How to Throw a Moms Only Pool Party

Photos taken by Short & Sweet Photography.

if you’ve never had a moms only pool party, TRUST ME. you. need. to.

moms are often neglected when it comes to pool parties. during summer, us moms spend all our time packing-up the kids for swim playdates, swimming lessons and pool parties. when we get there, we have to try to put sunscreen on wiggly, whining kids…mulitple times. then during the pool time, we spend the entire time making sure that none of the kids drown, fight or run on the pool deck. if we are lucky enough to get in the water, we spend the whole time getting splashed and watching kids show us their mediocre tricks in the pool. so much fun for the kids….but not always as much fun for the moms.

Time for a Moms Only Swim Party

at a Moms Only Swim Party, you don’t have to worry about anyone but yourself! no wrangling kids, no whining, no kids begging for food, no crying, no fighting…talk about AMAZING! last year i went to my first Moms Only Swim Party and had such a blast, i knew i had to get more moms onboard with having one at least once a year.

How to Throw a Moms Only Pool Party

rule #1 – no kids allowed. unless it’s a baby…and even then, try to get a sitter. you will be glad you did.

rule #2 – have your Moms Only Pool Party BEFORE the end of the school year, during school hours. 11:00am is the perfect time to have it. that way you can enjoy lunch at the pool party and still have time to have fun before it’s time to pick up the kids.

rule #3 – invite all your mom friends. send out an evite, or start a Facebook event. this way everyone will be on the same page and can start chatting with each other to make plans. make sure to be inclusive of everyone…its the perfect time to invite a mom who may be shy or in need of friends. i can’t tell you how many times i have heard a mom tell me that she’s been lonely or doesn’t have any friends.

rule #4 – everyone must wear a bathing suit AND go swimming. no party poopers here. leave the bathing suit shaming at the door. us moms know how it is. so put on a bathing suit and enjoy yourself.

rule #5 – food. you must have yummy food. making the pool party potluck is even better. that way you get to experience a little bit of food from everyone. which equals – different tastes, different cultures, and different varieties.

rule #6 – drinks. you need lots of drinks…non-alchoholic and alcoholic are great! you can even mix drinks or make soda floats.

rule #7 – be silly. there is no shame in playing pool games and acting like kids. when is the last time you jumped off the diving board or slid down a waterslide.

rule #8 – take lots of pictures and video. with your phone is just fun. have your heard of Boomerang app? make sure to take some Boomerangs too. They are so much fun, and everyone will have a ball reminiscing over your fun photosafter the party is over.

rule #9 – chill. use this time to enjoy your mom friends. there will be no interruptions since the kids are at school, and you don’t have to worry that someone is going to drown.

rule #10 – most importantly…HAVE FUN. this is your time…and most likely, the ONLY time you will have to yourself with your friends between now and the end of summer! school is almost out….the kids will soon be around all. the. time.

last years Moms Only Pool Party was one of the best times i had with my friends. we are still talking about it now. and you can bet we already have this year’s scheduled. too bad the kids will still be in school…NOT!  now…go plan your own Moms Only Pool Party! trust me, you’ll be glad you did.

My 5 Favorite Spring Cleaning Tips

i don’t know about you, but we are in spring cleaning mode over here. start back up, so I’m taking the opportunity to get my spring cleaning done. i secretly love cleaning… now i’m not talking about cleaning up the everyday messes, i’m talking deep down cleaning. The kind of deep down cleaning you don’t always have a chance to do. it’s my favorite to see everything extra sparkling clean, so i partnered with Bounty to bring you this post with my 5 Favorite Spring Cleaning Tips.

this year, with the boys at school, i have a little sidekick that has me all to herself. she’s always trying to join in the fun –  including the cleaning. how i can say no to her wanting to help me? she is my “right-hand” lady, insisting on helping me scrub scuffs off floors and dirt from the baseboards. and i guess you can say the NEW Bounty Quick-Size Paper Towels are my “right-hand man!”  they are 2X more absorbent vs. the leading ordinary brand and Bounty, IS the Quicker Picker Upper. make sure you keep reading for an amazing deal on these happening now!

5 Spring Cleaning Tips

here are 5 of my favorite spring cleaning tips. i don’t have time to do these weekly, but a couple times of year gets my home back on track to looking fresh and clean.

