What a year it's been! This really is the most wonderful time of the year. It's a time of reflection, family and a time to bring as much joy to the world that we live in.
During the holiday season, I tend to spend a lot of the time reflecting of the past year and taking a look at my goals that I wanted to achieve. This year most of my time was focused on being a mother, wife and blogger. I have been so fortunate to be able to stay at home with my little man and work on all my mom goals. A few goals I had revolved around learning how to parent, controlling my patients and enjoying as much time as I possible can with my son.
Another part of this was dedicated to family. We made it our goal so visit and spend time wit all of our family. This included making extra time in the day to enjoy our home together as a family of 3. A few of those goals were spending less time on the computer/phone, taking trips as often as we could and making an effort to get together with the entire family for dinner at least one a week.
Lastly, this time of the year brought me one of the greatest accomplishments I wanted. I created MY BLOG! Finally, after a few years of thinking about doing it, I finally found some time for myself to create Mrs. DIngman Mama. It has been one of the most rewarding and exciting things I have done for myself. Motherhood brings a lot of struggles, but one of the best supports I have had is through blogging and sharing my stories of body image, motherhood and every day ups and downs.
Thank you to everyone who had stuck with me through this year. I am hoping the new year brings everyone so much love, happiness and goal crushing adventures!
To the New Year! 2019 is going to be one for the books!
- Love Always, Kristyn Dingman
What BIG goals are you planning in 2019?
You never know whom you just might inspire today or whom you may be inspired by. These last few months I have seen nothing but unconditional support from other woman all over social media. I love seeing others who struggle with self love finally open up about their feelings with complete strangers. It brings so much joy into my life when I hear or see these stories.
One of the biggest influencers for me has been am amazon woman named Meg Boggs. She is an inspirational blogger and is an absolute delight to follow. She started a really great moving called ‘This is postpartum’ and it starts again November 6th, 2018. Post a photo of your Postpartum story and use the hashtag: #this_is_postpartum or #thisispostpartum
FOLLOW HER ON INSTAGRAM @meg.boggs
Or check her out here
There is nothing more refreshing than seeing a variety of women going through the exact same things I am, yet we all look different.
There is not one way to parent.
There is not one way to look.
There is not one way to feel.
There is not one way to be happy.
There is not one way to cry.
There is not one way to struggle.
There is not one way to recover.
There is not one way to see beauty.
There is a myriad of ways to do everything in this beautiful world. Stop judging other on how they take on life’s journey. Everyone has their own story and we all get the beautiful opportunity to live that story how ever we choose.
Share your postpartum story this year using hashtag
#this_is_postpartum or #thisispostpartum
Can’t wait to see the outpour this year!!!
Happy first birthday my Benjamin
It has been 365 days since you were in my tummy. Its been 365 days since it was just you and I together. It’s been 365 days since I could completely protect you from the outside world. This past year has been such a great adventure for your dad and I. We are so in love with the little man you are becoming. Your silly personality and short temper are showing more each day. We can’t believe an entire year has already passed.
This year has been full of diapers, kisses, cuddles, watching movies, tears, lots of laughs and plenty of sleepless nights. Watching you learn how to roll over and crawl have been so amazing. We even got to hear you say “dada” and it brought tears to our eyes. You are growing up so fast and we wish time would just stand still for a moment.
As soon as they laid you on my chest, I was so nervous and excited all at the same time. I became your mother and you became my son. We had already started to grow our love for you before you were even born, but as soon as you arrived, we just knew you would be our new focus and love.
You had so many firsts this year and I cannot wait to see how you will continue to grow this next year. I can remember your first smile and your first time eating solid foods. You are such a strong little spirit and we absolute adore everything about you.
We know you have such a bright future ahead of you and we will be there for you every step of the way. You are going to do big things and we cannot wait to witness your succeed.
We love you so much baby boy.
Love always and forever,
Nope, they will probably not remember a single bit of the festivities, but this is more of a photo opportunity and a scary realization for you as a parent that your little baby is growing up.
There are a few things you can do to make this day as stress free as possible. Sure, go ahead and hire an event planner and spend a fortune on the celebration. I am not about wasting money so lets break it down as cheap as possible!
