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About the author  ⁄ Angela Amman

Angela Amman is a short story and essay writer. Collecting her family's stories is a gift-in-progress for her daughter and son, and she blogs at Playing with Words, capturing the craziness and beauty that weave together to create something extraordinary. As the co-director of Listen To Your Mother Metro Detroit, Angela is thrilled to bring others' stories to the stage and to celebrate the magic of words, storytelling, and the courage to share that magic with an audience. When she should be sleeping, she works on her latest short story collection. Her writing has been featured on Mamalode, Peacock Journal, and Scary Mommy. Her personal essays and short stories have appeared in her collection, Nothing Goes Away, and various anthologies.

This post is sponsored by Mox shoes. All opinions are my own. 

Mox shoes call themselves “the anywhere shoes.” Secretly, I wasn’t sure about that before I slid my feet into them. I’m more of a “go with the heels” type of shoe wearer most of the time, but I loved the idea of snagging a pair of Mox shoes for times when heels don’t seem quite right.

Mox shoes

Mox shoes made a fantastic first impression

Gold flats landed on my wish list last fall, but I hadn’t yet added a pair to my closet. A pair of Mox felt like the perfect chance to try metallic shoes. They arrived in a reusable cotton bag, which made me smile. Cute packaging goes a long way! Unwrapping them felt special from the moment I opened the box. I liked that the color was rich and warm without feeling too yellow.

Lighter nail polish and sunglasses move into constant rotation when warmer weather arrives. Plus, I finally get to retire boots until the leaves start to change colors in the fall.

Convenient and comfortable choice for walking to school

We’re lucky enough to live within walking distance to school. My kids think they want to experience the carpool lane, but I appreciate being able to walk with them — no matter what the weather. Our neighborhood doesn’t have sidewalks, which means I spend part of our walk traipsing across the lawn. During winter months and early spring, I know I’ll turn to snow boots or my favorite wellies, depending on the weather.

As the weather gets warmer, I don’t always know what to wear. Flip flops just aren’t my favorite, and my sky-high wedges seem a little silly when I might end up spending time at the playground once that final bell rings. Mox shoes turned out to be the perfect choice for my twice-daily walks. Since light and breathable Mox are made from 100% man made rubber, I don’t have to worry about early morning dew soaking my running shoes. My feet look cute, and I’m able to stay comfortable even if my kids try to cajole me into a game of tag after school.

Moving Mox shoes into my wardrobe rotation

After wearing Mox to school for a couple of days, I started to think about how true it was that they could be a true “anywhere” shoe. Lightweight and flexible, I can’t think of a better shoe to toss into a carryon while traveling. They wear comfortably, which matters during travel, and they’re sleek enough to pair with shorts, jeans, or sundresses. Even a heel die-hard like me might tuck them into a clutch the next time I go to a wedding or formal event. Dancing the night away sometimes requires changing into a more comfortable, yet still stylish, pair of shoes.

I’ll definitely wear them almost daily this summer. My kids and I spend as many waking hours as possible at the pool. My time there mostly involves keeping an eye on them from the side of the water. They’re getting much too mature to want their mom in the water with them when they’re with friends. A pair of cute, waterproof shoes will make it easy to choose what to put on in the morning.

Try a pair of Mox shoes — and get 10% off

We’re excited to offer our Savvy Sassy readers a promo code good through April 21st for 10% off. Pick your favorite Mox shoes, and use the code SASSY10 at checkout. (I found them to be true to size. I wear either a 6 or 6 1/2 in most shoes, and the 36 fit perfectly.)

Keep up with Mox online
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I recently attended an awards ceremony for an art program at my children’s school. We’re gearing up for a fantastic reading program that brings authors into the school to discuss their books and their craft with students. We’re lucky to have these programs. My involvement with the PTA has opened my eyes to how much money these programs cost. Unfortunately, I also see how little money many schools have.

Scholar Dollars school grants

How grants help schools

Grants give schools the opportunity to supplement shrinking budgets. Students, teachers, and honestly the whole community benefit from successful grant applications. You might not know it, but teachers and principals in your child’s school consistently look for grants for things they think will benefit their students. Schools apply for grants for alternative seating for students who struggle to stay focused at a traditional desk. They apply for technology grants to replace and upgrade technology. Grant funds provide money that wouldn’t otherwise be in the school, and they help students directly.

