On Getting The Behavior You Want…

It was the day after I returned from Haiti. I was tired and the morning routine that I had basically created for our family seemed foreign and off. So I sat at the table drinking coffee in the morning darkness of this cool Fall Minnesota day. Astrid sat across the dining room table from me. She was writing “words” and scribbles on a piece of paper. Next to each “sentence” were two boxes and above the row of boxes she wrote the words “yes” and “no.”

 

“Whatcha doing?” I asked quietly.

 

“I’m making a quiz for you to take this morning.” She said with her eyes and hands still busy with her task.

 

“A quiz? That should be interesting.” I responded with a bit of a giggle.

 

“You need to take this seriously.” She said as she looked up at me with sad eyes. “Okay, I’m done. So let’s start. You need to answer yes or no to the following questions.”

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She began..”Will you snuggle with me before school today, yes or no?”

 

“Yes – of course I will.” I replied. She made a little check mark in the “yes” box next to that question. And she continued on with questions that I easily said yes to. “Will you make me a special breakfast, will you help me make my bed, will you do your special piggies in my hair, will you pick me up from school, will we eat lunch together, will you bring me to dance tonight, will you be there for dinner, will you help me shower and brush my teeth, will you read me a story, will you help me with homework, will you tuck me in bed, and maybe will you snuggle in bed with me for a few minutes?” Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes…and easy quiz went on.

 

But then came the last question. And Astrid paused for a moment before she asked me. I wondered if she was considering just skipping that one, or that maybe she didn’t like what the answer would be so it was hard for her to even voice it.

 

“Will you promise to never leave me again, Mama.” She asked in almost a whisper as she looked up at me with her messy morning hair that covered her eyes.

 

Silence.

 

“I can’t say yes to that, Love.” I said. Wondering if I sounded too brutal and firm and mean, having just returned from two weeks away. Wondering if it would be better to just lie and say that of course I’d never leave her again.

 

But I can’t do that to my children. A lie and a promise I’d have to break would be more devastating than teaching them the resilience of knowing the truth. And that sad things will happen to all of us. And just because I’m gone for a few weeks doesn’t mean that I don’t love her or think of her or carry her in my heart. Loving and missing someone so much that it hurts is part of the human experience. And it’s okay to be sad.

 

“I’ll have to leave you sometimes, Astrid. You know that. Just like sometimes you and your sisters leave me – for school and for friends and for camp. But it doesn’t mean we are not still a family even though we are not together. I love you no matter where I am and I will always be ‘here'( I point to our hearts) for you. But yes, sometimes mommy leaves. But I come back.” I say this as I stand and go to pick her up, but she pushes me away and tells me that she needs to be alone for a minute.

 

And I respect that. It’s hard to understand something that you don’t like without the benefit of experience or age.

 

Parenting is hard and beautiful, and having pieces of your heart running around on the outside of your body causes emotions that one cannot describe unless you experience it. And I think we all start with a goal to parent somewhere between telling kids to “suck it up” and “let me do everything for you” as we find our comfortable boundaries.

 

In our home we’ve set expectations for our kids very high, we’ve set clear boundaries, we have clear follow-through on rules, and we live as a family with a mutual respect for all. I think this clear path from the beginnings of our parenting journey 12 years ago has made life very easy for us. We have “good” kids that are good to others and we’ve never had to break up a sibling fight, give a punishment or time-out, or any other typical kid ‘infraction’ you can think of. Maybe we’re lucky and our kids have very even temperaments or maybe we did some things right, or maybe a little bit of both.

 

And we’ve done this without any parenting books. I’ll admit I’m not a fan – but also have never felt the need to seek advice. And when my dear friend Dr. G first asked if I would read her effective parenting book, I at first thought “Nah, I really don’t need that.” But I’m glad I told her to send it over anyway.

 

Because her book is more like a fun and practical conversation with her over coffee. She doesn’t come off in a way that “she knows your children best” – her theory is that WE all know OUR own children best and are the experts of our own family..and then lays the groundwork for raising smart, respectful, and resilient kids. I found myself nodding over and over again as I read each section as Deborah and I agree so much on the basics for getting good behavior. Because we need to all remember – we aren’t raising children, we are raising adults that we want to hang-out with, and that are productive and socially aware and giving and respectful…so we are giving them the skills they need to then raise the next generation.

