Parenting In The Real World – Book Review

This is a sponsored post in which I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This post also contains affiliate links. All opinions are 100% my own.

Parenting In The Real World

Everyone has their own opinions on the best ways to parent – much like everyone has their own way of boiling an egg. Whatever it takes to get the job done – and no way is any better than other. But, it never hurts to gain perspective on someone else’s method. I had the chance to review the new book, it’s full title being “Parenting In The Real World; The Rules Have Changed. Drop The Guilt. Handle Any Parenting Situation in 7 Simple Steps.” A mouthful-but isn’t that what parenting is? Continue reading “Parenting In The Real World – Book Review”

How To Raise Great Kids Book Review



This is a sponsored review of a book I received for free, and decided to share with my readers by doing a review. All opinions are 100% mine, and not swayed in any way! This post does contain affiliate links, by which I receive a very small percentage of sales, but does not affect price in any way for a buyer.

Everyone has a different parenting style…

And when you’re a new parent, it’s sometimes hard to come up with stuff! That’s one reason I was intrigued, and welcomed the opportunity to check out, “How To Raise Great Kids; 101 Fun & easy Ideas” by Jim Gromer. Our son is only 17 months at this time, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t mentally preparing for the years to come!

A review of the book, "How To Raise Great Kids, 101 Fun & Easy Ideas"

Engaging your child…

This book is full of ideas on engaging conversation, and learning experiences. Now while everyone may have a different approach to certain subjects, such as “learning colors,” or “picky eaters”, but I found Jim’s suggestions to be refreshing, and sensical. There’s so much information floating around out there, on the topic of “How to Parent.” It doesn’t actually hurt to read what others suggest.

This book has a lot of great suggestions for making most learning experiences a game. Songs for hand washing, how to leave appropriate voicemails, the suggestions are awesome for teaching on their level (per appropriate age for the lesson).

How To Raise Great Kids isn’t just about games, but gives some insight on tackling real life situations, like bullying and finances. Again, we all have different viewpoints on these. But it doesn’t ever hurt to see how a fellow parent is doing things. And honestly, when it comes to temper tantrums, most parents need all the help they can get!


A level of honesty…

What i really enjoyed most about this read, was the level of honesty within the book. How To Raise Great Kids was written by a father of 4, and I feel the author really has some truth behind his recommendations. Some of these tactics, I really can’t wait to try with my son with the time comes.

There’s also awesome tips for parents themselves, for their health and well-being. Because you must take care of yourself. Or how can you take care of your children?

Available on Amazon

You can get a copy of this great book on Amazon, available on Prime (which is awesome!) and see for yourself! I really enjoyed reading it, and gaining some perspective on how this Dad approached certain subjects, like Internet usage and “bad language.”

Also, be sure to check out the official Facebook page for this book, as well as Jim Gromer’s website!

And of course, a very special thank you to Jim for giving me this book, that I know I will be re-reading often when I need to come up with ways to handle special circumstances!

"How To Raise Great Kids, 101 Fun & Easy Ideas" Book Review!

Hey, I Want To Know…

This is a new roundup series with a twist: I’m going to ask some fellow Bloggers a few fun questions, just to see what they think! I love reading blogs as much as I do writing them, and what better way to get to know someone? Follow us at the end of each month to see their answers, and be sure to check out some of these great blogs while you’re at it!

Dicia – It’s My Mommy Life Now


Blog | Instagram |Twitter

1: What’s your favorite thing to wear in cool, Fall weather?
I hate to admit this, but my favorite thing to wear in cool, fall weather is my red hoodie and my yoga pants. I homeschool my 9 year old and I’m always chasing after my two year old. I’m usually in something comfy. Oh and I can’t forget my socks and my sneakers. If I go out, I may end up in jeans and a t-shirt, but I still have my sneakers on.

2: What’s your child(ren) obsessed with right now?
Since I have two boys whose taste is completely different. I’ll list them by boy.
Kaeden (9) – Minecraft on PS3, fourwheeling, and Pokemon Go.
Karsen (2) – The movie Home on netflix, trucks and cars, trains, mommy, and food.

3: When your partner is feeling down, how do you cheer them up?
Cheering him up depends on why he is feeling down. Usually I will try to crack some perverted joke, get him to talk about it, hug him, tell him I love him and how much he means to me, and if nothing else works, then I make him food, lay in bed with him, and rub his back.

