Sunday, May 25, 2014

Confessions of a... Single Mother | A blog series with borntobeaSAHM

All moms have it- that thought that you just need to get off your chest. To share with the world how you really feel sometimes so that someone might actually understand you better. Let's face it, being a single mother is one of, if not THE hardest, role to play in today's society. Yet, as hard as it is for us, every single day, single mothers get little to NO acknowledgment for the things that we do. We go above & beyond for our little ones & sometimes people just don't fully understand. 

Paige and I created this blog series to bring mothers from all around the world, together.. As one. To share stories that have been kept secret for far too long. To support one each other, and ultimately inspire and empower one another. I hope you enjoy this week's confessions of the single mothers that I have hand selected to feature here, on the the RadAndRebellious. 



"Sometimes I wonder if Jude's dad even knows he's alive. He was never in the picture. It's constantly questioning yourself how your child will feel knowing his dad didn't want to be involved. What pain will this bring your child? It's constantly being told your child needs to be put up for adoption because you aren't good enough. It's constantly guilting yourself. Sleepless nights because you constantly replay in your head how you can make the situation better. Constantly feeling like you have to prove you're a fit parent. It's like you're drowning in the ocean, and can't get out. You try to e a perfectionist to replace what's missing in your child's life. The job you have isn't good enough. The classes you're taking aren't going to provide a good enough education to provide for your child. It's constant criticism with very little support, or help, because you duh your grave, now lay in it. It's washing cloth diapers while you're wearing your child in a ring sling, breast feeding, because your minimum wage job can't pay for formula or diapers. The guilt depending on the one support system I do have, is struggling herself. It's lonely. It's not eating more than one meal a day. Not showering for weeks. Going months without even seeing a friend your age. It's falling down and blacking out. You literally believe your body is failing you, that you are dying. When your child cries, you tell yourself it's because you did something wrong. It's so painful and I wouldn't wish it on anyone. Although if someone is out there who is similar, I would just say, just know you aren't alone! That comforted me a lot knowing it's normal to feel like this. Step boundaries to not let other judgemental humans control your life. DBT skills. Learn coping skills to stop guilting yourself, or feeling like you constantly need to put your child first when you had needs, too! Think of it like you're on an airplane and they say, "put your air mask on first before your child, in case of an emergency." Put your air mask on first, mama. So you could be the best mama you could be. I learned that lesson too late ✈️" 

"Being a single mama. I pretend I'm not. I tell myself that when he gets back from rehab (or as I tell Luca, back from "that place that's going to fix daddy's heart") everything will be fine. That Luca won't notice; that he'll be at every little league game and af every paret teacher conference. That Luca will have someone to look up to. A real life father figure. I tell myself this, always. But as I lay here I know, in my heart of hearts, that I AM a single mother. And that's okay. More than okay, really. It's actually beautiful. Because while daddy's off getting his "heart fixed", I'm spending every god damn second making sure Luca's never breaks." 

" here it are my three beautiful blessings. They will always be the best of me....but at 31 years old, single, full time working mother of 3, my life is not even close to the fairytale I used to dream of. Confession #1: all my kids have different fathers. I AM NOT ASHAMED. I've been through hell and back, and each season of my life brought us together. I grew stronger. My parenting choices are NOT always the best, but I hold them down. Being a strong believer in Christ I know someone else always has the last word and I'm not in control. Which leads me to confession #2: sometimes I really wish I could run away. Being a parent is by far isn't easy...and doing it alone is a hard ass job. Although I wish I could stay home all day and just make memories with my times I just want to escape...and never come back. Like being responsible is hard. Like knowing that 3 little people depend on me, is exhausting. It hurts my heart that I feel this way at I totally understand why I'm in this situation, but at times I cry because it's like.. Damnnnnnn, why couldn't I have a great husband that holds us all together. But reality is, these are my kids. I mean sure, their fathers are around. But I do it all for them. I guess it's just emotionally rewarding and draining all at the same time. I know the Lord saved me with my two boys. They all were entrusted to me. I have to deal with them every moment I'm with them and even when I'm not. But I know running away isn't a problem solver... It won't help me grow as a parent, or a person. Sometimes I just cry. Because I don't even know how I get through each day...Super moms...That's what we are."

