How to Make Cleaning FUN (tips from a 6-year-old)

Young Happy Beautiful Woman Maid Dusting On White

“I love cleaning! See my smile?!”

With 2016 officially underway, the time has come to tidy and organize our way out from under that inevitable mountain of holiday mess. It’s tasks such as these that leave us, “keepers of the home,” feeling disgruntled, shat upon even, or downright ready to blow!

Sure, fun times have been had. But the aftermath of such fun has the power to erase all the goodness by making a tidying dad or mum feel all sorts of glum.

That’s right we may experience a sense of anger or woe when we find ourselves ass-deep in Rainbow Loom bands (I thought this was last year’s trend?), dried up play dough creations (What the hell are these things anyway?), and abandoned Barbie shoes (I’m just going to throw these little mofos out once and for all!).

The glum can even creep-in when our kids lend a helping (or forced) hand because, let’s be honest here, their efforts are only nice “in theory.” In reality, little hands can only do so much. The fact is, the bulk of the household cleaning and organizing is left for the grown-ups to do. And, in my case, I’m the grown-up in charge…

*sigh*

Luckily for me, my 6-year-old has my back. Not only has she noted that I appear bogged down by a shoulder-load’s worth of shit, she has kindly offered some helpful tips to make cleaning more “fun” for me. I am happy to report that, after only a few days of implementing these simple-yet-effective strategies, more “cleaning fun” has been experienced!

This got me thinking, maybe other cleaners of the home would benefit from her helpful tips. So, here you go…

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Top Five Faves of 2015

Man And Woman At The Bar - Vector Illustration.

Well, it’s has been another fab year of writing and I’d like to say, “Thank you!” for your continued support! It means a lot to me. Here are the top five posts from Martinis and Motherhood for 2015.

5. What Happens in Vegas… 

One of the highest hands in poker a Spades Royal Flush on a red

This post was widely read and, funnily enough, it had ladies googling: “Shannon Day’s Husband” in what I assume was an attempt to see a picture of John! When Mamapedia shared this piece it brought almost 2,000 visitors to my site which was the most I’d seen in one day.

If you missed it, here is the fifth most popular post of 2015: What Happens in Vegas (Reflections of a Non-Jealous Wife).

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The Canadian Husband’s Guide to Stuffing his Wife’s Stocking

 

Stocking Heading

Collage 1

collage aveda

collage collection 2

Hey there, fellas. It’s that time of year again! And I’m here to help you choose some stocking stuffers that will put a smile on your wife’s face. Just print this baby off, or click on the links and get ordering. With this array of goodness, you’ll make your wife laugh, cry (happy tears, of course) and feel special. These gifts will let her know that you’ve got her covered from head to toe and everywhere in between, this year. She might even give you a high five, and a low five if you’re lucky.

Sippy Cup for Grown-Ups

With this fab-u-lous cup, your wife can sip wine (with little risk of spilling) while hanging by the pool, camping or cottaging in the summer months. AND, in the winter months, she can drink tea, coffee or hot chocolate (with some sneaky Baileys in it) while watching the game or during a winter walk. No wife could ever deny the fabulousness of this sippy cup for grown-ups.

Baileys Minis

There is just so much tastiness sold by the Baileys brand, now. From Vanilla Cinnamon to Salted Caramel, you cannot possibly go wrong with any of the Baileys flavours. Make your wife’s Christmas coffee extra delicious this year! Head over to your local LCBO.

TeaBird Tea

If your wife is into tea, why not indulge her with some Here Comes the Sun herbal tea, by TeaBird Tea Company. Who wouldn’t want a taste of sun in their stocking? I know I would. I mean it’s been a mild winter so far BUT it’s not warm. Warm your wife up with some yummy tea, why don’t ya?

Burt’s Bees Favourites

I love Burt’s Bees products because of the natural ingredients they use. The scents are divine. Their lip gloss (in Peachy or Blush) is a favourite of mine. Perhaps your wife would like it for everyday wear, too?  Their hand salve is an absolute must-have. It smells like eucalyptus, and is especially useful during the cold, dry months of winter. The Peppermint and Rosemary Body Wash is a refreshing way to start or end any day.

Aveda Skin Care

Their Intensive Hydrating Mask is ideal for women who have dry skin, like me. I cannot tell you how much I love this mask. It really does freshen and rejuvenate the winter visage. And while we’re brightening up why not add some essential oil based body mists to the mix. I feel relaxed just thinking about them…

Monica Vinader Jewellery

If you want to spoil your wife this year, check out Monica Vinader’s gorgeous designs. I think these Vega Drop Earrings (gold plated )in moonstone are fab. Maybe your wife would, too? If she is more of a bracelet kinda gal, you could go for the Vega gold plated moonstone bracelet. Or, if you’re really feeling festive, why not go all out and get both!

