Happy 1st Day Of School

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Happy 1st Day of School

I happened upon this photo by surprise last year on my camera roll.

My oldest daughter apparently sent her American Girl doll, Casey Jane, off to her first day of Kindergarten with the same front of door signage photo shoot tradition.

It freaked me out when browsing through my camera roll because it looked sort of real in a creepy way.

Then I saw the set up in front of the door with the sign and laughed out loud.

For any fellow mamas with kids starting school today – happy 1st day of school!

In our family, as of today, I now have a kindergartener and a 3rd grader. Hard to believe. It is a new chapter of life for us.

I will be counting the minutes until pick up when I can get a full report on how the day went.

I loved this article on 25 Ways to Ask Your Kids How School Was Today, without asking them, “How was school today?” Tucking some of those in my back pocket.

Now, go get a cup of coffee and EXHALE. And may your day be filled with happy 1st day of school end of day reports!

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Join the #DailyChargeChallenge! It Starts TODAY!

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DCC

 

The #DailyChargeChallenge starts today and will run through September 30th! In case you missed my first post sharing self-care ideas for moms – click here. Are you up for the challenge? Here’s how it works…

1. Make the commitment to do ONE thing every day to recharge yourself during the month of September. 

Whether your daily charge is doing a few deep breaths or planning a full spa day, it’s up to you.  But your daily charge should be something that makes you feel balanced, happy, filled up, recharged and/or more relaxed. Some form of self-care JUST focused on you. No one else, you. You deserve it.

Optional (but super fun!): 

2. Leave a comment on this post or on social media letting me know you are doing this with me!
3. Share this post via Facebook or on social media and tag any friends to “challenge” them to do it with you! Things like this are always  much more fun with friends. Plus, they will thank you for MAKING them sign up to take a little better care of themselves in September.
4. Share your daily charge activities on social media with #DailyChargeChallenge to inspire others with your ideas.
5. Follow my daily charges on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.
6. Keep a journal or mental notes on how this challenge is affecting your life. How does daily self-care translate to the every day? Do you notice a difference in yourself? Does your family notice a change?

OK, now the fun part, here are ideas on things you can do for your daily charge. Or, you make up your own. Thanks for joining us! Let the journey begin…

 Self-Care Ideas for Moms 

Free Daily Charge Ideas:

1. Take a nap.
2. Go on a walk with a girlfriend.
3. Meditate or learn to meditate.
4. Take a bath.
5. Journal.
6. Make a fall bucket list of 5 things you want to do.
7. Read a magazine.
8. Call a friend on the phone.
9. Read a book. Don’t know what to read? Here are 15 books you won’t be able to put down!
10. Make a life bucket list.
11. Create a mindmap.
12. Call and schedule a doctor’s appointment you have been putting off for yourself.
13. Take a walk on the beach.
14. Stretch.
15. Take a new fitness class.
16. Write down personal goals for the school year.
17. Make a vision board of your personal goals.
18. Watch a morning show.
19. Watch one of your DVR’d shows.
20. Window shop in a cute area.
21.  Write your husband a hand-written love letter.
22. Have sex (sad it took me to #22 to think of this one!)
23. Download a guided meditation program.
24. Listen to your meditation program.
25. Unplug for 30 minutes.
26. Clean out your underwear drawer.
27. Organize your make-up / cosmetics.
28. Give yourself a mani / pedi.
29. Go shopping or use a gift card that has been sitting in your wallet for too long to buy something special for you!
30. Browse in a bookstore.
31. Meet a friend for a hike or nature walk.
32. Declutter an area that has been bothering you.
33. Make a gratitude list.
34. Clean out your closet and organize your clothes.
35. Arrange for someone to take your kids for the night so you can have an overnight alone with your hubby.
36. Go to the library.
37. Take a bike ride.
38. Stroll around a local farmers’ market
39. Organize your photos.
40. Call your mom.
41. Wake up early or carve out some time to get ready uninterrupted so you can start the day feeling somewhat put together!

