Mommy Monday

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Most schools are out EVERY DAY this week, which means you, Momma, are home with all the kiddos, wondering how you’re going to survive until next Monday. If you don’t want your little humans plopped in front of the TV all week, I’ve found some great ideas to keep those little hands busy! (Thanks, Pinterest!)

 

Coloring Sheets

ThanksgivingColoringThe link above has a TON of free, printable coloring sheets for your wee ones! Its a great way to stalk about thankfulness and having a grateful heart, seeing as how we’re getting into the season of gift-giving and all.

 

Pattern Block Mats  

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This awesome website is run by a homeschooling momma who was a reading teacher pre-kids. She’s got a great round up of pattern block mats to keep your littles busy! Need some pattern blocks? Get them here!

 

I’m Thankful Sheets

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This is one the whole family can get in on! Go through the alphabet and name something you’re thankful for that starts with every letter! (Pretty sure everyone will be thankful for xylophones and zippers, ha!)

 

Fall Scavenger Hunts

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If you live in the south/midwest like I do, its still warm enough that you can send the kids outside or talk a walk as a family. Print off a few of these fall scavenger hunt sheets and see who can find the most items! Maybe even sweeten the deal with a prize!

 

Thanksgiving Bingo

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I’m considering trying this with Huff the Tot, but changing it around a little bit. Instead of using it as a legit Bingo card, I think I may print one off as a “scavenger hunt” for her to fill in while we go grocery shopping! She loves to have a “list” of her own and mark stuff off. Plus, hopefully it will keep her distracted from putting unnecessary things in the buggy (I see you, three boxes of Cocoa Pebbles.)

 

Are there any Thanksgiving-themed activities your kids love? Share in the comments below!

Mommy Monday

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Remember last year when, during the days leading up to Thanksgiving, people would blow up your newsfeed with daily “I’m thankful for…” posts? I think its a testament to how awful 2016 has been that I have not seen a SINGLE post.

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But, even when circumstances suck, I still feel like there are things to be thankful for. Of course, I’m thankful for my family, my friends, my health, and my job. But there are other things that, as a mom, I am EXTREMELY grateful for.

 

PBS Kids Programming

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I feel like I need to make a disclaimer here that I don’t just park my kids in front of the TV all day (though, some days, its like that; don’t judge). Huff the Babe is STILL not sleeping through the night, so I basically wake when the kids do in the morning. I am ever thankful to PBS Kids for their morning lineup of Curious George, Daniel Tiger, and Sesame Street. Because no matter what time Huff the Tot wakes, one of those shows is on and can keep her attention long enough for me to drink a cup of coffee and eat my breakfast. Sometimes I can even squeeze in a solo trip to the bathroom if I’m lucky. God bless you, Elmo.

 

Walmart Grocery Pickup 

 

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Yes, I know, I should support local grocery stores instead of going to big corporations like Walmart, blah, blah, blah… Well, when the Mom-n-Pop down the road makes it so that I can order my groceries online, drive to the store without having to put my toddler’s shoes back on get my children out of the car or get myself out of the car in my spit up-covered clothes and unwashed hair, then I will gladly frequent that establishment. Until then, I will gladly order groceries on my phone while nursing my baby and pick them up without wearing a bra.

 

Iced Tea

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Ever since having Huff the Babe, caffeine is a necessity in the Huffman home. Momma needs the juice to get through the day. My drink of choice used to be Diet Dr. Pepper, but I have since quit drinking the devil’s elixir. (For many reasons. Mostly because I noticed I was having some weird neurological side effects and was ending the day feeling SO. FREAKING. SLUGGISH.) Now, my drink of choice is unsweet iced tea. I still get my caffeine kick, but I don’t feel so sluggish and run down! I seriously can feel a difference! Its awesome!

 

Owning a Treadmill

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Before I had a treadmill at home, I maybe did cardio once a week. If that. It was difficult to make it to the park to run (plus, YOU try taking a toddler and an infant to the park and telling the toddler you’re not going to play on the slides. You won’t make it out alive.) and my running buddy (aka, my sister) and I had differing schedules so it was hard to meet up. Now that I have a treadmill, I can put my little ankle biters down for a nap, turn Netflix on the iPad, and run to my heart’s content! I. LOVE. IT.

