Chris Isaak Beneath the Stars at Wente

Believe it or not my very first concert was The Monkees and Weird Al Yankovic. I know, kind of weird, except I’ll put good money on the fact that at least a few of you will read this and say “Me too!” Because it was a pretty popular tour that year. I was in the third grade and a pretty avid Monkees fan (thanks Nick ay Night) so when they came around my parents took us. This would be the beginning of a very passionate and life-long love for live music. Read more

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Tips on Taking Time For Yourself Each Day, Even When There’s None to Spare


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Thanks to Crystal Light for sponsoring this post. To learn more about how Crystal Light can flavor your day with 30 refreshing flavors, visit http://www.facebook.com/crystallight.

As a mom it’s not always easy to find time for yourself. And often when you do it somehow feels like it’s at the expense of someone else in the family. But as research and personal experience shows, taking a little time for you is VITAL to be a good parent, a healthy person and just plain happier.

Even with my kids in school (one only in school for a couple of hours at that) I still struggle to find time for myself that doesn’t involve cleaning or working. But lately I’ve been working hard at making it happen, and I’m starting to get better at it.

Here are a few things you can find a little time to yourself even when you don’t have any to spare.

  • Garden – OK so gardening can be a bit of work in the beginning but once it’s going strong the actual “gardening’ part can be very therapeutic. Weeding, watering and harvesting have been soul-soothing activities for thousands of years. When the weather is right you can let the kids loose in the yard while you get some earthy time in the dirt.
  • Read – Most schools ask that your kids read 15 to 20 minutes a day, each day. At our school we actually have to sign a sheet that the child did read for that period of time. Instead of nagging your child from the kitchen, sit down and read a book or magazine of your own. This will help encourage your child to work on their reading and give you 15 minutes of quiet reading time.
  • Early to Bed Early to Rise – Make it a point to get up 15 to 30 minutes early than the rest of your house. Read, do some yoga or just enjoy a quiet cup of coffee before the chaos of the morning starts. And set a decent and early bedtime for your kdis and stick to it. Then use that time to unwind from the day, catch up on Facebook, go to sleep early or simply watch a little TV with your spouse.

These things may not seem like much but incorporating them into your daily routine can do wonders for your stress level, your health and even your ability to be a good mom.
Remember, visit http://www.facebook.com/crystallight to learn more about how Crystal Light can flavor your day with 30 refreshing flavors. I was selected and paid for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

Talking Tucson With Your Kids

I am a pretty compassionate person and when I see injustice or tragedy strike anywhere I feel pain. Both of my children have made it apparent that they have a similar compassion for injustice. That’s why I was unsure what to say to either of them as I sat, stunned, watching the horrific events unfold in Tucson, Arizona on Saturday after Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was among 20 people injured in a shooting where six people, including a 9 year old girl, were killed. Read more

On A Clear Day I Can See a Very Long Way

Today, while looking for some Christmas videos for the kids first day of vacation, I came across a stack of home movies. I pulled out one and popped it in. I started watching footage of me when I was pregnant with Patrick and went all the way to Cheyanne’s first year.

I was amazed.

Not just that my seven and five year old kids were ever that young, but that life was ever so simple. We looked so blissful and in the moment happy. Not that I didn’t know we were happy, I remember being very happy during those years. But I also remember being in such a hurry. Read more

The Magic of Santa

At seven and five respectively my son and daughter are not overly suspicious about Santa Claus. Though some things have had to be explained to them to keep the magic going, the actual idea if Santa Clause coming to our house on Christmas Eve and leaving toys for them is pretty set in stone.

