Where the Wild Dreams Grow thumbnail

Where the Wild Dreams Grow

3 Things by Kristen Kill, Hope With Feathers

3 Things by Kristen Kill, Hope With Feathers

Truth

Motherhood has made me feel like Sherlock. 

I have become a master in observation, uncovering truths about the little people in my care. I started out getting to know the patterns of my baby’s routines, learning the difference between a hungry or tired cry. Later I came to study the looks that would tell me my toddler was about to lose it and bonk someone atop the head—or that sideways glance that spoke of their anxiety in a new place.

Now that my kids are older, I’m doing a lot of listening and a lot seeking to really see and understand them. Sometimes it feels crazy and way bigger than me.

These kids have wild dreams.

Their ideas aren’t always realistic, but they are beyond brave and just want a chance to try. Their courage surprises me and and I’m finding that some of my own wild ideas are awakening alongside theirs.

Where exactly did I let some of my dreams go? Why did I bury them?

So, now I’m part-Sherlock, part-Cheerleader, on the hunt to help them uncover their gifts, to find the place in real life where their passions and the needs of those around them intersect. I’m teaching them how to live a life fully awake and ready to benefit others.

And because of it, I’ve never felt more alive myself.

jones jump

Tip

I dream of being a morning person, of waking up to the quiet of dawn and preparing my home and heart for the day ahead.

What wonder must the morning hold when you can take a shower without someone swinging open the curtain to ask you to grab milk out of the fridge for their Honey O’s, or find their Skylander or let the dog out!

I’ve slowly come to peace with the fact that its just not going to happen for me. I already adore sleep in a way that is really unreasonable, and now I have a teenager who rivals my night owl tendencies. Late night talks are when she opens up and lets her true self shine. It’s a magic window of time when I’m welcomed into her secret world of thoughts and ideas. I’m not going to miss that, ever.

In an effort to bring sanity to my life, I’ve become obsessed with coffee and am willing to try every shortcut to make it more awesome. Did you know that you can prep your French Press overnight? Angels are literally singing in my kitchen over the time I save in the morning with this trick, officially coined The Cold Press Method.

Just prep your coffee in the French Press the night before and pop it in the fridge, without actually “pressing” it. Then in the morning, complete the process and just warm it up. The coffee loses all of its acidic flavor that forces you to sweeten it. Its the definition of smooth. Yum.

Find

Just thinking about how to prep meals, snacks and school lunches that are healthy for four kiddos makes me want to hide under my covers and weep like a teeny baby.

One of my children is on the outs with pasta right now because it’s slimy—another one wants to avoid all things red, because it’s not a girly color and I’m just done. I know I could just tell them to get over it, but my children would rather starve than not pick what color vegetable is in their lunchbox.

La La Lunch Box is changing how we roll.

Available in both breakfast and lunch apps on your smart phone, kids are able to take charge of the food they eat within boundaries set by parents using a fully customizable food library that is beautiful, and feels like a video game.

The best part? Its can synch with your weekly grocery list and basically change your life forever.

***

Contributor: Kristen from Hope With Feathers and the New York Perch, Mom Heart Editor at I Take Joy
Enjoy her blog.
Follow her on Twitter.
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Check out her faves on Pinterest.

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This is Your Actual Life

3 Things by Catherine Newman, Real Simple magazine

3 Things by Catherine Newman, Real Simple magazine

Truth

If you wait to get past the hard parts, the busy parts, the stressful parts, your whole life will pass and you’ll have just been waiting the whole time.

I know! I sound like Thic Nhat Hanh or the Dalai Lama or something. But you know it’s true. Try to stay present, even through the most challenging moments. This is especially true with parenting: a scared child in your lap at the doctor’s office; a toddler crying and crying about a dead fly on the window sill; a relentlessly pooping baby and you’re so tired you’re practically sleep-walking.

Remind yourself that this is your actual life, your time with this person, a moment to experience and then move on from. A bonus of cultivating this habit is that then you’ll remember to be even more present for the laughter and great meals and easy, fun stuff.

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Tip

It’s related: make as much of your home life as you can a tech-free zone.

I’m talking about time and also space. Make hard and fast rules: Turn your gadgets all the way off during meals; leave them in a basket by the door until morning; never bring them into your bedrooms; go back to using a real camera so that you don’t have the extra excuse of “needing” your phone. Then you can pay attention to your partner, friends, and kids during the time you have with them, without being constantly distracted by the possibility of incoming missives. The MacArthur Genius Grant alert or “I’ve never gotten over you” ex-boyfriend email will still be there when you turn your phone back on, I promise.

