Online Parenting VS Real Life Parenting

Online VS Real Life

 

There seems to be a growing number of moms using social media these days. We use FaceBook, Twitter, Pinterest, SnapChat, Instagram and so many other platforms to keep in touch with family and friends. As moms, we love to show off pictures of our kids (when they are cute and behaving correctly; nobody is showing off pictures of their kids throwing tantrums in the middle of the grocery store). We want to show off that perfect dinner that we got on the table, on time. Lets face it, online we are all perfect moms. But what about real life?

Maybe I am alone here, but my online face is no where near my real life face. There are filters to help everything look just a little bit better. That dinner that was so perfectly on the table, well the picture that is missing is the one from the night before, where dinner was forgotten in the oven and burnt to a crisp. Thank goodness for take out pizza. The backgrounds might be picked up in the picture, I can assure you there is a mess just outside of the view finder. While in the picture my girls are smiling, clean and dressed; the moment that the photo is snapped, the clothes are ripped off, they are back to screaming at each other, and some how they are now sticky. How do they manage to get dirty so fast?

Now don’t get me wrong, we are a happy, busy family and my online face certainly shows that. It just doesn’t show everything else going on.

So while we have moments, of being picture perfect; they are just that- moments. What about you guys? Does your online face show the real family or they also just moments of being picture perfect.

Going Off Script- Giuliana Rancic

Going Off Script

From The Back Of The Book

“A witty, warm, and inspiring memoir from the E News! host, Fashion Police panelist, red-carpet correspondent, author, and reality show star Giuliana Rancic.

Giuliana Rancic is best known for interviewing A-listers on the red carpet and E! News, skewering their shocking style choices on Fashion Police, and giving viewers a front row seat to her marriage and family life on her reality show, Giuliana & Bill. What fans may not know is that she learned English from Eddie Murphy, got her American citizenship so she could be a beauty queen, and used to have a bad habit of stealing cars for fun.

Giuliana bares this and so much more in her hilarious, warm, and inspiring memoir, Going Off Script. From a young age she dreamed of being a TV anchorwoman but, because of her inclination toward mischief and away from schoolwork, her path to her dream job was far from straight. After a fateful (and mortifying) encounter with the late Senator Ted Kennedy, she learned that Hollywood news was where she belonged. Thankfully for readers, this epiphany led her to a bounty of LA misadventures (featuring notables such as Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Russell Crowe) and an entertaining behind-the-scenes perspective on what our favorite celebrities are really like.

In spite of her glamorous Hollywood life, however, Giuliana could not escape some rockier times, including her battles with infertility and breast cancer. Here, for the first time, she reveals the whole truth behind her well-publicized struggles, and the highly controversial decisions she had to make. And, of course, at the heart of it all are the two loves of her life who keep her strong through everything, her husband Bill and her son, Duke.

Candid, funny, and poignant, Going Off Script is an autobiography that proves you don’t always have to follow the rules to get the life you’ve always dreamed of.”

I LOVED this book. It was a nice break from all the fiction and romance that I have been reading lately. If you have never heard of Giuliana Rancic then you have lived under a rock for over a decade. She has lived on TV E! doing the job that everyone wants: interviewing amazing celebs and co-hosting Fashion Police. She also had her own reality show. She is someone that everyone needs to know. (Side note to myself- the next time that my daughters have to write a bio on someone, I need to make them do it on her)

Lets be honest for a moment, we all secretly hate celebs. They always look amazing, they always bounce right back after any trauma, their lives have this air where nothing can get them down. They are not “real” people, they never have a bad hair day, they never get bad news, the troubles that plague most of us seem to miss them. And we love and hate the celebs for this persona.

In Giuliana’s book, her memoirs, she shows us what went on backstage. While her reality show showed us a more real version of her life; it still had a smile through it all. Her book is a no hold back look at what that all was really like. It shows the fight she had to get to where she was, it shows the fear of scoliosis, the heartbreak of infertility, and the real life recover of breast cancer. A must read for anyone!!!!

Do you like to read memoirs?  Do the lives of celebrities intrigue you? Do you want to read books about their lives, or is it a waste of time?

Hello My Love

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From Back of Book

“Beyond broad shoulders and heaving bosoms. This thoughtful woman’s romance novel explores the inner life (thoughts, hopes, and doubts) of a couple as they contend with the realities of compelling relationships.

