Caffeine, Married with Children, momlife, parenting, The Daddys, The Salties, Why We're Salty

The Kind of Tired a Nap Won’t Solve

When my husband asks me what’s wrong, there’s about a 97% chance that I’ll say, “I’m just tired.” And God bless him, 61% of the time he responds with, “I got this – go take a nap.” Then, being the tired complainer I am, I get irritated. Because I don’t want to nap when you decide to give me permission! I want to sleep when I want to!

Which isn’t fair. He’s being nice. And I go and be nasty in return. And then it dawned on me, I’m not just tired. I’m exhausted. And it’s a kind of exhaustion that all the sleep in the world won’t solve. Because I’m not tired of not getting sleep. I’m tired of the Mom jobs that I’m saddled with. They aren’t going away anytime soon, so maybe if I vent them out – hear what makes you exhausted – and hide with my tribe for a few minutes, I can slam a cup of coffee, shake it off, and push through.

Until I cry because they’ve all left me for college.

But for now, here’s why I’m tired:

Continue reading “The Kind of Tired a Nap Won’t Solve”

Cheapskating, Holidays, microhustle, side hustle, Tips & Hacks

Microhustle Monday Presents: How to Earn Some Passive Cash with Ebates

This post contains affiliate links. We may make a commission if you sign up for this program after clicking the link, but as always, the thoughts and opinions described here are our own. You can read more at our Legal and Disclosures page. Thank you for supporting The Salty Mamas!

It’s that time of year again, folks- that’s right, it’s the happiest time of the year!

Welcome to ONLINE SHOPPING SEASON!

Remember the days when you had to schlep from store to store, children in tow, as you hiked and searched and ran price comparisons and did the returns and exchanges and oh-crap-I-forgot-Aunt-May?

Nope. Us Either.

We’ve been doing our holiday shopping online for YEARS. Not only can it be done while you are trapped under a sleeping baby, but you don’t have to buckle and unbuckle 1 million carseat straps in the process.

And best of all- it can earn you money.

If you haven’t heard of Ebates yet, you need to sign up, like, yesterday.  You typically earn a nice little bonus for signing up, which is perfect to get you started (As of the writing of this post, you will receive a $10 bonus after making your first $25 in purchases). After that, you just begin all your shopping trips at ebates.com or on the Ebates app. It’ll take you to the store’s website, and then you just shop like normal. After your purchase is complete, Ebates will add a percentage of your purchase back to your account (varies greatly from store to store) and you can watch the earnings pile up.

You can help your earnings add up faster by shopping on Double Cashback days, and by doing some percentage-and-price comparisons. For example, Amazon and Kohl’s may have the same KitchenAid mixer you’ve been eyeing for the same price (this is the one I just got. Isn’t it a DREAM?), but Kohl’s typically gives higher percentages back through Ebates, so it ends up being a little cheaper in the long run.

So click here to hop on this bandwagon quick so that you can maximize your earnings before the holiday season. And make sure you’re following us on Facebook! We’re expecting some good deals for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and you don’t want to miss out on our reminders!

The EASIEST way to earn money by shopping online. Read more about one of our favorite microhustles at thesaltymamas.com #ebates #onlineshopping #earnmoneyfromhome

 

Crafty Mamas, Kids' Activities, momlife, parenting, The Salties, Tips & Hacks

Achieving Super-Mom Status with a Busy Bag

This post contains affiliate links. We may receive a small commission from purchases made after clicking the links, but as always, the thoughts and opinions expressed here are our own. You can read more at our Legal & Disclosures page. Thank you for supporting The Salty Mamas!

You know those times when your kids have to just sit quietly for a really long time, and you are out of data and/or don’t have enough phones to go around and/or they’ve already watched 75 hours of TV today? Like when the doctor is running behind, or if you’re flying to Hawaii, or when your husband sends you and your two children to stand in line for a few hours at a Best Buy for a video game system at 6 am on fifteen minutes notice?

No? Is that one just me?

Well at any rate, I don’t always feel like a super mom, but the thing that is sure to make me give myself some major kudos is my fully-stocked, always-so-ready-it-lives-in-the-trunk Busy Bag. My bag of choice is the Zip-Top Organizing Utility Tote from Thirty One  (which I love because ALL THE POCKETS), but it can be done with any similar bag.

(Side Note: A fully loaded Busy Bag makes an INCREDIBLE family gift for Christmas, or when a new baby is on the way.  If you are giving this as a gift, I would definitely go with the Thirty-One Tote. It definitely gives it an extra polish, and can be embroidered. Yes, Christine sells Thirty-One. But I’m being completely objective here- it’s got Wow Factor.)

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The most crucial aspect of the Busy Bag, besides the bag, is the little tray that lives inside of it. It’s just a cheap cookie sheet from the Dollar Tree, but it operates as a desk, magnet board, flannel board, and snack tray when we are out and about. And as a bonus, it fits PERFECTLY across the armrests of my kids’ carseats during road trips.