Scholar Dollars awards school grants to California schools

Earlier this year, we shared information about the Scholar Dollars program. ScholarShare, California’s 529 college savings plan administers the plan, which awards 20 grants of up to $25,000 each to eligible K-8 public and charter schools in California. That grant money makes it possible for schools to make improvements in areas where they see the most need. The flexibility of the grants truly lets each school control their grant.

Scholar Dollars grants

Vote for Scholar Dollars grants

Applications for the grants have been made, with 396 schools vying for the grants. You can check to see if your school applied for a grant — and you can vote for schools to receive a grant. Only California schools could apply, but anyone can vote. Even if your school isn’t in the running, I’d encourage you to vote for one of the eligible schools.

Each application required the school to explain how they would spend the grant money. You can read statements from each school on the voting site. Every school that applied provided compelling uses for the money, so you’re sure to find a school you’d like to help.

To learn more about the Scholar Dollars program, watch this video — and don’t forget to vote!

 

This post was developed in partnership with Scholar Share. All ideas are our own.

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We all search high and low for the best baby products on the market. But — confession time — my baby is running off to school and those products stay in my home. Find out which products I transitioned from “for baby” to “for mama”.

baby products moms love

Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment Advanced Therapy Skin Protectant

Until we diagnosed her milk protein allergy, one of my sweet babies dealt with some serious diaper rash. I kept it at bay with Aquaphor. It quickly soothed and protected her skin, even after so many other recommended creams didn’t work for us. With the amount of hand-washing that comes with frequent diaper changes, I’d grab that blue topped tub and smear the ointment on my hands. I soon noticed Aquaphor kept my hands moisturized far longer than my other favorite lotions — and the lack of scent meant it wasn’t irritating my baby’s skin when we cuddled. That “baby” is now nine years old, and I’m still buying Aquaphor.

baby products moms love

The Honest Company baby wipes

I thought I’d ditch the baby wipes once we said goodbye to potty training. I was wrong. I keep them stashed in the car for quick hand and face wipes when we’re rushing between extracurricular activities. My favorite use for them, however, happens when I’m in a hurry and realize I’ve gotten deodorant on one of my many black or gray shirts. A quick blot and rub with baby wipes gets rid of the telltale white marks. I like The Honest Company wipes, because I don’t notice leftover lint you get from other wipes.

Baby products moms love

A diaper clutch

I adored my diaper bag — a Petunia Picklebottom Boxy Backpack — but I never looked back when my kids grew old enough for me to carry a regular purse again. However, I’m never giving up this Petunia Picklebottom Convertible Clutch. When my kids were little, I used the diaper clutch for short walks and visits to grandma’s, where my mom kept all sorts of snacks and entertainment for her beloved grandchildren. I thought I’d retire it as they grew out of diapers, but I’m holding onto this beauty for a while. I’ve taken out the foldout changing pad, of course, but the easily cleaned exterior makes perfect sense for nights out or sporting events. I never have to worry about spills.

baby products moms love

A travel humidifier

I’ve lost track of the number of hotels where I’ve woken up with a headache and a stuffy nose. Whether an overzealous heating and cooling system or just bad luck, I hate feeling less than stellar on vacation. A travel humidifier, like this one from Crane, saves my sinuses every time. Small enough to tuck into a suitcase, even for air travel, I can see myself keeping this in rotation even when the kids aren’t traveling with us.

Baby products moms love

A Wet Brush

My always-opinionated daughter never wanted her hair cut, but she dug in her heels each time I brushed it. Unluckily for me — and luckily for her! — her hair grew in beautifully thick, which meant lots of brushing to keep it tamed. My own hairdresser recommended a Wet Brush, and I brushed her hair religiously with the detangling brush for years. It eliminated arguments and tears — maybe for both of us. She’s older now and prefers a different brush, but she does her own hair, so I don’t mind. The Wet Brush lives in our pool bag all summer, though. We all use it after swimming, and it works just as well as it did on her tender toddler head.

baby products moms love

Do you still use any of your “baby” products?
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Cricket Wireless knows tax season means different things to different people. Some of us scramble and dig through filing cabinets to put together the documents we need. Maybe you’re working late on other people’s taxes. Some of us watch our kids run amok in the post office, while counting the people in line and hoping no one asks one of those long questions people tend to ask post office workers.

