Reblog Wednesday: Chores — Real Life of an MSW

If there’s one thing I dread dislike doing, is washing the dishes. It’s one of those things that is never quite finished – like laundry. So, when I read this post from Real Life of an MSW I knew I just had to share.

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Also, because I’d like to think Earl and I aren’t the only one’s desperately searching for the last clean dish to use when in need.

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Comical Explanation

via Chores — Real Life of an MSW

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Chiari Sister, I See You

Chiari Sister, I See You

As a stay at home mom, I frequently think about other moms that are in my position. It’s no secret that the stay at home parent doesn’t get enough credit. The day to day seems lost in translation to many, except the one living it. And often we need the reassurance, because as mothers – humans, we want to be seen and loved.

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Whether you have Chiari Malformation + Syringomyelia or any other illness that physically impairs you from feeling your best, know that you are doing your very best. I often compare myself to the wrong people, to those that don’t have physical pain and not needing to be medicated for pain relief.

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As for the stay at home parent living with chronic pain though, the day to day is different and is a tiny bit more challenging. And for me, the physical pain can cause me to have self-doubt, so today, to my chronic pain brothers and sisters, I want you to know, I hear you and see you.

I want to reassure you that you are enough.

Just in case you haven’t heard it today, you did good!

You did more cleaning than your body could handle. It’s OK, not to do more, your body will thank you later.

Yes, it’s OK, the rest can wait.

You folded the laundry that had been sitting in the basket for over a week – no judgment, you did it!

You cooked a meal with love, and that’s all your family could ask for.

You’re pushing through the pain with every step you take – you’re a warrior!

Don’t be hard on yourself, you’re 1 in 1,000 uniquely designed people and not everyone will understand – and that’s OK!

Push through, shower; push through, brush your hair; push through, push through, push through.

Take a break, a much needed break.

Know that your illness doesn’t define you – you are beautiful, believe it.

You are so loved, and you are just as beautiful on the inside as you are on the outside.

You are not alone.

Chiari sister – I see you.

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Happy Meme Monday: My Dream Doormat

This picture was sent to me from a friend and I thought I’d share it with you today because, what are friends for?!  I love the way it gives you just enough of a warning before walking into the home. It’s also a very subtle warning, because the message could have been written in many other ways that could have very well scared your guests away. So, to the person that made this doormat, this mom of many thinks you’re an absolute genius. Thank you for the laugh!

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Can I just also say, how adorable are those tiny feet are sticking out at the top?!

Happy Monday!

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Our Top 5 Family Christmas Movies

‘Tis the season for all things Christmas, and that time has begun! Well, if we’re going to be honest, that time of year begins a little early in my household. And here I’ll share with you what’s been on repeat in my home. There’s something so special about Christmas movies, the music, the cheer, that cozy feeling you get inside that get’s you so excited for what’s ahead. We watch them on Netflix and on Amazon Prime, and if you haven’t jumped on the Roku Streaming Stick train, you must – worth the investment!

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Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You this movie was released last year and we’ve been hooked ever since!

 

The Polar Express features Tom Hanks as the conductor and is a favorite even at the children’s schools.

Home Alone 1 and 2 – Yes! Can’t go through Christmas without watching these a couple of times – OK maybe more than a couple! But, we can’t resist Macaulay Culkin and Joe Pesci. 

 

Peanuts: I Want A Dog For Christmas, Charlie Brown is simply a classic, with Snoopy and The Peanut Gang, it’s really a must watch!

 

And finally, because we are a Disney loving family, we don’t miss watching – Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmas and Mickey’s Twice Upon A Christmas

      

Have you seen any of these titles, I’d love to know.

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Fourth of July

Fourth of July

We started this Fourth of July by planning some hearty meals – had homemade tacos for lunch and will be having hot dogs and chips for dinner. Because if all my little ones eat all their food – it’s a win in my book!

A couple fun facts for you to enjoy:

Americans spent over $1 billion on fireworks in 2017

and in 2017 Americans consumed about 150 million hot dogs on the Fourth of July!

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I appreciate this photograph because of the Marines pictured. Thank you to all those serving and veterans, those past and present that have kept my family and I safe.

We are truly the land of the free because of the brave.

Have a lovely and safe Fourth of July!

