About Kimberley

Kimberley Clayton Blaine, MA, MFT, is the executive producer of the Go-To Mom series and the producer of the branded entertainment show www.MommytoMommy.TV. She is the author of The Internet Mommy & The Go-To Mom’s Parents’ Guide to Emotion Coaching Young Children. In September 2011, Kimberley was named one of the most powerful moms in social media by Working Mother Magazine. Currently, she is a spokesperson for Lego Duplo, Disney Consumer Products, Schick Intuition, and Sony Electronics digital imaging. Kimberley is also a national parenting expert and a licensed Family and Child Therapist specializing in working with children newborn to seven years old. Connect with Kimberley Clayton Blaine on Google+

Why joy should be your main priority

“Stop! There is no where to go and nothing to do, but there is everything to be.” –Michael Brown
The magnificent journey of life is solely yours – what would you like to make of it today?  It’s a known fact that positive people are less likely to get sick and are overall physically healthier than those who hold a negative view of life…  I keep hearing Esther Hicks voice in my head, “Your life and everyone else in the Universe is playing the part that you have assigned to them.  You can literally script any life that you desire, and the Universe will deliver to you the people, places, and events just as you decide them to be. For you are the creator of your own experience-you have only to decide it and allow it to be.”  Each day I wake I know I am responsible for my own peace of mind.  I am also responsible for setting up a life that teaches my kids how to see themselves as their own greatest resource.  It is my strongest hope that we all stop looking at outside sources for a sense of achievement or well-being.  We all hold within ourselves the power to be all that we wish.  Over the years I have learned from Esther that  “If we knew our potential to feel good, we would ask no one to be different so that we can feel good. We would free ourself of all of that cumbersome impossibility of needing to control the world, or control our mate, or control our children. We are the only one who creates our reality.  For no one else can think for you, no one else can do it. It is only you, every bit of it you.”  Check out the post “The Habits Of Supremely Happy People” – it’s a fun read.  And for daily inspiration please visit my favorite quote site, SimpleReminders.com.

More quotes that will lift your spirits and motivate your soul…

We either make ourselves happy or miserable. The amount of work is the same.  –Carlos Castaneda

Fear less, hope more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Hate less, love more; And all good things are yours. — Swedish proverb

We are not broken. Never have been and never will be. –Panache Desai

The most precious commodity on this planet right now is present moment awareness. –Michael Brown

Creativity is the greatest expression of liberty.  — Bryant McGill

Your job is simply to be, joyfully expressing your own inner worth and the universe will find a way to take of you.  –Marianne Williamson

Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them. — Count Leo Tolstoy

I’m not my past, a diagnosis nor product of my unfortunate upbringing. I am an emerging loving source here to prove life is worth living.  — Kimberley Blaine

When we are centered in joy, we attain our wisdom.  — Marianne Williamson

The best way to cheer yourself is to try to cheer someone else up.  – Mark Twain

The Grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for. –Allan K. Chalmers

I hope you will go out and let stories happen to you, and that you will work them, water them with your blood and tears and your laughter till they bloom, till you yourself burst into bloom. — Clarissa Pinkola Estés

I think happiness is what makes you pretty. Period. Happy people are beautiful. They become like a mirror and they reflect that happiness.   – Drew Barrymore

Learning to truly love yourself changes your relationship with everyone.  –Bryant McGill

While it does, and should, feel good to be appreciated by another person, if you are dependent upon their appreciation to feel good, you will not be able to consistently feel good, because no other person has the ability, or a responsibility, to hold you as their singular, positive object of attention. Your Inner Being, however, the Source within you, always holds you, with no exceptions, as a constant object of appreciation. So if you will tune your thoughts and actions to that consistent Vibration of Well-Being flowing forth from your Inner Being—you will thrive under any and all conditions.   ― Esther Hicks

If you’ve tasted happiness, I mean real joy, you’d never go back to anything else.  –Kimberley Blaine

 

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The Benefits of Being a Laughing Family

Laughter can help you and your children communicate better and build emotional bonds. Having a sense of humor is good for a child’s mental and physical well-being. Children tend to learn best when the experience is positive. Laughter can alter brain chemistry – when people laugh, a part of the brain’s reward system is triggered. In this reward system, a person feels pleasure and wants to have the same pleasant feelings over and over again. Kids need laughter because it relieves stress and loosens muscles. It boosts energy immediately and it triggers a point in the brain that helps them feel pleasure. Laughing is key to positive parenting and helps families have fun and come closer together.

For more great parenting tips, check out Kimberley’s book, www.TheGoToMomsGuide.com.

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Huntington Beach Hotel – The Art of Family Hospitality

You can’t go wrong choosing sunny southern California as a family vacation spot. We choose the Hyatt Huntington Beach Resort and Spa because of their spacious rooms, access to the beach and a killer pool for the kids. And for us parents, we enjoyed the gym and spa as part as the experience as well.  The resort is just steps across a bridge to a beach where beach chairs and umbrellas await for you to relax and enjoy the shimmering views of the Pacific. Innovative, Spanish-inspired architecture sets the scene for an awesome family getaway, complete with pampering spa treatments, high-end restaurants, ocean adventures and amazing service …and a fun place to enjoy surfing, a trip to Catalina Island or indulge in arts and entertainment. You may want to come when it’s not summer, as the hotel is very popular and gets very crowded!