 

Dr. G focuses on three main points – Respect, Responsibility, and Resilience. I love this so much – because THIS is how our family lives each day. With mutural respect for each other and our world, with everyone pulling their weight and giving, and with honesty and tools to be resilient because not everything is going to go your way and that bad things happen….and that’s okay.

 

Reading her book brought a smile on my face as I thought about the conversation with Astrid last week. That I know she’s resilient enough to know the truth that mommy will have to leave her again and again. And that she will be okay. Even if it means it might take her awhile to give me that hug to let me know that she gets why I have to go.

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Dr. G’s book “Get The Behavior You Want, Without Being The Parent You Hate” is available to purchase now. And truly – I cannot recommend it enough. Great tips for living with the “3 R’s” for all ages. I know I’ll be referencing this book more as we hit the teen years!

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You can also follow Dr. G on Twitter and Facebook and on her website  and on her YouTube channel for daily awesome parenting tips.

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I was not paid for this review and all words, opinions, and parenting wins and failures are truly my own. xo

 

 

 

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LISTERINE 21 Day Challenge Results

There are many things I can improve upon when it comes to parenting…

1. Stop yelling

2. Serve more vegetables

3. Understand math so I can help with homework

4. Not forgetting my kids at school

You know, typical stuff that we all are guilty of. Right? Please tell me you’ve forgotten your kids at school, and sometimes vegetables are just hard to serve?

LISTERINE-21-day-challenge

One thing I’ve left up to them since they left ‘toddlerhood’ was tooth brushing and oral care(between dental visits anyway). They seem to do a good job at brushing and (knock wood) none of our kids have had a cavity and the dentist has always mentioned that they do a decent job.

 

However, since we all have been taking the LISTERINE 21-Day Challenge – we are focusing even more on lifelong good habits and doing more than just brushing, since brushing misses 75% of your mouth.

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My Children Are My ‘Want To..’ Hands Free Mama – A Review

I snuggled up to her in bed. She spooned into me as I wrapped my arms around her and took in the freshly bathed sent of her hair. Her fleece pajamas felt warm to my touch and she relaxed into me like the perfect puzzle piece against my stomach, neck and chest.

 

“Will you tell me a scary story, Mama.” She asked.

 

A scary one before bed? Really, is that what you want?

 

“The scarier the better!” She said.

 

In her dimly lit bedroom I could still see the wonder in her eyes and smile on her lips as I started the scary bedtime story for her.

 

I’m typically a “Let’s do this bath/books/bed thing quickly!!” kind of mom as the end of the long day cannot come soon enough. From an early wake-up to breakfast to bus to work to dance to homework to dinner to bed – the days of parenting can be long and tiresome. And by 7pm I’m reaching for the quiet and for the alone.

 

And I cringe to admit that maybe I’ve blown off her story requests with an “I’ll tell you extra stories tomorrow.” or “Let me think of something even better to tell you in the morning.” and sadly “It’s bedtime sweetie, no time for stories tonight.” More times than not…

 

But I made time this week. More time than usual as I realized how fleeting this ‘telling stories’ part of childhood is. How my 11 and 9 year olds read by themselves in their rooms with their lights. Their books are filled with complicated words and few pictures, and many of their stories I’ve never shared. How soon this little one in the fleece pajamas with reindeer on her feet, and baby fine freshly washed hair won’t ask to hear my stories anymore.

 

So I stayed.

 

And told a story of sisters getting lost in the woods and the calls of wolves scaring them from the forest and how they had to run to stay safe together. As I made ‘real’ wolf howls and panicked voices, her grip tightened on my arms that kept hold around her.

 

Her grip relaxed at the end, when of course the sisters made it home to their mom and hot cocoa after a stern “That’s why I tell you to never wander in the wood alone at night!” Then she turned to face me and I kissed her nose as she wrapped her still so very small arms around my neck and said “I’m glad you were there to protect me. Now I can sleep better.”

 

Soon I could hear her heavier and steady breathing humming on the monitor downstairs, and each of those breaths slowly entered my mothering heart with calm.

*****

playa-guiones-sunset

This moment took five minutes. Yet it’s a short moment with a long impact that my sweet girl will always hold in her heart. Those days that mommy stayed and held me as she told me stories.

 

I could’ve instead spent five more minutes on Facebook or answering work emails or writing another blog post. (All of which, I really still do have time to do).

