The Course that Changed my Parenting

People come into our life for very specific reasons at very specific times. I will always be a firm believer that the universe provides us exactly what we need when we need it if we are open to receiving it.

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I met a woman named Christina Fletcher a while back, little did I know this woman would change my outlook on parenting forever.

Spiritual Kids was designed by Christina and the course I took with my oldest son. After asking Christina why she decided to start this program and how she designed it I received this email.

“I’m a homeschooling mom of 3 and from even when my daughters were little I was eager to pass on more than just an education for them. I wanted them to know themselves and to know how to navigate and appreciate their feelings. I was passionate to pass them on the gifts of meditation and how to create a space where they could feel better, as well as learn how to create a better life for themselves, day by day.
The exercises in Spiritual Kids are really what came out of that passion years ago. I kept gathering them up and then expanding the collection when my son was born. The more they grew, the more I learnt about Spirit myself and so, the Spiritual Kids course is really a representation of my own journey as well as what I felt other parents were searching for. We all want to give our kids the gift of themselves, in their full power. So, that was really my intention.”
Powerful. Am I right? This woman made me question myself. Question my beliefs. Grounded me in my beliefs. Allowed me to get to know things about my son that I had no idea he was experiencing or feeling. Life Changing Stuff People! I mean common our goal as mamas is to raise these amazing humans who go out and do amazing things with the life their given and still love and stay close to their family. This is my life goal atleast.
Lets rewind a bit. This course is a week by week course that gives you and your child exercises to complete, stories to read together, and activities to grow and nurture your soul. When I started out on week one there is a beliefs questionnaire, and well I like to think I am very grounded in what I do or don’t believe in, I realized three things….
1. I stared at that blank sheet of questions for 2 hours with no answers that were MINE, but ones that had been embedded into me from my parents and their beliefs.
2. I realized and got real clear with where I stood with my spirituality and what I wanted my children to learn.
3. I was able to define who I was and so I could be a better guide to my children in learning to love who they were meant to be.
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A certain part of the opening week really hit me. One of the Activities is to have your child look in the mirror at themselves and tell you what they see, and then at a later time ask them what they see and feel about themselves. A good time for me is always while driving so that’s when I do the asking of questions with my little ones.
My son looked in the mirror for a few minutes and responded “I see a bunch of polka dots on my face, I hate them.” – He was referring to all of his freckles which I adore.
Later in the car I asked him the same question and his response was “I feel excited I get to play all the time, a lot of kids can’t do that.”
This may not seem like a big deal but watching the difference of my son from exterior to interior and what he felt about himself showed me as a parent where I needed to help him see the beauty of who he was designed to be.
Christina also has meditations at the beginning of each week which I still listen to at bed to fall asleep and be motivated for the next day she is just phenomenal in moving your heart and motivating your soul.
We worked on sensory, relaxation tips and tricks (my little guy suffers from being a little high stressed at times) and through this a 7-year-old learned how to re center, re direct, and become aware of his feelings vs. reacting immediately and thinking later. A – MA – ZING.
In today’s society we are so trained on social media platforms, electronics, media, to feel a certain way, look a certain way, be a certain way….This way is bull shit and not who we were designed to be. We are not following our way but yet conforming to what someone else wants us to be. I joke that it’s a curse I have such strong willed children, but I know what a blessing it is to have such free-spirited peanuts, as a parent it can be challenging, but it is amazing to sit back and watch them beat to their own drum not follow what others want them to be. Spiritual Parenting just makes you slow down and allow your self to feel and question your emotions instead of running away or stuffing them. (Mom confession – I needed this more than any one as I just keep running instead of stopping and looking around.)
In the day-to-day aspects I couldn’t see an immediate change, but months later I look back and I see how much more peaceful my household is run, there is a calming effect in knowing yourself and the trust you earn between yourself and your children.
It puts a smile on my face to know that these tools were so powerful, provided me so much growth as a mother, I Just had to share with you other mama bear’s because when I find something that changes my day-to-day life in a simplifying way, its roof top shouting worthy!
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Easter Baskets on a Budget

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Easter Baskets do not have to cost a ton to be absolutely magnificent. Lets cut to the chase, the kids are after the candy and the eggs. Every thing else is just a perk!