On our first day we rented a poolside private cabana at Slyders Water Playground – which is suited for kids 2 – 10 years old.  If you have older kids, there’s a main pool which is larger. When you reserve a cabana it comes with a flat screen TV, wireless internet, and mini-fridge that can be stocked with your family’s favorite goodies.  If you don’t get a cabana it’s good to know that all the seating around the kids pool is situated around a bar called Shubee’s Cafe  — where it’s easy to access yummy snacks, smoothies, fresh fruit and cool cocktails. Happy hour at the pool started at 4pm each day – yes, I’m sure you all wanted to know that right?  The cool thing about the Slyders Water Playground is it has three water slides that drop into two splash pools, a ribbon shaped main pool, shallow children’s wading pool, two fire pits for roasting marshmallows and nine private cabanas.  On the days we didn’t eat at Shubee’s cafe we’d venture around the front of the hotel to Surf City Pete’s Sunset Grille, which is located on the former site of the famous Mallory Surf Board Factory.  This casual grill is great for lunch or dinner — inspired by top surfing destinations from around the globe. If you go to Pete’s you must get their s’mores Cake!

Our family suite was large and perfect for our kids! But we were excited to try The Pacific Waters Spa which is a lovely upscale experience and is must if you need relaxing and alone time  – they fuse a Mediterranean feel with inspirations from the Pacific waters off the Southern California coast. It is so gorgeous! My masseuse was a gal named Marin. She was so impressive, and gave me the exact type of massage I asked for. I truly believe that was the best massage I’d ever had and I had many! Their products are extracted directly from the earth and sea utilizing organic elements that include mud, algae, plant minerals, fruits, seaweed and even purified seawater. The spa smells good, is immaculate, and just a serene place to be… you can do the sauna, steam, waterfall showers, private whirlpools and outdoor relaxation areas. While my hubby and I had some alone time to workout and go to the spa, the kids went to Camp Hyatt where they played ball, swam, and played on the beach.  The hotel does have a Travel Lite program for families with babies. It allows you to order all of your baby and infant supplies online and have them delivered to your room.

On the last night we dined at a more formal place called the Watertable restaurant and it’s the resorts newest restaurant. Watertable combines rustic and refined, old and new – in both design and cuisine. The menu features grill centric American fare, paired with a selection of vintage world-class wines, craft brews, artisanal cocktails, craft and naturally infused waters. If you’re considering sunny California for a trip check out the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa.

 The Go-To Mom was given a complimentary stay at the resort. Kimberley Blaine only supports products and services that contribute to the overall well-being of families and children.

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Pets and Groceries are consuming my time — How I mainstream my sanity with Post-it Products Evernote Collection

 The Go-To Mom Productions was compensated for the production of this episode/and or blog post by 3M/Post-it Brand. Kimberley Blaine will only promote, endorse and support companies she believes to have the highest standards in products and/or services that contribute to or enhance the well-being of families.

Getting your family organized can be an arduous process. When you add five pets in to the mix then it’s even more of a challenge. I have two busy kids and several furry creatures who keep me on my toes and who depend on me to keep their bellies full!  So you can imagine just how often I have to run to the store to keep the supply of food in stock. Since I’m a working mom running a company it’s quite the challenge to get all the errands run all by myself. My husband has been invaluable when it comes to getting things done around the house. He’s my Go-To Dad and is quite accustomed to the Post-it Notes process I’ve put in place. As you can see on the video I have basically organized the grocery and pet needs list on different colored Post-it Notes. Each day I clearly need to add more items to each list.

After a few days, when the lists are complete, someone has to go and pick up the items from different stores. All I do is snap a photo of the Post-it Notes with the Post-it Note Camera feature in Evernote and send it off to my husband. Snap, send and done. How cool is that?  On his way home from work, he has the completed list on his phone. He then keeps them in his family notebook in the Evernote app so we can share.

From shopping lists to pet care needs, Post-it Notes let you take what’s in your head and put it in front of you, making it impossible to forget for however long it remains in sight. No matter how long that is, it isn’t long enough. If it is worth writing down, it’s worth saving digitally because you never know if you’ll need it later. That’s why they’ve developed the Post-it Note Camera feature in Evernote that works with the Post-it Products Evernote Collection. With it, simply snap a photo of a Post-it Note. We then make the text searchable. Like everything in Evernote, your digital Post-it Notes are instantly available everywhere, so you’ll be able to find it easily. You can also search for Post-it Note since we auto-title these snapshots to include those words. It only takes a second, but this small new habit can have a tremendous impact.

Tip! Use the Post-it Note Holder Quad to keep uber organized!

If you want to do even more with your Post-it Notes, you can set different colors to be automatically organized in Evernote however you like. For example, make Electric Yellow your go-to for to-dos. Whenever you snap a photo of an Electric Yellow Post-it Note those images will automatically go into your To-Do Notebook. Do the same for other colors.

The Post-it Note Camera feature in Evernote is specially designed to enhance and transform your Post-it Notes into beautiful, digitally enhanced Post-it Notes saved in Evernote.

