Planning a Fun and Patriotic Fourth of July Pool Party

nine layer flag cake

This post is sponsored by Kayak Pools Midwest. Now that summer’s finally here and we’re all enjoying the warm weather and sunshine, it’s time to start thinking about how to celebrate the Fourth of July. If you have a swimming pool in your backyard, throwing a pool party is a time-honored American tradition sure to offer tons of fun for you and your guests. The good news is, a Fourth of July pool party has a built-in theme: Incorporate the red, white and blue into every aspect of the party you can think of—your invitations, menu and decorations are great places to start. As long as you stick with those patriotic colors, you can’t go wrong! Here are a few ideas to help you get the party started. … [Read more...]

Winter Beauty Tips

winter beauty essentials

Yay! February! Even though it came roaring in with our first snow day, I am enjoying winter a little more this month. Sure, it's snowy but the after Christmas let down is gone and the month is broken up by Valentine's Day. Valentine's Day may be a corporate invention but it's still a fun excuse to get dressed up or at the very least pamper yourself a bit. After a couple of months of cold, it's time to take off the woolies and treat your skin right! Read on for my best tips for winter beauty! … [Read more...]

365 Kids : Week One


Last year I resolved to take a picture of my kids everyday. Even with smart phones, I find myself only clicking occasionally. And often those are the "big" times. The beauty of digital photography is that you can capture as much as you want. I want to preserve as much of every day life as we can. I dropped the ball last year early on but this year I recommitting. Of course that means my phone started dying every other day. Life! Still, images from week one of 2015. Follow along on Instagram at #365kids. … [Read more...]

Tackling Those Resolutions


Happy new year! Yeah, I know it was last week but the first Monday back at school is my new year. I mean I did write out all of my resolutions on the first but today is the day I start to put them into action. In partnership with Minute Clinic, this sponsored post is about a few ways to get a jump start on goals for 2015! … [Read more...]

This Is What Democracy Looks Like

Indict the System Black Lives Matter

Ten minutes ago I was sobbing in the car. Granted it has been an emotional morning with a friend losing a parent. But when I heard the descriptions of Eric Garner's last moments alive being described on Democracy Now, a part of me broke. It seems unreal that this is 2014. On Tuesday a friend asked people to attend the student rally on the Mizzou campus. It was both heartening and disheartening. For me, as someone who is twenty years out of college, it was impressive and inspiring to see what students has organized and to hear their voices. But it was incredibly depressing to hear them talk about the micro aggressions and discrimination they experience on a daily basis. The leader read a Mizzou themed list calling out White Privilege. To say that some of the facts she shared were eye opening is an understatement. Time and time again I heard the speakers say that you need to check your privilege at the door. Sometimes we need to shut up and listen and this is that time. When I … [Read more...]

Use Your Cell to Shop Like a Pro This Season

Apps for Holiday Shopping

One of my favorite parts of being an ambassador for US Cellular is using their 4G LTE network to rock out when I shop. It keeps me connected, gets me the best deals, and rewards me for shopping. What could be better than that? Even if you're not like me and don't plan to visit all of the stores during busy holiday season and instead like to shop from your couch, smartphones can assist in ensuring you are efficient in your purchases. Below great apps to assist in your shopping, no matter if you do it from home or the couch. … [Read more...]

10 Tips For a Sane Holiday

Tips for a Sane and Happy Holiday

Heads up: I wrote this post as part of my participation in a blog tour for The Motherhood on behalf of the makers of Children’s MOTRIN® and received compensation to thank me for taking the time to participate. However, all opinions expressed are my own. This is the moment when I pull out phrases like "Oh lordy" because husband gone on a business trip plus child sick plus other child freaking out plus a random Tuesday off (WTF school district!) plus too much work equals one exhausted me. Then my friend mentioned there are only seven Saturdays until Christmas. OH LORDY. But never fear because I have kind of cracked the code for a sane holiday. When I follow these ten tips I get all zen like and feel no need to bring out the lordyness. So read on my friends, read on. … [Read more...]

Your Classism is Showing

Deb Copaken Cafe Dot Com

This morning I started my post kids equivalent of the New York Times at the local cafe: the website Cafe and a cup of lukewarm tea at my breakfast table. I was especially excited to read Deb Copaken's first piece for them. Her books have long been favorites of mine. Especially Hell Is Other Parents which, before I started reading blogs, was the one thing that assured me that I was not alone in thinking parenting was a crazy ass trip. Then I saw the words that were chosen to be caught in an image for the Cafe piece... Really? May I repeat that again R_E_A_L_L_Y? … [Read more...]


Terror Twins Halloween

This post is in partnership with Tresemme and Global Influence. We had such a blast yesterday! The girls always surprise me with their Halloween choices. This year they cycled through a few ideas before settling on a bunny and a mummy. Though we usually make our costumes, we ended up buying a bunny outfit for Calamity Jane since the late decision tested my limited crafting skills. But Desmonda Drama's costume was all handmade. If you can call outfitting your child in a thermals and wrapping her in toilet paper handmade. She looked great before we left the house but left a trail of toilet paper all over the neighborhood. Once we got to our playgroud's annual party, the husband decided costume triage was in order. Our bed sheet was sacrificed only to also come apart. Lesson learned. In honor of the holiday, I did my own transformation and did my hair and put on lipstick. Amazing what a difference that makes. Check it out... After transforming the kids into à bunny and … [Read more...]

Holiday Gift Guide 2014

Holiday Gift Guide

Here it is: my Holiday Gift Guide for 2014! Gifts are definitely my love language and I love sharing the best finds for your gift giving needs. I will be sharing ideas throughout the month as well as oodles of giveaways. So bookmark this page and check back often! And don't forget to use Ebates while shopping online to earn cash back! Click through for a link to all of the gift ideas and giveaways. It will be updated throughout the month of November! … [Read more...]