I feel like this year I am more thankful than I ever have been before.
2020 has truly opened my eyes to what matters most in life and it’s definitely not any type of material things that matter even one little bit. It’s people. It’s our loved ones. It’s “our” people.
And it’s most definitely health.
I know the holiday’s will be hard for everyone this year. There’s just no way of getting around it. But I still hope you can find joy and happiness in your hearts and I hope you can still enjoy this wonderful season and the memories it will still bring.
I thought today I would share with you all what I’m most thankful for not only this year but every day. Because no matter what, you can always find at least one thing you are thankful for.
I can’t even describe to you the love I have for my family. Not only my husband and my son but just all the ones so close to me. They show nothing but support. Nothing but love and a helping hand whenever you need it. The gift of family is the best there is and I am just so thankful for each and every one of them that I get to call mine.
The health of myself. The health of my family and my friends. Now more than ever I am so so thankful for health and I’m never taking it for granted.
Smiles & Laughs.
Oh how much I miss seeing a kind strangers smile. I am so thankful for the smiles I get to see this year. You never know how much of a good and infectious thing it is until it’s covered up.
Plus, laughs with my hubby and son have just been the best lately. My husband and I will crack up about something (he’s a jokester) and then all of a sudden our little man will start laughing with us. It’s so cute!
As much as I love a clean house, I know I am doing great as a mom when my house is filled with toys all over. It reminds me that I’m raising a sweet, playful and adventures little boy and I would take messes over a picked up, vacuum lines showing house any day of the week.
My husband and I are blessed with some amazing friendships. I am so thankful for the friends who are always a call or text away. They will never know how loved they truly are!
There are so many more things I’m thankful for in my life but I just thought I would share the 5 most important to me right now.
I wish you all nothing but a safe, healthy and happy Thanksgiving and holiday season. I hope your hearts fill with joy and magic and that you can spend it the best way you can.
I know we hate to admit it as parents but sometimes you just need a break from being so up tight and being frustrated!
No one needs it.
So I put myself in timeout this past week. I sat down and thought of what I need to do differently to be better. To be more present and more understanding.
My son is at the age where he is bossy and learning so many new things. And along with those new things is temper tantrums. Who knew terrible two’s would start at 15 months!
It’s been exhausting. I’ve been short tempered, I haven’t been sleeping well, I’ve been working longer hours then normal. It’s just been an anxiety filled last couple of weeks.
So I put myself in timeout to figure out what needs to change and I came up with a great list!
Number one on my list was a social media break. It’s been fantastic! The relief of not seeing everyone’s opinions and problems can be refreshing when you need it. I can’t believe how toxic social media can be at times for your mental health.
I started my Christmas planning. I am a firm believer on do what makes you happy! And Christmas makes so many of us happy, so why not start decorating early this year?
I also started on my Christmas gift list. I love planning everything out and I really want to go small and meaningful this year. Especially the DIY gifts.
Taking time to get on my sons level and be more patient on what he is trying to tell me or show me even when he is doing it in a tantrum way.
Putting the phones down around my husband more and create time together even if it’s an hour of tv cuddles on the couch before bed. It’s crazy how much you can miss someone you live with when your schedules are always so opposite!
So do yourself a favor and put yourself in time out for a bit. Think of the changes you want to make as we come up on the holiday season and a new year.
There’s always room for improvement and to detox the bad out of your life! And who knew being in time out could be such a good thing as an adult!?
So, here we are back in quarantine. Yes, many things have opened in America, and now we have a third COVID spike happening in a lot of places. There are several reasons why you might have to quarantine, and it’s not necessarily because you have COVID-19. So, it’s something that we should all be prepared to deal with.
With this in mind- I am going to try to make this quarantine better than the last one. We all went a little crazy with the last one, didn’t we? Especially those of us that had to work at home. (Here is my post about working from home with kids.) I know that so many people have been stuck inside for unknown periods of time, and it can be such a struggle. But, do not give up yet! We can make this work for us and our families!
Here are some easy ways that you can manage quarantine as a mom:
1. Take a Break- I know this is easier said than done. Trust me. I know. But, part of being a good mom, a BIG part, means that you are in a good place mentally. If you’re annoyed or overwhelmed- then you need to find a way to take a break and regroup. But what do you do if you need someone to watch the kids? If you are uncomfortable with allowing someone else in your house, that is understandable. Then, the only option that I can think of is to put the kids to bed early. Make them run around for a while, give them a large dinner and send them to bed at 7pm. This way you can have a couple hours to yourself. I know that this may be impossible some days, but keep trying! You need and deserve time to yourself to do whatever you want!
2. Support Squad- Get yourself a support squad (that you can talk to about anything). Make sure that you have your besties ready in a group chat, Marco Polo, FaceTime, SnapChat, email- whatever! You do not need to be doing this alone. I would advise you to keep your friends and family separate. You may feel like you’re close to your MIL, but what about when you need to vent about your partner or talk about sex? See what I mean?!
