We Love Our Teachers and Here’s How To Show it!

I know you all have seen the teachers strikes in the national news. No matter where you fall on the teacher’s salary issue, I think we can all agree that there are some teachers we want to go above and beyond for! We want to show them our love, support and gratitude for taking care of/teaching/nurturing/mentoring/coaching our kids! If you are anything like me, every April I have the same conversation with my mom friends about…you guessed it, what are we going to get our kids’ teachers for Teacher Appreciation Day! Sure, there are the old stand-bys of flowers and  candy, and those moms that have it pulled together enough to present a gorgeous pinterest creation, but I wanted some new ideas.

Enter my first college roommate, Deborah Penwell:

She is an elementary school teacher and mom, so she has tons of experience on both the giving and receiving ends of Teacher Appreciation Day.  Here is her take on gift ideas:

As I was thinking about how to best write this, I didn’t want it to come across as “Go buy something for your kids teacher!” but as a way to look at really appreciating the people who spend SO much time with your children for 180ish days.

I love the teachers that my son has had since he started Kindergarten. He’s now in 2nd Grade and has had some really wonderful teachers work with him. They nurture him, teach him compassion & kindness, give him band aids when he’s hurt, rub his back when he’s having a rough day, smile and laugh at his stories when they could be working on other things, make a huge deal when he does well on his work, and the biggest…have patience with him when he may be getting on their last nerves! For these reasons along with MANY others, I want them to truly know how special they are to me! I totally understand that we aren’t going to love every teacher that our children have. I mean, really…who likes everyone person that they’ve ever met??? Keep in mind though that these are the women and men who are with our children all day. Are there a few bad apples? Sure. For the most part though, the teachers I know are AMAZING. They are at school hours more a week than the 7:30-3:15 day. They take work home so that the needs of their students can be met. They would literally sacrifice their lives for their students as we’ve seen far too many times in the past few years. So for one week…or throughout the year if you want, why not show them a little love for all of the things they do for our babies!

On to the goodies! Okay, I know not everyone has the same budget. Some of us aren’t even in the same ball park so I’m going to give several different ideas. I want to preface these ideas by saying that most teachers don’t expect anything. I can honestly say that a heartfelt note of thanks or encouragement is a HUGE deal for us. Some of my most cherished gifts are notes from parents where they shared how much they thought of me. One of the quickest ways to make a teacher cry!

A great way to find out what your child’s teacher likes is a quick questionnaire. It can be as short or thorough as you want it to be. Some good questions to start with are: What is your favorite snack? What is your favorite restaurant? What are your monogram initials? What size shirt do you wear? What are your favorite colors? Are there any foods that you are allergic to or try to stay away from? With just a few questions, you have all the information you need for some pretty awesome gifts. Your child will probably be able to give you some good ideas too. For instance, my students know that I love coffee. They comment on it pretty frequently.

Oh My Stars Designs https://www.facebook.com/ohmystarsdesign/ has some great teacher gifts! She can put just about any design on a shirt or tumbler. And ALL.THE.GLITTER!!! I love my pen holder that I got from her shop. It’s perfect for Flair pens or Sharpies! Flair pens are a new favorite desk item of mine this year. https://www.amazon.com/Paper-Mate-Medium-Limited-1982970/dp/B01M306M92/ref=sr_1_10?s=office-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1523494242&sr=1-10&keywords=flair+pens Since her items are custom made, make sure you check on her time line before ordering!

A pretty easy to pick up gift is blank notecards and pens. It may sound silly, but teachers go through a lot each year. I know that I try to write thank you notes for my students when they give me something. TJ Maxx, Hobby Lobby, and Amazon all have some great ones. I’ve also ordered these before and they were super cute! https://www.peartree.com/teacher-stationery/aligned-apple-mini-note-cards-teacher-stationery/p/PTG5979NTFC2-KT/ Look for promo codes first and it’s even more affordable.

Bluestone Sign Co. https://www.facebook.com/bluestonesignco/ has adorable signs. She has some premade signs available and also takes custom orders. Again, make sure to check the time lines before ordering so you know if it will be finished on time.

