Because Every 4 Year Old Deserves A Cinderella Cake

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I’ve had a certain now-4-year-old ask me for a while if I would make her a Cinderella cake. What better day to do it, than today, the day she turned 4, right?

I’ve been pretty aprehensive about doing such a task because of 3 reasons.

1. I am not Betty Crocker. I can cook up a storm, but baking is not my forte’!

2. It’s very time consuming. With 4 kids running around, making a Cinderella cake isn’t exactly as easy as the Pinterest tutorials and YouTube videos made it seem.

3. I’m 9 months pregnant and our A/C just decided not to work. So working in the kitchen and having the oven on when the house is already 80°, is not my idea of a great time.

I decided to try and make this masterpiece and was positive that it would soon end up on one of Buzzfeed’s top 30 Pinterest Fails; but to my surprise, it actually turned out pretty nice (if I do say so, myself!)

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Despite her less than impressed facial expression, she loved it!! She didn’t love the fact that I told her not to touch it, though.

I really wanted to put my effort into this baby so I found an online recipe for a delicious Buttercream Icing and of course the YouTube Tutorial that made it look so simple (it really wasn’t that hard, just time consuming).

At the end of the day, the cake was a success! Not only did it turn out oh so pretty! but it was absolutely delicious too and my 4 year old was one happy princess ❤

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Liebster Award

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So this new momma blogger was nominated for the Liebster Award by the ever wonderful Dancing With Motherhood! WHOOP WHOOP!

I’m sure everyone is thinking, “what the what is a Liebster Award?!”

Basically the Liebster Award is an award for us new bloggers who have less than 200 followers! Sounds like a pitty award right? WRONG!

As a new blogger, building an audience and influence is a lot of work! So when other bloggers can recognize our work and efforts this is what we call a privilege and an honor!!

So how does it work exactly?

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Here are the questions that I was asked, along with my answers:

1. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a doctor. A pediatrician more importantly. But throughout the years, my focus shifted and that was no longer my passion.

2. Where is your dream travel destination?

Well I live in good ol’ Michigan, so anywhere tropical with a beach, where I wont see snow, a tornado, leaves changing colors, and sunshine all in one day would be fantastic! I’m thinking Bahamas sounds like a good place to try soon enough!

3Socks or no socks?

When I’m wearing tennis shoes – socks. When I’m at home – no socks. I’m sure you know the answer for heels and sandals/flip flops!

4. What’s your favorite food?

I love all food. But mostly I’m partial to sushi (any seafood really) and middle eastern foods. I grew up eating Sahara (it’s the best family owned restaurant in St. Clair Shores, MI) and I have found it to be quite a struggle when I have to abstain from eating raw kibbee for 9 months during ALL 5 of my pregnancies.

5. What your favorite season of the year?

One thing I love about Michigan is the fall season! I don’t care about all the Halloween mumbo jumbo, but I do love going to the apple orchards drinking apple cider and eating cinnamon donuts! I love the fall colors of the leaves, and of course the basic-you-know-what all time favorite – PUMPKIN SPICE EEERTHANG! Especially Starbucks PSL (pumpkin spice latte)!

6. What are your favorite hobbies?

I love to read and write. I am with my kids everyday all day so I am always researching new ways to keep them busy and what local activities are by us that they will enjoy. Attempting DIY projects is also another hobby of mine 

7. So you have a favorite movie or TV Show?

TV Show, yes! Along with 2379751480284 females, Grey’s Anatomy is my all time fave (however, I am not fond of the most recent season. If you follow social media, I’m sure you know the reason)

8. Would you consider yourself an introvert or extrovert?

I like to think I’m more of an extrovert. I have my quiet and reserved moments, but for the most part, I am an open book and very outgoing.

9. What’s your favorite color?

Green 

10. If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?

Depends on the amount. If I won $200- there’s only so much you can do with that. I’d most likely pay bills or buy my kids clothes because they don’t have enough (insert sarcasm).

