holidays


Here are some of our favorite blogs from real Smart Mamas in the blogosphere.

Enjoy!

Pundit Mom’s post – Non-Mom? Really? Are You Sure You Want To Go There?

MomLogic’s post – The Duggars Are Sex Machines

To Think is To Create’s post – Hey Mama: A Tribute to Motherhood

Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers out there! What a glorious weekend to celebrate!

It’s funny how most mothers say “every day is Mother’s Day” for them… and that they “don’t need one specific day to celebrate” themselves…

But it is special to have one day each year that is especially reserved for celebrating Mothers. Mothers of all kinds. Mothers young and old. Mothers of babies, teenagers and adults. Mothers of pets. Godmothers. Grandmas. Nanas. Aunts. And women that take on the role as “Mom” in your life.

That’s right, every kind of mother.

But it got us thinking… How did Mother’s Day actually begin? What is the history behind Mother’s Day?

Well, we found the answer at Mother’s Day Central.

Mother’s Day Central is a website that you must check out. This amazing website celebrates mothers, all year long. It is just full of interesting and insightful information about Mother’s Day… and also shares information about phenomenal and special women and mothers throughout history.

Take some time to sit and peruse Mother’s Day Central. It will bring you such appreciation for motherhood.

And again, Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers! We hope you have a day of relaxing with your loved ones… and maybe a little pampering.

– Audrey, Jane and Sharon

Wonderfully simple to do and oh so impressive!

You don’t need a $40 Easter egg decorating kit with pages of instructions to impress your family and guests this Easter – achieve sophisticated elegance with colors taken directly from nature.

Simply decorated from a myriad of plants and flowers, you can create a beautiful range of natural colors and textures. Try this technique – it’s simple enough to do with young children.

Ingredients

Gather together eggs, an enamel or stainless steel pot, vinegar, cheesecloth, a rubber band, and plant materials such as onionskins, blueberries, pecan hulls, parsley, beets or dandelions.

Directions

1. To prepare the dye bath, fill a pot with two or three cups of plant material. Barely cover it with water (more plant material produces stronger colors.) Simmer for at least 30 minutes. Add water and stir as needed. The dyes can be made several days in advance and stored in the refrigerator. Strain and heat the dye before using it.

2. Use hard-boiled or blown out eggs. Carefully wash the eggs with soap and water. Allow them to dry. Wipe the eggs with vinegar.

3. To decorate the eggs, moisten small leaves and grasses, one at a time. Press them firmly against the egg. Hold them in place by wrapping the eggs in a six-inch square of cheesecloth or nylon pantyhose. Pull the cloth tight against the egg and secure it with a rubber band. Immerse the egg in a container of warm dye. Some dyes are stronger than others. The process may take only a few moments or several hours. Dyes derived from yellow onionskin, red onionskin, and blueberries all provide quick results.

4. Unwrap the eggs, drain, and let them dry upright.

What a magical and unpredictable process. Each lustrous egg is a unique surprise. Some of our favorites were the results of happy accidents. Enjoy discovering!

Rondi Hillstrom Davis and Janell Sewall Oakes are the co-authors of the award-winning book Together: Creating Family Traditions. To check out their website that’s jam packed with family ideas, visit togetherparenting.com. To subscribe to their online newsletter, go here.

Every year moms scramble to find just the right Easter basket. Will it be the sports Easter basket for $20 or the Spiderman one for who-knows-how-much? When did Easter gifts become so expensive?

The average family has 2.4 children and Easter gifts can break a budget in a hurry. Here are some wonderful Easter memory-creating ideas that won’t break the bank.

1. Bunny Paw prints

Grab an old shoe box lid and cut out big bunny paw print to make a stencil . On “Easter Eve” use the stencil to make paw prints through your house by sprinkling baking soda in the stencil. Turn it over to make left and right feet. (The baking soda vacuums up off the carpet!)

2. Easter Eggstravaganza

For most kids, Easter is not Easter without decorating eggs. This year, instead of letting the kids have all the fun, start a tradition that involves the whole family. Throw an annual Easter egg decorating contest.

Choose enough categories so everyone gets a chance to win. Some categories might be: funniest egg, most original egg, scariest egg, or celebrity egg. The wackier the categories, the more fun you will have decorating and judging.

Ask everyone to submit an egg and display them on the kitchen table. Ask Grandma and Grandpa to be the judges. Before you know it, you will have trouble finding judges because everyone will want to decorate an egg!

3. Follow the Ribbon

This is a simple tradition that doesn’t take much preparation. All you will need to do is buy some narrow, inexpensive ribbon from a local craft store. Choose a different color for each member of the family (15 to 25 yards per person, depending on how crazy you want this to be).

Once the kids are in bed, tie a ribbon to each of their hidden baskets and wind them in and out of the furniture and the other ribbons until you can’t see where they began. Bring the ends to one central location (perhaps the kitchen table) as a place where your family can begin the entangled maze to find their baskets. Before you know it, everyone will be tangled in ribbons and laughs.

4. The Big People Egg Hunt

On Easter Sunday, gather the adults together and have them each hide one or more eggs somewhere on themselves. It might be in Grandma’s apron pocket, Uncle Bob’s boots, behind Dad’s glasses, or under Grandpa’s hat.

This hunt isn’t just for the little ones; it involves everyone and is a wonderful way to connect the generations. Your family will be sure to get a laugh as the kids poke around looking for hidden eggs. No one and no place is considered out of bounds. You’ll definitely want your video camera ready for this Easter Egg Hunt.

5. Personalized Letter from the Easter Bunny!

What child does not get excited about getting mail? How about a personalized letter to your child from the Easter Bunny. This letter will be mailed directly to you child and talk about how mom and dad have told the Easter Bunny that he/she has been good. What an exciting memory for your child!

Easter baskets and gifts do not have to ruin your budget in order for them to be meaningful. These are just a few ways in which you can start some family Easter traditions with your family.

Here’s to a wonderful, traditions-filled Easter!

Dawn Holland is a WAHM of 3 boys and an RN with 12 years of maternal infant and pediatric nursing. She is also a Certified Breastfeeding counselor. Dawn owns Books from the Hearth, an online bookstore and gift shop specializing in personalized children’s books and personalized baby gifts.