Show your Superpower

A couple of weeks ago we stopped by our local library to play on their playground. I used to bring Liam to story time every Thursday for about 5 months. After many many many times having to chase after Liam and trying to keep him quiet and calm while choosing books I thought this is not setting either of us up for success and decided it’s best to find a new physical activity to make us both happy. 

While at the park we had to make a stop inside for a potty break. I was looking around and decided to grab some books since my husband was there to watch Liam. One of the books we check out was called “Ten rules of being a superhero“. My son’s eyes got so big and I could tell he was listened to every word. I felt if he was this excited and interested in a book, I had to incorporate this into our real life. 

The story follows a little boy (Lava Boy) and his superhero toy (Captain Magma) who show you the rules of being a superhero and how it affects those around them. Rule #3 was the rule that helped guide me in the direction I was looking for. 

Rule #3: Every superhero has at least one superpower, that’s what makes him SUPER! Captain magma had three superpowers which i thought was great and we made it our own. 

After we finished the book, Liam and I talked about superheros and what his three super powers are. 

#1 Has a friendly personality

#2 Is a great jumper

#3 An awesome big brother

His superhero pose

These three superpowers have given Liam such confidence and I’ve seen a huge growth in him. When we go places to play I remind him to show off his superpower and he gives me a huge smile with a thumbs up. It helps a lot at home as well when he forgets to be gentle to Bennett. I just remind him of his superpower and his eyes light up and he gets so excited to be a superhero. 

I hope you enjoy reading this story as much as we did. It might have become a household favorite and will soon be added to our library. 



I thought it was about time to introduce myself…

My name is Jen Swearingen. I am the oldest and only girl of 3 children. My husband, Alex and I have been married for four and a half years and we have 2 wonderful boys, Liam (3) and Bennett (6 months). Liam is my strong, independent, funny boy who teaches me about parenting everyday while Bennett is a happy, laid back, go with the flow baby that this Mama desperately needed.

I’ve grown up in Wake Forest close to family. My cousins were more like siblings who lived in different houses, this called for many sleepovers. Family is a very big part of who I am and I’m so glad Alex grew up the same way. Both our parents live 10 minutes from us and our boys get to grow up with their grandparents close by. We have no shortage of babysitters.

I’ve been working with kids since I took a babysitting course at the young age of 9. Babysitting, various preschools, and teaching dance class. My recent job was as a two year old assistant at Hope Lutheran Preschool in Wake Forest. I worked there for 5 wonderful years. The first day my lead teacher and I met was the start of our amazing friendship. We married the same year, had our first sons 7 weeks apart and now have second sons 12 weeks apart. To say God just drops amazing things in your lap is ever so true with this amazing woman I call my best friend.

This month marks my first year as a stay-at-home Mom. I was so excited to start a new journey with my Liam  and anxious about adding another to our duo. Having a brother almost 10 years younger and working with kids I thought I had motherhood in the bag. Yea The Lord was definitely laughing at that joke. I love my son so very much. I carried him, gave birth to him, but he has no limits and tests my “expert” parenting everyday. Now that he is 3 I see his maturity and remorse. He’s grown not only in height but in his speech, knowledege, and integrity. He wants to know everything and is so curious. His fire for learning is a gift and I never want to put out his flame. God is my rock and shoulder when I feel this amazing boy is too much for my impatient, human mind to handle. My prayer for Liam is to lean on Jesus and to follow whatever greatness he has for him. I know he has a wonderful future ahead of him. Adding Bennett to our family this past December was just what our family needed. It was like he was part of our little family all along. He loves when we go out to parks, play dates, the pool, and indoor play places. He flashes his amazing smile and it melts everyone’s heart.

I started my Weight Watcher life style in February of 2015. I was almost 12 months postpartum and counting calories only got my so far. I was 15 lbs away from my goal and I was hungry ALL THE TIME. I knew there was a healthier, more effective way to lose weight. In just 4 short months I was down to my pre-pregnancy weight and felt amazing. I was eating the right portions, had lots of energy, and felt full! I continued to use Weight Watchers until I got pregnant March 2016. I didn’t consistently record my points but I did manage to gain 10 less lbs than my first pregnancy. Now that I’m 6 months postpartum I’ve been back recording my points everyday for the past month. I’m excited to share some yummy recipes and my healthy eating lifestyle. 

