Things We Love – Photos to Art


Photos {to} Art

Things we love -  photos {to} art

Art.com has a fabulous product called photos {to} art, which allows anyone to easily capture and preserve your life’s most precious and inspiring moments by transforming digital photo files into stunning, high-quality works of art.

These are great gifts and they are super easy to create. The images are large and easy to see and everything is on a single screen. You can customize your art however you like (choosing from a variety of substrates, including framing and canvas and acrylic and mounting). The photographic paper lasts 100 years or more and you can choose an acid-free mat, as well, to further help to minimize discoloration of the image over time.

Your satisfaction is guaranteed and they are well-priced. (The price is generally about 20 to 40% less than competitors). Art.com  releases occasional coupon codes for this service to help you save even more. (We publish these coupons on Momscape’s coupon blog here. (Link will open in a new window.)

Things We Love – Umi Shoes for Kids

Umi Shoes in Orchid

We love these hot pink raspberry shoes for spring. Crafted from soft suede and bold metallic leather details, they’re perfect for rock stars, drama queens – all kinds of feet that want to be seen.

And we love the shoe company, as well. Each Umi shoe is tested for safety and durability and meets strict guidelines for child-safe materials. Umi uses only non-toxic drum-dyed leathers and other environmentally friendly components.

We publish Umi coupons on our Coupons Blog, so make sure to take a look before you buy or browse (link will open in a new window.)

And keep in mind that (at the time of this writing) Umi also offers free shipping and free returns on all online orders (no coupon code required.)

The latest umi coupon – Take 15% off any purchase at UmiShoes.com plus free shipping and returns. Use code Link15 at checkout.

 

Presence with a Purpose: Seven Ways to Create Your Style Your Way

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Guest Post By Natalie Jobity
www.nataliejobity.com

Style is ultimately about knowing yourself and expressing who you are. It’s about being comfortable in your own skin. Despite the occasion or the event, the stylish woman seems to have that special charisma that commands attention. Confidence is the hallmark of having true style.

Women often ask me how they can begin to tap into their style persona. I advise them to ask themselves some honest questions: What do you like? What makes you feel good? Whose style do you admire and why? What image would you like to project? In addition to looking at these answers for inspiration, there are seven universal style personalities that you can use as a guide. If you begin to discover yourself in one or more of these personas, your next step is to start ‘owning’ it.

The Romantic:
The “Romantic” is the type of woman who is truly feminine at heart. She wants her clothing to be understated yet fun and girlie so that her beauty can really be the focal point. Her closet may be filled with ruffled tops, soft jackets with bows as accents, lace blouses, and flowy skirts and dresses rather than pants. Her color preferences will be on the softer end of the spectrum, warm pinks, sky blue, aqua, coral, or salmon. She will likely prefer to wear shoes with heels than flats.

The Diva:
The “Diva” is the woman who wants to be in the spotlight. She may not be the most beautiful in the room but people gravitate towards her because she rocks her style and exudes confidence and charm. The Diva’s closet may be filled with bright colors, funky prints, exuberant designs with lots of flash and accessories that dazzle. She wants to be noticed and she wants to be the center of attention so she will go to the extremes of fashion if she needs to.

The Outdoorsy:
The “Outdoorsy” style woman projects a casual, laid back image, characterized by a friendly, approachable look. She’s wholesome, carefree and natural without being sloppy or lazy. Sporty typifies the ‘all American style’ of blue jeans and a button down. This woman’s closet is filled with relaxed separates, classic styles, and jeans and flats. She has minimal accessories because she does not like to spend too much time getting dressed up. Effortless and comfortable are her style watchwords.

The Traditionalist:

The “Traditionalist” is a woman who favors classic styles and projects a very traditional, conservative and business like image. She is practical and functional when it comes to her clothing. Her closet is filled with suits, classic silhouettes, very conservative styles and not much variation in color. She probably has a ‘uniform’ for her casual wardrobe. Being fashionable is not particularly important to her.

The Sophisticate:
The “Sophisticate” is a woman who values fashion as a status symbol. She projects a refined, stately and high maintenance image that is characterized by a cultivated and polished look. This woman will always look impeccably put together from head to toe. She invests in clothing and grooming because they are an important part of her lifestyle. Her closet is filled with timeless pieces from brand name designers, and clothing in the most luxurious fabrics. The Sophisticate values quality as much as she does style.

The Seductress:
This woman is very comfortable in her skin—so much so that she projects a sexy and provocative look. She exudes sensuality and is uninhibited in her fashion choices. She delights in figure contouring designs, and her closet will be filled with pieces that are exciting and designed to reveal and emphasize her sex appeal. She will own the highest heels, the shortest dresses, the most daring undergarments and she will use animal prints and cutouts as accents in her clothing. If she wears slacks they will be figure hugging.

The Eclectic:
This woman thrives on the element of surprise and whimsy. The eclectic woman is free spirited and independent in her fashion choices. She wants to be the non-conformist and uses clothing to express her individuality. Her style may be hard to define because it’s so all about her. Her closet will be filled with period pieces, classics, trendy items –everything is fair game. It’s how she puts her ensembles together that makes her stand apart from the pack. This woman is likely to set her own fashion trends.

Whether you identified with one or more of these styles, the point is to use this guide to really establish a style persona that is distinctively yours. My tagline ‘Presence with a Purpose’ conveys that ability to project a sense of ease, poise or self-assurance; it is energy and an attitude. It can be magnetic. Go for it!

About the Author: Natalie Jobity is the President of Élan Image Management, a premier image consulting firm, a bestselling author and sought-after speaker. She provides coaching and image consulting services to women internationally who are ready to own their spotlight. Natalie is the author of ‘Frumpy to Fabulous: Flaunting It’. For more information visit www.NatalieJobity.com. Click here for image tips you can use everyday.

Soup. Love.

Oh how my 10 year old loves soup. If we are getting ready to go somewhere, and we’re in a hurry, she often asks if she can have a quick bowl of soup first.

I think this is because there’s no such thing as a quick bowl of soup.

Even if you have some leftover soup sitting in the fridge, ready to reheat, it takes a while. You need to ladle it into a pot and warm it, then let it cool, and by then you have slowed yourself down enough to where you want to stop, take off your coat, and sit for a spell.

You begin to savor your soup. You breathe in the steam, you chase the vegetables with your spoon through the broth. I’m beginning to suspect that asking for a bowl of soup is my daughter’s way of asking me to please slow down. To stop rushing her. To let her sip a bit of soup.

Here are three soup recipes that I’ve recently bookmarked. I plan to try them each in the weeks ahead.

Chicken Tortilla Soup from The Pioneer Woman

Spanish Beef Stew, from Family Fun

Smoky Tomato Soup, from Fine Cooking

And here are a few soup recipes from Momscape’s Recipe Archives, as well.

Winter Vegetable Soup
Barley Chicken and Leek Soup
Spring Onion Miso Broth and Tofu
Roasted Root Vegetable Soup
Roasted Pepper Soup
Fresh Tomato Soup
Creamy Carrot and Orange Soup
Corn and Sweet Potato Soup
Chicken Wild Rice Soup with Lemongrass

Things We Love – School Years, by momAgenda

school years keepsake book by momagendaSchool Years, by momAgenda

momAgenda.com creates and features great little organizational tools and day planners for parents. The site’s current top seller is called School Years, and it’s a great way to archive items and information related to your child’s school career from Pre-K through 12th grade.

Creating a keepsake doesn’t get easier than this. School Years by momAgenda features a separate 7×9 folder for each year in school. Use it for whatever you like – a report card, class picture, a writing sample and an art sample, perhaps. Each folder also has writing space for adding information such as the child’s age, as well as extra details, such as friends, sports and activities.

The momAgenda site features a variety of other day planners and other organizing goodies that are as stylish as they are functional. Planners have space for mom and up to four kiddos, which may just make managing your crazy life a little easier.

momAgenda products have been featured in Real Simple magazine, The Today Show, The New York Times and have celebrity moms, such as Felicity Huffman, Cindy Crawford, and Reese Witherspoon, raving. Learn more >

Momscape features momAgenda on our Coupons Blog, so check for any current momAgenda coupons before ordering (This link will open in a new window.)

Seven Tips for Mom-Me Self-Care

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By Mia Redrick

As women, we often feel that we have to take care of everyone, but the simple fact of the matter is that we can’t take care of others very well if we do not take care of ourselves.  Self-care is not selfish, but rather a necessary part of caring for our family.  Women who care for themselves typically are better mothers because they feel less stressed and resentful, and are more relaxed and carefree.  Here are seven tips for taking better care of you!

1. Make regular self-care a part of your daily routine. Your daily routine needs to be set in stone, and self-care needs to be a part of it.  It may be part of your routine to get everyone out the door on time, but after you do that, block out some time to go to the gym or to spend fifteen minutes of “Me Time” after the work and stick to your plan each and every day.

2. Join local mom support groups in your community. Having support as a mom is extremely important.  We all want to feel like someone understands us, and no one can understand you better than other moms who are in the same boat.  By joining a mom support group, you will find a group of ladies with sympathetic ears and a new set of friends you can plan time out with on a regular basis.

3. Learn to recognize the difference between a true emergency and things that can wait a few hours. As mothers, we often drop everything and come running whenever any of our family members need us.  If Billy forgot his lunchbox, we feel the need to cut out on our daily self-care routine and run it over to his school.  However, it is important to realize that this can wait an hour or two.  It is not always necessary to rush right out and take care of mistakes made by your family members.  A true emergency like a sick child is one thing, but remember that some things do not always need to be taken care of right now.  Some things, like a forgotten school item, can be taken care of in a few hours instead of right now.

4. Make it easy for you to spend time doing the things you love to do. Remember that the time you set aside for yourself is completely yours, and it hardly counts if you waste all of it trying to find the things you like to do.  It can be a matter of setting 20 or 30 minutes aside for you to read a book every day, but if you waste 10 or 15 minutes trying to find your book, then you lose out.  Keep all of your fun activity items like books, magazines, crossword puzzles, crafts, or other items within easy reach.  Tuck them away in your car so you can do them while you wait for the kids to come out of school.  Remember that a few moments of waiting can be used to do something fun for yourself.

5. Date yourself in advance to force yourself out of the house. Purchase tickets for a concert or speaking engagement you really want to see, and then set the date.  This will encourage you to get out of the house and spend some time thinking only about the things you want to think about.  If the date has been on the family calendar for months, then there is no excuse for others to not be aware of them.

6. Spend some time with the girls. Friendship is also an important part of self-care, and going out for a night on the town with your friends can go a long way to helping you relax.  Take one night every other week or once a month and set it aside for your girl time.  Plan a movie or game night, or just go out for dinner.  No husbands or children allowed!

7. Learn how to say no. Self-care also depends sometimes on being able to say the word “no.”  We need to set boundaries for our time and keep it separate from our family time.  If we are truly going to spend time focusing on ourselves, then we need to draw the line and tell our children and husbands that we will take care of their issues afterward.

When we make the time to self-connect, we are able to share more of who we are with our family.  So, starting today, make your self-care a priority because it not only benefits you, but it helps your family when you are at your happiest.

Mia Redrick, Mom Strategist is a mom of three, author and speaker empowering one million mothers to practice better self-care.   Redrick is the author of Time for mom-Me: 5 Essential Strategies for A Mother’s Self-Care. For tips from The Mom Strategist visit www.findingdefinitions.com.

7 Careers That Pay You to Give Advice

By Tag and Catherine Goulet, FabJob.com

Do friends frequently turn to you for advice? Do you enjoy offering suggestions or solutions to problems? Do you ever post your opinions online?

If your answer to any of these questions is “yes,” why not consider a career that lets you earn a living giving advice?

Here are seven careers that give you the opportunity to get paid to do what you love. Each career description starts with an inspirational quotation from some of the best advice-givers in the world — moms.

Business Consultant

“I just want what’s best for you.” – Mom

As a business consultant you can get paid to give advice to business owners and executives. Business consultants meet with clients in companies and other organizations to identify business problems, then gather information and recommend solutions.

Some business consultants focus on a particular industry such as health care, while others specialize in areas such as marketing, human resources, technology, or small business.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 28% of consultants do not have a degree, but you do need business-savvy and experience in the area you are consulting in.

For advice on how to get started in a career in business consulting check out the FabJob Guide to Become a Business Consultant.

Etiquette Consultant

“If you don’t have anything nice to say,
don’t say anything at all.” – Mom

If you would like to share your love of good manners with others, consider a career as an etiquette consultant.

Etiquette consultants give advice in one or more areas such as business etiquette, children’s etiquette, dining etiquette, international protocol, social etiquette, or wedding etiquette.

As an etiquette consultant you can offer individual consultations or group training programs on topics such as telephone skills for customer service staff. You can actually get paid to say “mind your manners” and “don’t talk with your mouth full.”

For advice on how to get started in a career in etiquette  consulting check out the FabJob Guide to Become an Etiquette Consultant.

Financial Planners

“Money does not grow on trees.” – Mom

As a financial planner you will help people manage and maximize their money. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, financial planners use their knowledge of investments, tax laws, and insurance to recommend financial options to individuals.

After meeting with clients, financial planners select appropriate investments compatible with the client’s goals, attitude toward risk, and expectation or need for a return on the investment.

While most planners offer advice on a range of financial topics, some specialize in areas such as retirement and estate planning.

Image Consultant

“Always wear clean underwear
in case you get into an accident.” – Mom

Image is the way other people see us. As an image consultant, you can give people advice that will help them achieve what they want — whether it is to get a new job, to make a good impression, or simply to feel good about themselves.

You might get paid to give people feedback about their overall image (also known as makeover consulting) or you might advise them on how to improve specific aspects of their image such as wardrobe, makeup, or vocal and non-verbal communications.

For advice on how to get started in a career in image consulting check out the FabJob Guide to Become an Image Consultant.

Life Coach

“Eat your vegetables, so you’ll grow up big and strong.” – Mom

Life coaches help people to achieve success in their careers, relationships and life. As a life coach you will help people identify what is holding them back from having everything they want in business or life, and coach them to overcome those challenges.

People use life coaches for the same reason that they use sports coaches: they want someone to work with them, to encourage them, to push them.

As a life coach, your job is to listen, to ask questions, and to give honest feedback. (It sounds a lot like the job done by many moms!)

For advice on how to get started in a career in life coaching check out the FabJob Guide to Become a Life Coach.

Motivational Speaker

“What if everyone jumped off a cliff?
Would you do it, too?” – Mom

As a motivational speaker you could inspire students to stay in school, say no to drugs, become leaders, and prepare for life after graduation. (In other words, you’d reinforce the great advice their moms have given!)

You can also give advice to adults and inspire them to follow their dreams and achieve their goals.

You could help people to succeed in business, improve their relationships, develop a positive attitude, become healthy, achieve financial prosperity, and have more fun in life.

For advice on how to get started in a career in motivational speaking check out the FabJob Guide to Become a Motivational Speaker.

Professional Writer

“Why? Because I say so.” – Mom

It’s not only advice columnists who influence people with their writing. Many types of writing careers allow you to earn a paycheck in return for telling people what you think they should do.

For example, advertising copywriters try to influence people to buy their clients’ products, while critics tell people what they should (and should not) spend their entertainment dollars on.

Technical writers write the manuals that advise people, step-by-step, how to use anything from computer software to cars to kitchen appliances.

Even fiction writers can give advice, weaving moral lessons into their stories, and showing readers it is much wiser to act like the hero than the villain.

For advice on how to get started in a career in professional writing check out the FabJob Guide to Become a Freelance Writer or see guides to a dozen different careers in writing and publishing.

So if you have a talent for giving advice, consider a career where you’ll get paid to tell people what to do. Mom would be proud.

About the authors: Tag and Catherine Goulet are founders of FabJob.com, a publisher of career guides offering step-by-step advice for breaking into a variety of dream careers. Visit www.FabJob.com to discover how to break into the career of your dreams.

Family Fun, Parenting Tips, Cool Finds, and Coupon Codes

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For more than a decade, Momscape.com has been delivering tips and ideas from renowned experts on family fun, parenting, health and fitness, organic living, weight loss, romance, and travel – plus we deliver the scoop on the latest innovative products and other cool finds to make a mother’s life easier, better, and more fun. And we publish loads of money-saving coupon codes.

More than anything else, we love discovering and writing about the wonderful things there are in this world to enjoy – whether that’s a new place to travel, a new recipe, a new website, a new craft idea, a new gadget, or a new way of thinking.

If you’re new to Momscape, click here for a tour.

Subscribe to the online magazine.

Please help us spread the word:  Tell your friends. Follow us on Twitter. Find us on Facebook.

Parenting Tips from Our Experts

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From the practical to the sublime, Momscape has a  panel of experts and authors to provide the latest inspiration and ideas for soulful, balanced, centered parenting.

Browse the Parenting Channel at Momscape, or get started with these reader favorites.

5 Ways to Raise Joyful Kids
Foster your children’s love of life. Tips by Mimi Doe, author of 10 Principles for Spiritual Parenting and Busy but Balanced.

Help Wanted: Mother
Classified ads for all you do…

Here’s a sampling of the job postings that would be needed to cover all you do. Maybe it’s time to update your resume.

What’s Your Parenting Style?
Author and clinical psychologist Maryann Rosenthal outlines the 4 primary parenting styles – and discusses how each of them can affect our kids.

Positive Discipline using Connection Parenting
“Ultimately, love is the only leverage we have with our children,” Author Laura Markham writes. “Even if they worked, fear and power (from spanking to timeouts) only last for as long as they can be physically enforced. Every parent knows how fast children grow; fear works for a very short time. Love, on the other hand, becomes a more effective motivator over time.”
Here, Markham explains how to put positive discipline to work in your home.

Don’t Say “Don’t”
“In all the years I have taught parenting classes, one skill has stood out as a four-star skill for gaining cooperation from children and preventing problems like power struggles and tantrums. I call it ‘Don’t say Don’t.’” Great advice from Jody Johnston Pawel, LSW, CFLE

The Spiritual Family
Building strong families through a focus on spirituality.

Today’s Family Fun

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Here are crafts, activities and ideas to celebrate even the most ordinary day with your kids.

Browse Momscape’s Family Fun Channel or browse the latest reader favorites:

Storytelling Techniques: 10 Ways to Make Up Great Child Stories for Your Kids
It’s fun to read child stories to your kids, but it’s even more fun to make up your own. You don’t need to be a creative genius to do so. All it takes is a little imagination and patience (with yourself). Follow these 10 suggestions, and you’ll find that making up entertaining child stories is as easy as talking with a good friend.

20 Fun Indoor Activities for Kids
“When it’s raining, snowing, or just plain too cold to play outside, your household can fall victim to the ‘I’m Bored Blues.’ With a little creativity and imagination, you can turn the tables and find fun things to do without running to the store or turning on the television.”

Preschool Winter Activities: Winter Educational Ideas for Preschoolers
It’s fun to use things in our children’s everyday lives to spark discussion and easy educational activities. Since many of us are currently in the midst of winter, this season can be a great topic of “study” for our littlest ones. Here are ideas for introducing the topic of winter with your little ones.

Family Traditions
Family traditions are the glue that binds one generation to another. Here is a collection of favorite family traditions, as well as a chance for you to share your own.

Journaling for Kids
Encouraging your children to keep their own personal journals.

And don’t miss Momscape’s Scrapbooking Channel!