Sarah – Get Mom Balanced

Blog | Twitter

1: What’s your favorite thing to wear in cool, Fall weather?
I love a good pair of skinny jeans and a cute sweatshirt: Maybe something with a zipper or a cute detail at the neckline. I’m pretty simple and love basics that I can throw on. Shoes are always my challenge- I’m a flip flop girl and my feet got bigger with my last pregnancy so I’m on the hunt for new fall shoes!! 

2: What’s your child(ren) obsessed with right now? 
My 4yo son LOVES Lego. He loves to get sets and build them, and then play with what he’s built. He can sit and look at the instruction books over and over and also wants to look at sets on the computer and videos of people building!! He wants to go to Target just to look at the sets. Obsession is an understatement for him!! My 1yo guy loves throwing balls. He’s simple like that- give him a ball, toss it back and forth and that kiddo is happy!

3: When your partner is feeling down, how do you cheer them up?Thankfully, my hubby is pretty easy going and doesn’t get down often, but the way to help him unwind or get out of a funk would be to have some delicious food. So that means I won’t be cooking it! We’d be going out to dinner because I am also simple in my cooking and he is more of a foodie. So, a great meal with beer or wine and my hubby is happy! 

Melissa – Baby Castan On Board

Blog | Instagram | Twitter

1: What’s your favorite thing to wear in cool, Fall weather?
Fall is by far my favorite season. The air is crisp, the holidays are right around the corner and it’s time to break out the sweaters, scarves, and boots! Not to mention all the flannel and denim that is in style for the season 🙂 

2: What’s your child(ren) obsessed with right now?
I have a nine-month-old so he is really obsessed with standing, walking and crawling. He loves putting something in front of himself and then when he reaches it pushes it a little further. He is so proud of himself. It’s the cutest thing!

3: When your partner is feeling down, how do you cheer them up?
The way to a man’s heart is food right? I like to take my husband out to eat, or sometimes I cook for him.

Tajuana – Healthy & Fit

Blog | Instagram

1: What’s your favorite thing to wear in cool, Fall weather?  
Cardigans!!! Every color 🙂

2: What’s your child(ren) obsessed with right now? ***
Eek, I don’t have human children, yet I have fur babies. My cats are obsessed with hiding in boxes and eating paper.   ***(Fur babies count! -Jasmine)
3: When your partner is feeling down, how do you cheer them up?
I like to leave my partner alone when they are not in the best mood because I would make it worse hehe, So I just let them have their space and when they’re ready they come back to life.

Michele – The Domestic Realist

Blog | Instagram | Twitter

1: What’s your favorite thing to wear in cool, Fall weather?
A hooded sweatshirt. I love putting my hands in the pockets and digging them in deep to warm my hands when it gets cool. Putting one on makes it officially feel like Fall! I especially enjoy wearing one around a firepit (with a cold beverage in hand!). 

2: What’s your child(ren) obsessed with right now?
My 3yo is obsessed with picnics right now. She likes to have us sit on the floor and she pulls the food out of her hair. I’m not why it comes out of her hair but I just go with it! There are always sandwiches, apples, napkins, and cookies! My kind of picnic! 

3: When your partner is feeling down, how do you cheer them up?
Wait until he is ready to talk about it. Men are different from woman, and my husband doesn’t always admit something is wrong until he is ready to. So after 5 years of marriage, I’ve learned to just wait until he let’s me know he is feeling down. Then I cheer him up by making extra effort to focus on him. Whether that is turning off devices and talking or getting a sitter for a night out, I make the effort I can. 

Brittany – Follow The Dyers

Blog | Instagram | Twitter

1: What’s your favorite thing to wear in cool, Fall weather?
So, we live currently live in Bangkok, Thailand, and the weather her is always warm. I love it so much, but sometimes I miss out on the Fall weather. Not too much though, because I LOVE the warm weather. One of the biggest things I miss in the Fall though is all things leaves. When I was a kid, I used to love to play in the leaves and make crafts with them. I miss seeing the colors of the leaves on the trees change, too. There are so many things you can do with the leaves once they are off the trees too! 

2: What’s your child(ren) obsessed with right now?
In Bangkok, they don’t really have many birthday party supplies, it’s just not something they do here, so we pretty much plan our birthday parties at least 6 months in advance because we buy the majority of our birthday party supplies when we visit the States. With that being said, my son had a Dinosaur birthday party this year and is still obsessed with everything dinosaur! My daughter is having a Hello Kitty birthday party next month and is obsessed with everything Hello Kitty! I’m sure the obsession will change in a few months when we start to determine what kind of parties they will have next year!