All of those things tend to bring frowns to our face, but Cricket Wireless wants to bring you another — brighter — side of tax season. If you’re already holding onto your tax refund and wondering what to do with it, or if you’re tapping your toes and waiting for that direct deposit to clear, Cricket Wireless wants to help, so they’re offering a mobile makeover that will make you smile this tax season.

Cricket Wireless

Tax season deals from Cricket Wireless

With various deals to fit your family’s needs, you can give your wireless plan a complete mobile makeover. First of all, if you’re already a Cricket customer, stick with them for affordable plans and reliable nationwide network to more than 99% of Americans, based on overall coverage in the U.S. Changing carriers worries people, but one of the tax season deals might entice you to do just that, in order to get a new smartphone, keep cash in your pocket and save money overall on your mobile needs.

Cricket Wireless deals

You can get select 4G LTE smartphones for free when you switch, which is an amazing offer. The offer includes: Samsung Galaxy Amp 2, Alcatel Streak, ZTE Sonata 3 and LG Spree phones*. (*While supplies last. Req’s svc activ. w/qual. plan (min. $30/mo), port-in (excl. AT&T ports) & new svc. line. 1st mo. svc charge & sales tax (NV only) due at sale. Restr’s apply. Terms & restr’s subject to change. Coverage not avail. everywhere.)

Why choose Cricket Wireless

For most of us, our cell phones act as a link to the outside world. We carry our schedules, our contacts and our to-do lists in the palms of our hand, and we want to find a company that makes us feel happy about where we’re spending our money. We like that Cricket wants to provide a simpler and smarter wireless experience. With all of the things we’re juggling, the straightforward pricing from Cricket includes taxes and monthly fees, so it’s clear what our costs will be each month. You don’t even have to sign a yearly contract. The variety of smartphones offered means every member of your family will find something they love.

Cricket Wireless Offers

Make the most of tax season with Cricket Wireless

Check out Cricket’s tax season deals to see why now is the best time to join @Cricketnation, and then keep up with the latest news and deals on their social networks:

DISCLAIMER: This blog was sponsored by Cricket Wireless. All thoughts, opinions and views are my own.

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My kids have recently become enamored with Wheel of Fortune. They love trying to guess the puzzles and watching the wheel spin around the brightly colored sums of money. The money, to them, remains a bit of an abstraction. Their understanding of cash crashes into a ceiling directly above toys or books they save for; my husband and I haven’t yet explained the intricacies of planning for the future.

Ladder life insurance

The importance of life insurance

Many of us, when planning for the future, see “retirement savings” and “college savings” looming ahead. Thinking about life insurance can be scary; who wants to think about death? Buying life insurance may not be on your radar, particularly if your employer offers insurance. However, many employers only offer plans that cover a few times your annual salary, which might not cover your beneficiaries’ needs. Ladder knows life insurance means a little extra love for your family, a way to ensure their needs are met in the case of an unimaginable tragedy.

What is Ladder?

The founder and CEO of Ladder benefited from life insurance at a very young age, making him determined to provide life insurance in a consumer-focused way, rather than an agent-focused way. From this idea, Ladder took shape with the help of savvy minds from from Google, Dropbox, Harvard and Stanford. In short, Ladder is the modern answer to traditional life insurance, combining the power of technology with top-notch financial and insurance expertise to bring consumers the insurance uniquely suited to their families. Ladder eliminates the middleman (the traditional insurance agent) to streamline the process of securing life insurance.

How Ladder works

Ladder allows consumers to purchase life insurance quickly, with a concise online calculator that takes away some of the guesswork involved when working with a commissioned sales agent. You use the calculator to determine your need and receive an online quote. You have an answer — and, for those who qualify, even coverage — as quickly as you can type. The entire process can take less than 10 minutes, so you don’t have to postpone this protection for your family any longer.

Why Ladder makes sense for families

Busy families want to spend time together, not sit in an insurance office. The Ladder process takes such a short amount of time, whereas the traditional-agented insurance process can take up to six weeks, not including the time spent in an agent’s office. With a few clicks and honest answers to questions, parents can provide a safety net for their family without leaving home.

Keep up with Ladder on social media

Ladder is currently only available for California residents but it plans to roll out to customers nationwide this year.

