***If you have made your way back to Momsie, I am so glad you found us! We had some technical issues with the domain name so make note of the new web address. Another good reason to "follow" us and "like" us on Facebook so you can stay in the know!! Pass the word to people still searching for Momsie!***

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Lauren Alexander: Tomato Tart...

After a wonderfully long beach vacation with the family, followed by a not-so-wonderfully long stomach virus I'm back!
Vacation was just as it should have been- family, friends, sun, and eating similar to when I was pregnant. Which means that if it was in front of me, I ate it. From my mom's classic "beach grits" to the cheeseburger on the beach to delicious meals prepared every night, I indulged and didn't look back. But now I'm back at home, Fall is officially here, and I'm ready to find some new recipes that will welcome in, not only a new season, but a healthier me and family.
To continue on with the vegetarian trend I started with my first recipe a few weeks ago, is a yummy Tomato Tart recipe that was passed along to me from one of my friend's in San Diego. She said this was her go-to recipe when she was having a girls night out but still needed to pull together a meal for the family before heading out. It's low on ingredients and time but very high on taste and satisfaction- pretty much the perfect combination in my book! Here goes...
Tomato Tart
1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup loosely packed basil (chopped)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
4 small fresh tomatoes- It was suggested not to use Roma so I used vine-ripened. I think heirloom or beefsteak would probably be the tastiest.
1 unbaked pie shell
Bake pie crust at 450 degrees for 5 min. Remove crust from oven and sprinkle bottom with 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese. Reduce oven to 375. Drain sliced tomatoes on paper towel to remove all excess moisture. Place the tomatoes on top of the cheese in the crust. Mix garlic, basil, rest of mozzarella, mayonnaise, and Parmesan and spread over tomatoes. Bake 375 for 25 min. Keep an eye on the crust as it cooks to make sure the edges aren't burning. If they are cooking faster than the rest, cover the edges with foil.
I made this last night and my husband loved it! The tomatoes could have been a little juicier and in season, but it was still really tasty. I probably would add even more tomatoes next time (maybe 2 layers of tomatoes instead of one) and possibly another vegetable (asparagus or broccoli maybe?) to up the heartiness. No matter what you do with it, it's a super tasty meal that is made in a snap and most of the required ingredients are those that we typically have around the house anyway.
Let me know what you think! Would you make any changes?
Happy cooking!

Monday, September 26, 2011

12 Steps...

"Pick up after yourself" "If you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all" "How do you ask?" "Use your manners"...Just a few of my mom's catch phrases that I swore I would never use.  And now I give myself flash backs as I say them 50 times a day.  I do not understand how my son can remember a playground we went to a year ago but cannot remember to say please when asking for something.  A mother's voice seems to have a special feature:  when it is giving advice the child's ear is unable to comprehend, until at least the age of 30.  In a moment of clarity the other day I realized that maybe I was just giving my son TMI...advice overload.  I remember when I was teaching and how we taught character traits but we limited it to one trait a month.  If I was simplifying things for elementary age kids I should definitely be doing the same for my younger kids.  So I came up with a plan to help my kids focus on the traits and habits I find important. It doesn't matter which habits you deem "required" for your household or really even the age of your kids.  You can tweak this plan to fit your family's needs.

Step 1:  Make a list   

Make a list of the habits and traits you would most like your kids to possess.  You may only choose 12/year.  This is a great time to discuss with your kids the general importance of these things.  Write them on individual sheets of paper and fold them up.  Place all 12 pieces in a jar.  Explain to your children that they will get to choose a piece of paper each month to determine which habit they will be working on.
*For older kids/teens you can still try this idea just take away the childish elements such as the jar.  Try discussing with them in the car ride to school the importance of, for example being punctual and then explain that the focus of the month is them getting everywhere on time and also making sure to complete all homework/deadlines on time.

Step 2:  Reward

All of us like a reward for a job well-done so this step is crucial.  Keep things in perspective, for instance I am rewarding my 4-year-old with a quarter/day for every full day that he remembers to say "please" and "thank you" without being reminded. At the end of the month I will have only rewarded him with a little over 7 bucks. Gold to him, not over-indulgent of me.

