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Decorating Your Home for the Holidays on a Budget by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

By Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

Wow, the holiday season is fast approaching! We’ve barely put away the dishes for Thanksgiving and it’s time to start thinking about Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanza.  With these tough economic times anything we can do to save money is a bonus.  It is possible to decorate your home for the holidays on a budget while keeping the kids busy and enjoying a little family togetherness. That’s what the season is all about, celebrating with family and friends.

A pack of construction paper in different colors, some ribbon, scissors, and glue can go a long way in creating decorations for your home.  Old holiday cards can be recycled into decorations by cutting out pictures on the front of the cards and pasting them on a background of colored construction paper.  These can be used as decorations for your Christmas tree or placed on your mantel or walls to create some holiday spirit.

Your children’s wallet size school pictures or even 3 X 5 photos can be mounted on a piece of construction paper or placed in a frame of popsicle sticks with a ribbon attached—you can even add a handwritten message like Christmas 2009 at the bottom.  These are great for your home or even as a gift for family, especially grandparents. 

Snowflakes, draedels, menorahs, or Kwanza candelabras can be cut out of construction paper to decorate your home or windows.

Be creative!  These are simple ways to get the whole family involved, keep your kids busy, and get your house decorated without breaking the bank.

Good luck and Happy Holidays from Motherhood Incorporated!

I hope you enjoy reading these blogs as much as I enjoy writing them! Should you have any questions about Motherhood Incorporated either as a client or as a mom looking for work, please email me directly at sandra@motherhoodincorporated.com or you can check us out at www.motherhoodincorporated.com and www.sandrabeck.com.

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Picture Perfect: How I Overcame the Perfectionist in Me by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

 by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

 

What could be more discouraging than expecting the impossible?  Most of us would agree that it would be unreasonable to ask an infant to put the toilet seat down when he is done, yet we hold ourselves to equally absurd standards.  We expect the impossible of ourselves when we equate success with perfection.

 

I love art, now.  Drawing, painting, or just crafting in general are a source of great personal joy and quality time with my children.  When I was a child, art wasn’t on my list of favorite subjects.  It wasn’t that I didn’t like the process of coloring or enjoy the visual feast of a gallery, I just found it difficult to be excellent at creating a piece of artwork.  Math, science, spelling, history, those were the subjects for me.  There was only one way to do it – the right way. swing

 

Thankfully, while in college I became determined to overcome this mindset.  One day while I sat on the back porch enjoying the afternoon sun, I began sketching from a picture in a history book.  It was a portrait of a Native American man in a full headdress.  His eyes were serious, his face marked with the lines of old age, and a challenge to sketch to say the least.  I wore the eraser thin and became increasingly frustrated with my inability to transfer the image to my sketch pad.

 

Then, in a stroke of rare genius, I decided that I was just going to let it be wrong.  I watched in amazement as the portrait unfolded.  The eyes, though imperfect carried the same grave sense of humanity that first inspired me.  I can confidently say that the resulting sketch is still my best, and is complimented regularly by the budding young artist in my family. 

 

Fine art hanging on your wall isn’t the only benefit to letting go of the little things.  Here are a few more advantages to embracing the imperfect in our daily routine:

 

– Less stress

 

– Extra time with family

 

– More confidence

 

        Freedom to be yourself

 

www.sandrabeck.com

www.motherhoodincorporated.com

 

Daymaker Challenge Day 30 Old Fashioned Help! by Dahna Weber, Deb Gillespie and Liam Weber-Nudel

Help an elder cross the street and ask them how they are.  Simple and timeless.  While they may not need your help they sure do enjoy the company! 

P.S. Do it with your kids.    They love doing good deeds. 

by Dahna Weber, Deb Gillespie and Liam Weber-Nudel.  (really it was entirely Liam’s idea…my 9 year old wonderful boy who is super keen on the Daymaker Challenges and on blogging)!

DAYMAKER CHALLENGE DAY 11- BAGGING IT! BY DEB GILLESPIE AND DAHNA WEBER

I love this one! So you’re at the grocery store and see you an elderly woman or man struggling to carry their grocery bag out of the market and to their car. They are usually with cane in one hand and bag in the other. Sometimes they are pushing their walker, struggling to carry that bag to the car. Here’s your chance to step in and give them a little hand. I know that the elderly are generally pretty proud folks, but it would be nice if we could at least offer them a hand with their bags. I used to nudge my older son or daughter to offer help. Now they do it on their own. Let’s be kind to our elders and help them out when ever we see the opportunity.

 

By Deb Gillespie and Dahna Weber

Daymaker Challenge Day 10- Oh Stop Wait a Minute Mr. Postman by Dahna Weber and Deb Gillespie

There was a great song by that title by the Carpenters eons ago.  Well I am showing my age!  Besides we now call them mail carriers or some other gender neutral name.  Well today is the day that you do stop them.   Have a cup of coffee/tea ready for them to warm them up….or a cold drink if you live down south to cool them down.  You can also simply offer an energy or chocolate bar!  Perhaps while they enjoy their drink they can talk about what they do to the little ones.  By Dahna Weber and Deb Gillespie

Daymaker Challenge Day 9- Exploring Children by Deb Gillespie and Dahna Weber

This one is for the kids.  We do things everyday for our kids and sometimes we make special days for them.  Days like the amusement park, birthday parties, movies with a friend, etc.  How about making an ordinary day special?  Here is our tip on how to do that- Plan the unplanned!  Call it the exploratory adventure/excursion.  You can make it as large as you like (wear pirate and sailor outfits) or keep it simple.  First step- block off an hour for your kids.  Second step- start off with a regular activity…. say taking a walk to the park and then relinquish control.  Third step…..let your kids lead you off course…and enter into their instinctive explorers world.   Let them control the situation.  Don’t say the word no unless you have to.  Instead of avoiding the forest part of the park go into it.  Instead of walking around the puddles…splash around in them.  Instead of using utensils eat with your hands.  Let them guide you.  The adventure of doing something totally different from the norm feels adventurous.  

Just today was a professional day at our school so we gathered up some friends and headed off to the park.  What we came across was a sheet of ice over the sand covering the volleyball court.  We stomped, and crashed rocks through the ice, and dug up bits of wood.  We spent 30 minutes just letting ourselves go.  It was so simple, didn’t cost a cent, let the kids get some energy out and be imaginative.  It was so much fun.  One kid even carried a piece of ice home.  I am sure that is the one shiny piece of the day they will remember. 

by Deb Gillespie and Dahna Weber

DAYMAKER CHALLENGE DAY 8- FREE HUGS FOR EVERYONE BY DEB GILLESPIE AND DAHNA WEBER

Now this is something everyone can do! I saw this done once. It is a beautiful way to reach out to all. Now don’t be shy. Make a little sign or sticker that you can attach to your shirt or coat. The sign will say, “Free Hugs for Everyone”. Be open and ready to give away free hugs to everyone who approaches you. You will be utterly amazed by how good you will feel and by how much of a difference you will make to another person’s day. Moms, I encourage you to have your kids do this right along with you. You will be leading by example and teaching your children about random acts of kindness.

 

By Deb Gillespie and Dahna Weber