A modern-day pastiche of Jane Austen novels. Elise is a bright, beautiful law student, focused on a career and distrustful of men. She butts heads with Greg at her parents’ dinner parties. Dark, good-looking, internet-business owner, he finds Elise intriguing, so unlike the dark-haired seductive beauties he used to escort around.

Specter of revenge. Unable to deny their attraction for each other, they spend an unexpected night together two days before he is to wed someone else. Lori, the jilted fiancée, exacts revenge, tearing Greg and Elise apart and forcing them to face who they are and what they really want.

An accident. Older and wiser, Greg and Else reunite two years later. He is in for a surprise. Later, their lives are thrown again into disarray when Elise becomes the victim of a hit-and-run. Is Lori back to haunt them again?

A delicious romance with a literary slant, spiced with a twist of whodunit.”

This was a quick fun read that I was really looking forward to loving. The characters are wonderful. The writer does a great job letting us into each of the main characters minds, and lets us know what they are thinking. You get to know each of them inside and out. They both are relatable, and real. There is no “we locked eyes and fell in love” type.

However, with that said, I had a hard time following this book. The author’s timeline jumps around a lot. It goes from present day, back to the past to tell some back story from one perspective. Then rolls the timeline all the back to present. Then would jump back to the past, so you could get the back story from the other perspective. Then it would jump into the future, missing a big chunk of time.

***BIG SPOILER ALERT***

The main character ends up pregnant, but as we near the end of her pregnancy, the story jumps two years into the future. We miss the birth, we miss her moving out of her parents house, we miss her graduating, and getting the job she had her eyes on. I would have liked to have those moments in the story.

In fact I had to back read to figure out what was going on. Maybe I just needed a more straightforward story, chasing after three kids makes reading hard. But it felt a bit disjointed.

*** END OF SPOILER***

Even with the timeline issues, I enjoyed the story. Would it be one that I tell my girlfriends they NEED to read? Probably not. But if someone was going on a end of summer vaca and needed something for the beach, sure it would be acceptable for that.

Does it bother you when an author jumps around on the timeline? Do you like it when they go back in time so you get some more back story? What type of beach romance do you like to read?

Exciting News To Share

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There is a secret that I have been keeping from all of you. You may have seen little sneak peaks, if you are paying close attention. But I am ready to let the cat out of the bag (no pun intended), and officially announce my HUGE news!! Are you ready for it? Do you think that you can handle it?

Confessions of the Perfect Mom has launched its first book. Yup you read that right! There is a new parenting book on the market, and you are going to love it!

Confessions Of The Perfect Mom: Baby and Toddler Years is all about those not so perfect moments during the first few years of being a mom. Everything from yelling at nurses during labor, to stinky diapers, to temper tantrums and everything in between. I am pulling back the curtain on the facade of “perfect” moms everywhere. It is a quick, witty, laugh out loud funny glimpse into the life of motherhood.

You can get a copy at the following places:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Books A Million
Goodreads

Enter here for a signed copy:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 One more secret, there is no such thing as perfect!

 

Aoleon The Martian Girl- Part 1

Aoleon The Martian Girl PART 1

 

From The Back Of The Book:

“Mars wants our cows (yes, cows!), and they’re sending an invasion fleet to take them from us. Only Gilbert and Aoleon the Martian Girl stand in their way! Gilbert always longed for adventure, but now that he has it, he’s not sure that it’s everything it’s cracked up to be.

Ever since the night he met Aoleon the Martian Girl sitting in the middle of a crop circle in Farmer Johnson’s field, it’s been nothing but one wild ride after another. From fighting off swarms of giant killer robots to dealing with strange aliens from another world – never mind trekking across the vast Martian desert and skyboarding deep into the center of a (hopefully) extinct volcano – Gilbert has had his hands full just trying to keep up with it all. And now it’s up to him and his new friend, Aoleon, to face off against the evil Martian overlord and keep our cows safe at home where they belong. The launch of this exciting and innovatively illustrated new series takes the reader deep into the heart of an unforgettable and out-of-this-world friendship in a story full of hijinks, hilarity, and good old-fashioned fun.

Join Gilbert and Aoleon in this exciting middle-grade science fiction adventure today!”