Thank you to Ladder for sponsoring this post. All opinions are our own. 

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At the beginning of every new year, we seem to focus on wellness. For some of us, it’s working out more, and for others it is losing a few unnecessary pounds. Almost everyone plans on eating healthier.

Burts Bees Haylie Duff recipes

New mom Haylie Duff is just like the rest of us. She struggles with finding the perfect balance between work and life. She tries to make sure be the one to put her daughter to bed and get up with her in the middle of the night.

Haylie struggles with mom guilt as well. Guilt leaves very little time for prioritizing herself, but she talked about wanting to incorporate more wellness into her 2017 daily routine. When she previously tried to incorporate more wellness and health into her routine, it called for a huge lifestyle change. According to Haylie, that inconvenience might keep us from integrating more wellness into our lives.

Haylie also talked about how most protein powders feel like you should drink them post workout, which can be very tough when you’re as busy as Haylie — another added piece to her mom guilt. So when Burt’s Bees came to her with a protein powder line that focused more on holistic health, she wanted to learn all about it.

Burt’s Bees stated that so many of their fans are becoming increasingly more conscious of what they are putting into their bodies — not just on their bodies. They’re seeing an upswing in health trends and people looking for an easy way to integrate healthy fats and proteins.

They created a protein powder line that was 70% non-GMO, organic and vegetarian — not vegan since it is sweetened with honey. The plant based protein powders (pea, rice, flaxseed, sunflower seed, and oat protein) contain no fillers and stay conscious of the salt and sugar. Every product in their healthy nutrition line is free of dairy, gluten and and soy.

All three of Burt’s Bees’ protein powders offer 15 grams of protein as well as vitamins and minerals. Protein + Gut Health supports digestive health as part of a balanced diet, and Protein + Healthy Radiance gives your skin a healthy glow. I love the part of their movement that beauty truly does come within and radiate externally.

Moms will appreciate that these protein powders also come in “on the go” packs. Stash them in your bag and mix with a milk of your choice while running errands or traveling.

One of my favorite parts of the partnership between Haylie and Burts Bees is the four amazing recipes Haylie developed. Her tasty recipes make it easy to add more plant-based protein and vitamins into your life without it feeling like it’s a huge lifestyle change. My little guy taste tested these recipes and declared them kid approved!

Learn more about Burts Bees new nutritional line and purchase products here.

Recipes via Haylie Duff’s, The Real Girl’s Kitchen website

cherry chia smoothie

Chia Cherry Chocolate Smoothie

Serves 1

Blend together:

1 scoop Burt’s Bees™ Plant-Based Protein Shakes – Chocolate
1 cup Almond Milk
1 cup frozen cherries (pitted)
1 tablespoon Chia Seeds
1/2 cup blackberries
2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
1/2 cup ice

green smoothie

Green Vanilla Mint Smoothie

Serves 1

Blend together:

1 scoop Burt’s Bees™ Plant-Based Protein Shakes – Vanilla
1 cup baby spinach
1 cup kale
1/2 cup Almond Milk
1/2 cup filtered water
2-3 tablespoon avocado
2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
6 fresh mint leaves
1 cup ice

chia pudding

Banana Chai Steel Cut Oats

Serves 2-3
1 scoop Burt’s Bees™ Plant-Based Protein Shakes – Vanilla
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 cup steel cut oats
1 cup coconut milk
3 cup filtered water
3/4 Chai Tea bag (contents)
1 small banana, sliced
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of Cinnamon
Maple Syrup to taste
1-2 tablespoons water

Instructions:
Bring coconut milk, 2 cups of water and banana to a boil in a medium size pot.
In a separate skillet, slightly toast steel cut oats with the coconut oil.
Once milk mixture is boiling, add oats, a pinch of kosher salt and let bubble for 1 minute.
Reduce heat to low and add Chai contents, maple syrup and cinnamon.
Let simmer on lowest heat stirring occasionally for 20 minutes.
Remove from heat and add 1 scoop protein powder (Add 1-2 tablespoons of warm water if needed.)
Enjoy Immediately

This post was contributed by Veena Crownholm. Veena was Miss California 2004 and forth runner-up to Miss America. Since then, she has worked extensively in the non­-profit industry specializing in special event fundraising and program development. After giving birth to her son in late 2010, Veena began contributing to lifestyle media outlets. She has made appearances on national television programs including HLN, Raising America, Inside Edition, The Insider, CBS/KCAL9 and Huffington Post Live, as well as being featured in the Los Angeles Times, Kids in the House and Randi Zuckerberg’s Dot Complicated. You can find Veena on Instagram and Twitter.