Lets dive in to some thrifty ways to make every one excited on Easter Morning!

  • Skip the packaged grass  – Use a paper shredder and some colorful construction paper you have in the craft stash.

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  • Get items such as sidewalk chalk, peeps, toys, coloring books, crafts etc at your local dollar store.
  • I love to get my little’s seasonal socks, I hit up the Target bulls eye dollar section and always find the cutest bunny themed socks, headbands, and fun extras to put in their baskets. (You can usually get the giant bubble wands here as well for $1.00)
  • Don’t be afraid to sneak in a few necessities. Does your little need something? Add it in as a perk of the basket!
  • Play the golden egg game. Put $5 in one Golden Egg and candy, change, etc. in the other eggs. The golden egg winner gets the big bucks! In the basket plan a scavenger type plan to find the Golden Egg, add little notes and hints in the basket to help the little’s along the way on the great golden egg adventure. (Lets be real…scavenger hunts are awesome sauce and every  kid LOVES them!)

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  • Re Use your baskets. Michael’s, Target, Wal-mart all have clear out sales after Easter to get rid of last seasons products! (This is your time mamas!) I got a $40 tutu princess basket last year at Michael’s for $10 which I reuse yearly. (You can also DIY and make your own!)

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  • Make your own slime! On the blog we have a super simple recipe you can conjure up in less than 15 minutes and this year slime is everything!
  • Make your own Peep Habitat – You can get all the ingredients at the dollar store and make this for under $5.

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~Happy Easter~

How to Survive Your Kids’ Spring Break

How to Survive Your Kids’ Spring Break

It’s that time of year again.  Spring break for the kids!  It can feel daunting at first, but don’t worry.  I have a plan.

The first thing you should do is lie down in a quiet spot where you can focus uninterrupted.  Now take a deep breath and let thoughts of Pinterest-inspired crafts, intentional learning through outdoor kinesthetic play, and scavenger hunts with witty yet child-appropriate poems waft through your head.  Take several minutes to feel the creativity and intentional parenting flow through your body. Bask in the solid foundation and lifelong memories you and your children will make.

Now- and this is an extremely important step-

Pour a glass of wine and forget that shit.

Yep, let it go.

And let’s get REAL on how to survive your kids’ spring break.

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First of all, each night of break, keep your child up waaay past their bedtime.  That way, you can sleep later in the morning.  To prevent this from ruining your evenings, tell your kids you have to do the laundry in your bedroom.  Then shut and lock yourself inside your bedroom while watching scary movies.  Before you start that movie you DVR’ed a year ago but haven’t had time to watch yet, stuff towels into the space between the bottom of the door and the floor.  This prevents tiny fingers and Toy Story characters drawn on paper from slipping through that space and inadvertently terrifying you during your scary movie.

Now, get your chocolate from one of the hidden stashes and savor every rich creamy bite of decadence.  Important note, have a piece of broccoli on hand to eat before leaving your room.  Not only will the kids not be able to smell chocolate on your breath, but if they check for food crumbs or pieces of food stuck in your teeth, they will only see broccoli and will not want any.  Well done, momma.  A tiny piece of broccoli is a small price to pay for the continued concealment of your chocolate stash.

The next morning, let your children sleep as long as possible.  To encourage this, put up black-out shades the day before break begins.  Keep insisting to the kids, “It’s not time to get up.  See? (pointing to the window) It’s still dark outside; the middle of the night.”  This may buy you an extra hour.

Daytime plan: Before break begins, you will have contacted 5 different moms from your kids’ classes.  To each you say how much your kids have been begging for a play date with their kids and can you bring them over Monday (Tuesday, Wednesday, you get the idea). Since you have this set up ahead of time, you are ready to drop the kids off each morning at a different house.  Just remember which house so you can find your kids at the end of the day.  (Turns out if you don’t find the right house before nightfall, some parents call the cops).

Pick your kids up after lunchtime.  Now you won’t have to feed them a meal.  Score!  But, there’s still an afternoon ahead of you.  Don’t worry, you’ve got this.  Here’s what you do… Take the kids directly to the nearest park.  Make sure you have your “lemonade” with you to start sippin’.  (During spring break you are in survival mode therefore not required to wait til 5:00).