About the Author:

Mr. LeVasseur (love this name btw) enjoys crafting good stories based on lovable characters designed to translate well to multiple media formats such as books, games, movies, and toys. He lives in New York when he is not commuting between Southern California and Olympus Mons, Mars. His hobbies include writing, 3D animation, musical composition, and intergalactic space travel. He also enjoys various sports such as skiing, running, and exospheric skydiving.

Connect with Brent:
Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~  Aoléon: The Martian Girl

This is a quick read, my girls and I finished it in about 3 nights. It is right around 150 pages, but there are lots of graphics and illustrations. So the good and the not so great.

It entertained all three of my girls. They did look forward to hearing about Gilbert’s adventures with the martian girl. My youngest was captivated with the way the illustrator captured Aoleon, and could not get enough of her. (As a side note, she has even started making her own stories about Aoleon. Telling them to Belle and having Belle write them down. It is very cute.) The story line moved along at a steady pace, and while there is a cliff hanger at the end, it is does not just drop out mid sentence. A huge pet peeve over here in the Ryan house.

So the not so great. We had a hard time figuring out who it was written for. My oldest would be age wise what this book claims to be aimed for, but there was not enough meat to keep her fully engaged in the story. While my middle princess was more entertained, the verbiage used was over her head. And she often had to ask what words meant. To me the book would have been better, if they made it closer to a 4th to 5th grade reading level as opposed to shooting for that middle grade read. HOWEVER, that being said….. I have girls and they most want to hear about princess falling in love with a prince. Or the nerd girl winning the heart of the jock (for my oldest). There is a chance that this book, being so outside of what they want to hear about, never really stood a chance.

While they were good, and everyone enjoyed part one of this story; we did not immediately jump into part 2.  My recommendation would be to get part one, it is only $1.00 on Amazon; you can’t go wrong at that price point. See if YOUR kids like it and go from there.

How To Keep A Clean House

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Isn’t this what every person wants? To come home and have a clean (and presentable house)? Now in my fantasy, I would have the little cleaning fairies come in and clean my house for me. That way I don’t have to do any actual cleaning. Cause lets be honest who likes doing that? But alas, the fairies have lost my address and don’t visit me. This forced me to come up with a system to keep my house acceptable, without it being all that I do.

There are two ways to tackling cleaning your house. First, you can pick a day and have a once a week cleaning day. This is what we did growing up, and it was always Saturday morning. Trust me it stunk to waste my Saturday scrubbing bathrooms. The second, is what I prefer now and what I will be showing you, break it out into little bits every day.

I am a HUGE fan of breaking things up. As you could tell from my post How To Prepare For Overnight Guests, which you can find here. It makes it easy to check it off your list and move on. Plus, your house will always be ready for people to pop by. Well in theory, it will always be ready.

How To Clean

 

There is my break out. I have a few items to do every morning, and a few items to do every night. Easy, quick, little things that make life a little easier and prettier.

My daily chores are the bigger items, the ones that you don’t really want to do but have to do. The breakout is:

  • Monday
    • Meal Plan
    • Grocery Shop
  • Tuesday
    • Bathrooms
  • Wednesday
    • Dust (including blinds, shutters and so on)
  • Thursday
    • Vacuum or Mop
  • Friday
    • Scrub Kitchen (including cleaning out the fridge)

And you can see that I am boycotting cleaning on the weekends all together now as an adult. There is no need to waste your precious downtime scrubbing the floor. My girls have to take care of their own bedrooms and the school room.

That is my plan, how do you tackling cleaning your house? Did I miss any big chores that need to be done? Let me know.

Witches Bounty

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LOVED this book!! It was so well laid out, like it was actually pretty to read (well once the ARC watermarks are removed). Which actually makes the ready experience so much better. And you can tell that she put a lot of time into the editing of the book. Even with it being an ARC copy, I think there were only two sentences that I had to re-read. So structurally the book is very sound.

This book deserves all five stars because-

-the characters were well developed (and I actually cared about them)
-the plot had twists and turns that I did not see coming
-it kept me turning the pages to find out what happened
-LOVED the ending

While I have to admit, it took a while to get into the book. I was hoping that it was going to come out and bite me, it didn’t. But once it started to get rolling I did not want to put it down. The names of the characters took a bit to get use to, they are not your normal Matt and Katie type names. And I wish that there was a pronunciation guide (that sounds really weird, but I have no idea how the names are suppose to be pronounced). But that did not take away from the character development and the background that went into each one. She does a great job of letting you get to know each character, with little tidbits coming out at just the right times.

