What Does Self-Care Look Like During Social Distancing?

Anyone who knows me personally, follows this blog, or my Instagram (thank you by the way), knows that I’m all about the “me time” and “self care.” I think I spent so much of my early years as a mom being all about my family, that I forgot to make time for myself. However, once I got wind of this (about 2 days after my now 3 year old turned 1 lol) I have not turned back since.

From working out, making healthier eating choices, leaving the kids with hubby or a friend to do my hair, having a ladies night out, etc. I have learned to make myself a priority. However, due to social-distancing regulations which I understand, respect, and do my very best to follow, I’ve been forced to reevaluate what self-care looks like now.

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I’ve been teaching from home, homeschooling my own 2 kids, studying for an exam, and honestly don’t have much time to myself. My husband fortunately still works, but this means I am generally with the kids most of the day. There are no more quiet workouts at the gym, solo trips to the store, and even my Starbucks runs have been taken over by the kids! Note to self: don’t introduce kids to Starbucks cake pops or Mocha Frappuccinos…they’ll ask for it every single time!

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While it will definitely be a little (okay, maybe a lot) more challenging, self care is still extremely important, especially during these uncertain times. I decided to create a “Self-Care Bucket” for myself and a few of my mom friends I think you’ll find helpful. Check it out below:

How the Self Care Bucket Works

  1. Grab a basket, tin, bucket (you decide which you prefer) from your local store. I snagged mine from the local Dollar Tree because they have the cutest things for just $1, but you can also check out Michael’s, Joanne’s, Marshalls, or Ross if you want something a little fancier
  2. Fill your bucket (no pun intended) with a variety of self care items. These items can range from 3-10 items depending on how big the bucket/basket/tin you purchase is, as well as how much money you’re trying to spend on the bucket. The items you choose to fill your bucket or that of a friend, will determine on their personal interests and vision of self care, but here are a few cost-friendly ideas:

-A Face Mask

-Nail Polish

-Nail Kit Set

-Bath Bombs

-Coffee mug

-Wine glass (we’ve all been using these a little more lately lol)

-Chocolate Bar

-Colored Lip Gloss

-Eyebrow Tweazer/Razor

-Shampoo/Deep Conditioner

These are a few of the items I used for mine….

Since there is so much uncertainty with job security these days, and I’m all about saving these coins, I made the self care basket budget $10. While $10 may not seem like a lot, a little can go a loong way if you shop smart. All of the items mentioned above can be found for $1 at your local Dollar Tree, and if you don’t shop there, Target’s $1 section is another good option. Remember, you want to fill it with simple items that will be a quick “pick-me-up” when you or your fellow mama/girlfriend are in need of some self care.

3. Re-fill Your Self Care Bucket before your last item is used. Depending on how many items the bucket/basket has, as well as how often you are able to actually use them, will depend on how often you have to refill. However, I would strive to use at least one item from the bucket a week, so assuming you have about 5 items in there, you could replenish once a month which isn’t too bad. While I don’t (and neither should they) expect you to refill your friends’ baskets, I encourage you to encourage them to refill there’s as well.

The Purpose of the Self Care Basket

While reading this you might have wondered, why do I need to make myself a basket and refill it every month? Why can’t I just treat myself when I feel its needed? And the answer to that is because….you won’t!!! We ladies-especially mamas-are the queens of putting ourselves last, and anything that isn’t planned ahead or an inconvenience will simply not happen. After a long day or week of working, running after the kids, etc. you may not have the time energy to do something for yourself, even if it is as simple as running into the store for some chocolates. However, with the basket already there with ready-to-use items, it’s less stressful and you’re more likely to treat yourself. I also recommend putting the basket in a visible (but high up enough so the kids can’t reach) spot, so you’re reminded to practice a little self care. Even if this is putting on a face mask for 5 minutes, using the new nail polish in your basket once the kids go to sleep, etc. a little can go a long way 🙂

Please comment below your thoughts on the Self Care Basket/Bucket/Tin 🙂 and let me know how your self care regimen has been going thus far during quarantine. Don’t forget to follow me on IG @millennialmahoganymom

Until next time Mamas 🙂

Juneteenth Celebration with Young Kids at Home

I’ve decided to celebrate Juneteenth with the kids this year, since we’ve never celebrated it before. I thought it would be a great way to learn something new, and get in touch with our roots 🙂 After all, we celebrate the Fourth of July and all other American holidays, so why not celebrate the one that in my opinion, is just as important in American History?