 

Mommy Sites

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Sometimes, I feel like the world’s worst mom. There are days I beat myself up and think, “Motherhood shouldn’t be this exhausting or this difficult; clearly you’re doing something wrong.” Its in those moments I start to do what no one should do–I Google. I look up “should I always be tired?” or “how to not yell at my toddler?” and, I gotta say, I end up feeling MUCH better. Why? Because more often than not, I find websites, blog posts, or memes that sum up exactly how I’m feeling. And then, I realize I’m not alone! Its a glorious feeling!

 

What about you, Momma? What are YOU thankful for?

Try It Tuesday

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We are officially on turkey countdown, folks! T-minus 1 day, 8 hours, and some-odd minutes! And, if you’re like me, you feel woefully unprepared! Have no fear, I rounded up some of my favorite Try It Tuesday hacks to help you (and your house) get ready for the parade of family members to come over!

 

For You: 

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Want to get picture-worthy hair but don’t want to spend all day working on it? Use this simple hair hack to get cute curls (or wowza waves)! (Tip: Leave your hair in the foil while you baste, clean, and prep for best results!

 

For the House: 

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Have stubborn mineral deposits around your faucet? Keep the disgusted looks from in-laws at bay with this simple cleaning solution! And here’s another for those stainless steel appliances!

 

For the Table: 

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If you want a dessert that stands out from the crowd of pumpkin pies, store bought cookies, and some kind of fruit cake that looks like it should’ve been thrown out MONTHS ago, try this DELISH fruit pizza! It’s super simple and super yummy!

 

And, the biggest piece of advice I can give you this holiday season is: relax. Don’t take everything so seriously. Problems are going to arise, people are going to get on your nerves, and plans will inevitably be disrupted. But have a good sense of humor about it and try not to fret! Enjoy this season and the food it brings-ha!

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Do you have any style, cleaning, or cooking hacks for the holiday season? Share in the comments below!

Mommy Monday

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It’s that time of year again. A time when we all gather around, eat delicious meals, dress up in clothes, and internally scream at everyone around us. Wait, what? Nobody else does that? Just me? Cool.

In all seriousness, I really do love the holidays! Though now that I’m an adult with two kids, I have to admit that it’s not as magical as it used to be.

Last night we had Huffman Thanksgiving at the in-laws. Or, as my children thought it was called, “Let’s Have Meltdowns Simultaneously Making Mommy Lose Her Mind While We’re Wearing Fancy Clothes Day”.

On the ride home, Huff the Hubs said, “Now that we’re parents, Thanksgiving and Christmas just don’t seem as much fun.”

I agreed. Then, as if right on cue, Huff the Tot piped up, “Wow, Mommy, look at those lights!” (A house was decorated for Christmas) “It’s so beautiful!”

Being the emotional basket case that I am, I felt tears well up in my eyes because though I had had a very tiring evening, she could still see the world through her innocent kid eyes.

Which leads me to the subject of today’s post: How to Get Through The Holidays Without Losing Your Ish.

 

One of the things I like to do is make a list of things that are stressing me out and figure out how I can cope with each stressor. I thought of the main stresses most of us (and by “us” I mean women) have this time of year and some solutions to get you through!

 

Being expected to cook everything and clean up.

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Luckily, I’m not expected to do any major cooking. I’m an okay cook, but my family loves their traditional Thanksgiving foods and they like it how it’s always been made (i.e., mostly by my Grammy and mom) and we’re not a group that is in love with change so I won’t rock the boat. Anyway, I digress… BUT, if you are the one who is up at 5:00 a.m. basting, chopping, and sautéing, listen to what I’m about to say: DO NOT CLEAN UP AFTER ANYONE. Seriously. You have done enough. I don’t care if its tradition for the men-folk to watch football while the women clean. That’s outdated and misogynistic and it needs to end. Just like people are assigned what to bring to a family function, (e.g., Suzy brings stuffing, Bill brings cranberry sauce) there should be assigned dish washers and trash can emptiers. If you’re the one hosting and opening your home, DO NOT CLEAN. This is basically why people have children—free labor. Put those that didn’t cook (or are too young to cook) in charge of clearing plates and scrubbing casserole dishes. Better yet—use paper products and the clean-up is faster! Delegate—and do it early—so you’re not treated like a house elf!

