‘Twas the Night Before Holiday Mini’s

‘Twas the night before our Holiday minis

when all through the house

Mom was running around like crazy

no help from her spouse.

 

Cutting tags, prepping outfits, were we matching too much?

With bags under her eyes mom knew she’d need lots of retouch.

 

The kids were nestled all snug in their beds,

mom ironed and hung clothes in hues of black, white, and reds.

 

Mom got spray tanned and polished, her hair freshly cut;

was it too late to get the fat, sucked out of her gut?

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5 Tips to Help Your Preschooler Cope During a Big Move

I just finished relocating from the Tampa Bay area, where I’ve been living the past almost 8 years, back to South Florida, where I grew up. For me and my husband, this move is just going back home; most of our family is still there, all our closest friends, everything is familiar to us. My son on the other hand, our life Saint Petersburg is all he knows. I wanted to help him cope with the move as much as I could.

While he’s super excited to be closer to his cousin, he was still having some very big emotions associated with the move. He may not have been able to explain he’s having anxiety but it was apparent in his behavior. Even his teacher at school could pin-point the days there were major changes in the house. Now, I am in no way a child phycologist, or have any expertise in this area, but these 5 tips I’m sharing with you really made a difference in our experience. There were still plenty of battles along the way, but that’s just par for the course when raising a strong-willed little guy.

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I Am Thankful; Gratitude Activities for Children

In such a fast-paced, media driven, Amazon prime(d) and ready world, I find it somewhat challenging to teach my children how to be grateful.  Do they know or understand how good they have it?  Probably not.  I’m not even sure it’s a concept they can grasp yet, but none-the-less, in the spirit of Thanksgiving and gratitude I’m going to try.

And to be completely frank, I don’t just do these activities for my kids.  I can get into a habit of whining and complaining and not realizing how good I have it.  (And bonus these activities force my husband to throw a few “thank you babe”(s) my way so win-win!)

Here are my favorite activities for this month:

  1.  Harvest Thankful Tree (from your favorite place – you guessed it, Target!) –  I keep this tree as our centerpiece in November and every night during dinner we add a new leaf or acorn to the tree.  Even though only 1 word gets added each night, the process opens up some heart warming (and often funny) discussions on why we’re thankful for these things. *Note:  If you can’t find in your local store, check the dollar section for a simpler option.
  2. The Gratitude Game from Teachbesideme.com – This is one of my favorite websites for educational ideas!  I use colored popsicle sticks and leave the tin on my son’s nightstand.  At bedtime after books, we pull one stick and then pray about that specific person/place/food/thing that we’re thankful for.
  3. ‘Thank You’ cards – Call me old fashioned, but I love me some snail mail.  On Sundays, in between football games and during my daughter’s nap, my son and I write out thank you cards.  I raid Target’s dollar section for stamps, stickers, and cards (8 for $1!), and we spend about 30 minutes decorating and writing cards.  There’s no rules; he can dictate to me what to write or simply decorate and sign his name.  We talk about how important it is to tell someone how thankful you are for them while you have the opportunity to do so.  And don’t forget the troops!
  4. Acts of Kindness Jar – I’m not super crafty so I’m sure you could make this into something more creative (like this cookie jar idea), but here’s the plan; write down your favorite acts of kindness from our list and put them in a {mason} jar.  Each morning before you leave for school, have your child pick 1 and focus on accomplishing it during the day.  Bonus – you could do it too (and some you will have to ;-))

*Choose from this list:

  • Give a compliment to a friend.  (Use this one multiple times!)
  • Pick up litter in your neighborhood or community park.
  • Bring coffee or a bagel for your teacher.
  • Call a long distance relative and tell them you’re thinking about them.
  • Donate your old books to a local school or free “take and share” library in your community.
  • Donate old toys to a local charity.
  • Help with a chore you don’t normally do.
  • Make a new friend.
  • Take cookies to a local fire station.
  • Smile at everyone you see today.
  • Hold the door for someone while you’re out.

And lastly here’s some book recommendations for the kiddos:

  1.  Biscuit is Thankful by Alyssa Satin Capucilli
  2. The Thankful Book by Todd Parr
  3. Thanksgiving Is for Giving Thanks by Margaret Sutherland
  4. Thank you, God by P.K. Hallinan
  5. Splat Says, Thank You! by Rob Scotton
  6. Let’s be Thankful by P.K. Hallinan
  7. Today I am Grateful:  Adventures in Gratitude by Lorraine Miller
  8. The Blue Daisy: A Lesson in Gratitude by Stacie Theis
  9. Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are by Dr. Suess
  10. Thankful by Eileen Spinelli

And I’m currently reading, Raising Grateful Kids In An Entitled World, by Kristen Welch, so stay tuned for that book review!

