Here's to a BadAss New Year

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The BadAssMama has been throwing herself a little pity party lately. And while some good old fashioned moping is warranted from time to time, there's no time like the New Year to suck it up and move on.

Let me explain.

The BadAssMama has seemed to lose her way. When I look at myself in the mirror, I don't like the woman that I see. Somewhere in the hustle and bustle of life with two-under-the-age-of-six, I seem to have lost my sparkle. My life consists of to-do lists, reminders, contingency planning and preventative care. Doctor appointments, allergy medicine, homework, lunch packing, time outs, laundry. Bath, books, bed.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

My days blend one into the other with more stress and panic than joy or celebration. True, there are the priceless moments of sweetness and light in the unexpected kisses and "I love you"'s from two little boys. But more often than not, these moments of wonder are drowned out by screaming and tantrums.

This can't be all that there is to life.

Raising kids is tough. It is great, it is worthwhile. But it can really suck. And, unfortunately, if you're not careful and incredibly deliberate in your thinking, it can be incredibly easy to fall into the trap of focusing on the not-so-great parts of life with young kids. It can be incredibly easy to fall into the habit of looking on the not-so-bright side of life.

But life is much too short for that.

More importantly, our kids are looking to us to show them what life as a grown up is supposed to be. Do we want them to grow up thinking that being a responsible adult means living a life of joyless responsibility? Lots of yelling and little-to-no playtime? Sacrificing the things you used to love for the things that you're supposed to do?

That's not the example I want to set for my boys. Hell, that's not the life I want for myself!

So this year, The BadAssMama pledges to foster an environment of grace, peace and patience in my home. I'm not going to be perfect, but I'm going to try. I'm going to try to tell my family that I love them more than I tell them what to do, or what they're doing wrong. I'm going to treat my body with respect - honoring it for the life that it has brought into the world, and the life that it still has left to live. I'm going to try to be kind to myself and those closest to me. Most importantly, I am going to try to approach each day with joy and laughter, and with eyes open to the wonder all around me - rather than focused on the messiness, the challenges and not-so-great things that can so easily distract us from how incredible life truly is.

Here's to a BadAss New Year...



Surviving Christmas Break - Week 1

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We're rounding the corner on one week of Christmas break here at BadAssMama Central. While I can't say that I've been known for my peaceful, gentle, patient spirit every moment of every day there have been no major meltdowns and all in all the crew seems to be enjoying themselves.

 I'm sticking with my plan to do 1 activity per day (rather than trying to out-do Martha Stewart in all of her Martha Stewarty glory). Here's a peek at what we've been doing...

On Christmas Eve, we continued the baking spree. The boys wanted to try something new for breakfast (translation: Mommy actually cracked open one of her 5 million cookbooks), so we made banana chocolate chip muffins. Yum!



 Then, before we knew it Christmas eve was upon us. We put out cookies and milk for Santa then Mommy and Daddy...I mean the elves stayed up until roughly 1am putting together all of the toys for our good-ish little boys.


As is tradition at BadAssMama Central, we stayed in PJs all day on Christmas (thanks, Nanni and Poppi!) and enjoyed our new toys as a family. Even Daddy got in on the action. Hey - somebody had to make sure that the cool new night vision glasses worked!






 And while it may be fun to stay in pajamas all day, but December 26th we were all feeling a bit of cabin fever so we made our way out to the Firefighter and Children's Museums. We drove firetrucks, put out fires and became junior carpenters!





Yesterday, we hung out with basically the entire Kindergarten class at a pirate bowling birthday party. Check out the pose on my big boy...



And that brings us to this morning. After breakfast, we made it a craft day with the cool pirate necklace crafts from yesterday's birthday party. It's FREEZING outside, so I have a feeling that today will be another pajama day. Well, at least until it's time for karate. Hope you're surviving enjoying the holidays!
















Merry Christmas from BadAssMama Central!

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From The Year New Year's Card
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A BadAssMama Christmas

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I'm setting my sights a little lower this Christmas.

Let me explain.

Each year as we approach the holidays, or any extended break from school, I enter with delusions of grandeur about the incredible Mary Poppins-like crafts and activities I will plan for my kids. Each and every day. Visions of handmade ornaments, homemade meals and books read quietly by the fire dance through my head. I mean, isn't this what all working mothers are supposed to dream about? A big, honking chunk of uninterrupted time to bond and connect with the little ones?

Then before you know it, you're roughly 10 minutes into the winter break and you find yourself screaming at the top of your lungs for the kids to stop picking at each other and wonder how in the hell you're going to get through 2 straight weeks of uninterrupted family bondage...I mean bonding.

Or is it just me?

So, this year I've deciding to bring on the merry making with lowered expectations. It all started with the decorations. Usually, I run point on the tree decorating. This year, truth be told, I just wasn't feeling it. Hurricane Sandy threw me and the vast majority of the tri-state area for a loop. A combination of winter onset blues and low level depression just made matters worse. But, for the first time, rather than forcing myself to suck it up and make with the merry, I honored my feelings. I slept a bit more. Tried to do something nice for myself every day. And I let my husband take the lead on the decorations. And guess what? The world didn't end and the house looks better than ever!

Moving into winter break, I've decided to be kind to myself (and my kids!) and aim for ONE special activity each day. We kicked off our vacation on Saturday with a special breakfast of bacon and egg pizza (totally delicious!), followed by holiday baking. The boys were my chefs-in-training and many holiday memories (and messes) were made.




