Celebrate Dad this Father’s Day 2016

Celebrate Dad with His Own Dad Digest!!

tell dad how much you love him with his very own dad digest.

I am a big fan of letting the little ones get involved in showing their love for Dad as early as possible.  I always say parenting can be a thankless job, and everyone loves to be appreciated.  So let your babies get in on the action.  Not only is it something that Dad will always remember.  It is an opportunity to teach them not to take their loved ones for granted.  In the wake of the terrible Orlando tragedy, I am all about spreading love wherever and whenever I can.  So put on your party hats and lets Celebrate The Big Guy In Your Life.

Celebrate Dad with His Own Dad Digest!!

Make this Dad Digest Your Own!!

Download your Blank Copy here – Right Click  – Save – Print – Personalize and Frame.

Dad Digest Blank

To see the Other Father’s Day Printables that we have check out these posts from previous years here and here and here. And, to get a peak into our Simple but Dad Approved Father’s Day from last year follow this link here.


Spring Break – Perfect in It’s Imperfection

our “perfect yet not so perfect” spring break

Recap of Spring Break 2016 - www.stage-presents.com

Spring Break is over and things are getting back to normal around here.  I have been out of pocket for a few days, that normally happens over extended breaks.  The blog and the business run around my family life and not visa versa.  Last week was Spring Break, so I spent as much time as I could hanging out with my little ones.   I am always trying to teach my kids lessons that I am still learning and yes,  I know just how hypocritical that sounds. But, I guess it’s in hopes that by teaching the lesson, they  will avoid some of the same mistakes that I have made in my own life.  One of the things that I am always telling them is that they have to roll with the punches or that certain things are beyond their control and they are.  But, it is a lesson that I struggled hard with and for a  long time.  My mom always tells me that God will keep teaching me to be patient and understanding until I am both.  Spring Break was an exercise in just that.

Our trip to Florida for Spring Break was great!! But, I am not sure that you would have agreed taking it at face value.  I have been back and forth to Florida three times in less than 30 days.  Now, my sister lives there, but that has never happened before.  As I am sure you remember me saying in my last post, we lost my sweet niece on the 15th.  So, I went down when she was sick and was there when she passed.  I went back for the service and then I returned for Spring Break and to physically lay eyes on my sister.  Saying this to say there was a melancholy under tone to our trip, but we were determined to make some good memories, in spite of it.

The first night there we had date night.  We left all the kids with the nanny, and we went out and enjoyed some grown up time.  It was great to spend some time with my sister and her hubby that was just light and fun.  The next day we took the kids  to the Central Orlando zoo.  Now, if you know me at all, you know that outdoors and heat are not my thing, but the kids had a ball.  The highlight of the trip was to be our trip to the beach.  After all nothing says Spring Break like the beach.  On the day of the beach trip it was COLD… Yes, I said cold in Florida.  But, we went anyway thinking that maybe the weather would warm up.  When we arrived at the beach, the tides were so high that they actually closed the entrance to drive on to the beach.  After circling around we we were able to get in, and when we got on the beach and out of the car the wind was so fierce and sand was blowing everywhere.  So we had to vacate.  Talk about three disappointed girls, yes I said 3 because I included myself.  So pouts and all we packed back into the truck and headed to go get something to eat.  The plan was that we would eat and stay in the area for a while in hopes for a change in the weather.  But, the change never came so we ventured back to my sisters house.  On the way back, we decided that since they were already dressed to get wet we would take them to the “Splash Park” not too far from where we were.  By that time it was getting warmer, and though a little apprehensive at first, with each splash the beach became a distant memory and we once again in their good graces.

Since we paid for admission to the beach, hubby and I managed to escape back there later in the day, the kids stayed with my sissy and we got to have some one on one time.  I will consider that her anniversary gift to me this year.  Yesterday made 7 years since I married this man.  And, still just a couple of hours alone with him ALWAYS refresh my soul.  Even when I don’t feel like I need it.  So Shout out to him today + this was the first year that he was able to take off the entire week to spend with us.  Another Spring Break survived and enjoyed and now back to our regularly scheduled programming. (P.S. – I know there were no pictures of me.  But, you know how that it is, I am always the one behind the camera. #mommylife)

Time Spent with Family Quote - stage-presents.com

What did you do to celebrate Spring Break this year?  Feel like sharing, we would love to hear your story in the comment section below.

Check out Our Previous Spring Break Shenanigans Here.