3. Time Block- You don’t necessarily need a set schedule if you’re not that type of person. And honestly, a daily set schedule can get stressful in quarantine. But, do make sure that you have parts of your day blocked off for certain activities: play time, movie time, reading time, or everyone in their separate rooms- quiet time. Even a little structure is good for your kids. It will also help your sanity. Having a schedule, or some kind of plan, will give you hope when you think you just can’t take one more second, you don’t have to! Move on to the next activity!
4. Set Boundaries- This can be any type of boundary that you need. Maybe you limit snacks, time or spaces. Whatever works for you. But, let me tell you, you cannot live a free for all and have everyone make it out alright. It’s just not going to happen. With my husband and son, I make the kitchen off limits when I’m cooking dinner. They cannot come in for snacks or to bug me during that time. They can go anywhere else, just not the kitchen while I’m cooking. It’s a time that I look forward to every day.
5. Special Celebrations- When you don’t know what day it is in quarantine, and everything seems to be running together: no one’s showering, changing clothes or deciphering between meals… Then it is time for you to shake things up. You need something special to do! This may sound like extra work, but it does not have to be. Make it simple, but different. You could have a special movie marathon, like Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones- anything in a series works. Or, you could have a fun theme for the day. Just make some kind of doable plans that will get your family excited. It’s always important to have something to look forward to!
6. Refresh and Revitalize- This sounds a lot like a shampoo commercial, but I think it’s something that the whole family needs to do often (daily if possible) when in quarantine. A great way to refresh is to go outside. I know that this one is a hassle, and it’s getting colder. I get it, but you will not regret the fresh air. Also, think about having family yoga or taking an online exercise class together. Do something that gets the blood flowing and raises everyone’s spirits.
Quarantine is definitely a time to let things go- but not too far! Don’t lose yourself or your sanity. Make a point to keep some law and order- or invent new tactics if you need to. When everything shut down in the spring, I didn’t have a plan for quarantine. I didn’t know what it would be like or how long it would last.
Now that I know how dark things can get, I don’t want to go there again. If I find myself in the same clothes for 4 days in a row eating lasagna while my 2 year old is watching the Simpsons naked at 3am, then I know I have let quarantine get the best of me. This is not the kind of mom that I want to be.. again.
Get a little bit of structure and spontaneity in the mix if you can. Stay positive and know that if we all follow guidelines and quarantine rules- we will be okay!
Wow, it feels good to be back on the blog this week!
I took a much needed break from the blog, and the socials. We have had a lot going on these past few months.
A lot of hard decisions were made regarding school, and work. I don’t necessarily regret decisions That I’ve made, but if I could go back and make those changes I probably would.
However, I am learning things about my expectations aren’t necessarily attainable or something I can make a reality. I’m trying to form this “perfect” life that is an Instagram highlight reel.
Having a clean, perfectly organized house was something that I have always strived for. Now don’t get me wrong here, my house is far from it. However, I do think that having a well organized house, definitely helps with having a happy environment. It is so nice that when we go to do a craft or want to play with our Barbies, that I know exactly where to go to find the stuff we need for the activity.
I’ve recently reminded myself that my daughters are not going to remember how organized, or disorganized at the moment, the house was, they’re going to remember how warm and joyful our home was.
I’m also trying to stop comparing myself to other moms or women in general on social media. Amanda has touched on this subject before, and she said it so well in this blog here. She also wrote a good one about Expectations v. Reality!
Let’s face it, our faces (no pun intended) are in our phones and iPads more now then ever. I find myself constantly scrolling through social media saying to myself how I wish I could have all those clothes she has, or I wish I was as skinny as her, or even asking myself why would someone need that many hand bags?!
The world of social media is a wicked one. People post the good, not the bad. I am trying my hardest to not compare myself. I’m taking more breaks from social media (and our blog apparently). I am enjoying the quality time I have with my family.
Being a mom is rewarding and hard as hell. Every mom will tell you that. There is no “perfect” mom. We all have our spectacular mom days, where you are exhausted because you did all the things your kids wanted to do that day, but we also have our imperfect mom days where you sat on the couch watching The Home Edit while they played (argued) for four hours in their room. It’s called balance, ladies and gents!
So, drop the hard expectations you have for yourselves and be the mom you want to be. Create the childhood you want your kids to remember.
I couldn’t leave the blog without wishing you all a Happy & Safe Halloween! It is hands down our favorite holiday. We are too excited! I will post our costume on our Instagram and Facebook, so make sure to follow us on there, but here’s a pumpkin picture!
I can’t believe it’s already Halloween week! I love this Holiday. It’s just so fun and creative, plus all the activities are my favorite.
