2018 Christmas Event Guide

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

Here is your 2018 guide to Christmas Events happening in and around the Tampa Bay Area.

Parades, Lights, Santa, and more!

 


 

ChristmasEventGuide

Please verify all information on events website before attending!

Parades.jpg

prade icon12/8 Pinellas Park Christmas Paradeprade icon

prade icon 12/8 Zephyrhills Christmas Parade

Parades.jpg

christmaslights.jpg 11/10 – 12/31 Wiregrass Symphony in Lights

christmaslights.jpg 11/17 – 12/31 Christmas Town at Busch Gardens

christmaslights.jpg 11/22 – 12/29 Wonderland of Lights

  • When: November 22 – December 29
  • Hours: See website
  • Cost: ONLY $20 per vehicle- through November 21! ONLY $25 – after November 21!
  • Location: 215 Sydney Washer Road, Dover, Florida, 33527
  • More Info: https://thewonderlandoflights.com/Default.asp?

christmaslights.jpg 11/23 – 1/03 Oakdale Christmas House

  • When: November 23 – Jan. 3
  • Hours: 6 pm – 10 pm
  • Cost: FREE
  • Location: 2719 Oakdale Street S., St. Petersburg, Florida
  • More Info: http://www.christmasdisplay.org/

christmaslights.jpg 11/23 – 12/24 Christmas Lane

  • When: November 23 – December 24
  • Hours: 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
  • Cost:  Tickets are $5 for ages 13 and up, $3 for ages 12 to 4, and free for those 3 and under. Rides are a separate ticket.
  • Location: 2508 W. Oak Ave, Plant City, Florida, 33563
  • More Info: https://christmaslane.com/

christmaslights.jpg 11/23 – 12/30 Holiday Lights at the Florida Botanical Gardens

christmaslights.jpg 11/28 Centro Ybor Tree Lighting

christmaslights.jpg  11/30 Grinchmas and Christmas Festival

christmaslights.jpg 11/30 Tampa Tree Lighting

christmaslights.jpg 12/1 – 12/31 LIghts of Lake Park Estate

  • When: Dec. 1 to Dec. 31
  • Hours: 6 pm – 10 pm
  • Cost: FREE but donations are appreciated
  • Location: 102nd Ave & 109 Ave N, Seminole, FL, 33777
  • More Info: http://lightsoflakepark.com/

Parades.jpg

satnaicon.jpg11/10 – 12/31 Christmas Card Lane 

satnaicon.jpg11/16 – 1/5 Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park

  • When: November 16 – January 5
  • Hours: See website for hours
  • Cost: Winter Village is free to attend. Additional cost for special events, food/beverages, ice skating, Winter Village Express, Shopping etc
  • Location: 600 N. Ashley Drive, Tampa, Florida, 33602
  • More Info: http://www.wintervillagetampa.com/

satnaicon.jpg11/17 – 1/6 Christmas at Gaylord Palms and Ice Attraction

satnaicon.jpg11/17 – 12/16 Tampa Theatre Winter Classics

  • When: Select Fridays and Saturdays
  • Hours: See Website
  • Cost: free
  • Location: 600 N. Ashley Drive, Tampa, Florida, 33602
  • More Info: http://www.wintervillagetampa.com/
  • Movie Lineup: Friday, Nov. 17 – White Christmas
    Saturday, Nov. 18 – Home Alone
    Friday, Nov. 24 – Miracle on 34th Street
    Saturday, Nov. 25 – A Christmas Story
    Friday, Dec. 1 – The Polar Express
    Friday, Dec. 15 – Elf
    Saturday, Dec. 16 – It’s a Wonderful Life

satnaicon.jpg 11/17 – 12/31 Christmas Town at Busch Gardens

satnaicon.jpg11/17 -12/31 SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration

satnaicon.jpg 11/22 – 12/29 Wonderland of Lights

  • When: November 22 – December 29
  • Hours: See website
  • Cost: ONLY $20 per vehicle- through November 21! ONLY $25 – after November 21!
  • Location: 215 Sydney Washer Road, Dover, Florida, 33527
  • More Info: https://thewonderlandoflights.com/Default.asp?

satnaicon.jpg 11/23 – 12/24 Christmas Lane

  • When: November 23 – December 24
  • Hours: 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
  • Cost:  Tickets are $5 for ages 13 and up, $3 for ages 12 to 4, and free for those 3 and under. Rides are a separate ticket.
  • Location: 2508 W. Oak Ave, Plant City, Florida, 33563
  • More Info: https://christmaslane.com/

satnaicon.jpg 11/24 – 12/30 Christmas in the Wild

 

From all of us here at Everyday Moms, we wish you and your family and Happy and Safe Holiday!

Please verify all information before attending!
Written By: Shineta A

CBD & Motherhood

Motherhood is hard.

I used to be an overly social, happy person before kids. Then the anxiousness, irritability, and an overwhelming sensation took over. Maybe it was lack of sleep, maybe it was hormones, maybe it was because my munchkins would never give me 5 seconds to eat a meal.

Who knows!

I just know that after birthing my two chaotic boys, I needed help. I was drowning in all of these negative emotions, and I didn’t feel like myself anymore. I had been on several medications for my mental stability, but nothing seemed to make things better without giving me added issues. This is when I searched for more natural alternatives.

29983296_10215869334994956_6207443281439100074_o

A friend of mine introduced me to CBD oil, a hemp extract with all the medicinal benefits of cannabis but without the high.

I thought to myself “HA! I’ve never done drugs. I don’t want to start now” Turns out, it’s a dietary supplement that is legal in all 50 states. (Who knew? I felt silly).

This was 6 months ago. I want to tell you how it’s changed not only my life, but my family as well.

Two weeks into using full spectrum CBD oil under my tongue twice a day, I felt like a new person. It balanced my moods completely. I no longer felt anxious, overwhelmed, irritable, etc. I could enjoy my kids without screaming at them for no reason. I felt like I could resume social dates with friends without that last minute “something came up” panic text.