 

The family member that wants to talk politics.

This year, all political talk needs to be banned from family functions. I’m serious. When you (or whomever) makes the call telling other family members what time the Turkey Day festivities are going down, add in a little disclaimer that there is a moratorium on political talk this Thursday. If that one uncle of yours just can’t seem to stop from flapping his gums about the Electoral College, just crank up the Adele:

 

 

Listening to your kid (see: toddler) whine about not wanting any of the Thanksgiving food.

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This was Huff the Tot last night. She didn’t want anything to do with the turkey, green beans, mashed potatoes, or stuffing. And you know what? I can already tell you I will not be in the mood to pick that battle later this week at my grandparents’ house. So I WILL be preparing. I’m taking a Lunchable and half of a PBJ. Because it will not matter if my child doesn’t eat giblet gravy, but I AM going to make sure she eats something (and this momma ain’t cooking an extra meal!).

 

The fear of getting shanked at Walmart on Black Friday.

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I used to LOVE Black Friday, back before it became (as I like to call it) “Gray Thursday”. My family and I would make t-shirts, have call signs, and then meet up at Waffle House for a victory breakfast, swapping war stories about our deals. Now that the stores are open on Thanksgiving, it kind of takes the fun out of it. But, fear not! About 99% of the deals that are in store you can find online! The last two years I have bought the majority of my Black Friday swag online and didn’t necessarily have to get out! Word of advice though, do NOT get on the Walmart or Target website RIGHT at midnight. Everyone does that and the websites are suuuuuper slow. You’ll end up staying up until 6:00 a.m. Thanksgiving morning because of it. Trust me.

 

Social anxiety.

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I’ve been very open about my struggle with depression and anxiety. It sucks. And sometimes it can really get in the way of letting a person enjoy special occasions. Something that has always helped me in the past was having a place I could escape to collect myself. At my Grammy’s house, there are four bedrooms and an enclosed staircase. Sometimes when it gets too loud or I’m feeling a panic attack some on, I slip to one of the back rooms or staircase and take a few minutes to breathe and regain my composure. (My essential oils anxiety blend has also been a real helped!)

 

The holidays should be fun, enjoyable, and filled with fun memories. But that doesn’t mean they also aren’t stressful and make you want to curl up in a ball with a bottle of Cupcake! Do you have any tips for surviving the holidays? Share in the comments below!

Fan Girl Friday!

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Happy Friday, peeps! We’re one week closer to Thanksgiving, or as I like to call it, “Gorge Till Puke” Day! And to celebrate, I’ve rounded up some fantastically awesome finds for my fangirls and fanboys!

Y’all, when Nickelodeon announced that they were going to dedicate a channel solely to 90’s shows, I was ecstatic. Then, I saw this video from Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo!

*Cue the 90’s fangirl screams*

 

Huff the Hubs and I have been working on decorating our new home. Our style can be best described as: “Twelve-Year-Old-Left-Alone-In-A-Home-Decor-Store-With-Our-Parent’s-Credit-Card”. Case in point, I really, really, want this:

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This “Potty Piano” from Perpetual Kid is the best addition to our house! Seriously! Imagine having friends over and then, instead of hearing terrifyingly gross sounds coming from the loo, you hear a nice concerto! Or, you know, Three Blind Mice. Because that’s basically all I know, ha!

 

With Christmas approaching ever so steadily, I think I need to pick up a pack of these to drop under my sister’s Christmas tree! Its Author Paper Dolls!

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Each pack comes with 16 different authors including Jane Austen, George Orwell, and Franz Kafka! This is a must for bibliophiles everywhere!