Now you have reached the point where rookies frequently mess up.  Luckily, you’ve got me to guide you through this extremely crucial step. You MUST pick the right place to sit at the park.  Yeah, it’s that important. After all, you don’t want to be too close to the kids (they’ll ask you to play or push them on the swing).  Equally as important, though, is to discourage other people from talking to you.  Or making eye contact.  ‘Cause ladies, it’s just too “peoplely” out there during spring break.  The best trick I’ve learned is to wear a face mask (you know, like the kind you wear at the doctor’s office when you have a contagious disease).  Also, don’t wear undereye concealer that day.  No one will come near you. Quite possibly not even your own kids.

Once it’s getting dark, take your tired kids home.  Put out slices of deli meat rolled up (we call them turkey or ham sticks to make them sound fancy). Put out pickles and cheese. Done.

Repeat previous steps.

And that’s it.  The key to surviving your kids’ spring break.

You’re welcome.

*Please note this is entirely written for humor and not to be used in real life. Well, except for the chocolate stash part, ‘cause that’s a necessity.  This post will be followed shortly with a round-up of awesome spring break and Easter crafts to do with your kiddos. (For real).

-Kristen Rodgers 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colorful Explosions

This project was so simple and fun. My littles LOVE hands on science projects and the eruption ones are always a mom win! This particular project is very hands on and the child can do almost all of it by them selves. My two-year old even could go solo on this one!  Science, Sensory and Fine Motor Skills all rolled into one activity you really can’t beat! Ok mama bears…Ready for the kicker? This science project is a self-cleaning agent so clean up for you is easy breezy! 

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         What you need:

  • Dawn Dish Soap
  • Warm Water
  • Citric Acid
  • Baking Soda
  • Food Coloring

Starting out you want to get a baking sheet and place 4 or 5 small Tupperware containers filled half way up with dawn soap and water so its nice and sudsy! I put a few drops of different colors (food coloring) in each tub to make it a surprise of color explosion! Get two separate containers. Fill container one with baking soda and container two with citric acid. (I totally didn’t measure and just gave my kids a teaspoon each to scoop and add as desired.)

 

Once your all set up and ready to roll, have the littles put 1 tbs of baking soda in each container (They can add more) have them mix with small mixing spoons. It should become a pasty slimy fun consistency.

After you finish the baking soda fun repeat the same step with the citric acid and the most amazing colorful foam gets created and last FOREVER! Think of the baking soda and vinegar explosion x100000 and for 5 minutes longer!

 

The more your little’s stir the mixture up the bigger it gets. Now for the better part if you dump out the containers on your tray or tub you chose to use the little’s can feel it and poke the foam which is chilly because of the combination of ingredients!

 

Happy Creating Mama Bears~

 

 

 

 

 

Halloween Treat – Buttered Beer

Its Halloween and a Magical Time for fun little recipes to make with the kids! My husband had a whim last week to make this Buttered Beer Recipe from Harry Potter and it was to good to not share.

  • What you need :
  • 1 quart of Apple Pie Ice Cream
  • 1/4 Cup of Caramel Butter Scotch Syrup
  • 32 oz. Cream Soda
  • 2 tbs. Butter
  • Whipped Cream

Place glasses in freezer for about 2 hours before creating.

Mix Soda and Ice Cream together in a blender.

Divide between the frosted glasses.

Blend Syrup, Butter and Whip Cream and Poor Blended Mix on top of the drink.

Throw on your favorite Harry Potter and Enjoy the Magic!

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Shipping

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Over the years I have read several how to articles learning the ins and outs of what works for different businesses and hand-made companies. I kept seeing a shipping station repeatedly in blogs and articles and thought it was something worth investigating a little deeper. When the Holiday Season hits for most makers it’s as if you are struggling to stay above water, especially for a one man show.

An ultimate goal of every maker is to stay organized, have fun, and love what you do. I created a shipping station OUTSIDE of my office in the garage so it was out of sight and out of mind when I was creating. When I finish an item I simply place it on the table and at the end of the day I go out and package everything up. Packaging is a job within it self (if you’re doing it properly.) It’s crucial to have something visually stimulating and exciting for your customer to open up. Often times I will go with seasons and add little trinkets, ribbons, shred, etc. This is also a branding trick and customers are more likely to remember all the extra effort you put into their order. You took the time to make it special. That is why the shipping station is so crucial it gives you time to focus on one thing….SHIPPING….

