• these first few smiles are literally the best thing ever. when you realize how happy you make a tiny person. when you see their face light up because they love you so much. then you fast forward 2.5 years and they’re demanding brownies and cheetos for lunch. 😬😬😬 #sixweeksold #happilytrista
  • (sponsored) When you become a parent, there are so many new things to learn about and I feel like each person latches on to something they’re passionate about / can’t stop reading and learning about. For me? That’s car seats! Thankfully some states are finally updating their laws to conform to recommendations from the APA. We have tried quite a few different seats and this 3-in-1 Pria seat from @maxicosiusa is the nicest! The chest clip is magnetic, making it easy to clip and unclip with one hand. The straps stay in place thanks to their out-of-the-way spring assist, so no more twisted up straps. And the cushions are both washer AND dryer safe! Yay for no more hang-drying! On top of that, it’s rear-facing up to 40lbs, forward-facing up to 65lbs and then a booster up to 100lbs. #ParentYourWay #PriaMax3in1 #happilytrista
  • 6 weeks of this angel girl ✨
She is still waking up once over night most nights. She just started smiling at us these past few days. She loves tummy time but rolls herself over all of the time so we have to roll her back. She loves to be worn and snuggled. And we have to restrain her brother from kissing her 193739 times per day. 🤪 #happilytrista #newborn #sixweeksold #fourthtrimester
  • We are currently paying the price for last week’s easy bedtimes. I’m trying to get Ben to sleep in his own room. So you can guess how happy he is about that. His yelling has Blaire awake still, she’s been out of her room about 25 times. And Sloane is passed out on the couch. At least someone is asleep. They’re lucky they’re adorable because holy moly I’m tired and just want to veg out on the couch. #gotheftosleep #blairebenandsloane #happilytrista
  • Yesterday was almost 60° and today it “feels like” 21°. We had a handful of fall days and it’s not fair because I’m not ready to skip right to winter. There’s nothing better to get us all out of the house than a walk, especially because wearing Sloane puts her right to sleep. Anywho, trying to squeeze in a nap before we get Blaire from school because once we get home it’ll be a mad dash for me to shower and get everyone ready for Blaire’s first kindergarten parent/teacher conference. AND it’s book fair at her school. Who still gets excited for the book fair? 🤭🙋🏼‍♀️ #happilytrista
  • someone changed out of their pajamas today. it wasn’t me.
#happilytrista #rainbowbaby
  • daylight savings vibes... casually pouring coffee in my eyes today. what time were your kiddos awake? 
#dst #daylightsavingssucks #happilytrista #targetstyle
  • Sorry if this made you yawn. 🤭 I just love that Sloane feels the sleep dust when I’m wearing her, just like Benny did! 💕 Hope you’re having a weekend as great as this girl. She is one month old today! Still waking just at 1:30am most nights to eat... occasionally around 5am, too. When she’s awake she likes to look at lights and stare at mama. Whenever she does tummy time she rolls right over to her back. 🥰 #happilytrista
  • Tried some Pinterest-y nail art while the two older kids were at school this morning... and I’m ready to remove and do something a little less crazy when they’re all in bed tonight. 🤪 Real wild Friday night plans, am I right?
#nailsofinstagram #nailsoftheday #essie #manimonday #happilytrista
  • Sloane’s first Halloween... the one where it snowed 3 inches and was 20° outside. Woody and Jessie lasted about 30 mins trick-or-treating, then they wanted to head home to hand out candy. What was the weather like where you live? And how many pieces of candy do people give out where you trick-or-treat? Here, it’s a tie between “choose two pieces” and “grab a handful.” #blairebenandsloane #halloween #halloween2019 #happilytrista
  • ...when your mom takes too long in @target. Realized when we got out to the car that his binky was lost somewhere in the store. 20 mins into bedtime tonight I FINALLY found one in a diaper bag. 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻 #tristalovestarget #happilytrista #terribletwos
August 27, 2018

why you should let your toddler help with chores


Get kids involved in chores and cleaningBack in June, my brother sent me a link to a story about getting your children to help around the house without resenting it. The title of the article was interesting to me because both of my kids show an interest in helping around the house, Ben loves to clean the kitchen floor with our mop (it’s adjustable so we can make it his size!) and Blaire loves to vacuum, do the dishes and do laundry. 

Jason and I share the house and yard work with each other and since June, we’ve made an effort to share it with our kids, too. Now, I’m not saying a 4.5-year-old or an 18-month-old clean and do chores instead of us… usually they do it and we help… and sometimes we may have to re-do it. But that’s okay! It’s not the end of the world if I have to vacuum over a few spots or Jason has to rewash a dish. 

