I feel like I hear a lot of “my friend that doesn’t have kids just doesn’t ‘get’ me anymore!” And you’re right. There’s probably lots of stuff that they don’t understand about your life as a Mom. But do yourself a favor, and DO NOT push that friend away. It is easy to let those friends fall by the wayside, but four years into Motherhood, I am so absolutely grateful for my childfree BFF. Here’s why:
Let’s preface this one by saying- you don’t HAVE to be creative just because you’re a mama. Your parties don’t have to have carefully paper-crafted banners. Your kids’ sandwiches can be sandwich-shaped, your kids water cups don’t have to be personalized with vinyl, you don’t have to make your own home décor, and you CERTAINLY don’t have to sew your daughter thematic skirts for every holiday.
Repeat-you don’t HAVE to.
But some of us? Some of us WANT to. Continue reading “Making Time to Be Creative (If You’re Into That Sort of Thing)”
This post contains affiliate links. As always, the thoughts and opinions expressed here are our own. You can read more of our disclosures here. Thank you for supporting The Salty Mamas!
Like a lot of new moms out there, I found myself in a bit of a slump after settling in to life as a mom of two. Not in a clinical sense for me, but in an existential crisis kind of way. Who was I, beyond my life as a mother? What were my goals, what were my individual interests, what did I want for my life? With a baby and a preschooler who decided to give up napping, my life as a stay at home mom had changed drastically. There were no double naps anymore, no break for me during the day, and certainly no time for myself. I was a little bit adrift, and a little bit lost, and I just needed SOMETHING to get me back on track.
Growing up, I always had an enthusiastic love of reading. Self-taught at four, my parents didn’t even believe I could read, and instead assumed I had deftly memorized the books they read me so often. Challenged to read from the newspaper, I stunned them all by reading straight from the page. Then came school, and reading for fun quickly fell out of fashion. I was required to read so much that the thought of adding extra “work” voluntarily seemed silly. So I took a two decade long hiatus from my hobby. Through high school, college and graduate school, I read what was required of me, no more, not much less. After grad school my brain was broken. I had used up too many brain cells digesting the works of Foucault and Aristotle, Kenneth Burke and bell hooks. Some loved, some….not so much, but brain cells just the same.
I needed a BREAK. So I bartended. I went out at night. I spent lazy days on the beach flipping through magazines. I rode my bike wherever I could as much as I could, especially on the weekends when I made it a point to not get in my car unless it was absolutely necessary. I found myself riding my bike past a huge, beautiful library, both inviting and intimidating at the same time. On a particularly hot day I decided to go inside even if it was just for the cool, yet musty, air. I walked the aisles, my hands gently touching the spines of the books. Always a tactile person, the idea of reading a book any other way was borderline offensive. The smell, the feeling, the colors of the books called me in a way I couldn’t resist. Continue reading “MicroLuxury Monday: Get Lost in a Book”
This post includes affiliate links in addition to a giveaway provided by Chrysalis Beauty Co. The Salty Mamas may make a small commission from items purchased after clicking through the links. As always, the thoughts and opinions expressed here are our own. Thank you for supporting The Salty Mamas!
I know there are some fabulous mamas out there, but ladies, I am not one of them. Sure, I used to spend big money on make-up back in the day. But those days are loooong gone, and I’ve spent years and years with the same routine- drug-store foundation, drug store eyeliner, drug store blush, and LOTS of drug-store mascara. I just didn’t have the time, the energy or, frankly, the money to put towards my day to day look.
And then my son spent five minutes as a model, and, as a result, so did I. And I received two glorious makeovers as a result. I wasn’t the focus of the shoot, so my makeup was light, natural, and simple. But I still felt like a million dollars, and decided I wouldn’t wait until the next photo shoot to find that oomph again, but that I would find it on my own (which, thank goodness, as there was no next shoot).