Tip #1 Depending on your little ones birthday, maybe pick a theme that is after a major holiday.
Halloween – monster theme
Easter – Little bunnies
Christmas – Stars or snow themes
4th of July – Red, white or blue themes party
Thanksgiving- Pumpkin or fall leaf theme
This will allow for decorations to be clearance or on sale so you can snag them for the big day as cheap as possible.
Tip #2 DIY Decorations
Pinterest is a great place to find DIY options for party decorations. If you find some great ideas, go to the dollar stores to find the supplies. They tend to have plenty of craft supplies to recreate anything you find. Make everything at home by using old boxes or digging through your recycle bins.
Tip #3 Find some good food options in your budget
You can plan the party to work around the type of food you have. If you have the party from 2-4 then you may not need to provide lunch or dinner. It’s a part of the day that doesn’t require anything to be served besides finger foods. If you pick a lunchtime, try to do a build you own sandwich bar. It’s a cheap way to give people the option to customize their meals. If you pick a dinnertime option, try to do a crock-pot theme. You can plan it ahead of time and it will stay warm throughout the party. Plus, crock pot dishes tend to be on the cheaper side of foods.
Tip #4 Pre-take photos
Odds are, you will not be able to stage too many pictures to remember the big first birthday. Don’t stress! Take photos a week or so before the party. This will ensure you get the cute photos you want without making everyone stop the party. Plus, you can enjoy the real party without forgetting the memories.
Tip #5 Don’t worry about cleaning the house
It’s going to get messy and no one will notice. I first was stressing about getting the house in order, but then I realized that people were not coming to check out my unwashed floors. They were there to see the big boy on his special day so don’t worry, no one will care that you kitchen table it full of mail and unfolded clothes.
Tip #6 The Cake
Find a local bakery or even an independent pastry chef on Swip Swap to make your cute cake. I was able to find a local woman who did our cake for only $40; which is cheap compared to some of these fancy locations who wanted to charge over $150 for a 6 inch cake. Also, I got our cupcakes made at our local grocery store. You may not believe it but the bakery at your grocery stores will work with you on any kind of project you are looking to do. I was able to bring in a photo of the cupcakes I wanted and they were all excited to be able to get creative. They were amazing and SO affordable! $5.00 for a dozen!
Tip #7 Birthday gift ideas
Odds are, your little one has plenty of toys and you are not really looking to expand your toy pile in the corner of your living room. You pick them of 238854 times a day so maybe see if there is another option for your guests. Asking for money can be awkward, but it can be done is a polite way. Let your guests know that your little one will take money to go toward their college fund or savings account. See if your guess would do a book collection rather than toys. There are also a lot of great subscription services that would be nice to have for your baby. There are food, clothes and educational subscription services that would be a good fit over another doll or truck.
Tip #8 Enjoy the Day
Just like this past year, your baby’s big day is going to go by fast. Enjoy the moments with family and friends who are there to celebrate with you. Let everyone know how much you appreciate them coming out to celebrate. Sit down and enjoy a plate of the food you paid for as well as a cold beer or nice glass of wine because you deserve it!
How did you plan for your little ones first birthday party? What theme did you go with?
Comment below and check out more photos on Instagram
As a first time mom, one of my biggest fears was traveling with a baby. I have heard too many horror stories from other moms about their journey’s as a family with a baby baby tagging along. We hesitantly made plans to visit some family in California in October to meet our son for the first time.
When we clicked the “Flight booked” button and I got an email confirmation with our itinerary, my heard started to race. I had lists and to do errands to run to get us prepared for this unfamiliar voyage ahead. Our first airplane ride, car rental and hotel check in as a family of three.
As they days approached, I was going through everything to make sure we were 100% prepared for this trip (it was only 4 days long). Running around and making sure our house was also ready for us to leave was a task too! While we were leaving, we planned to get the entire house painted from top to bottom, so a lot of prep work needed to go into this project.