Gift cards to local restaurants, coffee shops, and bakeries are also a big winner. You could also go in with a couple of other parents for a gift certificate to a nicer restaurant as well.

Another option to really spoil a teacher is to go in with several other parents and get a gift certificate for a massage or mani/pedi!

I hope this has helped you all think of some ways to show you appreciate everything that a teacher does for your child each day.

Thanks Debbie! These are awesome ideas, in plenty of time to make those teachers feel special and appreciated.

Guest contributor Deborah Penwell lives in North Carolina, but is originally from wild, wonderful, West Virginia. She taught 4th grade for one year and 3rd grade for the past 12 years.  She enjoys her family, coffee, the beach and traveling.

My Bucket List for the Year

It’s a new year – a total clean slate. It’s a time for new beginnings, goals, resolutions, and bucket list items. I am, for sure, an optimist, and I totally get into thinking about things I’d like to change in my life, how I I want to grow, what I want to do and accomplish and how it’s going to happen. *Let me just stop right here* and acknowledge that all of us with young children are totally in survival mode and just getting ourselves and families fed, dressed and out the door in the morning is an accomplishment. But, as I come through the fog of having an infant (2 toddlers now!?!), I have a newfound burst of energy to tackle some of the things that were on hold for the last year or so.

So, to be completely honest, I have found some of my inspiration for my New Year’s resolutions from The Bucket List Family.  If you aren’t familiar with them, they are a family who sold everything to travel around the world, learn about different cultures and give back.  I first learned about them as they partnered with Disney and reviewed resorts in their 30 Stays in 30 Days videos. I really appreciate their goals for the family: Adventure, Service and Culture (and health). (I also absolutely love the idea of living with less “stuff”, but that’s another post for another time. 😁) This was completely inspiring to me, so this year, my big goals for myself and family are Adventure, Service and Healthy Living.

Adventure

The wanderlust is real, you guys. Traveling is my happy place! While John and I aren’t going to sell everything and travel the world with our kids, this year my goal is to experience something new each month. While some of our adventures may be big, like a trip to New Zealand, some will be as simple as a visit to a new museum or new art class.

The last few years have flown by! If you are like me, you would love to slow things down (especially those sweet moments with your babies). You know how everyone says, if you want to slow the years down, take some time to learn something new? Here’s my attempt to make the most of the time with my family and have a really fun time doing it!

Service

Some of us are better at giving back than others. I love giving to charities and good causes, but getting down to the nitty gritty and rolling up my sleeves? Not as good. This year, I’d love to show my kids the value of getting involved in hands-on church and community projects to make our town a great place to live.

Healthy Living

Every year I make the resolution to lose weight, but this year, I am committing to a healthier lifestyle. Without health, we are really super limited to what we can do. Whether I like to admit it or not, I feel better when I exercise – I have more energy for my kids and am generally in a better mood (“Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t. -Elle Woods). I am working on incorporating both strength training and HIIT training into my workout plan. Not only will that help keep me feeling good but I will be able to keep up with my kids!

Throughout this year, Jill and I will take you on our personal journeys and show you our fun (and hilarious) fitness adventures, life hacks, beauty tips/tricks, healthy living ideas and a lot more! Coming up is a series on fitness. Check back for our post on AcroYoga!!

Thank you all for taking the time to keep up with us and we look forward to hearing your resolutions, goals, and great tips for making 2018 a great year! Don’t forget to subscribe (below if you are on your mobile device and to the right if you are on your PC) and get the latest updates!

XOXO,

Lauren

Some of My Favorite Christmas Sweets and Treats for Every Occasion!

For the Big Guy in the Red Suit:

If you have been watching the Food Network over the past couple of weeks, you have seen a million different recipes to make a party special/get into the holiday spirit/surprise Santa (does anyone really think Santa has time to sit down and enjoy a raspberry galette while delivering presents to all the children around the whole world in one night??). If you want something a bit different than cookies, but will still travel well and satisfy Old St. Nick, try Christmas Crack!