Not Free Daily Charge Ideas:

1. Get a facial or massage (watch deal sites for coupons!)
2. Meet a friend for coffee.
3. Meet girlfriends for lunch.
4. See a movie alone or with a friend.
5. Take a class to learn something new (knitting, photography, etc.)
6. Get a mani or pedi.
7. Buy these AMAZE balls introduced to me by my amazing esthetician, Kristin Scott of Healthy Skin by Kristin. Put one Yoga Tune Up Balls on each side of your spine starting at the base of your neck while laying on your back, moving them down your spine every few minutes until you have done the entire length of your back. Almost better than a massage. Almost.
8. Book a $40 TIDY cleaning service.
9. Buy a day pass to a local day spa (usually $20 – $25) and go for the morning to use their fitness room, steam, sauna and relax in the relaxation room.
10. Get a blow out.
11. Hang out at a cafe or coffee shop with your favorite coffee.
12. Get your car washed.
13. Meet a friend for happy hour or dinner.
14. Get a babysitter for a couple hours and do one of the free activities above!
15. Refresh a room in your house with some new decor.
16. Go on a date with your husband.
17. Visit a local museum, garden or attraction you have always wanted to see.
18. Garden, craft or do something you love that’s creative..
19. Sign up for a Timree painting class.
20. Buy yourself a little bouquet of flowers or new candle as a reminder of your self-care efforts.
21. Buy a new lip gloss or lipstick.
22. Pick a new activity like paddle boarding or indoor rock climbing and go with a friend.
23. Stroll around an outdoor mall and treat yourself to a coffee or little somethin’ $25 or less (new top, nail polish, etc.)
24. Sit outside somewhere with your favorite drink browsing social media in peace.
25. Get a frozen yogurt.

Have fun ladies! I can’t wait to see your ideas!

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Keeping it Simple with Kid Activities

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Keeping it Simple with Kid Activities_1

This summer I have been making sure my kids are active, busy, learning, and social.  We’ve happily done park playdates, beach time, school camps, family vacations, arts and crafts, science experiments…and on and on. Guess what?  As much as my kids are enjoying these planned activities, I realized that sometimes the simplest games are often the most popular.  Go figure!  Here are my easy activity ideas for kids.

I was just talking about this in one of my mom’s groups.  Sometimes, getting back to the “basics” can bring the most joy.  Here are some of the favorites in my home:

Blowing bubbles

Tale as old as time, right?!  What is it about a bubble that makes kids go crazy?  My kids have LOVED bubbles since they realized what they were.  Go outside and just blow bubbles with your kids…and see their faces light up!

Making mud pies

Let your kids just play in the dirt.  Muddy, sticky, icky dirt.  They will love getting goopy.  Just hose them down after!

Playing with the water hose

Speaking of…turn on the sprinkler.  Give your kids the water hose.  Watch the smiles spread.  Good old fashioned water play at it’s best.

Building sandcastles (and jumping waves!)

You can do this at the beach (or play with sand at almost any playground)…grab a bag of your sand toys, let them dump them out, and watch them build roads, mountains, bridges, cakes, castles…they will always be thinking of something new to create.

Finger painting

Out of all of the experiments and crafts I organized this summer, the kids still love just dipping their fingers in multiple colored paint and splashing across white paper.  Easy enough, right?  Go for it, kids!

Coloring

I usually spring for a box of new crayons every few weeks, and my kids LOVE to color.  Give them paper, new crayons and let them go to town.

Play Doh

Play Doh, cookie cutters…and let the kids twist, roll, pull, and piece it together. Keeps my kiddos busy, and their little hands busy.

Living room dance parties

Turn up the music and rock out – impromptu style.  The sillier the better!  Kids will love seeing mama shake her booty – and they will love showing you some of their favorite moves, too!  It gets loud, it gets crazy…and it’s joyful.

