Most of us tend to forget the spirit of the season because we get lost in the hustle and the bustle that is inevitable this time of year. The Holidays are all about spending time with family and friends so make sure to keep that in mind when planning for the season ahead. I’ve got some tips to make entertaining easier.
My focus is always on three areas of the house: the kitchen, the pantry and the dining room. Keeping your pantry, kitchen and fridge stocked with the essentials is key.
MOMS HOLIDAY PREP
One of my favorite entertaining essentials is stocking a bar cart like this Threshold Metal & Stone Bar Cart and matching Barware Tool Set with festive beverages and mixers. That way, your guests can have fun mixing their own cocktails and you’re not stuck behind the bar all night.
Pre-Mix one custom cocktail and set out wine, beer, sodas and a big bucket of ice and it’s totally self-serve. Another time saver? Pre-washed and pre-cut Archer Farms Veggies ready to go as soon as you open the bag. Need to freshen up your snack rotation? Try Archer Farms holiday trail and snack mixes that are available for just a couple of weeks during the holiday season, so grab them while you can!
Another tip? Don’t sweat the menu. Sure you want some wow-factor (like a great turkey stuffed with sage and basted with Madeira), but you need some easy go-to recipes. Success® Rice takes just 10 minute to make and can be a key ingredient in some tasty recipes. like this Cranberry Pecan Brown Rice Stuffing. It’s tasty, elegant and effortless. It’s a great classic recipe with a modern twist that will wow your guests. And there’s a variety of products available including White, Whole Grain Brown, Jasmine and Basmati. Everyone in the family will love it. Success is in the Bag.®
Cranberry Pecan Brown Rice Stuffing
2 bags Success® Brown Rice
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 tsp dried orange peel
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 Tbsp margarine
1/2 cup celery, finely sliced
2 Tbsps shallots, finely chopped (may substitute onion)
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1/2 cup pecans, chopped and toasted
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
salt and ground black pepper, to taste
Prepare rice according to package directions. In a medium microwave safe bowl, mix cranberries and orange peel with chicken stock and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Set aside. Heat a large sauce pan over HIGH heat and add margarine. Stir in celery, shallot and poultry seasoning and sauté 3 minutes. Stir in cranberry mixture, pecans, parsley and rice and cook over medium heat for 3 more minutes or until all liquid is absorbed.
To toast pecans: Pre-heat oven to 350ºF. Place pecans on a small cookie sheet and bake for 5 minutes. Be careful not to burn pecans. Cool.
Are you a mom who works? So am I. Sometimes I just feel overwhelmed by all I need to do. I want to not feel exhausted and like I’m not connecting with those I love the most.
Jessica Turner’s Stretched Too Thin course is the perfect way to hit the reset button and filter through the “busy-ness” of life and focus on what really matters. Give yourself the gift of this course—you deserve it.
Did you read the book, Fringe Hours? I did. I loved it and the message it possesses. This book gives us permission to recharge and to fuel our creativity. It was a balm for working moms. Author Jessica Turner seemed to be looking into my soul and speaking to me. She seemed to know that so many of us need help. Now she’s given mom another gift a course you can take online to help you with the juggle.
Friends, Stretched Too Thin came at the right time. I just wrote the book, Mom Boss and it’s all about empowering moms to start businesses and growth them while also tending to family. Stretched Too Thin is the companion piece to my book. Let me say it again, Jessica gets us.
Set aside time in your life to take this course. In ten days you can hit the re-set button. In Stretched Too Thin, you’ll get instant access to the online video series, a supportive online community of working moms on the same journey (private Facebook group), and a bonus resource library that will help you dive deeper into the topics we cover in the course. Bonus: You can do it all from home!
Sign Up for Stretched Too Thin Now
Stretched Too Thin will only be open for enrollment October 10-17, 2016. It will not be open again until an undetermined date in 2017. The course is affordably priced at $39 and includes more than $200 in bonus materials.
