Posts tagged ydm
Learn To Thrive With Ivy
Teaching our children about our cultures is SO important. We hope that by doing so, he is able to appreciate his own culture as well as show respect for others.
-Ivy Elkington

Ivy Elkington is a rock-climbing mama who dwells in the beautiful mountain-sides of Utah. Her knack for artistic photography and capturing scenery is the reason why Learn To Thrivy is on my radar. Ivy blogs about embracing the little moments life, and shares that she keeps her sanity at home just by keeping things simple and organized! This relaxed boho mama shares about how she relies on faith and family to get through troubling times.

Q & A

1First of all, congrats on the new beautiful baby! What made you choose his unique moniker, Te Kanawa?

Oh thank you! He is such a blessing. It took us a while to pick out a name, we really wanted something that was meaningful and so we went through our ancestry to find something unique and special. Eventually my mother-in-law suggested Te Kanawa (who was the brother of my husband’s great-great-grandfather) and we loved it! Also, his nickname Kana in Maori means, “to stare wildly” and we couldn’t have picked a more perfect name for our beautiful big-eyed boy.


2. You and your husband both have stunning features, so does Kana, what is your ancestry background? Where is your husbands?

You’re too kind haha. My ancestry is European, I have a little bit of everything over there from Scandinavian, to Spaniard! My husband’s background is Maori and English, his family is very proud of their Maori culture, which I love! 


3. How important is it to you both to immerse your children in your cultures?

I think teaching our children about our cultures is SO important! It gives them a piece of their heritage and allows them to learn more about their ancestors and their history. We’ve made it a point to decorate our home with cultural pieces, to sing our son Maori songs, and plan on teaching him the language (which I will need to learn more about.) We hope that by doing so, he is able to appreciate his own culture as well as show respect for others.

4. You guys explore amazing mountain-sides and thick jungles. Where is home to you all?

We are actually based in Utah at the moment while my husband finishes up school. Utah for me is a love/hate. I love that all kinds of hikes, rock climbing, and other adventures are just 5 minutes away! BUT, I am a born and raised Southern Californian, and so I struggle with the cold snowy winters.

5. I love that you share about your spirituality and that you are so connected to the world. How do your spiritual beliefs impact parenting Kana?

We are LDS and love being members! We actually had a hard time having a baby, but because of our faith, we didn’t lose hope and finally was blessed with our beautiful son. Our struggle made us believe even more, and I think because of that, we have more patience, more joy, and more love for Kana. I also think that because of our spiritual beliefs, we better understand the importance of being kind and loving to EVERYONE as we are taught about Jesus Christ and the life that he lived. Basically, if you don’t support someone’s actions, you can still support that person and show them love! This is something that we want to teach to Kana daily, by our actions, and how we treat each other as husband and wife.

6. What is your best advice to a mama who is trying to simplify her life?

Prioritize and organize! As a mama you are pulled in all sorts of directions, being a mom, being a wife, working out, friends, cleaning, work, hobbies, etc. Prioritizing the important stuff first can help you keep things simple. Once you figure out what’s most important, you can dedicate your time doing those things or spending time with those people and then just don’t stress the rest. Organizing your home is important too. The more organized and simple your home is, the easier it is to take care of it!

7.  Being a stay-at-home mom or working mom is a full-time job, in addition to that, do you have other jobs that you’re passionate about?

I absolutely love getting creative! You can usually find me working on a craft in my spare time, or exploring my artistic side with a painting or photoshoot. Much of our home décor is actually my work.

8. You post amazing photos of yourself and your family in nature. I’m convinced you’re a model! Who gets the honor of snapping your photos? What type of camera do you use to capture these moments?

Most of the time it’s me or my husband behind the camera with my instruction! He has a hidden talent. Occasionally I work with a professional photographer too. I own a Canon EOS Rebel T6i that I LOOOOOOVE. 

9. What do you want women and bloggers to take away from your experiences on Learn to Thrivy?

I would love for women and other bloggers to feel empowered and inspired as they read my experiences. That they can do more than they think they can, that we all experiences struggles, that being a mother is hard work but worth it!  

10. If you could go adventure anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

This is a hard question, I have a lot of places I’d love to visit. Right now at the top of my list is Bali. I absolutely love the turquoise ocean, and lush plant life there, not to mention the insanely beautiful culture. One of my favorite things to do is to explore, and Bali is the place for that! I know that there are views there that could take my breath away.