How to capture Post-it Notes using the Post-it Note Camera feature

Write clearly and legibly on a Post-it Note with any type of pen or ink. Then, go through the following steps to capture your Post-it Notes into Evernote:

  1. 1. Start the Evernote camera and swipe anywhere in the image capture area to select the Post-it Note feature.
  2. 2. Position the Post-it Note, including the edges, so that it is visible inside the frame
  3. 3. Tap the Snap icon to capture the Post-it Note. You can snap multiple notes one after the other and save it to the same Evernote note.
  4. 4. To preview the captured note(s) first, tap the Image Gallery icon. From here you can select particular pages to keep or discard. To discard a note, tap the Discard icon.

Get Yours Now – your pets will thank you for it! What other ways would you use the Post-it Products Evernote Collection?Buy Evernote Post-it Notes online or at your local office supply store. Get the Post-it Note Holder from the Evernote Market. The Post-it Note camera is available in Evernote for iPhone, iPad, Android, and Windows Phone. Learn more about the Post-it Brand Evernote Collection by visiting your local office supply store and by visiting Postit.com/Evernote , Post-it Brand on Twitter (@postitproducts ) or Facebook (http://facebook.com/postit ).

 

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Hilton Los Cabos is an Award-Winning Luxury Service for Families

The photos Online of the Hilton Los Cabos do not do it justice. When we arrived it was a grand spectacle of beautiful eye candy representing the true Mexican Riviera  — Bold, bright and very alluring!  A great perk of coming here in the summer is that kids eat FREE! What made this trip to Cabo so worthwhile was the staff were so friendly and accommodating and the amenities were endless: Gym, spa, fresh cuisine, access to swimmable cove beach and pool/ocean side service, cooking lessons by head chef and complimentary child care/Cabo kids club and having a doctor and nurse on site. The Hilton car service was prompt, safe and made getting there so easy!

Our favorite part of the trip was eating at the swim up Sushi bar called La Barca.  The cocktails were delicious and you can tell they used only use premium alcohol  – no watered down beverage there. They had two pools: The awesome infinity pool was just below and in front of the main dining areas. The other pool, which I call the quiet secret Sushi bar pool, was our preference. It was serene, the pool staff were attentive and kind and the view was breathtaking.  It was fun to see all the families in the pool with their babies. This place has met the criteria in my rating system as “appropriate for families with young kids.” Which is not easy to find in Mexico. One unique program they offer for FREE, yes I said FREE, is the Cabo Kids which for kids ages 4 – 12… if it gets too hot you can walk them over to the club and they can play, relax or do arts and crafts…. How cool is that? Now that’s a great hotel that caters to families who travel. Be careful, most often the tides are very strong and you have to swim with your kids if you let them in the ocean!

It was a pleasant surprise to have a variety of food options and places that are within the hotel — One night we wanted to take advantage of the happy hour in the La Vista bar. So we ate at La Vista bar quite a bit because the food was spectacular. I can honestly say I’ve never had a quesadilla so fresh and hearty before! And you can’t beat half-off prices for drinks!  If you do stay at the Hilton be sure to sign up for “Cooking Lessons” with the head chef. Oh boy is that a treat!

One day we rented a pool bed so we’d have shade all day – and it overlooked the ocean and was right next to the swim up sushi bar, so I was clearly in Heaven!  Traveling increases my overall feeling of wellness – this trip was so needed. I look forward to returning for a ‘girls weekend’ away and for a ‘family getaway’ – Trip advisor was right…. This is one of the best high-end luxury places to stay for families. During the day they have an abundance of water activities that the hotel can arrange for you at the famous arch of Cabo San Lucas – which is the rugged El Arco (The Arch), a rock formation that erupts from the sea at the tip of the Baja Peninsula.

Plan your escape to paradise at Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort, a premier Cabo San Lucas hotel. They deliver award-winning service and unparalleled accommodation sure to make your experience – no matter the occasion – truly one-of-a-kind.  They are ideally situated in the Los Cabos Corridor along the Sea of Cortez, offering direct access to the one of Cabo’s only swim-safe beaches. Explore their beautifully maintained grounds, dive into the opulent Infinity Edge pool, lounge and relax with personable poolside bar service – or make it all of the above. At Hilton Los Cabos, the perfect vacation is whatever you want it to be.

The Go-To Mom was given a complimentary stay at the resort. Kimberley Blaine only supports products and services that contribute to the overall well-being of families and children.

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The Beauty and Bliss of My Soul Connection With Animals

 “Experience has taught us that we have only one enduring weapon in our struggle against mental illness: the emotional discovery and emotional acceptance of the truth in the individual and unique history of our childhood.” ― Alice Miller, The Drama of the Gifted Child: The Search for the True Self

      This Chinese Proverb hits home for me, “Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are. Growing up in home riddled with mental illness and alcoholism, I got my basic security needs met through my seventy-five year old neighbor, who I considered my default grandpa. He was a gentle old fella who loved cats — he had five.  I’d visit him every night as he ate dinner while I played with the cats.  It was a place where I felt love – a place absent of violence and threats.  His home was filled with soft cats and unconditional love.  I must have acquired some semblance of competence and resilience from those in the community who took me in so freely without judgment. I saw that the human condition can be stable, kind and compassionate. But it was through the pets that I felt so truly loved, calmed and it was how I defined compassion in my world.  My best girlfriends and their families helped me rise above difficult circumstances, allowing me to exist in this less-than-perfect world, while encouraging me to move forward the best I could.  As Ben Okri so eloquently states, The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love and to be greater than our suffering.” For me I am nothing without my fuzzy friends.