I was lucky enough to stumble upon Mama’s Beauty Bar, a Facebook group run by a kind, funny, and talented makeup guru by the name of Beth Griffin. Beth is the owner and operator of Chrysalis Beauty Co. One facet of her business is a makeup line offered up by Younique, a company that offers incredible mascara, lip products, and other makeup. I thought I wasn’t ready to take the Younique plunge, but I watched her incredible Facebook live videos, learned some tips and tricks, and my style started to evolve. And when I won a Lip Bon Bon of my own? I realized that this makeup really was worth every penny!
So I adjusted my makeup budget a little. I did some serious Google Searches, and some serious trial-and-erroring, and stepped up my game by finding the best drug-store make up around (which helped me free up my budget for my favorite splurges from Younique).
Maybelline Fit Me Dewy & Smooth Foundation, applied with this brush. A little goes a long way when applied with the brush, and it is everything it says it will be- full coverage, but with a little glow in the finish to leave you looking fresh and sunny.
Maybelline Fit Me Blush– based on my face shape, the Make Up artist I worked with at the photo shoot gave me the suggestion to use only a bit of blush or bronzer low on the apple of my cheek. After a little searching, I found this blush, which comes in a multitude of shades and adds just the right amount of color for some definition, without going over the top.
CoverGirl Outlast Mascara– While I use my Younique 3D+ Fiber Lashes Lash Enhancer for special occasions, I still prefer my old-school, orange-tube CoverGirl Mascara for the day to day. I get it in ebony black, and lay it on thick in several layers. My mama always told me that a lady doesn’t leave the house without her mascara on, and for the most part I follow her rule.
Younique Lip Bon Bon from Chrysalis Beauty Co. I love the bold lipstick look when I see it on others, but for whatever reason it just doesn’t work for me. The Lip Bon Bons are creamy, subtle, and leave your lips feeling fully hydrated, soft, and lush. They come in five colors, and one of you lucky readers will be winning one of your own in Beth’s favorite color.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a model in name only, and only wear makeup about half the time. But all I was really looking for was a way to look better when I wanted to do, and between Beth and that Hollywood Make Up artist, I found a way to do just that.
Looking to see the makeup in action? Check out our Five Minute Makeup Tutorial over on Facebook!
This post includes affiliate links in addition to items that have been generously donated by some wonderful companies. As always, the thoughts and opinions expressed here are our own. You can read more at our Legal & Disclosures page. Thank you!
Giveaway is now closed! Congratulations to our winner, Vicki Wilkinson!
As you may remember, The Salty Mamas loooooove October. Jaymi, Christine, and Lil Salty Izzie have birthdays in October, Christine and Chad have an anniversary, and we all love Halloween. And so we feel like celebrating- with YOU!
The Salty Mamas have compiled some of our VERY FAVORITE products into one HUGE GIVEAWAY just for our favorite readers! We contacted companies, told them about how awesome you were, and they agreed. So they sent us some amazing products that we think you’re going to love.
A few highlights:
A Passion Planner– This is the system that Jaymi uses to plan her months and weeks, get focused on her goals, and even as a bullet journal system using the blank pages in the back. We’ll be focusing on it in more depth in a future post, but trust us-it’s awesome. (Color included in the giveaway may vary from the listing).
A Copy of “The Miracle Morning“- if you are feeling adrift, or like you never get enough time for yourself- this book could truly be a game-changer for you. This book is all about carving out time and setting your intentions for the day- and your life!- first thing in the morning.
A Lip Bon-Bon from Younique (courtesy of Beth Griffin)- this is the best.lipbalm.ever. Jaymi is kind of obsessed with it, and we think you will be too!
This adorable unicorn tank top that Christine wore to Izzie’s Unicorn-Themed Birthday Bash. It is perfection.
A copy of our next book club selection- “Only Dead on the Inside“. This book is hilarious, and we’d love for you to read it so you can watch and laugh with us as we talk about it on Facebook next month!
Some Chick Fil A Swag. Because we’re obsessed, obviously.
