Let’s Be Friends Blog Hop is now live! Come link up!

Welcome to the Let’s Be Friends Blog Hop!

A blog hop is a set time frame for current or aspiring bloggers to find new blogs and quality content. It is a great way to make new friends and find inspiration! It is also a fabulous way to promote your own blog and posts.
Dear Friends,
What a day to celebrate! This is the 106th week of the Let’s Be Friends blog hop! Thanks for joining us on this special day. Chelsee and Tiffany are extremely delighted to see the way this hop has grown and love to see your faces each week!
 
Join us every Tuesday at 7am (MST). This blog hop focuses on content. LINK UP YOUR FAVORITE POST from last week in this fun content-sharing blog hop! I love the idea of blog hopping, but I love the idea of reading posts and quality content on new blogs I’ve never been to even more. Instead of simply linking up your blog button, you are now able to link up your favorite post you recently wrote. Have a delicious recipe to share, DIY tutorial, or heartfelt post? Share it with us! All hosts and co-hosts put up some unique and fun content from the past week. Make sure to check them out. P.S.- you may still link up your blog button and blog name, but it is encouraged to link up your favorite post instead. You will get more page views and interest if you do so! Some of the most successful blog hops I have participate in focus on content rather than just exchanging follows. You never know who will become a loyal follower or pin that delicious new recipe you posted!
The BEST part of this blog hop? Each week there will be a WINNER! That’s right, each week we will choose one lucky blog to feature from the previous week’s hop. This hop receives thousands of page views every week, so your blog will have the chance to be center stage for free. You must follow all the hosts and co-hosts in order to win. Only those who link up a specific post are eligible to be featured! *You must follow all the hosts and co-hosts in order to win.
 
The last exciting change is that the co-host spots will now be available to all sponsors of The Dwelling Tree or Southern Beauty Guide. If you are interested in co-hosting the blog hop, email Tiffany or Chelsee about sponsorship opportunities and how to co-host the weekly hop!
There are a couple of great giveaways going on right now at Southern Beauty Guide and The Dwelling Tree. Go check them out! 🙂
 
 
Let’s Be Friend’s Blog Hop Guidelines
1. Link up your favorite post from your week.
2. Follow your hosts and co-hosts.
3. Grab the button and post it on your blog so we can share the love.
4. Visit 3 other blogs, comment, and follow them along!
5. Tweet about this blog hop, using #letsbefriends
6. Pin the button on pinterest so we can spread the news!


***Once a week, one blog will be chosen to be the featured blogger from the previous blog hop.
Meet your hosts:
The Dwelling Tree: Blog, Bloglovin’
Southern Beauty Guide: Blog, Bloglovin’
Meet this week’s co-hosts:
PicMonkey Collage
***This weeks featured post from last week’s hop:
Schedule-Yourself
Thank you all once again for continually linking up at our blog hop. It is such a fun time and I am so impressed each week with all the amazing posts. Please continue to link up an actual post instead of your blog. We want to keep reading your content and it makes it more fun to pick a winner!
Is there anything we can do differently or better? Please share in the comments!
… onto the winner!
Hello everyone! This is Tiffany. Wow- there were so many great posts. This week I picked a blog post that resonated with my current needs. I have been trying to carve out a little time every week just for myself. As a mom, it can be really hard to make myself a priority at times. I will wait to pluck my eyebrows until they are fully grown out, or I might make excuses why I don’t have time to go on a run. The truth is, it is good for me and my family to take care of myself. A morning run or a hot bath can go a long way!
I loved this post because it is a very simple concept to practice self care, but for many of us it is a really challenging habit to implement. I think it is really important.
Check out Sheryl’s blog, How to make a life. You will love it!
Keep posting awesome content! You make it so fun for us to read all your posts! If you can, please link up a specific post. It makes it easier for us to come and visit!


Great custom gift ideas for grandparents

PicMonkey Collage

Great custom gift ideas for grandparents are featured in photo

Wood Block with Burlap: Designs by Syds

Customized Photo Mug: Something Special

Gammy Plaque: Blackwater Trading

“Masterpieces” Wallboard: McKenna Made It2013

Grandma Cutting Board: Stampoutonline

 We Heart Grandpa Money Clip: Sierra metal design

Grandparents House Rules Wall Art: The Inky Squid Co

Pregnancy Reveal Pillow: Feather Hen

Family Tree Art: Inviting Moments

review

personalized wood blocks from etsy were a hit!

 

 My child utterly adores her grandparents. I do too. They are awesome. All of them are so unique and different, yet each one is so special to my daughter. She is so well loved by these important people who will shape her life in so many ways!

I had a hard time finding gifts for grandparents that were personal and sweet. My favorite gift I found was this one. One set of Lil’s grandparents are “Gigi and Papa”. As you can imagine, it is pretty difficult to find those surnames personalized. When I saw these I knew they were perfect and would look lovely in their home!

Designs By Syds is the Etsy shop I worked with to order these signs. Stephanie was a pleasure to work with, and will customize wood blocks, quote stones, and altered clipboards. She is so talented, and these were more beautiful than I expected. I encourage you to check out her gift ideas on Etsy!

They took Lil’s grandparents breathe away and were completely unexpected!

What are some of your favorite grandparents’ gifts?

*I received one wood block in exchange for an honest review, and purchased one because I was so happy with the product! 

5 Reasons to unplug now and play with our kids

blog pic

This is by no means a post to guilt trip anyone out there. This is a post written by a mom who struggles with this day in and day out. I feel the constant pull of “getting stuff done” versus spending time with my daughter. We all have a hard job. Being a mom can feel endless and often completely thankless. This post is all about choosing to unplug sometimes and play with my kid.

If you are one of those parents who loves to get down and play with your children, you deserve a gold star. Don’t even read my post.

If you are the mom who cringes every time your kiddo asks you to “play with ME!!!“, read on.

My husband is SO good at playing with my daughter. I don’t know why, I suck at it. Sure, I can sit down and play magiclip dolls with her for about 10 minutes, talking in a high-pitched voice like Rapunzel. And I will gladly play a few rounds of hide and seek. I love some play-doh time. But I would rather do the dishes or finish the laundry piling up on the sofa.

Lil is in a new stage where the most common sentence that comes out of her mouth is, “Play with me Mommy!”. Not every two hours. EVERY MINUTE, if not seconds. I must hear it all day. Unless she is eating or sleeping (but sometimes even when she is eating). Certainly when she is taking a bath.

I am grateful. My daughter has a crazy awesome imagination. She wants to play school and teacher, store, and she now has two imaginary friends (Sarah and Rose) who also join our play sessions.

Today I made an effort to play with her for ten minute intervals between chores and laundry. I found I enjoyed it more and more, and loved watching her mind work and hearing the goofy things that come out of her mouth.

We live in a day and age where not only do we manage so much (any mother has enough work to do with being a Mom alone), but we now have access 24/7 to information to completely distract us from doing what we actually need to do (paying the bills, washing the dishes, etc). How many times have I put off something important to watch a video on my Facebook feed or to watch a show on Netflix.

The fact is, the internet, iPhone’s, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Netflix, blogs, and everything else that vies for our attention will ALWAYS be there with SOMETHING catchy to distract us.

I watched a movie recently called HER. Have you seen it? I found it devastating. I also found it convicting. We already live in an age where, if you walked into any random public place, at least half the heads would be looking down at their phones instead of around at what is going on in front of them. It is easier to stay tuned in to technology than our own relationships. I am not against technology- I love it! Too much, a at times. I feel drawn to pull out my dumb phone and see if any new alerts or messages have popped up. WHY??!! It drives me crazy how much such a small device keeps me distracted.

A sad and tempting situation is rising around us. I allow technology and social media to distract me from the most important people and moments in my life directly in my reach. I cannot imagine I am the only one who has struggled with this.

I struggle, every day, multiple times a day, to respond to my daughter’s plea to “play with her”. I find that she asks most often when my attention is to my phone, computer, or iPad. Sometimes I truly need to respond to an email or pay an online bill. Most of the time, I don’t need to be online.

My daughter even once asked me to “put my phone down”.

By no means am I on my phone all the time, and I am not on social media much anymore, either. Yet I still struggle with this.

5 reasons to log off and play with our children

1. They are asking us.

If our kid is asking us to play with them, it is because they want to play with us. Not alone, not with a friend, not on the computer. With a real, live, person they adore. I want to count it a blessing when my daughter wants to build Lego’s with me instead of zone out to the television. I want to acknowledge her better, and if I am unable to play with her when she asks, schedule a time to follow through and take time to simply play with her. I can only imagine that five or ten minutes will be priceless for both my daughter and myself.

2. It’s good for everyone’s imagination.

I am amazed at how much playing “house” or “store” causes me to think. It is good for my brain to use my imagination, something that as adult’s we often struggle to exercise. I know it is essential for my daughter’s brain development to use her imagination and pretend play. It is as important as physical exercise, and directly affects her mental growth and success in school. Just fifteen minutes of pretend play a day can go a long way!

3. They want our presence.

Our children yearn for our presence. It has been said, “a child desires our presence not our presents”. It is easy to go throughout the day only tackling to-do lists and staying busy and never taking a moment to read our children a few books or sit down on the floor with them and do a puzzle. This is the best gift we can give our children, and also gives them a greater gift- memories!

4. Most things can wait.

I am aware that there are pressing things that must get done. Sometimes our lives are more hectic than others. A new mom to a second baby will hardly have the time or energy to sit and play with the older child. A couple renovating their house will struggle to carve out time to play. And single parents? It is hard to get everything done in one day. I once met a lady who told me a story about her mother. Her mom had apologized to her grown children when she was in her seventies for never having the chance to play with her children. She was a parent during the Great Depression, and the mother of twelve. Her husband, a farmer, had endless work, and so did she. She literally could not sit and play without sacrificing something for everyone’s survival. Yet she felt guilt for not playing with her kids many years later. This story breaks my heart.

We live in a time when most things can wait. Even if I can only intentionally play with my daughter a few minutes here and there, I hope I take the opportunity to do so rather than choose something unimportant.

5. They won’t want to play with us forever.

I don’t know how long this stage will last, but I know I will miss it sooner than I expect. Much like breastfeeding (will this ever end?!), or sleepless nights cuddling a newborn child, the time goes faster than I wish. I know one day my daughter won’t want to play blocks with me or dance to music all silly or pretend to be my teacher. These are magical, silly years of laughter and exploring and curiosity. I want to be present for them, even though I feel too tired to play. Most of the time, she says something wacky and hilarious that lights me up or completely changes my serious mood. Children are so full of joy, and it is contagious.

 

Am I the only mom who struggles with this? Be honest! Share with me how you cope and encourage yourself to press on in motherhood!