February 19, 2017

Show Contributors Love $100 Summer Giveaway

Its time to show our contributors some XOXO…

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Thankfully, Mami of Multiples (and Mami Innovative Media), continues to grow and part of its expansion are regular contributors.  Coming from different walks of life and backgrounds, the contributors are group of multi-talented creators, writers, bloggers mothers and mompreneurs. From becoming a blended family to being a new mom, their contributions help to reflect “real life” through their personal stories while providing advice, assistance, tips, resources and inspiration to others.

Get to know our current contributors…

Mix and Match Mami with Ida Arias

Ida offers advice, tips and resources on a range of topics from tween parenting, blended families, travel and mouth-watering recipes.  Connect with Ida on her blog at secondchancesgirl.com/

H20walkerlife with Shivaulie Feliciano

Shivaulie offers advice, tips and resources on a range of family-friendly topics from inspirational, home and family. Connect with Shivaulie on her blog at H20walkerlife.wordpress.com

Natural Parenting Mami with Shawna Martell

Shawna offers advice, tips, and resources on a range of topics including breastfeeding, babywearing, organic gardening, and other family-friendly topics through honest and reflective insight into her new journey.  Connect with Shawna as a Tower Garden Team Member: shawnamartell.towergarden.com

Being a Doula Mami with Crystal Ferrell

Crystal offers advice and support on parenting and all things from conception through postpartum care. She is also a Birth Doula and Placenta Encapsulation Specialist.

Moodsetter Mami with Xochil Elmore

Xochil offers advice, tips and resources on a range of family-friendly topics from faith, inspirational, family and parenting.  Connect with Xochil on her blog at moodsettermommy.wordpress.com

Making Moms Look Great with Celeste Martell

Celeste offers advice, tips and resources on a range of topics from family travel, beauty, health & wellness and parenting. Connect with Celeste as a Jamberry Consultant at cmartell.jamberry.com

Accidental Blogger of 4 with Amanda Littiken

Amanda offers advice, tips and resources on a range of topics from family living, parenting and balancing being a mother.  Connect with Amanda on her blog at accidentalbloggerof4.wordpress.com

Healthy Living Mama with Niki Lazenby

Niki offers advice, tips and resources on a range of topics from balancing being a mother, health & wellness and parenting.

Family Living Mami with Kamy Moss

Kamy offers advice, tips, and resources on a range of topics including family, children activities, and traveling.  She is also an authorized travel agent for Magical Starr Travel and owner of KamysKakes.

Tech and Review Mami with Karen Nelson

Karen offers advice, tips and resources on a range of topics from technology, reviews of products and travel.  Connect with Karen on her blog at centralmnmom.com

In support of our contributors and their businesses, we are offering a
$100 Cash Gift Gard Giveaway!

Who couldn’t use some cash this summer and especially with the kids out of school right?!

How to Enter the Giveaway

MANDATORY ENTRY
1. Leave a comment on any post written by a Mami of Multiples contributor. (Posts written by contributors can be found: HERE).
2. Leave a comment below this giveaway post indicating which contributor’s post you commented on.

BONUS ENTRIES

1. Extra 10 points (per entry) will be given for visiting any of the blogs or online businesses that are owned by a Mami of Multiples’ contributor.

MUST leave comment below this giveaway post indicating which of the blogs or online businesses (that are owned by a Mami of Multiples’ contributor) you visited to receive an extra 10 points.

2. Extra 30 points (per entry) will be given for leaving a comment on any blog post from the blogs that are owned by Mami of Multiples’ contributors.

MUST indicate on the blog post that you arevcommenting because of this Mami of Multiples giveaway.
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MUST leave comment below this giveaway post indicating which contributor’s blog post you left a comment on to receive extra 30 points.

3. Extra 50 points (per entry) will be given for purchasing any item (small or big) from any online businesses that are owned by Mami of Multiples’ contributors.

MUST leave comment below this giveaway post indicating which online business (that is owned by a Mami of Multiples’ contributor) you purchased from to receive an extra 50 points.

In addition, there will be other extra bonus points available through the Rafflecopter giveaway link. A giveaway winner will be randomly selected from the entries via Rafflecopter on Friday, July 22.

Enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter link below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck and Happy Summer!

Age-Appropriate Chores for Kids and Printable Chore Charts

Between the ages of my children (18, 8 y.o. twins and a 10 month old), it seems like I’m parenting across different levels of childhood and young adulthood.  Chores are an important life lesson for kids.  Chores not only help children learn responsibility but also gives them a sense of pride in their work because they are helping to contribute to the family.

With the help of our regular contributor, Ida Arias, (Second Chances Girl blogger) and mother to a blended family of children ages 10, 9, 8 years old, we created an ultimate list of age-appropriate chores for kids from 2 – 18 years old.  Download and print the list and weekly chore charts below.

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CLICK on LIST to DOWNLOAD and PRINT
LIST of AGE-APPROPRIATE CHORES FOR KIDS

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CLICK on CHARTS to DOWNLOAD and PRINT CHORE CHARTS

Chore chart- weekly - girly- printable

Chore chart- weekly - printable

A few things to remember about chores…

  • The list is meant as a guide and reflects the types of chores that many children in these age ranges are capable of completing.

  • Every child matures at a different pace. Adjust this chart to what you know about your children’s skills and talents, and realize that no child should do all of the chores listed below every day.

  • Don’t insist on perfection.  It’s better to have a more relaxed approach to how well your kids do their chores or you might jump in and do it for them, which would undermine the whole point.

  • Don’t wait until the chore is done to encourage your child. Praise and encourage a child while the chore is in progress. You want to build positive momentum, especially with young kids.

Making the Leap and Becoming a Work At Home Mom

Ida Arias, a Mami of Multiples regular contributor and blogger at Second Chances Girl, recently made the leap from working outside of the home to becoming a work-at-home mom (WAHM). She shared her important decision in a video and explained why it was in the best interest for her and her growing family of three children (8, 9 and 10 years old).

From Ida
My big reason for making this decision (becoming a WAHM) was because I felt like I didn’t know my children. Being a mother and step-mother, I want to be part of my children’s lives. Working full-time (outside) and then getting home to cook, clean, homework, etc., wasn’t working out for me. I missed out on a lot.  This year, with some awesome WAHM options, I decided I would spend more time with them, be more involved in their schooling and have some time to myself.

 

From Joscelyn

Mami of Multiples was created almost 8 years ago, when for the first time, I stopped working outside of the home and became a mother to identical twin baby boys and my already pre-teen son. (We now have 4 boys).

I have been working since I was 14 years old.  I received my worker’s permit in New York to begin working during the summers at my father’s office in the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center.

For 10 years,  I worked as an executive in the fields of public relations and human resources for the federal government. During those years,  I also became a mother to my oldest son.  As part of my work responsibilities, I traveled extensively, but occasionally brought my young son (and my parents who would care for him while I worked) on trips that were held in family-friendly locations.  Even though I enjoyed my job, after the birth of the twins, I knew I needed my primary focus to be on raising the twins and pre-teen.   Motherhood is a wonderful experience but it can be very isolating.  I wanted to blog as a creative outlet to share my experiences and connect with other mothers online – work outside the home, stay-at-home (SAHM) or WAHM.

Combining my past work experiences, the desire to care for my children at home and to continue to contribute financially to my household, helped launch Mami of Multiples and Mami Innovative Media (my communications and digital marketing company). Our mompreneur story was featured on WKMG-TV CBS News a few years ago and can be seen below.

I often get asked what advice would I have for a mother who is thinking about starting a blog but may not know where or how to begin.  I like to tell mothers who are thinking of blogging to approach it like having a conversation with a friend.  It’s helpful to remember that a blog is an extension of a person; it can be authentic, original, humorous, helpful, pensive…truly everything that makes up an individual.  Ideas, questions, advice, resources are all things that friends share with one another and the blog is like an exchange between friends.  Readers and followers will come when they feel they can relate or have a connection to the blog and its author.

If your plans are to monetize or start a business from the blog, then remember to treat your blogging work as a business from the beginning.  Set up a work at home schedule to help with time management.  Practice the same work ethics as if you were working at a company outside the home. If wanting to spend more quality time with the family is a priority, then it should be set as a steady or recurring appointment in the family calendar that is just as important as a business meeting.

