If I could turn back time…

If I could turn back time...

Photo Source: Getty Images


I have always been fascinated by history, and often wished I could turn back time.  One of my favorite classes was Humanities, because it was not just about history, but it was about culture. The dictionary describes culture as the sum of attitudes, customs, and beliefs that distinguishes one group of people from another. Culture is transmitted, through language, material objects, ritual, institutions, music and art, from one generation to the next.  So maybe I should say that my fascination is with how the events of history have shaped our culture.

My daughter recently asked me if I could go back in time and witness or take place in any event what would it be?  I admit I had to think hard on that one.  I often felt I was born in the wrong era, because there is so much that I would have liked to participate in that occurred before my time.  Hairstyles and fashion that I would have liked to wear. Music that I would have loved to dance to.  But, eventually I told her that it would have to be the March to Washington in 1963.  I wish I could have participated in the organization of it, made that journey and stood on those steps to hear Dr. King Deliver his “I have a Dream Speech”.

Why you ask?  I have never listened to part or parcel of Dr. King’s speech without having goosebumps and being physically affected by his words.  As scary as that time must have been for all those championing change. I assume that the feeling of promise had to be euphoric.  Just the idea that your beliefs, your sacrifice and your actions could affect the course of history or change the lives of your children and grandchildren had to be awe inspiring.  I wonder if they thought about it that way, or if they were just putting one foot in front of the other and hoping that they would make it home to their families unharmed.  I wonder if they really could see the vision that Dr. King had or if they just knew that there had to be a better way.

By the time the the 60’s rolled around African Americans had already suffered through and had been “released” from slavery, however, I believe that expectation was still a new thing to the masses.  As a parent, I can’t imagine not being able to tell my child and believe it that he or she could be anything that they aspired to be.  I can only imagine how difficult it was to raise a child during that age, when you had to worry about teaching them principles and values and worrying about them being killed for standing up for those same things.  I can’t imagine how hard it was to speak light into someone who was already feeling defeated by the climate and circumstances. All things being considered, I still envy those hope peddlers, who gave those young men and women a voice, a dream, a vision to strive towards.

So if I could turn back time, I would like to have been on those steps to hear Dr. King deliver his speech, to see the light go on in my children’s eyes and know that they understood their worth and that they grasped all that he was saying.  That they felt the dream he was speaking directly into their hearts.  And, even though the vision lives on in all of us, it still hasn’t fully been realized.  I don’t think anyone could have imagined that we would still be fighting some of these same battles in 2016.  But, here we are still trying to be hope peddlers but to a generation that sometimes doesn’t even fully grasp the struggle.

If you could go back in time where would you land, and why?

Read More About The Greatness From Whence We Came Here.

Today’s Freebie Friday  –  Download Yours Here Today!!

Lord Have Mercy Free Printable

Gift Guide: Valentine’s Day Gifts for Her

We are almost through the first month of 2016 and Valentine’s Day is on its way!!  I know that many consider it a STRICTLY COMMERCIAL holiday.  But, let’s be honest.  What holiday isn’t?  I personally love the day and not just because I am married and gravitate towards all things pink.  But, just because it’s a good excuse to love on the important people in your life.  I know we shouldn’t need an reason to do this.  But, with all our lives traveling at the speed of light, we sometimes need a gentle reminder.  Plus as a Mom of little girls, I cherish the idea of their Dad being their first Valentine and I enjoy watching him spoil them just a little.  We all know that I love some retail therapy, so here’s what is on my Radar this year.  I picked out four different gift ideas at four different price points and for different personality types.  I would be happy with any or all, just saying. Check ’em out!!


Gift Guide: Valentine's Day Gift Ideas for Her

  1.  Beats Solo2 Wireless – $299.95
  2. Fitbit Flex Wireless Activity Tracker – $99.95
  3. Erin Condren Life Planner – $60.00
  4. Kate Spade Leather Tassel Keychain – $38.00

What’s on Your Radar this Valentine’s Day?  What special treats do you have picked out for the ones you love?

