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Mom Crush Monday - The Freedom Kids Need from Helicopter Parenting

Happy Monday! Hope you all had a wonderful weekend with your families.  I'm here to bring you another Mom Crush Monday post.  This week I am featuring Sarah from The Halfassed Housewife.  Sarah, The Half-Assed Housewife, spends her sunny southwestern days chasing her herd of kidiots, half-assing housework and sometimes blogging. She likes her coffee as dark as her humor and as strong as her opinions.  I absolutely adore Sarah's sarcasm and writing and I think you will too! This is one of my favorite posts of hers about helicopter parenting and why she doesn't watch her kids play.


helicopter parenting

I don't watch my kids play - the freedom kids need from helicopter parenting

I might be alot of things but a helicopter parent certainly isn't one of them.  I don't watch my kids. I don't control my kids and their playtime or run behind them on the playground. I don't hover. It wasn't that long ago that I recall reading articles about free-range parenting (a term which has thankfully faded into the great unknown) and how parents were shamelessly ridiculed for not watching their kids play every moment of every day. 

Let me set the stage before someone calls Child Protection on me for "not watching my kids". I'm currently not watching them as I type this. There is some army-style sneaking happening by the older kids and the little ones have made a giant mud-puddle after taking it upon themselves to water our newly planted Raspberry bushes and are, I am certain sitting in it.

They are playing, happily.

We have a large yard with a somewhat secure fence on all four sides. We actually have 2 acres of property. Our backfield is fenced so that, in theory, our asshole goats will stay back there. In Theory. We have sheds, wood piles, a "vintage car" parked on the guesthouse lawn, tool shed, four wheelers, trees, grass, sandboxes and mud-pits courtesy of an Idiot Australian Shepherd and a two-year old with a hose.

I can see and hear what it is going on outside almost at all times. When I can't hear the kids, I go find them. I can spot them from the kitchen window climbing a tree, a fence or an addition they built to their Little Tykes castle using an old trash can.

They have places specifically designed for them. We have a trampoline, we have a swing set, we have a sandbox. Those kid-friendly areas are used frequently but rarely in the way they were intended. The trampoline is more like an MMA octagon, the sandbox is a buffet and the swing set has seen some crazy Ninja Warrior skills from all 3 kids. I have noticed the less I watch the kids, the more adventurous they become. Or, the less they think I am watching them, the more confident they become in themselves. I also notice some wierd things being created by them all. We adults would call them messes but in our brush-off sort of way - but they are masterpieces and feats of engineering in their own respect. They are created by my kids every single day. Had I been hovering or helicoptering my kids, these things never would have been created.

kids play


I have seen some impressive problem-solving occur from the kitchen window as I sip my coffee and don't hover over my kids like a helicopter. I have watched the three kids form alliances and make deals and solve fights without my ever having to leave the comfort of my living room. Kids who spend the better part of an entire meal pinching, kicking, poking and fighting have spent hours upon hours working together to dig a hole for a fort or collect the perfect rocks for a castle wall. Granted, I have also seen my herd run screaming past the window with sticks. Just because I don't helicopter does not mean I don't parent. I took the sticks away and sent them back outside.

I will not hover, control or helicopter parent. I am what I like to think of as a Drone Parent. If I see or hear of something going down I appear from nowhere and shut-that-shit down Drone Strike style without warning. Whenever I see some real shit about to go down I appear magically in the front door, hollering in my most serious mom-voice something along the lines of "absolutely fucking not". The kids look around as though the Voice of Reason has just called to them and then they quickly scramble to quit doing whatever it was mom caught them doing that they shouldn't have been. The "absolutely fucking not" is reserved for moments like the time I saw two 7-year-olds transferring a pickaxe and a fire extinguisher from a shed to the backyard for reasons that I could only imagine. Nothing more needed to be said and we haven't had that issue happen again. Sometimes a quick yell from the window about hitting, sharing, screaming like you're dying or trying to get out of the gate will suffice.