Today, we painted sun catchers (a great gift from Sunday school!) and we'll catch Rise of the Guardians later this afternoon.


Tomorrow, our grand adventure will be the children's museum, and we'll end the day with cookies and milk for Santa before bedtime.

We're only 2 days into the break, but we're doing better than most years. I'll keep you posted.

And if all else fails, there's always wine...

Stamp out Hunger with Hickory Farms

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It's hard to believe, but Christmas is right around the corner! 

The good news is BadAssMama Central is prepped and primped, all ready for Santa's arrival next week (I wish I could say the same for my Christmas shopping!). But one part of my Christmas list that's always easy to check off is tasty treats from Hickory Farms. 


Did you know that Hickory Farms has a partnership with Share Our Strength (SOS) – a leading national nonprofit organization that works to stamp out childhood hunger.  For each Party Planner gift box sold this holiday season, Hickory Farms will donate $5 to Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign To date Hickory Farms and its customers have donated $1.9 million. 

Click here to read more... 

Makeup Mondays with D'angelo Thompson

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Matchy Matchy
By D'angelo Thompson

During this festive season get creative with your nails (Sally Hanson at your local drug store or local nail spa) and go bold with your lip color. To add a little extra try a clear iridescent lip gloss over lipstick by either MAC, Bourjois or Urban Decay!!!

D'angelo Thompson, make up, groomer, beauty educator, blogger and author www.dangelothompson.com
www.DangeloThompsonpresents.com
dangelo@dangelothompson.com

Help Wanted

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As a mom, my life is perpetual motion. A typical day goes something like this:
  • Get up
  • Dress kids
  • Dress myself while the kids tear the house apart
  • Beg/prod/cajole/threaten kids to eat breakfast before we’re late for school
  • Pile kids into the car. Race to school to beat the morning bell
  • Hug/kiss/snuggle as we say goodbye (mine are still small, they’re not embarrassed of me…yet)
  • Drive like a bat out of hell to make the morning train
  • Run ¼ of a mile at a flat sprint, jump on train looking like a deranged lunatic
  • Meetings, meetings, meetings, meetings. Pee. Meetings, meetings, meetings
  • Run ¼ mile at a flat sprint to make the last train home before bedtime
  • Bath, books, bed
  • Pack lunches as I gulp down dinner standing at the kitchen counter
  • Fall asleep over my kindle by roughly 9pm
Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Add in laundry, groceries, home repairs, doctor appointments, business trips, birthday parties and assorted emergencies and you’ve got the recipe for a serious case of BadAssMama burnout. I am exhausted, irritable and downright cranky most days of the week. Forget about “me time”. I can barely keep my eyes most days! Date night? What the hell is a date night? Being a mother – particularly a working mother – can become all-consuming, even with the best of villages there to give you support.

Perhaps I’m in a prison of my own making. Countless research studies show that even with evolving gender roles, increased participation of women in the workforce and as primary breadwinners us moms continue to carry the bulk of child rearing and housekeeping responsibilities. Now, don’t get me wrong. There are dads out there that are rock stars in the kitchen, who work the school pick up line religiously and wield a mop just as well as the mamas. But, by and large, the bulk of responsibilities continue to fall to the women.

So, what’s a girl to do? Clone herself? Not quite legal. Hire full-time, round-the clock help? Too expensive for most.  Throw up your hands and blast P!nk at full volume? Perhaps.

As for me, I’m looking for a wife. Someone to help me keep the checklists memorized, appointments scheduled, contacts updated, medicines dispensed, meals prepared, boo boos kissed and books read.

Maybe then I could take a nap…

Makeup Mondays with D'angelo Thompson!

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Whip It Up...
By D'angelo Thompson

I'm not talking about a delicious chocolate mousse but your glorious locks of hair.
A French twist is always nice but a quick at home solution is a low ponytail , roll it upwards with your fingers and pin (1)or do a low loose raid and in in in zig zag pattern(2).  Last  but not least is a classic side ponytail, scrunch hair and pin for a fabulous messy updo(3).
Add extra hair for fullness if needed...
Enjoy your holiday parties!

-- 
D'angelo Thompson, make up, groomer, beauty educator, blogger  and author
www.dangelothompson.com

Holiday Break? Break out the Crafts!

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I love the holidays. The chill in the air, time with friends and family, kids home from school. Well, maybe not the kids-home-from-school part.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love spending time with my boys, free of the hustle-and-bustle of the standard weekday rush. But what to do with all of those waking hours and seemingly boundless amounts of energy? Break out the crafts!

I was thrilled when I received a package from Green Kid Crafts just in time for the Thanksgiving break. My boys loved the dinosaur themed craft kit we received, and I loved the easy-to-follow directions and eco-friendly materials. Since The BadAssMama is not very crafty (Martha Stewart has NOTHING to worry about here…), my favorite part was that all of the materials you needed to complete the craft were included right there in the box.

We spent a full morning designing our own dinosaur tail, decorating a wooden dinosaur puzzle with cork and earth-friendly ink, and even created our own “fossils” with clay, noodles and sticks! The boys had a blast, set up and clean up were a snap and The BadAssMama had one less thing to worry about over the long holiday break.

You can sign up to receive a new Discovery Box with three earth-friendly crafts for about $20/month. Green Kid Crafts also offer Party Pleaser packs (great solution for birthday activities and play dates) and special craft kits (like mermaid tails and hand puppets). Check them out at www.greenkidcrafts.com.