 

But I’m not going to let those five minutes of joy that I can and will spend with my children be the “I have tos” of my days…oh no those are the “I want to moments…”‘ that I need more of. MY “I have tos..” are my work demands and the emails. And sure – I have to mother – but not because I have to. Because I want to. And choose to be present for my children every single day.

*****

I just finished reading Hands Free Mama by Rachel Macy Stafford.

Hands-Free-Mama-Book-Review

Distracted parenting. Can you relate? And this isn’t to shame anyone(ME!) on the phone at the playground or answering emails instead of playing Monopoly(oh help me god). But it’s being present when you can be present. Rachel’s words, commitment and journey of grasping what really matters has inspired me. Her new book is full of ways to make your parenting life(and mixed with your professional life) meaningful and fulfilling by learning to grasp and appreciate the moments that really matter. Her book gives tips on unplugging and making real connections.

 

One of my favorite lines from Rachel’s Hands-Free Pledge is…

 

” I am letting go of distractions, disconnections, and perfection to live a life that simply, so very simply, consists of what really matters.”

 

Every chapter hit me in soft spots and hard as I mirrored my parenting in hers. And I had many a “Me TOO!” moment as I recognize how busy we’ve all become. Her chapters are full or beautiful stories and insightful tips about Awareness, Presentness, Simplification, and even Forgiveness.

Tips and lessons that I want to model for my own children as they start to enter the social media space.

Her book is a beautiful and gentle reminder not to let our lives, our only one, pass us by.

 

I have so much gratitude to Rachel for sharing her words with us. And I would love for you to check out her book. It will make you think, cry, and maybe make a few tiny changes, that will make all the difference in your days. And your world.

 

Like my world – which includes bedtime snuggles and stories with a reindeer-footed preschooler who won’t want to hear mommy’s stories for much longer.

 

So join Rachel and go hands-free. Discover what happens when you choose to open your heart—and your hands—to the possibilities of each blessed moment.

 

Her books is available here…

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Christianbook | iBooks (Apple) | IndieBound

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FlipGive – Shop Smart And Raise Money This Holiday Season #ShopSmartGive

This article is brought to you by FlipGive. FlipGive makes it easy to help your kids and community while shopping for great holiday gifts. For more information go to flipgive.com.

 

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We talk more about giving than receiving over the holiday season. Through Toys For Tots donations, coat drives, adopting a family, sending shoe boxes across the ocean to children in developing countries, planning a family mission trip and donating time at local food shelves to just name a few.

 

There are so many ways to give back to your community.

 

Our kids actually ask for very little and I hope it’s because we try to focus more on serving others than we do ourselves.

 

In the great words of the late Nelson Mandela –

Nelson-Mandela-quote-giving

I think the most difficult part for us, and our kids, when it comes to raising money for a cause – whether it’s for a non-profit, for a school need that the budget doesn’t cover, or a sports team or maybe a group of kids from your school is raising money for a mission trip or cultural adventure overseas – it’s asking people to make those donations. I still remember going door to door selling candy bars and cheese and magazine subscriptions to really raise such a small amount of money. It’s not safe, it’s hard to communicate the message, and it’s hard to get people to open their doors!

 

Now here’s a way to make fundraising easy! FlipGive is the most simple way to set up fundraisers for your local schools, sports teams, and community organizations.  It’s a great premise where you can earn up to 40% of what your friends and family spend with great brands. With ease and a few simple steps you will be raising money in no time!

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Finally An Answer To All Of Their Questions

“Mommy why don’t cats talk like people?”

 

“Mommy why are plates round but you can’t throw them like balls?”

 

“Mommy, does Bob Marley’s mommy live in Hamsterdam?”

 

“Mommy, are cats and dogs best friends sometimes?”

 

“Mom, why can’t I have a phone of my own?”

 

“Mommy, how do they get those people in the TV?”

 

Survey says that kids ask about 1000 questions a day(okay, I just made that number up as I’m just going by my personal experience with three curious kids in the house – so consider that an average). And I admit that much of the time I cannot answer their questions. Or keep a straight face.

 

This is 30 second picture into my typical day…

But there is one question that I need to answer, and that is “What’s for dinner?” And the best way in to get all three kids to smile and say “Right answer, Mom!” during our cool Fall weather here in Minnesota, is to answer with “Campbell’s Tomato Soup and grilled cheese sandwiches!”