This drone style parenting is not for the faint of heart. There is a risk that while you cook dinner, three feet from the door your kids will be covering one another head-to-frickin-toe with tile thin-set powder. There is a very good chance that you will have to hose off your child multiple times, probably millions, throughout their childhood. There is a good chance that scrapes and bruises will become commonplace, but you will see that tears and band-aids are only requested when absolutely necessary. I have seen small children tackle tasks much larger than themselves with the determination of a nation. There is a good chance you will start to believe that when a tiny voice tells you "NO! I CAN DO IT!" that they can.

Not a helicopter.

I had read an article months ago about somewhere in Europe creating what basically amounted to a Junk Yard where parents weren't allowed beyond the gate so that kids could do what kids are supposed to do. Apparently, that is break shit and get tetanus. I wouldn't necessarily take my kids to this pre-fab junkyard to bounce around BUT letting them explore their own surroundings, at their own will, without my constant hovering, nagging, directing and fun-stealing has really allowed everyone to grow.

I don't miss anything because what I don't see while peering at my children occasionally they excitedly tell me about. Tugging my shirt to come see their sand castle, mud pie, rock pile - or telling stories over dinner about their day. Sometimes they don't tell us. Sometimes their dad and I will be out wandering the yard and find something that looks like an army fort or a ramp or who knows what. We found some Hay Hooks in the bushes once. Immediately moved those out of reach, but I bet that was a really fun game of pirates.

 Thanks so much Sarah for the laughs and a funny start to our Monday!

Are you a helicopter mom, drone parent or somewhere in the middle?



4 Tips for a Clean Enough House




Spring is here and to me there's nothing better than opening the windows to let in that fresh breeze and a nice clean house. But I gotta be honest, I'm not much for heavy duty cleaning.  There's other things I'd rather be doing, like taking my dude to the park or sitting outside on the deck with an iced coffee and a good book.  And let's face it, with an 18 month old and a dog my house is never going to be spotless, messes are sure to happen. Since becoming a mom I've adopted a new motto, embrace life's messes, I just want my house to be clean enough.
spring cleaning

So today I am sharing 4 Tips for a Clean Enough House so you can enjoy the gorgeous weather and time with your family and friends.

1.) Wipe down counters and clean sinks - every morning (after my coffee of course,) I do all the dishes in the sink, empty the dishwasher and wipe down all my countertops. Throughout the day I try to put any dirty dishes and cups in the dishwasher or wash as I go.

2.) Tidy up the bathroom - Once I've showered and I'm done getting ready for the day, I hang up my towels, wipe down the bathroom counters and give the bathroom sinks a quick cleaning.

3.) Clean your floors - Between Maxwell throwing his food from his highchair (that's how he tells me he's 'Done', does anyone else's kid do that?) and muddy paws, my floors need a good wipe down on the daily. I just got a new Libman Freedom Mop and let me tell you it has made mopping super fast and easy.  You can use it to clean wood, marble, stone, linoleum or laminate floors and the 360 degree swivel neck is great for getting in tough to reach spaces like under the dog's dishes and appliances.

spring cleaning
I mean how could a face that cute be capable of making such a mess?

What I love most though is that it's so easy to fill with your cleaner, attach the microfiber cloth and you're good to go! There's no buckets of water and cleaner needed and you're not pushing dirty water around on your floors. And when you're done, just throw the microfiber pad in the washing machine, it's good for up to 100 washes.

spring cleaning
spring cleaning


Head on over to The Libman Company website and sign up for their newsletter to receive a $3 off coupon!

4.) Declutter your living spaces - Last I tidy up my living room and other living spaces. I straighten up the pillows and blankets on the couches, pick up all of Maxwell's toys and put away any other clutter.
 
By sticking with this quick routine, I can keep my house clean enough and presentable so I can enjoy the nicer weather.  What are some of your quick cleaning tips?

And don't forget to sign up for the Libman Company newsletter and get your $3 off coupon!

Happy Spring!

Mom Crush Monday - 7 Goals Every Mom Should Have for Herself

 Happy Monday mamas!  One of the cool things that I have enjoyed as part of this blogging community has been connecting with other women and mothers like ourselves.  As such, I wanted to start something new where every Monday from now until Mother's Day I feature a "Mom Crush Monday" post where I share a blogger that I enjoy following and a post of theirs that I think is special. 

