Freebie Printables

Why, Hellooo! Don’t get too excited. Though I have some tantalizing topics written down on my “blog to-do list” this is just a simple freebie printable post. I simply just didn’t want to forget to share it. Lately, I have been forgetting everything! Really.

My daughter’s birthday party was last weekend, so naturally today, I had her sit down and write her thank you cards. My niece sent us one after her birthday from Tinyprints that was so cute and when I opened it, I said, “ooh, I can make that.” So I did.

The Tinyprints version

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and my version

Thank you

It is a 5×7 file, and if you wish to use it for your own little’s thank you’s, feel free.

I love how they get to add their personality to each one, without frustrating the heck out of them from having too much to write. We have very large birthdays so this fill-in style works great for my family. Hopefully for your kiddos too.

Here is the printable file – thank you card

I just had my local print shop print them, because I do not have a working color printer, but even that only cost $6.

Mere pennies to it its Tinyprints counterpart.

Well, at least I can check one thing off my “blog to do list” and hope to get better organized with my recent  “Passion Planner” purchase. It is my hope that this slightly expensive leather life planner will help me follow through with my thoughts, tasks, goals, business plans, and to-do’s. It is formatted exactly how brain works, so how can it not!?

I have only been searching for something like this my whole adult life! A shout out to my bestie Lauren for telling me about it! Yay!

They too offer free downloads if you wish to try out the layout.

If you order one, let me know. Maybe our brains are more alike then I thought? I even saw Pinterst boards dedicated to Passion Planners and how to make them adorable and functional.

Right up my alley!

Enjoy my friends.

XOXO,
Magazine Mom

One Simple Change

I have had a revelation. Yes, it is true I have these often and sometimes they do not amount to much or are never completed like my master bathroom (ahem) or my forever incomplete weight loss goals. This time, during my hot vinyasa flow yoga class, the perky and flexible instructor told us to think about something we were grateful for during shavasana.

I am sure many of you would have chosen your children. Not me. They are driving me insane, which is why I actually got my butt to yoga last Friday in the first place.

Instead, I chose ‘health.’

I am grateful for health.

I have been doing a lot to better myself. Working out, TRYING to eat right (dang those potato chips), actually responding to peoples texts (no, it is not just your texts I ignore) and improving my mental health all the while.

Just the other day, I realized that the ‘ding sound’ my phone made when I received a text was causing me anxiety. True that it is not hard to do (cause me anxiety) but now I changed it to ‘chord sound’ and it is so soothing and inviting that I no longer mentally shut down.

Try it.

It’s amazing.

One simple change, makes such a difference.

That is why I finally said yes, to Juice Plus+, and making that one simple change towards healthy living.

What is it (Juice Plus+) you ask? It is fruits and vegetables in a capsule. Despite its name, it is not juicing (it is way cheaper than that), nor is it a vitamin (it is bioavaible unlike vitamins). It is simply vine-ripened NSF certified whole food, in a convenient capsule or chewable.

I am not going to get all technical with you, I just want you to think about it if you are getting 9-13 servings of fruits and vegetables, as recommended for a healthy diet and healthy living. I am talking fist full servings size?

I know, I was not. Even my vegan, clean-eating friends are not.

Now, I am. I have made this one simple change for my family, and now we are all benefiting from the healthy nutrition it offers. Even my super skeptical husband.

 

Instantly we saw the benefits. We feel less hungry, have been able to ward off sickness, we have more energy, crave healthier foods, and heal at an accelerated rate. Just ask my mom. She has an amazing story to tell.

As do I. We recently went on an amazing family vacation, courtesy of my mom, to Disney World. It started off great, until 7 of the 11 of us came down with the stomach bug. Let’s just say the hotel cleaning staff were very busy in our rooms.

But guess what? The 4 of us who consume Juice Plus did not get the bug.  Everyone was dropping like flies but us four. There is no other explanation and no better proof for me. Or my husband. He was one of the 4 thriving.

That is what is great. All the amazing stories being told by people, like me and you, who take Juice Plus.

I feel selfish if I do not share. Besides, since when do I hold anything in?

Never.

Don’t just take my word for it. Check it out for yourself. It took me a year to listen to my dear friend, Lauren telling the the benefits of this amazing whole food product. Now, I just feel silly that I didn’t listen sooner.

Bridge the gap of what we eat everyday, with what we should be eating.

It’s that simple.

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XOXO,
Magazine Mom on a mission

 

 

 

 

 

Are You Part of the Herd?

Hi. Remember me? The crazy overparenting self proclaimed Magazine Mom who tells you all way too much about life. Well….I’m baack!

