Behind the Camera and Dreaming

Spring Cleaning + Bona Floor Care Tips

Moving has given me lots of inspiration lately! There are so many things I want to blog about our home before we move, but I also want to show you all how excited I am to be moving to a new house! We love our current neighborhood and our little old house for so many reasons, so it's important for me to find the things I'm going to love about our new house - so I don't cry too much over this one. One of our favorite things in both houses - the wood floors. We are currently living in a 75+ year old house with the original pine floors. After we bought this house, before we moved in, my husband, dad, cousin, father-in-law all helped to refinish the floors that are in every room of this house except the kitchen and bathrooms! They just sanded them down and finished them. So they are their natural beautiful color with no stain. They are small traditional planks and have had their share of wear and tear for sure. I wish we would have done more to protect them over the past 4 years, because when spring cleaning time rolls around, I always want to refinish them again! Giving them a good cleaning though always makes me love them again! 

So, one of the things I'm falling in love with over at our new house is the heart pine floors! They are so beautiful and I'm so happy that they will be in my kitchen as well. I currently loathe the peel and stick tile in my kitchen. Nothing wrong with peel and stick - this stuff is just fugly. We will have carpet in our bedroom, but I won't complain because it's still a beautiful room!

Wesley and I have been discussing though how to keep our floors from getting scratched up and looking dull. He even told me about some rubber something you glue to your dog's toe nails (more research is needed if he's going to sell me on that)! 

I did find some great tips over on Bona's site on preventing scratches on your wood floors and thought I'd share what I've learned! They have lots of great tips and products too. We got to try this mop and it's pretty awesome! 

 I might need to post this list in the entry way of our new house. ;)

Here's a little more from Bona on how to keep your floors maintained and damage free!
  1. Clean the Outside of Your Home. Be sure to pay special attention to high traffic areas like entryways, garages and patios. Scratches on hardwood floors can be caused by dust and dirt particles. Unwanted debris can get tracked by guests, pets, or even a strong breeze. 
  2. Removing surface scratches from hardwood floors won’t be an issue with the right protection. Rugs and mats are great ways to protect your floors while offering an extra bit of style. Use a mat or rug wherever your floors get the most stress. Be sure to use mats inside and outside main entrances to eliminate as much dirt as possible from getting on your floors. Avoid rubber backed mats since they can lock in moisture and damage floors.If you do wind up with minor surface scratches you can remove them with Bona High and Low Gloss Polish and here's a $3 Off Coupon. 
  3. Take Off Your Shoes. While I understand this isn't always realistic, shoes with hard heels or points can be very dangerous for floors. High heels and sports shoes do not evenly distribute weight, making scratches on hardwood floors a very real risk. Even shoes with soft bottoms can still track and grind dirt into your floors. 
  4. Protect Your Floors from Furniture Fabric pads and glides are excellent ways to guard your floors from surface scratches on hardwood floors due to furniture. Plan your selection of pads according to how often the furniture is moved. Avoid plastic wheeled furniture since they can easily scratch and mar floors.
  5. Trim Your Pet’s Claws While nails and claws are a source for scratches on hardwood floors, you don’t have to choose between having an exquisite floor and having a pet. Make sure pet nails are properly groomed and maintained. Use caution and care when trimming pet claws because improper techniques can harm your pets.
  6. Plan and Follow a Cleaning Schedule A clean floor is protected floor. Knowing how often to clean your floors will further aid in preventing major damage. Here’s a quick schedule to follow for keeping your floors in their best condition:
Sweep - Daily      Mop - Weekly      Polish - Monthly      Deep Clean - Yearly

We also have to be aware of what we use on our floors because we do have pets and little ones. Ezra is already rolling around so much you can't keep him off the floor and we all know how toddlers eat and what they track in. Bona Hardwood Floor cleaners are non-toxic and GREENGUARD certified.

Ps before I go, you may have seen on Facebook where I took the Cleaning Personality Quiz. I got Multi-tasker... SO true! Tell me in the comments what you got!  When you enter you get a chance to win a Bona® Hardwood Floor Mop Express INSTANTLY! Registering will enter you for the chance to win a year of cleaning services for your home and the Grand Prize: a trip for 4 to Hawaii!

The really really good part of having a 3 year old.