And then maybe they will be too busy eating to ask me why squirrels cannot fly airplanes.

 

Or maybe they can just ask The Wisest Kid In The Whole World!

campbells-soup-wisest-kid

The Wisest Kid, discovered by Campbell’s Soup is an 8 year old who lives on a mountaintop and offers lighthearted advice to parents about what makes kids happy, especially around mealtime. He may not be able to tell you about “Hamsterdam” but he will offer kid-friendly mealtime tips, recipes and more to help parents avoid the “Mealtime dilemma.” We’ve all been there, right?

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Getting Organized #VZWVoices #Mom

“Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Moms Voices program and have been provided with a
wireless device and six months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product.”

As I pulled out of the driveway this morning I said “Oh shoot, I forgot my deposit for the bank. It’s always something.”

 

And Astrid, who is four, said from the backseat “Mommy, you really need to be more organized!”

 

And I laughed – because 1. Oh she is so right, and 2. Why does she know that word AND know how to use it properly?

 

I guess it’s because she is paying attention because it’s been a crazy few weeks. I’m back to work nearly full-time over the past two weeks, the kids are back to school and needing this and that and everything. The kids have started their activities and now we are running around in the evenings. Our bathroom is under construction, and we are finalizing details of our Winter vacation. And have I mentioned that I haven’t folded laundry in a few weeks and pretty soon there will be no space left on our dining room table to eat…because of the underwear and socks.

 

We are busy. Just like every family and I need tools to make it easier to stay organized..because I find myself forgetting things a lot lately. Enough in fact, that even my four year old notices and tells me to get myself organized. Crazy.

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The one thing(besides red wine) that has helped me maintain my sanity the last few weeks as I’ve been working more is my new Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1. As I’m not at a desk for work – but traveling to houses and in my car a lot – I need reliable internet service, long battery life, and easy functionality. No other tablet delivers like the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 . I received this amazing tablet at BlogHer to review as I’m part of the Verizon Voices Program

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Ready Set Glow Disney Paint by Glidden – The Results #DisneyPaintMom

As you know, we decided to spruce up Esther and Astrid’s room a bit when we took Astrid’s crib down, bought some bunk-beds and now wanted to personalized Esther’s space a bit. She loves sleeping in the top bunk – but wanted a nightlight or something so it wasn’t so far away and dark on the top bunk when she was falling asleep. She also did not want to change her wall colors.

Well, Disney Paint by Glidden to the rescue! We bought some Ready Set Glow paint!

 

Esther wanted some hearts and butterflies to glow by her bed that she could see at night. We searched everywhere for stencils to use, but could not find them anywhere…so we bought some bigger wall stickers and a poster board and made our own stencils. It was super easy and fun and Esther, at eight years old, was able to do most of the work herself.

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We’re Glowing With New Disney Paint by Glidden #DisneyPaintMom

We just redecorated Esther and Astrid’s bedroom this past year. Esther was involved in all the planning – the color choices, the bedding, the pictures, the entire feel of the room. I think it’s important to have kids completely involved and making their space…well, their space.

 

We are now finally completing the space. Astrid’s crib has finally come down(SOB), and we bought bunk beds for the girls from Walmart just last month. I will have to get some pictures up soon of their new bed! It is super cool and completely frees up the West wall of their bedroom where the crib once was. So, now we want to have some fun with that space.

We’ve decided to check out the new selection of Disney Paints by Glidden that are sold at Walmart. As you know, we are still considering a vacation to Disney, so this will either make them happy just to bring some Disney home OR make them want to go on vacation even more!

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My pvBody

You all know that I am a runner. I’ve been running now for over 20 years and the good news is that it’s never been from the cops or any bad guys! I run almost daily and besides my investment in running shoes, I go through a lot of running clothing.

 

And I need lot of running clothing because we have four distinct seasons here in Minnesota – so I need shorts and tanks as well as lots of layers, hats, mittens and neoprene socks to run when the temps go well below zero.

My new running tights and top from pvBody

I can only hope I’ll still be running 50 years from now…I mean maybe a little slower so that the cops can catch me.

 

One of the reasons I love to run is because it’s an easy entry sport – you don’t need expensive equipment, a gym membership or a partner…you just get some good shoes, clothes and step outside. It’s a great way to keep fit and have lots of flexibility to run anywhere and at anytime.