Which idea will you implement with your family this month?

 

6 Ways for Busy Moms to Simplify and Slow Down

Some of my days go perfectly according to plan.  There are days when everyone gets along and naps and plays and eats at the precise times I hoped for.  Other days my son gets 5 stitches and my daughter takes my leftover Chick-Fil-A salad container out of the garbage and douses herself in avocado ranch dressing.  It’s called BALANCE.

But truthfully, I don’t believe in “balance”.  I was recently venting to a friend about all I had going on and she told me, “your life is always crazy though.  It’s always a little chaotic.  But so is everyone else’s.”  And it’s true!  So I can’t and won’t feed you any tales of balancing it all.  Because I don’t.  I don’t even know what that would look like!  And you already know that you need to take time for yourself and say ‘NO’ when you feel overcommitted so I’m not telling you THAT either.

What I will tell you is that I’ve found ways to simplify.  I’ve found systems and methods that help me to slow down and be less of a hot mess mom.  Tricks of the trade, if you will, that make my life slightly less chaotic.

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Mom Boss Monday: Dr. Kathleen Vigo, Concierge Women’s Home Health Physical Therapist

There are some pregnancy issues that are simply par for the course; back pain, waddling, discomfort.  Happens to everyone.  Right?  Just grin and bear it.  Or…DON’T.

Contrary to what you may have heard, you can and should have a PAINLESS pregnancy.  The truth is that the discomfort you are experiencing is actually a sign of musculoskeletal dysfunction.  It’s extremely common during pregnancy, but not normal.  If your pain is so severe that it is interfering with basic, everyday functioning then you should speak with your doctor, and as a team, devise a plan for physical treatment.  Moms-to-be, please know that your pain and suffering should NOT be growing as rapidly as your abdomen.  

I’m going to let you in on a little secret that I hope will soon be common knowledge.  There is an ENTIRE branch of Physical Therapy dedicated to YOUR pre-natal and postnatal care. We are Women’s Health Specialists, and obstetrics is our area of expertise!  We study the system of muscles and bones in the female body as they relate to changes during and after pregnancy.  We personalize treatments for your specific issues that prove to be most effective.  more “Mom Boss Monday: Dr. Kathleen Vigo, Concierge Women’s Home Health Physical Therapist”

9 Signs That You May Be a HOT MESS MOM!

You know the moms who have perfectly blown out hair, flawless makeup, they’re dressed in something other than athleisure wear, they’re homes are decorated like a magazine ad, and they’re ALWAYS on time??  Well….that’s not me.  Not even close.  I’m a PROUD hot mess mom.  Hand to God, I went to a friends house for dinner tonight, and in the milliseconds it took me to hold my daughter and walk 2 feet into the other room to grab her diaper (that I originally forgot to bring in), my pantsless beauty peed down the entire left side of my body.  #hotmessmom

So if you’re reading this and you DIDN’T use dry shampoo today, stop reading. This isn’t for you.  For everyone else –

Here are 9 signs that you be a HOT MESS MOM too!  Embrace the GLORIOUS mess that you are.

  1. You’ve worn, in public, only ONE of something that actually requires a pair.  One earring, one eye lined, nails painted only on one hand (True story; I actually feel asleep in between painting hands.  #hotmessmom)
  2. You’ve had to defend your parenting methods by lying and saying, “So I actually read this article that said…”, Yea the article was written by GFY on myob.com.  My kids aren’t perfect and I don’t have the time or energy to explain to you why.  Thanks though! 
  3. You’ve spilled coffee/milk/juice/or have been peed on .5 seconds before leaving your house…and because you’re already running late, you end up wearing that shirt for the rest of the day.  Bonus points if you then act like you have NO idea that the aforementioned liquid is on your shirt.  “Oh my gosh, is there…is there something on MY shirt?  I WONDER WHAT IT COULD BE?”
  4. You wear your hair in a top knot at LEAST 4 days a week.  Bonus points if you also wear a HAT 1 day a week!  Triple bonus points if you use so much dry shampoo that you should own stock in Batiste.  (If you don’t know Batiste, seriously…stop reading!)
  5. You’ve had to open a box of cereal/cookies/goldfish/blueberries AT Target simply to silence a screaming, whining, hungry EVEN THOUGH they just ate 45 snacks at home, child.  Then at the register you say, “Oh, um, is that opened?  Oh, is that already, um…empty?”  OOPS!
  6. You’ve restarted something at least 5x during the day.  Coffee, the dryer, your microwaved dinner, a TV show.  (Hot mess mom tip:  Get a knock-off Yeti cup (http://amzn.to/2xHDnoI) , buy Starbucks iced coffee from the refrigerated section, mix it with your favorite creamer and – VOILA, iced coffee that lasts all day!  No restarting necessary.)
  7. You’ve stirred a homemade cocktail using a toddler’s spoon.  Or eaten your cold as ice dinner with a toddler fork.  Because why dirty another utensil.
  8. You’ve added a few ingredients to a frozen lean cuisine meal and served it to your family as a fresh – made from scratch – I slaved over this for HOURS – homemade meal.  “Isn’t this delicious?!  Do you think I should like – start a food blog?!”  
  9. You’ve had to resort to getting your hair cut at a kiddie salon (because it’s just a trim and it’ll save time right?) and bonus points if you left with surprise BANGS! TRUEEEEEEEST STORY OF MY LIFE FRIENDS!!!