If the amount was like Mega Millions, weeellll then I’d pay off all debts, help out family who have helped my husband and I along the way, invest the rest.

11. List 3 of your long-term goals

Complete college, become a successful blogger, become debt-free!

11 Random Facts About me:

  1. I’m from Michigan, but lived in California for 2 years as a teenager and completed 2 years of High School out there.
  2. I’m the youngest of 3. I have 2 older brothers
  3. I married my brother’s best friend
  4. I am the mother of 5 amazing children
  5. I am an iphone user and proud!
  6. I’m terrified of roller coasters, yet still always find myself longing to go to Cedar Point each year and will ride a few of those monsters.
  7. I went to Greece for a month with my Yia-Yia when I was 10 years old.
  8. I have been told I resemble the actress Natalie Wood
  9. I am a very proud Aunt
  10. I’m probably the only Greek known to mankind who hates Baklava
  11. I like my steak practically moo-ing still

Who Am I nominating for the Liebster Award?

  1. My Evelyn And Me
  2. Sugar Coated Living
  3. Happy Mum Happy Child
  4. Modern Mom
  5. Kids Fashion and Such
  6. All My Kids In A Row
  7. Karla Carrera
  8. Family Matters
  9. Momma Moose
  10. The Mommyhood Ministry
  11. Go Geek Mom

What Are My Questions For Them?

  1. If you were stranded on a deserted Island and could only bring 3 items with you (excluding cell phone — no service), what items would you take?
  2. What are you most grateful for?
  3. What advice would you give to a new blogger?
  4. Why did you get into blogging?
  5. What is your favorite recipe?
  6. What one celebrity would you like to meet?
  7. Where is your favorite vacation spot?
  8. Where do you find most of your inspiration for your blog?
  9. Apple or Android?
  10. What topic interests you most in other blogs?
  11. What is your favorite cold beverage?

5 Legitimate Work From Home Jobs For SAHM’s

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One of the most common questions I see on Facebook group pages from SAHM’s is “Are there any legitimate work from home jobs?”

And the most common answer they receive come from direct sales agents who are looking to grow their team.

While I have several friends who are in direct sales and are very successful with it, it’s not for everyone. Typically, when this question is asked, it’s because people are wanting a job that consists of a constant paycheck, not having to rely on parties or sales to generate income.

After doing some research to see what is out there and what is legitimate I have found these sites to have the best reviews and outcomes.

LiveOps – Working from home with LiveOps means you are an independent contractor with the company and will receive a 1099 at the end of the year for taxes. You supply your own computer, landline, headset and other office materials at your cost. Pay is $9/hour plus commission potential. You can make your own hours – making it convenient to fit your schedule. You work as a customer service agent from home for several different companies. From what I read, they provide training (from home) so that you are familiar with procedures, products, and the software.

Talk2Rep – Talk2Rep offers work from home Sales Chat Agents. Directly from their website the job description is as follows:

          “Sales Chat Agents play a vital role, liaising between various customers and the business entities in which we represent. As a Sales Chat Agent, you would be chatting with existing and/or non-existing customers of one of the top telecommunications companies in the nation! You would consult these customers and assist them in trying to see which products are offered that would benefit them. Enjoy answering customer questions, receiving bonuses for your sales and being a part of an up and coming trend  – which is Chat!”

Pay is hourly plus commission opportunities. Talk2Rep will provide training.

Apple – Apple offers positions as Work from Home Advisors/chat agents. Pay is between $9-$12/hour and offers benefits (health insurance, discounts, the works!). An Added bonus is that they supply you with an iMac to use. There is a set schedule with Apple, which usually includes 3 different shift opportunities.