 I hear myself, all the time, complaining about my three year old. His stubborn behavior, his unwillingness to compromise, his flat out disobedience and I admit it. I yell at him. I try not to, but sometimes he just can't won't hear me no matter how many times I gently remind him of something or try to let the behavior pass. Parenting is frustrating, disheartening, and exhausting. Sometimes you feel like a big ole failure, but then there are nights like last night.

Last night, my husband was out of town and it was just me and the boys at home. We made it through dinner, bath time, a little play time and wound up going to bed kind of late. We all three wound up in my bed and when I laid the baby down in his rock and play, I got THE BEST snuggles from my big boy. There was a little resistance to leave the toys alone, but he gave and laid his little head on my shoulder. He said he wanted to call his daddy. So, when he didn't answer it was a little heart breaking. His daddy usually puts him to bed and he was missing him big time. When you are that little one night seems like forever. He kept saying "I'm ready for daddy to come back home". So, I sent him a text to tell him we wanted to say goodnight. He called immediately and I did no talking. That little three year old spoke straight from his heart and told his daddy he missed him, he loved him, he was ready for him to come home and my heart melted and melted at that sweet little exchange. Then, I got more snuggles. Pure bliss I tell you.

Sometimes that fact that they can communicate their feelings is hard because you have to say no and explain why they can't have their way, but when their feelings are so genuine and sweet and soft-hearted it makes being three the most wonderful age yet. At one point while we were falling asleep he mentioned being scared. "I don't want anything to get me" he says often. To which I usually reply something reassuring, but last night I asked him if he wanted to pray and ask God to help him sleep well and he said "Mommy will you say a prayer to God?" and so I did. We pray and say our thank yous to God often, but something about the way he asked me last night was extra special. His heart is just so tender but he has this deeper understanding of the world than he did just a few months ago. So, in the times when he's hell bent on making me absolutely crazy, I'll try to remember nights like last night and cut him a little slack because that little heart is so tender and it won't be that way for long.

“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment, until it becomes a memory.” - Dr Seuss 

The Honest Company

Hello Oral Care. Toddler Approved.

thanks to Hello for sponsoring today's conversation #choosefriendly
thanks to my toddler for making every day conversation worthy
you can now find Hello Oral Care Products online at Target

 Jonah, who is 3, is in the midst of learning all of his self care and loves to do things himself. He's now fully capable of putting on all of his clothes, socks, most of his shoes (except laces of course), and gathers his own toys to take to childcare everyday. He even carries his back pack and is strangely obsessed with ziploc bags. He also knows all the potty tricks, washing his face at the sink, and brushes his teeth on his own. We give him some friendly guidance in these areas of course and usually finish up brushing and have to remind him to spit. To which we usually get a "I already did that!" It's funny how as a parent you become so proud of the littlest things, but it's truly awesome to see your child accomplishing things, even the little things. I guess it makes you realize that one day they are going to accomplish the big things.

That being said, fully capable doesn't mean fully obedient. Sometimes asking him to brush his teeth is like you asked him to climb Mount Everest. The whining, oh how I loathe the whining. "Not yet" he says after I ask him the third time. I can't and I don't want to are pretty high on the list too. I kind of feel bad saying you're breath stinks to my sweet little three year old, but let's be honest. Sometimes, especially in the morning, it just does. The problem is, he's a three year old boy and just doesn't care. A couple of days ago that changed. Last night, I had to make him eat dinner BEFORE he brushed his teeth. There is always a battle with a three year old though right?

naturally friendly toothpaste

I am not even kidding when I say I have never seen a kid so excited to brush his teeth as Jonah has been since a box of Hello products showed up on our doorstep. I mean he LOVES getting packages and when I told him there was something in it for him he came running. This was the scene at our house Thursday night. I should have pretended like there was only one kid's flavor in the box, but I wasn't quick enough on my feet (dangit!) and he has now tried out all three. He even took them all to childcare with him the next day AND my mom mentioned when I posted on Facebook that he was currently using brushing his teeth as an excuse not to nap! (that boy!)

hello toothpaste #choosefriendly

Is it the bright colors? the great taste? the fact that it's big kid tooth paste? or maybe the fact that it's just something else that he can now do on his own. I know one thing for sure, Hello's mission of making your home a friendlier place with this bright, tasty, beautiful, and naturally friendly toothpaste is working. I won't say the torturous threes won't strike again, but as a mom, I really love using a simple "why don't you go use your new green apple toothpaste?" instead of "Jonah pppplllllleeeeasssee go brush your teeth". It's already making my house more friendly!

hello toothpaste #choosefriendlySome other things we are doing to encourage good dental hygiene include:

  • Letting him choose his own tooth brush - right now it's "jake the pirate"
  • Giving him a sink cup for rinsing
  • Using lots of encouragement and positive reinforcement "Wow! Look at those shiny teeth!" when he's done. He proudly walks into the living room with a giant smile waiting for us to make a comment. 

