5 Ways to Believe In the Magic This Holiday Season

5 Ways to Believe In the Magic This Holiday Season

We are the type of family that celebrates the holiday magic all season long , but how do we make it last? Check out these 5 ways to believe in the magic this holiday season.

1. Talk to Santa

This app is my favorite way to communicate with Santa. He leaves great messages and includes any name you choose.

2. Leave cookies for Santa

Download this free printable bundle for o leave a special note to Santa plus more activities! Grab your printable bundle here!

3. Decorate your windows.

While your little one goes to sleep decorate your windows and blame a little elf did it! Watch their eyes light up!

4. Random gifts

Head to Dollar Tree to get some candy and individually wrap them in simple decorations. Walk around your neighborhood and leave on your neighbors stoop. You can also leave some behind at a cafe, library or in a shopping cart. There is nothing more magical then the gift of kindness.

5. Reindeer food

Make some reindeer food for when they come on Christmas! You can mix in some sprinkles with oats or dried fruit to make it more environmentally friendly. Store in an air tight container.

Check out some more fun holiday printables!

3 Ways to Exercise Your Mind

3 Ways to Exercise Your Mind

All moms need a little time to ourselves but sometimes we don’t know what to do with that time.

On top of reading at night I wanted to change things up exercise my brain a little bit. Exercising the brain helps improve memory, focus, or daily functionality.

Research has shown that there are many ways you can hone your mental sharpness and help your brain stay healthy, no matter what age you are. Doing certain brain exercises to help boost your memory, concentration, and focus can make daily tasks quicker and easier to do, and keep your brain sharp as you get older.

Relaxing

Each night before bed I tried different things and I found these three ways to be these best.

1. Meditation

Meditation

Studies from 2007 suggest that mindfulness meditation can help engage new neural pathways, resulting in improved self-observational skills and increased mental flexibility. The 2007 research has also shown that meditation can help improve attention, focus, empathy, and even immunity. Studies also suggest that meditation might even increase the capacity of working memory.

2. Listening to Music

Listening to music

According to a 2017 study, listening to upbeat music helps generate more innovative solutions compared to being in silence. I plug in some headphones and jam to my favorite tunes.

3. Online Puzzle Games

Simple online games are my favorite. Not like today’s games, it’s too much for me and will actually do the opposite and keep me up at night.

Solitaire card game

I enjoy playing nostalgic games like solitaire and pyramid, it reminds me of being a kid and playing cards with my grandparents

I found a website that has fun and basic card games and more. I also found mahjong games, hidden object games and connect 3 games. No apps, no downloading. Just load and play!

Pyramid card game

We all know mommin’ isn’t easy and our minds can feel scattered from time to time. brain exercises can help prepare you do the coming weeks and days.

Why I Took Two Steps Back With My Career

Why I Took Two Steps Back With My Career

Did you ever think you could literally go back towards your future? Sometimes taking two steps back helps you move forward. Let me explain.

Two years ago I took a leap of faith and accepted a job offer I couldn’t refuse. I was not planning to leave my current job that I absolutely loved. I had a flexible schedule, supportive co-workers, and I was valued there. What made me really appreciate my job was my family came first and upper management never questioned that. I was always provided a healthy balance of work and taking care of my son.

I was not looking for a new job at the time, but this new offer came to me so quick that I didn’t have that much time to think about it. This new job offered job security, a pension and opportunity to move up. I knew I needed to accept this opportunity because it would help my future significantly.

Working from home

HOWEVER, I DIDN’T REALIZE SOMETHING THAT COULD BENEFIT MY FUTURE MIGHT NOT BENEFIT ME RIGHT NOW. 

Leaving the job I adored was very hard for me, so I decided to not cut ties entirely and stay on per diem. I always knew I was welcomed back there if I ever needed to come back full time.

My new job was definitely an adjustment and I had a hard time getting into the groove of things. It took me close to a year to finally get a grasp on my position but as a result I spent less time with my son. Previously, if my son got sick at daycare I was only a 5 minute car ride away. With my new job I would have to take a bus home so I could get my car and then go pick him up. Sometimes it just wouldn’t be possible and my husband would get him instead. I was no longer able to drop him off or pick him up from daycare daily so my husband also took that on. As much as I appreciated this, I missed that quality time we had together talking about our day and what we plan to do when we get home. It was frowned upon when I needed to be home with my son whether he was sick or if it was a snow day so once again I would rely on my husband to do this. I felt guilty for not being able to take care of my son when I felt like he needed me the most.

A year later the pandemic hit and things became much more difficult for me as it did for every other parent across the world. I was working from home with a four year old who was used to going to preschool everyday. He needed my attention and it killed me not being able to give him 100% of me.

A few months into quarantine I got a call from two of my supervisors unexpectedly and it caught me off guard. They told me upper management was concerned with my productivity and they wanted to know why I was not meeting expectations. I started to laugh thinking it was a joke but quickly realized they were serious. I told them that my work environment was not ideal which caused some distractions, I never received proper IT support, I have a four year old who needs my undivided attention and WE ARE IN A GLOBAL STATE OF EMERGENCY.

None of my reasons were good enough and quite frankly they didn’t want to hear it. They proceeded to tell me my tasks are not hard and if they can get this work done so can I despite any barriers. I was then informed if I do not produce more work within next week further discipline would be taken. As they were telling me this my son was yelling from the bathroom for me to “wipe his butt”. I was able to keep myself composed despite the tears filling my eyes but as soon as I hung up the phone I lost it.

