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Showing posts from March, 2014

How to be a Housewife (Without Feeling Like a Slave)

Now, don't get the wrong idea here... I'm not sending a passive aggressive message out there to men (do men even read blogs?) that women hate doing house duties. We love it - right, ladies??? (wink, wink) And I'm not complaining either. (Although I do despise laundry, I love a clean house; so it's a double-edged sword.) One thing I'm BIG on is positive thinking. Sometimes, it is hard to be positive if you are feeling overwhelmed with dishes, laundry, cleaning, cooking... oh yeah... LIVING IN and maintaining a home. So, I thought sharing my thoughts on this topic could maybe help some disgruntled wifeys out there.



1) Don't hate, delegate- I'm a huge fan of starting young with manageable tasks around the home. There are a bunch of lists floating around the interwebs of chore lists for kiddos, and a lot of them are pretty dang silly (one suggests letting a 2-3 year old put dishes away, um no!)  -- but my favorite one is fromKids Activities Blog. 

2) Be thankful

Multi-taskin' Mamas: {Amy from Chicago}

{{{A little about this blog series: I'm super excited to announce a new blog series I am doing called Multi-taskin' Mamas. I was trying to think of a way to share stories of other moms. Working moms, stay-at-home-moms and working-from-home-moms all sharing their stories about how the heck they juggle it all. So we can feel comfort in hearing the stories of other mamas who bust their tails and somehow get it all done at the end of the day, not knowing if they are doing it all right at all. So we can support one another by empathizing versus judging and casting our mommy guilts on one another.}}}


I'm really excited about this week's Multi-taskin' Mama, Amy. When I read Amy's story, I can really relate to her on several levels - being a step mom, having a young child, and also having a demanding work schedule. Thanks Amy for your story and sharing with us how you balance it all!


Amy's Story
I am very lucky to be stepmom to Joshua (10) and Rebekah (6), mommy to Da…

24 Day Cleanse - How I Survived Days 1-7

Without getting all specific, I'm going to talk about a 24 day cleanse that I'm doing: what I am eating, and howI am feeling throughout the whole thing. Before the cleanse, I got familiar with all the accoutrements (powders, pills, diet plan, etc) and went to the store. I got everything I needed to prep my meals for the first 5 days and spent a couple of hours on Sunday making and storing breakfasts and lunches.

For the first work week, this is what my fridge looked like.



I need to work on my meals looking more appetizing, so I'm not even going to show you a picture of the actual food - very amorphous and bland looking. Some people might need or want different stuff daily, but I am a creature of habit. So I'm plenty fine eating the same thing every morning, as long as it's half way good. As the day progresses though it's harder to eat the same thing. I made my lunches a little different each day so I wouldn't get bored with that, and dinner each night was c…

Spring Fling Baby Fashion Giveaway!!!

The snow is finally melting here in Chicago! HOORAY! The sun is out, and even though it is still pretty chilly out, I have been guilty several times of putting Boo in outfits that are more "Spring" than the weather calls for. Oops. I'm just so ready to pack away the snow suits and pull out the cute spring clothes.

Which got me thinking... I must not be the only one fiendin' for some cute spring fashion for my little. Which got me thinking... We totally need to do a GIVEAWAY!

SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM OF THE POST TO PARTICIPATE IN THE GIVEAWAY! 
This Spring Fling Baby Fashion Giveaway has 7 amazing items to bring your little one into Spring with some serious fashion sense. I can honestly say that I am jealous of whoever wins AND their baby. We have (top to bottom, and left to right as pictured):






 A "Dream Big Little One" shirt (size 3-6 mo, 6-12 mo, or 12-18 mo) from Three Little NumbersA pair of super adorable leggings (size newborn to 5T) from Mag+Pie 



Your choic…

DIY: Babysitter's Box {Free Printables Included!}

Am I the only one who feels like a psycho when leaving my kid with a babysitter? I'm keeping myself from stalker texting and/or calling the minute I walk out the door and am hoping that I left them with all the information they need to care for my little cherub.