Intuitive Jewellery

For some unique handmade jewellery, check out Etsy Shop: Intuitive Jewellery, run by Toronto-based designer Glynis Radcliffe. I love her designs and there are plenty of pieces to be browsed, including some gorgeous turquoise pearls!

Martinis & Motherhood: Tales of Wonder, Woe & WTF?!

If your wife is also a mother, then she’d be pleased to discover this book/martini guide in her stocking. It has received rave reviews on The Huffington Post and Erica Ehm’s Yummy Mummy Club. It shares funny, heart-warming, and ridiculous tales of motherhood, as told by 37 different moms from around the globe. Plus, the book has martinis (+mocktinis) which are perfect for the holiday season.

Now, I’m about to email my husband a copy of this list. If you’re a wife, and you’re digging these items, why not do the same? Cheers and have a fantastic holiday season!

 

 

  • All of these recommendations are based on my own personal opinions and preferences. I have not been paid to promote any of these items and have shared them because I like them and think that your wife would, too.  Martinis & Motherhood: Tales of Wonder, Woe & WTF?! , however, I am personally invested in. I (and 36 other writers) created it. I love it as though it were my fourth child.

Exile the Elf in 8 Simple Steps

 

elf

When it comes to The Elf on the Shelf, we parents are divided into four separate camps. There are those of us who adore the ‘lil fella, those who despise him and his creepy face, those who are sort of “whatever” about it all, and those who live peacefully, in a bubble, oblivious to the elf-world.

For a long while I was contently a member of the latter camp. Then we moved from the UK to Canada and my peaceful bubble was popped. The elf was everywhere, the kids loved it, and before I could put my UGG-clad foot down, we’d added a new little buddy to our holiday traditions: Summer the Elf.

And so began the nightly moves from one not-so-crazy spot to the next while a barrage of Facebook updates, showing the wild antics of other people’s elves, highlighted the dullness of our elf’s life.

Other people’s elves were pooping rainbow coloured chocolate while our elf lounged next to the toaster. Other people’s elves made snow angels in fluffy piles of flour and had a jolly-old-time messing up the kitchen while our elf sat alone in a window sill (wishing she lived in a home where fun happened). Other people’s elves “came in like a wrecking ball” while ours hung upside-down from a dusty chandelier for three nights in a row.

We didn’t hate the elf. She didn’t hate us. But, I admit, enthusiasm was low on the parental front.

Yet, as uninspired as we were, the kids liked the elf and seemed happy to find her in her ever-so-basic locations each morning. So, my husband and I settled into a sort of “whatever” approach to life with our elf.

Boxing Day marked the end of our first elf-filled holiday and Summer went back into her box. We’d had a semi-successful first round of elf-antics together but I wasn’t sad to see her go. Nobody was.

The next year, it was time to get the half-assed elf party started, so I took Summer out of her box and began to set up a simple scene to greet the kids with in the morning. The series of events that followed wound up being an unintentional 8-step program ending with the exile of the elf from our home. That’s right, the kids wanted her to leave and to never come back.

Although unplanned, I knew that we’d stumbled upon a practical (and only mildly traumatic) set of steps that other parents (especially the elf haters) could easily replicate if they wanted to have an elf-free Christmas season.

So, here they are! If you want to end the elf-capades, this 8-Step (2 part) process should do the trick:

PART ONE (at night):

  1. Sit elf on small doll’s chair.
  2. Place sitting elf alone in dimly-lit hallway, outside kids’ rooms.
  3. Ensure something wakes kids up in the night. (We lucked out with some random night-walking but you may have to get creative and steal blankets or something.)
  4. When child walks out of room to discover a small, creepy thing in her doll’s chair, be there to hold child as she screams in horror.
  5. Upon child’s request, hide elf so elf isn’t “wooking” at child.

PART TWO (the next morning):

  1. Just as the prior night’s trauma is forgotten, husband must chase kids, elf in hand, while making haunting ghost sounds. (Tip: Craning elf’s neck from side to side greatly enhances creepiness.)
  2. Capitalize on terrifying and ridiculous situation by asking kids if they’d like elf to go live with another family.
  3. Kids say YES.

BAM! Just. Like. That. You get to go back to an elf-free holiday season, like it used to be. You’re welcome.