I think as the holiday’s keep coming, I am enjoying them more and more now that I am a mom. Even though my son is still little, it’s exciting to watch him learn new things and have fun.
We had our first family pumpkin carving this weekend and I love watching bub get curious about what we were doing and have him help us and do his own thing.
Although, I am probably the worst pumpkin carver. I totally did the stencil wrong and mine was a flop….ooops.
Of course my husband laughs at me, but then he attempted a tough stencil and his fell apart too sooooo…. ha 😉
I am thankful my son is still very little, so this year won’t be any different but my heart goes out to all the parents that have trick-or-treating aged children and are just trying to make the best of it!
For all of you that are trick-or-treating I pray you have great weather and a fun and safe time!
In case you aren’t though, here’s some fun ideas to have a fun but low key Halloween!
Have a movie night!
Put on your costumes or your Halloween pjs and watch some spooky movies. Don’t forget the candy and popcorn!
Game night for the win!
I absolutely love game nights and you can even make it fun by creating your own Halloween games.
Pumpkin carve/ Halloween crafts
It’s always fun to get crafty! Plus save your pumpkin carving for Halloween night.
Trick-or-Treat at your family’s houses. That way you feel more comfortable and the kids can still get some candy.
Make some fun spooky cookies. Bake an apple pie or pumpkin bread. Have fun with it!
There’s so many things you can do that will still make this year a memorable and special one!
I hope you all have a fabulous Halloween week!
I hope it’s full of fun and adventures and as always, thanks for reading!
Hello loves! Is anyone else’s tree’s changing?? I am so in love!
I hope you are all doing well! I have a fun post today and I am excited to share it with you.
Fall cooking and baking has been on my mind with the weather cooling down and ever since I decorated it makes It even more fun.
So I thought today I would share with you a new favorite crockpot recipe that is SO easy and yummy!
Plus take you along with me while baking and hanging with my little man. I love day in the life type of posts so I hope you enjoy 😊
Crockpot Baked Penne Pasta.
What you will need-
1 tsp of garlic salt, pepper and parsley
1 lb ground beef
28oz diced tomatoes
1 jar of marinara sauce
2 cups chicken stock or water
Cook your ground beef and then add it to your crock pot. Sprinkle your seasonings over the ground beef and stir it up.
Then add your tomatoes, marinara sauce and chicken stock and stir together.
Cook on high for 3 hours or low for 6 hours.
Once your time is up, add your noodles and give it a good stir. Put the lid back on and cook for another 25-30 min.
Serve and sprinkle with fresh Parmesan cheese.
It was so yummy! And SO EASY. Defiantly a family favorite and the best part is that it was toddler approved. Bub ate two small servings of it! I love when I can find meals that all of us will eat. Then I can actually sit down and enjoy it instead of having to find something my son will want to eat as well.
I think my favorite thing about crockpot meals is it gives you the whole day to do whatver you want. Spend it outside, spend it away from home. Plus it frees up your oven and stove space to do lots of baking.
Which is exactly what I did on this day. If you have not tried this cinnamon swirl crumb cake yet you need to! It’s perfect for a Fall treat 🙂
Meanwhile, I had an overtired toddler eating lunch who would not take a nap. I guess lunch must have tired him out though? I turn around and see this little ham passed out.
Fall days like these are why I love this season so much! Just full of beautiful weather, beautiful colors and it’s crockpot season. Like what could be better!?
What are some of your favorite crockpot meals? Or baking recipes you can’t wait to make this season?
Plus, what’s your favorite thing you have done so far now that it’s officially Fall?
We have yet to go to an orchard but I think just spending time outside with our leaves changing and snuggling up on the couch during chilly nights.
I really hope you enjoyed this post! As always, thanks for reading 🙂
We want to keep this page fun, but there is a big fat elephant in the room, and I’m here to talk about it and share my thoughts and feelings!
As you know, I am a mom to two amazing school aged daughters. My oldest is in the 4th grade, and my youngest is going into first. We love our school so much!
We had just gotten back from a spring break trip March 13. We had so much fun, but little did we know, we’d be coming home to pure chaos.
The night we got home, our Governor held a press conference stating she was shutting down our schools. What were we going to do with our two daughters while my husband and I work full time hours?!
If there’s a will, there’s a way.
A week after the schools shut down, my boss decided to shut down my work. It was scary, but also really great because we were able to focus on getting a routine established for “remote learning”. There were still SO many fears and concerns.
I’m not going to lie or sugar coat it, but it was rough. It was so new to the teachers, the students, and for most parents. We sort of had a good idea on what to expect as we had done online school for our oldest daughter in the past (that is another story for another time…).
Honestly, our girls did not handle the shut down well. At. All. For the first few weeks, there was little to no routine.