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Our kids spend a lot of their lives in their classrooms, and each day teachers work with their students to maximize learning. Those teachers often work tirelessly, and with limited resources, to create an engaging learning environment. To know a teacher is to know someone who makes personal sacrifices to help make their classroom a better place for their students. Grants Available to California Schools

Scholar Dollars gives classrooms a boost

The California State Treasurer, John Chiang, recently announced the Scholar Dollars program, administered by ScholarShare, California’s 529 college savings plan. Scholar Dollars will award 20 grants of up to $25,000 each to eligible K-8 public and charter schools in California. Grant amounts depend on school size, and recipients enjoy a great deal of flexibility regarding use of grant funds. Schools can spend their grant money on musical instruments, computers, library books, sports equipment, or support enrichment programs such as tutoring labs, student counseling, science and technology and many other activities

Scholar Dollars

Details about Scholar Dollars

First, during the Scholar Dollars registration period, school administrators can register for the program and apply for grants. All registered schools will appear on an online ballot, along with respective details on how each plans to use the funds if they are selected.

Then, during March, parents, relatives, boosters, and community supporters can vote for their school. Top vote-getters in each category will receive an award, and grant recipients will be announced in early April.

How to get Scholar Dollars into your school

If you happen to be a school administrator, you can register your own school. If you’re a parent or community member, contact school administration about registering your school. Let your school know about the grant program and encourage them to register. Then get to work rallying votes for your school.

Since most of us aren’t school administrators, we did some brainstorming. We hope you’ll consider our ideas about how to spread the word about Scholar Dollars. Remember, eligible schools in your California community have until February 22 to register.

  • Contact your school administrators directly
  • Get in touch with your PTA/PTO
  • Share the Scholar Dollars information on social media
  • Talk to your child’s teacher

Lastly, don’t forget to thank your teachers for all the work they do in the classroom. Just think of the additional programs your students will benefit from with a Scholar Dollars grant in place.

Learn more about the Scholar Dollars program

Do you know of a school that could benefit from the Scholar Dollars program?

This post was developed in partnership with Scholar Share. All ideas are our own.

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With the new year in full swing, we’re starting to talk about book club meetings again. We don’t judge if your friends meet to dive into bestsellers or into everyone’s favorite bottle of bubbly. Either way, we have eight book recommendations you won’t want to miss.

2017 Winter Book Club Picks

If you worry about the pressures of competitive sports

Megan Abbott explored the world of glittering, competitive cheerleading in Dare Me. She returned this summer to stare down the explosive ambition behind Olympic-caliber gymnastics. You Will Know Me tells the story of Olympic-hopeful Devon Knox, whose icy eyes and powerhouse vaults catapulted her into the darling of her gym. In addition, the novel explores the effect of prodigal talent on a family — and the lengths to which ambition will stretch in the face of unthinkable circumstances.

You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott

If you’re looking for a heartstring-pulling love story

A story beginning with a romantic dinner doesn’t promise to end with the same. Kailey Crain feels like the luckiest woman alive when she hands her doggie bag to a homeless man on the sidewalk, coming face-to-face with someone from her past. Suddenly, Kailey’s present and future don’t seem as certain as she expected. Always: A novel by Sarah Jio gifts Kailey Crain with two great romances — and the gripping decision about how much she’s willing to sacrifice for true love.

Always by Sarah Jio

If you’re a little suspicious about that perfect marriage

Newlyweds Grace and Jack live a charmed life. Wealth, good looks, impeccable manners promise a future that’s sure to be the envy of all their friends. Getting to know Grace, though, is harder than it seems. She and Jack live inseparable lives, which seems incredibly romantic — until it doesn’t. Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris will make you glad for the imperfections that make your life exactly your own.

Winter Book Club Recommendations

If you need to escape the cold

Reading a book seeped in sunshine during the winter months is either torture or the best sort of escape. The Rumor by Elin Hilderbrand deals with the way gossip spreads in a sleepy, buzzing beach town and how those rumors test the bonds of previously unshakeable friendship. Though perhaps not her strongest novel to date (we loved The Island!), this queen of romance again spins a tale that will take you off your couch and onto a sandy beach.