I wanted to enter the blog world to share my life with you. I want other moms to know there is someone else going through the same thing. I want to help support my husband and share his love of bread with people who share the same passion. I want to share my knowledge of teaching and working with children for so many years.  Thank you for joining this journey with me.


Summer Rules

Now that it’s summer and your children are out of school do you feel a little overwhelmed? Personally I am a mess without my lists. I have lists for everything!! Diaper bag, pool bag, chores; you name it, I probably have a list for it. I was scrolling on my Facebook feed and saw this summer schedule for children. I find it so hard sometimes and feel so guilty for having the television on. I liked that the chart allowed us to watch TV but chores and activities came first. This also has helped us with getting ready when we have plans that morning. I loved the idea, but knew I had to change some things for it to work for our family. I wanted to share my “School Rules” chart with you to print and post in your home. This chart is geared for preschoolers (pre-reader) since that is what I’m catering to in my home. It only has pictures so my son can do the chart by himself and doesn’t need me to read it to him. Our goal at the end of this is to teach our three year old responsibility and to help the chaos that the summer brings. Below I will explain the pictures and the chores that go with each. They are pretty explanatory which is great for the youngsters. I hope you enjoy and feel a little more organized in the chaotic summer months.

Summer Rules

Top Line:

Get Dressed/Make your bed/Eat breakfast/Brush your teeth/Help mommy with a chore  

Middle Line:

20 min Read a book/20 min coloring/20 min play with play doh/20 min alphabet practice 

(I didn’t write a time on the chart so they can be adjusted)


Baby Registry

As a second time mom I now have the understanding of “every baby is different”. That statement couldn’t be anymore true with my two boys. I thought we were prepared in the registry department when I found out I was having my second son. I thought “great it’s another boy! We already have clothes, a crib, baby chair, jumper; I’m all set” (except for diapers and wipes of course). Man was I completely wrong. Liam hated being swaddled, Bennett loves it. Liam never spit up but WATCH OUT every time you changed his diaper; Bennett spits up everyday, all the time and can be un-diapered for 5 minutes. It wasn’t as difficult figuring these things out as it was with the first. You already have some experience under your wing so what doesn’t work you don’t sweat it and try something else. I have some lady friends who are pregnant with their first baby and want to know what’s best to register for. I made a list of items I used with Liam for the  first year of life and added some items that I didn’t have that Bennett needed. If you are a first time mom, second, third, even fourth time mom and trying to remember back on the baby stage and what baby items were best, (because you know once you’re pregnant your brain turns to mush and you’re lucky enough to remember to shower let alone a baby registry from your previous pregnancies) check out my Baby Registry List below. **I bottle fed both my boys so I don’t have any breast feeding items listed**


*Dresser (used as changing table as well)

*Changing pad (cover optional, Liam used to pee on it all the time so I just stopped

using it. Bennett doesn’t so I use it for him)


*Mattress (it’s best to get a new mattress for every child, as Liam got older he would jump in the crib and the mattress wasn’t good anymore)

*Rocking chair/Glider

*Mobile (optional, I got one for Liam, but haven’t set it up for Bennett. I’m afraid Liam

may play with it since they share a room)

*Monthly baby picture frame (optional, I got one for each boy)

*Diaper champ

*Sound machine (hush noise is okay for the first year but can be harmful to their ears after

12 months. I now use the waves noise)

*Monitor (as a new parent I used a video monitor, I suggest the Motorola MBP365. Mine ended up breaking and so I’m now using just a sound monitor, the Vtech safe & sound)

Baby Gear

*Stroller travel system (Graco) (I liked that I could get a car seat and stroller for one price. To be honest we focused more on the stroller to see if it would be tall enough for my 6’4″ husband and for it to have big cup holders. (this was at my husbands request as we enjoyed frequent lunches at Which Wich and the cup was rather large.)