While Juneteenth is recognized by most states, it still isn’t a Federal holiday, and many people have never even heard of the name “Juneteenth.” In case you’re still wondering, it’s the official day in 1865 that slaves were declared free in the United States.

After doing a little research and getting my own creative juices flowing, I came up with some fun and informative Juneteenth celebration activities for the kids. Please check these ideas out below and feel free to celebrate this special day at home with your little ones too!

Give a Short & Sweet Introduction

Let’s face it, children have short attention spans, and today is not the day to preach a heavy lesson on the history of slavery in America. Keep your little ones engaged with this Youtube cartoon titled “What is Juneteenth?” I like it because it is kid-friendly without “watering down” the history lesson.

Color the Juneteenth Flag Activity

Most kids enjoy hands-on activities, especially when learning something new. I found this great Juneteenth Flag Coloring Page from Primary Treasure Chest. Download and print the free coloring sheet directly from their site and have the kids color or paint it. The colors of the flag are red, white, and (dark) blue so be sure to have those colors handy.

Signature Drink & Barbecue

The signature Juneteenth drink is a “red drink” which is basically strawberry soda today. If you’re not too big on your kids drinking sugary sodas, you can always substitute with red Gatorade.

Photo by Anastasia Zhenina on Pexels.com

Barbecue foods are also popular to eat in celebrating so tell dad, uncle, or grandpa to break out the grill and get those dogs cooking 🙂 If you’re lazy like my husband and I get or don’t have a grill, you can order barbecue from your favorite BBQ takeout (mines is Bubbalou’s here in Central Florida), or make BBQ inspired foods without the grill. For example, you can oven-bake wings and put BBQ sauce on them, broil hot dogs in the oven, and add potato salad, mac and cheese, and any others your family might enjoy.

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I hope you find these ideas fun and helpful, and that they encourage you to celebrate Juneteenth this year! Please comment below if you have or plan to celebrate Juneteenth and what this looks like with your family. Until next time, mamas! 🙂

Your Guide to Meal-Prepping

The long term benefits of meal-prepping are amazing! The freedom of having your meals already predetermined and prepped makes your life much easier, but let’s face it-the setup can be hard and tedious. I’ve created a few of the common obstacles we ladies face when meal-prepping, and a few solutions to make meal-prepping as stress-free as possible.

Problem: Grocery Shopping Sucks

The average mom HATES grocery shopping, especially when the kids are in tow. Often times, I will grab something unhealthy from the drive thru just because it means not having to get out the car and shop. Especially during these social-distancing times, the grocery store just isn’t the most pleasant place on Earth to do your meal-prepping.

Solution: Do Grocery Pickup or Delivery

One of the great things I began using during quarantine was grocery delivery, and I’m never going back to in-store shopping! It saves me so much time and stress. There are so many delivery options out there. My favorite is Walmart Delivery because they don’t mark up the price for delivery. However, I prefer to get my produce from Publix (which does mark up their online prices a bit) so I do the grocery pickup, which balances out cost-wise because I don’t have to tip the delivery driver.

Problem: Meal Prepping for the Whole Family is Hard

Coming up with healthy meals you like is challenging enough, let alone trying to please your whole family, especially when you have picky eaters. I have been cutting out sugar and fried foods, but my kids still like to indulge in these things, and I haven’t quite convinced my husband to switch over from regular to squash spaghetti noodles either.

Solution: Have Healthier Substitutes Handy

I’ve started cooking my usual proteins for the whole house, but serve different sides for myself. For example, I made meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and broccoli the other day but substituted the mashed potatoes for sweet potatoes. Another option is skipping the carbs all together and serving up extra vegetables instead. I have also started buying packs of frozen quinoa and spinach mixes that I can quickly microwave and season on those nights that I make white rice or fries for the kids.