To kick us off I am sharing Sierra from Beautifully Candid. Sierra is a fellow boymama like myself who is candid in sharing her experiences in motherhood. I love how real she and I admire her sense of humor, which is so important.  Here is her post 7 Goals Every Mom Should Have For Herself.



The past few weeks it seems like my boys have been sick off and on which has really limited us to being able to do alot.  On a good note, the slower pace has been nice for a change. I guess in between dealing with cleanup duty, I've had some time to sit around and think while everyone's laid out on the couch watching Paw Patrol. I have all of these goals and self inflections that keep popping into my head.

I shared the above picture on my instagram last week because as much as we have so much fun and enjoy all of our adventures together, there are days where it is not easy. Having two under two was no walk in the park, but at the same time, I wouldn't trade if for the world.

I'm thankful early on as a mother I was able to accept that things aren't perfect, life with kids is messy and even when you think you have something figured out, usually one of them throws a monkey wrench in there and you need to adapt all over again.

I'm sharing what's helped me as a mom, and when you think about it, we're all in this together and can learn a thing or two from each other.

1. Give yourself grace: this has been the biggest one for me and such a weight lifted off of my shoulders when I accepted that perfection doesn't exist. Let me rephrase that, I never really strived for perfection, but I think when you have an idea of motherhood in your head and it doesn't go as planned, you need to give yourself grace. Before I had kids, I thought I had this parenting concept in the bag. I would look at other kids and think, not-ah, that won't be my kid. I will not be a mom who takes my kids to McDonald's, my kids are going to have cute clothes and they are going to use their manners always. Ha! Oh silly me. Sometimes momming can catch up to you and you need to  remind yourself that we're all human and grace is a beautiful thing.

2. Build your confidence as a mom: there are some people that are really gifted and great with kids no matter what the situation is. I'm sure being a kid whisperer must be a thing right? I have friends who are teachers and some that have psychology degrees, and I would think, if I just knew a little bit more about dealing with kids maybe I could master this whole mom thing. What I've come to learn is regardless of your background, you know what's best for your child and are a master in your own way. If you are confident in your abilities as a parent, it will switch your whole outlook and allow you to handle situations differently and utilize what works best for you.

3. Trust your instincts: It's going to be a reoccurring thing over here with me saying you know your kid best because I truly believe that. When it comes to them not feeling well, grasping certain things or displaying odd behaviors, trust your gut.

4. Learn how to ask for help: this should seem like an easy one but you would be surprised at some people who are just not able to swallow their pride. I don't think it makes you any less of a person if you reach out to someone and say "I can't do it today" or "can you please help?" In fact, I applaud you for that. It's ok to admit that on some days we might need an extra hand or a few minutes to just step away. In the end, it's usually beneficial for everyone involved.

5. Learn how to say I'm sorry: this has also been a big one for me. I don't intentionally do it but I've been guilty of automatically assuming that my older son has been the trouble maker in some of their toddler scuffles. I mean, knocking over someone's Lego castle that they worked hard on is not cool. I've been in the other room preparing dinner and heard cries coming down the hall. Little nugget will run to me and without hearing the full story I've been quick to want to put A on a time-out. After I slow down and hear the whole story I've had to apologize several times for my own actions and mistakes as a parent. I think it's so important for our children to hear when we are sorry and admit our mistakes.

6. Downtime goals: It's important to also figure out a way to work in some downtime for yourself. This is something I have to remind myself of frequently because usually when I sit down I'm thinking about the three baskets of laundry in my room that I have yet to get to and still working on my superpowers to blink and magically make them go away. I always feel better after a cup of hot tea, lighting a scented candle, putting my phone away and catching up on one of my shows.

7. Learn how to laugh: some days I don't know whether to laugh or cry, sometimes both, or maybe even at the same time. There's a reason why we're taught a cheerful heart is good like medicine. I can't say we're like this all the time and I don't want to come off like a mom who laughs at her kids when the are upset, that's not the case. But sometimes they come out with the silliest excuses to things, like how they can't pick up their toys because their legs don't work. You can't help but laugh or you might drive yourself crazy. I also think a smile is contagious. If one of us starts smiling or laughing it creates a ripple effect and everyone ends up in a better mood.

Here's to laughing, crying, saying I'm sorry, being confident and giving ourselves grace. You got this mama!