 It is no secret that I was and still am quite the pet collector.  I’m a huge advocate for pet adoptions and I am an active promoter of no-kill rescue shelters. When I was young, if I came across a stray cat I’d beg my parents to keep it. My cat named Celery had four of the cutest little kittens that I couldn’t bear it to give them away. When I was told they needed to find a home I ran next door to my grandpa Lloyd’s home and asked if he’d be willing to take one or two. He saw the puppy-dog look in my eyes and he took them all! I believe having raised all those kittens helped me build a sense of resilience and is partly responsible for me being a less self-destructive teen as I could of been. Growing up when I needed support or tenderness it was the cats I turned to for unconditional love and joy.

Fast forward to my adulthood…When I was pregnant and felt like I had no control over what was happening to the baby inside me, it was the warmth of my cat Monkey and the sound of her purr that calmed me down until the birth. I can’t emphasize the power and healing factors cats have played in my life both as a child and as an adult. I must thank all my cats in my life-time for providing all the bliss I needed before I new how to find it myself: Snowball, Frisky tuna, Celery, Baby Girl, Blackie, Tiger, Scooter, Chauncey, Fiefel, Snick, Max, Monkey, DeeDee and Bailey. A few years ago we added two beagle mix puppies to our family, and they too provide amazing love for us all. I am forever grateful for the powerful role that pets play in our lives.

Organizations such as Heeling Allies privately trains Mental Health Service Dogs, Emotional Support Dogs and Skilled Companion Dogs that enrich the lives of individuals living with psychological, neurological and developmental impairments. Emotional Support Dogs provide therapeutic, physiological and psychological benefits to individuals with special needs.  Emotional Support Dogs can also benefit older adults by providing affection, companionship, emotional comfort and support, and encouraging physical activity.  

The American Psychological Association say pets can serve as important sources of social and emotional support for “everyday people,” not just individuals facing health challenges, according to research a study found, pet owners were just as close to important people in their lives as to their animals and that people relied more on pets when their human social support was poorer. Psychologists at Miami University and Saint Louis University conducted three experiments to examine the potential benefits of pet ownership among what they called everyday people. They observed evidence that pet owners fared better, both in terms of well-being outcomes and individual differences, than non-owners on several dimensions,” said lead researcher Allen R. McConnell, PhD, of Miami University in Ohio. “Specifically, pet owners had greater self-esteem, were more physically fit, tended to be less lonely, were more conscientious, were more extraverted, tended to be less fearful and tended to be less preoccupied than non-owners.”

 

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Riviera Maya Cancun is the Perfect Mexico Family Get-a-Way

The Karisma Hotels and Resorts are made for families. It’s very high end and all meals and unlimited cocktails/drinks are included, for which they call Gourmet Inclusive.  Visit Karisma’s site and to see ALL their hotels click on tab “hotels” for “everyone.”  However, the family properties we liked most were “Azul Resort” and “Generations Maroma” because we have kids under 11 – The have adorable Fisher-Price Family Suites for families with younger kids. The best part of the rooms are the SWIM UP SUITES – where your kids can open the patio door and jump right down in the pool! This place is just magical… The food is fresh as they have their own organic garden. My kids ate home made yogurt each morning and I had fresh wheat grass juice each day. It was such a nice experience. But be sure you bring water shoes, you never know if the rocks will float up to the swimming part of the resorts.

If you have kids over 12 you must stay at their resort called the Azul Sensatori – the teen program and amenities are mind blowing!  Karisma Hotels just opened a new hotel in Jamaica you should see as well… We will go back next June for sure when the prices are highly discounted.  WATCH  my VIDEO above to really get a feel of just how luxurious these resorts are…  Check out my PINTEREST CANCUN BOARD! I’m pretty sure you’ll book a trip the minute you see it!

The Go-To Mom team was given a complimentary stay at the resort. Kimberley Blaine only supports products and services that contribute to the overall well-being of families and children.

