With a busy bee of a toddler running around at all times, books and coloring are so important to have accessible when it’s time for some down time.
Redfin reached out to us and asked to write a short piece describing an at home learning area that would work well.
You can read the full article here but I thought it would make a fun post to show you the little nook my toddler has for all his fun activities.
When it comes to at home learning or activity areas it’s so important to have everything open and easily accessible because I feel like it makes less of a mess. That way your kids will see it automatically and be able to grab what they need.
I love using little bins for crayons, art stuff and activity books. I use this cute personalized basket for my toddler’s things.
Another great tip is storage cubes! I feel like they are so great for toy organizing, book organizing or even learning and school organizing.
Adding pops of colors with books and crayons are always great to keep your kids engaged.
I like to keep our seasonal or favorite books on this bench ottoman and a couple inside it as well for easy reading access since majority of our time is spent in our main living area.
Also it’s a great place to store toys away and still have your living space look nice!
So many fun ideas you can do for a little learning nook but these are some of my favorites!
What type of areas do you have for your children when it comes to their learning and activities?
The other night my husband and I went out to dinner for the first time since we’ve had our newborn baby girl.
I was so excited about it. Like butterflies in my stomach excited. I navigated doing my hair and makeup between taking care of our newborn and our toddler and even the tantrums and the cries couldn’t put a damper on my mood.
I was going on a date with my husband, I was getting out of the house, I was wearing actual jeans, a crisp glass of wine was calling my name.
It was a wonderful night. A fall in love all over again type of night we desperately needed since becoming parents once again.
Life just gets so busy and that’s when I realized, we need to prioritize our marriage.
Between our children, working, his hockey coaching, sometimes “us” as an actual couple gets put on the back burner.
Who else can relate?
I’ve been constantly thinking of all the ways to prioritize our marriage and below is what I’ve come up with.
Set time aside for each other each day.
This goes in with the busyness I was talking about. Don’t put too much pressure on it but just make sure each day you have a little time for each other, even if it’s cooking dinner together or watching a show or just simply asking each other how their day went.
Respect each other.
Respect the wants and needs you feel for each other. Respect in general is just an important thing to have in any type of relationship but especially marriage. We all have different wants, needs, wishes and taking the time to listen, respect and prioritize them in your relationship is a wonderful thing.
Communication is key.
Does it even need an explanation? Communication is just #1. I can’t imagine my marriage without my husband wanting to share his thoughts with me. I can’t imagine him not wanting to talk things out with me. It’s just the #1 thing any relationship needs.
Date nights when able to.
Date nights out are so fun and definitely important. Like in the beginning, we just had our first date night since having our baby girl. Dinner was fantastic but after putting the kids to bed we sat in the living room with some wine and listened to our favorite songs we haven’t heard in forever and talked and laughed for hours.
So date nights out are great but don’t put pressure on it, you can have just as much one on one time at home as well!
Try to be interested in what each other likes.
I thought maybe this could relate to others as well. My husband and I have tons of the same interests but we also have tons of different ones as well. For instance, my love for writing and reading. Yet, he cheers me on and tells me to keep going with my blogging journey or will ask about the books I’m reading. He coaches travel hockey and it’s one of his biggest passions, so I go to as many games as I can and events and I love when he gives me play by plays of the games.
It helps us stay connected even when we are each doing separate things. Plus it’s always nice when someone wants to talk about something you enjoy!
With two kids now, I am definitely still figuring out this prioritizing thing! It’s a work in progress but I already know how important it is to keep a healthy marriage.
I hope these tips helped you! If you have more tips, please let us all know below. Thanks for reading!
From the moment those two pink lines show up, you are being told how hard being a parent is.
Constant crying, feeding on demand, diaper overloads.
And of course those 3am wake up cries.
But they never tell you the pure emotional exhaustion you will truly feel from trying to be the perfect mom.
And I’m not talking about I’ve just worked a week of 12 hour midnight shifts in a row…I’m talking your whole body is tired, your shoulders and neck are sore and kinked from constantly looking over at your baby, chasing after your toddler. Your mind is on auto-pilot and you forever hear crying even when they aren’t.
It’s just exhausting being a mom.
There’s no explanation needed.
It’s. Just. Hard.