Hide and seek

Oh my gosh, my kids LOVE this game.  It never gets old for them.  Too bad our dog gets excited and helps “find” the hider in our house.

Old school board games

Candyland, Chutes and Ladders, Uno, Life, Trouble, Go Fish, Old Maid…you name it.  There’s a reason these are considered classic games.  Put the iPads and phones apps and games away, and sit around the table to play a board game as a family.  Our newest favorite is Uno – the kids have so much fun!  And, so do mama and daddy.

I Spy

I spy with my little eye…my kids loving this game, especially in the car.  If you have the patience for it, let the kids play when you’re driving (although sometimes the kids get so excited, they tend to talk over each other).

Dress-up

You don’t need any fancy smancy costumes for this!  Whatever the kids want, goes.  Fancy dresses stuck in the back of the closet, masks, mommy or daddy’s clothes, hats, tutus, and any other costume or dress up stuff you’ve collected.  Have your kids do a fashion show for you…my kids get a kick out of this!

Swinging…at the park 

What kid doesn’t love to swing?  Pack a homemade picnic lunch, pack up the kiddos, and take them to the park to run, slide and swing.

Telling silly stories

My kids love when I start off telling a silly story…and they get to contribute.  They usually laugh themselves into uncontrollable giggles (my stories always start off with….On top of spaghetti….).

Ice cream dates

These “dates” are my favorite!  My children inevitably want the stickiest, messiest ice cream ever…and I love seeing their dribbling ice cream grins.

What are your favorite simple kid activities to do?  Please comment below and share with us mamas!

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#DailyChargeChallenge: Crowdsourcing Ideas

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#DailyChargeChallenge: Doing one thing a day for self-care for month of September

Last week I wrote about ways to keep your sanity during the back-to-school madness as I tend to get a tad okay, a lot, stressed when school starts.  New classrooms, schedule, drop offs, pick ups, packed snacks and lunches, oh my. I am already tired just thinking about it.

This time of year can also be stressful for our kids as they get used to a new routine, wake-up time, classroom, and friends.  Usually my kids are an over-tired mess the first month as they get into their groove.  The last thing they need is an over-tired, frazzled mom to come home to, which is what inspired the idea behind the #DailyChargeChallenge.

When moms get busy, the first thing to go out the window is self-care.  Wouldn’t it be nice this September if we focused a very small amount of time each day to do something that recharges the battery? A recharged battery = happier mommy = happier family.

Join the #DailyChargeChallenge!

I am recruiting moms (and dads!) to participate in a #DailyChargeChallenge, which will begin September 1st and last for 30 days.

During the month of September I am challenging you to commit to doing ONE thing every day dedicated to solely to taking care of yourself.  A daily activity that in some way recharges your body, soul and/or spirit.  Your daily charge could be something that just takes a couple minutes or heck, you could plan an entire spa day. It’s up to you and what you can fit in your schedule and budget.

Now before you say you have no time or money for this, let me stop you. We ALL can find at least a few minutes somewhere in our day to devote to recharging our batteries. We can. Say it with me mamas, “WE CAN!”

Sometimes we just need the permission.

I am giving you the permission.

So, if anyone asks why you are sitting on the couch for a half hour and reading a magazine, well, you just tell them you HAVE to as part of the #DailyChargeChallenge.  Or, if you really need to lie down and take a power nap while your baby naps but you feel guilty because you “should” be doing something else, remember your #DailyChargeChallenge commitment and take that nap.

I am also going to suggest 30 ideas that don’t cost a penny, so you can’t give an excuse you don’t have the money. Now that we have those objections behind us,  OK, who’s IN?  Will you join me?

Let’s Brainstorm Together! 

I want us to brainstorm ideas to get you bubbling with ideas. Can you please comment below with your own ideas?  Things you can think of that recharge you?

I will then post a huge master list on September 1st when we launch the challenge, and I want you to challenge your mommy friends to join in the fun with you!