Usually, when we leave Beulah with a babysitter, we have tried to plan it to where she is already asleep. We sneak out of the house like rebellious teenagers and hope she doesn't even wake up to discover our absences. But the last two instances, our plans started during the day. My OCD-ness kicked in, and I decided to create a Babysitter's Box.

Rather than walk all over the house, showing the babysitter where everything she would need was located, I just shoved it all in a big tubberware that I already had. While I was at it, I printed out some things about our home and our baby for her to have if she needed it and taped it to the inside top of the tubberware. I also printed out a tylenol dosage chart I created and…

Sloppy Habanero Joes

Ok, OK. This is NOT a paleo recipe. Not only did we eat this on yummy, bad-for-you white bread, but some of the ingredients are also not caveman-friendly, SO SHOOT ME.

On the 82,583th day of winter, we were sick of all of our go-to soups and casseroles, so my husband brought back this favorite from our childhoods - the sloppy joe.

(I'm not going to tell you what my husband calls these, but it rhymes with joes. and starts with an "h") (.... sloppy _______) (get it?!?!?!) Anyway. This was delicious, but not for the faint of heart on the spice. It's not too hot, but if you don't like the heat, just don't put in the habanero. But then, you can't call them sloppy habanero joes; you'll have to call them what my husband does. Sorry, those are the rules.

Ingredients:
(Serves 8)

2 lbs ground chicken (or you could use turkey or beef)1/2 cup of chopped onion1/2 cup of chopped green bell pepper1/4 cup of ketchup (we used the organic stuff)1/4 cup of chili sauce1 …

Multi-taskin' Mamas : {The Vintage Doll} : The Life of a Model Mom

I'm super excited to announce a new blog series I am doing called Multi-taskin' Mamas. I was trying to think of a way to share stories of other moms. Working moms, stay-at-home-moms and working-from-home-moms all sharing their stories about how the heck they juggle it all. So we can feel comfort in hearing the stories of other mamas who bust their tails and somehow get it all done at the end of the day, not knowing if they are doing it all right at all. So we can support one another by empathizing versus judging and casting our mommy guilts on one another.

I can't think of a better person to start off this series of Multi-taskin' Mamas than my sweet friend Emily otherwise known as The Vintage Doll. I have watched her grow as a pinup model and mama over the last couple of years. She is one of the few pinup gals who I have met and gotten to know exclusively online, but I am fairly certain that if we got a chance to rendezvous, we would have a blast. So I asked The Vintag…

Five Tips for Perfect Family Photos

Hooray! Hibernation is almost over, which means Spring is around the corner. Among the many things that this means is you can go outside without bundling you and your kids up in a million layers, and for some it may mean family photo time!!!

Family photos are always a stressful time for me. If it's just me in a photo shoot, that is one thing, but once we start adding family members, I get a little wigged out. I decided to pick the brains of some of my friends who just happen to also be photographers to find out what the pros think are must-knows for family photos.





1. DO scour the social medias for examples of family photos you like, and bring them with you to the shoot. Believe me, it is way easier for a photographer to see a creatively-posed picture with props and be able to recreate it, than for the photographer to listen to you try to describe it. This is much like bringing a picture of a desired hair style to your hairdresser. Not doing so can be a not fun game of operator...…

10 Common Mommy Guilts Turned Mommy Mantras

Mommy guilt. Although not partial to mothers, parents are affected by this phenomenon from day 1 (sometimes even before that!!!), and the verdict is still out on if it ever goes away. The positive news is that if you suffer from mommy guilt, that's a pretty good sign that you are a caring parent because you are even worried in the first place.

I decided to turn to my friends for the reasons they felt mommy guilt. I'd like to thank each and every one of you for sharing what makes you feel guilty as a parent - I know sometimes it's hard to verbalize and almost makes you feel worse. I was amazed by the sheer amount of responses I got - y'all, mommy guilt doesn't mess around, nor is it partial to one group of people versus another! Mommy guilt is an equal opportunity employer.

I'm big into positivity these days, and I truly believe that the way that you think about things has a direct relationship to how things turn out. So I took 10 of the most common mommy guilt…

Five Ways to Get the Upperhand with your Power-Hungry Kiddo

Here's a little something I have learned about serving the 0-3 population and their sweet families: often times, I am managing behaviors as much as I am managing their communication. I truly think that at the ripe young age of 2, behavior and communication are completely intertwined.