Find

Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith is our go-to birthday present for kids of all ages—from 5-year-olds to teenagers. It’s an interactive, crazy creative book that encourages you to tear, draw on, shower with, drag around by a string, dirty, and otherwise destroy it. We like to give it wrapped up in brown craft paper, with a super-sharp black Ticonderoga pencil tied to it with kitchen twine.

***

Contributor: Catherine, Modern Manners columnist for Real Simple magazine
Enjoy her personal blog.
Check out her memoir: Waiting for Birdy: A Year of Frantic Tedium, Neurotic Angst, and the Wild Magic of Growing a Family

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Talking About Money Matters

3 Things by Jordan Page, The Fun, Cheap or Free Queen

3 Things by Jordan Page, The Fun, Cheap or Free Queen

Truth

Talking about money with your spouse will make you cry. Sad, but true. However, that’s not the truth I want to drive home, here. The real truth is:

There is hardly anything more important in your marriage.

Well, maybe that’s being a bit rash. There are plenty of things that are important in your marriage. But talking about finances should be at the top of your list.

Why is this so important? Not talking about finances with your spouse/family is like never visiting a doctor, ever, in your entire life. If you never visit a doctor, how do you know how you’re doing? How do you know if you need improving? How do you know if you’ve got toxic cancerous cells that are threatening to flip your entire world upside down?

You don’t.

That being said, there are easy, “tear-free” ways to go about it. In my family, for example, we divide up the responsibilities. Think of it like a corporation. In any well-run company, there aren’t two Presidents, or CEO’s, or CFO’s, or even HR Directors. Everyone in upper-management is given a specific role based on their talents, expertise, and functional role in the company, with responsibilities that no one else has. But everyone is still working for the same “company” and striving toward the same common goal.

So why should it be any different in your own family? Why should you both pay the bills? Both do the grocery shopping? Both be in charge of paying the school fees? Sure, it’s possible. But really, is it practical?

In my family, I am a SAHM and I tend to spend the bulk of the money (shocking, I know), so I get the bulk of the budget.

I’m the one that cooks and takes care of the kids during the day, so my financial responsibilities include (to name a few) groceries, school fees, clothes money, and medical bills, since I’m usually the one taking the kids to the doctor.

My husband works full-time, so some of his responsibilities are paying all the bills, utilities, and insurances—and he’s in charge of date nights and taking care of the cars, since I have no idea what the heck I’m doing.

Now, I understand that this will be very different from family to family, I’m just illustrating what works for us. The real thing to note here is this: our responsibilities don’t cross paths. At all.

We added up how much we reasonably need to cover each of our responsibilities in a month (trying to be conservative, but realistic) and there you go. For me, that money is automatically drafted to my account each month and I can spend the money however I see fit—as long as I am staying on-budget (which has been much easier since discovering the easiest way EVER to track my budget). My husband trusts me, and I’ve given him 110% reason to. Same with him—he gets his budget, and as long as his financial responsibilities are taken care of, I don’t really care how he spends it.

Well, what happens if your spouse is a big spender and has no interest in being frugal? (I get this question a lot.)

Easy.

We get our budget drafted to our accounts, and that’s the money we have direct access to in the month. It is what it is; it’s gone when it’s gone.

The best part is that we both have natural incentive to be as frugal as possible—so we can each have extra “fun money” left over at the end of the month to spend on whatever we want.

So yes, talking about money sucks. There’s just nothing sexy about it. But, if you ask me, it sure beats the consequences of ignoring the hidden cancer in your finances.

Tip

Did you know you can microwave rock-hard brown sugar and it will turn soft and sprinkly and delicious again? True story.

I’m sure we’ve all heard the tip where you can put a slice of bread in an airtight container of clumpy brown sugar and it will turn soft again (it really works, try it sometime!). Well, sure. But what happens if you’re like me (a chronic non-preparer when baking) and need the brown sugar to be bake-ready ASAP?

There is a solution, folks.

Last night I was baking cookies (which is rare, because there is just about nothing more I hate in this life than baking. My poor, poor husband…). I was cruising right along, patting myself on the back that I hadn’t epically failed during the recipe yet.

…and then I did it.

I got halfway through baking and realized I had no brown sugar.