Books to Read to Get You Through Winter

If you’re trying to understand your teenager

The minds of teenage girls can be mysterious land mines of secrets and unrealized longings. Navigating the space between childhood and adulthood means trying to figure out who you are, and trying to extricate yourself from the people who want to define you. The Girls by Emma Cline chronicles how one girl, Evie Boyd, becomes entangled in a 1960s cult marked by free love, freedom from parental expectations and the specter of an unfathomable crime.

Best Books to Read in 2017

If you like to sleep with the lights on

Travel writer Lo Blacklock accepts her latest assignment in a heartbeat. After all, what could go wrong during a vacation on an exclusive, luxury cruise ship? The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware answers that question. Ware keeps you turning pages until you find out exactly what happened the night Lo sees a woman being thrown overboard.

Mystery Novels for Readers Who Love to Travel

If you read in bits and pieces

What is Not Yours is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi gifts readers with a series of stories about keys. Her figurative and literal keys unlock doors between parallel realities while keeping others locked — for good reason. The stories can be read consecutively or in bits and pieces over time, the perfect reading experience for busy moms.

Short Stories for Book Clubs

If you can’t get enough memoir

Most of us have time to grow into parenting an eight-year old. College senior Dave Eggers inherits his younger brother after his parents both die of cancer in a five-week span. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius unfurls true events through fantastic scenes that highlight Eggers’ vast storytelling ability.

Memoirs to Read this Winter

Do you have a favorite book you think we should add to our list?
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I’ve tried more planners than I can count. I adore each of them for a while but just can’t find one that does everything I need. I’m tired of losing my lists, goal statements and meal plans. Maybe you feel the same — or maybe you’re just dying to exercise your artistic side a little more.

No matter why you’ve decided to give bullet journaling a try this year, we curated some tips and tricks to help you get started — and to stick with it. You don’t need a bunch of fancy materials to get started with your bullet journal — and you don’t need to be a budding artist. Sure, you can layer up colored pens and pencils, stickers and washi tape if that’s your thing, but you can also choose an empty notebook leftover from your latest school-supply run and make that your journal.

Start with a blank journal

New notebooks make me swoon, so I purchased one just for my bullet journal adventure. After checking out several online resources, I chose a Leuchtturn1917 Notebook with a dotted layout. I felt it offered the most options for different page and layout options. Something to keep in mind with the dotted layout: you might need a ruler nearby when you’re doing layouts. If you don’t want to worry about that, a Moleskine Grid Notebook or even one with regular lines, like this adorable Kate Spade Initial Notebook, might be a better option. If you have a super steady hand? A blank MUJI Sketchbook could work, too.Bullet Journal Tips - Pick a Layout That Works for You

 
Choose your layouts

Layouts can take you down the rabbit hole of bullet journaling, never to return. Remember, creating a journal that works for you means embracing what you need and shedding the rest. When I began researching bullet journals, layout options overwhelmed me. I looked through Pinterest, made lists and fretted about it all. In the end, I chose the things I felt I needed — a year at a glance, monthly layout, weekly layouts, a section for goals, a reading layout, and a few other pages. I figured I could add things later if I found I needed them, rather than trying to cram everything in the world into my journal, just because something caught my eye in someone else’s.

 

Photo credits:

The Best Bullet Journal Pens

Pick your pens

Like the rest of bullet journaling, you can use pens you have in your drawer at home or choose a rainbow of colors to color-code and decorate every spare inch of your journal. Colored pens make me happy, and I chose this Staedtler Triplus Fineliner Pen Set. I found the colors don’t bleed through the pages in my journal — and the triangular case keeps everything I need together. However, they do create a “shadow” on the next page. If that bothers you, you might want to use pens with regular ink, like these classic Bic Ballpoints in fun colors. If you prefer colored pencils, try this InnoArt Colored Pencil Set with all the colors of the rainbow.

Number one rule of bullet journaling

Your bullet journal only needs to work for you! Don’t let the options and possibilities overwhelm you, or you’ll stuff the journal in the back of a junk drawer before the beginning of spring. Remember, you can change layouts, change pens, and cross out things you don’t need. You’ll make mistakes, and that’s OK. No two bullet journals look or function in exactly the same way, which is why they appeal to so many people. So, grab your supplies and get started. You’ll love having all of your information at your fingertips.