 

We all know that the holidays are awesome. Yes, we get to see family and friends, but most importantly, we get yummy treats that we don’t get throughout the rest of the year! Like my mom’s pumpkin bread! Seriously, y’all…This pumpkin bread is da bomb! The only thing I think that would bring it over the top would be this cake pan:

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Seriously, how much more kick-a would Thanksgiving be if my mom rolled into my Grammy’s house with pumpkin bread baked in the shape of a dragon guarding its eggs?! If only we could make it breathe fire…

 

Happy fangirling!

Fan Girl Friday

It’s Friday, people! By this time next week we’ll all be waking up from our turkey comas and trying to scrape together bail money for that one aunt who punched a man for the last $1.99 DVD at the Black Friday sale. Ah, family.

 

But before you get frantic over family and food, take a deep breath, relax, and enjoy all the geeky goodness I have to share!

 

You guys. Are you sitting down? If not, do it now. Are you sitting? Good. Lego recently announced six new sets coming to stores next year and three of them are from two of our favorite fandoms!

Oh yes, you heard that right! The Big Bang Theory AND Doctor Who will be getting their own Lego sets! I am seriously geeking out over here! I have already posted these bad boys on my Christmas 2015 list on Amazon!

 

Speaking of toys, you know I have a deep love for the girls’ line called GoldieBlox. They encourage young girls to get excited about engineering, physics, and other areas of science. While I sometimes think that their marketing may ruffle a few feathers (shamimg girls for liking princesses is sort of like shaming girls for not liking them, amiright?) I do think that their heart is in the right place by wanting to help the fields of math and science be more than a boys club. Here is their new ad:

What do you think? And if it looks familiar, here’s why.

 

This has been a great week for movie trailers! Especially from Disney! Check out two, all-new trailers from the House of Mouse:

 

 

 

 

And speaking of movies, I saw The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 last night and It. Was. AH-MAY-ZING! Seriously. I think this is the BEST one so far! The acting was great, the effects were so superb I fought back tears multiple times, and the sets totally blew what I had pictured out of the water! Even though I’ve read the book three times, my heart pounded, I covered my eyes, and hoped upon hope that things would work out (even though I knew the ending). Plus, J.Law’s rendition of The Hanging Tree was ON. POINT.

Writer Wednesday

Its Writer Wednesday!

Here was today’s prompt:

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My horoscope read: Company from out of town. Could mean trouble. 

It had no idea how right it was.

I hadn’t planned on hosting Thanksgiving this year, but after Mom broke her leg during her Senior’s Zumba and Aunt Milly ran off with her son’s baseball coach, I was called upon to cook. I had never so much as made a turkey sandwich, let alone an entire bird to feed my loud family from the Finger Lakes.  

I woke up at five to put the turkey in the oven. Sides were already simmering on the stove and I was about to take my second Xanax when I heard my phone ding. A new email. 

This one was from Uncle Charlie.

“Sarah,” he wrote.  “Be sure you have plenty of Milk of Magnesia for your aunt and me today. My irritable bowel has been flaring up something fierce and your aunt has been experiencing severe reflux due to the fact that a new BBQ joint opened up in town last month. See you soon.” 

I groaned. Why, WHY did I agree to this? 

Ah yes, I remember. because my mother is the Jedi Knight of guilt and can make anyone do anything she wants with just a wave of a hand and saying, “Oh, its okay. We’ll figure something out.” 

Note to self: be more assertive. 

I basted the turkey, stirred the stuffing, and peeled more potatoes.

I caught a few glimpses of the cast of General Hospital waving at everyone at the Macy’s Parade and checked my phone. I had a text from my sister. 

Her: Need help w/ n-e-thang?

 Me: No. But I think you could use some help in the grammar department. 

Her: Wut?

Me: Nothing. Never mind. I’m good. When are you coming over? 

Her: 2. But split’n @ 3. Got d8. 

Me: And Happy Thanksgiving to you. 

Note to self: Give my sister a dictionary for Christmas.

Sigh. 

A few more hours pass. The table is set, the turkey is primed for slicing, and the last dash of cinammon is sprinkled on the yams. 

Suddenly, the doorbell rings. 

Note to self: Go on a solo vacation next year during Thanksgiving.