Photo Cred: Gal on a Mission

My Aunt Nancy introduced us to this delicious treat a couple of years ago and I was hooked at first bite! It is a great treat to keep around the house to munch on or spread the holiday spirit to your neighbors. (Shock! Horror! I may actually get to know a neighbor.)

 

For Your Child’s Class:

We all want to be that parent that brings the tasty, yet somewhat healthy treat that brings just the right amount of Christmas cheer to the classroom.  *Insert* Fruit Kabobs and Santa Hat Brownies!

Photo Cred: Daisy’s World

Both of these treats were easy to put together (tip for the santa hat brownies: buy the mini brownie bites, add a strawberry, put some icing in a sandwich bag, snip the corner and use it as a piping bag, make a circle of icing around the strawberry and a dot on top). It seemed like most of the kids popped off the strawberry, ate it and threw away the rest. Ha.

 

For the Dips and Desserts Party:

Some of my best holiday memories are making the next dessert – Pecan Tassies!

Photo Cred: Hi Cookery

These mini pecan pies are SOOOO tasty and taste better and better throughout the week. I can’t remember a Christmas without them.

As I started looking through family recipes (and had some major #fails as I tried recreating them), I think what makes them so special are the memories of flour all over the kitchen, feeling exhausted after adding the first ingredients and watching my mom finish the rest (he he), back and forth arguments with my brother about what dessert/how to make it/who would eat the most, my dad eating the lion’s portion of the sweet treats, and everyone passing out on the couch with a plate of tasty cookies/brownies/cake and watching Christmas movies or playing games.

This makes me think about my family of four and the traditions we will create. My son is super into baking right now (which I LOVE) and I am soaking up every minute of it. We have made enough cakes/cookies/muffins to last the whole year!

What are your favorite family traditions and tasty recipes?? Do you have something special that you wouldn’t miss this holiday season?

Here’s to the next few weeks of sweets and treats!

XOXO,

Lauren

7 Cringeworthy Phrases Every Mom Dreads

 

Whether your child is 2 or 22, there are just certain phrases that every mom has heard that makes her cringe before she even spots the damage! Here are what we think make the top 7 on the LONG list of cringeworthy phrases we hear as mothers:

 

1.” Your child has been exposed to Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease” – NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Where did this dreadful disease come from and why does it hit the schools at the most inopportune time?!  It’s always when you have big plans; it never fails.  That ‘parents only’ trip you were taking this weekend…yeah – it’s cancelled!

 

2. “I think I’m going to throw up” (or in our house, it’s usually just the dreaded gagging sound) – Of course, you are always in the car when this happens. First it’s the dry heaving, then the kid leans into the cough?! “Come on! Stop trying to throw up, kid!” As you drive 90 mph down the interstate trying to pull off like it’s the Daytona 500 and you’re going in for a pit stop.  Literally jumping out from the car while it’s still rolling.  Nothing raises your heart rate quite like this situation.

 

3. “[Child’s name] tell your mom what happened in class today” – it’s the dreaded teacher’s note for bad behavior.  Or even worse- when you see the school phone number pop up on your Caller ID in the middle of the work day.  Your heart immediately races as you imagine that your child has experienced the worst playground injury of all time.  This literally sends shivers down our spines.  Whether the issue is big or small, the anticipation is a nightmare. (Then sometimes you find out that your child pulled down his pants on the playground and peed on a tiny patch of grass and basically you want to frame the “incident report” or file it away for the wedding slide show.)

 

 

4. “You have been selected to be in charge of the class Christmas Party” – This is especially fun when you have to coordinate with other parents who don’t really want to participate.  Everyone wants to bring plates and cups and no one else is available to bring anything else.  Except for the lady who would be glad to provide cucumber sandwiches for 3 year olds.  {Insert eye roll.}  Thanks, Deborah.  I’m sure those will go over just swell with the toddlers.

