It’s officially the Holiday season and what better way to celebrate it then to give back and be kind to others? Especially this year.
I love everything about the Holiday’s and even though I think you should be kind everyday out of the year, I do have to admit there is something magical about this time of year that just makes you want to give, give, give!
So I am here to give you a few ideas on how you can share your kindness with other’s even during a pandemic. Some of these are the smallest gestures but I promise you, they can totally change someone’s day!
Go through your winter coats, trends change and I’m sure there are a few in your closest that just don’t suit your style anymore. Guess what though? There are so many freezing out there during the winter time, so donate it to a coat drive or your local shelter!
Buy a Stanger’s coffee! How many of you have had it happen to you before? You’re in this massive coffee line and just need that first sip of caffeine to wake you up, you pull up to the window and find out your coffee’s been paid for. It’s enough to make your whole entire day.
Donate some toys or pet food to your local shelters. Pets need love as much as we all do during the holiday season.
Same thing goes for kids! Go through your kids toys from last year that they maybe just don’t play with enough and donate them to a local charity drive for children! Or maybe even buy a new toy for toys for tots! I bet it would bring out the biggest smile on their faces.
Leave goodies out for your local post office workers and UPS and FedEx! I’m sure online sales are up way more this year and they are so busy. And if possible a drop off for your local hospitals, we know they all deserve them!
Whip up a big batch of Christmas cookies and do porch drop offs for your neighbors, friends and families!
Donate to a cause you care about this season, or buy from small shops for Christmas gifts that give a percentage of profit to a non profit organization and even just to support them. We know every small business needs it this year.
Write out Christmas cards and send them to your family and friends this year. You can even send them to soldiers and maybe do a mailbox drop off at nursing homes.
There are so many things you can do this holiday season to really brighten up someone’s day or to give back to those in need.
I know I am going to try to accomplish a lot of these this season and I encourage you to do the same! We as people make such a huge difference in this world and you know what? Even if you are only making a difference in one person’s life, that’s all that matter’s.
I hope you enjoyed this post and that it gives you the motivation to really make this holiday season a great one by giving back in some way!
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!
I want to start out by saying you mama’s or dads who have to do it alone… you are pure super hero’s.
This raising kids thing? It takes a village.
What a scary week we had last week.
There is nothing worse when your little is sick and they have no way to tell you what is wrong. My heart was literally breaking last week when my bub got sick. Thankfully we are on the mend but holy cow.
You know what though? I literally have no idea what I would do without my husband, my family and my friends and that is where this village thing I am talking about comes into play.
When I’m feeling overwhelmed and on my last straw, Elle Woods break down throwing chocolates at my TV screen, I am so happy for my husband. My rock. My shoulder.
When I have no clue what I am doing on this new mom life adventure, when I have so many questions and just want a seasoned mom by my side I am so happy for the ladies in my family and in my life (they know who they are!) coming to my rescue.
When I just want to talk about something other than motherhood, when I want to gossip and girl chat and send funny memes and talk about just life in general I am so thankful for my girl friends!
It just really takes a village in this motherhood game.
You need your people. You need those breaks. You need that support. You need a glass of wine or two every once in a while. You need a date night without the kids. You need to take care of yourself.
You need it all to stay sane. To not lose yourself. To keep that little fire that makes you, you.
These littles of ours deserve our unconditional love 24/7. So that’s why I’m telling you, create your own little village to help you be the best you can possibly be! And to help them too.
I have always been a crafty person. I love doing crafts and DIY’s and I think they are the best type of presents you can give someone. Even better? Becoming a mom and doing crafts with my little man. It brings an even more special meaning to these cute little things we create.
As we come up into the holiday season, I will be sharing tons of crafts and DIY’s that you can do yourselves and with your little’s so I really hope you enjoy!
Today I am taking you along with me and bub on a craft we made the other day. A little pumpkin. We are working on his sensory and fine motor skills so lots of coloring is involved.
What you will need-
Empty paper towel rolls or toilet paper rolls.
Pumpkin shaped paper.
Washable crayons (I highlight washable because….toddler mom life)
Hot glue gun
This is such a fun project that requires minimal effort and supplies and it turns out so cute. The empty toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls I had because I knew I wanted to do this craft. The pumpkin shaped paper I bought at the Target dollar spot.
I lightly colored the majority of the pumpkin and then for each one I let my little man scribble around and dot it all up. He was loving it!!
Once he was done coloring all of them I heated up my hot glue gun and got my paper rolls ready and then hot glued each piece of paper to the front of the paper rolls so they stand up.
They turned out to be the cutest décor!
We handed them out as cute little Fall gifts to some of our family and it was a hit.
So simple but I love it and I think it’s the perfect craft that you can keep and make more each year!
Please let me know if you do it with your little’s. I would love to see your pictures of the final piece 🙂
Since the holiday’s are coming up, I thought I would share a funny story with you all.
My husband and I are HUGE National Lampoons Christmas Vacation fans. It’s one of our favorite movies to watch each year. Almost 9 years ago when we started dating, we still lived at home at the time. So of course we would store our Christmas gifts at our separate houses.
Well my husbands dad went into their attic the other day and he found a Christmas present wrapped up, all dusty and the tag read to Amanda, From A.J.
He pulled a total Clark Griswold when he is stuck in the attic and finds a mother’s day gift to his wife from like 10 years ago.
We were both cracking up and the date of the gift was from 2012!
We just thought it was the funniest thing and even funnier since it happened in one of our favorite movies! So I had to share on here 🙂
Do any of you have funny lost gift stories? Please share in the comments!
As always, thank you so much for reading and I hope you enjoyed my post, until next Monday!