Birthday parties in our family are kind of a big deal. I’m not one of those Pinterest Moms that loathes getting crafty and I don’t do it to keep up with the Jones’. I just genuinely in my heart love birthday parties and DIY are my favorite. Not to mention, my girls birthdays are a day apart so I kinda got robbed since we just throw one party (for now).

If I teach my girls anything in life, I want their takeaway to be, birthdays are fun and always a good excuse for a party regardless of how old you get. So I recently turned 35 and naturally my girls wanted to know when the party was. We all went out to dinner to a nice restaurant of my choosing but to a 3 and 5 year old that is no party to them. They wanted decorations, party favors, and of course dessert. So I did what any Pinterest Mom would do and I helped them plan one for me.

So we got to work. First was a theme and they quickly agreed it had to be food-focused. Those are my girls! We headed over to Basic Invite my go-to invitation store and found the most adorable Ice Cream themed Invitation and both of them were instantly sold.

Basic Invite- My Papergoods Go To

Basic Invite is most known for their gorgeous and unique wedding invitations, but you all need to check them out for all things paper. Their personalized party invitations  are totally customizable from basically unlimited colors to the types of papers and instant previews. Not to mention, rose gold. Enough said.  They have something for everything from weddings, to kids invitations, to holidays and don’t forget the thank you notes and notepads. They are my go-to for all things paper. And I already have my Christmas card picked out. Too early? Never! Need a birthday invitations, well today is your day. From now until Sunday, Sept 30th they have a coupon for 40% off. Sounds like you need to throw yourself a party.

USE CODE: FIRST40 for 40% off

The girls and I then headed to my party closet. Every time I am at target and see something in the dollar spot that could be used for a party at some point I grab it. It is always used at some point even if we have to just make up an excuse to have a party. I try to stick to neutral colors and metallics because then they match everything. These white ice cream cups were found there as well as my celebrate banner and party hats. Then we went to the garage and found some plastic baseballs and tissue paper and voila, we have a centerpiece. The table paper is actually Christmas paper but it matched and did the job.

Next up party favors! We went to the Dollar Store and grabbed the cutest little bath sponge and transformed that into an ice-cream cone as well. At least I know tonite I will have an hour of uninterrupted quiet time as they play with their new bath toys. Clearly, the dog thought party favor meant treat for her.

September has been an amazing month full of celebrations and I’m sad to see it coming to an end. But I have faith that we will find an excuse every month to throw some kind of party. And if not, we will just have ice cream for breakfast.

Too Embarrassed for Eye Contact

 

Well orientation at my girls school was yesterday which means my family needs a wake up call in the morning. Like a slap in the face alarm clock. Summer is a time for late bedtimes, no naps, and sleeping in late (and by late I mean 7am). Then school comes out of the blue and always too soon and we need to work to get back into a routine. Which nobody likes a new routine, right?

My girls are like me and in the morning we like to chill before getting our day started. The groggily come downstairs grab their iPads and we cuddle on the couch as I watch the news or read and chug coffee. Well now that we have to be out the door and presentable for school we are going to need to put some pep in our step and streamline our mornings.

I’m all about making my life easier. Pick your battles is something I literally say 19 times a day. Not to mention I totally believe that there is something to Decision Fatigue and it’s no wonder successful people limit decisions to prevent burnout at the end of the day. So every night before going to bed, I put the Cheerios box on the table along with their bowl, silverware, napkins and a drink cup. So in the morning all we have to do it pour some milk and cereal in the bowl, grab some fruit, and a slice of bacon or sausage and we are ready to go. Not to mention at 5, Brooklyn can grab the milk from the fridge and pour it into her and Charleigh’s bowls.  If you want to start the morning out on the right foot, a 5 year old that feels accomplished and helpful can conquer the world or at least preschool.

Now some might argue that it can get boring or redundant to eat the same thing every day. But not when Cheerios  literally gives you so many options and flavors. In fact we are so #basic we just picked up the Pumpkin Spice flavor (with no artificial flavors and colors I might add) and can’t wait to mix that in our routine. We also forgo milk sometimes in exchange for yogurt. I let them sprinkle on the toppings aka Cheerios and fruit and voila, breakfast ice-cream. Shhh.

