Mama Mojo, MicroLuxuries, momlife, Momsquad, vacation

The Importance of Mom Friends

Some people call it their village. Some call it a tribe. It doesn’t much matter what you call them, but finding mom friends is a definite game changer when it comes to motherhood. We can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt- our MomSquad has changed our lives. Continue reading “The Importance of Mom Friends”

Married with Children, The Daddys

A Love Story

A few weeks ago, we had the honor of attending an absolutely gorgeous wedding. The couple was so in love, the setting was truly beautiful, and the food was on point. The bartender totally hit on me, and they even had hand-churned nitrogen ice cream for dessert. It was a truly beautiful day.

And it was also the first day I felt old in a good way. Continue reading “A Love Story”

momlife, parenting, The Salties, They Said WHAT?

Excused Absences

“Please excuse Lila from school yesterday. She was home due to Potential Judgement From Other Parents.”

I mean, I didn’t actually write that on the note. But I SHOULD have. Continue reading “Excused Absences”

Effing Four Year Olds, momlife, parenting, The Salties, They Said WHAT?, Tips & Hacks

Smoothies

Once upon a time, when Lila was a littler girl, she became obsessed with all cold drinks. First it was the condensation on our soft drinks, and then we transitioned to Jamba Juice IMG_20140721_112451092smoothies.  Pretty soon, we introduced our family’s favorite summer sipper- Icees. And slurpees, and freezes. Whatever you wanted to call them, it didn’t much matter. She was in love with the icy cold sweetness, and at about a dollar a piece, they were a cheap and easy treat on a hot day. I have given her far more Icees in her short little life than I would care to admit. Somewhere along the line, the differences between Jamba Juice whole fruit goodness and sugar-filled-crushed-ice got blurred, and she decided Icees/Slurpees were called smoothies, too. It wasn’t something we did intentionally, but my GOODNESS does it make me look like a better mother. Continue reading “Smoothies”

Effing Four Year Olds, Kids' Activities, momlife, parenting, The Salties

Alertness

From an early age, I have always been both a teacher’s pet and an overachiever. I passed all the tests. I got all the awards. I always often came in first.  For years, I’ve eagerly been awaiting my own kids’ turn. I told myself that I wouldn’t be pushy, wouldn’t assume my kid would be the best and the brightest, and was determined to let her go her own way. When the first few award ceremonies went by and Lila didn’t get an award, I tried my best to shrug it off. That’s okay! Everyone can’t get an award, or they would be meaningless!  I mean, she has her moments, but she is fiery and passionate and smart and funny and AWESOME. Her day will come!

And today, when I opened up her homework folder and saw that slip of fancy copy paper, with the hint of a fancy border showing- well, I just knew. Our Her day had finally come.

“Congratulations! Your child has been selected to receive an award. Please join us for a ceremony on Tuesday, as Lila is recognized for… Alertness.”

I’ve never been so proud confused. Continue reading “Alertness”

Crafty Mamas, Holidays, Kids' Activities, Kids' Art Projects, momlife, parenting, The Salties

Valentine’s Day Marbled Print Art

As a preschool art teacher, I have to say that I strongly favor process-based art for kids. The research all shows that the true benefit of art for kids comes from the process of making something- mixing colors, experimenting with lines and swirls, and getting hands-on experience with creative expression. Your average Valentine’s Day art projects, with their prescribed colors and shapes and outcomes, are typically not in line with process-based activities.

But.

I’m also a mother. I want some art for my dang refrigerator, gosh darn it.

So I’ve created this fun, process based art activity that will end with a product that you can display.  By limiting the colors you present the kids with (pink, purple, and red for example), you can ensure that the project stays on theme- and the kids will be none the wiser. (Or feel free to go rogue here- this project can be accomplished with any colors and any shape of paper- including a plain old rectangle.) Continue reading “Valentine’s Day Marbled Print Art”

momlife, Recipes, Tips & Hacks

Minestrone Soup (And How to Plan a Soup Exchange!)

It’s winter- glorious, chilly, wholesome winter. Time for scarves and boots and, most importantly- soup. I don’t know about you, but I only have about three really good soup recipes. And while they are REALLY GOOD (especially this Minestrone Soup Recipe!), you can only eat the same soups so many times before you get sick and tired of the same old thing.

So when one of our friends suggested we hold a soup exchange, we eagerly hopped on board. The idea is simple: you and a few friends each agree to make four meal-sized servings of soup. You keep one, and exchange the rest with the others.  Everyone leaves the day with four soups- a family favorite, and three new recipes to try.

In our case, we decided to meet at the park.  We executed our soup swap quickly, stowed our meals away in freezer bags, and let the kids run around together for an hour or so. While we chose to include the kids, you could easily arrange a wine night or girls’ night in that would serve the same purpose. Whatever works for you!

And just in case you find yourself without soup-swappin’ friends, don’t worry. The Salty Mamas (as always) have your back. Try this Minestrone soup recipe that has been in my family for generations my mom swindled from a favorite restaurant before it closed. It’s simple enough for everyday, hearty enough for a meal, and even tasty enough to serve to company.  A single batch typically renders enough for two meals for my family of four with some leftovers. We keep half to eat that week, and I freeze half for another time (the pasta and zucchini are slightly affected by freezing, but we still think it’s just as good as when it’s served fresh. And you can always add the pasta and zucchini after thawing instead if you’re bothered by small texture changes).

This is the only Minestrone Soup Recipe you'll ever need- full of vegetables, protein, and home-cooked goodness. Find the recipe at thesaltymamas.com. #minestronesoup #souprecipe Continue reading “Minestrone Soup (And How to Plan a Soup Exchange!)”

Mama Mojo, Tips & Hacks

How to Make Yourself Workout (When You Really Don’t Want to)

This post contains affiliate links. You can learn more at our Legal & Disclosures page. Thanks so much!

So you’ve got a resolution. And you’re trying SO HARD. You’re eating all the right things, you’re drinking water, you’re resisting the snacks. And hypothetically, you’re working out more regularly.  But, guys? Sometimes getting in the mood to workout is so.dang.hard. So how do you form a habit when your body- and your brain!- is begging you not to make it DO THE EXERCISE? Here’s some tips that help us to make it happen, even when we don’t want to. Continue reading “How to Make Yourself Workout (When You Really Don’t Want to)”

Effing Four Year Olds, momlife, parenting, The Salties, They Said WHAT?, Why We're Salty

The Sass is Strong with This One

Raising a bilingual child is so important these days. Many of our friends are choosing dual immersion schools for Spanish, and some are even sending their kids to school to learn Mandarin. For some, it’s about preparing kids to participate in a global economy. For others, it just happens to be the best program around. In many cases, parents just want children to be able to converse with their families.

Which is why Lila is learning the language of sarcasm VERY early on. Continue reading “The Sass is Strong with This One”

Cheapskating, Kids' Activities, Mama Loves a Party, momlife, The Salties, Tips & Hacks

Birthday Gifts on a Budget

This post contains affiliate links. You can read more at our Legal page. Thank you!

I don’t know how it works in your circle of friends, but in ours? We are heading full-throttle into what we affectionately call Birthday Season. From now until the end of April, we will likely be attending anywhere from one to four birthday parties every.single.weekend. And my kids LOVE it. But my budget? Yeah, it doesn’t.

So how do I tackle all of those Big Birthday Bashes on a Budget? There’s a few tricks I use to celebrate all of our favorite little people without breaking the bank. Continue reading “Birthday Gifts on a Budget”