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 smoothies. 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”
As Moms our lives can be so. incredibly. repetitive. It’s a never-ending cycle of cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, tantrums, laundry, dishes. When it’s done? Rinse and repeat. Because joke’s on us: It’s NEVER done. And some days you can just get lost in that feeling of the endlessness of it all. And we desperately need to not get lost in that feeling.
A few weeks ago, Jaymi and I booked our #Momsquad Booze Cruise, and I think just booking it changed my life. I added a countdown clock on my phone. I put a post-it on my refrigerator. I ordered a couple super cheap dresses for lounging on the lido deck or for dinner with my girls – and without my kids. I dropped little reminders around my life so that when I’m up to my elbows in dish soap I recall that it’s one sink full of dishes closer to sweet, sweet freedom. Continue reading “Micro Hustle Monday: Something to Look Forward To”
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).
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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)”
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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”
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2017 was a big year for my family and, to a larger extent, a big year for ME. I called it the Year of Jaymi, and I spent the year finding the best ways to relax, to indulge, and to carve out time for myself. I bullet journaled, I drank fancy coffee, I went on trips with my friends, and I took on two side jobs that helped me to put my unique talents to work in a way that brought more joy to my life. And it was AMAZING.
And also? It was busy. Really, really busy.
So how did I fit those extra jobs, side hustles, and self-care into my slam-packed, childcare and housework filled days? It took planning and mindfulness on a daily basis, but I found that “having it all” was easier than I thought once I started my day off with a fresh routine. And the best part is? You can do it, too. Here’s my tips for starting your day with a BANG. Continue reading “Starting Your Day Like A #MomBoss”
Kids are busy.
I know, I know, understatement off the year. Not only are they just busy little people, but then they do all the things! Sports, school events, and the birthday parties. Holy God the birthday parties! And if you have more than one kid, it just gets exponentially more insane. If you don’t watch out, you can become completely overwhelmed, discombobulated and burned out. Weekends that you used to spend as a family or getting stuff done become a complicated dance of getting the right people to the right places and I lose any sense of recharge that I strive for on those two special days.
Midweek, frankly isn’t much better. After a few consecutive weeks of this…
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You know how it goes- you have a friend that you exchange gifts with regularly. Sometimes you start out when you’re single, then move on to couples’ gifts. Pretty soon a baby comes, and then another…and another…and another…and another…and soon you are buying for a small tribe.
Before you start tearing your hair out buying little toys for all those little people, might we suggest a few gifts that the whole family will love. Continue reading “Best Gifts for Families”
It’s easy enough to pretend the Elf on the Shelf is not a thing when your kids are little. Maybe you pass by them in the store, tell your kids those are dolls, and move on with your life. Maybe you have vowed never to take up with that foul creature. Maybe you’re just bitter you aren’t the marketing genius that came up with that thing. Whatever the case may be, you’re probably okay skipping the elf without anyone knowing the difference.
Until someone starts school. And then get ready to hop up on that
I knew “all the kids” in Lila’s class had elves, and had even successfully fielded some questions about why we didn’t get one at our house. Santa knew Lila was nice enough already without sending an elf to spy on her, and all the elves were visiting other kids this year. She accepted it cheerfully enough and I thought we were out of the woods.
And then we had a friend from school over for a playdate, and they asked to see her elf, and Lila was like, “oh she’s on the roof today.” I was a Hill, “silly Lila, we don’t have an elf,” and she burst into tears, and I found out my daughter sits on a throne of lies (see what I did there?). She felt super left out when the other kids were talking about elves, and so she had told them she had one, too. She’d even told them stories about her elf’s exploits. So when she got busted? Yeah, she had all the feelings.
So we wrote a letter to Santa asking what the hold-up was in the elf department. Lila requested he “find a solution and send an elf to this house by Friday.” (She told me to write that part in a stern voice.) So it looks like I’m heading to Target and trying to find an elaborate backstory as to why her elf took so long to get here.
So for others who might find themselves in a similar situation…we’ve compiled this list of resources to help you. Or not. Because, despite what our kids would have us believe, you are still in charge and you can do what you want to.
And if you decide to take on the Elf on the Shelf…
…Check out the Paper Heart Family’s Elf on the Shelf for Busy Mom’s Guide for the easiest way to accomplish the whole elf thing without driving yourself bananas
…And follow our Easy Elf Ideas pinterest board so you’ll be prepared
…Or read why it’s okay to love the Elf on the Shelf at A Modern Mom’s Life
… But don’t forget to have some handy excuses prepared for when the Elf Forgets to Move.
And if you are never doing the Elf, never not ever…
…Prepare yourself with this List of Reasons Why You Don’t Have an Elf
…Or simply Indulge Your Hatred with TheEverydayMomLife.com.
And if you started Elf on the Shelf and regret it every day…
I’ve been sitting on this MicroHustle for a while, because my husband always says it is so good that I’m going to put this poor company out of business. This store has given me COUNTLESS amounts of free items- we’re probably talking thousands of dollars worth, at this point, and I just don’t see how they can sustain having me as a customer. And if I’m going to put it under by myself, imagine what will happen if I send ALL the Salty Mamas out there to get in on the action? This store may not make it through the week! But I can’t keep holding out on you, so I’m finally ready to give away my secrets for the Kmart Shop Your Way Rewards program.