I want to say thank you to every single one of you that shared, with me, your incredible stories as a single mother. You all inspire me in more ways than one. I enjoyed reading and having the opportunity to get to know you all more personally. You all have my utmost respect. Single mothers unite. Stay tuned for next weeks "Confessions of a..." blog series topic. You never know, YOU might get the chance to be featured next. Have a beautiful end to your memorial weekend. Hugs x kisses. Xo

Friday, May 23, 2014

Roman and Leo- A guest post by- Angela Castelli

I have so many things to be thankful for in this beautiful life of mine. And as silly as this may sound, Instagram is high up on that list. Instagram has connected me with so many beautiful, talented, loving women (mothers and non-mothers). Without Instagram I wouldn't have half of the extraordinary friends I have today. 

A few weeks ago I posted a collaboration photo, asking if anyone would be interested in working together. Angela Castelli was the very first woman to contact me. Her & I emailed back and forth & had fun getting to know each other a little better. She's a mother of two crazy cute boys, Roman and Leo, wife, and owner of one of my absolute favorite "one stop shop" stores. Talk about superwoman! I could go on and on about how wonderful of a soul she truly is... but what's the fun in that? I'd much rather make you see the beauty in her, for yourself. Below I'll insert a little about Angela (in her own words) she was also nice enough to throw in her top 4 baby/toddler boy styling + fashion tips! Such a gem! 

"The day I found out I was having a boy 4 ½ years ago, my first stop after my ultra-sound was to the mall to buy this little guy his first digs!  After venturing through several children’s stores, my husband and I were pretty disappointed when all we could find for little boys was either littered with animals, appliques, and silly phrases, OR was all athletic apparel.  Being married to a man who has style, we both wondered why we couldn’t find a great store in our town with trendy, fashion-forward apparel for little boys!  Over the months of my pregnancy, I stopped into local children’s stores and boutiques only to find that 90% of each shop was geared towards girls apparel, and the 10% for boys just wasn’t my taste.  I started searching online back in 2010 for styles that fit what we were looking for, and hallelujah, success!   Through the Internet, I began curating (and obsessing over) a long list of brands that carried the trends I loved!   Over the years, and plus one more baby boy, everywhere we’d go, someone would either A.) want to know where we found our outfits, or B.) want to know if I would sell them our boys’ clothes once they grew out of them!
After always being complimented on our boys’ style, my husband (who is a finance guy, but an entrepreneur at heart) told me I should consider bringing these boys’ brands to Indiana.  So last summer, on a 6 hour drive home from Pennsylvania, I sat in the front seat with my NOTES open on my iPad, and my husband and I just started throwing out ideas, brands, trends, business names, ways to market, who to target…and I loved it!  I was so excited and passionate about everything we were talking about, and having a background in marketing, I knew it was something I would love – but could I take the risk and open my own boys shop?  
After renting a small space in an existing boutique for one month, and having a huge health scare that required a pretty extensive surgery and recovery, I decided, if not now, when?  And from this, Roman & Leo Boys Apparel + Accessories was born!
Roman and Leo are my boys, my models, my inspiration, and my everything!  I truly believe they’d be adorable in absolutely anything I put on them, but they love the clothes I choose for them, and they even put together some of the best looks themselves!  When dressing my boys, I follow these 4 simple rules, which I’m happy to share!
1.  Don't buy 'outfits' from one brand. Try to dress your boys the way you dress yourself - pulling in pieces from different brands.  Mixing and matching brands makes for a more cohesive look - and it's not so matchy-matchy!
 2.  Boys have accessories too.  Yes, girls have the bows, bracelets and purses, but there are some really great accessories for boys too!  I love beanies, hipster glasses, bow ties, sunglasses, suspenders, scarves . . . I could go on and on!  Little pops of color with accessories are fun too, like colored shoelaces, Shwings, and baby bandana bibs!  As with girls' accessories, boys’ accessories complete an outfit - and there are so many cool options these days!
3.  Shoes are key!  Nothing ruins a great little boy's outfit than the wrong pair of shoes!  There are so many amazing and comfortable options for little boys' shoes – like Converse, Adidas, Natives, Vans, New Balance, Toms, Keep Shoes, moccasins (for babies), and Sperry's.  There is a time and a place for a pair of Batman sneakers - but if your little guy is wearing a rad little outfit - complete the look with some rad little shoes!  And for the record, by boys don’t know Batman sneakers exist! J
 4.  Dress him like Daddy (or a grown man).  Whenever I am shopping for my boys, or my shop, I always think, "Would my husband wear this?".  I just love dressing little boys like men!   To get the "dress him like Daddy" look, follow these simple rules:  Look for fabrics - like soft tri-blends; look for styles - like raglans and cardigans; look for fit - like slim and tailored; and look for more masculine patterns and colors – like camo and distressed patterns, and grays, blacks, and maroon colors.  
I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to translate my love of fashion to my every day life of dressing my boys!  Following trends, curating  looks, and bringing them to my hometown excites me and I’m so thankful to be where I am today with my new little biz!"

