A Mother’s Promise

This is a sponsored post for Acorn Influence, but all opinions are completely my own. 

As parents, we tell our kids lots of things. We tell them, ‘if you’re good, you’ll get a treat;’ ‘if you go to bed now, you’ll get three books before bed tomorrow;’ ‘if you stop throwing a temper tantrum in the middle of the store you can have candy for dinner for the rest of your life.’ Do any of these sound familiar?

My daughter is only 13-months-old, but I think about what sorts of things I will tell her as she grows up. Sure, I know there will be a lot of artful negotiating and bribing in our future, but when I make a promise to her, that will be different. A promise should be different. The word promise should be sacred and trusted. I only want to make promises to her that I will honor and keep.

Of course, I promise to love, protect, and care for her always. But I have something extremely important to me that I want to make a known vow, something that’s a living, breathing, palpable part of my family. One of the vows I am making to my daughter is a promise to both of us: I promise to raise her in the spirit of kindness and to lead by example.

DIY Non-Toxic All Purpose Cleaner

I’m a bit of a cleaning fanatic- I can’t relax and watch TV if I see specks of dust on the lampshade, and my husband can attest to my totally ‘rational’ meltdowns about dusty wood floors. I love cleaning products- I love the smell and I love using them, knowing I’m making my home clean. Since I’ve had my daughter, I’ve been more interested in learning about what products I’m using as I’m spraying them all over the house.

A Pinterest search for DIY cleaners led me down the beautiful path to my new love obsession- Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap. First, a little history lesson, because if you’re like me, you’re wondering what the heck ‘Castile soap’ is, am I right? Centuries ago, soap was made is Spain’s Castile region from olive oil, and now, Castile soap refers to any vegetable oil-based soap, which guarantees a completely ecological, simple solution to cleaning. As a cleaning buff, I can attest to the fact that this stands up to the most potent cleaning products out there.

15 Lessons From My 7-Year-Old Self

Recently I came across some true gold, buried in my parents’ basement – a school journal from 1994. I quickly immersed myself in my 7-year-old life, approaching it the same way as when faced with a new box of Oreos: needing to devour it at once yet wanting to savor every last tiny morsel. So that’s what I did. I read it out loud, page-by-page, wanting to speed read and skip ahead to see what’s next but kept cool and reserved to cherish my youngster words. My lucky husband got to pause his show and his work for the night until I made it through the whole year, as I shared my most personal childhood confessions, likes and dislikes, and pretty much every little detail that ever happened to me in 1994. What can I say? I was always a writer and didn’t want to miss a thing.

As I smiled, gasped, and laughed so hard I actually cried (not just as in the expression…there were tears), I realized there were so many raw, honest truths from my 7-year-old self that apply to me today. I’ll share excerpts from my journal that coincide with my top 15 lessons that I learned from my 7-year-old self.

Transitioning Fashion from Winter to Spring

The transition from winter to spring in Chicago is especially fickle. Just last week I was playing outside with my daughter and the next day there was a winter storm watch! So how’s a girl to transition her closet from winter to spring with such a strange, uncertain overlap of weather?

I was feeling slightly overwhelmed when seeing the lack of spring clothes in my closet; last year during this time, I was on my maternity leave and hardly left the house. I missed out on a whole season of buying fresh springy clothes because I didn’t want to wear anything without an elastic waist band, but I found myself in a bind. Well, two binds actually.

  1. How do I dress in this transitional time between winter and spring?
  2. How do I update my wardrobe without spending all of my money on a crazy shopping spree?

Enter thredUP to the rescue! I was thrilled at the opportunity to try out Thred UP’s services and was compensated with a few clothing items to solve my wardrobe problems.

The Truth Behind My Instagram Self

We live in an age of sharing. Not the kind of sharing we learn in preschool though, where I give you something and you give it back; this kind of sharing really has nothing to do with conventional interpersonal communication. We live in an age of social sharing. This kind of sharing allows people all over the world to connect from the comfort of their couches. This kind of sharing allows you to find out what your old high school friends are up to without ever having to communicate with them. This kind of sharing has increasingly become more visually-based than text-based, especially with the popularity of Pinterest and Instagram. So how does all of this visual communication with no boundaries impact society and individuals?

It’s fairly common knowledge that the media negatively impacts many people’s self-esteem, giving them unrealistic expectations of beauty standards, whatever that means. You can check out some statistics about how the media impacts women here. Social media definitely plays into these self-confidence issues, but I am opening up on my Instagram point-of-view and social self.

How I Know Your Favorite Scent in the World

When I was growing up, my mom used to ask me this: “How would you know me if there were ten other moms that were identical to me?”

“I would just know,” I would say.

“But how could you tell if we all looked the same?”

“Umm, your freckles,” I would offer.

“No, they would all have my freckles, too.”

“The way you looked at me,” I would suggest, feeling incredibly deep in all my 10-year-old wisdom.

“What if they all looked at you the same way?”

“I know – your smell.”

Isn’t it true? The power of smell is undeniable. A familiar waft can bring you back in time and evoke powerful emotions. Scents can make your mouth water or your heart surge. They can help fill a hole when you miss someone or unknowingly bring you peace and comfort.