It’s a known fact most creative people are “squirrelly” type personalities, so having focus, direction, and guidance is crucial. I wish I would have started this years ago, so here I am screaming it from the ROOF TOPS – create a damn shipping station! Have all your bubble wrap, ribbons, boxes, tape, and goodies to add in all in ONE SPOT! (Also toddlers can’t steal your trinkets this way! hehe)

Now let’s get to shipping!!!!

No really…

Go Now….5.4.3.2.1.

Tuna Noodle Casserole

Store run: 

  • Stalk of Celery
  • 3 tbs butter
  • 1/3 cup of Olive Oil
  • 1/2 onion thinly chopped
  • 1 pound of wide egg noodles
  • 5  cups milk
  • 1 can of drained artichoke hearts
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan

Lets get cooking ladies and gents……

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Start boiling water in a large pot and add noodles for about 2 minutes or until al dente, drain the noodles and return to the same pot.

In a separate pan heat oil in a heavy pan on medium heat. Add onions and 3 stalks of chopped celery with salt and pepper. Cook for 4-6 minutes than add in flour stirring for about a minute. Add milk until a smooth texture and let simmer for one minute.

Add mixture and noodles together. Add in tuna, artichoke hearts, and salt and pepper. Mix it up well. Place in baking dish and sprinkle over the top with parmesan! (I also added mozzarella for some extra zing!)

Bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown and bubbling on top!

Enjoy~

It’s not how much. It’s what.

When I was a little girl I remember my grandma always telling me “It’s not how much you have, it’s what you have.” When it comes to home, decorating, life, material things, I am finding this simple statement more and more true.

We can have a million shitty things, and guess what, we are still going to feel shitty. You can have one thing of something so special and meaningful that it makes every thing else not matter. When starting in this room to room organizing series were doing, I want to challenge you to throw away anything you have not touched, brings a not so fawn memory, or you have no worn in 6 months. You don’t need it and for some reason are holding on to some materialistic “thing” which is holding you down.

When I first did this step in the purge I decided to sell on FB and donate the rest to Goodwill…..You’ll be amazed how something you have never touched is another’s treasure.

With decor for Holidays I try to remember this same moto as a little goes a long way. Have a few special pieces or additions you add to the mantle not clutter of a million bats you will have globs of dust on come Halloween.

I am super excited because come this week we are starting at the kitchen and working our way through living room, bedrooms, and bathrooms! First though…..First we must de clutter and simplify to the important things.

Lets Get Started….

  • Throw away anything you have not used in 6 months. (pots, pans, clothing, decor, silverware, bathroom supplies, etc.) Go piece by piece through your house. If it is not useful, or make you smile….TOSS IT.
  • If you can’t sell it in 7 days off it goes…… To the Goodwill or Dump. You can pick!
  • Clean. Like deep ass clean. The walls should have a twinkle. After you are completely purged and we are diving into the next step! It makes it far more simple!!!!

Ok. Ok. Ok….. Get your booty off the computer. Grab a garbage bag. Get to working!

“Nothing in your life will ever change, if you don’t change something in your daily routine. To get the end destination of your goal, you must do something differently.” 

Simplicity.

We as humans always want “more”. If I only had this I would be happy. If I only got this promotion I would be satisfied. If only I made this income I would be excited.

Stop.

Just Stop.

Be Happy Right Now. Right Where Your Life Has Brought You. Keep it Simple.

Do you want something different? Do Something Different. 

I made it a life, mom, and wife goal this year to straight up simplify. To be blunt. We had too much shit. 20 pots & pans (4 of which we used), clothing of littles I was saving as memories, clothing my booty has not fit into in 4 years, sippy cups with no lids, towels which did not match, I hated it….Literally the little things were driving me to a breaking point. After we remodeled I knew it was the perfect moment to get rid of every thing but what we needed. (I still had hand me downs from my first apartment okayyyy?!) So I said these simple words. 

I AM TAKING CHARGE OF MY LIFE.