Follow my own daily self-care journey with #DailyChargeChallenge on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

To inspire other moms, please visit our Facebook page and share the post about our #DailyChargeChallenge and tag your friends to challenge them to do it with you. 

Now, let’s get the ideas flowing (please add yours in the comments!!)

Free Daily Charge Ideas:

1. Take a nap.
2. Go on a walk with a girlfriend.
3. Meditate or learn to meditate.
4. Take a bath.
5. Journal.
6. Make a fall bucket list of 5 things you want to do.
7. Read a magazine.
8. Call a friend on the phone.
9. Read a book.
10. Make a life bucket list.
11. Create a mindmap.
12. Call and schedule a doctor’s appointment you have been putting off for yourself.
13. Take a walk on the beach.
14. Stretch.
15. Take a new fitness class.
16. Write down personal goals for the school year.
17. Make a vision board of your personal goals.
18. Watch a morning show.
19. Watch one of your DVR’d shows.
20. Window shop in a cute area.
21.  Write your husband a hand-written love letter.
22. Have sex (sad it took me to #22 to think of this one!)
23. Download a guided meditation program.
24. Listen to your meditation program.
25. Unplug for 30 minutes.
26. Clean out your underwear drawer.
27. Organize your make-up / cosmetics.
28. Give yourself a mani / pedi.
29. Go shopping or use a gift card that has been sitting in your wallet for too long to buy something special for you!
30. Browse in a bookstore.
31. Meet a friend for a hike or nature walk.
32. Declutter an area that has been bothering you.
33. Make a gratitude list.
34. Clean out your closet and organize your clothes.
35. Arrange for someone to take your kids for the night so you can have an overnight alone with your hubby.
36. Go to the library.
37. Take a bike ride.

Not Free Daily Charge Ideas:

1. Get a facial or massage (watch deal sites for coupons!)
2. Meet a friend for coffee.
3. Meet girlfriends for lunch.
4. See a movie alone or with a friend.
5. Take a class to learn something new (knitting, photography, etc.)
6. Get a mani or pedi.
7. Buy these amaze-balls introduced to me by my amazing esthetician, Kristin Scott. Put one Yoga Tune Up Balls on each side of your spine starting at the base of your neck while laying on your back, moving them down your spine every few minutes until you have done the entire length of your back. Almost better than a massage. Almost.
8. Book a $40 TIDY cleaning service.
9. Buy a day pass to a local day spa (usually $20 – $25) and go for the morning to use their fitness room, steam, sauna and relax in the relaxation room.
10. Get a blow out.
11. Hang out at a cafe or coffee shop with your favorite coffee.
12. Get your car washed.
13. Meet a friend for happy hour or dinner.
14. Get a babysitter for a couple hours and do one of the free activities above!
15. Refresh a room in your house with some new decor.
16. Go on a date with your husband.
17. Visit a local museum, garden or attraction you have always wanted to see.
18. Garden, craft or do something you love that’s creative..
19. Sign up for a Timree painting class.
20. Buy yourself a little bouquet of flowers or new candle as a reminder of your self-care efforts.
21. Buy a new lip gloss or lipstick.
22. Pick a new activity like paddle boarding or indoor rock climbing and go with a friend.

 Your turn! Post your ideas!

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Little Girl Drama

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MeanGirls

I have two girls, ages 5 and 8, so I have been around lots of girls their ages since my first was born. Lots and lots of girls.

Starting in preschool and continuing into the 2nd grade, there is one unkind sentence girls tend to throw around ALL the time when they get frustrated or mad.

Most of the time, little girls use it as a ploy to get their way when playing with a friend, not to be outright unkind or mean.

But I have witnessed many tears and hurt feelings of the little girls who are the recipients of this sentence. It’s hurtful, and just like teaching kids not to hit or bite, teaching kids to be kind is equally important.

Can you guess what it is?

Read More >>

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