all posts

The Modern Homemaker

home·mak·er/ˈhō(m)ˌmākər/Noun1. a person who spends their time looking after a home and doing housework rather than being employed outside the home (typically applied to a woman). Many years ago, I started this blog. Originally it was called “Lets Gab About It”, but after we purchased our first home, had our first baby, and had DIY…

Flying With Kids

“My hope is that by being prepared and knowing what to expect, that you can enjoy traveling with your kids as much as we do.”

Seasons

“..it will be year that we simply catch our breath. An exhale. A pause. A slow down before the loops and turns of the quickly coming teenage years.”

GUEST POST: Hezekiah’s Birth Story

Written by: Martin & Danielle Miranda First I’d like to start by sharing a little background information that will hopefully help you understand the full story. About halfway through my pregnancy, I made the decision to switch from an OB/hospital birth to a midwife/birthing center birth. I could go into detail as to why but…

Theodore’s Birth Story

On Monday the 15th I went to a routine check up. The midwife checked me and determined I was almost 3cm dilated and did a sweep to nudge things along. That night I woke around 1:30am to signs that early labor was beginning. Contractions soon began and were notable and strong enough to keep me…

Mindless.

Today is the last day of the decade. It’s also the last day Friends is streaming on Netflix. (Stay with me, I’m going somewhere with this…). A few nights ago I was up in the middle of the night, nursing my one year old. As I rocked him quietly in his dark room, I was…

Stolen Saturdays

This past Sunday I ran a marathon. It was a super big deal and I’m so very proud of it. After the race, we went out to lunch to celebrate. We joked about how I had to run 26.2 miles to get five hours to myself. We laughed because it’s funny, but also because it’s…

Diastasis Recti 

As I recover from the pregnancy and delivery of my third (adorable) child, I find the process slow but sure. Each time it seems to take a little bit longer, but I’m certain there is a new normal in sight. I love that I get to share this phase with many friends and fellow mothers…

Xander’s Birth Story

Throughout my pregnancy, my midwife kept telling me the third baby was the curveball; I’m pretty sure she reminded me of this at every single appointment. With this information, on top of the note that it had been my easiest pregnancy (after two already relatively easy pregnancies- I’ve been so lucky!), I made the assumption…

I’ve been writing this post for over a year.

After lots of consideration and even more prayer, I’ve made the sad decision to walk away from The Modern Homemaker and leave it on a shelf. I cannot speak to whether or not it will be forever. I honestly have no idea. What I do know is that for the past year+ I’ve found myself…

Budget Friendly Getaway

Disclaimer: I am not paid or endorsed by any of the websites I mention in this post. However, if you use any of the links below to sign up for AND book with them, we do get a credit on our accounts for the next time we travel (and on some of them, so do…

Wild + One

All the sweet details of our wild little guy’s first birthday party. Looking for some inspiration for a girly first birthday party? I’ve totally been reminiscing on E’s first birthday. Check it out!

For My Son

There’s something you should know… I always knew I’d have at least one little girl; when your sister was born, that desire was fulfilled and I thought I was ready for you. What I did not know, though, was that even after your sister rocked my world and made me a mom, you too would…

Sweet Daughter

Your eyes sparkle when you smile. Your nose wrinkles when you laugh, just like your mom. You are stubborn and steadfast and determined. You’re smart as whip and your memory is remarkable. You like to think that you’re wild (daddy says you’re as wild as a dodge caravan ☺️). You enjoy the sweet, simple things…

I Wouldn’t Call It Bliss, But I’d Call It Real

Here’s a fun fact for you: I haven’t written a single blog post specifically about marriage since I was engaged, and for one simple reason: I feel I am highly UNqualified to speak on it. David and I just celebrated five years of marriage. Though it may be a small milestone in the grand scheme…

Toddler Room

Once it was time for little man to take over the nursery, our sweet girl got to graduate to her toddler room; so, we packed up our guest room, sold the furnishings, put some fresh paint on the walls, and created a special space for our big girl. *insert tears* E is feisty but she…

Apple Pie Red Eye

Food recipe? Check. Drink recipe? Coming right up. Every year I make the same two “punches” in spiked and non-alcohol versions, along with some other basics to round out the beverage selection. Making a few of the same things every year makes it easy for me to get the recipes right (rather than experiment and…