I have worked so hard despite my barriers and still was presented with threats and possible retaliation. I was never asked if I needed any support and they completely ignored the fact that I had a child I needed to take care of. After that phone call I worked in fear of losing my job. I spent less attention on Franco and became obsessed with my work. Despite all of this, I continued to be threatened of being disciplined and being transferred to an office 4 hours away if I couldn’t reach expectations.

I WAS COMPLETELY STRIPPED OF MY CONFIDENCE AS A WORKING PROFESSIONAL AND AS A MOTHER.

My self esteem declined all while being feared by the pandemic. Since March, I lost a family member, my psychiatrist dumped me and my husband lost his job. I was unable to cope because all of my focus was on my job. After 8 months of going back and forth I knew that I could no longer do this and decided to seek other employment.

I always stayed in touch with my previous supervisor since I still worked per diem and I opened up to her about how my job was affecting my mental health significantly. I always valued our relationship and her honesty with me. Ironically while all of this was happening my previous position had an opening. I was offered this position again but this time with more pay and benefits.

I wanted to yell ‘Heck yes!’ but I know it wasn’t a black and white decision. Although my salary would be significantly increased, was going backwards the right thing to do? Should I continue to go on interviews and completely start over on a clean slate? In all honesty, I wouldn’t be able to do that right now, not during this pandemic. I needed to go back to what always made me happy and value the mission of my work.

So that is what I did and it was an instant relief. I am able to take care of my son and efficiently get my work done because there is a healthy balance. Do I still struggle with guilt and feel like I am less of a person because I went back to my old position? I do, but in order to overcome this guilt I need to build my confidence and self esteem again.

If that means taking two steps back to help better my future then I will do just that.

Working mom
7 Easy Ways to Make Your Child’s Lunch Fun

7 Easy Ways to Make Your Child’s Lunch Fun

This post contains affiliate links.

Making school lunches are new to me since Franco is starting Kindergarten this year. I love seeing all of the creative ideas parents out together to make kids smile at lunchtime.

As a full time working mom I know I am not going to have the time to make elaborate lunches. I will even most likely have him buy lunch at school, but the days I will make him lunch I will be sure to make them fun and delicious.

Favorite Lunch Box

I love this bento box! The quality is great, it’s easy to clean and perfect amount of compartments. I labeled it using my Cricut.

Favorite Drink Bottle

I got this for Franco over the summer and he loved decorating his own water bottle. There are many stickers to choose from to make it personalized.

Favorite Snack

Not only are these granola bars delicious, but they are free from common allergens and safe for schools.

Favorite Lunch Ideas

Stumped on ideas on what to make? Check these books out! There is a combination of 232 ideas.

Favorite Way to Make a Sandwhich

This thing is a lifesaver! Forget about buying Uncrustables in the freezer section at the market. These are so easy to make and store yourself.

When They Buy Lunch

Kids lunch wallet
Trifold kids wallet

Let’s face it, there will be times your kid will need to buy lunch- AND THAT IS OKAY! Make sure the money they bring to school is safe with their own wallet with a zipper coin purse.

A Little Something Extra

Lunchbox notes
Lunchbox notes
Pin me!

Lunchbox notes were always my favorite. Little notes on fruit or little drawings were always my favorite, but I made these printable notes that have adorable puns. Click here for their printable.

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Our Favorite Children’s Podcasts – Kid Approved

Our Favorite Children’s Podcasts – Kid Approved

School is out, so that means road trips, summer learning and later bed times.

Franco and I compiled our favorite children’s podcasts and they are all Franco approved. They are great for any time of the day and keep kids away from the screen. Podcasts help improve kids attention and memory, and keeps their imagination running; not to mention the improvement of listening skills. I have also found that when Franco listens to bed time stories at night, he has a better nights sleep with no nightmares or night terrors.

Some of the podcasts only have a few episodes but they are so good! We added a bunch of different shows to give variety so you can go back on the other ones when ready.

Kid Approved Podcasts

This podcasts provides original stories that has a sense of humor kids love. It is the perfect length for kids to listen to during a car ride or getting ready for bed.
This podcasts provides diverse stories that have originated in Africa passed down from generations. They are fun to listen to and always teach a lesson in each story.
Every week a kid asks a What If question and this podcast will spin it into a fun story.
An interactive podcast that keeps kids imagination going.
Another interactive podcast for kids ages 3-9 and for the whole family. Each episode is about 10 minutes long.
This podcast is action packed with adventures and songs while learning the alphabet
Have your kids listen to some familiar voices when it is time to rest.
Listen to some short stories about your kids favorite Disney characters.
This podcast is great for the curious kid!
This serialized science fiction story for kids is told in 15-20 minutes episodes. This is a fun adventure for sure
Your favorite childhood books come to life with this adorable podcast. Which one was your favorite as a kid??
This podcasts read classic fairy tales that are short, warm and cozy.
Original children’s stories and meditations for anytime your kid needs to relax.
This is one of our favorite podcast and we wish there were more episodes!
These relaxing stories are told by kids that provide light hearted tales and relaxation techniques.

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Cheers to My Second Blogiversary!

Cheers to My Second Blogiversary!

I can’t believe it’s been two years Our Robins Nest Blog went live! This past year has been something I never thought would happen yet I got through with my creativity.

Because of is this outlet, I have been able to keep my mind busy and get through stressful times. Writing, crafting and art has always been my therapy and it really help me get through this year.

I am sharing my favorite blog posts from the past year.

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