There are so many chores around the house your toddler can do with your help. And with Ben being only 17-months-old we are focusing less on him actually cleaning and more on just letting him “help”. His favorite thing is cleaning the floors — whether it’s our Bona mop or the vacuum. He is also good at picking up. He knows where he has gotten something from, whether it’s his toys in the living room or a pan from the kitchen cabinet (lol). Get kids involved in chores and cleaning Get kids involved in chores and cleaning Get kids involved in chores and cleaningBlaire’s love for cleaning started with the laundry. She wanted to help with every step! From carrying the hamper into the laundry room and loading the washer and the dryer, then folding it and putting it away. She is actually pretty good at folding small things (like wash cloths and Ben’s clothes) and she can match and ball together socks like a PRO. She has also loved helping outside! From the time she could push her little bubble lawnmower, to now using a spade to help me dig up plants or pulling weeds. Get kids involved in chores and cleaning Get kids involved in chores and cleaningGet kids involved in chores and cleaningGet kids involved in chores and cleaningShe started helping with laundry when she was about 2.5 (if I’m remembering right!) and in the last year she has shown interest in helping with the dishes. We started with letting her put away dishes from the dishwasher.

From there, we started letting her hand wash dishes. We have some of her plates that we don’t put in the dishwasher and then we also hand wash their sippy cups and Ben’s bottles. Sometimes she wants to do it by herself and those days, I do something else in the kitchen in case she needs me. And when she’s in bed and the dishes are dry, I look them over to see if I need to scrub them any more. And then the next morning we put them away together. But there are other times she wants me to scrub them and then she wants to rinse them and dry them with a towel. Seeing how proud she is of herself makes me so happy. And if I can feed Ben a snack and hang out with him in the kitchen while Blaire is entertaining herself at the sink, then it’s a win for all of us! Plus it usually ends in my floor getting a REAL intense clean from all of the spilled water. ;)Get kids involved in chores and cleaning Get kids involved in chores and cleaning Get kids involved in chores and cleaning Get kids involved in chores and cleaningGet kids involved in chores and cleaningJust remember: Be patient! They won’t do it perfectly and you may need to re-do it or offer a little help.

Yes, there are times when we are really in a hurry to get something done and having a little one “helping” isn’t convenient. (ex. when we have a last minute showing and I’m running around like crazy trying to get the house ready.) On days like this, Blaire can easily pick up her and Ben’s toys by herself, she can make her own bed and she can vacuum.

Whether or surprise visitors are close friends and family coming to hang out with us or people who want to look at our house last minute, we can clean the floors quickly with our Bona Quick Clean System and our home will smell clean and our floors and nice and shiny! 

Really the point of the article was to let them help when they show interest. It goes on to say kids who aren’t turned away when they want to help go on to actually enjoy cleaning. They don’t expect an allowance from it and they benefit from the sense of accomplishment they get from knowing they’ve made a real contribution.

This quote from the NPR article really sums it up…

“Over time, the ‘help’ will grow in complexity. And the 2-year-old who stirs the pancake mix today could turn into the 6-year-old who makes the whole family breakfast — and feels darn good about it.”

You can read the entire article here

I have shared our love for Bona floor products in the past and my love is stronger than ever! Their new Quick Clean System is our BFF at this crazy time of having our house on the market. The Bona® Wet Cleaning Pads are SO easy. All you do is velcro the pad onto the mop and wipe do your floor! No spraying solution (or water!) required. So. Easy. Get kids involved in chores and cleaningI think it’s funny that I have always had this idea that I can get things done more quickly if I clean when the kids are napping or after bedtime. But just making this effort for the past few months has really changed my perspective. AND after reading that article, it has me convinced my kiddos will continue to be happy to pitch in as they grow up, which means the cleaning will only go quicker as they get older and keep getting better at it! 

Now is the exciting part! Share your favorite quick clean tip in the comments below and I’ll randomly select a commenter to win a Bona Quick Clean Kit for yourself! The kit includes: Bona® Premium Microfiber Mop for Hard-Surface Floors, Bona® Disposable Dusting Cloths and Bona® Wet Cleaning Pads

why you should let your toddler help with chores

  • Reply
    Carol Davis
    August 28, 2018 at 12:08 am

    So that’s why Ben kept going to get that mop ! ? It’s big so you can get your floor done in half the time too ! Love how the kids help you and Jason ! Great pictures too !

  • Reply
    August 28, 2018 at 3:22 pm

    Not really a cleaning tip but putting a few drops of essential oils on my wool dryer balls helps keep my laundry smelling fresh.

  • Reply
    August 28, 2018 at 8:35 pm

    I read and loved that same article. I started implementing my kids into a few of my cleaning routines too. We added laundry and toy cleanup before bed. I’ve also been bringing them individually into the kitchen to help me cook by measuring and stirring. My latest cleaning hack that brings me the most satisfaction is adding Windex wipes to my bathroom cabinet. When I have a moment I clean the mirror! I also have Clorox wipes that I use to clean off the vanity and toilet. It’s a quick wipe down that helps maintain in between deep cleans. Plus now that I type it, I may have even gotten that tip from you!!