Help for Working Moms
You’re not alone mama. In a survey conducted by Jessica in summer 2016, more than 2,000 women shared their most common struggles. This data shows that working moms are struggling in the following areas:
Home management (80%) // Self-care (78%) // Marriage (65%) // Friendship (55%) // Family commitments (35%) // Leaving work at work (35%)
We all feel the pinch, and these areas are all addressed in Stretched Too Thin. But it’s not just a course, you get access to other incredible materials. Here’s what else you get: $700 in bonus ebooks, courses and more.
Bonuses include: Cozy Minimalist Mom course – value $39 // Grove Collaborative Method product bundle – value $30 // One Bite at a Time ebook – value $8 // How to Create Fruitful Friendships ebook – value $8 // Simply Tuesday: Small-Moment Living in a Fast-Moving World video series – value $20 // Make-Ahead Meal Plan – value $29 // 5 Days to a Better Morning ebook – value $8 // (in)courage Motherhood ebook – value $8 // Planner Bootcamp course – value $39 // Staying Rooted in Community: (in)courage video – value $12
Summer is here and it’s time to show some skin. I think summer nails can be a great accessory, and to get the best summer nails. I’ve got a few tricks and favorites.
Best Summer Nails Tips
First, I try to give my nails a rest. During the winter, I’m likely to leave my toes bare and just wear a basic polish on my nails. My winter treatment tends to be more basic and restorative. During the summer, it’s all about color!
Second, since I love to change up the color, I do my own toes and nails. They only polish I keep in the house is Sally Hansen Miracle Gel. It’s a total game-changer ladies. You can get a salon-quality polish in two steps.
Here’s why I love it:
Where to get it
All you need is the Miracle Gel Value Pack The #1 zero light gel system! (you can find it at most drug stores and at Walmart.com). Start with clean dry nails, apply two coats of color, add a top coat and you’re done. In just two easy steps, I get over a week of hi-gloss color. And it dries super-fast–much faster than traditional polish. Pricing ranges from $13.99 and up.
When do you tend to do your nails? For me, it’s all about catching a netflix binge session and getting bold color on my nails. Lately I’ve been catching up on HBO’s Girls as I polish away. I find trying to do my nails when the kids are awake is like going on a diet in Paris–pointless.
The colors this summer are amazing. I’m wearing Prince Char-mint on my toes and Regal Rosé on my hands. All I need is a great sundress and I’m ready for a summer party.
My final tip? Don’t go all matchy-matchy. Pick colors that compliment one another. I usually go for a bolder color on my toes and a more neutral color on my fingernails. And I’m crazy about all the nail metallic accents I’m seeing too.
This is not a sponsored post. Sally Hansen has gifted us nail colors to test.
I love the subscription box trend and Ecocentric Mom is a great addition to the category. From beauty to diapers to food, it’s great to get goodies delivered right to your door. Busy moms don’t have time to shop for the hottest accessories, let alone keep up with what’s eco-friendly in the beauty and personal care category.
How it Works
EcoCentric Mom is a monthly subscription box that aims to take care of mom and her wish to do right by the environment.
When you subscribe to EcoCentric Mom you will receive a bunch of hand selected, eco-friendly products for your stage of motherhood, conveniently delivered to your door. For our tester box we were delighted by what we found inside. Check it out:
So many good things in one small little package. Here’s a close-up of the box that I received. In each box, you’ll get 5-9 sample size products. I found them to be very generously sized not skimpy at all. My box included photo natural products to revitalize and renew for spring. I got products for better skin, hair, breath and nutrition. And EcoCentric Mom made sure to leave out the excess ingredients and toxic additives. For a full list of products you can visit the “Past Boxes” section of the site–it’s a great place to research your favorites and get special savings codes on re-orders.
EcoCentric Mom Box Choices
There are three options, each customized to a different phase of the motherhood journey. I picked the “Mom Box” but you can also pick from “Mom & Baby Box” and the “Pregnancy Box.”
You can also customize your commitment. For starters, my “Mom Box” is $24.95/box plus $4.00 signup fee and it renews monthly (so remember to cancel when you are ready!). You can save on pre-purchasing a 12-month deal.