*Baby carrier (I registered for an Eddie Bower carrier for Liam and only used it twice. I ended up giving it to a friend because I never used it and wasn’t particularly fond of it. Having two kids I love my Ergo baby carrier, I were it at most of our outings when Bennett is tired of sitting in his car seat and needs some mommy time. Make sure to register for the infant insert as well)

*Pack n play with changing station (I planned on putting both boys in the same room but knew Bennett needed to be somewhere else in the first months as to not wake up Liam during night feedings. We ended up putting the pack n play in the dining room of our apartment. It worked out so well and the attached changing station worked perfect for middle of the night changes)


*Diapers (pamper swaddlers/luvs/target)

*Wipes (pampers sensative/members mark)

*Diaper caddy. (It’s nice to have a couple of these around the house, especially if you live in a two story house and your nursery is upstairs. Having supplies downstairs will help you a lot!

*Butt paste/target brand

*Diaper bag (Here is my bag, I have it in Aqua Radian. I purchased it when Liam was around 6 months and my first diaper bag wasn’t big enough. I like to strap the bag on my stroller handle to leave room to put stuff in the basket. I use this bag for both boys stuff. This is a cute bag if you like backpacks.

**Baby bum diaper cream brush** (We don’t own one of these but I wish we did)


*Bottles (avent ) 4oz and 9oz (I got the 4oz bottles knowing it comes with stage 1 nipples, 9oz only has stage 2 nipples and those are for older babies which I now use that Bennett’s 6 months old. Also I registered for new bottles, using a bottle brush can cause cuts in the bottles which traps bacteria.)

*Poppy Pillow with cover

*Burp cloths (I find that cloth diapers work great as burp cloths, especially for all the spit ups Bennett has)

*Bottle brush (I boil my bottles for the first couple of months to sanitize)

*Formula (Enfamil infant) We used Enfamil Gentlease for Liam and started with that formula for Bennett. We found it made him spit up so much more than he does now. We tried other Enfamil products and found that the Infant was best. He still spits up but less than any other formula)

*Dishwasher basket

*Spit up bibs (These are originally called drool bibs but work perfect for spit up as well, also the patterns are so cute.)

*Drying rack

Solid Feeding

*High Chair (mine attaches to a dining room chair)

*Gerber food (I also make some homemade food, if I have the time)


*Spoons and pouch spoons (pouches are perfect for on the go)

*Sippy cups

*Splat mat for carpet

*Bibs (These are different then the spit up bibs. You can get cheap ones with the plastic on the back or the silicone. I liked the silicone for toddler stage for solid food)

*Munchkin fresh food feeder


*Bath tub


*Bath cup

*Tub Toy scoop

*Hooded towels and washcloths

*Shampoo (make sure to get tear free)


*Wearable Blanket (Especially for the winter months! Since Bennett liked to be swaddled I just tied the arms across his chest)

*Swaddle blankets  (I only purchased these for Bennett, make sure to go up a size to make room for growth.)

*Love to swaddle 50/50 (Around 4 months Bennett was getting a little big for the swaddle me blankets and he was getting upset he couldn’t suck on his hands. I found these and Bennett loves it. Some moms have only purchased these as they can be used from birth. Make sure to purchase at least 2 when one has to go into the wash.)

*Onesies under footie PJs (Both boys were born when it was cold, the onesies helped with an extra layer for warmth)

Baby Soothers, Toys, and Entertainment

*Pacifiers (avent, nuk, custom pacifiers) Liam still uses a pacifier for rest and bed time. To keep help him recognize the difference we purchased plain pacifier’s for Bennett and Liam got to have designs.
*Bouncy chair (rocker)


*Jumper (exersaucer) We chose the jumper for Liam, working with children and babies I saw that children enjoyed the jumper more than the exersaucer. I’m glad I went with my gut because both boys loved it.


