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I can’t believe it! August is almost here and It’s time to start planning Tavi’s second birthday. Having a summer birthday makes planning so very easy. Instead of renting a venue we are able to enjoy one of our favorite local parks! We can use the money saved to provide a nice lunch for our friends and family.

Step one, pick a date and send invitations! PaperlessPost is my go to for invitations. From a girls night to a very special birthday for my baby girl! I think I’ll choose this invitation. Tavi’s Smiling will be the icing on the birthday cake.

So, a late summer birthday party at a local park. Next I will plan the menu and of course I’m going to start looking for Tav’s party dress!

Stay Tuned!

xoxo

Raivon Lee

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Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! And while we so enjoy a whole day dedicated to celebrating love, we also know that relationships take work all year around! The film New Life is a great reminder of how important it is to show love to your partner each day.

We’ve put together 10 tips from New Life that will help keep the romance going all year long!

10 Tips for Romance All Year Long

1. Keep Saying “I Love You”

2.

3. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

4. Keep Things Interesting!

5. Make Time for Each Other

6. Apologies Are Important

7. Tell Your Partner Why You Appreciate Them

8. Be Considerate of One Another

9. Deal With Things As a Team

10. Reminisce About When You First Fell In Love

Sharing the tissue box with hits such as The Notebook and The Fault in Our Stars, New Life is a love story that makes all ​of life beautiful. Take a look at the trailer below.

NEW LIFE | Trailer - YouTube

New Life tells the story of Benjamin Morton (Jonathan Patrick Moore) and Ava (Erin Bethea), who meet as children. What began as a childhood friendship grows into a meaningful relationship as the two plan out their lives together. When life takes a turn neither of them expected, their entire future is called into question, and they must decide what it really means to make the most of life.

Interested in picking up a copy of New Life? You can pick up your copy here!

About Argentum Entertainment
Founded by Drew Waters and Erin Bethea, Argentum Entertainment creates quality projects for mass audiences by appealing to the highest demand in entertainment for just good movies. ArgentumEntertainment.com

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Its 2018. Woo-Hoo! A new year to make empty promises to myself. I soooo excited (sarcasm) .

Come on, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Unless you are a freak-of-nature that makes resolutions and keeps them or maybe you are the chick that doesn’t even think to making resolutions.

Truthfully, I am pretty pumped this year and even though I come off a bit cynical about previous years resolutions, 2018 will be different.

You want to know why?

Because 2018 MUST have a drastically different outcome. I’m in my 30’s now and I ain’t got the time to be missing the mark — the mark I set for MYSELF at that!

This year I’ve made really adult goals. I’ve got the adulting thing down! HA!

My Goals For Two Thousand Eighteen
  • Work out three days a week at Pure Barre
  • One date night with hubby a month!
  • Reach and maintain goal weight with the Slow Carb Diet
  • Make extra payments on car
  • Pay off any Medical Bills ( they have no interest)
  • At least ONE family vacay – Beach Trip! Got to make those memories! I’m thinking 30A.
  • Study Spanish in some form even if it’s just with DuoLingo
  • Read SIX Books (non-self help, because I’m obsessed with self help) I was gifted a Kindle Paper White for Christmas and I have Kindle Unlimited! I’m ready to crush this goal!
  • Extended Family FIRST! I want to make an intentional effort to reach out to my family. As I get older I’m understanding how important family really is!
  • Stop online shopping! This is a real problem. It is so very easy to spend $$$. From 2018 on, If I need something I need to be willing to make the effort to leave the house to find it. Also, I’ve been able to find really unique clothing in these little boutiques around Atlanta!
  • INVEST in my wardrobe! I’ve had no luck buying cheaper clothing. If I want to build my wardrobe it needs to be on a strong foundation. Finally I allowed myself (my husband) to purchase my long time love. Louis Vuitton Neverfull Bag. I should have done it a long time ago.

Y’all hold me accountable! I really struggle with this. I will be sharing updates along the way via Instagram.

Follow me there!

Please tell me, what are your goals? Why do you think 2018 will be THE year? Or why not? 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!
XOXO
Raivon Lee,
Vain Mommy

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Last week I shared 7 Christmas books you can share with your little ones — but this week we are getting down and dirty. Let’s keep it real, traveling with children can be is a special type H*LL. Long gone are the days of getting comfy in the passenger’s seat (because my hubby always drives. thx hun!) with a book or listening to an audio book, or having an uninterrupted  a conversation with Hubby. Now it’s:

Let’s drive as far as we can before they freak out!!!

Let’s stop before they fall asleep so we won’t wake them!

I think she pooped.

He’s hungry –AGAIN!

It all makes me so anxious!