Problem: Eating Healthy Tastes Boring

Let’s face it, butter, salt, sugar, etc are often what make a meal taste so delicious. Therefore, a bland grilled chicken or plain salad is a struggle to get through and will likely have you skip those healthy meals you prepped and head straight to the nearest drive thru.

Solution: Spice up Your Meals with (healthy) Flavor

Eating healthy doesn’t have to be disgusting if you use the right spices and flavors at home. Replace butter with organic olive oil to saute your vegetables, and use curry, oregano, parsley, paprika, and cilantro to give your meats and rice bowls some flavor. If you’re making a salad, load it with lots of your healthy favorites like eggs, avocados, onions, and black beans. Don’t forget to add a flavorful, low-calorie dressing like balsamic vinaigrette, or any of your other favorites.

I have such a sweet tooth that drinking water everyday used to be a struggle because it tasted so bland and I craved some flavor. Therefore, I started making a pitcher of water with fresh lemon and mint leaves in it. It tastes really refreshing and I actually love drinking it all the time.

Problem: Going to a Drive Thru Is Convenient

Meal prepping takes time and work, which makes going to a drive thru on a whim feel much easier. After all, at 6 p.m. when you’re starving and the kids are cranky and whining and need to eat before bed, a #9 at Wendy’s is a quick fix at the moment.

Solution: Plan Your Weekly Meals Ahead

The day I put in my grocery delivery is the day I plan what meals we’ll be eating for the whole week. This may sound like a lot of planning but it doesn’t have to be as stressful as it seems. For example, I know for breakfast my kids always want the same few things: oatmeal, grits, eggs, pancakes, or cereal. Therefore, I buy those things for them and they can eat any of those things on any given day in the week, so we’re not at Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks all the time. I’m not a huge breakfast person so I generally will have oatmeal or a protein shake and some fruit or boiled eggs.

For lunch you can simply have some lunch meat and tuna on hand to make sandwiches, or buy a bag of spinach and throw in last night’s protein and this morning’s bold eggs for lunch. Try not to over-think it or make it more stressful than it has to be. Dinner can often require more thought since it’s a bigger meal, but be sure to plan out delicious meals you’ll actually look forward to eating. Also, try switching up your meals each week. For example, if you had chicken and turkey last week, do seafood or steak the following.

I Hope These Tips Helped!

The whole point of meal-prepping is to make your life easier down the road, save money, and eat healthier. It can be time consuming to cook a lot of meals ahead, so pick one day out the week (your least busiest day) and dedicate a few hours to boiling eggs, baking your proteins, and organizing meals into the containers. These few hours will save you a lot of time throughout the week and make you glad you did it!

Also, I know realistically there will be days that you have to eat out and that’s understandable. Also, if you have to eat out, knowing healthier options on the menu ahead will also help and make you feel less-guilty about hitting up the drive thru. For example, the cob salad at Chic-Fil-A (I love it btw!) or the grilled chicken sandwich at Wendy’s might be a better option than the nuggets and fries 🙂

Comment below any meal prep ideas you have to share and let me know how meal-prepping is going! I’d love to hear 🙂

End of the Year Homeschool/Quarantine Party

One of the things that teachers and students alike enjoy about the end of the year is a last day of school party! While our social distancing circumstances makes this impossible to do with your child’s actual class, why not do one with their new class? That’s right, I’m talking about you mom/teacher, your little one(s) aka student(s), and that amazing school you have right in front of you called home. After all, typical homeschooling parents often throw end of the year parties, and I don’t see why it should be any different for us mamas currently doing the same. Check out my ideas below for a great end of the school year/last day of school party!

Choose a Day that’s Convenient

While the last day of official school might sound like an ideal or traditional day to have the celebration, be realistic about your work-from-home schedule. If you have a flexible work-from-home situation and can finish up early, feel free to do the party on the last day. Otherwise, you can do it a few days earlier or even a Saturday that you might have off. The goal is to make it a fun and light celebration, where you don’t feel stressed and frazzled trying to meet work deadlines.

