ALL MOMS are WORKING MOMS | LGBTQA Family Vlogs | Day-in-the-Life of REAL PARENTS

Whew! We need to sit down and do an official follow up to last week’s “Bad Day” video. Today is a shortie, but as an early Valentine’s present we’ve skipped the video ads on this one, so it’s a two to four minute watch, depending on how much scrubbing (fast-forwarding) you do.

Highlights from today’s video that I didn’t talk about much on camera include:

Crying during last week’s workout

Getting stuck in the car wash

I put a brief clip from Gabrielle Union’s Instagram to showcase an example of this phenomenon and you can read the full article here:

https://www.elitedaily.com/p/gabrielle-unions-instagram-post-about-crying-during-a-workout-captured-how-therapeutic-exercise-can-be-16077552

This was such a crazy thing to experience! I have pushed my body to the point of physical exhaustion plenty of times, but emotional exhaustion? This was a first. Please let me know if you’ve ever heard of this phenom before, it was completely new to me and almost a bit unnerving when I originally viewed it as a point of weakness. (Wow, how unsettling that step aerobics make me bawl like a baby. I must be more unstable than I thought!)

As the days tick by, I’m able to see it with a bit more clarity and realize that I just seriously pushed myself – and that’s amazing and not weak at all.

So there you have it — sweat and cry it out, folx! It’s fine.

And about getting stuck in the car wash? My wife would tell you it’s because I didn’t drive in perfectly square. Still, she wasn’t there and I’ll go to my deathbed insisting that I drove in like any other normal human person going through the carwash.

If you’re cooler than both of us, you’ll say there’s no such thing as a normal human person.

And that’s exactly why I choose you to subscribe to this blog so you don’t miss another post. We should be friends.

(No, seriously – say hi!)

If you want to cry too, try the following three workouts after a sugar free breve. I can’t guarantee tears, but you’ll be wet and soggy somewhere – for sure. Sound fun? CLICK NOW! (Not sponsored, I’m just obsessed):

Full Body
Full Body
Abdominals Routine

Next Week’s Video will include highlights from the BNCW Home Show 2020 Presented by Complete Design, Inc. – See you then! [Subscribe to our channel here]

Thanks for joining us on our parenting journey. Please share this video with someone who would enjoy it!

Tips for Staying Sane (Got Some?)

This week kicked my butt. I may have been a little too ambitious with my new workout routine, and then my wife left town for a work meeting and got snowed in – on top of it, the toddlers both decided to act a hot mess these last two days (poor Dakota is getting another two teeth and just wants to be held and loved on).

Don’t choose between picking up the mess or picking up your babies – get up earlier! 💪

While there’s nothing I wouldn’t give to make sure these kids are safe and happy and entertained and fed and rested and watered…I also would love the same opportunities to take care of myself. Parenting Anthem, am I right? I used to want a glass of wine, now there are days when I have to ask myself if I’ve had a glass of water all day. And I’m starting to feel like crap.

This week, the routines are changing! Life is calling us back to the drawing board, as it does.

As someone who lives and breathes by a daily schedule, changing up the routine that has worked so well for us for over two years gives me a little anxious pit in my stomach. It shouldn’t – but I like the comfort that comes complimentary with every pre-planned day and outfit.

Focus on the good – not the mess

Tuesdays are linen days. I know what to expect. If I miss linen day, I must prepare myself for a weeklong battle of trying to fit it in somewhere else. I like linen day.

Yes, I see the eye roll. Who likes linen day?

While my love of Tuesday has nothing to do with sheets and bedspreads (ugh, who enjoys putting heavy wet sheets into a dryer?) it has everything to do with routine. Tuesdays are usually one of our two preschool days. It means that while the laundry is washing I can watch Dr. Phil at full volume or spend some time catching up on personal care tasks (removing the crusty toenail polish, pulling items out of a cluttered cupboard or packing for a weekend trip without the kids pulling every item out or demanding to see every receipt and paperclip from the junk drawer…). Catching up on finances, making healthcare appointments or steam mopping.