 

 

5. “Your child had a blow-out” – Usually you can tell this right away because your kid is not in the same clothes you sent them to school in. Even more fun is when this happens at home. You know what I’m talking about.  When it literally runs all the way to their shoes and you have to practically hose them off in the yard.  It’s like a total hazmat situation up in here!  Yeah, that’s my favorite.  Sometimes, you just want to burn all those clothes and start over.

 

6. “I need a cup of water” – You all know exactly what we’re talking about – the bedtime stall routine. You put your toddler to bed five times and they keep reappearing needing things like water, snacks, hugs, and want to know the meaning of life. We’ve recently been hearing it all, including needing “fresh water”. What are you? A barn animal?!  This isn’t the Ritz Carlton and I’m not your bellhop!  Get back in bed!

 

 

7. “No!  Stop!  MOOOOOOOOOM” {Insert lots of blood curdling screaming!} – Two words: sibling rivalry. It’s the dreaded shrieking from the other room when you don’t know what’s going on or who has been harmed. You’re not quite sure what you’re going to walk in on and you just want to put yourself in timeout, so you don’t have to deal with it! #ITapOut

 

I feel like my blood pressure is elevated just writing these phrases. Ha. What are your dreaded phrases? (We know you have them….)

 

Here’s to a cringe-free week (and even if it’s not, know you are not alone!!)

 

XOXO,

Jill + Lauren

Disney Cruising During Hurricane Season

If you are anything like me, you have been seeing your friends/family/colleagues/ people-you-don’t know-why-you-are-still-friends-on-FB-with/random strangers, constantly post pics of their Magical Vacations to Disney World, Disneyland, and on Disney Cruises! I will admit, I am one of the culprits. 

I love the memories I have at Disney with my parents and grandparents, and want to share that with MY kids! We took my son to Disney World at two (still free and no dining plan required). With the help of a Disney Vacation Planner (look up Michelle Farrell!) and lots of discussions with fellow Disney-loving friends/veterans, we had a super stress-free and completely fun vacation, (Side note: I was seven month preggo and the Zika virus was alive and well, so that’s saying something!).

This year, we decided on a new type of vacation – a Disney Cruise! If you haven’t heard how awesome a Disney Cruise is, you may be living under a rock. But, good news, I’m here to tell you all about it! While there are tons of reviews of Disney Cruises, you may not have read one about cruising during HURRICANE SEASON!! (What were we thinking?!).

We kept our eye out for changes to our cruise itinerary or complete reroutes, but we got lucky and got to sail as planned. We liked arriving in Florida a couple of days early, in case of flight delays or last minute cruise changes. Disney cast members are true professionals – they aren’t going to chance it or take you anywhere near harm’s way. So, if you decide to cruise during hurricane season, here are 8 of my observations: 

1. Scop patches and Dramamine!!

This was like gold for my hubs and other members of our group! The first night we were on the ocean, Hurricane Maria had just passed by Florida, so it was a little lot rocky, starting at dinner. Luckily, we were in the Animator’s Palate restaurant that night and the “Turtle Talk” with Crush was super entertaining and hilarious.  I won’t ruin the surprise, but let’s just say it was a conversation. This kept us distracted from the swaying of the boat. We were bouncing off the walls getting back to our room, and that’s where the $%&# hit the fan.  At least two members of our group were down for the count. I generally don’t have motion sickness, but I even popped a Dramamine, preventatively. Once those Scop patches kicked in, everyone was back on their feet the next morning.

2. Dance Parties!

There are a ton of these and the next one is better than the last. I think one of the most underrated things on the ship is the live music! The performers on our ship were awesome. Occasionally, they would provide the music for the dance parties and really played off the crowd. The Disney characters  make appearances and dance with the kids; which for my 3 year old, was LIFE! A huge plus about these dance parties – you don’t feel the sway of the boat!

3. Aquaduck

Do not miss the most fun ride on the Disney Dream. The hubs and I stole a couple of hours away and had a blast on the water coaster that goes around the top of the boat. Parts of the ride are in a clear tube, so you can see the ocean. If we didn’t have to wait 45 minutes to ride, we would have ridden it over and over. It’s a popular attraction, but down times are early morning and late evening.

