Monday, April 20, 2015

Make It Mama: Worry Stones

As a child and adolescent therapist, I work with many kids plagued by worries. In addition to my work kids, my own son has a tendency to experience anxiety and anxiety produced behaviors. Worry stones are great for any kid with anxiety, but particularly those who need a replacement for anxious behaviors such a nail biting, skin picking, lip biting and the like. You can buy beautiful gem worry stones, but for kids, I have found that it means much more, and allows a sense of control, for them to create their own. 

Our favorite way to create worry stones is to use Fimo Soft Clay or Play-Doh. Kids come up with their own color combinations and ways to mix the colors together. Some kids even get fancy with designs and create heart shapes. I typically choose 2 or 3 colors and roll them together in a ball. I then roll the ball out into a "snake" and shape the snake into a spiral and roll into a ball again. I then press the ball into a "stone" and most of the time use my thumb to create an indention in the stone. The indention is optional, but does serve as a spot to "rub." I bake according to package directions, 230 degrees for 30 minutes in foil pans. I typically let stones cool for a couple of hours and then use Modge Podge Acrylic Gloss Sealer to give the stones a shiny and smooth coating.

I keep a jar of stones in my office and a jar at home. The colorful jar is always enticing to little hands, and I encourage curious little hands to choose a stone to keep in their pockets. When worries emerge, the stone is easily accessible and can be used to teach a self-soothing skill as the child  "rubs" away the worry discreetly. This creative craft project is easy enough and appropriate for kids as young as the preschool set, and enjoyable enough for those all the way in adulthood.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Small Style: Skater Boy

Every once in awhile, I'll splurge on the boy. Today was one of those days. As the summer season begins to set in, my growing boy  is in desperate need of some new threads. We decided to venture outside our usual go-to shops and hit up Zumiez. The boy finally showed a bit of excitement about this whole shopping thing as he picked out this rad, Aztec print hoodie. With that mix of colors, we decided the best approach would be to go easy on the eyes by pairing it with these cool chino shorts and grey skate shoes. The aqua belt gives an extra splash of color and plays off the aqua in the hoodie. My boy is so excited to wear his new duds to school and even muttered a "Shopping isn't so bad sometimes." I'll win him over yet!

Shopping List
Dravus Boys Sound Aztec Hoodie
Volcom Boys Faceted Chino Shorts (Black)
Stefan Janoski Canvas Print Skate Shoes
Zine Webster Aqua Blue Web Belt

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Wear It Mama: Pajama Time

I have a new obsession, and that obsession is pretty sleepwear. For years now, my sleep attire has consisted of sweatpants and old band tees. So not sexy, but super comfortable. This all changed during a visit to Anthropologie where I became enamored buy a ridiculously beautiful selected of sleep wear. Unfortunately Anthropologie jammies aren't in my budget, but no worries, I have been able to find fun sleep wear, just about every where!  These super cute shorts are only $6.95. Umm, hello, I don't even have to skip a morning latte to afford these! A simple ribbed tank goes great with these. Since the shorts and tank were so inexpensive, I didn't have any guilt splurging on these awesome slippers. I love these and want to wear them everywhere!  Pretty pj's is making feel like less of  slob, which has been a boost to my morning productivity. Although I am stepping up my pajama game, I haven't parted with my sweats yet! There's always a time and a place for a good pair of sweats.

Shopping List
Satin Sleepwear Shorts (Taupe w/Lime)
St. Eve Rib Stretch Tank Top (Black)
Muk Luk's Polka Dot Slipper Boot

Monday, April 13, 2015

Make it Mama: Family Journal

Our family has a tradition of keeping a yearly journal. At the beginning of every year, the kids and I decorate a basic composition book with magazine cut-outs, stickers, and other randomness. Throughout the year the kids, husband (sometimes) and I write messages, draw pictures, note events, glue funny pictures/cartoons we find in magazines, press leaf prints from hikes, and tape on paper souvenirs from places we've been. At the end of each year, it's fun for us to look back at this yearbook of sorts and reflect on the journey. I look forward to seeing how the message from the kids develop as they grow older - I am sure there will be some interesting entries!