Follow Ivy Elkington on Instagram at @learntothrivy

Walkin On Sunshine With Mom-Blogger Martine Etienne
It kills to see how society is so quick to judge you instead of being empathetic, as long as it is not their child they could care less
-Martine Etienne

Martine is an adventure-seeking mama that globe trots around the world in seek of lush new places and incredible libraries to explore with her two kids. Even though home is currently in Boston, MA, Martine's rich Haitian culture influences her world of food and fashion. This savvy "expert" thrifter advocates for Autistic children through organizations like Autism Speaks to spread awareness about how autism affects children and the families that support them.

Q & A

1. Your Instagram shows you have an incredible eye for capturing the outdoors! Where is your favorite nature spot to visit with your kids?

My favorite nature spot with my kids is the Crane Estates which is located in Ipswich Massachusetts. I love this place because of its lavish green spaces and the amazing views.


2.  I think being outdoors really grounds us to the earth and each other. What role does embracing nature play in your parenting? 

 I want my children to grow up not being fearful of nature. It helps the kids with observation and also helps them to create, it encourages imagination which my daughter is always doing. It gives them a sense of wonder, to me that is important. They both have their own sense of adventure my son if he sees a snake will pick it up and play with it , my daughter will not. My daughter can walk into a lake without hesitation, my son will not. At the end of the day I want them to be comfortable with nature and also be aware of what they can expect.


3. I think it’s amazing you are a fierce advocate for children with autism. What is your biggest struggle as a parent with an autistic child?

My biggest struggle as a parent of a child with autism is being judged when my son throws a crazy tantrum and having to explain his situation. It kills to see how society is so quick to judge you instead of being empathetic, as long as it is not their child they could care less. I simply wish that people would educate themselves more about autism and know that people on this spectrum are just like us. It is just that they respond differently and if society could embrace that fact, the world would become a better place.


4. What do you do to educate and promote awareness about autism to people who are unfamiliar with autism?

I promote awareness by attending the Autism Speaks walk in Boston which is happening on the 15th of October on the Boston Common, it is my second year doing it. I always share articles about autism on my page. I also invite them to some of the groups that I am part of which consists of mainly autism moms/dads. This way they will kind of get a glimpse of what we as autism parents go through on a daily basis.


5. What would you say to other moms and parents whose children are newly diagnosed with autism?

I would say to them be strong as it will be not an easy road. They will loose friends, family members because not everyone has the patience to deal with a child who has autism and also wanting to be around them. I would say find their tribe, people that share the same struggle as they do, that way they will not feel less of a human. Also get closer to their providers work together for the sake of their child. Get the best help they can get, I can honestly say that if it weren't for my son's team, early intervention, ABA services, his doctor, his school, he would not be where he is today. I will tell not to give up when it gets too tough, I felt that way i know it is not a good feeling but hang in there they are doing great.


6. I love that you blog often about your love for books and libraries. Why is it important to you to share about literacy and reading?

It is important that they read because it enhance the little knowledge that they have and expands their curiosity and enriches their brain. Reading creates communication between us.


7. What are your family’s favorite books to read together?

We love reading the cat and the hat series but our favorite one is IF I RAN THE RAIN FOREST by Bonnie Worth.


8. Your brood is sharp! Not only are they smart, they are super fashionable! Where do you guys go to browse for outfits?

Lol, thank you. I have discovered a few brands here on instagram like Minirodini I love them  because every season they come up with a different kind of print. I also love NUNUNUWORLD for their comfortable 360 dresses and the smell , their clothing smell amazing. For my son I mostly use h&m because that is the only place i can find a great colored pants and i love their style. Add target, walmart, gap, etsy and some small shops around town.


9. Culture is very important to you and your family. Where are you all from? What do you do to root your culture into your children’s foundation?

I am from Haiti but specifically the beautiful city of Les cayes located in the south. We cook mostly haitian food, we celebrate the haitian flag day by sending them to school in the cultural outfits, which reminds me I I have to get new ones, and we speak the language which is Haitian Creole. They do not quite understand it fully but they are getting there. There are other cultural stuff that they need to know  which will happen when I take them to Haiti.


10.  Why did you start blogging? What do you hope people take away from you and your family’s experiences?

I started blogging to share my affordable to free adventures in or around New England with my family and to let parents know that you do not have to break the bank to take your kids out. They are beautiful and very educational national parks around, free museum days etc... There so much that they can do which can enrich their children lives at no cost. I want to encourage them to take the kids out as much as possible. It is and experience that they will never regret and will pass along to their children as well.

Follow Martine Etienne on Instagram at @aokis_chronicles

Talk To Me Mama!

I find myself writing content all the time, but is it what you want to hear?


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Drop me and message in the comments below! We'll keep being Young, Dumb, Moms that learn a little something new everyday.