A-

Top 8 Kitchen Essentials For Large Families

I like my home to be as close to clutter-free as possible. So, in the kitchen I like to have things that serve dual purposes for instance, a toaster oven that can toast and bake. There are many kitchen appliances that can help large families to accommodate cooking in larger quantities which is what you’ll find below, my top eight kitchen essentials I own and that you should too. Although these will make cooking in large quantities easy, this will also help any size family.

This KitchenAid Mixer and Beater Blade attachment can help you make anything from banana bread to cake. A few years ago we began to make the children’s birthday cakes using this mixer.

This Hearth and Hand with Magnolia large footed tray can be used from displaying cheese to a cake stand.

The Rachel Ray 12 1/2 inch non-stick pan makes cooking and frying in large quantities such a breeze.

This is our Presto Griddle, it’s a multi-use griddle, it’s non-stick and heats up quickly.  I can make anywhere from 6 to 8 pancakes at one time.

This KitchenAid Convection Countertop Oven helps toast up to 8 slices bread to waffles. The convection feature just means it heats up quicker than a conventional oven.

So for time sake, I use this Black + Decker to cook rice.

This is our KitchenAid Blender. We make anything from the babies puree to milk shakes.

And lastly this one is not a gadget but still a kitchen must have. This is an over the door hanger, storage and bag holder. Tip: Get one to match the color of your kitchen cabinets.

– Ana

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Tips On Thrifting

If there’s one thing you should know about me, is that, I. Love. Thrifting. I am frugal, not to be confused with being cheap. So, I consequently have developed a good eye for finding good quality things. Which by the way you can also thrift online, heard of Thred Up? And I don’t go just because my tribe has grown to where it’s at. I go because I love the hunt and the thrill of a good find. So, here are a few things to keep in mind on your next trip to the thrift store and if you have never gone – you must!

Charge your phone and eat.

Be sure you have cleared out space in your car, for large items.

⇒ Wear comfortable shoes and take a hands free bag/purse, this will make browsing easier.

Know your people’s sizes! I have the sizes saved in my phone, especially the kids, they are constantly outgrowing their clothes.

If you’re in search of a table or desk don’t be hesitant to go to a thrift store before going to a department store. And if you are in the hunt for a furniture piece measure the space at home and take the measuring tape to the store with you.

Start in the furniture section. If you like something, let the store associate know right away. They’ll bring it to the back of the register area and reserve it for you.     

 ** DO NOT buy anything such as throw pillows or mattress’, can you say bedbugs?!

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In search of a console table, I picked up this Pier 1 Imports beauty, regular price $229.95. Goodwill price $30.00

Carry or load everything in your shopping cart, even “maybe items” and don’t put it back unless you’re absolutely sure you don’t want it.

There’s no need to touch every single clothing item on the racks, just keep an eye out for good fabrics, such as denim/chambray, cotton, silk, linen, etc.

Inspect/check items thoroughly.

Know good quality brands as well, here are a few of my personal favorites.

  • If you’re pregnant,  Liz Lange Maternity from Target, A Pea In The Pod, Gap Maternity or Old Navy Maternity.
  • For women, Old Navy, Gap, Joe Fresh from Nordstrom, BP. from Nordstrom, Lush from Nordstrom, A New Day from Target or Merona from Target.
  • For men, True Religion, Gap, Old Navy, Ralph Lauren, Perry Ellis, Banana Republic, Dockers or Kenneth Cole Reaction.
  • And for kids, Gap, Baby Gap, Hanna Andersson, Old Navy or Cat and Jack from Target.

Search off season too, say start looking at Winter sweaters for the family in the Summer. Just remember to size up.

Thrift stores like Goodwill have a color system, this specific color is assigned each week and will have a percentage off. So, what may have cost you $3, if it’s within the color assigned for the week, may only cost you say $1.50!

I come from a smoke-free environment and appreciate smoke-free environment items. So, if it has a cigarette smell, don’t buy it!

If you like accessories, take a look at their jewelry case, you may be pleasantly surprise of what you may find.

Every thrift store is different, yes they technically carry the same things however I’ve found that the area will influence the donations the store receives. I have three stores I generally tend to visit the most and have found that “A” will be best to shop for my husband, “B” for the kids and “C” for furniture.

Lastly when I arrive home, I like to remove all tags and put in to wash ASAP.

And like all things, have fun!

-Ana

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