Keep in mind your child's age and make the reward appropriate and simple.  If you have a 2nd grader, try letting them earn more vidoe game time (within reason) or a chance to have a friend spend the night.  For older teens go with the green.  Every teen just wants freedom and money=freedom.  Or just discuss with your older kids what it is they are working towards and find a way that their reward could coincide with that.  Just keep things reasonable so that you aren't breaking the bank and they aren't being overly-rewarded.  Remember you are teaching them life skills, not asking for them to learn another language!

Step 3:  Follow through

The point is to limit your "nagging."  You must follow through and try to only really harp on that one habit for the month.  For 30 days try to only focus on this one area of lacking while spending the rest of your time focusing on their great qualities.  Their self-esteem will have a chance to flourish which will in turn make them more confident in themselves and hopefully less resistant to you and your advice.  

Although we all want our children to be the best they can be we have to remember that they are human too and can only change so much at a time.  This method will hopefully make you both step back and realize that change happens over time and with practice.  It also only happens through nurturing and patience.  This exercise will be a true test for the whole family.  Good luck and let me know what your family will be working on from month-to-month!

Friday, September 23, 2011

5 Things...

5 more reasons to be thankful that you live in Charlotte:

1.  The indoor play space at Carolina Place mall.  I know, I know this mall has not had the best reputation for the last few years due to the people who shop there but this play area really is great for the kids.  I recommend going in the morning before things become crowded.  It is ideal for kids under the age of 5.

2.  Ovens auditorium.  Opened in 1955 this landmark has hosted over 7,00 events! This fall you can catch "Yo Gabba Gabba Live" or the famous "Singing Christmas Tree."  Make sure to visit their site for more shows coming to Charlotte!  

3.  Kids Eat Free.  Charlotte has tons of restaurants that are willing to feed your kiddies for FREE.  Check out the "Kids Eat Free" tab for a listing of participants!

4.  Soccer Shots of Charlotte.  This organization offers programs for kids ages 3-8. My son participated at 3 years old and absolutely loved it!  The coaches are all very skilled at not only soccer but at encouraging kids.  my son still talks about it and we will definitely sign up again.  Check out their site for upcoming registration dates. They meet at various locations around Charlotte so there is sure to be a team in your neck of the woods.

5.  Dish It Out.  Voted the #1 place to have a party by Charlotte magazine, this studio is a blast for kids and adults.  Stop in on Mondays (at either location) for "Monday Fun Day" where kids 12 and younger get 1/2 priced studio fees (all day).  Stop by their site for more information including news about after school programs.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Mom Questionnaire: Jennifer

Name:   Jennifer Payne            Age (optional):     38                    Number of kids: 3

What was the biggest surprise to you after having a child(ren)? That you could love something so much it takes your breath away

What would you say has been your worst parenting moment? Yelling and spanking, yes I said I would do neither and I do both!

Your best? Having 3 kids is really hard when it comes to giving each attention.  I try to divide it up and do special things with each of my children so they don't feel left out and that they get one on one time with me. 

Best parenting advice you have ever received?  To enjoy every second and to not wish your children would get older, yes these times are really tough but I have to keep reminding myself that they will all be grown up before I know it and I will be wishing they were babies again.

What has changed the most about your personal style since having kids?  Well I still wear my 4 inch heels so that hasn't changed, being able to fit into most of my clothes, not so much but I have embraced my curves and still try to dress up even if it's with jewelry or shoes. 

What is your day-to-day beauty regimen?   HA, with 3 kids don't really have one but I do try to at least put some tinted moisturizer on and bronzer. 

What is your favorite beauty product and why?  Oh Lord, I have a few...Bobbi Brown under eye concealer, with my dark circles it helps cover them right up, also love Laura Mercier's tinted moisturizer, I don't like heavy foundation for the summer and this is the perfect coverage without feeling so heavy and of course bronzer!!!