1) Cleaning scuffs of the floor and wall – scuffs on floor and walls build up over time…and annoy me so much! to get rid of scuff on the floor you can either use a little toothpaste or multi-use cleaning product and a Bounty Quick-Size paper towel to gently rub the scuffs away. for the walls, a mixture of 2 cups of water, 1 tsp of vinegar and 1 tsp of dish liquid combined will help get the scuffs off. gently massage into the wall and wipe away.

2) Cleaning Baseboards – using just water, wipe the baseboards down with a Bounty Quick-Size paper towel paper towel. you can use a cotton swab to clean the cracks and a magic eraser to get the scuffs off. after the baseboards are clean, wipe them down with a dryer sheet to help propel any dust away.

3) Limescale on the sink and shower fixtures – to get rid of the build-up of limescale build-up around the sink handles, shower heads, shower handles and toilets, use this trick. soak a paper towel in vinegar (or limescale remover) and wrap the paper towel around the fixtures. let sit for 30 minutes to and hour and wipe away!

4) Removing gunk from your kitchen cabinet doors – cooking and grimy hands can leave dirty residue on kitchen cabinet doors. to remove the gunk without scratching, use 1 part cooking oil to 2 parts baking soda. mix together, and with a paper towel or toothbrush, rub the dirty spots till the gunk is gone. it will leave you wood cabinets nice and shiny.

5) Freshening up the toilets – even though you probably clean your toilets every week, they still may get a bit stinky over time. that’s when its time to do a deep clean. unscrew the seat and lid from the toilet base and wash it good with bleach or cleaner in the shower. with a Bounty paper towel, wash any residue from the base of the toilet where the seat was screwed on. use a flathead screw driver wrapped with a paper towel around the head of the screwdriver to clean between the toilet tank and toilet base. pour some vinegar into the tank to reduce smells and prevent water stains.

ask you can see from my tips, i use paper towels A LOT in my spring cleaning. the NEW Bounty Quick-Size Paper Towels are a must-have when tackling your big and small cleaning messes…especially as you are doing your spring cleaning.the size is just perfect, and you can size-up for larger jobs.

Right now you can cut down on your errands by easily ordering the NEW Bounty Quick-Size Paper Towels on Amazon. PLUS, you will save up to $7 on the Family 16ct Pack. here’s how – Add the Bounty Quick-Size Paper Towels to your cart by clicking HERE.  save $5 by using promo code 5QUICKBOUNTY. apply the $2 of coupon at check out!

with Amazon, it will be delivered to you doorstep without any hassle. plus, this pack of 16 family rolls equals 40 regular rolls, which makes it the perfect time to stock up during this limited-time Amazon deal.

happy spring cleaning!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Bounty. The opinions and text are all mine.

Fall Cleaning Checklist and Free Printable

it’s Fall!!!!  and what does that mean? the weather is changing and the holidays are coming up. it’s time to get the house ready for the holidays. there are sure to be visitors and you want the house to be nice and tidy. plus, with winter on it’s way, there are ways to make your home be it’s best during this time of year. so i have partnered with some great companies to share a Fall Cleaning Checklist along with their products that will help you best complete your Fall Cleaning Checklist.

this Fall Cleaning Checklist has a bit of deep cleaning, bit of weather proofing and your normal daily tasks. use this free printable Fall Cleaning Checklist to keep you on task!  Click here for FREE Printable Fall Cleaning Checklist.

with all this cleaning, your fall should be sparkly clean and you will be ready for the holidays without all the hassle!

you are going to want to start your cleaning with these happy little Scrub Daddy Scour Daddy pads. aren’t they cute! unlike traditional scour pads, these happy little Scour Daddy pads maintain their shape under pressure. they also have a convenient loop for storage and drying, multiple colors for organizing, won’t cause scratching or odors.

keep your sponges tucked away in the sink with the Scrub Daddy Caddy. it’s dual suction cups adhere securely to any clean smooth surface in your home, it’s dishwasher safe and drains into your sink. you can even use him in your shower!