As we laid our heads down to sleep the night before our trip, I was tossing and turning from anxiety. Everyone knows that I HATE flying, so my nerves were being triggered left and right. I think I got about 4 hours of sleep when our alarms when off and we needed to hustle to leave the house on time.
All our bags are packed and we are loaded up in the car heading toward the airport. Surprisingly, I am calm and just trying to stay focused. We park out car, find our gate and head to security. What’s great about Sky Harbor International Airport is that they allow families’ traveling with infants to skip the standard security check so that was nice. We made it and with plenty of time to spare!
The clock is ticking and we are getting closer and closer to boarding the plane. I am more concerned with how Ben is going to do and not as focused on my own anxiety for flying. We get in our seats and I was able to give Ben a bottle right as we are taking off. As soon as we reach altitude, he falls asleep and stays asleep the entire flight (1 hour and 40 minutes from PHX - SAC). We could not have asked for a better flight! Not to mention the flight itself was not full so we had the entire row to ourselves.
We land and get our bags at baggage claim and head to get our rental. We were able to pick from about 15 different card and we decided to go with a new 2018 Dodge Mini Van. I have always told myself that I would never get a van but after this trip, I think it might be my new car!
We are now headed for the hotel. After about a 20-minute drive we arrive and check in with no issues. We had a crib sent to our room for the baby and we get settled in before we headed off to visit with family. So far so good!
It’s time to finally introduce Benjamin to the California family who has only seen pictures. Everyone fell in love and he was such a trooper with all the love and attention he received. He was able to meet his cousins too for the first time and we could not have asked for a better trip. Jeremy and I got to also meet our nephew for the first time too who is 2 months older than Ben. We just enjoyed ourselves and embraced all the love we could get in the short trip we took.
We were able to do a few fun activates while in Sacramento. We made our way up North to High Hill Ranch. This place is BEAUTIFUL! There were gorgeous scenery with Pines, colorful oaks and plenty of apple cider. They make their own donuts, hayrides, pumpkin patches, fudge, apple picking and so much more. The entire ranch was covered in local vendors and plenty of food options. It was such a perfect place to spend the day with the family enjoying the fresh air and amazing food.
We try to make it out to Sacramento at least once a year to visit family. With the baby tagging along, it has changed how we travel for sure! I am not going to lie; it is stressful but so worth having him with us on our adventures. He was a trooper the entire trip and with one adventure under our belts, we are ready for more!
What are some travel tips you can give when it comes to traveling with infants or children? Comment below and make sure to Follow Me on Instagram for more photos and content.
High Hill Photo: http://www.edc-farmtrails.org/member/high-hill-ranch
Apple photo: https://handbookofnaturestudy.com/2010/10/apples-autumn-series-challenge-day.html/
Picking the right shade of gray for your home can be a challenge. When it comes to gray tones, picking the right shade can make our break your homes interior design. When they say 50 shades of gray, it’s more like an infinite amount of shades. How do you pick the right one?
We headed to our local hardware store to start looking at all the different options. After about 45 minutes of standing there with my finger in my nose and an overwhelming array of possibilities, I started to feel dazed. My mind started to play tricks on me and I wasn’t getting anywhere. I would pick up a swatch and say, “yes I found my gray”! But then, I would move a few shades down and find another shade that I thought was the same color. Once I compared the two I could see tones of blue, green or purple in each gray. How can you pick the right one????!?!?!?
After battling back and forth between colors and a nauseating overload, I decided to leave empty handed. This was a big decision for our new house and I had to make sure I was making the right one. I headed home and jumped online to see what others were doing about color choices in their homes. After some research I found some great tips and tricks when it comes to picking that perfect shade of gray. Now, time to test the theories...
My husband and I found a few photos of kitchen and living rooms from others who have painted with grey colors and found out what color and brand they used. We headed back to the store and without looking too hard into the other colors, we had the tec make up samples of the 4 colors we decided to go with based on the online research. One of the tricks we learned was to make sure to test the colors on multiple walls around your home: Living room, kitchen, family room, office, stairway, master bedroom and bathroom. We placed all 4 colors on the wall and wrote below what colors they were. After letting the paint dry, we went back to our locations to rate each color. We changed the lighting from natural light to artificial lighting to get a feel for each color. We began to rate each room based on our favorite colors we placed on the walls and then compared our answers. This seemed to be a great way to get multiple sets of eyes on the colors without feeling like they are meshing into each other.