 

Did you know that Shannon Day and 36 other fab writers have created a book? Well, it’s actually a martini guide too. If you like funny, ridiculous, and heartstring-tugging stories of motherhood (+ easy-to-make martini & mocktini recipes) then you’ll love Martinis & Motherhood: Tales of Wonder, Woe & WTF?! Available now on Amazon.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00067]

 

Sh*t, We’ve Killed the Tooth Fairy

Never trust a caffeine-free mom with envy-inducing frontal-fro

Never trust an uncaffeinated mom with enviable frontal-fro

We’re sitting at the kitchen table. The kids are eating cereal and I’m sipping coffee. My littlest daughter is sticking her tongue into the gap where her two front teeth used to be.  She went from sporting a double Nanny Mc Fee to a toothless wonder in a matter of hours, and was so excited to wake up to two dollars and a tiny, little note from the fairy.

Keep smiling. Xoxo, said the note.

Nailed that one, I think (giving myself a mental pat on the back). Simple yet effective tooth-fairying. BAM! That’s how it’s done. I think it’s safe to assume I’ve redeemed myself the fairy since the almost-fairy-casualty, a few months ago.

“Remember when you squashed the tooth fairy?” my little one asks her older sister. (Ok, so I assumed too quickly.)

 

The rest of this piece can be found over at Momstown.ca.

 

 

Did you know that Shannon Day and 36 other fab writers have created a book? Well, it’s actually a martini guide too. If you like funny, ridiculous, and heartstring-tugging stories of motherhood (+ easy-to-make martini & mocktini recipes) then you’ll love Martinis & Motherhood: Tales of Wonder, Woe & WTF?! Available now on Amazon.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00067]

Today, I’m Turning Forty

Today, I’m turning forty!

And it’s kind of a big deal

Yet at the same time, it’s not really

Though it feels a bit surreal

Because forty year-olds are middle-aged

So that means I am, too

No longer am I young

But… neither are my crew!

My pals, they age along with me

Like our friendships, our love, and our wine

And with girlfriends, as fabulous as they are

Turning forty feels almost sublime

Plus, with age comes newfound wisdom

An acceptance that feels divine

So what if my thighs are flabby?

Some other parts are doin’ just fine

Yes, my body is aging

And cool shoes hurt my feet

And a “Big Night” leaves me couch-bound

All day, unable to eat

And my kids, they try my patience

But they also do things that amaze

I wouldn’t go back to my twenties

Not back to the freedom days

In those days I was restless

And questioning what will be

And now, I have more answers

And with that, I feel quite free

Besides, I’ve learned some things

On that journey from my youth

Like, when making a dirty martini

You really don’t need vermouth

And when it comes to taking pictures

Anyone can look twenty-two

It’s all about the lighting, really

Plus the angle, and the hue

But the fact is, there’s more important things

Than how cool we look in pics

Like, are we surrounded by good people?

Or are we spending our time with dicks?

It’s these and other probing questions

That turning forty makes us ponder

It’s when the midlife crisis hits

And people choose to wander

But, I’m not going anywhere

My ass is firmly planted

I’m right where I want to be

Celebrating the forty years I’ve been granted

pic w martini

The impression of youthful skin is brought to you by Haas Filter in Pic Collage. Do I look twenty-two?

Cheers to health, family, and friendship. And, of course, to the big 4-0!

And, hey, why not buy our book while you’re here! It is my birthday, after all, and nothing would make me happier than knowing you’ve ordered your very own copy!

37 tales from 37 moms/writers plus 37 easy-to-make martinis! You can’t go wrong.

We promise you’ll laugh, cry, and feel connected to other moms who are a lot like you.

Click here. Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00067]

In and Out of Tune With My Inner June (Cleaver)

June CleaverYesterday morning, I was the ultimate Stepford Mom (in my mind).

I’d produced a picnic, complete with: butterfly shaped sandwiches, homemade chocolate chip muffins, and a healthy fruit salad. I even had a checkered tablecloth all packed up. I was on fire, damn it!

But soon, my inner June Cleaver threatened to give way to my inner Crazy Mom. That bitch creeps in when June and I get ignored during crucial moments, like when time is tight. And, sure enough, a time-is-tight moment had arrived. After getting carried away in the kitchen, we were officially going to be late! So, of course, it wasn’t long before June and I were faced with that fork in the road, where Lunatic Lane meets Pleasantville Crescent…

To read about what happens to June, Crazy Mom, and me head over to BLUNTmoms.