I highly recommend keeping a family journal for a variety of reasons. In addition to the documentation of memories, it will help kids develop creative and written expression, foster a sense of bonding with other family members, will help them explore varying perspectives, help develop confidence in writing, assists in the development of language, encourages creative thinking and provides an emotional outlet. The benefits of journaling are many. These family journal keepsakes are something we will cherish for years to come.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Small Style: Playdate

The girl kiddo is a sucker for shorts with a cute pattern. She picked out this entire outfit herself, and I'm pretty impressed. These floral shorts have a retro inspired vibe and are perfect for a playful, summer day. This tank is simple, but the crochet lace back gives it some interest, and who can beat that price! One in every color, please!  The fisherman jelly shoes are a win for outside play. Throw on some cool shades and the girl is ready to hit the playground!

Shopping List
Circo Crochet Back Tank (Miami Peach)
Floral Print Shorts
Jelly Fisherman Sandals (Orange)
Oversized Sunglasses (Nautical Navy)

Friday, April 10, 2015

A Little Moxie, A Little Mischief: Hold Me Closer Tiny Dancer

Last spring I signed my oldest girl -  the tiny dancer in the middle of the bunch - up for dance class and a love affair began. A love affair between my little girl and the art of dance began; and a love affair of me being completely captivated and entranced as I watch my little one get lost in the music began. It's quite a glorious thing to see your child develop a passion. To see their little eyes fill with excitement. To know that their little hearts are full. In those times, all the daily frustrations that go along with parenting slip out of my mind and I give in to the complete awe of the moment. 

Every Saturday morning, mornings I'd much rather sleep in, my tiny dancer sneaks into my room and quietly whispers, "It's Saturday, mommy. I have my dance class today! I need to get ready." Sure, that request comes two hours too soon, but even in my slumbered state, I can respect her enthusiasm. While I'm still hitting the snooze button on my phone, my tiny dancer carefully selects one of her dance outfits, pulls on her tights and attempts to pull her hair into a bun. The sound of little feet fill the room as she instructs her younger sister on dance moves, and I'll finally roll out of bed as my husband serves the kids breakfast. There's at least five inquiries of  "Can we go now, mommy?" before I actually fill up my coffee cup and usher her out the door. 

I love watching her put on her ballet shoes. I remember the day she stopped asking me to help her. That day she looked at me with her big brown eyes full of pride and said, "You don't need to help me mommy. I'm a dancer. I can do it myself." Heart. On. The. Floor. That was the day I knew this was going to be her thing. This was going to be her heart. That is what makes Saturday morning wake up calls worth it. Some days she tentatively steps into the studio, other days she walks in confidently, and every day she comes walking out beaming with accomplishment.  

The new moms are always nervous, peering in the door, face pressed to the glass making sure their little one isn't consumed with tears or standing shyly in a corner. I'm usually able to play it cool and fill that 45 minutes aimlessly searching the internet, basking in the silence. Every so often I press my face against that glass. It always gives me butterflies.

As soon as she comes home, she rushes to "give a class" to her 18 month old sister. Because of this, the little one has some pretty smooth dance moves! My tiny dancer pleads with me to turn the music all the way up so the two can "put on a show." This show more often than not is accompanied by the Frozen soundtrack, but it is so fun to watch them dance that I don't even mind that I've heard "Let It Go" approximately five-hundred-thousand and sixty-two times. 

The rest of the day is full of random twirls, pliƩs and jumps, each one accompanied by excited giggles and requests of "Mom! Watch this!"

My tiny dancer, dances her way through every day, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Wear It Mama: Resort Fling

I love a good midi skirt. They are perfect for transitioning from work to dinner or drinks out. This yellow, pleated midi instantly caught my eye. I'm usually not one for bold, bright, colors, but I couldn't resist the fun of this skirt. This white tank looks awesome tucked into the skirt, and the lace neckline is so pretty, you can skip accessorizing if you want. These amazing floral heels have just enough yellow to tie in to the skirt, but the blues give the outfit an extra pop. A plain white clutch finishes off the look. Love it!

Shopping List
Resort Fling Skirt
Lace Top (White)
Copertina Floral Pointy Toe Pump
Lily Envelope Clutch (White)