Being a Mom

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I am currently sitting at the computer gagging on some whitening paste that didn’t rinse out of my mouth all the way and worrying about work, bills, and if I am a good enough mom. It’s tough. I’ll be the first to admit, I do not have this parenting thing down. I raise my voice too loud, I let him get away with things he shouldn’t and get upset with him for things I shouldn’t. I work too much. I worry too much. I zone out on my phone when I could be on the floor exploring the world of trains and cars from his perspective. Yet, at the end of the day he just wants to poke my face and snuggle up close. He loves me despite all my short comings and flaws. Why? Cause I’m his mom. He doesn’t need me to impress him or have my life together. He just needs me to sit still long enough to let him hug me and show me some unconditional love.

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Holiday Gift Idea Guide 2015

It is the biggest shopping day of the year. If you are out and about today I hope that it is with friends and family and you are having fun (because that is what Holidays are about, not stressing and yelling to get something that is just… a thing) If you are anything like me you will be Celebrating Cyber Monday in your yoga pants with a warm cup of cocoa, followed by weeks of pouring over Pinterest and making as many gifts as possible.

 

Below I have complied a list of some small business, businesses that give back, made in the USA companies, and just plain old fun gift items. I hope it helps you find some creative and unique gifts that feed into the Holiday spirit of giving and less into the commercialism. 🙂

 

 

10891860_1036928119670888_8865607233591300579_nIf you know a little dancer, Honey Bunny Crafts and Stitchery makes gorgeous tutus, hair pieces, and bags. Small business run by a SAHM.

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Jamberry nail wraps are made in the USA and free of the 5 most harmful chemicals in most nail wraps and polishes. They make great stocking stuffers and teacher gifts.

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31 Bits sell 100% recycled Bead products made by Ugandan women. They empower these women through earning an income enabling them to provide for their families. They care for them holistically through counseling, health education, finance training, and business mentorships. After five years in their program, the beneficiaries are ready to graduate. A graduated beneficiary has her own business and is educated, healthy, and confident. She is empowered.

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The Little Bamboo is a Florida based company specializing in all natural bamboo products. The Little Bamboo has a growing product line from Bamboo Utensils. My family loves their charcoal soap. 

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It Works has tons of great products for those in your life who want to improve their health or already lead a healthy lifestyle. Their Greens help balance your body and Alkalize your blood.

1546463_959593117431773_8682779872435900694_nTree Change Dolls are based out of Australia, but are so amazing to me. She takes old dolls and makes them something that the average kid can identify with. Great for the young girls on your shopping list.

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Do you have a Gamer or Nerd on your shopping list? Treno Nights makes gorgeous tiny clay charms of all types. Earrings, bracelets, key-chains, etc. She is a small business run out of her home in TX.

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Coffee lover in the family? Three Avocados takes their profits and provides clean drinking water and education for those in Uganda.

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Glasstic Water Bottles are great gifts for just about anyone. You can even customize them. I love mine because I know it won’t shatter when my toddler uses it, I can put essential oils in my water, and I waste less plastic cups at work.

 

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Trades of Hope is another Fashion line that helps empower women through your purchases, and they have super cute stuff 🙂

 

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Inspirational Illustrations in Print or on Journals. She has new designs daily on her Facebook. Rose Hill Designs.

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Hand painted wooden signs created by a SAHM. Dezarea’s DeSigns.

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Tripp Tribe has Homemade body products created from simple, natural ingredients you can feel good about! Family Business. They are currently trying to raise enough money to bring their adopted sons home from Russia.

 

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Sassy Doe Soaps are wonderful soaps made from Goat’s milk, olive oil, and essential oils. It was the only thing I could use when pregnant on my face.

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Maple Syrup is one of my favorite Winter comfort foods. Tomapo Farms has Maple Candy as well. They will ship.

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What about the person on your list who has everything…and then some. How about the gift of Simplicity and Organization. Courtney Carver’s Project 333 has been a life saver for me. The Clutter Free Course is also an amazing book.

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Kids on your list? Or maybe that one person who LOVES purses? Abintra Designs has custom made handbags as well as Dino-sores (mini rice packs for hot or cold needs).

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If you have that Fashionista that is difficult to buy for, Chic Origins has vintage wear unique and affordable. Check out her small business on Etsy or Facebook.

 


Gifts That Keep Giving: 

  • Purchase them a class. Dance, Yoga, Zumba, Painting. Better, yet… sign yourself up too so you an spend time with them.
  • Museum passes, season tickets, State Park pass. Add a note saying that you will be joining them on one of their adventures to this place.
  • Donate to an Organization or Charity in their name.

 

P333 Fall 2015 – Working Mom

As a working mom of a toddler living in a one bedroom city apartment, I don’t have room for clutter or time to try on 10 outfits before I rush out the door in the morning. That is one of the many reasons I am grateful for discovering Courtney Carver’s Project 333. (more information at her website) Minimalist living gets rid of STUFF and makes room and time for family in my life. (don’t get me wrong, I still love stuff. I am just learning what stuff is worth having and what takes away from the things that matter in my life)

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Today I am sorting through my closet and getting together my Fall 33 (It is more than 33, I use Courtney’s P333 as a guideline). I love Thrift Shops and Secondhand Stores. I have added 8 new items to my wardrobe this season for under $30. One of my favorites is this scarf I snagged for $4. It can change an outfit in a second and it is very versatile because of its colors. Copy of 12017641_525769387590740_4659812728136200054_o

I love accessories in a minimalist wardrobe. Today I was wearing some active wear around the house, when I decided to run to the library for Story Time. A scarf and some classic earrings… I was good to go (without looking too much like the mom that didn’t want to get off the couch). I’m not strict about how many accessories I have, but I do try to keep it at a reasonable level. If I haven’t worn something in the last 6-9 months…it has got to go! My worst clutter is jewelry. I wear the same 3 pairs of earrings…but I have sooo many. I’ll get there eventually. We all have room to grow. 🙂

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As usual I begin by putting all of my clothes in one spot and start sorting. One pile for this season, one pile for storage (and under the bed storage bag), and one pile to be donated. Then I hang up all the clothes I want for this season and separate by type. Work, short sleeve, long sleeve, sweaters, pants, dress. Then I see if I have way too many of one type (do I really need 12 work shirts when there are only 5 work days in a week?) In the end I always feel better and more organized. It was so nice to see some of my favorite fall clothing and add it to the new items.

