Last Minute Mother’s Day Gift Ideas from Kids and Adults

Posted in Family by
last minute Mother's Day gift ideas

Just because Mother’s Day is a week away doesn’t mean you still can’t give her something great for Mother’s Day. I’m a total last-minute shopper so these unique and last minute Mother’s Day gift ideas are somewhat self-serving.

 

 

UniqueMothersDayideas

 

 

  1. The Boss Cup & tons of other cute options from Amazon that you’ll get in time. It’s an entire collection that fits all types of Moms.
  2. Wrap bracelet for the boho Moms from Boho Betty. Get 20% with special code: REBELSOULMOM.
  3. Flowers (and reasonable price from Amazon) – Prime and One Day Available!
  4. Wall Art
  5. Mom Chalkboard Wall Art  – This is currently on sale as of 5/7/17 & has one-day shipping!
  6. BOHO Betty Earrings – For the minimalist
  7. Dogeared Going Places Disc Chain Necklace – There are other options with different theme’s, such as “One in a Million”, (also Prime)!
  8. Edgy Wrap Bracelet –  For the modern and edgy Mama.
  9. Spa Gift Sets – There are affordable options that start at $20 and qualifies for Prime and One-Day Prime!

Hope this helps at least spark some last minute ideas. Yes, these are affiliate links to items that I think make great gifts for  all the amazing Moms out there. This has the official Rebel Soul Mom approval. Happy Shopping!

 

Extra Tip: Check out this post on how I get EXTRA cash back on these purchases through Ebates. 

May 8, 2017
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35 Lessons I’ve Learned in 35 Years

Posted in Inspiration, Life by
35 Life Lessons

Last week I turned 35. Thirty-five. That means I will now be checking the 35-40 box. With that new check mark comes many experiences and lessons. I decided to write about these lessons so I can look back a few years from now and either laugh or roll my eyes.

For now, these are my 35 lessons I’ve learned in 35 years.

  1. The misfits, troublemakers, square pegs, weirdos and creative kids can change the world. I’ve been called “weird” many times growing up and even into my adult years. My husband still calls me weird from time to time. It’s the best compliment he can give me.
  2. Family is always first. I spent too much time in my teens arguing with my parents. Then in my 20’s I was consumed in my relationship, college antics and partying. If your parents are still alive – spend time with them. Call them often and don’t hold grudges.
  3. Self-love and acceptance do get stronger as we get older.
  4. Don’t just take the pictures, get in front of the camera. Mom’s don’t have many pictures of themselves with their kids. I was trying to find a picture of myself with the kids and I had to go back almost a year! Pretty sad considering how many pictures I take.
  5. Get in the pool, swim in the ocean and play, play, play. While you are busy trying to cover up, your kids are having fun. They won’t remember your stretch marks or jiggly arms. Stop hiding and go make some memories!
  6. Not everyone who is in an executive position is a leader. The words vice-president, senior vice-president or even manager do not make someone a leader.
  7. Qualities of a good leader – visionary, listens, motivates, speaks with conviction and has contagious energy.
  8. If it doesn’t scare you or make you uncomfortable, then it’s too easy. Pick the harder class. Find another job if you’re not being challenged. Be the first to present.
  9. The world is a much cooler and happier place when you view it through the eyes of a child.
  10. Your parents are always right. This once annoying quote proves itself to be true more times than you care to ever admit.
  11. Confidence and kindness is always sexier.
  12. Your health isn’t always in your control. Control what you can – don’t smoke, limit drinking, exercise and limit stress. I can’t tell you how many health conscious women I’ve meet that got a devastating diagnosis. Do what you can and leave the rest to God.
  13. Guys are awful at mind-reading. If you want something, tell them. PS. I still haven’t mastered this at 35.
  14. When in doubt, always wear black.
  15. The biggest learning opportunities come from failures.
  16. Invest in a good mascara, foundation and face cream.
  17. Adopt a pet versus “buying” one or getting one from a breeder.  There thousands of animals that are homeless.
  18. Say yes today because tomorrow is never promised.
  19. You know that whole thing about starting to save early? I hate to say it, but it’s true. Thank goodness for early 401k options at work.
  20. Performing acts of kindness boost your mood and ultimately makes you happier.
  21. Viewing the world through the eyes of a child brings kindness and creativity into the soul.
  22. I have yet to see a perfect relationship or marriage. Every relationship has their secret battles and comparing     your relationship to others is a detriment
  23. 22. Gossip. It’s easy to fall into and it can be just as easy to kindly walk away.
  24. It’s ok to not belong to any one group. The more you try, the more disappointed you will be. Welcome to the land of the misfits!
  25. If someone you love is struggling with a hardship, addiction, or mental illness, approach them with love and compassion. Disappointment and anger are imminent so do your best to control the bad energy.
  26. God always provides.
  27. No one thinks about you more than yourself.
  28. Gratefulness brings peace and happiness to life.
  29. Every hard-working girl needs to buy an expensive pair of jeans and handbag.
  30. Moms really do love to talk about their kids.  I’m one of them.
  31. Say one thing you are grateful for, every day. The car, house, family, and clothes on your back are things we take for granted.
  32. You really can marry your best friend.
  33. Being diagnosed with a disease or illness will make some people around you uncomfortable. Many will pull back and disappear. That’s OK.
  34. You can never kiss, hug or cuddle with your kids enough.
  35. Being open to experiences, people and philosophies allow you to grow mentally and emotionally. It makes you someone who people actually want to be around.