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My love affair with Big Sky Country – Montana

“I’m in love with Montana. For other states I have admiration, respect, recognition, even some affection. But with Montana it is love. And it’s difficult to analyze love when you’re in it.”  John Steinbeck

I had no idea where I was going. We landed in Missoula Montana and I was expecting to pull up to a flat, dry space with a few barns and cabins spread about. We had a gig to shoot a show at Paws Up Resort to feature their “Glamping” experience – which was spectacular – you can see my video we shot for a Sony. Little did I know that my life would change as we pulled out of the Podunk airport and up the glorious road to the ranch. For nearly 40 minutes I was speechless and couldn’t help but peer out the window with a true sense of awe. Was this place real? It was eerie. I was overcome with complete serenity and I forgot I was with my entire family in a car. As I looked at the vast land, cows, lakes, old burnt down structures, mountains, rolling grass hills, farms and literally empty roads I couldn’t help think I was a pawn in some type of game. Was this real? Was I born in cave coming for California? I’ve been to the mountains, Yosemite, Canada, Utah, Colorado you name a ski resort and I’ve been there! But this, this was beginning of a real love affair. The homes on mirror-imaged lakes where innocent, they screamed, “This is what living should be.” I kept insisting that this might be a movie set of some sort. But as we drove, the land was far too big to be so. I felt this yearning to live there. A sense of peace and that the world is really worth cherishing and preserving. Why is it that this state was a Zen-like infusion into my soul? I crave the Montana experience. I’m making an effort to go back once a year so I can get my serenity fix. We look forward to skiing the highest mountain peaks and fishing in the rivers during summer. As I boarded the plane home I grabbed a local parenting magazine based out of Missoula with an adorable baby on the cover.  As I thumbed through it I thought, wow, this place is progressive too – the writing was alternative, deep and addicting. Damn, I was impressed. The magazine was Mamalode.com and after reading every page from front to back, I knew I had an anchor there. As writer and advocate for all things amazing for families.

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The Mom’s Guide to Being More Present

While you surround yourself with those who support you be sure that you also support other women.  Mom power is contagious.

What does ‘being present’ really mean?  I’m not speaking about being happy just hanging out with your dog, kids or friends.  What I’m alluding to is a deeper meaning of sustaining an overall internal joy. Being a mom can be exhausting and lonely — but it doesn’t have to be that way all the time. In my mind I see being present as being connected to all things important to us and not allowing ourselves to live in the past or focus too much on our future. All we really only have is today, right? You can Manifest mindfulness as a mom and as a woman — you can manifest real and worthwhile moments each day if you fall in love with your gentle truthful soul…

When I’m taken out of the moment, I remind myself to recalibrate. Here are some ways you can start to increase your present moment awareness:

Admit that you’re perfect JUST the way you are…  define your own perfection and live by it – There is only one you in this world and they’re people out there who can’t wait to meet you. You don’t have to change to be a better person – you are uniquely you. If you have behaviors that are holding you back or get in the way of every day life, then focus on that specific task. Change behavior, not your being. Becoming more self-aware allows you to identify those behaviors that may be hampering your life. But overall, the world and your kids need you just the way you are. Fabulous.

Meditate, practice yoga or quiet yourself daily – Screaming, wheels rolling across the floor, screeching, banging, and “MOM!” is all I hear for a good portion of my day. If I’m not removing my toddler’s diaper because his brother filled it with mud then I’m usually peacekeeping sitting on the floor with both boys. When I’m not with the boys, my husband, or my friends, then I’m working multiple jobs.  So you see how I need to quiet myself daily to keep my sanity!

If you are a mom, none of what I just said surprises you.  Moms are great multi-taskers and usually have an inordinate amount of patience.  I have sensory issues so my patience often tested –  the slightest of loud noises can set me into a tailspin. It’s a hard task to ask of one self to make a change— — especially with the added demands of raising children and maintaining a career.  Meditation or quieting is one way that can help us attain calmness — The calmness that is needed to think, process, and integrate our world. 

Meditation can be as simple as telling yourself, that everything will be okay. Life will work out. The power of subliminal thinking is very powerful.  Some evenings when I feel too anxious to sleep I ask my husband to tell me that everything will be fine and that I will sleep well. He’ll say it exactly the way that I asked him to.  It works every time.

Debra Wesselmann in her book, The Whole Parent: How to Become a Terrific Parent Even if You Didn’t Have One, states, “As a parent, when your child ego state is triggered your inner child takes charge of parenting! The purpose of meditation is to help you keep your present-day adult self in charge as you parent.  This is accomplished by separating out the child part of your self from the adult part.”

Take time to do something fun – when we engage is things we consider fun we raise our serotonin and oxytocin levels – the chemicals in the brain that make us feel good. Be sure you’re getting a daily dose! Laughing, phone call with friend, hiking, walking pets, if it makes you feel joy – do it at least once a day. You deserve it. A replenished mom makes happy kids.

Stop rushing – worthwhile things come when you’re intentional and patient – As moms we automatically rush everything! We find ourselves saying, “Get in the car, put your shoes on, eat your dinner, get in the bath”  – the list goes on and on. We rush because we feel we’ll never get anything done if we take our time. Slow down. Take a breathe. And know everything will get done. I sound like your Grandmother don’t I? I notice when I slow down, I yell less and listen more. Try it. You may not get kids to bed at exactly the right time, but who cares if it’s 10 or 15 minutes later anyway? A calm mom is much more fun to be around.

Planting the seed with your kids for cooperation – Planting the seed means preparing ahead of time by helping your child understand what to expect in certain situations and what will be expected of him. When expectations are clearly laid out, children are far more likely to cooperate and less likely to be disruptive or difficult. Each morning I ask my boys how they’d like their day to go. Then I let them know how I’d like mine to lay out. I always ask for their help and cooperation, especially when I have a long workday away from home.Planting a seed lets them digest the message and sets them up for success.