4. Character Meet and Greets

There are 1000 of these!  While the lines are long, the Cruise Navigation app gives you times and locations of these character meet and greets. My kids LOVED the characters and the variety was really great. They are all over the ship and are in different costumes throughout the cruise.

5. Rotational Dining

While I was skeptical about this at first, this proved to be a great change of scenery for the kids especially. The Animator’s Palate had very kid-friendly decor and as I mentioned above, Turtle Talk with Crush.  I don’t know if you can requests certain seats at dinner, but if so try to get a seat by the screen. The Enchanted Garden was so pretty and we had a fabulous view of the ocean and sunsets. Royal Palace had spectacular food (they all did really). Besides the rotational dinner restaurants, we had wonderful experiences at the lunch buffet, Cabanas (shrimp galore!) and our 3-year-old loved Flo’s Cafe (of course, with the Cars theme). Also, anti-bacterial wipes were handed out before every meal. It made my germaphobe self so happy.

6. Customer Service

Everyone knows that Disney service is another level, but the Disney Cruise customer service is beyond! We had the same servers each evening and they had the kids’ drinks ready when we got there. They cut up the kids’ meals and helped keep them clean. It was A.W.E.S.O.M.E. They were friendly and even provided the adults some entertainment by way of riddles and puzzles. The guy whom cleaned our stateroom (who we called “our friend” because his name was super long and hard to pronounce and I forgot it after the first day…oops) was so great. He greeted the kids each time he saw them and they ran to him and said “hi, my friend”! He was a great guy and we felt like we we were getting special treatment. He even made baby girl’s bed and put her Mickey and Minnie on the pillow, every night.

7. Staterooms 

The family staterooms are so spacious! The bed was super comfy and raised, so you could store luggage underneath. The sitting area includes a couch that turns into a single bed. There was plenty of room for a pack ‘n play beside the bed (with enough space between, so the kids didn’t mess with each other). A heavy curtain separates the sitting room and the bedroom, which keeps out the light when the parents want to stay up and watch TV. 🙂 I was nervous that the kids were on the side of the curtain by the door to the balcony. However, there is a lock at the top of the balcony sliding door; Disney thinks of everything. Two closets and tons of drawers, in addition to the two bathrooms, made it so easy for a family to “live” in a stateroom. The kids were rocked to sleep by the sway of the boat the first night! Also, when the boat is rocking, it is nice to get some air – splurge for the balcony. 

8. Take advantage of the kids clubs

We made the mistake of not dropping off our kids in kids clubs. The 3-year-old loved them when we visited the open house, but silly us, we felt guilty for leaving him, since we were on a “family vaca”. Seriously though, anyone young or old would love being dropped off there. The Disney counselors are fun, on steroids. I think I would have been more comfortable leaving him if he was a bit older (i.e. school-aged), but he definitely would have had some major fun in the clubs. (Check out the awesome hand-washing stations!) The smart parents took a few hours a day to themselves and seemed to be more mentally zen than others. 🤣

Honorable Mention: Castaway Cay – Include this island on one of your cruises.  It is Disney’s private island and offers all of the Disney amenities.

I hope this gives you some good perspective on Disney Cruising during hurricane season.  All-in-all, we loved our Disney Cruise and would definitely recommend it to anyone (especially those of you with school-aged kids)!! If you have any Disney cruising tips or things you loved, we’d love to hear them in the comments below.

 

XOXO,

Lauren

10 Things Millenial Parents Need To Stop Doing Immediately. Are You Part Of The Problem?

 