You put all your energy into these tiny little humans that you have been so blessed to have.
Every thought is about them now.
How do I make my baby happy today?
Is my toddler getting too much screen time?
What can I do better so we sleep better at night?
How do I split up my attention equally?
How do I keep them healthy and safe always?
How can I be better?
How can I be perfect for them?
How do I make time for my husband? For my home? For my career?
That’s the root of it all. We always want to be better, we want to do better for our babies.
We want to be the perfect mom.
The one who looks flawless without a hint of dark circles under her eyes.
The one with hair that looks like she is able to wash and exfoliate regularly.
The one who never has a spot of spit up on her clothes or the smell of it radiating from them.
The one who looks like she’s never changed a blow out diaper in the Target bathrooms in her life.
The one who’s kids look like they would never have a tantrum in aisle 5 at the grocery store.
There’s no such thing as a perfect mom.
Yes, some might hide it way better than others but we all have one thing in common.
We are all exhausted.
We are all at some point everyday dealing with diaper overloads and spit up and drool stained clothing.
Meltdowns during the day and waking up to those 3am cries at night.
So don’t ever think you aren’t a good enough mom, please.
Because we’ve all been there.
We are all exhausted.
We are all emotional.
We are all so blessed to have these babies.
But one thing I hope to never happen to any mama’s in this world? You will never be alone in your feelings, EVER. Please just know that.
And if you ever need a reminder? Well, we are here even during those 3am wake up cries.
If you’re a busy working mom like me, you know what it’s like to juggle a hectic personal and professional schedule with a never-ending list of things to do. One of the few benefits of the global COVID-19 pandemic is that it has caused many people to pause and reevaluate who and what truly mattered in their lives. I used the time during lockdown to launch my dream coaching business My Life Couch and more importantly – to learn how to take care of myself, respect my own time and ask for help.
I compare us working mothers – and parents in general – to a very sophisticated smart phone: Running a ton of applications at once, a life saver for many and a constant companion that always deliver value. But what is the use of a phone if the battery is low or not charged? It becomes a very expensive paperweight, right? Or whatever use you have for a phone that isn’t charged at all. We need to be intentional about carving some time to nurture and care for ourselves more, not just when the battery has died out completely, so we can be the best mom/dad/sibling/friend we can be.
Here are my 5 strategies to recharge your batteries to be always on and full of energy:
• Take some time off
Knowing yourself, what makes soothes, heals, recharge you is key to defining your self-care exactly HOW and WHAT you want it to be. Whether is being surrounded by people or staying alone to do some self -discovery, meditation, reading a book , journaling, running a bath, do whatever nourishes your soul
• Learn the power of NO
If like me your natural tendency is to say yes to keep people happy, you will quickly feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of commitment you are taking on, without the bandwidth to match. By being selective on the responsibilities we undertake, we can truly focus on the tasks at hand and being present – think quality vs quantity – and deliver outstanding results every time, minus the extra stress.
• Ask for- and accept help –
Asking and accepting for help doesn’t always come easy for working mothers, myself included. I used to see it as a reflection of my inability to “be it” and deemed myself a failure. But you realize that by asking, you are opening your doors, your mind to the kindness of people who in some case may just be waiting for you to ask. Asking for help is another way to extend your reach and getting things done. And you have to be willing to accept the help, even if it’s not exactly how you are doing it, aka don’t focus on the HOW it’s done – of course safety is primordial – but WHAT is done. At best, you and your family are exposed to a different way of doing things! And you can always repay the favor when someone else needs help .
Get your body going by incorporating movement into your routine. It could be a walk, running or even dancing to your favorite tune or playlist. Exercise is proven to release tension and stress and it’s good for your mental health overall so it’s a win- win. Find your movement and practice. I also count singing on top of your voice on a song you like – karaoke nights anyone – as exercise, although your family, neighbor etc… might disagree.
• Have your tribe
Have in your circle, someone other than your spouse that understands the pressure you may face. It could be another mom, a close relative, or a friend. The point is to be having a safe place to show up as you, to share your joys, doubts or vent your frustrations. It’s a place to been heard, understood, and connect with another person on common topics and interests and get another perspective on things. Bonus point if you combine making a phone call with that friend whilst going for a walk!
