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There’s no woman in this parenting world that doesn’t dream of having some time to indulge in some guilty pleasures of her own choice. It’s a necessity for every woman to put her own needs first from time to time and do some of the things other people find stupid or not cool or forbidden. And, she is right. She has the right to have a personal space and enjoy it as it suits her.

“Forbidden” Foods

Today, every woman will look at you with disguise if she saw you eating a hamburger or chocolate. Exercising and eating healthy is trending, so junk food has become forbidden for the society. Well, if you’re on one of those days and you crave pizza, just go for it! A slice or two (or three) will do no harm in the long run, and you know you desperately need it right now.

Bad Habits

Drinking a glass of wine or smoking a cigarette or two on a highly stressful day is no sin. We all need some sort of escape from everyday life and we all do it differently.

Or, some like to watch their favourite NFL team and in the meantime place a wager that the team will win (this season the New England Patriots are favourites to win the Super Bowl, source of the odds: redbet) or stop by the casino for a round of roulette. No one should blame you if you’re one of those people… Of course, as long as you do it moderately, once in a blue moon.

Enjoy Dumb Stuff

Non-intellectual TV and magazines describing the “real” life of celebrities is something you would never watch or read. But, at times, you want to sneak a peek while you’re resting at home. Sometimes you just want to play dumb and not think about anything too smart. Trash magazines are a great idea for that. We are pro-education, but come on… You don’t really want to be preached and smart all the time, right?

On that note, you could also indulge in a very stupid, naïve, unbearable-to-watch romantic comedy. Oh, yeah. Those are the best ones. You turn on the TV and you can immediately recognize its quality. But you still watch it. You know you do.

Out and About

Probably one of the greatest stereotypes about women is that we want to spend money and talk trash about other (close) women. Eh, sometimes we do confirm that stereotype. As soon as a woman walks through the front door, she starts thinking where to go or what to do to spend money. And as soon as she meets her bestie, they start talking. That talk is not for everyone’s ears.

And sometimes, you want to do it all at once. The best spent Saturday is: going shopping, then having a brunch with your gal and talking trash about some other women you two know not as well as you sound too. Now that’s what we call quality time, right?

Hey all! Big thanks to Katy Blevins for handing over the reins to me at the end of 2017 to fulfill my new years resolution to write...often! Based in Miami, you can find me blogging about family life as a mother of two young kids. But i'll also continue the Chaos and Kiddos theme of business, fashion, parenting, product reviews, and...well, I could go on and on.

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Purposeful Play

DIY Handprint Family Tree



DIY Handprint Family Tree

My boys recently turned 4 years old (WHAT?!) and given all of the changes our family has faced over the past year, I wanted their birthday to be extra special. I came up with this DIY Handprint Family Tree to visually capture how loved they are by their family and friends. I wanted them to know that even in the face of a divorce when it feels like your family is broken, your family goes so far beyond just Mommy, Daddy and Sissy. This handprint family tree was “signed” by everyone who attended the birthday party that day…beloved friends, Gramma & Grampa, Mommy, preschool teachers, favorite babysitters, loyal neighbors…all of the people who selflessly love on my children. Our family.

DIY Handprint Family Tree

Thanks to my mastermind gal pal at CereusArt, their birthday party theme was “Picasso, Baby!” Hosted at our very own The Studio Hampton Roads, we decorated from top to bottom with little paint cans, brightly colored streamers, artists’ palette lollipops, paint splotch tablecloths and more. We had art projects on hand, along with little art aprons, for our tiny Picassos, who made face masks, applied paint splotch tattoos and got their faces painted by one very special Gramma, who was in absolute heaven doting on so many sweet kiddos.

DIY Handprint Family Tree

The DIY handprint family tree was a perfect addition to our art-themed party. The supply list was a breeze:

  • Large blank canvas
  • Finger paint in several colors
  • Makeup sponges
  • Colored Sharpie markers
  • Baby wipes
  • Paper plates

I laid the canvas on a large table (The little drawing of the boys was done by Gramma! She’s the artist behind Rise Woman Rising.) with different color paints poured onto paper plates. Each party guest used makeup sponges to blot paint onto their hand. They then picked a spot and put their hand print on the canvas. They used the baby wipes to clean up and then signed their name or a special message next to their hand print with the Sharpie markers.

DIY Handprint Family Tree

The finished product looked just as I had imagined. Each hand was a different size, color, texture. Some families intertwined their hands, some special friends overlapped. We even had a baby smudge for our resident little guy. It was like one giant colorful hug, one happy high five, one strong hand to hold. Our family. This year, we have so much to celebrate. I know my little dudes don’t even realize it, but I do. The gratitude I have for the many people in our lives who have stood by us (in truth, carried us) through the past year…it’s indescribable. Our handprint family tree doesn’t just remind my sons of how loved they are…it reminds me.