We finally decided on a gray!!! The process was so easy and simple. We are going to go with the
Sherwin Williams Mindful Gray. It is going to be exactly what we are looking for in a gray shade. It’s not blue, it’s not green and it’s not brown. It feels like an authentic true gray that doesn’t sway one way on the color spectrum.
We can’t wait to get this project started and show you the after photos of our home!
First off, let me just say that Flagstaff, AZ is one of the most wonderful places to visit. My husband and I went to college at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff and we adored the city. If we ever have the opportunity to move back, I am sure we would pack up and leave in a heart beat!
This was our first mini road trip with the baby and he did such a great job. It was a spur of the moment decision to pack up and head up to Northern Arizona, and it was so worth it! He was such a trooper and slept the entire 2 hours it took us to get up there.
The entire drive is a scenic experience. Every turn is pure beauty. Mountains, desert landscapes, open fields and meadows all lead the way into Coconino National Forest which is covered in great pines and aspen trees.
Nothing beats Flagstaff’s ability to literally take your breath away. At 12,000 elevation, you may experience some shortness of breathe while walking around down town, but don’t sweat it because there are plenty of great bars and restaurants to stop in and take a rest. One of our favorite spots to hit for something tastes is Pato Thai Cuisine right in downtown Flag. They are a smaller location with great service and fooooood! Ben really enjoyed himself in the fun and exciting atmosphere.
One of the really neat features of Flagstaff is the great railroad system that is still used today. The trains that storm through town are always so fun to watch. Kids get so excited to see the big train chug by with all its power.
After the waves of nostalgia crashed into us, we decided to head off to see the rest of the city we loved so much. We headed up North toward Snow Bowl at the bottom of Mount Humphrey’s where you can ski, hike, camp or just enjoy nature. We were able to capture the Fall leaves changing around the base of the mountain. By this time the baby was pooped, it started to rain and we needed to hit the road.
A perfect way to end the day was with some great sunsets we watched on the way home. Nothing beats the sunsets that we have here in AZ. Read more about AZ living. With a 25 degree difference only 2 hours away, it was nice to be back home in our own neck of the woods. The great thing about Flagstaff is that it is only a 2 hour drive North for us to be able to be in a complete different world. Many do not know that Arizona has snow or 4 seasons in some locations. Flagstaff is a great place to raise a family, ski, go to school or just enjoy the outdoors. If you ever get a change to visit, it is worth the trip.
Share your Fall adventures below!
If you want to read more about Living in Arizona CLICK HERE
I grew up being a Phoenician and have never really considered leaving. Our entire family resides in AZ and the weather isn’t as bad as people make it out to be. Yes, the summers are HOT, but that’s why AC was invented, right?!
Here are a few reasons why I love living in Arizona
1. The views are breathtaking.
Not only are you surrounded by miles and miles of rich desert landscape but, there are amazing mountains and peaks surrounding all of Arizona. No matter where you go in AZ, you will have a view!
2. The Weather!
Yes, June – September can be pretty brutal with temperatures reaching 115 degrees! But the great part about bad weather means you need to find other activities to stay comfortable. Just like in the mid west when it snows, we too have to find other ways to beat the heat! Going to a movie, swimming in the pool, and believe it or not we do have ice skating rinks. But the best part about the weather in Arizona is during the FALL! It’s a perfect crisp 60 degrees and 80 at the highest up until April or May. PERFECTION!
The commute around the city has been planned with excellence. With some many freeways available and so many of them connecting to one another, getting around this larger city is a piece of cake. This means that traffic isn’t as bad as some places like LA or Chicago
(not to say we don’t have traffic).
Overall, the price you pay for a home in AZ is pretty cheap compared to other placed around the US. Our real estate is priced appropriately to the city you want to live in. Scottsdale, Paradise Valley and Peoria are priced on a higher end scale due to demand, location and overall desired living.