Ask for help – it lightens the burden of every day life – Asking family and friends for help can be an awkward and difficult thing to do. In fact, many moms avoid asking for help and end up trying to do everything themselves. You may find that once you take the step and ask someone for help, it is much easier than you expected. Many times, family members and friends are willing, but just don’t know how to help. Whether you work out of home – or part/full time or you stay at home, parenting can be physically and emotionally taxing. How often do you feel comfortable asking for help?  Rarely, right?  This is an essential step to making your dreams come true. Ignoring your own needs can lead you to become physically and mentally exhausted, and neglect relationships with your friends and family. Worse yet, it will stop you from pursuing the things that you love to do.

Keep the lines of communication open with others – One of the main reasons we may get depressed or burnt out on motherhood is when hit hard times we begin to become resentful. Resentment will break up any good relationship so It’s imperative to never allow that feeling to creep up on you. Resentment comes from constantly feeling disrespected, or being mistreated or short-changed. If you voice your concerns appropriately the minute you feel them you can avoid resentment from festering – being open to all your emotions is key. You pass on your emotional intelligence to your kids.

Have set time each day when all electronics go OFF for the evening – All the cell phones are off in our family at dinnertime and stay off. No computers, iPads, DS’s. This is the optimal wind-down time for the soul. Right before we go to bed, we need to calm our senses and center ourselves for a good night’s sleep. Families engage more when no one is looking at a screen. Try it.  You’ll love the IRL love you get when the screens are dark!

Read or do something that inspires you before bedtime  - What ever you don’t process in your waking hours your mind will process during sleep. It’s important that you eliminate all stress, agitating imagery or bad energy before bedtime. Give your mind something wonderful to process so your subconscious can absorb and process the positive

Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, a guru of self-development, has great recommendations for you before you slumber!



·       As you lie in bed preparing for your nightly slumber, remember that the last thought you have in your mind can last up to four hours in your subconscious mind. That’s four hours of programming from just one moment of contemplation prior to going into your unconscious state. Create a reminder like a prayer or mantra to place by your bed. Write these words and read them as you get comfortable: I am going to use these moments to review what I intend to manifest into my life. Keep that sign there to remind you how to spend your pre-sleep moments nightly.



·       If before dropping off to sleep you are assailed by worry, distress, or fear, do not stay in bed. Get up, turn on the light, take a few deep breaths, read from a spiritual text, meditate for a few moments in front of a white candle, say a prayer—do anything other than staying there lying down. You cannot defend yourself against these onslaughts while remaining snug in your bed. If distressing feelings come back when you return to bed, get up, turn on the lights, and try something else. When you finally do feel peaceful back in bed, repeat your loving I ams and drift off to sleep ready to have your ears opened and your instructions sealed.

Leave Post-it Notes to yourself in areas you’ll see them with inspiring soul-boosting reminders – Don’t underestimate the power of subliminal messaging! Some believe once you write it down, then it comes true. I have a post note above my desk that says, “I am responsible for my own peace of mind.” Try it. It can be as simple as “I will forgive myself” or “Happiness and peace will run my day.” Get more inspirational messages at SimpleReminders.com

Never cancel or postpone a coffee date with a friend or trusted colleague.  Trust me, there is nothing more fruitful and empowering than two women sharing their time.  I also know that no other event or appointment would benefit you more than that coffee date.

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JW Desert Ridge Resort is Perfect for Kids Who Love a Lazy River!

 We decided to enjoy an Arizona family vacation since my sister lives there. The JW Marriott Desert Ridge resort features acres of swimming pools, Lazy River with waterslide, whirlpools and poolside dining and a huge grassy lawn to kick balls or to chase the little ones around.  The surrounding beauty was quite shocking, as it was so plush and green, and not something typical for the desert.  The kids stayed in the lazy river pool for hours on end! It took me forever to convince them to come with me to swim in the big water feature pool! The frozen cocktails were delightful and perfect to cool down with in the mid day heat. When the sun went down, we enjoyed the live band down on the terrace as the kids played on the grassy knoll across from us.  I could relax and watch the kids from where I was situated. This hotel is designed for families and the rooms are very upscale, clean and refreshing.  That’s an important feature I look for when traveling with the kids.  If you have toddlers and preschoolers they have two other water areas that just shout, “We love kids!” If you’re interested in a desert vacation be sure to check out the JW Desert Ridge

The Go-To Mom team was given a complimentary stay at the resort. Kimberley Blaine only supports products and services that contribute to the overall well-being of families and children.

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Getting my act together — How I Keep up with the kids with Post-it Products Evernote Collection

 The Go-To Mom Productions was compensated for the production of this episode/an or blog post by 3M/Post-it Brand. Kimberley Blaine will only promote, endorse and support companies she believes to have the highest standards in products and/or services that contribute to or enhance the well-being of families.