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Purposeful Play

All Things Cupid – The Ultimate Valentine Resource List



Valentine Crafts | Chaos & Kiddos | Round Up

If there is one holiday that sneaks up on me every year, it’s Valentine’s Day. I’d love to say this is because I’m single and wish the day would poof into non-existence fiery furnace “Worst Holiday Ever” status, but truthfully, this day was just as overlooked during my marriage as it will probably be for this first year of lone wolf status (hmmm…maybe that’s saying something…).

Valentine Crafts | Chaos & Kiddos | Round Up

My list of Valentine transgressions doesn’t just end with my former spouse. I was most definitely that mom that forgot to bring a valentine for each kid in the class last year. In fact, it didn’t even occur to me to bring them in…is that because I have boys or because I block the day from memory?

As I try to incorporate more purposeful play into our busy days, I’m committing to tackling the big day of love this weekend. Ya know, planning in advance instead of hitting CVS next Friday morning before school. And since I hate to travel all over the interwebz to find what I’m looking for, I’ve built The Ultimate Valentine Resource List. Everything I might need this weekend, all in one happy place. Yup, this is pretty much my virtual to do list for the weekend. Enjoy!

Valentine Crafts | Chaos & Kiddos | Round Up

Valentine’s Day Craft List

Buttons & Glue: Super Easy Valentine Craft

Easy Filled Heart Valentines

Bee Mine Valentine Heart Craft for Kids

How to Make a Valentine Wreath

The Ultimate List of DIY Valentines

DIY Melted Crayon Art Valentines

Valentine Crafts | Chaos & Kiddos | Round Up

Valentine’s Day Activity List

Homemade Valentine’s Playdoh

Build Your Own Valentine Robot

Valentine’s Day Letter Puzzle Printable

Sorting and Counting with Conversation Hearts

Valentine Crafts | Chaos & Kiddos | Round Up

Valentine’s Day Recipe List

Valentine’s Trail Mix

Sticky Sweet Popcorn Treat

Easy Valentine’s Cinnamon Roll

Chocolate Cherry Brownies

Have a fun weekend prepping for the Global Day of Love! Even though I’m flying solo this year, I have to admit, I feel more loved now than I’ve ever felt before. I’ll be basking in the love of my kids, grateful for my loving family and loyal friends, and my heart will be full, even as I eye roll the incessant sweetness of this most horrible holiday. Best be sure I will be teaching my sons that while this day is fun, true love lies in making every day special and full of value for those special people in your life that captivate your heart.

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Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Funny Face Planters



Think Outside the Toy Box | Funny Face Planters | Chaos & Kiddos
It’s the very last week of the Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series, and I admit, I’m more than a little sad! This challenge has been a highlight of our summer. We’ve had wonderful family days together, playing and crafting, and in truth, this challenge pushed me to make sure I was taking the time to introduce my kids to art and creative play and to put aside the busy of life for some simple fun. We’re going out strong this week with milk jugs! We had a blast creating Funny Face Planters that are now decorating our back porch with pretty flowers and a bit of silly.
Think Outside the Toy Box | Funny Face Planters | Chaos & Kiddos
I’d been stashing milk jugs for a few weeks before this project, so we were ready to go with 4, so the boys got 2 each. I chopped the front top off, but left the handles so they were easy for the boys to carry them.
Think Outside the Toy Box | Funny Face Planters | Chaos & Kiddos
They each got to take turns telling me what they wanted their faces to look like. I asked questions like “Do you want big eyes or small eyes?” and “Is your face happy or sad or scary?” and “Do you want long hair or short hair?” so they had a blast controlling what I was drawing. It was also a great opportunity for them to imagine and identify feelings and how that might look on their planter characters.
B went for a pirate and a curly-haired girl.
Think Outside the Toy Box | Funny Face Planters | Chaos & Kiddos
J asked for a scary monster face and admittedly, was a bit distracted on the last one, so I may have inserted my own creative vision with a little Jessica Rabbit throwback (This one had a persistent sticker that needed to be covered up).
Think Outside the Toy Box | Funny Face Planters | Chaos & Kiddos
We used construction paper for the hair, along with a little Elmer’s glue and the Funny Face Planters were born!! By the way, where the milk bottles had gaps or impressions, we used them to our advantage with super crazy eyes!
Think Outside the Toy Box | Funny Face Planters | Chaos & Kiddos
After a quick trip to pick up some flowers, it was time to head outside for the messy fun. I picked up a bag of potting soil, and along with two brand new Mickey trowels, the boys filled each of their jugs with dirt. And the rest of my deck. With dirt. And the dog. Yup, with more dirt.
2014-07-27_0006 Think Outside the Toy Box | Funny Face Planters | Chaos & Kiddos
Once they had their planters mostly filled, I inserted the flowers and filled around the edges. Our lovely Funny Faces Family was done!
2014-07-27_0011 Think Outside the Toy Box | Funny Face Planters | Chaos & Kiddos
Do you have a fun activity with milk jugs? Be sure to link it up below! And check out these fabulous blogs for more ideas!
Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series | Chaos & Kiddos: Mommy's Survival Guide

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