If you could have back one luxury from your pre-kids days what would it be?  SLEEP and being able to run an errand and not have it take forever. 

What is your favorite kid-friendly activity to do with your kids?  I love music class, when my boys were younger they loved it, it gives me one on one time with them.  I can't wait to start taking Sadie, she loves music!!Your favorite thing about raising kids in Charlotte (or whatever city in which you live)?  That they have so many things to do with children.  I live in Ballantyne and I always feel like there is something that is kid friendly going on. 

What word do you use way too much on any given day?  STOP!

Celebrity mom you can most see yourself hanging out with?  Jennifer Garner, she is so down to earth and it's nice to see an actress who has a lot of money so hands on with their children.  Plus she seems so laid back and someone fun to hang out with. 
If you could have one super power that would help you be an even better mom what would it be?  To have eyes in the back of my head but at times I think I do.  
Favorite part of being a mom? Everything! 

Stella and Dot...

Just when you think a good thing can't get better...it does!  I originally thought Stella and Dot was too preppy and fancy for me but then Jennifer Payne introduced me to some great pieces.  I ended up hosting a party and as a result got some fabulous, FREE jewelry.  Now they have unleashed the Fall collection and I am dying! This stuff is even more my style and I cannot wait to purchase several things!  Oh, and did I mention that they now sell handbags!?

I plan to host a party very soon to do some early Christmas shopping for others as well as myself.  Hosting a party is a great way to get together with friends and you won't feel "pushy" at all because the jewelry sells itself!  If you are interested make sure to get in touch with Jennifer:  you can find all of her information by clicking on the Stella and Dot ad on the right.

Here are a few of my favorites...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Adrienne Patterson: How Do I Organize All of my Pictures?...

I just returned home from a fabulous week at the beach with my family and all the way home I was dreading what awaited me….unpacking, ugh!!  However, upon returning from a trip there is always one single thing that motivates me through the unpacking and that is uploading all my pictures!!  I love, love, love pictures and getting to see how they actually turn out is the best. 

I remember back in the day snapping pictures on my little camera and then unloading the film and dropping it off to be developed.  The wait (and yes there actually used to be a wait to see your pictures) was torture.  Then there was the 1 Hour Photo at Wal Mart so the wait got more bearable and then in college there was actually a Half Hour Photo, even better!  How far we have come from loading and unloading that precious film and carrying it across town and having to actually wait to see what the pictures look like.  (Nothing like snapping a roll of 24 pics only to have them developed and discover closed eyes, unfocused and off centered. Or like me, take a fabulous ski trip with your boyfriend in the beautiful NC mountains with the bright blue sky standing in contrast to the stark white snow and you look super cute in your new colorful ski jacket only to discover upon pick up that you used all black and white film!!)  Yes, digital cameras have been one of the best inventions ever but I must say that websites like Shutterfly run a very close second!! 

I would be totally lost without Shutterfly, in fact if the website goes down my children will have no memory of their childhoods, LOL!  While Shutterfly is an amazing place to store photos, edit them, turn them into gifts and share them you actually do have to do the legwork of downloading (or uploading…what IS the difference??) the pictures.  In some cases there are actually people (Beth) who wait and must download 2000+ photos at one time and then you have a gazillion pics on Shutterfly but how do you organize them??  A few simple tips can help you stay on top of the job and have a Shutterfly account that is akin to Martha Stewarts linen closet…neat, precise and well organized!

  • First, organize your Shutterfly (or photo site of your choise) account.  Figure out how you want your pictures organized.  By season, event, date, etc.…I have a folder for each of my girls for each age.  I also have a folder for family pictures and one for each holiday.

  • This step is crucial if you plan to make photo books or calendars!  Once they are sorted you can go right to the pics you need and for the photo books you can even simply select the folder and make a book instantly since all your pics will be in dated order!!

  • Download your pictures as soon as possible!!  This is probably the most important and crucial to staying organized.  For me if I have a picture of all 3 of my girls I put a copy in each girls’ appropriate folder and if it is also a picture of them at Christmas I put another copy in the Christmas folder.  So sorting can be a bit time consuming but if you do the pictures as you take them the task is much more manageable. 