Stay-at-Home Mama Life means wrangling two toddlers while my wife travels for work – sometimes gone days at a time. And we all know days with small children (like indoor baby pandas) are highly active and somewhat unpredictable. As we look forward to Amy’s busy season, I can expect her to travel weekly, and maybe even have a home away from home for extended periods of time.

The idea of it sounds exhausting, but we both know it’s for the greater good of our family. So – what can we do to help my sanity?

HYDRATE
FUEL
WORKOUT
CLEAN
ORGANIZE
PLAN

Amy’s recent travel was a bit unexpected and so I think I was feeling extra keyed-up from not getting my chores or meal prep work done (I exchanged that for a workout while the baby napped). Stuff starts to PILE.

Our days have been like finely oiled machines around here, but missing a meal prep and then getting burgers was not the best way to make up for an intense workout. Should I have not exercised and had a sensible meal instead?

WHY can’t I ever manage to do both? Exercise hasn’t been a set part of my days, so I’ve been trying to fit it in in any scheduling holes or gaps in my day. My “free time” so to speak. Which means it doesn’t happen, and instead gets pushed to the back burner to take care of smaller itemized tasks that I can check off my list.

No longer!

I’ll be working on a bit of organization and meal planning and pantry inventory in the next couple of days, and sharing any great recipes or tips I come across here on the blog (and the vlog at MommaAMommaB on YouTube).

For me, a clean workspace and home environment brings me peace – with a one and two year old, the house is often an eyesore and the garbage accumulates at an alarming rate. All things I need to just suck up and embrace as part of motherhood – or get out those gloves and get up an hour earlier!

Reorganization under way!

See today’s video for more – I truly have the best partner I could imagine. It’s important to take care of eachother, so if you see someone struggling try to offer to help – even just a couple hours of “me” time brought me back to reality. Step outside, get a breath of fresh air.

Or do what I did – fill your basket with organization and cleaning tools – plus a cute new workout bra.

You deserve to take care of you, even when you can convince yourself you’re not worth it.

Did I tally up every item in my cart and feel extreme guilt for spending over SIXTY dollars on organizing canisters? YEP. Did I buy them anyway. YEP. My wife had insisted and I needed to get over that block in my mind.

Clear canisters by Made By Design – Available at Target and Target.com

Does this scream privilege? YEP. But I bought the dang things and cleaned them and dried them and filled them with goods and for some reason this brought me a feeling of some type of control. Something other than just collapsing into bed and saying “today was too hard”.

Easier to see what’s on hand – SO clean looking!

Do you need to spend money to feel better? Goodness no. Feelings come and feelings go (Pete the Cat fans, WYA?).

Here I am raiding the dress-up bin, instead of doing my chores (this kid is on a nap strike!) NO REGRETS

If buying kitchen organization goods and an exercise bra is the worst damage I could do today, I guess I’ll forgive myself for the bank account hit. It’s not often we splurge on frivolous things – and is it totally frivolous if it brings some personal satisfaction? I may argue the case for my new haul! I hope this new kitchen system streamlines our meal prep and helps reduce food waste – I’ll keep you updated after we try it out for a bit!

TBH, I’ve never spent so much at once on organization tools: But I think today it was worth it. The kitchen organization project led to a full pantry itemization; now we actually know what we have on hand for meal planning.

Here’s to more organized days in 2020!

Love, Mama B

Love? Or Donuts? DIY PHOTOGRAPHY at HOME | Budget Studio | Dollar Tree Backdrops

New video is live today! Come “Behind-the-Scenes” to take a look at our set for the Love and Donuts sibling photo shoot

Subscribe to our YouTube!

Click the link below to a photo reel of past DIY photo-shoots across all seasons:

https://mommaamommab.com/diy-photos-anyone-can-do/

If you’re looking for Valentines 2020 Mini Session ideas on a budget, consider the variations below:

Follow mommaamommab on Pinterest

MAONO Lapel Mic | Unboxing and First Impressions

Thanks for testing the lapel mic AU100R by MAONO with us!

If you’ve been considering starting a vlog or podcast, you need to think about audio, which makes up a percentage of the complete user experience.

Since paying more attention to our audio ducking and music levels, we have noticed a change in overall satisfaction (increased watch time) even when our videos aren’t generating more clicks per view, necessarily. Bad audio and shaky footage are two things that will cause a viewer to quickly close your video – often they won’t come back to your channel/page after that experience.

