14 Ways to Tell Your Kids You Love Them (without saying it)

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February, the host month of Valentine’s Day, instantly makes me feel all lovey-dovey just by flipping over the page on the calendar. I start thinking of love notes, secret admirers, and who I could surprise with heart-shaped cupcakes. (zucchini cupcakes, of course.)


It would be really nice if we could live everyday like this, but life is busy.

So we probably don’t.


If we are totally honest here, many times it is the people we love the very most that get the least of our loving attention. At least somedays.

Busy schedules, endless errands, and tons of responsibilities pull us in too many directions to keep track of. Lots of times, the day ends with a little yelling, a scramble for bedtime, and an exhausted mom collapsing on the couch.


No doubt we always remember to whisper to each of our children, “I love you” before one last kiss and turning out the lights.

But February, the month of love, demands so much more!

I have brainstormed some simple but sweet ways to step up and LOVE UP those little buggers who call you Mom!


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  1. Make their favorite meal.

  2. Let them choose a movie or show they really want to see and watch it…. with fervor.

  3. Let your kiddo choose your outfit. (You might reserve this for the weekend unless the fashion game is strong in your little one.

  4. Cuddle up and just talk.

  5. Pick a recipe and cook together.

  6. Stay in their room a little longer when you tuck them in at night.

  7. Write them a note that tells them something you love about them. Leave it where you know they will find it.

  8. Ask their opinion about something. Really listen to their response.

  9. Celebrate a victory that usually goes less noticed. A completed reading log, making their bed, helping a sibling. Make it a BIG DEAL.

  10. Help them with a project like cleaning up their room or picking up toys. Hug them afterwards and tell them that you love spending time together.

  11. Dance party. (I recommend putting together a sweet playlist before hand.

  12. Build a fort. Sleep in it.

  13. Surprise them! Have ice cream for dinner, plan an after school excursion to the rock climbing park, or anything else you all find fun. Everyone likes a fun twist to the normal routine.

  14. Try adding to your “I love you’s” by saying, “I love you because….”.

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This is just the beginning! I bet you have ideas of your own, maybe even some you have tried in years past. Consider yourself invited to share your own ideas in a comment belong or even in our online moms group, The Real Moms Collaborative.

Thank you so much for reading and HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

Winter Soups and Stews to Warm Your Body and Soul

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Winter Soups & Stews

To Warm Your Body and Soul


Soups and stews are my favorite winter meals.

Simple to put together, nourishing, and they just warm you up right to your bones. Everyone can use a few extra soup & stew recipes on hand right now. They are perfect for the cold and snowy days the next few weeks have to offer. (Click the recipe names for the recipe!)


  • Beef Stew with Root Vegetables. Everything about a recipe like this is grounding and soul nourishing. The root vegetables are packed full of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients we need in these chilly months and the beef is a hearty and satisfying.


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  • Chicken Soup. Everyone needs a great chicken soup recipe for the winter months and this one is a favorite for me. One, it is paleo, so I don’t have to substitute any ingredients I tend to avoid, and two, including ingredients like cauliflower and turmeric amp up the healthy factor for me. (You know I like that.)



  • Bone Broth. This little mineral-filled gem is a MUST-HAVE for the winter. Pour it into your travel mug and sip this in place of a cup of coffee or tea. Or use it as a base for ramen or a veggie soup. It is the simplest recipe to make (that gets double points in my book) and is so good for ya!



  • Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup. THIS. Simple enough to prepare, you can put it together in the slow cooker and walk away (winning), and it is out of this world delicious. That should be all I need to say about this recipe.



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  • Mushroom Stew. This is my husband’s favorite source of amazing recipes. (He is an excellent home cook, BTW!) And this recipe drew me in with the words “fresh and wild mushrooms”. The comments offer some great ideas on variations as well so check them out!



This should get you started, right?

Now don’t be shy! Hit the comments below is you plan to try one of these awesome recipes or have one you can share with our community. I absolutely love hearing from you.



If you want to stay better connected, join our free online community, the Real Moms Collaborative, or sign up for updates below!



Thank you for reading!





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3 Morning Rituals That Help Me Slay the Day

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In my 44 years on this sweet Earth I have learned a great many lessons.

I’ve learned that coffee, when it is really good coffee, is pretty enjoyable black with no sugar.

I’ve learned that despite my lowest lows and a variety of slumps I have pushed through, my body is indeed capable of running 26.2 miles if I ask it nicely enough.

I’ve learned that the direction of my day, good, bad, or ugly, is often determined in the first hour I am awake.



I use these lessons everyday.

I skip the weak cups of coffee and wait instead for the opportunity to drink the cups I prefer and I am always glad I did. (Kind of like a “I am just too grown to drink crappy coffee”- type thing.)

I offer gratitude regularly just because I have legs to carry me through the day, a heart that beats without me asking, and lungs that keep me breathing.

And I begin every single day with intention, practicing rituals that improve my mood, energy, and the general tone of the rest of my day.



It is no great mystery to discover that when our days begin with chaos and we rush through the morning, we carry that tone and energy all day long. When we begin in a calm, organized way, things tend to fall into place so much easier.



If given a choice, I go with option B every time.



I have settled into the latter choice with a little resistance at first. (I don’t deal well with change.) but l liked the way the day went when I was mindful about morning rituals and that made being consistent much easier. Whenever I find myself saying, “Oh, I can skip that part for today,” my mind fast forwards the day and I remember how I want to feel at the end of it. I know I am much more likely to end the day with a satisfied and grateful smile if I follow through.



And so I do.



The Morning Rituals That Help Me Slay the Day:

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  • Meditate. Discovering the Calm app has made this the easiest part of my morning to slip into. Without much thought or any preparation at all (In other words, no more searching youtube for a good guided mediation or one that fits my time limitations.) I just wake, brush my teeth, turn on the coffee, and then get comfortable. This one simple ritual has made a huge difference in my life. Now I can’t imagine my mornings without it.

  • Move. During the week this usually means a simple yoga/stretch routine. Just a little something to allow the body to wake up and get the positive vibes flowing. For me, it isn’t anything too intense, just enough to feel ready for the day.

  • Set intentions. I may do this while face-to-face with myself in the bathroom mirror or while I am sipping my morning coffee. I set one, two, or sometimes three simple intentions for the day. And they vary.

    Today I will respond to each situation with loving kindness.

    Today I will send out the invitations to the party.

    Today I will choose my book and my journal instead of the TV.

    Today I will make it yoga no matter what.

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None of this has to take very long at all but the impact is amazing. If you are looking for ways to positively influence the course of your day, you could try any one of these, all of these, or create your own morning rituals.

If you do embrace these or other morning rituals, tell me and other like-minded moms in our online group, The Real Moms Collaborative. It is our free group that makes sharing and connecting so much easier.




Thank you for reading. If you benefited from this post, please feel free to comment below or share it in your inner circle of moms. If you do or if you don’t, all love all the same.


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