Teen Fashion: 4 Back to School Outfits for Eighth Grade Girls

It is truly GUT wrenching for me to even wrap my head around the fact that my daughter is 13, and she is entering her very last year of elementary school. After this year- she will be a full fledged high school student and with that- comes a myriad of new concerns and fears ( on my part!). Of course the crazy thing about parenthood is that we essentially have these kids of ours on loan for a finite number of years and even then- they are not ours.

The quintessential casual girly outfit


They are, as I’ve come to realize, their own very individual people and my daughter has as if OVER NIGHT become a bit of a fashionista. She has this very strong sense of who she is, and her fashion aesthetic kind of blows me away. her ability to put together different textures, colors and prints and make them work for her ( when I her mama have no innate sense of what to wear on any given day and just sort of stick with the pieces that are basic) she has found her unique voice through her fashion choices. And so without further ado- here are four outfits, for back-to-school Fall 2014 styled by Madison. read more »

Celebrate Grandparent’s day with this (TOTALLY NOT BORING) Hands-on Family History Project

Since 1978, the first Sunday after Labor Day has been officially designated as Grandparents Day. More than a reason to sell greeting cards, this annual event recognizes the strength, love and guidance grandparents provide to families. Although the recognized date is September 7th this year, any day is a great opportunity to celebrate grandparents. For some background on  Grandparents Day, check out this link to learn about the woman who started Grandparents Day, Marian McQuade, a West Virginia mother of 15 and grandmother to 40 children!

Celebrate Grandparent's day with this (TOTALLY NOT BORING) Hands-on Family History Project

Our children can learn so much simply by spending time talking with their grandparents and comparing their life stories. To start the process, Kiddie Academy has developed a free downloadable Family History project  that includes both a family tree and a list of questions for children to ask grandparents. read more »

DIY Fun: Show your love with a Handmade Birthday Present

After living with me for 13 and nine years respectively my daughter and son know the direct route to my heart is essentially through anything they can craft for me with their hands. My heart stretches in ways that are hard to articulate when I get a gift that I know was conceived with JUST me in mind. And sure- my kids (err husband) can spend upwards of $500 on a Waterford crystal vase,  buy an iPad or get yet  me more clothing  or they can get creative  and design a one-of-a-kind present  that will demonstrate just how much effort and thought they put into their gift..hey there’s nothing wrong with them scoring a few extra points with their mama -right?!

Handmade Birthday Gifts

And while I almost threatened to take away her iPad for fear that my 13 year old was becoming way too obsessed with Bethany Mota’s Youtube channel–she actually took inspiration from one of Mota’s videos to create this handmade birthday gift for me. read more »

The Sunday Swoon: Celebrate The Gift of Grandparent’s Day with our $99 GourmetGiftBaskets.com Giveaway!

Grandparent’s Day has been around for more than 35 years. It’s coming up again on September 7th. Some people love it. Some have never heard of it. Why do I LOVE IT? Because grandparents can give their grand kids something parents cannot-the gift of slowing down and not taking ordinary things for granted. Grandparents are in a unique position to pass on the wisdom that we’ve gleaned and in doing so kids (whether consciously or not) get the CLUE that these awesome old people hold the keys to the past as well as the future.

Win a Wine Party Picnic Gift Basket - Ravenswood Duo ($99.99) at http://www.TheStatenIslandFamily.com

Win a Wine Party Picnic Gift Basket – Ravenswood Duo ($99.99) at http://www.TheStatenIslandFamily.com

My son and daughter truly get a kick out of discovering the world with their grandma whether it’s exploring the dark with a flashlight, learning new things on the computer, growing any kind of seed they can find or traveling to places they haven’t been before and for some reason when kids are involved in said activities with their grandparent- the activity ( no matter how seemingly simple) is always a hit.

So if you are looking to shower the Grandparent in your life with some sweet treats, as a way to thank your parents for their guidance and for inspiring their grandchildren’s imaginations, opening their minds to new ideas and concepts, and helping them develop their social skills the gifting experts at GourmetGiftBaskets.com have assembled a list that can help anyone navigate what to get grandparents this year. Keep reading for GourmetGiftBaskets.com’s Top 5 Gifts For Grandies — a guide and a gentle nudge to send the grandparent in your life something nice- and how you can win their Wine Party Picnic Ravenswood Duo, ($99.99) from us!

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4 Things I’ve Learned About Parenting As My Kids Get Older

It sounds kind of cliche- the idea that in parenting my kids I feel like I’m the one who is learning and growing in ways that I couldn’t fathom just a few years ago- but it is true. In fact the older my kids get the more I feel like I glean from our interactions. When they were younger I never imagined that I’d be sitting on a plane with one of them, reading our horoscopes and simultaneously being soothed by this same girl as my ears popped upon landing. (More info on our eye-opening and life changing trip to Florida coming up) Yes, my girl was rubbing my head and telling me that she promised she’d remind me to buy chewing gum so that I wouldn’t have any ear problems on our plane ride home.

One Thing that Continually Amazes me About Parenting Is How Much I Keep on Learning

I also never imagined that yesterday as I was preparing to shoot some very PERSONAL, explicit information about my married sex life with my husband while a FILM crew set up shop in my living room (I promise I will fill you in as soon as I can) that my 13 year old daughter would be CURLING my hair. It felt like a complete full circle moment- and as she was curling my hair with the precision of a Louis Licari Stylist- I was flooded by memories of me doing her hair (and her not being very happy about it!) read more »