 

the weather is nice an crisp right now…it doesn’t get too cold during the winter. but you can help make your home even more comfortable, while saving money on energy bills with Duck® brand Roll-On® Window Kits. these window insulation kits are so simple to install…with a pre-taped edge for simple roll-on application, that requires no measuring and fits snugly to indoor window frames to provide an airtight seal that keep drafts away. to learn more about Duck® brand Roll-On® Window Kits and how to install, click here.

now onto the laundry. besides the mounds of laundry every parent deals with, you also got to get those beds ready for visitors. why not clean the drapes and couch blankets while you’re at it. Molly’s Suds Laundry Products are formulated with a “no compromise” attitude and only use the purest of ingredients. their products and suppliers meet stringent guidelines which allow us to be Certified Cruelty Free by Leaping Bunny. i am happy to say that their products and ingredients are Certified Vegan. something that you can feel great about using in your home. use this promo code for Molly’s Suds – SANDYBABBLE for  25% OFF ORDER (EXP 10/31/17) *cannot be combined w/ any other offers.

 I love sparkling clean floors. once the kids go to bed, you will find me in the kitchen. i like to clean up all the footprints and food left behind from the day.

with a baby that is crawling all over the place, it’s important to keep them free of dirt and grime. but wood is not always easy to clean. the O-Cedar ProMist Max Spray Mop helps with this. its double-sided mop head flips 180° and has a reusable microfiber mop head that is washable up to 100 times! i love that it is co-friendly and that you can use your own cleaning solution. i am very picky when it comes to my cleaners.  and since its mop head can cover 2.5x more surface area….it is definitely a quick and efficient cleaning tool. click here for some special offers.

if you have pets or even smelly kids LOL, you’re going to want to check out the next product. there is nothing more embarrassing than a stinky home. PowerOE – Odor Eliminating Spray and Cleaner + Odor Eliminators work almost immediately. they can be sprayed on sports equipment, lockers, bathrooms, garbage cans, pet areas…and also be used to pre-treat smelly clothes

what i love most about these odor eliminators are that they are dye-free and available in scents using natural essential oils or fragrance-free. they smell FRESH not perfumy like other odor eliminators i have uses. the PowerOE Cleaner + Odor Eliminator is powered by Thymol, nature’s defender and an alternative to bleach. free of harsh chemicals and solvents. use them as odor eliminators…can you believe they can also get ride of skunk smell AND smoke smell?!!!  they can! use promo code STP17 to receive 25% off PowerOE products.

finally, the last thing you want guest to see is a dirty shower with moldy grout. after a summer of fun, a shower has seen a lot of grime. if you have tile, then a Grout Gator can help you get clean grout again. it can cleans 2 to 8 grout lines at once with adjustable brush heads. each one can fit over tile from sizes from 2″ to 13″. plus the brush heads can be replaced. use promo code BB17 for 15% off of your purchase of a Grout Gator. pretty cool huh?!

it’s always fun getting ready for the holidays…even f it does involve cleaning. i love a clean home. it makes the stress fade away and give me a piece-of-mind to relax with my family and enjoy the evenings cuddled up together. i also don’t have to scramble when those unexpected guest drop in during the holidays. i hope this Fall Cleaning Checklist come in handy for you as much as it has for me!

Tips on Raising Boys

This is a sponsored post.for the past 14 years, i’ve been a boy mom. i have three boys who have given me a lot of experience in this department. i wasn’t sure until this year, if were any differences between raising boys and raising girls. and since my little girl is only nine months, i still am not 100% sure. but, i did get the privileged of speaking to Dr. Eric Troyan, a pediatrian at Kaiser Permanente in Mission Viejo. he and i got to chat about the differences between raising boys and girls.

as i expected, there are some major differences. of course these are just generalizations, and there can and are similarities in all children, but during Dr. Eric Troyan’s 17 years of practice, he has learned that there are definite differences in how boys and girls learn, behave, and of course grow. he gave me some great advice to share with parents of boys that may help things run smoother at home.

Boys Have Higher Amount of Energy

this is probably a given. many boys have higher energy levels. they tend to do things before thinking it through, which is different than girls. girls tend to observe and are better at reading expressions and surveying the scene. boys don’t do that. boys exhibit higher risk behaviors. they are more active in their behaviors – skateboarding, pranks, messing around with their friends. you may feel that your son breaks everything, gets hurt all the time, and takes risks that he shouldn’t. that’s because they don’t think before they do. it is important to make sure their environments are safe, that they wear helmets, and not play with objects that can cause harm.