*Teething toys


*First aid kit


*baby/infant tylenol for vaccinations (bring this to your first vaccination appointment and the doctor can tell you how much to give your child)

*Baby brush

*Bulb syringe

*Potty seat (Liam never used ours, we’ll see if Bennett will)

*Backseat mirror
*Car seat canopy

*Seat cover (I love this, all the yucky food ends up on the cover and off my seats)


*Shopping cart cover (babies love to put their mouths on the shopping cart handle, this protects baby from germs plus there are rings to hand toys)

*Batteries (AAA AA C D) Everything takes batteries!!!!

*Bumbo chair with tray (I fed the boys in it and it helps teach baby to sit up)

Yes babies need a lot, please don’t feel overwhelmed. All babies are different and have certain needs. Put all the thing you will need on your registry. You will not receive it all so with money and gift cards you can purchase the rest. Some registries you can make some items a high priority. I know Target has it, that’s where I registered. Remember to not stress and enjoy this special, happy time your with husband.


Swimming Jellyfish Craft

I’m a stickler for paper plate crafts. We always have them and there’s so many things you can do with a paper plate. I saw this craft on Facebook and knew it would be a fun activity to do with Liam while Bennett took his morning nap.


  • paper plate
  • small piece of cardboard (I used an old teddy graham box. I often recycle my snack boxes, they are a great substitute for cardboard)
  • blue paint/blue marker
  • pink paint (or color you’d like to paint your jellyfish)
  • paintbrush
  • colorful yarn (we only had navy blue, but you can use a rainbow of colors)
  • googly eyes or google eye stickers
  • jumbo craft stick (large popcycle stick)
  • Elmer’s Glue
  • scissors (I used adult and child size, I had Liam help cut the yarn)


Colored our paper plate with blue marker



Painting our jellyfish pink. He learned that mixing white paint and red paint make pink.


Glueing our jellyfish tentacles. They were really sticky


Our final product!!

I like to let my son make it his own, perfection is not in the product. Of course this does drive me nuts seeing as I’m a perfectionist. He gets so excited knowing it’s unique and he did everything by himself.

Refer to the I Heart Crafty Things page for step by step instructions. Have fun crafting 🙂


FREE FUN in the Sun

I love the smell of sunscreen in the morning! Welcome to summer where the sun is hot and the days are long. I have so many exciting things planned and wanted to share our free fun ideas with you.


Indoor places:

Other places to visit:

  • RDU Observation Park (we bring sand toys to play in the sandbox)
  • Abbott’s Creek Community Center (they have a fence enclosed playground on a rubberized safety surface and a shade canopy covering the equipment. Inside the Community Center they have a free Tot Time (5yrs and under).  You can register either online, which I prefer with an impatient 3 year old, or on site.

   Mon/Wed/Fri    7:00-12:00pm

Tues/Thurs   1:00-3:00pm Open

I know the title says free, but I wanted to include some places we go that cost under $15 a person

Toddler Thursday $12 (children ages 3-5yrs) with one parent free with paying child

I also like to use Fun 4 Raleigh Kids. It’s a great website for looking up events and activities to do with your kids all year long.

Keep an eye out for future posts on the places we visited and the fun we had. Looking forward to this adventurous summer and the wonderful memories we will create.


Bathing suit

“Bathing suit”

Why is it when I hear this word I want to run and hide under my covers in my sweats!! Yes I’m almost 6 months postpartum, but this world only shows perfection and “mommy bods” aren’t exactly the ultimate fashion statement. Even celebrity mommies go into hiding till they have the pre baby body they once had. No I do not have a nanny or personal trainer to help whip me back is shape. I’m also not breast feeding so that’s not helping either. Self love is a tough one for me, I struggle with just loving myself and the body God has given me. I heard someone say once, “If you don’t like yourself then your always around someone you don’t like”. That statement really hit me right in the heart. How can you be happy and feel love if you can’t feel that way about yourself. I’m a boy mom so I don’t have a young girl looking up to me, but I do have boys looking at my husband who calls me beautiful and gorgeous. He even has my oldest come to me and tell me I look pretty. I would usually say thank you, but then criticize something like my hair doesn’t look right or my favorite dress I wore last year pre baby doesn’t fit, or that I  just woke up and still have morning breathe. Now I try to think of that statement and how I have these men in my life who love me for me; no make up or even the extra 20 pounds can change that.