YouTube Behind The Scenes at MommaAMommaB.com

One way to manage audio is by painstakingly editing every track “in post”. In post production, tracks are placed into a timeline sequence inside your editing software. Depending on your program, you can “duck”, adjust gains and more. To save exponential amounts of time, reducing your need for post-production editing as much as possible is your best bet.

This means the images and audio coming from your recording source has to be as smooth and crisp as possible.

Imagine trying to add color to a black and white image – this is inherently more difficult than transforming an Andy Warhol into a gray-scale.

Same concept as taking shadows out of a video. Possible. But it will make you want to pull your hair out and ask yourself why couldn’t there have been just ONE hair light on set, instead?

Lighting and Mics, people!

So far I’ve been using this lapel mic from amazon.com and it’s working nicely for on-the-go recording when you need your subject to be turning and moving – when they are also the ones dictating audio.

This lapel mic by MAONO is a lapel / lavalier microphone which attaches to the user or interviewee by a small alligator style clip, keeping your audio more consistent (and also more convenient) than a hand-held microphone or boom.

Save yourself the hassle of adding voice overs or syncing your audio tracks post-production – have your raw audio be “good enough” right out of the camera.

The lav mic is compatible with DSLR cameras, USB devices and smart phones, making it a flexible choice for multi-platform producers.

The MAONO lavalier microphone has a built-in rechargeable battery to make it available for over 90 hours working time.

**Note** I did experience functionality issues using a knock-off apple dongle or two that are known working cables. This device prefers the original Apple Official cables (which currently run $9-12 new from Apple).

3.55mm to Lightning Adapter not included

#AD Thank you to Maono for providing us with our first lav mic in exchange for our honest review

Unboxing the Maono Mic

This product is available on our amazon shop, at no additional costs to you.

Every purchase made directly through amazon affiliate links like this will never increase your purchase price, but does help us by sharing a small percentage of commission – thank you!

If you have any questions before making your purchase, please let me know in the comments, below.

XOXO!

Want to be a vlogger / podcaster? Find more tips and tricks on starting your channel by clicking on the YouTube Creators tab on the menu!

Love,

Mama B

Printable Valentines | Non Food | Card Ideas

It’s always hard when a child is left out of celebrations or has to “pass” on an activity or treat due to allergies. It seems that every holiday comes with ingest-able sweets and goodies – we seem to be an allergy-free household for the most part, and have yet to turn down a treat based on dietary restrictions, but I can imagine how it would make my own children feel to be left out of the fun.

This holiday season, consider giving the gift of time or charity to show your appreciation on Cupid’s Day 2020. If you have a school age child participating in treat exchanges, switch it up this year – incorporate non-food prizes to your Valentine’s day gift list.

  • Bubbles
  • Floam
  • Stickers
  • Erasers
  • Bookmarks
  • Chapstick
  • Pencil / Topper
  • …and more!

The trick is to keep it fun and silly – put a smile on the face of someone you admire!

Download your free template before you go:

Free Download Below

Get inspired with these trending ideas for 2020

Valentine Floam Slime from naturalbeachliving.com

fivehearthome.com offers free printable cards to attach your small tube of bubbles – fun! Click the link to be taken to the download page

ForModernKids offers free printable bookmarks – they promise to keep it “Non-Mushy”

Follow MommaAMommaB on Pinterest for more Valentine’s Inspiration

SWIMSUITS FOR SEXY MAMAS | Online Swimsuit Shopping in January | B2prity | Amazon Review

My recent unboxing video featured a slimming new swimsuit. Which is cool.

But it’s January. Some might say too cool for a proper outdoor photo as we end the great hibernation that is Winter 2020.

Enjoy Unboxing Videos? More at MommaAMommaB at YouTube

We usually get significant snow here in Wenatchee, WA. I had planned on doing a fun outdoor show photoshoot, and yet we’ve had unfortunate weather patterns; the sunshine never quite lines up with my three to six hours of childcare per week.

So, I did a quick video and took some shots in front of the closet, instead.

This was my first time ordering a swimsuit online, and I’ll definitely do it again!