Boys Need Consistent Discipline

constant discipline is important for all children, but it is even more so for boys. the reason is – girls tend to pick up patterns and can figure out by observation what is right and wrong. but boys tend to learn by doing and experimenting. even if they know something is wrong, many times they will try it anyways to see what happens. only then will they understand the consequences and then learn what happens when they do certain behaviors.

so, it is important when boys do something wrong for the first time, not to overreact and give harsh discipline. when they do something new…a bad behavior that is, it is important for parents to sit down and talk to their sons about what just happened. then talk about what will happen in the future if they do this behavior again. once their son knows a certain behavior is wrong through experience, then it is important to follow up with the consequence that was discussed the first time he did it.

Dr. Troyan couldn’t stress it enough how boys need CONSISTENT discipline. knowing what to expect is very important. believe it or not, taking away screen time is a very effective form of discipline for all ages. time outs work too, but are only recommended for ages below seven years of age. after age seven, having the child go to his room or being away from family or friends also works.

it is also important to reinforce the good behaviors. whenever they do something well or being good….tell them. let them know what behaviors get rewarded. and don’t forget to hug your boys…they need just as much love and attention as girls do!

As Boys Grow

you will find that in boys, the bulk of teaching and learning happens around 3-5 years. then, there will be a period of time where life gets much easier. however, when the teen years arrive – you will see some regression. especially around the ages of 13-14 and the beginning of high school.  parents may see their teen boys act like they are 3 years old again. they start being more impulsive, and more aggressive. parents….try to stay calm! take it down to a lower level and re-teach your son how to behave again. if you go back to basics and re-teach them what is right and wrong, by 16-17, boys will again show more positive behaviors.

as boys get older, they may express that they’d prefer a male doctor. that’s fine. let them have that preference. make sure they are comfortable with their doctor and other important figures in their lives. they need to feel comfortable coming to them with problems and questions they have.

as mentioned before, girls are better at expressing themselves. where boys struggle to express how they feel. this is why it is important to screen boys for depression. talk to them and talk things out, try to help them tell you their feelings. and when it comes to sexual behavior, make sure boys understand the risks associated. have a male figure in their life talk to them as well. boys may worry a lot during puberty. this is because girls reach puberty earlier and start acting older and maturer earlier than boys. boys don’t know how to act around them. boys have their rapid growth later – at around 11-14 years…or beyond. this is when they start exhibiting more explosive behavior and reactions.

Nutrition and Sleep in Boys

as you know, it is important that all kids get the proper nutrition. it’s common with boys to eat more junk and lack balanced nutrition. it is really important the they don’t skip breakfast. drinking enough water is especially important, especially with non-athletes. it has been found that boy athletes often drink the necessary amounts of water.

staying up late is common for teens. kids have sports, homework, and lots of extracurricular activities which lead to them staying up late. it is important for teens to get 8-10 hours of sleep if possible. but, girls tend to be able to deal with less sleep than boys, who just can’t handle it as much. you may notice more explosive behavior, grumpiness, and anger when your son is sleep deprived.

see….an angry teenager who needs more sleep LOL!!!!!

wow! it was a great refresher course talking to Dr. Troyan about raising boys. he confirmed a lot of my thoughts and feelings on raising boys and also helped better explain how my boys brains and bodies work. even after three boys, i am always looking for advise on how to raise them up right. Kaiser Permanente Orange County has a great team of doctors that have made me feel very comfortable as a parent.

the great thing about Kaiser Permanente Orange County, is everything is under one roof. most Kaiser Permanente Orange County locations include pharmacy, lab, X-ray services and more. plus, there are locations throughout Orange County, as far north as Brea and as far south as San Juan Capistrano, including Tustin Ranch, Foothill Ranch and the new Radiation Oncology Center located at the Anaheim Medical Center. wow…this is the kind of service i look for in my healthcare.

if you have missed the posts i have written about them, here they are:

My Trip to the Kaiser Orange County Farmers Market
Tips for Having a Healthy Pregnancy
Our Family’s Visit Thrive Walk at the Orange County Great Park
Great Tips on Mens Health
Tips for Helping Families Stay Healthy During Cold and Flu Season
Remembering the Baby Milestones

SaveSave

Do’s and Don’ts for Keeping Your Teen Son Fresh for Back to School

Tracking Pixel

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of AXE®. All opinions are my own.

yikes! i can’t believe that this week, i am officially a mom of a highschooler. my oldest son is heading off for the ninth grade. he is no longer my little boy, he’s a full fledged teenager. which of course comes with all the challenges that high school has. homework, friends, teachers, popularity, insecurity, fun and not-so-fun. so i have partnered with AXE to share some ideas on how to keep your teens high school experience fresh all day.

