Monday, November 28, 2016

Cute And Fun Gifts For The Man In Your Life

If you’re looking to buy a meaningful gift for the man in your life, this could be the perfect post for you. These cute and fun gifts for the man in your life are bound to make him happy, whether you’re buying for a birthday or Christmas time. Take a look and see what you think!

An Adventure Day

Men love adventure. Most of them, anyway. Why not send him on an adventure day? You could go along with him if you really wanted to, of course. You could get him a hot air balloon ride, a trip on a segway, or something even more daring. How about a sky dive? There are also sports car driving days he could take part in, if he’s a bit of a car fanatic. This should be a lot of fun and really get his adrenaline pumping!


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A Custom Bobblehead

A custom bobblehead, like the likenessme bobbleheads are perfect for the man in your life. If he works at a desk, having one of these smiling up at him during the day should definitely make his day a little brighter. They are handmade, and you won’t believe the level of detail that goes into each piece. It’s definitely a cute and fun gift that your man will love.

A Musical Instrument

Has the man in your life always talked about playing a musical instrument, but never actually gone through with it? Now could be the time to purchase one for him and encourage him to learn! Ukuleles are thought to be pretty easy to learn, but you could go for anything. To really top off this gift, you could get him lessons too. However, lessons aren’t always necessary these days when we have resources like YouTube. If he’s committed enough, he could very well teach himself to play the instrument.


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A Novelty Gift

If you’re on a budget and you want to make the man in your life laugh, a novelty gift could be just the solution. You have so many options here. For the man who has everything? You could get him nothing. Seriously, they do ‘nothing’ in a little plastic case that you can wrap up and present to him. You could get him a novelty mug, a blow up walking frame, or something else he’ll likely laugh at. Just make sure he’s got the right sense of humour for this kind of thing, or it could backfire!

Hopefully, these fun and cute gifts for the man in your life have inspired you to give him a great gift. Remember, it’s not all about price. It’s about the thought that’s gone into the gift! Something could cost barely anything and still make a great gift. Really think about your man, his hobbies, and what he likes to do. You should be able to come up with some of your very own great ideas! If you have any ideas, leave your thoughts below. I’d love to hear them! Come back soon!


This is a collaborative post written by a contributing writer.

Mom Sick Day Hacks

If you follow my social media (and this blog) you may have noticed I haven't been posting at my typical frequency.  That is because this mama got sick! And it took me down.  It was one of those times - a virus causes a sinus infection wicked enough to slow even the strongest Super Mom down.  But as I was trying to rest (HA!) and still take care of my family, I realized there are some tricks that I used (learned from my own mother) that others may not know about.  And, since us mamas have to stick together, I thought I'd share them below.





Baby Food

This is perhaps the most unique tip I have.  Disclaimer - It sounds a little odd but give it a chance and this will be a game changer.   I know baby food has a reputation for being... well... gross.  But it's really not that bad if you buy certain combos and add a little salt and spice to it. 

When my brothers and I were younger and had our wisdom teeth out or throats so sore that we couldn't eat real food, we did not get to live off of ice cream and smoothies like most kids.  My mom has a medical background, so she knew putting nutrients back into our bodies was essential to the healing process.  So what did we get instead?  Baby food.  My mom would heat it up, add some salt (sometimes butter and garlic) and serve it to us. And, honestly, it's pretty good. When done right, it ends up tasting like a fancy pureed soup.  So, now when I'm so sick that I don't even feel like eating, this is what I do.  It's fast, easy, delicious, and I'm putting nutrients into my body instead of junk. 

Frozen Meals for the Fam

Frozen food gets a bad rep.  And, yes, it isn't the best idea to eat nothing but frozen, processed food all of the time.  But when you're barely able to drag your butt out of bed and you want to make sure your kids are eating more than cereal and pizza, a frozen casserole can be your lifeline.  Brands like Amy's also have meals that are a little healthier than the typical family style TV dinner brands.  After all a frozen noodle, cheese, chicken, and broccoli meal is better than a meal of Froot Loops or Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

Shower Time

Take a little longer (if you can) when it comes to your shower time.  Breathe in the steam and take a time out to just focus on your own self care. You'd be surprised how much better (and less congested) you can feel after a long, hot shower.

Pedialyte

Pedialyte...it's not just for kids! Sipping on some Pedialyte can replenish a feverish, worn out mom in no time.  Also, as hard as it may be, try to stay away from the caffeine when you have high tempature.