Thank you so much Sierra for sharing this piece with us! I think there are so many important reminders for all of us mamas. What is one thing you've learned on your motherhood journey?

Have a great week!

The Best DIY Coffee Face Scrub

As a busy mom, the first step to my low key beauty regimen is a nice, glowing complexion.  This is the Best DIY Coffee Face Scrub recipe.  It combines my love of coffee with 3 easy natural ingredients for brighter skin.

The Best DIY Coffee Face Scrub

When it comes to my skincare and beauty regimen, I'm a low maintenance girl. My routine is usually a face scrub for some exfoliation, a moisturizer, a swipe of bronzer for some color, and maybe some mascara.  I love this DIY Coffee Face Scrub recipe.  It seriously works better than any other expensive product I've ever used.  The coffee contains antioxidants which works to help protect our skin from free radicals thereby increasing bloodflow, reducing fine lines and wrinkles and reversing the effects of UV damage from the sun. The sugar helps slough away any dead skin cells leaving behind fresh skin. And the coconut oil packs an extra punch of moisturizer as well as antimicrobial properties for any acne prone skin.

After a cold winter my skin's been looking pretty dull and lackluster.  Rubbing on this DIY Coffee Face Scrub seriously felt like an energy shot for my skin!  And it left my skin looking so refreshed after, much like I look after drinking a cup of my favorite joe.


See recipe and directions below:

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup of ground coffee
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of coconut oil
Directions:
  • In a bowl combine coffee and sugar mixing together.
  • Add in coconut oil, stirring well.
  • Apply a warm washcloth to your face for a few minutes (this helps to open your pores so it can drink up more of the coffee goodness reaping more of the benefits.)
  • Apply scrub mixture in circular motions, being careful not to get into your eyes or mouth.
  • Let sit for 15 minutes 
  • Wash off with a warm washcloth
  • Store the rest in a mason jar in your bathroom or in a cool place. 


The Best DIY Coffee Face Scrub


The Best DIY Coffee Face Scrub



There you have it! A quick, cheap and easy DIY Coffee Face Scrub recipe that will leave your skin looking and feeling like you just had an expensive treatment at the spa.  If you happen to try this recipe let me know how you like it! Have a great weekend!

Friday favorites - Hunter boots at Target, Non-Candy Easter basket ideas and more

Happy Friday!!!! Who's ready for the weekend? I know I am! So much happened this week. Anyone else still recovering from daylight savings?  My little dude started walking (yayyy!!!) and chasing him has become my new cardio so that's a plus. Also we got pounded with what felt like 10 feet of snow, well not really, but I'm so ready for spring weather! Speaking of spring, I thought I'd do another Friday Favorites post and this one's got spring in mind. I'm sharing ways to score a pair of Hunter boots from Target, a delish chocolate Guinness milkshake for St Patrick's Day, some of my favorite non-candy Easter basket ideas and more!

So lets get to it with my Friday Favorites:
(Disclaimer-this post contains sponsored links)

1.) Hunter boots at Target -  If you didn't already hear, Hunter boots are coming to Target! Yes that's right, I'll say it again, Hunter boots are coming to Target.  I have been dying to get a pair of Hunter boots but I could never justify the price. Well, now I can.
Hunter boots at Target

On April 14th, just in time for spring, Target will be releasing the brand Hunter for Target.  Hunter for Target will feature their famous boots as well as other apparel for the whole family at affordable prices.  The original wellies usually retail for $150 but you can grab them at Target for about $30! (Have I told you how much I love Target?) 

Buuuttt, there is a but. This is a limited collection lasting from April 14-June 14 while supplies last. And we all know how popular these rain boots are.

So how can you score yourself a pair of Hunter boots from Target? Girl, I got you.