B2prity has many options to choose from and I took forever placing my complimentary order. As tempting as it was to go with a fun print, especially since this one was courtesy of the company, I stuck to my roots and went with a solid.

Black is classic, and will pair easily with some of the fun beach accessories I wasn’t able to use last year with my floral patterned suit.

Before tightening support ties

One option to secure straps

amazon.com/shop/mommaamommab

I am excited to test this out in the wild on our next sunny vacation. I was half tempted to recline on my porch with a sangria, until I remembered the kids would be up from nap in ten minutes.

Also, it’s still January.

Stay warm, friends!

Love,

Mama B

Visconti’s Fire and Ice at PYBUS Market | Explore Wenatchee, WA

I’ve been doing these awesome new workouts and I feel like a new woman! Okay, so it’s only day THREE but my body is thanking me. My body is also very confused, but I’m begging it to hang in there for a few more weeks.

Click for mad workout routines set to trending tracks

It’s been too long since I’ve had a morning workout routine, and I’ve been trying to make time in the a.m. all month to see if it transforms my physique – or at least my mood. So far I am appreciating the extra endorphins. And workout clothes, which in my opinion are the best part of Gym Life.

The second best part of a new workout routine is guilt-free eating. Or at least, a little less beating yourself up over a scoop or slice of something decadent. Our sugar-free chocolate gelato crepe tasted extra good today after a butt-kicking cleaning and workout routine.

Both Fire and it’s sister shop Ice are operated under Visconti’s (a favorite local Italian joint for Amy and I) and the shops sit side-by-side in Wenatchee’s scenic riverfront market, Pybus.

Late night date night | Just getting started
Filmed with permissions at Pybus market

You can watch today’s video, above – Family vlogs posted every Monday and Friday at 10 a.m. Pacific Standard Time.

Explore NCW with two moms and two toddlers and find the best kid-friendly lodging, restaurants and events in our corner of the world.

Click to make your mouth water

—- Product Reviews and Recommendations – Gift Ideas and Amazon Unboxing Videos 2020 Unboxing / Reviews / Tutorials Playlist: http://bit.ly/amazonreviewer

— Come along as we explore my hometown of Wenatchee in North Central Washington – and beyond! LGBT Parenting and Two Mom Family blogs at MommaAMommaB.com Family Vlogs 2020 Playlist: http://bit.ly/hightower2020

— Become A Vlogger Analytics Snapshots and Behind The Scenes Tea has been spilled on the mommaamommab.com blog

— PreK and Tot School Printable Resources for FREE? http://teacherspayteachers/store/momaamommab

Click the Download button above for this free printable Heart Hunt .PDF

Happy Monday, everyone!

Love,

Mama B

— Where it all began: A hatching frozen embryo was successfully transferred January 2018 with positive beta results and a successful pregnancy resulting in a live birth. Watch the TTC story IVF / TTC Playlist: http://bit.ly/ttcandivf

See something on the blog you can’t live without? Shop Our Life: *Amazon Affiliate Link* https://amazon.com/shop/mommaamommab

–FAQ–

Q: What filming equipment do you use? DJI OSMO MOBILE POCKET iPHONE XS MAX SHURE MV88+ AUDIO KIT Most Used Accessories: Elite Osmo Accessories Bundle Smith Vector Lights You can shop my full recommended list using the Affiliate links above.

Q. How do you edit your videos? For many years I used iMovie and in late 2019 made the switch to LumaFusion. iPhone and iPad Vlog Tutorials coming in 2020! Make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss a video!

Q: Does MommaAMommaB have an Instagram? We each manage our own pages. See our daily moods at @ brandi_n_hightower AND @ahightower_life

MOM SO HARD | Life Update

It’s been very busy around our house – I filmed a ton of product reviews as well as dealt with a kidney infection in our household. Don’t worry! Everybody is on the upswing and we are all doing well, but my distraction is apparent in today’s video (or at least so I think):

We just managed to squeak a video out this week, but I couldn’t bear to put you through 10 minutes of poor quality footage. We’ll catch up next week for more Monday Motivation!