I hope you all enjoyed getting to know a little about Angela. Stay tuned for a style inspiration post, where I will be featuring a few awesome items from her shop! 

Gram with Angela here:

Thank you for visiting the RadAndRebellious. Have a beautiful week. Hugs x kisses from J & I to you. Xo 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

And in that moment, it hit me like a ton of bricks

As I sat across from a spunky bank teller named Tenika, my mind was frazzled. To be honest, I couldn't help but think about anything other than how early it was & how I hadn't yet consumed enough coffee to be awake & handling business. After back and forth chit-chat on confusing bank talk, it was done. Jonah's Coogan account was officially established & I was good to go. 

After shaking Tenika's hand & thanking her for helping me out & dealing with my no-make up morning face, she said "You're welcome sweetheart, promise to bring that superstar of yours in here one of these days, alright? I gotta meet him!"

And in that moment, it hit me like a ton of bricks. 

My sweet boy, my son... my Jonah, was signed with one of the biggest entertainment agencies in the world. My life & his was about to change.. and fast. As excited as I've been since the day I received THAT email, I don't think it truly hit me, how incredible of a roller-coaster ride (scary too) we just agreed to jump on. 

But boy, has it hit me now. To even think that one of these days in the near future, I could be walking by a blown up add of my boy's face in a mall, or turning the page of Sunday's Target add & seeing his rad little self modeling their newest summer outfits while sipping on my morning coffee- BLOWS MY MIND. 

I've asked myself every day since getting signed, how this happened. How we were lucky enough to be blessed with something so HUGE. & all that comes to mind, no matter how long I think, or how hard I try to search for an answer, is God. It's that simple.. It isn't luck, & it wasn't a coincidence, it's God that made this happen. All him. & for that, I am and will forever be grateful for him.

I want to thank every single one of you that have congratulated & sent well wishes to Jonah and myself, since making this announcement. Your support & kind words mean more than you will ever know!!! Wishing I could give all of you gems enormous bear hugs to show my appreciation. 

Keep your eyes pealed for my Jonah Rylin, big things are about to start happening. 

J-man and I love you ALL & thank you for visiting the RadAndRebellious. Make today beautiful. Make it count. Xo

Monday, May 19, 2014

I've got a ladies man on my hands- Finomenon Kids review pt.2

If you happened to read my last review on Finomenon Kids, then you already know how much I truly admire & adore the company. If not, I urge you all to scroll down a bit and a learn a little (or a lot) about the the brains + beauty behind it all! Last month I was contacted to be 'blogger of the month' for May and was stoked that they selected me from a handful of other awesome bloggers! How awesome is that?! Anywho.. The item I'm reviewing for you all today is their super rad "ladies love me" v-neck. The tee couldn't be more fitting for J-man. I almost wish he could rock it every day. 

Cute, right? A total must have for your mini man this summer! Get your hands on one for only $24 before they sell out. You won't regret adding this piece to your babe's wardrobe, promise! 

Outfit details: 
• FK 'ladies love me' v-neck 
• Star Spangled gusset leggings from Shop Haute 
• Freshly Picked moccs in 'steel'

Thanks for visiting the RadAndRebellious, wishing all you mamas and little ladies men a beautiful week. Xo

Sunday, May 11, 2014

I am your praying hands, you are my saving grace

I am your parent you are my child
I am your quiet place, you are my wild
I am your calm face, you are my giggle
I am your wait, you are my wiggle
I am your audience, you are my clown
I am your London Bridge, you are my falling down
I am your Carrot Sticks, you are my licorice
I am your dandelion, you are my first wish
I am your water wings, you are my deep
I am your open arms, you are my running leap
I am your way home, you are my new path
I am your dry towel, you are my wet bath
I am your dinner you are my chocolate cake
I am your bedtime, you are my wide awake
I am your finish line, you are my race
I am your praying hands, you are my saving grace
I am your favourite book, you are my new lines
I am your nightlight, you are my sunshine
I am your lullaby, you are my peek-a-boo
I am your kiss goodnight, you are my I love you