Think about it. If you are a little cherub angel baby, there are few things under your control. You might be finding your voice and not yet figured out the enormous power behind the word "no." You might not have figured out yet that simply closing your mouth and deciding not to eat whatever mom and dad are giving you will make everyone go crazy. But as you figure out that your actions (or lackthereof) warrants a reaction (good or bad) from your surrounding people, most kids' little wheels... they start a-turning. POWER.

Power in social terms is defined as "the ability to influence the behavior of people."

Now, think about the different things that toddlers sometimes do.

Cram a …

Why I Don't Work Out for Me Anymore

Newsflash: My own personal desire to be more healthy is not motivating enough to actually do so. Or else I wouldn't be in this constant predicament of wanting to lose about 15 lbs.

.... But there are a lot of things I have proudly done for myself.

I went to college. I modeled. I selectively clean obsessively (you like how I put "selectively" so my husband can't read this and call me a LIAR?). I write. But I have currently lost the will to really perfect my body to a point to where I am confident like I used to be.

Maybe it's the lack of sleep. Maybe it's the enormous amounts of laundry (WHERE does it COME from?). Maybe it's that sometimes I'd really rather spend time with my baby and husband, sleep, or read a dang magazine.

But lately, I just don't want to workout for me anymore.

So instead I'm doing it for my daughter.

I don't want her to feel the way that I did when I was younger.


I remember when I got my school picture back in 3rd grad…

Giving Up Grudges

In celebration of Lent, each year people give things up -- meat, alcohol, Facebook (all of that is crazy talk, wink wink). One year, I gave up bagels and Dr. Pepper. Another year, I gave up Chipotle (that was a tough year). That same year I also gave up sweets. Although the sacrifice was great, I also greatly benefited from this hard work. In high school and college, I'm ashamed to admit that Lent was more of a weight loss scheme than any kind of religious act.

So, a couple of years ago, I decided to rethink what I was going to "give up." Everything I could think of had some kind of secondary personal gain. I started thinking about what I could give up that would make more of an impact, something less tangible. A real sacrifice.

At the time, I had several grudges, thankfully not many - friendships gone awry due to me being a jerk or them being a jerk, it didn't really matter who was at fault. I decided to give up grudges. What did this look like? It might have looke…

How to Turn Your Baby into a Bookworm

When you look at your 1, 2 or 3 year old, you may not be thinking about them reading in a couple of years, but there are things we can do as parents/aunts/uncles/grandparents/amazing nannies to help develop pre-literacy skills in our little angels.

Now, I am not saying that I read to my child every night - I am not that good at what I do (being a mommy) yet. But I aim to, and there are reasons why I do so.

1) Find a time in your day where you always read. Some people do it before bed. This doesn't work out with our routine, because Boo is usually a fussy monster by 5:45, so we like to read after her afternoon nap.

2) Find books that have simple, bright and stimulating art. We love Eric Carle books, but there are many other good choices.

3) You don't have to read what each page says, but IF and WHEN you do, point to each word as you read it. That will get your kiddo looking at the words and putting together that those words are telling the story of the book.

4) As you are look…

5 Developmental Toys for Toddlers (and How to Play with Them)

A couple things before we get started. A) this is speech therapist Tara speaking, not mom Tara. Two different hats. B) These are just suggestions and are definitely not an exhaustive list of developmental toys; these are just a few of my favorites C) these toys are only to be used under adult supervision -- duh. D) this blog post contains affiliate links, meaning if you were to click the links and it resulted in a purchase, I would receive a small commission.
It might come as a surprise to you, but your little cherub wasn't born knowing how to play. Now, pooping, peeing, and being as cute as a button--- yes, those are innate skills. But playing doesn't always come as naturally. As your child develops, he/she will go through various stages of play development. And as their play skills develop, so do their communication skills and physical skills. What this means is that your child will greatly benefit from playing with you. 
In the age of technology (read my thoughts on techno…