Printable Valentine’s Day Cards #freebiefriday

Free Printable Valentines Day Cards 2016 stage-presents.com

For Personal Use Only – Not to Be Redistributed or Altered in Any Way ©2016 Stage Presents


Now that my little one is in school too, I find myself with over 30+ Valentine’s Day treats to prepare. That wouldn’t be so bad, if I wasn’t such an over achiever.  Or if I could just stick to taping a lollipop to a store bought card and sending everyone on their way.  Not that I haven’t done that before, but that’s not the plan for this year.  Plus it’s my youngest daughters first year in Kindergarten.  I have to put in a little work.    So, I decided to make some printable Valentine’s Day Cards of my own that I could personalize to accompany the treats.   And, while doing that I thought of you guys.  So I came up with 4 printable cards from which you can pick.

You Color My World Coloring Sheet Kid’s Valentine’s Day Card

You Make My Heart Beat

You’re My BFF

Butterfly Love

Looking for some Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas — Check Out Our Valentine’s Day Pinterest Board.

Beating The Winter Blues

Beating The Winter Blues

When the New Year starts, I am always filled with so much hope and motivation.  But, as the days go by in January, I sometimes find myself falling into Alice’s Rabbit Hole. For me, I think the reason behind this lies in the fact that I hate to be stuck inside.  It’s called Cabin fever.  I know I have definitely turned into a bit of a home body since becoming a full time stay at home mom.  But, there are still days when I want to get up and venture out into the world, whether it be to grocery shop or hit up the closest Target or Walmart.  Some days I just need to get out and spread my wings.  But, the colder it gets the more those plans tend to exist only in my head or penciled in my planner.  The older I get and the longer I live in Georgia, I fear the cold, which now feels like it chills me to be the bone.  I have never had a strong immune system, an unfortunate trait, I think I passed down to my babies.  I dread being sick!!  So rather than allow myself to turn into a Winter Weather Hermit, I came up with some tips to beat these Winter Blues.

Plan Plan Plan…

It’s easy to simply crawl into bed and pull the cover up around my ears.  And, as divine as that sounds I am pretty sure that I would get NOTHING done, except maybe catching up on the movies on my DVR.  So I plan out my day from Household Duties –  Business Duties ( this Blog/Etsy/Social Media Stuff).  For example, I know that I can get more cleaning and more writing done when the kids are at school.

Stock Pile…

Hoard… If you are going to go into semi- hibernation get the things you need or want to surround you.  For me that is Coffee (the good stuff, and lots of it), Delicious Creamers, Warm Hearty Soups, Comfortable Socks, good reading material and even better music.  Believe it or not these things can serve as inspiration on days when you really need some.

make yourself a priority…

It’s easy to put off getting your hair dyed, or your eyebrows arched when you aren’t going to a job everyday.  But, you just can’t allow yourself to become a recluse.  Set appointments for yourself that you DON”T waffle out of.  It can be as simple as getting a much needed and well deserved pedicure.  Lunch with a friend to catch up on life OUTSIDE THE HOUSE.  A doctor’s appointment that you have been putting off.  Something you know you have to do but don’t necessarily want to do.  Make yourself accountable to you.

find your productivity window…

This can be a time period where you feel the most productive.  It can be a certain spot that gets great light where you can write.  It could be right after you work out.  Just like with anything else, the key here is to know yourself.  You know what colors look best on you or what styles you prefer to wear.  You should also know when you are at your best and capable of your best work.  In a regular 9-5 environment this is not as easy to achieve.  But, when you are at home you have a little bit more flexibility. Work Smarter – Not Harder.

“Wisdom comes with winter.” — oscar wilde

I sure am glad that I live in Georgia now.  I can’t imagine what I would do with more weeks of winter than what we currently have.  What are your tricks to staying both productive and content during the Winter Months?

Read More About My Winter Struggles HERE.

What Financial Foundation are You Laying for Your Child(ren)?

Guest Blogger - Michael G. Thomas Jr. - What Financial Foundation are You Laying for Your Child(ren)?

As a financial counselor, I have had the privilege to serve people from all walks of life and socio-economic statuses. During those experiences, I’ve learned that we are more alike than different. Every family, whether they earned $15,000 or $200,000 a year, sought my services for the same reason – they were STRUGGLING to manage their personal finances.