Our generation of parenting has it harder than any generation before us.  Sure, other parents have faced obstacles in the past too.  We could even suggest that they’ve seen more struggle, but parenting in an instant-access, media filled world has created quite the challenge for us.  Social Media, if used in a positive manner, can be amazing.  I mean, I wouldn’t want to imagine a world without y’all in it!  But social media can also be a very dark place.  Many parents scroll through Facebook daily, mentally sizing up their family, constantly comparing them to the fake lives that others are displaying online.  “Keeping up with The Jones'”, or The Kardashians, is at an all time high.  Unfortunately, we all fall victim to this sometimes, myself included.  But as I sit back and compare my (amazing) childhood to my kids’ childhood, I realize that parents today are forcing themselves to perform at a much higher level.  A level that 80’s parents would’ve literally belly-laughed over.  We consider ourselves to be personal chefs, cleaning ladies, chauffeurs, scheduling assistants, pediatric nurses, family therapists….ohhh, and yeah, we actually have real careers too!  It’s absolutely understandable why we’re always feeling overwhelmed, stressed and exhausted.  We are micromanaging every.single.moment of our children’s lives, and i’m here to tell you, it’s time to stop!

 

Stop Doing These Things Immediately:

 

1.  Stop comparing your kids to their friends.  Quit worrying about the fact that your baby isn’t walking and someone else’s is.  Don’t stress over the fact that someone else’s child won 5 awards and your child only received a participation medal.  Our lives are hard enough without this added pressure.  99% of the things we worry about as momma’s doesn’t even matter in the long run.  I promise you, your child will be potty trained before they go to Kindergarten.  Quit stressing!

 

2.  Stop the insane amount of extracurricular activities.  Stop living vicariously through your children.  Stop enrolling your child in every activity known to man just because you weren’t allowed to do those things when you were little.  Stop getting so involved in your child’s craft that you act like it’s your own personal victory.  Let your child find something their passionate about and make it fun!

 

3.  Stop hovering and constantly intervening when your child is interacting with other children.  Let them work out their own problems and create their own solutions.  They’ll need this skill later in life.  Mommy won’t always be there to fix everything!

 

4.  Stop acting like your 8 year old is “going pro.”  It’s time to say no to year ’round kids travel sports.  Kids aren’t  collegiate athletes!  (Not to mention how expensive travel sports are.  Parents are being bamboozled on the daily!)

 

5.  Stop making Homecoming and Prom seem like a wedding!  It is literally insane the amount of money that parents are spending on Prom these days.  I think some of these Prom dresses cost more than my first car!  And let’s not even talk about the fact that girls are wearing $1,000 dresses while their dates are in khaki’s and chucks.  (insert major eye roll.)

 

6.  Stop doing everything for your kids; teach them life skills and lessons – make them accountable.  You will not be their personal assistant forever (even if you’d like to be.)

 

7.  Quit giving your child the best of everything.  Let them know a little struggle so they’ll appreciate the finer things in life when they earn them!  Teach them to work hard for their goals (and give them a chore chart while you’re at it!)

 

8.  Stop making them believe that the world is full of unicorns and rainbows.  Don’t allow them to be sensitive, offended “snowflakes.”  Teach them to be tough and to always stand up for themselves.  Teach them that the world will be cruel but that they’re strong enough to handle it!

 

9.  Stop allowing your kids to be fully involved in electronics.  Just say no to kids and cell phones!  I’m all about some iPad time, but 7 year olds do not need functioning cell phones.  Don’t cave to the pressure, momma.  Stay strong!   Send your children outside to play and tell them to do what we always did – wonder around til you find a friend!  You know, actually talk to someone face to face.

 

10.  And for the love of everything holy, stop constantly trying to out-do each other.  Stop trying to throw the biggest baddest birthday party or gender reveal.  Stop trying to always top each other.  This isn’t a competition, we’re all in this together.  And honestly, I don’t want to have to book Cher for my kid’s birthday party in 2020, so just chill.

 

Whenever you’re feeling the urge to hover and micromanage, channel your inner 80’s mom.  Light up a Pall Mall and turn on some Dallas and remember that your mom would’ve never, ever done these things.  She had her own agenda to deal with, and guess what, you turned out just fine!

 

XOXO

 

Jill

18 Random Things You Don’t Know Until You Have Kids…

 

When you found out you were pregnant, you may have read up on all the latest information, talked to all your mom/dad friends and you may have even taken child care classes.  However, in my experience (with input from the Husband), there are just some things you can’t prepare for. In the words of the old MTV show Diary, “you think you know…but you have no idea”.