We will be spending Christmas in Ohio this year. This involves a 12 hour drive, with our 4 and 1-year-old. The last time I was trapped in the car with them was the day of the eclipse. We were in the car for 15 hours!!!!! Because we were traveling from Virginia and stopped in Greenville SC so we could see “totality”. Not sure it was worth it.

Needless to say I’ve been thinking of ways to make this trip less torturous. Here’s how we can do it!

The Only Way To Survive Traveling With Kids

Expect the Expected! Plan and simple!

DO NOT fool yourself. This time will NOT be different. No fingers crossed.

Embrace ALL the things you dread most.

Take a few minutes and think — what creates the most anxiety for me?

For me that would be the tears, screams and endless pit stops, and the anxiety I create around missed nap times. Because missed naps mean over tikids and that is a place I don’t want to visit.

So, what makes you anxious? Now, think of how you can embrace/remedy the “issue”.

The best way to embrace what you dread is to change your mind about it.

1- Change the way you think of the situation.
2- Find a remedy.

Expect the tears… and think, how can I avoid the tears? Snacks, games, tablets, podcasts?

Expect the pit stops. How can I take a chill pill and not think about how much time we have lost? How can I make the stops fun!

Expect Tired Cranky Little Ones. How can I avoid missed naps? Change the time we leave? Drive at times they would normally sleep.

Expect Headaches, boo boos & sickness.

Simply Put. Whatever “IT” is you have the power to turn it around. That dreaded road trip will actually become bearable maybe even enjoyable!

I’m off to plan our 12 hour road trip! Expecting the expected! I will be sure to let you all know how it goes!

Where are you heading this holiday season?
XOXO
Raivon Lee,
Vain Mommy 

P.S. Start The Trip Before it Begins: Planning  the best part of any trip — even though we as parents know what’s in store for us, our children will no doubt enjoy being involved in the action.

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It’s that time of the year! My favorite time! CHRISTmas. I do enjoy watching the many cozy yet cheesy, movies with my children, but it is also VERY important to me that they know why we celebrating in the first place. I have been lucky enough to find several books that point to Jesus, as the reason for the season. My children really enjoy them. Check out the list below!

Seven Christian Christmas Books For Your Child!

Jesus Me, and my Christmas Tree 

“Let’s decorate the tree! Little ones can’t wait to put up the Christmas tree-a clear sign of exciting things to come. But what’s the meaning of this holiday tradition? Learn the symbolic meaning of the Christmas tree, from lights and ornaments and the star on top to the blessing of presents underneath” (2-5 years old)

A Star For Jesus

“God made the stars and put them up high to shine down on earth from up in the sky.” But long ago God made a special star. He put it in the sky to send a message: “Jesus our Savior has come
‘ We can look at the stars at night. And we can remember that a long time ago, Jesus’ star shone among them.” (4-8 years old)

My Christmas Stocking: Filled With Gods Love

“What happens on Christmas Eve while children sleep? “Their stockings are filled up with candy and toys, and happy surprises for good girls and boys.” A kindhearted man hid a gift in a stocking, long ago. He did it to “remind every one of the Gift that God sent.” Christmas stockings help us remember God’s love. ” (4-8 years old)

J is for Jesus: The Sweetest Story Ever Told

“I want a candy cane too! Everyone loves a candy cane-but it’s easy to overlook the meaning of this familiar Christmas tradition in all the hustle and bustle of the season. This sweet story reminds little ones that the candy cane represents Jesus’ birth and the gospel message too.” (2-5 years old)

Happy Birthday Jesus

“A family decorates the house and bakes a cake to celebrate Christmas, Jesus’s birthday.” (5-6 years old)

God Gave Us Christmas

“Mama’s answer only leads to more questions like “Is God more important than Santa?” So she and Little Cub head off on a polar expedition to find God and to see how he gave them Christmas.” (3-7 years old)

Christmas in the Manger 

“The gentle beauty of the story of the first Christmas is now available as a board book. With a simple, lyrical text and radiant artwork, this book is perfect for the youngest child to be a part of the wonder of the Nativity.”  (2-4 years old)

What other books do you know of that point to the true reason for the season?

Merry Christmas and Happy Reading!
XOXO
Raivon Lee,
Vain Mommy

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Christmas is quickly approaching and there are things that we moms want and need! I thought if I shared my Christmas list with you, it may help — because there just might be another mom out there that thinks a lot like me. Let’s get to it!

Christmas Gifts to Make Mom’s Life Easier

Car Vacuum

No. I don’t enjoy riding around town with a Costco sized container of snacks spilled on my car floors! I’d love to have a clean car BUT — KIDS. There is no way I’m taking them with me to have the car cleaned. That’s just another type of H*LL. Yes, Hubby would totally clean my car and does when he has time — but really, when does he have extra time — Because KIDS! OH, lets not talk about my explanation to the valet guy. SMH. I just apologize and say, “it’s my kids fault”. Because it is!