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A rule I stick to in every season, in with the new means old must go too! For every new deal I find while Thrift Shopping, I get rid of something that is torn, I never wear, doesn’t fit well, etc. Last month I gave over 3 trash bags of women’s, men’s, and children’s clothing to a local outreach.

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Another great way to change up your look is by doing your nails! I love Jamberry. They are durable, cute, and chemical free. A manicure takes about 15 min to apply, costs about $5, and lasts up to 2 weeks. Check them out! Jamberry.com (if you like what you see, don’t forget to tell them I sent you 🙂

Sunshine & Strawberry Lemonade – P333 Summer 2015

The other night at 10 PM my neighbor was in the yard digging a fire pit for this summer. It is May and with hopes of warmer weather, I made a strawberry lemonade for Mommy 😉

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If you have never heard of Project 333, please go check it out. It is amazing!!!

This summer is very different for me. I no longer am pregnant (ya for normal clothes) and I have updated my style significantly over the last year. I also have been taking a break from P333, so it is nice to jump back in.

I do not include PJ’s, Workout clothes, accessories, undershirts, or shoes. I also do not include my work clothes since I do not wear them outside of work ever. It is my spin on a minimalist closet and it is what works for me. The biggest benefit I find is that I feel like I went shopping every time to switch out clothes. I get that excitement and do not become bored with my wardrobe. It is also helpful to not have to look through a bunch of clothes that are out of season or no longer fit.

Ok here we go!

Pictured is 20 pieces that I chose for Spring/Summer. I also have my 3 pairs of jeans (year round) and a few pieces that were in the laundry that I might keep out for a few more weeks until it gets warmer.

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I love the blue dress. Still brand new from the end of last summer. I also went thrift shopping and several of the shirts and shorts are “new”. I think I spent a total of $25.

Below is our closet. On the Left is my side, on the right is Hubby and Little Man’s things.

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I picked up these colorful bins at the Dollar Tree the other day. They are perfect for Little Man’s clothes. I labeled them with a chalk marker (it will wipe off when I’m ready to use them for something else).

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26 Days of Toddler Learning Fun – Part I

Toddler learningWhether you are a stay at home mom, nanny, or working mom it can be hard to come up with new ideas everyday to keep that tiny busy mind and body learning and having fun. Here are the first 5 days to “26 Days of Toddler Learning and Fun”. The age range of these activities could go from age 1 -5 easily. You can mold it to fit your child, it is simply an outline and inspiration. I would suggest setting aside time before the week begins to prepare for each day. Maybe a trip to the library on Monday to get all the books you will be reading that week. (or you can use nap time to prepare for the following days activities)

 

HAVE FUN!!!

 

 

DAY 1 – The Letter A

 

Snack – Apple slices & dipping sauces (peanut butter, nutella, honey, Greek Yogurt)

Animal Crackers

 Sensory Animal Sensory Box

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Play – Match the Animals

Animal Noises

Alphabetize the Animals

Are You My Mother Matching Game

 Story – Animal Orchestra

Are You My Mother

Animals and their Sounds

ExerciseAnimal Crawls

 SingWay Up High in an Apple Tree

Animal Sounds Song

 

 

DAY 2 – The Letter B

 

Snack – Bananas, banana ice cream, berries.

Sensory Rainbow Ball

Texture Balloon

Blowing Bubbles

PlayCotton Ball Painting

Ball Sorting Tray

Toss the Ball (or roll the ball)

Boxes – Color and climb in big ones, stack and knock down little ones

Story – The B Book

Where Do Balloons Go

Exercise – Keep the Balloon from touching the ground

Bike (or tricycle)

Sing – Bumping Up in Down in my Little Red Wagon

The Wheels on the Bus

Balloon Color Song

 

 

DAY 3 – The Letter C

Snack – Cookies, cantaloupe, crackers, cake

Sensory Color Slim

 Mess Free Painting

Play – Visit cats at the Animal Shelter

Make this colorful cake

Help with cooking dinner or lunch

Camping (or indoor fort)

Story – Cats, Cooking, colors etc

Cat in the Hat

Exercise – Kick the Can

Cha Cha Slide

Sing – C is for Cookie

 

 

DAY 4 – The Letter D

Snack – Dino crackers, dragon fruit, dip

Sensory Dino Goo

Visit Dogs at a Shelter or pet store

PlayDriving Cars

Salt Fossils

Dino Eggs

Dig in the Dirt

Story – Dinosaurs, Digging, Dirt, Dad, Dogs etc

Exercise – Dancing

 ReFit

SingBINGO

 

 

DAY 5 – The Letter E

Snack – green eggs and ham, eggplant,

Sensory Elephant toothpaste

PlayExpression Eggs

Horton Hears A Who Painting

Elephant craft

Trumpets

Egg shakers (musical instrument)

Story – Horton Hears a Who

Green Eggs and Ham

Elephant

ExerciseGet Moving Dice

Sing – Do Your Ears Hang Low

          Head and Shoulder, Knees and Toes

 

Check in next week for Letters F through J!!!