Mother’s Day is May 8th and whether you’re celebrating as a mom yourself or looking for ideas to indulge a loved one, we are bringing you what moms really want this Mother’s Day. We are giving away a bundle of fabulous prizes to celebrate the special women in our lives we call, “Mom”.
Giving mama one less thing to worry about is a gift all in itself. The Owlet Baby Care Monitor is the only monitor of its kind. It uses hospital technology called pulse oximetry, Owlet Baby Care is designed to alert you if your baby stops breathing.
Owlet silently watches over your little one to give you peace of mind, and maybe even a full night’s sleep. Don’t let the cuteness fool you. Over 100,000 hours of testing went into the Owlet monitor. This adorable sock packs a lot of punch. It fits right into any nursery and its advanced technology carefully monitors your baby giving mama a much needed sense of comfort and ease. Your Owlet Monitor grows with your baby and comes with three sock sizes, providing peace and mind way past baby’s first birthday.
I just celebrated my eldest child’s 8th birthday. Every year I celebrate their birthdays right along with them as a remembrance of the day(s) I became their mama. I tell each of them their birth story (a tradition my grandma passed down to my mom and then to me) and relive that special day over and over again. Miracle Links jewelry is a special gift that can serve as a daily reminder of the connection I feel to each of my three littles. I love how the mom is represented by a larger ring connected to a ring designated for each child. Each necklace is a classic, sophisticated piece that is not only pleasing to the eye, but warms the heart as well. Miracle Links Jewelery is available at Jared the Galleria of Jewelry and celebrates the bond between mother and child. The large link represents the mother and the attached smaller link(s) represent the child…each time a new baby is born a link is added to the chain.
And even though my littles are getting bigger and bigger, I use a video monitor to watch over them and make it feel connected to them even when they snooze. I have tried many monitors and I am loving the AT&T Smart Sync™ 5” Internet Viewable Touch Screen Video Monitor. Not only can I watch my children while they sleep, this monitor helps me track meds, feedings, weight and height and the info can be shared easily with the children’s caretakers in seconds. I can also upload a photo right to social media from the monitor itself!
Baby’s Journey, an innovative children’s products manufacturer, and AT&T launched a new baby monitor line, providing instant and intelligent information about babies’ health and wellness. With the AT&T Smart Sync™ 5” Internet Viewable Touch Screen Video Monitor, parents can see their baby and track important activities on the monitor or through the free AT&T Smart Sync™ Mobile App, giving users the most sophisticated way to monitor baby. The touch screen monitor and App automatically sync, providing a seamless viewing and tracking experience. Parents can capture and share photos directly to social media from the monitor or via the App.Features a Log & Track function, which allows parents to easily keep record of baby’s feedings, weight, height, sleep, diaper changes and medicine reminders. Other features include Wi-Fi connectivity, built-in rechargeable battery, easy night viewing with infrared LEDs and compatibility with any service provider. Nothing makes a mama happier than feeling connected to her babes, in charge of their well being and updated on their latest behaviors.
Mother’s Day just isn’t complete without flowers, right? Of course, a beautiful bouquet is a home run to make any mother feel appreciated. All Teleflora floral arrangements are professionally-arranged and hand-delivered by a local florist in your neighborhood and arrives ready to enjoy. Teleflora, the world’s leading floral delivery service, is celebrating inspiring mothers with the launch of the #OneToughMother Campaign and a new collection of Mother’s Day bouquets available now at Teleflora.com. Teleflora is the world’s leading floral delivery service with a network of more than 11,000 local florists in the U.S. and Canada.
As much as I wish I could still wear my four inch heels every day, my feet are happy that I have become more sensible. BZEES allows your feet to be happy while putting a little pep in your step. Bzees is the brand of women’s sporty footwear that rejuvenates the mind and body from the feet up. Wearing Bzees inspires a youthful, carefree confidence that invigorates you. All styles are designed with cloud technology including free-foam footbeds, dynamic stretch uppers, air-infused outsoles and are machine washable to provide a “light feels right” footwear option for women.