Because I live in an affluent, helicopter parent, scholarly town, it is no wonder I am an overparent-er (new comers feel free to look back at some past blog posts to understand my craziness to its fullest).

I really try not to care about the fact that my daughter writes her 3’s backwards more often than not, or that she scored a “2” in the ‘fine-motor skills category’ on her report card, but I do. Why is that? She is only 6 years old!

Well, Julie Lythcott-Haims, the New York Times best selling author of “How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success” says it is a trap that many of us fall into. Are we keeping up the Jones’s and creating ‘stepford’ children in the process?

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What happened to the days of playing outside until dinner with no parent supervision and kids ‘actually’ doing their own homework?

I had the pleasure to hear her lecture this evening, because we live in an overparenting community that brings in brilliant parenting speakers for us  overparenting parents. My mom is always telling me that she never read a parenting book, let alone attend parenting lectures like I do at least 7 times a school year because I am contractually obligated to do so being a part of a cooperative preschool. Confession: I will still likely attend parenting lecturers even once I am not obliged to do so because that is just who I am.

Now, I am no book reviewer ( I would have to read to do that), so I will just tell you all to go out and read her book if you are interested. I will, however, give you my take away bullet points.

~She believes in humans
~Have the courage to be who you actually are (and allow your children to do the same)
~The overparenting trend started in the late 90s and she fears for the children of these parents.
~Stop creating a ‘check-listed childhood’ – praising everything, carefully handling your child, orchestrating their lives and activities, etc.
~Foster self efficacy – “I do therefore I am”
~Don’t join the overparenting herd, instead create a community with like-minded people, neighbors, friends, etc, and vow to stop following.
~ Allow for ‘free play’ with no parents – like we all used to do.
~Children need to develop a true sense of purpose and they cannot if we do everything for them.
Stop cutting your 10 year-old’s meat for crying out-loud!
~Read “The Gift of Failure”
~Trust the authorities in your child’s life (teachers, principles, coaches, etc.)
~Insist that children do their own work! Put the glue gun down! Confession: this one will be hard for me.
~Have your children do chores. Lots of them. It is a measure of success later in life.
~ Stop thinking your child is a perfectly shaped bonsai tree that you have to constantly prune and shape. Instead think of them as the wildflowers of unknown genes and species that they are.

Heather Havrilesky summed it up nicely in her book review for the New York Times,

Although loosening that grip on getting kids into the “perfect” school does seem important, it’s somewhat unlikely to end the current plague of controlling, stressed-out parents and helpless, insecure children. In this anxious age, the future will always trump the present. But even if “How to Raise an Adult” gets thrown onto a growing pile of books for worried, upper-­middle-class parents and is summarily forgotten, Lythcott-Haims’s central message remains worthwhile: When parents laugh and enjoy the moment but also teach the satisfaction of hard work, when they listen closely but also give their children space to become who they are, they wind up with kids who know how to work hard, solve problems and savor the moment, too. In other words, get a life, and your child just might do the same someday.

I admit, I am in the front row of the herd. It is hard not to be. Those damn Jones’s! I would like to meet them and their children.

Anyone willing to break free of the herd and join me? If nothing else, have a drink with me to lessen the anxiety of constantly thinking I am doing what’s right for my children but really causing them deep psychological trauma.

You with me?

Bottoms up!

XOXO,
Magazine Mom

 

 

Believe

After becoming a parent of a “first grader” last week, and watching my kiddos grow exponentially before my eyes, I find myself cherishing the ‘kid’ in them.

I relish the innocence,
the care-free lifestyle,
being able to poop in a public restroom without worry, and even sing while doing it (witnessed this last weekend),
saving water bottle caps to use them as tables for trinkets you treasure,
playing dress-up and shooting toy guns out the window while driving down the liberal streets of Davis (and not get arrested),
becoming instant friends with fellow people your size,
having sandwiches in the shape of hearts and love notes in your lunchbox,
and believing in the impossible.

I am blessed with two creative children who’s imaginations are infectious.

I can’t help but foster their beliefs of mythical creatures like unicorns, fairies, dragons, the tooth fairy, elves, mermaids, and vampires.

Isn’t it wonderful to be a kid?

I honestly still think of myself as one. I am waiting for the day, when I don’t.

Really.

My daughter offers me many challenges, with her ever-so-unpredictable moods and rude behaviors, but what I appreciate so much about her and her “kookiness”, is her creativity and her passion for her beliefs. Rational or not.

Awhile back, she asked for a fairy garden, which I was happy to appease. I like mythical creatures just like the rest of us. So we made one. This one.