Spicy Cranberry Meatballs

Every year my husband and I host a Christmas party for our neighbors, family and friends. I try to mix up the menu a little bit each year, but also stick to a few staples that our guests have come to expect year to year. Lucky you: I’m going to share TWO of my recipes…

Little Man’s Nursery

I was very intentional when choosing paint and furniture for our first nursery, as I knew we wanted to have multiple children, and I didn’t want to break the bank in order to change the theme every time we had a baby. When E moved to her toddler room, I was left with gray walls…

Airplane Mobile

More apologies. I know, I know. I swear I’m going to start taking pictures of my projects WHILE I’m doing them. Probably. So THIS project was fun. It adds just the perfect amount of whim and handmade charm to the nursery; I find myself staring at it regularly as it twists and turns when I…

DIY Wall Art

First, let me apologize. I should have taken way more photos when I was making these, and I just didn’t. My bad, everyone!! Luckily I did take a few. So work with me. Sometimes I make things for my kid’s rooms. Not necessarily because I can’t just buy what I want, but because I enjoy…

Zipadeezip Quick Guide 

As promised, another quick reference guide!  Just like in my last post, I have received questions from several fellow moms on this topic, and they happen to have all asked the SAME questions!  Today’s topic- the Zipadeezip!  *this is not an affiliate or sponsored post* If you follow any of my social media accounts, you…

GUEST POST: Preemie Perspective

I am only able to write from my own experience; so from time to time I like to bring in guest writers to share on topics I don’t have experience in.   The day after my son was born, my friend Stephanie delivered her gorgeous, preemie princess.  Motherhood is HARD, and every story is different.…

To My Fellow Mothers.

 I tried with all my might to stop the tears of sleep deprivation from flowing, but I could not. Perhaps I would have better luck had I tried to stop the raging waters of Niagra Falls from crashing into the lake below.   My dinner lay cold on the counter, awaiting the witching hour…

Mommy Has A Sweet Tooth

Transparent moment: aside from the forbidden, I don’t give myself many eating rules while pregnant. Don’t get me wrong- I do eat healthy things; but if baby wants fries or sugar, baby gets fries or sugar. Being pregnant is hard enough- so I enjoy the little things.  The only HUGE flaw with this is that…

Husband of the year 

You may have read our son’s birth story a few posts back (check out the link if you haven’t!); but the story isn’t over.  As it turns out, my husband is the gutsiest person you could ever meet. And I, the most amazing wife. *insert patting of own back, here* Let me tell you the…

Wrong Worry

This was a turning point for me. I cut myself some slack and reflected on those first several weeks of being a mom of two. What I found in that time of reflection was major conviction.

Cereal is a liar. 

If you’ve entered into parenthood (or are about to), you’ve likely received a lot of advice and tips that are helpful, but repetitive.  Enter: me. I’m here to tell you the random and odd things I’ve learned that may or may not have occurred to you.  Hopefully these thoughts will help you and make you…

Minimizing. 

It’s almost spring! Time for some good ol’ spring cleaning.  Let me begin by being extremely honest: I admire minimalists. I have frequently found myself envying the beauty in such a simplistic and clean lifestyle. Bright, white, classy and wholesome. What a wonderful thing to aspire to!  Regardless of my appreciation for those whom thrive…

Postpartum Gift Basket

A friend of mine recently contacted me with a question about what items a new mom might appreciate after giving birth.  Her best friend was nearing her due date, and she wanted to put together a care package to bring with her when she visited the hospital.  First of all- can we just take a…

William’s Birth Story. 

It started on our due date: January 30th, 2017. 11:00pm I laid down in bed and immediately had a contraction.   I had been having prodromal labor for several weeks (real-feeling labor that doesn’t dilate/lead to birth, but different than Braxton hicks), so I was hesitant to believe it was the real thing. Ten minutes after…

Life + Ramen 

Apologies, first: it’s been a whole month since my last post!! -and a busy, busy month it has been.   We heartbreakingly said goodbye to my paternal grandfather as well as a dear family friend, both within two weeks of each other. We spent back to back weekends grieving with our family and friends, yet…

108 Steps to Deodorizing a Dog Home

Four years ago, I picked her up in a relatively shady neighborhood of Los Angeles. Back then, she was a tiny, eight week old, sweet smelling puppy.  Fast forward a few years and rather than a puppy, we have a dog. More specifically, we have a rather LARGE dog. Runner is roughly 80lbs. We’re told…