 

However, replacing good running clothes can get very expensive and I tend to hang onto items for way too long because of the expense..and nobody likes skanky running pants…trust me…but who has an extra $120 every time you need new pants.

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Bumpidoodle Giveaway

Okay – I’m going to start this post asking you to raise your hand if your child loves stuffed animals? I swear every time we leave this house a stuffed animal fairy somehow takes hold of one of my children and ‘blesses’ them with some magical power to make me buy them another stuffed animal because OMG it is just so cute!  I think this happens as I completely understand their need because I too as a child, was a collector of Stuffis Animalis. And when I graduated from college and bought a house, my mom showed up at my doorstep and delivered boxes and boxes of my beloved stuffed animals and just maybe I still have them all because OMG they are so cute.

What I love now though is that stuffed animals are so much cooler and seemingly smarter because they are not only squishy, huggy cute but they can be functional. This new found functionality of a stuffed animal makes parents very happy while their children delight even more in playing with their new friends.

So when I was contacted by Bumpidoodle to review a Floor Friend I kind of got way too excited over it because OMG cute!

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The BabbaBox Knows Me

Hi, My name is Tracy and I get the nervous shakes when I enter Michaels, get angry at the daily emails from Martha Stewart, hide under the table when my kids say ‘hey Mom let’s do a craft’ and generally spit fire if I see glitter within a two mile radius.

 

You may recall some of my favorite craft-fails in my ‘Thanksgiving Turkey‘ post or in my ‘Snow Globe‘ post where I showed you basically how to make glittered floaties.

 

I love my kids and I love spending quality time with them and I really love finding engaging activities that we can do together, but I was truthfully not born with the gene to make the engaging activities happen without someone actually giving me the idea and materials and basically then explaining how to do it. I mean, I can bake and spend time exploring outdoors and all that – but when it comes to crafts and engaging activities to learn about something new – well I admit defeat.

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Finally An Animal That Doesn’t Poop

You know what I like about Winter in Minnesota? I like that it’s usually too cold to go on long walks and hang out outside watching the 100’s of dogs walk by with their owners. In the Summertime it’s all “OMG he’s so cute” “Oh Mom we need a dog!” “Look at this little fuzzy wuzzy guy!” “Mooommm, please can we get a dog?!” And this is just coming from Jed. You should hear the kids!

So I keep pointing out our two cats and say “We have pets. These pets poop. I seem to be the only one scooping out their poop. You all say ‘Fun pets, cute pets, love our pets’ but I say ‘OMG more poop’ and yeah, no more pets!”

 

Ubooly Eating Breakfast

So then I do what all good moms do, I buy 100’s of stuffed animals. Raise your hand if you are currently being squeezed out of your house by stuffed animals? Raise your hand if the one good thing about getting lice last year was not feeling all that bad about bagging those stuffed animals up and ‘forgetting’ to ever bring them back inside? (Whaaattt, you are terrible as I would never do that.;)

 

But then our lives changed forever two weeks ago when a non-pooping pet that just happens to be an INTERACTIVE stuffed animal arrived at our doorstep. Now everyone is happy.

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LeapFrog Touch Magic Rockin’ Guitar

 

Upload a video of your kid jammin’ & learning with Touch Magic Rockin’ Guitar for a chance to win a $500 gift card. Visit www.touchmagic.leapfrog.com for detailed contest information and rules. #LFtouchmagic #spon

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Last week I told you about the LeapFrog Touch Magic Bus. Astrid absolutely loves it – however, she is even more excited about the LeapFrom Rockin’ Guitar we received.  I believe this means one of two things – either she just loves music so much that she can relate to the guitar and prefers playing with it, or when she’s a teen she will join a rock band as their lead guitarist and she’ll become famous and provide for her mother in her old age. (I can only hope..maybe)

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I Took The #BiotrueChallange – Results!

I’m traveling to a large blog conference tomorrow and if there is one thing I always stress about packing – it’s my contacts and glasses. Will my contacts get too dry on the plane? Should I pack an extra pair in my carry-on as well as my suitcase? Should I just wear my glasses instead? Should I carry a small contact solution just in case? How many extra pairs of contacts might I need if my eyes get too dry or scratchy?

So for the first time in a long time I’m actually not too worried about all of that and feel very confident that my contacts(and my eyes) will remain clear and not dry during my travels.

