4 Tips to Relax (even with 2 kids)

I'm not going to say its easy. I have a hard time relaxing and making time for myself these days. Every spare second I feel like I should be doing one of two things: working or cleaning. But you have to admit that sometimes relaxing is the best thing for you - and the best thing for your family.

So guess what? It's National Relaxation Day - which seems like a GREAT time to figure out something that you can add into your crazy life to help you relax. I'm not going to tell you to make a cup of tea and turn on the bath - because while that is relaxing - it isn't really going to happen, is it?

These things may or may not seem relaxing to you at first - but I find that if I am with the kids and need to relax - these are my go to tips. And I mean without handing the kids over to your significant other. These relaxation tips involve the kids. I know, it sounds like an oxymoron.

1.} Go for a walk. Without any agenda and without any electronic devices. I find that if I let the kids lead on the walk - we may only get a few houses away - but if I don't rush it and I don't get out my phone, these walks can be very relaxing. Kids need to relax too and can do it if they are given the space. Some times we don't even walk we just go out onto the front porch and the kids can play and I can watch. And that relaxes me.

2.} Put on your comfy clothes. Or maybe just have a pajama day with the kids. If you aren't comfortable in what you are wearing it is pretty hard to relax. It is one of the first things I do when I get home from either work or being out. I change into comfy clothes. It sends at least 1/2 my stress out the window.

3.} Lay Down. This one might sound the strangest - but if my kids are playing and I lay down in the living room next to them - they both come over to me and give me cuddles and kisses and then go back to playing. I can lay there for maybe 2 minutes before someone needs something. Although sometimes Gus lays on me the whole time. But I don't mind. :)

4.} Draw! Again, this is something the kids can get into and you'd be surprised that if you pick uchalk and join in; your mind can start to clear a bit. Its great with young kids because you can just draw shapes and lines and scribbles and they'll be glad you joined in.
p a crayon or marker or

Anyone else have things they can do with the kids that relax them? I'm always looking for new techniques!

Chalkboard Wall!

I'm working really hard on making our home a fun and beautiful kid friendly house. Cutting out the clutter and finding meaningful, educational and fun areas of our home.

One idea that my husband and I had been toying with for MONTHS - was the idea of a chalkboard wall in our dining / kitchen area. We have a little half wall that always gets scratched and bumped and marked on. We thought, hey if we make this a chalkboard wall - the kids can play and scratches and marks won't matter.

Luckily, I found a small can of chalkboard paint on clearance at Target a week later. Here is something similar on Amazon - if you are interested. If I hadn't found that can - this would have never gotten done. But it only took two coats (and it only took me less than 1/2 hour to paint each coat.) It dried really fast too. I was able to do the first coat during afternoon nap time.

Only complaint was I couldn't find an eraser at any local stores. Had to order this one from Amazon - but really a damp towel worked fine too. Luckily, Lucille likes erasing as much as she likes drawing.

Anyways, we love it. I was a little nervous about doing it in such a central, public place - but what a fun way to allow your kids to write on walls. We even took a few birthday cake shots of Gus in front of it. Now that its been up a few weeks - I'll tell you we are really getting some use out of it.

Now only if I knew how to draw... or at least had decent handwriting...

Special Delivery: Bookroo!

We were so fortunate to be offered the opportunity to review a new book subscription service for kiddos called Bookroo.

In our July package - which came wrapped up so pretty, by the way, were 3 great books.

First, A Book of Sleep which we already had - and love (so we will keep this copy with the grandparents.) if you get a book you already have by the way, you can get $5 off your next order if you take a picture of yourself gifting it to someone! How awesome is that.

Next, Little Cub, which we had never read before but I love the story line and my 2-year old keeps requesting it before bedtime. The third book, Little White Rabbit is another gem. We haven't read it as much - because Little Cub is taking up all our time - but I've read through it a few times and both kids really listen.

I've written before about other monthly subscription clubs - mostly for beauty products - but this one is my favorite so far. I am a total book lover and I look forward to instilling that quality in my babies. I think they are heading that way too. They were all good books, and even if we had one of them - it was one we loved so a second is never too bad. The packaging is cute too - each book individually wrapped. Gus opened this month - and I'll let Lucille open next time.

The best part? You can sign up with my link and get a discount of $4. Give it a try. My kids love books and really love opening packages in the mail. So it's a win-win.

They are also running a "buy one, give one" promotion - that you can use in conjunction with my coupon! The details are on their site.

One. Again.

I am so amazed with the last year. It went by so quickly. I watched Gus go from a little baby to an early crawler, then an early walker. I watched Lucille grow up so quickly. I just can't believe that Gus is already one-year old. No more newborns in our house. Its very bittersweet. I thought I was going to cry last night. I've held the tears in so far though. My birth experience with Gus was a breeze. I checked into the hospital around 9 a.m. and had Gus a little after Noon. All natural and only 2 or 3 pushes - similar to Lucille (except this time I had my doctor present.) It is such a happy memory.

I'm feeling pretty proud that I managed to put together a video for him to post on his birthday. Here it is. You can watch my baby grow right before your eyes.

I made the big step of quitting a reliable, full-time job to work from home - digital communications consulting so that we didn't have to put the kids into Daycare. I'm so glad I did that and SO glad that it is working out and that I'm busy with work.

P.S. I'm still finalizing Lucille's video for her 2nd birthday - but if you want to watch her video from her first birthday - here is that post.