  • Take the time to weed out your photos. If you took 17 shots trying to get the perfect Christmas card picture just keep the one you choose and maybe 2 or 3 of the imperfect ones to remind you of the hell it was to get that 1.  Take the time to edit your photos and just keep the ones you really want to remember.

Pictures are the one thing we all treasure, it’s what we would run back into a fire to salvage.  Now, thanks to websites like Shutterfly, we can not only store tons of memories but we can keep better track of them and they are preserved forever!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Lauren Alexander: a.k.a Beth...

Surprise it's actually Beth, not Lauren!  Sneaky around here, huh?!  lauren is not feeling too good today so the last thing she felt like thinking or writing about was food.  Unless of course you would like to hear about saltines and gingerale.

This works out great because I had some recipes to share with you!  As you know I just went on a beach vacation with my family and a "cook off" has become one of our traditions.  I am not sure how it started but one year my brother-in-law, Scott and I decided to each make a batch of Cowboy Caviar and let the rest of the family crown a winner.  Let me tell you, you are in the presence of royalty!  I didn't want to let my title go so we decided to do another "cook off."  We couldn't decide on a category so we just each chose a night to cook.  Our meals were very different but both delicious (if I do say so myself!).  This year there really wasn't a winner because everyone loved both meals so much.  I guess that means I retain the crown, right?!  You be the judge...

My recipe:  Corn and arugula fettucini

Creamy Fettuccine With Leeks, Corn, and Arugula
*I added red peppers, bacon, and zucchini to mine
served with salad and bread

Scott's recipe: Chili-rubbed steak tacos with avocado-lime salsa

Picture of Chili-Rubbed Steak Tacos Recipe
*so delicious!!

Going Out of Business Sale...

Lauren's story is like a lot of moms...she started a business only to find that once she had a child the responsibility of handling both was a little much.  She decided to devote her time to the new little man in her life which is great news for all of you!  She is hosting a "going-out-of-business" sale and selling all of her merchandise at cost.  Her online store sold everything from jewelry to purses to koozies.  She is willing to part with it all AT COST.  Drop in this Thursday for some great early Christmas shopping!  

Location: 4007 Pemberton Dr
                                 Charlotte, NC 28210
Thursday, September 22nd 

**cash or check only!

Special Events: Festival in the Park...

{via official website}

Since 1964, Festival in the Park has been bringing good music, good art and good times to Charlotteans and visitors from around the world. The sounds of "big band music" drift across Freedom Park's lake whose still surface reflects the lights strung from Camelot exhibit tents.

The scents of a variety of food fill the air, as small children with painted faces happily produce their first art work. Others find the many talented artists who can create an original work of art to grace their home or to give as the perfect gift.

First time visitors are taken by the simple, relaxed atmosphere. Old timers marvel at the freshness of each year's offerings, as memories from long ago festivals are revisited. Unlike most festivals our lighting system allows us to continue into the night.

This fun filled event is designed to promote and stimulate interest in the arts. It provides the opportunity for all to see, hear, and learn from over 150 artists and crafts people who actively demonstrate and display their art.

Nearly a thousand entertainers provide free ongoing performances at the main band shell and many stages surrounding it.

Festival in the Park was selected as one of Southeast Tourism Society's Top
20 Events for the month of September 2011! In past years, Festival in the Park has also been chosen as one of Sunshine Artists Magazine's 200 BEST festivals.

Historically, Festival in the Park visitors typically exceed 100,000 visitors each year.

The Festival is made possible by many groups and individuals. A sampling of the organizations who actively participate in bringing art and entertainment to the Festival are Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, Children's Theatre of Charlotte, Carolina Raptor Center, the Carolina Clowns, the Magicians' Stage, the Charlotte Folk Society, the Actors Crib and the Jazz Arts Initiative. We welcome them and the many others who help make the Festival possible.

We encourage all groups and individuals to participate and get involved with Festival in the Park!!

Friday, September 23, 2011 @ 4:00 pm
Saturday, September 24, 2011 @ 10:00 am
Sunday, September 25, 2011 @ 11:00 am

Monday, September 19, 2011

I'm Baaaaack....

Yes, I am alive!  I am finally returning to normal life after 2 wonderful weeks at the beach.  It was the perfect end-of-summer vacation and I learned a few things while I was away:

  1. 2 week minimum.  A beach trip should be no less than 2 weeks long.  It takes at least a week to unpack for an entire family (or just to recover from packing an entire family) and to just settle in.  Plus when you stay for two weeks it isn't nearly as hard to leave.  Sure, I was a little depressed driving across the bridge but after 14 days of sun and relaxation I couldn't really complain.
  2. Don't set your standards too high.  Before I left I broke my neck to upload all of my pictures (2,051 of them!) to Shutterfly so I could organize them on my laptop while I was away.  I didn't even open the laptop once and you know what it felt good!  I loved not having my phone by my side 24 hours-a-day and to not have a computer at my disposal.  I completely checked out it it was glorious!
  3. Motherhood never quits.  We waited the entire summer to go to the beach.  My kids were in great health all summer.  Day 1 of this vacation my son developed a fever that we would later discover was due to hand, foot, and mouth.  Moms DO NOT get vacation time.  Luckily I came prepared with Tylenol, Motrin, Benedryl, and a thermometer!
  4. All beach rentals should come with a lazy river within walking distance.  There was nothing better than floating around that figure-eight with no destination.  
  5. Vacation is only as good as the people your with.  There is nothing better than eating, laughing, and just doing nothing with the people you love.  
This summer was really great around here...we instated a weeknight "happy hour" that involved fruity cocktails and the grill, we spent a lot of time at the pool watching my oldest learn to swim alone, we did a whole lot of nothing and threw our schedule to the wind, and I got to celebrate another birthday which was a week worth of feeling loved!  On top of that I also crossed something big off my Bucket List: running (ok run/walking) a 5K!  This 2 week vacation was the perfect way to cap off a great summer!  Now I can say I am fully ready for a new season, colder weather, soup for dinner, and some free time thanks to preschool!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Special Events: Adam Fest...

The 4th annual fundraising event will be going on this Saturday, Sept 17th, from 11:00am-8:00pm.  The event will be held at the Ballantyne Corporate park on the corner of Johnston Rd. and Ballantyne Commons Pkwy.  Bring the kids out for carnival rides, inflatables, live entertainment, face painting, food, treats, and much much more!  Admission is $5 per person and proceeds go towards pediatric cancer research.

Special Events: Suessical

click to buy tickets

Oh, the thinks you can think, when you think about Seuss! Dr. Seuss’ beloved stories collide in a family musical adventure that has delighted audiences across the country since its 2000 Broadway debut. Steadfast Horton the Elephant, insecure but mighty Gertrude McFuzz, and the mischievous Cat in the Hat take center stage in this colorful extravaganza that celebrates the bonds of friendship, the richness of individual differences, the importance of tolerance and the incredible power of the imagination.

Two Acts • For Ages 5+/Grades K+
Best enjoyed by Elementary, Middle and High School ages

  • Friday, September 23, 2011 @ 7:30 pm
  • Saturday, September 24, 2011 @ 11:00 am
  • Saturday, September 24, 2011 @ 2:00 pm
  • Sunday, September 25, 2011 @ 2:00 pm
  • Saturday, October 1, 2011 @ 11:00 am
  • Saturday, October 1, 2011 @ 2:00 pm
  • Sunday, October 2, 2011 @ 2:00 pm
  • Saturday, October 8, 2011 @ 11:00 am
  • Saturday, October 8, 2011 @ 2:00 pm
  • Sunday, October 9, 2011 @ 2:00 pm
  • Saturday, October 15, 2011 @ 11:00 am
  • Saturday, October 15, 2011 @ 2:00 pm
  • Sunday, October 16, 2011 @ 2:00 pm
  • Friday, October 21, 2011 @ 7:30 pm
  • Saturday, October 22, 2011 @ 11:00 am
  • Saturday, October 22, 2011 @ 2:00 pm
  • Sunday, October 23, 2011 @ 2:00 pm

Monday, September 12, 2011

Bring It, Lunch!