Because that's just it... I love you

Thursday, May 8, 2014

6 wardrobe essentials for the fashion forward babe - A Guest Post by @MakenzieMitchell

"I'm Kenzie, a young wife and mom with a love for style and creativity. I blog at 'The Wander Years' about motherhood, personal style and more and have a new little etsy shop of headbands for the littles. 

I'm so glad to be sharing with you all today about Maxine's wardrobe. Vanessa asked me to share the essentials but as I got to planning this post I noticed that with a few pieces I could keep Maxine clothed in cute outfits all week long. And even though I am sharing the basics right now, I still love dressing her in fun things like polka dot overalls and making more striped outfits for her than I know what to do with. 

1. Tees. I hate onesies. Maxine is a long and skinny little thing so all pants are big around the waist even with her cloth diapers. In a onesie tucked into pants she just looks kind of funny, always cute but funny nonetheless, so I really like to stick with T-Shirts. The ones I am sharing today are American Apparel's baseball tee, and one from the Gap. We wear these out! 

2. Rompers.   Easy, easy, easy. So thankful for rompers, they are beyond cute she wears hers for ever. I think even at 8 months she can still fit in a few of her three month old ones. 

3. Jersey Knit dresses.  The dress I am showing here is one from Old Navy that we have had before in a long sleeve version. The long sleeve one she still wears as a top and its for newborns. Simple dresses have to be one of the best investments for baby girls, you can wear them for months and months. I have a tutorial over at my blog for a super easy dress that you can find here

4. Jeans.   Even on the hottest days we start off in jeans most days. I thought I would be way more into baby leggings than jeans, but there is something about Maxine in jeans that is just far too cute. She wears jeans atleast three- four times a week. 

5. Headbands.  Maxine doesn't have much hair, so it's common that she would be mistaken for a boy, and she wears more blue than pink so headbands are necessary for most outfits, and they make the best toys, she can play with her headbands forever! All of these you can find over at my shop here.

6. Cardigan.   Our cardigan wasn't around when we were taking photos but we have one. It's bright yelllow and perfect with almost everything. It's a definate must- have though. 

I would love to hear what your essentials are! Comment them below :)"

Gram with Makenzie here:

Thank you for visiting the RadAndReblious- Xo

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

How to be finomenol- A review on Finomenon Kids

As you all know, I've been sucked into the world of baby boy fashion. The unique designs and hard work behind each and every piece is nothing less than incredible. I support handmade shops for the simple fact that my purchases help support a family, all while keeping J man dressed from head to toe in super rad tees + moccs etc., it's a win, win.

One handmade shop I've been quite obsessed with for some time is Finomenon Kids. So, you better believe I was jumping for joy when I was contacted to be 'blogger of the month'. How rad is that? I just couldn't say no.

Founded in December of 2013- by Makel. Mother to Finley, and wife to Tyson, Finomenon Kids has skyrocketed in more ways than one. With over 11 thousand followers, and the numbers rising daily, I see this company going far.

While Finomenon Kids Clothing line was initially inspired by her and Tyson's son, Finley, art, music, and dance play a huge role in the inspiration department as well. What I admire about Makel and her approach to making her company thrive, is that although her items are awesome + completely unique, she isn't charging an arm and a leg for them. I love clothes, but I think I love my limbs a little more. Ya' feel me?

When it comes to styling my son, I'll admit, I'm picky & I definitely don't put just anything on him- with that being said, let me point out that I would, without a doubt, let him live in FK clothing. That alone should say a lot about their company. Comfortable, funky, fresh, classy and affordable. What's not to like?

Here's one way I like to style J man in his FK 'Royal High Ness' tank. Super simple & quick, yet unique & fashion forward.

Take note of his super cool 'SUP tat (also available for purchase through FK) He cried when I eventually had to wash it off, but I'll spare you those pictures.