It’s my family life that’s priority right now.  It’s important to me to ‘get it right’ and to feel good about all I do for my boys. Being organized means I’m a mom who cares. My boys both play baseball and are boy scouts. The duties I take on are never ending. One weekend the boys need to plan for their camp-outs, the next weekend we have to plan the snacks for the baseball team.  Planning is difficult and frustrating because my husband and I are never home at the same time. It’s super helpful to use the Post-it Products Evernote Collection when coordinating parental duties. We keep track of what needs to go to each game and camp out via Post-it Notes. Before a camping trip we compile a list of necessities. After a few days when the Post-it Note is complete we share it with dad via the Evernote app. In his spare time, the day before the trip he gathers the items from REI or Big Five sporting stores. I’m comfortable making the lists, but prefer for my husband to choose the camping gear for the boys. In the past my husband would have to always drive home first, pick up the Post-it Note and then run the family errands. With Evernote app it’s as easy as snap and send!

Now every one’s favorite Post-it Note is now Evernote’s new best friend. To keep our lives working like a well-oiled machine, we moms need to remember everything and work more effectively. It’s time to let your smart phone marry the Post-it Note. Have no fear! You’ll still be able to jot your notes down and organize your family’s world with all those pretty Post-it Notes. But now you can photograph all your colorful themed Post-it Notes and file them in the Evernote app and share them. So simple! You can see my Post-it Notes video here on their website [Link}

Here is how it works… Evernote has a dedicated Post-it Note Camera feature. With one tap, any Post-it Note is captured into Evernote, digitally enhanced and saved as a crisp, clear Evernote image. In the app Post-it Notes can be organized by color, have a reminder added or a due date assigned. Whether it’s a to-do list, a reminder, a sketch or a big idea, Evernote makes the Post-it Note searchable, providing users the flexibility of paper and efficiency of technology. The Evernote App is available for free from the App Store on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch or at www.appstore.com/evernote. For more information on the Post-it Brand Evernote Collection , visit Post-it.com/Evernote.

Get Yours Now

Buy Post-it Products Evernote Collection online or at your local office supply store. The Post-it Note camera is available in Evernote for iPhone, iPad, Android, and Windows Phone. How would the Post-it Products Evernote Collection help you and your family?

Learn more about the Post-it Brand Evernote Collection by visiting your local office supply store and by visiting Postit.com/Evernote , Post-it Brand on Twitter (@postitproducts ) and Facebook (http://facebook.com/postit ).

 

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Inner presence is never sick. Inner presence is loving, peaceful and fully competent.

 You are not a diagnosis, an illness, a behavior or label that you or someone has given you

Suffering may be more comfortable and familiar. However change is the seed where happiness and peace grow. In order to be in touch with the happiness and simplicity that life has in store for you, you must be at peace with yourself. A self who only sees a diagnosis, the outward behavior of pain or a debilitating title will always leave you a helpless victim. Stepping out of anguish is the first step. Stepping in to the light is the second step. The shift can and will happen when you’re ready and when you’ve had enough of your own personal pain. No one thing or person can bring peace into our lives. Finally, the third step is to understand that change only comes when we’re aware enough to look deep inside and commit to our inner presence.   Inner presence is never sick. Inner presence is loving, peaceful and fully competent. How will you get in touch with your inner presence? The world is waiting for you with open arms.

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Beaver Creek Caters to Kids

This Year the family went to Colorado for a little fun. I took to the ice this time and left the slopes for day two. Thank goodness I brought the Sony cyber-shot TX20 – it’s not only waterproof and freeze proof but you can drop it and no harm no fowl. Perfect for when your little ones want to use it and you know the inevitable drop is bound to happen! The Osprey at Beaver Creek offers an unforgettable family vacation by creating a modern, luxury hotel experience unlike any other you’ll find in Colorado. They gave us a 4 day complimentary stay which delighted the kids and me. The food at he hotel was so good, especially their bread/fried wrapped asparagus!  We went tubing and ice skating and shopped for next year’s ski wear in the village. But I have to say, riding up in the CAT snow plow at NIGHT to BEANOS restaurant/cabin was truly the highlight, it was so fun to be truck up in that big ‘ol machine on the snow at night! With a lift literally right outside our front door, it was so easy to get the kids off to ski school and for mama to hit the slopes.With Elegant amenities, exceptional service, and ski in/out lifts, we’ll be sure to come back for years to come! The staff at Vail Resorts were so accommodating and wonderful.

The Go-To Mom Productions was compensated for the production of this episode. Kimberley Blaine will only promote, endorse and support companies she believes to have the highest standards in products and/or services that contribute to the well-being of families with young children.

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We were built for challenge and greatness. Reasons we must claim our happiness

“We are not broken… never have been and never will be.” Penache Desai

We are all born pure and innocent. How can we get back there and show the world what we’ve got?

It isn’t until about the sixth year of life children are expected to behave like little adults. At this time in our lives we realized we must stop our childish ways, buck up, be silenced and conform to adult norms. As we navigate our childhood into adulthood we lose the rawness of the self and shed the innocent nature of our soul. We harden each year we grow. We learn to be judgmental, insecure and self-conscious as we step into our adult armor. Knowing this today will better equip you to accept the child within that emerges in your present adult life. This inner child who hardens is often seen as our ego self… When we positively meet our inner-child’s needs and integrate past unsolved issues, we bring that innocent self back and feed the soul. When you starve or numb your inner child, you encourage your ego to go outside itself to find power. The ego will stop at nothing to win and take down others with little regret.  Our greatest feat as happy human beings is to get back in touch with the pure and loving self that we were born into. Loving and nurturing the real soul keeps the ego in check.

