It’s getting closer and closer to the holidays. The decorations are up; presents are exchanged. There is good cheer all around you. People are making the most of the holiday season and basking in the occasion; people are having fun. So it begs the question, what could go wrong this Christmas? As single moms, this time of year can be especially challenging and I bet these scenarios sound at least somewhat familiar…
As with every big celebration throughout the year, there is always the danger of things going awry. These problems can range from the small to the calamitous, and it’s up to you to know how to deal with them should any of them arise. And, knowing the Universe, they probably will. #FAIL
THE TRAGEDY OF THE TURKEY
A Christmas dinner of turkey and all the trimmings is a staple of any household’s yearly celebration. But, for all of the preparation you might painstakingly pour over in the upcoming weeks, there is no accounting for a potential disaster.
The turkey could end up burned; the oven could break, your uncle’s new wife could reveal that she is, actually, vegan and is wondering why you haven’t made accommodations for her needs. To avoid any of these problems, it’s a good idea to have a backup plan, should things turn out the opposite of intended. This doesn’t mean buying two of everything; there are recipes all over the internet to give you something to fall back on, should disaster strike.
COPING WITH CRIME
It’s a shame that this has to be mentioned, but with holiday cheer also comes holiday tears. It would be nice for everyone to go through Christmas without having to deal with damage from outside influence but that is not always the case. It would be devastating to lose the gifts that I know as a single mom you did not come easily by.
Crime at Christmas can be considered anything from drunk driving to personal damage. The spirit of the season seems to stop people thinking entirely sensibly. It can be devastating for families all over the world to find themselves the victims of criminal problems. Powers McCartan offers a nice little bit of advice on dealing with all types of crime that you might fall victim to, giving you a little peace of mind should anything go wrong.
ARGUMENTS WITH AUNTY ANNIE
Not just Aunty Annie, obviously. For some, the holiday season means nothing but disagreements, shouting matches, and an all around sour mood. But it doesn’t need to be that way. Being single moms, it’s, unfortunately, the norm to receive some kind of criticism from family during the holiday season, but be strong and hold your own!
As much as some may try, the family still manages to get under each other’s skin over Christmas. It can be challenging to spend a whole day with a host of people that you a) don’t really know, and b) have next to nothing in common with or c) simply don’t agree with or understand your single mom lifestyle. Disagreements are bound to arise at some point. To avoid this, there are ways to avoid confrontation, but should this fail; you can turn these negatives into positives.
The best way to approach Christmas is to assume the worst. If you are prepared for everything that can and will go wrong, you can at least have an idea of ways to solve it. Just try not to let the fear of disaster reign over all your Christmas cheer. I hope I have helped you to bravely face this wonderful time of year. I know how difficult it can be for us living the single mom life and I pray you all feel nothing but pure joy this Christmas.
How’s it hanging? I know life can be pretty stressful with youngin’s running around and being super mom and all. So I have put together a little list of some shows on Netflix for us single moms that are most def binge-worthy on those nights if and when you finally get a little time to yourself. These shows will rejuvenate you, inspire you and if nothing else, make you laugh, cry or even cringe.
So get ready to grab your remote and tune into some awesome shows that will help relieve some of that super mom stress I know you’ve got! Here we go…
One Day At A Time
This new Netflix original showcases the life of a single mom and her struggles with a twist of humor and a dash of chaos. It’s sure to make you laugh and thank the good Lord you are not her. Add this show now!
This one is a bit older and it’s still one of the best when it comes to showing a powerful single mom making her way through this crazy world. She herself may be a bit nuts, but…aren’t we all!?
This one is for the brave few of us that want a little cringe and shock factor in our shows. Based off of the original story, this show has quickly become as much of a classic as the movies that made the Bates famous. If you’re in for a gruesome tale of mother and son, this one is a must watch!
Another oldie but goodie, Reba, naturally starring Reba McEntire, is a comedic sitcom all about single mom life in Texas. It’s sure to bring on the laughter and drag out your “ya’ll”.
This hilarious comedy about a single mom played wonderfully by Anna Farris and her relationship with her own mother is one to definitely bring out the heart and gold of the life of moms. Be sure to binge this one tonight!
What would a list of t.v shows be without Gilmore Girls? I’d hate to even think….this show is a personal favorite of mine and I think of like everyone else on the planet…am I right? Now matter how many times you watch this amazing show about mother and daughter you immediately want to start over and watch it all again. So whatever ails you in life, stressing over kids, work, breakups, being broke, fight with a friend, you know that the girls of Stars Hollow will be there for you and help straighten your crown and keep you sane. This show always deserves another binge watch, so why not do it now?