Screen Time = Rest Time

Loosening the screen time reins is a way I get a little extra rest.  "Yes, mommy knows you usually only get to play with the tablet after bath time.  But right now mommy is so dizzy that she can barely stand...so here you go. Play while I lay down on the couch next to you."

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Top Tips for Moms With Two Under Two



https://www.pexels.com/photo/brother-sister-hug-coast-27547/

Being a Mom with infants can be tough. Doable, but tricky. Sometimes, tips from those that have been there, or little hacks on making things easy or quicker, can help. So that’s the aim of today’s post. If you’re a Mom with two under two, or even a few under school-age, these tips might just help you to get through the day with fewer tears - from them or you!

They’re nothing mindblowing all that new, but focusing on these easy ideas can make a difference to your day - if they don’t already.

Keeping Them Busy and Sweet

We all know our little ones like attention, but it can be hard to think of new ideas that can keep them entertained and calm at the same time. No to mention, save your sanity! Baking is an activity that should always be fun. Your little ones can get involved with making things like cookies, that are quick and easy, and enjoy eating them for days afterward!





https://www.pexels.com/photo/love-baby-boys-family-50692/

Sit and Stand Strollers

Getting anywhere with two under two can feel like a mission in itself. Often it is. A double buggy is a very good idea, but it can be hard to handle and get around. If you’ve not thought about a sit and stand stroller yet, you might want to. They keep your toddler in check, without them feeling locked up. Sites such as like http://wholovesbabies.com/the-best-sit-and-stand-stroller/ have great reviews and comparison points to help you figure out which style is best for you.

Jazzing Things Up

If your kids love to be creative and you’ve had a project in mind, then a little DIY could kill two birds with one stone. Whether you want to create something decorative for the home or to go up in the bedroom, or something they can both use, DIY is a great activity to get it done. Babies can play happily in the bouncer while you and the toddler get to work on something fun.


https://www.pexels.com/photo/children-running-together-on-wooden-path-way-bridge-194009/

Mommy’s Little Helper

Often, the eldest of the two can feel like the youngest gets a lot of attention. It is hard for them to understand that the baby needs you more, but it can be made easier by showing them. The littlest might be in a bouncer or highchair during a lot of your activities together, but they don’t always have to be. Why not let the eldest help you give the baby a bath or feed them. Sibling bonding can be special, and it helps to show them attention at the same time.

Share and Share Alike

Do your children like to share? If not, you’re not alone. They’re so close in age, but sometimes that can be the only thing they have in common. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can have a little more control over their routines if you want to sync them up. It can seem easier to separate their bedtimes and mealtimes, but sometimes, joining them can be much more hassle free. And if the toddler becomes Mommy’s little helper, you won’t be doing it alone!

This is a collaborative written by a contributing writer.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Makeup Tips for Time Limited Moms

Sometimes when that little bundle of joy comes along, all those things you are used to doing for yourself can go out the window. It is hard to keep up your beauty regime, and a fashionable wardrobe when you are up to your armpits is diapers. Time is thin on the ground, and there always seem to be a mountain of things that need to get done. Which can make you feel bad for taking time out of your busy day to little things like applying your makeup. But it doesn't have to be that way. In fact, you can have your cake and eat it, if you use a shorter beauty regime. Read on to see how putting your face on doesn’t have to take forever.

A good base

One of the most important things to get right in a quick makeup routine is the base. This is the foundation for all the rest of the stages. Get this right, and the rest should go on without a hitch.

Some people use a moisturizer as the first step of their base. While those that are clever combine this step with an anti-aging serum to future proof their skin. You can shop a popular anti-aging serum online by following the link. This is a good bit of insurance to keep you looking young, whatever your age.




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Once this stage has been completed some people choose to apply a primer, and then a foundation. But this can be a bit too time consuming for a busy mom to do every morning. Instead, why not try something like a BB cream. This is like a light foundation that should even out and mattify your skin tone.

Concealer

If you have any specific blemishes, a great makeup tip is to use a concealer. Cream concealers are the best. Don't fall into the trap of applying them with a brush, though. You can get a much more natural finish by putting it on in layers with your finger.

Bright eyes

If you have young kids then a particular problem that you may suffer from is having tired looking eyes. You can solve this quickly and easily by using eye shadow in the correct way. Start with a darker color and apply it to the crease of the eye.

Then you need to take a light color and apply it to the lid. Start in the corner closest to your nose. Then apply a white shade over the top just in this corner. That will really make your eyes pop instead of looking like they have only had three hours sleep!

