Personal Stuff

Show Your Room Mom Some Love This Year

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room mom appreciation ideas

Oh, back-to-school time is in full swing. Soccer has started, carpools are in motion, and some moms will be putting their name down to volunteer to be your fearless leader as “room mom” this year. Bless them.

I am dedicating this post on room mom appreciation ideas to those room moms everywhere and want to share some little things, LITTLE things you can do to make their role easier this school year.

Anyone have anything to add? Please share in the comments below!

What You Can Do To Help Your Room Mom

First off, remember these ladies (or men!) are volunteers. Endless hours will be spent planning your child’s class parties and organizing thoughtful gifts for your teacher. I mean, aren’t the following the least we can do?

1. Every now and again, email back. 

On numerous times I would email the entire class about an upcoming party or class event and hear, crickets. Not one response.

Many times I even wondered if anyone received it or if it got stuck in my outbox or cyberspace.

It’s so easy to do a quick email back to the room mom, with a short, “Thanks!” Done and done.  At least they know someone got it.

Just remember to REPLY, not REPLY ALL!

2. Volunteer for something. Anything. 

Most times it was the same 5 moms volunteering for everything.

Now I understand many moms work and physically being there for the class events is not feasible and you don’t have to be.

However, you can sign up to contribute something to the party. Even a pack of paper napkins is appreciated.

 3. If you want to participate in the class gift, send in your money before she has to ask you again. 

The class gift where everyone pitches in and room mom goes out and buys something adorable from the group is actually a gift to you.  Because it’s taken care of.

If you want to do this, please send in your money, like the next day, in an envelope clearly marked with your child’s name and what it’s for.

You have no idea how many reminders it would take to collect all the money for the gift. It’s a lot of time and a lot of emails.

Make her life easier by being the first one to send in your money. As a bonus, you won’t have to think about it again.

4. Write a quick note…

Let’s take it a step further, consider writing a note of thanks with your money. Even just a note on scratch paper saying, “Thanks so much for coordinating the gift! I appreciate it!!” will mean a lot to her.

Come holiday time it is another thing on room mom’s list to add to holiday stress. A little note of appreciation goes a long way.

5. Remember room mom at the end of the year 

Come end of the year, room mom is likely really busy organizing the last week of school festivities and coordinating the end of the year gift for your teacher.

It’s so thoughtful to give your room mom a little something as a thanks. A personal card, $5 gift card to buy her a coffee, or even consider getting $1 or $2 per family and buy her a mani/pedi and a little note of thanks for the class.

Just good lucking collecting the money…!

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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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#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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Keeping Your Sanity in the Back-to-School Madness

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How to keep your back-to-school sanity

Recently I was perusing this post on 31 Writing Prompts for August to get my creative juices flowing and #5 hit me before I could even read on, it asked, “How do you respond to change?”

My immediate thought?

Not well.

And, this is the time of year my response to change stares me right in my anxiety-ridden face: back-to-school.

The anxiety starts to kick in a couple weeks before school starts and culminates with me feeling like I am losing my sanity come the second week of school.

BUT, I want to try to do things differently this year. Handle the school year transition with a little more ease, which inspired this post on how to keep your back-to-school sanity.

Please chime in with your own thoughts and tips below!

Summer Lovin’

familypic This back-to-school transition is going to be a big one for our family.

First off, I loved this summer. My girls and their ages (5 and 8) made it the most fun and relaxing summer ever.

No naps to work around, no 5pm meltdowns, more hours where they played so contentedly together and the ability to sit in a lounge chair and watch them swim or play on the beach.  Heaven.

My “summer is ending sadness” coupled with the fact my youngest starts kindergarten and my 3rd grader moves to a new campus make this back-to-school transition even that much more monumental.

When I start thinking of the drop off and pick up schedules, paperwork, homework, projects, what teachers they are going to have, etc.  I get anxious. Very anxious.

Mommy needs to get a grip.

Hindsight is a beautiful thing, so I thought of some ways years past have been stressful, and ways I can try to go into this school year with more ease.

How to Keep Your Back-to-School Sanity 

Here are some ideas on how to keep your back-to-school sanity. If you have your own tips, please share in the comments below.

Be Patient Finding Your School Year Groove 

Every year I get frustrated a couple weeks in when I feel like we SHOULD be into a groove, and we’re not. Whether it’s kids acting out, exhaustion with the new morning schedule or homework battles, it always takes longer than I feel it should to find a groove.

6 weeks is the magic number for me.

By mid-October, I am usually finding the groove and have things running smoothly. If you are the same, just remember to be patient, you will get there. Be patient.

Resist the Urge to Over-Commit 

At the start of the school year, I usually feel pretty hyped up. But sometimes that gung-ho energy can cause me to over-commit because start of the year means sign-ups.

Last year I volunteered to be room mom for both my daughter’s classrooms. Sure, I can do it, no problem! Right? Wrong. Well yes, I did do it, but by holiday time I realized I took on TOO much while also trying to run my blog.

Volunteering is an amazing gift if you have some time available to dedicate to it. Just look at your schedule and obligations before jumping to “yes!”

Practice Your Response When Asked 

This post on Momastery was one of the most powerful posts I read this year. Take a few minutes to read it. It’s not just about tweens, it applies to kids of all ages (and their moms)!

Her opening struck a chord in me because I am a people-pleaser and always want to say “yes” when asked to do something.

Therefore, practice your response NOW, before asked to do things, so you have a response.

These are the ones I came up with.

If it’s a “hell no”

“Thanks so much for thinking of me! I would love to be able to, but I am expanding my business this year, and I am afraid I have too much on my plate to take on anything extra.” 

If it’s a “I’m not sure”

“Thanks so much for thinking of me! I have a lot on my plate right now, but let me think about whether I could fit it in, and I will get back to you.”

At least this buys you time to think through your obligations and if you are able to do it or not.

Come up with your responses now and practice them.

Take Time for Yourself 

When things get particularly busy and hectic, the first thing that gets neglected is time to take care of ourselves. Stay tuned for a fun challenge I have for all of us this September to make sure in that crazy first month we are also taking the time to find balance for ourselves, and our sanity…

Who has ways to share how to keep your back-to-school sanity? Please comment!

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We have a fresh new look…

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In honor of Tiny Oranges’ SIXTH birthday this month, I thought it was a great time to freshen up the site with a juicy new look and tag line,

“inspiring moms with juicy ideas for sweeter family living”

…what do you think?!

Bear with us as we inevitably have to work out some kinks in the next day or so (and if you find some, please comment on this post and let us know!)

Thank you to everyone taking the time to read this post.

I am anxious to hear your thoughts!

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