Top Five Pins of the Week

Here are our Top Five Pins of the Week!

1) These personal pizzas look delicious.

2) For a quick and easy craft idea, give these cupcake liner flowers a try.

3) This list of the top 30 autism spectrum blogs is an especially good read.

4) If you’re in need of a facial, the solution might be as easy as walking into your kitchen.

5) And, this shadow puppet print is oh-so charming.

For more great craft ideas, recipes, and exercise tips, be sure to follow us on Pinterest!


Top Five Pins of the Week

Here are our Top Five Pins of the Week!

1) Spring is in the air, and we can’t wait to try some of the recipes from this list of 27 spring dishes.

2) Did you know that you can grow fresh herbs in tin cans?

3) These potential titles for a “momoir” are definitely good for a laugh.

4) Create customized stamps out of beets for your little ones.

5) How great would this UP-themed cake be for a birthday party?

For more great craft ideas, recipes, and exercise tips, be sure to follow us on Pinterest!


Top Five Pins of the Week

Here are our Top Five Pins of the Week!

1) Check out this list of 12 spring family activities.

2) If you’re worried about exercising during your pregnancy, this pin is for you.

3) Here’s a list of top ten books to welcome spring.

4) This pumpkin seed snack mix sounds absolutely delicious.

5) Finally, here’s a great guide to making your lips look great!

For more great craft ideas, recipes, and exercise tips, be sure to follow us on Pinterest!


Top Five Pins of the Week

Here are our Top Five Pins of the Week!

1) Pop in a flick and whip up this salted caramel popcorn for a fun family movie night.

2) For a quick and easy waterfall braid, check out this tutorial.

3) If you’re planning for an upcoming party, you’re sure to find this guide for how much to serve your guests especially useful.

4) We can’t wait to try this recipe for Southern Pecan and Apple Salad this weekend!

5) Clutter can lead to stress. So, why not take a few minutes to straighten up the things on your refrigerator?

For more great craft ideas, recipes, and exercise tips, be sure to follow us on Pinterest!


Top Five Pins of the Week

To prove that we’re just as addicted to Pinterest as you are, here are our Top 5 Pins of the Week!

1) Want to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with your kids but short on time? Check out this pin for 15 last minute St. Patrick’s Day ideas.

2) Speaking of holidays, let’s not forget to look ahead to Easter. We found a great resource that includes instructions for 75 Easter crafts this week!

3) And with warmer weather (hopefully) just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about spring cleaning.

4) If you’re looking for a fun, indoor activity to do with your toddler, these instructions for creating your own “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” book might be just the thing.

5) Don’t forget to indulge your sweet tooth this weekend! We’re especially excited to try the Banana Ginger Parfait.

For more great craft ideas, recipes, and exercise tips, be sure to follow us on Pinterest!


No Mess After School Crafts for Kids

Kids love crafts!

Crafting with your kids after school doesn’t have to be time-consuming or messy. It can be a quality time of bonding with your child and maybe one or two of his friends.

Here are two inexpensive and fun no mess after school crafts to get you started:

1) A city made of masking tape. If you don’t want to clean up paint, a great substitute for a fun “painting” technique is to buy rolls of colored masking or duct tape. Have the child stick the tape pieces onto a large piece of construction paper into the shape of buildings of various heights. Windows can be smaller pieces of tape stuck in the appropriate places. You can then have this sheet of paper laminated and the child can use it as a place mat for meal times.

2) A leaf collage. Using either the natural-colored leaves of autumn or leaf shapes cut out of colored tissue paper, have the child place the leaves onto a small sheet of clear, sticky contact paper. Pictures of insects can also be cut from old magazines and affixed to the paper as well. Add another layer of contact paper over the first one and, voila! Your child has just created a picture with a stained-glass look to be hung in a sunny window.

After crafting, when it’s time for them to do their homework, they’ll have some fond memories of creating a craft or two which can enhance everyone’s mood and life.


Appreciating Your Own Mom

Nothing makes you appreciate your own mother like being one. Moms sacrifice themselves on so many levels for their kids and it’s not until a woman actually experiences being “the mother” that she actually gets this. It’s also when the realization kicks in that mothers aren’t goddesses, angels, or saints. Still carrying around that laundry list of what Mommy didn’t do for you? It’s likely that after labor pains, sleepless nights, and the raising of a teenager, you have begun to realize that she was just a human, after all, like you.