Robotic Vacuum

It would be so nice to have someone or someTHING cleaning for me at all times. Now that would be a life of luxury!

Keurig

When momma needs coffee, she needs it STAT! There really is nothing like a cup of coffee that I can count on being the same each and every day. Also, I’d love to offer my guests a cup of coffee or tea that I’m not afraid will be too strong, too bitter, or too weak.

VitaMix

This thing will cook soup for me, HOT healthy food for my kids! Also, I’ve spent too much time with my old blender trying to make a green smoothie before a playdate. I’d rather not spend time starting and stopping and stirring and hitting my blender to get it to blend.

Contigo Travel Mug

Of course the coffee goes with me! This mug is literally spill and leak proof. Like, upside down in my diaper bag spill proof. It also keeps hot drinks hot for up to 5 hrs and cold drinks cold even longer! They come in tons of colors as well. I’m a rose gold type of woman.

Christmas Gifts to Make Moms Life Stylish

LV Neverfull MM Damier Bag 

Because I’ve always wanted one but have always told myself no. This year I’m saying YES! This will be my ONE go to bag! Hear that Greggy?

Uggs

AKA. Cozy – public – slippers. Need I say more. I also think they are cute. Regardless of what “they” may say. But the whole sheep skin thing doesn’t sit well with me, so maybe a vegan version? Or the cardi Uggs?

Rose Gold Hoop Earrings

This girl can never have enough hoops! Big to small bigger,  perfect for any and all occasions even car-pool line!

Christmas Gifts to Make Moms Life More Relaxing

Wood Wick Candles

They make me feel fancy and tranquil and like a homemaker.  I really love the atmosphere they create in our home. What’s really special about these wood wick candles is that they crackle as they burn!

Coffee Mug 

This mug is for home. I prefer a large mug that requires two hands to hold — like on TV. But this “Hustle Darling” mug has stolen the show! I’d really be a #girlboss if I had coffee from my Keurig in this mug!

Christmas Gifts to Let Her know You Are Listening

Please, get the mom in your life at least one gift that lets her know you’ve been listening to her all year long. I’m sure she’s dropped a few hints, on purpose or not.

For me that would be

  • Day Planner
  • Photography gear
  • Blog Planner
  • A live in nanny
  • Housekeeper
  • Chef

I hope this has helped! 

So, what are you getting the mom in your life?

XOXO
Raivon Lee
Vain Mommy

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Earlier this year I took a Lymphatic Massage CE class to reactivate my L.M.T license. Surprisingly I learned much more than expected, even with a nursing background. You may have heard of Dry Brushing and are wondering, why you would dry brush, how to dry brush,  & what the benefits of dry brushing are. Here you will find out!

What is Dry Brushing?

Dry brushing is simply brushing your skin with a “dry brush” usually before showering. Starting at the feet and up towards the heart. For the upper body, start at the hands towards the heart. You should work towards the heart to better flush your lymph system.

What is the lymphatic system?
  • It is part of your bodies immune system
  • It helps your body eliminate toxins and other unwanted materials
  • It transports lymph, containing white blood cells which help fight infections body wide.
Why Dry Brush? What are the Benefits of Dry Brushing?
  • Detox! Help your immune system by flushing out all that icky waste in the lymph vessels
  • Exfoliation. Obviously right? Softer skin is always a plus. I know women who pay $$$ to have their skin scrubbed. This is essentially free other than the brush.
  • Cellulite, or collections of fat just below the skin can be improved by dry brushing. One of the main causes of cellulite is toxicity, or the build up of toxins in your body. Toxins come from the foods we eat, from the environment and chemicals we use in our homes. When the lymph system is only functioning at 50% the remaining toxins and wastes are stored in your fat cells! Have you ever heard someone warn not to lose weight to quickly or while breastfeeding — it’s because of the release of toxins.Long story short, assisting the elimination of lymph will help remove toxins from your fat cells, diminishing cellulite.
How to Dry Brush

The lymph vessels sit just below the skin, there is no need to exert a lot of pressure,  as you will compress the vessels. Gently brush towards the heart, so the fluid can be flushed. Don’t skip around, imagine that you are squeezing the last bit of toothpaste out of a tube. You’d start from the bottom and work your way up. Drink lots of water to help move things along.

It’s really as simple as that!

Finding a Dry Brushing Body Brush 

If you know me, you know that my go to for ALL things is AMAZON. I received this brush from Bath Blossom to try.