 

 

  1. When kids get a cough, they will sometimes cough until they throw up. This leaves you to run for water and scream, “don’t throw up!!” each time you hear a cough coming on.
  2. A runny nose is a nightmare when your child doesn’t know how to blow his/her nose.
  3. Stomach bugs + pull-ups = certain death
  4. Babies are able to defy gravity with their poo (aka bowel movement or BM).
  5. BM becomes common vernacular.
  6. Onsies can be taken off by pulling them over your baby’s head or more importantly in light of #4, down over the shoulders.
  7. Sometimes your 8 hour work day is the most relaxing part of the day.
  8. You will enjoy certain toys more than your kids do.
  9. Some babies don’t like baby food. It’s super fun trying to figure out what a person with no teeth and a sensitive tummy can eat.
  10. It is a privilege to mow the lawn.  Peace, sweet peace.
  11. Sometimes, NOTHING, even something they really really want, will motivate them to use the potty.
  12. A grocery store run, after school, with 2 kids, is a kamikaze suicide mission.
  13. You gain a supreme amount of appreciation for your dog. She doesn’t talk back or whine and generally obeys.
  14. You should include the following brands in you retirement portfolio: PROCTER & GAMBLE (Pampers) or Kimberly-Clark Brands (Huggies), Abbott Laboratories (Similac) or Mead Johnson & Company, LLC (Enfamil), Nestle (Gerber) and Baby Gap. The amount you (and every other parent) will spend buying products from these companies will certainly secure a plush retirement.
  15. You will have to choose between personal time and sleep.  (Lauren: sleep wins / John: personal time wins)
  16. Buy (at least) two of whatever comfort item your child has. Losing this item = no sleep for 3 weeks.
  17. Sprinklers are magic mood boosters for kids. (Tip: buy one from the home and garden section not the toy section.)
  18. Kisses and hugs from your child and the random “I wuv you momma/dada” will melt you and make you want to be a better parent.

Did I miss any?  Comment and let us know the surprising things you’ve learned since becoming a parent.

Don’t forget to share this post and subscribe to Glitter Jungle so you don’t miss out on our exciting new posts coming this summer!

XOXO,

Lauren

10 Types of Moms – Which one are you?

In honor of Mother’s Day this Sunday, here are 10 types of moms I’ve become intimately acquainted with in my three short years as a mother:

1. The Pinterest Mom – I’m not talking about the mom that looks at Pinterest and pins interesting crafts/recipes/outfits. I’m talking about that mom that is so creative she comes up with original ideas or improves upon the original pin.

 

 

2. The Sports/Dance/Cheer Mom – This mom’s casual wardrobe consists of sports t-shirts from the kids’ soccer/little league/football teams or cheer/dance competitions. You will find extra sets of socks, jerseys, athletic shoes, hair ties, and towels in her car. She can also rattle off the most healthy choices at each fast food restaurant in a 10 mile radius.

 

 

3. The Mom of Multiples – She is laid back, doesn’t give a $%!& about all the things first-time moms stress about. She laughs and talks with other moms while her kids are climbing the walls; only stopping the conversation when experience tells her they are going to inflict bodily harm on themselves or others.

 

 

4. The Germaphobe Mom – You know her because she has a mini bottle of hand sanitizer hanging from her bag. In case of a spill, you want her around with her endless supply of Clorox wipes, pacifier wipes, and tissues.

 

 

5. The Efficient Mom – She figures out anything that will make things easier/cheaper/faster. She wants to rock her job and spend time loving her kids; while keeping a smile on her face. You want to know one of these moms! She will make your life so much easier.

 

 

6. The PTA Mom – This mom is a teacher’s dream. She is everywhere and does everything for her kid’s school. Need someone to bring snacks? Need another costume for the end-of-year program? Need someone to coordinate a class gift for the teacher? She’s your girl. Volunteering should be on her resume.

 

 

7. The Rainbow Baby Mom – She is infinitely grateful for her kid(s) and reminds you, in the best of ways, to really appreciate motherhood. Find one of these people! She will be the sun to your clouds.