Do’s and Don’ts for Keeping Your Teen Son Fresh for Back-to School

Don’t: kiss and hug your son in front of his friends when you drop him off at school.

Do: let your son know that you are always there for him, but also give him the space he needs. this has nothing to do with how much he loves you. it’s just part of growing up. (hug him before you leave the house)

 

Don’t: let your son wear a hat instead of brushing his hair.

Do: remind him to brush it before he puts his hat on. a fresh ‘do every morning will make sure he’s looking fly. he will thank you once his first period teacher makes him take that hat off during class.

Don’t: pick out your son’s clothes; he and dad don’t need to be matching. that’s definitely too much plaid and too much neck tie.

Do: let him wear what makes him feel good about himself and gives him self-confidence….no matter how awful you may think it looks.

 

Don’t: don’t pack your son’s lunch with cute little stickers and notes. don’t put milk in a thermos. don’t use that lunchbox from grade school. don’t pack leftovers…unless they are yummy.

Do: keep that lunch pail fresh. pack him an extra snack and a variety of fresh fruits, veggies and proteins. and nothing says “I Love You” more than a yummy treat to end the meal. (tip: freeze water bottles the night before, so by lunchtime, he’ll have a cold fresh bottle of water to enjoy.)

 

Don’t: let your son skip on washing his school gym clothes…there’s nothing fresh about that. stinkpot central.

Do: make sure your son’s gym bag is prepared for his sport. a clean uniform, the right shoes, socks, a water bottle, and don’t forget antiperspirant such as AXE dry spray antiperspirant

i totally lucked out in the non-stinky sports department. my son plays water polo…so yeah, less stinkiness there!

Don’t: make your son use dirty folders and broken pencils from the year before.

Do: send your son to school with fresh school supplies for new school year. new notebooks, pens and pencils always ease the pain of doing homework a little bit less.

 

Don’t: let your son smell. you never want to let your teen walk around with body odor or sweaty underarms all day.

Do: have your teen son use AXE YOU Body Spray to stay fresh all-day long, and use AXE Signature Gold Dry Spray or AXE Signature Night Dry Spray to stay dry for up to 48 hours. my son especially loves the AXE Signature Gold Dry Spray.

hey moms (and dads)!!!! now here’s where you come in. if you’re like me, in the past you probably bought your son deodorant and just handed it to him. have you ever….actually ever…showed him how to use it???!!! it’s never dawned on me that i needed to teach my son how to use it. and apparently, most guys don’t know how or when to use AXE body and dry sprays. did you know that 64% of young guys think body spray and dry spray are the same thing?!!!!! and 1 in 2 guys think that they should apply body spray to their underarms!

*Ipsos Body Spray Drivers and Barriers, 2017 or Ipsos, 2017

Don’t: let your teen over-spray AXE YOU Body Spray – creating “a cloud.” clouds belong in the sky.

Do: have your teen spray AXE body spray, like AXE YOU, in the shape of a “7” across his chest and mid-section, and only spray for only as long as it takes to say the word “AXE.”

Don’t: use body spray as a deodorant. sweat and cologne mixed together isn’t fresh at all.

Do: use AXE Signature Dry Sprays to stay dry for up to 48 hours. simply apply AXE dry spray antiperspirant under your arms for sweat protection (in place of an antiperspirant stick). and watch this video to help your son learn to use the products, too.

i want to make sure Jackson fits right in with all his high school friends. there is no way my son is going to be known as the smelly one, or the kid who wears too much cologne. and with these tips, i don’t have to worry about this. to learn more about AXE and its proper usage, visit axe.com.

and most of all…

 

Don’t: nag your son.

Do: be his biggest fan. believe in him with all your heart, and tell him that you love him EVERY DAY. regardless of what he does or does not accomplish, if he knows that you are there for him, things will stay fresh between you.

Now it’s time for school!

every year of school brings a fresh start. exciting and new and just waiting to unlock the potential and amazingness of your wonderful teen. good luck son…i know you’ll be great.

 

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of AXE.

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave