We have some ideas about how you can add a little sparkle to Mother's Day brunch!
May 11th, 2012 | 12:13 PM
Maria Oakes is a mother, wife, and writer living and loving in Las Vegas. She is also currently penning a children’s book. Today she is sharing her Sparkling Jewels Cocktails recipe that’s sure to class up any brunch or event.
Some people say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but as an on-the-go mom I respectfully disagree. Brunch, my friends, is where it’s at! What’s not to love about a dining experience that can only take place after sleeping in past breakfast? More importantly, hosting a brunch gives you and your gal pals the chance to start the day off with a tasty glass of bubbly! From the sweet peachy Bellini to the classic Mimosa, a sparkly champagne cocktail adds a hint of elegance to any gathering. That’s why I’m sharing my Bubbly Jewels recipes for your Mother’s Day brunch.
Start with the bubbles. Some people say to use the cheapest stuff you can find as you’re going to mix it anyway. I find that good ingredients make for good cocktails, but don’t go popping that bottle of Cristal either. I like Moet & Chandon Champagne or good old Yellow Tail Sparkling White, and don’t be afraid to add a twist with some Italian Prosecco or Spanish Cava as well – sparkling wine is tasty in any language. Whatever wine you use, be sure to choose “Dry” or “Extra Dry”. “Brut” is sweeter and adding juice or liqeurs to it makes it too sweet.
- Chill your bottle or bottles of bubbly (who’s counting anyway?)
- Then gather:
A small bottle of Midori (melon-flavored liqueur)
A small bottle of Chambord (raspberry-flavored liqueur)
A small bottle of Curacao (orange-flavored liqueur – you can get blue-tinted Blue Curacao, too!)
A bottle of club soda
- Pour 4-5 oz of the bubbly into each champagne flute
- Add about 1 oz of your desired liqueur to each glass
- Add a splash of soda water (you can never have too much sparkle in you cocktails!)
Display your Sparkling Jewel cocktails on a table or platter and tell guests they have their choice of the Emerald, Ruby, or Sapphire!
We can’t wait for you to add some bling to your brunch this Sunday!
One day a year just isn't enough.
May 10th, 2012 | 11:45 PM
I don’t have children yet, so Mother’s Day is still all about celebrating my own special Mom, Carolyn.
Many of my friends have kids, and I love hearing their hilarious stories about what the little scamps get up to in an effort to please Mom on ‘her’ day: Sloppy art projects; sloppier breakfasts in bed; backyard plays and impromptu evening jam sessions on drum kits fashioned from pots and pans.
Of course, I have special memories of doing all of those things myself – even scars on my knuckles from the disastrous time I attempted to make Mom my ‘specialty’ (cheese melted on Portuguese Sweet Bread) in the toaster oven. Mother’s Day reminds me of the wild lilacs that grew along the remote dirt road I grew up on. Every year, my brother and I would sneak out before Mom came downstairs, snipping as many of those fragrant lavender blooms as we could carry. Though this became our annual ritual, Mom never failed to gasp in delight, as though we’d brought her the moon instead of an armful of wildflowers.
She deserved so much more, this woman who was always in the front row at my choir concerts or cheering like a maniac at my soccer games. She cried with me the first time I had my heart broken. She cried with me the day I got engaged.
Now that I’m grown, my relationship with Mom has shifted. It’s become less about trying to please her and more about finding a balance, finding a friend. I want her to be proud of me, and I want her to be proud of herself for raising kids who became loving, conscientious, and ambitious adults.
I still have cooking disasters. All the time, actually. And the first thing I do when I realize I’ve used salt instead of sugar or have added too much milk to the damned mashed potatoes is call Mom. Though I moved 3000 miles away from home, she always picks up the phone, no matter what time it is. She always knows just what to do.
My mother was on my left arm as I walked down the aisle at my wedding, and I imagine she’ll be there in the hospital when I finally do have a child. (Does a hospital waiting room have a front row? If so, I know exactly where she’ll be.) How do you thank someone for that? How do you properly celebrate the unconditional love and support that a person has shown you for your entire life?
I don’t know the answer. But I do know that Mother’s Day has taken on a whole new significance for me, particularly now that I’m the same age my mother was when I was born.