Overall though, I am looking forward to more books coming out by Ann Gimpel.

Easy Ways To Look Younger

Eays Ways To Look Younger

In my head I am going to age gracefully. That one day, I am going to wake up and embrace my wrinkles and gray hair. That I am going to love seeing a wise woman in the mirror looking back at me. I am going to see a beautiful face, full of the life she has lead.

But lets be real, that is not happening today or any time soon. Movie stars, models, and the like age (cause we all do) but without any outward sign of getting older. That is going to be me. While I probably won’t be getting any plastic surgery or botox, only because I am to worry about having some weird rare reaction. Then I will really be hosed.

There are some very simple makeup techniques that can give you the appearance of a younger face. Best part, there is no crazy contouring to learn how to do, no “only a professional makeup artist can do this without looking like a clown” ways to apply it. Simple, do today, every one can do these, techniques; that are not going to take you any longer then you already spend doing your makeup.

Now some of them are going to seem a little odd. And some you might fight me on (I know this because it took me a while to come around on a bunch of these). Some of it is even going to seem counterproductive. But I promise that they will all work and having you looking younger in a few moments.

Lets start by thinking about what makes a face look young?

  • Big Eyes
  • Full lips
  • No Dark Circles
  • Rosy Cheeks

Let’s break out how to achieve that look-

  • Big Eyes
    • Put down the black eyeliner and back away. This was the hardest for me, I am/was addicted to my black eyeliner pencil. Not only that, I was a line the waterline all the way around type of girl. While, my eyes always stood out, and it was the first thing that people saw; they looked small. Black line around anything will make it look smaller. Swap that black out for a dark brown. I actually use MAC- Brun now for my eyeliner and it looks perfect.
    • Don’t line all your eye. Again this was a hard one. For the longest time, I struggled with feeling weird without having any eyeliner under my lower lashes. But I promise you, it will open up your eyes without it.
    • Only line the outer half to two-thirds of your upper lid. And even a slight, super super slight, wing will pull your eyes upward. Mini eye-lift thank you very much.
  • Full Lips
    • This seems to be the one that I argue with people the most about. Don’t use a dark lip color during the day. Yes a bold red lip is always chic, but just like lining all around your eyes will make them look smaller, a solid dark lip will make it look smaller too. Now people will notice your lips, but they won’t have that pouty full look, that is associated with a younger face. If you have a lot of pigment in your lips, go easy with just a chapstick or a light, non-sparkly, gloss. If you are losing the pigment (cause we all will) ease up on the color and move to a light pink or a color that was close to your natural color.
  • No Dark Circles 
    • Okay here is one that you are going to argue with me again on. Stop using mascara on your lower lashes. While in theory, it would make your lashes stand out; making your whole eye area look bigger, this is not what happens. It can send dark shadows under your eye giving the appearance of dark circle.
    • Find a great highlighting concealer. Highlighting doesn’t have to mean having a sheen to it, but it will be designed to lighten the area. I LOVE No7 Radiant Glow Concealer and use it daily. While it is quite light, just blend it in and it is amazing. Plus it stays put all day, without any creasing.
  • Rosy Cheeks
    • Ditch the tera cotta colored blush. I am not totally sure where this trend started, but it seems like a vast majority of women have this brownish, orangish, reddish blush color. It is not a natural flush color and does not help your rosy glow. Instead opt for a blush with slight highlighting capabilities and something that is way more on the pink side. I use Laura Geller Baked Blush in Pink Grapefruit. It has a bit of bronze in there, way more natural pink, and a hint of shimmer. Also, Tarte has a great new blush in Glisten. It has a lot of the same properties of the Laura Geller.

So what are your thoughts? Which of these are you going to fight with me over? Do you have any tips or tricks to looking young? Do you even try to look younger, or is that a weird me thing?

 

How To Organize a Kids Closet

I am so excited to have partnered with partnered with Modernize to get today’s post to you. If you have not checked them out, take a moment to pop over there and see the amazing ideas that they have on all the rooms of your house. But be careful, you might just spend hours over there, it is that good.

Creative Ways To Organize Your Child’s Closet

Organizing your child’s closet can be a ghastly chore. With so many tiny sized things, the closet can become cluttered and disorganized quickly. With only a few minutes to get your child ready in the morning, digging through piles of disorganized items can add unnecessary stress to your day. You can use a few creative solutions to your child’s closet organization. Soon it will be easy to find even the smallest items at a moment’s notice.

Pic 1

Via Modernize.com

With so many small items stored in your child’s closet, installing a chest of drawers or shelving unit will help immensely. Fold neatly all sweaters and and everyday tees. Pack the items in the drawer vertically so you can see each item from the top of the drawer. This will help you pull out exactly what you want without disturbing your pile. Create a label for each drawer so your child knows what’s inside.

A shelving unit makes a great storage solution for shoes. You can line your child’s shoes along each shelf with the most often worn pairs towards the middle so they are easiest to grab. Baskets can be used to store more utilitarian shoes and socks such as flip flops, ballet shoes or sports gear. One creative way to store shoes or folded items is to place a ladder in the closet. The steps of the ladder can be used as a rack and create a whimsical and functional display.

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Via Modernize.com

Using a curtain instead of a door for your closet will allow your child to move freely in and out, learning how to put away his or her own clothing and clean up. Large doors can be damaged as your child flings them open and closed. Sliding doors are dangerous for children because they can run off the track and injure your child. Choose a fabric that matches your child’s room decor and let your child move freely into the closet, learning to dress themselves and making life easier for you.

You can buy dividers to label your child’s hanging clothing. There are printable dividers you can download to make labels of your own. Dividers can be especially helpful for someone with more than one child sharing the same closet space. You can sort your child’s garments by size, age, person, or type. This also gives your child a sense of responsibility for their things.

When organizing your hanging items, group the clothing by like items. By placing things of similar lengths together, your hangers will fit together snugly and you can fit more things onto your closet rod. Everything will look more organized. You can add a tension rod into the closet to make a second hanging rack below. You’ll be able to hang your child’s clothing in a way that has more space between each item and the closet will look much more attractive.

Organizing your child’s closet doesn’t have to be stressful. Use a few of these creative solutions and your child’s wardrobe will look great. You can enjoy looking at all of the miniature sized clothing items that become sentimental along the way and your child can learn responsibility for his or her things.

For more ideas and inspiration, head to Modernize.com

Mystery Book Review- Z-Train

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From The Back Of The Book

Beneath Brooklyn’s wintry streets, seven people are dead, slumped in their seats on an F train. Fast thinking and good fortune prevent the subway car doors from opening, spilling poisonous gas into the station. It’s not long before a frightened metropolis of eight million demands answers: if this was an act of terror, where will these cruel killers strike next? NYPD detective Flo Ott looks closely at the victims. Each of their stories leads to another, one more colorful and complex than the last. A few of these quintessential New Yorkers catch Flo’s attention: a mysterious off-duty FBI agent; the beautiful woman next to him, who may have been his lover. Then there’s a Russian mobster with more than his fair share of enemies. As Flo battles false leads, conflicting witnesses, and meddling politicians, her investigation delves into the dark side of the city that never sleeps. Flo becomes convinced that this wasn’t a random act of violence, and she fears something much worse may be rumbling down the tracks.

About The Author

Richard Hilary Weber, a native of Brooklyn and a Columbia University graduate, has taught at the universities of Stockholm and Copenhagen, and has been a scriptwriter for French and Swedish filmmakers. He lives in Provence, France.

My Thoughts

Honestly I struggled with this book. Back in the day, I use to love mystery books. They were my all time favorite; any more I just don’t need that edge of my seat, biting my nails, staying up till the early morning terrified because of a book. That being said….. It was really good. My struggles were just that it was not what I was wanting to read.

It was very well written, the characters were great, it took twists and turns that I didn’t see coming. It had me on the edge of my seat for a good chunk of it. If this is the type of book that you like, then you are going to LOVE it and should immediately add it to you must read list.

Where to Buy

Penguin Random House: Penguin Random House
Amazon:  Amazon
Barnes and Noble: B&N
iBooks: iBooks
Google play: Google Play
Books a Million: Books a Million
Goodreads: Goodreads
Kobo: Kobo