So once you’ve got your bag and your tray ready, it is time to fill it with all sorts of cheap, won’t -break-my-heart-to-lose-it, engaging little activities for your youngsters. What’s in mine changes constantly, which is probably part of the allure of the bag for my kids. I am always on the hunt for little Dollar Bin finds to fill it with, and dollar stores are a surprisingly rich treasure trove of everything-included projects.

Here are a few of the items that make regular appearances or are permanent fixtures in our bag:

• Coloring Books and Crayons
Color Wonder Markers and Paper
• A PlayPack or Two
Playdough
• Magnet Letters and Numbers
• A few magnet puzzles, or small puzzles with magnets attached to the back.
• Beads and pipe cleaners for lacing
Sticker Mosaics
• Stickers and Blank Paper
• A Magna Doodle
Activity books
Water Wow Books
MagicInk Books 
• Non-Perishable Snacks
Laminated Eye Spy Pages, Connect-the-Dots, Finish-the-Picture Prompts, Tracing Pages, etc. with a dry erase marker
• Color By Number Pages
• A few pre-prepped craft activities and a glue stick
• Some of these Melissa and Doug “On the Go” sets
• Memory games
Magnetic tic-tac-toe
Paint-With-Water Books/Pages
• Duplo blocks for younger kids, or small bags of Legos for older kids

I’m telling you, this bag makes me look like I have my stuff together. And after the initial setup, it just takes a little refill here and there to keep it fresh and exciting. Beyond that, I am ready to look like one of THOSE moms at any time, in any place. Like while watching the sunrise in a Best Buy parking lot.

*****

Want to see the Busy Bag in action? Head over to Facebook to watch a video that shows the bag’s features and what I keep inside!

 

 

Looking for a gift for an entire family? This thoughtful gift will have you one and done. Read more at thesaltymamas.com. #familygift #christmasgift #giftideas
Road trips, appointments, flying with kids? We've got the perfect solution to entertain your kids anytime, anywhere at thesaltymamas.com #busybag #roadtrip #flyingwithkids

 

momlife, Why We're Salty

Apologies on Behalf of My Mommy Brain

Once upon a time, I was a fully functioning adult. I could remember all sorts of things without a thousand reminders. I never rarely lost my car keys, stored non-refrigerator things in the refrigerator (I’m looking at you TV remote), or forgot how to drive to my house.

Then I got pregnant. And had kids. And never slept. And Mommy brain took over and ruined me. So I owe a few people my sincerest apologies.

***********

Dear Friends,

Continue reading “Apologies on Behalf of My Mommy Brain”

Bujo, Crafty Mamas, Mama Mojo, MicroLuxuries, Tips & Hacks

Making Time to Be Creative (If You’re Into That Sort of Thing)

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)”

Salty Mama Lists

Thirty Things Moms are Thankful For

It’s the time of year – where everyone decides to be grateful and share one thing a day for which they give thanks. And yes, we’re thankful for our health and our kids and our husbands. But let’s face it, there is a whole world of very specific things that Moms of little kids are thankful for.

Here are our thirty (with a little help from our friends):

Continue reading “Thirty Things Moms are Thankful For”

Bujo, Mama Mojo, MicroLuxuries, The Salty Mamas Bookclub, Tips & Hacks

The Miracle Morning (Mom Style)

This post contains affiliate links, meaning The Salty Mamas may make a small commission from items purchased after clicking the 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.

Enter: The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. Continue reading “The Miracle Morning (Mom Style)”

Effing Four Year Olds, momlife, parenting, The Salties, Why We're Salty

Disaster at the Dentist

Back in the day, when I knew everything about raising children, without actually having children, I just knew how my kids were going to behave. I knew that they would never dare to defy me, that they would have occasional tantrums and the like, but that they would always know who the boss was, and that ultimately they weren’t gonna get away with nothing. And they’d eventually give in. After all, I literally spent years as a trained behavior therapist. I understand behaviors and their root causes, I know how to troubleshoot them, to identify them, and to fix them.  As a special education teacher, I always said I could outstubborn  a rock, and there was no behavior that I couldn’t solve eventually, with my determination and patience. I was known for getting through to tricky kids, kids with off-the-wall behaviors, and kids who were simply defiant or stubborn. I like to say that I have a Master’s Degree in getting kids to behave, and although the piece of paper says something fancier than that, it’s basically what it amounts to. So my own kids, of all people, would absolutely know better than to truly test me.

Ha. Ha! Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

So the other day at the dentist. Continue reading “Disaster at the Dentist”

koefoe party of 5, Married with Children, momlife, The Daddys, The Salties, They Said WHAT?

The Best $30 We Ever Spent

You’ve walked by it a hundred times. And if you’ve walked by with your kids, no doubt you’ve had to fend off cries of, “Please mama, PLEASE buy me the giant bear we absolutely do not have any room for in our house!” (Or at least that’s what you hear). You see it and think “Holy God, that one stuffed animal is bigger than most of the stuffed animals in our house put together!”