I know that she deserves more than just a day of celebration. All Moms do. After all, you Moms are shaping the lives and perspectives of little people who will one day grow up, as I did, and rely on their foundational values to make good decisions. No pressure.
Thank you, Moms, for all you do, and thank you, Mom, for all you do for me.
Growing up you promised yourself you'd never say some of the things your mom did because it drove you nuts. Then you had kids and — oh no! — you started saying the things you swore you never would.
May 10th, 2012 | 10:40 AM
In honor of the Month of Mom, we asked you what are some “Mom-isms” you’ve caught yourself saying now that you have kids of your own. Here are your hilarious answers. Have your own “mom-ism” you’d like to share? Leave it in the comment section.
“’Do it again and you’ll be sorry!” and “Did you go potty?’ Why does becoming a mom mean you use potty and not bathroom!” — District Consultant Helen C.
“I can’t wait until you have your own kids, they’re gonna do the exact same thing to you!” — Kathy via Facebook
“I don’t care who made the mess; I’m asking you to clean it up!” — Jennifer via Facebook
“You better eat that broccoli if you want dessert!” —Thien-Kim via Facebook
“Ask your father!” — Martha via Facebook
“There’s nothing you can even think about doing that I haven’t already done. I’m always one step ahead of you …” Tammy via Facebook
“’Let me smell your hands!’ Gross right? “— District Consultant Laura O.
“’You get what you get and you don’t get upset’ and ‘Don’t make me come in here one more time’ at bedtime. Not sure what I’ll say if they start saying, ‘or what?’” — Regional Manager Jessica D.
“My personal favorite is, ‘Don’t tell Dad,’ also known as ‘DTD.’” Division Director Tori M.
“’Santa is watching you and if you are not good you will not get anything on Christmas morning.’ I said this in March.” — Jennifer via Facebook
“Singing ‘It’s time to get up,’ to the tune of a trumpet reveille. Drove me crazy at the time!” — Brittany via Facebook
Grab your girlfriends and take a well-deserved night off or grab a glass of vino and join Plum District for a fun hour-long MOM Twitter party.
May 8th, 2012 | 9:43 PM
For those of you who may not know, Thursday, May 10th is National Mom’s Nite Out. This is not a Hallmark-created event, but rather one that began five years ago after a simple tweet from Maria Baily – host of Mom Talk Radio – who said, “Mother’s Day is a lot of work for me. Anyone want to join me for a National Mom’s Nite Out?” The response was immediate and tremendous, and now, thousands of media groups, companies, malls, mommy bloggers, and social networks have come together to create events, discounts, and more, in effort to give moms a well-deserved night off.
What’s the difference between National Mom’s Nite Out and Mother’s Day, you ask? Well, on Mother’s Day, between the cooking and dinner planning and the visits to mothers-in-law and grandmothers, not that much relaxation happens! National Mom’s Nite Out, however, is meant to be a task-free evening.
So this Thursday, look out for local events and discounts from great brands, who are all looking to reach those of you who know you deserve an actual break. Grab your girlfriends and go have some fun.
For more information on National Mom’s Nite Out – and to view a list of local and online events, mom discounts, and giveaways – visit www.momsniteout.com.
Can’t get out of the house for a nite out? How about a Twitter party with @plumdistrict?! Join us from 5:30-6:30pm PT for an hour of all girl fun and prizes hosted by Plum District moms. Be sure to RSVP to be eligible for prizes! (Follow #MomMonth to join the party)
Here's a craft your kids will love to make, and one you'll love to receive this Mother's Day.
May 8th, 2012 | 12:40 AM
Bonjour! I’m Bay Area mom, writer, planner, and Plum District Consultant Shari Wargo Stamps here to show you a heart-felt craft to give the mom in your life. Mother’s Day isn’t always about the sparkly necklace or expensive brunch out- it’s about showing mom that she is loved and appreciated. Every family is different, so this post has a do it yourself (DIY) craft that uses items you already have (or can borrow), and suggestions for ways to make the craft specific to your family.