The title of this vlog could have gone a few ways:

I AM DEAD TIRED AND WORRIED MY WIFES KIDNEYS ARE GIVING OUT BUT DONT WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT | Behind The Scenes Look of A Mom Sitting Here Not Talking About It*

LIFESTYLE OF AN AMAZON REVIEWER: IS THERE A PIMPLE FILTER | When You Don’t Give A Rusty Rat Because You’re “TIRED OF IT” Like Aunt Jill

It’s fun to get new Amazon products to try, but deadlines for reviews are tight, and sometimes it’s hard to get in the right mindset when you have multiple products to test at once.

Like anyone at any sort of job, you have to put on your game face and just do it – pimples, or bad mood, or not. Life at home happened to demand more of my time and attention than I was able to spend on any reviews this week, and go figure it was our busiest week for Amazon products yet.

Product videos are booked until the end of February – the kids had a blast with an Aqua Water mat, Sound Machine, and more.

Thumbs up our last video for our efforts, if you watched it. We appreciate each and every show of appreciation! Thank you!

See you next time,

Mama B

*Her kidneys, for now, we think, are just fine. She got the go-ahead to go off a restrictive diet after a course of antibiotics, and a few key things (steak, butter) seemed to tear her guts up again (meaning, lots of puke around here, poor thing!)

Updates to come, but so far it seems to come and go every few days with no clear onset. XOXO thanks for sending well wishes and positive thoughts our way.

—- Product Reviews and Recommendations – Gift Ideas and Amazon Unboxing Videos 2020 Unboxing / Reviews / Tutorials Playlist: http://bit.ly/amazonreviewer

— Come along as we explore my hometown of Wenatchee in North Central Washington – and beyond! LGBT Parenting and Two Mom Family blogs at MommaAMommaB.com Family Vlogs 2020 Playlist: http://bit.ly/hightower2020

— Become A Vlogger Analytics Snapshots and Behind The Scenes Tea has been spilled on the mommaamommab.com blog

— PreK and Tot School Printable Resources for FREE? http://teacherspayteachers/store/momaamommab

— Where it all began: A hatching frozen embryo was successfully transferred January 2018 with positive beta results and a successful pregnancy resulting in a live birth.

Watch the TTC story IVF / TTC Playlist: http://bit.ly/ttcandivf

See something in this video you can’t live without? Shop Our Life: *Amazon Affiliate Link* https://amazon.com/shop/mommaamommab

–FAQ–

Q: What filming equipment do you use? DJI OSMO MOBILE POCKET iPHONE XS MAX SHURE MV88+ AUDIO KIT

Most Used Accessories: Elite Osmo Accessories Bundle Smith Vector Lights

You can shop my full recommended list using the Affiliate links above

Q. How do you edit your videos? For many years I used iMovie and in late 2019 made the switch to LumaFusion iPhone and iPad Vlog Tutorials coming in 2020! Make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss a video!

Q: Does MommaAMommaB have an Instagram? We each manage our own pages See our daily moods at

@ brandi_n_hightower AND

@ahightower_life

Digital Closet: Grail or Fail? STYLEBOOK 2020| I Tried It for 30 Days – pt. 1

StyleBook touts itself as being an expert wardrobe organization and closet management tool created by a fashion industry insider, who got her start as an intern in the Vogue fashion closet and is an alum of Lucky magazine.

I tried using it for 30 days. You can see the full video soon at MommaAMommaB on YouTube.

Here are some highlights from the first two weeks:

Day 1 – This is the best idea ever. I’m a genius.

Day 4 – So, I guess I have to spend an entire Saturday taking photographs of every single item I own if I REALLY want to use this app as intended. No cheating. Goodie. (This is my first FAIL day. I wore sweats all day to take photos of everything I own, and didn’t backlog my outfit at the end of the night – because that’s cheating. And I’m committed, dammit).

Day 5 – Dang, perfect timing. I totally forgot about period week.

Day 13 – We had a lovely soul offer to babysit for us at the last minute – they were in route to our house just in case we answered the phone.

Amy and I were right in the middle of preparing tacos for family dinner – of course we said YES!