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

Fun Friday: 10 Things You Don’t Skimp On

10 Things You Don't Skimp On

Since going from a 2 to 1 income household, being  more frugal has become a big part of my life.  I certainly was not excited, nor did I welcome the changes that had to be made to maintain our lifestyle.  But, I knew it had to be done.  There was a lot of restructuring that had to be done and the pieces of the puzzle seem to continually stay in motion.  But, that being said, there are still some things that I just don’t skimp on.

Cleaning Supplies:  Dish Washing Liquid, Laundry Detergent, All Purpose Cleaners & Disinfectant Wipes.  I know not everyone, my Mom included, will agree with me here, but I stand by this one.  The cheaper options just don’t cut it, or you have to use more to achieve the desired results.

Skin Care Products:  Moisturizers, Lotions, Facial Cleansers, Lip Gloss, Makeup.  Eventually, I feel like you know what works for your skin.  I am not a big makeup person, but I swear by MAC Lip Liner and their Tinted LipGlass.  After a lot of trial and error with facial cleaners and moisturizers I am a devoted Garnier fan.  I use their Balancing Daily Exfoliator and their Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel Cream.  I am less discriminating about my lotions, as long as it gives me extra moisture for the winter months, I can get by with Vaseline Intensive Care.

Perfume/Cologne: Whether you are purchasing this for yourself or as a gift.  Don’t cheap out when it comes to this.  You know how you feel when that special someone goes by you and you catch a whiff of his Special Scent.  Right??

Toiletries:  Toilet Tissue, Paper Towels.  For me this is about both comfort and cleanliness, no 1 ply for me.  As for paper towels, I am an all the way BOUNTY girl.  I need my Paper Towels to be Heavy Duty.  I think this is a MOM requirement.  **Not to mention, I have tried some bargain brands that leave something to be desired when it comes to the way they smell when wet.  Has anyone else experienced this? **

Housewares: Linens, Bedding, Towels.  Purchasing Quality Housewares prevent you from having to purchase them over and over again.  I say buy the higher end products, the higher thread counts, the heavier towels and washcloths.  They will last longer and just give you a more pleasurable/luxurious experience.  And, White Sales are pretty common place (especially in January), even if you have to wait to catch these items on sale.  They will be well worth the wait.

Kitchen Appliances:   Blender, Food Processor, Juicer, Toaster and Coffee Maker.  No one wants to begin any kind of project in the Kitchen only to find that your appliance has failed.  I can’t tell you how many blenders I went through before I decided to invest in one that was up to the task.

Nutrition:  Vitamins, Medicine, and Even Healthier Food Options.  It just is not easy to live healthy.  It sucks, but it is the truth.  I try to give my family healthy food choices and options, but I will be the first to admit that I wish I could shop Whole Foods exclusively.  On this, I say do the best you can within the confines of your budget.  They will thank you later.

Shoes:  I am a shoe lover and kind of a shoe snob too.  I probably would have a closet full of shoes, if wasn’t so picky when it comes to my shoes.  Instead I have my staples.  Basic Black Pumps, A Stylish Wedge, Fancy Sandals with or without a heel, that you can dress up or down, Rain Boots, Winter Boots, Sneakers(for Exercise Purposes, and then for Sporty Mom purposes), and as many pairs of Heart Stoppers (the ones that always get you a second look) and Flip Flops, as you can manage.  In this case, quality just last longer, providing you take care of them.

“Underthangs”:  And, let’s face it , even if you are the perfect weight and height, the older we get the better quality we need.  Things just don’t settle where they used to.(side-eye)  They need to pull in, lift up, and separate, etc.  lol.

A Good Bed:  Is EVERYTHING!!  Not sure this even needs an explanation, it makes the difference in both Good Nights and Good Mornings.

“Measure Twice – Cut Once.”  Sometimes it’s worth it to make the informed and maybe more costly choice, right out the gate.  You are putting out more money on the Front End, but I believe it will benefit you in the Long Run.

What are the purchases that you JUST DON’T SKIMP ON?  Share your Comments Below.

Mommy Taxi Cab Confessions — The Summer Edition!!

Blogging over this summer is proving to be quite the challenge.  I feel like I need to get a voice to text app and start recording my thoughts in the car since that’s where I’m spending most of my days lately.