Anyone tired of fixing lunches yet?!  If your kids are in preschool you could be fixing, on average 108 lunches per year.  If your kids are elementary or beyond you could be fixing well over 150 lunches this year!  Surely this task will not be the end of us.  I have gathered some of the best lunch/snack ideas I could find so you can really stick it to that lunchbox.  If you have more ideas send them my way!

*recipes below

It's time to think outside the box and outside the bread for that matter.  There are plenty of options, besides a loaf of bread to whip up a great sandwich.  Here are some options for the outside layers:

  • sliced, cored apples filled with peanut butter and raisin (any peanut butter suggestion can be replaced with sun butter)
  • whole grain english muffins (endless filling options)
  • *whole grain tortillas (use as a roll-up like the pear suggestion below)
  • graham crackers
  • thick slices of cheese (think...turkey in the middle of two large slices)
  • cinnamon raisin bagels (or any flavor!) with cream cheese or peanut butter
  • crescent rolls (filled with *meat, cheese, or veggies.  Think...homemade "hot pocket")
  • cucumbers filled with cream cheese and turkey, pimento cheese, or hummus (mini sandwiches)
  • whole grain waffles (filled with peanut butter, sunflower seed butter, cream cheese, or Nutella)
  • lettuce wraps (fill Boston Bib lettuce cups with tuna salad, shredded turkey or *chicken salad.  Toss in some fruit like diced grapes, dried cranberries, or mandarin oranges)
  • pita pockets with egg salad

For non-sandwich eaters:
Some kids don't go for a good ole PB&J, so here are some main courses that skip the sandwiches:

  • kabobs (intermix fruit, cheese, and turkey chunks)
  • veggie plate (slice their favorite veggies like carrots, celery, and peppers.  Send with a small container of low fat dressing, hummus or peanut butter)
  • granola bars (Luna, Nutri Grain, Nature Valley)
  • cheese stick (for an easy, quick lunch roll a couple of pieces of turkey around a cheese stick.  Secure with a toothpick if children are old enough to not hurt themselves with it)
  • pita triangles with hummus or tazitki dipping sauce
  • *chick pea salad (for the more adventurous eaters)
  • blue corn tortilla chips and salsa for dipping (again for the adventurous eaters)
  • soup (chicken noodle, vegetable, and orzo)
  • muffins (blueberry, cranberry orange, cinnamon, or one of these *home made varieties etc.)

Served on the side:
To make sure their bellies are full you will also need to side acts.  All of these snacks can be pre-assembled for quick grab in the morning:

  • home made snack mix:  fill individual bags with pretzels, dried cranberries or raisins, mulit-grain Cheerios, and whole grain Goldfish)
  • banana, pears, oranges, apples, etc.
  • baby carrots, celery sticks, sliced peppers, etc.
  • Pirate's Booty popcorn
  • Rold Gold Cinnamon Raisin pretzel rods (other flavors too)
  • apple sauce (squeeze pouches are convenient and come in other flavors as well)
  • yogurt
  • Chex Mix
  • Veggie Stix
  • Caramel Apple rice cakes (other flavors as well)
  • real fruit strips (like Archer Farms brand at Target)

When you need to grab something to go or just need something to fill up the kids between meals, check out this list from Real Simple (there is also an additional list in this month's issue with even more great, new snack suggestions):

Here are the recipes with a (*) above:

Pear Pinwheels 
pear roll ups


Friday, September 9, 2011

Work Hard, Play Hard...