Thinking about making the change in your life and looking for some options? Check out the following links that offer reliable WAHM opportunities:

http://ratracerebellion.com/

https://www.gijobs.com/9-companies-want-work-home/

https://www.flexjobs.com/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2016/01/27/work-from-home-in-2016-the-top-100-companies-for-remote-jobs

http://www.businessinsider.com/top-hiring-companies-work-from-home-jobs-2014-7

http://www.womansday.com/life/work-money/g934/best-work-at-home-jobs/

http://www.hipmediakits.com/paid-blogging-networks/ (paid blogging networks)

http://www.chantillypatino.com/paid-blogger-networks/ (paid blogging networks)

http://www.shapinguptobeamom.com/ultimate-list-blogger-networks/ (paid blogging networks)

For more tips and resources, subscribe to Mami of Multiples directly at the top corner of the home page.

Follow Ida’s WAHM journey on her Mami of Multiples contribution and her blog Second Chances Girl.

5 Tips To Make Back-To-School Shopping Less Stressful

This sponsored post also appears on Second Chances Girl.
I have been a busy bee the past couple of weeks. Between work, vacations, planning for an end of summer party and back to school shopping, I am spent. Shopping for back to school supplies and clothing used to really stress me out but now with four kids going into either middle school or upper level elementary grades, I have become an expert on stress-free back to school shopping!

5 Tips to make back to school shopping less stressful

Tip #1: Gather all documentation ahead of time. School started here in South Florida on August 24th. I did not wait until teachers hand out supply lists, I made sure I got them a couple weeks before, whether on the school website or by calling the school. If you cannot get a list from your child’s teacher ahead of time, look up a grade-specific list online and start purchasing the basics (pencils, crayons, paper, etc).
Tip #2: Make a master list and a budget. I put together all four lists into one major list. Instead of four lists mentioning the need for 2 boxes of pencils, I put 8 boxes of pencils on my list. I take one list to the stores. I also set a budget and stick to it.
Tip #3: Enlist an assistant. There is no reason to go back to school shopping on your own. That’s boring! I call my friends and we make a fun outing out of it. If my friends are unavailable, I take one (yes ONE!) of my kids with me. I ask them and the one that volunteers first goes. It gives me some one on one time with that child and I’m not shopping alone!

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Tip #4:  Take advantage of back to school sales, discounts and tax-free holidays. Tax-free week in Florida was August 7-15 and I made sure to do my shopping that week. I gathered my list and store ads and see what was on sale where. I made a plan on which stores to go to and at what times. I used coupons and checked for any BOGO’s (buy one get one offers). I even shop online, if possible. Think this is crazy? Well how about I tell you that I purchased all the basic supplies for four kids for less than $70!  Also, buy in bulk if you are buying the same items for multiple kids. Every classroom requested disinfecting wipes and tissue. I purchase those in bulk and just separate per class. With a little research, you can save alot of money!

 

Tip #5: Stick to your budget.  Stores do understand that back to school shopping can get expensive. They have amazing sales at this time to help families out. After years of back to school shopping, I know to make a budget and stick to it. I start saving, little by little, since the beginning of the year. This money is only for back to school shopping (supplies, shoes, uniforms). I usually come in under budget and use the little extra for a special dinner out as a family before school starts!

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Remember a little pre-planning can go along way to save money and time this back-to-school season!
For more back-to-school content on Mami of Multiples, visit http://bit.ly/MOMEDUCATION

Disclosure: I participated in a back to school campaign with Mami of Multiples. I was provided compensation to purchase back to school items and for writing this post. All opinions are mine alone.

The Beautiful Simplicity of a Lazy Summer Week

Lately I’ve been nostalgic about lazy summers. I remember my childhood summers where I used to spend the day reading, watching TV or playing outside. I can only give my children a lazy summer for one week during the summer when I take a work vacation. As a working mom, I have to sign up my children for day camps where their day is highly scheduled with activities and field trips. As much as I wanted to pack in a ton of activities for my children and I to do together while I am off of work, I didn’t. We are staying home and doing nothing for seven whole days.