As you may remember – last month I accepted the Biotrue Challenge and changed out my regular contact solution with Biotrue Multi-Purpose Contact Lens Solution for a full month and I have to say I’ve been incredibly pleased. My contacts are easier to get on in the morning with no irritation and I can wear them all day without my eyes drying out. We’ve even been swimming nearly everyday with seriously no worries about my contacts.

So I cannot wait to travel tomorrow to put Biotrue to the ultimate test on an airplane because I know it will be awesome!

Switch out your old solution today and see the difference yourself – take the Biotrue Challenge!

Thanks to Bausch + Lomb, one of my readers could be one (1) of ten (10) exclusive winners of a 1-year supply of Biotrue® multi-purpose contact lens solution! Share with us what you look forward to at the end of the day!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Bausch + Lomb. The opinions and text are all mine. The Official Bausch + Lomb BlogFrog Biotrue Challenge Sweepstakes Rules

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We’ve Found a New Favorite Toy With Pony Royale

This post is sponsored by Pony Royale. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

 

I admit that our home is slightly overflowing with princesses, dolls, dress-up clothes, horses and ponies of all kinds, little people of many sorts, and accessories and shoes that would make Imelda Marcos proud.

 

We have so many lands of make-believe that it would take you a lifetime to travel to them, and if you think I’ve dressed up in a pink tutu and helped played out one of the great tragedies, love stories, operas or musicals of the ‘play pony kind’ – well you might be right.(But believe me there is no photographic evidence).

 

So when two Princess Ponies from Pony Royale arrived at our door a few weeks ago..well it was all bets are off for playing with anything else for nearly a week and these new additions to our home(thank goodness they aren’t real ponies with real pony poop)have become a favorite, and one of them still holds the place of honor on Esther’s bedside table each night.

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Glade® Expressions™ Happiair Tour and Party Recap!

The Glade® Expressions™ Happiair party I held was amazing! I loved having friends over on Saturday morning to showcase all four of the new Glade® Expressions™ Collection fragrances and we checked out the Glade® Home Style Studio with expert tips, and my guests took home fabulous samples of the new Glade® Expressions™ Collection.
(Loved seeing the fabulous Kristi and Galit!)

I served fresh pineapple juice, homemade apple spice muffins and yummy lemon bars that were all inspired by Glade® Expressions™ and we had a fun girl’s coffee morning chatting, laughing and loving the Home Style Studio! My friends kept mentioning that it was the best smelling party ever. I agree and love the new Glade scents!

(All ready for guests!)

The Glade® Home Style Studio is an online app that enables fans to discover home decor tools and tips from experts.  Each personalized “styleboard” created on the applications includes a Glade® Expressions™ Collection fragrance, furnishing suggestions and even music playlists – all of which you can share on your personal Facebook page!

(The lovely Molly!)

Also by completing a “styleboard” on the Glade® Home Style Studio, you will be entered to win weekly prizes of $200 and a grand prize of a room makeover and a fragrance-inspired trip.  Visit the Glade® Expressions Facebook Page for more details!

(Astrid is the cutest Glade rep ever!)

I also spent time with the Glade® Expressions™ Happier Tour during their visit to Minnesota! It was a great way to experience a fabulous and unique hands-on fragrance experience.

The Glade® Expressions™ Happiair Tour is a truck touring 30 cities across America educating fans about the new Glade® Expressions™ Collection. The Glade® Expressions™ Happiair Tour is traveling coast-to-coast throughout March and April making stops at locations such as parks, festivals, conferences and city centers. Find tour stops near you at the Glade® Facebook page.

Also, check out these tips from long-standing Glade® partner, Giuliana Rancic, which share new ways to experience fragrance:

*  Add Drama to the Entryway. The entryway of a home is the first thing people see when they arrive so make sure it’s impactful! And did you know wallpaper is back in vogue? Updating the walls with a fun, floral or damask wallpaper or a painted chevron pattern will add visual interest and invite guests in.

*  Fill the Air with a Signature Scent. If a room is gorgeously put together but lacks an inviting scent, the effect may fall flat. To complete a room, add a signature scent with one of the four true-to-life fragrances from the new Glade® Expressions™ Collection. The fragrance offerings combine classic scents with an exotic twist and are available in two contemporary designs to complement the room’s decor and ambiance.
*  Scent is Evocative of Personality. Select a signature scent for your home and use it as inspiration to update a room’s accessories – matching fragrance to the look and style of the room. For instance, if you’re drawn to more of a warm and spicy scent like Fuji Apple & Cardamom Spice from the Glade® Expressions™ Collection, try swapping out throw pillows for ones with bold and vibrant colors in an ikat print, or adding elements from far-away – framing an old European map or display vintage travel books.