This time around we are using Gleam to help you keep track of all the ways to earn entries for our grand prize drawing. Share our Facebook posts, visit us on Instagram, leave us some Blog Post Love- choose as many (or as few) entry options as you’d like (or as many as you can get to before someone demands milk or hits their sister). Click on the link below, which will take you to our Gleam landing site and show you all the ways you can earn entries for our big giveaway!
To win, you must be a resident of the United States or Canada (sorry, International Salties, we aren’t rich enough to ship to you just yet). The contest will run from October 15, 2017 through October 31, 2017 at midnight. The winner will be announced by November 5, 2017. Once announced, winners will have 48 hours to claim their prize and provide their address to The Salty Mamas. Good luck to all!
Giveaway is now closed! Congratulations to our winner, Vicki Wilkinson!
One year, for Jaymi’s birthday, she made it her mission to travel around to all the different places that would give her something free on her birthday. She ruled out the free ferry ride to Catalina, but she vowed to tackle every.other.thing.
She’s never been so sick in her life.
Do you have any idea HOW MANY PLACES will give you free food and drinks on your birthday? It’s kind of ridiculous, but also, it’s kind of awesome. So, without further ado, a list of places that will give you something FREE for your birthday (food, drinks, and otherwise!).
1.Kohl’s- As part of their Yes2You Rewards program, you will receive a coupon for $5 off a $5 purchase (aka the holy grail of coupons). That’s $5 free dollars to spend on the item of your choice!
2. Baskin Robbins– When you sign up on their website, you will get a free scoop of ice cream for your special day.
3. Cold Stone kind of gets in on the action as a part of their eClub, but they’ll send you a Buy One Get One coupon instead of an outright freebie.
4. Dairy Queen wants to offer you a BOGO Blizzard, which they’ll send you if you sign up here.
5. Einstein Bros. Bagels–By registering for the emails (adorably called the Shmear Society), you’ll earn yourself a free breakfast sandwich when you purchase a drink.
6. IHOP– One stack of free pancakes, coming right up! You can sign up here.
7. Denny’s will give you a free grand slam, and you don’t even have to sign up for anything for that one. Just show your valid ID on your birthday, and breakfast is on them!
8. Starbucks– As long as you have an account, you will get one free drink of your choice. Any type, any flavor, ANY SIZE. So that means if you want a Venti Maple Pecan Latte with Extra Whip and a Shot of Espresso, they’ll give it to you for FREE, along with a complimentary tummyache.
9. Red Robin– Get a free burger anytime during your BirthMonth when you sign up for the Red Robin Royalty program.
10. Old Navy gives their email subscribers a free gift on their birthday. Head to their website at oldnavy.com and then scroll down to where it says “Sign Up For Email.” Make sure you update your preferences when prompted to do so, as that’s how you’ll get your birthday email.
11. Victoria’s Secret– Sign up on their website here. They want you to think you have to sign up for a credit card for this, but you don’t! Just scroll down to the bottom where it says “Get Exclusive Angel Offers.”
12. Krispy Kreme– sign up for their eClub, and you’ll get a free donut when your birthday rolls around.
13. There are plenty of other places that will give you something, like a free dessert, on your birthday, but honestly, that’s a LOT of places (Black Angus, Chili’s, Applebees, TGI Fridays, Outback Steakhouse, etc). So if you’re heading to a restaurant to celebrate, make sure you check their site or ask your server to see if they offer something to the birthday boy or girl.
So there you have it, our (partial) list of places that want to help you celebrate your big day (or, in some cases, your big month!) in style. Got any that you would add to the list? Tell us about it in the comments below!
It’s a little sad that this has to even be said. Because truly, the MICROEST (and yes, that’s a word now) luxury there can be is taking five minutes and finding yourself again. Not you the Mom, or you the Wife, or you the President of the PTA, the Brownie Mom, or the Soccer Mom.
The you that you were before all the other stuff. You can still LOVE the other stuff – and for your own sake, I hope you do! But that doesn’t mean that deep down inside there isn’t a part of you that you’ve lost a little.