So now that you have your list of the next shows you will be watching on Netflix, what are you still doing here? Go have some much needed you time!
Love to all you mamas!
Your Girl, Jess XO
Well, mama, I’m here to give you not one, not two but five subscription boxes that ever single mom needs! Yes, NEEDS. So if you’re like me and you are happily riding on the subscription box trend train or would like to hop on board, then read on for my top five boxes that will make your life as a single mom soooo much better!
For You ~
Box 1: Single Swag
Single Swag is an amazing monthly subscription box that delivers all types of goodies for all the single ladies!They have goodies such as bath and body products, candy & snacks, books written by women for women, household items and all kinds of fun swag! They have two boxes to choose from, a smaller size box with a smaller price tag and a larger box with a slightly larger price tag. Both are fantastic and perfect for any single mom because you deserve to have some special goodies just for yourself! The boxes are around $40 but they have special deals for when you sign up. Also, I have to say the customer support at Single Swag is outstanding. I had one minor complaint about the last box I received and they sent me 3 free items! Overall this box is a must. Here are some pictures of what I received in my most recent Single Swag box:
Also, I have to say the customer support at Single Swag is outstanding. I had one minor complaint about the last box I received and they sent me 3 free items! Overall this box is a must. Here are some pictures of what I received in my most recent Single Swag box:
If you would like to sign up to receive a Single Swag box of your own, just click here!
Box 2: Fab Fit Fun:
Ok girls, this has to be the greatest subscription box of all time. Like.Seriously. Each season (4 times per year) Fab Fit Fun sends you a box chalked full of goodies just about any mom would love. Accessories like scarves, headwear, jewelry, skincare items, all natural makeup, snacks, adult coloring books, and the list goes on! Over $200 worth of products! All the things you receive cater to the season in which your box is sent, so like springy items for spring etc. You will never be disappointed with your box and I know you will totally love every single item! Since it only ships out four times per year, the higher price tag for this box is completely worth it. Sign up now and get $10 off your first box, making it only $39.99. Follow the link below to sign up!
So the last box that is a must-have for yourself, is the Goodbeing subscription box. This one is a little lower in price but has some amazing all natural health and wellness products that any busy and tired mama would love to receive each month. Goodbeing has skincare, makeup, bath & body, wellness products, supplements, vegan snacks and the like. The perfect box for a healthy happy lifestyle! Just click right here to choose how you want your boxes delivered!
For The Kids ~
Box 4: Green Kid Crafts
This box for kids sends your child a monthly craft using natural and green materials! Keep your little one busy with a fun craft that promotes learning, and a love of nature! Get your box now and save $10! Give your child a creative gift each month by clicking here!
Box 5: Box of Challenge
This box is more fun than a barrel of monkeys! The best part of this box is that it is actually for you and your kids to do together! It gives you a chance to have some fun quality time by receiving a new fun game to play together each month! Every box has a fun, challenge for you and your kids to complete together, and is sure to make your time together all the more special! Box of Challenge is recommended for kids 8 and up and is for 2 or more players. Check out this uniquely fun box I just know you will love!
So we are one week away from Christmas! How excited are you!? I’m ecstatic! Christmas is my favorite time of year, and I just love everything about it. But sometimes it’s hard to find time for Christmas shopping when you’re a busy single mom. With the clock counting down, the time to get some gifts your kids will love under that tree is running out. So instead of racing to your nearest store to face the crowds and picked over and nearly empty shelves in a rushed attempt to finish your Christmas shopping for those kiddos, I have made it quick and simple. So never fear moms, you know I got your back!
Here are the links to Amazon’s best deals for last-minute gifts you can buy your kids right now with guaranteed delivery before Christmas Eve! Your welcome! 🙂
First is a neat RC car that any boy is sure to flip over. This golden bat wall climbing car is the perfect gift for the adventurous boy in your life! Golden Bat Car
As a busy and more likely than not broke single mom, it’s so hard to find stylish, easy and affordable wardrobe options. The lack of time, hectic mornings, and money for shopping is keeping you from always looking your best. Well not anymore! I’m here to save the day and help a sister out by giving you your guide to single mom style.
These tips and ideas will help turn you from drab to fab with little effort and little money spent. So ditch those yoga pants, it’s time for a new look!