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Since then, we have moved it into the backyard and the size has significantly increased.

getting started

getting started

and now, after several attempts to plant fresh flowers (and watch them die), we took a trip to the Dollar Store to plant “fake” flowers (her genius idea).

taking pride in her work

taking pride in her work

You may have noticed, the previous fence, like its dying flower cohorts, did not withstand the test of time. So, it has now been replaced with a Popsicle stick masterpiece.

Again, her idea.

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It turned out pretty cute.

I think my favorite is her sign that reads, ” Welcome Fairies to the Fairy Garden.”

Because her beliefs and creativity are so infectious, my mom’s boyfriend, jumped on the “fairy” bandwagon, so to speak, and found a website that caters to it.

He bought her the travel trailer and a lot of other adorable pieces to complete the “trailer lifestyle.” It created the story of the traveling fairy, “Nettle” that was trying to find her permanent home.

Last night, Nettle decided to make our garden, her permanent residence, with another generous and adorable purchase from Gene (my mom’s boyfriend).

This morning when my daughter woke up, it was the first thing she noticed.

She was beaming!

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She immediately began constructing a bed for Nettle out of Popsicle sticks, a scrap piece of wood, and cotton balls.

unnamed (5)Who wouldn’t want a cozy bed under the stars among the flowers?

Last night, after some typical night time routine arguing, and parental yelling, I put the house out in the garden. My hubby said, “Why are you rewarding her behavior?”

My reply, “It is not about rewarding, it is about believing!”

He couldn’t argue with that.

All the chaos, crappy things that happen during the day, yelling, defiance, and stress, all goes away with believing.

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She believes in Nettle.
She believes in magic.
She believes that her sign made it happen,
and she believes in herself.

I believe in letting my kids be kids, for as long as they’ll let me.

What more can you ask for?

XOXO,
Magazine Mom

HIT-n-it!

Well friends, it is about that time to let y’all know how things are going, since my last post, when I shared with all of you my fitness goals. What the hell was I thinking?!

Unbeknownst to my overworked sports bra, I am no where near my weight loss goal of 12.5 lbs.  Try like 2.5.

But, I am not sad or disappointed.

Okay, maybe slightly.

Only, because the scale does not reflect the changes in my mind and body. Inches are lost and my arms and the rest of my body shakes significant less than it used.

All you arm flappers out there know what I am talking about.

In fact, I have had several comments about my newly, “toned arms” and legs.
Thank you, very much!

In all seriousness, I have been HIT-n the gym hard. Loving my cross fit “HIT” classes, and loving the people and the team feeling even more.

Not to mention the hour I get to spend during the daylight hours with JUST me. Well, and 13 other sweaty women and a few token men. Who wouldn’t trade that for temper tantrums and dirty diapers!?

Even for workouts like the dreaded “Murph” workout. You crossfitters out there know what I am talking about. The crazy insane workout that takes 5 whole days for your body to recover from!

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I honestly have never felt more proud.

Every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and the occasional Tuesday and Saturday I feel proud. The best part is I am having fun doing it.

The hubby even sees the positive changes in me. He even bought me one of these (Fitbit Charge HR), to show me how proud he is and is happy to see me enjoy something so much.

my new Fitbit Charge HR

It is currently displaying my steps for the day.

Oh! Great news for anyone who tries to call me but fails to connect with me because I never pick up (or hear) the phone. My Fitbit vibrates and displays your name when you call me.  That’s right – as long as I am wearing this rather masculine looking watch (the flex has all the cute bands), I will most likely answer your call.

Amazing, right?!

Well, unless I am completing my WOD or perfecting my snatch (which is not easy to do).

Anyway, I am happily HIT-n-it and enjoying my bodies progress, one wall ball and AMRAP at a time.

Next step, a clean eating (Whole 30) challenge. Maybe the pounds will magically disappear then. Bring it on, July!

For now, I will go with the old adage that muscle weighs more than fat:)

Xoxo,
Magazine Mom

I got this!?

Yesterday, something extraordinary happened. I signed up to the gym, actually went, and my son liked the daycare! Granted, he did hit a child (what else is new), but for the first time since having children, I did an entire class (H.I.T -high intensity/interval training class, nonetheless) and never once ran out to peer through the child care room window to ‘check in.’

Instead, I busted my chubby butt, squatting, throwing weighted balls in the air, dips (with my feet on the floor), rowed on a rowing machine, did sit-ups against the wall, and other grueling but exuberating intervals with a group of 12 random women (some I happened to know).

I have never been more sore, and have never been more motivated.

Really.

I can barely walk.