 

35 Life_Lessons

            Viewing the world through the eyes of a child brings kindness and creativity into the soul (Lesson #21)

April 28, 2017
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Easy and Fun Easter Crafts for Kids

Posted in Life, Parenting by
Easy_crafts_cross_easter

If you’re looking for easy Easter crafts to do with the kids, you’re in luck. I’ve compiled a list of my favorite Pinterest craft ideas. While I love creating fun artwork with the kids, I don’t like anything complicated or too time-consuming. Well, I trolled Pinterest and found some really great easy and fun Easter crafts for kids that I wanted to share.

The 5 Easy Easter Craft ideas below been approved for the following criteria:

1- Must be good for toddlers as well as older kids – I have a almost 2yr old and an 8yr old. Both must be equally entertained with the same craft.

2- Minimal mess required – Even the most minimal activity can turn your table into a hotness express, so nothing here involves water, lots of small objects or more than 4 materials

3- For the love of unicorns, it MUST be fun for kids

4- Common household items – We have no time for impromptu store runs.

Most of these crafts require the same materials, which makes it easier. Let me add that there are some honorable mention links at the bottom of the page. Ok, let’s get to it!

Five Easy and Fun Easter Crafts for Kids

Easter Egg Collage

I really liked this idea from Toddler Approved – You can use practically anything to make this Easter egg collage.  We had tons of puffy stickers and fabric scraps to use up. You can also use stamps, feathers or buttons. Both my 8 and 20month old liked this one. I like setting aside a small amount of stickers, buttons, and fabric scraps for them to choose from. It’s super simple and you can “control” the mess.

Get instructions: Easter egg Collage 

Easy_Easter_crafts_toddlers

 

Pom Pom Easter Egg

This next one from Crafty Morning has to be one of my favorites! It’s Pom Pom Easter egg painting and it’s easy-peasy. If you don’t have Pom Pom’s you can use, cotton balls or cut up a sponge. Use bright paints and even add some sparkle with glitter. The glitter  does violate rule #4, but who doesn’t like a little sparkle?

Get instructions:   Pom Pom Easter Egg Painting

 

fun easter craft idea

   Picture Via: Crafty Morning

 

Q-Tip Painted Easter Eggs

I love this next one from No Time for Flash Cards. It’s a great opportunity for toddlers to discover colors and develop motor skills. I love this since it’s a quick yet interactive activity for kids of all ages. We are learning colors, so I stick with the basic red, blue, green, etc.  As they older you can incorporate different colors and even incorporate numbers into the egg design.

 

Get instructions:  Q-Tip Painted Easter Eggs

Easy_Easter_crafts

 

 

Easter Cross Craft

Here is another easy and fun Easter craft for kids from Happy Home Fairy that is super simple. This one uses paint but you can use crayons or chalk. However,  it will require you to make sure your little one fills the page completely so that the cross really stands out. Get the older kids involved and have them share what the cross symbolizes with their siblings.

Get instructions: Easter Cross Craft 

Fun_easter_crafts_kids_easter

All these crafts are simple and fun. These Easter crafts can make a great gift for the Grandparents or other family members.  I’m the one who usually throws the craft play dates for the kids so I enjoyed creating this post. These crafts can be an opportunity of learning, exploring, and getting messy (a little).

 

If you enjoyed these ideas, you may want to check out my Home/DIY posts for more fun!

 

April 10, 2017
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My Path to Finding Joy and Gratitude

Posted in Inspiration by
finding joy and gratitude

Confession: I wrote this post back in February as, “My Biggest Lessons in 2016”. It has been sitting in my draft folder and as I’m sitting here with 50 or so topics swirling in my head and nothing appearing on my screen, I decided to revisit this draft one final time. No matter what, I’m hitting PUBLISH. 

We said goodbye to 2016 awhile ago but there are many lessons that I’m carrying with me into this year. With all that life has had in store for me during the past 4 years, last year was one of my most influential years for personal growth and awareness. During 2013-2015, I was in pure survival mode. It was the years of my diagnosis, treatment, a miraculous pregnancy and another very challenging circumstance (which I hope to share one day).

My life lessons from 2016 that are making 2017 the year of joy and gratitude.

Love and compassion wins.