I found hacks for organizing every single aspect of every single room and square foot of our home.

It’s important to ask yourself these simple questions before you begin this giant purge…..

  • Have I touched it in 6 months.
  • Is it useful?
  • Does this need to be replaced?
  • Does this match the end result I’m dreaming of?

If no to any of these questions! Toss it! Start fresh.  Get minimal. Become Thankful.

YOU ARE ENOUGH.

pst……(Organizing hacks for EACH ROOM OF YOUR HOME is our next series) eeeeeekkkkk!!! ok get excited hit that little share button, because good stuff is coming your way~

The Moment it Happened.

December to August in my house was Chaotic, Hectic, Busy, Non Stop, and Confusing. We all hit these times in our Mommy or Career Lives where we have to sit back and pull the reigns. In my case I needed to completely halt them! I have always had goals and ways to reach them, but when you are on the move non stop with no time to be in the moment because you are consistently planning or running it makes life fly by and messy.  While running late which had become a new usual for me, on my way to football practice (which my son was begging after day 4 to not do), with the baby crying in the back from being over tired, listening to “Little Sprigs” podcast on conscious parenting and being in the moment it hit me like a TON OF BRICKS…. Not like a pillow case blow, but literally made my head hurt to the point I turned the car around. I have been running so fast for so long I am missing what is important in my life. Lets rewind a little….About 3 weeks ago, I started to get some serious anxiety just around life in general. I was like the 2-year-old that still hears back round noise and feels the ‘missing out” so can’t sleep. I had my hands in way to many jars with absolutely no direction or focus. I needed to get clarity and focus. I knew a few things so I began to write…..

  1. My children needed me to be present and not always stressed out about what was to come next. Children feed off our feelings and absolutely need us to be present and in the moment with them.
  2. I was so stressed out over work and never getting any thing done I had become in a habit of being in ‘catch up’ mode.
  3. My health and taking care of myself had become non existent and on the back burner. (I even went to the doctor thinking I was sick and got informed that stress can be hidden and sneak up on you with out you realizing it, thus showing signs your “sick.”)
  4. I was trying to be supermom, super woman, super wife, super career with no strategy or organization.

Now lets fast forward…..I started this blog over 30 days ago and have since made some serious dedication to organize and re strategize my entire existence. I failed a few times but here is a list of things that so far, have been serious game changers in balance, freedom, simplicity and over all happiness.

  • I laid out my children and I’s clothing in outfits on hangers for the entire month. No more out fit arguments in the morning, no more sweats and a tank top for me everyday. The best part…. all we do is grab a hanger and the entire outfit is ready for the day.
  • DO THE DISHES….No matter how tired you are. Do the dishes and a quick clean on your kitchen the night before. There is nothing more stressful than waking up and the first thing you think is “oh shit I have cleaning to do from yesterday.”
  • Stay on top of laundry. I have one basket in our entire house that holds exactly 1 load of laundry. When that basket is full, I take it to the washing machine, wash it, dry it, and put it on “out fit hangers” immediately.
  • Write everything down immediately. I have major mom brain and commit to a hundred different things and then forget deadlines. I have two things I write in, my planner for events and scheduling, and then a little notebook of daily to do’s in accomplishing my small and big goals. Every day I work towards something.
  • Handle it. Once. If something needs to be done, do not procrastinate just get up and handle it. Pick up the phone and handle it. Than its done and not lingering on to your next day. Something that once would take you 2 minutes turns into an hour of finding things, sorting things out, making it right. Handle it.
  • Meditate. Pray. Breathe. Repeat. – several times throughout the day.
  • Throw it away. If you havent used it in over 6 months, get rid of it. Having too much stuff makes it impossible to feel de cluttered and free.
  • Plan. Far far far in advance. I’m a dive head first type of girl so this is my biggest struggle. I had on my to do list to plan my September Palette & Paint class. Instead….I planned the dates and booked the location through January. This creates more room and freedom with 1 phone call and a contract.
  • Check List. I Framed cute little Morning and Evening to do’s for my littles so they know whats happening and when it’s happening. Children thrive on STRUCTURE.

These few little things have helped me in a big way over the past month and I hope you can take just one thing that helps you too live more balanced and happy!

#momminainteasy