 

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When Mom’s mental health issues effect her family. #MentalHealth #OCD #ADHD

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” Plato/IMaclaren

As Joseph Addison said, “Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.” But in my 7 year-old son’s case he seems to be in a never-ending cycle of sadness, rage and resentment. I’m the mother of two boys with very different temperaments from one another.  My 12 year-old is Buddha-like calm and collected and my 7 year-old is tornado-like brilliant artist diagnosed with ADHD/Auditory Processing/Executive Functioning Disorder. I love them dearly and they are both the heart and soul of my being.

 When my second child was born in 2006 I launched The Go-To Mom web series. It wasn’t until my son turned three years old that my life spun completely out of control. Back then my toddler sucked me in the warp of his fidgeting, emotionally angry world and the only way for me to deal with him was to take a year off from work to sort out my mental health needs as well as his. Each day I felt like I was riding a wild horse with out any reins and direction. I thought I knew how to run a healthy household and successful business by having super strong boundaries and by putting my foot down to be sure every one gets what they rightfully deserve. But that’s not always easy.  For me, I am whole-heartedly connected to my kids. I am not my work. For many years I thought I was both, that I could balance both of these entities seamlessly. I felt like I was slowly chipped away by work and by dealing with my son and his challenging ADHD diagnosis. It has been a tireless progression of constant intervention. I thought I am his mother, and knew I had to turn work down to deal with him.

 As the years went on, my son got worse. We found that his sensory processing disorder/ADHD/impulsivity was a neurological issue; therapy and more strict discipline didn’t cut it. We had to restructure our lives and the way we interacted with him. And yes, that meant not working for long periods of time.  My son’s inability to control his impulses was a huge turn off to most kids, so making and keeping friends was a challenge for him. He is a highly social creature, happy, loving and so willing to learn. But his lack of social etiquette and short temper left him often alone. So that meant we had to provide most of the social interaction and daily activity for him until he learned to master things on his own. It was heartbreaking and eventually threw me into the tide of my own childhood issues of feeling completely helpless.  I can walk away from a bad business deal or an insincere hurtful statement from someone, but I can’t be indifferent to the fact my boy couldn’t keep friends. I adore my friends  – that’s what makes life so colorful and interesting. Friends are the cushion of life. It sadden us that our son couldn’t experience a genuine friendship yet.

 Being conscious of our kid’s life experiences is a good thing. It allows us to advocate for them.  Letting things happen, or waiting for a sign of abnormal development could be detrimental. Early intervention is key if you see something is not right with your child. If you catch the problem early than the prognosis is better.

When my child is rejected, I’m rejected. It hurts me like it hurts him.  The toughest part of this process is over-identifying with my kids. Just when I think I’m living in full awareness, and practicing mommy mindfulness my son does something that triggers an old emotional response for me. I try to breathe and let it pass. Since I grew up in violent household, my OCD  easily gets triggered and throws me into a tizzy at the innocent drop of a cup full of juice.  I take a breath; hold back the old dramatic response of wanting to scream and kneel down to rigorously mop up the mess. Instead I remember I am a mother who is suppose to be role model… And I don’t want to to waste my energy on spilled juice, which is an insignificant moment that means nothing.  And for me my son is everything.

I would think how could a human being only 3 feet tall have this much power over me? It seemed an impossible task to figure out a way to have a good relationship with him. He clearly needed me to be patient and understanding. I remember one night crying on the bathroom floor with him – he kept hitting me. I wanted to hit him back… Everything we find dysfunctional with our immediate family or things that deeply set us off is really our issue. Until we resolve our personal vendetta within our selves our children and loved ones will continually suffer. I needed to completely change my perception of my life to deal with my situation, which made dealing with my son possible. All human beings on a subconscious level know we are responsible for the quality of our own life experiences, even children we know this. That is why children internalize pain. Kids truly feel bad things happen possibly because of something they did. My job is to be sure my son learns to be confident and knows that he is loved no matter what. I have to remind myself that my son needs intervention and help, not a fed-up mother… I have to consciously attend to my emotional growth and mental health because it helps me deal with my son and family more humanely.

Dealing with a special needs situation sometimes requires a combination of thorough Neuropsych assessments, therapy for child, family therapy, good books on high energy kids and ADHD, school accommodations, family restructuring, diet alteration, medication, body work, deep breathing exercises, visual imagery and reaching out to other families to see what’s worked for them. Most of all working on your own mental health as a parent is of utmost importance…because neglecting the role as a parent will only make things worse.

“We do not have to qualify to be loved. Love is our birthright. Love just is. Love is who and what we are.” Michael Brown

For more information on ADHD visit:  http://www.ncld.org

What is and isn’t a learning disability (LD)? LD is more than a “difference” or “difficulty” with learning—it’s a neurological disorder that affects the brain’s ability to receive, process, store and respond to information. LD will vary in how it impacts each individual child, adolescent and adult. Understanding the basic facts will enable you to help yourself, your child, or someone you know to be a well-informed and effective advocate.

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