When dealing with a loved one, friend, family member, or even a stranger on the street – being compassionate and loving them through a difficult time or situation is far more productive than hate or judgement. For me it’s not easy and I fail 50% of the time, but the awareness is there.  My husband was in his own realm of hard circumstance and lessons. Through this, I realized how much more I was capable of giving in terms of love, compassion and support.  This applies to the my children too. I see their dramatic antics and cries through a more understanding and patient lens. Overall, 2016 forced me to become more mindful of my thoughts and words. I can’t say this enough – dealing with a difficult situation with love and compassion is more productive than hate and anger.

What I wanted from life started to unveil itself.

My cancer diagnosis was May 2013 and it wasn’t until this past year that I started realizing the impact it had on me. Thoughts and feelings that I’ve never had or experienced started to surface. My view on motherhood started to shift. My two little humans were amazingly growing up before my eyes and there was much more mothering to do. I wasn’t as present as I would’ve been. It became harder and harder to miss field-trips and early pick-ups.  I was questioning my career and wondering if I was still finding joy in it. In December of last year I found this amazing necklace at a local retro/bohemian shop. With it’s repurposed adornments and amazing words, I fell in love with it!  And $72 later, it was mine.  It says, live the life you always dreamed. Why is this relevant? Well, a few months prior was when I started to plan and work towards a major change in a certain area in my life. You see, the universe has a way of giving you signs that the direction you’re going – is the right way.

Fear is a dangerous thing and leads to complacency and quite frankly, an un-fulfilling life.

I’ve let fear control many aspects of my life.  Coming out of a cancer diagnosis just made it worse. I was operating in “safe mode” and making sure I didn’t rock the boat in any situation.  For example, back in 2015 I scrolled right past a writing opportunity because of the “fear” that I wouldn’t get accepted. Then, in 2016 I applied for the same opportunity and got accepted. In September I was asked to be part of the Seek and Speak Your Story  series at Moffitt Cancer Center.  This led me to speak in front of a group of complete strangers about my cancer journey and life lessons twice! One of those times was at the Powerstories Theatre in Tampa. Talk about some scary AF shizz!

Joy has taken on an entirely new meaning for me because of everything that has become in the last three years. Maybe I didn’t even know what Joy was.  Until my heart-opening year of 2016,  personal growth wasn’t even a priority for me.  At most, I was caught in the crossfire between that and professional growth.  Hopefully, not everyone has to go through some hardships to truly realize what joy and gratitude look and feel like. I sometimes wondered why my diagnosis didn’t affect me more emotionally and physiological (aside from the occasional anxiety and panic attacks). I was kind of like, THANK YOU GOD I survived, now what?

Well it did. It just took some time to surface. These 3 things are it. For now.

March 27, 2017
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DIY Command Center

Posted in Inspiration by
command center

DIY stuff doesn’t normally top my list of things to do but a new home will do that to ya!  I’m being very mindful to keep the clutter to a minimum. Too much stuff and I get into “mean mom” mode and that’s just not fun for anyone.  My main motivation for the command center, was to de-clutter my dining room table and kitchen counter. This Mama needed her space back! I was also tired of picking up backpacks near the front door or even better – the middle of the floor.

Since we don’t have a foyer, our dining room table became the dumping spot for everything as we walk in the door.  Another downside to having no foyer or entry way is finding a home for  backpacks and baby bag.  Naturally, I went to Pinterest for some inspiration and easy solutions for the dumping madness. I came across many command center boards so I combined a few ideas and made it fit my family’s needs: mail, calendar, chore chart and a space to hang notes or receipts.
command center

Where to shop

Where did everything come from, you ask? A mix of all my favorite stores – Amazon, Michaels and Home Depot! Ok, so maybe Home Depot isn’t necessarily one of my favorite stores  but it is for my husband. The family sign and the backpack hooks are both from there. I have to give him credit for making the backpack hooks! As you can see,  the backpacks now have a home!

The dry erase board is from Amazon and doubles as the school lunch calendar. We allow Gianna to eat a school lunch once,  sometimes twice (for those real crazy busy weeks) a week. She only likes a handful of lunch meals which includes, pizza, nachos and spaghetti. So when school is serving one of these three meals, I add it to the calendar. The cute chalkboard frame can be used a menu. I like it as a place to post important reminders or inspirational and motivating phrases. The wire baskets are from Michaels or you can find a mail sorter on Amazon that fits your space better.

 


 

My favorite item on this wall is this piece which I found at a local arts and craft market.  It works perfect for our dog leashes and dry erase markers and pens. I thought about painting it but I really love the natural wood. This cost me $15 and is probably the most expensive thing on this wall. I love it!

 

 

So is this command center working? Yes. The piles are less and I can see my table now!  There are still days when I have to remind my little one to hang-up her backpack. But at least there is a place for it now. Another plus to this command center is that we have very little paper on our fridge. This just makes me LOOK and FEEL organized, so I’m happy with it!

March 16, 2017
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