Jeggings: So you’ve probably heard of jeggings, you may even own a pair. But have you really recognized their amazing worth? If you don’t know, jeggings are like a cross between leggings and cute skinny jeans. They are slightly tighter than regular skinny jeans, but with pockets and the look of denim or cotton but with lots of stretch! These crossover pants are perfect for everyday mom life, they look great, feel super comfortable, can go with just about any top and look like real pants! Also, depending on where you shop, most jeggings are pretty affordable! Check out this stylish pair! http://amzn.to/2f99gNO
Open Cardigans: I am obsessed with those long flowy open cardigans! Like for realz guys. I have one in almost every color and thickness. Because when it’s a bit chilly or you just need something to throw over your outfit and run out the door it is the perfect option. You can throw these cardigans on over a t-shirt and magically look pulled together. It keeps you warm when it’s chilly out, adds a bit of style to an otherwise boring outfit and is super quick and easy to grab from the closet and just go! Every single mom needs like 20 of these in her closet, trust me. They are a must for so many reasons! I really like this one here: http://amzn.to/2f9oN06
Cowl Scarf: Do you like scarves? I love them! In pretty much every season they can make your outfit look together, cozy and so stylish. My favorites are cowl scarves because they don’t get in the way, or frustrate you with figuring out how to wrap the silly thing around yourself. You just throw it over your head and done! I think of it as sort of like a giant necklace. 😉 You can wear thin ones for spring and fall, and thick cozy ones for winter! They are easy to make if you knit or crochet, or know someone who does and easy to find at affordable prices! Complete your look by adding one and be surprised how together and chic you look! Here’s one so you can see for yourself! This one even has a coupon code so you can save those dollars! http://amzn.to/2g51toG
Headwraps/Bands: Whenever I put my hair up, I always add a wrap or headband for that extra pop of style. (And to tame the flyaways 😉 ) No time to wash your hair or style before you head out the door? Just pull your tresses back and slide on a headwrap and you’ll look great! Even if your hair is short, it will be a quick way to keep you looking fantamazing! ( Yes, I made that word up…) I found this one and fell in love! http://amzn.to/2g3Zn4R
Now for some helpful tips!
Always add jewelry. Wearing jewelry is a simple way to look like you actually put some effort into your outfit and keeps you stylish and shows your personality. Even just sticking in earrings before going out makes a big improvement to your look.
Makeup! What girl doesn’t love makeup! Making time to even just put on the basics in the morning will make you feel better and look more awake and totally together when you’re feeling not so together. A little mascara to open up your tired eyes, some sparkle to your eyelids, color on your cheeks, and kissproof lips instantly transforms you into a more confident you!
My last tip is to never forget your own style and personality. Being a busy and stressed single momma takes its toll and it’s so easy to lose yourself when you work so hard to run a household and raise children on your own. It’s important to remember to make time for yourself and always put your best foot and face forward! Looking your best will make you feel your best which ultimately makes you a better mom! So don’t forget to put on some nice clothes, fun jewelry, and some war paint! You deserve to girl, so show the world how beautiful, strong and fabulous you are! For more fashion, style and lifestyle I know you will love please check out my friend Meileilan’s blog! She’s an insanely awesome fashionista so go give her blog a read and a follow! Tell her Jess sent ya!
You know those times when I get real with you? Yeah, well this is one of those times. I wanted to post briefly about the emotional effects of single motherhood. Being a single mom has got to be the toughest job on the planet. Raising children on your own, balancing work, the house, kid’s school and all the things. When your child is upset, it’s you who is there to fix, always you. When they are mad, it is your job to calm them, when they’re hungry, you feed them. Soccer practice? You drive them. All day, every day it is you, you, you. You are the only parent, so, therefore, it is always, only you when it comes to everything. One parent, one car, one income, one mind and one heart. All of this takes its toll. It is mentally, physically and emotionally challenging to keep yourself from falling apart 24/7. I find myself forcing away tears on a daily basis and thinking to myself “how am I going to keep doing this on my own?” And dreaming about running away and never coming back. It’s hard.
When you find yourself emotionally low, tired, stressed and like you just can’t do it anymore, remeber…you are not alone. Millions of other single mom’s are feeling similar to you and also remember that yes, you can do it. You are a strong, fierce, smart, amazing woman who can and will kick butt and keep it all together. You are wonder woman! Part of my goal with my blog to let you know that you are never alone because you have me, your single mom friend who is always there to give you the best tips, advice, and encouraging thoughts!
So I want to tell you to hang in there and to never feel alone. I got your back girl! Some of the effects of being a single mom are really difficult to live with. Such as sometimes feeling inadequate, like you are never good enough. You’re not strong enough or smart enough to do this on your own. Or that there just isn’t enough of you to go around. In these times of negative thoughts, finding ways to deal with them are key to staying strong and keeping positive on your single parenting journey.