Photo by Christina Morillo on Pexels.com

Get Party Decorations

Head over to your local Dollar Tree for balloons, streamers, table cloths, and anything else festive you might want to add. While it’s obvious the party is at home for just you and the kids, you still want to set the tone that today’s kinda uh big deal. Let them wake up and see the home school area-no matter what part of your place this is-looks fun and exciting! You can even have them help you decorate.

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Create a Summer Bucket List

Just because they’re safe (not stuck) inside this summer doesn’t mean your kids can’t still have summer aspirations. Check out this free “summer bucket list worksheet” I created. The worksheet includes some ideas for kids to write, such as a new book they’d like to read, a park or trail they’d like to visit, or a new snack they’d like to make this summer. However, the possibilities are endless. There are so many cool things kids can explore at home or at social distancing friendly locations.

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Have an Outdoor Picnic for Lunch Time

Nothing screams summer like an outdoor picnic. Whether you do it in the backyard or head to a local park/trail, it’ll be fun! Spread a picnic blanket, pack a lunch or support a local restaurant and do curbside pick-up.

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Add Some Water Fun

If you decide to do your picnic lunch at home, you can get in the pool, get an inflatable pool, or get a splash mat/slide. However, if you decide to eat at a park/trail, you can still bring water balloons and water guns. Just be sure to carry towels and make sure everyone is dressed to get soaked 🙂

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Serve a DIY Ice Cream Bar

Who said the “food fun” stops after lunch?! Get a carton of Neapolitan ice cream so your kids have a selection of flavors to choose from, especially if you have more than one kid with different preference. Then create an ice cream bar with tons of toppings: gummy bears, sprinkles, chocolate syrup, nuts (assuming there are no nut allergies), and whipped cream. The kids will have a blast putting on their own toppings.

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Award Ceremony

What’s an end of the year party without the accolades?! And I’m not just talking for the kids, mama! Head on over to your local Dollar Tree and purchase a packet of certificates for $1. Write what your child was most successful with during home school and hand it to them. Also, write down what you were most successful at while homeschooling (I think the fact that you home-schooled period during a major pandemic is award-worthy enough), and present them at the end of the “school day.”

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Give them Party Favors

I’m a big time “favor whore!” In my mind, if there weren’t favors, it wasn’t a party 🙂 I know this may seem a little ridiculous being that your kid(s) might be the only guest(s), but I still vote favors 🙂 Head to my favorite store (you should know this one already) and grab a beach bucket and fill it with kid-friendly items that scream SUMMER! You know the ones I’m talking about: chalk, bubbles, slime, bug nets, etc. If you want to “splurge” a little, you can throw in a swimsuit/swim trunk to really get the summer vibes going

I am so excited to hear about your summer kickoff/end of the year party, and I hope you found these ideas inspiring! Please comment your thoughts below. Until next time mamas 🙂

Social Distancing Graduation Party 🎓

In true “Millennial Mom” fashion, I threw my son a preschool graduation party/playdate around this time two years ago. The kids had so much fun and the smile on my son’s face made the party a huge success in my book!

With graduation being right around the corner and the Covid-19 orders still in place, I decided to update my former graduation play date post– social distancing style 🙂

The Theme:

Since graduation time is at the start of summer break, I did a “Splish Splash, Graduation Bash” theme which was super cute. I did it at the splash pad because the pool makes me nervous at this age, and parents did not have to feel obligated to get in. Since the splash pad isn’t currently an option, I’d recommend any of the following:

1.Your backyard pool or an inflatable pool which can be found for as low as $20 at stores like Kohls.

2. A water mat/slide which can be found for as low as $15 from stores like Walmart

3. Go “Old School” and bust out the water balloons and water guns, which are as low as $1 at your local Dollar Store

I also incorporated lots of yellow rubber duckies in the decorations, which was perfect for the little ones. I even had them take them home at the end as a little favor.

