-by Liz Sparks
You’ve been stuck inside now for months, with young children who are bored, anxious and ready to play outside. Your house might be a disaster and your wardrobe is probably looking a little tired, and you are thinking that life as a mom has never been more tiring. But summer is on the horizon, and the glorious warm, sunny days that are made for play dates at the park and swimming in the pool are upon us. This is your time as a mom to refresh and relax, and get rejuvenated before the hustle and bustle of the school year starts up again. Consider these summer upgrades to help you feel your best and get the most out of this summer.
Revamp your hairstyle. According to Babble, as the summer days turn your skin darker it will be time for you to turn your hair a shade or two lighter. Platinum blonde is the color of the season, so as a hip mom, you can incorporate this into your new hairdo. When you feel confident and beautiful, you will be more apt to take on the daily challenges that come with being a mom to young children. Sometimes a new hairstyle is all you need to feel fresh and ready for the new summer season. Once you have your new look, you can start making all of those exciting plans.
Indulge in a few new pairs of flats — finally it’s in style to be comfortable again. Mom Agenda states that flats are the new heels, which works out great for those who are chasing tiny tots around the backyard. Throw on your new favorite pair of TOMs to head to the park or a pair of adorable ballet flats for a night out with the girls. Flats go with just about any type of outfit, from a casual ensemble to a flashy outfit designed for a night on the town.
Get a new set of wheels. When you are heading out to the beach, you will want to feel good knowing that you are driving your kids in style this summer. Auto Trader has recently released a new list that identifies the top seven vehicles for moms — allowing those caring for young children to choose a safe, reliable vehicle that is also stylish and something they can be proud of driving.
Tops on the list are 2011 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T, starting at $1990 with 22 city mpg and 33 highway mpg, according to a Phoenix Hiyundai dealer. Next is the 2011 VW Jetta SportWagon TDI, priced at $25,600 and getting 29 city mpg and 29 highway mpg, according to Auto Trader.
Add a touch of green to your wardrobe. This is the color of the season, but don’t be afraid if you don’t want to deck yourself from head to toe in green. Whether you add a mint green accent or you choose a kelly green sundress, this is the perfect choice for any summer get together. Wear green for a barbecue or for an ice cream trip from your family, and you’ll look the park of the chic, stylish mom.
Being a mom is the toughest job in the world, and it can leave you feeling worn down and beaten up by the end of the day. However, recognize how important it is to take care of yourself. It’s easy to make yourself the last priority, but when you take a little time to indulge you will feel much better about your mom duties each day.
Liz has created 50-plus shopping and saving apps for users to download. She loves reviewing apps and mobile solutions.Pin It
It’s been three months since I publicly declared I would only buy used clothes for a year.
I’m checking in and happy to report I’m still stickin’ to it! In fact, just the other day a gal in my work elevator complimented my shoes and wanted to know where I bought them. ‘The Goodwill,” I proudly replied, which was met by uncomfortable silence.
I’ve had a few people ask me since my post in February if the resolution includes underwear.
Abso-effing-lutely not. I will continue to buy new underwear, socks and swimwear.
Today was the first day I was truly tempted. I went to Kohl’s to buy some unmentionables and was greeted by the beautiful wardrobes of Simple Vera Wang and Lauren Conrad. The new line is gorgeous! But I fought temptation and walked out with only the items I needed.
Just yesterday we attended the wedding of a dear friend. “Here’s my moment to shine or fail,” I told myself. I went out to my favorite thrift store in Reno to find a vintage or used dress. If I didn’t find one, I’d simply go to the wedding wearing one of the many dresses I’ve recycled in the wedding parties throughout the years.
Lucky me (and to no surprise) the perfect vintage, big-print dress was waiting for me.
In about two months (when Mel turns one) my girls will be sharing a room. Thankfully, the Child is excited at the idea. Similarly, I’m looking forward to my new project – converting the baby room into the girls’ play room.
Jennifer Jenkins is on the blog today sharing ideas for creating the perfect playroom – a space where kids can play, learn and grow.
Laura Gaskill from Houzz.com suggests adding an active playroom for your child. Hang play ladders and a swing from the ceiling. Monkey bars can be installed along the wall. Invest in foldable gymnastics mats and tunnels to create an imagination land. Mini trampolines are great for jumping on and will encourage your child to be active.
A tree house can be a large project, but one that every child dreams of having as their own special fortress. If you lack the necessary tools, consider renting them for a weekend. Sunbelt generators are available for rental in a variety of prices based on the duration and wattage. Depending on your tree (or backyard size) you can create two-story masterpieces or a makeshift tree landing. Fill the tree house with bean-bag seating, colorful artwork, small pillows and blankets. To truly pass as a tree house, incorporate hanging ladders and a climbing rope.
For those little girls who love to cook, clean and shop like mommy, create her own mini grown-up world. The Busy Budgeting Mama threw together a masterpiece playroom complete with kitchen, café area and reading nook. Attach shelving to the wall for toy storage and a place for fun books. Take a trip to a thrift shop or second-hand store for a fun kitchen and dining set. If you find play food, sterilize them. Use crates to store stuffed animals. Crates can be found at Michaels or Jo-Ann for cheap.
For the little diva, incorporate a mini armoire that holds her play dresses, boas, sunglasses, purses and heels. Pair the armoire with a vanity table and small chair.
For your little book lovers, create a reading utopia. Built-in window seats work well for reading time, but bean bags and large pillows work, too. Decorate the room with bright colors and their favorite quotes along the wall. For a studious but comfortable feel, incorporate teddy bears, quilts, maps, globes and desk lamps.
Arts and Crafts
I’m sure you’ve had to use your fair share of Mr. Clean Magic Erasers on the walls after your child “decorates” them. For their artistic playroom, let the walls be their canvas. Paint one large wall with chalkboard paint and supply plenty of chalk. On an adjacent wall hang a collage of their framed artwork. Incorporate a mini crafting table where they can mold clay, paint a portrait and create beautiful bracelets. Don’t forget the easel, drop cloth, paint and paper, too.
Storage is a big challenge in a playroom. We all know kids can be mess machines, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep the room clean and teach them something in the process. Use an alphabetized cubby system to teach them the importance of cleaning up after themselves. A bonus is that they learn the alphabet in the process.
Jen is a stay-at-home mom and a freelance writer who volunteers at a community garden and homeless shelter.Pin It