Talking about self love, it’s pool season and yes that mean less clothes and a bathing suit. If you’re looking in your drawers and don’t like anything you see, buy a new one!! After having Liam I purchased a one piece that made me feel pretty and covered everything I needed covered. I came across a video on Facebook just after having Liam, her name is Jessica Rey and she had created a bathing suit company for woman and girls. Her focus was to make woman look beautiful without showing too much skin. I fell in love with her message and checked out her website, I immediately found this beautiful swimsuit, I was looking for something that had ruching (to hide the post partum belly), padded bra, and supportive straps. This suit was perfect, plus it was named after an Audrey Hepburn character!

Things to think about in a new suit after having  a baby:

  • Comfort
  • Does it cover everything
  • Support. This is for the girls (breastfeeding or not) also your baby will like to grab on your suit well into elementary age.

If you get to the pool, new suit and all, and you’re just not ready, buy a really cute cover up that can get wet. Just remember that no one is really looking at you anyway, they’re all looking at that beautiful baby!

ann in seaspray

Ann in Seaspray $120

Women's Woven Cover Up Dress - Merona™. Image 1 of 2.

Women’s Woven Cover Up Dress – Merona™ $19.99




Sweet Potato Nachos

We made these babies for dinner! It’s Weight Watchers friendly and gluten-free. You won’t want to miss making this delicious meal.

Servings: 4                      Weight Watchers Smart Points: 13 for one serving


  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 cup Black beans, canned
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup Green onions
  • 2 Sweet potatoes, large
  • 4 strips of bacon


  • 4 tbsp Salsa

Baking & Spices

  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 Salt and pepper

Oils & Vinegars

  • 1 tbsp Olive oil


  • 1 cup Cheddar cheese, sharp
  • 1 Greek yogurt or sour cream (use greek yogurt for accurate weight watchers points)

Inspired by


Wife, Mommy, Homemaker

Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, beard and outdoor

I’ve officially been a stay-at-home mom for a year. Over this past year I think of all the changes our family has gone through. My husband starting a business, Liam turning 3, and adding a sweet baby to the mix. The transition from a family of three to a family of four has been very smooth, it’s like it’s always been this way. Liam has taken on the big brother role so well. Of course “be gentle” has been said hundreds of time and might stick someday. Bennett adores his big brother and is always looking for him. I thank God every day for giving me two sons that will grow up following Him and being best friends.

Being pregnant through most of my sons 2nd year of life has become a blur. I do know there were days I had no energy, not happy, and just plain mean. I remember back at the person I was and am so glad Liam doesn’t remember her. She was not a fun mommy and had no patients. I’ve been so hard on myself and make a daily prayer to forgive myself and work on the mom I want to be for both my boys.

Going on month 6 as a mom of two I am ready for summer and the fun memories we will be making.



Breaking Bread Bakery

Breaking Bread Bakery

Image may contain: food

My husband Alex has been dreaming of opening up his own bakery since we started dating almost 7 years ago (more on that story later). His talent for cooking and baking started as a kid in his moms kitchen. He has wonderful memories helping make dinner and sweet treats for family and friends.

God definitely had my back when choosing a man for me to marry. I’m not one to be creative in the kitchen so thankfully Alex takes that job. All the other household chores don’t seem so bad when you know a talented chef  cooking in your kitchen. My three-year-old doesn’t seem to appreciate the yummy meals, he’s a chicken nuggets and peanut butter and jelly kind of guy; there’s hope for the baby!

Baking is his true passion and has lead him to creating Breaking Bread Bakery. Artisan sourdoughs are his specialty and our best seller. The time and dedication that goes into making beard is a true art and Alex does it beautifully. We have both a Facebook and Instagram page where you can order bread and see our delicious loaves.

Follow us:

Facebook- Breaking Bread Bakery NC

Instagram: breakingbreadbakerync

Help us keep growing and one day open up a place to call home.

…they broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts. -Acts 2:46