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Lazy summers are amazing. I highly believe that children need to be bored. They need to get away from screens, overplanned days and stressed out parents. They need to walk around the house and actually see what is in their homes. My kids have a full bookshelf of books they barely read. I ordered a couple new ones last week and added them to the bookshelf. They are just hanging out, waiting to be discovered by a bored child. Children need to spark their imaginations by building puzzles, playing outside, learning a new card game and exploring the world around them.

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Long sunny days are fantastic. I remember running away from my brother as he tried to wet me with the backyard hose. I remember riding my bike just a little bit further each day. I remember laying on the couch and reading a whole book in one day. I want this for my kids. I want this week to be one full of amazing memories for them. Memories they created on their own, not memories that have been pre-programmed for them. This is a lot to ask of children that are used to overplanned days so that is why there is nothing scheduled, nothing at all. I want to give them at least one week to come up with their own schedules. I expect a lot from them I know but hopefully I get to hear “I’m bored” every couple of minutes because I know the amazingness that can come from it!

See More Summer Fun and Summer Learning Ideas: HERE

50 Fun Summer Things for Tweens to Do

Summer is finally here and we are super excited for all the fun to come! Even though summer days are less structured than school days, I still like to have something planned for the kids to do. Since my kids are 9,8 and 7, I decided to let them choose what we will be doing this summer. They are old enough to know what they like to do and honestly, I am exhausted from overplanning their lives!!
This past weekend, I sat down with my kids and asked them to create a bucket list. They were thrilled that they were getting to choose what to do. They had so many ideas and I couldn’t write things down fast enough. I was surprised with many of the things they wanted to do. They want to go to amusement parks, swimming, and have breakfast for dinner! There’s camping, building forts and even collecting donations.
Tweens are a fun age group. They are old enough to go out and explore but still young enough to spend hours playing with sidewalk chalk. I remember learning so much at that age, especially in the summer! I hope I am able to go through at least 95% of this bucket list with them! Keep your kids busy and entertained by downloading this printable. Put it up on your fridge and go crossing things off as you go. You won’t believe how much fun this summer will be!

summer_bucket_list_for_tweens

Tips to Help Your Child Sleep Better

Does your child sleep through the night? Most children don’t because they haven’t learned how. Parents usually worry more about a child’s sleep patterns when they are babies but a good night’s sleep is super important for big kids. I’m a stickler for a good night’s sleep. Good sleep patterns start young. A good night’s rest helps children physical and mental development. My son’s pediatrician told me that at his age (8 years old) my son should be getting between 10-13 hours of sleep a night. I make sure of this. My son is a good sleeper and I want to share some tips on how I was able to get him to sleep well through the night.

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1. Establish a bedtime and wake up time. My son goes to bed at 8:30 pm and wakes up at 7:00am. This has been the routine for the past 3 years or so. Sure there are nights he stays up late but I don’t allow it much since he starts getting extremely cranky and whiny. On the nights he does go to sleep later than 8:30pm (usually on a weekend),  I make sure he gets some extra sleep in the morning.
2. No big meals before bed. I try to serve dinner at least 2 hours before bedtime so no one goes to sleep on a full stomach. That is extremely uncomfortable and an upset stomach will keep anyone up at night.
3. Create a routine that you practice every night, if possible. My son bathes right before bed. Around 8pm, he stops playing with toys or watching TV and heads upstairs to shower and get in pajamas. Then we read a book and it’s lights out at 8:30p.m.
4. Make sure your child is comfortable. Clothes should not restrict movement and make sure the room temperature isn’t too hot or too cold.
5. If your child comes out of their room, walk them back in, say good night and lights out. Gently but firmly remind them that it’s bedtime and walk away.
6. Overcome their worries. If your child is scared of the dark, put in a night light. If your child is scared of monsters, give them a bottle of “monster spray.” Give them a stuffed animal to “hug” so they don’t feel alone.
7. Get kids active during the day. The more active a child is, the better they sleep at night. Kids have TONS of energy that needs to be released so try your best to get them to release that energy during the day.
8. Stay consistent. Keeping to the routine helps children sleep better. If you are out one night, make sure the sitter continues your same routine at the same time. It’s OK to skip out one day but no more than that. Your child needs to know that you take sleep seriously.
The earlier you start to set up a bedtime routine for your children, the better they will sleep. My step-children do not have a bedtime routine and they are horrible sleepers. They never get more than 6 or 7 hours of sleep, usually have bags under their eyes and are always tired. They have learned the bedtime routines that my son follows and they try to follow it when they sleep over but it’s not easy for them.  Start a bedtime routine for your children today and I know they will thank you for it one day!

