Hygge and me

 

Hygge print via footnotes studios

Have you heard about the newest (but not really that new, I may be a year or two behind here) trend?–HYGGE! It’s the Danish word that expresses the idea of having a cozy lifestyle. It’s been on my mind for about a year now and I even got this book last year for Mother’s Day. The idea is that the Danish people have some things figured out in the happiness department and if we study their best practices we can improve our contentment as well. Continue reading Hygge and me

Boxing Day!

Happy Boxing Day! December 26th is a holiday we always “celebrated” growing up. My Mom spent a few years in England in her early twenties and so the tradition of this English holiday entered into my childhood.
I always thought the name came about because it was the day we boxed up our Christmas decor. (Did my mom trick me into helping tidy this way? Ha!) In truth the day was created because it’s the day that the English boxed up gifts or tips for service workers. It’s also become a big holiday for shopping similar to how we have Black Friday in the United States. Continue reading Boxing Day!

10 things I buy at the Dollar Store

I went to the dollar store today to pick up a few things I needed to finish off some Christmas gifts. The dollar store is one of my favorite places for inexpensive gifts and supplies but not everything in that place is a good deal. I’ll share a few things I got in my trip today and 10 of the best deals and finds from the dollar store.

[The one disclaimer here is that not all dollar stores are created equal! Some have better selections and the quality of merchandise can vary greatly. Shop around and find “your” store.] Continue reading 10 things I buy at the Dollar Store

Birthday Hacks for the Busy Mom

When I was a kid my Mother was the ultimate authority on making birthdays special. In elementary school she made large M&M cookies for each child in my class (and shrink wrapped them–they looked legit!) for me to pass out on my birthday. We also had a pin we wore declaring to the world it was our special day. Of course there were gifts and cakes as well. Now, as I try to Mother my three boys, I have realized that making someone feel special on their birthday does’t actually require a lot of money or time. It really doesn’t. It simply requires thoughtful moments and traditions (even super small ones). Here are a few of my tips for creating great birthday memories: Continue reading Birthday Hacks for the Busy Mom

DIY Don’t Eat Pete!

Growing up a favorite game for family night or a lazy Sunday afternoon was Don’t Eat Pete! Since I became a mother I’ve continued this tradition in my family and it’s a great one because it’s so simple and fun to play for kids and adults of all ages! Today, I want to share the instructions and a fun way to customize! Continue reading DIY Don’t Eat Pete!

Thinking about thanks(giving)

The sugar high of Halloween is wearing off and just like that we’re into “the holiday season.” Isn’t it wild how two days ago the thoughts of placing my turkey order or buying tickets for our Christmas vacation seemed premature and now I suddenly feel behind. I haven’t even taken pictures for a Christmas card yet! But then I remind myself that Thanksgiving is about finding an appreciative and peaceful mind space. The historical origin of the holiday gets a little fuzzy and somewhat controversial, but I choose to use this time to focus on blessings. (Don’t worry, I won’t use #blessed though…) 

And because it takes more than one day to work on having a grateful mindset, here are two suggestions for making this entire month special: Continue reading Thinking about thanks(giving)

Elimination Dieting

“I could never do that.” –That’s the most common thing people say to me when I talk about doing a Whole30 or being gluten free. It’s kinda demotivating but more than that it’s simply not true. In life we-can-never do something until we finally find the motivation to do it. Or sometimes it’s just the hand we’re given, no choice at all. We can do almost anything when given the most powerful reasons.  So, if you get nothing else from this post, please don’t say, “I could never do that” again. Not to yourself and certainly not to someone else who’s situation you don’t really know about.

Salmon salad dinner

Continue reading Elimination Dieting

Preserving Fall Leaves

Over a decade ago I got married in November and had a reception at a little barn/art gallery. Outside on the property were the most massive maple trees and on the ground the dinner plate sized fallen leaves really added a feeling of fairy tale to the day. Lucky for me my Mom gathered a few and I can pull them out to remember the day. I wish I’d preserved them more than just letting them dry, though they have held up well.

And while you probably don’t have wedding day leaves to deal with, if you do  have a craft to decorate with fallen leaves here’s a round up of easy ways to protect them a little!

Continue reading Preserving Fall Leaves

Looking for the Win

My mind is all over the place today. I’ve got a to-do list a mile long and sometimes instead of motivating me to work harder or faster, I get stalled out. The world and all it’s terror and disaster also feels so bleak, that certainly isn’t helping me move along either. It’s times like these that I look around for the win. Let me tell you what I mean. Continue reading Looking for the Win

Building toys

I recently heard a podcast talking about the magic of Legos and how that magic has been somewhat lost over the last few years. What used to be the most popular build-anything-you-dream-up toy has become overrun with character sets. Don’t get me wrong, we own plenty of Star Wars and City Legos but I also wonder if we’re missing the creativity point lately. Not just for legos, I mean we see that kind of creativity missing in video games and other popular childhood activities as well. The beauty of open-ended building toys is how they combine the physical act of building with the mental creativity to imagine up a design. At our house we call this kind of play “imaginating.”

As the mother of three boys (ages 1.5-11) with a background in child development I do have a bit of experience with building toys. We own lots of them and have tried even more. Today I’ll give you my top 5 picks. These are probably the most popular as well. Maybe I’ll do another 5 later with some more picks that are slightly more obscure. But, these are popular for a reason and I’ll try to explain why I think they are the best bang for your buck. Continue reading Building toys