The BEST Apple Breakfast Cookies

Okay, okay; I’ve gone a little bake-crazy lately… But the PERFECT fall weather we’ve had in Minnesota this month, coupled with delicious freshly picked apples we hand-selected at the orchard have just made my favorite fall activity THAT much more irresistible.  I had exactly one apple leftover from our orchard stash, so I had to…

Pumpkin Spice Protein Bites

First things first: updates!!  1.  It’s been a crazy-busy last few weeks of summer. My brother AND my sister both got married within 6 weeks of each other, Hubby started his cross country season (assistant coaching), and I worked the last day of my job, which means that The Modern Homemaker is now officially a…

Minnesota State Fair for Young Fam-bam’s. 

Ahhhh the “Great Minnesota Get Together”, formally known as the Minnesota State Fair.  It’s a time for gluttony without guilt, exhilarating rides that bring child-like abandon to people of all ages, smelly yet adorable animals, a market full of merchandise for every quirky collection, and every joy you can think of… All on a stick…

Summer Veggie Bake

You know me- unless we’re talking about baked goods (we’re not), I just can’t follow a recipe; not even a good one… And most of the time, it works out in my favor.  This is one of those times.  While doing my regular, run-of-the-mill grocery shopping this week, I grabbed some eggplant and yellow zucchini.…

Presentably Out The Door

If you’re like me, only a few days a week (if I’m lucky) are worthy of my make up bag and my favorite outfits. They include church, date night, my part time job, and events. Why waste all that nice (expensive) stuff on days when I’m covered in dog hair, drool, boogers, and half my…

The Truth About Stretch Marks

I’m going to start this post with the bottom line:  The truth is, sometimes (and commonly), women get stretch marks when their bodies grow a child. This shouldn’t be news. Once the marks appear, they’re permanent. You might be able to fade them to a point, but they aren’t going anywhere.  Thanks to many women…

TTC & The TWW

Translation: Trying To Conceive and the Two Week Wait.  These acronyms may be familiar terms in the community of couples trying to have a baby.  Actively trying to make a baby (whether it happens quickly or takes awhile), is an emotional roller coaster that can quickly turn any woman into a crazy person.  One day…

I loathe you, 18 month sleep regression 

It’s true. It’s the worst one thus far. This toddler of mine is stubborn, full of relentless will, and out of nowhere started screaming tearfully through her nap time.  A week has passed by and we’ve developed a system that works 50% of the time. We’ll take it.  But then… Without warning… She wakes up,…

[GUEST POST] DIY Advice For Moms

I’m so excited to present this guest post to you! Written by Anne Baldwin, a mother of two active little boys, a supportive wife to a busy realtor, and from what I’ve observed, a conquerer of many different interests and talents. How she does it all, I have yet to figure out.  Anne is the…

Minnesota Summer 

Cheerios crunching  Cartoons singing Temperature rising Sun is shining Good morning, Minnesota summer Trees swaying  Puppies barking Bubbles blowing Toddlers laughing Let’s play, Minnesota summer Grandpa snoring  Mailman waving  Car honking Baby napping Good afternoon, Minnesota summer  Sun setting Mosquitos buzzing  Fire crackling Marshmallow roasting Good evening, Minnesota summer Stars shining  Air cooling Children dreaming …

¡Bachelorette Fiesta!

In honor of my best friend’s wedding, the bridesmaids and I threw her a bachelorette party to remember. We went with a Fiesta theme since she’s Puerto Rican 😉  *disclaimer: while the party was relatively tame, some of the following images are suggestive and are not appropriate for all audiences.  We started the evening at…

DIY Home [Date Display]

We recently participated in a home tour to promote city living and house projects.  Hundreds of people walked through our home. There were a few things that several people commented on and asked about that I found funny; partly because they had nothing to do with the home tour, and partly because they were SUCH…

I’m Not Boycotting Target

   I’m going to do something I told myself I would never do.  I said I would stay away from controversial topics. I know my opinion will not change your opinion, and vice versa. Here’s the thing. I’ve seen the news. I have a fire burning in me and I just CANNOT stand on the…

“Oops” Chicken Wraps

If you ask anyone that truly knows me, they’ll tell you that when it comes to cooking, I rarely follow a recipe. Recipes, to me, are more like inspirational reading. (Unless of course I’m baking. Let’s not get crazy here).  Some of my very favorite “culinary creations” are dishes that I throw together when the…

Reality Check. 

