These are the worldly influences that have made the biggest impressions on me.

Personal Care

I believe it’s almost always best to put the needs of your children first; however, you can’t give if you’re on empty.  Here are some of my favorite things I’ve found help me help myself:

Stitch Fix: I like my fashion like I like my kids’ homework: quick and easy.  It feels good to know I’m dressed like an adult with some fashion sense.  It makes me look and feel like I have my sh*t together.  If you want to do something incredible for yourself and join up, please throw a few credits my way by using this Referral Link.

Mary Kay:  Ruth Adams is my beauty consultant in more ways than one; she is also my Zumba instructor.

Rose Razors:  A grown woman’s shaving club.  No more flimsy razors and no more combing the pink and purple aisles at the store; Rose’s Razors delivers to my door.

HEB Curbside: Grocery shopping just got a little more interesting! Now I can order online while I watch Netflix or eat lunch for only a small fee.  My husband stops at HEB on his way home, and they load up his car.  Ok, so I forgot the toilet paper, but I saved at least an hour (and I didn’t have to interact with any actual people)!

My Favorite Blogs

It went a little like this: “Hey, you should write a blog!”

Me: “OK! But I don’t know anything about blogging.”

I really didn’t know anything about blogging before I signed up with WordPress.  In retrospect, I should have done more research.  Fortunately, I was lucky enough to be recognized by a couple of kick-ass bloggers that I now basically stalk to find ways to do bloggy things.

Medium Sized Family. Controlling debt is something we all have in common, especially those of us with large families. You will find wonderful money saving strategies that are above all else, PRACTICAL for families.  Jamie’s lovely printables are designed to help busy families save not only money, but time.

Damn Girl, Get Your Shit Together.  Insightful and helpful (unsolicited) advice for those of us who could use a little help adulting.  DG doesn’t pull her punches.  She’s brutally honest, brave, has a heart of solid gold, and is hilariously inappropriate… Sort of like Deadpool wearing classy high heels.

Brains on! Technically, this is a Podcast for kids, but you can listen just by visiting the website.  This show answers kids’ questions (for example, “why do microwaves not allow metal even though they’re made out of metal?”) in an amusing and vastly informative way.  Scientific ideas are explained to kids (and adults) without “dumbing it down”.

Books that made impressions on my parenting strategies

Parenting books are hit or miss, depending on your own style and your belief system.  That being said, here is a list of books that I’ve drawn my parenting skills from:

Parenting with Grace; Catholic Parent’s Guide to Raising almost Perfect Kids (Gregory K. Popcak, and Lisa Popcak). I love how this book gives real-world scenarios and suggests solutions.

Motivate Your Child (Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller). This book really made me re-think my current expectations of my kids.  I had been waiting for them to magically become self-starters when I should have been actively teaching them.

Shackleton’s Way; Leadership Lessons from the Great Antarctic Explorer (Margot Morrell and Stephanie Capparell). While this is technically a study in business leadership, it is none-the-less packed with lessons for parents.  Bonus points for true adventure!

Broken Open; How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow (Elizabeth Lesser).  Again, this is not technically a parenting book.  Not all families are ideal, and parents have issues that they must overcome in order to be the best versions of themselves.  This book attempts to put you in the mindset to heal and come out stronger on the other side.

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother (Amy Chua). The difficulty of finding balance between raising “perfect” kids and raising “happy” kids is a struggle for every parent; especially when your two cultures are at odds.

Family Activities

Zombies Run! Board Game. Anytime we can unplug and spend time as a family is a time we will remember.

Hiking. Our city parks and hiking grounds offer a million different things to learn about, including the joy of physical exertion.

Movie/TV Marathons.  Friday nights are Family Movie Nights.  This has been a fun way to connect and share the movies that made impressions on us when we were young.

Share what you have been impressed by or share your favorite things in the comments section!