Sunday, January 24, 2016

Mommy and Me Monday: Snow, Anniversary, Birthday!

On Friday, we had early school closings. The flakes began to fall that night. On Saturday morning, we had more snow - and the kids went out to play! That evening, as is the norm for Atlanta winter, roads were clear and dry and life moved on. I enjoyed a grown-up dinner out to celebrate my 13-year wedding anniversary (today!). Tomorrow, my little guy turns two.

What a fantastic few days of events!

Here we are enjoying our southern snow day...





Linking up with Really, Are You Serious for Mommy and Me Monday! A snow day is a great opportunity for a fun photo with the kiddos.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Vinegar for cleaning: top 5 best uses #home

Do you ever have towels that smell musty no matter how much you wash them or how much snuggly clean, mountain fresh, or floral  fabric softener you use? I just found the solution! One wash with vinegar instead of detergent (and omit fabric softener) can do the trick! This brought life back to our fluffy towels because, finally, they do not stink anymore. I was about to purchase new towels so my 99-cent bottle of white vinegar saved us some cash too.

Do you use vinegar for cleaning at home? You should! Vinegar is one of the most useful items in my pantry. It's not just for salad dressing and dyeing Easter eggs anymore!

Vinegar for cleaning: top 5 best uses at home

(1) Floor cleaner - if you have tile or hardwood floors, you can mop them with watered-down white vinegar. It works just as well as store-bought floor cleaners and it's super easy and inexpensive.

(2) Bath and shower scum remover - A white vinegar scrub can remove stubborn film around the bathtub from grimy kids. You can also get the scum out of shower door tracks/frame by letting some vinegar sit in the grooves for several minutes, then rinsing out.

(3) Removing smells from laundry - As mentioned above, one wash with a cup of white vinegar in the washing machine (instead of detergent and with no fabric softener) can get hard-to-remove mildew odors from fluffy towels. After the vinegar wash, restart another cycle using detergent and softener as usual. Speaking of laundry, a rinse in vinegar can also remove detergent residue that can dull black clothing items.

Friday, January 15, 2016

I forgot how annoying toddlers can be

My little guy is turning the big two in just a few days. He is bursting with new words every day and he is a non-stop ball of inquisitive, noisy energy. I feel like my daughter was a whole lot easier. I mean, she certainly had her awful moments, but I seem to recall that she would sit once in a while.

Maybe I just forgot how annoying toddlers can be. It has been many years since I had a toddler. This recent post on ScaryMommy.com nails it. In 25 things I forgot about having a toddler, the writer hilariously reminds us of the shopping cart Houdini action, never-ending need for door locks, and amazingly destructive powers when it comes to anything the older child holds dear, among others.

She also reminds us that the toddler years fly by quickly. At almost age two, my guy is transitioning to a preschooler faster than I can keep up. He is yelling more and hitting more, but he has decided that chicken is not a method of torture and he will take a bite or three if he feels like it. Progress.

This week? He began an additional day of daycare. He walked into the room on his own today. He grinned at some kids and without tears, turned back to me and said, "bye, Mama!". Progress!

Um... what? That confident little boy walking away from me... when did that happen?

 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The only conference where shoes are optional! #BeachesMoms #BeachesDads

Who takes off their shoes at a conference?
BeachesMoms and BeachesDads do!

Social Media on the Sand was an amazingly successful conference and networking event yet again in 2015. Social Media on the Sand 2015 was the second of what will hopefully be a long-running annual experience for social media influencers and their families. See the past BalancingMama BeachesMoms posts to learn about more of my favorite elements of the resort and conference, and enjoy this fantastic video form our friends at Beaches Resorts.

I guarantee it'll make you smile!



This year’s Social Media on The Sand ‪#‎BeachesMoms‬ and ‪#‎BeachesDads‬ ditched the boardroom and set-up shop along the turquoise coastline of Beaches Turks and Caicos Resort Villages and Spa. With their feet in the sand, the 150 social media influencers sharpened their skills, created meaningful opportunities for their business and of course, immersed themselves in the Beaches Luxury Included Vacation lifestyle. From ‪#‎throwbackthursday‬ 80’s Party and Sip and Sail Welcome event, to a Trick-or-Tweet Halloween bash, this year’s event was epic!

For more info on the event, check out http://www.socialmediaonthesand.com/.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Her last princess movie.

She never wore an Elsa dress. She never asked for her hair in braids or for a funny snowman companion. I was not aware of it at the time, but our family outing to see Disney's Frozen two years ago marked her final princess movie. Some time after those closing credits, my little girl who loved all things sparkle and shine did the unthinkable... she grew up.



While the rest of the little girls in the world were obsessing over Queen Elsa and Princess Anna and squeezing plush Olaf toys for a cozy night of magical dreams, my girl was moving on. One week ago, we peeled the Cinderella decals from her bedroom walls. We donated a few princess dolls to charity last month. My daughter, at 7 1/2 years old, is too mature for princesses. In fact, she's embarrassed to have any connection to princesses. I am not supposed to call her my princess any more.



"You can call me anything else, Mom, but not 'princess'. I'm too big for that." 

We own the Frozen DVD, but I think we watched it twice - by my request, not hers. My daughter's bedroom now shows off a funny Minion poster on the closet door and an Avengers poster on the adjacent jack-and-jill bathroom door. She laughs at the Lego Movie and she buries her nose in Harry Potter books.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Pre-Christmas family fun!

Christmas season is full of activities and family outings. With the record warm weather we have been having down here, we are enjoying more outdoor time and having fun as a family.

We have been busy for a few weeks! To name a few... our preview of the amazing Six Flags Over Georgia Holiday in the Park, elementary school art show, a preschool sing-a-long, and a fun family night at the Lights of Life. Class parties up next! Christmas is coming!

Even if it is 72 degrees outside.






I'm linking up with Really, Are You Serious today for Mommy and Me Monday! Get in front of the camera and join us!

Happy holidays! 


Thursday, December 10, 2015

Favorite family Christmas movies

What are your favorite family traditions around the holidays? 

I love impromptu movie nights! When the weather turns cold and the skies are dark before the kids' bedtime, it's fun to gather the family with blankets, freshly-popped warm popcorn, and a great holiday movie. 

What makes a great family holiday movie? For us, it is something that can entertain the adults and the children. Some of my own favorite holiday movies (like National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and A Christmas Story) still fly over the heads of my young children. They are "boring", so I hear. 

We have found a few family favorites that make everyone happy. This can be a tall order considering the almost 6-year age gap between my two kids. 

Our favorite family Christmas movies are...


Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas - the Jim Carrey live-action version from 2000. The funny costumes, bright colors, and silly faces keep our littlest entertained, while the story holds the interest of our second-grader. Adults love it too!

Home Alone  - the original from 1990, of course. My daughter loves this movie and asks to watch it several times each season. Our little guy sat still through most of it recently and he giggled at all the "bonks" and "boo-boos".

Elf - Will Ferrell, green tights on a grown man, and a ton of syrup - who needs more? This 2003 family holiday movie is my personal favorite. There is enough silliness and color to hold some attention for our toddler, and my daughter thinks it is hilarious. One of the best Christmas movies of all time! 

Arthur Christmas - this one may not be as widely beloved, but it is a family favorite in our home. Cute animation, a dork-turned-hero, and a lot of Christmas spirit make up this family Christmas movie. 

What are your family's holiday favorites?
 
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