mountain time. You can earn additional entries by:

-following @onesmallchild on Instagram: comment on this post with your username
-sharing our giveaway on Instagram: #oscsepgiveaway
-following us on Pinterest: comment on this post with your username
-liking us on Facebook: comment on this post with your username
-following us on Google+: comment on this post with your username

{Giveaway terms and conditions}

Personalized Baby Gifts: Book and Blanket Gift Totes

Personalized Baby Gift Sets

{We love these personalized baby gifts! The Hello Hedgehog Book and Blanket Gift Tote and Hugs All Day Book and Blanket Gift Tote are sure to bring baby hours of delight!}

Personalized Baby Gifts

{Peek-a-Boo Rainbow Book and Blanket Gift Tote | Fingers and Toes Book and Blanket Gift Tote}

Searching for a unique gift for your best friend’s baby shower? Not sure what to get baby for his birthday or Christmas? Jazz your gifting up a bit with our personalized baby gifts! These book and blanket gift totes are fun gifts for any occasion. Each set includes a muslin tote embroidered with baby’s name, a soft and cuddly blanket and an entertaining book that’s just right for baby’s growing mind. Choose from five book sets. Each offers baby an entertaining learning experience. Both baby and mom will love to snuggle up and learn anywhere with these fun personalized baby gifts!

Personalized Baby Gifts

{Looking for a Christening or Baptism gift for baby? Our My Bible Book and Blanket Gift Tote is a fun way to increase baby’s faith.}

Find more personalized baby gifts here!

Vintage Inspired Christening Party

Vintage Inspired Christening Party

Join us for a vintage inspired christening party! All you need is a sweet baby girl (dressed in our darling eyelet Everleigh Eyelet Dress), a fun location, and some yummy food. We shopped our homes to pull together this eclectic little event: a unifying color scheme made it easy to create a vintage vibe that really rocked when we added a few modern elements.

Baby Leather Ballet Moccasins

First, we added dainty lace ties to our new baby Leather Ballet Moccasins. We love the options this idea gives you: it’s so easy to change out the lace for ribbon to create a whole new look to go with any outfit!

Everleigh Eyelet Dresses

The moccasins come with this darling little leather headband. LOVE!

Family Christening Photography

Christening Party Ideas

Custom Party Lights

We found this Paper Pyramid Light Garland made by The Society of National Industry on Etsy, and cannot get over how awesome it is! It would be easy to incorporate these sweet lights in any decor setting.

Babies Breath Wreath | Baptism Party Ideas

Baby’s Breath Wreath tutorial coming soon!

After Christening Parties | Decorating Ideas

Bird Muslin Favor Bags

For favors, we filled these precious bird muslin bags (from Yellow Flower Designs on Etsy) with to-die-for sugar cookies (recipe here).

Bird Favor Bags | Baptism Party Ideas

Christening Invitations

Elegant christening invitations by Biplane Press on Etsy.

Christening Food | Cookies

Christening Party Table Setting

Painted Feather Napkin Rings

Check back soon for a tutorial on how to paint these feathers…seriously so easy, and adorable!

Baptism Table Setting

Bird Favor Bags

Crepe Cake

Okay, this crepe cake? Was A.MA.ZING. Click here for the recipe. We simplified a little by using prepared Bavarian Cream Pastry Filling instead of homemade…loved every bite!

Baptism Party Food Ideas

Family-Christening-Photos-5983

Everleigh-Eyelet-Dresses

Rose Pearl Bracelet

One last little detail: this Rose Pearl Bracelet is just too pretty, a sweet finishing touch for any baby girl!

{Photography by Heather & Kayla of Paisley Studios}

Christening Gown Collections: Lillian

Lillian Christening Gown Collections

{Lillian | Christening Gown Collections from One Small Child}

Looking for a coordinated look for your little princess’ special day? We’ve got you covered! Our christening gown collections include the gown and all the matching accessories. That makes event shopping a breeze!

Our Lillian gown is a beautiful heirloom-length gown. Made from exquisite embroidered netting, this lace is absolutely stunning! Satin ribbons tie in back. Have the slip embroidered for a personal touch! The Lillian gown includes a cotton slip, lace headband and lace shawl. We know she’ll look breathtaking in our Lillian Collection!

To complete the collection: add our Camisole Bodysuit for a comfy layer between the gown and baby’s delicate skin. The Lace Bow Headband matches the Lillian gown flawlessly. Finish with our Lillian Lace Slippers and Lillian Lace Blanket for a head-to-toe look.

Monogrammed Boy’s Christening Outfit: James

James-monogrammed-boy's-Christening-Outfit_4765

{James Christening Outfit}

Looking for something that will make your little gentleman’s outfit stand out? In search of something unique and special? Take a look at this monogrammed boy’s Christening outfit! The James is a fun mock-overall style romper. A simple braid trim and covered button details are masculine accents. Made from a rugged shantung fabric that is machine washable. Our James outfit includes a sporty visor-beret hat. Add personalization to the chest of the romper, or the visor of the beret (or both)! Choose from baby’s name, monogram or single initial. We love the personal touch this adds to a special event outfit. Your little tiger is sure to cherish his special outfit for a lifetime!

Complete the James outfit with our sleeveless bodysuittriple roll socks and satin oxford shoes. Want more personalization? Add a simple silver name bracelet to his outfit!

See another monogrammed boy’s Christening outfit here.

Christening Gowns & Outfits: Pre-Labor Day Sale

Christening Gowns & Outfits SALE

{Christening Gowns & Outfits Sale}

Labor Day marks the end of summer, and we’re celebrating one last hurrah with a Pre-Labor Day Sale: take 20% off any of our christening gowns and outfits this week only! Don’t miss out on this rare opportunity to save on gorgeous outfits for your baby’s baptism or blessing…it will be a thing of the past after August 30!

Baby Moccasins: August Giveaway {Closed}

Baby Moccasin Giveaway | One Small Child

It’s time for our August Giveaway, and we have something really fun for you: two pairs of the cutest ballet baby moccasins ever! Keep reading to find out how to enter…

{Leather Ballet Baby Moccasins}

These darling baby moccasins are brand new on our site, and trust us, you definitely want a pair (or three) for your baby girl! The classic ballet flat design is feminine to the core, and a petite bow finishes these adorable girls baby shoes to perfection. Made from oh-so-soft leather, they’re heaven for baby’s tender tootsies, conforming to the shape of her foot for comfortable walking: no more teetering-baby-trying-to-walk-in-clunky-shoes going on here!

Accessorize her special occasion dress, or wear them every day: our moccs hold up well to daily use. You can add her initial to the sole of one shoe for a fun, personal touch. Snag a pair in each of our five colors to match all her outfits!

Ballet-Baby-Moccasins

{We love how versatile our Ballet Baby Moccasins are! Try this fun variation: add a ribbon or lace tie for a whole new look!}

Bonus: these baby moccasins come with a complimentary matching headband. The perfect little leather bow sits atop a thin elastic band. Now her look is effortlessly complete!

Leather Baby Headbands | Baby Moccasins at One Small Child

{How to Enter this Giveaway}

It’s EASY to enter! Just leave your name and email address in the form below. Giveaway ends Friday, August 29 at 11:59 pm mountain time. You can earn additional entries by:

-following @onesmallchild on Instagram: comment on this post with your username
-sharing our giveaway on Instagram: #oscaugustgiveaway
-following us on Pinterest: comment on this post with your username
-liking us on Facebook: comment on this post with your username
-following us on Google+: comment on this post with your username

{Giveaway terms and conditions}

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