Even though they may die after a couple of days, there’s something special about receiving flowers from the ones you love. The Blooming Love DIY allows mom to get flowers she’s never seen before, and your child to enjoy making a simple gift for mom. Toddlers and big kids will love being able to choose which flowers to pick and what to write or create on them. This DIY idea is ideal for ages 3-16, and can be customized to fit these different ages. Fun Fact: I first created a Blooming Love gift in high school to ask a boy to prom. I’ve also used a variation of this to remember a family member who passed away (it’s a versatile DIY).
- Ball point pen
- Stickers, glitter or stamps (for younger kiddos)
- Bottle, vase, or teacup (this is where you can make it your own)
- Ribbon (optional)
1. To start your project, choose a flower. This is an opportunity to talk to younger children about the different types of flowers and what the colors mean. If you don’t have flowers at your home, take the opportunity to go to a park or meadow with your child. When you cut your flower, be sure to leave some stem in case you choose to place your flower in a bottle or vase. Try to get any bugs out of the flower, and cut down any thorns before your child works with it.
2. Once you have your flower ready, you can decorate it for mom. Gently hold the flower in your hand and write or draw on the most visible center petals. You can tear away any petals that interrupt your pattern/message, or that maybe don’t look as great as the others if there are enough petals to work with. Alternatively, babies and toddlers can put fingerprints on the petals for a unique look, or toddlers can place heart-shaped stickers on the petals.
3. (Optional) Take your flower outside to sprinkle on a glitter which compliments the color of the flower. If you decide to use glitter, use it sparingly and remove the excess before bringing the flower back into the house.
4. Decide how you would like to present your gift to mom. There are so many ways to customize the Blooming Love gift to the special mom in your life by how you present it, but here are three options to give you some ideas. One option is to keep the stem and place it in a bottle (maybe reuse one from a drink mom loves) or vase with some water and a few extra petals (with or without writing on them). Another option would be to place your flower(s) in a bottle with some flower petals (without water) and strips of paper from different members of the family that each have a message about what they love about mom. For my last example, cut the stem of your flower so that it can sit in a teacup (or bowl) with or without water.
Teacher Appreciation week starts today. Here are some ideas for showing your appreciation that are easy and fun.
May 7th, 2012 | 1:09 AM
By Jill Holland
Jill has been a District Consultant in San Diego since December 2011. She has a 13 year old daughter and an 11 year old son.
In Encinitas, a beach town and suburb of sunny San Diego, families try to keep Teacher Appreciation Week simple, affordable for parents, and meaningful for teachers! These are some A+ gift ideas that you can do anywhere, and anytime of year, so your child’s teacher will feel the love all year round:
- Flower Day: If each child picks and brings a flower from their yard, one parent can arrange them quickly in a vase for a lovely bouquet. Watching the parade of kids carrying flowers to school is adorable, and the arrangement will be as unique as each student in the class.
- Fruit Day: Think outside the apple. Each child brings a piece of fresh fruit from home on this day and everyone chips in for a bowl. Voila! A beautiful fruit arrangement that every family can easily participate in.
- Coffee Day: A few parents bring the teacher’s favorite coffee or tea from their favorite coffee spot, favorite breakfast treat, and surprises them at their break. Parents can also chip in for an extra bag of coffee and have all the kids sign a mug.
- Spa Day: Parents can chip in to buy a mani/pedi or massage and package the gift certificate with some lotions, scented candle and card.
- Restaurant: Chip in for a gift certificate to a local restaurant so they can end their week with a delicious meal. Include a nice bottle of wine with the card, and toast to them.
Simple, honest appreciation from kids and parents versus grandiose gifts seem to touch teachers the most. They dedicate every day to your children, so dedicating a few days to them is worth the creativity and gesture.
Find great offers to help plan Mother's Day. Spas, Sweet Treats, Family Fun and more!
May 6th, 2012 | 12:06 PM
Just in case you missed it the email from Bethenny Friday – here is her note to you! Be sure to tune in Monday for great offers all week that are just for MOM!
Want to know how she balances motherhood, a career, and marriage? Or maybe you just want to know what her favorite Skinnygirl cocktail is ... ask away!
May 3rd, 2012 | 7:18 PM
Being a mom is a tough job and we love our kids, but sometimes things just get crazy
May 3rd, 2012 | 8:20 AM
Leave it to the little ones to stump us with the most unusual occurrences.
