• Pre-Parenthood vs Real Parenthood- 5 Lies We Tell Ourselves and Others

    pre vs real

    How many of the things that you said you would never do before becoming a parent do you do now? What about after the first child? We all are guilty of saying things pre-parenthood, then once parenthood is in full swing, we find ourselves doing them. Or at least that was the case for me; and by daughter number three, everything went out the window. Here is my top list of things that I swore I would NEVER do once becoming a parent, and how they are today after three kids.

    • Number 1-
      • Pre-Parenthood- My kids will never watch TV.
      • Real Parenthood- Why is the house so quiet? Oh the TV is off, lets fix that.
    • Number 2
      • Pre-Parenthood- My kids will never eat sugar.
      • Real Parenthood- If you just eat three more bits of dinner, you can have a cookie.
    • Number 3
      • Pre-Parenthood- I will never ever bribe my kids.
      • Real Parenthood- Look back at number 2.
    • Number 4
      • Pre-Parenthood- My kids will eat all their dinner without complaint.
      • Real Parenthood- Look back at number 2.
    • Number 5
      • Pre-Parenthood- My kids will never sleep in my bed.
      • Real Parenthood- We wake up with at least one girl that has snuck into our bed. On the flip side, they are sleeping in.. Woo Hoo win for us.

    What about you guys, what were some of the thing that you swore you would never do or the things that you “knew” you kids would do?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

    CreativeWaysToOrganizeYourChildsCloset (1)

    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

  • How To Prepare For Over Night Guests

    Houseguests

    Does having guests make you cringe? It is always stressful having an overnight guests. There seems to be a million things to do, and things to consider. If you let it, it can completely stress you out. But it doesn’t have to.

    We are so lucky to live in a small town, about two hours away from the big city that my husband and I grew up in. It is close enough that we can visit friends and family often. And they come and visit us; almost every weekend. However, we are just far enough that a simple lunch date turns into a full weekend ordeal. For most of the people who want to visit it is just a smidgen to far for a day trip. So they come up after work on Friday and leave sometime Sunday.

    It use to really stress me out. There seemed to be a thousand things to do, and never enough time to get them all done. But then I learned a great routine, and I am going to share it with you. It will lay things out in nice bite sized tasks, with the theory of just a little every day. Then it is never overwhelming or stressful having one person over or twenty (as we are this weekend for the fourth of July). It is going to be a full house!

    • Monday- Pick Up House/Meal Plan
      • Pick UpHouse-
        • Pick Up All Clutter
        • Pick Up Kids toys
        • Straighten Bathrooms
        • Straighten Living Areas
        • Put Shoes/Jackets Away- ours seem to sit by the front door and just stay there.
      • MealPlan-
        • List out all meals that you will be preparing. Normally for me it is two dinners (depending on what time people arrive on Friday night, and Saturday night), then two brunches (Saturday and Sunday)
        • I don’t make lunches. There is a myriad of snack foods that people can help themselves to if they are hungry. But I won’t make a formal lunch.
        • Think of easy to prepare meals- you don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen with everyone having a good time in the living room.
        • Try to plan around people dietary needs. We have several vegans that visit us, so I make sure to have food for them. As well as for people with allergies- it just makes for a good hostess and people will appreciate your effort.
    • Tuesday- Clean House
      • Pretty self-explanatory here. Nobody wants to use a dirty bathroom. Not glamorous but it needs to be done.
    • Wednesday- Wash Linen and Towels/Set up Bedrooms
      • WashLinens-
        • Okay so I am odd here. I rewash all my linens (unless we are just doing a switch over), my linens sit in a closet and lose that fresh, just out of the dryer smell. I want them to smell fresh for my loved ones.
      • Set UpBedrooms-
        • Get all bedrooms/sleeping areas set up, complete with towels.
    • Thursday- Grocery Shop
      • Since you have all of your meal planning done, time to make a shopping list, and do the grocery shopping.
    • Friday- Bake and Enjoy Guests Arrival
      • By the day that your guests are arriving all of the heavy lifting is done. If you are up to it, you could bake a little treat for them once they get there. I try to bake based on what my guests like: when my dad comes I always have fresh chocolate chip cookies; for my best friend I have banana muffins. It makes the house smell amazing and it is so nice having a fresh-baked treat after traveling.
      • So sit back, relax and enjoy your guests arrivals.

    There is my system. It really helps having it all broken out over the course of the week. Then nothing piles up, and I can still get my other stuff done. You know like blogging, and schooling the girls lol.

    What is your system? How do you prepare for guests? Does it make you anxious or do you have it all down?

  • Chalk It Up- 5 Ways To Play With Chalk

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    I am so excited to be guest posting over at The Real Thing With The Coake Family. If you are not following KC yet, then you need to. She posts about all kinds of DIY things, from American Girl accessories, to interior design, to crafts, to holiday decorations, basically you name it and she posts about it. Not only does she do amazing projects, she words them in ways that even the most uncrafty of us (aka me here) can follow and make great things. Click here for her blog.

    She is doing this great weekly Summer Of Fun party, featuring different bloggers. And I am getting to kick it off!!! Well, without further adieu, lets get this Summer Fun rocking and rolling. I thought that we would start the party with something that everyone loves: CHALK. Kids love it, adults have fond memories of playing with it, and lets be honest it just screams summer. Plus it is so simple (not to mention cheap), all you need is a piece of chalk.

    Activities-for-Kids-500x750

    Here is my top 5 list of the best chalk activities, for kids of all ages (2-102):

    BUT…… to see what they are you are going to have bounce over to my lovely friends blog. Click here.

  • Father’s Day Gift Idea


    fathersFather’s Day is a holiday that always baffles me. Mix that with being a horrible gift giver and it is just primed for disaster. Even my hubby will tell you that, despite my efforts, I always miss the mark. So while I want to go all out, I typically end up with just cards. The whole process, which typically starts after Valentine’s Day, just stresses me out. What makes a good Father’s Day gift?

    Well this year I nailed it. (My wonderful husband, if you are reading my blog today, please stop now. I finally got it right, so don’t spoil it for me. I mean you, don’t spoil it for you.)

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    If you are married to a wonderful outdoorsy man who likes hanging out on the boat around the lake; or even the husband that loves laying around the pool. Then this will be for you. Frisky has come out with some amazing Aqua Shoes, and the best part, they are on sale for only $6.99

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    They come in a variety of sizes and colors. A word to the wise, they do run small. If your hubby is a half size, like mine, then buy the next size up. While you certainly don’t want them to be big, if they are to small then no one will wear them. There is a cord in the back to pull then tight, and lock into place.

    IMG_4967

    The bottoms have tons of tread so you don’t have to worry about your loved one slipping and falling. They provide lots of stability and support. If you are needing more information click here.

    So what do you think? Are these something that your hubby would like? Or did I miss the mark again? Let me know.

  • What Moms Really Want For Mother’s Day

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    Can you believe that Mother’s Day is THIS weekend. As in just a few short days. In my head it is still March (hey at least it is another “M” month). No matter what date I think that it is, it will be Mother’s Day this weekend. We are always torn between whether we should visit my mother in law, my mother or do something for me. I think that when we have young kids in the house we have different wants for Mother’s Day. As opposed to when they leave the nest (I know my mother would love us to go over to her house, even if she has to cook dinner AND do the dishes). So this would be the for mommies with young kids still at home.

    • How about a day not wiping someone else’s butt? I don’t know about you, but that is high on my list. Not doing any diapers, or dealing with a potty training toddler, or the preschooler who has for some unknown reasons decided that she will no longer wipe her own butt and you have to do it.. again. To have a day, where your butt is the only butt that you have to worry about, would be great.
    • Speaking of that, what about getting to use the bathroom all by yourself? Personally, I don’t remember the last time I got to go pee without a girl needing something. My girls, I swear, have some weird sixth sense and the moment that I sit down they need something. Right then and there. The idea of having a moment of privacy is a distant fantasy.
    • No dishes! I think that this will resonate with most moms. (Unless you are one of the few who has a husband that does the dishes. And if that is the case, just keep it yourself) A day without dishes, a day without unloading the washing machine, a day without washing out pots and pans. With our family of five, and eating all of our meals at home, we go through a lot dishes. And I realize that I could have a day free of dishes, if I just left them in the sink. But I am talking about a day without dishes, where they also magically get done. That would be nice.
    • What about someone else cleaning the house? Coming home to a fresh clean house, when you weren’t the one that spent all day making it a fresh clean home, is wonderful. While my husband is so incredibly busy, and works harder then anyone else I know, once a year having him clean the house would be amazing. And who knows what seeing him sweeping the floors might lead to.. wink wink
    • Enough quiet time to get my morning meditation done. I am trying to meditate every morning. It really improves my day. I set my timer for five minutes (and yes only five minutes), to start my day with a clear mind. Taking deep breaths, staying calm. But I get 90 seconds into this, and I have one girl screaming upstairs. Three minutes into it, I have my preschooler poking me asking me what I am doing. Four and a half minutes into it my oldest is coming down to ask if I am done. For Mother’s Day I would like to get my whole five minutes without an interruption.
    • Car Wash– And not just a drive through, wash the outside kind of car wash. How about a car wash that includes vacuuming out the inside and wiping off the dashboard? I don’t know about you, but my family lives in my car. Even though I say no food in my car, I have crumbs everywhere. How did they get there?

    But honestly all I want is a nice quiet day, with my family. Maybe an afternoon movie, at an actual theatre. I love going to the movies. Or just a simple, “Thank you mom”. Some form of appreciation for everything that I do everyday would be nice.

    What do you want for Mother’s Day? When you boil it down, what would make it the best Mother’s Day ever for you?

  • Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana Of Cambridge

    Princess 2

    Such exciting news from the other side of the pond!! A Princess was born! The morning of May 2, 2015 at 8:34am, she made her grand debut. A perfect addition to the royal family, complete with ten fingers and we assume ten toes. When she was presented to her loyal subjects (totally unsure of what the royal family calls the rest of us), the little Princess slept through the whole ordeal looking positively adorable.

    The-birth-certificate-of-Princess-Charlotte-of-Cambridge

     

    And let us not even start on the name. How cute is Charlotte? Any chance that they will refer to her as Princess Charlie? Or perhaps Princess Char, when she hits her teen years? Being on this side of the pond, I have never thought about how incredibly long royal title are. Have you? Her full name will be Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana of Cambridge. When she is in trouble do you think they roll out the entire title, like we pull out the full name?

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    Then you have The Duchess Kate, I am always amazed at how well put together she looks. She certainly has come a long way since she met William. Now I realize she has a team of people to make sure she never has a hair out of place, or lipstick on her teeth. But how is it possible that only a few hours after birth she looks stunning? Yes yes her team went to her hospital to make sure she looked great. However, the whole actually getting up and going outside to be photographed, knowing that those photos were going to make history, and in heels no less, was all her. I don’t know about you, but it took me DAYS before I got up enough energy to go outside. My ride home from the hospital included me un-showered, no makeup, and certainly no blowout for my hair. Then it would be months before I allowed anyone to photograph me.

    I am a fan of the Royal family. Not a fan of the actual thought of having royals, I don’t think that I would want to live in a country where a single family was allowed to rule over everything. Just because someone was born they get to be a king or queen. But the idea of being a real life Princess; it is part of the little girl I was, that I am not going to give up. Plus you have to love Kate’s story. She is really hard not to like.

    What about you? What was your ride home from the hospital like? Were you all ready to take over the world or did you need a bit to be all put together? How about a more simple, do you follow the Royal family?

     

  • Hair Need Some TLC

    Parlor_HomepageTout_Lineup

    Have you heard of Parlor By Jeff Chastain? Well you need to! This product line is pretty amazing stuff. My hair is very fine (I have lots of it, but the strands themselves are no more then a thread), limp-less hair. It is hard to make my hair do ANYTHING! I was so excited that I was chosen by BirchBox, to give this a try and let you all know about it. Full disclosure: I did receive this product at no cost for the sole reason of writing this review. However, all opinions are my own and all words are my own.

    Now with that out of the way, they sent my their new Detangling Leave In Conditioner and their new Smoothing Blowout Spray. I was disappointed in how they worked with my hair. The leave in conditioner was not as detangling as I was hoping and the smoothing spray left my hair looking oily. Bummed, I gave them to my girls.

    It was a completely different product on their hair. HOLY COW it was magic stuff. I am so so so impressed with how it worked for them.

    blowdryFrom the box: “Combines a smoothing treatment with a blow dry aid for full, beautiful blowouts that won’t fall flat. Also protects hair from heat.

    Tink (my oldest) has hair similar to mine. It is pretty fine and lots of it. Now when you blow dry it, it looks great. However, after about four to five hours, it falls completely flat and the back (and only the back) starts to crinkle. Not really curl, not really wave; but a crinkle. And only in the back. We have tried everything to keep this from happening. Nothing has helped. However, this product was the golden ticket. We spray this all over her hair and brushed through. Then continued to blow dry out. Her hair has never looked better. It was very shiny (but not oily looking), any frizz at the ends that tends to show up was gone, and the weird crinkle in the back of her hair never popped up, plus there was lots of body throughout the day. My daughter is thrilled.

    Leave in

    From the box: “Detangles hair for better manageability while also adding moisture and shine. Also protects from your hair from heat.”

    Belle’s hair is very unmanageable. At least it is straight, no idea about what we would do if it was curly. But it is very thick, a little wavy and down to her waist. Trying to brush it out is very difficult and results in tears. Needless to say brushing it wet is even worse. This was magic. After getting out of the bath, I sprayed this all over her hair (we used a good amount), then started to work. Only it wasn’t work. The comb literally fell through her hair. It brushed right out, taking no time at all to brush out all of her hair. Even after the blow dry, it was easy to brush out. There are no tears doing her hair while using this product. A must have for anyone with daughters who struggle to brush their hair.

    What products do you use? Would you use a higher end product on your kids hair? What have you found for your kids that works?

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