Some helpful ways to keep the negative thoughts away are to make sure you are getting enough “you” time each day. Support is another thing you need, family, friends, and support from other single moms. People who understand your struggles and can relate. Try to find some local single moms in your area and start a group, or just join one Facebook! This one is awesome, you can find me there! Single Moms Facebook Group Also, exercise helps boosts endorphins and keeps you feeling your best. So add some fun exercise to your daily schedule. Eating right as well, lacking in certain nutrients doesn’t help when you want to feelyour best and have a sharp mind and stay energetic. So keep your diet in check. Also, things like meditation, prayer or mind cleansing exercises are proven to be helpful when keeping negative energy at bay. For more info about relieving yourself from negativity, stress and fear, head over to my friend Joia’s blog about emotional healing and coaching. She has some fantastic content and I highly recommend you give her blog a follow! You can check out her blog here: http://www.joiagibble.com/blog/
If you need any further information on mental health or just want to talk to someone about your emotions, check out BetterHelp.com
I hope this has encouraged you, and that you feel better about the single mom life. It’s a hard job, but…somebody’s gotta do it! Why not us right? We totally got this! Ok wonder woman, don’t forget to leave me a comment, subscribe to my lovely little blog if you haven’t already and share this with your other single mom friends!
How do we find time for quality time with our kids? The hustle, bustle, dizziness and chaos of life as a single mom can be nauseating. How do you slow everything down and find time for a moment of quality time with your kids? It’s easier said than done, that’s for sure. But even though we are home with them all day every day it still feels like we never actually spend time with them. It only always just constantly feels like screaming “Get that out of your nose!” “Stop jumping on the couch!” “If I have to tell you to pick up your socks on more time…!” “Eat your dinner or starve!” & “Be quiet!!!!” but no actual time spent with your children. Well, at least that’s how it is at my house. We rarely get a moment to giggle, play, cuddle or do an activity….I’m so busy, stressed and tired all the time and being the only parent it’s tough to even find time for a shower or a real meal. The importance of spending quality time with your kids is off the charts, it’s crucial and a must. But how? And when? UGG. So I’ve sat myself down and come up with this list of ideas to squeeze in a little mommy & me time for us single moms who are this close (imagine my thumb and index finger held almost touching) to losing our shiz.
Finding time for quality time with your kids:
Bathtime is a great time for getting in a little quality time. While they sit and soak in the tub we can take the opportunity to talk to them, ask them questions or even play a game or sing a song together. Blow some soap bubbles, smile and enjoy a few solid minutes of time together before you have to wash them up and put them into bed.
Then next comes bedtime. When we get them all tucked in, read a story and say our goodnights it’s a perfect time to squeeze in an extra moment of quality time. Telling them things you forgot to tell them during the day or tell them something to look forward to doing the next day, tell them a story about something they did as a baby, or even just read another story and ask them questions about it to get a conversation going and maybe teach them something new. It’s the time to unwind, settle down and just relax with your kids, and have a little bit of calm one on one time.
I don’t know about you, but in our house Sunday’s are the days that we do absolutely nothing. We just sit on the couch and watch movies and chill at home and relax from a week of insanity and prepare for another. Sunday’s are perfect for just relaxing together, cuddling on the couch, coloring together, or maybe baking some cookies. Just take the day off from anything else you have going on and make it a family day.
#4: First thing in the morning
For you moms who are conscious in the morning (I’m not one of them, I work night’s), mornings are a great time to talk about the plans for the day, any chores that need doing and ask them what they want to do before the day is done. Have a little time to talk together during breakfast and before the day starts really going. I’m so jealous (I think) of you mom’s who see the morning sunlight and start your days in the daytime…it must be magical….right?
#5: Mid-afternoon 15-minute breaks
If we can take a few moments each afternoon to just pause, and take a breather I think it would keep both kids and parents sane. So if we can stop ourselves to step away from work and chores to go do a quick 15-minuete activity with our kids it would really refresh our minds and spirits. So if we’re not out on a grocery run or on the soccer field, take a time-out from long days at home to just have a play time break.
Do any of these ideas seem do-able for you? I hope you can try some of these to achieve some extra quality time with your kids every day and I promise everyone will benefit. When the days are long, hard and busy it’s so easy to loose track of time and allow all the stress to keep us from giving the time with us that our kids need. Battle on moms, fight the good fight and stay the course. Now go spend time with those snotty little buggers!
The Pro’s, No’s, And Woes Of Online Dating As A Single Mom
Online dating, it can be fun…..right?