There is also something so nostalgic about feeding my girls Cheerios because not only was it their first food they were able to eat by hand as babes but I also grew up eating them. And if you asked my mom, I turned out pretty perfect. Right mom?

As a mom I know the most important meal of the day is breakfast and literally sets the pace for the whole day. It’s important that my girls get something that is healthy but still tastes good and with 1 gram of sugar and 100% whole grain oats (just like oatmeal) I know they are getting what they need.

Other Ways to Cut Corners in the Morning

  • Braids. Do it. If you have girls with long, fine hair do NOT let them go to bed without a braid or bun.
  • Lay out 3 outfit choices. Let them pick one and they feel like they have won. When in reality, you still won.
  • Lunches, pack them in the PM. It’s inevitable that something comes up you weren’t ready for. Be prepared.
  • Pack everything they need for school the next day. Forms filled out, homework, nap mats etc in car night before.
  • Limit screentime. Its amazing how much slower we all move when the TV is on.

Enjoy your morning together and enjoy the moment they arrive at school even more. You’ve got this momma!

 

 

Carmex– A Girl Moms Saving Grace

After an amazing summer of sleeping in late, staying up later, eating lunch in PJs, and basically doing anything we want all day with no schedule the end is near. We have a couple more weeks of preparing for school to start again so we are getting back on track slowly with earlier bedtimes and a routine. My old type-A self would have loved this but my current type-B wants it to stay summer year round.

If I can get through the morning charades of getting dressed without a meltdown I feel as if I have conquered the world.  I have one overly opinionated daughter and then one who totally goes with the flow when it come to getting dressed. So laying out clothing isn’t necessarily a good fit for us. Instead I just send my little ones up to get dressed and then prepare to look the other way and accept their fashion sense.

Now any mom of girls has probably heard this before, “mom we are ready. Don’t we look pretty in our lipstick?”

MDM partnered with Carmex for this blog post. As expected, all opinions are my own.

My walls, carpet, furniture, bedding is all light and doesn’t work well with girls that have a love for red lipstick and a lack of motor skills or really bad eye sight. So after several days of this happening we had to come up with a solution to keep everyone happy.

We spent the morning picking out all the back to school goodies (ones we need and as well as don’t need) to make our little hearts happy. Not being in school yet our list is a little different than most. But we made sure to grab plenty of Carmex for our pencil pouches, backpacks, lunch boxes, and of course our vanities for “putting their lipstick on.”

I have been a Carmex user since as far back as I can remember (Carmex® Classic Lip Balm is my fave). So naturally it was the first thing I thought of when looking for a lipstick replacement. Here are a couple varieties I grabbed.

Carmex Comfort Care™ Lip Balm (2017 Product of the Year)

A natural* blend of soothing colloidal oatmeal, fruit seed oil and sugar plum flavor that helps restore moisture for smoother, healthier, naturally beautiful lips

  • Crafted with a soothing blend of colloidal oatmeal and cold-pressed antioxidant-rich fruit seed oil
  • Helps restore lips’ natural beauty with long-lasting moisture
  • Visibly smoother, healthier looking lips

Carmex® Classic Lip Balm

Squeezable medicated lip balm that goes on smooth to soothe and protect dry, chapped lips with SPF 15 and a sweet cherry flavor

  • Provides long-lasting protective barrier to help healing
  • Glides on smoothly to help soften and hydrate lips with moisturizing cocoa butter
  • Cools and soothes lips with camphor and menthol

Carmex® Classic Lip Balm

The iconic medicated lip balm that generations have relied on to soothe and protect dry, chapped lips.

Not only do the girls love the feeling on their lips. Plus with the AC in schools, I know their lips are protected from drying out and cracking. But they also love the smell of them. In fact at any given time they have quite a bit of “lippy” under their nose from smelling.

 

MDO Back to School Must Haves 

Most likely your teachers will provide a list of things you will need. But I remember last year feeling very overwhelmed with it being our first year and having both kids at same time. Different teachers, different lists. Here are a couple things I keep in their backpacks just in case.