   This past weekend, our pastor challenged us to BE real, not just “keep it real”.  Coincidentally, I’ve been thinking a lot about this same topic the past few weeks as I took a step back to observe my social media accounts and my blog, while wondering, “what’s the point?” Am I putting forth an…

Have A Spring Fling

…with your home.  Spring is in the air (Well, not in Minnesota. But I can pretend); what better time to refresh, brighten, and fall in love with your home again? Whether you have an apartment, condo, townhouse, or house; you likely chose it for a reason. It’s time to clear the cobwebs and clutter and…

DIY Home [Nursery Decor]

There are exactly two things about my daughter’s room that make it extra special: items from OUR childhood, and items that we made specially, just for her.  My personal favorites are the canvas “prints” hanging above her crib. These were easy and cheap to make, and the creative possibilities are endless.    I got the…

Five Stages Of Flying With A Toddler

Once upon a time I flew with my eight month old daughter and it was a wonderful experience. She slept a majority of all flights involved and was easily consoled with breastfeeding or a pacifier when she was awake. I call this phenomenon: The creation of unattainable long term travel expectations.  Thanks to several easy…

Five Signs You Live With A Toddler

Ellavie has quickly made the transition from “baby” to “toddler”, and I am 100% certain that this transition was made overnight.  Life with a toddler is a messy life; but oh my word- it’s so much fun. More importantly (because, priorities), it’s comical. So obviously I had to write about it.        Five Signs…

Forget The Labels. 

   Welcome to 2016. It’s a time in history where social media is booming and the offended (aka everyone) are not afraid to speak their minds. I, like most of us, have strong convictions and opinions about the decisions I make, especially in regards to parenting, even if I’m not always verbal about them.  Sadly,…

Mom Dates 

I’ve learned the hard way; when you become a mom, your social life is just… Different. There are so many things that now have to be put on the schedule: showering, eating, alone time, alone time with my husband, and play dates with other parents and their children, to name a few.  I’ve recently added…

Products + Hacks

   Some of the best things in life are so simple.  The same is true when it comes to day to day life- especially when you’re a mom, or just plain busy.  I’m not the crunchiest mom you’ll ever meet. I’m also not the thriftiest. However, I love a good deal and I love things…

Time. 

January 17th, 2015. 7:27 in the morning. The sun was rising. My mind tuned out the world, and for about four seconds during my final push, all was silent to me. Then all at once, the silence was broken with the most beautiful sound I had ever heard; my baby girl let out a cry…

Ellavie Turns One

For those who were unable to attend and for those who are just curious… Here is a snapshot of Ellavie’s first birthday party!  She did amazing with her smash cake, and will be donating all of her birthday money to Operation Smile . 🙂  For my blog followers: All of the decor was either DIY…

When Two Become One: Holiday Traditions 

   This Christmas will be my daugher’s very first. Before we had her, my husband and I discussed our favorite Christmas traditions from our own childhoods, and talked (argued) about what we wanted the holidays to look like for our children. It turns out our experiences and traditions were very different, as were our hopes. …

Hosting The Holidays 

My in-laws typically host Thanksgiving for the family. This year, however, they are in the middle of construction on their new home. So naturally, we volunteered to open our house to the fam bam.  We have the space to fit everyone, especially with a newly re-finished basement for the kids to run around in (more…

Holiday Gift Guide

  Yay for the holidays!! At my house, we go all out. We decorate for fall in September and then on Black Friday, out come the Christmas decorations. We just might put the Griswalds to shame. It’s embarrassing, really; and yet so much fun.  One of my favorite things to do during the holidays is…

REST 

   I feel like I’m slowly emerging from a deep, dark, scary cave- also known as the 8-10 month sleep regression, followed by me getting sick, followed by my baby AND my husband getting sick, all while we attempt to sleep train. Yikes.  From the craziness of the last few weeks, it seems that the…

Never Wake A Sleeping Baby

   Mother: a fancy word for naptime NINJA.  I consider myself quite stealthy when it comes to keeping quiet during naptime. It’s an art, really. Keeping that baby asleep is my mission and priority; everyone is happier when the baby is well rested!  Sound familiar, moms? Yes, I said moms. Most dads I know have…

The Modern Homemaker

    I’m back!! Let’s Gab About It has been put to rest, and I’m thrilled to introduce you to my updated blog, The Modern Homemaker.  I believe that this name is far more fitting for the content that I share here. My hope and prayer is that my posts bless every home owner, renter, mother, father, someday…

Exciting News!! 