The Food:

I had Domino’s pizza deliver cheese and pepperoni pizzas directly to the splash pad (how convenient, right?!) I also had pretzels, fruit slices, water, juice boxes, and soda for the adults. I topped it off with chocolate and vanilla graduation-themed cupcakes and a personalized candy station to match the graduation theme.

Decorations:

I found all of the decorations at my local Dollar Tree. This included table cloths, bins for the drinks, plates, forks, and napkins. I also purchased the rubber duckies and graduation hat bubbles at the Dollar Tree, as well as the plastic containers in the vase section for the candy bar. I purchased one dozen cellophane bags for $1 there for kids to take their candy home in as a favor. I also purchased a picture frame to put my son’s graduation picture in which gave the table a special touch.

The party was a huge hit and was under $100 including the food and decorations. The good thing about hosting it at home where you have to social-distance is you get to save on costs. For example, you won’t have to pay the splash pad fee for guests (it was only $2 per person, but that still can add up depending on how many guests you have), and your only purchasing food and supplies for household family members. You can also have your little graduate’s friends join the party (virtually of course) via Zoom or House Party, this way they get in on some of the fun.

I hope you enjoyed the pictures and suggestions! Please let me know if you have thrown a graduation party or playdate for your little one or if you plan to in the future. I’d love to hear your ideas!

Which “Little Fires Everywhere” Mom Are You?

One of my favorite series I’ve watched during this Covid-19 pandemic is Hulu’s Little Fires Everywhere starring Reece Witherspoon and Kerry Washington. I love both actresses and they did an amazing job! The book turned series was a thought-provoking look at motherhood, race, and social class in American society.

On one hand you have Elena (played by Reece Witherspoon), who’s a rule-abiding citizen who believes that success comes from following the rules and making logical choices. Elena has a very clear view of how her household should be ran, to the extent that she and her husband are intimate on specific nights only. From tutors to violin lessons, Elena’s children’s schedules are perfectly planned, and anyone who deviates from this (especially her rebellious daughter Izzy) will certainly feel this mama’s wrath. This is where Mia (played by Kerry Washington) comes in…

When Mia moves into the neighborhood, she stirs up Elena’s idea of what the ideal family looks like. She and her daughter move around often supposedly due to her career as an artist, and she really isn’t impressed by any of Elena’s color-coded bagged lunches or schedules. In fact, Mia thinks Elena is pretentious and lives an unfulfilling lifestyle full of privilege.

The two vastly different ideas of motherhood cause the women to clash constantly, and you the viewer is constantly asking yourself who is the bad mom here? Is it the inflexible Elena, or the overly lax Mia? While this is subject to opinion of course, I personally feel both mothers had good intentions (for the most part, anyway) and honestly felt they were doing what was best for their kids, even if the outcome wasn’t always so great.

I think most moms can identify with one if not a combination of both of the moms, so I thought it would be fun to create a quiz on Which Little Fires Everywhere Mom Are You? Feel free to check out the series on Hulu and click the link to the quiz below. Comment below what mom your quiz revealed. Until next time, Mamas 🙂

Which Little Fires Everywhere Mom Are You Quiz

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Making Healthy Eating Choices for the Family

Don’t be surprised by my petite size- I am definitely a foodie! I love to eat all types of foods, and desserts and candy are sadly some of my favorites. And I’m talking the candies only most kids generally have a taste for, like Sour Patch Kids, Lemonheads, Smarties-yes all the old school favorites. Another huge weakness of mine is Coke! I need a Coke a day like some people need their coffee. However, like many people, I’ve been focusing a lot on eating healthier and setting a better example for my little ones. I really noticed how much my eating choices impacted my kids when my son and daughter started asking for a glass of Coke with their meals (sigh), and knew it was time to make some changes. I’m definitely still a hot mess in progress, but check out a few ways I’ve used to help ditch the chips and add something healthy (and tasty) instead.