  • First, if you're not a Target Red Card holder, get yourself one.  Red Card holders get early online access to the new brand starting on April 7th.  This is my recommendation. Not a Red Card holder? Apply here!
  • Secondly, run, don't walk. Seriously. Scope out the closest Target store near you and make sure they're going to be getting the brand and then get your booty in line.  


via GIPHY

2.) Chocolate Guinness Milkshake - Alright friends, Irish or not, St Patrick's Day is tomorrow and I got the perfect drink for you! My Chocolate Guinness Milkshake is the perfect blend of chocolately stouty goodness.  Get the recipe

Chocolate Guinness Milkshake St Patricks Day drinks


3.) Non-candy Easter basket ideas - No week is complete without a trip to Target and this week in the dollar bin I scored some cute stuff for my little one's Easter basket. With Easter less than 3 weeks away, I shared some of my favorite Non-candy Easter basket ideas on the blog.  Check them out here

Non-candy Easter basket ideas


4.) One Hope Wine - So I was recently gifted a bottle of this California Brut Sparkling Wine by One Hope Wine and I am in love! Not only is it so refreshing, I love how festive the bottle is, it's perfect for bridal showers, bachelorette parties, or any occasion. And when you purchase a bottle, proceeds go to feed children in need through Why Hunger. Since I love it so much and I am all for a good cause use my promo code HEARTBEAT15 and get 15% off your order now

One Hope Wine

5) Lara baseball tee in mint by Goodrow Clothing -  Ok so this spring I am all about the florals and this shirt has quickly become my favorite. It's super soft, stretchy, and how gorgeous are these colors? Get one for yoself!
spring fashion


Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!
What are some of your favorites from this week? 

XO, 

25 Non-Candy Easter Basket Ideas

Easter is a little less than 3 weeks away and it's time to start shopping for your little's Easter baskets. If you're anything like me, you're probably looking for some non-candy Easter basket ideas. (Let's be honest, the last thing a mama wants are her kids all hopped up on sugar and candy). 

 I have gathered a list of some of my favorite Non Candy Easter Basket Ideas.  From fun activities to crafts and spring apparel, there are some really cute ideas that won't have your kids hopping around on a sugar binge. Check them out below.
(Disclaimer - this post contains affiliate links)
Non Candy Easter Basket Ideas



Hatch and Grow Eggs

Bubbles

Easy to grab egg crayons 

Mess free coloring books 

Sticker books

Puzzles 

Sidewalk chalk

Books

Non Toxic Peel off Nail Polish 

Pool float 

Hooded beach towel 

Sand toys 

Bathing suit

Flip flops/water shoes

Sunglasses

Hat

Balls

Butterfly growing kit

Fairy garden kit

Dig it up dinosaur eggs

Bathtub fingerpaint

Catch and Count fishing game 

LEGOs

Play Doh eggs

Egged on game


So there you have it. I hope this post is helpful as you start gathering ideas for your kids Easter baskets. You can pin this post for later and share with your friends to give them some non candy Easter basket ideas too!

Hope you enjoy the holiday, and I know I plan on having at least one Reese's egg (or two!)
non candy easter basket ideas




The Ultimate Chocolate Guinness Milkshake

drink recipes, guinness milkshake
St Patrick's Day is just around the corner! I'm not Irish but isn't everyone on St Patrick's Day? Today I wanted to share with you all my recipe for these delicious, Ultimate Boozy Chocolate Guinness Milkshakes.  This is the best adult milkshake that has ever touched my lips!
drink recipe guinness milkshake


In college, beer was never my drink of choice, lets just say I was more of a Captain and Diet Coke kinda girl.  I remember the night I was out at the bar with Rick, he was drinking a Guinness and he said "take a sip, it tastes like a chocolate milkshake."  I don't know what kind of chocolate milkshake this kid was referring to but it was far from that creamy chocolatey goodness I was all too familiar with.  So in the spirit of the holiday of my husband's Irish ancestors I decided to make my own Chocolate Guinness Milkshake.

The combo of Guinness and chocolate is delicious, making these go down way too easy! 

chocolate guinness milkshake



Ingredients:
4 cups of chocolate ice cream
1 can of Guinness
2 shots of Jameson
Chocolate Syrup
Whipped Cream

Directions:
1.) In a blender blend together chocolate ice cream, Guinness and Jameson until frothy.
2.) In a pint glass drizzle some chocolate syrup.
3.) Pour contents of blender into glass.
4.) Top with some whipped cream.
5.) Get a fancy straw and slurp these babies down.

chocolate guinness milkshake


What's your favorite St Patrick's Day drink?