A radiant shimmer

Something else moms can have trouble with is a gray tinge to the skin, again often caused by tiredness. Luckily there are things you can do about this. You can make dull skin more radiant by applying a shimmering highlighter power once the rest of your makeup is complete. Then you will have a healthy glow like your favorite celebrity, rather than having spent most of the night with a colicky baby.

This is a collaborative post written by a contributor.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Sleepless Night Solutions For Tired Moms

Tiredness is part and parcel of life as a parent. It’s completely normal to go weeks without a proper night’s sleep when you have a newborn. However, if you have older kids, and you still struggle, there may be underlying problems. There are all kinds of reasons why people suffer from insomnia. If you can’t seem to shake off sleepless nights, here are some solutions that may help.


Image credit https://www.flickr.com/photos/97481684@N08/13966480422

Adapting your routine

Routines are incredibly important to most parents. However, often you focus on your kids so much that you forget about yourself. Regimes are not just beneficial for children. It’s also really helpful to get into a bedtime routine yourself. Your body has an internal clock, and you can alter it to increase your chances of getting a good night’s sleep. If you go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, your clock will soon adjust. By doing this, you can ensure that you get enough sleep. Of course, there will be days when things don’t go to plan. However, if you’ve got a pattern in place, you should find it easier to get to sleep at night.

Making your bedroom conducive to sleep

Look around your bedroom. Is it a peaceful and tranquil haven? Does your bed look inviting? Do you feel relaxed? Is it dark? If you haven’t answered yes to these questions, it’s worth making some changes to your sleeping environment. Light and noise can keep you awake at night. Tossing and turning on an uncomfortable mattress can lead to disturbed nights. Scratching at an itch is sure to wake you up. There are often simple steps you can take to tackle these issues. Hang thick curtains or buy a blackout blind. Use earplugs to prevent noise. Add a mattress topper to your bed. If you’ve woken up with bites, research the best way to kill bed bugs. Vacuum the room, and wash your sheets at a high temperature. Keep your bedroom tidy and clutter-free. Make your bed each day, and add coziness with blankets, throws, and cushions. Turn off bright lights, and use fairy lights or lamps to create a relaxing ambiance.

Relaxing

Relaxing is not something many moms do on a regular basis. When you’ve got kids, it can be hard to find time to just chill out and unwind. Make sure you take half an hour or so once the kids have gone to bed. Have a bath, read a book, or meditate. Do something that makes you feel calm. If you get into bed with a clear mind, and you feel relaxed, you should find it easy to drift off.

Are you a tired mom? Can you even remember the last time you had a good night’s sleep? From time to time we all have sleepless nights. Sometimes, there are things we can do to try and make these a thing of the past. Take these tips on board. Hopefully, you’ll be snoozing soundly in no time at all. 

*This post is not meant to be taken as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for any sleep/ health concerns.

This is a collaborative post written by a contributing writer.

Stuck In The Moment? Life Stages With Your Kids To Look Forward To

So much of being a Mom involves being busy. You're so focused on the tiny details of this exact moment in time, or if it's in the future, it's more immediate. Perhaps it's the next homework assignment to check or an upcoming playdate to schedule. You know the future is coming, but it's not something you tend to have the time to focus on. Even as your kids grow at an alarming rate, in your mind, they're still your babies.

As we near the end of another year, it's worth stepping back for a moment - in order to look forward. In the small frustrations of everyday life, a look at the bigger picture can be just the tonic you need. It'll remind you why the stress, worry, and panic is all completely worth it in the end even if, in the moment, you're too busy to remember.

Parenting doesn't end when your child (or children) reach a mythical age where they are now a Fully Formed Adult. You've got so much to look forward to and memories to make - so take a breath, and allow yourself a moment to daydream about what's coming up.

School Graduation


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It's one of the turning points of life; the shift from adolescence, and one your children will go through. It's a moment of intense pride as well as the occasional "where have the years gone?!" flurry of panic. Age your kid in your mind and imagine them in cap and gown, proudly celebrating their new steps in life. Of course, you have to embarrass them by insisting on giving a speech. Several times.

Finding The Love of Their Life


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You never know how your kids will decide their life. They might not get married, so I can't just promise the sparkle of diamond engagement rings and flowing white dresses. They might choose never to marry; the love I am talking about can be anything. It might be a romantic partner; it might be a job they are deeply passionate about. It will be something that makes their eyes sparkle and their enjoyment of life triple, and you'll be there to witness it.