DOH!

I scoured my pantry and cupboards and only came up with a 1/5 bag of rock hard nastiness.

I called my neighbor in a panic, ready to borrow (yet another) cup of brown sugar. Then she changed my life. No, really.

She taught me that you can put your clumpy brown sugar in the microwave. Start with about 45 seconds, then do 30-second increments until it’s sift-able again!

I used my fingers to break it up, but she said a fork works too.

The longer it sat, it started getting clumpy again, but if you do it right as you’re ready to toss it into a recipe—it works like a champ!

Brown sugar? Conquered it like a boss.

Now, if only I could bake a normal looking cookie. Ever.

Find

I just had my 3rd baby in 3 years. As you can imagine, my body is… well… rebelling.

Too get back at me, it’s decided to sprout these super attractive back-fat-love-handle combination things, that make wearing {just about anything} about as fun as rush-hour traffic.

This is tough, especially since I REFUSE to succumb to The Mom Jean. The suburbs got me. Elmo got me. The mini van recently got me too. But I will not surrender to The Mom Jean.

Being a frugality blogger, being frugal is in my blood. Literally. I get discount immunizations, even. So when I came across these babies, I about jumped for joy…

These skinnies come in different shapes (capri, ankle-length), and colors (dark wash, light wash, grey)…and only cost $7.80 right now at Forever 21.

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Not. Even. Kidding.

No, I’m not 21 any more, but yes, they actually fit me. I bought 3 pair and I plan to go back for a few (or thirteen) more. They are comfortable, super stretchy, and have a high enough waist that they cover my oh-so-favorite lower back boobs. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

***

Contributor: Jordan from The Fun, Cheap or Free Queen
Enjoy her blog.
Join her on Facebook.
Follow her on Twitter.
Check out her faves on Pinterest.

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Note from Editor thumbnail

Note from Editor

Editor's Note by Lauren Warner, Editor of 3ThingsforMom.com

Editor’s Note by Lauren Warner, Editor of 3ThingsforMom.com

Hi everyone!

As we reach the end of the summer, we’re going to try something new here at 3 Things for Mom.

In the past, we’ve posted a Truth, Tip & Find 5 days a week—every weekday. And though it’s been a great stop every morning, it can also be a lot to read (and receive in your inbox).

So in the spirit of keeping things simple and quick, we’re going to stick to the power of “3.” Now 3 Things for Mom will post 3 days a week—Monday, Wednesday and Friday. That way, if you miss one or two, it’s easy to catch up.

We’ll be back on Wednesday with another wonderful post from a wise mama!

Warmly,
Lauren

{ 10 comments }

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Just Do It Already

3 Things by Ashley Muir Bruhn, Hither & Thither

3 Things by Ashley Muir Bruhn, Hither & Thither

Truth

I realize that Nike has more or less copyrighted the phrase, but my personal motto is: “Just do it.”

There are so many “what-ifs” and “buts” that can hold you back, but I try to remind myself—when there’s something I really want—to just do it. Arrive smiling and you’ll rarely regret it.

As an avid traveler, my examples usually center around traveling: Will it be worth it to fly 28 hours over 4 legs to get to Bali with a one-year-old? Just do it. Will I be able to enjoy myself in Paris with a toddler? Just do it. Can I really give up (fill-in-the-blank) every month so that I can afford that trip to Italy next summer?

Just do it already.

with hudson almonds

Tip

I just learned about Kayak’s Nonstop flight search.

You can find all of the direct flights from your local airport, organized by length of flight, and then see which airlines fly that route on what days and at what times.

So if you’re feeling flexible about your destination, but just want to see where you can get to in four hours or less, nonstop? There’s a way!

I just learned that my local airport flies direct to Maui. Bingo! It just might put a destination on your radar that you hadn’t even thought of. Afterall, with kids, direct is the way to go.

 Hither and Thither-1

Find

I’ve been singing the praises of dry shampoo for awhile among friends (particularly new mothers), but I just finally got around to trying the Klorane Oatmilk Gentle Dry Shampoo Spray that everyone raves about.

Now I get it.

No white residue, great smell, and gets you out of the house looking like you did something with your hair that morning.

P.S. It’s one of the few things that really is less expensive in France. It’s sold in every pharmacy for a few euros a bottle! 

***

Contributor: Ashley from Hither & Thither
Enjoy her blog.
Follow her on Twitter.
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