*  Engage All Senses. Sights, sounds, textures and scent all work together to complete the ambiance of a space. Try using soft lighting with lamps and dimmers to achieve a warm and inviting atmosphere. Mix textures in the room by adding comfortable elements like a soft throw combined with a modern, sleek sofa to add sophistication. Add dimension and keep the room warm with an understated, traditional rug. And don’t forget a good soundtrack!
*  Bring the Outdoors In. Displaying live plants and flowers in a room literally make the space come alive! Lemon or orange trees topiaries or moss and herb pots – such as rosemary – have been everywhere, providing a natural pop of color and a nod to the latest trends from the natural world.

 

Want to learn more? Check out www.Glade.com and the Glade® Home Style Studio on Facebook to discover your new, favorite scent. Also tweet your thoughts to @Glade. Enjoy!

 
Disclosure: I have partnered with Glade® to bring you coverage of the Glade® Expressions™ Happiair Tour and the Glade® Home Style Studio app. Though I did receive compensation and product samples, the opinions I’ve expressed are honest and are entirely my own.

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Winter Camping for Dummies…

someecards.com - Why! Why oh why didn't we have frozen pot pies in my day!It’s no secret that I love the cold. I love the snow. I love when it’s below zero. I even love with my nose hairs freeze. WOOT!

 

And when people from the South complain about the cold I just kindly remind them that it’s a “dry cold” you know kind of like when you visit your friends in Arizona and it’s 116 degrees and you are like “HOLY HELL – this must be HELL” and they are like “oh but it’s a dry heat.”

 

Yes – just like the inside of an oven. Look – no eyebrows!

 

So I’m sure because of our dry cold – you surely cannot lose anything off of your body…unless of course you are stupid enough to Winter camp.

 

See there was this time that I must have been really in love with this guy back in college that he convinced me to Winter Camp with him.  If you are not familiar with “Winter Camping” – it’s basically just like “Summer Camping” except it’s 20 below zero and you ski-in to your campsite instead of hike-in.  But yeah..you are still in a tent and just in a sleeping bag and hauling a huge backpack full of stuff that you may need.

 

Remember..I was young and in love. And really liked the cold…until we spent the night “Winter Camping.”

 

And after staying up all night so I could shiver and curse louder and yeah, what are you suppose to do when you have to pee at 3am and bare your butt to the -40 windchill…we decided to use the old college credit card and find a cabin. With a fireplace. And wine. And we bought a few days worth of pot pies.

 

And we didn’t go outside for three days.

 

I love the great outdoors.

 

Also our relationship didn’t last.  It’s my understanding that he still likes to Winter Camp.

 

I’m not sure if he still likes pot pies…but I do.

 

What is the craziest, coldest thing you have ever done? Or do you hate the cold?

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When the weather turns cold and we spend more time outside enjoying our Winter activities(but not camping) – I like finding food that is quick, easy and delicious…and Marie Callender’s Pot Pies still fit the bill.  We were asked to review Marie Callender’s and my whole family loved them. Especially after I promised to never take them Winter Camping. Ever.

 

    • Marie Callender’s Pot Pies are available for a suggested retail price of $2.10-$2.99.
    • Marie Callender’s Pot Pies are a wholesome and complete dinner solution made with no preservatives —perfect for the whole family
    • Filled with juicy meat, tender vegetables and a signature golden, flaky crust made from scratch, Marie Callender’s Pot Pies offer great taste and comfort to savor.
    • Whether you crave chicken, beef or something creamier, you can choose any one of seven varieties of Marie Callender’s Pot Pies and feel confident in serving your family a delicious, comforting and warm meal during the cold-weather months.
    • Marie Callender’s meals are available in grocery stores nationwide. Product lines include Complete Meals, One-Dish Entrées, Fresh Flavor Steamers, Fresh Mixers, Multi-serve Bakes, Pot Pies, small Fruit Pies and Dessert Pies & Cobblers.
    • For more information, visit http://www.mariecallendersmeals.com


Disclosure: I worked with Marie Callender’s and The Motherhood on this post and was compensated.  All words and choices in crazy Winter activities are my own.

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