3: When your partner is feeling down, how do you cheer them up?
Usually, I just let him talk. Is that boring? Maybe I should look for other suggestions…what do you do when your husband is feeling down?

Julie Hoag – Julie Hoag Writer

Blog | Instagram | Twitter

1: What’s your favorite thing to wear in cool, Fall weather?
I like jeans and my sweatshirt with my kids’ team logo on it. I also love the winter lined Crocs.  On warmer days I love to pull out the capris.

2: What’s your child(ren) obsessed with right now? 
My oldest son is obsessed with football. He plays it, watches it, and even participates in fantasy football with his friends. My middle son plays football too but he doesn’t watch the professionals play. He just enjoys playing the game. My middle son is very creative. He really loves to make things and watches videos online for ideas. He takes the ideas and makes his own twist on it. For example, he saw a launcher online made from a Gatorade bottle (top cut off), the ring from the Gatorade, and a cut balloon. He took the launcher to the deck and launched cheese balls. It was a genius idea because they were so light and airy they just soared all the way across the yard. My youngest son loves soccer right now. He is playing on a team and he is the most aggressive player. He really gets into it and very rarely does a ball get past him when he is goalie. He plays soccer in the front yard with friends. He’s obsessed with playing anything outside. My kids love Halloween and they are already making plans to make it the best Halloween they can this year. I love to write humor posts about life with three boys. I also write about being a mother, parenting, youth sports, anything kid related and pet related.

3: When your partner is feeling down, how do you cheer them up?
I surprise him with his favorite meat to grill on his Green Egg grill which is his obsession right now. He is so into being a grilling chef that he installed a spice rack for grilling spices in our basement. The Green Egg grill is a ceramic dark green egg shaped grill that can be used all year because it retains heat so well. He uses the all year long even in the cold winter. We are quite the pair because he loves meat and I’m a vegetarian, so I have developed some recipes I am posting on my website to accommodate myself as a vegetarian as well as the meat eaters who make up the rest of my family. Today my husband is grilling pork ribs on his Green Egg grill and my boys can’t wait to eat! I also buy him a specialty beer that he has never tried before to surprise him sometimes. 

Check out the great blogs above and come back each month to learn more about these bloggers!


Why It’s Important To Check On Your Mom Friend

I have to start by saying that being a Mother is both one of the hardest, but most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. Did I mention it was the hardest?

Being a parent definitely isn’t easy. But at the end of every day, we get it done. Some days are easier than others.

I think every new mom goes through those times, where occasionally they might think, “How will I ever get through this?” or, “Am I even doing this right?”

I usually think this when Bruce is having a “no nap” day. Or is up all night teething, crying with pain at the top of his lungs. As a parent, I think those times hurt me emotionally more than it does him psychically, because I can only do so much to try to ease his suffering, and beat myself up more because I can’t just make it go away.

Not to mention those days, where even if the baby is happy and all smiles; you still may fall behind on chores and errands, and become so busy with other things, that stuff that you really need (or want) to do just isn’t accomplished. And stressing out about these things can really take a toll on you, both mentally and physically.

Shoot, even just a normal day can leave you exhausted and even feeling a bit down.

Postpartum depression affects an estimated 10-15% of new mothers (This is a number going off those who seek treatment). It is treatable, and important to know the signs and talk with your Doctor when you feel you may be experiencing it. However, I am not a doctor, so I won’t go into the details of the condition itself. Instead, what I do want to mention, is just how important it is that you connect with the Mother’s in your life and see how they are doing.

Call your friend who has just had a baby. Take her a hot meal, clean up the kitchen, run a load of laundry for her. Play with the baby while she gets a shower. Talk to her. When you’re cooped up with a newborn all day, you don’t get much adult interaction, and you need to be able to have a conversation outside the realm of dirty diapers.

This not only applies to mother’s or newborn’s, but all really, no matter what age of their children. Humans are social people, and sometimes we don’t even really know how much we require the interaction until we haven’t had any in awhile.

And like all habits, once you’ve fell into a routine of just taking care of the homefront and the littles, or even just working a job all day and then running the household at night – you become used to it. Reaching out for another adult to conversate with can be so out of the ordinary, that you never think of it, or even actively seek it.

But I think we need to start checking up on our friends and family who have children. Stop by the house and see what they need help with. Go out for coffee (or better yet, take them coffee!). Plan shopping trips. See how your friend is doing. 

Because the sad fact is, and the reason it fell on my heart to write this, is because some of our fellow mothers are suffering from this condition. And losing their battles.

And no, having coffee with a friend and discussing how the baby may have kept them up all night isn’t the end all cure for PPD…but it’s a start. Because first, we need to be able to talk. And realize that maybe something isn’t quite feeling okay with ourselves. We need to find someone to talk to…and listen.

A really good quote that I have found that I think applies well here, is that,

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” ― Stephen R. CoveyThe 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

In other words, most of the time, people don’t ask “how are you doing?” to find out how your day is; it’s just a precursor to informing your of how their day is going.
My belief is that, as women and fellow Mothers, we need to check on our Mother friends to make sure they are ok. We need to help them. We need to listen. 
So check on a mom friend today. If she’s stressed with a chore list, go help her. Take some of the pressure off by eliminating an item off her to-do list. And have a conversation with her. By listening, instead of just talking. 
Because we all need support. And you just might save someone, someday.
If you suspect you might be feeling depressed, or someone you know might be suffering from Postpartum Depression, there is help. Check out Postpartum Progress for more.


Kissing Kids? Return of the Sanctimommy

They’re back…

Everyone has their different styles of parenting, and showing affection. Unless it’s defined as actual abuse, no one is really better than another. That doesn’t stop the sanctimommies from poking their noses where it doesn’t belong, but then again, what really stops them from doing that?

One topic I’ve noticed the Dementor-like sanctimommy focusing on? Parents who kiss their children on the lips.

The judgement…

Now, if you know me, you’ll know I actually don’t do this. And before you judge me for that, first pause, and read on. I’m not sexualizing kissing my son (eww..I’m offended that you might have thought that I was, and that’s my reason for not doing it!). But my long-term thinking is this; I kiss my husband on the lips because that’s my husband, obviously. My son is going to grow up knowing what type of affection that is. He is going to see Mommy kiss Daddy on the lips, and know that’s what people do when they’re in love. He will get kisses on his cheeks and owies from the both of us, and know that is how we show affection for him as his parents. I want him to know that kissing certain places is for certain people. His grandparents give him kisses on the cheek. His aunts.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that, I want my child to understand that getting a peck on the cheek is normal. But should he be at a friend’s house for a sleepover, or another situation, and an adult who is NOT his cheek-kissing reative try to kiss him ANYWHERE…I want him to know that, isn’t ok. And he needs to tell me. It’s not sexualizing as much as it’s about boundaries.  Call me a helicopter parent if you want to, but that’s how we choose to face the topic of kissing kids on the lips.

Not to mention the germ factor – if I have a cold, the last thing I want is to give it to my child via the mouth. So no lip kissing, or sharing drinks, or anything like that.

But this isn’t a post about the reasons why I chose not to kiss my kid on the lips. It’s a post about why you shouldn’t shame another parent for choosing to do that.

No one parent is the same…

As I mentioned before, everyone parents in a different way. And if you choose to show affection to your child in that manner, not only do you have the right to parent as you see fit…but I, nor anyone else, really has the right to say anything about it (unless, of course, it’s literally abuse). It’s sad that some people have to poke around and look for something so innocent to get bent out of shape about.

Notice as I did explain my reasoning, that I didn’t put anyone else down? While I have my reasons for doing as I do, I’m certainly not going to tell anyone else why they should or shouldn’t do something. You are the parent, it’s your choice. I honestly don’t care how you choose to kiss your kids goodnight.

And what does someone get out of shaming a fellow parent for doing anything they don’t choose to do? You called that mother “gross” because she kissed her daughter on the lips. Okay…so what did you really accomplish, other than looking like a self-righteous jerk? That mother is probably going to kiss her daughter goodnight anyway…and probably on the lips. As long as it isn’t hurting you or your family, does it matter what another family does?

As I mentioned in a previous post, some people are quite like Dementors – they love to suck the love and joy out of someone, for any reason possible. Don’t let them. You show affection how you want to with your children. You don’t owe anyone an explanation.

And in case there are any around now…seriously, each time ya’ll try to comment to me that “well your child isn’t going to think you love them when..” or whatever you think you absolutely have to say to me; I’m gonna cast my Patronus on you. And then eat chocolate.