Make Healthy Snacks Together

There are so many fun healthy snacks you can make with the kids. Trail mixes are one of my favorite to make with the kids, because everyone can personalize their trail mixes to suit their specific taste buds. My daughter loves plain m&m’s so we add some of these to hers, whereas my son and I prefer Raisinets so we add those instead. After reading this post, check out Ashley Bell’s blog post “Healthy Snacks for Kids in 2020” for some more delicious, healthy snack ideas. Making healthy snacks together is a great bonding time for you and the kids, and I realize kids are more likely to eat things they’ve made. After all, it’s more exciting and fun for them to try out their creations.

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Photo by Alexander Mils on Pexels.com

Visit Places with Less Tempting Fatty Foods

This one is super hard as most kid places serve the crappiest foods that we all love! I look forward to going to the fair for the elephant ears and cotton candy, just as I purposely take my kids to Chuck E. Cheese’s so I can devour that delicious pizza (with a Coke of course). If you’re an emotional eater like myself, you’ll find yourself cheering you and the family up with a trip to Dunkin Donuts or the nearby cupcake shop. Trust me, it’s hard, but it CAN be done.

Nothing’s wrong with doing these things every now and then, but on your average weekend, try checking out the local farmer’s market for fresh produce, or do some strawberry and blueberry picking instead. Not only are these events just as fun as Chuck E. Cheese, they’re also healthier.

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Photo by Erik Scheel on Pexels.com

Don’t Bring the Junk Food Home

I noticed that when I didn’t keep junk in the house, I was less tempted to eat it because it was inconvenient. If I had to drive to the store to buy Coke or a candy bar, it was just less likely to happen than when I already had it in the fridge. These things also became more of a treat for myself every now and then when I was away from the kids, as opposed to a family indulgence like it was becoming. Also, don’t forget that healthier doesn’t always have to mean disgusting. For example, a chocolate, banana, and peanut butter smoothie can be delicious but healthier than a Butterfinger candy bar.

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Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com

What are some of your favorite healthy snacks to eat? Please comment below and let me know how your snacking habits are going these days?

Fitting Workouts Into Busy Mom Life

If you’ve read my previous blog post titled “Organized Sports for Young Kids” then you know how important being active is in my family. Since a little girl I’ve always been naturally thin, and even fit through being involved in or teaching dance classes. However, like many things that change after becoming a mom, working out was one of them. I became so consumed with mom life that I had no time to attend dance classes or the gym.

Lots of people assumed that because I was naturally thin and had what they called an excellent, “snap back” body, I was ridiculous for even trying to workout. However, there are so many benefits to being fit beyond just looking slim, such as feeling better, being motivated to eating better, and looking healthier. I no longer wanted to just be thin, but toned and feeling great about my body. I know you should never compare yourself to other women-especially celebrities- but come on, J-LO’s 50-year-old body during her halftime Superbowl performance was making me feel like I had to step it up a notch. I was thinking, Kim K. booty goals without the surgery (did I say that out loud?!), so I decided to stop complaining and do something about it.

I know working out can be hard, especially when you have kids. Trust me, I teach full time, my kids are very involved in after school activities, I have no family nearby, and my husband is a workaholic. However, just like anything, if you want it bad enough, you’ll make time for it. Check out some of my tips below:

Attend a Gym with Childcare (when social distancing is over of course)

I know child care places at gyms can sound a little sketchy, but when social distancing ends, if you don’t have anyone to stay with the kids while at the gym, this is great option. The YMCA has qualifies childcare staff and many of my mom friends say their kids actually enjoy going because there are fun activities planned. Therefore, it’s sort of a win/win for moms and kids alike.

Workout at Home

I always thought working out at home sucked until I was forced to do it due to social distancing. At first, it was rough keeping the kids out of my workout space. To me, workouts are a form of self-care and “me” time, so if the kids are constantly interrupting, it makes the workout feel pointless. Therefore, establish a routine that everyone follows. Try to workout at the same time and in the same spot everyday. In my house, I deprive the kids of their favorites (the Xbox and tablet) until the evening when it’s time for me to workout. That way every evening at 5 o’ clock, they are so excited to finally play on their devices for the first time, that they leave mommy alone. They also become accustomed to me working out at this time so they know what to expect and surprisingly respect it. I have a nice little space in my bedroom where I can workout and it’s awesome! If your’re not sure where to begin with your workouts, check out YouTube for tons of workout videos in detail, as well as social media.