With September in full sing and all these updates to Momsie I am worn slap out!  Guess I should have paced myself!  Anyways, I just couldn't deal with the summer coming to an end so I have decided to ignore reality and head to the beach.  I am taking my sisters with me for some much needed relaxation and lounging on the beach.  I could be a mean "boss" and demand that they write their weekly posts from there but not sure how that would go over considering I will be doing absolutely nothing.  Well, not nothing.  There will be some new things going up even though we will be away so do make sure to stop in throughout next week.  The links may not be up right away on Facebook so be sure to check the actual blog for new posts.  Please enjoy your weekend and make sure to look back over this week's posts if you haven't had a chance to catch up on some new things going on.  I will be sure to soak up all remaining sun and relaxation from this summer and will come back ready to work but until then...

Stop by Monday for a list of new and creative lunch and snack ideas!

Remember that the "FREE Things To Do" calendar is now up under it's very own tab so check that out if you are in need of some new things to do!  It will be updated throughout the month. 

Make sure to stop by the Southern Show.  Two winners will be chosen at random to receive a 4-pack of tickets.  Perfect for a girls day/night or even a double date with another couple.  For details on how to enter click, here.  Winners will be announced Sept.9th at 8:00 am.

If you didn't get a chance to read the latest posts from our guest bloggers go back and do so now.  Both Adrienne and Lauren have moved on to new topics to kick off fall.  Lauren will be treating us to new recipes, tested by her.  And Adrienne will be answering your questions week to week.  If you are in need of advice from a mother who has been there, done that with a lot of things send her an email!

Lastly, enjoy your weekend!  Get out and enjoy all the things Charlotte has to offer and weather permitting spend time outside in this awesome weather!!  

Winner of the Southern Women's Show tickets (there's 2!!)...

Congratulations,   Michelle Jandebeur, winner of a 4-pack of tickets.  Email me for instructions on how to pick up your tickets!


Congratulations,   Hawkins DL, winner of a 4-pack of tickets.  Email me for instructions on how to pick up your tickets!

Have a great time!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Mom Questionnaire: Emily

Enjoy Emily's answers (and humor!) and if you would like to share your answers just click, here for the questionnaire!

Name:    Emily                                Age (optional):         34                Number of kids: 1 and one on the way (Dec)

What was the biggest surprise to you after having a child(ren)?

         Carrying a baby for 40 weeks is no joke, but even once they’re out, becoming a human cow really takes a minute to get used to. So no surprise that sharing your body with a baby is a unique and beautiful thing…but it’s also ridiculously hard, tiring, and sometimes humiliating (first weeks of using a breast pump being particularly so).

What would you say has been your worst parenting moment?                            Saying ‘F&*%’ when a plate fell and my 2 year old repeating it. Or when I served him watermelon and cheese for dinner. Cursing vs. nutrition, it’s a toss up.

Your best?                                                                                                             Too many to choose from, really…Colin climbing up on a chair to kiss my neck and giggling; having tickle fights and hearing the sweetest boy in the world laugh with abandon, making me do the same; being so proud when he pooped in the potty for the first time; watching him discover new things everyday and experiencing the joy of what we usually take for granted (e.g., an ant crawling on a flower elicits a ‘wow’ everytime; all trucks are super exciting; farts are hilarious).

Best parenting advice you have ever received?                                              When I was pregnant, someone said that after the baby’s born I would feel every emotion (from the very good to the very bad) everyday and that these swings would repeat several times a day. Well yes, yes they did. (And that’s normal.)

What has changed the most about your personal style since having kids?
Pants with a zipper would seem like high fashion these days.  (I'm pregnant, to be fair, but what's my excuse before I was knocked up?)
What is your day-to-day beauty regimen?                                                       Shower at night, hat in the morning.

What is your favorite beauty product and why?                                                Burts Bees lip balm. Not sure it’s a ‘beauty product’ per se, but it’s a staple.

If you could have back one luxury from your pre-kids days what would it be? Just one? No dice, I need at least two – money and time.

What is your favorite kid-friendly activity to do with your kids?                    Playing outside, preferably with other moms and kids. Morning play dates are nice, with coffee.

Your favorite thing about raising kids in Charlotte (or whatever city in which you live)? Plaza Midwood has the coolest moms/kids!

What word do you use way too much on any given day?                                  ‘No.’ Feel like I’m always saying that to my two-year old. And ‘listen to your momma’ and ‘do you need to go potty?’

Celebrity mom you can most see yourself hanging out with?                            I’ve not been feeling particularly Hollywood lately so not sure on this one.  

If you could have one super power that would help you be an even better mom what would it be? Never being tired.

Favorite part of being a mom? Unconditional love and knowing your priorities at all times (i.e., your kid/s).

momsie: STYLE: Bluum

I am so excited to introduce this new company to those of you who haven't heard about it yet.  As a new member of Birchbox I am so excited about Bluum.  It is the same concept of receiving little gift boxes once a month filled with beauty goodies except it is created specifically for babies.  Such a fun and inexpensive way to test out some of the best products for your baby!  Here is the press release from Bluum.

bluum is a New York based company started by a team of seasoned entrepreneurs.

each month, bluum will curate a beautiful gift box filled with high quality samples of the best items available for moms.

bluum is an online subscription service that gives you the chance to conveniently try out beauty and baby care products. your box will include deluxe samples to keep you updated on the latest and best mommy approved goodies available. 

For your invitation click, here.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Adrienne Patterson: How Do I Get My Kids More Involved?

QUESTION:  I have young children and I would really like to get them used to the idea of being more involved, not just in extracurriculars but also our community.  Any suggestions?


As my kids have gotten older I have begun to feel the pressure to get them “involved.”  Once they hit about 5 all of the sudden there is a world of opportunities for them….they now qualify for summer camps, swim team, soccer, dance classes, art classes, vacation bible school.  When it is your first child you are just chomping at the bit to get them involved (a.k.a out of your hair).  And it is fun to see them join a team, attempt a new skill or just do something without you right next to them.  However this new involvement does come at a cost.  Dinnertime coincides with practice and game times, the new art class costs way more than that simple $40 registration fee (they fail to tell you all the materials they expect you to provide) and hauling the whole crew downtown and back for a 30 min. ballet class suddenly makes you wonder if it truly is worth it.  At the end of the day it is worth it though b/c you get that precious recital or team photo can bam, another page in the scrapbook is done and you can check “getting my kids involved” right off your to-do list.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the dance and soccer but something I have found to be even more fun, more rewarding, cheaper and less stressful is volunteering.  In a world where it is all about how many sports your kid can play and how good they are somehow the act of going out and working to serve others gets put on the back burner.  A year or so ago we stood back and kind of took stock in our family life and our priorities and we realized that in a world where first place, competitiveness and who’s got the newest Zhu Zhu Pet we were going to have to be very purposeful in our attempt to teach our kids to follow Jesus’ model and realize that they are not here to be served but to serve others out of the abundance that they have.  So we started seeking opportunities where we could work as a family to serve others in our community. Fortunately we are part of a wonderful church that gave us some great ideas to get started and from there as we began looking suddenly opportunities where everywhere!  Since that time I have also started a group called Mommy & Me Missions that focuses on getting moms and their kids to serve together.  My goal was to find things that were fun for the kids so that they would associate serving with having a good time and it worked!!  Suddenly my girls who huffed and puffed at having to carry their shoes upstairs were unloading boxes of canned corn at the Salvation Army pantry with smiles and washing the playground equipment at a local childcare facility with enthusiasm! 

So if you want to get involved consider the following….

1.    Look at opportunities within your church, or if you aren’t part of a church just pick a large church in your areas and check out their website or call the church office.
2.    Call your local Salvation Army, United Way etc.  You wouldn’t believe how desperate these places are for volunteers!
3.    Find a soup kitchen or homeless shelter in your area and sign up to volunteer.
4.    Contact your local food bank (i.e. Golden Harvest Food Bank) and find out how they are serving local food pantries in your community.
5.    Just open your eyes, ask around and pray for opportunities BUT beware b/c these are just the kind of prayers God loves to answer!!

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