Sedgwick CMS – Per indeed.com :

Sedgwick Claims Management Services (Sedgwick CMS) offers insurance claims administration services to major employers, focusing on workers’ compensation; short- and long-term disability; and general, auto, and professional liability coverage. Other activities include risk management, program management, and Medicare compliance services. The firm serves clients in such industries as financial services, health care, utilities, education, manufacturing, and retail through a network of about 150 offices in the US and Canada

Pay starts around $12/hour and there are benefits available. Sedgwick will provide all hardware and software needed (computer, headset, training, etc). You must have a landline phone and hardwired internet.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car – Enterprise offers work from home positions as Reservations Specialists. Assist customers with their rental car needs right from the comfort of your own home! Full-time and Part-time positions available as well as benefits. Click the link for a list of available opportunities.

Why I Love My Saturday Mornings

Most adults love weekends. Weekends usually indicate no work, being able to go out and let your hair down, and sleeping in the next morning. However, as a mom of a small tribe, my weekends do not consist of any of these things. I’m up at the same time every day, which is sometime between 6-7 am.

My Saturday morning events usually play out something like this: 

*kids wake up, start screaming – sometimes screaming because they’re playing and laughing with each other, and other times because they are fighting right from the get-go! 

*kids come running into my room and fight over whose sitting next to me, whose sitting on me, whose laying their head on MY pillow, whose going to sit next to my left leg, whose going to tell me 1 million times in .8 seconds that they want breakfast, whose going to tell me that they want to go outside even though it may be tornado-like conditions outside.

*I get up and make breakfast, try to clean up the aftermath of their early morning atomic bomb that they set off in my living room before they made their way into my room…usually I don’t get to do that because they’re busy dropping food and drinks and everything else on the floor in the kitchen. Or complaining that they didn’t get to sit in the chair they wanted to because their sibling got there before they could.

Now this list may make some wonder, what sane person would love a Saturday morning like that? First off, I’m a mother. My sanity has been gone for some time now. Secondly, I can’t imagine my life without this chaos; although, I’m not opposed to a break here and there 😉

But what I really love about my Saturday mornings is that after breakfast and all the chaos, when I’m able to finally get them to settle down just for a split second, I get to cuddle them. I get to watch them cuddle each other. I get to see them playing nicely and calmly, I get to enjoy their childhood with them. I get to capture the moments that mean the most. Whether it’s with my iPhone camera or my fancier Kodak point and shoot (soon I will invest in a DSLR), having these memories with my kids that I can one day look back on, are what matters most.

I’ve seen Facebook posts about people saying things about how annoying it is when parents constantly post pictures of their kids (don’t get me wrong, the same pose being posted 10 different times is a little overboard) or share every little milestone and detail is annoying and how parents should focus on living in the moment with them rather than capturing it with a phone/camera. But as parents, our children are our lives. Social media is meant for us to share our lives with each other. When I’m older and suffering from Dementia or Alzheimer’s, I won’t remember my Saturday morning chaos with my kids. I won’t remember the trips we took or the things we did or the things my kids say. So, having a blog, having social media and hand written journals and thousands of pictures are what I will have to look back on, when my memory starts to fail me.

Enjoy our children. They are small for only a short period of time. And we are growing older every day.

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My son Connor and my daughter Aubrey

5 Things My Parents Did That I Swore I’d Never Do….

Remember growing up, how we thought our parent’s were just out to get us and ruin our lives (because why else won’t they just give me $200 to go shopping at the mall with JUST my friends when I was 12?).

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I do! I remember promising I’d NEVER be like my parents. I’d NEVER ground my kids for bad grades, skipping school, not doing chores, back talking, the whole nine yards.