All in all, I highly recommend checking out this brand- and don't you worry, Most, if not ALL of their clothing is unisex. They may or may not even have a 'BOSSY" fringe dress for all the mini divas out there, just sayin'.

Now go! Get your booty off my site and onto theirs. You have some shopping to do! ;)

Also, check back in a week or so for another review on a Finomenon Kids item. You didn't think I'd be able to post about just one of their threads now did you? I mean, cmon'

-Shop with them HERE
-Gram with them HERE

Thank you for visiting the RadAndRebellious & I hope you enjoyed this review. Have a beautiful Wednesday, babes. Xo.


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Love hard + appreciate harder

I'm guilty of it. So guilty of it. 

...of taking for granted the beauty god had surrounded me with. Of taking for granted the people god has put in my path. Of taking for granted.. Everything. 

Waking up to a gut wrenching + tragic story like that of Ryan Cruz Saldana's, can really tear somebody down and show them how short life truly is. 

Naturally as humans, we tend to forget, not only to be thankful- but to show thanks for the lives we've been given. The good, the bad & the ugly, somebody in this world of ours has it way worse. 

Meet Ryan Cruz.
A vibrant + beautiful 3.5 year old little boy. Son to Jacqui & Dan. 

Ryan passed away this past Friday night, due to a tragic accident. Just like that, gone. I can't even begin to fathom the pain Ryan's family/friends are currently going through. I can't fathom any of this, at all. You all may be wondering if I know this family personally- and the answer is, no. But hearing this story hit home & shattered my heart into 1 million & 1 pieces. (Maybe even more)

The support + love being sent to the Saldana family from the Instagram community is incredible beyond words. I'm in absolute awe. It's such a beautiful thing. Thousands and thousands of strangers from all around the world are coming together for one reason + one reason only... Ryan. 

The past few days (more like weeks) have been tough on me. Being a mother has never seemed any harder or more frustrating than it does now & since I've only ever been honest with you all, I will continue that honesty. I haven't been the mother I know I could be. I have let myself down in more ways than one & disappointed many around me. I love my son but at times I can't believe things have become this hard. I was starting to wallow in pitty for myself, feeling like I "had it too hard" & now as I scroll through my Instagram feed & see pictures of that beautiful curly, red headed angel, I can't help but cry. 

I have it easy. I can hear my son's cries, his screams, his tantrums. I could see him grow & learn. Laugh & giggle. I could hold him tight. I could kiss his sweet cheeks & cuddle him. I could do all of it, because...

I have my son & my son has LIFE. 

Life is too short, too damn short. Love hard, and appreciate harder. Because as far as we know, today is our LAST day to do it. 

I ask that you all say a prayer for Ryan & his grieving family tonight & for many nights to come- pray that something, anything, will ease their pain.. even just a little. 

A gofundme account has been created for the Saldana family. To help them in their desperate time of need. Feel free to donate (if your finances allow it). If not, reposting a single picture of that angel babe above will do just fine. 

Gofundme account direct link:


Saturday, May 3, 2014

Confessions of a... Stay-at-Home Mom | A blog series with borntobeaSAHM

Who else is as excited as I am about my very first original blog series?!

I've been lucky enough to collaborate with one of my mama friends, Paige, from borntobeaSAHM to bring you...

All moms have it- that thought that you just need to get off your chest. To share with the world how you really feel sometimes so that someone might actually understand you better. Let's face it, being a stay-at-home mom is quite possibly the least appreciated job these days. Maybe ever! And that's simply because us moms don't treat it as a "job". It's not something we dread getting up early for, even if those 5 am wake up calls can be tough. It's something we enjoy because we get to be the sole caretaker for our own children. To be their teacher, their friend, their playmate, their chef... all the benefits we reap are well worth it in the end. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't be acknowledged every once in a while.

Paige & I have created this series to be encouraging, fun, amusing and especially empowering for other mamas out there to relate. We just want you to know, you're not alone ;)





I want to give a huge thank you to the beautiful mother's above that shared their personal confession of what it's like for them, being a full time SAHM. I thoroughly enjoyed reading every single confession and wish I could have shared each and every one. I hope you all enjoyed reading this weeks series of "Confessions of a SAHM." Next week will be based on a different topic, so stay tuned, you may get the chance to share a confession & be featured next! Wishing you ALL a beautiful Sunday, thank you for visiting the RadAndRebellious- Xo