Also, I have been a LONG time user of exfoliating shower gloves. But haven’t used them to dry brush.

Overall, I’d recommend a brush like this that fits in the palm of your hand because you will have greater control.

So, What do you think? Will you dry brush? Let me know in the comments!

XOXO 
Raivon Lee
Vain Mommy

#bathblossom #bathbrush #showerbrush #drybrush

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We are actually doing this.

Downsizing! Which is pretty risky for a family of 4.

We are moving from our 2900+ square foot home in the ‘burbs, into a 1100 square foot apartment in-town. By choice. We are not meant for the suburbs, especially non-diverse ‘burbs — especially ‘burbs that don’t have a Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Fresh Market, Costco, or Sprouts #FirstWorldProbs. Shopping for food is one of my favorite pass times and I’m a foodie, I need my grocery shopping to be an experience, NOT a chore.

Anyway, we were looking for homes, saw several, but there was nothing we LOVED, and what we LOVED we were not willing to afford (isn’t it crazy how much they will approved you for?!) and we won’t settle — AGAIN. Buyers remorse is not fun.

In preparing for our move there have been lots of things we aren’t going to have and/or make space for. Also there’s that “if you don’t love it don’t keep it thing.”

One of those things was our sofa, or one of our 3 sofas rather. What’s funny is even though we had three sofas the 4 of us ended up on the same sofa! Same goes for rooms, having a play room only meant I had one more space to clean, the kids never played in there.

Greg and I talked about selling the sofa but decided to post it on NextDoor (a great resource BTW) for FREE. We were contacted almost immediately by a neighbor who was looking for furniture for her niece who had just moved into her first place.

She was so excited to have found it. Once they picked it up and delivered it to her niece she sent pictures. These picture are worth a thousand words. She said how excited her niece was and thanked us for blessing her family — otherwise they don’t know when she would have been able to get one. We all know that feeling of having our first place.

My heart was touched because from our excess (and we have a lot of it), we were able to help others. We all are blessed enough to have excess — in some form. Even better my son is able to witness the truth of, “it’s better to give than to receive”.

Our family has barely begun this journey, yet we are already gaining so much from it.

For this I am thankful!

One week until we move!!

What have you given lately?

XOXO
Raivon Lee
Vain Mommy

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Ignorance is not bliss.

Ignorance hurts others, even those we deeply care for.

Ignorance breeds ignorance.

It took me longer than I’d like to admit, to realize that there are American holidays that celebrate oppression. I knew — but I didn’t really KNOW until I began to teach my own child. So much growth occurs after becoming a parent.

In our homeschool Columbus day and Thanksgiving are two of the most challenging to accurately share.

Take Columbus Day for example. Who was Columbus? What is he known for? Did he truly discover America? Or was it already discovered?! Just watch this video. It is so powerful!

Christopher Columbus | Native Americans | One Word - YouTube

Finding resources that are culturally and historically accurate is challenging. Surprise surprise! Sarcasm. Even when I do come across books that I think will fit the bill often they don’t, there are still lingering slivers of misinformation.

Learning & Sharing the Truth About Thanksgiving

The film below is from PBS. I think  know that I am more excited about this film than my kid! There are 5 episodes lasting approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes each. You can purchase the entire season (5 episodes) for $6.99 from Amazon.

American Experience: We Shall Remain
“They were charismatic and forward thinking, imaginative and courageous, compassionate and resolute, and, at times, arrogant, vengeful, and reckless. For hundreds of years, Native American leaders from Massasoit, Tecumseh, and Tenskwatawa, to Major Ridge, Geronimo, and Fools Crow, valiantly resisted expulsion from their lands and fought the extinction of their culture. Sometimes, their strategies were militaristic, but more often they were diplomatic, spiritual, legal, and political. From PBS’s acclaimed history series, American Experience, in association with Native American Public Telecommunications, We Shall Remain establishes Native history as an essential part of American history. These five documentaries spanning three hundred years tell the story of pivotal moments in U.S. history from the Native American perspective, upending two-dimensional stereotypes of American Indians as simply ferocious warriors or peaceable lovers of the land.”

Since sharing is caring, check out this post from Cool Mom Picks:7 Thanksgiving books for kids written from the Native Perspective

For quick reference I have included the links to the books recommended by Cool Mom Picks below!

Remember, as parents we aren’t meant to be perfect. As much as I wish I knew everything about everything, I don’t — I do know that I want to raise a child that is aware, culturally sensitive and just an overall caring person. I believe that each of us are doing wonderfully, as long as we are making steps in the right direction. 

I am genuinely interested — How you are sharing the story of Thanksgiving with your family?

Happy Thanksgiving!
Raivon Lee
Vain Mommy

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