Fortunately for all of you, it has not impeded my ability to speak. Or type.

I am not really sure how it all happened and when, but somehow over the course of a year and half, I have managed to pack on 10+ pounds and 25 since I have been married (almost 8 years ago).

Now of course this does not include me tipping the scales during my 40 and 50 lb. pregnancy weight gains (dang those cupcakes) but even since having my second child, and loosing said weight, I am back up.

Unfortunetly for me, I carry my weight well. I am tall {relatively}, so it (the fat) takes a while to travel through my entire body. It is not until it reaches my head that I realize what the heck just happened.

Hindsight – I guess the fact that I just can’t seem to find jeans high-waisted enough to hide {tuck-in} the growing ‘front ass’ I have developed should have been a red flag.

Ya, think!?

It really wasn’t until I was with my besties this last weekend in Murphy’s, CA sipping wine obsessively trying to take selfies at an angle that made my face and head look slimmer that it really hit me. Much to my dismay, the magicial shot never happened. Well unless you count this blooper, Lauren managed to capture…

bestieslo

Lauren is inspiring. Despite all the wine consumed, she managed to give me the nudge I needed to make some personal changes. She has always found ways to make me feel better about myself since the day I met her 29 years ago.

All my friends do, in different ways. It is funny interesting how that is.

words of wisdom posted to Facebook by Lauren

words of wisdom posted to Facebook by Lauren

So….

I am going to do something about my expanding waistline, and better my mental health (physical too, of course).

Today, I teamed up with a few like-minded “enough is enough” friends to make our own weight loss support group. We are hoping that the three of us, can hold each other accountable and lend our valuable support along the way without having to pay someone for our successes.

Win/Win.

No offense, Weight Watchers. I actually really like you, but I just don’t want to pay for you is all.

We started off by introducing ourselves as the addicts that we are.  My text read,
“Hi, I’m Ashley. I am the quintessential stressed out eater who loves all things crunchy, processed    and or fried. I currently weigh my all time high. My goal is to loose 12.5 lbs by June 27th (I am in a wedding on this day – Congrats Jake and Lily!) and to ultimately loose 20.”

By saying this all out loud to friends (actual weight was included in the text but omitted here for the purposes of sheer embarrassment), it made it real.

Beginning today, every week we are going to log-in to a shared google doc, and document our weight, exercise for the week (my goal is 3-4 times) water consumption, etc.

As one of us said, “We are at our highest and ready to be done with it!”

I believe in accountability as a key to success.

This post (and our weekly check-ins) will do just that. Fingers-crossed.

I promise I will keep you posted as time progresses.

Wish me luck!

Swimsuit and “hot boat” season is just around the bend!

XOXO,
Magazine Mom

Life as I know {knew} it.

For me, life has changed dramatically. Not just because of the time change either, though I swear I am still feeling its wrath.

brace yourselves.

Since I have wrote last {ahem}, my son, who has had FPIES, has ate and passed with no issues, yogurt, pizza, mac n cheese, rice, beans, corn, wheat, ice cream, baked egg,  even donuts. I have husband to thank for the last one.

I am not quite ready to say he has outgrown FPIES like the statics said (67% by age 3) he would. There are still lots of things I have not trialed with him. I simply live day to day. If he asks to try something, which is amazing in and of itself, I let him. If his belly doesn’t hurt him, or have any other reactions, I move on, and continue to let his palate explore.

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eating a bun for the first time

eating a bun for the first time

It is so fun to see his face light up when he asks to try something and I say, yes! I always said I would cry the first time he could eat cake {which I am doing now as I type} and fortunately for him, his sisters birthday party is this weekend, and I am going to give him a great big heaping slice. My tears are not only happiness but the relinquish of pain I have felt for him, me and our family as we bared this trialing part of our lives for the past 3 years.

life is good.

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We got ourselves some amazing new neighbors, and with that, he even got his first real friend. Best. I got new friends too! A total bonus, they love the spirits (especially the sparkly and fermented kind) as much as I do.

Now I know what I have been missing for all these years!

Would you believe, I actually let my children stay up till its dark!? Shocking, right!?

My mom is so proud!

I am proud.

Life has come along way. So it seems.

Tomorrow (or today depending on when you read this), I have a 6-year old! I couldn’t be more proud of her. She has made some amazing strides and “has become, as I quote my mom after her visit this week,  a really sweet and caring little girl.” She is thriving in school, and her creativity is infectious.

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I am proud.

Life as I know it, is changing.

For the better.

XOXO,
Magazine Mom

PS. I even have a working shower and toilet in my master bath! Glorious.