And speaking of time, what mama doesn’t want a little time to indulge in a some retail therapy. I love to shop Marshall’s and TJ Maxx because I delight in finding the unexpected. On a recent trip, I scored this fabulous jumpsuit, perfect for a Mother’s Day brunch or a spring party. Whether your mom is a beauty lover, looking for some pampering, an entertaining enthusiast, or a fashionista, T.J.Maxx & Marshallshave you covered with the latest on-trend designer gifts at unbeatable prices. With scented soaps and lotions, to acrylic carafes and glasses, and even designer totes, it’s a one-stop-shop!
And to give mom a little “me” time, how about some new titles to add to her reading list? These romantic reads will whisk her away and allow mom to unwind and get away from the never-ending “to do” list.
For the mom who loves to spend time in the kitchen, we love the innovative products from Cuisinart and Waring. I love cook, but never seem to have enough time. I need my kitchen tools to work for me. The sleek, new Elemental 11 Food Processor (BPA free) from Cuisinart allows home cooks to quickly and easily prep larger portions of ingredients for bigger meals. With an 11-cup work bowl, a stainless steel blade and two slicing/shredding discs, it’s the ultimate timesaver.
For the mom who likes a more traditional jewelry piece, this locket from Chamilia offers classic charm with an unexpected twist. The Open Work Locket from Chamilia, with its openwork leaf pattern, is crafted to appear as an heirloom “seed pod” that ingeniously opens at the top to reveal an engraved sterling silver millegrain-lined plate, with matching front and back hand-lettered message “I Love You,” that hangs from a 32” chain with spring-ring closure. I love how this statement piece uses positive and negative space to create beauty and depth.
We wish you all a very Happy Mother’s Day and hope these ideas make your shopping a little easier this year! And we have some exciting news…a Mother’s Day giveaway!
One lucky reader will win a bundle of goodies from our sponsors, Enter the giveaway via Rafflecopter below:
Yesterday I got to sit down with three top US athletes to talk about sports, the road to the Rio Olympics and the latest Procter & Gamble Thank You Mom campaign. Procter & Gamble gathered the athletes to launch the newest installment of the ‘Thank You Mom’ films. I was one of the first people to get a look at the latest film in the Thank You Mom series, called ‘Strong’ developed for the Rio 2016 Olympics.
Do you remember the “Pick Them Back Up” films (cue the tears) and “Best Job” films from the London 2012 and the Sochi 2014 Olympic campaigns? These films were among the most viewed and shared Olympic videos of all time. The latest film, ‘Strong’ explores a universal human truth that a mother’s courage in times of adversity becomes a deep well of strength her children draw on throughout their lives.
I got to chat with athletes featured in the film and a few others that are joining the Procter & Gamble team. Each athlete was with her mom.
I want to share highlights from each of my interviews. First I sat down with Simone Biles, a Tide Pods athlete. Simone will be heading to the Olympics for the first time, but she’s already achieved international gymnastics success. Simone has a high voltage smile and a can-do attitude. She said she’s “small but powerful, like the Tide Pods.” I chatted with Gabby’s mom, Nellie Biles about getting ready for the Olympics and supporting her girl.
Simone grew up in Ohio and now lives and trains in Texas. I learned that Simone is the most decorated American female gymnast in World Championship history, and she’s only 19!
Simone told me her mom helps keep her “grounded and focused” especially on the bad days. She said the emotional support she gets from her mom is key to helping her perform at her best.
I asked Simone how she recovers from a fall or missed trick. Her advice: “Pick yourself up and remember the last time you did it right.” Simone preps for big events by visualizing her routines and sticking her landings. She calls the perfect routine the “dream routine.”
Nellie helps keep the family together planning big Sunday suppers like stuffed pork chops. Simone and her siblings give mom Nellie menu requests and then they all gather together for time to reflect on all their blessings. The whole family plans to travel to Rio to support Simone.