5. Sunrise and Sunset
We have some of the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Even Forrest Gump made 3 different appearances in his film due to the beautiful nature of Arizona! Check out the clip here!
6. The Grand Canyon… need I say more?
We have some really amazing places you can visit in Arizona.
If you are looking for cold weather with snow, we got it.
If you are looking for a tale gate weekend at an NFL game, we got it.
If you are looking for a great aquarium, waterpark or theme park, we got it.
If you are looking for the best Mexican, Italian or French foods, we got it.
If you are looking for sand dunes and off road racing, we got it.
If you are looking for haunted hotels or spooky towns, we got it.
If you are looking for a relaxing day in a botanical garden, we got it.
If you are looking for a weekend on the lake, we got it.
If you are looking to hike some of the most beautiful places, we got it.
If you are looking to escape the freezing col and enjoy the sun, we got it.
Comment and let me know where you live and why you love living there!
Check out my other blogs on Motherhood, Photography or Beauty
Its Sunday evening and you are getting ready to start the week. You have your lunch packed in the fridge, fresh coffee grounded and in the coffee maker on a delayed brew, and your ready to get your outfit together.
You walk into your closet, possibly trip over a pile of dirty clothes that should have gotten washed over the weekend but you had one too many and “forgot”. You gaze into the void of colors hanging in front of you and say out loud,
“ I have nothing to wear”!
Well, have no fear; your fashion inspiration is here!!
Don’t stress about what you are going to wear this entire week. These inspiring outfits are perfect for each day of the week.
I hate that feeling that I have NOTHING to wear. My better half can’t stand it when I ask him to help me pick something out. I am hoping a new set of eyes will see something that I can’t and fix my boring style???
Watch out Monday, here comes the start of a great fashion week!
Not only is this very casual, but it has a nice comfort/professional look to it. Some of us may not be 100% ready for the week to begin and this is a great transitional outfit from weekend to week.
Ok, we’ve had our coffee, made out task list for the week and are ready to kick booty! This very sophisticated yet sexy outfit shows the boss whose boss. A nice pair of slacks and a great blouse is a great way to go.
Its HUMP DAY Y’ALL!!!
This is a great combination of sophistication meets classic. An iconic blazer with a really fun pair of slacks lets people know you have a strong exterior shell but once you get to the inside, you have a gooey caramel center.
Yes!!! Its Friday eve and we are ready for it! This outfit says more than just casual, it has such a great neutral feel that will go with any setting; especially those after work cocktails to start kicking off the weekend early.
TGIF!!! It’s finally here and it could not have come any sooner! Hitting the town with a classic black and white will ensure you fit in no matter where you go for dinner, drinks and maybe a bit of dancing.
Weekends are for warriors! This outfit is more that just a quick throw on but a great outfit to get things done. Go to the grocery store, grab a coffee, get lunch with your BFF or head to Target to get that one item and end up walking out with half the store. It’s just a perfect weekend ensemble ideal for any errand.
Some people like to relax on Sunday and so absolutely nothing. That’s me. I usually wear a t-shirt from the hubby, a pair of leggings and my hair thrown up as I lounge around all day long. Sundays for me are for spending time with my family and sitting on my butt! But, for the sake of the blog, here is a nice friendly outfit great for Church, brunch with your mom or maybe some last minute shoe shopping you didn’t get to yesterday.
I hope by now you have seen an outfit or two and realized that you DO have stuff to wear in your closet. You aren’t going to walk into Monday with pajama bottoms and a robe because you couldn’t find anything.
You got this!
Take on this week with confidence, style and a great attitude because you are gonna look fabulous!
Photo Credit: M: bloglovin.com T: EP Style extrapetite W: Outfitsz.com Th: Plussizeall.com F: Jackie Long SA: My Voguish Diaries S: Girwithcurves.net
Being a younger female in today’s world has brought mixed feelings about body acceptance. The constant interactions with magazines, TV, social media and other forms of media have started to mold the minds of women all around the world. We are being told to look a certain way to be considered beautiful. Not only are we seeing many young girls struggling with body image, but they have no options when it comes to learning how to embrace their bodies. Why should we be told what is beautiful and what is not? Why can’t we all just be beautiful regardless of our shape or size?