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Get Some Cool Workout Gear

I’m not a huge product junkie, and actually do a lot of no-weight workouts, but after awhile, you’re going to want some equipment to keep your workouts challenging. I dusted off some old 8 lb dumbbells on my patio and got right to it! Over time, I’ve purchased some resistance bands and a yoga mat so I could feel super legit.

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Get Fine in Your Workout Clothes

Wearing cute and sexy workout clothes are one of my favorite parts of working out! My favorite looks are the one-piece jumpsuits that reveal your every little curve, biker shorts, leggings and a cute sports bra, or matching tank top sets. The trendy athletic wear is endless and definitely helps you feel more confident while getting fit. Sure you can throw on an old over-sized sleep shirt and some sweatpants but that won’t be as fun.

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Quality Over Quantity

Everyone has different fitness goals, and because I’m on the thinner side, I do more strength training than cardio. Therefore, I spend only 30-45 minutes on workouts as opposed to someone who might want to workout longer to extend their cardio and shed a lot of pounds. However, it is better to get a good 30 minute workout in than a lengthy ineffective hour workout. For example, I see many people spend hours at the gym spending more time on their phones, socializing, or taking long breaks in between reps, when a steady 20-30 minute workout might be more effective. So don’t think you have to dedicate hours on end to working out when that isn’t necessarily the case. Just get moving some way somehow!

Get the Kids Involved with You

While I hate working out with the kids because I consider it my “me” time, there are times my daughter will come in and do her version of crunches and squats beside me. I normally tell her to come in on the last rep, this way I don’t feel distracted for the entire workout, and it can be fun. Sometimes I even have her hold my legs down for my sit-ups or let her control changing the songs on my playlist. I think it sets a good example to your little ones when they see you making healthy choices and may motivate them to workout later in life as well.

The goal is to make fitness a part of your life no matter what it takes. I don’t think mom shouldn’t get to walk around looking fine and fit, just because they’re a mom. We moms deserve to look and feel good even if we don’t have a personal chef or trainer there to keep us on track 24/7 (I’m talking to you J-Lo!) 😉

I hope you found these tips helpful. Please comment below on what your workout looks like with or without the kids, or anything else you’d like to add. I love hearing from you mamas! Until next time 😉

Easter Fun at Home with Kids

Hey Mamas, I was freaking out about planning Easter with the kids during social distancing. We normally go visit family in northern Florida, attend church, and do an Easter Egg Hunt with my mommy group but of course that wasn’t an option this year.

Rather than mope around at home I decided to come up with some creative ways to keep my social distance and still have a fun-filled Easter with the kids. Check out these ideas below!

Have an Easter Egg Hunt in Your Backyard 

Whether you have a home with a backyard or live in a condo, all you need is a grassy area to hide some eggs. If you’re bold enough, visit your local Dollar Tree and purchase a dozen eggs per kid, some trinkets (stickers, tattoos, etc), and some candies that don’t melt (stay away from chocolate and Laffy Taffy) to fill them with. If you’re not interested in going out, feel free to order ahead online at either Walmart, Target, or Amazon Prime if you’re last minute like myself. Make sure the kids also have an empty basket or bucket to collect the eggs in.