  • Reply
    Ellen Davis
    September 4, 2018 at 2:39 pm

    Laney loves using our swiffer to dust. Would love to try this on our new floors!

leave a comment


  • How many kids do you have? Which transition was the hardest? It may not be the traditional answer, but for me, becoming a mama to one was the hardest. I had NO CLUE what I was in for.
The mom guilt.
How long it would take to leave the house.
The sleepless nights.
Losing myself in motherhood — feeling like I had to be with Blaire 24/7.
Adding Ben and now Sloane to our crew has been so much easier for me. It’s like they just fall in line with the crazy. 🤪 And I think being so much more confident in myself as a mom doesn’t hurt either. 💁🏼‍♀️ #motherhoodishard
#motherhood #momofthree #momof3 #clickinmoms #momtog #thelovelysquares #happilytrista #blaireandben #blairebenandsloane
  • ice cream outside with two of my favorite people. when it’s only 70° outside you can actually eat your ice cream without it melting all over us... and by us I mean them. 👆🏻👆🏻 #blaireandben
#2yearsold #5yearsold #momof3 #motherhoodintheraw #lifegivingsquares #petitejoy #motherhoodrising #ourcandidlife #uniteinmotherhood #mymamahood #seekthesimplicity #sharegood #joyfulmamas #documentlife #dailyparenting #momblogger #honestlymothering #therealparenthood  #thehappycapture #momsofinstagram #mytinymoments #thecreativecollective #realmotherhood #lifestyleblogger #stopdropandmom
  • Prepping for our third baby has been pretty easy so far. I guess when you have an older sister and brother, plus a mama who likes to hold on to everything from her babies, there isn’t a ton of shopping to do. The kids are having fun picking out little gifts to give baby sister in the hospital (something Blaire still talks about from when Ben was born), little toys here and there, PJs, and this @babyeinstein 4-in-1 Kickin Tunes Music & Language Discovery Gym at @target. I wasn’t joking when I said they wanted to test it out! #babyeinstein #ignitecuriosity #socialspotters #blaireandben #happilytrista
  • #ad I can’t believe this girl is heading off to kindergarten! With afternoon pre-k last year, we were lucky to not have to worry about the morning rush. So this year, our go-to is a waffle and a chocolate milk for the ride to school. Horizon® Shelf Stable Chocolate Milk is our favorite since we can easily grab it and go! Spoiler alert: she takes one in her lunch, too. Blaire is so excited, but little brother and I are sad to see her spend so much time away from us. But I am excited to be able to walk her to school and avoid the CRAZY drop-off and pick-up lines while the weather’s still nice, anyways. 
You can find @HorizonOrganic Chocolate Milk at @KrogerCo and you can even save $1 with this digital coupon (7/24/19 – 8/6/19). And you can stock up because Horizon Organic milk boxes are shelf-stable, meaning you can safely store them in the pantry. Shop now through the link in my bio. #blaireandben
  • Well we don’t have a Nordstrom near us, but we do have an Aldi. Most of their summer items are on clearance and we scored this sweet pool for $7. Winner, winner. 🦄☀️ #blaireandben
#summer #momentsiwanttoremember #aldifinds #motherhood
  • This summer hasn’t really felt like summer yet. 🤨 So when we have an 85° day we make the most out of it with a trip to the pool! How’d you spend your Sunday Funday? #blaireandben
  • another day, another doctors appointment for someone in our crew. today it’s Ben. he was up overnight saying his ear hurt — a double ear infection for him. luckily the kid loves taking medicine and hasn’t let his ears get him down! as long as he’s up moving around they’re fine, but the second he lays down... 😭😭😭. hoping our poor buddy is feeling better tomorrow. do you feel like you need a frequent flier card for your pediatrician? just me? okay. #blaireandben #itsfinewerefine
#uniteinmotherhood #motherhoodintheraw #momentsiwanttoremember #mybabies
  • When your brother is getting big but you still want to hold him... you gotta pinch his butt because he’s so wiggly. 😂😬😍 #blaireandben •
#petitejoys  #childhoodunplugged #letthembelittle #ohheymama #tagtheqc #mybeautifulmess #thehappynow  #thepursuitofjoyproject #thatsdarling #livethelittlethings #momentsiwanttoremember #everydaymoments #nothingisordinary #motherhoodrising
  • It is definitely bittersweet to leave the house where we brought both of these babies home. But we are excited for our next chapter as a family of five! #rainbowbaby #blaireandben
#pregnancyannouncement #rainbowbabyannouncement #firsttrimester
  • Last night was our first night in the new house. 👏🏻 We still have lots of stuff to bring from the old house and then lots of cleaning over there before the final walk through and closing next Monday. Then we can focus on getting this house unpacked and organized. But first, I would like a nap. 😴 #blaireandben #happilytristahome
  • The snow that never ends. 🙄🥶 Walked out into the snow this afternoon and one kid loved it, the other not so much. “Wowwww! It’s like a wizard out here.” —Blaire 😂
“Yuck!” —Ben #blaireandben
#bestofmom #momlifestyle #momlifeisthebestlife #motherhoodunplugged #mymotherhood #honestmotherhood #slowmotherhood #mymamahood #midwestblogger #eternalmotherhood #motherhoodintheraw #unitedinmotherhood #motherhoodrising #polarvortex