What do you do to encourage your children to brush their teeth at least twice a day? Leave a comment so we can share our tricks! 

Before I go, though, I want to just add that Hello has products for us too. Awesome naturally friendly flavors like Mint Mojito and Peach Mango Mint have made their way onto my counter tops and into my heart. I mean are we vacationing on the beach (ugh I wish!) or getting ready to go to work? Just FYI you can find Hello's new line of toothpastes and other oral are products at various retailers BUT the Peach Mango Mint and the kid's line is found exclusively at every mom's favorite store - Target of course. So next time your wandering the aisles getting your latest starbucks fix head over to the toothpaste aisle.


You can feel good about your purchase too because Hello oral care is formulated without artificial sweeteners, dyes, or preservatives, hello products are never tested on animals – in fact they’re leaping bunny certified - and made in the USA. Hello is also clinically proven to prevent cavities and and strengthen enamel. So, great for everyday use and brighten up your day (and counter tops). 

ps. I was connected with Hello through Linqia. If you have an online community and want to connect with great brands learn more here

Catch the Moment 365 | 2015 | Week 8

We made it past 50 days of this years 365! Yay! I hope your week was a little better than mine on the photo front. It's been super busy at our house and my last two photos are phone shots..and not very good at that BUT I'll give myself a little leeway I guess. The first photo shows how chunky ezra is getting THOSE cheeks! Delish. There also might be a little sneaky peaky of our new house. Well my bathtub anyway! Whoo hoo! I'm going to keep it short and sweet. I hope you all had a fabulous week! Stay warm! 





A White Smile and other Confidence Boosters #OpticSmiles

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. 

As always, here on BTCAD, all opinions are mine alone. #OpticSmiles #CollectiveBias

It’s not always easy to reveal our insecurities on such a public forum, but occasionally getting really personal feels really good.  I feel like it makes me a better blogger and better person. It allows us to connect on a different level. I admire bloggers who share the nitty-gritty going on in their lives and I smile knowing they had the courage to share their real feelings. It just feels so good! Sharing my struggles with breast feeding has been invaluable to my confidence as a mother. Sharing setbacks while potty training gave me a peace of mind that I wasn't screwing my child up and I don’t think I would have gained that otherwise. Sharing photos of clothes I feel like I look good in gives me a boost in my self-esteem. Getting feedback saying how someone loves my photography gives me the encouragement to keep working toward my passion. So, obviously my love language is reassurance.

That being said, I know we all sometimes feel our confidence dip when it comes to our personal appearance. For me, right now, this is a biggie. Things just happen to your body after you have a baby and then you have another and man it's really hard to feel confident about your appearance. Yes there are certain things that I can embrace. Stretch marks, fine. I know there's little I can do about those and they are almost like badges of honor that show how amazing your body can be! The dull, dry skin and totally different hair texture are things I'm constantly battling. I mean I am not really sure how I have so much hair left because it all seems to be falling out! BUT in spite of it all there are a few things I've been trying to work on getting my groove back!

So, given the opportunity, I thought I'd share a few of my confidence boosters!
  • Buy a few pieces of clothing that work on your body as it is. Thank heavens to Stitch Fix because Lord knows I don't have the time to go shopping. 

  • Freshen up your beauty routine. A little pop of color here, a little cover there and a zombie you'll look no more. I love to try new things and love getting goodies like ipsy sends. I found THE BEST concealer that way. I'm talking a 5-minute face nothing elaborate! 