  • Carmex
  • Backpack
  • PlanetBox Lunchbox
  • Waterbottle
  • Antibacterial waterless soap
  • Pillow, blanket, nap mat
  • Change of clothes and shoes
  • Photo from home
  • Tissues/Wipes
  • Large bag to carry everything in. Especially useful if you have more than one kid at school.
  • Lastly I let them pick out a few things that they feel they need for school and put them in a pencil pouch.

It was such a gorgeous day today that we grabbed the dog and the kids (not in that order) and headed downtown Franklin to explore and do a little window shopping. And of course stopped to take a couple pictures.  I have a fancy nice dslr that sits around collecting dust because I don’t know how to work it as well as my camera on my phone. I have a goal this year of making it a point to step out of my comfort zone and figure out how to use it.

I’ve had a birthday idea for them for a little while (there birthday is in June so clearly we have time) but while passing a paper store I knew we had to do it because the exact “theme” was in the window with beautiful plates and napkins.  My kids birthdays are a day apart so we only get one Pinterestesque party a year.  Thankfully my girls don’t realize they should be the ones picking the theme. So until they find out, don’t tell them, I’ll pick for them.  So I told B to work her magic and low and behold she won, like she always does. Look at those eyes, she knows how to work it.

 

Check out that wallet. Not only does hubs love it but obviously Brooklyn does to (prob for much different reasons, but whatever). It’s handmade with love from Benjamin Bott! Hubs is already picking out his next one.  In fact they have wallets, phone sleeves, key chains, passport holders, valets, the lists goes on and on and they are all stunning.

 

Plus we are running a contest with Jord Watches and giving one lucky winner a $100 off their next wood watch. This watch is pretty cool because we both wear it and fight over it, obviously he won today.  All you need to do is click HERE. Contest ends on the 28th so make sure you enter now! Here is a direct link the watch we have. Not only does Acacia make gorgeous countertops but it also makes beautiful watches. This is our 2nd wood watch from Jord and they are timeless and transition easily between seasons as well, plus we can share and as we all know sharing is caring.

If anyone is curious as to what the X mean, i blogged about it yesterday and you can find that here. We did bathe so stop judging but that stuff doesn’t come off easily.

 

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

As a mother in todays day in age we have so many more pressures than previous generations. I’m expected to work, be involved as class mom, while volunteering and making pinterest type projects (and still finding time for the gym, hair salon, and nail salon).  Now we do have a lot of things others didn’t to help make life easier like meal delivery, virtual assistants, and Amazon. It’s still exhausting. We are pulled in different directions by internet experts that know what’s best for my child before she was even born. Information is abundant and yet there is so much bad information out there. Thankfully I am hard headed passionate enough to pave my own way in upbringing my babies and not just go with the current trend.

I have always told them (even at 2 and 4) I don’t care if they are the smartest, fastest, or most artistic all I am concerned about at the end of the day is if they are the kindest. While filling out forms for my MDO they inquired as to what we valued most out of a program and my immediate response was manners and loving God. I honestly don’t care if my kid goes to kindergarten reading novels or writing in cursive while mastering common core math, what I do want is a kid that has manners, respects authority and is kind to everyone.

So when Jackie with Inspirational Nursery Rhymes reached out to me I was instantly in love with their philosophy. According to studies 95% of behavioral patterns are established by the age of 6, due to brain wave changes, it is imperative that we teach the values we want instilled in our children before that age. So needless to say these books stay on our nightstand and are in rotation, every night.

What makes these “self-help” books even more amazing is that they are written in rhyme and as we all know our kids love music and poetry and those songs stick in their (and our heads) for a long time helping them memorize. Some of the topics they touch on in these books are positive values, personal inspiration, manners, gratitude, personal responsibility, and so much more.

They currently have 4 books titles (another on the way):

  1. Get Inspired with Max
  2. Be Responsible Like Max
  3. Giving Thanks with Max
  4. Max Gives Thanks to God
  5. (Coming Soon) Max and Molly Learn Their  Manners <—— probably going to be my fave.

As the mother of your kids classmate please do us all a favor and pick up a set for your kids too. Ill do my part if you do yours. Deal? Order HERE

You can read up more about the science behind their books HERE.