This Olympics will be a little different for swimmer Dana Vollmer. This time around the pressure is off a bit, she already has four Olympic medals! Her big news: She’s a new mom (her son just turned one)! This time around Dana is just enjoying the ride and trying to make the team again while giving her all to motherhood. Dana and I chatted about new babies and routines. Her typical day involves not just swimming, but also diaper changing. Dana is a proud Pampers athlete and she’s embracing the dual role with aplomb. Surrounded by college athletes still in their teens, she’s the one breastfeeding in the locker room–pretty impressive!
Dana says having her son has given her new priorities. At first she didn’t know if a comeback was possible after having the baby. She says, “I still want to perform well in the pool, but my top priority is my son.”
Joining Dana at the P & G event was her mom, Cathy Vollmer. Cathy was Dana’s first swim coach and the one responsible for gently guiding Dana to competitive swimming.Dana now relies on her mom not just for support at the pool, but also looks to her for parenting advice.
Cathy and I talked about taking the pressure off of athletes in the early years and letting them try lots of sports. Cathy said she always tried to bring optimism and high expectations to the swimming pool. When Cathy started Dana with swim team it was a low-key summer league. Cathy let her kids play multiple sports and tried to keep things as fun as possible.
Dana specialized in swimming in 8th grade and says she really benefitted from her exposure to other sports. She’ll be following her mom’s lead and looks forward to exposing her son to lots of sports too. No matter what happens with the Olympic trials, Dana already feels like she won.
Last but certainly not least, I chatted with Gabby. Gabby Douglas is a familiar face to most of us. Who can forget her performance at the last Olympics earning a gold medal and helping the “Fab Five” win the team gold too. Gabby is back for another Olympics and will be a Venus athlete.The brand partnership with Venus is a great match. Venus is flexible and nimble–just like Gabby.
Gabby sat chatted alongside her vibrant mom Natalie Hawkin. I asked Gabby what her mom gives her that her coaches don’t. The answer was easy. She said, “words of wisdom and unconditional love!”
Natalie and I talked about how she keeps Gabby steady. Natalie knows that she’s not a coach. “My role is to help Gabby see the big picture and to make sure she keeps her perspective on this.” Natalie wants Gabby to make decisions that will help her in the long run.
Gabby says she loves her mom’s cooking and how her mom keeps her grounded. They always travel together–just hanging out withe them for a bit it was clear, their bond was so strong.
One thing all three athletes had in common was the gratitude and love they had for their moms. It was inspiring to see all these athletes heaping praise on the women who brought them up and devoted so much to their dreams.
It’s not just these moms who are helping kids fulfill their dreams. Moms everywhere are helping their kids grow up strong and smart. P & G spent some time researching what moms do and what they want.
Gratitude isn’t innate. It’s taught. So is the art of the personal thank you note.
Parents have to lead by example and model how to be gracious and receive with grace. A big part of that is giving thanks. Since it’s the season on giving, I carve time out to teach my children to look at each gift with joy. Someone took the time, money and effort to pick something special out for them. Even if they don’t immediately LOVE that new pair of long underwear, I expect them to smile, say “thank you” and send a note after.
Having kids write thank you notes is a must to teach them to be grateful. Here are some ideas in how to get them to write great notes of appreciation.
Personalized stationery makes all the difference in motivating your kids to write. Stock up and make sure some new notes appear under the Christmas Tree. Minted has TONS of adorable options that you can personalize. I’m smitten with the Sweet Hello cards and then the Animal Hello cards–those are especially nice since they have lines to guide the kids’ hands.
Toast is cool again. Not just boring bread and butter, we’re talking healthy toast that’s topped with super foods. Chef Amie Valpone from Thehealthyapple.com shows inspired ways to stack your toast for breakfast, lunch, snacks or desserts. Lots of kid-friendly ideas too!
Momtrends’ YouTube channel is all about providing fashion and style inspiration to moms. From the trendiest fashions to the coolest gear to beauty trends, we want you to feel fabulous every day.
Braids are getting a twist! There’s a cool new tool from Conair that combines a twist with the fun trend of braids. The video shows you a demo on the Conair Quick Twist a nifty new device Conair to create beautiful, twisty braids in seconds.