  • Accessorize! Add some accessories to your style. My clothes may not all fit the way I want but a favorite pieces of jewelry, scarf, or cute hat can add a lot to your appearance. 
This is one of my favorite photos I've post of myself. It's obviously not perfect but little things like wearing a cute  hat when I don't have time to do my hair  make me feel a little cooler and boost my confidence!
  • Whiten your teeth. You don't have to get it professionally done Colgate® Optic White® Express White has 2 times more of the professionally recommended whitening ingredient anyway so you'll have whiter teeth in 3 days just by brushing anyway. You can continue to guzzle the coffee (just freshen up your bright pearly whites every now and then). 
A little lip color (that I'm still not sure about?), a few days of whitening and a smile! 

Here's a little more about Colgate® Optic White® Express White Toothpaste in case you were wondering. I can never decide what to buy for whitening and those kits are so expensive! 

Colgate® Optic White® Express White contains the professionally recommended ingredient hydrogen peroxide to whiten faster. It has 2 times more of the professionally recommended whitening ingredient. You'll see whiter teeth in just 3 days, just by brushing. Also, for you deal seekers, and well anyone who will be shopping on Saturday (2/28/15), there will also be a roaming demo in 550 stores on  to promote the new product. Ambassadors will be roaming aisle of your local Walmart giving out $1 off coupons! 

What gives you a little confidence boost? Please! Share your tips in the comments!

Toddler Boy Room

I am wishing now that I'd done a better job of doing a "blog home tour" so that I would have perfect pictures of our home and I'll remember it as the beautiful bungalow I always wanted it to be (instead of the mess it usually was/is =) ). I wrote last week about leaving our beloved old house and heading somewhere new.I might have talked about how hard it will be for me to leave behind the walls that hold the memories of my babies being babies. I am sure any mother can understand this and we can all agree that in the end they are just walls and floors, made up of a bunch of wood, nails, and paint (thankfully I saved my paint swatches!).

I have to say though, Jonah's room is extra special to me. I've shared it here before but wanted to share it again, in it's current state (well a cleaned up version of it's current state - because he's three). I love this room. So, it hasn't changed THAT much since it was his "nursery" but just grown a little with him. I just love the windows, the light, the curtains, the closet and most of all the little boy who occupies it. We won't tell the buyers, but there will always be the marks in the old wood floors where this baby has been rocked nearly every night by his daddy. There are sounds of cries, songs and prayers that will bounce of the walls in my memory forever. So much work went into making this space his. So, here it is in all it's toddler glory!

I know he'll love his new room and make more memories there, but I just want to hold on to these special moments in time too.

last two photos by mary moment photography

Catch the Moment 365 | 2015 | Week 7

Okay Friends! Can I just say what a week this has been? I know most, if not all, of you are dealing with extreme cold, snow, ice and freezing temperatures. I hope everyone has fared okay and is not completely snowed in. Isn't it strange how some people can function perfectly fine with this much cold? I read some Alaskans are having their warmest winter ever, though, strange. I wonder what this will mean for our summer this year. Down here in the deep,  deep south, we haven't seen any snow yet and dare I say have a high of 60 degrees tomorrow. Nonetheless, we've still managed to have quite the cold, crazy week. Did you read my post from yesterday? or maybe see this post on instagram about how we sold our house over the weekend? Hello crazy town! If my posts are kind of sporadic or gramatically incorrect, it's just because I can't think straight. 

This week in photos was ALL about my boys. I even had to throw in a few extra shots in this week! 

43|365 Thursday, I needed to take off early which meant I got to spend some quality time with these two. I absolutely love seeing their relationship develop. My siblings are my best friends and I hope that's true for them too. 

44|365 As Friday rolled around, we were ready to put our house on the market and looking forward to what the weekend would bring! Little did we know we'd come out of the weekend with a whole new outlook! 

45|365 My angel baby, Ezra. He's such a sweet boy and getting so big these days I can't even handle it. He can now roll from front to back and back to front! Slow down time. 

46|365 Construction Zone - Mommy Stay Back. Before we headed out house hunting on Sunday, we stopped in a target for a few things, Jonah needed some apples but was distracted by the toy section. He would not let me pass him and insisted on bringing his hard hat in. Three year olds are crazy. 
47|365 I almost got NO pictures on Monday. It was a hectic day. Late night on the couch is really one of my favorite times of day. Snugglefest! 

48|365 The cold set in on Tuesday and we had to bundle up! Ezra headed to Nonnie's and Jonah to school (MMO). I just love a little boy in a sweater and a little morning window light. 

49|365 Monochrome madness. Had to capture his little Scandinavian style. His winter coat is getting to small. Come on Spring!