The other Santa’s around town are easily explained away by telling my kids that those Santa’s are just the real Santa’s helpers because he’s far to busy to visit each and every town during the month of December. So while the Santa’s we see at the store are not the “real Santa” they do have a direct link and can easily report back to the big man any details about Christmas wishes. Read more

Stand Up 2 Cancer

I’m always a sucker for a good benefit. I tend to get a little sappy when celebrities get together to raise money for any kind of disaster relief or cause. I freely admit that no matter how financially strapped I may be, I always manage to scrape together $10 bucks when the celebrities tell me I should. Well, often times the causes are worthy ones, like Katrina relief, 9/11, Haiti and of course the never-ending fight against poverty, AIDS, etc.

The thing is, most of the time, I have only empathy for the people that money is being raised to help. I can only imagine what it would be like to lose my husband in 9/11, my home and family in Katrina, or what it must be like to be an orphan in Africa whose entire family has succumbed to AIDS. My heart goes out to people who have lived out these horrific tales of survival and managed to come out the other side. How can you not give money to causes like that? Read more

Wordless Wednesday – Fun With Fox News

The family and I had the rare odd and fun opportunity to be filmed for a story that aired on Fox News Tuesday. So I’m posting a few screen shots of the clip for Wordless Wednesday. OK, so there are a few words here but it’s my blog so I can add words to my Wordless Wednesday if I want.

If you want to see the clip you can check out here. If you want to know more about Life360 visit their website here. Oh and if you’re … ahem … NOT a big Fox News fan visit my pals here... Read more

Our Summer Vacation

This summer was pretty awesome. Though I guess it had it’s not so great moments, but all in all it was a pretty awesome summer. We covered a lot of ground and really got out there to see some of our very own Bay Area.

I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise that I decided to coincide a post on what I did this summer with a post I planned on doing on “what brings me joy.”

The obvious answer when asked what brings me joy is my kids. But that seemed too simple. And as I looked back over the summer I realized that it’s not just hanging out with my kids that have brought me joy this summer, but hanging with my kids at this age that they are at. Read more

5 Ways to De-Stress For Free

I am tired today. It’s been a stressful couple of days, which I’m not in the mood to blog about right now. Besides I always try to keep in mind that no matter how crappy your day is there is always someone out there having a crappier day. It’s important to always keep whining in perspective.

With that said, that doesn’t mean we should bottle up out stress either. But when we wear a lot of hats, as most of you reading this do, it’s hard to find the right time or place to let it all go. Not all of us can get to gym or afford yoga classes at the studio downtown or a nice relaxing massage.

So for my own sanity, as much as yours, I came up with a list of things you can do for free around the house to take the edge off.

  1. Garden – OK so gardening can be a bit of work in the beginning but once it’s going strong the actual “gardening’ part can be very therapeutic. Weeding, watering and harvesting have been soul-soothing activities for thousands of years. Take some quiet time working in your garden and enjoy.
  2. Read – This may not always be easy with kids running around and a house to keep up, but force yourself to. Not only is reading a relaxing activity, it’s also very good for the soul and for the brain. A good book will give even the most stressed person a much-needed break from whatever things in life are stressing them out. Reading before bedtime can also do wonders for insomnia.
  3. Nap – OK, OK stop laughing. It is possible to nap. Some days. Remember when your kids were newborns and everybody said “Sleep as much as you can!” or “Sleep when the baby sleeps!” Yes, great advice, but it doesn’t have to end when your kids are no longer babies. If your kids still nap, take one yourself. If they’re older put on a favorite movie and make a big bed for all of you on the floor. They can watch the movie for an hour and a half while you let your body rest. A massage is wonderful, but is nothing compared to a good nap.
  4. Television – Give yourself a chunk of time in the evening one or two days a week and enjoy your favorite sitcom or reality show. TV has been relieving stress and creating an escape for people for years now, and is as good at doing it today as it always was.
  5. Yoga – I know I said that not all of us could afford the gym or yoga classes. But most of us can afford a DVD, which we can than use when we want to. I know for me the mornings I get up before the kids and enjoy 15 minutes of yoga while the house still sleeps are amazing. Good for my sanity, my soul and my body.

What’s your way to De-Stress?

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