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Do an Easter Craft Inside/Dye Some Eggs

Put a festive Easter table cloth (also found at your local Dollar Tree) on your kitchen table and pull out the markers, stickers, paint, glue, and construction paper. There are sooo many different cute and fun Easter crafts you can do with the kids. The Dollar Tree has a ton for only a $1 but you can also checkout One Creative Mom to get a wide range of ideas. You can also boil some eggs and dye them with different food coloring. My kids like to eat the boiled eggs after they dye them. You can even use these eggs to hide for your hunt as opposed to filling plastic ones with candy. The options are endless 🙂

white plate with easter eggs beside colored liquids on wooden surface
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Read an Easter-themed Book

So many of your kids favorite characters have a book about them celebrating Easter. One of my favorites are “Happy Easter, Curious George” by H.A. Rey. I know the local libraries are down but feel free to order it online or find it on YouTube, this way someone can read it to the kids for you and you can save those coins 😉

photo of family sitting on floor while reading book
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Give the Kids Easter Baskets

Easter baskets are huge tradition in our family! I can’t even imagine Easter without them! I’ve made my own with items from Dollar Tree (they should just endorse me already lol) and $5 Below, or purchased them already made from Walmart, Target, or Publix. I’ve even made one for the Hubby one year with some of his favorite soaps, a graphic tee, and a beer mug.

bright candies chocolate close up
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Cook a Special Dinner

I look forward to a good Southern dinner at my in-laws every Easter. I get to sit back, relax, and stuff my face with mac-n-cheese, collard greens, turkey wings, yellow rice, and sweet potato pudding. However, this year I’ll have to do the cooking at home. Now’s the time to get in the kitchen and make all of your favorite comfort foods.

family having meal at the table
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Dress Up & Have a Photoshoot

Sure, putting my son in a suit when he isn’t going to church may feel a little ridiculous, but that doesn’t mean he has to stay in his pajamas all day either. Dress the kids up in something nice (spring shorts and shirts, or dresses) and you and your spouse can do the same. Get some nice candid photos on the lawn or stage an area in your room with some Easter props (eggs, a stuffed Easter bunny, etc) and get some great photos. You can even set a timer on your camera phone and get a good family photo. These days, smart phones take very professional-looking photos, and there’s always a bunch of cool photo editing apps if yours doesn’t.

photo of boy hugging his mom
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Get in the Easter Spirit Despite the Circumstances

The goal is to make Easter as normal as possible while still being safe of course. Yes, it will definitely be different not being able to attend a church service, Easter egg hunt with friends, or gather around extended family for dinner, but you can still make it fun and extra special with your family at home.

white flowers
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Should Young Kids Give Gifts to a Crush for Valentine’s Day?

Merely a few month after my son started kindergarten he revealed he had a crush on a girl at school. After picking up the pieces of my broken heart (how could he love another girl besides me already?!), I listened day after day after day, at how much he liked this girl. Then Valentine’s Day came around and he wanted to give her something.

This was tricky because I wanted to teach him to show kindness towards others we care about in non-materialistic (yes, I just made that a word) ways. Ideally, we would have gone to the store and made his little love bug a card but, it was a busy week and basically…ain’t nobody got time for that! 🙂 So instead we picked out a very generic Valentine’s Day card from the Dollar Tree (I love that store!).

white black and red person carrying heart illustration in brown envelope
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On Valentine’s Day I felt excited for him to give her the card because I knew how much it meant to him, yet I also began panicking that it was a bad idea. Sure we didn’t go all out with red heart-shaped balloons, teddy bears, chocolates, and mugs, but what if? What if the girl was embarrassed? What if she “turned him down?” What if the parents were offended? So many thoughts crossed my mind. Then he came home and told me how happy she was to receive the card and that made me feel better.

Yet, the thoughts crept back in my head of her parents being angry about her getting a heart-shaped card so young. Not every parent thinks as I do, and hell even I was unsure it was the “right” thing to do by buying the card. Then luckily I ran into the mom (who I’ve now become very cool with) at a birthday party and we laughed over the entire thing- the card, the crush- it was all a comical and relieving (for me at least) laugh. Turns out the mom loved the card and thought the crush was beyond adorable. She was more flattered than anything and we still joke of how we will remind them of this twenty years from now.

five women laughing
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Luckily that turned out well, but sometimes you just never know. What are your thoughts on kids giving kids of the opposite sex gifts for Valentine’s Day? Is it cute and innocent puppy love or pretentious encouragement of romance at an early age? Comment below….I’d love to hear your thoughts! Until next time, Mamas!