Ok girls, it’s time to get real. We’re single, and the world of online dating has become the thing…and it is inevitable. Well, for most of us. Seeing as the old school ways of meeting guys is well….old school. It’s very difficult if not darn near impossible to meet men the good old fashioned way, especially if you’re a mom. Getting out and about where we might have a chance of meeting any single guy just…simply does not happen. If we ever do surprisingly run into a handsome fella like say, at the grocery store, we’ve got whining kids attached to our cart and that may as well be a big flashing sign that says “LEPER” on our foreheads. No brave soul will dare come near, or even make eye contact. It’s the truth. Men are terrified of us single mom’s…we have to admit it. And when it comes to meeting these gutless men online with all the savvy and fun apps and dating sites that are out there it makes the whole experience…easier….or does it?
Now -a -days there is a dating site for everything and everyone you can imagine. So whatever and whoever you are, there is a match for you! Disney fan? Yep, there’s a site for that. Farmer? Yes, there’s a site for that. Got extra curves? Yep. There are even dating sites for women who love beards, golfers, sea captains and….vampires? So whatever it is you’re looking for, it’s out there. As terrifying as that may…or may not be. With all the options out there, every swipeable app and flirtatious sounding website, and with the pressure on from every family member, friend and lonely night about when we’re going to find a man, we easily fall into the world wide web of what is online dating. Below are my personal Pro’s, No’s, and Woes.
Pro: It’s easy, mobile & convenient. With most dating sites offering downloadable versions for your phone, you can carry around your own black book of single dudes. Get messages as soon as they are sent and get a notification every time your profile gets a “like”. You can check out these sometimes criminal looking guys anytime you like and chat whenever you find a moment in your hectic day as a mom. No stress.
No: Disrespectful, educationless, rude and honestly horny guys. Sadly, in mine and most all other’s women’s cases, the majority of the men we connect with are about as dumb as a brainless scarecrow and extremely disrespectful to women in general. With no thought or care about our children, or to even spell a simple word correctly, they expect us to drop what we’re doing, dump our kid/s off with a babysitter and go “hook up” with them at their beck and call. Like dude, I just started talking to you fifteen minutes ago, and you want me to just run off and come meet up with you right now? Get real, as if. Men let their urges turn off their brains…apparently. I don’t even have a babysitter, wherever I go, so does my kid. Want to get me alone? Then you’ll have to marry me first you baboon, cause it’s not likely gonna happen as long as my kid is under 18. Want to go out on a date? Unless it’s out to eat might as well be plastic pizza at Chuck E. Cheese then yeah right. Not cool? Then fine, you lazy, uneducated, disrespectful, baggy pants wearing, horny, no good lame excuse for a man is so not worth my time.
Woe: Scardy cats. Remember the flashing sign on our foreheads? Yeah, those pop up in the online world too. Once most guys find out we are moms, and we can’t/won’t abandon our responsibilities to go run off with them at a moment’s whim, hook up at 1am or let them come over they run for the hills. Men don’t go out looking for single moms, they just don’t. Most of them treat us as if we’re diseased….hence, the flashing “LEPER” sign we carry around. They may seem sweet, understanding and nice at first until the conversation deepens or they ask to meet to up and we mention we have kids. We say”No, I’m sorry but I can’t. Maybe we can work out something sometime, though.” And 99.9% won’t ever even respond back. They’ve already left the chat window before even reading the rest of our message. They disappear in a flash of color, leaving skid marks and whatever was in their pockets behind them. Cartoonish sound effects included. Well, there goes that. Next! And the same thing happens every time, no matter now nice and mature the guy seems at first. As soon as they find out we have kids or that we can’t meet up in person right away, poof! Their magnificent disappearing act leaves up astounded. My kid’s own father wouldn’t stick around, so why should I expect some stranger to? There’s some reality for you. Don’t expect every man you meet to be patient and respectful of motherhood. Most aren’t.
Pro: Exciting, fun, and flirty. On the rare occasion that we actually meet a guy that doesn’t look like he should be on an episode of Cops, has a sense of humor and sticks around long enough to read the full message after they see the word “kids”, it can be kind of exciting to meet someone new, and start chatting with someone you hope looks as cute in person as he does in his profile picture. When he messages you on a regular basis, asks questions about you or even just asks “how was your day?” you get that little flutter, it never lasts long, but the fact that it’s possible to get it at all is itself miraculous. Cutesy emoji’s, being called beautiful or getting random messages throughout the day is refreshing and flirty, which can be fun.
No: Dirty pics. Ok, it’s time to get even more real for a sec. Ever open up a message and to your shock see something….that makes you think if their camera aim and selfie game is …off? Yeah, we’re talking dick pic’s girls. Don’t be shy, you know it happens. More often than not. Some will say hi first, other’s will not. Online dating is interesting, that’s for sure! You have to be prepared for the creepers, peepers, and nude pic senders. Just take it from ole’ Forrest Gump. “Life if like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.”
