Waking up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee and the sound of someone softly knocking on your bedroom door can be exciting. I remember serving breakfast in bed to my Mom on Mother’s Day. The fact that my daughters have kept this tradition alive for me means the world. Each year they carefully assemble a thoughtful display of pastries on beautiful dishware and flowers.
Intimate moments like these become traditions that create unforgettable memories I will cherish for years. This year, with the help of Macy’s, Mother’s Day will be extra special. This year, I have an exclusive Mother’s Day gift guide on the Macy’s website with all of my favorite things to get and give. You will find everything from hostess gifts to jewelry, home decor, fragrances, and, my favorite – accessories! From now until April 30th, everything is an additional 30% off during the Macy’s Friends and Family Sale.
Shop my picks and make Mother’s Day this year extra special!
Thank you for browsing my Gift Guide; I am always grateful for your support. The Macy’s partnership has been truly a rewarding experience.
Oftentimes, when we think of the word “bully,” we picture a small, sweet, little kid getting beaten up by a group of much bigger kids. He is outnumbered and not really looking for a fight. He looks fearful and doesn’t fight back much.
Bullying has changed these days — and I’m not referring to the trending topic amongst school moms hurdled around whispering during after-school pick-up. I’m talking about the type that not a whole lot of people talk about…mainly because it sounds pretty silly. I’m talking about the mom bullies. Mom bullies are the ones that are usually telling her own kid to not bully others, or are telling someone else’s kid to not bully — but she is the worst offender of them all. She talks the talk about “inclusion” and “kindness” but she’s the one spreading the toxicity.
She’s the one who intentionally organizes play-dates, birthday parties, and outings excluding others. Her intent is never to really target the kid involved, but the mom…she somehow excludes the kid to get to the mom. She has made her intentions a sport and will go out of her way to exclude the moms she doesn’t want around. She rotates friends — or best friends in almost a “flavor of the month” type fashion. She will approach another mom about an issue her kid is having with her kid in probably the most one-sided manner. She will accuse other kids of being mean while she’s blind to her own kid’s ways.
You would think I have a personal anecdote or an agenda in writing this…I don’t! In fact, I’m the wallflower that watches this all go down. I’m the observer — the one people don’t think that’s paying attention, but sadly I am. I see things others don’t. I see the pain and impact it makes on the kids. I see the concern on a kid’s face when they realize that everyone was invited but them. I see the mom’s that feel excluded, but hold their heads up so their kids don’t see her embarrassment.
Raising a child these days is hard enough — do we really need to bully each other to make ourselves feel better? Do we really need to use the little amount of time and energy we have left in our day dealing with the drama? Do we really need to show our kids that this is what adulting is all about? To one up another or put others down? NO!
Stop The Hate
Stop the hate — stop the mom bullies. Call them out and exclude them until they come around and show them what inclusion means by befriending her. More-often than not, these moms have been hurt themselves and this is their coping mechanism to shield herself from the potential haters out there. She needs the extra TLC and some time, but eventually she will come around. And if not…let it be and move on. Life is way too short for the nonsense — make it count!
The other day I went into the kids playroom while they were at school and it dawned on me that the way I spend time with my kids has drastically changed over the last two years. Two years ago, both started their journey in full day school which meant them spending more time out of the house than in it. Gone were the days where every waking moment was spent trying to “pass the time” with the kids. As I rummaged through the jumble of toys, I began to reminisce when the kids were babies. In those days, I remember looking at the clock and wondering how it was only 9 AM when it felt like I had already been up for 12 hours. The toys and trinkets were my saving grace, and just what the kids needed to keep busy. While those days were amazing, it didn’t require much more from me other than supervised self-play.
As I filled bags with toys that the kids no longer play with, I couldn’t fight the bittersweet feeling of having both kids gone all day. On one end I was thrilled to have a little bit more time for myself, but on the other end, I was sad that our time together was reduced to just a few hours before bedtime. With after school clubs and sports I’m finding that the time I spend with the kids is engrossed in “the grind.” It has become so much more important to make those short windows of time together meaningful in some way.
My daughter, who is seven years old, loves to craft and do projects. What I learned was that she not only has a genuine interest in doing it, but relishes in the face to face time she gets with just me when working on a project. Juggling time between making meals, picking up, going to activities, doing homework and dropping off….things get busy! I try not to be hard on myself, but I too crave those moments… alone with each child, one-on-one.