It’s sometime feels we don’t have time to even recharge, but let’s not leave until our batteries are completely out to put a plan in place shall we. By carving a non-negotiable time often to do things for ourselves, we are filling ourselves so we can pour out love, support , focus , guidance or whatever we can , instead of constantly running on an empty tank. I would love to hear about what works for you and if you need some motivation to create a recharge plan , I’ll be happy– to be part of your tribe !
If you would like to read more about my self-love tec
Gladys Simen – a life coach for moms who are trying to balance their work and family life.
She is a life enthusiast who lived in 5 different countries, mastered 2 languages, and changed several professions. It took becoming a fabulous mama for her to tap into some BIG superpowers within herself.
Former quiet introvert, today is passionate about helping women live big, beautiful, shooting-for-the-stars kind of lives right now. Gladys considers herself an advocate for the working mama!
Living in a renovation is not fun, even if it is just our kitchen. You have so many things scattered everywhere and I like order so it’s super hard for me!
Everything is coming together so beautifully though and I can’t wait to show you. First that went in were the countertops and new sink. We chose quartz countertops because they were honestly the only ones that went with the look I was trying to go for.
Bonus though? SOOO easy to clean! Holy cow are they easy to clean. I am still trying to find a cleaner that doesn’t leave streaks though so if you know of one, please let me know in the comments! It’s number 1 on my list to buy so I would appreciate it.
It’s hard to tell in the pictures but they have a gray detail going all across the countertops to tie in the cabinets and I love it. Looks so good.
Once the countertops and sink were in, our flooring ended up going in next since the backsplash was the easiest to get done.
I am OBSESSED with our floors. I can’t wait until we can get them all throughout the living room because I just love them. They are sturdy and look stunning. We went with a hardwood vinyl type of flooring and you honestly couldn’t even tell the difference.
I love the contrast of the dark to light. The dark floors with the light walls and cabinets and counter area, it went really good together so I am glad we chose a darker color.
We are so close to the finish line and I can’t wait to share with you all the final project all done and looking fabulous!
Thanks for staying on this journey with me, be sure to check out the previous links to see what everything looked like before.
We kicked off summer with an INCREDIBLE vacation to Port Austin, MI. It is our favorite spot to camp, and we go back as often as we can.
We tent camp, and I could write a whole blog on camping with kids and a dog. It’s a lot of work, but the work is totally worth the reward!
I wanted to talk about this awesome small town at the tip of Michigan’s thumb! This is the second family trip we’ve taken, and we plan to go back again as a yearly tradition.
We always camp at a Michigan state park, Port Crescent State Park. It is called that because the park is on a crescent shaped bay right before the Saginaw bay.
The water is shallow and crystal clear and super sandy for many yards out. It is perfect for kids or young swimmers. The sand bar was insane this year. It actually started at the shore which is something I have never experienced at a Michigan beach.
The sunsets are INCREDIBLE. I live on the east side of MI, so we get stunning sunrises, so experiencing sunsets is my favorite part about the trip.
It’s also a pet friendly park, so we were about to take Addie with us! She REALLY enjoyed digging in the sand with the girls. She loved exploring all things!
There is plenty of hiking and fishing you can do as well at the park. There’s also a nice playground and two bathrooms with showers if needed!
We kayaked one year to a very famous rock structure, Turnip Rock! That trip was so much fun. We rented kayaks from Port Austin Kayak. We rented them for the four hour time. It took roughly two hours to get to the rock structure. It was totally worth it. My phone died just before we got to the structure, so I borrowed an image from Huron County Park’s website.
There is also Caseville up there too! That is home of the “Cheesburger Festival”. Yes it is a festival dedicated to cheeseburgers. Such a fun little town.
We loved traveling so far and are planning another trip in August! Do you have any recommendations in or near MI?! Let me know!
Something I always knew I wanted, more than one child.
But when you have your first, you get so caught up in it all, it’s hard to tell when you might be ready for another one.
I always assumed I would want my children closer to three years apart. When you first bring home a newborn all those fantasies about having another child so soon kind of go up in flames with your exhaustion and tears.
But then they grow up and they get cute and their own personality and they start to get a little bit more independent and the thoughts start creeping in…
I could totally do that all over again, am I ready!?