Woe: Let’s go back to the first No, for a moment and discuss the guys who can’t communicate properly if their pathetic lives depended on it. I’m so sick of seeing the worst grammar imaginable, the most simple of words spelled incorrectly and oh my heavens if I get one more “hey whats good” message I swear I’ll take a baseball bat to something. Doesn’t anyone know how to say hello and introduce themselves anymore? Why can’t a guy start a conversation the proper way? UGG. It’s so irritating and it makes me facepalm every single time. C’mon guys, really?
So with all the pro’s, no’s and woes that come with online dating, is it really worth our time moms? What do you think? Are we fated to stay single for the rest of our lives?
Please follow my blog for more on my online dating journies and more topics I know you’ll love! Stay strong girls!
When you’re a single mom, it’s hard to make ends meet, especially without a full-time job because being a mom is already a full-time job and when there’s no man in the picture to bring home the bacon…things can be tough.
Having a smaller income can make simple things like buying good quality clothes for your little ones, keeping up with organization, groceries, toys, and activities can be a lot and can leave you broke and struggling. Our kids come first and so making sure all of their needs are met and they have everything they need to be healthy, happy and stylish is a top priority. So what’s a mom to do? Read my blog for great tips of course!
How To Be A Cool Mom On A Serious Budget
I like to consider myself a money savings guru….
For years now, since the birth of my son I have searched, scavenged and hunted for the best deals, the cheapest stores, the greatest sales etc and it’s much easier than you think to save yourself a few bucks when buying things for your kids or even keeping yourself from looking like an extra from The Walking Dead. So here are my top tips for pinching those pennies!
You have probably heard of these or even have shopped in one before but consignment stores are heaven sent. Trust me, once you’ve had the consignment experience, you’ll never go back! Not only can you buy gently used clothes, toys, books, bedroom furniture and more at a children’s consignment store for amazing prices, but they will pay you for yours! That’s right! When you’re kids have outgrown their clothes, toys, videos, bed sheets etc, and as long as they are still in great shape, the consignment store will take them, and you will have two options, you can either take the cash once your items have sold in the store, or use it as credit to buy things from the store!
When I first learned about this I was mind blown! Just think…when all the items that you’ve donated have sold, you can use the credit to buy all new stuff from the store and therefore never spend a penny! Practically an exchange! Like what? How cool is that? Oh, and consignment stores are also for adults too! Just find one that sells woman’s apparel or any adult consignment store and the same thing applies!
I can’t tell you how many name brand, super cute clothes, handbags, and shoes I’ve gotten for free just by selling things I no longer wear to my local women’s consignment store! Check out all the consignment stores in your area! You won’t be sorry and your wallet will be just as happy!
Free Online Printables.
Need activities for the kids? Do they like to color? Do you homeschool? Well, the world of free online printables is your new friend! I use these printable activity pages, storybooks, color pages and homeschool lessons all the time for my son, no need to pay for expensive school books, coloring and activity books, just search up what you’re looking for and simply print it out! Easy peasy. Everything from toddler activities, preschool, all the way up to high school age activities and stories can be found online in a free printable format. Saves you time, money and keeps the kiddos busy! Below are some great websites to start you off!
Shopping at The Dolar Store and thrift stores are a lot less icky than they may have been back when. You can actually get all sorts of treasures at these places. Everything from toys, party supplies, wrapping paper, snacks, home organization, school supplies and more can be found right in The Dollar Store. Thrift stores are treasure troves, I love thrifting and hit my local thrift shops every month and never walk out empty-handed.
They are great places for finding play clothes, household items, movies, and things to use for amazing DIYs. Pinterest anyone? Don’t be afraid to shop these kinds of places, you won’t regret it if you do. 😉
Groceries & Coupons.
So this may be a no-brainer, but when you want to save some dough when buying some dough, grocery coupons come in handy. I’m not talking go all Extreme Couponing on me and have a basement full of boxes of rice, packages of gum and sticks of deodorant but….coupons are wonderful. Clipping coupons seems like such a chore and let’s be honest…a little Stepfordy? So, I wish to welcome you to the new generation of couponing.