And it is.

And if you’re me? One day, your well-intentioned husband, who feels moderately guilty about the extra long hours he’s been putting in at the office does the unthinkable and says, “Yes kids, we WILL buy you that giant bear.” Before you can pick your chin up off the floor, it’s been hoisted into your cart and you know from the sparkles shining out of your children’s eyes that this cannot be undone.

You live with this bear now.

You walk through Costco trying to be happy about the new member of your family. I mean, sure, its larger than you are, but you don’t have to feed it and it doesn’t poop. So really, it could be worse! Right?? On the other hand, you need to cram it in your car somehow…so that’s gonna be fun. Still in shock, you take pictures of the kids grinning from ear to ear, because when they forget about this bear in 3 hours you’re going to want to remember how happy it made them for 17 minutes. Then, you send the pictures to your Mom/sister/bestie – basically anyone that will feel sorry for you and commiserate.

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They all do. Because YOU OWN A GIANT BEAR NOW. And even if your husband doesn’t get it – your people do.

You move the bear into your house and find him a room (because he’s that big). The kids try to show you that he was worth every penny by playing with him for a little bit. You start to warm to the big guy, now affectionately known as Tootles by the way, but remember that he is the enemy. Because you need a scapegoat and it’s better than thinking your husband is the enemy.

One day goes by, and then another. And then a strange thing happens. The kids keep.playing.with.Tootles. They lay on him when they watch TV. They feed him food they made in their kitchen. They ADORABLY ask you to take “family photos” with him. And wouldn’t you know it – those kids play with that bear EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

Maybe their dad is paying them in candy to prove me wrong. Maybe they remember that I grumbled through Costco that “they better freaking play with this bear or it’s going in the alley.” Or maybe, they just really do love it. And it makes them happy. And it teaches me that I need to lighten up and say “yes” once in a while. And that maybe that means the bear was the best $30 we’ve ever spent.

How one bear made me a better parent
microhustle, momlife, side hustle

MicroHustle Monday: Walk Your Way to Cash

Let’s face it. Working out is on the back burner in my life. I mean, yes, I YMCA for the free childcare and in theory when I drop them off I head straight upstairs and hop on the treadmill where I WORK IT for a full hour. But sometimes I just.need.to.sit. And read. Or bujo. Or BE without three kids climbing all over each other, refereeing fights, and doing the Mom thing.

But relaxing doesn’t help me fit into my old jeans.

Unfortunately, not fitting into my old jeans hasn’t proved to be enough of a motivator. However, I have learned, in my new fiscally-conservative role as a SAHM that money is a BIG motivator for me.

Enter: Step Bet.

Step Bet is an awesome app where you can join Step Games (challenges) and WIN MONEY! The app syncs with your activity tracker as you compete against yourself – which is my favorite part. I am completely in control of whether I win this bet or not. So you can’t get stuck with someone that is a mail carrier and takes 40k steps per day or something insane, causing you to give up immediately.

Rather, the app takes your current activity tracker data and then sets you new goals. I had been particularly lazy just before I signed up, so my goals were pretty manageable 😉 My active goal was 7,279 steps and my stretch goal was 9,579 steps.

Each Monday through Sunday I had to hit my active goal 4 times, my stretch goal 2 times and I got one rest day. I also REALLY liked this, because, let’s face it, we all deserve a rest day!

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Okay, okay, but how do you MAKE MONEY???

My Step Bet lasted 6 weeks and cost $40 to join. We had 517 players for a grand total of over TWENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS in the pot! (Okay, sorry, don’t get too excited, I’m not winning $20K!) BUT, if I hit my goals I DO win my $40 back AND a cut of the $40 from all the people that didn’t win! Step Bet also takes a cut (currently 12.5%) to pay for support during the game for you, game hosts and referees, so basically the money from the first few people to drop out.

You’re not going to win millions of dollars, but you’d be amazed at how motivated I’d be every time I checked to see 2 or 3 or 7 people drop out! Even if it only meant a few extra cents in my profits.

Which is why I walked and walked and walked and JUST finished my first Step Bet last night. I’m terrible at math and am waiting for the final results, but it should be around $10 profit, so I’ll be getting $50 back! (Which my husband likes to point out is a really good return on a $40 investment in only 6 weeks).   23376963_10215048225745405_750238188_o

And YAY for my $50 cash-out, but I’m tossing $40 right back in and doing it again! Because I’m still money motivated and STILL not in those jeans!

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For more info and to find answers to all your questions, check out the Step Bet FAQs – and be sure to let me know if you’re joining!!!

#microhustle #makemoney #SAHM #makemoneyfromhome #healthy #stepbet #fitbit #applehealth
The incredibly easy way I made $50 just by WALKING – and how you can too!