And then I became a mother. And when I held my 5 lb 14 oz firstborn for the first time, and I looked at her sweet little petite face and features, I immediately knew that I was going to do everything I could to give her the best life. We were going to be best friends (not in the Regina George strange mom kind of best friends way but in a June Cleaver-never-chastise-my-kid-even-when-shes-being-a-douche-turd kind of way)and I’d never be able to bring myself to be mad at her, or ground her or be disappointed because she was perfect…Cool_Mom_GIF

Well reality is that she’s not perfect. She’s your average 7 year old now who’s full of life and beauty and smarts, and sass. She’s also the oldest sibling of 7 kids total (her dad has 2 children, and my husband and I have 4 together). The reality for me now, is that I’m swallowing my words of “I’ll never do the things my parents did”

Actually, I wish I could be more like my parents now that I’m raising this soccer team of children.  My parents took us on all kinds of vacations – Florida/Disney at least 2 times a year, NYC, Cedar Point trips all the time, they paid for me to go to Greece for a month with my Yia-Yia when I was 10 years old, train trips and plane trips to California to visit my mom’s brother and his wife and their kids- they always made sure that we had healthy meals cooked (very rare that my parents bought us fast food. My mom is a Greek Goddess and cooking was/is her niche. I can’t complain), clean clothes, always buying us new clothes and shoes, etc. I know, I know, we had it rough growing up.

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So what awful parenting choices did my parent’s make with us that I swore I’d never do?

  • Every day after school they made us sit down and do homework before being able to play with our friends. How could they be so cruel, caring about our education like that!?real-life_parents

  • You know, when we didn’t do our chores, talked back, got bad grades, lied to our parents about God-knows what, the list goes on and on. I swore that I’d never ground my kids because it was so unfair. Why couldn’t my parents just be understanding that not only am I just a child, but I’m a girl. And girls just wanna have fun! girls-just-want-to-have-fun-2

  • What kid wants to do chores? Back in the day, wasn’t it the dad’s job to go to work and the mom was supposed to stay home and clean? Why did I have to clean? I’m just a child..and a girl..who wants to have fun…and sweeping floors/cleaning bathrooms and taming the amazon jungle (AKA cleaning my bedroom) was not on my list of ideas of fun.

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  • Take away privileges like driving and my cell phone. Back before texting was the new way to communicate, having a cell phone past 7pm was crucial (minutes were unlimited then) to a teen’s social status. Because you know, a girl just HAD to call and talk to her BFF about how Joey in 4th period let her use his pencil. And hello parents, you can’t take my car away, Wet Seal has a super mega awesome sale going on and how else do you expect me to get there?! I have yet to worry about these 2 punishments, however, I know they’re coming.

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  • Locking up the snacks and pop in their bedroom. Who does this? Why buy snacks if we can’t eat them? Now I know the answer to those questions.

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This Is NOT Another Caitlyn Jenner Post

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It’s no secret that Caitlyn Jenner (formally known as Bruce Jenner) is under the spotlight for the major changes she’s recently made to her life. It’s all over social media that “she’s courageous”, “she’s brave”, “she’s beautiful” … then there are the other posts about how she mutilated her body, she went against God’s laws, etc.. This isn’t another Jenner post (there are more than enough of those floating around), rather it’s a post about those comparing her choices to the choices that parents make every day for their sons…circumcision.

I’m seeing this “trend” more and more on social media. One “go green” mom reads one article/blog on another mom’s thoughts and opinions on topics like circumcision, breast-feeding, vaccinations, baby-wearing – and all of a sudden every mom who doesn’t agree or does something different (like formula feed, chooses circumcision, yadda yadda yadda) is all of a sudden uneducated and should not be a parent.

Whatever happened to the thought process of “to each their own”? I have been a mother for 7 years now (I know, I’m a real pro – insert sarcasm). I have 3 girls and 2 boys (as of sometime in July I will officially have 2 boys. One is still in the womb). I am fully aware that I still have a lot to learn and a lot to be open minded about.; however, the one thing I have learned, is to worry about my family and my kids and not to care about what other’s think or do (as long as it doesn’t affect my family).