    Let’s Gab About It is getting a facelift! After much thought and research, I have decided to redesign AND rename my blog. I know, I know- It’ll be weird; but it will be SO GOOD. The rename is simply because the domain name I wanted for my URL is already taken. The content will…

Autumn Inspired Banana Bread

When the temperature drops, I get the itch to bake. Partly because I get to eat whatever I bake, and partly because I love the coziness created by a warm oven with the delicious aroma of baked goods filling my home.  Today I decided to put a little twist on a classic banana bread to…

Mind of a Mother

There are many thoughts that go through the mind of a mom; sometimes they are thoughts we never thought we would have- Other times they are thoughts we would never want to admit. At the end of a long day, I like to evaluate the things I think and say as a mom; because quite…

For The First-Time Mom 

This will be the last in my apparent “Labor & Childbirth” series, at least for now.  My sister is now 37 weeks pregnant. In my conversations with her, as well as other friends toward the end of their first pregnancies, I’ve noticed a common trend. I experienced it, too; the fear of the unknown. You’ve…

Postnatal Recovery- The Part No One Prepares You For

“Every thing you need to know before you get pregnant!”  “How to Survive Pregnancy!”  “Preparing for Childbirth!” The above genre of articles are a dime a dozen. I should know- I immersed myself in them throughout my pregnancy. I felt fully prepared for whatever might come my way… Except I wasn’t.  A few of the…

Pregnancy: Hospital Bag Checklist 

My little sister is currently pregnant and due with my SWEET nephew in September. Throughout her pregnancy, I’ve answered any questions she has had, while the memory of my own pregnancy is still somewhat fresh in my mind.  As she is nearing her due date, we’ve begun to discuss those last few weeks of pregnancy,…

Childcare 101

In my roughly ten years of nannying experience, I’ve learned a thing or two. Heck, my senior project in college was based on the pros and cons of daycare vs. nannies. I have worked as a nanny in three different states, both part time and full time, with kids of all ages and for families…

5 Minute No-Sew Baby Turban

Time to take a break from the house projects to talk about my other fave obsession- baby girl!!  I’m pretty much obsessed with dressing and accessorizing Ellavie each day; however I keep running into one issue: most headbands leave  dents on her head.  Now, I obviously can’t say for sure if it even bothers her,…

DIY Home [Coffee Table]

Despite my goal of trying to blog just once a week, I just C O U L D. N O T. W A I T. to post about our “new” coffee table!! I am so thrilled with the result; not to mention the price.  Let me start from the beginning…  We have slowly started furniture…

DIY Home [Fireplace] 

This DIY post has three components. First, we will go over the transformation of our red brick fireplace to white washed fireplace. Second, we will discuss balancing the mantle. Finally, I’ll show you what I did to create an inexpensive temporary anchor piece for the mantle! White Washing Your Fireplace  I absolutely adore original charm.…

DIY Home [Main Floor Bath]

Home renovations are slowly coming together, which means the blog posts are too!! The house is not quite finished, and there are a lot of aesthetics to complete, but I figured I’d start sharing now that we’re making some headway.  This post will cover our main floor bath. The house we purchased is a 1930s…

If I knew then what I know now…

In honor of Mother’s Day, I’d like to share a poem. It was written by my late grandmother, herself a mother of ten. She loved writing poetry and left the world with an abundance of wisdom through them. This one in particular is a wonderful reminder to enjoy every part of motherhood- even the hard…

Raw & Real

I know, I know. I promised a post about our house projects next- and those are still on the horizon! While we await the last touches on those projects, I’d like to show some appreciation for my husband. This past week two things happened. First, I went back to work. I technically had a four…

Fear Not.