Fantastic bullet journal resources
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Holiday Travel Gear for Parents

Traveling during the holiday season can be a total drag or merry and bright, depending on what sort of gear you’ve got in your travel toolbox. There’s so much to organize during the holidays, so it can be tempting to skip a packing list and just toss everything you own into your bags. Since your kids have their own travel essentials, you need to pack smarter, not more, or you’ll be lugging oversized luggage around the country. From layers to help you stay warm to can’t-miss electronics accessories, we have your must-have travel gear for winter.
Holiday Travel Gear Moms Will Love

Babymoov City Bag, $110

A sleek bag that looks fabulous and holds everything you need is key, whether you’re traveling by car or stowing away your personal items under an airline seat. We love the zinc color because it’s a beautiful neutral that pairs beautifully with anything you’re wearing while keeping all your baby changing essentials under wraps.

S’Well Sparkling Champagne Stainless Steel Water Bottle, $25 and up

Staying hydrated while traveling helps us feel alert and refreshed, and insulated stainless steel means your water stays icy cold for up to 24 hours. The metallic bottle fits perfectly into your holiday style, and we won’t tell if you actually fill this festive bottle with the Champagne it’s named for!

Kate Spade Glitter Slim Portable Charger

Besides a delayed flight, a dying battery on a phone or tablet might be the holiday traveler’s greatest nightmare. Keep your favorite electronics charged with a portable charger. We love this one both for its slim profile — easy to slide into any luggage pockets — and it’s a sparkly reminder that the holidays are all about magic and excitement.

Mermaid Maternity Polka Dot Rashguard, $58

Even if your travel destination boasts sky high temperatures normally, holiday weather can change at a moment’s notice. Toss this adorable rashguard into your luggage for a little extra warmth over your suit or just a little more coverage. The drawstring design means you can use this before, during, and after pregnancy, which means you’ll be packing it this holiday season and for future vacations.

Smythson Live Laugh Love Panama Pocket Notebook, $60

Jotting down a few memories each evening helps keep your favorite parts of your holiday travels fresh in your mind. Keeping a travel journal all year long will remind you of what you enjoyed, what you didn’t, and which memories you’ll share with your family for years to come. You’ll love the special touch of the pale blue paper in this simple notebook.

Samsonite Omni PC 20” Spinner Luggage, $79

Traveling with kids means juggling more pieces of luggage than you can really handle. A spinner bag can save you from getting frustrated with your bags, because the turning wheels go exactly where you need them to go, even when you’re navigating tight spaces or abruptly changing direction to chase down a toddler. The radiant pink doesn’t function any better than basic black, but it absolutely cheers us up whenever we see it.

Bravado Body Silk Seamless Nursing Cami, $55

Pregnant and nursing mamas alike will love this layering piece from Bravado. You can nurse discreetly, because a Bravado Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra is knitted into this smooth, comfortable layering piece.

Belabumbum Before + After 3-Piece Bundle, $126

Your comfiest jammies work just fine at home, but when you’re traveling it’s lovely to have loungewear that lets you feel comfortable and put together. The 3-Piece Bundle includes a cozy robe, nursing-friendly nightie, and the cutest headband to keep your bedhead under control.

Red Twist Cashmere Wrap, $195

The Red Twist wrap is luxuriously soft and lightweight, so you can use it like a small blanket on planes, a nursing cover if necessary, or a wrap to keep warm in overly air-conditioned restaurants. In addition to being the perfect travel essential, Red Twist makes a donation to Room to Read with every purchase, helping Asian girls receive an education.

ZAQ Mini Essential Oil Diffuser, $15

Sleeping away from home can be elusive, but your favorite essential oils help any room feel more familiar and relaxing. This mini diffuser fits easily into your luggage and runs on batteries, so you don’t have to worry about finding an extra outlet when you’re ready for bed.

Find more holiday must-haves, including our list of holiday travel gear for kids, in our 2016 Holiday Guide.

Portions of our 2016 Holiday Guide are sponsored and contains affliate links. Thank you for shopping with the brands that support Savvy Sassy Moms.

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