Dear Parents, It’s Not Our Fault!

My kids tell me all the time when I embarrass them. I’ve got news for them – while I love them with everything I’ve got, they’ve also found ways to embarrass me, too!With reflection, it’s not my fault, and I don’t blame my kids either. The times we live in now are much different than when the parents of today were kids themselves. Digital technology has taken over nearly every facet of our lives, for us and our kids. Lost in the shuffle is the development of social skills and manners. Yet, these capabilities are still just as important as ever (ask any college recruiter, employer or someone new to your neighborhood)!Maybe that’s what drove me to write The SMART Playbook. It took years of researching and drafting, but I did it. I’m not an expert, I’m just a Mom – that is a Mom with … [Read more...]

10 Gorgeous Ways To Remake A Shirt

Let's talk about those plain ol' t-shirts hanging in your closet! Wouldn't you like wear them with more than your faded jeans and sneakers on Saturdays? Why not spruce them up with a bit of gorgeous upcycling?Whether your personal style is lacy, cute, or funky, we have a simple DIY to remake your new, well-loved or thrifted shirts into eye-catching wardrobe items!Are your favorite old shirts tighter than you'd like? Maybe you found the perfect band t-shirt in a thrift store but it's a size too small? Using a bit of lace edging, remake it into a flowy, boho style and enjoy the shirt in a beautiful new style! Crocheted Lace Side Seam - Trash to CoutureSimply cut four slits in the back of a shirt, wrap small bits of lace or ribbon around each fabric section and you've got a quick … [Read more...]

Easy Fourth of July Crafts for the Entire Family

In most areas around the country school is out for summer. For me, when school is out I need lots of activities to keep the idle hands of my little ones busy. What better way to do that than to decorate your home with red, white and blue!? After all, the Fourth of July is right around the corner!Today you'll find a craft for all ages. And ALL in preparation for our nation's Independence Day!/1/ Pop Rocks Marshmallow Pops - Pop Rocks were such a fun candy when I was a kid! Who am I kidding? I still love them! Combining Pop Rocks and marshmallows just seems genius. See for yourself!/2/ Hidden Flag Cake - Don't be intimidated by it's complicated appearance. This Flag Cake is really simple. What's more? Ice this cake with plain white icing, light some sparklers on top {like … [Read more...]

Father’s Day Printables and Quotes

For Father's Day this year, we thought it would be fun to offer you a couple of special things, printables and quotes. You see, holidays don't have to be about expensive, store bought gifts or even fancy, elaborate meals. They can be simple and fun. They can involve the kids. They can be handmade.Use the printable questionnaire below to ask the kids questions about their dad. The younger the child, the sillier the answer. Like this, "My dad weighs 82 pounds." Dad hasn't weighed 82 pounds since grade school! Come back each year to print one out and see how the answers change with age and a smidge more {childlike} wisdom. {Image credit, Becca Paro of Jumping Jax Designs}  Does Dad do all of the grilling? You could frame this one and set it out for him or hang it next to his … [Read more...]

The SMART Back to Basics Summer Project. Bring it ON!

I’ve spoken to hundreds of moms and everyone seems to have the same complaint. How do we get our kids off electronics and back to basics? How do we teach them to connect with people on a deeper level? How do we teach them to search for a solution using their minds and not just with a push of a button?Sometimes I just want to shout, “Stop looking down and take the time to look up, connect and enjoy the moment.” I am determined to teach them the amazing benefits of life unplugged!And voila, that inspired me to set up my summer of getting back to basics plan begins! It’s time to look up, connect and experience real feelings, real emotions, real people, real nature – everything REAL and NOTHING electronic.I’m calling it 'My SMART Back to Basics Summer Project'. The goal is to … [Read more...]

ten best Beach essentials

Ready, set, sunscreen!  Sand and sea are just the start of a fun family vacation with these top essentials.My family always looks forward to a summer retreat to surf and sand.  A lazy morning sipping coffee on the beach, reading, swimming, and walking as far as we can looking for seashells.  My boys compete to dig the biggest hole ever, stopping only to eat and to catch a few waves to cool down.  Are you planning to visit the shore, and spend your day catching the rays with friends and family?  You'll need a towel , blanket, cooler, and straw hat.  If you are missing anything , you are in luck as we have rounded up a few of our favorite must haves for the shore.Stake in the Sand Beach Cup Holder - $10.95Just perfect. Made of sturdy, weather resistant plastic. Holds most … [Read more...]