Most grocery stores have rewards or member cards, if you don’t have one already, you need one. They’re free, so just ask for one at checkout. Once you get your card set up, you can go online to the store’s website and add coupons to your card, and when you purchase those items at the store and swipe your card you save all kinds of money. Boom. Also, there are websites that email you coupons you can print out and also ones you can use for various places online! Pretty awesome stuff if you ask me, so if you want to save a little money while running your errands, picking up dinner and so on, remember to get some coupons! Here are some websites for online coupons:
So, you’re a mom…and that means it’s nearly impossible to squeeze in some time for self-pampering and keeping yourself from looking like a mess. When you do find the time, it’s easy to splurge for a fancy mani-pedi, hair stylist, or facial. But are those things really necessary? They’re expensive, and when you’re on a serious budget it’s just not smart. So why not just do it yourself? You can! You don’t have to be a pro, or even really know what you’re doing, it doesn’t take much talent to keep yourself fresh and fabulous.
With the use of the proper tools, you can give yourself your own manicure for well, nothing. If you need a little help, there are plenty of YouTube tutorials to help you out. Hair color need a boost? Instead of paying a crazy amount for someone to color your hair for you, just pick up a box of a good quality non-toxic hair color and do it yourself! Or if you’re too afraid of ruining it, ask a friend to come over to help and make a girls night out of it! No worries!
For a deep skin cleansing and detoxing experience, homemade facials are just what you need. You probably have all the ingredients you need right in your kitchen! No cost involved and only a few minutes of time! Just whip up some skin food and slather the natural gunk on your face, and let it get to work improving your complexion. Just look up home facial recipes, they really do the trick! Lastly, do you struggle with finding the time and money to work out? Well, not anymore sister. Did you know that YouTube has millions of workout videos? It sure does. Most of them you can customize for time 5-30 minutes, your level, your fitness goals, trouble areas, and what equipment you already have or don’t have at home. Skip the gym memberships, expensive treadmills, workout systems and so forth. Just hop on YouTube, pick a video that suits your needs for the day and get on it, then boom, all done! Quick, easy and most importantly, free! You’re welcome. Some great channels to get started with are PopSugar Fitness, and Cassie Ho of Blogalaties.
Budget-Friendly Stores & Kids Activities.
When you want to go shopping or take your kids out, it’s good to find places that don’t cost a lot or anything at all. When the regular department stores are calling your name and you need to keep the spending low, opt for less expensive stores that have the same high quality stuff as the expensive places. For instance, I love shopping at Ross, T.J Maxx and Burlington Coat Factory is amazing as well. When shopping online Zulily has great sales on the cutest things for the kids, home, and you! So skip the big shiny store and head into the more budget-friendly store, trust me, you’ll be glad you did.
When it comes to activities for the kids, we are tempted to pay the big bucks for things like the membership places for classes, playtime and all that jazz? Yeah, you know what I’m talking about….or what about sports? Do you have any idea how much sports cost? Like geez, you might as well buy a car. So, when you need to save some money, just take the rugrats to the park, let them run and play, kick a ball, climb, swing and roll around in the grass. Same benefits, but it’s free.
Playdates are actually great too, organize for a few of your kid’s friends to come over, plan a craft for them to do, teach them how to play hopscotch, put out some snacks and let the magic happen. Your kid doesn’t really need some fancy class, or to be the star soccer player, at least not until you can actually afford for them to be. Keep your priorities in check, and when they need/want some fun socialization or fresh air, just go for the free options at hand. They’ll be fine, I promise and you will be able to keep the bills paid. It’s not easy being a single mom with a low income, but just do the best you can and save money wherever you can, and when they get older, they will thank us for it. At least, we hope they will, right?
Keep on keepin’ on, working hard and being money wise. You’re fabulous and no one can say otherwise. For more money saving tips and ways to keep your finances in check, head on over to my other awesome post to read about money habits to make your 2018 sparkle! When times are tough, we gotta get tough too and I know we can handle it.
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Dating is hard, and when you’re a mom it’s even harder….What about getting dumped?
When you date, it’s usually a fun and flirty experience filled with late nights at the latest hot spot, cuddling on the couch or what the hip kids call Netflix & Chill these days, texting, swiping right and the butterflies and potential new beginnings. But when you’re a mom, suddenly dating is no longer about all the fun, it’s a serious and dangerous world of having to not only protect yourself from harm but also your kid/s. When they are involved, the whole dating scene changes, now you have to worry about babysitters, how much you should or shouldn’t talk about your kid/s, bringing them along for outings, if your date has kids to consider as well and how fast your kid/s bond with this person. It becomes a complicated and stressful strategy instead of fun and flirty. Making sure your child doesn’t get hurt becomes a huge priority, as if worrying about yourself getting hurt wasn’t bad enough. If things don’t work out, how is your child going to handle it?
What happens when your child gets dumped too?