 

 

8. The Granola Mom – Natural, Organic, Free Range, Fair Trade, Non-GMO, Cage Free, and Grass Fed are part of her vocab. She makes her own baby food and only gives her fam the best in nutrition.

 

 

9. The Celebration Mom – She throws the most elaborate gender reveals, first birthday and every milestone. She makes everything special and loves making memories. Her child is the center of her universe.

 

 

11. The Fit Mom – We all hate her (unless you are her). She looks fabulous two months after giving birth. She is so disciplined that she gets her 3-10 miles in every day. The jogging stroller and then the double jogging stroller are necessities. Her workout clothes and running shoes are some of the most expensive things in her wardrobe. She motivates you to get off the couch and take a walk around the block.

 

 

While some of these mommas may not represent the “type” they are listed under, they are all MY.PEOPLE. They have helped keep me sane and provided SO many hours of laughter. Thank you mom friends!

Let me know which type of mom you and your friends are!

XOXO,

Lauren

Sneak Peak Into Our Wild Easter Weekend

Here’s a sneak peak into our lives this Easter weekend.  We enjoyed delicious food, amazing family time, soccer games, tons of outdoor play and countless Easter egg hunts.  I mean, how many times can a person hide eggs??  And whose bright idea was it to give toddlers easy access to several open containers of food coloring?!  Hello!  Hot mess express!  (Lifehack – Do this outside! Thank you moms with older kids for the tip.) There were lots of laughs, a busted lip, and some tears, but we loved spending every minute with the ones dearest to us.  Besides Easter baskets and cute clothes, let’s not forget the reason for the season, am I right?!  We would love to hear how you spent your Easter weekend and what your favorite memory is.  Comment below!

 

XOXO,

Jill & Lauren

Surviving Dinner With Kids; Total Chaos

Remember when you were younger and spent weeks, or even MONTHS, planning for and anticipating your birthday? You obsessed over all the details – your outfit, your shoes, your hair and makeup. Who would be there to share it with you? Most importantly, what you would get?!? It’s funny how that all changes as you get older. Now that we are 30-somethings, birthdays seem a little less spectacular. This is probably due to the fact that we aren’t really focusing on ourselves that day. Birthdays are still fun and we get excited to have a little celebration, but now we have responsibilities and obligations. The carefree days of our 20’s are a thing of the past.

This weekend, we gathered with family and friends to celebrate John’s birthday (Lauren’s husband.) We had a great group of family and friends to dine with and many laughs were shared. John seemed to have a wonderful time; but, let’s face it, it was total chaos. Just imagine this scene: a restaurant with a cool, eclectic atmosphere (old school arcade upstairs) and gorgeous decor, add in a group of 20, throw four kids under 10 in the mix and a waitress who has never taken care of a group that big. Not to mention, the entire restaurant was severely understaffed, orders were misplaced, food was forgotten, drinks were spilled, and all of this was happening on a school night. This became an all-hands-on-deck situation. The kids were exhausted and Jill spent a significant amount of time in the restroom with her newly potty trained toddler!

Let’s be real, the madness actually started before we even left the house. There was a toddler who hated her outfit, another munchkin who didn’t want to get her hair fixed, and a frustrated husband who couldn’t find a parking spot. Just packing the diaper bag and making sure we had all of the “entertainment” for the kids was exhausting. Isn’t it funny how it always seems like the hardest part of going out is simply getting out the door? The night was a blur; a forever-long, baby feeding, toddler chasing, hunger induced, sunshiney blur. Did we even sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to him? (Yes, we did; but both of the toddlers thought it was about them and didn’t like the idea of celebrating someone else’s birthday – until one realized that it was his dad’s birthday.) Yes, things are crazy right now. No, we don’t get to have meaningful conversations very often or even FINISH a conversation. However, as we’re living this crazy thing called mom-life, the reality is, we are simply trying to cherish every moment before this precious time is gone.

XOXO

Jill & Lauren

P.S. – During our 3 hour “dining experience”, we had PLENTY of time to take selfies!