There are parts of me that I try so hard to make sure stay present in my life. Me the reader. Me the crafter. Me the Aunt. Me the sister and friend and bowler (yes, bowler!) and roller coaster lover and dancer.
And me the PSYCHO FOOTBALL FAN.
Oh, was that not where you thought this was going? Sorry. Because the truth is, pre-kids, from September to December Football. Was. Life.
When my husband and I got engaged in November 2010, he asked if I had any dates in mind. I immediately said, “next October 8.” He was a little taken aback that I’d already had a date totally selected and wondered how I ever picked that so fast? My response? “Well, let’s be honest, I sort of knew this was coming and I want a fall wedding and so I checked the football schedule and we have a bye that weekend so everyone can come and no one will be checking the score all night. Plus, it would totally ruin my wedding day if we lost. So this just makes sense.”
So it was that Saturdays were spent off to the game or parked in a bar, friends house or our living room stuffing ourselves with snacks and beer and cheering until our throats were sore. Sunday was church, rinse and repeat. It was an exciting way to spend the weekend, and let’s be real, we didn’t have a whole lot of other commitments or responsibilities. The house stayed cleaner and there was way less laundry to do back then too.
Then, kids. And for a while we tried. We took each of the kids to a game or two as babies. We watched games on the weekend but had to stifle our cheers so as to not wake said babies. We got distracted and missed the big play because we were rocking a baby, feeding a baby, changing a baby. Slowly but surely, our priorities shifted.
My sister called me the other day because she needed help with a fantasy draft and I had no clue what to tell her. It didn’t happen overnight, but the realization still stung: I wasn’t a football person anymore. It was like a crushing blow to who I always thought I was. I still have all the sweatshirts, put up the decorations, and love the game. But I just. Can’t. follow it like I used to.
At this point I could either accept the new normal and keep falling farther and farther out of touch with this thing that I loved, or make a change.
I opted to change. Not completely. I still have important obligations on Saturday that mean I can’t spend every weekend glued to the screen or sitting in the stands. But I made a pact with my best friend. Once a year, we were going to pack our bags and travel to an away game for our favorite team. No husbands, no kids, just two best friends going to a football game together. Like old times.
Which brings us to today. Fresh off a plane from Oakland where the USC Trojans took on the Cal Golden Bears. I would like to tell you that it didn’t matter if we won or not. That sharing a great weekend with my girlfriend is the real win. That making myself a priority is a win in itself. Because what the weekend was really about was finding me. But guess what? If it didn’t matter, then I wouldn’t have found me! Because football is NOT about the journey. It’s about the destination – and we. are. WINNERS!!! That might not matter to Mom/Wife me, but pre-kids football psycho me? Went. Crazy. Just as it should be.
Today I’m back to being the Wife, the Mother, the person that does everything for everyone else. But this weekend? I was the psycho football fan. And I loved it.
Okay, maybe not literally. Maybe not totally seriously. But I’ve probably given it too much actual thought than I should have.
Lots of times, I love motherhood, I do. When all three of my kids are in a sweet spot, I think I could have three more. When two of them are delightful and one is going through a more challenging phase, I power through. When one is nice and two are little hot mess machines, I hunker down and know we’ll get through it. But when all three are hellions? I start making a list of possible talents I could contribute to the circus.
Right now? I’m in full on circus mode.
In the past few weeks all three of my children have thrown up on me. I’ve had many midnight discussions about diarrhea and why my son is “peeing out of his butt.” We had a solid week where at least one child was wide awake from 3am on, which leads for a very early wake up for Mommy and Daddy. We’ve had night terrors. A four year old that just. doesn’t. listen. A two year old that is in active transition from the terrible twos to being a threenager whose greatest joy in life is her abundant ability to tease her brother. A breast feeder that’s found out her big ol’ teeth make excellent weapons. And I ran out of coffee creamer.