Sofia the First: The Curse of Princess Ivy DVD Giveaway and Princess Popcorn Recipe

Calling all Sofia the First fans!! Time to grab your amulets and get ready for a new adventure in Sofia the First: The Curse of Princess Ivy! While everyone at the palace is getting ready for the wedding anniversary ball, Sofia is on an amazing adventure trying to get her amulet back from Amber. We get introduced to Princess Ivy and her magical butterflies and there is even an appearance by Rapunzel!!
My daughter loved this movie and it’s on replay in our home but we can’t watch it without making some Princess Popcorn!

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Magical movies deserve a magical treat and princess popcorn is the most magical treat of all! It’s simple to make and delicious to eat. You only need 3 simple ingredients and less than 10 minutes of prep time.
Ingredients
1 bag of popped popcorn
½ bag of pink candy melts or almond bark
Sprinkles (pink and purple, of course)
Directions
1. Spread popcorn out on baking sheet.
2. In microwave safe bowl, melt the ½ bag of candy melts. I use the defrost setting and turn it on 1 minute at a time, stirring often.
3. Drizzle the melted candy all over the popcorn and use your hands to mix together until most of the popcorn is coated.
4. Add sprinkles while melted candy is still warm. Serve to your little princesses!

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Want to experience the Sofia the First: The Curse of Princess Ivy? We are offering a Sofia the First: The Curse of Princess Ivy DVD and fun accessories kit as a giveaway!
Enter the giveaway via the Rafflecopter link below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

For more information, visit http://disneyjunior.com/disneyjunior-sofia-the-first-curse-of-princess-ivy
Happy Watching and Enjoy the Popcorn with Your Princess!

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Introducing Ida Arias, Mix and Match Mami Contributor & Southeast Family and Travel Contributing Columnist

We are pleased to introduce, Ida Arias, as a new Mami of Multiples Columnist Contributor!
She is the new Mix and Match Mami Contributor & Southeast Family and Travel Contributing Columnist.
Follow Ida on her blog at http://www.secondchancesgirl.com/
Connect with her on Instagram at http://www.instagram.com/scggirl
Twitter at @scggirl
Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/SecondChancesGirl

ida

Hello! I’m Ida and I’m a mom of one, step-mom of two who loves blogging and is super excited to be a contributor to Mami of Multiples! I was born and raised in Miami, FL and I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. I met my hubby a little over three years ago and I immediately knew that he was the one. He had two children from his previous relationship and I had a son from mine. We blended our families together and it’s been quite the whirlwind ever since.
I love to read, write and cook. I learned how to cook at a very young age and it really is my passion. It’s my way of de-stressing after a long day and I can’t wait to share with you some of the amazing food I grew up with. Food and culture are a huge part of who I am. I grew up in a Cuban family, a big, loud, Cuban family and I wouldn’t trade any of them for anyone on this planet. Living in Miami helps me pass along my culture to my children. Miami is a city unlike any other in the United States, a tropical paradise with sunny days, beautiful beaches and amazing people. So much to do and I will let you in on local tips and tricks along the way.
Raising a blended family is new to me since my parents didn’t divorce until I was an adult. I was raised by both parents, together with my siblings in one home. I try my best to make blended as easy as possible to our family. I’ve learned a lot in the past three years and have successfully (so far!) blended our two families into one. I’ve learned it takes incredible amounts of patience to do this while raising three tweens, yes three, my step-daughter Amberly that’s 9, my son Adrian that’s 8 and my step-son Gian that’s 7. I’m not claiming to be some sort of parenting expert but I do like to share what I am learning along the way in hopes it can help at least one other family as much as it has helped ours.
In addition to my new Mami of Multiples column, feel free to visit my blog at http://www.secondchancesgirl.com/
Instagram at http://www.instagram.com/scggirl
Twitter at @scggirl
Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/SecondChancesGirl
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Looking Forward to Connecting With You!