My 9 year old started her extended school year this past Monday.  And, as always, at least in our house, with change comes anxiety.  We had been talking about this since before the regular school year ended.  But, as the days grew closer, I could sense the “stomach clench”, maybe because mine was doing the same thing.  The days before were filled with lots of questions, which I tried my best to answer with the information I had.  The morning of we got to the school early, and as we sat outside and waited, I could see the tears welling up in her eyes.  New School (not her home school), New Teachers and New Kids. Ugh!!  And out came her teacher Ms. D.  She was a ball of sunshine and energy. And, even though she was scared, she took her hand and walked into the school.

Less than an hour later, I got a pic of a Happy Little Girl and I breathed a Sigh of Relief.  The next 4 days went perfectly and she told me she made a friend.  And, just like that, all is right with the world.  Whew!! These Growing Pains are as hard on the Parents as the Kids!!


I have also spent a great deal of time driving my 17 year old around trying to help him find a job.  And, finally he scored a gig at Chick-fil-A. – Insert 1 Happy Momma!!

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The only person relaxing this summer is my little one.  She rides with me when she feels like it, and hangs out with Dad when she’s tired of the running around…

image (94)

So there you have it!!

J’Adore 8

I think I am part of the “Energy Crisis”.  I have been soo sleepy lately.  I am hoping that since this week is Spring Break and hubby is off, I will be able to sleep in some days and maybe even score some day time naps.  [Scoffs!!]

That being said, right now…



Now, that I am done decorating my Spring Table:


and added a pop of color to the kitchen window sill with my colorful chalkboard planters and fresh herbs.

photo (85)

and put up my re-purposed spring wreath.


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The only thing I have left is to decide on is planters for the front door and whether or not I am doing just greenery or flowers.

photo (86)

In my search, I ran across this – 100+ Spring Planters.  Soo many choices, so little time.  Also, living in Georgia, I tend to want flowers and greenery that deter mosquitoes.  I only recently realized that this was an option.  Which is a good thing because the mosquitoes love me and the kids. Ugh!!



And, yes I am still obsessing over Easter Egg Decor Design.   Check out these links here and here.

I think I am going to cheat and work on the Easter Eggs with the kids this week, over Spring Break.

Finally, here are some cute Easter Printables.

Hope you all have a great week!!


Road “Tripping” with Kids

Recently my family of four packed into our SUV for a 7 hour trip to Orlando. I have had several people ask me how I did it.  I’m not always sure how to answer that question. Since (a) They are too young to stay home alone (b) Gas vs. (4) Plane Tickets is not really a comparison (c) We do what we have to do.  That being said, if the destination is not somewhere I really really want to go (as was the case this trip), I would most likely opt to stay home.


All that aside,  just like everything else I have a process.

1.  Plan Plan Plan – which for me translates to list list list.  Which brings me back to Springpad (A SP Fave App).  I have a running list of what each member of the family needs for trips, this way I don’t have to constantly recreate the wheel.  I pull up that list.  Add or Delete depending on the length of the trip, conditions, etc.  Then print each list and use it to pack and prepare.


2. Matter – Things that Matter – when traveling with little ones you need stuff.  Toys, Books, Crayons, Markers, DVD’s, Pillows Blankets, Tablets, iPads, Mobile Hot Spots, etc etc.   Even if you pack what you think is an arsenal, at some point be aware that the novelty of all these items new or old will wear off.  And, if you have children like mine you will have to deal with some bickering, whining and maybe even some tears.  Disclaimer: My little ones are 8 and 3.

3.  Bathroom Prep – I so love this subject, NOT!!  Let’s face it Public Bathrooms generally SUCK. Hubby and I have talked about creating an App just for this very reason.  But, since I have yet to find it, if its a route you have traveled before make note of the cleaner more pleasant bathroom stops.  And, then BE PREPARED.   I always travel with Lysol, Wet Wipes, Toilet Tissue, Paper Towels and Garbage Bags.  I wanna add gloves but, I don’t want you all to think I am OCD!!  Even if I am, a little.

4.  Snacks and Drinks – Last. but not least, because this is the most important part, sometimes the only way to get some silence is to put food in their mouths.  Think ahead, try to get the snacks that will create the least amount of mayhem and mess.  Use your own discretion,  I go for Individually packaged snacks, snacks lower in sugar, drinks lower in sugar, and smaller fluid oz, so as to avoid several bathroom stops.

It is by no means, the Road Trips of yesteryear with your girlfriends.  But, even through the tears, you are making memories just the same.