Two months after being on the oil, I realized I hadn’t had any pulsating inflammation in my head in awhile. I couldn’t remember the last time I needed an ice pack, or to sit in the dark.

Once I realized how well this helped me, I started everyone else on the oil. My husband suffers some a traumatic experience which causes him irritability and difficulty sleeping. The first night he used the oil, he slept with no body sweats, screaming fits or any tenseness/twitching.  I couldn’t believe the change I saw in him. My son has a difficult time focusing as he fidgets a lot, and is naturally very impulsive. He struggled in Kindergarten last year due to these traits. After finding a serving size that works for him, it drastically helped him focus and control his impulsive reactions. In his words, CBD makes him “good”. My dogs also use CBD oil in their food, and get beef CBD treats at night to help their anxiousness. They love to bark at strangers and other animals, and would occasionally get nervous during storms. When they get CBD, they are completely mellow.

30412359_10215905133249890_5035941036323677305_n

Overall, this hemp extract has given all of us a better night’s sleep and more energy.  I can’t recommend this enough. I love it so much, I am now an advocate to help others struggling like I was.

Not all CBD oil is going to be created equally though. DO YOUR RESEARCH!
Ask yourself: 
Where was this grown? 
How was it extracted?   
What are the ingredients?
Is it an Isolate or Full Spectrum?

Do they third party test for purity and potency? Am I able to see those results?
Does it come with a money back guarantee?

If you would like to learn more about the product I use, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me via Facebook or Instagram. I absolutely love talking about it.

Mission Organization: Paperwork Edition

IMG_3496

Our family command center

It’s back to school time, which means it’s time for the copious amounts of paperwork. Some paperwork needs to be completed and returned to school, some paper needs to be displayed prominently to serve a reminder and some paperwork needs to be organized and filed for future use. How does a busy mom juggle all of this? Well, if you are like me, you have an entire system devoted to paperwork so that every permission slip, every finger painting and every sticky note can easily be found.

With paperwork from school and mail, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with the sheer amount of stuff that comes home. Stay on top of the paperwork daily and weekly and it shouldn’t become too overwhelming. I sometimes don’t even open credit card offers I receive and I immediately place them in the shred box. Why waste my time opening mail I know I don’t need?

IMG_3497

One of the two drop file boxes.

My system has evolved over the years due to improvements in technology and the addition of a husband, kids and dog. When it was just myself, I had a portable drop file box filled with bills to be paid, paid bills and one for important documents. It was simple and I always managed to stay on top of it. At it’s worst, it was maybe 12-15 pieces that needed to be filed on a monthly basis. I shredded whatever was confidential but didn’t need to be kept and filed the rest.

When my husband and I first got married, I was introduced to his file cabinet system of organization. I wasn’t a fan of this method, but it sort of worked because we lived in a one-floor condo so it was fairly easy to access the file cabinet. Then we moved to a two-story home and the file cabinet went upstairs and wasn’t as easy to access. I implemented my drop file box system to keep track of paperwork on a daily basis. On a yearly basis we would go through the file cabinet and toss whatever paperwork was no longer relevant.

IMG_3500

Storage bins for each of my girls’ artwork.

Along came our three daughters and ENDLESS amounts of sometimes useful and sometimes useless paperwork. I remember adding a section to my drop file box for each of our girls and that’s when I realized that I needed to update our system. Medical documents, school documents and more art projects than all of the art museums in the world currently own. This is when I purchased large plastic bins with lids to house the art projects and also downloaded an app on my iPhone called Artkive. If you’ve never heard of Artkive, the concept is pretty cool and it’s easy and free. Simply use your smartphone to take a picture of your little Picasso’s artwork and save it to your child’s file in the Artkive app. There are options to order books and other projects to commemorate the pieces but sadly, I have yet to do this. They also offer a concierge service in which you send them ALL of your child’s artwork and they archive it for you! My drop file box became two drop file boxes and I micro-organized everything. My files included things such as an individual medical file for each family member (dog included) and individual school files for each of our daughters. Other files include things such as homeowner’s insurance, car insurance, HOA documents, coupons and I even file my Bed Bath and Beyond coupons in their own file because I have so many. My husband and I also implemented a “screen shot” system of important documents, just in case we can’t locate a document. Taking a screen shot eliminates the need to hold onto items that may be useful, but probably aren’t.

When we moved in 2017, I set up a family command center in our kitchen. The placement was perfect because it was in the hallway of the kitchen, which everyone passes to get to the garage to exit. You can’t miss it, so it’s easy to double-check the wall calendar and the wall folders. On a weekly basis, I check the wall folders and either complete and return the paperwork to school or file it in its appropriate file folder. I update the calendar for the next month at the end of the prior month. I keep dry erase markers close by so that I can add events and I even color coordinate for each family member because I feel like that helps everyone see what they have on the calendar. For myself, I keep an agenda planner. I carry it with me in the car so that I’m able to write down items as I receive them. I transfer items from my agenda to the family calendar. My husband and I go over our schedule monthly and then weekly. We have a lot going on and we don’t want to forget anything. We even remind the girls in the morning of what is on the schedule for the day, so they’re not surprised when I tell them we have back to school night or a dentist appointment.

IMG_3499

My agenda from The Happy Planner.

IMG_3498

A glance at a typical week.

As for the paperwork that doesn’t need to be saved, we shred it. Sometimes paperwork contains confidential information that you don’t want to compromise, so it’s always best to properly destroy it. I also purchased a stamper to block out information, but we usually end up shredding that document anyway.

Here are my top tips for keeping all of your paperwork organized:

  1. When you receive something, read it and decide if you want to keep it. If you need to keep it, file it immediately and if you don’t need to keep it, place it in the shred box.
  2. Do a little each day and stay on top of it, otherwise you may end up with a mountain of paperwork.
  3. Find a system that works best for you! Our system works for us, but it may not work for you.
  4. Share your system with your family so they can participate, too!
  5. If you implement a new system and it doesn’t work, quickly change it so you don’t fall behind. Your system can and should evolve.
  6. Find an app to help archive your children’s artwork.

Happy organizing ladies!   

  • Kimberly Lasher – SAHM to three beautiful girls, reality TV junkie & ISR advocate. 

Corn Mazes, Pumpkin Patches, and Fall Festivals 2018

2018fall

Here are your local and worth the drive listings of corn mazes, pumpkin patches, and fall festivals in and around the Tampa Bay Area.

Enjoy and Happy Fall Y’all!

**Event Guide is updated weekly, so check back often for new events added**

Please Note: Time and price may change, please verify all information with event before attending!

Corn Mazes

images.jpg

Fox Squirrel Corn Maze

  • When: WEEKENDS ONLY Oct. 6 – Oct 28
  • Hours: 10am – 5pm
  • Location: 3002 Charlie Taylor Rd, Plant City, FL 33565
  • Cost: Adults: $11 + tax (18 & older) Youth: $10 + tax (3 – 17) 2 & Under: FREE (cash only, there is no ATM on site)
  • Website: http://futchentertainment.com/

Scott’s Maze Adventures

  • When: Oct. 6 – Dec. 9, Sat and Sun ONLY
  • Hours: Saturdays, 10 am – 5pm, Sundays 12pm – 5 pm
  • Location: 26216 CR 448A, Mount Dora, Florida, 32757
  • Cost: $12.00 Admission, Kids 3 and under – free
  • Website: longandscottfarms.com

Harvest Holler Corn Maze

  • When: Sept. 21 – Nov. 11
  • Hours: Friday: 4pm – 8pm Saturday: Noon – 8 pm and Sunday Noon – 5 pm
    Monday to Thursday: by reservation only
  • Location: 950 Tavares Rd. Polk City, FL 33686
  • Cost: 2 and under is free, Kids 3-12yrs old $8.50, Adults 13 yrs and up $10.50, Sr Adults (65) and military $8.50, Field Trip rate $8.00
  • Website: .harvestholler.com

Timberline Farm’s Annual Corn Maze and Fall Festival

  • When: Oct. 5 – Nov. 4, Weekends ONLY
  • Hours: Friday 4 pm – 9pm, Saturday 10am –9pm, and Sunday 12 pm – 9pm
  • Location: 3200 Southeast 115th Street, Belleview, Florida, 34420
  • Cost: Admission is $8.00 Adults, $6.00 Children, Children 3 and under get in FREE. Active military, firefighters, & law enforcement always FREE!
  • Website: https://timberlinefarm.net/

Harvest Moon Farm

  • When: Sept, 29 – Nov. 5, SAT and SUN ONLY
  • Hours: 10am – 5pm
  • Location: 15990 Stur St, Masaryktown, FL, 34604
  • Cost: Adults & Children (ages 3+) $11.95+tax, Miltary Discount –

    $2.00 off general admission For military personnel only & must have ID present

  • Website: .harvestmoonfl

Sweetfields Farm

  • When: Weekends ONLY Sept. 29 – November 4
  • Hours: 10am – 5pm, last admission sold at 4pm
  • Location: 17250 Benes Roush Rd. Masaryktown, Fl 34604
  • Cost: 12 and older $9.50 each + tax, 3-11 $5.00 each + tax , 2 and under are Free
  • Website: sweetfieldsfarm.com

Hunsander Farms

  • When: Oct. 13-14, 20-21, 27-28
  • Hours: 9am – 5pm
  • Location: 5500 CR 675, Bradenton, FL, 34211
  • Cost: Admission $10, Parking $5, Children 12 and under free
  • Website: hunsaderfarms.com/pumpkin-festival

untitled.png

Pumpkin Patches

HorsePower for Kids Farm Fall Festival

  • When: Every Sat & Sunday in October 6 – 28
  • Hours: 11am – 5pm
  • Location: 8005 Race Track Road, Tampa, FL, 33635
  • Cost: $12 admission and $1 Parking
  • Website: horsepowerforkids.com

Timberline Farm’s Annual Corn Maze and Fall Festival

  • When: Oct. 5 – Nov. 4, Weekends ONLY
  • Hours: Friday 4 pm – 9pm, Saturday 10am –9pm, and Sunday 12 pm – 9pm
  • Location: 3200 Southeast 115th Street, Belleview, Florida, 34420
  • Cost: Admission is $8.00 Adults, $6.00 Children, Children 3 and under get in FREE. Active military, firefighters, & law enforcement always FREE!
  • Website: https://timberlinefarm.net/

Florida Railroad Museum Pumpkin Patch Express

  • When: Oct 20, 21, 27, and 28
  • Hours: Trains run at 10am, 1pm and 4pm
  • Location: 12210 83rd St East, Parrish, FL, 34219
  • Cost: see website
  • Website: pumpkinexpress

Harvest Holler Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch

  • When: Sept. 21 – Nov. 11
  • Hours: Friday: 4pm – 8pm Saturday: Noon – 8 pm and Sunday Noon – 5 pm
    Monday to Thursday: by reservation only
  • Location: 950 Tavares Rd. Polk City, FL 33686
  • Cost: 2 and under is free, Kids 3-12yrs old $8.50, Adults 13 yrs and up $10.50, Sr Adults (65) and military $8.50, Field Trip rate $8.00
  • Website: .harvestholler.com

Hunsander Farms

  • When: Oct. 13-14, 20-21, 27-28
  • Hours: 9am – 5pm
  • Location: 5500 CR 675, Bradenton, FL, 34211
  • Cost: Admission $10, Parking $5, Children 12 and under free
  • Website: hunsaderfarms.com/pumpkin-festival

Picking Patch U-Pick pumpkin Patch

  • When: Sept. 29 – Oct. 28
  • Hours: Fridays 3pm -7pm, Saturdays 10am – 7pm, and Sundays 12pm- 7pm
  • Location: 11000 Rolling Hills Road, Dunnellon, Florida, 34432
  • Cost: $5pp and 3 and under FREE
  • Website: dunnellonpumpkinpatch.com/

Sweetfields Farm

  • When: Weekends ONLY Sept. 29 – November 4
  • Hours: 10am – 5pm, last admission sold at 4pm
  • Location: 17250 Benes Roush Rd. Masaryktown, Fl 34604
  • Cost: 12 and older $9.50 each + tax, 3-11 $5.00 each + tax , 2 and under are Free
  • Website: sweetfieldsfarm.com

untitled

Fall Festivals

Timberline Farm’s Annual Corn Maze and Fall Festival

  • When: Oct. 5 – Nov. 4, Weekends ONLY
  • Hours: Friday 4 pm – 9pm, Saturday 10am –9pm, and Sunday 12 pm – 9pm
  • Location: 3200 Southeast 115th Street, Belleview, Florida, 34420
  • Cost: Admission is $8.00 Adults, $6.00 Children, Children 3 and under get in FREE. Active military, firefighters, & law enforcement always FREE!
  • Website: https://timberlinefarm.net/

Oct. 20: Fall Festival at Fellowship Baptist of Valrico

  • When: Oct. 20
  • Hours: 10 am – 1 pm
  • Location: 106 Rolling Hills Blvd, Valrico
  • Cost: FREE
  • Website: facebookevent

Oct. 27 – 28: Fall Festival at the Grove Wesley Chapel

  • When: Oct. 27 – 28
  • Hours: 4 pm
  • Location: Grove At Wesley Chapel, 6105 Wesley Grove Blvd, Wesley Chapel, FL, 33544
  • Cost: FREE
  • Website: www.groveshopping.com/events/

Please always verify all information on each event through their website. Hours may change due to weather.

  • Written By: Shineta A

Must Have Mom Subscriptions

Must Have Mom Subscriptions

There are so many monthly subscriptions out there, from a personalized selection of clothes picked just for you to fishing supplies, depending on what type of water you fish in. (My husband is all about this by the way.)

This list is in no particular order and consist of things I have personally tried or plan to try in the near future.

  1. Amazon Prime – This first is so obvious but should come with a warning label. I love that I can buy anything on this site I need for my family. My most frequent purchases are diapers and Pediasure Grow and Gain but during the last Prime Day I ended up with a 2-pack of Clarisonic brushes and a shirt. I call that a success. But warning, it’s so easy to add things to your cart, check out and have it delivered in 2 days that you may quickly become a “primanista”. That meaning you’ll have packages arriving every few days. Which, doesn’t sound so bad actually. At around $10 a month its a complete and total NEED for moms, who just can’t go to the store one more time that week.
  2. Shipt – Hallelujah! I wish Shipt had been around when I had a newborn in the middle of the Tampa summer years ago. It’s a freaking life saver. Especially when you’re cooking dinner and need a forgotten ingredient or it’s raining, or you just don’t want to go. This subscription is an upfront annual fee of $99 but often run a $49 special when they add a new store or for special holidays. Current stores include Costco, Publix, Target, GFS, Winn Dixie and ABC Wine & Liquor (ummmmm yes!). If you don’t have it, get it. Now. G
  3. Netflix – This is our  most used subscription in my house. They’re always adding movies – whether they’re good or not is not my place to say. It’s less than $15 a month and you can stream it on 2 devices at one time. Yes, I know this for a fact. It’s usually a fight in my house to see who’s going to stop watching. I lose. Every time. So instead of hauling your kids to the movies to watch the newest Disney release, wait 12 weeks after it’s out of box office and save yourself the hassle and money. Unless its an Avengers movie because who doesn’t want to see Chris Hemsworth on the big screen?
  1. Firstleaf (Wine) – How many times have we had to pick up a bottle for friends on the way to a girls night/playdate – this happened to me 3 times last week. Whether you’re a 3 bottles a week gal or 3 bottles a month this could work for you! Firstleaf offers $20/month subscription which includes 3 bottles. The process is super easy, you take the quiz seeing what you’d like white, red, mix and import preference. The last question asks how many bottles you drink a month. So depending on your answers you’re given a suggestion. The wine is delivered to your door. So, you’re never without wine and wouldn’t that be a shame?
  1. FabKids – similar to clothing subscriptions for moms, it’s for the little’s. This is the way I see it. You’re going to spend money on your kids’ school clothes regularly. You see the cute top at Target, oh but does he have a pair of shorts to match? Can’t remember, may as well grab another pair. You’re doing that once a week while there PLUS the pre planned trips for new shoes they’ve outgrown, picture day..you know the drill. Here’s the fine print. Between the 1st and 5th of the month you’re sent an email for action – to shop or skip. If you do choose to skip your card is debited for $29.95 but you’re given that $29.95 as a credit to be used anytime. You’re charged the $29.95 until you cancel. There’s also perks like free shipping (that always gets me) and a rewards program.

This list was composed with you in mind, a little more added convenience to our lives is the way to go. I dread shopping with my kids, even if its a quick trip so you’ll find that all of these eliminate bringing what I’m sure are you wonderfully behaved children in public.

Disclaimer Alert: I haven’t listed all details for everyone of these subscription suggestions. It’s important to conduct your own research. 

36266338_10213004457965528_2216563528326709248_n Written By: Meghan Goodman

Dear MOMpreneur, know your worth! Six tips to help balance your life and business

 

Little girl playing with makeup

This is a long post with very little pictures, but I promise it’s worth every word!

Work life balance.

(Please note that this is coming from the perspective of a photographer and a homeschool mom. While this is something I see rampant in my industry, I am certain it is rampant everywhere)

This is such a hot topic these days. How do we make sure our business doesn’t take over our lives, but still get the things done that need to be done? Our worth as a woman is more than just being a mom, more than just being a business owner, more than just being an employee, more than just being a wife. We collectively need to support each other through the guilt of trying to do it all and help each other know that it’s ok to work hard in our business, work hard in our home life, and work hard in our personal life. We cannot do them all at once. We have to know when to say no, when to speak up for ourselves and when to just get the hell out.

The other day I was talking to a dear friend. She is also a photographer, as many of my friends are, and we were talking about life, business, and husbands. This is a topic that often comes up with my female photographer friends (seldom as often with my male friends, but they do talk about it to). We all seem to struggle with the balance. This is a profession that tends to take over our weekends and sometimes our lives.

We were talking about her life (and mine). She recently found out that her husband had been unfaithful and she was restructuring her work life to have more of a home life in efforts to save her marriage. Now, I want to stop right here. I have a lot of things to say about this, BUT I want to make it very clear, this is not the only thing she is doing. THEY are working on things together, but I want to address a few things from the female perspective, because my first reaction to her (besides what an asshole and man that sucks) was, I get it.

I know the hardship of working late nights and weekends to run this business. I hear my husband’s complaints of my late hours, going on shoots leaving him home with the kids and in general the putting of my camera before family.

What.The.Fuck

How dare we blame ourselves for our failing marriage?

Why the fuck do we do this?

Now, I get it, a failing relationship is a two-way street. It always takes two to tango. BUT here is the thing with many women I know, our husbands tend to look at our business as a hobby. They see it as something that takes away from their family, and not as a business. Yes, it might not be profitable this year, but without a shit load of hard work and late nights, it never will be!

There! I said it.

As a __________ (insert business here), I am running a business. A business that will take a lot of hard work and I have to treat it as a business as much as my significant other treats it as a business. 

PERIOD.

This isn’t a hobby, it’s not something I do just for fun (as much as I love it), and it’s not a side gig.

This is a career.

little boy mouth

 

According to Small Biz Trends, 69% percent of new businesses in 2016 started in the home and a bit more than 50% of those will fail within the first 4 years mainly due to poor money management. Which makes me wonder how much of it has to do with lack of support?

How many of my MOMpreneur friends struggle to balance work + life when all of that runs out of our home and how many have husbands that say, “no it’s my time to take care of the kids while you work”? How many are working nights to get shit done? Would these women get that same dirty look of “oh you are staying up late to work again” if they were leaving the house for a full-time job outside the home?  Do their husbands even realize they give that look?

I get it, what we do isn’t conventional.

Yes, I have some flexibility to schedule things in a way that allows me to leave the kids with their father while I meet clients. Yes, he is not the babysitter (I have one of those too), but actually a contributing member of this family. Yes, I don’t leave my house for 80% of my career. Yes, I can wipe my kid’s butt and edit at the same time (well, not exactly the same time, but you get it), but I still have a fucking job to do!

little girl crying

And as I spew all this angst, I get that I am to blame for some of it. I should have set office hours (I have tried this, but maybe should try harder…). Yes, at one point this was just a hobby. I should say more often this is my work time and I shouldn’t just say “don’t worry I will do it.”

Fuck this.

Our marriages are two-way streets of support!

PERIOD.

Should our husband cheat on us if he doesn’t get enough wife time? NO! He also can’t roll his eyes and say “ugh, working again?” Like everything else, there needs to be communication. WE, have to work together. I will totally support you, your work, and your hobby, BUT I fucking expect the same in return.

I also get that our husbands work hard. Mine often works 70 hours a week to provide for our family life. Here is the thing though, I NEVER roll my eyes and lay on guilt when he tells me he has to work the 3rd weekend in a row. Honestly, my heart aches for him that he has to work that much. It sucks for all of us. I hate that he has to get up at 330 am to go to work, BUT does he ever hate that I have to stay up till 2 am working? Nope, he just gets mad about it.

Sure I am a “stay at home working mom”. We made the choice to homeschool which complicates things too. My days are filled with school stuff, my afternoons with home stuff and my nights with work stuff. I realize that these are choices I made, but fuck, can’t we get some support in them? Would I get more support if I was bartending or a lawyer?

I feel like as women we give, give, give, and then get shit on because we didn’t give quite enough. So to fix the not giving enough, we give up more of ourselves.

Fuck. This.

So tell me, how do I fix this, not just for me, but for all of us? Instead of sympathizing with the next wife who tells me about her husband cheating on her for working so much, what conversation do we have? Instead of her just deciding to cut back on work because that will solve things, how do we rearrange things to make a marriage and a business work?  What do I tell her (and me) to make a difference in this world?

How do we, as working women, get some fucking support in our businesses?

Am I doing things wrong, do I see this problem wrong or do you feel this way too? Maybe it all just comes down to sex right? If we give more of ourselves to our significant other, everything will just be ok? Because I totally want to go to bed after teaching, working in the house, working in my job and give just a little bit fucking more!

So this then leads into another conversation from a dear friend and photographer Maragret. She just wrote a great 3 part series about us as women. She talks about the question, have we done this to ourselves?

“I can’t help but wonder if we as a gender have just accepted the narrative

that our time and skill just isn’t worth as much. 

…when we do step up to the plate and admit our worth, we get scared

that we aren’t falling in line with the norms. We worry we’re coming off

too strong, that we’re demanding too much. No one will love us for not

being like everyone else.”

Do we just set the stage that our time and skill, both in the home and out of it, are not worth as much? Why the fuck do we do this? Are we following some made up standard that we are supposed to do everything? We are to wipe every butt, wash every dish, work a job, teach our children and put them to bed. I know I set this expectation in many ways. It was easier for me to put them to bed with a boob, so I did. It was easier to wake up with them in the middle of the night with a boob, so I did. It was easier to just change the diaper, so I did. It was “easier” to work the job from home while teaching the kids, so I did…

This has to stop!

We are worth it.

If you want to wipe every nose, great, BUT we are not the only ones that can do it. Start asking for help. Don’t just complain about it, make it happen. Start demanding it! Start knowing your worth! Yes, they are assholes for cheating, no it’s not our fault! Could we handle our business better? Sure, BUT we need the fucking support to be able to do that!

 

little girl and brother face painting

Would you like a push in the right direction to help with knowing your worth for your business? I know some fabulous mentors to help you learn your numbers to make your business profitable! Just ask me and I will point you in their direction!

Want some help in your home life? Speak up, and know you are worth it! Take control, do the things that need to be done in your life and business.

  • Ask for help, from anyone that you think could help you
  • Talk to your spouse, be clear in your intentions
  • Write out a weekly schedule and share it with the whole house. Put everything on it from kid time to house time, business time and husband time.
  • Hire help, trade for help, beg for help. Find someone else to clean the house, have the laundry mat wash and fold your clothes, use a service for freshly prepared meals. Delegate, delegate, delegate!
  • Prioritize that to do list, you don’t  have to do it all at once
  • Have the grace to let the guilt go!

Have any more great tips? Tell me, please! Write them in the comments so everyone else that reads this can read them too. Let’s support each other virtually on how to get the support we need at home!

 

Mom and Daughter Selfie

The momma behind Momma Got Soul Photo and Films, Tampa Bay Family Photographer. I am a wife. I am a mother. I am an artistic storyteller. I stay up late, try to sleep late, and drink lots of coffee and beer (usually in that order, but not always). I grew up in sunny (which means really hot) central Florida, never go to the beach or Disney, but try to hike in the woods as much as I can. I remember a time when I said I would never photograph people, now that’s all I do. I think it started with wanting to explore the world and capture that to share with people. Now I just want to tell people that the real stuff outweighs the fake crap every time -Kelly

 

Park Spotlight

20180430_093902

On this months review of our local parks, I am highlighting my childhood favorite: Alderman’s Ford Conservation Park.

Location

100 Alderman’s Ford Park Dr.

Plant City, FL, FL 33567
Hours
Spring/Summer: 8 AM – 7 PM
Fall/Winter: 8 AM – 6 PM
Contact (813) 757-3801
 Entrance Fee

$2 per vehicle. Up to 8 people per vehicle. Rentals are extra.

 

This county park is at the top of my list. It offers a playground with shade for all ages,  a boardwalk, canoe/kayak launch, a gorgeous 1.9 mile paved hiking trail, and CLEAN bathrooms!

It is one of the most well-rounded parks in the area. The paved loop is hiker, pet, and bicycle friendly. The Boardwalk is great for bird watching and possibly spotting an alligator. The boardwalk is currently being repaired. (see note below).

The last time we went I took my daughters bike. She loved riding the trails and even rode her bike on the boardwalk bridge. We had the best time. She also enjoyed taking a break at the workout equipment along the trail.

As a self-proclaimed hover mom, this park makes me comfortable. I was able to walk the trail as my daughter rode her bike. It was not too hard to keep up with her and I was able to see her even if she was ahead of me. There is also a side-walk all the way around the playground (off the main trail) that kids can ride on. I can sit on a bench and see her ride around and around. The park equipment is appropriate for all ages even the little ones. there is a nice rubber pad under both play areas. There is also a big open area for the kids to explore while you keep an eye on them. We love to print and bring scavenger hunt with us too.

This park is also perfect for parties and family gatherings. Pavilions need to be reserved in advance, but can be done online. The cost ranges from 42.00 to 75.00 for the day. They also have a 600 sq. ft. air-conditioned room you can rent with 12 banquet tables and 65 chairs. The room cost is 161.00 for the day. All of these areas are close to the restrooms.

A canoe launch is located in a separate entrance at 9625 Canoe Launch Loop Lithia, FL 33547. The launch entrance opens daily at 7 a.m.

Fellow Everyday Moms, Jennifer Dean and Courtney Fletcher have spent many hours with her families at Alderman’s Ford. So I asked the two of them a few questions to provide a little more perspective.

1)What are your key reasons for visiting the park?

Jennifer Dean: “We were introduced to Alderman’s Ford Park by my oldest son’s school. They had their cross-country meets there once a week. He would run and our other kids would play on the playground. After visiting a few times, we decided to see what else the park had to offer. We’ve gone canoeing, hiking, fishing, attended a birthday party at the pavilions and have even had a photo shoot there.”

 

Courtney Fletcher: “The main reason for visit the park is to let the kid(s) play on play ground and run around and go on the trail and explore nature.”

Do you feel safe when visiting this park?

Jennifer Dean: “I’ve always felt safe at Alderman’s Ford, though I’ve never been there after dark or without an abundance of other families.”

Courtney Fletcher: “I have felt safe with no issues at Alderman’s Ford, other than squirrels liking to steal food when are not watching it.”

What is your overall opinion of Alderman’s Ford?

Jennifer Dean: “Overall, the park has some great offerings for families. We enjoy spending time there as a family. The main downside is lots of bugs (more than other parks we’ve been to in the area) and few restrooms or drinking fountains. As long as one plans ahead for these, a fun day can be had.”

Courtney Fletcher “I do like Alderman’s Ford park but due to the river flooding the past year its been hard to go out and enjoy the trails.”

20180430_094658

 

Overall Alderman’s Ford has much to offer the families in our community. As long as you protect your food and bring bug spray, you should have a wonderful time. Also, for those of us born and raised here this usually goes without saying, but BEWARE OF ALLIGATORS!

37343248_10217336338864269_6224921587875840000_n

Gator on the bank while Canoeing at Alderman’s Ford. Photo by Jennifer Dean

 

Suzette Foister,

SAHM, Wife, Homeschooler, EM contributor, Owner/Artist of Bring Your Own Canvas

29356107_10156237463184438_707583187567509504_o

 

**PLEASE NOTE**

Unfortunately mother nature has caused the main trail to be closed during the weekdays this summer for repairs.

  • The canoe launch is temporarily closed (posted 7/3/18)
  • The paved trail at Alderman’s Ford Conservation Park will be closed during the weekdays from April 16, 2018 thru September 2018 for construction to the boardwalk. The trail will be open for use on the weekends.

For more details, please call the park at (813) 757-3801.

 

Mommy Student

adult learner image

Going Back to School

So you’re considering going back to school but you just are not sure if you can take the added responsibilities as a mom. I get it, life is already super hectic – but you’re ready to further your career in hopes that maybe you can afford that dream vacation or charming home you’ve always wanted. Going back to school is a huge decision requiring time, money, and a whole of schedule juggling. With the proper plan in place, you can make this happen! Here are a few tips to get you started from a person that earned a bachelors, masters, and now (in process) a doctorate.

  • Be sure of what you want to do. You aren’t fresh out of high school with time and freedom on your side. You now have tiny humans and probably a significant other relying on you and the success of this program. Do your research. See what the job market is like in the field you’re looking into. Make connections with people in the field as well. It’s good to network and find out the skinny on the career you’re looking to launch.
  • Lay out the financial plan. How much will the program cost, what will your payments be when you graduate, and will your income cover it all, plus bills? These are things you need to know. If you already have a degree, you need to see how much more student loans are available to you – there is a max! If you have to find alternative means to fund your education, you need to know up front. Also account for any materials or even time off from work.
  • Plan your plan! Or schedule rather. Not every day will go “as planned”, but in general have a means to get your child to soccer practice when you can’t. Have a dinner schedule laid out. If your children are old enough, have a chore chart. Delegate as much as possible, within reason of course. Using an online calendar that you and your family can access, make changes to, etc., can be extremely helpful. My husband and I use one called Cozi – it’s perfect for scheduling, meal planning, and so much more.

studentin arbeitet erfolgreich von zu hause

Going back to school is a huge commitment for the whole family. Make sure to call a family meeting ahead of time and lay out the expectations and what this accomplishment will mean for the family long-term so the kids can be on the same page. If they can see the end-result like you can they might be more eager to pitch in. Bottom line, recruit as much help as possible. There will be many days that you feel like you’re drowning and failing at all aspects of life (mostly motherhood), but your family will appreciate all the effort when you’re walking that stage one day.

image1

Airplane Travel With Kids

We recently took our two kids on their first cross-country airplane ride- 4 hours and 20 minutes in the air!!

Here are some of the things I packed to help keep them busy and help us keep our sanity!

Play-Doh

Don’t get me wrong, I hate Play-Doh as much as the next mom, but I packed a snack-sized Ziplok with three small containers of it as well as some toothpicks so my kids could make cacti with them (we were going to Arizona).

img_3300.jpeg

Felt

I cut out some green felt (also in a cactus shape) and put some velcro on the back of some buttons for them to play with.

Playmats

I created two playmate for my kids. One was Disney Cars theme and I had the Hot Wheels type cars to go with it.

IMG_3525.jpeg

The other one was a desert scene and I bought a tube of animals to go with it.

FullSizeRender.jpeg

FullSizeRender-1

Legos

These got played with more in our hotel but I bought the Disney Cars Legos also.

IMG_3371.jpeg

Shapes

I brought our shapes in a Ziplock as well and while we were waiting for our plane to board, we created flowers, cacti and suns.

IMG_3638

IMG_3327

IMG_3328

Coloring books

For adults too! I got us special Arizona coloring books as well as ones from the dollar store. We brought markers and colored pencils.

IMG_3634

Pillows/ blankets/ pajamas

In other words, COMFY!

Magnetic Tic-Tac-Toe

Velvet Art Posters

iPads!!!!!

Seriously, a lifesaver. Loaded up with movies and games.

Snacks

We had applesauce pouches, bags of chips, granola bars, lollipops, pretzels, Teddy Grahams, raisins, mini muffins, animal crackers, gummies, Pringles, etc.

Water bottles

We got the ones with the straw that snap close so we didn’t have to worry about any spills.

Hope these tips help!

Happy flying!

IMG_0372

Jennifer Silverstein is a SAHM of two infuriating girls, one husband, one dog, six chickens and a tortoise. She lives on 6 acres in Plant City and her hobbies include: Disney, hiking & camping, running, gardening and reading. She loves tacos, tea time and the beach. Her bucket list includes holding a baby cow. Follow along at http://www.growingupsilverstein.com.

Disney FAQs

We took my daughter to Disney for the first time when she was 6 months old.

Five years later, we’ve been around. We’re Annual Passholders so we can go anytime, anywhere.

I’m going to go through some of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Disney!

Parks

There are 4 parks that make up Walt Disney World in Orlando (as opposed to Disneyland, which is in California).

  1. Magic Kingdom
  2. Epcot
  3. Hollywood Studios
  4. Animal Kingdom

Plus 2 waterparks, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon.

Where to eat?  

There are several restaurants in each of the 4 parks. Character Meals (meals where you can meet characters, are marked with a *) are also available. Here are some of the most popular:

Magic Kingdom:

  1. *Cinderella’s Royal Table- located inside Cinderella’s Castle. Meet the princesses.
  2. Tony’s Town Square Restaurant- Italian fare based on Lady and the Tramp (no character meet-n-greets)
  3. *Be Our Guest- French fare, including alcohol for dinner, in the Beast’s Castle. Meet the Beast at the end of dinner (Belle does not appear). Serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  4. The Plaza- Club sandwiches, salads, hamburgers, plus milkshakes! No characters.
  5. Casey’s Corner- Hot Dogs
  6. *The Crystal Palace- Buffet includes kids favorites like Mac and Cheese, pizza, etc. Characters here are Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore and Piglet.
  7. Jungle Navigation Skipper Canteen- only place other than Be Our Guest to get alcohol in the Magic Kingdom! Based on the Jungle Cruise ride.
  8. Liberty Tree Tavern- We had Thanksgiving dinner here last year and it was AMAZING! Typical Thanksgiving and New England fare, served family-style. We had the Toffee Cake for dessert. OMG.0C99E717-45BD-4167-BCDA-8EBDC89B6D06.jpeg
  9. The Diamond Horseshoe- family-style American/ BBQ includes salad, plate ‘o’ meat, Mac and Cheese, corn and baked beans. And dessert.
  10. Pinnochio Village Haus- This is where we usually end up if we have no reservations. It’s pizza for the kiddos or Mac and Cheese, flatbreads & salads for the adults.

Epcot:

  1. *Ashkerus- in Norway, near Frozen. Meet the Princesses. Breakfast and dinner. My husband ate his weight in Lox when we went for breakfast.
  2. Le Cellier- Canada. Hubby and I had a date night here and they cut his steak for him!

Hollywood Studios:

  1. Brown Derby-We’ve eaten here a couple of times. It seems really fancy, but is very kid-friendly. I’ve had the Cobb salad, it’s delicious!
  2. *Hollywood & Vine- Buffett-style. We’ve had a Minnie Mouse Holiday-themed dinner here. During breakfast, Disney Junior characters are here.

Animal Kingdom:

  1. Yak & Yeti- We are Landry’s Club members, so this card lets us basically “cut” in line at this restaurant. It’s pan-Asian food!
  2. *Tusker House- African buffet. Characters during breakfast.
  3. Rainforest Cafe- Also a part of the Landry’s Club, so skip the line! (Seriously, if you go to Disney a lot, get this card)

Outside of the Parks 

  1. Tratorria Al Forno- Located at Disney’s Boardwalk. Meet Ariel and Rapunzel, along with Flynn Rider (dreamy) and Prince Eric for breakfast.D1160DF8-C524-4225-9A5D-907321613337.jpeg
  2. O’hana- Ohana means family. Meet Lilo and Stitch and Mickey Mouse while dining on fresh pineapple bread served family style to your table. Also, yummy juice and Mickey waffles! Located inside Disney’s Polynesian Village.338CA39F-6C36-4BAC-9EE1-EEDBB35C809E
  3. 1900 Park Fare- Located in the Grand Floridian meet Cinderella, Lady Tremaine, Anastasia and Driscella and Prince Charming while feasting on a buffet featuring kids favorite as well as a carving station.
  4. Chef Mickey’s- meet the Fab Five- Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Pluto & Goofy inside the Contemporary Resort during a buffet-style dinner.

Disney Springs 

More dining! And also, shopping 😉 4DC062F8-4A28-4758-BEE9-B535CAA4DCEF.jpeg

  1. Rainforest Cafe- dine in a rainforest. Skip the line with Landry’s card.
  2. T-Rex Cafe- same as Rainforest, but with dinosaurs! Ask for the ice room if it’s available.
  3. Morimoto Asia
  4. Raglan Road- Irish dancers provide entertainment all night long and invite littles up on stage to dance! Whiskey on tap. Bangers & Mash. Fish & Chips. Need I say more?! My husband’s favorite place!
  5. The LEGO Store- enough said.
  6. Ghiradelli- chocolate!
  7. Amorette’s Patesserie- more chocolate! Plus, coffee! YUM. We went here for my birthday and got a Mickey Mouse.63F0AFD2-45E5-40E2-813F-6D1B1E776CA5.jpeg
  8. I have been DYING to go on the Hot Air Balloon ride at Disney Springs, the Aerophile!
  9. The Art of Shaving- if you have a hubby, take him here! They do hot shaves for men!
  10. Basin- Bath bombs!
  11. Bibbidi Bobbity Boutique- same princess stuff, no park ticket required.

Fast Passes

Magic Kingdom:

  1. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train- if you can get this, GRAB IT. It’s almost always 120+ minute long wait. 38″ to ride.143F9DD1-F08F-4894-ACBC-B9D7DD746BBF.jpeg
  2. “The Mountains”
    1. Space 44″
    2. Splash 40″
    3. Big Thunder 40″
  3. Peter Pan (any height)
  4. Pirates of the Caribbean (any height)
  5. Mickey Mouse
  6. Princesses- Tiana & Rapunzel. Cinderella & Elena.

Epcot:

  1. Test Track 40″
  2. Soarin’ 40″
  3. Frozen Ever After (any height)

Hollywood Studios:

tbh, this is our least favorite park (until Toy Story land opens in June!). It’s A LOT of Star Wars and we have two girls and one of them is afraid of Storm Troopers, sooooo….

  1. Toy Story Mania (any height)
  2. Tower of Terror 40″
  3. Rock N Roller Coaster 48″
  4. Frozen Sing-a-long

Animal Kingdom:

  1. Avatar Flight of Passage (FOP) 44″
  2. Nav’i River
  3. Serengeti Safaris (any height)
  4. Expedition Everest 44″
  5. Meet Mickey & Minnie (in safari gear)
  6. Festival of The Lion King- LOVE this show! Seriously, almost like a Broadway show!

xoxo,

your favorite Disney Mom!

3D1F44E1-1B7E-43FF-8D89-94BF246EE6CE.png

Jennifer Silverstein is a SAHM of two infuriating girls, one husband, one dog, two chickens and a tortoise. She lives on 6 acres in Plant City and her hobbies include: Disney (obvi), hiking & camping, running and gardening. She loves tacos and tea time. Follow along at http://www.growingupsilverstein.com.

94112930-C6BF-4107-94B4-81D8885C06A3.jpeg