I think I first knew I was ready to have another child when the thought of seeing those two pink lines on a pregnancy test didn’t make me want to run for the hills.
So if you haven’t guessed by now.. we are expecting our second child!
My son is turning 2 in July so he will be about 2 1/2 when this new little bundle is born.
I remember having so much anxiety at first thinking of having two children…now don’t get me wrong I still have anxiety but there was a time when I was like…how would I even be able to do it?
You get so worried about how another baby will impact your marriage, your wallet, your home life and it’s scary. I know we have all felt it.
But a few things have changed since those first anxiety filled thoughts on having a second child and I thought I would share them with you today, because that’s what we are here for always! Being honest and sharing our thoughts.
When my husband and I started talking about it.
I knew for sure when my husband started bringing up a second child as well. Once he is on board with something it’s usually a go! It makes me feel so much better knowing we both were ready again and have my partner on board with tackling two kiddos together!
When the thought of being pregnant didn’t scare me anymore.
I remember being so nervous one day when I missed my period when my son was just turning 1. My anxiety was going crazy, and when I got that negative test I was happy. Fast forward, almost a year later and when my period would be off when I would see that one line, I felt disappointment. At that point, I knew I was at least ready to try again.
You’re ready for your baby, not to be the baby anymore.
I struggle with this still. I’m so attached to my little man and sometimes it makes me sad knowing he won’t be my only baby anymore. Don’t feel guilty thinking that. But realize your heart will grow instantly with your new little ones arrival.
You have blacked out labor from the first time.
Sounds weird I know but so true! It’s not fresh in your mind anymore. For me, of course I remember everything about my labor but the pain is definitely blacked out. Which makes the thought of another child way less traumatizing!
You want another baby.
Of course this is the most important reason to be ready! You want another bundle of joy and the thought of it makes you so excited! Of course we will always be nervous but the excitement wins out in feelings and that’s what matters most.
We are so excited for this new journey of bringing another little one into our lives. And I am beyond excited to see my little man as a big brother!
As a mom I feel like one of the biggest struggles is staying organized.
It’s a huge goal but it rarely happens, am I right?
I know in my family, I’m the one being asked what time everything is at or what day and where is this and where is that?
It’s a tough job to stay organized!! I definitely struggle on the daily no matter how hard I try. I’ll be good for maybe a week and then I slack again.
So I came up with a list for myself to help me with the areas I struggle with most in hopes that it will stick in the long run. Plus I hope sharing it will help you as well.
So let’s get started on my 5 tips to becoming more of an organized mom ☺️
1. Clean out your purse.
If there’s one thing that makes me feel like a bad ass mom, it’s a clean and organized purse and diaper bag! Throw out those random receipts, old snacks that have found their way to the bottom. Go through your wallet and organize those cards and coins. It is such a relief when your purse is organized and it’s a great start!
2. Keep a planner.
Do I have a planner? Yes. Is it halfway filled out? Also, yes. It starts out so promising but I never keep it up! A planner can be a savior in the organizing department and I’m going to try my best to stick to it! Maybe putting it on display will help my hubby not to ask a million daily questions on activities…maybe 😉
3. Use storage bins/Storage furniture.
Now this I am wonderful at! Storage bins and furniture that is used to storage is my go to! I have an ottoman that stores so many toys and I love it. I always have cute decor bins all around that hold toys and other things as well. They not only help to stay organized but it helps your house stay more picked up!
4. Meal plan.
My downfall. I am a terrible meal planner and my biggest goal is to be a great one! If I am a better meal planner I can then avoid the “what do you want for dinner?” “I don’t know, what do you want?” Argument that happens a lot. Planning dinner ahead and having a cute meal calendar is my goal! So let’s achieve it together!
5. A solid routine.
Let’s face it, it all comes down to routines! When you have a solid morning and night time routine your whole life is just so much smoother. Is it easy? No? Is it worth it? HECK YES! I strive to perfect a morning and night time routine and it’s a struggle but it’s a priority that needs to be made as we navigate through this mom life.
As I work on these organization tips, my goal is for it to help me be a better, a more calm and happy mom.
They all help make our everyday lives easier and therefore we have more time for the fun things!
What do you struggle with the most?
Let’s help each other out! Moms supporting moms it’s my favorite.
As always, thanks for reading and have a great week!