My husband and I are big travelers and especially love to travel with the kids. It’s an opportunity to break from the grind and make time to do things together as a family. We’ve had travel plans scheduled for the Thanksgiving holiday for some time. Knowing we would have some down time, I wanted to do some fun crafty projects with my daughter, so I poked around the internet for some meaningful projects for us to do together.
I stumbled across Teal FireFly, whose DIY crafting kits have everything you need to make creative, embellished cards from start to finish. And they are not overwhelming or messy. The kit contained cards/envelopes, direction cards for 4 designs, tags, glue dots, embellishments (rhinestones, glitter confetti) and a glitter glue pen. These kits come in a small box, so are easy pack and do while at the airport. Like most parents with little ones, we always give ourselves some extra time in case the kids walk at a snail’s pace or Chicago traffic does what it does best….take forever!
While sitting in the lounge I pulled out one of the cupcake card set and my daughter’s eyes lit up! She was excited to have a box of goodies with instructions toward a useful finished product! I loved the simplified, full color direction cards, as the illustrations made it easy enough for Carina to follow on her own. We made fun cupcake cards from the Celebration kit that we plan to distribute with gifts during the holiday season. She, and I, loved the one-on-one and even shared the goodies for some quality father-son time for my husband and son. It was such a great alternative to screen time as we had a chance to chat and be creative together! These cards will make a thoughtful touch to holiday gifts that can seem so impersonal sometimes. I know that family members and friends will appreciate the extra effort!
Founder, Laxmi Shah, breaks it down best, “When you make a card by hand, you pour your heart into it!! I have found that there’s immeasurable pleasure in that for both kids and adults alike.”
So even though one chapter of endless hours in a day are over, I am grateful for companies like Teal Firefly for making products that we can do ourselves while spending quality time together. Bye Bye supervised self-play….Hello creative togetherness!
Right now Teal Firefly is offering 10% off the entire store in honor of the shopping season!! Check them out here: www.tealfirefly.com
What is turmeric and why is it so talked about these days? Turmeric benefits are comprehensive, and most are due to its active compound, curcumin. For the last 2 years, I have probably missed a handful of days where I have not consumed turmeric. Let me tell you, it is probably the best thing I have done to my diet (Never going back!).
There are seriously so many benefits of Turmeric and I would need multiple blog posts to go through them all. Here the benefits that are most important to me! Side note: Black pepper contains piperine, which has been shown to help our bodies absorb the turmeric by 2000%. Try to use black pepper with any turmeric consumption!
ANTIOXIDANTS and IMMUNITY
Curcumin is a power antioxidant. We always hear about berries having a significant number of antioxidants and how important it is for our bodies. Antioxidants can fight molecules known as free radicals, which negatively affect cell health, and may reduce or help prevent some of the damage they cause.
Winter Immunity Shot:
Juice fresh turmeric, lemon, ginger, and gooseberries. Add a teaspoon of wheatgrass powder. Every morning through the winter months to keep the viruses away!
Easy smoothie recipe:
Blend 1 cup of coconut milk with 1/2 cup frozen pineapple, the juice of one lemon and/or one orange, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, a tiny pinch of black pepper, and about a teaspoon of grated fresh ginger root. I don’t add any sweeteners but if you need it you can use agave nectar or stevia.
Being mindful of what goes into your body can go a long way, it can even help you have healthier hair.
MY FAVORITE BENEFIT (Obviously.) Research suggests turmeric’s anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties make turmeric effective in treating skin conditions. It can help speed wound healing, calm the pores, and help control psoriasis flares.
My weekly Turmeric Face Mask Recipe:
Mix 2 tablespoons of unsweetened yogurt (I use homemade yogurt) with 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric and 1 teaspoon of honey for a soothing and cooling face mask. I leave it on for about 5 minutes and wash off. (I’ve never had problems with it staining skin, but use an old towel just in case.)
Acne Spot Treatment:
I make a paste of honey and turmeric (2 parts honey to 1 part turmeric) and dab on to spot treat.
This benefit is important to me for my toddler! Curcumin has been shown to have positive effects on brain function and memory by increasing levels of the brain hormone that boosts neuron growth (and fights decay in old folks).
Ever since my toddler has been on whole milk I have added a pinch of turmeric to her milk servings every day. She is 2 and still drinks her milk with a pinch of turmeric! You can also give it to them in a smoothie!
I have not tried this yet, but it is next on my list! We are all busy and sometimes it’s hard to get around to doing some of these things that are beneficial for our bodies. To make life easy: There are Turmeric Supplements (which also include the black pepper) that you can take daily!