Friday, April 17, 2015

I Can't Stop Thinking About the Woman I Turned Away

One night last week, a knock sounded at my front door. My kids jumped up to answer it and I followed behind, wondering who could possibly be at my door at 8:00 on such a rainy night. I looked out over my kids’ heads to see a strange woman standing there, holding a plastic shopping bag and soaked to the core.

She said she lived across the street and started mumbling something about having to watch kittens. She asked me if I knew where some place named “Pages” was. I couldn’t figure out if the woman had been drinking or if she was just unwell, but something didn’t seem quite right.

I don’t know my neighbors across the street well, but I knew I’d never seen this woman before. I tried to clarify, “You live across the street?” She said she did. Disbelieving, I asked again, “You live right across the street there?” I pointed to the house. She insisted that she did indeed live there.


10 Things That Scare me as a Single Parent

Being a part of the single parent club is not easy. When the other parent is absent and/or you have no family around to help, it's even harder. Some days, it feels impossible to let go of the paralyzing fear that grips all single parents at one time or another.

The worry about having enough money to fill your gas tank or put food on the table, the worry that you can't be at your son's baseball game and your daughter's talent show at the same time, the worry that you'll screw up your kids more than married parents do, the worry that you'll be alone forever ... they all rob you of the joy you could experience every day.

I have to remind myself to let go of these fears almost daily ... and I admit it isn't always easy.

Here's what keeps me up at night:


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Jewelry in a Candle Winner!

Thank you to everyone who ordered from Jewelry in a Candle! I hope you all enjoy your candles and love the jewelry surprises!

The random winner of the hostess credit from my Jewelry in a Candle party is . . .

Marti Danan! Congratulations! Email me at and I'll give you instructions for redeeming your credit of $22.82!

If you'd like to have your own Jewelry in a Candle party, contact Cherokee here!  

8 Times Handmade Trumped Store-Bought Gifts in My House

What do you do with those gifts your kids get you for Christmas/your birthday/Mother’s Day that aren’t exactly what you wanted? You proudly display them, of course! The best presents I’ve ever received were homemade ones from my children. The macaroni necklaces, the glitter-painted ornaments, the freshly picked dandelions, the little misspelled notes, and the handprints pressed into clay. The absolute best part about getting a homemade gift from your kids is the smile that lights up their little faces when you exclaim over the present and let them know how much you love it. I could just live on those proud little smiles! Who remembers the sweater or the coffee maker they received that one year? But ask any parent and they can probably tell you about a homemade gift from their kid that they cherish.


Thursday, March 12, 2015

I Can Sum up Parenting in These 13 LOL Texts From my Kids

As a mom to 6 kiddos, I've been there, done that, and have the T-shirt to prove it. On the surface, I may seem like an expert. I've given advice on breastfeeding, potty training, and temper tantrums. I've shared my knowledge on raising tweens and how much freedom is enough (and creative punishments when they push the boundaries of your well thought-out freedom parameters.)


Friday, March 6, 2015

9 Horrifying Photos of Stuff My Kids Destroyed (Including Themselves)

I have six kids. They’re creative. They’re artistic. They’re expressive. I love their talent. I do not, however, love their choice of medium when they’re creating their masterpieces. I remember losing my mind over some of my kids’ um, “artwork.” I mean, seriously losing my mind! I thought my head would explode when I’d walk into a room and see diaper cream smeared all over every surface, or the dog’s fur covered in blue yogurt, or maple syrup painted on the dining room wall.


Sunday, March 1, 2015

Jewelry in a Candle

When I first heard about Jewelry in a Candle I thought it was kind of odd. Jewelry? In a candle? Weird. But I like jewelry. And I like candles. So why not mix the two? (In fact, I think there may be a market for Wine in a Candle or Lipgloss in a Candle too!)

Anyway, when my friend Cherokee asked me if I'd like to check out these candles, I happily agreed. I chose a coconut candle

because coconut is my all-time favorite! The candle has the absolute best coconut scent ever! My house filled with the smell of the tropics in no time. Mmmmmm. Because I knew there was jewelry hidden somewhere in the candle, I burned it for hours on end, anxiously awaiting the moment when the jewelry would be revealed. My kids and I kept looking at the candle, trying to catch a glimpse of the jewelry being uncovered as the wax melted. Luckily, we didn't have to wait long as the beautiful ring was tucked into the top 2 inches or so of the candle.

