Ahh, it’s that time of year again. The lights! The food! The parties! The inappropriate board games! The passive-aggression! Read on for a list of things we have overheard at holiday parties so far this year.
When we planned on having our first two kids rather close together, I didn’t take a minute to do some light math and calculate that we ran the risk of a December baby. So I think I made the ultrasound tech a bit nervous when she estimated my due date as December 18th and I looked “what have I done” levels horrified. YES, I was excited but OMG do you know how busy I am in late December? Continue reading “The December Birthday”
Here’s what caught our eye this week…
1. This article our friend Ruth wrote last year for Kveller.com, because she’s absolutely a big deal and an amazing writer, and we are the jerks that called her out on her advent calendar, but we love her and her honesty about raising an inter-faith child.
3. This mug from Amazon, because it speaks to us in the most basic of ways, and speaks all the truth.
4. This Brown Sugar Cookie recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction, because sometimes you sign up to make three dozen cookies for the homeless and then you forget you ever signed up until the coordinator texts you to arrange pickup and you
didn’t buy any ate all of the Christmas cookie ingredients you had purchased but thank GOODNESS you always have the ingredients needed to make these. And they are INCREDIBLE.
5. Playdates with our friends, because they give us LIFE. We highly recommend you invite all of your friends over immediately, and make everyone a latte, and don’t clean at all, and just relish some girl talk while the kiddos
entertain each other steal each other’s crackers and push each other, but at least you got time with your friends and that’s what matters.
6. The Mensch on the Bench, so that people of all faiths can suffer through the insanity of moving a little figure around their house. Happy Hannukah!
Yes, the internet is full of tips and advice for what NOT to say to a new Mom. Don’t give your advice on decisions she’s already thoughtfully made. Don’t tell her you once knew a girl in high school that was a total B that has the same name as her brand new perfect little baby. And of course say NOTHING about her appearance – except that she looks beautiful.
And yes, despite all those warnings, I have one more for you: Continue reading “Yet ANOTHER Thing You Shouldn’t Say to a New Mom”
This post contains affiliate links. As always, the thoughts and opinions expressed here are our own. You can read more about it at our Legal & Disclosures. Thank you!
Here are six things we are LOVING on this week.
Not being big on March Madness and the like, we never thought we would take a bracket so seriously. But pitting A Christmas Story versus It’s a Wonderful Life? Oh, it’s ON! Continue reading “Saturday Six”
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:
This post contains affiliate links, but as always, the thoughts and opinions expressed here are our own. You can read more at our Legal & Disclosures page. Thank you!
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.)
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
• 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!
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):
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!
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).
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!
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!!!
This post contains affiliate links. In addition, a giveaway copy of The Hug Machine has been provided by Simon & Schuster. As always, the thoughts and opinions expressed here are our own. You can read more on our Legal & Disclosures page. Thank you!
It’s the end of a long day, and you are one story away from watching Real Housewives in your PJs with a
glass can of wine. You anxiously await your kids’ book decision. Will it be the borderline unbearable “5 Minute Stories” book with the stories that just don’t make sense and are dry as a bone? Will it be the longest children’s book ever written? Or will it be a book you actually LIKE?
You may not get to choose the book every night, but you can stack the deck in your favor by purchasing more books that are fun for YOU to read. Feel free to start with these handy suggestions from The Salty Mamas. Continue reading “Our Favorite Books to Read to Our Kids”