It’s weeks like these that make me spend considerable amounts of time researching the standard working contract for cruise staff. Not that I’d actually drive down to the cruise terminal and go to the employment booth and fill out the application to work a 6 month tour on the Carnival Inspiration or anything. Of course I wouldn’t actually go and do that. I don’t think. But I’ve definitely gotten closer than my husband should find out about.
And yes, there have been good times, but right now? Right now I’m overwhelmed with yet another night of changing sheets filled with last night’s dinner, a 2 year old that comes tumbling out of her crib before the sun rises and a baby that has found she’s sure to get my attention by biting anything she can sink those chompers into.
I love them, I do, but just think how much more I could love and appreciate them if I took, say, a six month break. If I went off on an adventure and came back with arms full of treats and souvenirs and a heart full of missing them. I won’t do it, but I’m definitely still gonna dream about it.
Hi, my name is Jaymi, and I am addicted to caffeine.
I first discovered my problem a few months ago. We ditched the kids and went away to a wedding, and had the best time ever. We were surrounded by people we’ve been friends with for decades, and it was absolutely amazing to get to do all the adult things I wanted, whenever I wanted to. Tops on my list? Hot coffee. And lots of it. Isn’t that every mom’s dream? We meandered down to this adorable little bakery and I told the lady, as I am apt to do, that I wanted a hot coffee the size of my head. And she gave me the biggest cup, and pointed me in the direction of the self-serve, and I emptied that sucker into my cup. Like, literally emptied it. And then I ate my delicious pastry, and refilled it. And refilled it one more time. And emptied the giant coffee dispenser again. And thought nothing of it, because I’m a mom, and everyone knows moms drink all the coffee. Except then my friends started giving me endless shit. And they’re like, damn girl, that’s some coffee consumption. And I laugh it off, and I’m like, “You guys drink coffee too!” And they tell me, “Lady, we did not empty those two giant carafes. You did.”
“But!” I tell myself. “But their kids are older! They are getting more sleep than I am! I shall ask my mommy friends, the ones with two or three kids under five. THEY know my struggle.” After all, we talk about coffee non-effing-stop. So I know they’re with me.
Not so, my friends.
I make a quick survey asking my momsquad to give it to me in ounces, their daily intake.
“One twelve ounce cup in the mornings.”
“Sometimes a latte in the afternoon.”
“Once in a while I drink two cups in the morning, but usually one.”
What. The. Hell.
On average, those coffee-obsessed broads are drinking between 12 and 20 ounces a day. While I’m putting away 50. But because I hear about coffee nonstop, and I’m not that vocal about it, I always assumed whatever I was doing was normal. Coffee isn’t even “My Thing.” It’s our cousin Daniel’s, who we sometimes call “coffeecoffeecoffee,” or my friend Courtney’s, who posts about coffee on her Facebook page about once a week. The ones who are constantly waxing poetic about their daily joe.
There are millions of memes, images, dialogues about coffee. There are shirts emblazoned with “All I Need is Mascara and Caffeine,” and mugs saying, “Heart, Hustle, and Coffee” (okay, that’s my mug, and I made it. But still). We’re smack dab in the middle of a culture that has us celebrating coffee, glorifying coffee, and making it a primary topic of conversation in mom circles everywhere. It’s a thing now. Moms. Love. Coffee. So when my one cup became two became three became five, I honest to God went full-teenaged, “Well everyone is doing it.”
Again. Not so, my friends.
So now here I am, wondering whether I should take this newfound knowledge, own it, and celebrate it. Give zero effs. Maybe post a few more coffee cup selfies here and there so the world can I see that I drink that coffee without shame. Maybe I scale down my use a bit, see how it goes, in a moderation-is-everything approach? Or do I take this new information and use it to find a program, and get myself some help? I feel like it’s gonna take a bit more than the Serenity Prayer to get me through a day with these little monsters, but hey, it’s worth a shot.
Of espresso, that is. Obviously.