Now, you might be thinking, how can somebody who earns $200,000 a year struggle???

It’s simple. If you make $200,000 then turn around and spend $200,000, you end up with $0. That person might have more stuff but, at the end of the day, they still don’t have any money. Let’s be honest – saving isn’t the American way.  Amassing more stuff is. Despite its momentary satisfaction, getting more “stuff” rarely creates the peace of mind and satisfaction most people think it will.

When asked, many of my clients can connect their upbringing to their current spending habits. For instance, hypothetically, I might have a client who loves to shop. When exploring the client’s upbringing, we might learn that her family expressed themselves by buying – You Guessed It – stuff! Up to that point, our hypothetical client hadn’t a clue that she was following financial patterns she learned as a child.

This brings us to our main point:What financial foundation are you laying for your child(ren)?

Every parent I know, myself included, wants to ensure that the next generation does better than the last. Unfortunately, although we are well intentioned, we equip our child(ren) the best way we know how – with what we’ve always known. If our children only know how to do what we’ve done, how are we equipping them to be better than we are?

As a parent, it is important for you to know that although you may not have a master’s degree in personal finance, you have a Ph.D. in Life. Your financial experiences, whether good or bad, can be turned in to invaluable learning opportunities.

For example: grocery shopping! You may not create a budget and shopping list at the present time, but you know you should. If you did, you would be less likely to walk out the store with a lot of unnecessary stuff, right??? If your child(ren) experience you repeating this behavior over and over again, you’ve unknowingly set a financial pattern that your child(ren) are likely to repeat when they comes of age.

What can you do about it?

The next time you go to the store, have your child(ren), this works for kids age 6 and up, help you create a grocery list that will not exceed a spending limit of $20. Make it a game! To win the game, your child(ren) must ensure that Mommy or Daddy don’t go over the budget. The prize doesn’t have to be money. It could be more time on the computer or TV, a favorite meal, an extra scoop of ice cream, etc.

While at the store, and you know it’s coming, allow your child(ren)to grab a few random things that are not on the shopping list. Be certain they grab enough items to place you over the $20 spending limit. At checkout, when the cashier rings you up and goes over budget, ask her to make the executive decision on which non-budgeted item(s) should be put back so you do not exceed the spending limit. Most important of all, be sure to pay with CASH! Kids tend to think debit cards have magic fairy dust and an unlimited supply of money.

Now, the thought of making your child(ren) put something back at checkout may sound a bit harsh to some, but you’ve just taught your child(ren) several financial skills without even knowing it:

  1.  You’ve Empowered them by allowing them to be a part of the financial decision making process.
  2.  You’ve taught them how to Plan Ahead.
  3.  You’ve shown them  that it is important to Honor the Spending Limits They Help Set.
  4.  You’ve demonstrated, by using cash, money is not an unlimited resource –No More  Fairy Dust!

As your child(ren) get older, increase the size of the grocery list and the budget they are in charge of overseeing. It’s amazing how kids rise to the occasion when they are empowered to do so! Beyond that, it’s important to make the process fun. My three year old won’t let me brush his hair unless we make a silly game and song out of it. Whether your child is three or fourteen, remember to keep it light.

I’ve worked with a countless number of teens and college students who have never handled money. In many instances, a number of these young adults have never had any meaningful conversations with their families about money. I understand that many families do not feel qualified to teach their children money skills. However, if we truly want the next generation to do better than the last, we have to equip the next generation with better tools than we had. That said, please feel free to like my Facebook page: Modum Solutions. You will find some amazing content throughout the year that will help you become more financially savvy and confident when it comes to talking to your child(ren) about money.

Lastly, if you reside in the state of Georgia and have a child between the age of 11 and 14, I will be co-facilitating a week long financial literacy/awareness camp at the University of Georgia in July of 2016 – Money Dawgs. Follow this  link for more details. For families with limited resources, scholarships are available!!!

Guest Blogger - Michael G. Thomas Jr. - What Financial Foundation are You Laying for Your Child(ren)?