It is currently 2:41 AM. David is asleep, and Ellavie is resting soundly in the crib beside my chair. I can hear the buzzing of machines, the water moving through the heater, and the faint chatter of nurses outside the door. I am at Children’s Hospital.  Let me begin by saying that I would not…

Becoming A Mom | what I’ve learned

It has been a long time since I’ve blogged (I know, I know, I blog in spurts- I’m sorry!). My life has crossed yet another big milestone- the birth of our first child, Ellavie Mae. She is our pure joy, and we couldn’t be any more in love with her! Throughout my pregnancy I often…

Broccoli Pesto Recipe

My husband and I try to eat fairly healthy. We allow ourselves to indulge in our guilty pleasures, but we balance our indulgences with nutrition-packed choices as well. One of my guilty pleasures is pasta. yummy. The following is my recipe for a broccoli pesto pasta with chicken. If you’d like to make it gluten free, I’m…

Healthy Banana Cookies

I found this easy recipe on Pinterest (see original post here) and my sweet, loving husband made it for me last night since I was sick and couch-ridden. (Being sick has its perks when you have a husband like mine!) They were such a yummy and guilt-free hit with both us and my in-laws, that…

Life Updates

Life updates: 1. On January 11th, 2013 I married my best friend. It was the best decision I ever made. These first seven months have taught me more about life and love than I could have ever imagined. I am so excited for the rest of our lives together ❤ 2. We moved!! From our…

Patience.

My mother in law pointed out that I haven’t blogged in awhile and I should start again. I agree. I’d like to kick off my comeback with something I wrote for my  friends and for myself in 2009. It can also be found on facebook in the notes section of my Facebook page. It’s lengthy-…

Runner

It has been a good long time since I last posted. It seems I’ve had my hands a little full between wedding planning, moving, and of course, getting a new puppy. Yep. We did that.She’s cute, she’s soft, she has puppy breath, she’s playful, she’s silly… and yet I feel my home life has become…

Free Donuts.

A picture is worth a thousand words… and if you follow my instagram pictures, you’ll see that I posted a few last night. But lets start with Friday.Friday morning I woke up to a parking ticket. Street sweeping. One part of California I can’t seem to avoid. Wonderful.Friday afternoon I am informed that there are…

Registry Rage

Rage is a bit of a stretch.. but only a bit. I’m curious as to how many other of my fellow engaged or married couples can relate to this scenario: (Sorry babe, our disagreement is out for the entire world to see… LOVE YOU!!) 🙂 ME: (reading off the registry suggestion checklist) Knives? HIM: Check.…

Sinks and Keys

Ahhhh the excitement and high of being engaged! Sounds like a few months of bliss, right? Well… it is for the most part so far. But to all the single girls… life continues as usual. I know. Dreams. Shattered. :)Bad things happen… as usual. What do I mean? Well for one.. I think my sink…

Rock ‘N’ Roll!!

The Fiance and I recently registered for the Rock ‘N’ Roll Half Marathon in LA. He is a seasoned marathoner… and this will be my second half-marathon. So why am I a little worried to start training? Well… I’m glad you asked.If you’ve known me for awhile, you know that for a large majority of…

The “P” Word…

Stumped on what the P word is? It’s dangerous. Scary, even. It could be the demise of a uniformed wedding. Okay fine. I’m going to say it. Pinterest. If you’re an addict like me, you know what I’m talking about. There is one particular pin I’ve come across that seems to sum up what the danger comes…

I’m Engaged! Here’s the story..

So, I got engaged. Yep. I certainly did. I still can’t believe it, to be honest. Some of you haven’t heard the entire story… so isn’t it convenient that I have a blog?! I think so too :)Our Engagement StoryI’m currently on a 2-week vacation to MN/WI from LA. Kind of backwards, I’m aware. Regardless,…

“Ask Gabby”

[DISCLAIMER] Most of this post is directed towards my mature ladies. If you don’t enjoy magazines such as Self, Redbook, or Woman’s Day (all great leisure reading!)… you won’t enjoy this. Read at your own risk ;)I have a friend (you know who are!! 🙂 ) who sees me as her “go-to” girl. Sometimes I’m…

And so it begins..

Once upon a time I started a blog; and then I forgot it existed. NOT this time. After sharing many (in my opinion) hilarious stories with my boyfriend, he encouraged me to try again. So here it is! (If you don’t like it, complain to him, not me. 🙂 ) In the following posts I…

%d bloggers like this: