{Wordless Wednesday} Day at Water Country #WCFamilyFun

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The Uplifting Power of a Smile #PowerOfASmile

A smile is contagious. What does a smile infect you of? I dare say happiness. I think everyone will agree that a smile is something that brings on contagious happiness. A smile can make or break your day as well as other people’s days. How would it make you feel if you realized far too many children don’t want to smile or can’t smile due to cleft lip and palate? It’s sad, but don’t lose hope there is an organization out there ready and willing to help more children smile! There is an organization out there that is working hard to raise funds to correct cleft lip and palate issues children are born with. Some children suffer speaking, breathing and eating problems with cleft lip and palate as well, this wouldn’t make anyone wish to smile even if they could, right?! Smile Train is here to help bring more smiles in their #PowerOfASmile campaign.

What is Smile Train?

Smile Train is an international children’s charity that has worked in 85+ countries around the world who, through Smile Train’s sustainable model, provide 100%-free cleft repair surgery in their communities.. Smile Train has a network of 2,100+ partner surgeons and has helped more than one million children in 15 years, but there are still millions of children living with unrepaired clefts. Smile Train surgery can take as little as 45 minutes and can cost as little as $250 (£150). Smile Train’s Mission Statement: Smile Train is an international children’s charity with a sustainable approach to a single, solvable problem: cleft lip and palate.

How Can you Help?

Visit Smile Train’s website and see how you can donate. Share this blog post on social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google +. Write your own story or social media status update to spread more awareness of the #PowerOfASmile campaign from Smile Train. Remember to use that exact hashtag when sharing.

Need More of a Visual Approach to Realize the Importance of this Organization?

Smile Train has a sustainable approach to a single, solvable problem: cleft lip and palate. Smile Train’s model provides training and funding to empower local doctors in developing countries provide 100%- free cleft repair surgery in their communities. Join us and change the world with the power of a smile.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Smile Train. The opinions and text are all mine.

Another Wonderful Mother Daughter Day #motherhood

My daughter is at that stage of changes, meaning next year she will head into Middle School. This is a tough school year for most children, cliques begin to form, old friendships fade and new friendships are found. It’s a tough time for anyone during any generation, I can imagine. With that being said, I noticed my daughter was in some need to have a mother and daughter day. I discussed the idea with my fiance, who agreed to stay home with my sons and have a day with them, while I went off with my daughter to get a bit of time focusing on just her. I felt it would be a great boost of spirits for her as well as myself!

Mother and Daughter Day New Hamsphire (1)

Pictured above is my daughter on my shoulder and me, ready to head out of the house for our few hours together. Girl time rocks!

Mother and Daughter Day New Hamsphire (2)

There is one small pharmacy downtown that my daughter and I love so much, that is Z Pharmacy, they have a gifts and sandwich shop inside too! I haven’t eaten there yet but I do enjoy visiting their gift shop area. The shop is full of positive messages, cute shirts and other items that just make my daughter and I smile. Shown above is a shirt, I must have and a children’s chandelier that caught my eye.

Mother and Daughter Day New Hamsphire (3)

Upstairs I found myself in their irreverent corner where there are some not so kid friendly items, but mostly just gag gift silliness that isn’t too non-child exposure needed. I loved the top three items shown in picture above, and honestly I am seriously debating having that reluctant bride for our cake topper because it’s seriously perfect!

Mother and Daughter Day New Hamsphire (4)

Once we were done window shopping at ZuZu’s Gift Shop, we went down to the local Thrift Store to see what they may have. My daughter tried on the dress shown above and purchased some yarn for her knitting addiction. Afterwards I realized that getting some groeries would be necessary as I hadn’t gone grocery shopping yet so we stopped into our local Shaws. First thing to do? Grab something out of the gumball machine because one never does outgrow the gumball machine!

Mother and Daughter Day New Hamsphire (5)

Another store stop and then it was time for us to venture back home to my fiance and the boys. We were sad to have to return to the house of males, but we were happy to have these couple hours to enjoy just us girls.

 And yes, I do think this girl time boosted both of our spirits quite a bit!

{Wordless Wednesday} Sillies with my Little Man K #LINKY #WW

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6 Tips on Handling Tween Girls During Hormonal Years #tweens #happilyblended #girls

Handling Tween Hormone ChangesIt’s the time of year, your daughter is growing into a miniature adult and it’s no longer just her intelligence that makes you call her a mini adult. The world is changing for you as a parent and your daughter as a young girl as she heads into being more of a young woman, yet still your minor child. The years of hormone changes and getting a menstrual cycle can be challenging. These are the years where the relationship between mother and daughter as well as father and daughter can change in many ways. The hormones may play out in the most odd ways, leaving you constantly on your toes wondering what in the world happened to my little girl.

During these times of body and hormone changes it is vitally important to accept what is simply hormones and work to teach your child how to take a break when needed and to be okay just saying her hormones are off so please be forewarned. There is nothing wrong, in my opinion, with teaching your daughter to recognize what’s real and what is hormone based and admitting this out-loud to ensure the family stays at peace.  Even as a grown woman, at the age of 32, I struggle with my hormone changes and I have a regular menstrual cycle. Hormones are not something a woman can control, so why think a young tween can control it? It won’t happen.

As a parent, I can lend you some pieces of advice on how to work with a tween who is having these hormonal changes happening and leave you with a positive parenting relationship with your child by end of day {or sometimes, by end of week} ..

  • Realize that your daughter is going through a hormonal change, even if not having a menstrual cycle yet.
  • Be aware, as the adult parent, that hormonal responses are not from the heart responses and take them lightly.
  • Be supportive of your daughter during these times of hormone changes, it’s not easy even for the best of us adult woman.
  • Allow your daughter freedom of respectful speech, allow mean words to roll off your shoulders and remember it’s this hormonal monster that has taken over, and this will not last forever.
  • Do still talk to your daughter in a parental tone to ensure they realize, while you have compassion for what they are going through, that certain levels of respect are still expected.
  • Give a 20 second hug!

Hormones and tweensThe last tip is quite honestly the best one I have for you when dealing with a hormonal tween. The reason being? I once read somewhere that a 20 second hug can release all of these hormones in your brain that make you happy, and being the positive, crazy, happy go lucky woman that I am – I just had to test the theory out. I will tell you that this 20 second hug works AMAZING during the times of hormone switches with my daughter. It’s a one sided hug, meaning hormones have taken over my daughter so she is fighting any urge of being loveable, never mind giving hugs. I hang on tight for 20 seconds, not so tight I hurt her, but tight enough in a loving hug embrace that after about 20 seconds she cannot help but smile a little bit. Works every time.

Mind you, hormones are tricky, there is nothing you can do to control them. The one thing you can do, as a parent of a child going through this stage, is to be there for them with open arms and understanding. All these girls need at this age is to have someone they can vent to, someone who loves them unconditionally, someone they can trust to be who they are and say what they are feeling during hormone rages and yet still know they are loved 100% always.

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