Sometimes, the world places expectations on women who bear and raise children that may seem unachievable. I mean, this is an extremely difficult job done by mere humans. Motherhood can be the most rewarding life experience while being the most challenging. Sure, there are lots of guidebooks out there but working in the trenches is a lot different from reading pat advice from a stranger. Your mom felt the same way. She did her best to get you from her womb to where you are standing right now: wondering how to best raise the little human who has landed in your care.

Before undertaking the mountain climb of mothering, you may have faulted your mom for where she failed. Maybe she didn’t always cook the perfect meals for dinner. Maybe she forced you to do your homework or practice your piano. Maybe she could be a real crab sometimes. Now that your own kid refuses to eat her vegetables, turn in her homework on time, or practice her musical scales, you might feel a bit crabby yourself. And you might suddenly get a flash of insight about what you put your own mom through and view her with a new sense of appreciation.


An Expectant Mother?

Expectant MotherThe dictionary describes expectation as, “prospects, especially of success or gain.”

Parents, especially mothers, seem to have great expectations for their offspring. This post isn’t addressing mothers who’s expectations have been met. Rather, it’s directed at mothers who are or have been disappointed in the choices their children have made in life.

It’s a hard thing for a mother to accept how their child has grown up. Perhaps they’ve chosen an alternative versus conventional lifestyle, or they just haven’t made their mark in life. Maybe they’re still living at home or worse – have brought their own children into your home to mooch off everyone else’s salary but their own.

Life has a way of throwing curve balls.

But there is another option.

Rather than becoming pessimistic in regard to your expectations for your children, why not drop all of them, accept your children as they are and stop trying to control their lives. After all, life isn’t always about what we want as a parent. It’s about supporting and loving our children unconditionally even though we can see their choices aren’t the wisest or the best for them.

Often, the most valuable life lessons have come from poor choices. We should continue to care about and guide our children but it just may be more beneficial to them if we try to accept them as they are. Let them grow into the adults they are meant to be. You just may get more than you expected.


Put On Your Own Oxygen Mask First

When you fly on a plane with your child, the flight attendant will tell you to put on your own oxygen mask first. This may go against that part of you that wants the best for your child at all costs, but taking good care of yourself first is the very best for your beloved child.

You’ve probably heard it said “if mama’s not happy, nobody’s happy.” It’s so true. In order to have the stamina and energy to put your best mothering foot forward, you’re going to have to take proper care of yourself first. How can you nurture yourself so you’ll be the best mom you can be? There are probably thousands of ways, but here are three.

Look And Feel Your Best

Exercise, cut your hair, or get a facial and a massage. Eat nutritious food and get enough sleep. The better you feel in your own body, the happier you will be, and your kids will reap the benefits.

Weave A Network Of Emotional Support

By staying connected to your family members, having lunch dates with your girlfriends, and planning romantic dates with your spouse, you won’t forget that you are more than just a mommy. Plus, how can you miss your little ones when you’re never away from them? Don’t forget to include some solo time with yourself.

Maintain Your Spiritual Well-being

Meditate, do yoga, pray, read enlightening books, and feed yourself spiritually. Having a strong spiritual center to draw from is like having an ample bank account. Make plenty of deposits so you’ll have enough to withdraw on those days you just have no idea what you’re doing.

Love, pamper, and take good care of yourself. Put on your own oxygen mask. Then, and only then, will you have enough to dole out to your kids.


Tips on Staying In-Shape with Toddlers Around

If you still need to lose the baby weight, or simply want to tone up, it is possible to do so with small children around. Just because you are spending the majority of your time watching your kids does not mean you have to ignore your own health. Get some tips on working out with your kids around.

Take Daily Walks

If it is nice out, you can easily go on a walk any time of day. You do not need a jogging stroller to enjoy the great outdoors on a leisurely stroll. In fact, you can even walk at a brisk pace with most strollers. If your baby or toddler does not like riding in a stroller, you can strap a baby carrier to your chest or back instead. The added bonus is that you get an extra challenging workout when you are carrying the weight of your baby. If you have older kids, have them ride their bikes alongside you as you walk.

Dance

Most kids love to dance, and for good reason: It’s fun! You can just turn on your favorite music and do some silly dance moves with your children. You can also watch workout videos that center on dance moves. If your small children cannot keep up with you, pick them up and dance with them in your arms. It will give you a little extra challenge. You can find dance workout videos on cable or on DVD, and there are even video games that encourage you to dance in order to earn a top score.

If you find that it is too distracting to work out with your kids, start looking at gyms and workout classes that offer childcare. Either way, you should be able to fit in a few good workouts a week as you raise your children. This makes staying fit and healthy possible no matter how busy you are.

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