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15 Mother’s Day Crafts
Mother’s Day is just around the corner. What better way to say I love you than with a handmade gift. Below I put together a full list of great Mother’s Day gifts you can make with your little ones. Be sure to leave me some feedback below telling me which one you plan to try! Also do not forget to PIN, SHARE, and COMMENT! (more…)
Moving Tips – Simplify Packing
Moving is one of the most exhausting experiences you are likely to encounter. Some may find moving exciting and easy, others, not so much. No matter how quickly you need to move, staying organized and using boxes to pack is the best way to maintain your sanity. Failing to do so will be disastrous later. Even if you are moving around the corner, you still need to pack appropriately.
Boxes is the one thing you should never have to pay for. There are a variety of ways you can pick them up for free. Often moving boxes are listed in “curb alert” sections of Craigslist and local yard sale websites for free pickup.
Another great way to find free boxes is to check with your local grocery and liquor stores. Early Monday and Friday are the best days to do this as they are preparing and restocking from the weekend.
If you don’t have time to request/locate free boxes, most hardware stores (Lowes & Home Depot) now carry a large selection of packing supplies that are relatively inexpensive. Please know, these boxes are less durable than the boxes reused from your local grocery.
How to Handle Breakables:
Don’t use newspaper to pack your dishes as newspaper leaves ink all over them. You have enough to take care of when you arrive at your new place, rewashing your already clean dishes should not be necessary. Instead, use your clean linens.
Yes, you read that correctly! Use your clean sheets, towels, blankets, and curtains to pack your dishes and breakables. This will save you space instead of packing them separately AND help you to keep everything clean.
Stretch Wrap & Tape:
There are several moving tapes available, even those that are labeled and color coded for separate rooms. These tapes are neat, however, it is important to also purchase standard moving tape for sealing the bottoms of your boxes. The labeled tapes are known for splitting and having poor stick.
Purchase your tape in large quantities to avoid mid-packing trips to the store.
Stretch wrap is the way companies pack their bulk products. It is amazingly strong and useful and a must-have for packing! Wrap each packed box twice to help close the box and to insure the box stays secure without losing it’s bottom.
Don’t waste your money on room labels and tapes. Often, you are left with several wasted labels for rooms you don’t have, and not enough labels for the rooms you do. Unless labels are something you strongly desire, skip them and stick with using markers. Remember to purchase several markers so everyone involved in your packing project can easily access them.
Don’t stop labeling your boxes. It is necessary. Try to label the contents of the box as well as well as the room location and care recommendation.
Avoid mixing contents of your boxes while bearing in mind weight restrictions. If your box is at the maximum weight limit and you still have room atop, fill the space with pillows or other plush items.
Boxes containing books are often packed over appropriate weight limits. Use only small boxes for books. Be sure the box can be lifted before closing.
Tip: Don’t pack away your important papers folder/firebox. Lock these items in your car the morning of moving day.
Use the following procedure for each box:
- Use packing tape to seal the bottom of the box before packing
- Pack box
- Use a small amount of tape to close the lid
- Wrap the box (end to end) two times with stretch wrap
- Label Box with markers
Keeping your folded clothing inside of your dresser drawers will save box space and save you time unpacking.
Gather bunches of hanged clothing together and use a zip-tie at the top of the hangers to keep them together. Poke a hole through the middle bottom of a large garbage bag and place over the bundled clothing. Tie the bottom of the bag to keep dirt away from the clothing.
Packing Cords & Electronics:
Roll each cord individually and zip-tie together. Place inside of a zipper bag and label the purpose (living room TV, desktop computer, stereo speakers, etc.)
Tape remote controls to the back of each television. Wrap flat screens in soft blankets and use a modest amount of stretch wrap to secure them.
Nearing the End:
The odds and ends of packing can be the most exhausting part of moving. You’re tired, you’re ready for it to be over, and you are still finding stuff everywhere! What you will create next are the boxes that no one likes to unpack. The best way to move through the final stretch is to stay organized.
Take a look around the home and see what you have left. You are likely finding small toys, excess power cords, mail, magazines/books, and office supplies – don’ pick them up just yet. Line up several smaller boxes in the main portion of your home – one box for each type of leftover you encounter. Begin to sort through the leftovers and toss them in the appropriate box. Don’t close these boxes until you have checked EVERY ROOM for leftovers and you are ready to leave the house!
Before you Leave:
Don’t forget to check the closets, cabinets, and attic! Normally these are great places for you to hide your belongings but they are often forgotten when moving. Check every cabinet in the home and garage, all closets, and even the attic for your personal items.
After your final swoop, grab your welcome mat and check your mail.
Sleepovers: The Hot Topic for Single Moms
But for SINGLE parents, the topic of sleepovers takes on a new meaning altogether.
This can be a controversial topic. But I’m standing my ground on this one, Strong Single Moms. As a single mother, there’s no room for sleepovers with a boyfriend while the kids are home. It can wait until the kids are at their dad’s house, staying the night with a friend, at grandma’s house – whatever.
Of course, that’s my opinion. So I asked the Strong Single Mom Network’s Official Psychology Expert Lisa Gomez, MA LPC – owner of Becoming Transformed Counseling Services in Surprise, AZ. Here’s what Lisa had to say: (more…)
Does What You Eat and Drink Make You Look Older?
With all the money we spend on anti-aging creams and cosmetics, it’s obvious we all want to look younger than we actually are. But is what we’re putting inside our bodies actually making us look older?
According to Yahoo Shine’s article 10 Foods and Drinks that Make You Look Older Than You Are, there are things that we consume that makes us look older than our actual age.
As a single mom, some of the food and beverages that made it on this top 10 list will be difficult to avoid. After all, what single mother doesn’t give into the budget-friendly and quick to prepare hot dog or cold cuts from time to time? And give up coffee?? Ha. Not gonna happen – at least not for me!
But there are a few on the list that will not only help you look younger, but are fairly easy to replace: (more…)
J.K. Rowling, Author of Harry Potter Series, and Her Days as a Single Mom
Harry Potter has taken the world by storm. A series of novels that turned into movies and merchandise was conceived in the mind of J.K. Rowling. Like any successful fiction novel, writing the books took courage, imagination, and above all a dedication to see the completed works published. It took hard work, long hours, and great sacrifice.
So what makes the Harry Potter author different than other successful fiction authors? It’s the fact that she began the journey into the world of Harry Potter while she was a single mom living on government aid.
J.K. Rowling’s is a story that every Strong Single Mom should find inspiring. After all, we all have dreams and hopes and desires that live deep inside of us. (more…)
“Mom Matters Series” – Jordin Sparks and her mom Jodi
Behind many success stories is a Mom who encouraged their child and sacrificed to help that child reach their dreams.
The new series “Mom Matters” from the Strong Single Mom Network is here to share those stories! As a Strong Single Mom, sometimes it’s easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day and forget how much our influence matters in our child’s life. With the “Mom Matters” series, we hope to encourage you…after all, YOU matter more than you know to your little ones.
Kicking off the “Mom Matters” series is pop star and Season Six winner of American Idol Jordin Sparks and her mom Jodi. Jordin shares about the important role her mom played in helping her achieve her dreams, and Jodi Sparks gives advice to help encourage any mom in helping their child reach their dream.
A huge thank you to Jordin Sparks and her mom Jodi Sparks for granting us an interview from Barrett Jackson’s Lifestyle Pavilion before her performance. And a big thank you to Lindsey Beres, founder of Aquarian Media Group for filming and for setting up the interview.
We appreciate the encouragement for Strong Single Moms and their children around the world.
Do you have a Mom Matters story? We want to hear from you. Contact us by filling out this form and we will consider your story for the next Mom Matters video from Strong Single Mom Network.
Finances and the Strong Single Mom
It’s the most difficult part of being a single parent: finances. Somehow it doesn’t seem to matter how much you earn in your career. Whether you have a high-level corporate job making 6 figures per year, or work 3 jobs at minimum wage – it’s tough.
If you’re just beginning the process of becoming a single mom or if you’ve been a single mother for some time and find your financial situation changing, it can be tricky. After all, one of the great things about being a Strong Single Mom is not having anyone else around to tell you what you can and cannot do. Of course, that’s one of the downfalls of being a Strong Single Mom, too. (more…)
“Mom, Where’s Dad?” How to Answer the Toughest Question
If Dad’s not in the picture for your children, you know this question will be asked at some point. And even if you’re expecting it, you don’t look forward to actually answering it.
There’s a million and one things that may come to mind, but as the Mom of this precious child we somehow realize that not EVERYTHING that comes to mind would be beneficial to actually say.
So how DO you answer this ticking time bomb? (more…)
How Does the Child of a Strong Single Mom Spell “Father?”
For every Strong Single Mom who has to play the roles of both Mother AND Father, this video is a truly beautiful tribute to you!
Isn’t this what it’s all about? Raising our children the best we can, going above and beyond what we ever thought possible of ourselves, all to give our kids the opportunity to live their dreams? Thank you to poet Marshall Davis Jones for this fabulous work of visual and spoken art. As Strong Single Moms, we need every “Thank you” that we can get. And it helps to hear it from the adult child of a Single Mother. It gives us light in our hearts and hope for the future that some day our own children will realize what we sacrificed for them – and it helps to inspire us to keep going when days are tough.
Gratitude: Can There Be TOO Much of a Good Thing?
One of the basics of Strength resides in gratitude. Being grateful for what you have, not feeling lack because of what you don’t have. If you’re a Strong Single Mom Network member, one of the first newsletters you received is based around the Gratitude Principle. And if you’re a frequent read of this blog, you may have read the 30 day challenge found towards the end of this post.
So when I picked up this month’s issue of Psychology Today I was intrigued to see a short half-page article called “4 Don’ts of Gratitude.”
Hmm. Can there REALLY be ways of creating an Attitude of Gratitude that is actually counter-productive? Can thanksgiving be taken too far? Are there really RULES on how to be grateful? (more…)