One of the reasons we raise kids is so they can find their own way in the world and the things that excite them. If might not be something (or someone!) you particularly find engaging, but it'll matter to them, so it matters to you.

Asking For Help As An Adult


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You'll be settling down on a Sunday evening to a glass of wine and a good book. The nest is empty; you've coped, and you've learned to enjoy the silence. Then the phone will ring: "Mom? I need help with something..."

And in that moment, for all their desire for independence, you will see your new role take shape in their life. It's one to treasure; your relationship will have changed, but it doesn't need to be for the worse. Your kids will become your friends as well as your offspring, so busy as you are, it'll all come good in the end.


This is a collaborative post written by a contributing writer.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Election: It's Not About the Candidates

Every four years.  Every four years I dread what's coming.  No, not leap year.  Election year.  At a time when our country is supposed to come together and discuss what would be best for our future, we see the worst...of ourselves.  Of our culture. And of our society.  And for someone who already tends to be anxious, seeing constant hate, slander, and discourse is pretty close to torture.  A year long of everything that makes my anxiety rise. A year of waiting for it all to end so we can all move on and regain the best parts of our humanity.

This is not about this year's candidates.  Or their policies. Or even their indiscretions.  This is about US. OUR behavior towards each other. OUR decision to name call, ruin relationships, and allow hate to spew from our mouths, over a difference of opinion: A different perspective.  What other way is there?  We could listen to "opposing" views, try to see the other side, and engage in intelligent conversation with the main objective of understanding.  We could agree to disagree. Cast our ballot and go on with our lives. Instead of listening to respond.  Instead of having a conversation simply to prove "our side" is correct.

And what's the worst part of election year? That even when votes are counted and the decision is made, it is still not over.  It seems the hate and divide between sides seems to spike instead of resolve. For our country to change, it's much less about which candidate wins and much more about how WE change.  As a nation. As a mass. As a culture. If we want the country to be better, WE need to be better.  And that can start today.  So if your candidate won, please be gracious.  If your candidate lost, it's time to accept it and hope for the best.  Stay engaged. Stay involved. But do so in a manner that shows respect for everyone. Not just those who agree with you.

Being celebratory or disappointed is understandable.  But our country can not become a better place, it can not be "great again," if we continue to turn into uncontrollable, erratically emotional versions of ourselves every four years.  We have only ourselves to blame for how intense this election year has been.  We need to forget the "us" verses "them" mentality that seems to be so ingrained in our ways.  We need to start working together to come as one. We need to understand that acting out with anger and hate only fuels the fire of tearing this country down. Tearing ALL OF US down.

But somehow, every four years I have hope.  Hope that this time we will act as one nation.  That this year we will show the best parts of ourselves instead of the worst.  That this year we won't resort to trying to break each other inorder to support the candidate we like.  That this time America will demonstrate how truly great it is.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Three (3) Ingredient Hot Chocolate Cookies

By now, you all know I am all about quick, easy recipes that are completely delicious with minimal effort.  What you may not know is that before my son was born I used to make desserts from scratch A LOT.  I mean old-school, completely from scratch, flour everywhere type of goodies. I absolutely LOVE to bake.  But now that I have my son, spending hours in the kitchen just isn't as appealing as it used to be.  Especially when I could be spending that time playing outside with him or  relaxing with him while watching The Good Dinosaur for the millionth time.  So, for me, these fast, two to five ingredient recipes are the perfect balance of still satisfying my need to bake and getting to spend downtime with my son.

These cookies in particular were just going to be called three ingredient chocolate cookies.  However, their texture is so unique they reminded me of a cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows in one sweet package.

Surprisingly, mixing cake mix with Cool Whip creates a marshmallow-y, taffy texture.  I'm not sure how. I'm sure there's some science behind that.  All I know is that's what happens.  And, because of this, the texture of the cookie has a little bit of a chewy, melted marshmallow texture even after baking and cooling. They also smell AMAZING when baking.  A sweet, chocolate and marshmallow scent fills the air once these babies get cooking.  So, voila! Three Ingredient Hot Chocolate Cookies.

Now let's to get the recipe!



Ingredients: 

Chocolate Cake Mix
1- 8oz tub of Cool Whip
1 egg

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Mix all three ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl.  You can use an electric mixer or mix by hand. (I mixed by hand.  This is where the taffy texture first appears).

Spoon onto a GREASED cookie sheet.  (I also put down aluminum foil for easy clean up.)

Bake for 10 - 12 minutes depending on size of cookies.  (Mine are large and in charge. So they took 12 minutes.)

Let cool and enjoy!