Here’s one story from Grabriela, a Plum District Consultant who lives in Connecticut:
Last Sunday afternoon my 5-year-old, Charlotte, lost her first tooth. She is almost six and has been watching her friends lose teeth all year, waiting eagerly for her turn. That evening, we were getting the girls ready for bed when we suddenly heard screaming, crying and huge commotion. My husband and I ran to where the girls were to see what the problem was. We found both of our girls in a panic and managed to figure out that Charlotte had taken her loose tooth and shoved it up her nose! When we tried to assure Charlotte that there was no reason to be scared. She explained to us that she was not scared, she just needed to know if the tooth fairy would still come!
We looked in her nostril and saw nothing. My husband – who happens to be a doctor – looked up her nostril with an otoscope and then looked at me, bewildered, and said, “I can’t see anything.” I then asked, “So what do we do?” After 6 years of specialty training at some of New York’s top medical centers, and seeing “everything”, he said, “I have no idea. I have never seen anything like this!” Leave it to a 5-year-old to completely stump a seasoned medical professional.
The rest of night involved a number of phone calls consulting other medical professionals. On Monday morning we visited an ENT doctor, who also looked completely dismayed. She looked up Charlotte’s nose with an otoscope and saw nothing. After further exploration, which involved a fiber optic camera and a lot of squirming, it was determined that she must have swallowed it! The ENT doctor made Charlotte agree to never put anything else up her nose, they shook on it and we were on our way.
In the end, Charlotte was no worse for the wear, even when I told her that I would not be retrieving her lost tooth when it finally reappears. In case you are wondering, the tooth fairy did come. She left money and a note stating her disappointment and asking that Charlotte not shove any more teeth in her nose. Lastly, it has occurred to me that this is karma for all of the crazy (and often disgusting) things I did to my parents. What’s a mom to do?
Shape it, shape it, shape that healthy butt - just in time for bathing suit season. Baby, you got back.
May 2nd, 2012 | 2:01 AM
By Heather Dawson
Heather is a District Consultant and Group Exercise Instructor in Fishers, Indiana. She’s a busy mom to four kids and enjoys teaching cardio kickboxing and body sculpting classes at the local gym.
Want to get a better booty, but don’t have time for anything but a super quick workout? You can do these exercises quickly while your little once naps, or even during the commercial breaks of the latest Real Housewives! Check out these expert tips for a quick bootylicious fix (with a little help from PD staffer/”model”, Sara).
- Stand with one leg forward and one leg back.
- Bend knees and lower down into a lunge. Try to get both legs to a 90 degree angle. Be sure your front knee doesn’t come past your toes – it should be centered right above your ankle.
- Concentrate the weight in your heel and push back up to your starting position.
- Repeat until you’ve done 15-20 reps on each side. To add difficulty, you can hold weights and rest them up on your shoulders.
- SInk into a sumo squat position.
- With your legs bent at 90 degrees, push your knees to the back of the room about 1 inch and then return to start.
- Aim for 25-30 slow pulses.
- To really challenge yourself, do another round of this exercise while in a sumo squat on your toes!
Sumo Penguin Walk
- Begin in a sumo squat position where your toes are angled to the corners of the room, knees are bent at a 90 degree angle, and chest is lifted. Don’t sit back into this squat – go straight down.
- Staying in a low squat with feel pointed out, walk forward for 8 and then walk back to your starting position.
- Repeat this 6-8 times.
Side Band Walk
- This exercise requires a circular resistance band to put around your ankles.
- Start with feet hip width apart and a slight bend in the knees.
- Hold your core tight and step out to the side with your right foot, and then bring your left foot back to the starting position. Continue moving right until you’ve taken 10 large steps.
- Repeat moving left.
- Aim for 2-3 sets moving right and left.
- Lie on your back, with your knees bent.
- Raise your hips in the air to create a bridge.
- Keeping your hips raised, slowly lift and lower your hip aiming for 25-30 pulses.
- To finish, hold your hips in the air and alternate lifting your hips by squeezing your glute muscles one at a time. Aim for 12-15 pulses on each side.
Follow these tips and you’re just ten minutes away from a better behind. (Right, Sara?)