It was Day 13 when I finally hit my groove:

I threw some lipstick and blush in my purse, tidying the house as quickly as possible; serving up my kids’ plates and swooping up those small hot spots of clutter – INSTEAD OF FRANTICALLY FIGURING OUT WHAT TO WEAR!

The fact that I was already basically dressed enough for a casual date to our local market was such a win, I can’t even.

Petite Mama? Try Target’s Athletic clothes…from the kids section. These XL teal pants by all in motion fit LONGER than my usual women’s S/M version – Seven bucks saved! Top is simple and black with velvet collar and sleeve trim

Photo @ Pybus Market in Wenatchee WA

This may not seem like a big deal for most people, but with two toddlers at home and selling two homes and moving across state twice in three years, I have been living in “cleaning” and “work” and “mom” clothes. At many times, the good stuff was “packed” and “not quite unpacked”. Both of which mean in a box but I’m trying to make myself look organized not lazy.

Let’s get one thing straight – we all go through moments in life where we earn our badges, our rights to wear whatever the hell we want to. And I use the term “mom clothes” on purpose.

My intention is to break the norm of what we think about mom clothes. Do you conjure up thoughts of bathrobes and curlers? Accurate. Do you think of the new twin mom in a slinky black dress on a date sans kids, whom are with the nanny after a successful round or three of breastfeeding (don’t worry, she left fresh pressed quinoa juice just in case – and a recording of her voice in a teddy bear that can be warmed in the microwave to match mothers exact body temp. Which is the same as anyone else’s in case you’re wondering…)?

Both images are accurate, and moms are also everywhere in between.

But I digress – I’m starting to feel like a human that is capable of daily showers (if I so choose) and an occasional opportunity to plug in a hot tool or use enough makeup to require a fixing spray. Man, I feel like a woman!

As parents, especially moms, we can often feel like we are under the microscope, expected to stand up to the ideals of the Instagram “norm”. I embraced this time to stay at home and raise my babies, and I was incredibly fortunate to have been able to make that choice. But I’m not going to pretend it was a walk in the park!

By “embracing this time,” I low-key mean “went without harsh baby-damaging hair dyes or nail polishes, the fumes of which could leave my kid with crossed purple eyes and a limp on three sides and a lifetime curse of driving an old Chevy Malibu with a bad fuel pump. Or something.

Basically, sacrificing for the greater good. Drinking all the water, cutting back on pepsi with quad shots. I kid…sort of. I’m an “all-in” kind of gal, which is exactly why I stay away from casinos or anywhere with a mechanical bull and redbull. So to me, sacrificing meant living in pea-stained sweats, scrubbing pee-stained onesies and being okay with that.

And I still am! I loved every second. But now, I realize that my maternity clothes truly don’t fit any longer, which is a sad day. I loved what they symbolized, and that stage of my life. Also, I could eat a second slice without having to undo buttons and ALL dresses had snack holes [pockets]. Winning.

Me trying too hard to match (it looked good on the app!)
Shop my INSTA @ brandi_n_hightower

Don’t worry, guys. There’s a version for you, too. My inner wanna-be feminist is wondering “why the dichotomy” – but I’ll admit it’s a nice looking alternative.

I wish there was an option to just buy ONE stylebook and update the layout and user preferences to your liking, but perhaps this is their roadblock to preventing adults from sharing at home. We happen to be a home with two adult women Head Of Households so ideally we’d share a closet. But in real life we don’t, and our styles are similar but different enough. So we didn’t choose to share the Stylebook for Women app across our devices, as Amy chose the Men’s version.

Also, in this day and age, nothing gets under the digital radar! I was contacted within two hours of this post with some helpful advice from Stylebook App itself:

via Instagram

I’ll admit I jumped the gun by not giving a full 30 day try before this post – I would have likely uncovered this feature in the near future. Maybe it was a shameless self plug 🔌 for a future Apple Scripting tutorial. The world may never know.

So, there you have it! Download the version if your preference, know there are options! And set a timer for notifications…

…in-app.

See something in this video you can’t live without?
Shop Our Life:

Amazon Affiliate Link
https://amazon.com/shop/mommaamommab

Digital Closet: Grail or Fail? STYLEBOOK 2020 | I Tried It for 30 Days – pt. 2 Coming Soon!