Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Simple Baby Easter Basket Fillers

I love the holidays, and I often have to hold myself back from making every holiday a spending spree.  Luckily, I have a husband who plays a good sounding board and can often let me know a reasonable price cap for a 7 month old baby who will be more interested in trying to chew the plastic green grass over what's actually in the basket.

This Easter I was challenged with keeping Emerson's Easter basket to $20.  I love a good challenge.



1. Pat the Bunny.  A classic book with touch and feel fun for baby. $6.41 on Amazon.
2. Infantino Peter Rabbit.  Good teething toy for the little one.  And it keeps with the classic bunny theme. And he rattles and jitters. $7.99 on Amazon.
3. Peter Rabbit Organics. Averaging about $1.40 each you can fill up baby's basket with healthy, and themed, foods.  I find mine at Target, of course.

Very simple.  But very cute.  What more could a 7 month ask for?

Well, maybe this 100% organic, smiling carrot teether.  But I wanted to stick to the budget. :)

Thursday, March 19, 2015

How to workout with kids. Some tips!


You guys, I love my kids.  I love them a whole lot.  As a matter of fact the sun might as well rise and set on their gorgeous, glowing little faces.  They are my life's best work and the apples of my eye.

But, holy moly, some things can just be EASIER to do without a 4 year old, 2 year old and 7 month old, am I right?

Some of those things might include: cooking a fancy dinner (or any dinner), cleaning the house, a long car ride, a "quick" trip to Target, taking a nap, blow drying your hair, reading a book, pushing a grocery store cart, paying bills online, using the restroom, taking a picture, making an important phone call....and, yeah I will admit it, working out.

You guys, I hear it ALL the time!  "It's too hard to work out with the kids. I just don't see how I can get it done with them around all the time and ALL over me."  

You know what?  I'm not afraid to say it.  Oh, HECK yes it is easier to get the workout done without kids around.  As a matter of fact, I spend a good few minutes of everyday planning out where in the day the most opportune time is to fit in my workout where maybe even just ONE of them will be preoccupied.  

So, ok, you're right, it probably IS hard to get it done with the kids around.

But, so is...everything?  

I mean, if you were kind of chuckling along with me a few paragraphs up about the silly little things that become much bigger tasks with lots of kiddos around and you were nodding your head in agreement.... I am sure you are already a pro at finding new ways to get a lot of things done. Us moms are expert multi-taskers. 

I mean, certainly, you're still finding a way to make an occasional serious phone call, style your hair for a night out, getting the groceries you need with ALL kids in tow, figuring out how to sneak in a shower or a small project around the house. 

Right?  Life doesn't stop.

And, kids don't need to be the reason to prevent you from doing the things you need to do.  It's about being creative.  Making priorities.  Figuring out how to involve, or preoccupy, the kids so you can accomplish your daily to-do list.


So, with that being said, I will leave you with my top 7 tips for working out with kids [and not get annoyed].  (Because, that's important too!)  [And I chose 7 because that's how many legit tips I have, I didn't want to bore you with 3 pointers full of crap :P]

7. Always have sippy cups filled and a snack within their reach.  You bet those kids will ask for a snack the moment you press play.  And promptly 18 seconds later they will ask for a drink. 

6. Kids LOVE to be around you.  Especially when you're doing something as interesting as plank jacks.  Make sure the area is CLEAR of disasters.  Don't leave your purse slung over the back of a chair.  Make sure important paperwork is out of reach.  There is nothing more annoying than yelling "no! no! don't touch that!" every minute.  Skip the clutter, keep it kid friendly.

5. Contain the ones that can't be trusted.  Little Emerson loves to scoot and crawl.  She will find any little leaf on the floor or tiny piece of wrapper or plastic.  I don't let her free range it when I know I want to focus.  First of all, I don't want her to scoot under me and get crushed and I feel much better knowing exactly what she can get her hands on.

4. Let the bigger ones join in on the fun.  Jamin, my four year old, loves to try and follow along to all the different moves.  He also likes to flex and take selfies.  Go right ahead little man,-- deleting 147 (out of 150- because some are tooooo cute) selfies later is worth it to keep you busy and happy.

3. Keep it interesting with "rare" toys.  We have an art table set up in our garage with lots of cool stuff the kids don't get to play with inside.  Play-doh with all the special play-doh tools.  Paints & watercolors.  Messy arts & crafts.  The kids NEVER have anything but crayons inside.  But hey, go buckwild in the garage kids!  I really don't care if some craft paint gets on the floor and the kids are always excited to play with their special arts & crafts and other special "garage toys."

2.  I heard this advice from a friend and co-worker one time that was so valuable. She told me her mother's philosophy was always right before you need some YOU time give the kids ALL your time.  Meaning, If you know you want to work out for 30 minutes...spend the half hour before actively with your kids.  Read them some books, have them help prep dinner, get on the floor and play toys.  Being actively WITH them will actually allow you a little bit of freedom to kind of distract them shortly after to do your thing.  And it helps with that pesky mom guilt too :P

1. Have low expectations.  I once shared this personal philosophy with my sister in law once who might of thought I was crazy.  But it goes a little something like this:

Before I was married and had children I pictured a pottery barn house, priceless photos with everyone smiling, made from scratch dinners & a greenhouse (what? I don't know- but its true).

Now, I am living what is STILL my dream life as a mom....but, I can't decorate the house with anything because it is promptly broken, I love a good crockpot meal, I hope for only ONE quality family picture each holiday (and by that I mean I can see your face looking in the general direction of the camera), and I buy my herbs at the market.

It's still the good life, folks.  The best, really.

But ,I am not setting my personal standard to a pintrest-worthy-level-of-success.  I am a real momma, living in a real world.  And it's OK to not have everything sparkly clean perfect.

So, I have to remind myself to allow some grace in.  And that's all I really mean by my tongue in cheek advice about lowering expectations. Give yourself and your kids some grace.

I'm not perfect.  My house is not perfect.  My kids are not perfect.

And hey, guess what, the workout may not go as planned.  You may have to press pause to address a diaper blowout.  You may have to skip a rep to catch your kid who is tumbling over.  You may need to call a time out to offer a hug (or to tell them, again,to step AWAY from the purse!)

And that's ok.  Life happens.  Not giving something a try because it can't be done *perfectly* will hold you back on too many things.

Live and let live.

And #pressplay, it's good for you AND good for your family. < 3



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