My oldest hates school. She is so smart, and she knows it. However, that doesn’t mean school comes easy to her on all subjects. She loves using the computer, and prefers learning through apps, and online videos and instruction. She was THRIVING once we figure out what apps were “OK’d” by her teacher and the school. Getting her to sit down and read, was a challenge, but she loved having books read to her via Audible. (That was a Godsend.)
Now, my youngest is completely opposite. She loves sitting down in her bean bag chair with her books, and journals. She loves using flash cards and doing her work sheets. The online stuff was cool, because it was a little more interactive, but she definitely is a pencil and paper kind of learner.
By the end of the school year, we had established that we were going to keep our girls learning, but we did it in our own way. We used materials given to us as a guide, but really built our own methods.
SO, Summer is wrapping up here this month, and that leaves us with a HUGE decision. What in the H-E-L-L are we going to do about the 20-21 school year?!
Who the hell knows!
As of right now, we are definitely leaning towards online learning. It will be hard to find a balance, between work, school and home life, but I truly feel in my heart, this will be in the best interest for my family.
I know my daughters more then anyone else, and I know they did NOT do well with the shut down. It took a lot of persistence to get my kids going on a good schedule. There was a lot of yelling and tears, not going to lie!
I know that if I can get my kids on a good schedule right at the beginning of the year, it will make having another “shut-down” a lot easier IF we end up having one. If not, and COVID “goes away” then we won’t be behind, and my kids can jump right back into the school year in the classroom in January.
I understand there are A LOT of different opinions about school, and COVID. I’m not trying to make a political statement by any means. I’m truly doing what I feel is best for my family during these unprecedented times. No one understands what we are facing, and no one is making a right or wrong decision wether you are doing virtual, or not.
Amanda and I truly appreciate all of our followers, and we hope you enjoy our blog!
Thank you so much for reading, and if you feel like throwing your opinions in the comments, by all means, please do!
Next week, I’ll keep things a little more light and fun! 😉
Is it even possible to be a neat freak but not even like cleaning?
Well it’s defiantly a thing in my world. I love a clean house and things to be exactly in their place but I hate the getting there part!
Housework in general is just A LOT OF WORK. Throw in a kid or two and a husband? That’s a tornado waiting to happen. Toys all over, socks meant to be thrown into the hamper end up right next to it. Dirty dishes in the sink, Random half-eaten snacks in the couch cushions.
So now on top of our busy as it is schedule just trying to be a normal wife and mom, how are we supposed to keep our house looking like no one lives there as well?
My house is in by no means clean all the time, but navigating through this new mom life I have found a few tips and tricks that help me maintain my housework.
And, I am sharing them with you today in hopes that it might make your cleaning duties a little bit easier each day as well.
I do this throughout the day so it dosen’t need to be done at night. Just go around your house after some play-time is done and quickly pick up some toys, or put away kitchen items left out from breakfast or lunch. I do this a couple times a day that probably only amounts to 15 min a day so that I don’t have to do as much pick-up at night and can get under the covers faster and finally breath.
Fold Your Laundry On Your Bed
I am the queen of laundry procrastinating. Right along with cleaning bathrooms, laundry is my least favorite housework. Putting laundry in the washer and switching it out into the dryer? Easy. Folding it and putting it away? No thanks. So what I have found that works for me is to fold my laundry on my bed and if I feel like leaving it there for a couple hours that’s fine, but I know at some point it will get put away because I need a clean bed to sleep in.
Wipe Down Counters and Tables At Night
I’m sure we all do the after dinner clean up which is good! I’ve found that wiping down my counters after dinner and my kitchen and coffee tables at night really eases my mind. That way when I wake up in the morning they are clean and ready to go and it just starts my day off right.
Clean The Shower While In The Shower
A big hack right here ladies. Buy a scrub brush that holds soap in it. Fill it up with equal parts white vinegar and dawn dish soap. I don’t do this all the time but it’s an easy way to keep up on your shower cleaning, it works great at getting soap scum off and it’s an easy way to do a quick clean while you are even in the shower as well!
I know, the big dreaded word de-clutter. It’s a huge task and it’s at the center of our frustration when it comes to housework. Too much stuff. Why do we have this? Where did this come from? Have we even ever used this? I am guilty of pushing off de-cluttering every single year but I have found that the more frequently I do it, the easier it is to keep up on. A de-cluttered house makes a huge difference to us moms, so just keep up on it little by little and you won’t find yourself with the overwhelming task of a huge clean out in January.
These tips help me out when it comes to the everyday chaos of life. Having a clean home makes us feel a little more put together in the world so I hope these tips help you out as well!
Do you use any of these tricks to keep up on your housework?
What other tips and tricks could you give all of us Quirky Workin’ Moms so housework doesn’t consume us?
Also, if you are interested in a free weekly cleaning checklist let me know! I’ve been thinking about making one 🙂