I came across a post on Facebook recently that had a picture of Caitlyn Jenner up top and on the bottom, the picture of a newborn baby boy. The caption of the picture read

 “Hypocrisy: chastising an adult for self-chosen genital surgery while forcing unwanted and unnecessary genital cutting on baby boys”

This bothers me more than you know. Not because there are parents out there who choose or choose not to circumcise their child, but because of how ignorant of a statement that is.

Before social media, no one gave a flying leap if you vaccinated, if you breastfed, if you circumcised (or if you didn’t do any of these things). Now all of a sudden, it seems as though most everyone is so concerned with what the Jones’s are up to.

I’m personally sick of hearing the constant claims that are not supported by any reliable source, that circumcision is traumatizing to the child, that it’s an unnecessary cosmetic procedure, that it can cause lasting problems and infections in a child.

 I’m not a doctor by any means, but I have yet to learn of any one of my friends sons, or my family members, friends, etc that have lasting and damaging effects from being circumcised.. I have yet to hear of any grown man say how he’s so angered that his parents didn’t let him have that choice when he was ready. I have yet to learn of any grown man recall the day he was born and how unbearable the “pain” from the circumcision was for him.

What about getting your daughter’s ears pierced when she’s an infant/small child? Isn’t that an unnecessary cosmetic “procedure”? Isn’t it unfair for a parent to make such a life changing choice for their daughter, without their daughter’s consent? Maybe she doesn’t want to have holes in her ears when she’s older. Perhaps, she will be forever scarred, and will never want to shop at a Claire’s, or jewelry store when she’s older because of how traumatic the experience was for her? Oh, what’s that? That’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever heard? Exactly..

The whole reason for me writing this piece is not to stir up controversy. It’s not to say those who choose to (or choose not to) circumcise are wrong, or are bad parents. Rather, it’s to help open people’s minds to the reality that what you feel is best for you and your family, is not always best for another.

When I think of poor parenting choices, I think of things such as
*Leaving your child unattended (or with any Joe Schmo) so you can go out.

*smoking pot while pregnant/breastfeeding or in front of your kids

*not teaching your children proper hygiene

*not paying attention to your children

*not leaving diapers and shoes and proper basic necessities with your child’s daycare provider

*drinking and driving with children in the car

*smoking cigarettes with your children in the car

..I think you can see where I’m going with this.

Social media has become the root of so much controversy, so much hate, and so much competition.

Time for everyone to realize that we are all flawed, we are all imperfect. Support one another when you can; and when you can’t because your beliefs and views are different than theirs, keep your hurtful and negative thoughts/feelings to yourself (remember what our parents taught us “if you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all”?) . If you don’t agree with someone’s choice that’s fine, but don’t belittle them and act as if you’ve made the right choice in every situation in your life.

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Stand united. Not divided.

Calm Down June Cleaver…

In case you missed the part of my “About Me” page that mentioned a friend and I had a blog on Facebook last year, well here’s one of our most popular posts..

Don’t you just love when you hop onto Facebook and you see that one mom who has the cleanest house, the perfect wall decorations and/ or holiday decorations where it looks like Pinterest just threw up in their living room; the kids are always smiling and dressed in their Sunday best, complete with penny loafers and Mary Jane’s; you can practically smell the vanilla bean candle burning, filling up their home with a sweet aroma that reminds you of a freaking Martha Stewart magazine? Yeah, we can’t stand it either. It single handedly has got to be one of the most annoying things ever. Partly because my house is never that clean and partly because we all know that no one is as perfect as they try to make their lives appear on Facebook.