When a break up occurs, it’s not just about you, your child has been left as well.Not that your devastation is any less or less important, but you can’t forget that your child knew this person too and is probably feeling sad and confused. Depending on the depth of the relationship, length of time together and how this person and your child bonded, it will naturally affect how things go down afterward. Whether the relationship lasted years or months, your child probably spent decent amounts of time around this person and got used to them being in their/your life and is feeling quite confused about the sudden shift. In most cases, there usually isn’t a goodbye and explanation for them leaving and continued contact. So they may be feeling a little abandoned, especially if your child got close to this person, developed a relationship of their own and saw him as a father figure. In your heart, you probably hoped that this person would become a step parent to your child and the relationship would end in a beautiful wedding. But, things happen and when that hope was severed, the disappointment won’t be felt by you alone. Your child was probably sharing that dream right along with you.
All children react differently to situations like this in life, some may be heartbroken, some may just be a little sad while others may not even really care. You know your child best and will more than likely see the effects unfold over time. Questions will be asked, and you may or may not have the answers. There’s a good chance you have questions of your own and are not entirely sure yourself why the relationship ended. Even if you have all the answers it may be painful to explain them and say them out loud, most especially to your little one. If the situation is too difficult for you to know how to handle yourself you may want to consider therapy, if that is something you would be comfortable with.
How do we comfort our hurting child when we need comforting ourselves?
It’s not easy. It may be hard to get the words out as we may be feeling just as lost as our child. Probably more.
In my case, my last serious relationship ended very abruptly and mainly because of my child. This person could not handle my son and all the realities of dating a woman with a child, and all the things that came with that. It all just got too much, and it all crashed and burned in a matter of breathless moments. When my son asked why this person was no longer in our life, I refrained from saying “it’s your fault” when even though in that moment, in my anger, pain and utter despair, I wanted to. It’s been close to a year and a half now, and my son still occasionally asks questions like “Why doesn’t (so&so) love us anymore?” ” Why can’t we ever see him again?” “Why doesn’t he call us?” The fact that’s it’s been this long and he still brings him up kills me. This person was the closest thing my son has had to a father figure since his actual so-called “father” is not in the picture. Even though we dated less than a year my son bonded with my ex very quickly and deeply. To be honest…so did I. Much to the heartbreak of us both. What really twists the knife into the open and rotting wound….is when my son says things like this…”Mommy, do you remember (so&so)? He was my best friend and I miss him. Why can’t we just go to his house? I want to play with him today. Do you remember him, mommy?” As if I have forgotten….I wonder how long I will have to respond with “Yes, I remember him baby, and we can’t see him anymore, I’m sorry.”
When will he forget? Will he forget? Everyone’s way of dealing with breakups and heartache are different. Being brutally honest with yourself and your little one/s may be the way to go. Or, being more dismissive of the whole thing is best? You are the mother and adult, so you decide. Every case is different for each family. Things may be even harder if you lived together, now the entire family dynamic has changed. Your world and theirs are rocked. Some couples may take things slower and more traditional and opt for more casual dating and keep a lot of their personal lives out of the picture, at least maybe at first. A lot of women decide to not even introduce their children to their new partner until a certain milestone in the relationship has passed if even ever at all. But some mothers like me, don’t have the luxury of keeping their children hidden away for every date and day spent together. Some of us, don’t have babysitters, relatives nearby or anyone to watch the munchkin while mommy goes out. There are even times when we can’t help but have a wee one in tow because let’s get real. We’re moms. So at one point or another, our boyfriends and our kids will cross paths and the realities of being grown-ups comes to a head.
No matter the situation or decisions we make in our dating life, we must never forget that our children come first. We must not lose sight of what’s most important, and that is our child’s well being. Emotional well-being should always be a priority and damage can occur with them the same way it can with us. Being vulnerable to let down’s, heartbreak and getting dumped is just a part of the dating cycle we all suffer through. It just shouldn’t have to be that way for our kids too, but unfortunately…it is. So going forward, how do you go on and put yourselves through it all over again? Do you just dive right in and hope for a better outcome this time? Do you learn from certain mistakes and try again doing things differently? Do you become one of those moms who drops the kid off somewhere to go on a date and in turn be selfish? Or heck, do you swear off love and dating altogether until the kids are grown? Only you know what is ultimately right for you and your family. You are stronger than you know and are an empowered woman worthy and any man’s respect, so hold your head high, feel confident in your yoga pants and carry on. A real man would want you, stretch marks, screaming kids, mom van and all and if he got hit by a bus and never shows? It’s ok girl, you got this. I promise. Now go take care of those children of the corn…I mean precious little angles…..
Heal. Heal again, and again, every day and keep being strong! Please subscribe for more honest and truthful content from me to you.