Three of the big influencers of body image are through social media, ads and magazine covers. Women see these forms of media on a daily basis. Ad campaigns like Victoria Secrets “Perfect Body” campaign has spark a ton of backlash on the woman they used for the shoot. Each one is about 100 lbs with ribs and bones showing. They are giving such a false impression of how the average woman looks and causing young girls to question their own bodies.
Why don’t I look like that?
Why cant my tummy be that flat?
Is this what men want?
Is this considered sexy?
How do I get my body to be perfect like this?
These are such unhealthy question that company are implanting in young girls and women.
Other examples of this poisons belief are seen by Allure, Vogue, Cosmopolitan and many more.
Just as a simple example, I Google searched the words “Magazine covers” and this is what I got as a result:
I did the same thing with Glamour magazine company and this was the result:
"The bottom line is that 50 percent of American women are a size 14 or above, so that means magazines [that aren't including plus-size fashion] are willfully ignoring 50 percent of their readership," said Redbook editor in chief Meredith Rollins.
So what do we do as 50% of the female population who are not a size 2?
Its time to embrace your body!
Self love is something many women struggle with on a daily basis. The hardest part about self love is that no one can teach you to believe it besides yourself! We are women and we are strong. No one can tell us what is beautiful and what is not.
Here is a good example:
I painted a portrait of the ocean. After hours of work I think it is one of the most beautiful painting I have ever seen. I show my mom and she also things its beautiful. I show 4 more strangers and they too believe it is beautiful. The final person I show thinks it is ugly and should go right in the trash.
So, who is right? Who gets to determine if the painting is beautiful or not?
It is subjective!!
There is not one person who gets to decide if my painting is beautiful or ugly. This same concept applies to our self-image!
Not one person gets to decide what is beautiful and what is not.
Not one person gets to decide what is perfection or not.
Not one person gets to decide what is the ideal body type.
Everyone is going to look different. There is no way around it. It’s great that we are not all made out of cookie cutters. We are different heights, shapes, colors, and sizes and that the most beautiful thing of all.
When did this become the new normal?
Did you know that if Barbie were a real person, she would tip over? She wouldn’t be able to stand at all! So why do we buy our kids these dolls? Uggh..
I am slowly learning to love my body. It is hard at times but I continue to work on loving myself and the shapes I am. Sure, shopping for clothes can be a challenge. It drive me insane when I walk into a store and try a shirt on that is a size medium and then walk into the store next door and I need an extra large. Either way, I buy whatever size fits my body best regardless of the stupid label and the letter on the tag. People ask me what size I am and I honestly can’t give them an answer.
Usually the response is, “It all depends on where and what I am shopping for… so I don’t know”.
I am a big fan of things that accentuate my butt and things that synch my waist. Dark colors are always a safe bet but I do like to try to wear as many lighter things as I can. I love skinny jeans with a looser top. If I can tuck it in, then I am one happy girl! High waited jeans and a cardigan are always a good way to get that combination of trendy and comfort. If I can get my hands on a great maxi dress with a jean jacket then my confidents shoots through the roof!
Remember ladies; we are all beautiful regardless of our sizes. We all have flaws and struggle to shake off the negativity. We need to stick together in this crazy world. We are on the same team and we need to remember just how incredibly perfect our bodies are no matter the size or shape. Slowly, the fashion industry is swinging its views and providing great fashion options for all body types. My wish is that the beauty and fashion industry swings its views of body image to accept everyone as they are without judgment or separation of sizes.
The industry defines “beauty” for us unfortunately. I would love to see a new definition written in the near future to incorporate and admire all women.
funny thin to thick photo: https://lissyluli.wordpress.com/2014/01/17/real-women/
Barbie photo: https://fashionatjasminehernandez.wordpress.com/category/art-302/
I'm Kristyn from sunny Peoria, Arizona. I'm married to my amazing husband Jeremy, a mother to our incredible son Benjamin and have another little man on the way. I love inspiring and empowering others to see their true beauty and fight against the stigmas that society has created about beauty.