Posts such as “my sweet, sugar-baby, lovey-dovey, snookum-pie-lolly-pop-baby doll perfect angel face little Susie just recited her full ABC’s and wrote her name in perfect cursive, and is only 1 years old! I am just so proud of my little smart pumpkin doodle apple crisp!” Excuse me, but  I’m sorry that is not real life. There are times that I question my own ability to recite the ABC’s and half the time I can’t even read my own god damn hand writing. When you post shenanigans like this, then I see your child out in public acting like a normal 1 year old who is barely talking and sticks a crayon in their mouth, and not to the paper; I know you’re full of skittah (that’s Greek for Shit). At times I catch my kindergartner sticking crayons in their mouth or trying to put toys in their nose and when you ask them what they are doing they look at you like you’re stupid. Yup that’s it, I’m the dumb ass over here. Let’s also be realistic about the situation of having the cleanest house… OK you have kids; me personally, I just found a measuring cup under my couch and a sock that had a stain where I had to question whether there was shit on it or mud? Also this always having no laundry ordeal… umm seriously I could ski down the mounds of laundry in my house on a good day. But to clear this all up you have all day to do crafts with the kids, make the house spotless and do all this laundry… I’m lucky if my kids get out of their pj’s or put on clothes.

Now when it’s your child’s birthday or first day of school, it’s totally acceptable to make a 20 minute long post of how it’s bittersweet and post 9 thousand pictures because we all have those #proudmommamoments. But please, for god sake make the post sound more sweet than bitter; I thought these were happy times? No? Nothing is worse than when we can read your sorrows and your own depression in a post that is supposed to be happy and exciting. If you’re an emotional wreck, steer clear from posting anything on Facebook or any social media site for the day and/or take a Xanax; borrow one of little Bobby’s Adderall’s then continue to post from a happier state of mind.

Another favorite (and by favorite I mean f*ing annoying as crap post) is the “God blessed me with the perfect husband/wife and I’m so blessed to have found him/her. He/she was just what I needed and wanted in my life.” There’s nothing wrong with being proud and letting the world know how “blessed” you are. However, these posts get to be a little…hypocrital, shall we say, considering just a few hours prior, you were informing the world of how he/she was lying and cheating on you. So now we all know that Mr. /Mrs. Wonderful has been blessing other people’s lives (and beds) as well.

My life is a complete shit show and I’ll admit that it’s not even close to “perfect glitter shitter status” but I love my messy house, my sticky floors and happy kids who have been in pj’s for days. I’ll be the first to tell you that I love my husband but he is a down right moron sometimes, pain in my ass but I love that son of a bitch; I’m not the lucky one he’s the lucky one that found a great wife like me who smacks him in the back of the head to show affection.

So on that note, while you June Cleavers are bleaching your house (and probably your asshole as well, for that matter) for the 12th million time today (praying for that Billy May’s shine on your floors) folding your panties and your kids are like robots sitting there in silence reading Moby Dick at 3 years old, I’m going to continue to stare at these piles of clothes that I’m assuming are clean (they don’t smell or look dirty so they must be clean right?) and enjoy my wine.tumblr_inline_myykxt2gkf1swwz15

35 things that matter to me today

What an excellent post, really helps us to realize how important self-reflection and appreciation really are!

Defining Motherhood

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BIRTHDAY: an anniversary of a birth

Like major holidays or the first day each autumn that the coffee shop offers eggnog lattes, each year on my birthday I feel compelled to reflect on years past and what the day has meant to me over time.

This year as I reflect, I find many of the things that mattered in the past—my height, the theme of my invitations, the content of my gifts—don’t matter to me anymore.

Other things—my width, the theme of my current essay, and the contents of my coffee cup—matter more.

Here are 35 things that matter to me today:

  1. My husband
  2. My children
  3. The crazy joy that those particular people bring into my life
  4. The certainty I feel that I bring a bit of crazy joy to their lives too
  5. Childhood friends
  6. The perspective that comes from spending time with those who knew you when
  7. New friends

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Umm Thanks For My Snack?

That moment when your husband asks you if you’d like anything from 7/11, and your 8 month (34 weeks to be exact) pregnant mind can’t decide what exactly you want, so you reply with “Yes, please! Surprise me!” 
And he comes back with this ….

  
Not sure if this is a way of telling me my breath stinks, or if it’s his way of telling me to lay off the junk food?