Michael J. Thomas Jr., Servant, Family Man, Public Speaker, Blogger, Author in the Works, Ph. D. Student at UGA, Financial Counselor and Founder of Modom Financial Services

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

Dr. King’s quote pretty much sums me up in a nutshell. My life’s work, with regards to my calling, is to provide holistic financial services to under served populations that strengthens families and builds stronger communities.

It’s Freebie Friday – Dress Your Tech!!

Freebie Friday Tech Wallpaper - ©2016 Stage Presents

For Personal Use Only – Do Not Redistribute or Alter In Any Way. ©2016 Stage Presents

It’s Freebie Friday!!  Grab Your Free Tech Wallpaper, compatible with both Android and Apple Phones.

Download your copy here. For Installation Instructions Click Here.

For More January 2016 Freebies click here for a Happy New Year Tech Wallpaper and here for 12 Months of Printable 2016 Calendars.

Have a Great Weekend and Enjoy your Gifts!!

Being A Morning Mom….


Being A Morning Mom - When You Are Not A Morning Person? Tips for Surviving the Morning Rush - stage-presents.com

I can recall more AM breakdowns and temper tantrums than I care to admit.  And, it’s not necessarily that my children aren’t morning people, it’s that I am not.  I don’t have a problem waking up in the morning,  I just really have no desire to interact with humans until after 10am.  Unfortunately, when you take on the title of Mommy that really isn’t a choice you get to make anymore.  So, what’s the solution.  It’s easy, FAKE IT TIL YOU MAKE IT, right?  That sounds good, but the thing about pretending, is that the real emotions tend to bubble to the surface in a scary, scary way.

The real secret lies in knowing yourself, having a routine and planning for chaos.  Here’s what works for me. ( … on most days.)

  1.  Do as much as you can do the night before.  Pick Out Their Clothes from Head to Toe. (leave nothing to chance).  If you have a super picky child, you might want to include them in this process, to avoid the early morning melt downs.
  2. Get up a Little Earlier than they do.   Since, I don’t really want to be up anyway.  A little time alone tends to help settle my spirit.  This is a great time to read your devotion, get in a chapter or two of a book you are reading. Grab your first cup of coffee and prepare for what comes next.
  3. Waking Them Up/Getting Them Dressed.  If your little ones are like mine, this process doesn’t happen all at once.  You may have to wake them up a second and a third time, before they actually get out the bed.    Give yourself enough time that if this occurs you still are not rushing to get them out of the house on time.  I get up, wake up my 10 year old (this part is a joke).  I go back in my room, go through my morning routine and then go back and wake her up again.  Go downstairs pack the lunches, and sometimes she’s up, this is the last wake up call. (before Moms head starts spinning)  The little one is easier to wake up but she has her days too. Once they are awake this part generally runs smoothly aside from the fact that I sometimes have to redirect them back to the task at hand.  They are little girls, there is always something to giggle about, and they get easily distracted. Ultimately, if there’s enough time allotted here, even if I feel like a song on repeat, it gets done.
  4. [Enter Breakfast Here] My kids eat breakfast at school, so I luck out here.
  5. Do We Have What We Need?  You know the drill.  Binders, Folders, Homework, Projects.  Then the Run Through.  Did you remember to brush your teeth, put on Deodorant, Lip Gloss, Body Spray, Lotion?  Do have your Watch,  Scarf, Gloves, Cell Phone …etc…etc..?
  6. And Then Repeat.  Even Though You Already Asked.  Ask Again.  After all, you don’t want to get the call on your way home that you have to go back to the school to deliver whatever it is they forgot.

And There You Have It,  Now You’re A Morning Mom.  And, everybody is thankful for the change.   Do you struggle with your morning routine as well?  What do you do to make the send off or drop off easier for everyone?

Being A Morning Mom

Being OK With Me

Celebrating Yourself and the Ones You Love

Celebrating Yourself

Recently, I read a blog entitled: The One Reason Why I Won’t Apologize For Being A Pinterest Mom (link found here).  I immediately knew that I would have to read it, because… well, it had Pinterest in the title.   I had no idea that this post would speak to me on so many levels.

I hope that you will read the article for yourself.  But, I will share a quote from the article, she writes:  “I constantly downplay my creative efforts in an attempt to protect other people’s feelings. But I’m sick of pretending like my creations are no big deal, when in fact they do take a considerable amount of time and effort. My desire to make things shouldn’t make other women feel bad, mainly because my choices aren’t a reflection of theirs.”

I am by no means a Pinterest Mom, or at least I don’t think I have earned that title yet. But, I love what I love.  I love to decorate my home, or plan fun adventures for my kids and my husband.  I like to do things big and celebrate everything from the First Day of School to the Beginning of Summer.  I have been called “extra” and  falsely praised.  For example:  That looks great, I wish I had the time to do this and that.. or girl you are too much.  And, after operating in the shadows for some time, I too decided to declare that I will no longer downplay what I love or what I do, because others do not get it.  After all it’s my dream/vision, you are not required to understand.  I hate the idea that any of us ever feels the need to downplay the things that make us happy in attempt to spare the feelings of another person.  I am all for being sympathetic and displaying empathy when needed.  But, often I feel like we choose not celebrate because we fear how it may come off.

It brings to mind this quote by Marianne Williamson.

” Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

I recently had a conversation with a good friend of mine,  about the fact that we have never been in the same place at the same time.  I had my first child long before she joined the motherhood ranks.  When she was settling into married life, I was still searching for the one.  While I was planning my wedding, she was preparing for baby number two.  But, somehow despite the huge disparities in our lives we managed to celebrate each other right where we were.  There were times when we each wished we were in the other’s shoes and we even voiced those opinions.  Because we are honest with each other that way, but we were still able to find joy in the other person’s experience, and even offer advice when needed.

I have come to realize that in each stage of life, different things have different levels of importance.  When you are single your girlfriends are the most important thing in the world, when you start dating that changes.  When you get married that changes again, you focus more on your partner.  Then the babies come and your focus switches yet again.  Life is forever changing, and believe it or not, one day the things that you found trivial, may be more important than you could ever have imagined.

“In order to have friends, you must first be one.” – Elbert Hubbard

It is the easiest thing in the world to go through life only being concerned about what is important to you.  Dare I say, it may be second nature.  But, I am not sure how far it will get you, when it comes to forging meaningful and long lasting friendships. Everybody loves their Mother, their husband, their children, their career, etc. etc.,  I am simplifying here.  But, if you want people to take an interest in the things that are important to you, take an interest in the things that are important to them.  Don’t expect any more than you are willing to give in return.

In 2016, one of my goals is to “show myself friendly.”  I hope that you will join in me in making a special effort to celebrate the important people in your life and the things that have meaning to them.

And The Freebies… Keep On Coming

Get Your Freebies - 2016 Printable Calendars - Download Yours at www.stage-present.com

For Personal Use Only – Do Not Redistribute or Alter In Any Way ©2016 Stage Presents


I am always looking for Funky and Fun Printable Calendars for our Family Control Center.  I have downloaded a lot of great ones over the years, so I decided to try my hand at making my own this year.  And, who else would I share them with but my amazing Stage Presents Readers.  It was a doozy of a project.. but, it’s done.  Thank God. Enjoy this freebie from me to you!! Every Day, Every Week and Every Month is an Opportunity for a New Beginning.  Start it Off Right With Your Very Own Free 2016 Printable Calendar.  Download them all, or come back and Download them Monthly!!  It’s simple, Follow the Link for Each Month.  Right Click –> Save–> –> Print!!

January 2016

February 2016

March 2016

April 2016

May 2016

June 2016

July 2016

August 2016

September 2016

October 2016

November 2016

December 2016

If you loved these calendars please Share and Pin.  Don’t Forget to Download Your Free 2016 Happy New Year iPad/iPhone Wallpaper Here.

Happy New Year – Free iPad/iPhone Wallpaper Download

We love our Stage Presents Family.  As a Special Treat just for you.  Ring in the New Year with  your very own “Happy New Year” iPhone/iPad Wallpaper and Dress Your Tech!!

Happy New Year 2016 iPad/iPhone Wallpaper

To Download Yours Today Click Here.

For Instructions on How to Place Your Wallpapers Follow This Link.

Our New Year’s Blessing For You: Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. – Ralph Waldo Emerson