Cherokee has set up a party for me and you'll reap the rewards. At the end of this party (March 22), I'll choose a random winner to receive the hostess rewards (with Jewelry in Candles, a hostess receives 10% of the total party sales in product credit.) If the party reaches $500 in sales, the hostess also receives the Exclusively Yours candle with her choice in jewelry. This candle can not be bought, only earned through parties

In addition, all customers who make a purchase during the month of March, or any other month, are automatically entered into her monthly raffle. Each product purchased is 1 entry into the raffle. Featured specials are here. 

When you order through this party link, you'll save 15% on your FIRST order, by using coupon code Springtime at checkout.
If you wish to order a second time, use coupon code GoGreen for 10% off of that order.

Thanks for checking it out!

Friday, February 20, 2015

This is What Poverty Really Looks Like

I recently read an article by Babble blogger Alice Gomstyn about Sonya Romero-Smith, a kindergarten teacher in Albuquerque who helps her students that are living in poverty. The first questions she asks them each morning are: “Did you eat?” and “Are you clean?” It shocked a lot of people — but not me.

I happen to be one of those educators, working in a title 1 middle school in a very high-poverty area. When I say “poverty” here, I’m not talking about a family whose dad has been laid off from his job or a family going through divorce or sickness. I’m not talking about a sudden, temporary, or even long-term shortage of money. I’m talking about families who have lived in poverty for generations. Families who don’t know anything but poverty. Generational poverty is very different from families experiencing hard times  — mainly because they often view education as a stressor, and school a place they do not belong, making it extremely difficult to end the cycle.


Saturday, February 14, 2015

7 Reasons Not to Wait too Long to Start Dating After Divorce

I’ve been divorced for five years and I only recently started dating again. Now that I have, I’ve come to the realization that I waited too long. 
I think it’s important to take time to heal from divorce. People need time to adjust to the major changes that divorce brings: different living situations, moving, financial struggles, and having to share time with your kids. Divorce is a death of sorts. It’s the death of your hopes, dreams, and beliefs that you will spend the rest of your life with your spouse. It takes time to go through the grieving process. It’s wise to wait a year or so, so that you can evaluate your life, take inventory of who you are, change the things about you that you don’t like, and discover what exactly you’re looking for in a partner. 
However, if you wait too long, some things happen that make dating more difficult.


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

15 Things to Do on Dreaded Snow Days

My sister told me that her kids’ school was canceled last week because of the extreme weather. They were having their third snow day in a row and she sounded a little twitchy on the phone. It almost made me reluctant to rub in the fact that I live in Orlando where the temperature was a balmy 75. Almost. But I lived in Chicagoland for 41 years before moving to Florida so I remember firsthand how taxing it can be to entertain the kids when they’re stuck in the house 24/7 because of the snow and/or freezing temperatures.


Monday, February 2, 2015

10 Things Parents Do to Prove We're Still Young

Yesterday, while filling out a form online, I was asked for my birthdate. I entered the month, the day, and then moved my mouse over the year. My birth year was nowhere to be found. I hit the down arrow and started scrolling. I scrolled. And I scrolled. And I scrolled some more until I found the ancient, prehistoric year of 1970. I took this as an irrefutable sign that I am OLD. I lamented to my friends that I do not like this whole “scrolling to get to your birth year” business. We agreed that we are officially old, but we refuse to admit it to the world. These are the lengths we go to in order to prove we’re young parents (even though we know the truth!) …


Thursday, January 29, 2015

10 Things I Learned About Love The Second Time Around

Reentering the dating world in your 40s is a scary, scary thing. It mostly makes me want to give up and get a cat. Things have changed since the last time I dated (in high school!). Online dating makes me hyperventilate. The couple of times I tried it, I was certain I’d encounter some psycho who wants to make a suit of my skin. (“It puts the lotion in the basket,” anyone?) But as scary as it is, there are some benefits of entering the dating pool at an older age. Most of us “middle-aged” daters have learned a thing or two along the way. We’re older, wiser, and not so caught up in the superficial garbage of our younger years. We know ourselves and what we want, and we’re not willing to settle for anything less. Here are 10 things I’ve learned about love the second time as supported by evidence from my absolute favorite movie genre — the romantic comedy.


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