*This post contains affliate links.

Celebrate your BEST #hotmessmom moments below!

First Birthday, Mermaid Themed DIY Extravaganza

Custom made shirts for the Mermaid Mama, King of the Sea and the coolest little shark loving brother.

My baby girl recently turned one and I’m not quite sure how that happened. I feel like we only brought her home from the hospital last month, I’m still trying to figure out, and often failing at, this parenting 2-kids thing, and I’m definitely not back into my pre-baby clothes (that day may never actually come, and I’m okay with that…. most days). While this year feels like it’s passed in the blink of an eye, at the same time it feels like it’s been a very, very long year – mostly due to her hip dysplasia diagnosis and the countless doctors’ and hospital visits working to mend it.

But here we are, my happy and healthy, beautiful little girl is ONE! So brave, silly and dramatic, we have to celebrate this beauty. When I wasn’t busy tearing up in disbelief that a year has gone by, I was in full on party planning mode. And there’s nothing I love more than throwing a party. It gives me an excuse to get my crafting on. more “First Birthday, Mermaid Themed DIY Extravaganza”

The Basic Mom’s Guide to Fall Family Fun (Palm Beach)

Are you thinking, ‘Am I a basic mom?’  Well…if you sip on PSL’s in September, rock crazy Halloween leggings in October, and search endlessly for “Fall Family Fun” events in your area, then you may be a…   basic mom.

I myself am a basic mom, and I DON’T feel bad about it!  I take 1200 pictures of my kids in front of pumpkins in the scorching Florida heat, and I attempt to attend every fall event I can physically get to WITH a PSL (probably iced, it’s HOT out) in hand.

Before you scroll down I just want to say – DONT be overwhelmed, pick the events that seem best for YOUR family and save those dates only!

For all my basic mamas, here is my ultimate guide to the BEST –

FALL FAMILY FUN activities in Palm Beach County.

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Holiday Traditions

It’s fall y’all!! While I’m a true Florida girl and the sea runs in my veins, Fall is my FAVORITE season. Soon I’ll be wearing boots and flowy sweaters, and sweating because, like I said, it’s Florida. But to me Fall also signals the start of the holiday season which means family time, decorations, parties, adventures and holiday traditions.

First there’s Halloween. I have an unhealthy obsession with Halloween; I always have. I love throwing costume parties, and now I do a “Mini Monster Mash” for my son and his friends. Halloween costumes are discussed starting in July and I am stalking Home Goods the moment the Halloween decor shows up. And let’s not discuss the amount of times I watch Hocus Pocus

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My Obsession with Paper Mache Letters

I’m here to shout it from the rooftops, I love paper mache letters! They’re so versatile. I’ve used them as bedroom décor, party decorations, photo props, you name it. If you’re a crafter (which I’m guessing you are if you’re reading this post) and you have yet to explore the possibilities surrounding paper mache letters, what are you waiting for?!

Now, this post isn’t to explain how to make paper mache letters, I’m sure there’s plenty of sites out there dedicated to that, but instead, the endless options on how to dazzle them up! My favorite letters are the simple block type letters from Joann’s. They have multiple sizes, from tiny to humongous (yes, those are measurable terms 🙂 ).

Now, to make them beautiful…

 

Glitter Letters

Glitter Paper Mache Letters

One of the easiest ways to make these suckers scream “Look at me!” is glitter! more “My Obsession with Paper Mache Letters”